Page images
PDF
EPUB

• Æneïs, vi, 511.

Attend the term of long revolving years :

Fate, and the dooming gods, are deaf to tears. Whether or not the gods were deaf to tears,” the printer most assuredly was blind to "prayrs,” which was, beyond all doubt, the word written by Dryden, agreeably to his original

• Desine fata deûm flecti sperare precando.' In some few instances, we think the pruning-hook has been unnecessarily made use of, and particularly in the fala

lowing.

"The ensuing season, in return, may bear

The bearue product of the golden year.' Georgici, 112. So, unanimously, testify all the editions : Dr. Carey has varied it, however, tom

· The bearded product of the golden ear.' Although Dryden,' (says he,) elsewhere mentions the "yellow gear" (Æn. ii, 409) when speaking of the harvest in gencral.-yet, here, where wheat alone is particularly designated, as ditir hed from all other crops, the reader, I trust, will concur with ne ia oe. lieving that the poet originally wrote the "golden ear," applying the epithet, as in Virgil, to the corn itself.

Virgil, however, does not apply the epithet to the corn itself, in the verse of which this is meant to be a translation, though we admit that, about six lines above, the phrase

flava farra,'' yellow corn'-which, we apprehend, is what the doctor alludes tomis introduced. The product of an ear of wheat can scarcely be said to be bearded: it is literally its Hour: but

• The bearded product of the golden year' is strictly correct; and offers us, at the same time, a beau. tiful metonymy, which the amended reading unmercifully destroys.

In Æn.is, 64, the alteration of post, as it uniformly occurs, into port, is, we think, altogether unnecessary.

• He rides around the camp with rolling eyes,

And stops at ev'ry port, and ev'ry passage tries.' Port can here be only understood as a gate or entrance; and in this sense, indeed, our editor expressly desires us to understand it: but the word passage, which immediately follows, is then an intolerable pleonasm. By the common rendering, this evil is avoided." In Virgil, it runs thus:

Huc turbidus atque huc
Lustrat equo muros, aditumque per avia quærit.'
Crit. Rev. Vol. 38. May, 1903.

s, is dit: but deed, our si

- He 'sjoints the neck; and with a stroke so strong
The helm flies off, and bears the head along.'

Æn. ix, 1040. · Although' (says our editor) 'the word " disjointhas, by butchers, and cookş, been gradually chopped down to simple " joint," I hope I may be allowed to suppose that Dryden most probably wrote 'sjoints (which I have accordingly ventured to print), as Milton had before written 'sdeign, in imitation of the Italian 'sdegno, 'sdegnar. • We admit the accuracy of this remark: but the correction produces a most disgusting cacophony, and is entirely in opposition both to the carelessness of Dryden's general manner, and the familiarity of his language. It is better, with our cooks and butchers, to extend the elision to the entire syllable, and drop it altogether, than to preserve it, with our too fastidious editor, in its present 'sguised and 'sjointed appearance. 'Death, doctor! you have certainly consulted your kuo without your ears!

But these are trivial imperfections—the mere result of exaetitude sublimated to excess; and to condemn a critic for works of supererogation-a crime how seldom perpetrated !-is a more damnable doctrine than was ever yet started either by protestant or papist.

To the Eclogues are prefixed Mr. Walsh's preface and Life of Virgil: to the Georgics, Mr. Addison's Essay; and to the Æneis, the translator's comprehensive and elaborate dedication to lord Mulgrave. The edition is elegantly as well as correctly printed; and an interesting and well-exeeuted engraving accompanies every book of the Æneis, as well as the first and fourth books of the Georgics; the second line of the couplet subfixed to the last of which, however, is complete nonsense, from the introduction of not less than three important misprints-two in the words of the text, and one in its punctuation. It is a pity that booksellers do not always, before publication, show proofs of the plates to authors and editors, to guard against the blunders of the engraver:

Art. IV.-A Specimen of the Conformity of the European

Languages, particularly the English, with the Oriental Languages, especially the Persian; in the Order of the Alphabet: with Notes and Authorities. By Stephen IV'eston, B. D, F.R.S. S. 4. Second Edition, enlarged. 8vo. 78, Boards. Paync. 1803.

THE philologist of the present day finds it no difficult matter to arrange the ditterent modifications or dialects of human speech into five or six radical tongues, which may

shortly perhaps be reduced to still fewer. It is no wonder, therefore, that any language, which extends to eight or ten thousand different tones or terms, should possess many which are common to others besides itself, and exhibit at the same time an assimilation of idea, or at least something which may be strained into an equivalent. But it is less extraordinary still that the English language, which is a compound of Latin, Celtic, and Gothic, with some tincture of Sclavonian, should afford numerous instances of similitude, not only to its parent stocks, but to the original, and, in all probability, oriental fountaiti, whence even these proceeded, and consequently to all the various dialects which have diverged from it towards Africa and America, as well as Asia and Europe; and we have no doubt, that, were Mr. Allwood, who attempted some time since to trace a similarity of language between the islands of the Pacific Ocean, and what in his own system was supposed to be the remains of the Ammonian or primæval language of mankind, to pursue his investigations, he might, on those distant and newly-discovered shores, find tones and terms correspondent in meaning to many of those in common use among ourselves.

