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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

that "they have personal pronouns, but rarely use them." Among the Chinese, also, this style of address descends into ordinary intercourse. "If they are not intimate friends, they never say I and You, which would be a gross incivility. But instead of saying, I am very sensible of the service you have done me, they will say, The service that the Lord or the Doctor has done for his meanest Servant, or his Scholar, has greatly affected me."

We come next to those perversions in the uses of pronouns which serve to exalt the superior and abase the inferior. "'I' and 'me' are expressed by several terms in Siamese; as (1) between a master and slave; (2) between a slave and master; (3) between a commoner and a nobleman; (4) between persons of equal rank; while there is, lastly, a form of address which is only used by the priests." Still more developed is this system among the excessively ceremonious Japanese. "In Japan all classes have an 'I' peculiar to themselves, which no other class may use; and there is one exclusively appropriated by the Mikado. . . and one confined to women. . . . There are eight pronouns of the second person peculiar to servants, pupils, and children." Though in the West the distinctions established by abusing pronominal forms have not been so much elaborated, yet they have been sufficiently marked. In Germany "in old times. . . all inferiors were spoken to in the third person singular, as 'er':" that is, an oblique form by which the inferior was not directly addressed, but merely referred to, as though in speaking to another person served to disconnect him from the speaker. And then we have the converse fact that "inferiors invariably use the third person plural in addressing their superiors:" a form which, while dignifying the superior by pluralization, increases the distance of the inferior by its relative indirectness; and a form which, beginning as a propitiation of those in power, has, like the rest, spread till it has become a general propitiation. In our own speech, lacking such misuse of pronouns as serves to humiliate, there exists only that substitution of the "you" for the "thou," which, once a complimentary exaltation, has now by diffusion through all ranks wholly lost its ceremonial meaning. Evidently it retained some ceremonial meaning at the time when the Quakers persisted in using "thou;" and that in still earlier times it was employed to ascribe dignity is inferable from the fact that during the Merovingian period in France, when the habit was but partially established, the kings ordered that they should be addressed in the plural. Whoever fails to think that calling him "you" once served to exalt the person addressed, will be aided by contemplating this perversion of speech in its primitive and more emphatic shape; as in Samoa, where they say to a chief, "Have you two come?" or, "Are you two going?"

 

Since they state in words what obeisances express by acts, forms of address, of course, have the same general relations to social types. The parallelisms must be briefly noted.