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from fterility to copioufnefs by flow degrees. The invention of a word to denote a neuter gender, belongs to an improved understanding. It is probable that the To of the Greeks was not coeval with their O and H, which, like the Galic E and I, were fimple founds used to denote the male and female of every fpecies.
• Rude man is incapable of forming abstract ideas: his intellectual powers are extremely limited his reafoning faculty is applied to few objects: the rare impreffions made upon his mind are therefore frong: inanimate things pafs unnoticed: objects of motion and life catch his attention. Difpofed to taciturnity, he feldom communicates his thoughts; but when his mind is agitated by matters of important concern, defirous to paint forcibly, he expreffes himself in bold and figurative language, accompanied with bodily figns and gestures: his manner and ftyle naturally, if not neceffarily, affume the tone of animation. He delights in imagery and personification. Hence it is, that the compofitions of rude and barbarous ages, tranfmitted to pofterity, are univerfally found to approach to the ftyle and numbers of poetry. The diftinction of two genders fufficiently fatishes the mind of primeval man: the invention of a third gender is referved to that ftage of fociety when the understanding is much exercifed, and the imagination and genius are not fuffered to wanton in extravagance, but are reduced within the limits of precifion, correctnefs, method, and rule.
The diftinction of male and female naturally claimed the earliest attention. The difference of fex was denoted by two fimple founds, which formed two diftinct words in primitive language.
The vowel I, with an afpiration, fignifies to eat. afpiration being the termination of the found, it had in the mouths of many acquired the guttural pronunciation Ich. Both I and Ich are in common ufe. From Ich came Ichc, which fignifies compaffion; importing, that the most common relief from diftrefs flowed from provifion of food.
It has been obferved, that E is an exclamation of joy. The fame found, with an aspiration, is used as a word, fignifying a cry. The fame found, terminating in the confonant D, formed the primitive word Ed, which fignifies food. Hence Edw, Edo, of the Greeks and Latins.
The more we trace mankind to their primeval ftate, we find them the more thoughtlefs and improvident. Their fubfiftence, like that of the greater part of other animals, depends upon the acquifitions of the day. When the means of fubfiftence are precarious, and not commanded with certainty, the paffion of joy and the poffeffion of food are clofely allied. Hence a found or cry expreffive of joy, came naturally to give a name to the caufe that produced it.
An exclamation of Ed or Eid is ufed upon discovery of an animal of prey or game: it is meant to give notice to the hunt
ing companion to be in readinefs, and prepare the means of conqueft and poffeffion.
Ed is used in Ireland to fignify cattle. In Scotland it is preferved in many compound words. Edal, cattle, literally fignifies the offspring or generation of cattle. Edich, clothes, literally the hide or fkin of cattle. Coed or Cued, ihare or portion of any fubject of property; literally common food. Faoed, hunting; literally gathering of food. Edra, the time of the morning when cattle are brought home from their pasture to give milk; literally, meal-time. Thefe words tend to fhew, that an etymological analysis of the words of a primitive language may be of ufe in throwing light upon the situation and circumstances of primeval man; and may ferve to mark the progress of the human mind from its fimpleft to its most enlarged conceptions in increafing fociety.'
Mr. Grant obferves, that traces of the imitation of found are discoverable in all languages; and of this he produces fome inftances from the Galic and Greek. We are told that in the former, the word used for cow is Bo, which the author remarks, is plainly an imitation of the lowing of that animal. He endeavours to fupport his obfervation, likewife, by the ftriking fimilitude between the cries of other animals, and the words by which they are denoted in the Galic. In particular he informs us, that the bleating of a fheep is expreffed by the word Melich, in which the vowel e is pronounced as a flender in English, or as the Greek H, according to its pronunciation in Scotland. The following remark deduced from this fubject is worthy of notice.
BH, in Greek, fignifies vox ovium balantium, the voice of bleating sheep. Hence that fpecies of animal got the name of Вna, and hence to cry aloud was expreffed by Brew. The word BH, as denoting the bleating of a fheep, affords a conclufive proof, that the found of Eta is not that of the English E, but that of the English pronunciation of A flender, which is the proper English A; confequently that the Scottish pronunciation of that vowel is juft. Hence we may alfo infer, that the Greek pronunciation of Alpha was that of the English open A, or the proper A of the Scots. The found of the Epfilon, as pronounced in Scotland, is different from any found with which an English ear is acquainted.
Boaw, boo, clamo, fignifying to low or bellow like an ox or cow, alfo to cry, furnishes an another proof of the proper found of the Greek Alpha. The word being formed from an imitation of the lowing of a cow, deterniines the found of that vowel to have been that of the open English A. The cow and fheep being deemed among a paftoral people the most valuable animals, to whofe fafety and prefervation their chief care was directed, imitation of the voices of both was naturally employed as expreflive of a cry.'
Amidst a variety of obfervations contained in this Effay, the author elucidates, by feveral examples, an affinity between the Greek and Galic languages. Some of them, it must be confeffed, appear fo extraordinary as to juftify the conjecture that one of thefe tongues has really been indebted for no few of its formatives to the other. We fhall content ourfelves with felecting the fubfequent inftance.