It cannot excite much surprise, therefore, that Persia and Arabià should offer us a much anrpter table of vocal and ideal resemblances. The chief texture of the English language is Teutonic; and, independently of the personal connexion which has for ages subsisted between England and many Asiatic countries, the appearance of a considérable number of Persic and Arabic words in the German and other Teutonic dialects was long ago mentioned by Boxhornius, and has been since enlarged upon by Hinckelman and Wahl; while the origin of the Teutonic tribes has been traced plausibly, at least, by many historians of penetration, to Oriental emigrations. Hence it may naturally be conceived that a considerable variety of terms, which occur in our common speech, and are inserted in our vocabularies, and which our ablest lexicographers, who have seldom been acquainted with Oriental learning, are incapable of deriving, are of strict Oriental etymology. But the misfortune is, that, when the Oriental etymologist has once detected a few legal and unquestionable derivations, he becomes so elate with his success as to push his system to the most ridiculous extreme, alid find, like Mr. Whiter, cognate ideas and cognate consonants, in terms which have no more relation to each other, than the braying of the ass and the song of the nightingale,

Of this most easily besetting sin, the author before us is not altogether blameless; and he is the rather betrayed into at by an attempt to introduce a difference between the conformity and etymology of words—a difference which we readily admit to exist in point of fact, but not in point of, utility. We will now, however, suffer him to speak in his own terms.

Conformity and etymology are not strictly the same things; and, therefore, objections made to the one do not apply to the other. Etymology is the descent or derivation of a word from its original ; or, as it is called by Quintilian, originatio ejus. Conformity is the resemblance of one word to another, having the same radical letters in the same form. In etymology you trace a word to its source, in conformity you see the likeness, but cannot always show its descent. The Persian words, however, in the English language may be accounted for by the intercourse between the Goths and Persians, and the Arabic terms have come to us through the Saxons, of which wittina gemot is one among many notable instances. This cannot be denied ; and, therefore, must rest on a solid foundation. But whether there be any ingenuity in discovering English words in Oriental languages is not for an author to say when the question is about his own work; but so : much he may say, that the research, no doubt, will contribute some. thing to show the existence of an original language.' P. V.

The derivation of the very expression here adverted to, wittina gemot, is not so perfectly clear to us, nor does it rest on so solid a foundation as appears to the author himself. We will nevertheless submit its table of genealogy, as the author has drawn it up towards the close of his volume.

lü, Sky Jema-ati wited Wittenagemot. Jema-ati wited, is an assembly of the chiefs of a nation; w ska 19. a synagogue of Jews. Wited in Arabic is a peg driven or fixed in a wall, keeping the building together like a cramp. “And I will fasten him as a nail (itad) in a sure place; and they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father's house." Isaiah, ch. xxii. v. 23. ü, In Arabic is firmiter impegit palum.

• In the Koraun, Pharoah is called the lord and master of the nails, Sur. 38, 11. and 89. 3. The nails, that is, the nobles, or pegs, which bind the building together. See Harmer, vol. i. p. 191.

Wittena-gemot, that is properly wited-gemot, was an assembly of the whole nation in Saxon times. See Blackstone's Comment. vol. i. 405. The two words that compose the Saxon term are Arabic, and have no nun in them, and were there a nunnation, it would make witеdon, not witena, since dål is a radical, and cannot be dispensed swith." P. 188.

The following arc, perhaps, fair specimens of etymologie cal affinity

'g Bad Bad. Bad is Persian, and means wicked, worn out, good for nothing,

بر خوي .a tattered garment

, or a bad coat ; jamei bad جام بر as

of a bad temper.

[blocks in formation]

Ber Imperat, Bear.

. Burader Brother, • Brother of faith, brother of poverty, brother of war, brother of şuspicion, of sorrow, of softness, and submission. All these forms occur in Persian and Arabie.

Burader Broeder, Brother. • This is another word which the Persians baye adopted with the Saxons and Germans from one common source of Scythia and Tartary, from whence irruptions were made into the East and West, and the inhabitants were taught the language of their invaders,

Berbaris Barberry.

"The barberry-tree, like the tamarind, crab, and sloe, never ripens its fniit to sweetness, the berry is spinæ acidæ pomum, or the fruit of a sharp thorn, the name is of Arabian growth.

Berber Barber. • A barber or surgeon is the same in Persian as in English, A barber-surgeon joins the practice of surgery to the trade of barber, and şuch were all surgeons formerly.” P.19.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Lubi in Arabic is a foolish ridiculous fellow. Johnson and Skinner and Junius are all uncertain how this word is to be derived, whether from lapp, or llabe, or lob.' P. 146.

'We Limun Lemon.

Limuna Lemon-juice. Lemon, says Johnson, is from limon, low Latin; and the low Latin from whence? From the Persian.

'Ull Laden Ladanum. • Laden is the gum-herb lada.

« PreviousContinue »