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The whole of the elementary marks, or keys, as they are called, by which the ideas of this language, for it is not the language itself, are written down and communicated, are still fewer than the elementary words; for they are only two hundred and fourteen, and express such ideas alone as are most common and familiar; as those of plant, hand, mouth, word, sun, nothing, water; every other idea being denoted by compounds, or supposed compounds, of these elementary marks. Thus, the mark for a thicket, if doubled, implies a wood; a union of the two characters of a man and a field signifies a farmer; the characters of a hand and staff united, import parental authority, or a father; and it is from like characters I have selected the specimen of symbols which I have mostly submitted to you as some of those which would probably be invented in the present day, if by a miracle, we were suddenly to be deprived .# aii knowledge of alphabetic writing.
The following table will more clearly illustrate the pictorial origin of the Chinese characters.
The whole are usually divided by the native philologists into six classes, the first four of which will best serve as exemplifications. I. IMAGEs: a name given to characters which, in their antiquated form, show very clearly a rough representation of the material objects they denote: as,
Most of the Chinese characters may be classed under one of these four heads. The two remaining classes do not appear to be so intimately connected with a pictorial origin.
The two hundred and fourteen elementary keys, or radicals of the language, are divided into seventeen classes, according to the number of strokes of which each element or radical consists, it is probable, however, that all the more complicated, and, indeed, great numbers of all those that possess more than five or six strokes, are as strictly compounds as any in the language, though the lexicographers are incapable of reducing them to their constituent principles, and hence allow them to stand as primitives among such as are of simpler construction; and hence the total number of primitives are reckoned at about sixteen hundred, each of them producing from three to seventy-four derivatives; and hereby constituting the great mass of the Chinese written lan e.
By combinations of §d, the two hundred and fourteen elementary characters, like the four hundred elementary words, are wonderfully increased, and are daily increasing; while the greater mass have so little resemblance to any one of the genuine elements, that the philologists of the present day regard many of them as primitive or independent signs, formed long subsequently to the invention of the proper elements, and
combined, .ike themselves, in various ways. I have said that the sum total of Chinese characters derived
from these sources is perpetually increasing; and have
also hinted, that from this natural tendency, the language must at length become, an intolerable burden even to the most assiduous Chinese scholar. Thus, while all the characters that occur in Confucius, in Mung, and the five Kings, or sacred books, forming together more than twenty volumes, fall considerably short of six thousand, including the numerous unusual words found in the four volumes of the Shu (and I may add, that the scope is much the same in the celebrated ethical comment of Tung-tsee, the favourite disciple of Confucius, denominated Ta-hyoh, “ The Great Sublime or Momentous Doctrine,” as also in the Choong-yong, Zun-zu, and Mun, constituting, conjointly, the four books most revered next to the Kings) ;such has been the accession of new terms invented by subsequent writers, and often with a forgetfulness of the old, which have hereby been suffered to become obsolete, that M. de Guignes was able, in his day, to collect and put into his dictionary eight thousand characters: the six national dictionaries that were chiefly in use about a century since, give from fifteen to about thirty thousand; and, lastly, the Imperial Chinese Dictionary, composed by order of the emperor Kang-khee, in 1710 of our own era, comprises not less than forty-three thousand four hundred and ninety-six characters! Dr. Marshman, in his valuable “Elements of Chinese Grammar,” observes, that in the Imperial Dictionary, these stand arranged as follows:—
Characters in the body of the work - 31,214 Added, principally obsolete and incorrect forms of others - - - - 6,423 Characters not before classed in any dictionary - - - - - 1,659 Characters without name or meaning - 4,200 43,496
