« PreviousContinue »
it probably expressed nothing more ficence of its buildings, and the wealth than "signal."" The analogy, too, of its kings, yet justly censured by between the meaning of each word God and man for the iniquiious slate becomes obvious to pur senses from of its inhabitants, formerly stood the the utility of a lofty tower to men, temple of Belus, “ a solid tower built who were necessitated by their avoca of brick and bitumen, and considered tions to journey far from the city in as the same with that of Babel. It the extensive flat that bounded all its consisted of eight square towers with sides. Whatever was their intention winding stairs on the outside, that in building it, or for what purposes it gave it the appearance a square py: was used, is immaterial, since God, ramid I." In this temple the idolawho plainly saw that the population trous sons of men offered up daily of the earth must have been much res adoration to their favourite god Be. tarded by the undertaking, cut short lus, better known in Scripture by the their labours, which they endeavoured appellation of Baal. Here also a pure to facilitate by employing bricks and virgin, selected from among the most bitumen*, instead of mortar and ipodest of Babylonian women, was sastone, by confounding the common crificed every night to the lascivious language of the builders, and render- desires of abominable priests, under ing them upintelligible to each other. a pretext, on their part, and a belief
Though the natural tie that had hi on that of the victim, that the god therto united wankind into one body, himself honoured her with his em. was thus dissolved, and their generał braces. The name of Belus seems to dispersion shortly ensued, yet it is not have been derived from the sun, yolikely that the city and tower now wbich, in the Assyrian la quage, sigcalled Babelt.still survived the shock pifies Bel. By some he is accounted of God's displeasure, and became peo the son of the Osiris of the Egyptians. pled by one particular fainily from But the most probable supposition is, the aggregate oumber of those who that he was the son of Nimrod, and were its builders or projectors. For succeeded that monarch on the throne it is related that Nimrod, the most fa- of Babylon. Astronomy is said to mous hunter of his day, and the first have been invented by this personage; king of the sons of Noah after the but the Chaldees have long been esflood, united under his sway the four teenied as the most early cultivators kingdoms of Babel, Erech, Acced, and of that art. The ignorance of the Çalneh. Both from the similarity present age with respect to the idenwhich the name of Babel bears to that iical site or situation of Babýlon, is of Babylon, and other coincidences in the more remarkable, if we reflect favour of this hypotbesis, it is not upon its former greatness and extent. perhaps erroneously imagined that All vestiges of this vast metropolis of Babylon, changed only in paine, in the ancient world are now involyed magnitude, and opulence, was no other in as great obscurity as the gloom than the identical city of Babel, that per vadwg the desert, which is said to gave rise to that wonderful event, the bave sustained both the weight of its dispersion, by which the whole aspect vices and its walls. “The greatness of of human nature became jo a measure ibis place,” says Lempriere, perverted, and even at this distant reduced in succeeding ages, that in tbe period is presented to our aurice as time of Pliog, it was almost a desoone of the most great and awful phe late wilderness, and at present the nomena of ancient times. In this city, place where it stood is unknown to once so celebrated for the magni
travellers. The following prophecy
* Bitumen is a pitchy substance exuding from the earth in the country round Babylon; and, according to Herodotus, was procured in vast quantities from the river Is, a branch of the Euphrates. The Hindoos possessed a salt extracted from it-an important article in their Pharmacopæia. It was sold in every village, and used by this class of people as an infallible specific. Henderson on Hindoo Physick.
+ The most probable signification of Babel implies confusion, which is indeed the literal meaning; but a modern writer (Jones on Language) has given the following singuler etymology of the word Its derivation, he says, is Ba-bi-el, beings calling baa, or sbeep; baa expresses an earthly animal.
I Dr. Adabis's Suminary of Geography and History.
of Isaiah has therefore been wonder- shews that different languages must fully fulfilled ; Isaiah xiii. v. 19. have sprung from different sourcer."
1. And Babylon, the glory of king " Bread," he continues, "is lechem doms, the beauty of tbe Chaldees excel in Hebrew, artos in 'Gieek, panis ini Jency, shall be as when God overthrew Latin, and bara in Welsh." But Sodom and Gomorrah.
