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migrated at first in three great colonies; and that those three branches grew from a common stock, which had been miraculously preserved in a general convulsion and inundation of this globe.
Having arrived by a different path at the same conclusion with Mr. BRYANT as to one of thofe families, the most ingenious and enterprising of the three, but arrogant, cruel, and idolatrous, which we both conclude to be various shoots from the Hamian or Amonian branch, I shall add but little to my former observations on his profound and agreeable work, which I have thrice perused with increased attention and pleasure, though not with perfect acquiescence in the other less important parts of his plausible system. The sum of his arguinent seems reducible to three heads. First; “ if the deluge “ really happened at the time recorded by “ Moses, those nations, whose monuments are “preserved or whose writings are accessible, “ must have retained memorials of an event so • ftupendous and comparatively so recent; but “ in fact they have retained such memorials :' this reasoning seems just, and the fact is true beyond controversy: Secondly; “ those memorials
were expressed by the race of HAM, before " the use of letters, in rude sculpture or painting, and mostly in fymbolical figures of the ark, the eight persons concealed in it, and the
birds, which first were disiniffed from it: this “ fact is probable, but, I think, not sufficiently “ ascertained.” Thirdly;
“ all ancient Mytho“ logy (except what was purely Sabian) had “ its primary source in those various symbols
misunderstood; so that ancient Mythology “ stands now in the place of symbolical sculpture
or painting, and must be explained on the “ same principles, on which we should begin to “ decypher the originals, if they now existed :" this part of the system is, in my opinion, carried too far; nor can I persuade myself (to give one instance out of many) that the beautiful allegory of CUPID and Psyche had the remotest allusion to the deluge, or that Hymen signified the veil, which covered the patriarch and his family. These propositions, however, are supported with great ingenuity and solid erudition, but, unprofitably for the argument, and unfortunately, perhaps, for the fame of the work itself, recourse is had to etymological conjecture, than which no mode of reasoning is in general weaker or more delusive. He, who professes to derive the words of
any one language from those of another, must expose himself to the danger of perpetual errours, unless he be perfectly acquainted with both; yet my respectable friend, though eminently skilled in the idioms of Greece and Rome, has no sort
of acquaintance with any Afiatick dialect, ex-
that after a diligent search, I cannot find a single word used in common by the Arabian, Indian, and Tartar families, before the intermixture of dialects occasioned by Mohammedan conquests. There are, indeed, very obvious traces of the Hamian language, and some hundreds of words might be produced, which were formerly used promiscuously by most nations of that race; but I beg leave, as a philologer, to enter my protest against conjectural etymology in historical researches, and principally against the licentiousness of etymologists in transposing and inserting letters, in substituting at pleasure
consonant for another of the same order, and in totally disregarding the vowels : for such
permutations few radical words would be more convenient than Cus or Cush, since, dentals being changed for dentals, and palatials for palatials, it instantly becomes coot, goose, and, by transposition, duck, all water-birds, and evidently fymbolical ; it next is the goat worshipped in Egypt, and, by a metathesis, the dog adored as an emblem of SIRIUS, or, more obviously, a cat, not the domestick animal, but a sort of ship, and, the Catos, or great fea-fish, of the Dorians. It will hardly be imagined, that I mean by this irony to insult an author, whom I respect and esteem ; but no consideration should induce me to assist by my silence in the diffusion of errour; and I contend, that almost any word or nation might be derived from any other, if such licences, as I am opposing, were permitted in etymological histories: when we find, indeed, the fame words, letter for letter, and in a fense precisely the fame, in different languages, we can scarce hesitate in allowing them a common origin; and, not to depart from the example before us, when we fee Cush or Cus (for the Sanscrit name also is variously pronounced) among the sons of BRAHMA, that is, among the progenitors of the Hindus, and at the head of an ancient pedigree preserved in the Rámáyan ; when we meet with
his name again in the family of RA'M A ; when we know, that the name is venerated in the highest degree, and given to a sacred grass, described as a Poa by KOENIG, which is used with a thousand ceremonies in the oblations to fire, ordained by Menu to form the sacrificial zone of the Brábmans, and folemnly declared in the Véda to have sprung up soon after the deluge, whence the Pauránicks consider it as the bristly bair of the boar which supported the globe; when we add, that one of the seven dwipas, or great peninsulas of this earth, has the same
appellation, we can hardly doubt that the Cusu of Moses and VA'LMIC was the same personage and an ancestor of the Indian race.
From the testimonies adduced in the fix last annual discourses, and from the additional proofs laid before you, or rather opened, on the present occasion, it seems to follow, that the only human family after the flood established themselves in the northern parts of Iràn; that, as they multiplied, they were divided into three diftinct branches, each retaining little at first, and losing the whole by degrees, of their common primary language, but agreeing severally on new expreffions for new ideas ; that the branch of Y A'FET was enlarged in many scattered shoots over the north of Europe and Asia, diffusing themselves as far as the western and eaftern feas, and, at