We have here, therefore, a confession by the Chinese lexicographers themselves, that upwards of ten thousand of the characters admitted into the Imperial Dictionary, being nearly a fourth of the whole, are useless, and for the most part unintelligible, in the present day; indeendently of which, “a considerable number,” observes r. Marshman, “ of the 31,214 characters adopted from the former dictionaries have no meaning affixed to them, but are merely given as obsolete, or current but incorrect forms of other characters, to which the compilers of the dictionary have referred the reader for their meaning.” Whence we may fairly conclude, that of the characters which are still allowed to figure away in the written language of China, nearly half of the whole convey no ideas whatever, and are altogether representatives without constituents. Were we able to follow even the latest of these up to their origin, and to prove that they have not issued, in the remotest manner, from the two hundred and fourteen elementary marks, which Dr. Marshman has endeavoured to do, we should probably still find them derived in the same manner from forms or symbols of things, and that they were at first direct imitations or conventional representatives; still, as I have already shown, united and compounded, or in some other way modified to ex|. abstract or complicated ideas. It must be obvious, owever, that characters thus constituted must be very loose and perplexing; and such, in fact, they are often found to be, o the most expert and best instructed natiyes. It must be obvious, at the same time, that a system of picture-writing, thus constructed and perfected, may, in a considerable degree, answer the purpose of alphabetic marks; and it is doubtless owing alone to the persection which this system of writing had acquired in Mexico, and still exhibits in China, that the ingenious people of both countries stopped so long at the point of abbreviated emblems, significant of objects, and never
“In making these observations, it is far from our intention to become the apologists of this ferocious beast: our object is simply to place him in the rank which he deserves to hold, on a level with those animals with whom Nature has decreed that he should be associated no less in character than in form. In his wild and unrestricted state, he is o one of the most terrible of the living scourges to whose fatal ravages the lower animals, and even man himself, are exposed. But in captivity, and especially if domesticated while young, his temper is equally pliant, his disposition equally docile, and his manners and character equally susceptible of amelioration, with those of any other animal of his class. All the stories that have been so frequently reiterated, until they have at length passed current without examination as accredited truths, of his intractable disposition and insensibility to the kind treatment of his keepers, towards whom it is alleged that he never exhibits the slightest feelings of gratitude, have been proved by repeated experience to be utterly false and groundless. He is tamed with as much oil; and as completely, as the lion; and soon becomes fa miliarized with §: who feed him, whom he learns to distinguish from others, and by whom he is fond of being noticed and caressed. Like the cat, which he resembles so closely in all his actions, he arches his broad and powerful back beneath the hand that caresses him; he licks his fur and smooths himself with his paws; and purrs in the same mild and expressive manner
when he is particularly pleased. He remains perfectly
quiet and undisturbed, unless when hungry or irritated, and passes the greatest o of his time in listless repose. His roar is nearly similar to that of the lion, and, like his, is by no means to be regarded as a sym tom of anger, which he announces by a shert and shrill cry; approaching to a scream.” “That the Tiger is not irreclaimably ferocious, and that he is capable not merely of a capricious and transient liking, but of an enduring attachment, the following story affords an extraordinary and convincing proof. “A beautiful young Tiger, brought in the Pitt, East Indiaman, from China, in the year 1790, was so far do mesticated as to admit of every kind of familiarity from the people on board the ship. It seemed to be quite harmless, and was as playful as a kitten. It frequently slept with the sailors in their hammocks, and would suffer two or three of them to repose their heads on its back as upon a pillow, while it lay stretched out upon the deck. In return for this indulgence, it would however now and then steal their meat. Having one day stolen a piece of beef from the carpenter, he follow. ed the animal, took the meat out of its mouth, and beat it severely for the theft: which punishment it suffered with all the patience of a dog. It would frequently run out on the bowsprit; climb about the ship like a cat; and perform many other, tricks, with an agilit that was truly astonishing. There was a dog on board, with which it would frequently play in the most diverting manner imaginable. This animal was taken on board the ship when it was only a month or six weeks old, and arrived in England before it had quite completed its first year. On its arrival, it was presented to the king, and was afterwards deposited in the Tower of London. It even there continued to be perfectly good-natured, and was in no instance known to be guilty of any savage or mischievous tricks. “In the year 1801, one day after this tiger had been fed, his keeper put into the den to him a small, rough, black, terrier puppy, a female. The beast suffered it to remain uninjured, and soon afterwards became so much attached to it, as to be restless and unhappy whenever the animal was taken away to be fed. On its return, the Tiger invariably expressed the