Our language has grown; it is growing still; and it has been growing for many hundreds of years. As it grows it loses something, and it gains something else; it alters its appearance; changes take place in this part of it and in that part, - until at length its appearance in age is something almost entirely different from what it was in its early youth. If we had the photograph of a man of forty, and a photograph of the same person when he was a child of one, we should find, on comparing them, that it was almost impossible to point to the smallest trace of likeness in the features of the two photographs. And yet the two pictures represent the same person. And so it is with the English language. The oldest English, which is usually called Anglo-Saxon, is as different from our modern English as if they were two distinct languages ; and yet they are not two languages, but really and fundamentally one and the same. Modern English differs from the oldest English as a giant oak does from a small oak sapling, or a broad stalwart man of forty does from a feeble infant of a few months old.
The English language is spoken by the Anglo Saxon race in all parts of the world, including England, most parts of Scotland, the larger part of Ireland, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. In the middle of the fifth century it was spoken by a few thousand men who had lately landed in England from the Continent ; it is now spoken by nearly two hundred millions of people. In the course of the next one hundred years, it will probably be the speech of three hundred millions.