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son, why the Jabadios, or Yavadwipa, of ProLEMY was rendered in the old Latin version the isle of Barley; but we must admire the inquisitive spirit and patient labour of the Greeks and Romans, whom nothing observable seems to have escaped : Yava means barley in Sanscrit ; and, though that word, or its regular derivative, be now applied solely to Java, yet the great French geographer adduces very strong reasons for believing, that the ancients applied it to Sumatra. In whatever way the name of the last mentioned island may be written by Europeans, it is clearly an Indian word, implying abundance or excellence ; but we cannot help wondering, that neither the natives of it, nor the best informed of our Pandits, know it by any
appellation; especially as it still exhibits visible traces of a primeval connexion with India: from the very accurate and interesting account of it by a learned and ingenious member of our own body, we discover, without any recourse to etymological conjecture, that multitudes of pure Sanscrit words occur in the principal dialects of the Sumatrans ; that, among their laws, two positive rules concerning Jureties and interest appear to be taken word for word from the Indian legislators NA'RED and HA'RITA; and, what is yet more observable, that the system of letters, used by the people of Rejang and Lampún, has
the same artificial order with the Dévanagari ; but in every series one letter is omitted, because it is never found in the languages of those islanders. If Mr. Marsden has proved (as he firmly believes, and as we, from our knowledge of his accuracy, may fairly presume) that clear vestiges of one ancient language are discernible in all the insular dialects of the southern feas from Madagascar to the Philippines and even to the remotest islands lately discovered, we may infer from the specimens in his account of Sumatra, that the parent of them all was no other than the Sanscrit; and with this observation, having nothing of consequence to add on the Chinese isles or on those of Japan, I leave the farthest castern verge of this continent, and turn to the countries, now under the government of China, between the northern limits of India, and the extensive domain of those Tartars, who are still independent.
That the people of Pótyid or Tibet were Hindus, who engrafted the heresies of Buddha on their old mythological religion, we know from the researches of CASSIANO, who long had refided among them; and whose disquisitions on their language and letters, their tenets and forms of worship, are inserted by Giorgi in his curious but prolix compilation, which I have had the patience to read from the first to the last of nine
hundred rugged pages : their characters are apparently Indian, but their language has now the disadvantage of being written with more letters than are ever pronounced ; for, although it was anciently Şanscrit and polysyllabick, it seems at present, from the influence of Chinese manners, to consist of monosyllables, to form which, with fome regard to grammatical derivation, it has become necessary to suppress in common discourse many letters, which we see in their books; and thus we are enabled to trace in their writing a number of Sanscrit words and phrases, which in their spoken dialect are quite undistinguishable, The two engravings in Giorgi's book, from sketches by a Tibetian painter, exhibit a system of Egyptian and Indian mythology; and a complete explanation of them would have done the learned author more credit than his fanciful etymologies, which are always ridiculous, and often grossly erroneous.
The Tartars having been wholly unlettered, as they freely confefs, before their conversion to the religion of Arabia, we cannot but suspect, that the natives of Eigbúr, Tancút, and Khatà, who had fyftems of letters and are even said to have cultivated liberal arts, were not of the Tartarian, but of the Indian, family; and I apply the same remark to the nation, whom we call Barmas, but who are known to the Pandits by
the name of Brahmacbinas, and seem to have been the Brachmani of PTOLEMY: they were probably rambling Hindus, who, descending from the northern parts of the eastern peninsula, carried with them the letters now used in Ava, which are no more than a round Nágari derived from the square characters, in which the Páli, or facred language of Buddha's priests in that country, was anciently written; a language, by the way, very nearly allied to the Sanforit, if we can depend on the testimony of M. DE LA LOUBERE ; who, though always an acute observer, and in general a faithful reporter, of facts, is charged by CARPÁNIUS with having mistaken the Barma for the Páli letters; and when, on his authority, I spoke of the Bali writing to a young chief of Aracan, who read with facility the books of the Barmas, he corrected me with politeness, and assured me, that the. Páli language was written by the priests in a much older character.
Let us now return eastward to the fartheft Afatick dominions of Russia, and, rounding them on the northeast, pafs directly to the Hyperboreans; who, from all that can be learned of their old religion and manners, appear like the Mulageta, and some other nations usually considered as Tartars, to have been really of the Gothick, that is of the Hindu, race; for I confidently assume, that the Goths and the Hindus had originally the same language, gave the same appellations to the stars and planets, adored the same false deities, performed the same bloody facrifices, and professed the same notions of rewards and punishments after death. I would not insist with M. BAILLY, that the people of Finland were Goths, merely because they have the word ship in their language; while the rest of it appears wholly distinct from any of the Gothick idioms : the publishers of the Lord's Prayer in many languages represent the Finnish and Lapponian as nearly alike, and the Hungarian as totally different from them; but this must be an errour, if it be true, that a Rufian author has lately traced the Hungarian from its primitive seat between the Caspian and the Euxine, as far as Lapland itself; and, since the Huns were confessedly Tartars, we may conclude, that all the northern languages, except the Gothick, had a Tartarian origin, like that universally ascribed to the various branches of Sclavonian.