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or inclication. Quis rem tan veterem pro certo affirmet ? Livy. Mediocribus et queis ignoscas vitiis teneor. Hor. Denique, hercle, aufugerim, potius quam redeam, si eo mihi redeundum sciam. Ter. Quid facias talem sortitus, Pontice, servum ? Juv.

2. Agent indefinite, or not limited to any certain individual. Neque is sum qui disputem. Nullum est animal, præter hominem, quod habet notitiam aliquam Dei. Parvulæ respublicæ sunt bellicosæ, et quod vires sint exiguæ, sæpe insidiis circumvenire hostes tentaut. In these, and similar sentences, the nature, or kind only of the agents is expressed. The same mood is used, when the phrase is turned impersonally, and the agent is put in the ablative; as, Erant quibus videretur.

3. Time indefinite, either as to its duration, or the parts of it at which any particular circumstances occurred. This includes, of course, a reference to the different objects of action, when spoken of in a general, or indefinite manner. Quæ in hoc libro scripserim. Cum me rogaret ut adessem. Cic. Cum me rogabat would express a very different idea. In Cumano cum essem venit ad me Hortensius. Cic.

Still it must be acknowledged that there is some variety in the practice of Latin writers, with regard to the subjunctive mood. Instances of the indicative being used, according to the Greek idiom, in a subjunctive meaning, (as has been already considered,) occur frequently in Plautus and Terence, who translated Greek into Latin; and even Cicero, though very rarely, uses the same form of expression : as, Priusquam de republica dicere incipio. But exceptions of this kind do not invalidate the general principle on which the regular use of this mood is founded.

Of the other moods, and the tenses, in Latin, nothing occurs worth mentioning, connected with the subject of this Essay.

I may observe, however, that, by taking the imperative for the original form of the Latin verb, the business of conjugating would be rendered much more simple, than by the circuitous method which grammarians have adopted. Thus from Audi, by the addition only of certain syllables, we have audio, audiebam, audivi, &c.

Although the modern languages of the south-west of Europe afford no original authority, on this subject, yet we shall find that they are all constructed upon the same principles that we have already considered.

11. Italian. In the Italian language, which occupies the place that the Latin formerly held, we may expect to find the strongest resemblance of the common parent tongue. And it will, accordingly, be found that almost all the inflections of the Italian verbs may be formed, by adding certain terminations to the imperative mood. Thus, imp. ama, indic. amo-amai-amero; subj. amiamassi, &c. &c.

12. Spanish. Next to the Italian, the Spanish may be considered as retaining most of the ancient Latin form, and such it appears to have, according to the general principles that have been laid down. Thus, imp. hābla, speak; indic. hūblo-hablāba-hable-hablare; subj. hāble-hablariu-hablāse, &c.

The Portuguese dialect of this language inflects its verbs on the same principle. Thus, imp. ama ; indic. amon-amava ; amei-amarei ; subjunct. ame-omara-amaria, &c.

It will be seen, in all these instances, that the inflection is much simpler than by commencing with the indicalive, or the infinitive.

13. French. Although the French departs farthest from the Latin manner of terminating its verbs, yet we find, in this, as in the other languages, that the imperative is the simplest form. Thus, imp. aime; indic. aimeaimai-aimerai; subjunct. aimeaimerais, &c.

I have thus endeavoured to follow the course of nature, in the formation of moods; proceeding from the simplest elements of sound to the compound words which represent a combination of ideas. And, from the consideration of verbs, in those languages which are most commonly known, we see that the principles of nature prevail in them all. It is fair to argue, from this specimen, that the same order is observed in languages with which we are less acquainted. Whether any practical use may be made of this theory I shall not say; but it is not unpleasant to trace the operations of nature, in the modes of speech, unfettered by the dogmas, and limited terms of art. The mind is thus raised above mere grammatical rules to the consideration of its own faculties and exertions; while the contrast of simpler tongues, with those of more elaborate structure suggests reflections upon the primitive character of one nation, and the refined science of another.

W. NEILSON,
Belfast College, May, 1819.

ON THE ANTIQUITY OF ALCHYMY.

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HOUGH I am no alchymist, yet as a relaxation from severer studies, I have read with considerable attention the works of the most celebrated writers on alchymy; and, as the result of this reading, am induced to think, that there is as much historical evidence for the truth of this art, as for any past trausaction, which is believed on the testimony of those that record it. I was much gratified, therefore, to find, in the preceding number of the Classical Journal, the arguments of those who contend that the Egyptians possessed this art, displayed with so much ability by Sir William Drummond.