Mr. Kett, author of a well-written 2. It shall never be inhabited, neither bouk intituled “ Elements of General shall it be dwelt in from generation to
Knowledge, &c.” has demonstrated, generation; neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there,' neither shall the shep by oumerous examples, that is all lau herds make their folds there.
guages something exists delineating
iheir ancient alliance, and depicting 3. But wild beasts of the desert 'shall lie there, and their houses sball be full
their present similarity to each other. of doleful creatures, and owls shall dwelt
I deduce one example from many; there, and satyrs shall dance there. avd as the opinions of both writers
4. And the wild beasts of the islands imay be thought equally plausible, the shall cry in their desolate houses, and decision of the reader himself may dragons in tbeir pleasant places, and her possibly furnish the most satisfactory time is near to come, and ber days shall conclusion. According to the latter not be prolonged.”
of these two) authors, the word sack Thus was Babylon, the most re has undergove little variation in nowned and opulent city of ancient speech. li is sk in Hebrew, saccos times, destroyed at once “ from off Greek, saccus Latin, sack Teutonic, the face of the Earth,” so that pot Gaelic, and Welsh, sacco Italian, Spaone glimpse of its former greatness nisb, and Portuguese, and sac French. reipains, but what history has re To the coufusion at the Tower of corded, nor one ruin to point out Babel we are certainly indebted for that it ever held a place in the voca those languages now subsisting among bulary of cities. Together with it, mankind; and though the opiniou oť no doubt, have been lost to futurity, divines may be accounted furile, who documents which might possibly have have jinagined that a great oumber of illustrated the complex accounts re Janguages, radically differeot, owed a lating to the tower of Babel and cou miraculous origin to that event, yet comitant city. There is, however, a it is more than probable that, as one general concurrence of opinion among mode of speech was common to all in meu, lhat the languages of the earth, the earliest epochs, the same lanas pow spoken, were derived from guage has been gradually converted, one matrix; and the parrative of by the lapse of years, the vicissitudes Moses, Genesis xi. v. 4. where every of ages, together with the varying cus. region is said to have been “ of one
toms of succeeding, generations, into Jip or mode of speech,” is an ol. those extensive varielies every where vious confirmation that supposes it. apparent. This, in addition to the present well What was the primitive language, knowu fact, that various languages, is peither communicated to posterity bearing an affinity to each olber, ei- by the sacred historiais, nor satis. ther in pronunciation, derivation, or factorily ascertained by those of afterexpression, are spoken among many ages. But * " from treaties of war races of inaukiud; and that vew lan. and peace between the Hebrews and guages, evidently, modelled out of the
other nations, all conducted in lan. old ones, are continually arising, and guage nearly the same,” it may be superseding tbe most ancient, is an inferred, that the language of that other coincidence plainly evincing people predominated anong mankind that all languages must have sprung for many years after the confusion, avd from some source primitive in itseli, might have beco the original one of and cominon at one period to all the the new world. world. Yet bishop Newton has ex As man is a social animal, fond as pressed himself of a contrary, opinion, he is capable of joining the society of by asserting that if every language his fellow creatures with the arts and was derived from one and the saine comforts of a domestic life, God of his source, the old pames, or something infioite wisdoin soon discovered an șike them, would certainly bave been retained, whereas the total difference,
* Bryant's Analysis of Ancient Myeven of the most common things, thology.
effective expedient to ensure their dis. instead of places, continents are to be persion over the earth, and repair the reached, reason will assure us, and damages it had lately, sustained from experience confirm it, that seas must the world of waters that overwhelmed be crossed and the management of ships it. This expedient by many, and per. understood ; for “the ocean," to use haps by the majority of mankind, is the elegant language of Dr. Robertson, supposed to have been no other than " though destined to facilitate the the consounding, of tougues at the coinmunication between distant counbuilding of Babel. Proofs, however, tries, seems at first view to be formed we have none, which positively affirmi to check the progress of man, and it either with satisfaction to our own was long, we mny believe, before they judgments, or io concurrence with became skilful enough to commit scriptural parrative, that the coofined themselves to the mercy of winds and term expressing only the builders of
