Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

23, &c.

29

Hebrew and some passages which plainly prove its existence. salem, and other parts of Judea, coins and medals, and Hebrew Language. This shows that alphabetical characters were not con medallions, inscribed with letters of a form very differ- Sanguage.

fined to the chosen seed, since Job was in all probabili ent from those square letters in which the Hebrew * Gen xxü, ty a descendant of Huz, the eldest son of Nahur the Scriptures are now written.

28 brother of Abraham. From this circumstance, we When the Samaritan Pentateuch was discovered (Q), The same think we may fairly conclude, that this art was known it evidently appeared that the inscriptions on those me- with the and practised in the family of Terah the father of Abra dals and coins were drawn in genuine Samaritan cha- Samaritan. ham.

racters. The learned abbé Barthelemi, in bis * disser- + Mem.de 3. There was certainly a tradition among the Jews tation“ on the two medals of Antigonus king of Judea, l'Academ.

in the age of Josephus, that writing was an antediluvi one of the later Asmonean princes, proves that all the de? Ini Antiq., an invention †. That bistorian pretends, that the de

scrip. & Co. lib. i. c. 3.

inscriptions on the coins and medals of Jonathan and Si26

scendants of Seth erected two pillars, the one of stone mon Naccabeus, and also on his, were invariably in the
Traditions and the other of brick, and inscribed upon them their Samaritan character, down to the 40th year before the
to this pur- astronomical observations and other improvements. Christian era."
pose.

This legend shows that there did exist such an opinion It were easy to prove, from the Mishna and Jerusa-
of the antiquity of the art of writing.

lem Talmud, that the Scriptures publicly read in the sy-
4. There must bave been a tradition to the same nagogues to the end of the second century were writ-
purpose among the Chaldeans, since the writers who ten in the Samaritan character, we mean in the same
have copied from Berosus, the celebrated Chaldean bi. character with the Pentateuch in question. As the an-
storian (0), speak of alphabetical writing as an art well cient Hebrew, however, ceased to be the vulgar lan-
known among the antediluvians. According to them, guage of the Jews after the return from the Babylonish Which af-
Oannes the Chaldean legislator gave his disciples “ an captivity, the copies of the Bible, especially in private terwards
insight into letters and science. This person also wrote bands, were accompanied with a Chaldaic paraphrase ; to the Chal ..
concerning the generation of mankind, of their diffe and at length the original Hebrew character fell into daic.
rent pursuits, of civil polity, &c. Immediately before disuse, and the Chaldaic was universally adopted.
the deluge (say they) the god Cronus appeared to Si It now appears that the letters inscribed on the an-
suthrus or Šisuthrus, and commanded him to commit to cient coins and medals of the Jews were written in the
writing the beginning, improvement, and conclusion Samaritan form, and that the Scriptures were written
of all things down to the present term, and to bury in the very same characters : we shall therefore leave it
these accounts securely in the temple of the Sun at Sep to our readers to judge whether (considering the impla-
para.” All these traditions may be deemed fabulous cable batred which subsisted between these two nations)
in the main ; but still they evince that such an opinion it be likely that the one copied from the other; or at
was current, and that though the use of letters was not least that the Jews preferred to the beautiful letters used
indeed eternal (P), it was, however, prior to all the re by their ancestors, the rude and inelegant characters of
cords of history; and of course, we think, an antedilu their most detested rivals. If, then, the inscriptions on

vian discovery, 27

the coins and medals were actually in the characters of This original alphabet, whatever it was, and however the Samaritan Pentateuch (and it is absurd to suppose nal alpha- constructed, was, we think, preserved in the family of that the Jews borrowed them from the Samaritans), the bet preser- Noah, and from it conveyed down to succeeding geneved in the

