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LECTURES.

LECTURE I.

INTRODUCTORY LECTURE.

à course of lectures which I had the honour to deliver in this Institution two years ago,

I endeavoured to show that the language which we speak, and the languages that are and that have been spoken in every part of our globe since the first dawn of human life and human thought, supply materials capable of scientific treatment. We can collect them, we can classify them, we can reduce them to their constituent elements, and deduce from them some of the laws that determine their origin, govern their growth, necessitate their decay; we can treat them, in fact, in exactly the same spirit in which the geologist treats his stones and petrifactions,-nay, in some respects, in the same spirit in which the astronomer treats the stars of heaven, or the botanist the flowers of the field. There is a Science of Language as there is a science of the earth, its flowers and its stars; and

as a young science, it is very far as yet from that perfection which-thanks to the efforts of the intellectual giants of so many ages and many countries

though,

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