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way to satisfy our American brethren of the importance we ata tach to their good opinion, and the anxiety we feel to prevent any national repulsion from being aggravated by a misapprehension of our sentiments, or rather of those of that great body of the English nation of which we are here the organ. In what we have now written, there may be much that requires explanation-and much, we fear, that is liable to misconstruction.
The spirit in which it is written, however, cannot, we think, be misunderstood. We cannot descend to little cavils and altercations; and have no leisure to maintain a controversy about words and phrases. We have an unfeigned respect and affection for the free people of America; and we mean honestly to pledge ourselves for that of the better part of our own country. We are very proud of the extensive circulation of our Journal in that great country, and the importance that is there attached to it. But we should be undeserving of this favour, if we could submit to seek it by any mean practices, either of flattery or of dissimulation; and feel persuaded that we shall not only best deserye, but most súrely obtain, the confidence and respect of Mr W. and his countrymen, by speaking freely what we sincerely think of them,--and treating them exactly as we treat that nation to which we are here accused of being too favourable.
ART. VII. 1. Franz Bopp über das Conjugations System der San
skritsprache in vergleichung mit jenem der Griechischen, Lateinischen, Persischen et Germanischen Sprache ; nebst episoden des Ramayan et Mahabharat in genauen metrischen uber-, setzungen aus dem original texte, et einigen abschnitten aus dem
Vedas. Frankfurt am Mayn. 2. Nalus, Carmen Sanscriticum e Mahábhárato, edidit, Latine
vertit, et Adnotationibus illustravit Franciscus Bopp. Londini, 1819.
The philologers of Germany, whose labours have so largely
contributed to restore the text, explain the allusions, and elucidate the philosophy, of the writers of ancient Europe, have at last begun to direct their attention to those of India. Mr Frederick Schlegel was the first, who, in an Essay on the language and philosophy of the Indians, indicated to his countrymen the sources of unexplored truths concealed in that distant region, and the important discoveries to which they might probably lead, in tracing the affiliation of nations, the progress
of science, and the transactions of that mysterious period which precedes all history, but that of one remarkable family. Mr Schlegel's Essay, composed with that ability which has procured both for him and his brother a high rank amongst the literati of the Continent, excited the attention of the studious, and the patronage of the great. The former began to study Sanscrit through the medium of the slender resources furnished by the English press: And amongst the latter, the King of Bavaria sent two of his subjects, to seek, in Paris and London, the necessary aid of Indian manuscripts. The two works before us prove the discernment which selected their author, as well as the liberal thirst for knowledge which prompted that monarch to encourage a pursuit, which even commercial jealousy herself could not attribute to a political motive, in a sovereign whose States are situated like those of Bavaria.
We should sooner have called the attention of our readers to the curious and instructive publication which stands at the head of this article, had we not despaired of rendering a grammatical disquisition interesting to the general reader. Some of our readers may possibly wish that we had persevered in that commendable diffidence.
Sir William Jones had, many years ago, indicated in a general way the remarkable affinity of the antient languages of the East and West. His untimely death deprived the world of the proofs of many of his opinions, which his learning and ability would have enabled him to produce with a copiousness of illustration which cannot now be supplied. In our review of that truly admirable work, the Sanscrit Grammar of Mr Wilkins, we very inadequately remedied this deficiency, by a list of words having the same signification in Sanscrit, Persic, Latin and German; and subjoined a few remarks on the similarity of their inflexions. It is to the latter object, and to the verbs exclusively, that our author has confined himself in the present work. In fact, isolated words are readily transplanted from one nation to another, without in the slightest degree affecting either the genius or the mechanism of the language which adopts them. The Phenician voyagers, and their colonies, have left traces of Hebraic origin, where the entire structure of the languages proves them to be completely exotic.
The object of the work before us is not merely to point out the analogy between the languages mentioned, but also to discover, by comparison, the origin and primitive signification of their grammatical forms. We shall briefly enumerate a few of the many subjects here examined and elucidated.
ist, The same Persons are denoted, in all these languages, by
truly very inades same signed a few Fer object; aself
man ons. It author oras aree stis
the same letters. The root Seb has the same signification in
colunt. The present tense is composed of the root, the sign of the conjugation, and the sign of the person. The latter is, M for the first, S for the second, and T for the third person. M, in these languages, is the characteristic letter of Me, the person who speaks. The S of the second is only preserved in the Greek pronoun. The T of the third is derived from the pronoun • tad' in Sanscrit, the Greek T8T6, the English that. Our readers cannot fail to be struck with the recurrence of the same inflections in the same order, in the middle voice of the Sanscrit and Greek, and in the active voices of the Sanscrit and Latin.
2dly, The first preterite is formed, in Sanscrit, by prefixing A to the root, as the imperfect in Greek is by the augment. Thus, the first person is in Sanscrit asevam, in Greek bor. The Latin imperfect is formed by a different process, which is thus explained by our author; and we give it, because even this variation abounds in singular coincidences. Two roots in Sanscrit serve to denote existence, as' and bhu;' whence asti and bhavati, he is; est and fuit, in Latin; ast and bud, in Persian; is and be, in English. The former of these roots is defective in all these languages, and requires its deficiencies to be supplied from the root bhu, in Latin fi. The Romans had nei. ther the sound of the aspirated B, nor a letter to represent it. In Latin, therefore, it is generally changed to F; thus, bhrátaras becomes fratres, &c. The first preterite of bhu in the first person, is abhavam, whence our author is disposed to derive col-ebam.
