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permutations of the initial consonants of words, which seem to have originated on a similar principle with the euphonical orthography of the Sanscrit. Most words are capable of four such modifications. Thus; Ty, a house, becomes in different positions, dy, nhy, and thy: Pen, a head, becomes ben, mhen or phen; Cu a dog, gu, nghu, or chu, &c. Besides this example, the Welsh has a great variety of terminations in the plurals of nouns; it has four degrees of comparison in adjectives, and a copiously inflected verb. The Gaëlic has only one permutation of the initial consonants, and is deficient in all the other partieulars above-mentioned. From these circumstances we may fairly infer that the Welsh is a more perfect or less corrupted dialect of the Celtic. Its vocabulary indeed contains very few foreign words, with the exception of those which have plainly been introduced from the Latin and modern English.
All the historical facts of which we are in possession favour this conclusion. Cæsar mentions the Belgic invaders as possessing merely the sea-coast of Britain. He says, “ Interior pars ab iis incolitur quos natos in insula ipsa memoriæ proditum dicunt; maritima pars ab iis quos prædæ aut belli inferendi causa ex Belgis transierant.” Now the Welsh at the departure of the Romans, and consequently at their arrival, possessed so great a portion of the island, that they cannot be the people here described as carrying on piracy on the coasts. We know that they had extended their possessions into Scotland. Dumbarton was a fortress belonging to the Strathclwyd Britons; and Mr. Chalmers has proved indisputably that the names of places throughout the Lowlands of Scotland, as that of Aberdeen for example, are derived from the Welsh, whence we must conclude either that the Caledonians were of the Cambro-Briton race, or that the Welsh possessed the northern part of the island before the arrival of that people. These facts prove that the Welsh are the descendants of a nation who at one period had possession of the whole of this island, and who retained by far the greater part of it until the Saxon conquest; they are not, therefore, of the Belgian race.
The names of places in Gallia Celtica afford proof that the language of the genuine Celtæ was Welsh, and not Irish. Those particularly, which are still preserved in Helvetia are all Welsh. We have heard indeed of Highland travellers meeting with people in the Alps who spoke Gaëlic; but these stories may all be traced to a very curious origin. Chamberlayne inserted in his collection of the Lord's Prayer a specimen in a Celtic dialect, which he had received from Walen in Essex, where some settlers from the Highlands still preserved their language. He gave it the name of Waldensic, and thus assisted future travellers and philologists to discover a colony of true Scotchmen in Piedmont. We recommend this fact to the attention of the Highland Society.
It is remarkable that, notwithstanding the attention which has been directed to this subject, there is scarcely any point of importance relating to Celtic history which is not still involved in obscurity. The little progress that has been made can only be attributed to the manner in which inquiries have been conducted, and to the love of conjecture, by which our antiquarians have been bewildered. We are sorry to remark that Mr. Adelung has not contributed to dispel this darkness.
Mr. Townsend's work contains some vocabularies which serve well to illustrate the mutual affinities of the Celtic dialects and their relation to foreign languages.
Mr. Adelung's disquisition on the German language, contains a very elaborate and learned survey of the whole compass of Teutonic literature. He divides the dialects of this great nation into three principal branches, viz. the German, Scandinavian, and English. The German is again sub-divided into South German or Gothic, Middle German, and Low German, or Low Dutch. The South German dialects are all distinguished by their harsh and guttural pronunciation. This branch of the nation includes the Goths and Vandals, the Heruli, Quadi, Marcomanni, Burgundians, and Lombards. The South German is spoken in all the countries peopled by these nations and the Alemanni. The Bavarians, Austrians, Swiss, Suabians, and the people of Alsace and the Upper and Middle Rhine belong to this class. The Middle Dutch includes the vulgar dialects of Thuringia, Franconia, &c. The Low Dutch is spoken by the people of Lower Saxony, Friesland, Holland, and Belgium.
High Dutch is considered by Adelung, not as the popular language of any particular province, but as a refined idiom formed by and adapted for polite conversation and literature. The dialect of Upper Saxony, as spoken by the better orders, served as a basis for it, and it was chiefly diffused and rendered A general language by means of the Reformation and the writings of Luther.
Adelung's account of the Scandinavian and English contains nothing remarkable, except that he denominates the oldest specimens of our language Danish-Saxon, which, as he contends, succeeded the extinct Anglo-Saxon.
In the distribution of the Slavonian nations he follows Dobrowsky, who, it seems, has adopted the old division of Procopius and Jornandes. The Antes, or Eastern branch, includes the Russians and Slavonians of Illyrium. Under the Slavini, or Western, are enumerated the Poles, Bohemians, Servians, and Northern Wends, who spoke the Slavonian language in Pomerania as lately as 1404, when it became extinct.
Under the Slavonian family might be arranged, as a subdivision, the Littish or Lithuanian idioms, which are a mixture of Slavonian and German. A dialect of this language was formerly spoken in Old Prussia.
