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more useful and more permanent. He observes further, that many European words, which agree in fignification with those of the East, differ in their elements, yet it is moft certain that the former are derived from the latter; and hence he infers the neceflity of a Clavis Etymologica, to sew the changes wbich have taken place in the elements of words in their paffage from one language to another; either according to the different effects of climate on the organs of articulation, or the different manners of nations inhabiting the same climates. Without taking upon us to determine how far this scheme is pra&icable, or whether the talents of our Author are such as would afford a fair prospéct of success in the execution of it, we must give him due credit for the modesty with which he speaks of his own labours.

Cum autem hujusmodi Clavis explicationem completam, omnibusque numeris absolutam, fpeciminum horum limites haud admittant; litt!ıs tantum iftius, ut ita dicam, immensi maris legere mihi propofui.

Que quidem opuila; nunc levi tantum brachio a me suscepta, atque expedita, tum in prafenti, ut spero, prælucebit tyronibus ad orientalis eruditionis palmum laudemque contendentibus ; tum in omne reo liquum tempus materiam fuppeditabit ad id, quod leviffimis tantum Pric!u' is a me percursum est, novâ exemplorum copiâ inftruendum, illuftriorequz adhuc luce perfundendum.'

The book is published at the expence of the University of Dublin, and is dedicated to the Provost and Fellows of Trinity College, whole patronage, however, does not appear to have placed the Author beyond the reach of indigence; which, though it fometimes kindles the latent spark of genius in the breast of the indolent, too frequently overwhelms the mind with languor and despondency; and by exa&ting the same degree of exertion at the happiest and the most unpropitious sea fons, evidently subjects a writer to disadvantages, which, though we cannot recognize them, as critics, we must commiserate, as men.

We sincerely lament, that Mr. V. had not the means of publishing his work without the assistance of the Univerfity, particularly as the total want of Hebrew and Arabic types, on which he refts bis apology for printing the Oriental words in European characters, exhibits no very favourasle idea of the state of Eaft. ern literature in the fifter kingdom. We shall endeavour, however, to do him as much justice as we can, by supplying this defect, in the few specimens we mean to produce of his work.

The first part of the book is composed of observations on the Coran: but we are sorry to say that they do not, either from their number or importance, merit any particular character.

With respect to the criticisms on the Old Testament, we will not controvert our Author's position, that the English verfion may frequently be corrected by consulting the language of the Coran. We are well aware of the affinity which sublifts between



the Hebrew and Arabic languages; and we may add that words which are rarely to be found in the former, admit of a satisface tory interpretation, from their frequent occurrence in the lacier. We are satisfied, that the primary sense of words, whose roots are wanting in the Hebrew, may often be determined by a reference to the Arabic, in which their roots are ftill preserved. We recollect that * Maimonides, Tanchuin of Jerusalem, and other ancient Rabbins, not bigotted, like their fucceffors, to the imaginary fan&tity and Utópx51% of their own tingue, instead of thinking it contaminated by explanations drawn froin the language of Mohammed, applied their knowledge of Arabic to the illustration of the sacred rext with equal zeal and ability. The labours of Christian scholars will never cease to be remembered, till the names of Pocock and Bochart are forgotten, and till the annotations of Schultens and Hunt no longer ado:n our public libraries, or attract the general artention of scholars. We wilh, indeed, we could enroll the name of Mr. Vieyra in this illustrious catalogue ; but we cannot help observing, that, though he merits much praise for his intentions, and though he cero tainly displays no vulgar proficiency in the Eastern languages, his remarks are but unsuccessfully directed to the end he had in view. To the divine they certainly convey little useful or im. portant information; to the orientalift they open no new or recondite sources of grammatical ditquisition; and to the general reader chey most affurediy do not come recommended by that species of criticism, which points out beauties unknown before, which supplies taste with objects congenial to itself, and exemplifies the elegance it defcribes. If there be any exceptions to these observations the following criticisms may, perhaps, be among the number :

. . the Englilh translators, And Agag came unto him delicately. Mr. Vieyra proposes that we Mhould translate 13 nyo languide, remise, invito, from the sense of the Arabic word odero, which fignifies remiffio, languor.

Psalm xvii. 3. 19 may-langit. I am utterly purposed that my mouth shall not offend, our Author thinks will be better rendered,

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is thus rendered by וילך אליו אגג מעדנת .32

.I Sam


* The testimony of Maimonides on this subject is clear and decisive,

اما اللغة العربية والعبرانية فقد اتفق كل من علم اللغتين انهما لغة واحدة بلى شك

Arabicam vero linguam, et Hebraicam, omnes qui probe callent, utramque unam et eandem haud dubio ese profitentur. Vide Cafiri Biblioth. Arab. Hifp. Escur, vol. i. p. 292.


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agreeably with the sense of the Arabic 1, capistro alligavi ne transgrediatur os meum. Capisrare linguam, and capistrare sermonem, are metaphors frequently used by Arabic writers.

. : Nylus fcribæ velacis–Mr. V. translates 7792 periti

. The Arabic verb o fignifies acutus ingenio, folers fuit, in re exercitatus fuit. In this translation, we would observe, our Author is supported by the authority of the Chaldee Paraphrast, and of the Syriac and Arabic versions. The expression of the English translators, either by accident or design, is ambiguous, and will fairly admit of either of these interpretations, My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.

We are next presented with five catalogues of words in the European languages, that are derived, or at least supposed to be derived, from ibe Arabic or Perfic. The firft shews the affinity of the Latin to these two languages; the second, that of the Italian ; the third, that of the Spanish, and Portuguese; the fourth, that of the Englidh; and the fifth, that of the French.