consequence plainly is, that the letters of the inscriptions family of

rations. If we can then discover the original Hebrew were those of the original Hebrew alphabet, coeval with
alphabet, we shall be able to investigate the primary that language, which we dare to maintain was the first
species of letters expressive of those articulate sounds by
which man is in a great measure distinguished from the It may, perhaps, be thought rather superfluous to
brute creation. Whatever might be the nature of that mention, that the Samaritan colonists, whom the kings
alphabet, we may be convinced that the ancient Jews of Assyria planted in the cities of Samaria (R), were
deemed it sacred, and therefore preserved it pure and natives of countries where Chaldaic letters were current,
unmixed till the Babylonish captivity. If, then, any and who were probably ignorant of the Hebrew lan-
monuments are still extant inscribed with letters prior gnage and characters. When those colonists embraced
to that event, we may rest assured that these are the re the Jewish religion, they procured a copy of the He-
mains of the original alphabet.

brew Pentateuch written in its native character, which,
There bave, from time to time, been dug up at Jeru from superstition, they preserved in violate as they re-

ceived

The origi

Noah.

upon earth.

(0) Apollodorus, Alexander Polyhistor, Abydenus. See Syncellus, cap. 39. et seq. Euseb. Chron. lib. i. page 3.
(P) Plin. Nat. Hist. lib. vii. page 413.

EX

quo apparet æternus literarum usus.
(e) The celebrated Archbishop Usher was the first who brought the Samaritan Pentateuch into Europe.
· In a letter to Ludovicus Capellus “ he acknowledges, that the frequent mention he bad seen made of it by
some authors, would not suffer him to be at rest till he had procured five or six copies of it from Palestine and
Syria.”

(R) 2 Kings, chap. xvii. ver. 24. “ And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthab,
and from Avah, and from Hamathi, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria.” Babylon
and Cuthah, and Avah, were neighbouring cities, and undoubtedly both spoke and wrote in the Chaldaic style..
The natives of Hamath spoke the Syriac, which at that time differed very little from the Chaldaic..

32

30

1

Hebrew ceived it; and from it were copied successively the others these points, they yet allow them a pretty high antiqui. Hebrew Language. which were current in Syria and Palestine when Arch ty, ascribing them to Ezru and the members of the great Langungo. bishop Usher procured his.

synagogue. From the reasons above exhibited, we hope it will ap Ai length, however, about the middle of the 16th The il asopear, that if the Hebrew alphabet, as it appears in the contury, Elias Levita, a learned German Jew who tben retic points Samaritan Pentateuch, was not the primitive one, it was flourished at Rome, discovered the delusion, and made a modern at least that in which the Holy Scriptures were first it appear that these appendages had never been in use

inveation. committed to writing.

till after the writing of the Talmuds, about 500 years - Chron, in

Scaliger has inferred, from a passage in Eusebius *, after Christ. This innovation raised Elias a multitude anno 474o. and another in St Jerome t, that Ezra, when he refor+ Præf. i.

of adversaries, both of his own countrymen and ChristReg

med the Jewish church, transcribed the Scriptures from ians. Among the latter appeared the two Buxtorfs,

the ancient characters of the Hebrews into the square the father and the son, who produced some cabbalistiWhich was letters of the Chaldeans. This, he thinks, was done for cal books of great antiquity (x), at least in the opinion intro luced the use of those Jews who, being boro during the capti of the Jews, in wlrich there was express mention of the by Ezra.

vity, knew no other alphabet than that of the people points. The Buxtorfs were answered by Capellus and
among whom they were educated.--This account of the other critics *, till Father Morinos t, having examined Walton,
matter, though probable in itself, and supported by pas all that had been urged on both sides, produced his pupin, and
sages from both Talmuds, has been attacked by Buxtorf learned dissertation on that subject; against which there + Dissert.
with great learning and no less acrimony. Scaliger, has been cothing replied of any consequence, whilst his Bibl.
however, has been followed by a crowd of learned men (s), work bas been universally admired, and his opinion
whose opinion is now pretty generally espoused by the confirmed by those that have beaten the same field after
sacred critics.

