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We must now advert to the proofs of connection which have been discovered between the language of the Hungarians and the dialects of the Finns and Tschudes. All these idioms belong to one family of languages. In the present chapter we must consider their mutual relations. In a succeeding one the proper place will occur for inquiring more particularly what relations they all bear to the languages of other human
Philologers have compared the Hungarian language with various other idioms. Beregszaszi has found resemblances between the Magyar and the Semitic and most of the IndoEuropean languages, and even with the Mantschu, the Kalmuk, and Tartar: the only northern language which he has admitted to this comparison is that of the Algonquins in North America, and the affinities discovered in this last with the Hungarian are, in the opinion of Erman, more important than those which have been traced in any of the before-mentioned idioms. This fact deserves a fuller investigation. The affinities discovered or imagined between the Hungarian language and the idioms of the Asiatic nations, compared with it by Beregszaszi, may be sufficiently explained, as Gyarmathi has proved, by reference to the ancient wanderings of the Ugrian tribes, and to the intercourse which nomadic races maintain with the different nations dwelling near the paths of their migratory course. But this solution will not be found applicable to the resemblance between the Magyar and the languages of the Finnish stock. It was long ago observed by Rudbeck, by Strahlenberg, and others, that there are numerous words common, or very similar, in the speech of the Hungarians and the Laplanders. This fact first became fully known to the astronomers Hell and Sajnowïts, who were sent from Vienna to Lapland, in 1764. The latter published at Copenhagen a work entitled "Demonstratio idioma Ungarorum et Lapponum idem esse.”
name, with inerely a distinguishing epithet, it appears, as M. Zeuss observes, that he uses these designations without ethnographical accuracy, and gives them to both Magyars and Chasars merely because they successively had possession of the same country, namely, the plains between the Ural and the Pontus, which were a part of Ugria or the Uralian land.
Since that time the subject has occasionally occupied the attention of philologers,* and the idiom of the Hungarians or Magyars has been compared not only with the Lappish but also with many other languages belonging to the same family. Gyarmathi, who was familiar with the Hungarian as his native speech, and who had studied the Lapponic and other dialects, has demonstrated the intimate relation of the Magyar with the idioms of the Lappes and Finns, a relation which, as he has proved, not only comprises a great number of their original words or primitive roots, but extends likewise through the fundamental principles of their grammatical structure. This first work of Gyarmathi was followed by another from the same author, to undertake which he was incited by the celebrated Schlözer. Schlözer furnished him with the materials which enabled him to compare the Hungarian language with the dialects of the Esthonians, the Votiaks, Tschuvasches, Tscheremisses, Permians, Syrjænians, and Mord uines. These languages are still too imperfectly known to admit of a complete analysis and comparison of their grammatical systems with that of the Hungarian, but the evidence produced by Gyarmathi is sufficient to prove beyond all doubt that an extensive analogy exists between them. It has been proved by several late writers, that though all these idioms belong to one great department, which, strictly speaking, may be termed one family of languages, the affinity between the Hungarian and the Eastern or Asiatic branches of this stock is much closer than that between the Hungarian and either the proper Finnish, or the idioms spoken by the Tschudish nations in the Russian provinces of Europe. The Hungarian dialect embraces a great number of words derived from other languages of Asia and the eastern parts of Europe, but its nearest affinity is with the idioms of the Vogouls and the Ostiaks, and more particularly the latter. Klaproth has maintained this. opinion, and has sufficiently established it by a comparison of vocabularies taken from all the principal Tschudish and Finnish dialects; and some additional evidence has been adduced
A treatise by J. Hager appeared at Vienna, in 1793, under the title "Neue Beweise der Verwandtschaft der Ungarn und der Lappländern."
to the same result by Müller, and the enterprising and intelligent traveller Erman.*
We have, on the whole, sufficient evidence from the affinity of these languages to confirm and establish the conclusion supported by historical testimony, that the Magyars emigrated from the country termed Great Hungary, which bordered on the Uralian mountains, and was a part of the Old Ugria of the Russians; and further, that this people, now the most energetic and courageous, and in all moral and intellectual qualities the first nation in Eastern Europe, are of the same stock with the degraded Vogouls and Ostiaks, from whom they descended, and whom they precisely resembled at the era of their first appearance in Europe.
SECTION IX.-Observations on the Physical and Moral Characters of the Ugrian Tribes.
