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A Welsh writer, of the 16th century, Charles Edwards, was so much struck with this similarity, when he first commenced the study of Hebrew at the University of Oxford, that in the exuberance of his devout exultation at finding the vernacular language of his country approach so near to that of Holy writ, he declares he should have considered it as impious on his part not to have withdrawn the veil of silence and concealment from this, what he styles, miraculous conformity. Accordingly at the conclusion of his “ Hanes y Fydd," printed in 1675, under the Imprimatur of the Vice-chancellor, he has published a number of CambroBritannic Hebraisms, from which we have made the following selection. But as his address to the gentlemen of Wales on this subject is not long, as it contains some curious observations, and as the work itself is now become scarce, we shall take the liberty of transcribing it entire.
“ Honorandis Antiquæ Britannicæ Gentis Primoribus,
Aliisquæ ei Benignis Mæcenatibus EYAAIMONIA. “En conspectui vestro, Viri Honorati, humiliter exhibeo opusculum, tenue quidem, sed hactenus desideratum. Constrictum exiguumque hic vobis dedico manipulum, primitiarum tamen, eoque nomine spero, non ingratum fore ingenuis delibandum propone, ut si placuerit massis sit semen uberioris. Cum Hebraicis studiis aliquantisper incumberem, Patriarchas priscos, et Prophetas sanctos Cambro-Britannicè loquentes et nostro idiomate magnalia Dei patefacientes, mihi visus sum audire. Huic miraculo silentii velamen obducere haud pium judicavi præsertim cum tantæ sancti sermonis reliquiæ penes gentem toto orbe divisam, et dim bellicosis calamitatibus diutinè depressam, et tunc temporis literaturâ parum cultam, tam perspicuum sacræ scripturæ testimonium dant de primitivâ unitate humani generis linguæ, et parentelæ. Immo nonnihil solaminis patriæ me allaturum existimavi, notificando præter quorundam doctorum opinionem, et contra omnium ferè mortalium incredulitatem primævæ linguæ eam tantum retinuisse.
“ “ Plus equidem, ut opinor, ipsamet hâc in parte sibi pótest vendicare, quam aliquæ aliæ gentes, licet eruditissimæ. Aliquantulum etiam ad pietatem colendam sit nostris incitamenti, ut linguæ sacra divinis, et sibi idoneis serviat negotiis, ut Deus Opt. Max. cælestibus, vos et patriam, ditet beneficiis ex animo optat, et quotidiè precatur.
Felicitatis vestræ studious,
CAROLUS EDWARDS. Lond.; Decemb. 24, 1675.
HEBRAISMORUM CAMBRO-BRITANNICORUM SPECIMEN.
Galeed, i.e. the Cumulus testi Galehedh
Exercitus venit Bagad
dda I the Almighty Ego Deus Omni- Ani ael saddai Gen. xvii. 1 God
potens Hyd Uwyn Mre Unto the plain of Usquead quercum Had elouse Moreh
Moreh Yngan Iahacob Jacob answered, Respondit Jaha- Jangan Jahacob waredd fi I was afraid cob, Timui
iarethi Gen. xxxi. 31 Llai iachu, yng- Let him not live Non vivat, coram Loa iicheieh, en
wydd achau ni before our bre fratribus nostris gedd acheinu Gen. xxxi. 32 tbren Ochoreu balloddi After I am waxed Postquam senui Acharei belothi
hoedena ? old, shall I have voluptas? hedenah ? Gen. xviii. 12 pleasure? Bebroch fo am be- When he fled from Fugiendo ipso à Beborechvo im
neu ach ef, dy- the face of his facie fratris sui penci achiu : tafeth Deborah brother. But De mortua est De math Deborah mam ianceth borah, Rebecca's bora nutrix Ri em ienceth Ri(ienctid) Ribe nurse died
becah cah Gen. xxxv. 7,8 Yngan Jub, yscoli Job answered, Oh Respondit Jiob, Iangan Iiob ascol yscoli cynghaws i that my grief were appendendo ap iascel cangesi Job, vi. 1, 2 throughly weigh- penderetur ed
mea Amelhau bytheu And they shall fill Replebuntur do- Amelau bathecha
chwi, a bythau thy houses, and mus tuæ, et do u bathei chol holl ufyddau the houses of all mus omnium habhecha chwi
thy servants servorum tuoum Exod. x. 6. Angheni a gô-wan Thy terrors have Afflictus et mori- Angini eu gouan Ps. lxxxviii. 16 cut me off, &c. bundus
Thy wrathful dis
pleasure, &c. Iachadd ni Thou hast healed Vivificasti me Ichiathni Ps. XXX. 2 Nesa awyr peneu Lift thou up the Eleva lucem faci- Nesah auor paneichwi
light of thy coun erum tuarum cha Ps. iv. 6
tenance Ysgoefon a gwirion Madness and Amentia Cæcitas Isgoahvon u giDeut. xxviii. 28 blindness Gaenen oer fo Rain, &c.