BE, in the Galic language, fignifies life: but it is used to denote the means of fubfiftence; which bearing obviously the most intimate relation to life, acquires, in a figurative fenfe, the appellation proper, in its primitive acceptation, to life fimply. When a ftranger happens to enter the house of a modern Caledonian at meal-time, the landlord addresses him with the words 'S e do bhe, which literally fignify, It is thy life, but import an invitation to come and partake of the family. fare, or victuals, as the fupport of life.
It may occur to the learned in the Greek language, that the Galic word Be is the root of the Greek noun Bios, which fignifies life, and alfo fuftenance. It will be remarked alfo, that Bos is ufed to fignify a bow, which was the chief inftrument used by the primitive focieties of temperate climes in procuring the means of fupporting life. The Greek word Bix, which fignifies firength, is ufed by the Caledonians to denote viduals. Thus the word Bia, which with the original inventors of the Celtic or Galic language denoted victuals, was by the Greeks used to fignify ftrength; a quality depending upon the poffeffion of the means of fubfiftence.'
In the comparative investigation of the two languages, Mr. Grant makes no scruple to affign to the Galic the honour of fuperior antiquity. He contends, as fome other writers have done, that both the Greek and Latin languages are of Celtic original; and that to find the true etymon in many words of each, the Galic or Celtic roots must be confulted, and their combinations analyfed. As we have not the pleasure of being acquainted with this ancient language, it is impoffible for us to trace the alleged fimilitude any farther than we find it confirmed by Mr. Grant's obfervations. But we must acknowlege, from the number of inftances which he has produced, that his opinion feems to be ftrongly fupported.
Through the feveral remaining Effays contained in this volume Mr. Grant purfues his investigation with much ingenuity. He adheres to nature in developing the gradual progress of inftitutions refpecting property, government, jurifdiction, and civil contracts; and he flrengthens his own obfervations with the remarks of other writers on thofe fubjects.
A Review of Part of Rifdon's Survey of Devon; containing the
Devonshire, though rich and fertile in many respects, has not yet produced a natural hiftorian, whofe affection to his native foil has led him to examine and defcribe its productions. The little which Mr. Chapple mentions in his general account is fo unfatisfactory, that curiofity is rather raifed than gratified. The following note, however, on the load-stone, we fhall extract, for its utility.
Our author's words here are,-" for it directs the needle
riation here at Exeter and in its neighbourhood is at present, (viz. in November, 1772,) no less than 22 degrees and 3 quarters wefterly, as I have found by accurate obfervations; fo that here, the needle, at this time, points nearly north-north-west, and this its variation or declination is continually increafing, (perhaps more regularly than is generally fuppofed,) at the rate of about one degree, or a very trifle more, in 6 years; as is evident from a comparifon of the prefent with the former obfervations made at Exeter for more than 50 years paft: for in 1718, a judicious obferver found it to be here 13° 20′ wefterly; on the 20th of May 1762, I found it increafed to 21 degrees; and now to at leaft 22 as above; fo that in 1780, we may expect it to become full 24 degrees.-This hint, 'tis prefumed, will not be deemed impertinent in a work of this kind'; and may not be unacceptable to fome readers, whofe bufinefs may occafionally require the ufe of the magnetic needle, in these western parts; or whofe curiofity may prompt them to compare thefe with future obfervations of their own.
The account of Cornwall is almost wholly the work of Mr. Chapple; but we find little in it which is very useful or interefting, as the greater part relates to its ancient history, in which there is much uncertainty, and fome fable. We fhall felect Mr. Chapple's Philippic against China, as a fpecimen of his very peculiar manner.
This mimic filver was much efteemed by the ancients, who properly judged of its value from its ufes and its beauty: whence we may infer, they were ftrangers to the capricious tafte of fome moderns, who fancy their tables and beaufeats more elegantly adorned by the far-fetched and dear-bought manufactures of the Chinese, than by the more useful and convenient, but much less expensive utenfils that might be had for the fame purposes nearer home. Thefe, however conducive their purchase to the fupport of their poor neighbours, can expect no quarter with thofe, who prefer a collection of China even to the most fuperb fervices of well-wrought plate: defpifing the curious workmanship of the latter, which fuperadds new beauties to its native luftre; but admiring the moist and foapy glofs of the former, and charmed with its deformities and blemishes; efpecially if it be (as it commonly is,) stained and disfigured by the clumfy drawings of unnatural monfters and pagods, whofe uglineffes the more forcibly ftrike the offended eye by the vividity of their colours, and the reflection of a fort of horrible glare from the eyes and fcales of ferpents and dragons depicted on the vitrified furface. But fashion gives a fanction to the greatest abfurdities, and progreffively communicates its infection from the great vulgar to the little. Hence our yeomanry aukwardly aping the gentry, no longer, like their frugal ancestors, confine their folicitude to fatisfy the demands of neceffity and conveniency; but lavish the advanced income