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mixture probably of the Æolic. The primitive dialect of the
The mere transcription of such reasoning, if reasoning it can be called, must at once evince on what very futile grounds this extravagant hypothesis is supposed to rest. The assumption, howerer, in the preceding passage, that the broad a predominates in Sanscrit, is quite unfounded; for, though the short a is of a very frequent recurrence in this language, the broad a is scarcely ever found in the terminations of nouns and verbs, except in the cases of nouns and adjectives of the feminine gender, which end in it in the nominative singular. The temporal augment, also, of the Sanscrit imperfect, and the syllabic augment of the perfect, is formed by the short, and not by the broad a ; and, in fact, the Sanscrit inflexions of either nouns or verbs, which correspond with Greek ones, are clearly identical with the Attic, and not with the Doric dialect.* If, therefore, the Greeks, who are imagined to have communicated a knowledge of their language to the Brahmans, spoke the Doric dialect, it is quite clear that it could not have been from their language that the Brahmans “ borrowed the Sanscrit.”
But this hypothesis involves two other assumptions, which ought to have been proved, and not taken for granted ; for Mr. Stewart remarks,-" on this singular performance (Polemo Middinia), it may not be altogether useless to remark, that while it is readily understood by every Scotsman, who has learnt the Rudiments of Latin, it is quite as unintelligible to those who are ignorant of that language, as a passage in Virgil and Horace. In proof of this I shall transcribe a few lines from the beginning and end of the poem :
Nymphæ ! quæ colitis highissima montes Fifæa,
• The only exception that immediately occurs, is the third person plural of the present indicative of the active voice, which in Sanscrit ends generally in anti, as the Doric did in OVT),
Sive Anstroa domus ubi nat haddocus in undis,
Quid multa ? Sie fraya fuit, sic guisa peracta est,
Why may not some analogous jargon, formed by a skilful medley of the Greek with the vernacular tongues of India, have given birth, in the first instance, to the Sanscrit? It would evidently (even in its rudest state) have answered all the purposes, which the priesthood could have in view in contriving a LEARNED and saCRED language: while its subsequent refinements, when adopted in the compositions of poets and philosophers, and when it was become an abject of study to grammarians and philologers, may have gradually brought it, in the course of ages, to that state of perfection, which it is said to possess."**
To admit, however, these suppositions, it must also be admitted, either that the Hindu religion had not been established, three centuries before the Christian era,t or that a learned, powerful, and influential priesthood had never before that period committed the legends and doctrines of that religion to writing. But, as the existence of a copious Sanscrit literature at least 56 years before Christ, admits of no reasonable doubt, it must be farther granted that, in the short space of 250 or 300 years, not only a new language was formed, but this Polemo Middinianic jargon applied to the purposes of learning and science in such a manner as to justify these remarks of Mr. Ward ; “And thus the Hindu courts, filled with learned men, who could boast of works on every science then known to the world, presented, it must be confessed, a most imposing spectacle; a people who could produce works on philosophy and theology like the vedas and dershanas; on civil and canon law like the smritis ; whose poets were capable of writing the Mahabharat, the Ramayan, and Shri-Bhagawat; whose libraries contained works on philology, astronomy, medicine, the arts, &c. and whose colleges were filled with learned men and students, can never be placed among barbarians, though
Elements of the Philosophy of the Human Mind, Vol. III. p. 118.
+ But even Mr. Mill remarks" From the scatte red bints contained in the writings of the Greeks, the conclusion has been drawn, that the Hindus, at the time of Alexander's invasion, were in a state of manners, society, and knowledge, exactly the same with that, in which they were discorered by the nations of Modern Europe, nor is there any reason for differing widely from this opinion, It is certain that the few features of which we have any description from the Greeks, bear no inaccurate resemblance to those which are found to distinguish the people at the present day. From this resemblance, from the state of improvement in which the Indians remain, and from the stationary condition in which their institutions first, and then their manners and characters, have a tendency to fix them, it is no unreasonable supposition. that they have preserved a very uniform appearance during the long interval from the visit of the Greeks, until that of the English."- British India, Vol. III. p. 46.
they may have been inferior to the Greeks and Romans."'*
The extravagant absurdity, however, of such conjectures, is alone sufficient to demonstrate their total groundlessness.
The Sanscrit language, at the same time, is radically dissi, milar from all the vernacular dialects of India ; and thus the basis, upon which Mr. Stewart and Mr. Dunbar found the supposed formation of Sanscrit from the Greek utterly fails them. These remarks, therefore, of Mr. Dunbar, p. 292, become inapplicable; “ If, on the other hand, the common opinion were adopted, that the Greek was derived from Sanscrit, we might naturally have expected that, as it must have been at one time a spoken language, it would have continued so, particularly in the country where it originated, and that its progress could be traced through those regions, which extend between India and Greece. But what evidence have we that it was ever spoken in Persia, an intermediate country, or in Asia Minor, where it should have fitted itself, before it spread to the remoter regions of the west of Europe ? On the contrary we find the Ionic Greek was far more unlike the Sanscrit than the rude Doric, the reverse of which should have happened, if the Sanscrit had been carried from the banks of the Ganges to the shores of the Adriatic. It may also be remarked, that the Greek language, in the time of Homer, was as complete in its grammatical structure, and as copious as it ever w Homer lived probably five bundred years or more before the time of Alexander. The dialect, which he chiefly employed, is perhaps the most remote from the Sanscrit, when, upon the supposition that the Greek was derived from that tongue, it ought to have approached the nearest."-But this is a gratuitous assertion, which the slightest acquaintance with Sanscrit at once disproves ;t and India was not the country where this language originated. The particular part of the world, therefore, the people of which first spoke Sanscrit, as well as the country which the ancestors of the Greeks originally inhabited, still remain to be determined ; and until these points are ascertained, it must be obvious that no argument can be justly founded on the alleged impossibility of tracing the manner, in which the striking affinity, that exists between Greek and Sanscrit, may have originated at some remote period of antiquity.