greatest symptoms of delight, always welcoming its arrival by gently licking over every part of its body. In one or two instances, the terrier was left in the den, by mistake, during the time the Tiger had his food. The dog sometimes ventured to eat with him, but the Tiger generally appeared dissatisfied with this liberty. After a residence with the Tiger of several months, the terrier was removed to make way for a little female Dutch mastiff. It was, however, thought advisable, before the terrier was taken away, to shut up the mastiff for three or four days among the straw of the Tiger's bed, to take off, if possible, any smell that might be offensive to the animal. The exchange was made soon after the animals had been fed; the Tiger seemed perfectly satisfied with his new companion, and immediately began to lick it, as he had before done the terrier. The dog seemed at first in considerable alarm with so formidable an inmate, but in the course of the day he became perfectly reconciled to his situation. This diminutive creature the Tiger would suffer to play with him, with the greatest good nature. I have myself, says Mr. Bingley, seen it bark at him, and bite him by the foot and mouth, without his expressing the least disleasure. When the dog in its frolic seized his foot, merely, lifted it up out of its mouth, and seemed otherwise heedless of its attacks. “Strange dogs were several times put into the Tiger's den after his feeding, and he in no instance attempted to injure them. Mr. Cross, the present keeper of Exeter 'Change, and who formerly had the care of the animals in the Tower, informed me that he could himself have ventured in safety into the den. The ship carpenter, who came over with the Tiger, came to the Tower to see him. The animal, though they had been separated more than two years, instantly recognised a former acquaintance, rubbed himself backward and forward against the grating of his den, and appeared highly delighted. Notwithstanding the urgent request that he would not expose himself to so much danger, the man begged to be let into the den, and with so much entreaty, that he was at last suffered to enter. The emotions of the animal seemed roused in the most grateful manner. He rubbed himself against him, licked his hands, fawned upon him like a cat, and in no respect attempted to injure him. The man remained there two or three hours; and he at last began to fancy there would be some difficulty in getting out alone. Such was the affection of the animal towards his former friend, and so close did he keep to his person, as to render his escape by no means so easy as he had ex pected. With some care, however, he got the Tiger beyond the partition of the two dens, and the keeper watching his opportunity, closed the slide, and separated them.” - The following account of a Tiger and his tastes, is from the latest work of Captain Basil Hall. “We had a good opportunity of studying the habits of the Tiger at the British residency hardby, where one of the most remarkable specimens of his tribe was kept in the open air. He had been brought as a cub from the jungle a year or two before, and being placed in a cage as large as an ordinary English parlour, in the centre of the stable-yard, had plenty of room to ièap about and enjoy the high feeding in which he was indulged. He devoured regularly one sheep per day, with any other extra bits of meat that happened to be disposable. A sheep in India is rather smaller—say ten per cent.— less than our Welsh mutton; so this was no great meal for a Tiger four feet high. The young hands at the residency used to plague him occasionally until he became infuriated, and dashed with all his force against the bars, roaring so loud that the horses in the surrounding stables trembled and neighed in great alarm. Indeed, it was very difficult even for persons who were
fully satisfied of the strength of the cage, to stand near it with unmoved nerves. He would soon have made famous mincemeat of half a dozen of us, could he but have caught the door open for a moment.
“But what annoyed him far more than our poking him with a stick, or tantalizing him with shins of beef or legs of mutton, was introducing a mouse into his cage. No fine lady ever exhibited more terror at the sight of a spider, than this magnificent royal Tiger betrayed on seeing a mouse. Our mischievous plan was to tie the little animal by a string to the end of a long pole, and thrust it close to the Tiger's nose. The moment he saw it he leapt to the opposite side, and when the mouse was made to run near him, he jammed himself into a corner, and stood trembling and roaring in an ecstacy of fear, so that we were always obliged to desist, from sheer pity to the poor brute. Sometimes we insisted on his passing over the spot where the unconscious little mouse ran backwards and forwards. For a long time, however, we could not get him to move, till at length, I believe by the help of a squib, we cbliged him to start; but instead of pacing leisurely across his den, or making a detour to avoid the object of his alarm, he generally took a kind of flying leap, so high as nearly to bring his back in contact with the roof of his cage s”
A N TIG), UITIES.
