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of these inscriptions, in its various dialects, this chronology we must not forget that, stands to Sanskrit as Italian stands to Lat- whatever the age of the Mosaic traditions in. Such changes require centuries. The may be, the Hebrew text, as we now posreligion of Asoka is Buddhism, and sess it, cannot be referred to an earlier Buddhism stands to Brahmanism as Prot. date than about 500 B.C. If, then, we estantism stands to Roman Catholicism. admit with Petermann that the Samaritan Such changes require centuries. Lastly, text was settled in the fourth century, we the literature of Vedic Brahmanism shows find that the interval between Adam and three successive layers of language, cere- Abraham, which is reckoned as 1948 years monial, and thought. Such changes, in the Hebrew text, has in the Samaritan again, require centuries. Constructive text been raised to 2249 years. Lastly, if history places the earliest Vedic hymns we admit that the Septuagint translation about 1500 B.C. But even at that time was made in Egypt between the third and the language of these Vedic hymns is full second centuries B.C., we find that there of faded, decayed, and quite unintelligible the same interval has been raised to 3314 words and forms, and yet in some points years. It is clear, therefore, that in the
near to Greek than to ordinary history of the Jews also, the ancient dates, Sanskrit. It possesses, for instance, a though more moderate than those of Egypsubjunctive, like Greek, of which there is tian antiquity, are of a purely constructive hardly a trace left in the Epic poems or in character. the Laws of Manu. Such changes require And what applies to Egypt and Judæa centuries. In fact, if we ask ourselves applies even more strongly to China. how long it must have taken before a China claims a history of at least four language like that of the Vedic hymns thousand years.
Chinese scholars assure could have become what we find it to be, us that the date of the Emperor Yao is ordinary chronology seems altogether to historical. Yet it varies between 2357 collapse, and we should feel grateful if B.C. and 2145 B.C., the latter being the geological chronology would allow us to date of the Bamboo Annals. Beyond extend the limits assigned to man's pres- Yao it is generally adınitted that Chinese ence on earth beyond the end of the history is fabulous, though we are told by Glacial Period.
some authorities that the Emperor HwangEgyptian chronology carries us, no ti was an historical character, and began doubt, much further than the chronology his reign in 2697 B.C. All this may be of India. Menes is supposed to have true. The historical traditions of China reigned 4000 B.C., and, if we do not ad
far. But we must mit a division of the empire among differ- never forget the fact, which Chinese bisent royal dynasties, the date of Menes torians are very apt to forget, namely, the might be pushed back even further, to destruction of all ancient books by the 5600 B.c. Lepsius, however, is satisfied Emperor Khin in 213 B.C. The edict, we with 3892, Lieblein with 3893 B.C. But, are told, was ruthlessly enforced, and hunwhatever date we accept, we must bear in dreds of scholars who refused obedience to mind that, like all ancient Egyptian dates, the imperial command were buried alive. they depend on the construction which we The edict was not repealed till 191. It put on Manetho's dynasties, and on the lasted, therefore, twenty-two years. fragments of papyri, like the Royal There are, no doubt, traditions that some Papyrus of Turin. We are dealing again of the books were recovered from hidwith constructive, not with authentic his- ing places or from memory ; yet autory.
thentic history in China cannot be said The chronology of the Old Testament to date from before the burning of the is likewise constructive. Those who have books and the beginning of the Han dymost carefully summed up the dates in the nasty. Books of Moses fix the day of the Cre- As to the ancient history of Babylon, it ation in 4160 B.C. -not very long, you is well to learn to be patient and to wait. see, before the reign of Menes in Egypt- The progress of discovery and decipherpossibly even later. The universal Deluge 'ment is so rapid, that what is true this is fixed by the same scholars in 2504, year is shown to be wrong
Our which is about the time of the twelfth old friend Gisdubar has now, thanks to the Egyptian dynasty. But in constructing ingenious combinations of Mr. Pinches,
become Gilgames.* This is no discredit nological speculations may be-whether to the valiant pioneers in this glorious Oriental history begins six, or five, or campaign. On the contrary, it speaks four, or three, or two, or one thousand well for their perseverance and for their before our era-I ask again, what is the sense of truth. I shall only give you cne charm of mere antiquity, if antiquity instance to show what I mean by calling means no more than what is remote, what the ancient periods of Babylonian history is separated from us by wide gaps of also constructive rather than authentic. millenniums ? My friend Professor Sayce claims 4000 I am quite willing to grant that there is B.C. as the beginning of Babylonian litera- a charm in what is old, whether its age ture. Nabonidus, he tells us (Hibbert counts by years, or centuries, or millenniLectures, p. 21), in 550 B.C. explored the ums, only that charın must come from great temple of the Sun god at Sippara. ourselves, from the students of antiquity, This temple was believed to have been whether in the East or in the West. We founded by Naram Sin, the son of Sargon. should remember that antiquity means not Nabonidus, however, lighted upon the only what is old. It is derived from ante.