Gaenen Ourvo Job, xxxvii. 12
tiarum Awydd i
In my desire Desiderium meum Au-uathi Hosea, x. 10 Be heulo, leuferfo When his candle In faciendo splen- Be hilo leavorvo Job, xxix. 3 shined his dore ad lumen
head, and by his ejus
light, &c. Bwgythieu in The terrors of God Terrores ordinave- Bigenthei iangar
gwarchaeni set themselves in runt se contra me chuni
Shall be cursed Maledictus erit Ivar
At his reproof Ab increpatione Im gaharathvo Job, xxvi. 11
These few specimens are sufficient to prove the extraordinary affinity between the Hebrew and the Welsh, and the consequent utility which a knowledge of the ancient British must necessarily prove to all those who study the Oriental languages. It is not unworthy of remark that the most accomplished Orientalist of modern times, Sir William Jones, was a native of the Principality. His countryman and namesake, Sir Harford Jones, now Sir Harford Jones Brydges, has also distinguished himself for his knowledge of the Eastern tongues during his residence at Bagdad, and his other diplomatic missions. Nor should we here omit to mention the name of Major Price, a native of Breconshire, whose History of the Mahometan Religion has fully evinced his proficiency in Asiatic literature, and his thorough acquaintance with those sources from whence the Arabian writers have drawn their information. This illustrious trio of Cambro-British Orientalists well warrant us in our inference, that the study of the Welsh must tend to facilitate the acquisition of the languages of the East. Indeed, the Rev. Archdeacon Pryse, in his Latin Hexameters, prefixed to Dr. Davies's Welsh Grammar, expressly men. tions this great advantage of a knowledge of the Welsh to the Hebrew student.
“ Hic docet et Cambros, distinct è Grammaticèque,
Verba loqui, linguæ veteris radice repertà
Hebræam ut citius valeumus discere linguam.”
“ He gladly deigns his countrymen to teach,
Dr. Davies himself tells us, that almost every page of the Welsh translation of the Bible is replete with Hebraisms, in the time, sense, and spirit of the original. In the preface to his Latin-Welsh Dictionary, he affirms that the ancient British tongue retains a manifest agreement and affinity with the Oriental languages, in its words, phrases, composition, or texture of speech and pronunciation; and he thus continues, -"nec tamen hic Hebraismos dat â operâ venamur, aut affectat â diligentiâ cudimus, sed quos adducimus meri sunt Britannismi, lippis atque tonsoribus, idiotis, plebi, pueris, noti, vulgo usitate." _Vide Preface to Dr. Davies's Welsh Grammar.
Mr. Charles Edwards, whose Dedication we have cited, further informs us that he was always much struck with the near resemblance between the Welsh symphonies, and the sacred music performed in the Jewish synagogues in London.
The Hebrew and the Welsh approach very near each other in almost all their monosyllabic roots.
Idris, or Edris, is well known to the Arabians. They regard him as the prophet Enoch, and say that he was a Sabean, the first that wrote with a pen after Enos, the son of Seth. “ Oriental Collections," vol. ii. p. 112. We are further informed that Idris was no other than Hermes, or Mercury, the celebrated Hermes Trismegistus of the Egyptians; so that the name of Cader Idris, in North Wales, is demonstrated to be of Eastern origin.
General Vallancey* has proved the Irish, which (like the Welsh, the Gaelic, the Armoric, the Cornish, and the Waldensii, &c.) is a dialect of the Celtic, to have retained a certain degree of connection with the Chaldaic, Arabic, Persian, Coptic, and Phænician. He has ingeniously, and we think satisfactorily, deduced the emigration of the Irish from India, to the coasts of Arabia, Egypt, and Phænicia ; and from the latter country, by sea, through Spain to the British Islands.
In the 197th page of “ Davies's Celtic Researches,” it is suggested that the “ Menw ab Teirgwaedd,” or Menw of the three Veds, one of the masters of the mysterious and secret
ience amongst the Cymry, must be the same personage with Menu, author of the Vedas, in the mythology of the Hindus. But the most extraordinary proofs of an ancient intercourse between Britain and India, are adduced in Wilford's Dissertation on Egypt and the Nile, printed in the Asiatic Researches, vol. v. We are there told that the British Isles are described by the old Indian writers, as “the sacred islands of the west," and that one of them in particular was called Bretashtan, or the seat and place of religious duty.
* See General l'allancey's Prospectus of an Irish Dictionary.
Dr. Borlase, in his History of Cornwall, demonstrates the close analogy between the Druids and the Magi of Persia, and Pliny* absolutely identifies them by the same name, in calling the Druids the Magi of the Gauls and the Britons.
The author of the Indian Antiquities points out the same affinity between the Druids and the Brahmins of India.
The recent foundation of a Sanscrit professorship at Oxford will probably lead to a further elucidation of the connection between ancient Britain and ancient India.
We reserve the Welsh Hellenisons, Arabicisms, and Gallicisms, for the subject of another paper.
* Lib. xxx. c. 1.
Translation of Tegid's Y LLEVAD to the Moon.
(See No. XIV. p. 167.)
Oh, silvery Moon! fair in thy path so high,