« PoprzedniaDalej »
not bestow our praises indiscriminately. Mr. L. should have studied his Gothic with more attention from English subjects; many of his designs in this style are neither sanctioned by good precedent, nor by cultivated taste. His forming a plan of an estate distributed according to the principles of Brown and his disciples, is ill-judged and ungenerous. If Mr. L. had taken an important design of Brown, actually executed, and pointed out in a candid manner those improvements which the advanced state of the art enables modern professors to make in the works of former masters, we might have applauded both the design and the designer.
On the whole, Mr. Loudon discovers considerable experience in his profession, and good sense in many of his principles; his book contains an extensive variety of useful observations on the different branches of landscape gardening, and may be consulted with advantage by the judicious surveyor and opulent proprietary. But we cannot suppress our wish that it had been submitted to some true friend and real critic; from such a precaution, we are confident, both his reputation, and the art he, professes, would have derived considerable advantage. Art. XI. A Dissertation on the Hebrew Roots, intended to point out
their extensive influence on all known languages. By the late Rev. Alex. Pirie of Newburgh. 12mo. pp. 186. Price 5s. bds. Williams
and Smith. 1807. THE HE extreme diversity of language which at present is
known to prevail throughout the habitable globe, cannot be rationally accounted for otherwise than by a supernatural confusion of tongues, as is recorded in our sacred scriptures. So far as the history of languages can be traced, the changes which have occurred in them have been produced by mixture with other languages. Where this cause has not operated, the variations of dialect are trifling between tribes of the same nation, however long, or remotely, separated from each other. So, the same language is spoken in New Zealand, in the Sandwich Islands, and in Easter Island, as at Otaheite, with little more difference than a few peculiarities of pronunciation; although the original language of these Islanders has been so much changed by intermixture with other languages, on the Asiatic continent, whence they were dispersed over the Pacific Ocean, that it can now scarcely be identified.
Three nations, which are still distinguished by radical differences of speech, have chiefly contributed to the population of Europe; the Iberian, which has commonly, but very absurdly, been called Celtic; the Teutonic, or real Celtic; and the Sarmatian, which, according to Herodotus, was a branch of the ancient Scythian. These nations, however, not only have so much intermixed one with another in Europe, but appear aso to bave mingled previously so much with other nations, turing their passage from various parts of Asia, that their respective origins cannot now be ascertained by the remains of their primitive speech. The Greek, from which the Latin, and thence the Southern languages of modern Europe, have been chiefly formed, is itself evidently compounded of several. The Hebrew tongue, though it is, (as the editor of the work before us justly regrets) much neglected, is yet more frequently studied in Europe, than any other Asiatic language. It has many terms in common with all the
tongues that we have mentioned: and of these, this small volume presents a more copious collection than we recollect to have seen. It may therefore be of considerable use to the glossologists, whether they do, or do not, agree with the author, in regarding the Hebrew as the source of all known linguages; of which, indeed, the present work affords very partial evidence, as its citations rarely extend beyond the various dialects, or compounds, of the languages of Europe. It is rather a collection of similar terms, than a dissertation; and, by the abruptness of its commencement, it appears to have formed part of a larger treatise.
In a short introduction, the Editor ascribes to the Hebrew language, a “ divine origin;" and says that “ Heaven was its author and teacher;" that, “ through the peculiar superintending care of Heaven all the words in it are unalterably preserved;" and, that, " the originality of the Hebrew language being incontrovertible, nothing can be more natural, than that all other languages should in some respects be derivatives; or at least, to a certain extent, partake in its influence.” pp. ix, x.
To such a hypothesis, the author seems to have adapted this numerous collection of terms that have some resemblance either of sound, or of orthography. It is, therefore, not surprising, that he has zealously laboured to establish between them some resemblance, or at least some remote connexion, of serise. In this pursuit, he has demonstrated the luxuriance of bis imagination, and the fertility of his invention, much more than the solidity of his judgement, or the accuracy of his discrimination. We regret that his zeal has even involved him in a frequent indelicacy of interpretation, which is seldom, if ever, compensated by adequate illustration.
