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and some of the first class in the English, French, and German languages, became naturalized in her empire." Those who have any acquaintance with philology will readily perceive, that the attempt to transfer the contents of these rich, refined, and regular languages into one less cultivated, must always issue in communicating more or less of the excellences possessed by the former to the latter.

Besides the numerous and important improvements in the more cultivated languages, for which the eighteenth century is distinguished, we may also mention, as a peculiarity of the age, equally worthy of remark, the extensive knowledge which has been acquired, by learned philologists, within a few years past, of many other living languages, even some of the most bárbarous and

unpolished. The amount of information communicated by modern voyagers and travellers on subjects of this nature, is great and valuable. Among these STRAHLENBERG, SONNERAT, MARSDEN, THUNBERG, FORSTER, and many others, are entitled to honourable distinction.

The idea of tracing the origin and history of nations through the medium of inquiries into their respective languages, if not first conceived, was certainly first reduced to practice, to any considerable extent, in the century under review. It is believed that the first considerable specimen of an inquiry of this nature was given by Mr. Jacob BRYANT, of Great-Britain, a gentleman whose profound erudition, critical sagacity, and unwearied labour, are among the signal honours of the age. Nearly about the same time appeared the celebrated and voluminous work of M. COURT DE GEBELIN, before mentioned, in which, with great learning, but with perhaps less judgment, he has investigåted the history of nations through the same medium.*

u Coxe's Travels into Russia.

w It is impossible for any friend to virtue and sound learning to pronounce the name of this veteran in literature without veneration. In his Observations and Inquiries relating to various parts of Ancient History, and in his New System, or Analysis of Ancient Mythology, he has displayed an extent, and a minuteness of information truly wonderful, perhaps unequalled by any other individual living; and a degree of critical acumen, and philosophic soberness of inquiry, joined with a love of truth, and especially of Evangelic truth, which entitle him to the lasting gratitude both of the philosopher and the christian.

Large and curious collections of languages remarkably abounded in the eighteenth century. Among these the collection of J. LORENZO HERVAS, a native of Spain, but residing at Rome, deserves respectful notice. This learned man, in his great work, entitled Idea del Universo, gave a general synopsis of all known languages, their affini differences, &c. of which the best judges have spoken in terms of high praise. Of later date, the Philosophical and Critical Estimate of Fourteen Ancient and Modern European Languages, by D. JENISCH, of Germany, is also a valuable acquisition to the student of philology.

But the most extensive collection of modern languages which the last age produced, was that formed, toward the close of it, by the learned academicians of St. Petersburgh, in Russia. The Empress CATHARINE II. conceived the vast design of compiling an “Universal and Comparative Vocabulary of all Languages,” and ordered such a work to be undertaken. Accordingly M. PALLAS, a distinguished member of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, assisted by a number of other learned men, engaged in the arduous task, and laid the first part of the work before the public in 1786, and another portion of it three years afterwards.

* Monde Primitif analysè et Comparè avec le Monde Moderne, 9 tom,

This Comparative Vocabulary may justly be ranked among

the wonders of the century. Specimens of so great a number of languages were certainly never before brought together by human diligence. And the work, while it reflects great honour on the illustrious editor, and his learned coadjutors, and on the public spirit of their employer and patron, the Empress, furnishes most instructive documents, not only towards the formation of an enlightened theory of language, but also for investigating the history of man.

The Celtic or Gaelic language was the object of much inquiry, by a number of learned men of the last century. Grammars and dictionaries of its different dialects were formed, and new light thrown on the structure and probable history of the language. In these inquiries PellOUTIER, BulLET, JONES, MALLET, and Shaw were much and honourably distinguished. The Gothic, in several of its most important dialects, was also diligently and successfully investigated, during the last age,

ACHTER, SCHILTER, IHRE, Lye, and several other learned philologists.

Much valuable information was obtained, during the same period, concerning the languages of the aboriginal nations residing on the American continent. For collecting this information, and communicating it to the public, we are indebted to CHARLEVOIX, CARVER, ÅDAIR, LONG, CLAVIGERO, Reverend Mr. ZEISBERGER," Reverend Dr. Ed

by W

3. Linguarum totius Orbis Vocabularia Comparativa; Augustissime cura cola decta. Lectionis Prima, Linguas Europe, et Asie complexa, pars prior. Petropol. 1786. 4to. et Pars Secunda. Petropol. 1789. 4to.

