Page:Notes and Queries - Series 12 - Volume 6.djvu/250

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NOTES AND QUERIES. [is a. vi. MAY is, 1920.


day of Judgment, All goodness shall unto the house where y e Coppy of this writing shall be in ye name of Jesus Christ Amen.

Coppied April: 12: 1722

Except your head and hart attend your hand Penn Ink and paper save and write in sand.

The paper is endorsed (in the same writing as the copy) :

" Gods message from heaven as it is said and sent by y e Angell Gabriell in y e year of our Lord 1603."

Whether any such place as Isunday existed except in the imagination of the author of the above document, I do not know, but I have failed to find it in the Gazetteer I have consulted. There are manifestly some errors in the copy, but I have transcribed it as it stands. WM. SELF WEEKS.

Westwood, Clitheroe.


LATIN AS AN INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE.

THE closing sentences of your review (ante, p. 120) of Mr. A. B. Ramsay's ' Inter Lilia ' recalled vividly a vigorous discussion which I had the temerity to initiate in the columns of The Manchester City News in August, 1909. My paper was headed ' A Universal Language,' to which the editor affixed the sub-title of 'Will Esperanto Last ? ', pre- sumably because three-fourths thereof con- sisted of a direct attack on Dr. Zamenhof's invention. The remaining one -fourth was devoted to a reasoned plea for the adoption and adaptation of Latin as a medium of international communication. It so hap- pened that my paper synchronized with the great Esperanto Congress in Dresden a coincidence that tipped the shafts of many adversaries with venom. No wonder, the editor described the controversy as "a battle of Titans." But it is not with Esperanto that I am concerned here, nor with any similar artificial attempts at a universal language, such as Volapuk, Apo- lema, Ido, or Universal Ling. Your reviewer has kindled into a flame the almost expiring embers of a long cherished dream that the linguistic world would some day adopt "Tendimus in Latium " as its motto, and once again xise Latin as its international tongue. As he says, very appositely :

" Why, with such a vehicle in our possession, and when the world is crying out for an inter- national language, do we not revive Latin ? It is the common possession of Western Europe ; its vitality is latent, not extinct ; it needs but to be revived a less invidious enterprise than the virtual imposing of some one modern language


upon other nations ; and, being the fount from- which so great a part of modern speech has taken> its rise, it offers a wealth of opportunity for the- development of language, which would be more- happily exploited if it were not left merely to the ingeniousness of the learned. A dead language is of no use be it granted ; but Latin is not in any sense dead, and Mr. Ramsay's lively book will, we trust, carry a fresh proof of its vitality home to many readers."

A right note is struck by the statement that " Latin is not in any sense dead." And, as the last paragraph in the paper referred to> above also observes :

" If we must learn a new language let it be one already consecrated by long use and perfected by its best writers and speakers. Why not adopt and adapt Latin, mistakenly classed as a dead speech, which possesses the roots of many European tongues and the requirements of a secondary universal or international language. It has everything to recommend it, absence of article, simplicity of conjugation and declension, and a singular pliability to modern commerce, verbal coinage, and scientific inventions. This malleableness was admirably illustrated and confirmed by the publication in England of the Nuntius .Latinus Internationalis, and sustained by several similar periodicals in Italy and America,, and was practically maintained so long ago as 1408 by Poggio Bracciolini, who, to quote Dr. Sandys, in the preface to his jest-book, avows that,, in that work, ' his purpose is to prove that there is nothing that cannot be expressed in Latin, and in carrying out that purpose he is only too- successful.' And, further on (' Revival of Learning '), he observes :

" ' Latin is still the language used at Oxford, Cambridge, and Dublin in academic laudations of the living .... Lastly, Latin continues to be the medium by which the learned on either side of the Atlantic are wont to express their condolences and congratulations even in cases where both of the bodies concerned claim English as their mother tongue.'

" And he might have added that an eclectic Latinity is the language of the theological and philosophical text-books (as of the Liturgy) of the seminaries and colleges of the Roman Com- munion throughout the world, and that the lectures thereon and therein are delivered in the same tongue ; also that for many years the papers read at the medical congresses were written and read in Latin. Clearly, then, Latin is still, as it has long been, an ail-but universal language.. Why not make it entirely such ? Ciceronian Latin would always be safeguarded by classicists- and uniformity of pronunciation for colloquial purposes would, as I contended years ago in ' N. & Q.' (7 S. xi. 484, 1891), be attained on the basis of the Continental or Italian method."

In support of the last contention let me cite the following sentence from the ' Alaudse' of Mar. 20, 1891 :

" Juxta sic nascentem Latinitatem recentiorem Latinitati aurese semper suus honor manebit manebitque ejus usus, presertim in poesi necnon in prosa elegantiore et celsioris stili. Tribuamus suum utrique, et Latinitati aurese et usui nostro."