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“Two months ! two months !” he murmur'd deep, honour, favour, &c. But the other changes adThose fatal words were there,
vocated by the “School Friend" are much newer; To grave upon his broken sleep
and are, as yet, it seems to us, far from being enThe image of despair.
litled to claim the sanction of that despoi, Uncounted wealth his coffers told,
Usus, quem penes arbitrium est, et jus, et norma loquendi. From rifled king and clime,
However-the essayist in the Cincinnati paper His flashing gems might empires buy,
deserves to be heard with respect : and we give But not an hour of time,
his second number without further preface. No! not a moment. Inch by inch
(From the School Friend.)
In a late article on the subject of Spelling, it
was shown, as we think, conclusively, that the law That pulseless hand a casket clutch'd,
of progress, and the practical character of the presTho' Death was near his side,
ent age, require, that all changes should be in favor And 'neath the pillow lurk'd a scroll
of simplicity. It is a matter of fact, that numerHe might no longer hide ;
ous and great changes have been made in our lanWhile buried heaps of hoarded gain
guage, all tending to simplify its construction. Let In rust and darkness laid,
us take, as an illustration, a few common words, Bore witness to the Omniscient Eye
and trace the changes through which they hare · Like an accusing shade.
passed, within the last two or three hundred years.
The left hand column below gives the spelling But on, the King of Terrors came
which was common in the 16th century ; the next, With strong, relentless hold,
that of a subsequent period ; and the right hand, And shook the shuddering Miser loose
the present method of spelling the same words: From all his idol gold,
Slouthe Slouth Sloth
Slough Slowe Slow
Musicke Musick Music, &c., &c. Under this head several essays have appeared in the “ School Friend,"* vindicating some recent
The above examples are selected at random, the changes in the mode of spelling many English
first that happen to meet the eye, and form a fair words : changes which mainly consist in simplify
specimen of the nature of the changes wbich bave
been made, and are still in progress in our language, ing orthography, by striking out letters hitherto deemed essential. Doctor Johnson's retention of when in the hands of men of good sense and in
telligence. k in public, &c., to which many have adhered even
Let us now examine some of the more modern within the last twenty years, is now almost universally exploded. It is not to be denied, that many bear a part in advancing or retarding. In the left
changes, and those which we, as individuals, may high authorities have also revolled from another
hand line we will show old spelling, and in the right usage, held orthodox by him and by his successors
hand, the modern improvement. We will classify till very recently-the employment of u in colour,
the different sets of words, and quote from Cobb's * The School Friend is an excellent monthly paper of 16
Spelling Book for the old method. pages octavo, published and circulated gratuitously by
Ist. Old method. Modern method. Messrs. W. B. Smith & Co., Cincinnati. It is among the wonders of the day. About 3 of the pages are filled with
Cubic advertisements of works published: the rest is reading mat.
Stoic ter, almost all valuable, relative to schools, education, &c.
Tunic It is sent, without price, to all teachers, school-commis.
Antic sioners, and others, who will write to the publishers (post
Classic paid) and request it. We hope and believe they find their account in this liberality : and if they do, it is a striking
Epic example of the way in wbich enlightened self-interest works
Music for the public good.
Favor sing, and never know when to double the final letLabour
ter except by an arbitrary act of the memory. This Odour
generalization of principles, this enlarging of analVapour
ogies, is a very important advance towards simplifi. Arbour
Arbor cation. Of this character, also, is the change which Ardour
is in progress in the following class of words: Harbour
4th, Old method. Modern method.
