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From The Saturday Review.
A JAPANESE GRAMMAR.*
"IF France is such a rich nation, why do her merchants come all the way to Japan to make money? was the very reasonable remark of Prince Tokugawa Minbataiho when being shown the beauties of Paris. The fact of crowds of European merchants eagerly desiring admittance into Japan is explicable to the Japanese mind only by the theory that their native countries are too small, poor, and barren to support them, and that they are obliged to seek the fertile plains and rich markets of Japan to gain a sustenance. This and other fallacies of a
compliment to the prominence of British interest in Japan. M. Hoffmann has already contributed a valuable aid to students of the language in the form of a very useful volume of dialogues in Dutch, English, and Japanese, and we are promised a dictionary in the same languages.
In the Grammar before us we know not
whether to admire most the industry which
told on the first page that, before commenc-
similar kind cannot be dissipated until the Japanese become practically acquainted with European countries, and we are, therefore, glad to observe that year by year an increasing number of young Japanese arrive in this country to study our language and arts. This they do thoroughly, Eng-would-be-learner will be staggered by being lishmen who have had opportunities of conversing with them cannot fail to have been struck by the extreme correctness of their diction. No desire to appear fluent causes them to give utterance to clumsy ungrammatical sentences, but with great patience and deliberation they mould their formula of words according to the strictest rules of syntax. Gifted with great natural quickness and ability, and possessed of untiring diligence, they eagerly study and easily master the by no means simple construction of our language. While engaged in these studies they must recognise that our comparatively systematic arrangement of grammar considerably lightens their task. It is not unreasonable to hope, therefore, that their desire for improvement may induce them to apply the same arrangement to their own language. At present they may be said to possess no expressed system of grammar, and consequently European students of the language are left to form their own syntax and frame their own rules
line, and these mutations are not made on any system or governed by any rule; while, further to puzzle the student, the ideographic Chinese characters are sometimes used to convey the meaning, and at others merely as phonetic signs. The Japanese the value of the work. It is only from the character predominates in inverse ratio to trashiest of story-books that Chinese is entirely excluded, while the best scientific and historical works, together with all Buddhist books translated from Sanskrit, are printed solely in that character. To add to the anomaly, Chinese was introduced into Japan by Prince who journeyed thither in the third native of neither country, but by a Corean century. For a number of years it was studied only as an accomplishment by
a practice which often gives rise to unfaithful translations from the Japanese, and renders the task of translating into that language one of great difficulty and uncertainty. Of late years several Japanese grammars have appeared written by European scholEnglish, French, and Dutch-but none equal in comprehensiveness and arrangement to the work before us. By pub-courtiers; but when, in the sixth century, lishing an English edition of his book M. Hoffinann has secured for it a wider circulation, at the same time that he has paid a
A Japanese Grammar. By J. J. Hoffmann, Ph. D., Member of the Royal Academy of Sciences, &c. &c. Published by command of His Majesty's Min
ister for Colonial Affairs. Leiden: 1868.
the doctrines of Buddha were introduced from China, it spread throughout the length and breadth of the land, and is now invariably read and understood. This last sentence, we ought to explain, requires some qualification, for although it is true that Chinese, character by character, is perfectly
the division of words. Though so intimately connected with the Chinese, the sounds of the two languages are very different, the Japanese more nearly resembling the Burmese, and possessing consonants, such as the initial V and R, which are entirely foreign to the Chinese. In the case of the latter letter, a curious exchange of sounds takes place in the two countries, whereas a Chinaman invariably pronounces an initial R as an L. The Japanese as invariably pronounce their initial L's as R's; with the latter also the letters F and H are often convertible. The forty-seven sounds spoken of above having been found to be utterly inadequate to represent the language, rings and dots were supplemented to supply the deficiency; but even with these additions it is impossible to describe in writing the language as spoken, much less to give correctly the sounds of a foreign tongue.