him.
Having said so much concerning the Hebrew alpha According to this learned father, it plainly appears
bet in the preceding pages, we find ourselves laid under that neither Origen, nor St Jerone, nor even the
a kind of necessity of hazarding a few strictures on the compilers of the Talmınds, knew any thing of what has
vowels and Masoretic points; the first essential, and the been called the vowel points; and yet these books, ac
last an appendage, of that ancient language. The cording to the sanje author, were not finished till the
pumber of the one, and the nature, antiquity, and ne seventh century. Even the Jewish rabbis who wrote
cessity of the other, in order to read the language with during the eighth and ninth centuries, according to bim,
propriety and with discrimination, have been the subject were not in the least acquainted with these points. He
of much and often illiberal controversy among philologi. adds, that the first vestiges he could trace of them were
cal writers. To enter into a minute detail of the argu in the writings of Rabbi Ben Aber chief of the western,
ments on either side, would require a complete volume: and of Rabbi Ben Naphtali chief of the eastern school,
we shall, therefore, briefly exhibit the state of the con that is, about the middle of the tenth century; so that

troversy, and then adduce a few observations, which, in they can bardly be said to be old-r than the beginning
31
our opinion, ought to determine the question.

of that period.
The He The controversy then is, Whether the Hebrews used Some learned inen (y) have ascribed the invention
brew any vowels; or whether the points, which are now call of the vowel points in question to the rabbis of the
vowels.

ed by that name, were substituted instead of them ? or school of Tiberias; which, according to them, flourish-
if they were, whether they be as old as Moses, or were ed about the middle of the second century. This opi-
invented by Ezra, or by the Masorites (T)? This con nion is by no means probable, because it appears plain
troversy has exercised the wits of the most learned cri- from history, that before that period all the Jewish se-
tics of the two last centuries, and is still far enough minaries in that province were destroyed, and their heads
from being determined in the present. The Jews main- forced into exile. Some of these retired into Babylonia,
tain, that these vowel points (u) were delivered to and settled at Sora, Naberds, and Pombeditha, where
Moses along with the tables of the law; and conse they established famous universities. After this era,
quently hold them as sacred as they do the letters them there remained no more any rabbinical schools in Judæa,
selves. Many Christian authors who have handled this headed by professors capable of undertaking this difficult
subject, though they do not affirm their divine original, operation, nor indeed of sufficient authority to recom-
nor their extravagant antiquity, pretend, however, that mend it to general practice, bad they been ever so
they are the only proper vowels in the language, and thoroughly qualified for executing it.
regulate and ascertain its true pronunciation. Though Capellus and Father Morin, who contend for the
they differ from the Jews with respect to the origin of late introduction of the vowel-points, acknowledge

that

(s) Casaubon, Grotius, Vossius, Bochart, Morin, Brerewood, Walton, Prideaux, Huet, and Lewis Capel, al-
ways a sworn enemy to Buxtorf. All these have maintained the same ground with Scaliger : how truly, appears
above.

(T) The term masoruh or massoreth signifies “tradition;" and imports the unwritten canon by which the read-
ing and writing of the sacred books was fixed.
(U) These points are 14 in number, whose figures, names, and effects, may be seen in most Hebrew grammars.
(x) These books are the Bahir, Zahar, and the Kizri. As for the Kizri

, the Jews make it about 1900 years
old; and the other about a century later. But the fidelity of the Jews in such matters cannot be relied upon.

(Y) See Buxtorf the father, in 'Tiber. cap. 5, 6, 7. Buxtorf the son, de Antiq. Punct. P. II. 11.

33

35

Hebrew that there can certainly be no language without vocal tongue: Nor do we think that the natives of the coun- Jebrer
Linguage. sounds, which are indeed the soul and essence of speech; try would find it a matter of much difficulty to learn Language.

