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The English Language

The English Language image
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lfís worthy of observation, thata lew leoding knguages are rapidly spreading over the world, absorbing the almost innumerable dialects which have heretofore existed. When the Puriians land ed at Plymouth, more than seventy distinct dialects were spoken by the tribes residing within the limits of New England. And now not a solitary vestigeof these longues rcmains save bere and therc a venerable name, which like a shadc of the departed, lingers in melancholy beauty upon a river or a mountain. Wachusett, Monadnoc, Kearsage, Androscoggin- they are noble words, and all thatsurvive of languages in which children once prattled, and chieftnins debaied. In less than two centuries f rom the present time, the English language alone wïll be spoken by more people ihan now dweil upon the surface of the globe ; probably by twïcé as many. Then the North American continent may be peopled by a thousand millionsof inhabitants, and from the rock of Plymouth to the snnd-bar of the Oregon, but one speech will be heard. It is highly probable that the English languege will be spoken tWighout all the West India Islands.- New Holland isdestined to be another America. Already do her colonista begin to talk of their future independence. 3Mot one-eighth part of this vast continent, 3000 miles ín length, and 2000 miles in breadth, bas as yet been explored. Who can teil what Mississippival I ies may be spread out there soon, lo be adorned with Christian villages, and to resound with the hum of industry. Engknd is sprinkling her colonies along the coast, and pouring into them the tide of emigration, and the hundreds of millions who, in a few centunes, will people these huls and vales, will unquestionably speak the English language.- There is no native tongue which can possibly exist for many years. The jargon of barbarían dialects which may now be heard in the solitudes of the forests of New Holland, must soon be silenced forever. Australia is now becomingsettled with al most the rapidiiy of our boasted Far West.The innumerable islands of the Pacific ocerm, now grouped together under the general name of Oceánica, are iacluded in a región 10,000 miles square. The aggreeate of their area is considerably more than the whole of Europe. M. Balhi, whose tables of population are of high authority, estimates that the inhabitants of this región are about twenty millions. Mr. Marsden, who has giyen a very accurate and philosophical view of the Polynesian nations, says there is intrinsic evidence that the language spok m throughout this whole región, with cértain stated exceptions, belongs to one common stock. The probability is now very strong, that through the influence of English and American missionaries, seamen and merchants, the English language will soon prevalí in all these islands. At many most important points, the English is now rapidly supplanting the rude dialects of the natives. In India, the troops and the traders, and above all ihe missionaries of England and America, are laying broad and deep foundations of the English language in the native soil. And it is now the opinión of many refleciing men residing in that land. that at a period not far distant, the lunguage of Britain will supplant all the languags of Southern India. In África, the colonies at the Cape, at Sierra Leone, at Liberia, are spreading far and wide, continually annihilating or absorbing new tribes, and wherever their influence extends, they exiend the language óf England and America. The Hottentot language, once the speech of two hundred thousand, is now annihilated.In the same way the peacelui oaure nation is disappearing before the encroachments of the colonists at the Cape. And unless Christian philanthropy arouses itself to unwonted exertions, there will bood follow in the same tcain of departing nations.Cazemba, Chanyemera, Mozambique, and oiher degraded yet populous tribes. But whether ihey melt away before the encroachments of unchristianized civilization, or are won to Christ, and saved from extermination by missionary zeal, it is alike probable that Enlish literature will triumph over their barbarían jargon, and that the English ] lang'inge will be eventually tho language of África, from the Mediteranean to the Cape.