On Etymology in general we shall deliver our sentiments as concisely as poslible, so far at least as they are in any degree connected either with the design or execution of Mr. Vieyra's work. We scarcely know any character that requires a more rare assemblage of extraordinary qualifications, than that of a filful Etymologilt. A writer of this description will find ample scope for the exercise of the most penetrating sagacity and deliberate judgment, even if he confines his researches within the bounds of his vernacular con ue. The difficulty of tracing English words to roots, which though of Englih growth, have Jong since become obsolete, or are preserved only in the provincial dialects of the rude and illiterate, has led too many into foreign countries in search of what could alone be found at home. It should be observed also, that this difficulty is necesarily increased when the work is undertaken by a stranger, who has fewer opportunities of acquainting himself with the provincial dialects, and who is less likely to be informed of the changes, which, originating at first in the pronunciation of words, pass gradually into their orenography. We may be permitted to fuggeft by the way, that the native etymology of every living language would be better understood, if collections were made of iucn words as are peculiar to the vulgar in the several districts, and either published separately, or uniformly subjoined at least to such topographical histories as have lately enriched the Jiterature of our own country. But it is not to any fingle language that the labours of the Etymologift can well be confined, and in proportion as the sphere in wbich he acts is extended, bis talk becomes more complicated and more arduous, For before


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he ventures on foreign languages with a design of tracing their connection with his own or with each other, he must be diftinguished by accomplishments far superior to those which commonly fall to the lot of the linguist. He must understand the history of the country whose language he proposes to illustrate, the invasions it has undergone, and iis connections with the neighbouring states. He will then have to examine the languages of these different nations, not only in their purity, but in their defections and corruptions, whether they are the effect of time, and appear plainly in writers of different ages, or are to be traced only in the conversation of different ranks, and partie cularly in that of the commercial classes, who, from the nature of their occupation, are most likely to communicate their phraseology to the lurrounding nations. To elucidate the etymology of technical and scientific words, he must be accurately verled in the history of the arts and sciences, in the order in which different nations received them from the first inventors, and the improvements made at different æras, which have gradually introduced an accession of new words, In ascending to ancient languages he will often be stopped by a language no longer known. In this case he can only search for such vestiges of it as commerce or conquest may have introduced into languages now in being. Above all, he must know when the found is to be depended on, and when the sense. To ascertain the former with precision, he ought to poffefs a kind of knowledge which in some languages indeed cannot be obtained, the knowledge, we mean, of the ancient pronunciation. To ascertain the latier, he must trace the various changes which words undergo by compofition, metaphorical acceptation, and transmillion from one language to another, an employment of itself sufficienly perplexing, but which, like every part of this great undertaking, can never be entered on with success, without a philosophical acquaintance with the origin and progress of language in general, and long habits of cool analogical reasoning. For it behoves the scholar, who would serve the cause of real learning, instead of haftily acquiescing even in his most favourite conjectures, to submit them repeatedly to the impartial scrutiny of reason; to see that they are supported by better authority than mere fuppofitions, however numerous and plausible ; to take care that a derivation, which is barely poffible, be never preferred to another which has probability on its fide; and to guard against every derivation of the elements of a compound word from different languages, unless the foreign word which is supposed to enter into the composition can be proved to have been previously naturalized.

Had these principles been more generally adopted by etymologists, we thould not have seen so many wild and fanciful at


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tempts to torture sense and language, and wreft every thing to the support of a beloved hypothefis. The world would indeed have loft the amusement of seeing the Gods and Heroes of Pagan mythology converted, by an etymological metamorphofis, into Parriarchs * at one time, into Celts + or Swedes I at another, and under the hands of one daring adventurer, into a kind of allegorical orrery g. Whether the work of Mr. Vieyra be of this kind, or deserve rather to be classed among those which elucidate the theory of language, and the philosophy of the human mind; which give precision to definition, and, in some instances, perspicuity to history, is a question which the selection of a few examples may enable our readers to resolve.

From the Hebrew, or Aravic, D1 dies, and the Deus, our Author tells us, is derived Jumula, the name of a Lapponian idol, fignifying Deus dies, the inhabitants worshipping, as a God, the returning day, after so long and comfortlets an absence.

Hercules is derived by Mr. Vieyra from the Hebrew 42 n18 quafi illuminans omnia. Hercules, he tells us, was the name of the sun among the Tyrians, and in support of his derivation quotes the following passage from Macrobius, Sat. I. 1. c. 20. Hercules quid aliud eft quam aëris gloria? Quæ porro eft aëris, nifi folis illuminatio?

The Latin cogito, and the Greek ng souch, he deduces from the Arabic a hodj, intellectus, ingenium. Tamesis, and Thames, from the Arabic plj tâma, domavit. Nates, from the Arabic älgi nautat, of the same signification, 'quia, scilicet, fufpenfæ ac pendulæ sunt.' Bog, from the Arabic är bokat, locus depreffior ubi stagnat aqua. Bog-house from the Persian bagah, latrina. Toduck, from the Arab. Os lo dấc, depressit, im


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See Cumberland's remarks on Sanchoniatho, Huet, and Fourmont. + Pezron sur les Celts.

I Rudbeck's Atlantica. s Histoire du Ciel, par M. Pluch. “ I have heard,” says the learned Warburton, “ of an old humourist, a great dealer in etymologies, who being vexed at the opposition his discoveries met with, broke out into much learned passion, and with a large classical oath affirmed, That he not only knew whence words came, but whither they were going. This was only thought an extravagance of an enraged etymologiit in despair. But I apprehend the old gentleman had wit in his anger, and soberly referred to his art of explaining antiquity. And indeed on any system-maker's telling me his plot, I would undertake to Thew, whither all his old words were going : for in strict propriety of speech they cannot be said to be coming from, but going so some old Hebrew root.” Divine Legation, Book iv. Sect. 4.

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