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and lar way of pronouncing the aspirate, the letter G might intrude itself. It is not at variance with Buxtorf's definition of the Gutturals, “Literae gutturis sive gutturales quia spiritum valent qui in gutture formatur’ It is not an opinion resting solely on the authority of Buxtorf. Dr. Wilson in his Elements of Hebrew Grammar, published at Edinburgh 1802, speaking of this letter, says, “Others maintain that it is a strong and deep guttural, equal to three h’s.’ Is not this recognizing the “spiriTus asperRIMUs 2° and though the author declares himself of the opinion that O is the proper power of the letter, yet as he assigns no better reason for rejecting the aspirated pronunciation than that he Hopes on Account of THE DIFFICULTY of THE sound, AND THE GREAT NUMBER of GUTTURALs already in the alphabet, that that is not the true sound, the reader will perhaps be of opinion that there is not MUcH of ARGUMENT to refute. If it be said that there is nothing in the Septuagint that authorizes this sound, the answer is that there is no reason to believe that the sound now spoken of was known to the Greeks, and, consequently, they had no character to express it; though it is certain that they had accents in their language, and what their power was, no one after the lapse of so many ages can tell. Having therefore on the authority of Buxtorf declared our preference of the spIRITUs AsperRIMUs, which, it appears, the advocates for another system have not been entirely able to do without, as in Terry's account of Pihel, Puhal, &c., the reader will excuse the trespassing on his patience, if something be subjoined respecting the G, stated by Lyttelton, on the authority of Scaliger, to have been improperly admitted into the names Gomorrah and Gaza; and the assigning the reason of this, if at all possible, must be done by pursuing that track which has brought the reader to this point of the argument; for it will be recollected that it has been shown on the authority of those who have contended for the sound like gn, that gutturals may likewise be quiescents; that some of them, aleph and he, are admitted to be such ; from proper names, as given in the Septuagint, it appears that the power given to y either must be said to depend upon the Masoretic point placed beneath it, or that it is the point that is sounded, and not the letter; that in no instance sufficiently authenticated does the sound ng or gn occur, and that those who contend for that pronunciation, or for that of O, are driven to gross inconsistencies that may almost be said to annihilate their hypothesis. Buxtorf, a man inferior to none in Hebraic learning, has assigned a different power to the letter; a power which removes some of the difficulties of former schemes; and if more accurate descriptions of it do not occur, it may be attributed to the impossibility of giving the due sound perfectly ; but - - a
which, it is conceived, as far as it can be given, accords with that found in an European language deriving part of its language from Eastern nations, and not improbably some of its peculiarities of enunciation also. This, it is conceived, has been done. The author of these pages, who rather seeks to draw forth the learning of others, than to create an exalted and erroneous opinion of his own, has not the arrogance to say that he defies all the learning" of the kingdom to refute the system for which he contends, or the arguments by which he supports it. Some Hebraic Porson may perhaps from sources unknown to HIM draw forth intelligence that shall consign these pages to oblivion. In this. event he will at least have this consolation in his defeat, that he retires from the conflict wiser than he entered it. But to proceed: it has been already observed that the Spaniards gave a high aspirated sound to X; a sound nearly similar was also given to G; whence they gained this sound, it is now impossible to discover; but, however, it certainly existed in those words which are supposed to be of eastern origin. Now, as it is known that after the year 1040, immense numbers of Jews, driven out of Mesopotamia, settled in Spain, would it be deemed too fanciful an hypothesis to say, that the spiritus AspenRIMUs of y might resolve itself into G, and thus form Gomorrah and Gaza, and that the same SPIRITUs AsperRIMUs is found in the language of Spain, into which country many Jews fled for refuge, carrying with them. their learning and their customs, and perhaps some peculiarities of their language 2 For the reader will, doubtless, recollect how many sources there were whence Oriental modes might find admittance into Spain, the origin of the people themselves: the invasion by the Moors who remained in the country from about the year 720, to the time of our Henry the Seventh ; during whose stay there, it was occasionally the policy of the Calyphs to send large colonies of Jews into the country, who settled there: the vicinity of Spain to the African coast: and lastly, what was mentioned above, the persecutions of the Jews in Mesopotamia, which drove many of them into Spain. Whether they adopted the oriental part of the language from Phoenicians, Arabians, or Jews, it is needless to inquire; but incredulity itself will surely allow that it was scarcely possible that these languages, being thus introduced, should not in some degree insinuate themselves, to say the least of the influence they would have, into the original or vernacular language of the country, whatever that might be. To the above considerations may be added, that the high aspirated sound of X and G exist AT THIs MoMENT in some of the Eastern languages; and that those who have been conversant with the Eastern languages, have afterwards found the high aspirate used in the Spanish language familiar to them, from their being conversant with those of the East. To instance one: the language of Arabia may be selected from many to which the observation applies. Now as it is the opinion of many learned men that almost all the languages of the East are derived from the Hebrew, and that as early as the period when the Septuagint, or at least that part of it which was called the Law, was formed, the SPIRITUs AsPERRIMUs y took the aspirate G as in Gomorrah and Gaza; does not this form a concatenation of evidence, corroborating the opinion of Buxtorf, that the true power of y is the SPIRITUs AsPERRIMUs 2 and that the spiritus AsperRIMUs might resolve itself in some instances into a G, as in Gomorrah and Gaza, as it is found in some modern languages that G is sounded with a high aspirate As the rough breathing of the Greeks in some instances became H, as in Hector, Hamadryad, &c. and in others S, as in semi, super, &c. Thus then, to trace the argument from the beginning to the end, it amounts to this: that those who contend for the power of y as O, or as ng or gn, are grossly inconsistent, and are obliged to depart from their system, in order to accommodate themselves to those impediments which they meet with in their own schemes. That Buxtorf has given to this letter a power which UNDER No cIRcuMSTANces he is obliged to abandon. That this power is found, as exactly as the nature of two languages admits, retained in the earliest mode of giving the proper names of the Old Testament, that is to say, in the Septuagint translation of “The law.” That this power accounts for any seeming difficulty in the orthography of words beginning with G, in the Septuagint, which in the Hebrew begin with y. That many eastern languages give to their corresponding letter the sound claimed for y, and for G which represents it. And that the same sound of G is found in a living language, notoriously derived, as to that part which respects the sound of G, from the languages of the east. For the above reasons, the author of these pages conceives himself justified in declaring, that, as far as his judgment enables him to determine, the opinion of Buxtorf is the Most likely To Be
* See Prideaux's Connexion, Part 1. Vol. II. page 472. His words are these: ‘For about the year 1940, all their schools in Mesopotamia, where only they enjoyed these high titles, (Seburaim and Germin) being destroyed, and all their learned men thence expelled and driven out by the Mahometan princes, who then governed in those parts, they have since that, with the greatest number of their people, flocked into these western parts, especially into Spain, France, and England.”