waves, or to quit their native regions Babel, included also the whole of in questof remote and uokoowu counmankind. From this circumstance, tries.” As time has progressively adwhether real or accidental, various vanced, there is every reason to suptheories have arisen: the most worthy, pose that the wisdom of one age has as well as the most correct, is that of been added to that of another, so that Mr. Bryant, who has made the dis- arts aod sciences have proportionably persion here alluded to, a partial one, improved in all their departments affecting only the great family of the and navigation, perhaps, of all arts, Cuthites, who were the builders of the least esteemed by the ancients, Babel. In the observations of this because least understood, bas, by the writer there is generally, and now invention of the compass, assumed a particularly, much ingenuity of inven- far different figure in the annals of tion. His language is clear, and his modern history. The great and obtheory, without departing from the vious utility of this instrument in the accounts given by the patriarch Moses, hands of the sailor clearly, and, I possesses much originality of inven- thiok, satisfactorily, demonstrates, tion; it is equally interesting and ex that this art, before an invention so plicit ; who though he differs froni important, must have been no less yulgar opioion by making the disper. difficult than dangerous. The regu. sion partial, has too much good sense lation of a ship's course by the plato vouch that pone at all has occurred. nets, according to ancient custom, For it is a natural supposition that must always have been precarious, where men are deprived of the means and subjected to the variations whieb of talking so as to be understood by these bodies continually experience their own fraternity, or where the from different causes. But as soon as language of one family is incommuni. the sin, ular properties which the cable to the whole iribe, it will be magnet possesses, of invariably pointfound that the first step they will ing to the North pole, became knowo, adopt will be that of voluntary sepa- the application also of this substance ration from each other. Reasoning to useful purposes was understood, like this, furnishes, I thiņk, the follow- and cannot be better delineated than ing satisfactory conclusion, without in the invention of the mariner's comthe assistance of history or antiguity, pass, his infallible refereuce and un" that a dispersion subsequent to, and erring guide in any part of the wide induced by, the erection of Babel, did and unfathomable vceau, whether its actually take place; and as Moses de surface be smooth as ihe inland lake, nomnivates it,"ope not confined to or agitated by the storms that are ocany particular part of the earth, but casionally exhibited in a manner the extended even to its remotest parts, most terrific, awful, and destructive. Here, however, a difficulty arises, Thus we perceive that two events, which, if it was not insurmountable in equally wonderful, originated in the those times, was scarcely practicable. building of a tower, which soine say lo what manner were the early mi. was constructed with the evil intent grations of our forefathers performed of prying into the secrets of heaveo ; Most parts in a contiuent, it is true, others, that it was for the more proare accessible by land, and mankind bable as well as rational purpose of could have easily spread themselves directing the builders honre to their over the whole of Asia. But when, habitations. A few writers have cur
sorily and scantily treated this sub. most instructive prose introductivos ject; they are chiefly those who have to every poem. They will prove the written upon mythology, language, or state of the language in those days to chronology The facis, however, have arrived much nearer to modern which are koown to the present age, polish than is generally suspected. independent of their being much mu The volune of Hammond had only tilated in their long journeys from one been distinguished in its old title by century lo another, are few, and myso the author's initials. The name is the teriously expressed. The observa. discovery of the present Editor. tions I have here made, though they The Cotswold Muse of Barksdale is will furnish but little elucidation to an a singularly attractive little volume. abstruse subject, may be considered It is full of interesting notices of faas a compilation of facts the most au milies, manners, and habils of that thentic, and of opinions either drawn eventful period, more especially of from the facts themselves, or as they Gloucestershire gentry. - A limitation have been given to the world by mca to 40 copies will make it a treasure to of esteemed learoing and penetration. any collector who shall attaio it.
John TOKE. The dedication lo each of these re
prials has the signature of S. E. B.,
une not unknown by his eothusiasm Mr. URBAN,
July 16. for old literature, which has led him S you are particularly conversant to incur the toil, and hazard the exyou will not dislike to register in your The shop if Mr. Triphook will, pages a very slight notice of three with the intelligence of its owner in Tillle volumes of re-printed Poetry, this department, probably aid the jowhich have just appeared.
quisitive in the procurement of these The first is limited to 100 copies jo raritics. small Svo. it is entilled GEORGE Your Printer has perforined a siWITHER'S Hymns and Songs of the milar service to Topographers, by Church. The first part contaios the the re-publication of elegant limited canonical hymns, and such parcels of Editions of “ Cullum's Hawsted,” and holy scripture as may properly be “Wartou's Kiddington.” Will he also sung, with some other ancient songs add “Gough's Pleshy?"
0. and creeds. The second part consists of spiritual songs, appropriated to the several times and occasions observable Mr. URBAN, Arundel, June 20.
THE from the edition without dale'; but
graven on the corner-stone of the published about 1623.
superb room in Arundel castle, called The second is limited to 61 copies the “Barons' Hall," in which the late in small 4to. It is entitled Poems BY Duke of Norfoik gave his magnificent WILLIAM HAMMOND, Esq. of St. Al fête last summer, and whicâ is not ban's Court, in East Kent, re-printed generally known. from the very scarce and only edition Yours, &c.