RUINS OF THE AMERICAN CITY.
The report of Captain Del Rio was accompanied by many drawings and representations of the curious and mysterious figures and writings discovered in the interior of these stone buildings. The policy of the Span. ish government caused these interesting relics of antiquity to be concealed, and they probably would not have been given to the public, had not the revolution in Mexico brought them to light, and their subsequent publication in 1822, together with the remarks and comments of Dr. Paul Felix Cabrera of the city of New-Guatemala. Del Rio's report is short and defective, and many of the drawings and delineations referred to are wanting. A more perfect account of the Ruins of Palenque is a desideratum. For such, the Geographical Society of Paris has offered a premium of eight hundred dollars, and such an account will in all probability be found in the manuscript work of Dr. Francisco Corroy, corresponding member of the Lyceum.
Cabrera endeavours to trace the origin of the people who were the constructors and inhabitants of these casas piedras, or stone houses, now in ruins; and even to fix the date of their arrival from Africa. He states his belief that they had their origin from the Carthagenians, (Del Rio, p. 95,) that the Carthagenians visited America before the Christian era, and “that the first colony sent to America by them was previous to the first Punic war,” (p. 85,) between the Romans and Carthagenians, which commenced “in the four hundred and ninetieth year of Rome, and the two hundred and sixty-fifth year before Christ,” (p. 84.) and that they established the kingdom of Amaguemecan, or Anahuac, at some period during the first Punic war.
. 76. (Po) kingdom, however, was not of long continuance, and its ruin gave rise to that of Tula, or the Tultecas. “The origin of the Tulteca nation, hitherto unknown, (says Cabrera, p. 75,) has now been proved; they were Chichimecas or Naquatlacas, like the others, but so much exceeding them in stature, that there were some of gigantic size among them ; they obtained the name of Tultecas from excelling in manufactures and arts, particularly that of working in gold and silver:” Torquemada says the word Tultecas means “excellent artist.” The name of their capital, now in ruins, near Palenque, is said by the same authority to have been Huehuetlapallum.
This “is a compound name of two words, Huehue old, and Tlapallan; and it seems the Tultecas prefixed the adjective to distinguish it from three other places which they founded in the districts of their new kingdom, to perpetuate their attachment to their ancient country, and their grief at being expelled from the same; whence it arose that the place which formerly had the simple name of Tlapallan, was afterward denominated Huehuetlapallan; at least so says Torquemada. Such, without doubt, was the name which anciently distinguished the Palencian o Cabrera, p. 94.) Professor Rafinesque of Philadelphia, however, states that the true name of this ancient city was Otolum. In a late interview with him, the writer submitted the foregoing correspondence, and the Professor has given his views on . subject in a letter to Dr. Corroy, of which he has permitted an extract. , viz: “I have been some time engaged in preparing a work on the general history of the people of the two Americas, j I have been necessarily attracted by the antiquities of Central America. y work is based upon Philology as a means of tracing the origin of nations. A branch of the work, on the origin of the primitive Asiatic and American Negroes, (for there were negroes in America before the discovery of Columbus,) has procured me a golden medal from the Geographical Society of Paris. I have traced the origin of black people to the centre of Asia, whence all others have diverged like rays. “In the Atlantic Journal, which I have published in Philadelphia for two years past, I have addressed several letters to Mr. Champollion upon the antiquities of Palenque, or rather of O-tol-um, the true name of the site of the great ruins, preserved by Del Rio in the name of the stream which washes its borders, and which signifies the waters of Tol, as the great city in ruins was anciently the capital of the Tol-tecas, (or people of Tol,) and they were the descendants of the A-talans, named by the Greeks Atlantes.”