but they affirm that the Hebrew alphabet actually con to read without the help of the vowels. They knew
tains vowel characters, as well as the Greek and Latin the words beforehand, and so might readily enough

and the alphabets of modern Europe. These are aleph, learn by practice what vowels were to be inserted.
The matres he, vau, jod. These they call the matres lectionis, or, When the Hebrew became a dead language, as it
lectionis. if you please, the parents of reading. To these some, certainly was in a great measure to the vulgar after

we think very properly, add ain or oin, ajin. These, the return from the Babylonish captivity; such sub-
they conclude, perform exactly the same office in He sidiaries might we think, have been useful, and of
brew that their descendants do in Greek. It is indeed course might possibly have been adopted for the use
agreed upon all bands, that the Greek alphabet is de of the vulgar: but the scribe, the lawyer, and the learn-
rived from the Phænician, which is known to be the ed rabbi, probably disdained such beggarly elements.
same with the Samaritan or Hebrew. This position We shall in this place hazard a conjecture, which, to us
we shall prove more fully when we come to trace the at least, is altogether new. We imagine that the Phæ.
origin of the Greek tongue. Hitherto the analogy is ' nicians, who were an inventive, ingenious people, had,
not only plausible, but the resemblance precise. The prior to the age of Cadmus, who first brought their let
Hebrews and Samaritans employed these vowels exact ters into Greece, adopted the more commodious method

ly in the same manner with the Greeks; and so all was of inserting the vowels in their proper places; whereas 34 easy and natural.

the Jews, zealously attached to the customs of their Objections

But the assertors of the Masoretic system maintain ancestors, continued to write and read without them. In abswered,

that the letters mentioned above are not vowels but this manner the Gephuræi *, who were the followers * Herod.
consonants or aspirations, or any thing you please but of Cadmus, communicated them to the Jones their lib. i.
vocal letters. This they endeavour to prove from their neighbours. We are convinced that the materials of cap. 56.
use among the Arabians, Persians, and other oriental the Greek tongue are to be gleaned up in the east; and
nations : But to us it appears abundantly strange to sup upon that ground bave often endeavoured to trace the
pose that the Greeks pronounced beta, gamma, delta, origin of Greek words in the Hebrew, Phænician,
&c. exactly as tbe Hebrews and the Phænicians did, Chaldean, and Arabian languages. Reading without
and yet at the same time did not adopt their mode of the vowel points we have seldom failed in our search;
pronunciation with respect to the five letters under consi- but when we followed the method of reading by the
deration. To this argument we think every objection Masoretic points, we seldom succeeded; and this, we Proof that
must undoubtedly yield. The Greeks borrowed their believe, every man of tolerable erudition who will the Maso.
letters from the Phænicians; these letters were the make a trial will find by experience to be true. This relic points
Hebrew or Samaritan. The Greeks wrote and (z) argument appears to us superior to every objection. dern.
pronounced all the other letters of their alphabet, ex Upon this basis, the most learned Bochart bas erected
cept the five in question, in the same manner with their his etymological fabric, which will be admired by the
originals of the east: if they did so, it obviously follows learned and ingenious as long as philology shall be cul-
that the Greek and oriental office of these letters was

tivated by men.
the same.

It has been urged by the zealots for the Masoretic
Another objection to reading the Hebrew without system, that the Arabians and Persians employ the vowel
the aid of the Masoretic vowel points, arises from the points. That they do so at present is readily granted.;
consideration, that without these there will be a great but whether they did so from the beginning seems to be
number of radical Hebrew words, both nouns and verbs, the question. T'hat Arabia was overspread with Jewish
without any vowel intervening amongst the consonants, exiles at a very early period, is abundantly certain. It
which is certainly absurd. Notwithstanding this sup was natural for them to retire to a land where they
posed absurdity, it is a well known fact, that all the would not hear of war nor the sound of the trumpet.
copies of the Hebrew Scripture, used in the Jewish syna- Accordingly we find that, prior to the age of the Ara-
gogues throughout the world, are written or printed bian impostor, Arabia swarmed with Jewish settlements.
without points. These copies are deemed sacred, and from these Jews, it is highly probable that their neigh-
kept in a coffer with the greatest care, in allusion to the beurs learned the use of the points in question ; which
ark of the testimony in the tabernacle and temple. The in the course of their conquests the Saracens communi-
prefect, however, reads the portions of the law and ha cated to the Persians.
giographa without any difficulty. The same is done by It has been alleged with great show of reason, that
the remains of the Samaritans at this day. Every ori- without the vowel points, it is often impossible to de-
ental scholar knows that the people of these countries velope the genuine signification of many words which
look upon consonants as the stamina of words. Accord occur frequently in the language : many words of dif-
ingly, in writing letters, in dispatches upon business, and ferent and sometimes opposite significations are written
all affairs of small moment, the vowels are generally with exactly the same consonants. Without the points,
omitted. It is obvious, that in every original lan then, bow are we to know the distinction? In answer
guage the sound of the vowels is variable and of little to this objection, we beg leave to observe, that, during
importance. Such was the case with the Hebrew the first period of a language, it is impossible that there

