« PreviousContinue »
Amidst a variety of observations contained in this Essay, the author elucidates, by several examples, an affinity between the Greek and Galic languages. Some of them, it must be confefled, appear fo extraordinary as to justify the conjecture that one of these tongues has really been indebted for no few of its formatives to the other. We shall content ourselves with selecting the subsequent instance.
• BE, in the Galic language, fignifies life : but it is used to denote the means of subistence; which bearing obviously the most intimate relation to life, acquires, in a figurative fense, the appellation proper, in its primitive acceptation, to life simply. When a stranger happens to enter the house of a modern Caledonian at meal-time, the landlord addresses him with the words 'S e do bbe, which literally signify, It is thy life, but import an invitation to come and partake of the family fare, or victuals, as the support of life.
• It may occur to the learned in the Greek language, that the Galic word Be is the root of the Greek noun Blos, which fignifics life, and also fuftenance. It will be remarked also, that Boos is used to signify a bow, which was the chief inftrument used by the primitive societies of temperate climes in procuring the means of supporting life. The Greek word Box, which fignifies firength, is used by the Caledonians to denote viciuals. Thus the word Bia, which with the original inventors of the Celtic or Galic language denoted viduels, was by the Greeks used to signify strength; a quality depending upon the possession of the means of subsistence.'
In the comparative investigation of the two languages, Mr. Grant makes no scruple to assign to the Galic the honour of superior antiquity. He contends, as some other writers have done, that both the Greek and Latin languages are of Celtic original; and that to find the true etymon in many words of each, the Galic or Celtic roots must be consulted, and their combinations analysed. As we have not the pleasure of being acquainted with this ancient language, it is impoflible for us to trace the alleged fimilitude any farther than we find it confirmed by Mr. Grant's observations. But we must acknowlege, from the number of instances which he has produced, that his opinion seems to be strongly supported.
Through the several remaining Essays contained in this vo. lume Mr. Grant pursues his inveitigation with much ingenuity. He adheres to nature in developing the gradual progress of inftitutions respecting property, government, jurisdiction, and civil contracts; and he strengthens his own observations with the remarks of other writers on those subjects.
A Review of Part of Risdon's Survey of Devon ; containing the
General Description of that County ; with Corrections, Annotations, and Additions. By the late William Chapple, of Exeter. 410. 6s. in Boards. Thorn, Exeter. ROM á neat, well-written Life of Mr. Chapple, prefixed
to this volume, we perceive that he was a man whose in dustry and attention were fully equal to the work which he. had undertaken ; and we have little doubt but that he would have produced a valuable edition of a book at present almost obsolete, and scarcely to be purchased. At the same time, with all our regard for attentive and accurate enquiry, we do not approve of his specimen : his labour is misapplied, and his attention has been misdirected. He is so careful and exact to render Risdon intelligible, and so anxious left his additions fhould be confounded with the original work, that his language is read with difficulty: he is even obscure from his cagerness to explain. But to those who can forget an ungraceful manner when they receive instruction, this Review will be an useful companion. The text is collated with the most va. luable manuscripts; omissions are restored, and errors amended. We need not say that the notes are full, for Mr. Chapple feems not to have been sparing of his pains in any thing he undertook; and indeed if he was as earnest to procure information, as we find him to be in conveying it, with the most minute precision, no life could have been long enough for his work; for, like-Sterne, he must have lived faster than he could pola fibly have written.
Devonshire, though rich and fertile in many respects, has not yet produced a natural historian, whose affection to his native foil has led him to examine and describe its productions. The little which Mr. Chapple mentions in his general account is so unsatisfactory, that curiosity is rather raised than grati. fied. The following note, however, on the load-fione, we fhall extract, for its utility,
• Our author's words here are; - for it directs the needle of the failor's compass to the North, being but touched therewith ;' and indeed when he wrote, it had litele deviation froin it, and that little was then rather easterly, than wefterly as at prefent: but it is now well known that the very variation (as tis called) of the magnetic needle, is itself continually vary. ing, both with respect to time and place; being different in different places at the same time, and at different times in the same place; and though it was formerly easterly, the needle has long since passed the north point, and in this part of the world now declines many degrees to the west thereof. The vam Vol. LX. Sept. 1785.
194 Chapple's Review of Rijdon's Survey of Devor. riation here at Exeter and in its neighbourhood is at present, (viz. in November 1772,) no less than 22 degrees and 3 quarters westerly, as I have found by accurate observations ; so that here, the needle, at this time, points nearly north-north-west, and this its variation or declination is continually increafing, (perhaps more regularly than is generally supposed,) at the rate of about one degree, or a very trifle more, in 6 years ; as is evident from a comparison of the present with the former obfervations made at Exeter for more than 50 years paft: for in 1718, a judicious observer found it to be here 13° 20' westerly; on the 20th of May 1762, I found it increased to 21 degrees; and now to at least 22 as above; fo that in 1780, we may expect it to become full 24 degrees.-This hint, 'tis presumed, will not be deemed impertinent in a work of this kind; and may not be unacceptable to some readers, whose business may occafionally require the use of the magnetic needle, in these western parts; or whose curiosity may prompt them to compare
these with future observations of their own The account of Cornwall is almost wholly the work of Mr. Chapple ; but we find little in it which is very useful or interesting, as the greater part relates to its ancient history, in which there is much uncertainty, and fome fable. We shall select Mr. Chapple’s Philippic against China, as a specimen of his very peculiar inanner.
