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FOR RICHARD PRIESTLEY, 143, HIGH HOLBORN, LONDON,
v-IRTUS, V-IRTUE, ARETE, &c.
(Lat. Eng. Gr.) The Nature
Earth ;~Excellent Quality.
Eng.) The Nature or Qua-
Nature or Quality of any
thing Bast-ARD — Bat-ARD, &c. &c.
(Eng. Fr.) Of a Base Nature. Artzen. (Germ.) To Temper
things, so as to make them
of a due Sort or Quality. Arzt. (Germ.) A Physician, A Temperer or
Mixer of Drugs.
The terms in Latin beginning with v, having RT, RD, &c. &c., may be considered as belonging to our Element ‘RT, ^RD, by the addition of the labial sound v. We have seen the Latin v-IRID-is, and its corresponding terms v-ERD-ure, v-ERT, &c. (Eng. Fr. &c.) which, as we should all agree, would be naturally derived from the EARTH. In v-Ireo we have the form *R. We shall likewise acknowledge, that the Latin v-IRTus, v-IRTUE, would be naturally derived from the same spot. It may well be imagined, that the names for Moral Properties or Qualities would be deduced from the Properties or Qualities of Natural objects, either in their simple state, or as improved by Culture. In a term of this sort these ideas cannot be separated. The word v-IRT-us, in its original sense, signified, as I conceive, the Nature—Propertyor Quality of the Soil or Earth; and it is thus perpetually used by the Writers on Agriculture. Cato, in the very commencement of his work, applies the word in its genuine sense, “ Solo bono, “ suâ VIRTUTE valeat,” (scl. Prædium.) The word Virtue in English bears its genuine sense, when we speak of the VIRTUES
of the Soil-of Plants and Herbs. In the following passage of Lear it is brought back to its original Spot.
“ All you unpublish'd Virtues of the EARTH,
Spring with my tears! be aidant and remediate,
“In the good man's distress.” (Act IV. S. 1.) If the Reader should be inclined to admit my idea respecting the origin of this word, that o-IRT-us belongs to the Earth, though it appears with the stronger labial breathing, bearing the form of the Consonant V, before the radical “RT; his conviction will be unshaken, when he remembers the form of the parallel term in Greek, where no such obstacle presents itself. In ARETE, (Apetu, Virtus,) we see at once the ARETz, or EARTH. We know, that Arete, (Apetn,) as well as v-Irtus, relates to the qualities of Natural objects, Purixn Apety, (Geopon. 14. 24.)
In ARETE, (Αρετη,) as in v-irtus, we appear to see simply the idea of the EARTH, as denoting Quality, without the action of Stirring it up, as in the verbs Artuo, (Apruw, Paro,) and v-Erto. We know,
We know, however, that the sense of Quality~Property may be derived from the Earth, when the idea of its made up - meliorated or prepared state, by Stirring up or by Cultivation, has been annexed to it. Such distinctions are perhaps unnecessary; and it is sufficient for my purpose to shew, that the Earth affords the origin of the term.
Arete, (Apety,) means in Greek that peculiar Quality-Principle-Faculty-Power, inherent in or appropriate to any thing, by which it exerts the energies of its Nature. In the opening of the Discourse Περι Αρετης: Ει διδακτον" in the Socratic Dialogues of Æschines, the sense of Arete is fully manifest *, as it denotes
διδακτον αρετη, η ου διδακτον, αλλα φυσει οι αγαθοι γιγνονται ανδρες, η αλλω τις τροποςΟυκ εχω ειπειν εν τω παρoντι, ώ Σωκρατες.-Αλλα ωδε σκεψωμεθα αυτο. φερε, ει τις βουλοιτο ταυτην την ΑΡΕΤΗΝ γενεσθαι αγαθος, η αγαθοι εισιν οι σοφου μαγειροι, ποθεν αν γενοιτο ;-Δηλονοτι ει παρα των
that Virtue-Art-Quality, or Power, by which men become excellent in any ART, (Ayados tnv APETHN,) as that of Cookery-Medicine, &c. It is impossible not to perceive in this explanation,
, derived from the above passage, the coincidence in sense of the Greek ARETE, (Apety,) and the English Art; and we shall instantly agree, that they are only different forms of each other. This coincidence is so striking, that it has been noted by the Etymologists. The Commentary of John Le Clerc, on the sense of ARETE, (Apet",) in the passage of Æschines, will sufficiently illustrate my Hypothesis :-“Coquinariam ARTEM cum vocat Soo crates APETHN,” Areten, "satis ostendit sic dici potuisse quam" libet dotem, aut facultatem, quâ quivis fit cuipiam rei apievos seu aptus.
Hinc et veteres Grammatici ato TNS APETHE,” Aretes, “ nomen Artis deduxerunt, quâ de re vide Ger. Joan. Vossium " in Etymol.” The ordinary Lexicons detail every thing that is important respecting this subject. “ ARs, Artis,” says R. Ainsworth, “(per sync. ab APETH, i. e. Virtus. Don. nam vett. “ ARTEM pro VIRTUTE accipiebant. Diom.) 1. Originally and properly, Power. (2.) Virtue. (3.) Afterwards, Art.” We
αγαθων μαγειρων μαθοι.-Τιδε ; εε βουλοιτο αγαθος γιγνεσθαι ιατρος και παρα τινα αν ελθων γενοιτο αγαθος ιατρος;-Δηλον δη ότι παρα των αγαθων τινα ιατρων.-Ει δε ταυτην την ΑΡΕΤΗΝ αγαθος βουλοιτο γενεσθαι, ηνπερ οι σοφοι τεκτονες ;-Παρα των τεκτονων ;-Ει δε ταυτην την ΑΡΕΤΗΝ βουληθειη αγαθος γενεσθαι, ηνπερ οι ανδρες οι αγαθοι τε και σοφοι, που χρη ελθοντα μαθεινή-Οιμαι μεν και ταυτην, ειπες μαθητος εστι, παρα των ανδρων των αγαθων" ποθεν γας αλλοθεν και
“ An potest doceri Virtus, an verò secus, sed natura fiunt boni viri, vel alio “ quopiam modo?-Non habeo, Socrates, quod tibi nunc respondeam. At id hic “ dispiciamus. Age, si quis velit ea VIRTUTE bonus fieri, quâ boni sunt periti coqui, “ unde fieri queat ?—Nimirum, si a bonis coquis discat.-Quid vero? si bonus velit fieri “ medicus, ad quem ire queat, ut bonus fiat medicus ?-Si, scilicet, a quopiam peritorum “ medicorum discat :—Si autem eâ VIRTUTE bonus fieri cupiat, quâ boni sunt periti “ fabri?-A fabris ?-At si fieri vellet bonus eâ VIRTUTE, quâ viri boni et sapientes « sunt præditi, qud eum oportet ire, ut discat?—Credo, et hanc, si disci possit, à viris “ bonis pariter disci. Quonam enim alio ex loco eam consequi posset?” (See Hesiod. E57. 313. and Eustath. ad Hom. 661. Odyss. Opg' agern, &c.)