should

[ocr errors]

(2) This is so true, that, according to Hesychius and Suidas, Porrixidov, to act the Phænician, signified “ to
read.
Vol. XVI. Part I.

+

Рp

*

Hebrew should not occur a number of similar sounds of differ Ouiar elheim et aỗi khi tôb otiabdel elbein bên ai

Hebrew Language. ent significations. This is surely to be attributed to the oubên alsekh.

Language
poverty of the language. When a few terms bave
been once fabricated, men will rather annex new sig-

According to the MASORITES.
nifications to old terms, than be at the expense of
timc or thought to invent new ones. This must have

Bereshith bara Elohim eth ashamajim veeth aaretz.

Veaaretz ajetba thooi vaboou, vekhoshek gnal pené been the case with the Hebrew in particular; and in

theom verouakba elobim merakhepheth goal pené haqdeed no language on earth is without instances of this

máim.
inconveniency, which, however, in a living tongue, is

Važomer elohim jehi or, vajehi or.
easily overcome by a difference of accent, tone, ges.
ture, pronunciation; all which, we think, might ob-

Vajare elohim eth aor ki tob vajabedel elohim bein
viate the dificulty:

aor oubein bakhoshek. Froin the preceding arguments, we think ourselves Upon the whole, we presume to give it as our opiauthorised to infer that the Masora is a novel systam, nion, that in the most early periods, the vowels, aleph, utterly unknown to the most ancient Jews, and never he, jod or yod, vaw or waw, and perhaps oin or ajin, admitted into those copies of the Scriptures which were regularly written wherever they were sounded. were deemed most sacred and most authentic by that This to us appears plain from the practice of the an-and ihe

37 people.

cient Greeks. It is agreed on all hands that the Sa- practice of With respect to the original introduction of the maritan and Phænician alphabets were the same; and the ancient * Conncet. points, we agree with the learned and judicious

Dr

that the former was that of the Jews originally. The Greeks parti.

Prideaux, who imagines that there were gradually in Phænicians certainly wrote the vowels exacily, for so book i. troduced after the Hebrew became a dead language, did the Greeks who copied their alphabet : If the Phoe

with a view to facilitate the learning to read that lan nicians wrote their vowels, so then did the Jews of the
guage, more especially among the vulgar. By whom age of Cadmus; but Cadmus was contemporary with
they were introduced, we think, cannot easily be de some of the earliest judges of Israel; the consequence is
termined; nor is it probable that they were all intro evident, namely, that the Jews wrote their vowels as
duced at once, or by one and the same person. They late as the arrival of that colony-chief in Greece. We
bave been ascribed to Ezra by many, for no other ought naturally to judge of the Hebrew by the Chal-
reason that we can discover but to enhance their au daic, Syriac, and Arabian, its sister dialects. All these
thenticity, and because the sentiment is analogons to languages in ancient times had their vowels regularly
the other articles of reformation established by that holy inserted ; and why not the Hebrew in the same man-
priest. If our curious reader should not be satisfied ner with the rest?
with the preceding detail, we must remit bim to Ca As these first vowels wbich were coeval with the o-
pellus and Morinus on the one side, and the two Bux ther letters, often varied in their sound and application,
torfs, Schultens, and Dr James Robertson late professor the points, in all appearance, were first invented and
of oriental languages in the university of Edinburgh, employed to ascertain their different sounds in different
on the other. This learned orientalist, in bis disserta connections. Other marks might be invented to point
tion prefixed to his Clavis Pentateuchi, has collected out the various tones of voice, like the tevor, or accents,
and arranged, with the true spirit of criticism, every with which the vowels were to be enounced, as was
thing that has been advanced in favour of the Masoreti done among the later Greeks. In process of time, in

cal system.-Si Pergama dextra defendi possent, etiam order to promote celerity of writing, the vowels were
35
hac defensa fuissent.