. actual foundation-stone-a stone, we are It means what is before us, wbat is antetold, which had not been seen by any of rior, what is antecedent to the present. his predecessors for 3200 years. On the It means, and it should mean, the firm strength of this the date of 3200 + 550 historical foundation on which we stand. years, that is, 3750 B.C., is assigned to If we can discover in the past the key Naram Sin, the son of Sargon. These two to some of the riddles of the present ; if kings, however, are said to be quite mod- we can link the past to the present by the ern, and to have been preceded by a num- strong chains of cause and effect ; if we ber of so-called Proto-Chaldæan kings, can unite the broken and scattered links who spoke a Proto-Chaldæan language, of tradition into one continuous wire, long before the Semitic population had then the electric spark of human sympathy entered the land. It is concluded, further, will flash from one end to the other. The from some old inscriptions on diorite, most remote antiquity will cease to be rebrought from the Peninsula of Sinai to mote. It will be brought near to us, Chaldæa, that the quarries of Sinai, which home to us, close to our very heart. were worked by the Egyptians at the time shall be the ancients of the world, and the of their third dynasty, say six thousand distant childhood of the human race will years ago, may have been visited about be to us like our own childhood. the same time by these Proto-Chaldæans. And mark the change, the almost mirac4000 B.C., we are told, would therefore ulous change, which Oriental scholarship be a very moderate initial epoch for Baby- has wought among the ruins of the past. lonian and Egyptian literature.
What was old has become young ; what I am the very last person to deny the was young has become old. ingeniousness of these arguments, or to Take our languages. We call English, doubt the real antiquity of the early civil. French, and German modern, very modization of Babylon or Egypt. All I wish
But when we have traced back Engto point out is, that we should always keep lish to Anglo-Saxon, Anglo-Saxon to before our eyes the constructive character Gothic, and Gotbic to that “ Home of the of this ancient history and chronology. Aryas” in which the language spoken in To use a foundation-stone, on its own India, Sanskrit, had as much right as Perauthority, as a stepping-stone over a gap sian, as Greek and Latin, and Celtic and of 3200 years, is purely constructive Slavonic, nay, as Gothic, Anglo-Saxon, chronology, and as such is to be carefully and English-when the student of language distinguished from what historians mean bas gathered the broken links of that by authentic history, as when Herodotus Aryan chain and fitted them together once or Thucydides tells us what happened dur- more into one organic whole-what haping their own lives or before their own pens ! Does not the young become old eyes.
and the old become young g? Our modern But, whatever the result of these chro. languages stand now before us as the most
ancient languages of the world-gray, * Academy, Jan. 17, 1891 ; see Gilgamos,'
bald, shrivelled, and wizened ; while the in Aelian, Hist. Anim. xii. 21.
more ancient a language, the fresher its
features, the more vigorous its muscles, for many centuries. It united the people the more expressive its countenance. Our of Europe, the speakers of English, Gerown words are old ; our own philosophy is man, Celtic, and Slavonic, of Greek and old ; our own religion is old ; our own so- Latin, into one family with the speakers cial institutions are old. The youth of of Sanskrit, Persian, and Armenian. It the world, the true juventus mundi, lies constituted a Unionist-League embracing far beyond us, far beyond the Greeks, far the greatest nations of history, and made beyond Troy. And even when we have them all conscious of a new nobility in tracked the young Aryas to their common thought and word and deed, the nobility home in Asia, even then we find in their of the Indo-European, or, as it is also so-called Proto-Aryan speech words full called, the nobility of the ancient Aryan of wrinkles, and thoughts which disclose brotherhood. rings within rings in innumerable succes- I have been told again and again by my sion.
Hindu friends that nothing has given the Therefore, neither mere old age on one intelligent population of India a greater side nor mere youth and childhood on the sense of their dignity, and that nothing has other can satisfy the true historical student, drawn the bonds of fellowship between unless he is able at the same time to dis- India and England more closely together, cover the laws of growth which explain than this discovery of the common origin what is young by what is old, what is sec- of their language and of the principal ondary by what is primitive, which show languages of Europe, and more particularly that there is and always has been growth of English. and purpose in the world. There lies the You know, of course, that we share true charm of our Oriental studies. China, most of our words in common with San. Egypt, Babylon, India, and Persia, are no skrit and the other members of the Aryan longer distant from us as the East is from family of speech. You know that the the West. They have really become to us grammar of all the Aryan languages was the true East—that is, the point of orien- fixed once for all, and that it is totally tation and direction for all the studies of different from the grammar of the Semitic the West.
