Page:Compendious Syriac Grammar.djvu/38

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of ancient writings,—had the effect of leading even the later Syriac authors, among whom were several considerable men, to wield their ancestral speech with great skill. Besides, the influence of the actually living tongues—the Aramaic popular dialects and the Arabic—did not attain its prevalence with such a disturbing effect as might have been expected. But on the whole, for more than a thousand years, Syriac—as an ecclesiastical and literary language—has only been prolonging a continually waning existence.