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long rows of wedge-shaped inscriptions been slow to avail itself of the Mährchen
had not been deciphered by the brilliant of ancient Egypt in order to show how genius and the persevering industry of our even the nurseries of the whole world are honored Director, and had not disclosed akin. The solemn Egyptians were as fond an intimate relationship between the of stories as all other nations. Some of language of the Mesopotamian kingdoms these stories have lately been translated, and what we call the Semitic languages and these translations may, on the whole, still spoken by Arabs, by Syrians, and by be accepted as trustworthy. I shall read Jews ! Nor was it their language only you one, translated by Professor Brugsch,
? that has brought the cuneiform inscriptions and which he considers as the prototype within the sphere of our scientific interests. of another story with which we have all After all, though we are Aryas in language been familiar from our early childhood :and thought, our religion has drawn many elements from Semitic sources. The Old
The two sons of one father and one mother Testament is nearer to us than the Veda.
were, on some beautiful day, doing their work
in the field. It was by showing us the real historical
The great brother gave an order to the little position of the sacred traditions of the brother, saying, “Go away from here, and Jews among the traditions of the Babylo- fetch me seed.corn from the village.” The nians and Assyrians, and of the whole little brother went to find the wife of his great
brother, and found her sitting and busy plat. Semitic race, that cuneiform studies have
ting her hair. And he said to her, “ Rise and taken their place within the sphere of mod- give me seed-corn, that I may return to the ern research, and are helping us to solve field, for my great brother has commanded me questions which have perplexed Biblical
saying, 'Hasten back to me and do not students for centuries. The traditions
tarry. And the woman said to him, “ Go
and open the seed-chest, that thou mayest about the Creation of the world, about the
take what thy heart desires, and that my hair Deluge, about the Tower of Babel, are may not be unfastened while I go." now known to have been Semitic in a gen- Then the youth went to his chamber to fetch eral sense ; they were not, as we imagined
a large measure, for he wished to carry off as
much seed as possible. After he had loaded -nay, as we were called upon to believe
himself with barley and buck-wheat, he -the exclusive property of the Jewish marched away with his heavy burden. But
the woman stood in his way and said, “ How Egypt also has been drawn into this en
heavy is the burden ?” He answered, Three chanted and enchanting circle. Its
bushels of buck-wheat and two bushels of bar.
ley ; together they are tive bushels that rest hieroglyphic, hieratic, and demotic litera
on my shoulders.' ture now claims a voice in the council of
Thus he spoke to her, and she laid hold of the mos: modern research. The close him and said, “Let us rest for an hour. I relations between Egypt, Babylon, and
shall give thee precious garments and all that
is most beautiful." Palestine in the most ancient times have
But the youth became furious at this base lately received an unexpected confirma- proposal, like a panther from the South, and tion. A diplomatic correspondence be- she was very much terrified, yes, very much. tween the Courts of Egypt and Babylon And he addressed her saying, “ Look, thou, has been discovered which is referred to
O woman, hast been to me like a mother, and
thy husband like a father, because he is older 2000 B.C. That Egypt influenced not
than I, and he has brought me up. Is it not only Palestine from the days of Moses, but a great sin what thou hast said to me? Never likewise Babylon and Nineveh, as, in later repeat that speech. Then no man shall hear times, Greece, can no longer be doubted.
a word of it out of my mouth."
Then he lifted his barden and walked to the With every year new rays of light from field, and came to his great brother, and they the land of the pyramids help us to see found plenty of work to do. And when the how much in our most familiar thoughts evening drew near, his great brother returned comes from Egypt. I will not tell you to. home, but his little brother remained with the night the fairy story of the migration of fock, laden with all the good things of the
field. And he led the flock home, that it our alphabet. Suffice it to say that, as in might rest in the stable in the village. speaking English we speak Sanskrit, in But lo, the wife of his great brother was writing our letters we are really scrawling afraid on account of the proposal which she hieroglypbic signs.
had made to the little brother, And she But let us look for a moment at the swallowed a potful of fat, and became as one
who was sick, for she wished her husband to folk-lore of Egypt. Folklore, you know, think that she was sick on account of his litis very popular just now, and it has not tle brother.