Certain very respectable authorities, however, for the great antiquity of this art, appear not only to have escaped the notice of that gentleman, but of all the modern writers with whom I am acquainted. The authorities are tbese : Manetho, in the 4th book, p. 66. of his astrological poem, entitled Apotelesmatica, has the following lines:

Και μουνη Κυθερεια συνη καλα Φαεθoντι
Ρεκτηρας χρυσοιο, και Ινδογενους ελεφαντος

Εργοπονους δεικνυσι i. e.“ Venus alone, in conjunction with the beautiful Phaethon (the sun), indicates MAKERS OF GOLD, and workers of Indian ivory." This Manetho lived in the time of Ptolemy Philadelphus, to whom also he dedicated his work.

In the second place, the Empress Eudocia, in her Greek Dictionary, p. 108, published by Villoison, observes as follows, concerning the so much celebrated Golden Fleece : Alovuros 0 Μιτυληναιος, ανθρωπον φησι γεγενησθαι παιδαγωγον του Φρυξου, ονοματι Κριον και δερας χρυσομαλλον, ουχ ως ποιητικως φερεται, αλλα βιβλιον ην εν δερμασι γεγραμμενον, περιεχον οπως δει γενεσθαι δια χυμειας χρυσουν. εικότως ουν οι τοτε λεγει, χρυσουν ωνομαζον αυτο δερας, δια την εξ AUTOU eyepyelav. i. e.“ Dionysius the Mitylenean says, that a man whose name was Crius,' was the pedagogue of Phryxus, and that the sheep-ykin had a golden fleece, not conformably to poetic assertion, but that it was a book written on skins, containing the manner in which gold ought to be made, according to the chymic art. Justly therefore, did those of that period denominate the skin golden, through the energy proceeding from it.” This Diony

· This word, as the learned reader well knows, signifies a ram,

sius, as Fabricius shows (in Biblioth. Græc.), lived somewhat prior to Cicero,

In the third place, Plotinus, in his treatise On Matter, speaks of the analysis of other metals into gold, as a thing possible to be effected. For he says, “ Analysis also shows the existence of matter [i. e. of the formless and ultimate subject of bodies]. Just as if a pot should be analysed into gold, but gold into water; and water when corrupted, requires an analogous process.” Και η αναλυσις δε οιον ει η φιαλή εις τον χρυσον· ο δε χρυσος εις υδωρ, και το υδωρ δε φθειρομενον το αναλογον απαιτει. What Plotinus here says of the analysis into gold, is perfectly conformable to the assertion of Albertus Magnus, as cited by Becher in his Physica Subterranea, p. 319. For his words are, “ Non dari rem elementatam, in cujus ultima substantiatione non reperiatur aurum." That all metals likewise may be analysed into water is the doctrine of Plato, who in his Timaeus says, " that water is twofold; one kind of which is humid, but the other fusile.” And he adds, “ that among all those which we denominate fusile waters, that which becoming most dense from attenuated and equable parts, is of a uniform kind, and participates of a splendid and yellow color, is that most honored and valuable possession gold, which is usually impelled through a rock.”

In the last place, in the selections from Chemical Greek Mangscripts, in the Bibliotheca Græca of Fabricius, Tom. 12. p. 765, there is an extract from a treatise of one Olympiodorus to Petasius, king of Armenia, in which among other things it is said, “ that the art of making gold was most diligently concealed by the Egyptians; that those who were skilled in the art, alone exercised it for the use of the king; and that these men accompanied him in his wars, in order to supply his treasury." For the sake of the learned reader, however, and as the extract does not appear to be much known, I will transcribe the whole, as given by Fabricius. Ολυμπιοδωρου φιλοσοφου Αλεξανδρεως προς Πετασιον τον βασιλεα Αρμενιας εις το κατ' ενεργειαν Ζωσιμου οσα απο Ερμου και φιλοσοφων ήσαν ειρημενα. Incipit : Γινεται η ταριχεια απο μηνος Μεχια κε και εως Μεσαρι κε, &c. In hoc apospasmatio multa non indigna relatu, que excerpere juvat. Eθος γαρ τους αρχαίους συγκαλυπτειν την αληθειαν, και τα παντα τους ανθρωπους ευδηλα δια αλληγοειων τινων και τεχνης ενφιλοσοφου αποκρυπτειν, ου μονον δε οτι τας τιμιας ταυτας τεχνας τη αφεγγει αυτων και σκοτεινότατη εκδοσει συνεσκιασαν, αλλα και αυτα τα κοινα ρηματα δι αλλων τινων ρηματων μετεφρασαν, εις τουτο αυτο Πλατωνα και Αριστοτελην αλληγορησαντες.- Αυτην δηλαδη την ψαμμον ανυθεν ουσιoυσαν, ηντινα οι αρχαίοι