In common with all countries where locomotion is difficult, and consequently intercommunication rare, dialects abound, and assume to themselves the dignity of separate languages; so distinct are they that a native of one province has great difficulty in making himself understood in another. This state of things proved so highly inconvenient to officials, and the upper classes who by their position were constantly obliged to move from one part of the country to another, that a Court dialect was, as in China, introduced which is now recognised all over the Empire as the medium of official and polite intercourse.
understood by Japanese, yet so widely different is the construction of the two languages that a transposition of characters is necessary to make a Chinese sentence intelligible to a Japanese reader. To obviate the actual displacement of characters, signs are added at the side to indicate the relative positions of each word in the sentence, which thus becomes translated into Japanese. As a consequence of all this confusion, the Chinese character is read in two ways; either the Chinese pronunciation, or an approach to it, is retained, or it is made to represent the Japanese equivalent to its meaning, and may therefore be said to possess two sounds. For instance, the Chinese character "teen," signifying heaven, may be read either as "ten " the sound analogous to the original Chinese- or may be pronounced "ama," the word bearing the same signification in Japanese. The spirit of appropriation which induced the Japanese thus to adopt such a clumsy vehicle of thought as the Chinese writing would seem to be a conspicuous trait in the national character-a trait which has made itself apparent of late years by the eagerness with which they have seized upon the results of our superior scientific and mechanical knowledge; in curious contrast to their neighbours the Chinese, who have for the most part shown a stolid indifference to the introduction of foreign improvements. The Japanese Government are now rich in steamers; their forts, built on the most scientific principles, are bristling with cannon made on the European model in their Though not deeply versed in the science own manufactories, while the troops are of grammar, the Japanese have a general drilled and accoutred after the latest West-idea of its utility, and native philologers ern pattern. In imitation of the Sanskrit, have so far advanced in the study as to dithe Japanese divided their language into vide their language into three parts of forty-seven sounds, and selected a certain speech - namely, 66 na," names or nouns; number of Chinese characters to represent kotoba," words or verbs; and particles, them which were called " kana," or bor- called either "teniva," opening leaves, or rowed names. These words were written sute-gána, foundling letters. In common either in the full character or in the run- with Chinese, the nouns are destitute of ning-hand, called respectively Yamáto-kána grammatical gender, number and case. and Man-yov-kána. These forms being To indicate the first, the characters for again abbreviated gave rise to the two or- man and woman are affixed much in the dinary kinds of Japanese writings of the way that we say in English man-servant, present day-namely, the Kátakána and woman-servant; the plural is marked either the Firagana; the former being more or by repeating the noun or by affixing to it less a contraction of the Chinese, while the an adjective of quantity; cases are exwidest range is given to the fancy in form- pressed by suffixes. These distinctions, ing the characters of the latter, in many of however, are not by any means always prewhich all trace of the original correct form served, and there remains therefore a ceris lost. Constant and patient attention is tain vagueness in Japanese sentences which required to unwrap the characters from can only be explained by the context. As these mysterious flourishes, while the diffi- also in Chinese, their verbs possess neither culty of doing so is further enhanced by the number nor person, which, however, are letters forming the sentence being placed at indicated by the rest of the sentence, great equal intervals, without any sign to mark stress being laid, in polite conversation, on
rendering clear by the use of complimentary sixty different combinations. This system
From The Imperial Review.
and depreciatory terms the persons and was soon found to be very defective, it bethings spoken of. The moods and tenses ing obvious that the cyclical characters can are determined by the use of auxiliary only point to the number of the year in the words or verbs, the terminal letters or syl- cycle and fail to denote the particular cycle. lables of the verbs themselves undergoing It became necessary, therefore, to introduce no modification; the student, therefore, has a system by which it might be made plain, to learn but one form of regular verb and and for this purpose the sovereign, on asthe use of a certain number of auxiliaries. cending the throne, selects a name comWe have no space to follow M. Hoffinann posed of two characters of felicitous imthrough his able disquisitions on the details port by which his reign shall be known, of their grammar. As the reader will prob- which are prefixed to the cyclical characably expect, the construction of their sen- ters to fix the date. The twelve characters tences is the