The three nations described in the last section, viz. the Vogouls, Ostiaks, and Magyars, may be considered as belonging to one division of the widely-extended race, which supplied the earliest known inhabitants of the north of Europe and of part of Siberia. They formed as it appears one nation at a period much more recent than that of the separation of the Iotuns and Tschudish tribes. The dispersion of the latter over northern Europe must have long preceded the arrival of the earliest. Teutonic colonies in the countries bordering on the Baltic. The separation of the Magyars from the other Ugrian nations took place some centuries since the Christian era.
1. The Magyars.
But the descendants of the Magyars who now inhabit Hungary differ widely, as it is well known, in physical and moral characters from the savage Vogouls and Ostiaks, as well as from their own ancestors. Hence arises a question of great interest, to what causes this change is to be ascribed. Is it the result of intermixture with Turkish or Tartar na
*Müller's Ugrische Volkstamm. Erman's Reise um die Erde, b. i.
tions? This has been the opinion of some writers. But it must be remarked that the Hungarians had quitted their ancient country, and had settled on the Danube long before the great invasion of the Mongoles, and therefore before the eastern parts of Europe, as well as the west of Asia, were brought under the permanent dominion of the Turkish khanates. It appears that a part of the Magyar race were expelled from their original abode by Petschenegars and Chasars, who were Turkish tribes. In the wars which preceded this migration, the intercourse of the Ugrian people with their Tartar enemies is not likely to have been so intimate as to produce an intermixture of the two races. But what seems decisive on this question is the fact, that on their arrival in Pannonia the Magyars were in their habits and mode of life entirely unlike the nomadic Turks. Previously to that era they had undergone, as we have seen from the passages in the last section in which they are described, little or no change in manners, and they were still exactly like the other fishing and hunting tribes of the Uralian mountains. Soon after their arrival in Europe the Magyars came into a sort of alliance with the German princes, and assisted them against the common enemies of both races, the Slavonian nations, who were making inroads into the heart of Germany, and whom the Magyars expelled from the fertile parts of Hungary, which have been since their permanent abode. It does not then appear, from the circumstances of their history, probable that the Hungarian people can have been at any time intimately associated or blended with the Turkish race.
The principal causes of the great difference which exists between the Magyars and the other tribes of the same race, must be sought in the influence of external circumstances exercised during ten centuries, and by the change of habits induced by the events of their history. They exchanged their abode in the most rigorous climate of the old continent, a wilderness where Ostiaks and Samoiedes pursue the chase during only the mildest season, for one in the south of Europe amid fertile plains, which abound in rich harvests of corn and wine. They laid aside the habits of rude and
savage hunters, far below the condition of the nomadic hordes, for the manners of civilised life. In the course of a thousand years they have become a handsome people, of fine stature, regular European features, and have the complexion prevalent in that tract of Europe where they dwell. In liveliness and wit, and warlike courage, they are certainly not inferior either to the Slavi of Bohemia or the Germans of the Austrian territories, with whom they have been long connected by political relations.
2. Of the Vogouls and Ostiaks.
The transmutation of the Magyars above noticed is so remarkable a phenomenon in the history of human races, that it furnishes a motive for a more accurate inquiry into the moral and physical condition of the still barbarous tribes who are the kinsmen of the Magyars in the north. In another point of view I have thought it advisable to collect all the information within my reach connected with this subject. The reader will be enabled by it to compare the aborigines of Europe with those of Africa. He will perceive, after weighing the evidence of facts, that the earliest inhabitants of this now favoured quarter of the world were in no respect superior to the most destitute tribes of Southern or Central Africa.
Although the Ostiaks are so nearly related to the Hungarians, they differ from that people widely in physical as well as moral characters.
The physical characters of the Ostiaks are thus described
*The Magyars are the dominant race in Hungary, but form not half the population they do not amount to more than three millions and a half out of ten millions. The Slovaks, a Slavonian people from whom the Magyars conquered the country, still inhabit the mountainous parts. They amount to two millions. A late traveller in Hungary, Mr. Paget, describes the Hungarian women as remarkably beautiful. Though the Slovaks are a people of flaxen hair and light grey eyes, the Magyars are remarkable for very dark hair and large full eyes, joined with a fair complexion. Mr. Paget speaks of the swarthy features of the Magyar peasants. He says that they differ much from the Slavic peasantry, who are distinguished by a slow, heavy look, and that the females of Hungary have not that coarseness of outline which adheres to the Saxon race. (Hungary and Transylvania, by John Paget, Esq. Lond. 1839. Vol. i. pp. 10, 265.)