We have now followed our author in his review of this great family of nations, who have spread the remains of one ancient idiom over so great a portion of the globe. A connected chain of languages, which every where claim a common origin, and differ only in dialect, extending from Cape Comorin to Iceland and Scandinavia, is a striking phenomenon, and one which excites doubt when first announced; it is found, however, to rest on sufficient proof to satisfy the utmost scepticism. That all these nations were colonies from India, or from some eastern country not far distant from it, is a conclusion which follows inevitably; but the period of their emigration, and the circumstances that attended it, will probably remain for ever involved in impenetrable darkness. It may be conjectured, that the hordes which are farthest removed from the original point, advanced into their present abodes at an earlier era than the nations which lie behind them in their track. The Celtic and German people had probably passed into Europe before the Pelasgi and Slavonians. The earliest notice we have in history of these nations leads us but a short way towards so remote an epoch. Herodotus mentions the Celtä as inhabiting the country near Pyrene, probably the Pyrenees, and the sources of the Danube; and we derive our first intelligence of the German nations from Pytheus, who lived about 320 years before the Christian era. He mentions the Jutes as inhabiting the peninsula of Denmark, the Teutones on the coast to the eastward; next to them, on the amber coast, the Ostiæi, the Æstii of Tacitus, and the Cossini or Cotini, who were, according to Cluverius, the ancestors of the Goths.
But how many ages they had already dwelt in their dreary abodes we can only conjecture from the history of the Pelasgi, who followed them, and who must have been settled in the confines of Europe and Asia at least five centuries before the Trojan war.
We can only conjecture the events which could give rise to this extensive and ancient colonization. A careful investigation of the religious rites and philosophical doctrines which were disseminated among these nations, might throw some additional light on their history, and on the degrees of advancement which they had attained at the period of dispersion; but we are forbidden at present from entering on this ground. Perhaps the political constitution which has prevailed from remote ages in the East, may contain the causes of many remarkable events in history.The complex division of mankind into different orders and hereditary classes, with the unnatural depression of the lower casts, could not have been established without many severe conflicts. The political convulsions which the maintenance of this order must have occasioned for many ages may have given rise sometimes to the expulsion of the usurping classes, sometimes to the emigration of the lower ranks. This hypothesis will account, as it has been observed by a writer of great learning and sagacity, * for the different aspects which the branches of the same stock present in their several colonies. With the Celtæ the higher orders had emigrated, and the slavish casts either followed in their train, or new subjects were acquired in the west by conquests over other barbarous nations. Hence the servile subordination which ever prevailed in the Celtic communities. The Druids and the military nobles in Gaul closely resemble the higher casts in India. "The independent German races, among whom every man was a warrior and a freeman, were probably all descended from one cast. The heroic character of the Greeks, during the age of fabulous exploits, points them out as the legitimate progeny of the warlike Cshatriyas, and as such they are represented in the Puranas, under the name of Yavanas.
It remains to be inquired whether there are any other nations in Europe, or in distant parts of the world, whose languages fail to give similar proofs of connection with this widely scattered family. And here we must take our leave of Mr. Townsend, who has thus far accompanied us. The collection of vocabularies and grammatical forms which his work contains contribute much to elucidate the analogies of the European dialects, and their close relation to the primeval language of Hindustan; and he has placed many important facts, connected with this subject, in a more striking point of view than they had ever before appeared. But he now lays down his pen; and though so much ground remains unexplored, he informs us, to our great surprise, that all the languages on the earth have been clearly demonstrated to flow from one original. That original according to him is the Hebrew, or a sister dialéct.
The West of Europe, in the time of Herodotus, was inhabited by the Celta and Cynetæ. We know who the former were; the latter remain to be the subject of conjecture. It has been supposed that the old Iberians are designated by this name: however this may be, they were certainly a very ancient people, and probably were seated in the west of Europe before the arrival of the Celts. Their language is yet preserved in the mountains of Biscay; and though it presents the most remote and most curious relic of European antiquity, has received as yet very little attention from the learned. Some Spanish writers have declared it to be the antediluvian tongue; and we have perused a large octavo volume, by a Castilian author, in the hope of gaining some new light on its structure and origin; but have only learnt that the Cantabric was the idiom in which the angel spoke to Abraham in the land of Charran. The elder Baron Von Humboldt has long ago promised to give a perspicuous and detailed account of the Biscayan people and their antiquities. In the mean time we must make the best use we can of the information contained in the several works of Larramendi, of which we possess a very good abstract in the collection of Mr. Adelung.
* Frederic Schlegel.
The old Cantabrian or Iberian race possessed all Spain, as appears by the names of places throughout the Peninsula, which are derived from their language. But they were not confined to Spain: we learn from Diodorus and Seneca, that the Sicani, who were driven by the Ligurians into Sicily, and the people of Corsica, were of this race, and spoke the Iberian language. The Aquitani are associated with them by Cæsar' and Strabo. The Ibero-Ligyes of Scylax belonged to the same family, as well as the Ligurians of Italy, whom we find mentioned by Æschylus in a fragment of the lost tragedy of Prometheus Delivered. They are represented as guarding the confines of the country, and intercepting the journey of Hercules from Caucasus to Hesperia.
Ηξεις δε Λιγύων εις ατάρβητον στρατόν
μέμψει. . A number of German words are contained in the Basque, probably derived from intercourse with the Visigoths of Spain. Such are Baldra, belt;-Cilhar, silver ;-Dorrea, door;-Dantza, dance, &c. A much greater number are of Latin origin; as abitua, habit;-abitoa, fir-tree;-amatu, to love, &c. Some vocables are Celtic; but, after abstracting all these additions, there remains so much which is peculiar, that the Basque must be considered as an original language, distinct from all other idioms with which we are acquainted. “ The slightest comparison,” says Mr. Adelung, “ suffices to distinguish it from the Celtic, with which many authors have connected it. The difference prevails as well in particular words, as in the whole of the grammatical structure.” He has added a vocabulary in proof of the former point; the latter is exceedingly evident. The Basque abounds in multifarious inflections; but they are not founded on the principle which modifies the Indian dialects: they are formed by a variety of particles, suffixed to or inserted in the middle of the radical words. By means of these are produced six cases in the nouns, with a double