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distinct in appearance both from Indians and Tartars.

A similar diversity has arisen, I believe, from similar causes, between the people of China and Japan; on the second of which nations we have now, or soon shall have, as correct and as ample instruction as can possibly be obtained without a perfect acquaintance with the Chinese characters. KÆMPFER has taken from M. TITSINGH the honour of being the first, and he from KÆMPFER that of being the only, European, who, by a long residence in Japan, and a familiar intercourse with the principal natives of it, has been able to collect authentick materials for the natural and civil history of a country secluded, as the Romans used to say of our own island, from the rest of the world : the works of those illustrious travellers will confirm and embellish each other; and, when M. TITSINGH shall have acquired a knowledge of Chinese, to which a part of his leisure in Java will be devoted, his precious collection of books in that language, on the laws and revolutions, the natural productions, the arts, manufactures and sciences of Japan, will be in his hands an inexhaustible mine of new and important information. Both he and his predecessor assert with confidence, and, I doubt not, with truth, that the Japanese would resent, as an insult on their dignity, the bare

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suggestion of their descent from the Chinese, whom they surpass in several of the mechanical arts, and, what is of greater consequence, in military fpirit ; but they do not, I understand, mean to deny, that they are a branch of the same ancient stem with the people of China ; and, were that fact ever so warmly contested by them, it might be proved by an invincible argument, if the preceding part of this discourse, on the origin of the Chinese, be thought to contain just reasoning. In the first place, it seems inconceivable, that the Japanese, who never appear to have been conquerors or conquered, should have adopted the whole system of Chinese literature with all its inconveniences and intricacies, if an immemorial connexion had not fubsisted between the two nations, or, in other words, if the bold and ingenious race, who

peopled Japan in the middle of the thirteenth century before CHRIST, and, about fix hundred years afterwards, established their monarchy, had not carried with them the letters and learning, which they and the Chinese had possessed in common; but my principal argument is, that the Hindu or Egyptian idolatry has prevailed in Japan from the earliest

the idols worshipped, according to KÆMPFER, in that country, before the innovations of SA'CYA or. BUDDHA, whosn the Japanese also call AMIDA,

among

ages; and

1

1

we
find
many

of those, which we see every day in the temples of Bengal ; particularly the goddess with many arms, representing the powers of Nature, in Egypt named Isis and here Is A'NI' or Isi', whose image, as it is exhibited by the German traveller, all the Brábmans, to whom I showed it, immediately recognized with a mixture of pleasure and enthusiasm. It is very true, that the Chinese differ widely from the natives of Japan in their vernacular dialects, in external manners, and perhaps in the strength of their mental faculties ; but as wide a difference is observable among all the nations of the Gothick family; and we might account even for a greater dissimilarity, by considering the number of

ages, during which the several swarms have been separated from the great Indian hive, to which they primarily belonged. The modern Japanese gave KÆMPFER the idea of polished Tartars; and it is reasonable to believe, that the people of Japan, who were originally Hindus of the martial class and advanced farther eastward than the Chinas, have, like them, insensibly changed their features and characters by intermarriages with various Tartarian tribes, whom they found loosely scattered over their isles, or who afterwards fixed their abode in them.

Having now shown in five discourses, that the Arabs and Tartars were originally distinct races,

while the Hindus, Chinese, and Japanese proceeded from another ancient stem, and that all the three stems may be traced to Iràn, as to a common centre, from which it is highly probable, that they diverged in various directions about four thousand years ago,

I
may

seem to have accomplished my design of investigating the origin of the Asiatick nations ; but the questions, which I undertook to discuss, are not yet ripe for a strict analytical argument; and it will first be necessary to examine with scrupulous attention all the detached or insulated races of men, who either inhabit the borders of India, Arabia, Tartary, Persia, and China, or are interspersed in the mountainous and uncultivated parts of those extensive regions. To this examination I shall, at our next annual meeting, allot an entire discourse; and if, after all our inquiries, no more than three primitive races can be found, it will be a subsequent consideration, whether those three stocks had one common root, and, if they had, by what means that root was preserved amid the violent shocks, which our whole globe appears evidently to have suftained.

THE EIGHTH

ANNIVERSARY DISCOURSE,

DELIVERED 24 FEBRUARY, 1791.

BY

THE PRESIDENT.

GENTLEMEN,

We have taken a general view, at our five last annual meetings, of as many celebrated nations, whom we have proved, as far as the subject admits of proof, to have descended from three primitive stocks, which we call for the present Indian, Arabian, Tartarian; and we have nearly travelled over all Asia, if not with a perfect coincidence of fentiment, at least, with as much unanimity, as can be naturally expected in a large body of men, each of whom muft affert it as his right, and consider it as his duty, to decide on all points for himself, and never to decide on obscure points without the best evidence, that can possibly be adduced : our travels will this day be concluded, but our historical researches would have been left incomplete, if we had passed without attention over the numerous

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