Imatges de pàgina

then it should seem to be a less antient, In the character

found on Babylonian

invention than that which was suggested by twigs; as twigs were certainly known bricks, he perceived the Estrangelo-Syriac to man long before arrows were invented,

or even the ore of which they are made, both being equivalent to the Hebrew was drawn from the mine. The hint also. And in the Cuneiform alphabets may seems to be susceptible of completion in too be discovered a letter of which the princiinstantaneous a manner, not to have been derived from something already under-pal feature consists in three upright strokes stood, from something not altogether in or wedges thus, or . Mr. Lich** the state of a rude conception, merely. tenstein resolves this into the Hebrew w.

and traces it in the Phonecian / according to Pococke; and in the old Cufic

from left to right: and several extremelyÍÍ He also finds in the ancient Syriac

Here we might notice the different manners of reading these ancient modes of writing. Chinese is read downwards: in which it is singular: Sauserit, Hebrew, Arabic, &c. is read from right to others ancient Greek inscriptions. from right to left, and from left to right alternately. But we must study brevity. These hints are introductory to extracts from an article that appeared in the CLAS SICAL JOURNAL for April last,--in which the writer reports discoveries-or supposed discoveries, made by a Mr. Lichteustein, who, some years ago, published at Helmstad, in a quarto volume of about 200 pages, "Tentamen Palæographia AssyrioJ'ersice," an Attempt to explain the ancient writing of the Assyrian-Persian Empire, &c. He also promised a second volume. Mr. L's. opinion was, that most Asiatic monuments of antiquity, bearing inscriptions, on this side the rivers Oxus and Indus, may be referred to the descendants of Shem; and, therefore, that a comparison between their alphabetical characters would illustrate them, mutually. On this principle, we might say, that as families often retain a similarity in their hand writing, so the consanguinity of nations may be traced in the family-likeness of their alphabets. Whatever contributes to elucidate the history of mankind justifies attention, and becomes our pages. We close with a few extracts from the communication referred to, in the work already mentioned.

or Hebrew beth, the Zendo-Medic
character thus represented; seen also
in Aramæan or Nabathean inscriptions,
(published by Niebuhr ;) in Assyrian, (as
on an antique in the " Monumens Inédits"
of Monsieur Millin :) in Palmyrene, (as
given by Wood,) on Babylonian bricks and
other monuments of indisputable antiquity.

"Mr. Lichtenstein proceeds to state (page 17) that three great nations or families principally flourished at the time when Chilminar or the palace of Persepolis, and the royal tombs in its vicinity were constructed. Those nations were, probably, he says, the Persians, Medes, and Arameans; these latter comprehending the Assyrians and Elamites; while the Bactrians, a powerful and numerous people, may have been confounded with the Medes. .

"In the sixth section, (chap. 1.) an analysis of every letter is given, according to the Hebrew order of Alphabetical succession." Here we learn that the simple upright wedge or arrow-head is, in power, equivalent to the alif, or first letter of the Arabians, which in form also it resembles. The shorter and more obtuse wedge, described in general, with a diagonal inclination, represents the Hebrew iod.



"Most, affirms Mr. L. perhaps all, of the cuneiform characters, belong to the same class of Semitick elements, to which may be referred the writing of cognate families, younger by several centuries; such as the Punic, Sassanian-Persic, Estrangelo-Syriac, and Cufic-Arabic. A resemblance of form, in three or four instances, first led Mr. Lichtenstein to a general and laborious comparison of all the ancient alphabets.pression or drawing of an Asiatic cylindri

In the sixth section, (chap. 2.) we find some observations on magical cylinders, exhibiting characters of the arrow-headed alphabets: some of those have been discovered in Asia, and a few in Egypt, tive artists during the Persian supremacy where probably they were made by nain that country, as we are authorised to suppose, from the inaccurate forms of several letters. Mr. L. acknowledges his obligations to Sir Joseph Banks, for an im

cal antique peculiarly interesting, which, he says, once belonged to the Florentine Museum, and, as he asserts, proves most indisputably that the arrow-headed inscriptions are to be read from right to left.


National Appellation: Men.

Ir is remarkable that almost all savage nations assume that appellation as a people, which in their native tongue signifies men, or the men; this is common also among

As we have not seen this Volume but are only reporting its contents in an abstract form, from another report, we cannot any Asiatic uations; but is remarkable more particularly describe this antique than among the Chinese, who, not content with by saying, that it contains representations calling their country "what is under heaven' of the Triad worshipped by the ancient -meaning the whole world; with naming Sabeaus; or the Trimurti of the Hindoo their Emperor by titles due only to diviBrahmans. One figure represents Zoharahity; and the four divisions of their army, the Queen of Heaven, Venus Urania, the tu-by the four winds of heaven, or the elements, call themselves Djin, MAN. This telary deity of the Moon and the Planet Venus. Another represents her husband word is usually pronounced Tin or Sin, Ash; and the third, Hakem, with a bird's which is the name of the nation —(and legs, and a scorpion's tail. This deity ap abroad as at home. hence our appellation, Chinese)--as well pears to be Harpocrates, Vishnu, and the tutelary divinity of the planet Mercury. If we are not mistaken this figure occurs among the Egyptian Abraxas.

