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comprise the greatest possible amount of useful information in a small compass; and should it appear that some important subjects are omitted, while to others of less consequence, a place has been given in our dictionary, we doubt not that the candid reader will bear in mind, that there must always be some difference of judgment in matters of this kind, and that even among the most intelligent and enlightened, perhaps no two individuals can be found, who will assign to a number of different subjects, the same relative importance.
It will be seen that a smaller proportion of names belonging to our own country, is inserted in this work, than is usual in gazetteers published in the United States. We admit that, generally speaking, it is more important to possess information about places in our own country, than those in distant parts of the globe, but as in this instance the great object has been to give the pronunciation of geographical names, it seemed proper, in a book of so limited a compass, to prefer the difficult names of foreign countries, to those of our own which might be readily pronounced without the aid of a dictionary.
To the following gentlemen we are chiefly indebted for our information respecting the pronunciation of the names of places in foreign countries, as well as for the general principles of pronunciation of the different foreign languages noticed in our Introduction. Justice, however, requires us 'to state distinctly, that these gentlemen are in nowise responsible for any errors that may occur in our gazetteer; it being impossible in a work like the present (in which the names of each country are scattered through the entire volume), to avail ourselves of the benefit which might result from their revision.
ARABIA AND EGYPT.
GEORGE R. GLIDDON, Esq.,
Dr. A. BOURNONVILLE,
M. Felix DROUIN,
Mary College, Va.
J. C. OEHLSCHLÄGER,
G. A. PERDICARIS, Esq.,
C. S. Buxton, Esq.,
L. S. DE BIBORY.
G. C. L. ABATE MINICHINI,
JOHN C. DELPRAT, Esq.
Consul of the Netherlands at New York.
A. B. ENGSTRÖM, Esq.,
JOSIAH HARLAN, Esq.,
HORATIO HALE, Esq.,
of the United States Navy. Chevalier J. C. DE FIGANIÈRE E MORÃO,
Minister Resident of Portugal.
Dr. WILLIAM COLESBERRY,
FELIX MERINO, Esq.,
WILLIAM B. HODGSON, Esq.,
man or oriental interpreter at Constantinople.
TURKEY AND THE BARBARY
For the pronunciation of names of Great Britain and of the various colonies of the British empire, as well as of the anglicized forms of well-known foreign names, and for other important information of a more general character, we cannot forbear to express our great obligations to
WILLIAM A. DOBBYN, Esq.,
Formerly an officer in the Brftish service The Rev. WILLIAM P. HINDS.
WILLIAM PETER, Esq.,
Her Britannic Majesty's consul for the State of Pennsylvania. We should do injustice to our feelings, did we not express oui warmest thanks to John K. TOWNSEND, Esq., for his valuable inform ation respecting the names of Oregon and of the Indian tribes west of the Mississippi, and other subjects noticed in the Appendix.
It is proposed, in this portion of our work, to set forth more fully some of the arguments alluded to in the preface, by which the propriety of our system of pronunciation is supported, as well as to explain the particular method in which this system has been carried out, in the dictionary before us.
I. It has already been intimated, that not only the present practice of the best speakers, but the usage of our more distinguished poets, is clearly in favour of the system which we have chosen. If any might be allowed to pronounce foreign names without regard to the peculiar sounds of the letters, or to the accents, which prevail in other countries, this privilege might surely be claimed by the poets, who, in the use even of English words, are considered to enjoy a special license. It is very evident, however,
;-as every one who will take the trouble to examine the works of the better class of them, must admit—that, as a body, they have neither claimed nor used this privilege. On the contrary, our more distinguished poets have usually exhibited a classical-we might almost say a punctilious-accuracy, in the employment of foreign names, whether of places or persons. To illustrate by examples,-GRANADA,* and Genoa,t are pronounced by all the great poets
"In Lithuania had he served and Russe;
No Christian man so oft of his degree.
Had joined the siege ; -"-CHAUCER.
Through GRANADA's royal town “And GRANADA must be won
And thyself with her undone."-BYRON.
Galicia bade her children fight or fall."-Scott.
+“Signior Baptista may remember me
Near twenty years ago, in GENOA, where
We were lodgers at the Pegasus.”-SHAKSPEARE.
who use these hames, from CHAUCER and SHAKSPEARE down to the present time, with the native accentuation; that is, GRANADA has the accent on the pinultima and GENOA on the antepenultima, though the generality of English-or at least of American-speakers, who have not heard these names pronounced, but merely follow.analogy, or their own notions of propriety, reverse the accentuation, making GRANADA rhyme with Canada, and GENOA with boa.
No poet, perhaps, employs foreign names so frequently as BYRON, and yet-though he often writes very carelessly—it would be difficult, in all the poetry he has written, to point out half a dozen instances where he has not conformed to the foreign accentuation, excepting always, those few well known names which have acquired an estab lished English pronunciation, and in these cases he appears invariably to adopt the pronunciation of the best English speakers. The same may be said of Scott; though he writes with great freedom, he rarely, if ever, violates the strictest rules of geographical pronunciation. In the poetry of ROGERS, SOUTHEY, MOORE, CAMPBELL, and MONTGOMERY, we have met with scarcely a solitary example of departure from the native accentuation of names, which does not properly come within the exception above stated. WORDSWORTH takes the liberty of changing the accent in a single instance CHAMOUNY—but acknowledges the authority of the law by apologizing in a note for its violation, (see Descriptive Sketches of a Tour among the Alps.) What has already been said respecting the usage of the poets, refers principally to accentuation, which, for the most part, can be readily determined by the metre of the poetry. Their manner of pronouncing the letters of a foreign name, is far less easily ascertained, since it can only be known when the name ends a line in rhyme, and even then it is often extremely uncertain, as they appear to consider themselves entitled, in such cases, to much greater sicense than in the accentuation of words. Thus we often see associaied in rhyme, words which correspond but very imperfectly in sound, as
“Were GENOA's galleys riding in the port,
Let Saxony, let injured GENOA tell.”—MOORE.