From the Charge of Puerility imputed to him by Dr. Pearce, in his Notes on Longinus; AN ESSAY
- Read to a Literary Society in Glasgow, at their weekly Meetings within the College,
BY JAMES MOOR, LL.D.
Fragili quaerensillidere dentem
In a passage of Longinus, where he is describing that fault in writing, which he calls a Puerility, Dr. Pearce, in his note to illustrate the definition, gives an example of one very palpable. puerility, as he thinks, in Virgil-‘Ni fallor, (says he) optimus ille AEneidos auctor semel hujus vitii arguendus est.” The passage in Virgil is to this purpose: the oracle had ordered AEneas to gp and settle in the original mother-country of the Trojans ;
Antiquam erquirite matrem. Anchises understood that to be Crete; from whence their old king Teucer had come, with a colony, to Troy. AEneas sails to Crete,
* There seems good reason to suspect that the mode of pronunciation adopted by the modern Jews, is widely different from that of the early ages. But the modern method should no more be considered as the criterion by which to judge of the old, than modern Greek can be considered, as deciding any question respecting the Greek of Thucydides or of Aristotle; either language has undergone such changes, as entirely to destroy the original character of it; and even in living languages, in our own for instance, not only in the phraseology, but in the sound also, such change has occurred, that, perhaps, if Chaucer could have heard the language of Pope, it would have been unintelligible to him; and, most probably, the same may be said of the difference between the Hebrew of David and that of the Rabbis of the present day."
and begins a settlement there; but being soon terrified by a pestilence and famine, resolves to consult the oracle again. Meantime, the Penates, or Tutelar Gods of Troy, explain to him, in a vision, that the oracle meant he should settle in Italy, the
mother-country of Dardanus, who was their first, and original, anceStor.
Genus a quo Principe nostrum; Teucer having come later than he, and united the two families by marriage. Upon this, Anchises acknowledges his mistake; - Agnorit prolem ambiguam, geminosque Parentes; Seque novo veterum deceptum errore locorum.
On these two epithets, novo veterum, Dr. Pearce makes this remark: “Prae mimio studio proferendi Antitheti, scripsit novo, nullo, opinor, sensu; novo enim veterum respondet; sed nihil sententiae addit; imo puerilibus illam ingeniis quam virilibus aptiorem efficit.” Here, says he, Virgil joins the epithet novo to errore, without any meaning, (nullo sensus) because, to wit, Anchises had made no second mistake, he had only once explained the oracle; and so, says the Doctor, novo, taken by itself, respondet, makes a see-saw with veterum; but, until you come to join it with its substantive, errore, it conveys no meaning at all: he might fairly have said, it conveys a false meaning, and probably would have said so, but that he is guided a little here, in his opinion, by Servius, who softens the matter thus; sane aut per contrarietatem sermonis declaravit, aut novo pro magno posuit.” This criticism, when the import of it is fully considered, amounts to as heavy a charge upon Virgil, as ever, perhaps, was brought against any, even the most contemptible, writer; for though the circumstances of the thing to be told here, had really in themselves contained any such opposition, as might present to the imagination of the poet some antithesis of expression, yet to have wrought that up, or even to have let it slip into such a see-saw as this, would have been a levity, utterly unworthy of Virgil, and altogether unbecoming the dignity and importance of the subject. But the case here is far worse; Virgil has not even the excuse of inadvertency, no circumstance could give occasion to this antithesis; for Anchises had made but one mistake. Yet right or wrong, it seems, the poet was determined to introduce it; and since it did not naturally grow out of the subject, he resolved to ingraft it upon it. Lastly, and to complete all, his genius is as barren as his taste is bad; he is not able to execute his intention, low as it is: he cannot even make out this same little small antithetical prettiness, which, as the Doctor says, he had set his heart upon, (nimio studio proferendi antitheti,) and it is, after all, but the embryo of an antithesis, no sooner conceived than dead. At the beginning of the verse, he makes you expect it, but before the end of it, he