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interjections "oh!" "ah!" expressive of pain or
wonder, or "good heavens!" "dear me!"
expressive of surprise, and many others
which will at once occur to the reader's
mind, as well as the objurgatory, minatory,
and denunciatory words or phrases, which
may all be classified under the one head of
"cursing and swearing," and by which
the feelings find a vent for themselves
without a real language, are not, in point
of fact, of a higher order of language than
the interjections of the dog, the horse, the
bull, or the sheep. When the "swell" of
our day ejaculates "by Jove!" on every
occasion when other words fail him, which
is very frequently, he stands, as regards
language, on no higher level than the dog
which says "bow-wow," or chanticleer, that
salutes the morn with his "cock-a-doodle-
doo!" When a lady says, "oh la!" or
"dearie me!" to express her wonder or
her pleasure, she places herself for the
time being on the intellectual level of the
owl or the cuckoo. Interjections, as used
by men, as grammarians have often
described, are for the most part monosyllabic,
and most frequently consist of a vowel
followed by an aspirate, as "oh!" "ah!"
but they sometimes, like the bark of the
dog, consist of two syllables, as "oh dear!"
"oh la!" "by Jove!" and others; and
if men and women imagine by such
expressions as these to express their pain,
their wonder, their pleasure, or their anger,
and to be readily understood by all who
hear them, it may follow in the case of
quadrupeds and birds, who use the same
sort of speech, that they also can make
themselves intelligible to their own species,
and have, so far as the interjection goes,
laid the foundation of a language.

The singing birds, however, go far
beyond the quadrupeds in this respect, and
seem to have other parts of speech than
the interjection. When the skylark breaks
out into lyrical raptures, it needs no
extraordinary effort of the poetical imagination
to translate into words known to men
its joyous song as it hovers under a cloud
and straight above his nest, true, as
Wordsworth says, to the kindred points of
"heaven and home." The sounds that
gush forth from its musical throat are
unmistakable phrases of joy and gratitude to
the great Creator of the universe,

We see it not, but we hear its voice,
Singing aloud, " Rejoice! rejoice!"

The song of the nightingale, far richer
both in vowels and consonants than that of
the lark, has been the theme of poetry in
all ages of the world, among such civilised
nations as have inhabited a climate which
the beautiful bird frequents. Joy, sorrow,
love, supplication, lamentation, adoration,
ecstasy, all are expressed in the song of the
nightingale, in full voice, on a balmy
moonlight night. To deny to such an
utterance the inherent quality of ideas,
merely because the words, for words they
must be, are not intelligible except in the
abstract to the listeners, is as unreasonable
as it would be to deny, for the same reason,
the poetry and the passion of a speech or
a song in Italian, merely because the
separate words of the great concrete discourse
or hymn were unknown to one who was
wholly ignorant of the language.

IN THAT STATE OF LIFE.

CHAPTER VI.

MAUD entered Mrs. Cartaret's room again,
an hour later. That lady cried out, on
seeing her:

"Here, Mary, come and draw a chair
close to the bed, and go on at the place you
left off. Stay, thoughyou shall first
answer this rascally letter for me. There
is pen and ink."

"I can't write with that, ma'am. It
has got no nib."

"Mon Dieu! It does well enough for
me. Did they give you nibs at your
school? How they do spoil the children
now-a-days! Here, then, is a steel one,
nowwrite quick. Do not be an hour
over it. You spell correct, do you? Here
is a bit of paper."

"It is only half a sheet, ma'am, and it
has a blot."

"Juste Ciel! Who taught you to be so
particular? The blot will not blind the
man, will it? and he can read what I
have to say on half a sheet as well as a
whole one. Go on'Sir, I have many
impertinent applications from you. One
answer for allmy son's debts contract when
he——"

"Contracted?" suggested Maud.

"Well, yes, contractedah! you are
grammatical, are you?—'when he was at
college, were paid by me when he came of
age. He entirely denies the justice of your
claim. I have no more to do with his bills.
He has his own fortune, and I desire no
more vile letters——"

"Vile? Is not that rather strong,
ma'am?"

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