• This mimic silver was much esteemed by the ancients, who properly judged of its value from its uses and its beauty : whence we may infer, they were strangers to the capricious taste of some moderns, who fancy their tables and beaufeats more elegantly adorned by the far-fetched and dear-bought manufactures of the Chinese, than by the more useful and convenient, but much less expensive utensils that might be had for the same purposes nearer home. These, however conducive their purchase to the support of their poor neighbours, can expect no quarter with those, who prefer a collection of China even to the most fuperb services of well-wrought plate : despising the curious workmanship of the latter, which fuperadds new beauties to its native luftre; but admiring the moist and foapy glofs of the former, and charmed with its deformities and blemishes; especially if it be (as it commonly is,) Itained and disfigured by the clumsy drawings of unnatural monsters and pagods, whose uglinesses the more forcibly strike the offended eye by the vividity of their colours, and the reflection of a sort of horrible glare froin the eyes and scales of serpents and dragons depicted on the vitrified surface. But fashion gives a fanction to the greatet absurdities, and progresively communicates its infection from the great vulgar to the little. Hence our yeomanry aukwardly aping the gentry, no longer, like their frugal ancestors, conf ne their solicitude to satisfy the demands of necessity and conveniency; but lavish the advanced income
of The ca
of their farms (acquired by the greater dearth of their produces and too often from the unrewarded coil of their half-paid and half-starved labourers) to obtain a share in the vanities and fol. lies of their superiors: sacrificing folid advantages to empty trifles and useless baubles; and common prudence to the ridiculous affectation of a false though fashionable taite. pacious tankard of double-racked cyder, or wholesome, though home-brewed, October beer, improved by the addition of a nutbrown toast, with which, and perhaps a broiled rasher or a steak of hung beef, the hospitable Franklin of the last century could regale himself, his neighbours, and friends, -are now rejected for a complete set of tea-tackle and a fugar-loaf; the bounties of Ceres and Pomona undervalued ; and the dispiriting infusion of the leaves of an Asiatic shrub, preferred to the exhilerating beverage derived from the red-streak apple-tree or the barley mow. The glittering rows of plates and platters, which of yore adorned the dresser and shelves of the neat and oeconomic house-wife, give place to frangible earthen dihes and faucers, less fit for their purposes than even the wooden Trénchers in use before the neglect to cultivate and preserve our timber made more work for the miners, pewterers, and cutlers. But glazed earthen plates must now dull the edges of our knives; and the country 'squire, to keep a step higher than his neighbouring farmers, to please his modish madam, and escape being censured as a tasteless churl, muft prefer the brittlenels and frailty of Dresden porcelain to the solidity and permanence of Danmonian pewter.'
The editor wishes to have continued the work, if a proper affiftant could have been procured. But, as Risdon's Survey is much mutilated, and very scarce, we would recommend the re-publication of one of the best manuscripts, probably that of Mr. Southcombe, of Rose-Afh, which appears to have been the property of Mr. Giles Risdon, our author's eldest son, to. gether with the notes and corrections by Mr. Chapple, which itill remain. In this way, with little labour, the public may obtain an accurate account of the ancient state of the very respectable county which was the object of our author's re. view.
Landscapes in Verje. Taken in Spring. By the Author of Sym
pathy. Second Edition. 4to. 25. 6d. Becket. T Heodorus, an enthufiaft in love and poetry, is introduced
as bewailing the absence of his Cleone, and drawing a melancholy kind of satisfaction, which fenfibility only can teel or conceive, from reflecting on the object of his paffion, and contemplating the rural scenes around him. He hails the deep folitude,
Sacred to love, to silence, to Cleone."
• Come, with Imagination's pregnant store
Unblemish'd from the tomb, in all their charms.' We object but to one word in the above passage, and that we hould have suspected to have been owing to an error in the press, had it not been retained in the second edition : for know'st, in the ninth line, we must read knows, to render it grammatical. Theodorus proceeds farther to invoke Fancy, and illuftrates her power by imagining Cleone present, and participating with him the pleasure which natural objects afford to the contemplative and sentimental mind. As they relt awhile on the skyey summit,' he introduces a description, which those who have loved will undoubtedly feel, of the pleasures arising from a mutual affection.
The joy of admiration undifturb’d ;-
More than the hurricane the bending reed ;'They proceed to trace the “ varied beauties of the vale ;” and then, under the inspiration of Fancy, now introduced as feated on the hill,' he' etches' the vernal landscape in such a manner as proves that the deity, so often introduced, has not been offended with our author's frequent invocation. After having exhibited a picturesque delineation of various objects, he hears 7