Theater, &c. New Spelling Books, has omitted the k and the u, though, as he states, “ Not in consequence of a Of this class of words, which are transferred conviction that analogy or sound philological rea- from the French, a portion have received an Engsons require it ; but from a conviction that the lish dress, as, chamber, disaster, diameter, disorder, practice and habit of omitting them, particularly charter, monster, tender, tiger, enter, fever, &c., the letter k, has become too firmly rooted to be from the French words, chambre, disastre, diameovercome.” We expect, if we should live much tre, disordre, chartre, monstre, tendre, tigre, entre, longer, to see the same acknowledgment and re- fevre, &c. A proper generalization of the princitraction with regard to the following classes of ple requires that they should all be treated alike, words with which we continue our list. In these, and this adds another feature of simplicity. Anoththe old method is still followed in Cobb's New er class is as follows : Spelling Book, and other works. We refer to Mr. Cobb thus especially, because he presents it as
5th. Old method. Modern method. a point particularly recommencing his works, that Defence, defensive Defense, defensive they adhere closely to the old method of spelling, Expence, expensive Expense, expensive wbieh is so rapidly becoming obsolete. We be. Offence, offensive Offense, offensive lieve, that very soon even he will say of these, Pretence, pretension, Pretense, pretension, &c. also, " that the practice and habit has become too firmly rooted to be overcome !!"
In these words, by the old method, we have the
primitive spelled in one way, and the derivative in 3rd. Old method. Modern method.
another, as, defence, defensive, &c., while in the Traveller Traveler
modern method the spelling is uniform. Besides, Travelling Traveling
these words are derived from Latin words, which Travelled Traveled
contain an s, as defensio, offensio, &c. Of a simDuellist Duelist
ilar character are the following spellings :
Connect, connexion Connect, connection Quarrelling Quarreling, &c. Reflect, reflexion Reflect, reflection
Inflect, inflexion Inflect, inflection In the preceding three classess and their deriva- Defeci, deflexion, &c. Deflect, deflection, &c. tions, there are not less than one thousand words, in each of which we save a letter, and thus throw We will close this article by the addition of a out of our language at least one thousand letters, few words miscellaneously arranged, and leave it which are entirely useless. But this is by no to the candid reader, in view of the principles and means the greatest advantage of the plan. We illustrations presented, to determine which system avoid exceptions to rules, and thus generalize prin- is best adapted to the practical uses for which lanciples. The fewer the exceptions to any rule, the guage was intended, and for which it must, sooner easier it is to apply the rule and to learn the ex- or later, be thoroughly fitted. ceptions. If all words of a certain class end in or, it is much easier to remember the method of
71h. Old method. Modern method. spelling them, than if some of thein end in or, and
Jail othes in our. If, also, we know that in adding a
Plow syllable, as in travel-er, duel-ist, harras-ing, the
Mosk final letter is never doubled when not under the ac
Sythe cent, as in remit-ting, &c., we have a rule without
Cloke exceptions. But by the old method we have smat
Diarrhea ter-ing and travel.ling, blossom-ing and harras
TO THE TWO SICILIES.
and low, of which the fluted jambs were united at CHARLOTTE CORDAY.
the summit by an arch, permitted the view of the
worn steps of a spiral staircase which mounted 10 HER BIOGRAPHY, TRANSLATED FROM THE HISTOIRE the upper story. Two windows with cross-bars, DES GIRONDINS PAR A. DE LAMARTINE,
of which the octagonal glass was enchased in frames of lead, gave a feeble light to the staircase
and the vast and naked apartments. The pale light BY WM. BOULWARE, LATE CHARGE D'AFFAIRES OF THE U. S.
imprinted, through this antiquity and this obscurity,
on the dwelling, an appearance of dilapidation, of No writer in the range of modern French Literature is
mystery and of melancholy, which the imagination better known than Alphonse de Lamartine and no charac. of man loves to see extended as a winding-sheet ter that appeared upon the bloody and crowded stage of the over the cradles of great thoughts and over the French Revolution is invested with so sad an interest as abodes of great natures. It is there, that lived the beautiful, the accomplished, the Jevoted Charlotte Cor. at the commencement of 1793, a grand-daughter day. We commend the following article, therefore, for the of the great French tragedian, Pierre Corneille. graces of the composition and the interest of the subject. Poets and heroes are of the same race. There is The History of the Girondists is, undoubtedly, the greatest no other difference between them than that between production of Lamartine and the elegance and fidelity of
thought and action. The one does what the other the translation we here present will be admitted by all who conceives. But it is the same thought. Women have read the original. It is rendered the more acceptable are naturally courageous as the one and enthusiasfrons the fact that the passage from the History, embodying tic as the other. Poetry, heroism and love are of the Life of Charlotte Corday, has never yet been laid be
the same blood. fore the public in an English version. Two volumes have been issued from the press of Harper & Brothers, reprinted from Bohn's Library edition, translated by H. T. Ryde, but they bring down the History no farther than the im. prisonment of the Duc d'Orleans.-[Ed. Mess.