δια κυριον ονομα επεθηκαν λιθαργυρον. και εις αυτην εστιν ευρειν και το τετρασυλλαβον, και το ενναγραμμον ----γνους οτι τα σκωριδια εστι

των

το

το ολον μυστηριον, ολοι γαρ εις αυτα κρεμανται και αποβλεπουσι, και τα μυρια αινιγματα εις αυτα ανατρέχει, και αι βιβλοι αι τοσαυται αυτα αινιττονται.-αυται αι Αιγυπτιων γραφαι, και ποιησεις και δοξαι, χρησμοι τε δαιμονων και εκθεσεις προφητων. Sepius citatur Zosimus, sed et Democritus, Aguthodæmon, et Maria. Zosimi dictum ab aliis etiam laudatum : εαν μη τα σωματα ασωματωσης και ποιησης τα δυο εν, ουδες των προσδοκώμενων εσται.

Sed que ex ejusdem τη τελευταια αποχη προς θεοσεβειαν aferuntur, adscribenda sunt, quæ et infra num. 45. repetuntur, nihilo magis integra: Oλον το της Αιγυπτου βασιλειον, ω γυναι, από των δυο τουτων τεχνων συνεστηκε, των τε κηρυκων και των φυσικων ψαμμων. η γαρ καλουμενη θεια τεχνη, τουτέστιν η δογματικη περι την ασχολουται απαντες οι ζητουντες τα χειροτμηματα' απαντα, και τας τιμιας τεχνας, τας τεσσαράς φημι, δοκoυσιν τι ποιειν μονοις εξεδόθη τους ιερεύσιν. η γαρ φυσικη ψαμμουργικη βασιλεων ην. ωστε και εαν συμβη ιερεα η σοφον λεγομενον ερμηνευσαντα τα εκ των παλαιων, η απο προγονων εκληρονομησεν, και εχων και ιδων την γνωσιν αυτων την ακωλυτον, ουκ εποιει· ετιμωρειτο γαρ. ωσπερ οι τεχνιται οι επισταμενοι βασιλικον τυπτειν νομισμα, ουκ εαυτοις τυπτουσιν, έπει τιμωρούνται. ουτω και επι τοις βασιλευση των Αιγυπτιων, οι τεχνιται της εψησεως, οι έχοντες την γνωσιν της αμμοπλυσιας και ακολουθιας, ουχ εαυτοις εποιουν, αλλ' εις αυτο τουτο εστρατευοντο εις τους θησαυρους εργαζομενοι, είχον δε και ιδιους αρχοντας επικειμενους επανω των θησαυρων, και αρχιστρατηγους, και πολλην τυραννην της εψησεως. νομος γαρ ην Αιγυπτιοις, μηδε εγγραφως αυτα τινα εκδιδοναι. Τινες ουν μεμφονται Δημοκριτον και τους αρχαιους, ως μη μνημονευσαντας τουτων των δυο τεχνων, αλλα μονων των λεγομενων τιμιων. ματην δε αυτους μεμφονται. ου γαρ ηδυναντο φιλοι οντες των βασιλεων Αιγυπτου, και τα πρωτεια εν προφητικη αυχουντες, πως ηδυναντο αναφανδόν μαθηματα κατα των βασιλεων δημοσια εκθεσθαι, και δουναι αλλοις πλουτου τυραννιδα. ουτε ει ηδυναντο εξεδιδουν, εφθoνουν γαρ. μονους δε Ιουδαιοις εξον ην λαθρα ταυτα ποιειν και γραφειν και εκδιδοναι αμελει γουν ευρισκομεν θεοφιλον τον θεογενους, γραψαντα ολα τα της χειρογραφιας ευτυχεια, και Μαριας την καμινογραφιαν, και αλλους Ιουδαιους, και Συνεσιος προς Διοσκορον και γραφων, &c.

Ad Ptolemæi Bibliothecas allegat his verbis : καλειται δε και παρθενος γη, και γη αιματωδης. Ταυτα δε ευρησεις εν ταις Πτολεμαιου βιβλιοθηκαις.

The most remarkable circumstance in this extract is, that permission should be given by the Egyptian kings, to the Jews alone, latently to practise, to write about, and to publish this art. Perhaps this most singular exception in favor of the Jews, was owing to

Α1. χειροτεχνήματα, vel χειροκμητο. ? This Dioscorus was a priest of Serapis in Alexandria, so that he lived prior to the destruction of the ancient temples. See the treatise of Synesius io bim, in the 7th vol. of Fabricius.

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