* Mr. Ze18BERGER was a respectable missionary, sent by the United Bretbren to preach the gospel among the Indian is. His work referred to is.

Essay of a Delaware-Indian, and English Spelling-Book, printed at Philadelphia in 1776. Besides this gentleman, seve ral other persons, belong ing to the same religious communion, have contributed much to the elucidation of Indian languages. Among these; Mr. PYRLÆOS many years

WARDS, and many other gentlemen of observas tion and diligence. Mr. JEFFERSON, the President of the United States, has also made much inquiry into the languages of the American Indians, and devoted considerable attention to the collection of specimens. · But there is certainly no individual to whom we are under so many obligations for investigating these languages, and presenting rich vocabularies to the public, as Professor BarTON, of Philadelphia, whose name we have had occasion to mention so frequently, and with so much respect, in several of the preceding chapters of this work. This gentleman has made large collections of Indian languages, which he has, with great learning and ingenuity, compared with each other, and with some of the languages of the eastern continent. By these investigations he has, not only in his own opinion, but also in the judgment of many

of his best informed readers, satisfactorily proved, that there is but one radical language among the Indians on the American Continent; and that the nations of America and those of Asia have a common origin.

ago a missionary to some of the American tribes, and Mr. HeckEWELDERS who at this time holds an important station in a western mission, deserve to be mentioned with particular distinction, and with many acknowledgments, for their unwearied and intelligent inquiries on this subject.

JONATHAN EDWARDS, D. D. late President of Union College, at Schenectady; the excellent Son of a still more illustrious Father, whose name was mentioned in a former chapter. Besides the great learning and talents displayed by this gentleman on various theological subjects, which will be noticed in their proper place, he published Observations on the Language of the Mubbekaneew Indians, &c. New-Haven, 1788, in which, with a number of ingenious remarks on the structure and genius of the language, he gave some curious specimens of its vocabulary.

6 See New Views of the Origin of the Tribes and Nations of America, 8vo. 1798, second edition.

The following passage: from Dr. Barton's work is thought worthy of being inserted at length:

“ The inference from the se facts and observations is obvious and interesting: that hitherto we have not discovered more than one radical language in the two Americas ; or, in other words, that hitherto we have not discovered in America any two, or more, languages between which

The enemies of Revelation, half a century ago, laid

great stress, not only on the diversity of complerion and figure, but also on the variety of languages among men, as arguments for discrediting the sacred history. Both these arguments, by later investigations, have been clearly refuted. Indeed, modern inquiries into the languages of different nations, instead of giving countenance to the rejection of the sacred volume, have rather served to illustrate and confirm its historical records; for they have resulted, if not in complete proof, at least in establishing the highest probability, that all languages bear an affinity to each other; that they may all be traced to a common stock; and that we have reason to conclude, independently of the Mosaic history, that the human race sprang from a single pair.

we are incapable of detecting affinities (and those often very striking) either in America, or in the old world. Nothing is more common than for Indian traders, interpreters, or other persons, to assert, that such and such languages bear no relation to each other; because, it seems, that the pera sons speaking them cannot always understand one another. When these very languages, however, are compared, their relations, or affinities, are found out.

It is by such comparisons that I have ascertained, that the language of the Delawares is the language of such a great number of tribes in America. It is by such comparisons, that future inquirers may discover, that in all the vast countries of America there is but one language: such inquiries, perhaps, will even prove, or render it highly probable, that all the languages of the earth bear some affinity to each other. I have already discovered some striking affinities between the language of the Yolofs (one of the blackest nations of Africa) and certain American tribes. What a field for investigation does this last mentioned circumstance open! Whilst philosophers are busied in investigating the influence of climate and food, and other physical agents, in varying the figure and complexion of mankind, they should not neglect inquiries into the resemblances of all languages. The farther we push our researches of this kind, the more we discover the proofs, if not of the absolute derivation of all mankind from ène pair, at least of the ancient intercourse of all the nations of the earth.".

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