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ever this may be, the quotation affords an admirable example of the cheap and easy way in which the intellectual processes of different races of mankind are disposed of as may happen to suit the purpose of the disposers. The utterer of ni ne is just as rational essentially as Prof. Sayce or the present writer. We have in our own language precisely similar phenomena. The expression, “My work,” may signify either “I do it,” or “You do not,” according to the context and the gestures or tones of the speaker. A man may say, “My work," pointing to the product with a look showing lively satisfaction at being able to boast himself as the performer of so remarkable a feat. He may say, “ My work” while pointing to his own body, with a look showing strong disapprobation at the idea of another person pretending to have been the doer of it.
We have no desire to affirm the existence of any original distinction between adjectives and substantives as regards words, though we are quite sure it existed as to meanings as it does to-day in a multitude of instances—such, e.g., as “cannon-ball” and “pocketbook,” in which a word is not only, as Mr. Romanes says,* an adjective “in virtue of” "position,” but in virtue of the intention of the utterer of it. As Prof. Max Müller very truly observes, † adjectives are outwardly like substantives, but “are conceived as different from substantives the moment they are used in a sentence for the purpose of predicating or of qualifying a substantive.” Such terms † as “digging-he” to express a labourer,
* p. 305. + p. 306. # See p. 307.
or “digging-it” to denote a spade, or “digging-here" for labour itself, answer fully to express really intellectual conceptions.
We have now to advert to, and animadvert upon, the censures expressed by Mr. Romanes on his psychological opponents, concerning their statements with reference to the “idea of being.” Our author says, * “Seeing that my psychological opponents have laid so much stress upon the substantive verb as this is used by the Romance languages in formal predication, I will here devote a paragraph to its special consideration from a philological point of view. It will be remembered that I have already pointed out the fallacy which these opponents have followed in confounding the substantive verb, as thus used, with the copula—it being a mere accident of the Romance languages that the two are phonetically identified.” It will also be remembered that we have already replied † to this, but we may again remark that in the word “ is,” used as a copula, existence (real or ideal) is implicitly contained. Mr. Romanes goes on, “Nevertheless, even after this fallacy has been pointed out to them, my opponents may seek to take refuge in the substantive verb itself : forced to acknowledge that it has nothing especially to do with predication, they may still endeavour to represent that, elsewhere, or in itself, it represents a high order of conceptual thought. This, of course, I allow; and if, as my opponents assume, the substantive verb belonged to early, not to say primitive modes of speech, I should further allow that it raises a formid* p. 308.
+ See above, p. 179.
able difficulty in the otherwise even path of evolutionary explanation. But, as a matter of fact, these writers are no less mistaken about the primitive nature of the substantive verb itself, than they are upon the function which it accidentally discharges in copulation."
He then refers to the following assertion of oursbefore quoted * by Mr. Romanes: “If a brute could think ‘is,' brute and man would be brothers. “Is,' as the copula of a judgment, implies the mental separation, and recombination of two terms that only exist united in nature, and can therefore never have impressed the sense except as one thing. And ‘is, considered as a substantive verb, as in the example, ‘This man is,' contains in itself the application of the copula of judgment to the most elementary of all abstractions'thing,' or 'something. Yet if a being has the power of thinking—thing,' or 'something,' it has the power of transcending space and time by dividing or decomposing the phenomenally one. Here is the point where instinct ends and reason begins.”
To this statement of ours † we most thoroughly adhere, and are unable to find that Mr. Romanes can bring one valid argument against it. But he seems to think that people who have no distinct vocables answering to our words “exists," or "existence,” cannot have the conceptions thereto answering. His whole contention rests on this, and on the absurd notion that a child who only speaks of himself as “Charley," is not a self-conscious being. Nevertheless we shall see that,
* p. 167. t Originally made in "Lessons from Nature," pp. 226, 227.
only four pages further on,* he declares unequivocally that existence can be signified and made plain by expressions which nevertheless do not denote it by a separate term.
Then he goes on, † “In order to prove that the substantive verb is really very far from primitive, I will furnish a few extracts from the writings of philological authorities upon the subject.” He then tells us that the Hebrew word Kama means primitively “to stand out,” and that the verb Koum, “to stand," passes into the sense of “being.” But what more could we require ? Does Mr. Romanes think we suppose that primitive man started a word to denote abstract existence without any other meaning accompanying it? We are far indeed from entertaining such a notion. Again, the Sanskrit As-mi (the foundation of all the Indo-European words denoting “to be”) is declared to be “but a formation on the demonstrative pronoun sa, the idea meant to be conveyed being simply that of local presence." But what then? How does the use of the term to denote “local presence” deprive it of the power of denoting "existence”? Is "existence” inconsistent with “local presence "? In order that a thing may be present anywhere, is it absolutely needful that it should not exist at all ?
"May we not then," says Mr. Romanes, “ask with Bunsen, 'What is to be in all languages but the spiritualization of walking or standing or eating?!" To this we reply, Certainly you may so ask, and a rational man will probably give some such answer as the follow
* p. 312.
ing one: “ What are we to understand by your use of the term 'spiritualization'? Is it a hocus pocus, by which you would slip in an intellectual signification into what is merely sensuous ?” We think it better to use a less equivocal term. We say, first, that actual real material “walking, standing, and eating” necessarily imply existence in whatever walks, stands, or eats. Secondly, we say that the ideas of "walking, standing, and eating” necessarily carry with them the idea of existence as therein implicitly contained. Thirdly, we say that “to be” in all languages is much more than an implicit signification contained in “walking, standing, or eating ;” for it is contained really in every other real action and object, and ideally and implicitly in every other ideal action or object, as in the three actions which Bunsen selected. If it be rejoined, what was meant was simply that in most or all languages which have not the substantive verb itself, its place is supplied by an extension or specialization of meaning applied to the three terms given, we further reply that we are very happy it should be so. We have not the philological knowledge requisite to affirm or deny the assertion, which is an interesting one from a philological point of view, but has no special interest for us, being utterly beside the question under consideration.
Mr. Romanes then quotes from Mr. Garnett (“On the Nature and Analysis of the Verb "), very much to our satisfaction, as that writer quite expresses our own view. The only important matter, as Mr. Romanes has said, * is what a man means, and if he means to predi
* p. 164.