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SYNONYMS AND ANALOGIES IN THE EAST AND WEST.*
From the earliest epoch of our acquaintance with Eastern literature, since the revival of learning in the West, it has been a fascinating occupation with philologists to endeavour to trace and establish affinities in language, manners and superstitions between the Asiatic nations and those of Europe. Repeated failures seem in no way to have chilled the ardour or checked the ingenuity of succeeding writers; the “ slight, self-pleasing thread” has been spun anew ; fresh theories have displaced the old, and it has become an amusement,-a kind of game of dominoes,-irresistibly seductive to the students of Eastern tongues especially, to pick out words and names of similar sound in different languages, and to arrange them in juxta-position. As a harmless way of killing time, this pursuit may not be very objectionable. It is only when the gleanings of lexicons and vocabularies are huddled together, and without cement made insecure foundations for theories, that any mischief is to be apprehended. These etymological fancies, in their most innocent forms, do, indeed, encroach too much upon the useful provinces of learning; they infest works intended to be depositaries of facts and useful materials, absolutely choaking with unreadable rubbish the Transactions and Proceedings of some of our learned societies.
Of all analogies, those of language are the most illusive. Nothing is impossible to a polyglottist
. By the rejection or insertion of vowels, which are dealt with at pleasure as things of nought; by the premutation of consónants, the retrenchment of terminations, and the extraction of roots; by the help of sinæresis and diæresis, any desired result may be obtained: the sixteen syllable words of the Mexican tongue may be compared with the Chinese monosyllables, and Teotlipalnemoanitloquenahuaque can easily be shewn to be identical with Fo.
If we speak thus disparagingly of etymological inquiries, our censure is restricted to the abuse of them ; let it not be inferred that we despise them altogether. Where such investigations are philosophically conducted by persons of cool judgment, who are profoundly versed in the languages compared, the results of their labours are often valuable. But still such evi, dence is essentially unsatisfactory in its nature, and should be used not as direct but as collateral proof. Where there is presumptive or probable evidence of relationship between two people, affinity of language may be appealed to in corroboration of the proof aliunde. And when we speak of affinity of language, we mean not accidental and often merely apparent resemblance in the sounds of certain words, but clear indication of similarity in the frame-work and grammatical structure of the tongues, demonstrating that they must have been derived from each other, or from one common origin. Identity of sound, in particular words, is almost nothing in the scale of evidence as to the identity of two languages, even if that iden
Oriental Fragments. By the author of the Hindu Pantheon. London, 1834. Smith, Elder, and Co. The Round Towers of Ireland ; or the Mysteries of Freemasonry, of Sabaism, and of Budhism, for the first time unveiled. By HENRY O'BRIEN, Esq., A.B. London, 1834. Whitaker and Co., Dublin, Cumming,
tity could be well established; because, even compound sounds, and much more simple ones, are frequently traceable to causes whịch act uniformly amongst different people,-in respect to the large class of imitative sounds, for example; but it is only necessary to consider how variously the same groupe of Roman letters is pronounced by a Portuguese, a German, à Frenchman, and an Englishman, to discover the fallacy of deducing results from a comparison of isolated terms, represented by those letters, particularly where one of the languages compared is an Eastern dialect, all the sounds of which no European alphabet can accurately express.
In comparing customs and superstitions, there is less risk of being deceived, especially where the custom or practice be eccentric or unnatural. Yet, even here, many sources of illusion exist, in endeavouring to establish identity; and even where well established, and where the custom is ever 80 eccentric or unnatural, the proof of relationship between the people that practise it is by no means complete. Cannibalism and polyandry are, perhaps, extreme instances of customs apparently abhorrent to the human character universally; but they exist or have existed amongst nations, who cannot be suspected of being of the same origin, or, indeed, of any intercourse whatever with each other.
These remarks may be considered as an ominous introduction to the notice of the two works referred to in the first page of this article ; one of which is chiefly an accumulation of evidence to show that « Sanskritisms" are to be found in the languages and proper names of Europe, Africa, and Amerioa, including Greece, England, Ireland, Scotland, Mexioo, Peru, Australia, New Zealand, &c.; and that customs and superstitions common to the East and the West are innumerable. The other work is a bolder attempt to identify the ancient Irish with the ancient Persians, and to trace the language and superstitions of Ireland to a common origin with those of the East, particularly Buddhism and the Linga worship, of which the celebrated round towers are demonstrated to be symbols.
