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the fables of old Greece, Italy, Persia, India, he derives from the north ; and it must be owned, that he maintains his paradox with acuteness and learning. Great learning and great acuteness, together with the charms of a most engaging style, were indeed necessary to render even tolerable a system, which places an earthly paradise, the gardens of Hesperus, the islands of the Macares, the groves of Elysium, if not of Eden, the heaven of INDRA, the Peristàn, or fairy-land, of the Persian poets, with its city of diamonds and its country of Shádcàm, so named from Pleasure and Love, not in any climate, which the common sense of mankind considers as the seat of delights, but beyond the mouth of the Oby, in the Frozen Sea, in a region equalled only by that, where the wild imagination of DANTE led him to fix the worst of criminals in a state of punishment after death, and of which he could not, he says, even think without shivering. A
very curious passage in a tract of PLUTARCH on the figure in the Moon's orb, naturally induced M. BAILLY to place Ogygia in the north, and he concludes that island, as others have concluded rather fallaciously, to be the Atlantis of PLATO, but is at a loss to determine, whether it was Island or Grænland, Spitzberg or New Zembla:
many charms it was difficult, indeed, to give a pre
ference ; but our philosopher, though as much perplexed by an option of beauties as the shepherd of Ida, seems on the whole to think Zembla the most worthy of the golden fruit; because it is indisputably an island, and lies opposite to å gulph near a continent, from which a great number of rivers descend into the ocean. He appears equally distressed among five nations, real and imaginary, to fix upon that, which the Greeks named Atlantes ; and his conclusion in both cases must remind us of the showman at Eton, who, having pointed out in his box all the crowned heads of the world, and being asked by the schoolboys, who looked through the glass, which was the Emperor, which the Pope, which the Sultan, and which the Great Mogul, answered eagerly, 'which you please, young
gentlemen, which you please.' His letters, bowever, to VOLTAIRE, in which he unfolds his new system to his friend, whom he had not been able to convince, are by no means to be derided; and his general proposition, that arts and sciences had their source in Tartary, deferves a longer examination than can be given to it in this discourse : I shall, nevertheless, with your permission, shortly discuss the question under the several heads, that will present theme felves in order.
Although we may naturally suppose, that the
numberless communities of Tartars, some of whom are established in great cities, and some encamped on plains in ambulatory mansions, which they remove from pasture to pasture, must be as different in their features as in their dialects, yet, among those who have not emigrated into another country and mixed with another nation, we may discern a family likeness, efpecially in their eyes and countenance, and in that configuration of lineaments, which we generally call a Tartar face; but, without making anxious inquiries, whether all the inhabitants of the vast region before described have similar features, we may conclude from those, whom we have seen, and from the original portraits of TAIMU'R and his descendants, that the Tartars in general differ wholly in complexion and countenance from the Hindus and from the Arabs; an obfervation, which tends in some degree to confirm the account given by modern Tartars themselves of their descent from a common ancestor. Unhappily their lineage cannot be proved by authentick pedigrees or historical monuments ; for all their writings extant, even those in the Mogul dialect, are long subsequent to the time of MUHAMMED; nor is it possible to distinguish their genuine traditions from those of the Arabs, whose religious opinions they have in general adopted. At the beginning of the
fourteenth century, Khwajah Rashi'd, surnamed FAD'LU'LLAH, a native of Kazvin; compiled his account of the Tartars and Mongals from the papers of one Pu’L A'd, whom the great grandson of HOLACU' had sent into Tátáristàn for the sole purpose of collecting historical information; and the commission itself shows, how little the Tartarian Princes really knew of their own origin. From this work of Rashi'd, and from other materials, ABU'LGHA'Zi, King of Kbwárezm, composed in the Mogul language his Genealogical History, which, having been purchased from a merchant of Bokbárà by some Swedish officers, prisoners of war in Siberia, has found its
into several European tongues : it contains much valuable matter, but, like all MuHAMMEDAN histories, exhibits tribes or nations as individual fovereigns; and, if Baron De Tort had not strangely neglected to procure a copy of the Tartarian history, for the original of which he unnecessarily offered a large sum, we should probably have found, that it begins with an account of the deluge taken from the Korán, and proceeds to rank Turc, Chi'n, Tata'r, and MONGAL, among the fons of YA'Fer. The genuine traditional history of the Tartars, in all the books that I have inspected, seems to begin with Oghu'z, as that of the Hindus does with RA'MA: they place their miraculous Hero and
Patriarch four thousand years before CHENGIZ Kuan, who was born in the year 1164, and with whose reign their historical period commences. It is rather surprizing, that M. BAILLY, who makes frequent appeals to Etymological arguments, has not derived OGYGES from OGHU'z and AȚLAS from Altai, or the Golden mountain of Tartary: the Greek terminations might have been rejected from both words; and a mere transposition of letters is no difficulty with an Etymologist.
My remarks in this address, gentlemen, will be confined to the period preceding Chengiz; and, although the learned labours of M. DE. Guignes and the fathers VISDELOU, DEMAILLA, and GAUBIL, who have made an incomparable use of their Chinese literature, exhibit proþable accounts of the Tartars from a very early age, yet the old historians of China were not only foreign, but generally hostile, to them, and for both those reasons, either through ignorance or malignity, may be suspected of misrepresenting their transactions: if they speak truth, the ancient history of the Tartars presents us, like most other histories, with a series of assassinations, plots, treasons, massacres, and all the natural fruits of selfish ambition. I should have no inclination to give you a sketch of such hosrors, even if the occasion called for it; and will