This house belonged to a poor widow without children, aged and infirm, named Madame de Brette
ville. With her, there lived for some years a young But while Paris, France, the leaders and the ar- relation, whom she had received and brought up to mies of the factions prepared thus to tear in pieces sustain her old age and afford her company in the republic, the shade of a great thought passed her isolation. That young girl was then twentyover the spirit of a young girl and prepared to frus- four years of age. Her beauty, grave, serene, trate events and men, in casting the arm and the and collected, although brilliant, seemed to have life of a woman across the destiny of the Revolu- contracted the impression of this austere abode, tion. One might have said that Providence wished and of this retired life, even to the bottom of her to sport with the grandeur of the work, in the fee- heart. There was in her something of an appa. bleness of the hand, and delighted in contrasting rition. The inhabitants of the quarter, who saw the two fanaticisms in the struggle hand to hand: her come forth on Sunday, with her old aunt, to the one under the hideous features of the ven- accompany her to church, or who had a glimpse of geance of the people in Marat; the other under her through the door, reading for long hours in the the celestial beauty of love of country in a Jeanne court, seated upon the steps of the fountain in the d' Arc of liberty; the one and the other yet meet-sun, recount that their admiration of her was mining at the end in their wandering, at the same act,gled with prestige and respect. It may be, that it murder, and resembling unfortunately before pos
was the radiation of a strong thought, which ioterity, not in the object, but in the means-not intimidates the eye of the vulgar; it may be, the atthe physiognomy, but in the hand; not in the spirit, mosphere of the soul diffused over the features; but in the blood !
it may be, the presentiment of a tragic desting which breaks out in advance upon the countenance.
This young girl was of an elevated stature, yet without surpassing the ordinary height of the large
and slender women of Normandy. Natural grace In a large and populous street, which crosses the and dignity marked as an interior rhythm her step town of Caen, the capital of Normandy, and at that and her movement. The ardor of the South was time, centre of the Girondin insurrection, was seen mingled in her tint with the coloring of the women at the bottom of a court, an ancient house with of the North. Her hair seemed black, wben it gray walls, discolored by the rains and reft by time. was attached in mass around her head, or when This house was called the Grand-Manoir. A foun- it opened in two waves upon her forehead. tain with a margin of stone, grown green with moss, peared glittering with gold at the extremity of the occupies an angle of the court. A door, narrow'tresses, as the head of wheat is more deeply col.