The work of Major Moor, although full of the fanoiful, uncertain and sometimes improbable, analogies and affinities to which we have alluded, is by no means entirely of this character. He is a man of sense, reading, and reflection ; he does not theorize in a dogmatical style ; we have in his work no elaborate chain of proofs linked together by assumptions, the disbelief of which is punishable by anathema. He has thrown out, somewhat at random, an immense variety of examples, which he appears to have collected in India and at home, and which he presents to the world as materials from whence others may extract what they can; and it is impossible not to be struck with the singularity of some of the coincidences he has pointed out, especially in respect to customs and superstitions in the East and elsewhere. The manner, too, in which the book is written, which is light and easy, divests it of a somniferous tendency. We insert a few extracts, to shew his manner. Treating of Sansorit names in Greece, he says :-)
K-L, as a primitive sound, may mapifestly be filled up variously; the results I maintain are, in an extensive variety of instances, but offspring of
the same parent, Kal, Kol, Kul, Kil; or slightly aspirated, Khal, Khol, &c. My notion is, that such root is in the idea of Time ; in this sense are many derivatives, as I shall attempt to show. Next, that a large family of sables are thence sprung; some of whom are traceable in various ramifications and branches over distant countries, and people, and languages, surprisingly cognate, if not identical, from Himalaya to Calabria ; though, of course, unequally distributed
I shall proceed to endeavour to show that India, or some region far East, is the cradle of this race of words. And, finally, that the Hindu deity Siva, in his dark character of Kala or Time, is the Adam of this black family,
Without any pretension to being classed among those distinguished by the long names at the beginning of this article, I purpose to skim the surface of a certain line of literature; or, rather, to give the result of such skimming. In this. I may not be very methodical in the arrangement, nor logical in my deductions; but shall take my assumed proofs as they rise-miscellaneously and discursively. Not very many
my readers may, I fear, be disposed to consider this branch of literature-conjectural etymology-very attractive. · But, saving their presence, it is not without its importance. In tracing language to its early day, you so trace man. The investigation of his most universal and distinguishing attribute of speech is, in fact, tracing him through all his geographical, and all his social, progresses.
In the Sanskrit language, the vocalized expansion of K-L into Kal, or Kala, gives, as before hinted, the name of the changer of forms, Siva, in his character of Time. The word means also, in several dialects derived both from Sanskrit and Arabic sources, blackness as well as time. *Kal is both yesterday and to-morrow, the past and the future. The present cannot be said to exist. Does the past? Does the future? "No," say the metaphysicians, “not to man, and to the Deity the present only exists. To. Him there can be no past, no future.” Kala or Kolla extensively means black ; so exten. sively, I will here, prematurely, observe, that to England we shall endeavour to trace the root and sense in our words coal, collier, &c.
In another place I have essayed to show that, in such speculations as these, reasonable allowance must be made for non-efficiency, or impotency, or nonimportance of vowels. Consonants are the vertebræ of language. Without going the length of admitting, what has been pleasantly said on this topic, that vowels are to stand for nothing and consonants for very little, I may fairly claim close kindred for K and C, and pronounce them co-efficients. B and P and V are often interchanged; and, if wanted, are always interchangeable, Of this some striking instances will appear, Mutations in vowels are known to be so frequent in position and sound, as scarcely to stand in the way, in either relation, with etymological deductions, otherwise fairly allowable, Thus, for instance, if I have occasion, which I have not just now, to turn Clio into Sanskrit, I shall take the liberty of writing it Kall0 or Kalia ; Cleopatra, perhaps, Kaliyapatra,
Without farther preface, or general introductory remarks, I shall proceed to show what I deem curious coincidences in the names of places, rivers, hills of persons, historical and mythological-of legends, &c. connected with them, in India, and in various parts of the world-commencing with Greecemand having their root in the all-pervading K-L.
In the Sanskrit, Kala means black; Kali, as in Greek, fair, beautiful. Contrary meanings are often found in the same, or nearly the same, sound; a reason for which will perhaps appear: Kali is the name of Siva's consort, Parvati, in her terrific character; in another she is white, fair, beautiful. He also alone, of all the Hindu male deities, is depicted white, 1. The first work that in my Common-place Book I find skimmed for Grecian Kalicisms, is Walpole's Turkey.
“ Calamata is a small but populous town, subject to the Pacha of the Morea, It stands on the banks of the rivulet that now bears its name. The rivulet has every character of a mountain torrent-an inconsiderable stream in summer, and violent in the winter months. It falls into the sea about a mile from Calamata, and the same devastation marks its course through the plain, Calamæ, the village mentioned by Pausanias, lib. 4, still retains its ancient name, and is situated two miles from Calamata." P. 36.
Calamata, I will here note, is at the foot of Mount Parnassus. Mountains or hills, more especially if conical, as then being more probably of volcanic origin, we shall by-and-by see are appurtenances of Siva and Parvati; of him, he being destructive, devastating fire; of her, as his consort, in all forms, but more especially under her name and character of Parvati, which means mountain.born: for which name and parentage legends are not wanting.
The river Calamata reminds us that the Nile, and other rivers, have a like meaning of blackness or blueness. Kali is a river famed in Hindu epics. Nila means blue ; so does Krishna, or black. The poetical river Jumna, as we call it, is, with Hindus, “ Yamuna, the blue daughter of the Ocean.” · Kallanuddy, or more properly Kalinadi, is a Sanskrit compound name of more than one river in India ; best translated by Black-river, or Black-water; and the name of more than one in Britain. A Sanskrit, scholar would find farther Kalic coincidences in the final mata of the just-noticed Stygian river, but I cannot satisfactorily trace them.