omitted, and the points substituted in their place.
From Ori St Origen, who flourished about the beginning of Before we conclude our observations on the Hebrew
gen's lles- the 3d century, was a profound Hebrew scholar. He language, we ought, perhaps, to make an apology
splan

published a most laborious and learned work, which is for omitting to interlard our details with quotations
generally called the Hexapla, because it consisted of six from the two Talmuds, the Mishna, the Gemara, the
columns; the first of which contained the Hebrew text; Cabbalas, and a multitude of rabbinical writers wbo
sle second, the same text, but written in Greek cha are commonly cited upon such an occasion. We be-
racters : the third colunin exbibited the version of A. lieve we could have quoted almost numberless passa-
quila ; the fourth that of Symmachus ; the fifth, the ges from the two Buxtorfs, Father Morin, Capellus,
Septuagint ; and the sixth, the version of Theodotan. and other Hebrew critics, with no great trouble to
In some fragments of that vast work which are still ourselves, and little emolument to the far greater part
extant, we have a specimen of the manner in which of our readers. But our opinion is that such a pedan-
the Ilebrew was pronounced in the third century, by tic display of philological erudition would probably
which it appears that it was very different from that have excited the mirth of our learned, and roused the
which results from observing the Masoretical points. indignation of our unlearned, readers. Our wish is,
The following is an instance copied from the beginning to gratify readers of both descriptions, by contributing
of Genesis.

to the edification of one class without disgusting the

other.
According to ORIGEN.

We cannot, we imagine, fairly take leave of the
Brésith bara Elồeim eth asamaim oueth aares. eacred language, without giving a brief detail of those

Ouaares aietha Thôau.oubcou ouộrekh al phne Theo excellencies, wbich, in our opinion, give it a just claim
om ouroue elðeim maraepheth at phne amaim.

to the superiority over those other tongues which Quiðmer eleim iei ôr ouici ôr.

have sometimes contended with it for the prize of anti

quity :

39

Hebrew quity: and of these the following in our apprehension We would not, however, be thought to insinuate leirew Language deserve particular notice.

that this tongue continued altogether without changes Language. If this language may claim any advantage over its and imperfections. We admit that many radical words 38 Excellen- antagonists, with respect to its being rather a mother of it were lost in a course of ages, and that foreign ones cies of the than a daughter to any of them, it is undoubtedly in were substituted in their place. The long sojourning of Hebrew consequence of its simplicity, its purity, its energy, its the Israelites in Egypt, and tlieir close connection with laagunge. fecundity of expressions and significations. In all these, that people, even quoad sacra, must bave introduced a

notwithstanding its paucity of words, it excels the vast multitude of Egyptian vocables and plırases into the
variety of other languages which are its cognate dialects. vulgar dialect at least, which must have gradually ia.
To these we may add the significancy of the names, corporated with the written language, and in process of
both of men and brutes ; the nature and properties of time have become part of its essence. In Egypt, tlie
the latter of which are more clearly and more fully ex Israelites imbibed those principles of idolatry which no-
hibited by their names in this than in any other tongue thing less than the final extirpation of their polity could
hitherto known. Besides, its well authenticated anti eradicate. If that people were so obstinately attached
quity and the venerable tone of its writings surpac9 any to the Egyptian idolatry, it is not very probable that
thing left upon record in any other dialect now extant they would be averse from the Egyptian language.
in the world. These extraordinary qualities excite our Besides, the Scripture informs us, that there came up
admiration at present under every disadvantage; and out of Egypt a mixed multitude ; a circumstance which
from this circumstance we may infer its incomparable must have infected the Hebrew tongue with the dialect
beauty in the age of the Jewish legislator, and what ef- of Egypt. As none of the genuine Hebrew radicals
fects it would naturally produce, could we know it exceed three letters, whatever words exceed that num-
now as it was spoken and written in the days of David ber in their radical state may be justly deemed of fo-
and Sulomon.