It apored and more glittering than the stem in the sun. f of the return of fortune, which prevented it at the Her eyes large and long even to the temples, were same time from lowering itself in manners and of a color changeable as the water of the sea, raising itself by labor. The land, which that which borrows its tints from the shade or from the rural nobility cultivated in small, inalienable dolight; blue when she reflected ; almost black when mains, alone sustained it, withont humiliating it by she was animated. Her eyebrows very long and its indigence. The nobles and the land seemed to blacker than her hair, gave something of distance have been espoused in France, as the aristocracy to her expression. Her nose, which was united to and the sea were espoused at Venice. her forehead by an imperceptible curve, was slight- M. de Corday united with this rural occupation, ly raised towards the middle. Her lips were clearly a political inquietude and literary tastes, then very delineated on her Greek mouth. The expression, much diffused in this learned class of the noble which could not be caught, floated between tender-population. He breathed from his soul a speedy ness and severity, equally appropriate for breathing revolution. He was tormented in his inaction and love or patriotism. The chin raised and separated in his misery. He had written some works, called into two, by a strongly marked furrow, gave to the forth by circumstances, against despotism and the lower part of her risage an accent of masculine right of primogenitore. These writings were full resolution, which contrasted with the exclusive of intellect, to be developed. He had in him a feminine grace of the "contours.” Her cheeks horror of superstition, the ardor of a rising phihad the freshness of youth and the firm oval form losophy, the presentiment of a necessary revoluof health. She easily blushed and with equal ease tion. Whether it was the insufficiency of genibecame pale. Her skin was of a healthful white- us, whether inquietude of character, whether obness and marbled with life. Her chest large and stinacy of fortune which overwhelmed the beautia little lean, presented a bust for a sculptor, scarcely ful talents, he was not able to make his way through undulated by the rising developments of her sex. events. Her arms were muscular, her hands long, her fin- He languished in his little fief of Signeries in the gers tapering. Her costume, conformable to her bosom of a family, which increased every year. moderate fortune and the retirement in which she Five children,-two sons and three daughters of lived, was of a sober simplicity. She trusted to whom Charlotte was the second, caused him to mtore and disdained every artifice or caprice of feel more, from day to day, the sadness of want. fashion in her costume. Those who have seen her His wife, Jacqueline-Charlotte Marie de Gonthier in her youth paint her always clothed in a dark robe des-Autiers, died of these distresses, leaving a faeut “en Amazone," and her head dressed with a ther to her daughters in early age; but leaving in " chapeau” of gray felt raised froni the sides and reality their minds orphans of that domestic tradisurrounded with black ribbons, as the ladies of her tion and of that daily inspiration which death takes rank wore them at that time. The sound of her with the mother froin her children. voice, that living echo which collects a whole soul Charlotte and her sisters still lived some years in a vibration of air, left a profound and tender im- at Signeries almost abandoned to nature, clothed pression in the ear of those to whom she addressed in coarse cloth as the daughters of Normandy, and her speech. Persons spoke still of that sound of like these, weeding the garden, making hay in the her voice ten years after having heard it, as of a meadow, collecting the sheaves and gathering the music strange and ineffaceable, which was graven apples from the narrow domains of their fatier. on their memory. She had in that key of the soul Finally, necessity forced M. de Corday to separate some notes so sonorous and so grave, that to hear from his daughters. They entered under the ausher, that was, they say, more than to see her, and pices of their nobility and of their indigence into that in her, the sound made part of the beauty. a monastery of Caen, of which Madame de Bel
That young girl was Charlotte Corday d'Aro zunce was Abbess. That monastery was called mont. Although noble in blood, she was born in a L'abbaye aux Dames. That abbey, of which the cottage called le Ronceray, in the village of Siy- vast cloisters and the chapel of Roman architecderies, not far from Argentan. Misfortune receiv- ture had been constructed in 1066 by Matilda, wife ed her in life, whence she was to depart by the of William the Conqueror, after having been descaffold.
serted, degraded and forgotten in ruins up to 1830, has been magnificently restored since, and forms at this day one of the most beautiful hospitals of of the Kingdom, and one of the most splendid pub
lic monuments of the town of Caen. Her father, Francois de Corday d'Armont, was one of those provincial gentlemen whom poverty confoundedal most with the peasant. That nobility preserved of its ancient elevation only a certain Charlotte was then thirteen years old. Those respect for the name of family and a vague hope convents were at that time true Christian Gynecea,
where the women lived apart from the world, but this supposition and every thing refutes it. If the at the same time hearing all its rumors, and par- revolution had only cast into the heart of Charlotte ticipating in all its movements. The monastic lise, horror and resentment for the murder of a lover, full of gentle practices, of intimate friendships, she would have confounded in the same hatred all seduced for some time the young girl. Her ar- the parties of the republic; she would not have dent spirit and impassioned imagination cast her embraced as far as to fanaticism and death, a cause into that dreamy contemplation in the depth of which had mingled blood with her souvenirs and which it is believed that God is seen; a state of covered her future life with mourning. mind which the affectionate importunity of a supe. rior and the power of imitation change so easily, in childhood, into faith and exercises of devotion. The iron character of Madame Roland herself was At the moment of the suppression of the monkindled and softened at that fire of Heaven. Char- asteries, Charlotte was nineteen years of age. lotte, more tender, yielded to it still more easily. The distress of the paternal house had increased She was for some years a model of piety. She with years. Her two brothers, engaged in the serdreamed of closing her life, scarcely opened, at vice of the King, had emigrated. One of her sisthis first page, and of burying herself in this se- ters was dead. The other governed at Argentan pulchre, where, in the place of death, she found re- the poor household of their father. The old aunt, pose, friendship and happiness.