Under Scotland, he says :
In Scotland I could find many Kali-cisms; as the recent spelling of Cale, donia may lead us to infer. I have before hinted that Kali-dun is the hill of Kal: Caldew, a name of Siva ; Cala, another
* Through richer fields, her milky waves that stain,
Leyden's Scenes of Infancy. Milky and chalky are appellations that may not seem to bear out my black or dark hypothesis, as connected with Kala : but being comparatively darker than its occasional admixtures, the river Cala may still have received its name from that source. Besides, we have shown that of all the Hindu male deities, Siva alone is white;-and, as Gauri, his consort is also fair. So a union of Cala's darker waters with the occasional chalky, milky stains, described by Leyden, may, in a poetical eye, be a union of those mythological beings. So chalky, this river, like the classical Clitumnus or Kalitumna, of p. 345, may have the property of blanching the kine that lave in her “milky wave.”
On the banks of this Kaledunian river, Kala a monstrous serpent was slain, as is related by, Leyden, in a style very correspondent with the legends of similar Hindu exploits; and written, I believe, before that accomplished and lamented scholar went to India. Krishna, the blue or black, slew a pythonic serpent on the banks of a black river. • In Ireland :
If I were to run my eye over a map of Ireland, I have little doubt but I could pick out scores, if not hundreds, of names of hills, towns, rivers, &c.
looking and sounding very Hinduish. But I shall not do so now. The following, I observed, with two or three of the foregoing, in one Irish newspaper;
-Anadown- Moycullen-Kilmoor - Kilaspuglanaru-(Kilas- pugli-naru are Indian words familiar to me)-Kilcummin-Killiany-Seskerian-BalnagareKinvara-Adragool-Garrunina-Killala-Tonadronin-Kilerohan-Ringana. These names are very Indian.
At Kilcullen and Kilkenny, are two of those very curious round towers, the origin and uses of which have so baffled the researches of antiquaries. I have not the means at this moment of ascertaining the number or position of these towers.* Those mentioned are the only specimens that I have had opportunities of examining; and very beautiful they are. If, on farther inquiry, they should all, or mostly, be found, like these two, connected with towns or hills, bearing KaLic names, it would be a somewhat curious clue for a further line of investigation. Such things in India would be deemed Lingaic or Sivaic.
The first that I saw was that at Kilcullen, county Kildare. I was struck with its KaLic form: nor probably were other Kal-icisms overlooked-KiL-Kullen
-KiL-dare-or Kaladara?. It reminded me of a similar erection on the fine island of Durmapatam, to the north of Tellicherry, on the coast of Malabar. To that, in early days, I have paid many social and festive visits. I was; I. believe, the first—and am, alas !--the only one left)-of the merry set who achieved the ascent to its summit. It was not very difficult to an expert and enterprizing climber, and less so to my followers; as, in ascending, I picked out finger and (shoe-less) toe-holes, for their accommodation. I have no notes of its size, or of any particulars connected with it. I was no note-maker in those days, since which nearly half a century has passed away. But its name - Katchaparamba-Aoats in my recollection-and that it was nearly solid atbottom, and for some yards 'up; perhaps to a half of its height or more. Some steps led down to a sort of cellarage or magazine, abounding in bats. The Irish towers are hollow from the ground to their open top, like slightlytapering enormous round chimneys; or small, hollow, Martellos. Katchaparamba is near the S. E. angle of the river which divides the island from the land of Mayalavar, or Malabar. We considered it; from its commanding position near the river, and its magazine, as of military origin.
Ireland abounds in dun, or don, or down, as the initial, final, or sole, of names of places; Dundalk, Doneraile, Downpatrick, County Down, &c. Near Killarney are Dunloh and Dundag. This I have deemed to be extensively connected with hill or mountain; and something has been, pr is intended to be said, thereon, in another
page. Bumatty, and Ardnaree, occur as Irish names. Bhumati looks and sounds strangely Sanskritish : so is Ardnari, meaning half.man, or half woman-a name, or Ardhanari, given to the mystically-conjoined half-and-half persons of Siva and Parvati, of which representations are given in Pl. 24, and a history in p. 98 of the Hindu Pantheon. The one-breasted Amazonian figure, so conspicuous in the Elephanta cave, is supposed to be Ardnari.
In a legend ascribed to Ossian, mention is made of a hero, who was treacherously slain at an assemblage met to worship the Sun. “ His wailing dirge was sung, and his name is inscribed in Ogum characters, on a flat stone, on the very black mountain of Callan.” This black Callan is about nine miles from Ennis ; and to this day a Druidic altar” is shown on it.
* I have since found this note-Kilkenny, county, boasts of five of the round towers. They are at Canice-Tulloherin-Kilree-Fahrtag, and Aghavillen. That at Kilcullen, near Kildare, (Kaldara ?) is about fifty feet high. Some are said to be more than 100.