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Gehazi, when he privately quitted the house of his master to request of the Syrian invalid a few talents, the complimentary gift of the East.
The reader will be, by chronological dates, planted as on an eminence, planted as Adam in Milton is placed by an Angel, or as Æneas above by his guardianmother Venus, whence he will see the several nations passing in review before him, and going, each (Moses adds) according to his lineage, to take possession of his destined country; Parthians, Medes, Elamites, Syrians; Scythians, Gauls, Getes ; Cimmerians, Celts, Hindoos, Chinese ; the future residents in Siberia, in Greenland, in America, with the ancestors even of the distant dwellers in New Holland, and in the islots of the South Sea, and “ the islands of the nations," he shall hear them all speaking in their mother-tongues, at that early age remarkably similar. To prove this fact, I refer the reader,
1. To a Chart of Numerals, from 1 to 10, which was
collected by me in 20 years, &c. which is now printed
in this JOURNAL. 2. To the Preface and Dis. of Walton's Polyglott. 3. To the Dissertations of Sir W. Jones in the As. Res. 4. To Pinkerton's History of early Europe, or of the Goths
and Scythians, through the first half of the Book. And he shall figure to himself their march over vast countries, penetrating woods and crossing seas, and toiling through extensive deserts, each toward their “ promised land,” to the region, which in the next thirty years they would affectionately call their mother-country, the land of their fathers' sepulcre. “ And how interesting it is (to borrow three sentences from the pathetic St. Pierre) thus to learn all the history of the ancient separation of peoples; the motives which induced each tribe to choose a separate habitation on a globe unknown, and to traverse, as chance or fate directed, mountains which presented no path, and rivers which had not yet received a name. What pictures may be presented to us in the delineation of those countries, decorated with the rude magnificence of dark groves, or burning volcanoes, as they proceeded from the hand of nature, but wild and unadapted to the necessities of man, destitute of experience? We may paint the astonishment of these strangers on
the earth, of these forefathers of our race, at the sight of the new plants, which every new climate exhibited to the view, and the trials which they made of them as the means of subsistence; how they were aided (as, according to Moses, Adam was assisted in the instance of clothing) in all their necessities, and in their industry, by a superior intelligence, or a Providence, who pitied their distress; how they gradually formed an establishment, and what was the origin of their laws, customs, religion, and polity.”
Of all the pages of philosophical history, none deserves more to be read with earnest curiosity than those, which display these nascent energies of the human race; and such is the work of « Sabbathier on the Ancient Nations," a literal collection from the classics; such are the “ History and Antiquities of India," and of China, by the Rev. J. Maurice, or the Historical · Dissertations on the Asiatic Peoples,' by Sir William Jones or the Life of Charles the Fifth, and the Rise of Europe from Gothic darkness, by Dr. Robertson; or the two humbler, but equally useful, works, the volumes of the “ Ancient Universal History,” and in the Spanish and Italian tongues, the voluminous Annals and Voyages of De Gama, Albuquerque, and other conquerors of India. These authors explore the beginnings of civilisation ; that singular period in the progress of mind is by them plainly subjected to the observation of this wise and learned age. The account of the first population, tillage, measurement of the plains of Assyria, Egypt, Persia, Indostan, and China, are by them recovered from oblivion: no longer the circumstances of the Coptic and Phoenician Colonies in Greece, of Greek and Lydian settlements in Magna Græcia, and in Hetruria, of our Celtic ancestors in France, and our Teutonic fathers in Germany, remain unknown. Bochart in his Phaleg, Pinkerton in his Goths, or Scythians, and a thousand antiquaries on the ages of Welsh and Irish paganism, have opened to astonished Europe her earliest annals. And a perusal in Du Halde, of the histories and the moral code of so self-instructed a race as the Chinese, united with that of their penal laws, lately translated into our tongue, or the more obvious perusal of all the late authors in United America, on their voyages and travels across the breadth of the New World, on their wise laws and isolated policy, on their improvements of the new Western
VOL. IV, No. VII.