and other families of speech. Think of that one word Indo-European, But though these facts have become which is now so familiar to us that we familiar to us, vet it is difficult to resist actually speak of Indo-European tele- sometimes
sometimes a feeling of giddiness that graphs, and railways, and newspapers. I comes over us when we see how near the remember the time when that word was past is really to the present, how close the framed, and the shiver which it sent East has really been brought to the West. through the limbs of classical scholarship. Let us take one instance. You know, Nor do I wonder. Think what the of course, that in every language of the synthesis of these two words, India and Aryan race all the numerals are the same. Europe, implies! It implies that the But think what that means. The decimal people who migrated into India thousands system must have been elaborated and acof years before the beginning of our era cepted by the ancestors of our race before spoke the same language which we speak they separated, and every number, from in England. When I call English and one to one hundred, must have received Sanskrit the same language, I do not wish its name, and all these names must have to raise false hopes in the hearts of candi- been sanctioned, not by agreement, but by dates for the Indian Civil Service. All I use, or, if yon like, by the survival of the mean is, that English and Sanskrit are fittest. How old these numerals are is substantially the same language—are but best shown by the fact that they cannot two varieties of the same type, rivers flow- be derived from any of the roots known to ing from the same source, though each us, so that we cannot tell why six was running in its own bed. The bold syn- ever called six, or seven seven. thesis contained in the term Indo-European in Sanskrit, Zend, Armenian, Greek, brought the words and thoughts of the Latin, Slavonic, Celtic, and English we dark-skinned inhabitants of India, brought find exactly the same series of numerals. those very dark-skinned inhabitants of But the relationship is even more close India themselves, at one swoop as close to in other parts of the language, and the deus as the Greeks and Romans have been pendence of the English of to-day on the
Sanskrit as spoken two or three thousand If, then, our rule that t becomes th in years ago is sometimes perfectly startling. Anglo-Saxon holds good,
that t of the parAllow me to give you one illustration, ticiple should appear in English as th. It which, though it is somewhat tedious, will should be death (A. S. death), not dead surprise you by what the French would (A. S. dead). In the substantive death call the solidarité which still exists be- (A. S. death), on the contrary, we have tween Sanskrit and English.
quite regularly, and in accordance with Why do we say in English dead and Grimm's Law, the th, which corresponds death? I mean, why is there a d as the to the t of a suffix well known in many termination of the participle, and a th as Aryan languages, used for forming abstract the termination of the substantive ! This and other nouns, namely tu. In many may seem a very far-fetched question. cases this suffix tu leaves the accent in Most people would say that it is no use Sanskrit on the radical portion of a word. asking such questions, because it is im- Thus from vas, " to shine," we have váspossible to answer them. Grammar tells tu, shining, or the morning. From us that the participle is forined by d, and to dwell,'' we have vastu,
a dwell. the substantive by th, and there must be ing,' the Greek άστυ, , town." The an end of it. The Science of Language, Sanskrit krátu, "might," appears in however, takes a very different view. It Greek as Kparús, "might." In some holds that everything in language has a cases, however, the accent in Sanskrit as reason, and that it is our own fault if we in Greek falls on the last syllable, as in cannot discover it. Now here, in order ritú, season, gåtú, going,'' to discover the reason for d in dead and “ path.” As forming abstract nouns the for th in death, it will be necessary to en- same suffix tu is most frequent in Latin, ter into some minutiæ of comparative in such words as status, from stå,“ to grammar. You have probably all heard stand," tactus, "touch," from tangere, of Grimm's Law. It is a very wonderful and many more. Jaw, but we have now got far beyond it. By means of the same suffix, Gothic Well, according to Grimm's Law, wher- formed the word dauthu-8, " death," and ever we find in Sanskrit, in Greek and here you see that the rule holds good, and Latin, in Celtic and Slavonic a t, we find that the original t appears as th. in Gothic, in Anglo-Saxon, and therefore Why, then, we ask, was Grimm's Law in English, the aspirated t or th. Even broken in the case of the participle dead, this, if you come to think about it, seems and maintained in the case of the suba marvellous fact. There is no exception stantive death? Why is it to be called a to this rule ; at least, none that cannot be law at all, if it can be broken so easily ? accounted for. And an exception that You will hardly believe it when I tell can be accounted for is no longer an ex- you that the reason why in dead the parception ; on the contrary, it is an excep- ticipial t was changed into d and not into tion which was said to prove the rule. th, and the reason why in death the orig
If “three" is trayas in Sanskrit, tres inal t has been changed into th, has been in Latin, Tpeis in Greek, it must be three discovered in India, and in the language in English. If “ thou” is tuam in San- as spoken there three or four thousand skrit, tu in Latin, ou for tú in Greek, it years ago. It is a general rule in the aninust be thou in English. Thus Latin cient Vedic language that the accent must tonitrus is thunder, tectum is thatch, tenuis fall on the vowel following the t of the is thin. In the middle of a word, also, participle. We have to say, yuktá, kritá, t becomes th, as in father for pater, dattá. But in many of the substantives mother for mater. And likewise at the ending in tu, the accent falls on the vowel end, as in tooth for dens, dentis.