But a moment's consideration must clearly evince the utter improbability, that the few Greeks who may have resided in India, after Alexander's invasion, could have possessed such power and
• Ward's View of the Hindus, Vol. III. p. 60.
+ In ascertaining the Greek words which occur in Sanscrit, the writer of this article, after collecting a great many, referred to Patrick's Clavis Homerica, in which he found a considerable number that had before escaped his notice and he is convinced that the list of the words might be greatly increased, if there was any good Glossary of such Greek words, as are either obsolete' or of rare concurrence. For the older and more Ionic the dialect is, the greater is the affinity which the Sanscrit bears to it,
influence as would have induced such a priesthood as the Brahmans, or any part of it, to learn the Greek language, and to employ it in forming a jargon for the purpose of concealing their learning, science, and religious doctrines from the vulgar.* For were it even admitted, that the Brahmans of the provinces contiguous to the Indus might have formed such a plan, it would still remain to explain the manner, in which they succeeded in diffusing this new jargon over a country exceeding twelve hundred thousand miles in extent, and divided into numerous distinct kingdoms, each speaking a distinct vernacular dialect. The most conclusive objection, however, to this strange hypothesis is, that the Sanscrit language is perfectly original, and does not exhibit the slightest resemblance to Mr. Stewart's Kitchen and Macaronic Latin. But if, as Mr. Stewart supposes," with the Greek language before them as a model, and their own language as their principal raw material, the Brahmans manufactured a different idiom, borrowing from the Greek the same, or nearly the same system, in the flexions of nouns and conjugations of verbs, and thus disguised by new terminations and a new syntax, their native dialect,” this combination of two languages in Sanscrit ought to be as evident, as it is in the Polemo Middinia. Instead, therefore, of attempting to demonstrate this point by argument, all that was requisite was to produce a few passages from any Sanscrit composition, and to point out the words, which belonged to either the vernacular dialect, or to the Greek language, and the hypothesis would have thus been proved beyond contradiction. It, therefore, equally follows that the utter impossibility of supporting it by this plain and simple test must be its unanswerable refutation ; for no subsequent refinement of this jargon, as experience has incontrovertibly evinced, could have possibly destroyed all trace of the different languages from which it had been originally formed.
ART. VII.-Narrative of a Journey through the Upper Provinces
of India, from Calcutta to Bombay, 1824—1825, (with Notes upon Ceylon,) an account of a Journey to Madras and the Southern Provinces, 1826, and Letters written in India, -by the late Right Rev. REGINALD HEBER, D. D. Lord Bishop of Calcutta.-- London: John Murray, 1828.
It is certainly ceasing to be a reproach on our friends at home, that they should take not the smallest interest in the affairs of the mighty empire of Britain in the East; and if our self-love,
But the very admission that a Brahminical cast existed, admits at the same time the existence of the Hindu civil and religious institutions; and, con. sequently, if works relating to them had been at this time composed in tbe vernacular dialects of India, it was much too late for the Brahmans to contrive a learned and sacred language, that should be unintelligible to the great mass of the Hindu people,
who act, as we imagine, so prominent a part upon its stage, has been hitherto wounded by neglect, we have at length the consolation to kyow, that the tide of public opinion,' indicated by the precursory waves of discussion through the press, is making strong towards the East.
It were perhaps a fruitless task, to enquire, alike into the causes of that carelessness about our interests, of which we once complained, or of that attention, which they are at length destined to receive. It is enough for our present purpose to record the fact, that British India, so lately regarded as nothing better than a great lumber room, in which to stow away the younger branches of a family, not easily disposed of at home, is coming to be looked upon in a light somewhat more commensurate with its importance, in a political, literary, and commercial point of view. It may be, that we owe not a little of the notice we are receiving, to the public of England getting tired of other topics—to the Press having exhausted every thing, that the western world can supply, and being forced to turn to the East to cater for wants, growing every day more gigantic under the celebrated · March of Intellect'--to the zeal of the pious and the good, who have long pined for the conversion of the Hindoos; and now that Churches have been established in the East, consider the labour as half attained to the manufacturer, whose hands, laid upon the shelf at home by the operation of a liberal and free-trade policy, is fondly turning to India, as a channel for the employment of his idle capital or to the Statesman, who watching the progress of Russia, on the South-east frontier. of her gigantic empire, begins to entertain an apprehension, that the plains of Hindostan, however much despised by us, may one day be visited by the Cossacks of the Don and the Wolga. To these causes, and perhaps to others, which we have not enumerated, may we, in part at least, ascribe the voluminous works, in the shape of Letters,' 'Journals,' Pamphlets, Novels,' Poems,' which are now issuing from the English Press, devoted to British India-- its literature, customs, religion, politics, &c. Portfolios, that drew their long hidden treasures from the days of Clive and WARREN HASTINGS, as well as the diary of the traveller of yesterday, are now pouring forth their stores in periodicals in the modest shape of an article'; or, aspiring to a higher biblical rank, are consigning them to immortality in the form of a splendid and costly quarto. The aid of the painter is called in to that of the Poet; and “Life in India” is depicted, at once, with fidelity and fun, in the pages and the plates of “ Johnny Raw, the Griffin,”
The novellist, himself, has stepped into the now popular and pay ing field; and in “ The English in India,” the love-adventures of the hero and heroine are made subservient to the description of English manners, as they are found in the East.
In the very foremost ranks of those, who are now enlightening the European world, in every thing connected with the East,