SIDNEY. of 1655. The third is a very elegant little vo
PER BARONES, REGNANTE JOHANNE, lume in 12mo, of which only forly
VINDICATE, copies are printed, entitled NYMPHA
CAROLUS HOWARD, NORFOLCIE DUX, LIBETHRIS, or the Catswold Muse, by
ARUNDELIÆ COMES, Clement Barksdale, A.M. of Sudeley, in Gloucestershire, Chaplain to the
Ætatis LX. Lord Chandos. Re-printed from the extra-rare little voluine of 1651, which
J. Teasdale, Arch. sold for 20 guineas among Longman's collection of old poetry.
Translation. This new edition of Wither's Hymns
“ Charles Howard, Duke of Norfolk,
Earl of Arundel, contains a curious preface, illustrative as well of the staie of bookselling in
in the year of Christ 1806,
in the 60th year of his age, those days, as of Wither's life. There
dedicated this stone is also a great deal of intrinsic merit
to LIAERTY, asserted by the Barops in the poetry of the volume, as well as
in the reign of John."
A. C. MDCCCVI.
July 18. Remarks on the Monumental Bust of N the 8d of July, being the last
ihe SHAKESPEARE, at Stratford-upon
Avon. Written by J. BRITTON, Gresham Professor of Music conclud. F. S. A. to accompany a Portrait ened bis annual course of Lectures, by graved by W. WARD, A. R. A. Glees; and exemplified the subject of Pagenuine portrait of Alexander
, of his discourse by the performances of as a desideratum in the history of art, the most eminent vocal abilities in the and in the history of man, so is that Metropolis. The Lecturer took occa of Shakspeare; for though The Engsion to notice a difficulty experienced lish Poet is comparatively a' modern, by professional gentlemen in their yet it is as difficult and doubtful tó historical inquiries, from the circum substantiate the authenticity of a porstance that all new music is undated. trait of him, as of the ancient Grecian It would add materially to the value hero, or poet, or of the more estiof a well-established periodical work mable English monarch. There is as a book of reference, if it were to neither proof 'nor intimation that record all Musical publications likely Shakspeare ever sat for a picture; to outlive their respective authors; and it must be admitted that the and I hope, Mr. Urban, you will give whole host of presumed portraits me leave to hint, that such a brief “ come in such questionable shapes,” notice of meritorious compositions in and with such equivocal pedigrees, the Gentleman's Magazine, would be that suspicion or disbelief attach to more generally useful than the very all. Not so the Monumental Bust at scientific criticisms which sometimes Stratford : this appeals to our eyes appear in your pages; unintelligible and understandings with all the force probably to all except professional of truth. We view it as a family regentlemen, and superfluous, it may be cord; as a' memorial raised by the presumed, to thosewho are thoroughly affection and esteem of bis relatives, masters of the science.
tò ‘keep alive contemporary admiraAnd now, Sir, with all due humi- tion, and to excite the glow of enthulity, I would venture to address a few siasm in posterity. This invaluable lines to that redoubtable personage “ effigy” is attested by tradition, conMr. Bartlemy Birch, who appears in secrated by time, and preserved in the your Number for May, p. 418. inviolability of its own simplicity and
The Literary friend who was in the sacred station. . It was evidently exehabit of exclaiming, Pray, Birch, save cuted immediately after the poet's deme the trouble of going to the Dic cease ; and probably under the supertionary,” would have consulted his iotendance of his son-in-law, Dr. Hall, Dictionary iu vain for the words* cited and his daughter; the latter of whom, by the indignant Pædagogue.
according to her epitaph, was “Witts Participles are excluded, surely above her sexe,” and therein like her without reason, even from the Dić. father. Leonard Digges, in a poem tionaries and Vocabularies designed praising the works and worth of Shakespecially for young persons, and speare, and published within seven, mere Eoglish Scholars, who are thus, years after his death, speaks of the in a case of doubt, left completely at Stratford mopument as a well-known a loss for the orthography of those object. Dugdale, in his “ Antiquities, words, which, as your Correspondent of Warwickshire," 1656, gives a plate acknowledges, have been mistaken by of the monument, but drawn and engentlemen of liberal and academic graved in a truly tasteless and ioaccu; education. Mr. Birch threatens to rate style ; and ubserves in the text, wield the rod " in the true Busbæan that the poet was famous, and thus. style ;” and I hope the compilers of entitled to such aistinction. Lange Dictionaries and Spelling- books will be baine, in his “ Account of English the first parties summoned to his Li. Dramatic Poets," 1691, pronounces terary tribunal.
the Stratford Bust Shakspeare's“ true Yours, &c.
A. T. effigies," -Tbese are decided proofs * With the exception of synonyme and bigoted. The other words are sometimes introduced by our great Lexicographer in his quotations, but variously spelled acs cording to the taste of the original authors, GENT. Mag. July, 1816.