Here is a conjecture which merits every attention. I apprize you of another still more important.
“I have been in search, and have at length found the key to the inscriptions of Palenque or Otolum. I have given to D1. Akerly to be forwarded to you my table containing this köy, printed in 1832, and entitled a Tabular view of the compared Atlantic Alphabets and Glyphs of Africa and America. I have there analyzed the Glyphs of Palenque, and discovered that each glyph is a word composed of ornamented letters, after the manner of our anagrams, and according to the practice of the ancient Chinese. I have collected many of these letters forming glyphs, (for they take many forms as in Egypt,) and compared them with the two ancient known alphabets of Africa, the Lybian, and the Tuaric, the parents of the ancient African Atlantes. Here is my great discovery, and it is for you and other explo. rers of the ruins to verify and confirm it.”
The table of professor Rafinesque, and the drawings forwarded by Dr. Corroy, are herewith submitted. It is, perhaps, too early to enter into conjectures on the origin of the people who constructed these casas piedras, or stone houses, and who were expelled or exterminated by more savage tribes. More extensive explorations of the ruins are required, and further information, before we can draw correct conclusions. Somethin may be expected from Dr. Corroy, but it is very muc to be regretted that so little attention is paid to scientific researches like his, that his work cannot be published in New-York with advantage to the author. Cabrera's remarks on Del Rio are very plausible, profound, and learned, but not conclusive as to the Carthagenian origin of the people of Palenque. Professor Rafinesque, by a new method of inquiry, has arrived at results which promise great aid in developing the obscurities which hang over these interesting ruins. His researches are creditable to his zeal and industry, and are evidences of a profound spirit of investigation. In the
mean time we must wait for further developments by Corroy, Waldeck, Rafinesque, and others.
from a far distant land as ambassadors, on the behalf of their countrymen. They took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles old and rent and bound up. They had also old shoes and garments, and a few remains of stale and dry provisions, to give the appearance of having just finished a long journey. hen they came before Joshua, they informed him that their home was far distant, and that having heard of his great victories, they had been sent to entreat that he would make a league with them. In the East, water and other liquors are to this day carried and kept in skin bags, of which the construction is exceedingly simple, and thus we are enabled to illustrate, by the present practices of a people in our own day, one of the customs so frequently referred to in the clear and familiar language . Holy Writ. In making the bottles here described, the hide is stripped off entire, except at the openings where the head and feet of the animal have been cut off: these openings are sowed up, except one which is left for a spoilt, and secured by a string removable at pleasure. While the skin is being prepared, it is filled with hot sand to stretch it to its proper size, and the hides of different animals being used, as the kid, the sheep or goat, and the ox, the bottles and bags are of various sizes, some scarcely larger than our ordinary bottles. Our plate represents the water carrier of India, who loads his bullock with a large skinful at the well, either to accompany travellers, or to sell the water to those who live at a distance. Whenever troops or other large
bodies of people proceed upon a march into the interior of the country, a number of water carriers of this description accompany them. Bags of skin are also used in Spain, to o wine from the vineyards to the places where it is sold, and sherry wine is very often observed to retain the flavour of the hides in which it has been transported. Such bottles as these which have now been described were of course strongest when they were new. Our Saviour says to his disciples, “No man putteth new wine into old bottles, else the new wine will burst the bottles and be spilled, and the bottles perish ; but new wine must be put into new bottles, and both are preserved.” He meant leathern bottles. There is a passage in the hundred and nineteenth Psalm, which becomes peculiarly and powerfully beautiful to the reader who clearly understands what sort of “bottles” were used in the East. The Psalmist is describing the depth of his tribulation and grief—and the comfort he derives from reflecting on the certainty of God's promises. “I am become like a bottle in the smoke, yet do I not forget thy commandments.” Saturday Magazine.
THE DEVIL's BRIDGE—Cardiganshire.
Pont y MonAch vulgarly called, the diganshire, in South Walcs.
and thirty feet span, thrown over
According to tradition, the lower arch was construct