* And when her husband came home in the her almost incestuous passion for her husevening and entered the house, as was his band's younger brother, who had the same wont, he found his wife lying on her couch, father and the same mother, and to whom as if going to die. She did not pour water over his hands, according to custom, nor did she herself had been like a mother. These she light the lamp before him, so that the characteristic features are entirely absent house was dark. And she lay still
and was sick. in the story of Potiphar's wife. She is Then her husband said to her, spoken to thee?" And she answered, “No simply a frail woman, the wife of a captain one has spoken to me except thou and thy lit
of the guard ; and I must leave it to my tle brother. When he came home to fetch friends the folk-lorists to determine the seed, he found me alone and asked me to whether there could only have been one rest with him for an hour. But I did not lis- Potiphar's wife in the whole ancient histen to him, and said, “ Am I not thy mother, tory of Egypt, or whether the chapter of and is not thy great brother to thee like a father?' Thus i spake to him, but he did not accidents and accidental coincidences is mind my words, but beat me, that I should not larger than we imagine. not inform thee. Now, if you allow him to Having thus shown you by a few exlive, I shall kill myself.'
amples how near the language, the literaProfessor Brugsch thinks that we have ture, the religion, and even the folk-lore to recognize in this popular Egyptian story of India, Babylon, Nineveh, and Egypt the source of the story of Joseph and Poti- have been brought to us, and how closely phar's wife, as preserved to us in the Book they touch even some of the burning quesof Genesis. Most students of folklore will tions of our own time, I should like, by probably agree with him ; but I think we way of contrast, to say a few words about ought to pause. We may admit that it is China. China claims to possess the most possible, that it is probable ; but we can- ancient literature of the world, but not say that it is proven.
that its extreme old age, supposing it were There is one objection pointed out by granted, has proved as yet of very little atProfessor Brugsch himself. He says that traction. Chinese studies are confined to such names as Potiphar never occur in a very small number of scholars. The Egyptian before the ninth century, and public at large, which is always ready and that therefore Moses himself could never anxious to listen to anything new or old have heard the name of Potiphar and his from India, from Babylon, Nineveh, or wife. Potiphar in Egyptian means the from Egypt, takes little notice as yet of gift of the god Ra, from puti, gift, and the saying and doings of the old emperors ra, the god Ra, with the article p. It of China. would, therefore, have meant the same as Why is that? Because there are no inthe Greek name Heliodoros. Professor tellectual bonds that unite us with ancient Brugsch is, no doubt, a very high author. China. We have received nothing from ity on such matters, perhaps the highest. the Chinese. There is no electric contact Still it seems to me that very important between the white and the yellow race. It arguments bave been brought forward to has not been brought near to our hearts. show that proper names, formed on the China is simply old, very old—that is, resame lines as Potiphar, do occur at a much mote and strange. If Chinese scholars earlier time. On this point we must wait would bring the ancient literature near to for Professor Brugsch's reply. But even us, if they would show us something in it if he were right on this point, folk-lorists that really concerns us, something that is would say that the story in Genesis might not merely old but eternally young, still have been borrowed from Egyptian, Chinese studies would soon take their place because no scholar pow maintains that the in public estimation by the side of Indotext of Genesis, as we possess it, is older European, Babylonian, and Egyptian than the ninth century, or that it was writ- scholarship. There is no reason why China ten down before about 500 B.C.
should remain so strange, so far removed What makes me feel doubtful whetber from our common interests. There is the story in Genesis was really borrowed much to be learned, for instance, in watchfrom the Egyptian story is something ing the origin and growth of the Chinese different. It is the peculiar character of system of writing.
There is more of the Egyptian story. The sinfulness of the psychology and logic to be gathered from Egyptian woman consists not so much in the pictorial representation of thought in her falling in love with a stranger, as in China than from many lengthy treatises
on the origin of language and the classifi- study man in the abstract, or that they are cation of concepts. Chinese religion also able to discover all his secrets by introspecis a subject well worth the serious atten- tion. Much, no doubt, has been achieved tion of the theologian, and the very con- by that method ; but, at the very best, all trast between their philosophy and our it can teach us is what man is, not how own might teach us at least that one use- man has come to be what he is. To solve ful lesson that there is more to be learned this problem, the most important of all even there than is dreamt of in our phi- problems that concern us, our age has disJosophy.
covered new method, the historical If the facts which I have so far placed method. What is called the Historical before you are true, what follows ? It fol- School has taken possession not only of lows that Oriental scholarship must no philosophy, but likewise of the wide fields longer rely on the old saying that distance of language, mythology, religion, cuslends enchantment to the scene. Mere dis- toms, and laws. The study of all these tance, mere antiquity, mere strangeness, subjects has been completely reformedwill not secure to it a lasting hold on our has received a fresh foundation and a new affections.