As a specimen of the cuneiform writing, these two proper names, with the intermediate word, are given in the original and the corresponding Arabic characters.

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



A beginning thus made, may gradually advance to a complete discovery of the system on which these hitherto obscure and unintelligible characters have been formed and combined. M. Lichtenstein, as we learn from the article referred to, has proposed translations of inscriptions which Occupy many lines; for the accuracy of which he depends on Le Bruyn, Nibuhr, &c. These do not reveal historical events,

or afford information on the ancient state of Persia; they prove to be mostly re-iterated praises of the Sultan Darius, if Mr. L. be correct,-equally without elegance and energy.

It is most likely, that if we could decypher the hieroglyphics of Egypt, they also would deceive our expectations, and merely furnish examples of complimentary phrases, raising mortals to divinity, either during their life time, or after their decease. How far ese alphabets may assist in tracing certain characters which appear to be mingled among the [later] hieroglyphies, we cannot say. Neither can we say how far the symbolical system of these delineations might be illustrated from that of the Chinese: both consist of objects drawn | from nature; and they may have many ideas, in common. It would be strange enough, should the hieroglyphics of China explain those of Egypt !

Chinese Agriculture and Implements. A work by M. Lasteyrie du Saillant treats on all the branches of the agriculture and the rural and domestic economy of the Chinese. It is collected from all the authors who have written upon China, and embellished with a very great number of drawings made in China and by Chinese, in which are represented all the processes of their industry, and all the instruments which they employ. This great empire, in which an immense population is entirely supported by agriculture, and where this art has been honoured and protected without interruption since the first establishment of the Chinese monarchy, cannot fail to have made great progress, and in fact M. de Lasteyrie has made us acquainted with several utensils more simple and more convenient than those used by and he indicates some highly Europeans; useful improvements respecting the culture of fruit-trees.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

on the Theatre, and other public institu- from England to China, was able, after tions: aununciations of Works intended, &c. little more than a years' residence in China,

Sanscrit Literature rendered Public.

Polite Arts: Painting; Engraving.-M. to compose catechisins, and other small Nathanson, a wealthy individual of Copen-tracts, for the use of Chinese youth, who were likely to prove converts. This lanbagen, has caused to be executed at his expence, a Gallery of Holberg; on the planguage, therefore, mus: possess some faciliof the "Shakespeare Gallery" in London.ties for its acquisition, which are not common in Europe, where no foreigner would Each of the comedies of this favourite think of composing any work for the use Danish Dramatic author, will furnish two scenes, which make suitable subjects for of natives, after un longer time spent in the pencil; and they will in the sequel bestudy of the means of intercourse.] engraved by the first artists in the Danish capital. Lorenzen professor of printing, The same day, M. Chezy also com and Eckersberg, an artist of reputation, menced his Course of Sanscrit Literature. have already finished several of these pic-This discourse being introductory, was entures, which have been exhibited at the riched with a profusion of brillant and Academy of Painting; and they are in the lively sayings, phrases, and turns of exhands of Professor Clemans, who is pro-pression, borrowed from the writers whose The beauties it was his intention to analyse on ceeding with the engraving of them. choice of the scenes has been committed to following occasions: a Poetical Episode, Schwartz, the actor. which he introduced with considerable address, made the most lively impression on the minds of his auditory.

Commercial System: Loss to Literature.


We suppose that these courses were both Among the losses sustained by Litera of them finished, before that unhappy ture, in consequence of the famous Conti-event by which the King was again exiled nental System, one deserves to be recorded. from the throne of his ancestors. It was a translation into French of the Asiatic Researches, printed at the Imperial It is proper to notice the following work Printing-Office, and completed by numerous and important additions, with citations lest the nature of its title should mislead of texts in Arabic, Persian, Turkish, San-incautious bibliopolists. Under the title of scrit, Mancheou, &c. from types cut and cast Forests of Ancient Germany, Messrs. Grimm on purpose for the undertaking. The first had begun to publish in a periodical work two volumes were almost all sold by auction the Literature of Ancient Germany. It was —were bought up by speculators in licences suspended by the operations of the war; but has been resumed; and the second for colonial produce-were exported as valuable and costly French productions, and volume is in great forwardness at the press -were thrown into the sea, in order to get of Koemer, at Frankfort. It appears in parts; of which six form a volume. rid of them, by those who had commercial anticipations on the other parts of the cargo! Chinese Learning introduced to the Public.