reverse of anything European; of the second series spoken of above also for instance, it is rather difficult for the serve as the signs of the zodiac, the points uninitiated to recognise in the Japanese of the compass, and the hours of the day, form "He I come shall that knowing of which there are but twelve. Numbers is," a translation of the sentence "He are, however, often used for this last purknows that I shall come." Whatever may pose, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, being those selected; be the deficiency, however, of other parts the first representing noon and midnight, of speech, there is no lack of personal pro- and the others, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 o'clock nouns, or rather substitutes for personal respectively. pronouns, for the ingenuity of the Japanese In this notice we have given but a faint is constantly taxed to invent terms of de-idea of the contents of the work before us. basement and exaltation sufficiently numer- It is a book full of practical information adous to meet the demands of their polite mirably arranged, and which will help conversation. A speaker who spoke of many a weary student of Japanese over himself as "I," instead of adopting the the stony path before him. usual depreciating terms of " 'your servant," "your slave," this little one," and similar expressions, would be considered vulgar and uneducated, while every wellbred man has at his command an infinite THE FUTURE OF PHOTOGRAPHY. sliding scale of honorific terms to suit the Most men remain utterly unmoved at the rank and status of his interlocutor. Euro- intelligence that some new planet has been pean students of both the Japanese and discovered, in some obscure German obChinese languages are too apt to neglect servatory by some unknown astronomer, the observances of these modes of expres- with a name more or less unprounceable. sion, and frequently use the bald "I" or And it is to be feared that the majority of "you," sounds unpalatable to the Jap- mankind, in their happy irreverence, are anese and Chinese ears, and which leave only stirred up to languid ridicule at the an impression of incivility and illiterateness spectacle of the philosophical quarrels that oftentimes very prejudicial to the legitimate seem to be the inevitable result of fresh geinfluence of the speaker. The same pedan-ological discoveries. Indeed, it is difficult tic politeness has given rise to similar forms for the disinterested observer to discover of expression as substitutes for the posses- the immediate connection between the findsive pronouns, and the "mean dwelling" ing of fossils in remote caverns and the and the thorny wife" are used to describe consequent outburst of violent abuse and those belongings of the speaker, while such rash personality amongst the savants of the terms as honourable," "lofty," and "su- great European capitals. Anthropology, perior" are considered applicable to the again, is one of those new inventions that possessions of the person addressed. As can scarcely claim a large share of popular part and parcel of the Chinese language the favour. Though this is not to be wondered sexagenary cycle used in China for the enu- at. For, after all, it is only natural that, meration of years, months, days, and hours even if men are descended in direct line has been adopted in Japan; in accordance from apes, they should prefer to remain in with which system the number of the year blissful ignorance of the fact. But some in the cycle is expressed by the combina- people are always to be found wanting in tion of two characters, one drawn in a se- the delicacy and tact that should suggest ries of ten, and the other from a series of to them that it is seldom gratifying to intwelve, established letters. These charac-dividual pride to trace a family up to its ters are so arranged as to be capable of very origin. However high the branches
may reach, the roots have always sprung less worth, and the reflection must give from the earth. It is convenient to forget pain to many that even this will pass away. the lowly birth of the family tree. We The causes of this fading of photographic prefer to have recourse to Sir Bernard Burke for the manufacture of ancestors. And what is true of families is true of all mankind. The present traditions are pleasant, if false. But the maxim “ Quieta non movere," went out of practice when Lord Melbourne died. Meteorology, like anthropology, shares with photography the advantages of novelty. Both are things of yesterday. But the former has gradually been relegated to learned societies, and few bright eyes deign to study the columns of daily journals, and "the sweetest lips that ever were kissed" no longer whisper confidence in to-morrow's weather on the strength of the puzzling hieroglyphics in the morning's Times. Meteorology has had more than its due proportion of failures, and the enthusiasm of those who were cager advocates of the new science has cooled down. But all those who are careless on similar subjects will take interest in the rapid advances of photography. And it so happens that no science can boast of a swifter progress. It is seldom that a month passes without the announcement of some fresh discovery more or less important. And every addition to the thorough knowledge of the subject is important, if not in itself, at least as paving the way for future investigations.