Etymology is a labyrinth, in which every one is liable to be bewildered, who is not provided with the clue of historical evidence. Any attentive reader of the Bible may be aware, that the foregoing assertions of the editor rest on a very slight foundation. Whether Adam was miraculously in
spired, like the Apostles, with the gift of language, or the attainment of it was left to the exertion of his rational faculties and aniinal powers, appears to us to be matier of conjecture, not of revelation : and we do not think that the interests of religion are generally promoted, by ascribing to miraculous interposition, that wbich might be produced by the natural course of events.
Nec deus intersit, nisi dignus vindice nodus! The Hebrew language has indisputable claims to our peculiar attention and veneration, for its remote antiquity, and for its application to the purposes of divine revelation; whether it was the source of all other languages, or only, (in common with the Syriac, the Chaldee, che Phenician, and the Arabic) a dialect of the original language of one or another family of the posterity of Noah, after the confusion of tongues. The latter seems to us the more probable: because it is certain that the Phenicians, and (after them) the Carthaginians, used a kindred dialect; and they were not, like Abraham, descended from Shem, but from Ham: and, because a great diversity of language between the families of Abraham and of Nahor is indicated by the totally different names which Laban and Jacob assigned to the “H-ap of witness.” It must, we apprehend, be conceded, either that the Canaanites adopted the language of Abraham's family, or Abraham's family that of the Canaanites: and the latter conclusion appears to us so much the more natural, and more reconcileable with other facts, as hardly to admit of controversy. The“ unalterable preservation” of “all the words” of the Hebrew language, if a fact, would have been a standing miracle; but it admits of confutation by a critical comparison of the books of Moses with the prophetical writings, as well as by the obvious change which the Babylonish captivity produced in the Jewish speech. The Editor accounis for other languages partaking of the Hebrew, in a manner, whic!, so far as it is intelligible and applicable to the subject, supersedes the hypothesis of its primitive originality:
The following disquisition ou terms in several languages denoting man, will afford a specimen of the anthor's manner.
• It is remarkable, that the idea convayed by the first name, which God gave to man, has been retained in the names which denote man in almost all languages. In Gen. i. 28. we are told that God called the progenitor of the human race Adam, is, and the reason of it, or the idea it conveys, because he was made nip73 kedamuth, according to the divine likeness. The root of this word is not dame, likeness, or the image of any thing; and 78, with an x of 'the future, means I will make my image or resemblance The ground of which he was made is called ads in the feminine gender, as the mother of Adam. As the Vol. III,
image of Gad must mean the most beautiful figure, in a secondary sense, the word came to denote beauty. In this sense it is used in the Ethiopic tongue; and as red is the most brilliant colour, it chiefly denoted red. Hence 7 dam, blood.
The Greeks retained this root in their deces, the body, douw to build ; from whence the Latin domus and our dome. As the chief part of the image of God in man consisted in having dominion over the creatures, (Gen. i. 28.) the same word in Hebrew signified superiority, or a power to cut off, reduce to subjection, or destroy. In this sense it gave birth to the Greek dapw, to subdue, the Latin domo, domino, and our dominion, domination, &c. with our verbs to doom, dam, damn, condemn, and to tame, the d being changed for t after the Saxon manner. Hence, too, to deem, or to determine, and dame, a mistress.
The Hebrew Day om or hom signifies to be associated with our equals, or with those who resemble us in birth or qualities. Hence the Greek õus, simul, and operos, like, from whence the Latin homo and French homme, a man, 9. do made like God. mipy omith, a companion, one like another, is the mother of the Scots mith, i, e, a resemblance or figure of any thing. Mate is of the same origin.