Method of Gilding Steel.


On New Year's Day, 1815. M. Abel Remusat, delivered the introductory discourse to a Series of Lectures on the Language and Literature of China, which his Majesty Louis XVIII had ordered to be instituted in the Royal College of France. The notice given of a Public Course intended to illustrate and to teach a language so famous throughout Europe for its singularities, and for the numerous difficulties which surround it, collected a very numerous auditory. The Professor stated at length, and with great clearness, the political, religious, and literary advantages connected with the Chinese language. He combatted with great vigour and effect, the vulgar prejudice that describes this language as the most difficult of all that are known.

[To this observation we ought to add, that Mr. Morrison, the Missionary sent

[ocr errors]

M. GEHLEN gives the following method of gilding steel. The part of the polished surface to be gilt is to be rendered rough by means of nitric acid; and then the steel dipped into a solution containing the gold, which adheres to the roughened surface with sufficient tenacity to admit of being burnished.


Can the momentum of Light be ascertained ? Nothing is more difficult than to deduce correct inferences in Experimental Philosophy. The experiments themselves may be perfectly well performed, yet an invisible something shall render them defective. M. Van Marum of Holland, in repeating the experiment of an English Philosopher, supposes he has detected a cause of error, not before imagined. Mr. Michael had caused the focus of the rays collected by a burning mirror, to fall on a vertical

This circular address has occasioned the

plane, hung extremely delicately, like the needle of the mariner's compass, enclosed in a small glass case; the instant the focus struck the plane, it moved forward, whence the impulsive force of particles of light was inferred. M. Van Marum's ap-communication of several ancient pieces, paratus being more exact than had formerly the existence of which was not known been constructed, though he observed the among others, a translation of the famous same effect, yet he attributes it entirely to Roman de la Rose, Manuscript Chronicles, the violent and sudden dilatation of the air and other materials for history: several in front of the plane, through which the drawings, &c. At the same time it has rays were passing: and not to the imping-produced an inexhaustible store of com ing of the rays themselves on the plane, with plaints and regrets, as to the state in which any sensible power, or force. the ancient documents and papers of the va rious colleges, towns, and cities, are now kept, or rather neglected. Many of these antiquities, it is hoped, will be saved from utter destruction by better care, and some of them published for general gratification, Is Dolland the only country to which the same remarks may be applied, and con cerning which the same regrets may be expressed?

Fishes: motive powers of.

of such documents as they may happen to become acquainted with, whether they re fer to the ancient language or manners of the country,

M. Brugmans, some time ago presented to the National Institute of Holland, a series of Observations on the motive Powers of Fishes, in which, after reciting what former authors had written, and stating the powers and ap plication of the fins, &c. he adds a cause, of which he has given the first hint;-which is, the pressure of the water expelled by the action of the gills in breathing,-by their opening and closing at the pleasure of the fish. The author has not contented himself with demonstrating that this power of impulse results from the nature of things; he has gone further, and supported his the-blatt, a Swede; Dodwell, an Englishman; ory by experiments, by means of au inge- and Van Millingen, a Dutchman. Amati, nious apparatus, This apparatus consists the most learned philologist in Italy, has of two thin boards so disposed, as to re- finished his translation of Sophocles, and semble the head of a fish, the gills of which continues to be busily employed in making are open. To these is adapted a spring extracts for various German literati, from which tends to close them, but the action the Greek MSS. in the library of the Vatiof which is stopped by a peg placed within. can, to which he is attached for the Latin When the peg is pressed, the spring acts, and Greek languages. aud closes the covering of the gills; the A controversy has been for some time water contained in the interior, escapes carried on by the literati of Rome, respectwith violence, and the experimental fishing the depth of the Coliseum and its real advances with a rapid motion. construction. A great number of plans of it have been made, but opinions are still at variance. Cancellieri, Philip Visconti, Fea, Guattani, and Nyby, are eminent ans tiquaries; Rossi and Alexander Visconti

French Booksellers, at Rome,

We conjecture that the principle employed by M. Brugman in this artificial machine, is the same as has been employed on a much larger scale, and with greatly invigorated powers, in the construc-possess a fine collection of medals, tion of some of our steam boats. Re-inforced by the wonderful action of fire and steam, the boat may be considered as a great whale making its way along the water: that it is not, however, a true fish, is clear, and we hope the distinction will long be preserved :by its not sinking below the water, and making its way entre deux eaur,

Ancient Papers and Documents, The National Institute of Holland having had the good, fortune to recover within a few consecutivé, months, a number of Ancient Documents of various kinds, written in the Old Dutch Language, or in Old German, addressed a circular letter to all its correspondents and members, requesting them to communicate information


Virtuosi: Antiquities.

