The lady who managed this enterprise was the widow of a captain. She wore English curls, spoke a few words in various languages, and had a marvelous ability for making out long bills. Her prices were high, very high, but the situation of her house was at once elegant and retired. It was a wonder that these items were not entered on the bill.
The tongues first studied were Latin and Irish. We have works of very early periods in both, as, for instance, the Latin epistles of St. Patrick himself, and the Irish poems of the hardly less eminent Colum Kill. But other languages were presently added.
And John Robarts, the youngest, was a clerk in the Petty Bag Office, and was already assistant private secretary to the Lord Petty Bag himself a place of considerable trust, if not hitherto of large emolument; and on his education money had been spent freely, for in these days a young man cannot get into the Petty Bag Office without knowing at least three modern languages; and he must be well up in trigonometry too, in Bible theology, or in one dead language at his option.
He was sent to school, and Feuerbach bitterly complains that he was compelled to study the Latin grammar, 'and finally even Cæsar's Commentaries! Like other boys, Kaspar protested that he 'did not see the use of Latin, and indeed many of our modern authors too obviously share Kaspar's indifference to the dead languages.
I have only considered our Language as it shows the Genius and natural Temper of the English, which is modest, thoughtful and sincere, and which perhaps may recommend the People, though it has spoiled the Tongue. We might perhaps carry the same Thought into other Languages, and deduce a greater Part of what is peculiar to them from the Genius of the People who speak them.
Full well he knew that the constant searching for hidden meanings in the Scriptures was the direct cause of many of the superstitions which had crept into Judaism. He, too, had in his youth yearned for more extended knowledge than that derived from the Talmud's folios, and had in secret studied the Russian and German languages at the risk of being discovered and branded as a heretic.
But the principal standard which displayed the triumph of the cross was styled the Labarum, an obscure, though celebrated name, which has been vainly derived from almost all the languages of the world. It is described as a long pike intersected by a transversal beam. The silken veil, which hung down from the beam, was curiously inwrought with the images of the reigning monarch and his children.
I may persuade them to send me abroad for a year or so for languages and music, but even then I should be only twenty, and I can't settle down to vegetate at twenty. It's unreasonable to send a girl to a school where she is kept on the alert, body and mind, every hour of the day, and then expect her to be content to browse for the rest of her life! Now, what ought one to do in my position?
And truly a wonder; knowing everything, capable of everything; speaking all the languages, master of all sciences, a mind without horizons, a heart of gold, the glory of her race! On whom be peace!" "Amen. It is marvellous!" "Verily. I knew many things, she has taught me others. I am educated. I will tell you about her." "I listen I am enchanted."
It was evidently not his design to argue a similarity between the nature of these widely different subjects, but to show that no greater partiality appears in the divine wisdom, in not discovering the truths of revelation in all ages, to all nations and in all languages, than in its not leading the human mind to the discovery of electricity or any other of the laws of nature in the same manner.