Provinces, and on the successful encouragement given by them both to European, and to African emigrants; the narratives concerning these two countries will enable us to comprehend the circumstances of the Assyrian empire, and will reflect a lustre upon the infancy of the world : “ For similar events (I copy the words of Sir W. Jones), happened within the limits of Iran, or Upper Asia. Now though most of the Mosaic names, the Euphrates excepted, have been considerably altered, yet numbers remain unchanged; we still find Harran in Mesopotamia, and travellers appear unanimous in fixing the site of ancient Babylon.” “In the 10th chapter of Genesis, (adds the second scholar, and luminary of our age, Dr. Watson, in his « Apology for the Bible,") we enjoy the most valuable, and the most venerable, record of antiquity.. It unites with the pagan historians, in detailing the origin of empires : it gives so probable an account of the peopling of the earth, that all the other books in the world, which contain any thing on the subject, confirm its' truth ; it is the oldest book extant; and it is remarkable, that those books, which come the nearest to it in age, as the Vedas and Historical Poems of India, the Zend of the Magi, the Greek translations from Chaldee, Persian, Punic, and Egyptian Annalists, with the Greek Historians, and their Antiquarian Poets, are those authors which make the most distinct mention of, or the most evident allusion to the genealogical history of our race recorded in Genesis. In the last verse of the 10th chapter, it concludes, that these were the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations; and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.' It requires great learning, indeed, to trace out precisely, either the actual situation of all the countries, in which these founders of empires settled, or to ascertain the extent of their dominions. This, however, has been done in the annals of many nations by the above-named authors; it may be done in other instances. And even without the aid of learning, any man who can barely read his Bible, and has but heard of such people as the Assyrians, the Elamites, the Lydians, the Medes, the Ionians, the Thraces, will readily own they had Assyr, and Elam, and Lud, and Madai, and Javan, and Tiras ; grandsons of Noah, for their respective founders.”
It is, indeed, a high satisfaction to the religious Christian, at so vast a distance of time, amid all the changes of languages, and the alteration of names introduced by colonies, and by conquest, to track the footsteps of the primitive tribes recorded by Moses, and confirmed by the Sanscrit authors, who wrote 2000 years before Christ; to detect the ancient nations, who thus descended from the first of men, and with some application to the Oriental, Sanscrit, and Classic Geographers, to ascertain both the first regions which they inhabited, and those to which they successively migrated. A series of maps of the same countries might easily be printed, and no other alteration would be required to be made, than in the second chart to place the roving and emigrated tribe in a site more northerly, `and at a date more modern than in the first ; and the dullest observer would march, in imagination, with the marching horde, or the national travelling caravan ; and such charts would be founded on the most credible documents, for all the marks of antiquity are not over-grown and defaced : Babylon, though in ruins, retains the sound of Babel ; and its bricks, yet engraven, as in the days of Herodotus, with national letters and words, designate its true place. The old inscriptions behind the horse of the Hero Rustam, who figures in the epic poem of the Shah Nameh, are still visible, are lately translated, and exalt the name of the Magi. Sidon, a city in Palestine, yet bears the appellative of the Son of Canaan : the Medes and Elamites, or Syrians, as I said above, and Cappadocians, or whiter-complexioned Syrians, the Cuthites, or dark-hued Ethiopians, still preserve from oblivion the Mosaic names of Madai, Elam, Cush, their revered progenitors. The ships of Tarshish conveyed to the farthest East, and West, and South, the record of Tarshish, its founder: and Egypt, proud of her antiquity, reserves to this hour in 'the tongue of the Arabs the denomination of her father Misraim.
And thus, although the dissolving nature of successive ages has changed the titles of some early settlements, and early kingdoms, yet in the most considerable and populous portions of the globe, in the North of Africa, in Europe and Asia, the honorable achievements of the first settlers are not left without a memorial, nor their virtues without a record! [To be referred to in a second Essay of 10 numerals in 200 tongues.]
OXFORD PRIZE ESSAY.
DÆDALA SIGNA POLIRE.
The imitative arts, collectively considered, have been the subject of much and very abstracted speculation ; in which both the nature of their connexion with the human mind, and the various modes of their operations on it, have been analysed with accuracy and penetration. A truly elegant and classical writer of the present age has prosecuted his inquiry on this point with that judicious refinement and perspicuity, long esteemed his invariable and almost peculiar characteristic. Such a disquisition, however, as being too comprehensive, and not applicable to that art, solely and individually considered, of which we now treat, may, perhaps, not unjustly be deemed rather foreign to our purpose. It will probably be sufficient, if taking up the art in its most infant state, we pursue it through each successive stage of improvement, decline, or revival, mark their different eras, and endeavour to develop their secret springs and causes.
Whether Sculpture was in its first origin the mere fortuitous tesult of that imitative propensity ever active in the human mind, or whether it was intentionally and professedly devised with a view to any determinate end, is a very dark and disputable point. Whichever was the case, this at least is certain, that a more particular knowledge of its use and application quickly succeeded its invention. The circumscribed capacity of early unenlightened ages, not easily admitting pure and abstracted conceptions, made sensible representations first necessary to fix and concentre their ideas. A supreme spiritual invisible intelligence being infinitely beyond the reach of vulgar apprehension, was under the necessity of being shadowed out to their senses