preceding the t. llence vástu, krátu, With this rule clearly before our mind, etc. Whenever the accent in ancient Sanlet ug now advance a step further. skrit falls on the vowel following the t, as
The termination of the past participle in the participle, Grimm's Law does not in all Indo-European languages is formed apply ; t does not become th, but d. But
Thus in Sanskrit we have from whenever the accent precedes the t. yug, to join,” yuk-ta,“ joined,” as we Grimm's Law applies, and t is changed have in Latin from jungo, “I join," into th, as in death. Grimm's Law is junctus, "joined."
therefore not broken. It is rather con
firmed by a new law that comes in, and standing before us so much alive, so much shows once more the marvellous regularity able to will us, and to make us say either in the growth of language-a regularity d or th, whether we like it or not? We which, if we fully realize what it means, have heard of letters from the Mahậtinas seems almost miraculous. The same hid- of Tibet flying through the air from Lhassa den influences which were at work in pro- to Calcutta and to London. This does ducing two such words as dead and death very well for a novel. But here we have. were likewise active in all similar cases. in sober earnest the very accents of the anThey, and they alone, help us to account cient language of the Veda flying across for the difference between such words as thousands of years from the Sutledj to the healed and health, to seathe and sodden, Thames, so that we, in this very hall here, when we have in Anglo-Saxon seð than, must say death but dead, health but healed,
seôthan, sêath, but sudon and sodin.
to seethe but sodden, simply and solely beMy chief object in drawing your atten- cause some dark-skinned poets in the comtion to this one case was, to show how mon home of the Aryan race, in Asia, near such a language as Sanskrit, which chose to say soinething like dhůtá for has sometimes been called the most an- “ dead," and dhavátu for “ death." cient language of the world, is really to I am afraid this illustration may have us. The ghost of that dead language, or proved rather tedious and difficult 10 folof some even more ancient ancestor, still low. But it was necessary to give it in haunts the dark passages of our own order to make you see with your own eyes speech. Though dead it still speaketh. what I mean when I say that the true Think only what this means. Sanskrit charm of antiquity lies in its being so ceased to be a spoken language in the third modern-not in its being remote, but in century B.c. Even at that time its accents its being so near to us, so close, so omnihad ceased to be what they were in Vedic present. If Sanskrit were simply a piece times. Instead of being complicated, like of antiquity-aye, if it were as old as the the accent in Greek, they had become megatheria, or as old as the hills-we simplified, like the accents in Latin or might stare at it, we might wonder at it, English. We did not even know that but it would never attract us, it would Sanskrit had ever been pronounced accord- never make us ponder, it would never help ing to the strict rules of accent till we be- us to learn how we came to be what we are. came acquainted with the literature of the I say, therefore, that antiquity by itself Vedic age. There, and there alone, the is nothing to us, and if Oriental languages, accents were marked in our MSS., and ex- such as the ancient language of India, or plained to us by the ancient grammarians of Egypt, Babylon, China, could display of India, who composed their grammars no other attractions than the wrinkles of in about 500 B.C.
old age, they would never have gained such Think, then, on the other side, for how ardent admirers as they still count among many centuries, if not for how many the young and the old members of this sothousands of years, Teutonic has been a ciety. separate and independent branch of Aryan Sanskrit, no doubt, has an immense adspeech, spoken as Gothic on the Danube, vantage over all the other ancient languages as Saxon near the Elbe, as Anglo-Saxon of the East. It is so attractive, and has on the banks of the Thames. Think of its been so widely admired, that it almost free and independent growth within these seems at times to excite a certain amount realms—and then try to understand how of feminine jealousy. We are ourselves such a minute point in English grammar, Indo-Europeans. Jo a certain sense we are the d of the participles and th of its ab- still speaking and thinking Sanskrit ; or, stract substantives, is still under the sway more correctly, Sanskrit is like a dear aunt of a change of accent from the ultimate to to us ; she takes the place of a mother the penultimate syllable, which took place who is no more. thousands of years ago in the language But other languages of the East also spoken by the poets of the Veda in the ahve lost their remoteness, and have envalleys of the Penjab. Is not this more tered by one way or another into the arena marvellous than a ghost story by Rider of modern thought. The monuments of Haggard ? Does it not make our hair Babylon and Assyria may be very old, but stand on end when we see a dead language what would they have been to us if those