Jife by being based on historical research, Unless the scholar bas a heart, and un- and by being pervaded by the historical less he can discover something in the an- spirit. cient world that appeals to our hearts, his Here, then, in the study of the past lies labor will be in vain. The world will pass the bright future of Oriental studies. Let by, after a cursory glance at our mummies, Oriental scholars remember that they have and will take its lantern, if possibly it may to work for a great object, and let them find a man, somewhere else. It is some- never mistake the means for the end. times supposed that physical science as That is the danger that besets Oriental distinguished from historical science, the
more than any other studies. It is, no study of the works of nature as kept apart doubt, very creditable to learn to read from the study of the works of man, pos- hieroglyphics, to understand cuneiform insesses great advantages. It deals with scriptions, to decipher the language of the tangible facts, it clears up many myste- Vedic hymns, to read Arabic, Persian, or ries, and it often leads to useful and lu- Hebrew. But unless, while engaged in crative discoveries. All that is true. But our special studies, whatever they may be, I confess I wonder how my old friend M. we can contribute some stones, however Renan, who has done so much to make small, to the building of that temple which the study of Eastern antiquity a living is dedicated to the knowledge of man, and study, could have expressed å regret at therefore to the knowledge of God, we are having dedicated his life and energies to but beasts of burden, carrying, it may be, Oriental languages and not to chemistry. heavy loads, but throwing them down by Man has been, is, and always will be, the the road, where they are more likely to centre of the world, the measurer of all impede than to help the progress of true things. Take even the chemist's atoms. knowledge. Give us men who are not Who made them ? who thought and named only scholars but thinkers, men like Sir them? Nature gives us no atoms. Na- W. Jones and Colebrooke in England, like ture knows nothing that is not divisible. Champollion and Eugène Burnonf in Man postulated atoms in spite of nature ; France, like Schlegel and Humboldt in and that fundamental concept, that belief Germany, and Oriental scholarship will in the infinite, in the infinitely small, as soon take the place that of right belongs to well as in the infinitely great, is more im- it among the studies of mankind. Man portant to a thoughtful student than the loves man. Discover what is truly human, whole table of atoms of the chemist. not only what is old, in India, Persia,
It is man who has to find the key to all Arabia, in Babylon and Nineveh, in Egypt the mysteries of nature, and when all these —aye,' and in China also—and Oriental mysteries have been solved, there still re- studies will not only become popular--that mains the greatest mystery of all mysteries may be worth very little—but they will -man. However much we may forget it become helpful to the attainment of man's when absorbed in minute researches, man highest aim on earth, which is to study is, and will always remain, the hidden sub- man, to know man, and, with all his ject of all our thoughts.
weaknesses and follies, to learn to love Philosophers imagine that they can man.—Nineteenth Century.
ing with avidity the description of the first
twenty or thirty battles, might then beSome ten or twelve years ago—the date come a little wearied, a little sated, and is of no importance or the exact place wish for a blank day. an Englishman wandered down to the Gibbs eat salmon till he hated the sight north of Scotland and invested some of of it, and he sent fish away to his friends his superfluous capital in a salmon river. to an extent which almost made the land . Such an adventurer is often but poorly re- lord think that the next dividend of the paid for his enterprise. He generally finds Highland Railway would be affected ; that the water, which was low on his ar- four, five, six,—even eight fish in a day. rival, becomes lower during his first week, " What slaughter !" some would say, who wbile for the remainder of his stay it is perhaps get their supplies by nets. But merely sufficient to keep the bed of the his honest soul was never vexed by such a stream moist, and give the grouse some- thought. He knew over how many blank thing to drink. Or there is too much days that white month should rightly be water ; the river is running too big, and spread to get a fair average, and he abated the fish make their way to quieter stretches not a whit of his skill, or let off one sinabove. And it now and then happens, gle fish if he could help it. when everything else seems right, that the The recipient of one of these salmonfish are not up, or, if up, are able to find a friend in the south-was the innocent more profitable occupation for their spare cause of the adventure which shortly after time than taking artificial flies. In such befell Gibbs. After thanking him for the wise the honest angler often makes his fish the letter went on to say : I see by complaint. But this fisherman was more the Courier that there is to be a sale at fortunate. During his month it rained a Strathamat, so I suppose that old MacInlittle almost every night, while four out of tyre is dead. The old boy was very kind the five Sundays were regular specimens to me years ago when I had your water, of Scotch downpours. It was very sooth- and used often to give me a day on his ing, when lying awake at night, to listen pools, which were very good. He had to the drip of water on the roof, or the some wonderful books, and as you are gurgle of a choked-up pipe in the yard— fond of such things you should go over a lullaby to a fisherman on the dry north- and have a look at them. He said they east coast. On Sundays, too, clad in rain- were worth a lot of money.