Several foreigners are engaged in scien tific researches at Rome. Among these laborious scholars we may mention Acker

During the occupation of Rome by the French, as a province of the Great Empire, several French Booksellers settled in that metropolis of the Catholic world, and formed extensive establishments. His Holiness, shortly after his return to his seat, gave orders that a catalogue of all the works they had on sale should be made out, and a list formed of those, the sale of which should be permitted.


The Printing-Office of the University of Casan, announces,

A new edition of the Koran, in 8vo. An elementary Book on the Tartar Lan guage.

These two works will be supported by | Subscription. The prospectus is printed on a leaf in two columns, in quarto, and is composed, in the Latin language, and also in the Turkish. Very few copies will be printed beyond the number that shall be subscribed for.

Library at the Hermitage. Among them is" a Dictionary of the Amazonians," intended to prove, that the Sclavonians, the Scythians, known to be neighbours of an cient Media, extended themselves to the confines of India, and spoke the language of the Hindoos. In 1791, the celebrated M. Ridiger, of Halle, hinted at the same fact, in his " Treatise on morals, translated from the Tamul, written on palm-leaves." M. Anton, professor at Wittenberg, made it the subject of a particular dissertation in 1809, De Lingua Ross:ca. ex eadem cum Samscramica mutre Orientali prognata &c.

Projects have been started for forming an Asiatic academy at St. Petersburgh, for the purpose of obtaining an acquaintance with the languages of Asia; those of Hindostan especially: these have, no doubt, further intentions than those of a mere barren study of languages dead or

On the Connection between the Russian Languaze, and the Sanscrit.-It is proper that we should notice, by way of information to our readers, that some time ago was published in Russia a small volume, in quarto, presented to the Imperial Academy at St. Petersburgh, entitled, Connection between the Sanscrit, and Russian langu ges." It contains a vocabulary consisting of one hundred and seventy eight words, Sanscrit and Russian, which perfectly resemble each other. It deserves attention, also, that they are the fundamental words in all languages; such as names of relation and kindred; verbs, to be, to give, to go:living. names of the different parts of the human body, the elements, the stars, numbers, &c.

[ocr errors]


The labours of the press at Constanti nople continued under the protection of the Grand Seignior, Selim III. till the death of that worthy and well-meaning prince. After that catastrophe, the printing houses estab ished at Scutari, seemed to be entirely abandoned, during at least three years. At the end of that term their oper

This leads to a difficulty: how came these words in the Russian language? or, whence came these Russians, who thus employ them? low reconcile this comcidence between the idiom of the north, and that of the banks of the Ganges? The phenomenon is extraordinary; it is even in credible; but it is not the less real. It isations were resumed under the direction of possible, that the Imperial Russian Aca- Ali and Mahommed Emim Imam Sade. demy may cause this line of enquiry to be Nevertheless the progress of these estapursued: by means of its extensive connec- blishments has been very slow, and marked tions, further light may be thrown on a by a languor that shews the little sense of subject so obscure, but so curious. their importance extant among the Turks. They have however, produced the following works, in Arabic;

Is the Sanscrit, then, the general mother, or the elder sister, of the greater part of the spoken languages? Already, has her relation to Hebrew, Persian, Greek, Latin, Celtic, German, and the Sclavonian languages been recognised. These are the principal languages with which the scho lars of the West are conversaut: is the primary of them all to be found in the long veiled and mysterious Sanscrit ?

The acquaintance obtained by our nation with the Sanscrit language by means of India, has enabled our scholars to banish most of the older hypotheses which attempted to account for the filiation of ancient and modern tongues; and in proportion as further discoveries are made, the relation of languages may become clearer, and together with that, the relation of men to each other, and to their unquestionable origin.

This persuasion of a similarity between the Sanscrit and the Russian languages, has been gradually gaining ground. It was first started by a certain M. Paton Baudau, whose MSS. are in the Imperial Russian

Solution of the Mystery of the Gram matical Analysis of the Book of Isherol Esrer, a small volume in 4to. of 385 pages. 1809.

The Sacred Book, with the Marginal Notes of Dschami. 4to. pp. 757. 1811.

El-haschiet u al-mosamma El-selkuti, &c. A Glossary, called El-selkuti for the Almotaval of Saad eddin el Taftasani. Printed at Constantinople, under the direction of Mahommed Emin, in the month of Redcheb, in the year 1227. (1812.) 4to. pp. 663.

Dschevherei behijai ahmedija fi Scheril wassagai Mohammedije, &c. Precious Pearls serving to elucidate the principles of the Mahometan Faith. Second Edition. 1810. The first Edition appeared in 1806.

From these works some estimate may be formed of the little attention paid in Turkey to general reading, or to the acquisition of informatiou by the Public. These volumes are evidently intended for the Literati exclusively.

« AnteriorContinua »