The attention of photographers is, at the present time, specially directed to attaining one object. It is generally known that in the process by which photographs are usually produced, a picture on glass is first obtained from which any number of proofs may be printed off on paper. It unfortunately happens that these prints do not possess permanence. They gradually fade, first losing their glossy blackness and sharpness of outline; then all their early brilliancy dies away, they assume a yellow tinge, and in time entirely disappear. Any one glancing over an album can convince himself of this. Those portraits that have been taken some few years since contrast very unfavourably with those that have been lately taken. It is a cause for especial regret, for carte-de-visite portraits gain in value with age. It happens, too often, that death leaves no remembrance of parent or child, friend or lover, except a portrait that, in so many cases, becomes of price
prints depend on the process. So long as the same method is used, and the same chemical agents are employed, there is no remedy for the effect. And it is generally held that some radically new mode of printing must be adopted. Many efforts have already been made to supply this defect, but the measure of success hitherto gained has been very small. One plan, however, known as the Carbon Process, that depends on the reduction of carbon from a solution of gelatine, is perfect in theory. And the results are in every way satisfactory. The prints are clear, vigorous, of a good colour, and, above all, perfectly permanent. Unfortunately, the practical difficulties in the way of working the process have hitherto been found almost insurmountable. It is not likely to be ever generally adopted. It requires so large an amount of skill and time that only enterprising amateurs have, for the most part, availed themselves of it. The well-known Wothlytype Process bases its claims to popular favour on the permanence of its prints. It has never, however, been well received by the photographic world. Some deny its merits; others assert that its productions are rather deficient in brilliancy and beauty. It has certainly not succeeded in winning its way against the opposition that it excited from the first. A process of this kind can only be thoroughly tested by time. But the universal opinion at present is, that the field is still open for a perfect method of printing.
Most photographers indulge in one daydream. It has the same charm for them that the elixir vitæ and the philosopher's stone had for the old alchymists. The vision that so temptingly displays itself to the imagination of the enthusiast is the hope of discovering a method of photographing colours. It must be allowed that there are excuses for the raptures that the idea excites. It would be a final triumph of science if the sun could be made to transfer to paper the thousand brilliant tints that are seen in nature, and that mock at the efforts of the artist to reproduce them on canvas. And there are hopes that the idea is not entirely chimerical. In fact, most men who have paid attention to the subject hold that the realization of this brilliant idea is only a question of time.
Part of an Article in The Churchman's Family | celled. Miss Mitford, speaking of "Jeannie
A YEAR after Burns's death, William Motherwell was born. His parents owned a small estate in Stirlingshire, and to this circumstance was he indebted for his liberal education, watched over by an uncle in Paisley.
Of his earlier years we have no record; but at the age of twenty we find him Sheriff Clerk Depute, in Paisley, the responsible duties of which situation he for three years discharged to everybody's satisfaction. All the while, however, his tastes lay in a different direction, and, in 1828, he became editor of the Paisley Advertiser," to the poet's corner of which he had previously contributed several of his best poems. The same year he also undertook the editorship of the "Paisley Magazine," wherein appeared, from time to time, various of his lyrical effusions, as also sundry compositions in prose. In 1830, he resigned his clerkship, confining his attention solely to his literary pursuits and to the management of the "Glasgow Courier," a newspaper of considerable local influence and repute. This situation he held till his death, retaining to the last the general respect of society, with the hearty good will and wishes of his many friends.
His death was sudden and unexpected. On the evening of the 1st of November, 1835, he had been dining in the city (Glasgow), and after his return, feeling oppressed and unwell, he went to bed. From that couch he never rose again. Through the night, speech failed, and in spite of all the medical assistance obtained, this sweet singer died at the early age of thirty-eight years. Among his more intimate friends the poet's company was much sought after: but in general society he was reserved, seldom or never taking part in the conversation, unless poetry became the theme of the evening.
As a poet, Motherwell was, perhaps, deficient in that robust vigour of pinion necessary for long and sustained flights. But in the utterances of the heart, in natural gushes of feeling, and in rich mental and poetical sympathy with the sights and sounds of living nature, few have risen to an equal pathos, and a descriptive beauty. more touching and telling. Many of his pieces are of exquisite beauty, and the Ivrics of "Jeannie Morrison" and "My Heid is like to rend, Willie," will rank with any similar compositions in the English language. In a soft, melancholy, and touching tenderness they have never been ex
Morrison," and others of his lyrical pieces, says:- "Burns is the only poet with whom, for tenderness and pathos, Motherwell can be compared. The elder bard has written much more largely, is more various, more fiery, more abundant; but I doubt if there be anything so exquisitely finished, so free from a line too many, or a word out of place, as the two great ballads of Motherwell. By touching and retouching during many years did Jeanie Morrison' attain her perfection, and yet how completely has art concealed art! How entirely does that charming song appear like an irrepressible gush of feeling that would find vent! In My Heid is like to rend, Willie,' the appearance of spontaneity is still more striking, as the passion is still more intense— intense, indeed, almost to painfulness."
A poem or two taken at random, we think, will be acceptable to our readers.