« PreviousContinue »
JACKSON, WALFORD, & HODDER 18, ST. PAUL'S CHURCHYARD
SIMPKIN, MARSHALL AND CO., STATIONERS' HALL COURT.
EDINBURGH: W. OLIPHANT AND CO.
GLASGOW: J. MACLEHOSE.-DUBLIN: J. ROBERTSON.
CONTENTS OF No. LXXI.
JULY 1, 1862.
ART. I.-Lectures on the Science of Language. By MAX MÜLLER,
Member of the Imperial Institute of France. Third Edition.
THE above Lectures, which the author informs us are only a short abstract of several courses delivered in Oxford, are a healthy sign of the times. The subject deserves more attention than it has hitherto received in this country.
The Science of Language could not, any more than other sciences, become established in popular favour without first passing through the ordeal of adverse criticism. The circle of the sciences regards every new comer as exceedingly presumptuous. It desires to be very select, and gives every fresh aspirant to a share of its honours more trouble to establish his claims than a novus homo had in Rome. The Science of Language, however, has successfully combated many of the prejudices which it at first awakened, and exhibits such credentials as have secured a respectful consideration from a numerous public.
Professor Max Müller shows that every physical science has had to pass through three stages. It first applies itself to the common wants of life. It appeals to the lower interests of society, and endears itself by performing menial services. It is simply practical. It then stirs the feeling of curiosity, and gratifies a love of order. It arranges its stores, and points out the resemblances, contrasts, gradations, by which this arrangement is facilitated and distinguished. And finally it assumes a loftier function. It reasons from the known to the unknown. It endeavours to explain what before it only inspected and put in order.