3dly, The characteristic of the second preterite in Sanscrit, and of the perfect in Greek, is the reduplication of the first consonant of the root; and the same rules subsist in both languages for the substitution of simple for compound consonants. Thus, She delighted,' is in Sanscrit . tatarpa,' in Greek Tereqqa, the root having the same signification in both languages. Traces of the same reduplication exist in Latin, as dedit, stetit, from the Sanscrit roots“ da,' and stha;' whence dadati, and tishtati, he gives, and he stands. But the roots which are reduplicated
is and behese languohu, in
in the present tense in Sanscrit, form a separate conjugation, comprehending most of the Greek verbs in phu. Thus dadhami, I ordain, which corresponds with the Greek Tubers, and dadámi, I give, to didwrs, are attributed to this conjugation : but the root yunj to join, jungo in Latin, in Greek Geo[oupes, is placed in a conjugation characterized by the insertion of the syllable nu.'
4th, One observation, which, amongst many others, does credit to our author's perspicacity, is the following. The vowel I is inserted in Sanscrit to denote what is unreal, what neither has nor had existence; though it might, could, would, should, or even will, exist. By the rules of euphony, I before a vowel is changed to " Y.' Hence the potential sebeyam,' I might, could, &c. honour. The Greek optative is formed by the insertion of the same vowel, as ozboipei, utinam colerem.
5th, The first future in Greek, like the second in Sanscrit, is formed by adding the future of the substantive verb to the root. Thus the root tut signifies, in the former language, to strike; in the latter, to burn or inflict pain. The future of the Greek in the middle voice, is ourfouet, of the Sanscrit tapsyami, tapsyase, tapsyate, &c.
6th, As there is no end of pursuing analogies in these cognate tongues, we will only add those of the participles. The present participle in Sanscrit and Greek is formed by the same increment to the root, to which, in Latin, is superadded an S. Thus, the root bhri, to carry, of which the aspirated B is as usual changed to an F, makes in Greek Qeqw, in Latin fero; of which the participles are“.
Greek. 11 Latin.
ferens Accusative bharantam . o sportue Diferentem. The present participle of the middle and passive voices in Sanscrit and Greek is formed by the same terminations; thus, bhāmi, I shine, in Greek Qaw, makes in this participle
bháyamánas bháyamána bhayamanam In Greek. Occousvos - Qocokeevn pocou svov. The Latin participle in tus corresponds entirely with the Sanscrit participle of the third preterite passive. Thus, the root
vesht' having the same meaning in Sanscrit and Latin, we have
veshtitas : veshtitá s veshtitam And in Latin, vestitus : vestita
vestitum. In Sanscrit and Greek, the participie of the second future passive, is formed by adding the same syllable to the root, Thus, about to be delighted
In Sanscrit, tarpishyamanas tarpishyamaná tarpishyamanan • In Greek, TigtiNTOLLEYOS τερπησομενη σερπησομενο». . But we must here terminate a discussion which already we have probably extended much too far for the general reader. It will be understood, however, that these constitúte only a few of the many remarkable analogies which our author has pointed out. Yet they seem to us much more than sufficient to demonstrate, that the internal structure of the Greek, Latin, and Sanscrit tongues, is regulated on the same principles, and cast in the same mould. Our author's comparison of these with the Persian and Gothic, affords results no less interesting. If there be any who can still think that such coincidences might arise from the casual intercourse of commercial relations, or from the Greek kingdom of Bactria, during the brief period of the reign of the Seleucides in that country, we cannot help thinking that these gentlemen should be prepared to show, that the much nearer vicinity and longer domination of the Macedonian and Greek empire, had produced similar effects on the languages derived from the Hebraic stem.
The Greeks were finally, expelled from Bactria by the Arsacidæ, about two centuries after its conquest by Alexander. If that period were sufficient to admit of their stamping such indelible traces on the language of India, why should no vestige of the same influence be discovered in tbe Arabic, though Arabia was for a much longer period bounded on the north and west by the kingdoms founded by the successors of Alexander ?
Another work by the same author has recently been published in England. It is a literal translation into Latin of the celebrated story of Nala and Damayanti, which has served as a foundation for many Indian poems, and at least of one Indian drama. Our author's object in this work is thus stated. .
. The perfection of the structure of the Sanscrit language, and its immense copiousness in grammatical forms, although they conduce to a more definite knowledge of a writer's meaning when the language has become familiar, and certainly admit of less ambiguity than in other Eastern tongues destitute of these advantages; yet, to à learner, are productive of considerable difficulty. Having myself acquired a knowledge of the Sanscrit without an instructor, so much the more did a literal translation, in which each word should be rendered by a corresponding one, appear to me desirable; although the excellent English translations sufficiently supplied the place of general guides. The Latin language is peculiarly adapted for a version, in which the order of the words in the original is to be uniformly preserved. Yet even in it, this object cannot always be attained without some sacrifiče of elegance, and frequent deviations from the customary collocation.'
The story is comprised in an episode of the Mahabharat : VOL. XXXIII. NO. 66.