Madame de Bretteville, received Charlotte into her But the stronger her mind became, the more house at Caen. That aunt was without fortane, as quickly she examined to the bottom her own all her family. She lived in such obscurity and thoughts. She had a glimpse beyond her domes- silence as scarcely permitted the nearest neighbors tic dogmas, of other new dogmas, luminous and to know of the name and existence of a poor widow. sublime. She did not abandon God nor virtue, Her age and infirmities deepened still more the those two first passions of her soul ; but she gave shade which her condition cast over her existence. to them other names and other forms. The phi- One lone woman performed the service of her losophy which then inundated France with its glim- household. Charlotte assisted this woman in her mering lights, passed over, with the books in fash- domestic cares. She received with grace the old ion, the grates of the monasteries. There, the phi- friends of the family. In the evenings, she accomlosophy more profoundly meditated in the reflec- panied her aunt into the noble society of the towa, tion of the cloister and in opposition to the mo- which the fury of the people had not yet allogeiher nastic littleness, formed its most ardent adepts. dispersed, and where it was permitted still to some There, young men and women, saw above all, in old relics of the ancient regime to draw near logeththe triumph of the general reason, their own chains er to lament and console one another. Charloite, resbroken and adored their reconquered liberty. pectful towards these regrets and these superstitions
Charlotte strengthened at the convent the tender of the past, never opposed them by words. But predilections of childhood, like to relationships of she smiled within herself and nourished within her the heart. Her friends were two young daughters heart very different opinions. Those opinions beof noble houses and humble fortune as herself-came, from day to day, in her, more ardent. But Mademoiselles de Fandoas and de Forbin. The the tenderness of her spirit, the grace of her feaAbbess and her assistant, Madame Doulcet de Pon- tures, the child-like character of her manners, left tecoulant, had distinguished Charlotte. They ad- no suspicion of a secret thought concealed under mitted her into society a little mundane, which her good humor. Her gentle gaiety radialed over usage permitted the Abbesses to entertain with the old mansion of her aunt, as the rays of the their connections from without, in the enclosure morning of a day of tempest, so much the more even of their convents. Charlotte had thus known brilliant as the evening shall be wrapped in denser two young men, nephews of these ladics—M. de darkness. Belzunce, Colonel of a regiment of cavalry in The domestic cares fulfilled, her aunt accompagarrison at Caen and M. Doulcet de Pontecoulant, nied to the church and brought back to the house, officer of the “Gardes du Corps" of the King. Charlotte was free in all her thoughts and in all her One was soon to be massacred in an insurrection hours. She passed her days in playing in the court of the populace of Caen ; the other was to adopt, and in the garden, in dreaming and reading. They with a moderate firmness, the revolution, enter the did not restrain her, nor direct her in any thing, in Legislative Assembly and the Convention, and un- her liberty, her opinion, or her reading. The dergo exile and persecution for the cause of the religious and political opinions of Madame de Girondins. It has been pretended since, that the Brelleville were babits rather than convictions, too tender souvenir of the young Belzunce, sacri- she preserved them as the costume of her age and ficed at Caen by the people, had caused Charlotte, time; but she did not impose them. Besides, phiwidow of her first love, to swear a vengeance which losophy had sapped, at that period, the basis of behad awaited and struck Marat. Nothing confirins 'lief in the minds even of the noblesse. The rero