The church and the highlands



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to imitate that phrase which we have heard most frequently pronounced by the persons surrounding us, and which, at the same time, is most necessary to our wants. Now, what is our greatest necessity ? Which of the various needs to which humanity is subject is of paramount im­portance to young and old alike ? It is nourishment, food—eating and drinking. Consequently, the first sentence which is usually mastered is a phrase like this: ' Please give me something to eat,' or ' Please bring me the bill of fare,' or ' Pray give me a steak and some potatoes.' Not a very intellectual phrase, but a sentence absolutely needful to everyone; and let me observe that Nature, through the mastery of this first simple phrase, has pointed out the true and only way in which alone languages can be learned. It is through sentences, and never through single isolated words. Disconnected words are never language. But to return to our sentence: ' Please bring me the bill of fare.' Not knowing any other expressions, we naturally cling to these words and use them again and again for our various necessities. For instance, when you want some matches, or an umbrella, or some towels, instead of saying to the attendant, 'Please bring me the bill of fare,'


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