There was proof garments, it was pleasant to splash one-of Shakespeare's-Hamlet, or the across the hill to the little church, and Merry Wives, or one of those, which he listen to the minister holding forth to his used to sit and look at as if it was alive. small congregation of keepers and shep. I thought it was an inferior old article herds, translating as he went passages myself, but then perhaps I wasn't a very from the psalms and lessons for the bene- good judge." fit of his southern hearer.
Our fisherman was very fond of books, This paper
has nothing to do with though so far as the great science of salmon fishing, or it would be a pleasant Bibliomania went he was uneducated ; a task for us to give a minute and detailed man who knew ever so much less about account of the good sport which this Eng- such matters than Mr. Quaritch might lishman—Mr. John Gibbs—enjoyed ; to know a very great deal more than he did. describe with accurate pen the skill with But there must have been something of which he chose the temptations he offered the blood of the old collectors in his to the fish, and the courage and coolness veins. He could at any time spend a he displayed in the struggles which en- pleasant morning in poking about a secsued. There is however something mo- ond-hand bookseller's shop, and regarded notonous in continuous success, and it is with indifference the dust wbich settled on just possible that the reader, after devour- him in the course of his examinations.
He loved the touch and feel of books, People were going in and out, poking and their backs and sides and edges, even the measuring furniture, and laughing and joksmell which hangs about the more ancient, ing as if a sale was the best fun in the seldom-opened specimens. A catalogue world. The lawn in front of the house had a charm for him which he would not was littered with odds and ends ; it have found it very easy to give a reason seemed as if the rubbish of half the county for,-certainly not one which would have had been collected there that day. Gibbs satisfied any of his friends, who were for went into the principal sitting-room, a the most part of the pure sportsmen breed, dingy faded place ; some of the bedroom and who would have as soon occupied furniture had been brought in to sell there, their time in reading a grocer's or an iron- and half filled it up ; the carpet was rolled monger's list as a second-hand bookseller's. up in a corner, and near the door the Gibbs did not parade his little weakness chocolate.colored paper was hanging on before these friends ; he found them un- the walls, where careless people had sympathetic, with souls above the arrange- banged it when bringing things in. There ment of type and the width of margins. had probably not been a fire in the room A large-paper copy, or one with the head- for weeks, and the air was heavy and millines and the edges mercilessly cropped, dewy. But Gibbs had no thought for was to them a book and nothing more ; furniture or color, or even smells that day. they cared nothing for the work of the Up against one side of the room was a old printers, and you might call over the long low bookcase, and as he walked across names of all the famous binders without to it his heart began to jump a little at the arousing any enthusiasm in their minds. possibilities which lay therein.
“Hamlet, or the Merry Wives of The collection was quite a small one. Windsor, or one of those !"'-what pos- Perhaps there were five or six hundred sibilities were opened up by these random books in the room, the majority of which words ! Gibbs knew that the sale was to were unspeakably uninteresting. There take place the next day, for his gillie (who were many old works on agriculture, a was on the eve of being married) wished great number of theological treatises, to attend it, to pick up something for his Hume and Smollett's Histories, a broken house, and another man had been engaged set of Rees' Encyclopædia, and a common to take his place. Now the Englishman edition of the earlier poets; the bulk of resolved not to fish at all but to go also the shelves were filled up with material himself.
such as this. But here and there in the The sale was advertised to begin at last shelf examined were some books of twelve, but it was well before that time quite a different kind, shining out from when the intending purchasers were de- among their worthless companions as gold posited at the scene of action, but a short dust does in sand. It was plain that while time ago the home of the head of one of the majority had stood their ground there the most ancient clans in Scotland. for many years—perhaps ever since they Strathamat, as he was universally called, were bought by their first owner—that the had been an embarrassed man. He had few had been well cared for, and had not never been able to take in the world the till quite recently been in the bookcase at position which was certainly his by birth. all. Some one, looking through the old His wife had long been dead, he had no man's effects, had found them in a drawer children, and for years he had led almost or cupboard, and had stuck them at ran- . the life of a hermit, seeing few people dom into the nearest shelf where there was except his bailiff and house servants.
There were several books illusThen he died, and a great concourse of trated by Rowlandson, the Three Tours of people came together from far and wide Dr. Syntax, the Cries of London, a fine to attend him to his grave. He had been copy of Goldsmith's Vicar of Wakefield. poor and little known and of little power Some of Cruikshank's rarest works were in the world ; but he was the chief of a there ; the first edition of German Popugreat clan, and hundreds of men of his lar Stories, -what a dealer would call a name came together to do him empty spotless copy, in the original boards, as honor.
fresh and crisp as if it had just been sent The house had the usual desolate ap- out from the publisher's office. There pearance which houses have at such times. was his Hans in Iceland with its strange