The Greek word denoting man is ανθρωπος compounded of ανθηρος of a Aorid complexion, and wit, the countenance; derived from 100 sher, clear or bright, and ary osb, image, q. d. the most beautiful image or resemblance of God.
• The Hebrew no mun, a similitude or likeness, became the Saxon and Scots name for man. It was also the origin of the Gothic manna, from whence our English man. As the moon has the similitude of a man on her disc, she was called unm, Gr., mena, Sax, and Isl., mina, Goth. and moon in English ; and the space of time measured by her revolutions, was called monath in the Saxon, and now month in the English. As time was measured by the moon, from 1730 maneh, to adjust or number, a derivative of the above root, came the Latin mensis, mensio, mensura, and our mensuration. Hence, too, the Greek penyuw to indicate, tell, &c. from whence uniós and mens the mind.' pp. 16-18.
To a performance of this kind, alphabetical indexes ought by all means to have been annexed; for its principal utility must be that of reference for particular terms. In this view, notwithstanding the wide scope which the author has given to his fancy, and the mistake which we think attaches to his very design, his work may be applied to valuable purposes; as it may prove of considerable assistance in tracing original or incidental rsemblances of the European, and son e oriental languages, anong themselves, and with the Hebrew tongue. Art. XII. Demonstration of the Existence of God, from the wonderful
Works of Nature ; translated from the French of Francois Auguste Chateaubriand ; and dedicated by permission to the Lord Bishop of
Landaff. 12mo. pp. 102. Price 3s 6d. Phillips. 1806. THIS fanciful but pleasing little tract constitutes, in the
original work of M. Chateaubriand, tbe 5th book of the first part, and is divided into 14 chapters, of which the first,
being introductory, is omitted by the translator. Of that work, Le Genie du Christianisme, we have already given a cursory opinion in reviewing the state of recent literature in France, Vol. II. p. 1052.; but it is liable to so many exceptions, that we think it much safer to commend the author than the book. M. Chateaubriand excels in the description of external nature; he is an enthusiast in the contemplative enjoyinents of the eye and the ear, and the fire which is kindled in his bosom by phånomena simply physical, often reaches the h«ights of moral sublimity, and poinis to the Author of Nature, as the object of worship. He is an exaggerated likeness of St. Pierre, possessing even more impassioned tenderness of feeling, and an imagination still more rapid and brilliant, but, with far less strength of understanding and extent of scientific erudition.
His natural peculiarities of disposition led him to the savage tribes and majestic wildernesses of North America, and were doubtless augmented by the expedition. Many of his observations on the manners, and some incomparably bcautiful descriptions of the scenery, which he then witnessed, are presented in his publication. This is done, however, with a very ill grace, by the introduction of a tale, intitled Atala, ou les amours de deux sauvages dans le desert~a warm and vivid representation of conflicting passions, which can serve no other purpose, in a moral view, than to inflame them. Before we quit this subject, which indeed has little connection with the present work, we must notice a curious instance of mercenary falsehood in the French bookseller, which is almost too absurd to admit of censure. Having gravely stated that this excrescent romance “ had given rise to a controversy which has divided Europe,” he proceeds boldly to assure the Badauds (Cockneys) of Paris, that, in England, '“ Atala had actually given name to a party, the advocates of which were termed Atalists;" furthermore, so that at the moment, when hostilities between England and France were about to re-commence, the English were eagerly expecting a translation of the Genie du Christianisme, from two professors of the University of Cambridge”!!--Can it be possible that this audacious bookseller formed a true estimate of the ignorance and credulity of Parisians ? It is certain, however, that the work was exceedingly popular in France, seven editions being sold in the space of two years. We are glad of this success, which appears to have scandalized the philosophists not a little; though we cannot but attribute some of the popularity to the insertion of the amatory tale.
We return to the part of this work which Mr. S. has translated, a task which we think is executed with considerable ability. It is the plan of the author, as appears by his introdụctory chapter, to avoid all abstract ideas on the doctrine