reign extraction.
As far, however, as we understand it in its present Some Hebrew critics have thought that verbs consti-
mutilated condition, and are able to judge of its cha tute the radicals of the whole language ; but this opin-
racter from those few books that have come down to ion appears to us ill founded: for though many

Hebrew
our time, we plainly perceive that its genius is simple, nouns are undoubtedly derived from verbs, we find at
primitive, natural, and exactly conformable to the cha the same time numbers of the latter deduced from the
racter of those incultivated patriarchs who used it them- former.
selves, and transmitted it to their descendants in its Before we conclude our detail of the Hebrew tongue, Hulchinsa,
native purity and simplicity. Its words are compara a few of our readers may possibly imagine that we viansim.
tively few, yet concise and expressive; derived from a ought to give some account of the Hutchinsonia) sy-
very small number of radicals, without the artificial stem; a system so higbly in vogue not many years ago.
composition of modern languages. No tongue, ancient But as this allegorical scheme of interpretation is now
or modern, can rival it in the happy and rich fecundity in a manner exploded, we shall beg leave to remit our
of its verbs, resulting from the variety and significancy curious Hebraist to Mr Holloway's Originals, a small
of its conjugations; which are so admirably arranged book in 2 vols 8vo, but replete with multifarious erudi-
and diversified, that by changing a letter or two of the tion, especially in the Hutchinsonian style and charac-
primitive, they express the various modes of acting, ter.--Fides sit penes autorem.
suffering, motion, rest, &c. in such a precise and signi-
ficant manner, that frequently in one word they convey

Sect. II. The Arabic Language. an idea which, in any other language, would require a

40 tedious paraphrase. These positions might easily be il We now proceed to give some account of the Arabian Arabic Inulustrated by numerous examples; but to the Hebrew language, which is evidently one of the sister dialects guage orischolar these would be superfluous, and to the illiterate of the Hebrew. Both, we imagine, were originally pinally Ileclass neither interesting nor entertaining.

the same; the former highly improved and enlarged;
To these we may add the monosyllabic tone of the the latter, in appearance, retaining its original simpli-
language, which, by a few prefixes and affixes without city and rude aspect, spoken by a people of a genius by
affecting the radix, varies the signification almost at no means inventive. In this inquiry, too, as in the for-
pleasure, while the method of affixing the person to mer, we shall spare ourselves the trouble of descending
the verb exbibits the gender of the object introduced. to the grammatical minutiæ of the tongue ; a method
In the nouns of this language there is no flexion except which, we are persuaded, would neither gratify our
what is necessary to point out the difference of gender learned nor edify our unlearned readers. To those who
and number. Its cases are distinguished by articles, are inclined to acquire the first elements of that various,
which are only single letters at the beginning of the copious, and highly improved tongue, we beg to re-
word: the pronouns are only single letters affixed; and commend Erpenü Rudimentaling. Arab.; Golv Gram.
the prepositions are of the same character prefixed to Arab.; the Dissertations of Hariri, translated by the
words. Its words follow one another in an easy and

elder Schultens; Mr Richardson's Persic and Arabic
natural arrangement, without intricacy or transposition, Gram. &c.
without suspending the attention or involving the sense We have pronounced the Hebrew, and Arabian sister
by intricate and artificial periods. All these striking dialects; a relation which, as far as we know, bas
and peculiar excellencies combined, plainly demonstrate been seldom controverted : but we think there is au-
the beauty, the stability, and antiquity of the language thentic historical evidence that they were positively one
under consideration.

and the same, at a period when the one as well as the

other

Pp 2

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »