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Title: Chips from a German Workshop - Volume IV - Essays chiefly on the Science of Language
Author: Müller, F. Max (Friedrich Max), 1823-1900
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Transcriber’s Note:

This e-text uses characters that require UTF-8 (Unicode) file encoding,
including accented Greek and a number of letters used in Sanskrit

  œ  [oe ligature]
  θεός, Ζεύς, ἐπίῤῥημα  [Greek]

  ś Ś  [s with “acute” accent]
  ṭ ḍ ṇ ṛ ḷ ṃ ḥ  Ṛ  [letters with under-dot]
  ấ î́ û́ ṛ́  [letters with multiple diacritics, especially vowels with
    both acute and circumflex]

  ā ē ī ō ū  [vowel with macron or “long” mark]
  ă ĕ ĭ ŭ Ĭ [vowel with breve or “short” mark]
    [The book generally used circumflex accents to represent long
    vowels. Anomalies are individually noted.]

  ů  [u with small o, used in one Middle High German passage]
  ȩ  [e with cedilla, used in this e-text to represent an unavailable
    Old Norse letter]
  †  [dagger, used only in a few Index entries]

If any of these characters do not display properly--in particular, if
the diacritic does not appear directly above the letter--or if the
apostrophes and quotation marks in this paragraph appear as garbage,
make sure your text reader’s “character set” or “file encoding” is set
to Unicode (UTF-8). You may also need to change the default font.
Depending on available fonts, some tables may not line up vertically.
As a last resort, use the Latin-1 version of the file instead.

In the combined forms ấ ế û́ ṛ́ the acute accent may display after (to the
right of) the main letter; this by itself is not a problem. The text
also contains the single Hebrew word גְּרֵיים [gerim], and one brief passage
uses Devanagari letters:

  क (k)
  च (c, the voiceless palatal)
  ज (j, the voiced palatal)
  श (ś)

These may be ignored if everything else displays as intended.

The Sanskrit transliteration system is explained at the end of the
e-text, before the Errata.

Italic text is shown with _lines_. Bold (only in the Colebrooke
Appendix) and “gesperrt” (spaced-out) are shown with +marks+.

Note that Chapters VI-IX in the table of contents are labeled VII-X
in the body text. Typographical errors are listed at the end of the

[Latin-1: revert to {t} {n} {d} {l} {ri} {s}]




  Foreign Member of the French Institute, etc.

  With Index to Vols III. and IV.

  [_Published by arrangement with the Author._]

  Riverside, Cambridge:
  +Stereotyped and Printed by+
  H. O. Houghton and Company.


  Dean of Westminster,
  as a Token of
  Gratitude and Friendship


  One Who Has for Many Years Admired
  His Loyalty to Truth,
  His Singleness of Purpose,
  His Chivalrous Courage,
  His Unchanging Devotion to His Friends.



     I. Inaugural Lecture, On the Value of Comparative Philology
          as a branch of Academic Study, delivered before the
          University of Oxford, 1868                                   1
        Note A. On the Final Dental of the Pronominal Stem _tad_      43
        Note B. Did Feminine Bases in _â_ take _s_ in the
          Nominative Singular?                                        45
        Note C. Grammatical Forms in Sanskrit corresponding to
          so-called Infinitives in Greek and Latin                    47

    II. Rede Lecture, Part I. On the Stratification of Language,
          delivered before the University of Cambridge, 1868          63
        Rede Lecture, Part II. On Curtius’ Chronology of the
          Indo-Germanic Languages, 1875                              111

   III. Lecture on the Migration of Fables, delivered at the
          Royal Institution, June 3, 1870 (Contemporary Review,
          July, 1870)                                                139
        Appendix. On Professor Benfey’s Discovery of a Syriac
          Translation of the Indian Fables                           181
        Notes                                                        188

    IV. Lecture on the Results of the Science of Language,
          Delivered before the University of Strassburg, May 23,
          1872 (Contemporary Review, June, 1872)                     199
        Note A. θεός and Deus                                        227
        Note B. The Vocative of Dyaús and Ζεύς                       230
        Note C. Aryan Words occurring in Zend but not in
          Sanskrit                                                   235

     V. Lecture on Missions, delivered in Westminster Abbey,
          December 3, 1873                                           238
        Note A. Passages shewing the Missionary Spirit of
          Buddhism                                                   267
        Note B. The Schism in the Brahma-Samâj                       269
        Note C. Extracts from Keshub Chunder Sen’s Lectures          272
        Dr. Stanley’s Introductory Sermon on Christian Missions      276
        On the Vitality of Brahmanism, Postscript to the Lecture
          on Missions (Fortnightly Review, July, 1874)               296

    VI. Address on the Importance of Oriental Studies, delivered
          at the International Congress of Orientalists in
          London, 1874                                               317
        Notes                                                        355

   VII. Life of Colebrooke, with Extracts from his Manuscript
          Notes on Comparative Philology (Edinburgh Review,
          October, 1872)                                             359

  VIII. Reply to Mr. Darwin (Contemporary Review, January, 1875)     417

    IX. In Self-defense                                              456

        Index to Vols. III. and IV.                                  533




Delivered Before the University of Oxford the 27th of October, 1868.

The foundation of a professorial chair in the University of Oxford marks
an important epoch in the history of every new science.[1] There are
other universities far more ready to confer this academical recognition
on new branches of scientific research, and it would be easy to mention
several subjects, and no doubt important subjects, which have long had
their accredited representatives in the universities of France and
Germany, but which at Oxford have not yet received this well-merited

If we take into account the study of ancient languages only, we see that
as soon as Champollion’s discoveries had given to the study of
hieroglyphics and Egyptian antiquities a truly scientific character, the
French government thought it its duty to found a chair for this
promising branch of Oriental scholarship. Italy soon followed this
generous example: nor was the Prussian government long behind hand in
doing honor to the newborn science, as soon as in Professor Lepsius it
had found a scholar worthy to occupy a chair of Egyptology at Berlin.

If France had possessed the brilliant genius to whom so much is due in
the deciphering of the cuneiform inscriptions, I have little doubt that
long ago a chair would have been founded at the _Collège de France_
expressly for Sir Henry Rawlinson.

England possesses some of the best, if not the best, of Persian scholars
(alas! he who was here in my mind, Lord Strangford, is no longer
among us), yet there is no chair for Persian at Oxford or Cambridge, in
spite of the charms of its modern literature, and the vast importance of
the ancient language of Persia and Bactria, the Zend, a language full of
interest, not only to the comparative philologist, but also to the
student of Comparative Theology.

There are few of the great universities of Europe without a chair for
that language which, from the very beginning of history, as far as it is
known to us, seems always to have been spoken by the largest number of
human beings,--I mean Chinese. In Paris we find not one, but two chairs
for Chinese, one for the ancient, another for the modern language of
that wonderful empire; and if we consider the light which a study of
that curious form of human speech is intended to throw on the nature and
growth of language, if we measure the importance of its enormous
literature by the materials which it supplies to the student of ancient
religions, and likewise to the historian who wishes to observe the
earliest rise of the principal sciences and arts in countries beyond the
influence of Aryan and Semitic civilization,--if, lastly, we take into
account the important evidence which the Chinese language, reflecting,
like a never-fading photograph, the earliest workings of the human mind,
is able to supply to the student of psychology, and to the careful
analyzer of the elements and laws of thought, we should feel less
inclined to ignore or ridicule the claims of such a language to a chair
in our ancient university.[2]

I could go on and mention several other subjects, well worthy of the
same distinction. If the study of Celtic languages and Celtic
antiquities deserves to be encouraged anywhere, it is surely in
England,--not, as has been suggested, in order to keep English
literature from falling into the abyss of German platitudes, nor to put
Aneurin and Taliesin in the place of Shakespeare and Burns, and to
counteract by their “suavity and brilliancy” the Philistine tendencies
of the Saxon and the Northman, but in order to supply sound materials
and guiding principles to the critical student of the ancient history
and the ancient language of Britain, to excite an interest in what still
remains of Celtic antiquities, whether in manuscripts or in genuine
stone monuments, and thus to preserve such national heir-looms from
neglect or utter destruction. If we consider that Oxford possesses a
Welsh college, and that England possesses the best of Celtic scholars,
it is surely a pity that he should have to publish the results of his
studies in the short intervals of official work at Calcutta, and not in
the more congenial atmosphere of Rytichin.

For those who know the history of the ancient universities of England,
it is not difficult to find out why they should have been less inclined
than their continental sisters to make timely provision for the
encouragement of these and other important branches of linguistic
research. Oxford and Cambridge, as independent corporations, withdrawn
alike from the support and from the control of the state, have always
looked upon the instruction of the youth of England as their proper
work; and nowhere has the tradition of classical learning been handed
down more faithfully from one generation to another than in England;
nowhere has its generous spirit more thoroughly pervaded the minds of
statesmen, poet, artists, and moulded the character of that large and
important class of independent and cultivated men, without which this
country would cease to be what it has been for the last two centuries,
a _res publica_, a commonwealth, in the best sense of the word. Oxford
and Cambridge have supplied what England expected or demanded, and as
English parents did not send their sons to learn Chinese or to study
Cornish, there was naturally no supply where there was no demand. The
professorial element in the university, the true representative of
higher learning and independent research, withered away; the tutorial
assumed the vastest proportions during this and the last centuries.

But looking back to the earlier history of the English universities,
I believe it is a mistake to suppose that Oxford, one of the most
celebrated universities during the Middle Ages and in the modern history
of Europe, could ever have ignored the duty, so fully recognized by
other European universities, of not only handing down intact, and laid
up, as it were, in a napkin, the traditional stock of human knowledge,
but of constantly adding to it, and increasing it fivefold and tenfold.
Nay, unless I am much mistaken, there was really no university in which
more ample provision had been made by founders and benefactors than at
Oxford, for the support and encouragement of a class of students who
should follow up new lines of study, devote their energies to work
which, from its very nature, could not be lucrative or even
self-supporting, and maintain the fame of English learning, English
industry, and English genius in that great and time-honoured republic of
learning which claims the allegiance of the whole of Europe, nay, of the
whole civilized world. That work at Oxford and Cambridge was meant to be
done by the Fellows of Colleges. In times, no doubt, when every kind of
learning was in the hands of the clergy, these fellowships might seem to
have been intended exclusively for the support of theological students.
But when other studies, once mere germs and shoots on the tree of
knowledge, separated from the old stem and assumed an independent
growth, whether under the name of natural science, or history, or
scholarship, or jurisprudence, a fair division ought to have been made
at once of the funds which, in accordance with the letter, it may be,
but certainly not with the spirit of the ancient statutes, have remained
for so many years appropriated to the exclusive support of theological
learning, if learning it could be called. Fortunately, that mistake has
now been remedied, and the funds originally intended, without
distinction, for the support of “true religion and useful learning,” are
now again more equally apportioned among those who, in the age in which
we live, have divided and subdivided the vast intellectual inheritance
of the Middle Ages, in order to cultivate the more thoroughly every nook
and every corner in the boundless field of human knowledge.

Something, however, remains still to be done in order to restore these
fellowships more fully and more efficiently to their original purpose,
and thus to secure to the university not only a staff of zealous
teachers, which it certainly possesses, but likewise a class of
independent workers, of men who, by original research, by critical
editions of the classics, by an acquisition of a scholarlike knowledge
of other languages besides Greek and Latin, by an honest devotion to one
or the other among the numerous branches of physical science, by
fearless researches into the ancient history of mankind, by a careful
collection or revision of the materials for the history of politics,
jurisprudence, medicine, literature, and arts, by a life-long occupation
with the problems of philosophy, and last, not least, by a real study of
theology, or the science of religion, should perform again those duties
which in the stillness of the Middle Ages were performed by learned
friars within the walls of our colleges. Those duties have remained in
abeyance for several generations, and they must now be performed with
increased vigor, in order to retain for Oxford that high position which
it once held, not simply as a place of education, but as a seat of
learning, amid the most celebrated universities of Europe.

“_Noblesse oblige_” is an old saying that is sometimes addressed to
those who have inherited an illustrious name, and who are proud of their
ancestors. But what are the ancestors of the oldest and proudest of
families compared with the ancestors of this university! “_Noblesse
oblige_” applies to Oxford at the present moment more than ever, when
knowledge for its own sake, and a chivalrous devotion to studies which
command no price in the fair of the world, and lead to no places of
emolument in church or state, are looked down upon and ridiculed by
almost everybody.

There is no career in England at the present moment for scholars and
students. No father could honestly advise his son, whatever talent he
might display, to devote himself exclusively to classical, historical,
or physical studies. The few men who still keep up the fair name of
England by independent research and new discoveries in the fields of
political and natural history, do not always come from our universities;
and unless they possess independent means, they cannot devote more than
the leisure hours, left by their official duties in church or state, to
the prosecution of their favorite studies. This ought not to be, nor
need it be so. If only twenty men in Oxford and Cambridge had the will,
everything is ready for a reform, that is, for a restoration of the
ancient glory of Oxford. The funds which are now frittered away in
so-called prize-fellowships, would enable the universities to-morrow to
invite the best talent of England back to its legitimate home. And what
should we lose if we had no longer that long retinue of non-resident
fellows? It is true, no doubt, that a fellowship has been a help in the
early career of many a poor and hard-working man, and how could it be
otherwise? But in many cases I know that it has proved a drag rather
than a spur for further efforts. Students at English universities
belong, as a rule, to the wealthier classes, and England is the
wealthiest country in Europe. Yet in no country in the world would a
young man, after his education is finished, expect assistance from
public sources. Other countries tax themselves to the utmost in order to
enable the largest possible number of young men to enjoy the best
possible education in schools and universities. But when that is done
the community feels that it has fulfilled its duty, and it says to the
young generation, Now swim or drown. A manly struggle against poverty,
it may be even against actual hunger, will form a stronger and sounder
metal than a lotus-eating club-life in London or Paris. Whatever
fellowships were intended to be, they were never intended to be mere
sinecures, as most of them are at present. It is a national blessing
that the two ancient universities of England should have saved such
large funds from the shipwreck that swallowed up the corporate funds of
the continental universities. But, in order to secure their safety for
the future, it is absolutely necessary that these funds should be
utilized again for the advancement of learning. Why should not a
fellowship be made into a career for life, beginning with little, but
rising like the incomes of other professions? Why should the grotesque
condition of celibacy be imposed on a fellowship, instead of the really
salutary condition of--No work, no pay? Why should not some special
literary or scientific work be assigned to each fellow, whether resident
in Oxford or sent abroad on scientific missions? Why, instead of having
fifty young men scattered about in England, should we not have ten of
the best workers in every branch of human knowledge resident at Oxford,
whether as teachers, or as guides, or as examples? The very presence of
such men would have a stimulating and elevating effect: it would show to
the young men higher objects of human ambition than the baton of a
field-marshal, the mitre of a bishop, the ermine of a judge, or the
money bags of a merchant; it would create for the future a supply of new
workers as soon as there was for them, if not an avenue to wealth and
power, at least a fair opening for hard work and proper pay. All this
might be done to-morrow, without any injury to anybody, and with every
chance of producing results of the greatest value to the universities,
to the country, and to the world at large. Let the university continue
to do the excellent work which it does at present as a teacher, but let
it not forget the equally important duty of a university, that of a
worker. Our century has inherited the intellectual wealth of former
centuries, and with it the duty, not only to preserve it or to dole it
out in schools and universities, but to increase it far beyond the
limits which it has reached at present. Where there is no advance, there
is retrogression: rest is impossible for the human mind.

Much of the work, therefore, which in other universities falls to the
lot of the professors, ought, in Oxford, to be performed by a staff of
student-fellows, whose labors should be properly organized as they are
in the Institute of France or in the Academy of Berlin. With or without
teaching, they could perform the work which no university can safely
neglect, the work of constantly testing the soundness of our
intellectual food, and of steadily expanding the realms of knowledge. We
want pioneers, explorers, conquerors, and we could have them in
abundance if we cared to have them. What other universities do by
founding new chairs for new sciences, the colleges of Oxford could do
to-morrow by applying the funds which are not required for teaching
purposes, and which are now spent on sinecure fellowships, for making
either temporary or permanent provision for the endowment of original

It is true that new chairs have, from time to time, been founded in
Oxford also; but if we inquire into the circumstances under which
provision was made for the teaching of new subjects, we shall find that
it generally took place, not so much for the encouragement of any new
branch of scientific research, however interesting to the philosopher
and the historian, as in order to satisfy some practical wants that
could no longer be ignored, whether in church or state, or in the
university itself.

Confining ourselves to the chairs of languages, or, as they used to be
called, “the readerships of tongues,” we find that as early as 1311,
while the Crusades were still fresh in the memory of the people of
Europe, an appeal was made by Pope Clement V. at the Council of Vienne,
calling upon the principal universities in Christendom to appoint
lecturers for the study of Hebrew, Arabic, and Chaldaic. It was
considered at the time a great honor for Oxford to be mentioned by name,
together with Paris, Bologna, and Salamanca, as one of the four great
seats of learning in which the Pope and the Council of Vienne desired
that provision should be made for the teaching of these languages. It is
quite clear, however, from the wording of the resolution of the
Council,[3] that the chief object in the foundation of these readerships
was to supply men capable of defending the interests of the church, of
taking an active part in the controversies with Jews and Mohammedans,
who were then considered dangerous, and of propagating the faith among

Nor does it seem that this papal exhortation produced much effect, for
we find that Henry VIII. in 1540 had to make new provision in order to
secure efficient teachers of Hebrew and Greek in the University of
Oxford. At that time these two languages, but more particularly Greek,
had assumed not only a theological, but a political importance, and it
was but natural that the king should do all in his power to foster and
spread a knowledge of a language which had been one of the most powerful
weapons in the hands of the reformers. At Oxford itself this new chair
was by no means popular: on the contrary those who studied Greek were
for a long time looked upon with great suspicion and dislike.[4]

Henry VIII. did nothing for the support of Arabic; but a century later
(1636) we find Archbishop Laud, whose attention had been attracted by
Eastern questions, full of anxiety to resuscitate the study of Arabic at
Oxford, partly by collecting Arabic MSS. in the East and depositing them
in the Bodleian Library, partly by founding a new chair of Arabic,
inaugurated by Pococke, and rendered illustrious by such names as
Greaves, Thomas Hyde, John Wallis, and Thomas Hunt.

The foundation of a chair of Anglo-Saxon, too, was due, not so much to a
patriotic interest excited by the ancient national literature of the
Saxons, still less to the importance of that ancient language for
philological studies, but it received its first impulse from the divines
of the sixteenth century, who wished to strengthen the position of the
English Church in its controversy with the Church of Rome. Under the
auspices of Archbishop Parker, Anglo-Saxon MSS. were first collected,
and the Anglo-Saxon translations of the Bible, as well as Anglo-Saxon
homilies, and treatises on theological and ecclesiastical subjects were
studied by Fox, the martyrologist, and others,[5] to be quoted as
witnesses to the purity and simplicity of the primitive church founded
in this realm, free in its origin from the later faults and fancies of
the Church of Rome. Without this practical object, Anglo-Saxon would
hardly have excited so much interest in the sixteenth century, and
Oxford would probably have remained much longer without its professorial
chair of the ancient national language of England, which was founded by
Rawlinson, but was not inaugurated before the end of the last century

Of the two remaining chairs of languages, of Sanskrit and of Latin, the
former owes its origin, not to an admiration of the classical literature
of India, nor to a recognition of the importance of Sanskrit for the
purposes of Comparative Philology, but to an express desire on the part
of its founder to provide efficient missionaries for India; while the
creation of a chair of Latin, though long delayed, was at last rendered
imperative by the urgent wants of the university.

Nor does the chair of Comparative Philology, just founded by the
university, form altogether an exception to this general rule. It is
curious to remark that while Comparative Philology has for more than
half a century excited the deepest interest, not only among continental,
but likewise among English scholars, and while chairs of this new
science have been founded long ago in almost every university of France,
Germany, and Italy, the foundation of a new chair of Comparative
Philology at Oxford should coincide very closely with a decided change
that has taken place in the treatment of that science, and which has
given to its results a more practical importance for the study of Greek
and Latin, such as could hardly be claimed for it during the first fifty
years of its growth.

We may date the origin of Comparative Philology, as distinct from the
Science of Language, from the foundation of the Asiatic Society of
Calcutta, in 1784. From that time dates the study of Sanskrit, and it
was the study of Sanskrit which formed the foundation of Comparative

It is perfectly true that Sanskrit had been studied before by Italian,
German, and French missionaries; it is likewise perfectly true that
several of these missionaries were fully aware of the close relationship
between Sanskrit, Greek, and Latin. A man must be blind who, after
looking at a Sanskrit grammar, does not see at once the striking
coincidences between the declensions and conjugations of the classical
language of India and those of Greece and Italy.[6]

Filippo Sassetti, who spent some time at Goa, between 1581 and 1588, had
only acquired a very slight knowledge of Sanskrit before he wrote home
to his friends “that it has many words in common with Italian,
particularly in the numerals, in the names for God, serpent, and many
others.” This was in the sixteenth century.

Some of the Jesuit missionaries, however, went far beyond this. A few
among them had acquired a real and comprehensive knowledge of the
ancient language and literature of India, and we see them anticipate in
their letters several of the most brilliant discoveries of Sir W. Jones
and Professor Bopp. The père Cœurdoux,[7] a French Jesuit, writes in
1767 from Pondichery to the French Academy, asking that learned society
for a solution of the question, “_How is it that Sanskrit has so many
words in common with Greek and Latin?_” He presents not only long lists
of words, but he calls attention to the still more curious fact, that
the grammatical forms in Sanskrit show the most startling similarity
with Greek and Latin. After him almost everybody who had looked at
Sanskrit, and who knew Greek and Latin, made the same remark and asked
the same question.

But the fire only smouldered on; it would not burn up, it would not
light, it would not warm. At last, owing to the exertions of the
founders of the Asiatic Society at Calcutta, the necessary materials for
a real study of Sanskrit became accessible to the students of Europe.
The voice of Frederick Schlegel roused the attention of the world at
large to the startling problem that had been thrown into the arena of
the intellectual chivalry of the world, and at last the glove was taken
up, and men like Bopp, and Burnouf, and Pott, and Grimm, did not rest
till some answer could be returned, and some account rendered of
Sanskrit, that strange intruder, and great disturber of the peace of
classical scholarship.

The work which then began, was incessant. It was not enough that some
words in Greek and Latin should be traced in Sanskrit. A kind of silent
conviction began to spread that there must be in Sanskrit a remedy for
all evils; people could not rest till every word in Greek and Latin had,
in some disguise or other, been discovered in Sanskrit. Nor were Greek,
Latin, and Sanskrit enough to satisfy the thirst of the new discoverers.
The Teutonic languages were soon annexed, the Celtic languages yielded
to some gentle pressure, the Slavonic languages clamored for
incorporation, the sacred idiom of ancient Persia, the Zend, demanded
its place by the side of Sanskrit, the Armenian followed in its wake;
and when even the Ossetic from the valleys of Mount Caucasus, and the
Albanian from the ancient hills of Epirus, had proved their birthright,
the whole family, the Aryan family of language, seemed complete, and an
historical fact, the original unity of all these languages, was
established on a basis which even the most skeptical could not touch or
shake. Scholars rushed in as diggers rush into a new gold field, picking
up whatever is within reach, and trying to carry off more than they
could carry, so that they might be foremost in the race, and claim as
their own all that they had been the first to look at or to touch. There
was a rush, and now and then an ugly rush, and when the armfuls of
nuggets that were thrown down before the world in articles, pamphlets,
essays, and ponderous volumes, came to be more carefully examined, it
was but natural that not everything that glittered should turn out to be
gold. Even in the works of more critical scholars, such as Bopp,
Burnouf, Pott, and Benfey, at least in those which were published in the
first enthusiasm of discovery, many things may now be pointed out, which
no assayer would venture to pass. It was the great merit of Bopp that he
called the attention away from this tempting field to the more laborious
work of grammatical analysis, though even in his Comparative Grammar, in
that comprehensive survey of the grammatical outlines of the Aryan
languages, the spirit of conquest and centralization still predominates.
All languages are, if possible, to submit to the same laws; what is
common to all of them is welcome, what is peculiar to each is treated as
anomalous, or explained as the result of later corruption.

This period in the history of Comparative Philology has sometimes been
characterized as _syncretistic_, and to a certain extent that name and
the censure implied in it are justified. But to a very small extent
only. It was in the nature of things that a comparative study of
languages should at first be directed to what is common to all; nay,
without having first become thoroughly acquainted with the general
features of the whole family, it would have been impossible to discover
and fully to appreciate what is peculiar to each of the members.

Nor was it long before a reaction set in. One scholar from the very
first, and almost contemporaneously with Bopp’s first essays on
Comparative Grammar, devoted himself to the study of one branch of
languages only, availing himself, as far as he was able, of the new
light which a knowledge of Sanskrit had thrown on the secret history of
the whole Aryan family of speech, but concentrating his energies on the
Teutonic; I mean, of course, Jacob Grimm, the author of the great
historical grammar of the German language; a work which will live and
last long after other works of that early period shall have been
forgotten, or replaced, at least, by better books.

After a time Grimm’s example was followed by others. Zeuss, in his
“Grammatica Celtica,” established the study of the Celtic languages on
the broad foundations of Comparative Grammar. Miklosich and Schleicher
achieved similar results by adopting the same method for the study of
the Slavonic dialects. Curtius, by devoting himself to an elucidation of
Greek, opened the eyes of classical scholars to the immense advantages
of this new treatment of grammar and etymology; while Corssen, in his
more recent works on Latin, has struck a mine which may well tempt the
curiosity of every student of the ancient dialects of Italy. At the
present moment the reaction is complete; and there is certainly some
danger, lest what was called a _syncretistic_ spirit should now be
replaced by an _isolating_ spirit in the science of language.

It cannot be denied, however, that this isolating, or rather
discriminating, tendency has produced already the most valuable results,
and I believe that it is chiefly due to the works of Curtius and
Corssen, if Greek and Latin scholars have been roused at last from their
apathy and been made aware of the absolute necessity of Comparative
Philology, as a subject to be taught, not only in every university but
in every school. I believe it is due to their works that a conviction
has gradually been gaining ground among the best scholars at Oxford,
also, that Comparative Philology could no longer be ignored as an
important ingredient in the teaching of Greek and Latin; and while a
comparative analysis of Sanskrit, Zend, Armenian, Greek, Latin, Gothic,
High-German, Lithuanian, Slavonic, and Celtic, such as we find it in
Bopp’s “Comparative Grammar,” would hardly be considered as a subject of
practical utility, even in a school of philology, it was recognized at
last that, not only for sound principles of etymology, not only for a
rational treatment of Greek and Latin grammar, not only for a right
understanding of classical mythology, but even for a critical
restoration of the very texts of Homer and Plautus, a knowledge of
Comparative Philology, as applied to Greek and Latin, had become

My chief object, therefore, as Professor of Comparative Philology at
Oxford, will be to treat the classical languages under that new aspect
which they have assumed, as viewed by the microscope of Curtius and
Corssen, rather than by the telescope of Bopp, Pott, and Benfey. I shall
try not only to give results, but to explain what is far more important,
the method by which these results were obtained, so far as this is
possible without, for the present at least, presupposing among my
hearers a knowledge of Sanskrit. Sanskrit certainly forms the only sound
foundation of Comparative Philology, and it will always remain the only
safe guide through all its intricacies. A comparative philologist
without a knowledge of Sanskrit is like an astronomer without a
knowledge of mathematics. He may admire, he may observe, he may
discover, but he will never feel satisfied, he will never feel certain,
he will never feel quite at home.

I hope, therefore, that, besides those who attend my public lectures,
there will be at least a few to form a private class for the study of
the elements of Sanskrit. Sanskrit, no doubt, is a very difficult
language, and it requires the study of a whole life to master its
enormous literature. Its grammar, too, has been elaborated with such
incredible minuteness by native grammarians, that I am not surprised if
many scholars who begin the study of Sanskrit turn back from it in
dismay. But it is quite possible to learn the rules of Sanskrit
declension and conjugation, and to gain an insight into the grammatical
organization of that language, without burdening one’s memory with all
the phonetic rules which generally form the first chapter of every
Sanskrit grammar, or without devoting years of study to the unraveling
of the intricacies of the greatest of Indian, if not of all
grammarians,--Pâṇini. There are but few among our very best comparative
philologists who are able to understand Pâṇini. Professor Benfey, whose
powers of work are truly astounding, stands almost alone in his minute
knowledge of that greatest of all grammarians. Neither Bopp, nor Pott,
nor Curtius, nor Corssen, ever attempted to master Pâṇini’s wonderful
system. But a study of Sanskrit, as taught by European grammarians,
cannot be recommended too strongly to all students of language. A good
sailor may, for a time, steer without a compass, but even he feels safer
when he knows that he may consult it, if necessary; and whenever he
comes near the rocks,--and there are many in the Aryan sea,--he will
hardly escape shipwreck without this magnetic needle.[8]

It will be asked, no doubt, by Greek and Latin scholars who have never
as yet devoted themselves seriously to a study of Comparative Philology,
what is to be gained after all the trouble of learning Sanskrit, and
after mastering the works of Bopp, and Benfey, and Curtius? Would a man
be a better Greek and Latin scholar for knowing Sanskrit? Would he write
better Latin and Greek verse? Would he be better able to read and
compare Greek and Latin MSS., and to prepare a critical edition of
classical authors? To all these questions I reply both _No_ and _Yes_.

If there is one branch of classical philology where the advantages
derived from Comparative Philology have been most readily admitted, it
is etymology. More than fifty years ago, Otfried Müller told classical
scholars that that province at least must be surrendered. And yet it is
strange to see how long it takes before old erroneous derivations are
exploded and finally expelled from our dictionaries; and how, in spite
of all warnings, similarity of sound and similarity of meaning are still
considered the chief criteria of Greek and Latin etymologies. I do not
address this reproach to classical scholars only; it applies equally to
many comparative philologists who, for the sake of some striking
similarity of sound and meaning, will now and then break the phonetic
laws which they themselves have helped to establish.

If we go back to earlier days, we find that Sanskrit scholars who had
discovered that one of the names of the god of love in Bengali was
_Dipuc_, _i.e._ the inflamer, derived from it by inversion the name of
the god of love in Latin, _Cupid_. Sir William Jones identified _Janus_
with the Sanskrit +Gaṇeśa+, _i.e._, lord of hosts,[9] and even later
scholars allowed themselves to be tempted to see the Indian prototype of
_Ganymedes_ in the +Kaṇva-medhâtithi+ or +Kaṇva-mesha+ of the Veda.[10]

After the phonetic laws of each language had been more carefully
elaborated, it was but too frequently forgotten that words have a
history as well as a growth, and that the history of a word must be
explored first, before an attempt is made to unravel its growth. Thus it
was extremely tempting to derive _paradise_ from the Sanskrit
+paradeśa+. The compound +para-deśa+ was supposed to mean the highest or
a distant country, and all the rest seemed so evident as to require no
further elucidation. +Paradeśa+, however, does not mean the highest or a
distant country in Sanskrit, but is always used in the sense of a
foreign country, an enemy’s country. Further, as early as the Song of
Solomon (iv. 13), the word occurs in Hebrew as _pardés_, and how it
could have got there straight from Sanskrit requires, at all events,
some historical explanation. In Hebrew the word might have been borrowed
from Persian, but the Sanskrit word +paradeśa+, if it existed at all in
Persian, would have been _paradaesa_, the _s_ being a guttural, not a
dental sibilant. Such a compound, however, does not exist in Persian,
and therefore the Sanskrit word +paradeśa+ could not have reached Hebrew
_viâ_ Persia.

It is true, nevertheless, that the ancient Hebrew word _pardés_ is
borrowed from Persian, viz.: from the Zend _pairidaêza_, which means
_circumvallatio_, a piece of ground inclosed by high walls, afterwards a
park, a garden.[11] The root in Sanskrit is DIH or DHIH (for Sanskrit
_h_ is Zend _z_), and means originally to knead, to squeeze together, to
shape. From it we have the Sanskrit +dehî+, a wall, while in Greek the
same root, according to the strictest phonetic rules, yielded τοῖχος,
wall. In Latin our root is regularly changed into _fig_, and gives us
_figulus_, a potter, _figura_, form or shape, and _fingere_. In Gothic
it could only appear as _deig-an_, to knead, to form anything out of
soft substances; hence _daig-s_, the English _dough_, German _Deich_.

But the Greek παράδεισος did not come from Hebrew, because here again
there is no historical bridge between the two languages. In Greek we
trace the word to Xenophon, who brought it back from his repeated
journeys in Persia, and who uses it in the sense of pleasure-ground, or
deer park.[12]

Lastly, we find the same word used in the LXX., as the name given to the
garden of Eden, the word having been borrowed either a third time from
Persia, or taken from the Greek, and indirectly from the works of

This is the real history of the word. It is an Aryan word, but it does
not exist in Sanskrit. It was first formed in Zend, transferred from
thence as a foreign word into Hebrew and again into Greek. Its modern
Persian form is _firdaus_.

All this is matter of history rather than philology. Yet we read in one
of the best classical dictionaries: “The root of παράδεισος appears to
be Semitic, Arab. _firdaus_, Hebr. _pardês_: borrowed, also, in Sanskrit
+paradêśa+.”[13] Nearly every word is wrong.

From the same root DIH springs the Sanskrit word +deha+, body; body,
like figure, being conceived as that which is formed or shaped. Bopp
identified this +deha+ with Gothic _leik_, body, particularly dead body,
the modern German _Leiche_ and _Leichnam_, the English _lich_ in
_lich-gate_. In this case the master of Comparative Philology
disregarded the phonetic laws which he had himself helped to establish.
The transition of _d_ into _l_ is no doubt common enough as between
Sanskrit, Latin, and Greek, but it has never been established as yet on
good evidence as taking place between Sanskrit and Gothic. Besides, the
Sanskrit _h_ ought in Gothic to appear as _g_, as we have it in
_deig-s_, dough, and not by a tenuis.

Another Sanskrit word for body is +kalevara+, and this proved again a
stumbling-block to Bopp, who compares it with the Latin _cadaver_. Here
one might plead that _l_ and _d_ are frequently interchanged in Sanskrit
and Latin words, but, as far as our evidence goes at present, we have no
doubt many cases where an original Sanskrit _d_ is represented in Latin
by _l_, but no really trustworthy instance in which an original Sanskrit
_l_ appears in Latin as _d_. Besides, the Sanskrit diphthong _e_ cannot,
as a rule, in Latin be represented by long _â_.

If such things could happen to Bopp, we must not be too severe on
similar breaches of the peace committed by classical scholars. What
classical scholars seem to find most difficult to learn is that there
are various degrees of certainty in etymologies even in those proposed
by our best comparative scholars, and that not everything that is
mentioned by Bopp, or Pott, or Benfey as possible, as plausible, as
probable, and even as more than probable, ought, therefore, to be set
down, for instance, in a grammar or dictionary, as simply a matter of
fact. With certain qualifications, an etymology may have a scientific
value; without those qualifications, it may become not only unscientific
but mischievous. Again, nothing seems a more difficult lesson for an
etymologist to learn than to say, I do not know. Yet to my mind, nothing
shows, for instance, the truly scholarlike mind of Professor Curtius
better than the very fact for which he has been so often blamed, viz.:
his passing over in silence the words about which he has nothing certain
to say.

Let us take an instance. If we open our best Greek dictionaries, we find
that the Greek αὐγή, light, splendor, is compared with the German word
for eye, _Auge_. No doubt every letter in the two words is the same, and
the meaning of the Greek word could easily be supposed to have been
specialized or localized in German. Sophocles (“Aj.” 70) speaks of
ὀμμάτων αὐγαί, the lights of the eyes, and Euripides (“Andr.” 1180) uses
αὐγαί by itself for eyes, like the Latin _lumina_. The verb αὐγαζω, too,
is used in Greek in the sense of seeing or viewing. Why, then, it was
asked, should αὐγή not be referred to the same source as the German
_Auge_, and why should not both be traced back to the same root that
yielded the Latin _oc-ulus_? As long as we trust to our ears, or to what
is complacently called common sense, it would seem mere fastidiousness
to reject so evident an etymology. But as soon as we know the real
chemistry of vowels and consonants, we shrink instinctly from such
combinations. If a German word has the same sound as a Greek word, the
two words cannot be the same, unless we ignore that independent process
of phonetic growth which made Greek Greek, and German German. Whenever
we find in Greek a media, a _g_, we expect in Gothic the corresponding
tenuis. Thus the root _gan_, which we have in Greek γιγνώσκω, is in
Gothic _kann_. The Greek γόνυ, Lat. _genu_, is in Gothic _kniu_. If,
therefore, αὐγή existed in Gothic it would be _auko_, and not _augo_.
Secondly, the diphthong _au_ in _augo_ would be different from the Greek
diphthong. Grimm supposed that the Gothic _augo_ came from the same
etymon which yields the Latin _oc-ulus_, the Sanskrit +ak-sh-i+, eye,
the Greek ὄσσε for ὄκι-ε, and likewise the Greek stem ὀπ in ὄπ-ωπ-α,
ὄμμα, and ὀφ-θ-αλμός. It is true that the short radical vowel _a_ in
Sanskrit, _o_ in Greek, _u_ in Latin, sinks down to _u_ in Gothic, and
it is equally true, as Grimm has shown, that, according to a phonetic
law peculiar to Gothic, _u_ before _h_ and _r_ is changed to _aú_.
Grimm, therefore, takes the Gothic _aúgô_ for *_aúhô_, and this for
*_uhô_, which, as he shows, would be a proper representative in Gothic
of the Sanskrit +ak-an+, or +aksh-an+.

But here Grimm seems wrong. If the _au_ of _augô_ were this peculiar
Gothic _aú_, which represents an original short _a_, changed to _u_, and
then raised to a diphthong by the insertion of a short _a_, then that
diphthong would be restricted to Gothic; and the other Teutonic dialects
would have their own representatives for an original short _a_. But in
Anglo-Saxon we find _eáge_, in Old High German _augâ_, both pointing to
a labial diphthong, _i.e._ to a radical _u_ raised to _au_.[14]

Professor Ebel,[15] in order to avoid this difficulty, proposed a
different explanation. He supposed that the _k_ of the root _ak_ was
softened to _kv_, and that _augô_ represents an original _agvâ_ or
_ahvâ_, the _v_ of _hvâ_ being inserted before the _h_ and changed to
_u_. As an analogous case he quoted the Sanskrit enclitic particle _ca_,
Latin _que_, Gothic *_hva_, which *_hva_ appears always under the form
of _uh_. Leo Meyer takes the same view, and quotes, as an analogon,
_haubida_ as possibly identical with _caput_, originally *_kapvat_.

These cases, however, are not quite analogous. The enclitic particle
+ca+, in Gothic *_hva_, had to lose its final vowel. It thus became
unpronounceable, and the short vowel _u_ was added simply to facilitate
its pronunciation.[16] There was no such difficulty in pronouncing *_ah_
or *_uh_ in Gothic, still less the derivative form *_ahvô_, if such a
form had ever existed.

Another explanation was therefore attempted by the late Dr. Lottner.[17]
He supposed that the root _ak_ existed also with a nasal as _ank_, and
that _ankô_ could be changed to _aukô_, and _aukô_ to _augô_. In reply
to this we must remark that in the Teutonic dialects the root _ak_ never
appears as _ank_, and that the transition of _an_ into _au_, though
possible under certain conditions, is not a phonetic process of frequent

Besides, in all these derivations there is a difficulty, though not a
serious one, viz.: that an original tenuis, the _k_, is supposed
irregularly to have been changed into _g_, instead of what it ought to
be, an _h_. Although this is not altogether anomalous,[18] yet it has to
be taken into account. Professor Curtius, therefore, though he admits a
possible connection between Gothic _augô_ and the root _ak_, speaks
cautiously on the subject. On page 99 he refers to _augô_ as more
distantly connected with that root, and on p. 457 he simply refers to
the attempts of Ebel, Grassmann, and Lottner to explain the diphthong
_au_, without himself expressing any decided opinion. Nor does he commit
himself to any opinion as to the origin of αὐγή, though, of course, he
never thinks of connecting the two words, Gothic _augô_ and Greek αὐγή,
as coming from the same root.

The etymology of the Greek αὐγή, in the sense of light or splendor, is
not known unless we connect it with the Sanskrit +ojas+, which, however,
means vigor rather than splendor. The etymology of _oculus_, on the
contrary, is clear; it comes from a root _ak_, to be sharp, to point, to
fix, and it is closely connected with the Sanskrit word for eye,
+akshi+, and with the Greek ὄσσε. The etymology of the German word
_Auge_ is, as yet, unknown. All we may safely assert is, that, in spite
of the most favorable appearances, it cannot, for the present, be traced
back to the same source as either the Greek αὐγή or the Latin _oculus_.

If we simply transliterated the Gothic _augô_ into Sanskrit, we should
expect some word like +ohan+, nom. +ohâ+. The question is, may we take
the liberty, which many of the most eminent comparative philologists
allow themselves, of deriving Gothic, Greek, and Latin words from roots
which occur in Sanskrit, only, but which have left no trace of their
former presence in any other language? If so, then there would be little
difficulty in finding an etymology for the Gothic _augô_. There is in
Sanskrit a root +ûh+, which means to watch, to spy, to look. It occurs
frequently in the Veda, and from it we have likewise a substantive,
+oha-s+, look or appearance. If, in Sanskrit itself this root had
yielded a name for eye, such as +ohan+, the instrument of looking,
I should not hesitate for a moment to identify this Sanskrit word +ohan+
with the Gothic _augô_. No objection could be raised on phonetic
grounds. Phonetically the two words would be one and the same. But as in
Sanskrit such a derivation has not been found, and as in Gothic the root
+ûh+ never occurs, such an etymology would not be satisfactory. The
number of words of unknown origin is very considerable as yet in
Sanskrit, in Greek, in Latin, and in every one of the Aryan languages;
and it is far better to acknowledge this fact, than to sanction the
smallest violation of any of those phonetic laws, which some have called
the straight jacket, but which are in reality, the leading strings of
all true etymology.

If we now turn to grammar, properly so called, and ask what Comparative
Philology has done for it, we must distinguish between two kinds of
grammatical knowledge. Grammar may be looked upon as a mere art, and, as
taught at present in most schools, it is nothing but an art. We learn to
play on a foreign language as we learn to play on a musical instrument,
and we may arrive at the highest perfection in performing on any
instrument, without having a notion of thorough bass or the laws of
harmony. For practical purposes this purely empirical knowledge is all
that is required. But though it would be a mistake to attempt in our
elementary schools to replace an empirical by a scientific knowledge of
grammar, that empirical knowledge of grammar ought in time to be raised
to a real, rational, and satisfying knowledge, a knowledge not only of
facts, but of reasons; a knowledge that teaches us not only what grammar
is, but how it came to be what it is. To know grammar is very well, but
to speak all one’s life of gerunds and supines and infinitives, without
having an idea what these formations really are, is a kind of knowledge
not quite worthy of a scholar.

We laugh at people who still believe in ghosts and witches, but a belief
in infinitives and supines is not only tolerated, but inculcated in our
best schools and universities. Now, what do we really mean if we speak
of an infinitive? It is a time-honored name, no doubt, handed down to us
from the Middle Ages; it has its distant roots in Rome, Alexandria, and
Athens;--but has it any real kernel? Has it any more body or substance
than such names as Satyrs and Lamias?

Let us look at the history of the name before we look at the mischief
which it, like many other names, has caused by making people believe
that whenever there is a name there must be something behind it. The
name was invented by Greek philosophers who, in their first attempts at
classifying and giving names to the various forms of language, did not
know whether to class such forms as γράφειν, γράψειν, γράψαι,
γεγραφέναι, γράφεσθαι, γράψεσθαι, γέγραφθαι, γράψασθαι, γραφθῆναι,
γραφθήσεσθαι, as nouns or as verbs. They had established for their own
satisfaction the broad distinction between nouns (ὀνόματα) and verbs
(ῥήματα); they had assigned to each a definition, but, after having done
so, they found that forms like γράφειν would not fit their definition
either of noun or verb.[19] What could they do? Some (the Stoics)
represented the forms in ειν, etc., as a subdivision of the verb, and
introduced for them the name ῥῆμα ἀπαρέμφατον or γενικώτατον. Others
recognized them as a separate part of speech, raising their number from
eight to nine or ten. Others, again, classed them under the adverb
(ἐπιῤῥημα), as one of the eight recognized parts of speech. The Stoics,
taking their stand on Aristotle’s definition of ῥῆμα, could not but
regard the infinitive as ῥῆμα, because it implied time, past, present,
or future, which was with them recognized as the specific characteristic
of the verb (_Zeitwort_). But they went further, and called forms such
as γράφειν, etc., ῥῆμα, in the highest or most general sense,
distinguishing other verbal forms, such as γράφει, etc., by the names of
κατηγόρημα or σύμβαμα. Afterwards, in the progress of grammatical
science, the definition of ῥῆμα became more explicit and complete. It
was pointed out that a verb, besides its predicative meaning (ἔμφασις),
is able to[20] express several additional meanings (παρακολουθήματα or
παρεμφάσεις), viz.: not only time, as already pointed out by Aristotle,
but also person and number. The two latter meanings, however, being
absent in γράφειν, this was now called ῥῆμα ἀπαρέμφατον (without
by-meanings), or γενικώτατον, and, for practical purposes, this ῥῆμα
ἀπαρέμφατον soon became the prototype of conjugation.

So far there was only confusion, arising from a want of precision in
classifying the different forms of the verb. But when the Greek
terminology was transplanted to Rome, real mischief began. Instead of
ῥῆμα γενικώτατον, we now find the erroneous, or, at all events,
inaccurate, translation, _modus infinitus_, and _infinitivus_ by itself.
What was originally meant as an adjective belonging to ῥῆμα, became a
substantive, the infinitive, and though the question arose again and
again what this infinitive really was, whether a noun, or a verb, or an
adverb; whether a mood or not a mood; the real existence of such a thing
as an infinitive could no longer be doubted. One can hardly trust one’s
eyes in reading the extraordinary discussions on the nature of the
infinitive in grammatical works of successive centuries up to the
nineteenth. Suffice it to say that Gottfried Hermann, the great reformer
of classical grammars, treated the infinitive again as an adverb, and,
therefore, as a part of speech belonging to the particles. We ourselves
were brought up to believe in infinitives; and to doubt the existence of
this grammatical entity would have been considered in our younger days a
most dangerous heresy.

And yet, how much confused thought, and how much controversy might have
been avoided, if this grammatical term of infinitive had never been
invented.[21] The fact is that what we call infinitives are nothing more
or less than cases of verbal nouns, and not till they are treated as
what they are shall we ever gain an insight into the nature and the
historical development of these grammatical monsters.

Take the old Homeric infinitive in μεναι, and you find its explanation
in the Sanskrit termination +mane+, _i.e._ +manai+, the native of the
suffix +man+ (not, as others suppose, the locative of a suffix _mana_),
by which a large number of nouns are formed in Sanskrit. From _gnâ_, to
know, we have +(g)nâman+, Latin _(g)nomén_, that by which a thing is
known, its name; from +gan+, to be born, +gán-man+, birth. In Greek this
suffix man is chiefly used for forming masculine nouns, such as γνώ-μων,
γνώ-μονος, literally a knower; τλή-μων, a sufferer; or as μην in
ποι-μήν, a shepherd, literally a feeder. In Latin, on the contrary,
_men_ occurs frequently at the end of abstract nouns in the neuter
gender, such as _teg-men_, the covering, or _tegu-men_ or _tegi-men_;
_solamen_, consolation; _voca-men_, an appellation; _certa-men_, a
contest; and many more, particularly in ancient Latin; while in
classical Latin the fuller suffix _mentum_ predominates. If then we read
in Homer, κύνας ἔτευξε δῶμα φυλασσέμεναι, we may call φυλασσέμεναι an
infinitive, if we like, and translate “he made dogs to protect the
house;” but the form which we have before us, is simply a dative of an
old abstract noun in μεν, and the original meaning was “for the
protection of the house,” or “for protecting the house;” as if we said
in Latin, _tutamini domum_.

The infinitives in μεν may be corruptions of those in μεναι, unless we
take μεν as an archaic accusative, which, though without analogy in
Greek, would correspond to Latin accusatives like _tegmen_, and express
the general object of certain acts or movements. In Sanskrit, at least
in the Veda, infinitives in +mane+ occur, such as +dấ-mane+, to give,
Greek δό-μεναι; +vid-máne+, to know, Greek ϝίδ-μεναι.[22]

The question next arises, if this is a satisfactory explanation of the
infinitives in μεναι, how are we to explain the infinitives in εναι?
We find in Homer, not only ἴμεναι, to go, but also ἰέναι; not only
ἔμμεναι, to be, but also εἶναι, _i.e._, ἔσ-εναι. Bopp simply says
that the _m_ is lost, but he brings no evidence that in Greek an _m_ can
thus be lost without any provocation. The real explanation, here, as
elsewhere, is supplied by the _Beieinander_ (the collateral growth), not
by the _Nacheinander_ (the successive growth) of language. Besides the
suffix _man_, the Aryan languages possessed two other suffixes, _van_
and _an_, which were added to verbal bases just like _man_. By the side
of +dâman+, the act of giving, we find in the Veda +dâ-van+, the act of
giving, and a dative +dâ-váne+, with the accent on the suffix, meaning
for the giving, _i.e._ to give. Now in Greek this _v_ would necessarily
disappear, though its former presence might be indicated by the _digamma
æolicum_. Thus, instead of Sanskrit +dâváne+, we should have in Greek
δοϝέναι, δοέναι, and contracted δοῦναι, the regular form of the
infinitive of the aorist, a form in which the diphthong ου would remain
inexplicable, except for the former presence of the lost syllable ϝε. In
the same manner εἶναι stands for ἐσ-ϝέναι, ἐσ-έναι, ἐέναι, εἶναι. Hence
ἰέναι, stands for ἰϝέναι, and even the accent remains on the suffix
_van_, just as it did in Sanskrit.

As the infinitives in μεναι were traced back to the suffix _man_, and
those in ϝεναι to a suffix _van_, the regular infinitives in εναι after
consonants, and ναι after vowels, must be referred to the suffix _an_,
dat. _ane_. Here, too, we find analogous forms in the Veda. From
+dhûrv+, to hurt, we have +dhû́rv-aṇe+, for the purpose of hurting, in
order to hurt; in Rv. IX. 61, 30, we find +vibhv-áne+, Rv. VI. 61, 13,
in order to conquer, and by the same suffix the Greeks formed their
infinitives of the perfect, λελοιπ-έναι, and the infinitives of the
verbs in μι, τιθέ-ναι, διδο-ναι, ἱστα-ναι, etc.

In order to explain, after these antecedents, the origin of the
infinitive in ειν, as τύπτειν, we must admit either the shortening of
ναι to νι, which is difficult; or the existence of a locative in ι by
the side of a dative in αι. That the locative can take the place of the
dative we see clearly in the Sanskrit forms of the aorist, +parsháṇi+,
to cross, +nesháṇi+, to lead, which, as far as their form, not their
origin, is concerned, would well match Greek forms like λύσειν in the
future. In either case, τύπτε-νι in Greek would have become τύπτειν,
just as τύπτε-σι became τύπτεις. In the Doric dialect this throwing back
of the final ι is omitted in the second person singular, where the
Dorians may say ἀμέλγες for ἀμέλγεις; and in the same Doric dialect the
infinitive, too, occurs in εν instead of ειν; _e.g._, ἀείδεν instead of
ἀείδειν. (Buttman, “Greek Gr.,” § 103, 10, 11.)

In this manner the growth of grammatical forms can be made as clear as
the sequence of any historical events in the history of the world, nay,
I should say far clearer, far more intelligible; and I should think that
even the first learning of these grammatical forms might be somewhat
seasoned and rendered more really instructive by allowing the pupil,
from time to time, a glimpse into the past history of the Greek and
Latin languages. In English what we call the infinitive is clearly a
dative; _to speak_ shows by its very preposition what it was intended
for. How easy, then, to explain to a beginner that if he translates,
“able to speak,” by ἱκανὸς εἰπεῖν, the Greek infinitive is really the
same as the English, and that εἰπεῖν stands for εἴπενι and this for
εἴπεναι, which, to a certain extent, answers the same purpose as the
Greek ἔπει, the dative of ἔπος, and therefore originally ἔπεσι.

And remark, these very datives and locatives of nouns formed by the
suffix ος in Greek, as in Sanskrit, _es_ in Latin, though they yield
no infinitives in Greek, yield the most common form of the infinitive in
Latin, and may be traced also in Sanskrit. As from _genus_ we form a
dative _generi_, and a locative _genere_, which stands for _genese_, so
from _gigno_ an abstract noun would be formed, _gignus_, and from it a
dative, _gigneri_, and a locative, _gignere_. I do not say that the
intermediate form _gignus_ existed in the spoken Latin, I only maintain
that such a form would be analogous to _gen-us_, _op-us_, _fœd-us_, and
that in Sanskrit the process is exactly the same. We form in Sanskrit a
substantive +càkshas+, sight, +càkshus+, eye; and we find the dative of
+càkshas+, _i.e._ +càkshase+, used as what we should call an infinitive,
in order to see. But we also find another so-called infinitive,
+jîvàse+, in order to live, although there is no noun, +jîvas+, life;
we find +áyase+, to go, although there is no noun +áyas+, going. This
Sanskrit +áyase+ explains the Latin _i-re_, as *+i-vane+ explained
the Greek ἰέναι. The intention of the old framers of language is
throughout the same. They differ only in the means which they use, one
might almost say, at random; and the differences between Sanskrit,
Greek, and Latin are often due to the simple fact that out of many
possible forms that might be used and had been used before the Aryan
languages became traditional, settled, and national, one family or clan
or nation fancied one, another another. While this one became fixed and
classical, all others became useless, remained perhaps here and there in
proverbial sayings or in sacred songs, but were given up at last
completely, as strange, obsolete, and unintelligible.

And even then, after a grammatical form has become obsolete and
unintelligible, it by no means loses its power of further development.
Though the Greeks did not themselves, we still imagine that we feel the
infinitive as the case of an abstract noun in many constructions. Thus
χαλεπὸν εὑρεῖν, difficult to find, was originally, difficult in the
finding, or difficult for the act of finding; δεινὸς λέγειν, meant
literally, powerful in speaking; ἄρχομαι λέγειν, I begin to speak,
_i.e._, I direct myself to the act of speaking; κέλεαί με μυθήσασθαι,
you bid me to speak, _i.e._, you order me towards the act of speaking;
φοβοῦμαι διελέγχειν σε, I am afraid of refuting you, _i.e._, I fear in
the act, or, I shrink when brought towards the act, of refuting you; σὸν
ἔργον λέγειν, your business is in or towards speaking, you have to
speak; πᾶσιν ἁδεῖν χαλεπόν, there is something difficult in pleasing
everybody, or, in our endeavor after pleasing everybody. In all these
cases the so-called infinitive can, with an effort, still be felt as a
noun in an oblique case. But in course of time expressions such as
χαλεπὸν ἁδεῖν, it is difficult to please, ἀγαθὸν λέγειν, it is good to
speak, left in the mind of the speaker the impression that ἁδεῖν and
λέγειν were subjects in the nominative, the pleasing is difficult, the
speaking is good; and by adding the article, these oblique cases of
verbal nouns actually became nominatives, τὸ ἁδειν, the act of pleasing,
τὸ λέγειν, the act of speaking, capable of being used in every case,
_e.g._, ἐπιθυμια τοῦ πίειν, _desiderium bibendi_. This regeneration,
this process of creating new words out of decaying and decayed materials
may seem at first sight incredible, yet it is as certain as the change
with which we began our discussion of the infinitive. I mean the change
of the conception of a ῥῆμα γενικώτατον, a _verbum generalissimum_, into
a _generalissimus_ or _infinitivus_. Nor is the process without analogy
in modern languages. The French _l’avenir_, the future (_Zukunft_), is
hardly the Latin _advenire_. That would mean the arriving, the coming,
but not what is to come. I believe _l’avenir_ was (_quod est_) _ad
venire_, what is to come, contracted to _l’avenir_. In Low-German _to
come_ assumes even the character of an adjective, and we can speak not
only of a year to come, but of a to-come year, _de tokum Jahr_.[23]

This process of grammatical vivisection may be painful in the eyes of
classical scholars, yet even they must see how great a difference there
is in the quality of knowledge imparted by our Greek and Latin grammars,
and by comparative grammar. I do not deny that at first children must
learn Greek and Latin mechanically, but it is not right that they should
remain satisfied with mere paradigms and technical terms, without
knowing the real nature and origin of so-called infinitives, gerunds,
and supines. Every child will learn the construction of the accusative
with the infinitive, but I well remember my utter amazement when I first
was taught to say _Miror te ad me nihil scribere_, “I am surprised that
you write nothing to me.” How easy would it have been to explain that
_scribere_ was originally a locative of a verbal noun, and that there
was nothing strange or irrational in saying, “I wonder at thee in the
act of not writing to me.” This first step once taken, everything else
followed by slow degrees, but even in phrases like _Spero te mihi
ignoscere_, we can still see the first steps which led from “I hope or I
desire thee, toward the act of forgiving me,” to “I trust thee to
forgive me.” It is the object of the comparative philologist to gather
up the scattered fragments, to arrange them and fit them, and thus to
show that language is something rational, human, intelligible, the very
embodiment of the mind of man in its growth from the lowest to the
highest stage, and with capabilities for further growth far beyond what
we can at present conceive or imagine.

As to writing Greek and Latin verse, I do not maintain that a knowledge
of Comparative Philology will help us much. It is simply an art that
must be acquired by practice, if in these our busy days it is still
worth acquiring. A good memory will no doubt enable us to say at a
moment’s notice whether certain syllables are long or short. But is it
not far more interesting to know why certain vowels are long and others
short, than to be able to string longs and shorts together in imitation
of Greek and Latin hexameters? Now in many cases the reason why certain
vowels are long or short, can be supplied by Comparative Philology
alone. We may learn from Latin grammar that the _i_ in _fîdus_, trusty,
and in _fîdo_, I trust, is long, and that it is short in _fides_, trust,
and _perfidus_, faithless; but as all these words are derived from the
same root, why should some have a long, others a short vowel?
A comparison of Sanskrit at once supplies an answer. Certain
derivatives, not only in Latin but in Sanskrit and Greek too, require
what is called +Guṇa+ of the radical vowel. In _fîdus_ and _fîdo_, the
_i_ is really a diphthong, and represents a more ancient _ei_ or _oi_,
the former appearing in Greek πείθω, the latter in Latin _foedus_,
a truce.

We learn from our Greek grammars that the second syllable in δείκνῡμι
is long, but in the plural, δείκνῠμεν, it is short. This cannot be by
accident, and we may observe the same change in δάμνημι and δάμναμεν,
and similar words. Nothing, however, but a study of Sanskrit would have
enabled us to discover the reason of this change, which is really the
accent in its most primitive working, such as we can watch it in the
Vedic Sanskrit, where it produces exactly the same change, only with far
greater regularity and perspicuity.

Why, again, do we say in Greek, οἶδα, I know, but ἴσ-μεν, we know? Why
τέτληκα, but τέτλαμεν? Why μέμονα, but μέμαμεν? There is no recollection
in the minds of the Greeks of the motive power that was once at work,
and left its traces in these grammatical convulsions; but in Sanskrit we
still see, as it were, a lower stratum of grammatical growth, and we can
there watch the regular working of laws which required these changes,
and which have left their impress not only on Greek, but on Sanskrit,
and even on German. The same necessity which made Homer say οἶδα and
ἴδμεν, and the Vedic poet +véda+ and +vidmás+, still holds good, and
makes us say in German, _Ich weiss_, I know, but _wir wissen_, we know.

All this becomes clear and intelligible by the light of Comparative
Grammar; anomalies vanish, exceptions prove the rule, and we perceive
more plainly every day how in language, as elsewhere, the conflict
between the freedom claimed by each individual and the resistance
offered by the community at large, establishes in the end a reign of law
most wonderful, yet perfectly rational and intelligible.

These are but a few small specimens to show you what Comparative
Philology can do for Greek and Latin; and how it has given a new life to
the study of languages by discovering, so to say, and laying bare, the
traces of that old life, that prehistoric growth, which made language
what we find it in the oldest literary monuments, and which still
supplies the vigor of the language of our own time. A knowledge of the
mere facts of language is interesting enough; nay, if you ask yourself
what grammars really are--those very Greek and Latin grammars which we
hated so much in our schoolboy days--you will find that they are
store-houses, richer than the richest museums of plants or minerals,
more carefully classified and labeled than the productions of any of the
great kingdoms of nature. Every form of declension and conjugation,
every genitive and every so-called infinitive and gerund, is the result
of a long succession of efforts, and of intelligent efforts. There is
nothing accidental, nothing irregular, nothing without a purpose and
meaning in any part of Greek or Latin grammar. No one who has once
discovered this hidden life of language, no one who has once found out
that what seemed to be merely anomalous and whimsical in language is
but, as it were, a petrification of thought, of deep, curious, poetical,
philosophical thought, will ever rest again till he has descended as far
as he can descend into the ancient shafts of human speech, exploring
level after level, and testing every successive foundation which
supports the surface of each spoken language.

One of the great charms of this new science is that there is still so
much to explore, so much to sift, so much to arrange. I shall not,
therefore, be satisfied with merely lecturing on Comparative Philology,
but I hope I shall be able to form a small philological society of more
advanced students, who will come and work with me, and bring the results
of their special studies as materials for the advancement of our
science. If there are scholars here who have devoted their attention to
the study of Homer, Comparative Philology will place in their hands a
light with which to explore the dark crypt on which the temple of the
Homeric language was erected. If there are scholars who know their
Plautus or Lucretius, Comparative Philology will give them a key to
grammatical forms in ancient Latin, which, even if supported by an
Ambrosian palimpsest, might still seem hazardous and problematical. As
there is no field and no garden that has not its geological antecedents,
there is no language and no dialect which does not receive light from a
study of Comparative Philology, and reflect light in return on more
general problems. As in geology again, so in Comparative Philology, no
progress is possible without a division of labor, and without the most
general coöperation. The most experienced geologist may learn something
from a miner or from a ploughboy; the most experienced comparative
philologist may learn something from a schoolboy or from a child.

I have thus explained to you what, if you will but assist me, I should
like to do as the first occupant of this new chair of Comparative
Philology. In my public lectures I must be satisfied with teaching. In
my private lectures, I hope I shall not only teach, but also learn, and
receive back as much as I have to give.




One or two instances may here suffice to show how compassless even the
best comparative philologists find themselves if, without a knowledge of
Sanskrit, they venture into the deep waters of grammatical research.
What can be clearer at first sight than that the demonstrative pronoun
_that_ has the same base in Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, and German? Bopp
places together (§ 349) the following forms of the neuter:--

    Sanskrit   Zend     Greek   Latin      Gothic
     +tat+     _taḍ._   τό      _is-tud_   _thata_

and he draws from them the following conclusions:--

In the Sanskrit +ta-t+ we have the same pronominal element repeated
twice, and this repeated pronominal element became afterwards the
general sign of the neuter after other pronominal stems, such as +ya-t+,

Such a conclusion seems extremely probable, particularly when we compare
the masculine form +sa-s+, the old nom. sing., instead of the ordinary
+sa+. But the first question that has to be answered is, whether this is
phonetically possible, and how.

If +tat+ in Sanskrit is +ta+ + +ta+, then we expect in Gothic _tha_ +
_tha_, instead of which we find _tha_ + _ta_. We expect in Latin
_istut_, not _istud_, _illut_, not _illud_, _it_, not _id_, for Latin
represents final _t_ in Sanskrit by _t_, not by _d_. The old Latin
ablative in _d_ is not a case in point, as we shall see afterwards.

Both Gothic _tha-ta_, therefore, and Latin _istud_, postulate a Sanskrit
+tad+, while Zend and Greek at all events do not conflict with an
original final media. Everything therefore depends on what was the
original form in Sanskrit; and here no Sanskrit scholar would hesitate
for one moment between +tat+ and +tad+. Whatever the origin of +tat+ may
have been, it is quite certain that Sanskrit knows only of +tad+, never
of +tat+. There are various ways of testing the original surd or sonant
nature of final consonants in Sanskrit. One of the safest seems to me to
see how those consonants behave before +taddhita+ or secondary suffixes,
which require no change in the final consonant of the base. Thus before
the suffix +îya+ (called +cha+ by Pâṇini) the final consonant is never
changed, yet we find +tad-îya+, like +mad-îya+, +tvad-îya+, +asmad-îya+,
+yushmad-îya+, etc. Again, before the possessive suffix +vat+ final
consonants of nominal bases suffer no change. This is distinctly stated
by Pâṇini, I. 4, 19. Hence we have +vidyut-vân+, from +vidyut+,
lightning, from the root +dyut+; we have +udaśvit-vân+, from
+uda-śvi-t+. In both cases the original final tenuis remains unchanged.
Hence, if we find +tad-vân+, +kad-vân+, our test shows us again that the
final consonant in +tad+ and +kad+ is a media, and that the _d_ of these
words is not a modification of _t_.

Taking our stand therefore on the undoubted facts of Sanskrit grammar,
we cannot recognize _t_ as the termination of the neuter of pronominal
stems, but only _d_;[24] nor can we accept Bopp’s explanation of +tad+
as a compound of +ta+ + t, unless the transition of an original _t_ into
a Sanskrit and Latin _d_ can be established by sufficient evidence. Even
then that transition would have to be referred to a time before Sanskrit
and Gothic became distinct languages, for the Gothic _tha-ta_ is the
counterpart of the Sanskrit +tad+, and not of +tat+.

Bopp endeavors to defend the transition of an original _t_ into Latin
_d_ by the termination of the old ablatives, such as _gnaivod_, etc. But
here again it is certain that the original termination was _d_, and not
_t_. It is so in Latin, it may be so in Zend, where, as Justi points
out, the _d_ of the ablative is probably a media.[25] In Sanskrit it is
certainly a media in such forms as +mad+, +tvad+, +asmad+, which Bopp
considers as old ablatives, and which in +madîya+, etc., show the
original media. In other cases it is impossible in Sanskrit to test the
nature of the final dental in the ablative, because _d_ is always
determined by its position in a sentence. But under no circumstances
could we appeal to Latin _gnaivod_ in order to prove a transition of an
original _t_ into _d_; while on the contrary all the evidence at present
is in favor of a media, as the final letter both of the ablative and of
the neuter bases of pronouns, such as +tad+ and +yad+.

These may seem _minutiæ_, but the whole of Comparative Grammar is made
up of _minutiæ_, which, nevertheless, if carefully joined together and
cemented, lead to conclusions of unexpected magnitude.



I add one other instance to show how a more accurate knowledge of
Sanskrit would have guarded comparative philologists against rash
conclusions. With regard to the nominative singular of feminine bases
ending in derivative _â_, the question arose, whether words like _bona_
in Latin, ἀγαθά in Greek, +sivâ+ in Sanskrit, had originally an _s_
as the sign of the nom. sing., which was afterwards lost, or whether
they never took that termination. Bopp (§ 136), Schleicher (§ 246), and
others seem to believe in the loss of the _s_, chiefly, it would seem,
because the _s_ is added to feminine bases ending in _î_ and _û_.
Benfey[26] takes the opposite view, viz. that feminines in _â_ never
took the _s_ of the nom. sing. But he adds one exception, the Vedic
+gnâ-s+. This remark has caused much mischief. Without verifying
Benfey’s statements, Schleicher (l.c.) quotes the same exception, though
cautiously referring to the Sanskrit dictionary of Boehtlingk and Roth
as his authority. Later writers, for instance Merguet,[27] leave out all
restrictions, simply appealing to this Vedic form +gnâ-s+ in support of
the theory that feminine bases in _â_ too took originally _s_ as sign of
the nom. sing. and afterwards dropped it. Even so careful a scholar as
Büchler[28] speaks of the _s_ as lost.

There is, first of all, no reason whatever why the _s_ should have been
added[29]; secondly, there is none why it should have been lost. But,
whatever opinion we may hold in this respect, the appeal to the Vedic
+gnâ-s+ cannot certainly be sustained, and the word should at all events
be obelized till there is better evidence for it than we possess at

The passage which is always quoted from the Rv. IV. 9, 4, as showing
+gnâ-s+ to be a nom. sing. in _s_, is extremely difficult, and as it
stands at present, most likely corrupt:--

Utá gnấḥ agníḥ adhvaré utó gṛhá-patiḥ dáme, utá brahmấ ní sídati.

This could only be translated:--

“Agni sits down at the sacrifice as a woman, as lord in the house, and
as priest.”

This, however, is impossible, for Agni, the god of fire, is never
represented in the Veda as a woman. If we took +gnâḥ+ as a genitive, we
might translate, “Agni sits down in the sacrifice of the lady of the
house,” but this again would be utterly incongruous in Vedic poetry.

I believe the verse is corrupt, and I should propose to read:--

Utá agnấv agníḥ adhvaré.

“Agni sits down at the sacrifice in the fire, as lord in the house, and
as a priest.”

The ideas that Agni, the god of fire, sits down in the fire, or that
Agni is lighted by Agni, or that Agni is both the sacrificial fire and
the priest, are familiar to every reader of the Veda. Thus we read,
I. 12, 6, agnínâ agníḥ sám idhyate, “Agni is lighted by Agni;” X. 88, 1,
we find Agni invoked as ấ-hutam agnáu, etc.

But whether this emendation be right or wrong, it must be quite clear
how unsafe it would be to support the theory that feminine bases in _â_
ended originally in _s_ by this solitary passage from the Veda.



There is no trace of such a term as infinitive in Sanskrit, and yet
exactly the same forms, or, at all events, forms strictly analogous to
those which we call infinitives in Greek and Latin, exist in Sanskrit.
Here, however, they are treated in the simplest way.

Sanskrit grammarians when giving the rules according to which nouns and
adjectives are derived from verbal roots by means of primary suffixes
(Kṛt), mention among the rest the suffixes +tum+ (Pâṇ., III. 3, 10),
+se+, +ase+, +adhyai+, +tavai+, +tave+, +shyai+, e, +am+, +tos+, +as+
(IV. 4, 9-17), defining their meaning in general by that of +tum+ (III.
3, 10). This +tum+ is said to express immediate futurity in a verb, if
governed by another word conveying an intention. An example will make
this clearer. In order to say he goes to cook, where “he goes” expresses
an intention, and “to cook” is the object of that intention which is to
follow immediately, we place the suffix +tum+ at the end of the verb
+pak+, to cook, and say in Sanskrit, vrajati pak-tum. We might also say
pâcako vrajati, he goes as one who means to cook, or vrajati pâkâya, he
goes to the act of cooking, placing the abstract noun in the dative; and
all these constructions are mentioned together by Sanskrit grammarians.
The same takes place after verbs which express a wish (III. 3, 158);
_e.g._, icchati paktum, he wishes to cook, and after such words as
+kâla+, time, +samaya+, opportunity, +velâ+, right moment (III. 3, 167);
_e.g._, kâlaḥ paktum, it is time to cook, etc. Other verbs which govern
forms in +tum+ are (III. 4, 65) +śak+, to be able; +dhṛsh+, to dare;
+jñâ+, to know; +glai+, to be weary; +ghaṭ+, to endeavor; +ârabh+, to
begin; +labh+, to get; +prakram+, to begin; +utsah+, to endure; +arh+,
to deserve; and words like +asti+, there is; _e.g._, asti bhoktum, it is
(possible) to eat; not, it is (necessary) to eat. The forms in +tum+ are
also enjoined (III. 4, 66) after words like +alam+, expressing fitness,
_e.g._, paryâpto bhoktum, alam bhoktum, kuśalo bhoktum, fit or able to

Here we have everything that is given by Sanskrit grammarians in place
of what we should call the Chapter on the Infinitive in Greek and Latin.
The only thing that has to be added is the provision, understood in
Pâṇini’s grammar, that such suffixes as +tum+, etc., are indeclinable.

And why are they indeclinable? For the simple reason that they are
themselves case terminations. Whether Pâṇini was aware of this, we
cannot tell with certainty. From some of his remarks it would seem to be
so. When treating of the cases, Pâṇini (I. 4, 32) explains what we
should call the dative by +Sampradâna+. +Sampradâna+ means giving
(δοτική), but Pâṇini uses it here as a technical term, and assigns to
it the definite meaning of “he whom one looks to by any act” (not only
the act of giving, as the commentators imply). It is therefore what we
should call “the remote object.” Ex. Brâhmaṇâya dhanam dadâti, he gives
wealth to the Brâhman. This is afterwards extended by several rules
explaining that the +Sampradâna+ comes in after verbs expressive of
pleasure caused to somebody (I. 4, 33); after +ślâgh+, to applaud,
+hnu+, to dissemble, to conceal, +sthâ+,[31] to reveal, +śap+, to curse
(I. 4, 34); after +dhâray+, to owe (I. 4, 35); +spṛh+, to long for
(I. 4, 36); after verbs expressive of anger, ill-will, envy, detraction
(I. 4, 37); after +râdh+ and +îksh+, if they mean to consider concerning
a person (I. 4, 39); after +pratiśru+ and +âśru+, in the sense of
according (I. 4, 40); +anugṛ+ and +pratigṛ+, in the sense of acting in
accordance with (I. 4, 41); after +parikrî+, to buy, to hire (I. 4, 44).
Other cases of +Sampradâna+ are mentioned after such words as +namaḥ+,
salutation to, +svasti+, hail, +svâhâ+, salutation to the gods,
+svadhâ+, salutation to the manes, +alam+, sufficient for, +vashaṭ+,
offered to, a sacrificial invocation, etc. (II. 3, 16); and in such
expressions as na tvam triṇâya manye, I do not value thee a straw
(II. 3, 17); grâmâya gacchati, he goes to the village (II. 2, 12):
where, however, the accusative, too, is equally admissible. Some other
cases of Sampradâna are mentioned in the Vârttikas; _e.g._, I. 4, 44,
muktaye harim bhajati, for the sake of liberation he worships Hari;
vâtâya kapilâ vidyut, a dark red lightning indicates wind. Very
interesting, too, is the construction with the prohibitive +mâ+;
_e.g._ mâ câpalâya, lit. not for unsteadiness, _i.e._, do not act

In all these cases we easily recognize the identity of +Sampradâna+ with
the dative in Greek and Latin. If therefore we see that Pâṇini in some
of his rules states that +Sampradâna+ takes the place of +tum+, the so
called infinitive, we can hardly doubt that he had perceived the
similarity in the functions of what we call dative and infinitive. Thus
he says that instead of phalâny âhartum yâti, he goes to take the
fruits, we may use the dative and say phalebhyo yâti, he goes for the
fruits; instead of yashṭum yâti, he goes to sacrifice, yâgâya yâti, he
goes to the act of sacrificing (II. 3, 14-15).

But whether Pâṇini recognized this fact or not, certain it is that we
have only to look at the forms which in the Veda take the place of
+tum+, in order to convince ourselves that most of them are datives of
verbal nouns. As far as Sanskrit grammar is concerned, we may safely
cancel the name of infinitive altogether, and speak instead boldly of
datives and other cases of verbal nouns. Whether these verbal nouns
admit of the dative case only, and whether some of those datival
terminations have become obsolete, are questions which do not concern
the grammarian, and nothing would be more unphilosophical than to make
such points the specific characteristic of a new grammatical category,
the infinitive. The very idea that every noun must possess a complete
set of cases, is contrary to all the lessons of the history of language;
and though the fact that some of these forms belong to an antiquated
phase of language has undoubtedly contributed towards their being used
more readily for certain syntactical purposes, the fact remains that in
their origin and their original intention they were datives and nothing
else. Neither could the fact that these datives of verbal nouns may
govern the same case which is governed by the verb, be used as a
specific mark, because it is well known that, in Sanskrit more
particularly, many nouns retain the power of governing the accusative.
We shall now examine some of these so-called infinitives in Sanskrit.


The simplest dative is that in _e_, after verbal bases ending in
consonants or _â_, e.g., +dṛśé+, for the sake of seeing, to see;
+vid-é+, to know, +paribhveê+,[33] to overcome; +śraddhé kám+, to


After some verbs ending in _â_, the dative is irregularly (Grammar,
§§ 239, 240) formed in _ai_; Rv. VII. 19, 7, +parâdái+, to surrender.
III. 60, 4, +pratimái+, to compare, and the important form +vayodhái+,
of which more by and by.


By the side of these datives we have analogous accusatives in _am_,
genitives and ablatives in _as_, locatives in _i_.

Accusative: I. 73, 10, śakéma yámam, May we be able to get. I. 94, 3,
śakéma tvâ samídhan, May we be able to light thee. This may be the Oscan
and Umbrian infinitive in _um_, _om_ (_u_, _o_), if we take +yama+ as a
base in _a_, and _m_ as the sign of the accusative. In Sanskrit it is
impossible to determine this question, for that bases in _a_ also are
used for similar purposes is clearly seen in datives like +dábhâya+;
_e.g._, Rv. V. 44, 2, ná dábhâya, not to conquer; VIII. 96, 1, nṛ́bhyâḥ
tárâya síndhavaḥ su-pârấḥ, the rivers easy to cross for men. Whether
the Vedic imperatives in +âya+ (+śâyac+) admit of a similar explanation
is doubtful on account of the accent.

Genitive: +vilikhaḥ+, in îśvaro vilikhaḥ, cognizant of drawing; and
possibly X. 108, 2, atiskádaḥ bhiyásâ, from fear of crossing.

Ablative: Rv. VIII. 1, 12, purâ âtṛ́daḥ, before striking.

Locative: Rv. V. 52, 12, dṛśí tvishé, to shine in glancing(?)


The same termination of the dative is added to verbal bases which have
taken the increment of the aorist, the s. Thus from +ji+, to conquer, we
have +ji-sh+, and +je-sh+, and from both datival forms with infinitival
function. I. 111, 4, té naḥ hinvantu sâtáye dhiyé jishé, May they bring
us to wealth, wisdom, victory!

I. 100, 11, apấm tokásya tánayasya jeshé, May Indra help us for getting
water, children, and descendants. Cf. VI. 44, 18.

Or, after bases ending in consonants, +upaprakshé+; V. 47, 6,
upa-prakshé vṛ́shaṇaḥ - - - vadhvấḥ yanti áccha, the men go towards
their wives to embrace.

These forms correspond to Greek infinitives like λῦσαι and τύψαι,
possibly to Latin infinitives like _ferre_, for _fer-se_, _velle_ for
_vel-se_, and _voluis-se_; for _se_, following immediately on a
consonant, can never represent the Sanskrit +ase+. With regard to
infinitives like _fac-se_, _dic-se_, I do not venture to decide whether
they are primitive forms, or contracted, though _fac-se_ could hardly be
called a contraction of _fecisse_. The 2d pers. sing. of the imperative
of the 1st aorist middle, λῦσαι, is identical with the infinitive in
form, and the transition of meaning from the infinitive to the
imperative is well known in Greek and other languages. (Παῖδα δ’ ἐμοὶ
λῦσαί τε φίλην τά τ’ ἄποινα δέχεσθαι, Deliver up my dear child and
accept the ransom). Several of these aoristic forms are sometimes very
perplexing in Sanskrit. If we find, for instance, +stushé+, we cannot
always tell whether it is the infinitive (λῦσαι); or the 1st pers. sing.
of the aor. Âtmanep. in the subjunctive (for +stushai+), Let me praise
(λύσωμαι); or lastly, the 2d pers. sing. Âtmanep. in the indicative
(λύῃ). If +stushe+ has no accent, we know, of course, that it cannot be
the infinitive, as in X. 93, 9; but when it has the accent on the last,
it may, in certain constructions, be either infinitive, or 1st pers.
sing. aor. Âtm. subj. Here we want far more careful grammatical studies
on the language of the Veda, before we can venture to translate with
certainty. In places, for instance, where as in I. 122, 7 we have a
nominative with +stushé+, it is clear that it must be taken as an
infinitive, stushé sâ vâm - - - râtíḥ, your gift, Varuṇa and Mitra, is
to be praised; but in other places, such as VIII. 5, 4, the choice is
difficult. In VIII. 65, 5, índra griṇîshé u stushé, I should propose to
translate, Indra, thou longest for praising, thou desirest to be
praised, cf. VIII. 71, 15; while in II. 20, 4, tám u stushe índram tám
gṛṇîshe, I translate, Let me praise Indra, let me laud him, admitting
here, the irregular retention of Vikaraṇa in the aorist, which can be
defended by analogous forms such as gṛ́-ṇî-sh-áṇi, stṛ́-ṇî-sh-áṇi, of
which more hereafter. However, all these translations, as every real
scholar knows, are, and can be tentative only. Nothing but a complete
Vedic grammar, such as we may soon expect from Professor Benfey, will
give us safe ground to stand on.


Feminine bases in _â_ form their dative in +âyai+, and thus we find
+carâyai+ used in the Veda, VII. 77, 1, as what we should call an
infinitive, in the sense of to go. No other cases of +carâ+ have as yet
been met with. A similar form is +jârâyai+, to praise, I. 38, 13.


We have next to consider bases in _i_, forming their dative in +áye+.
Here, whenever we are acquainted with the word in other cases, we
naturally take _aye_ as a simple dative of a noun. Thus in I. 31, 8, we
should translate +sanáye dhánânâm+, for the acquisition of treasures,
because we are accustomed to other cases, such as I. 100, 13, +sanáyas+,
acquisitions, V. 27, 3, +saním+, wealth. But if we find, V. 80, 5,
+dṛśáye naḥ asthât+, she stood to be seen by us, lit., for our seeing,
then we prefer, though wrongly, to look upon such datives as
infinitives, simply because we have not met with other cases of


What applies to datives of nouns in _i_, applies with still greater
force to datives of nouns in _ti_. There is no reason why in IX. 96,
4 we should call +áhataye+, to be without hurt, an infinitive, simply
because no other case of +áhati-s+ occurs in the Rig-Veda; while
+ájîtaye+, not to fail, in the same line, is called a dative of
+ájîti-s+, because it occurs again in the accusative +ájîti-m+.


In +ityái+, to go, I. 113, 6; 124, 1, we have a dative of +iti-s+, the
act of going, of which the instrumental +ityâ+ occurs likewise, I. 167,
5. This +tyâ+, shortened to +tya+, became afterwards the regular
termination of the gerund of compound verbs in +tya+ (Grammar § 446),
while +ya+ (§ 445) points to an original +ya+ or +yai+.


Next follow datives from bases in +as+, partly with accent on the first
syllable, like neuter nouns in +as+, partly with the accent on +as+;
partly with Guṇa, partly without. With regard to them it becomes still
clearer how impossible it would be to distinguish between datives of
abstract nouns, and other grammatical forms, to be called infinitives.
Thus Rv. I. 7, 3 we read +dîrghâya cákshase+, Indra made the sun rise
for long glancing, _i.e._, that it might glance far and wide. It is
quite true that no other cases of +cákshas+, seeing, occur, on which
ground modern grammarians would probably class it as an infinitive; but
the qualifying dative +dîrghâya+, clearly shows that the poet felt
+cákshase+ as the dative of a noun, and did not trouble himself, whether
that noun was defective in other cases or not.

These datives of verbal nouns in +as+, correspond exactly to Latin
infinitives in _ĕre_, like _vivere_ (+jîváse+), and explain likewise
infinitives in _âre_, _êre_, and _îre_, forms which cannot be separated.
It has been thought that the nearest approach to an infinitive is to be
found in such forms as +jîváse+, +bhiyáse+, to fear (V. 29, 4), because
in such cases the ordinary nominal form would be +bháyas-e+. There is,
however, the instrumental +bhiyása+, X. 108, 2.


Next follow datives from nouns in +man+, +van+, and +an+. The suffix
+man+ is very common in Sanskrit, for forming verbal nouns, such as
+kar-man+, doing, deed, from +kar+. +Van+ is almost restricted to
forming _nomina agentis_, such as +druh-van+, hating; but we find also
substantives like +pat-van+, still used in the sense of flying. +An+
also is generally used like +van+, but we can see traces of its
employment to form _nomina actionis_ in Greek ἀγών, Lat. _turbo_, etc.

Datives of nouns in +man+, used with infinitival functions, are very
common in the Veda; _e.g._ I. 164, 6, pṛccâmi vidmane, I ask to know;
VIII. 93, 8, dâmane kṛtáḥ, made to give. We find also the instrumental
case +vidmánâ+, _e.g._, VI. 14, 5, vidmánâ urushyáti, he protects by his
knowledge. These correspond to Homeric infinitives, like ἴδμεναι,
δόμεναι, etc., old datives and not locatives, as Schleicher and Curtius
supposed; while forms like δόμεν are to be explained either as
abbreviated, or as obsolete accusatives.


Of datives in +váne+ I only know +dāvâne+, a most valuable grammatical
relic, by which Professor Benfey was enabled to explain the Greek
δοῦναι, i.e., δοϝέναι.[34]


Of datives in +áne+ I pointed out (l.c.) +dhûrv-ane+ and +vibhv-áne+,
VI. 61, 13, taking the latter as synonymous with +vibhvế+, and
translating, +Sarasvatî+, the great, made to conquer, like a chariot.
Professor Roth, _s.v._ +vibhván+, takes the dative for an instrumental,
and translates “made by an artificer.” It is, however, not the chariot
that is spoken of, but +Sarasvatî+, and of her it could hardly be said
that she was made either by or for an artificer.


As we saw before that aoristic bases in _s_ take the datival _e_, so
that we had +prák-sh-e+ by the side of +pṛ́c-e+, we shall have to
consider here aoristic bases in _s_, taking the suffix +an+, not however
with the termination of the dative, but with that of the locative _i_.
Thus we read X. 126, 3, náyishṭhâḥ u naḥ nesháṇi párshishṭhâḥ u naḥ
parsháṇi áti dvíshaḥ, they who are the best leaders to lead us, the best
helpers to help us to overcome our enemies, lit. in leading us, in
helping us. In VIII. 12, 19, +gṛṇîsháni+, i.e. +gṛ-ṇî-sháṇ-i+ stands
parallel with +turv-án-e+, thus showing how both cases can answer nearly
the same purpose. If these forms existed in Greek, they would, after
consonantal bases, be identical with the infinitives of the future.


We next come to a large number of datives, ablatives, or genitives, and
accusatives of verbal nouns in +tu+. This +tu+ occurs in Sanskrit in
abstract nouns such as +gâtú+, going, way, etc., in Latin in
_adven-tus_, etc. As these forms have been often treated, and as some of
them occur frequently in later Sanskrit also, it will suffice to give
one example of each:--

Dative in +tave+: +gántave+, to go, I. 46, 7.

Old form in +ai+: +gántavái+, X. 95, 14.

Genitive in +toḥ+: +dâtoḥ+, governed by +îśe+, VII. 4, 6.

Ablative in +toḥ+: +gántoḥ+, I. 89, 9.

Accusative in +tum+: +gántum+. This is the supine in _tum_ in Latin.


Next follow cases of verbal nouns in +tvá+, the accent being on the

Datives in +tvấya+: +hatvấya+, X. 84, 2.

Instrumental in +tvấ+: +hatvấ+, I. 100, 18.

Older form in +tvî́+: +hatvî́+, II. 17, 6; +gatvî́+, IV. 41, 5.


I have left to the end datives in +dhai+ and +dhyai+, which properly
belong to the datives in +ai+, treated before, but differ from them as
being datives of compound nouns. As from +máyaḥ+, delight, we have
+mayaskará+, delight-making, +mayobhú+, delight-causing, and
constructions like +máyo dádhe+, so from +váyas+, life, vigor, we have
+váyaskṛ́t+, life-giving, and constructions like +váyo dhât+. From +dhâ+
we can frame two substantival frame, +dhâ+ and +dhi-s+, _e.g._
+puro-dhâ+, and +puro-dhis+, like +vi-dhi-s+. As an ordinary
substantive, +purodhâ+ takes the feminine termination _â_, and is
declined like +śivâ+. But if the verbal base remains at the end of a
compound without the feminine suffix, a compound like vayodhâ would form
its dative vayodhe (Grammar, § 239); and as in analogous cases we found
old datives in ai, instead of _e_, e.g. +parâdai+, nothing can be said
against +vayodhai+, as a Vedic dative of +vayodhâ+. The dative of
+purodhi+ would be +purodhaye+, but here again, as, besides forms like
dṛśaye, we met with datives, such as +ityai+, +rohishyai+, there is no
difficulty in admitting an analogous dative of +purodhi+, viz.,

The old dative +dhai+ has been preserved to us in one form only, which
for that reason is all the more valuable and important, offering the key
to the mysterious Greek infinitives in θαι, I mean +vayodhái+, which
occurs twice in the Rig-Veda, X. 55, 1, and X. 67, 11. The importance of
this relic would have been perceived long ago, if there had not been
some uncertainty as to whether such a form really existed in the Veda.
By some accident or other, Professor Aufrecht had printed in both
passages +vayodhaiḥ+, instead of +vayodhai+. But for this, no one,
I believe, would have doubted that in this form +vayodhai+ we have not
only the most valuable prototype of the Greek infinitives in (σ)θαι,
but at the same time their full explanation. +Vayodhai+ stands for
+vayas-dhai+, in which composition the first part +vayas+ is a neuter
base in +as+, the second a dative of the auxiliary verb +dhâ+, used as a
substantive. If, therefore, we find corresponding to +vayodhai+ a Greek
infinitive βέεσθαι, we must divide it into βέεσ-θαι, as we divide
ψεύδεσθαι into ψεύδεσ-θαι, and translate it literally by “to do lying.”

It has been common to identify Greek infinitives in σθαι with
corresponding Sanskrit forms ending in +dhyai+. No doubt these forms in
+dhyai+ are much more frequent than forms in +dhai+, but as we can only
take them as old datives of substantives in +dhi+, it would be difficult
to identify the two. The Sanskrit +dhy+ appears, no doubt, in Greek, as
σσ, +dh+ being represented by the surd θ, and then assibilated by _y_;
but we could hardly attempt to explain σθ = θy, because σδ = ζ = δy.
Therefore, unless we are prepared to see with Bopp in the σ before θ, in
this and similar forms, a remnant of the reflexive pronoun, nothing
remains but to accept the explanation offered by the Vedic +vayodhai+,
and to separate ψεύδεσθαι into ψεύδεσ-θαι lying to do. That this
grammatical compound, if once found successful, should have been
repeated in other tenses, giving us not only γράφεσ-θαι, but γράψεσ-θαι,
γράψασ-θαι, and even γραφθήσεσ-θαι, is no more than what we may see
again and again in the grammatical development of ancient and modern
languages. Some scholars have objected on the same ground to Bopp’s
explanation of _ama-mini_, as the nom. plur. of a participle, because
they think it impossible to look upon _amemini_, _amabâmini_, amaremini,
_amabimini_ as participial formations. But if a mould is once made in
language, it is used again and again, and little account is taken of its
original intention. If we object to γράψεσ-θαι, why not to
κελευ-σέ-μεναι or τεθνά-μεναι or μιχθή-μεναι? In Sanskrit, too, we
should hesitate to form a compound of a modified verbal base, such as
+pṛṇa+, with +dhi+, doing; yet as the Sanskrit ear was accustomed to
+yajadhyai+ from +yaja+, +gamadhyai+ from +gama+, it did not protest
against +pṛṇadhyai+, +vâvṛdhadhyai+, etc.


And while these ancient grammatical forms which supply the foundation of
what in Greek, Latin, and other languages we are accustomed to call
infinitives are of the highest interest to the grammarian and the
logician, their importance is hardly less in the eyes of the historian.
Every honest student of antiquity, whether his special field be India,
Persia, Assyria, or Egypt, knows how often he is filled with fear and
trembling when he meets with thoughts and expressions which, as he is
apt to say, cannot be ancient. I have frequently confessed to that
feeling with regard to some of the hymns of the Rig-Veda, and I well
remember the time when I felt inclined to throw up the whole work as
modern and unworthy of the time and labor bestowed upon it. At that time
I was always comforted by these so-called infinitives and other relics
of ancient language. They could not have been fabricated in India. They
are unknown in ordinary Sanskrit, they are unintelligible as far as
their origin is concerned in Greek and Latin, and yet in the Vedic
language we find these forms, not only identical with Greek and Latin
forms, but furnishing the key to their formation in Greece and Italy.
The Vedic +vayas-dhái+ compared with Greek βεεσ-θαι, the Vedic +stushe+
compared with λυσαι are to my mind evidence in support of the antiquity
and genuineness of the Veda that cannot be shaken by any arguments.


I add a few words on the infinitive in English, though it has been well
treated by Dr. March in his “Grammar of the Anglo-Saxon Language,” by
Dr. Morris, and others. We find in Anglo-Saxon two forms, one generally
called the infinitive, _nim-an_, to take, the other the gerund, _to
nim-anne_, to take. Dr. March explains the first as identical with
Greek νέμ-ειν and νέμ-εν-αι, _i.e._, as an oblique case, probably the
dative, of a verbal noun in _an_. He himself quotes only the dative of
nominal bases in _a_, e.g. +namanâya+, because he was probably
unacquainted with the nearer forms in _an-e_ supplied by the Veda. This
infinitive exists in Gothic as _nim-an_, in Old Saxon as _nim-an_, in
Old Norse as _nem-a_, in Old High German as _nem-an_. The so-called
gerund, to _nimanne_, is rightly traced back by Dr. March to Old Saxon
_nim-annia_, but he can hardly be right in identifying these old datival
forms with the Sanskrit base +nam-anîya+. In the Second Period of
English (1100-1250)[35] the termination of the infinitive became _en_,
and frequently dropped the final _n_, as _smelle_ = _smellen_; while the
termination of the gerund at the same time became _enne_, (_ende_),
_ene_, _en_, or _e_, so that outwardly the two forms appear to be
identical, as early as the 12th century.[36] Still later, towards the
end of the 14th century, the terminations were entirely lost, though
Spenser and Shakespeare have occasionally to _killen_, _passen_,
_delven_, when they wished to impart an archaic character to their
language. In modern English the infinitive with _to_ is used as a verbal
substantive. When we say, “I wish you to do this,” “you are able to do
this,” we can still perceive the datival function of the infinitive.
Likewise in such phrases, “it is time,” “it is proper,” “it is wrong to
do that,” _to do_ may still be felt as an oblique case. But we have only
to invert these sentences, and say, “to do this is wrong,” and we have a
new substantive in the nom. sing., just as in the Greek τὸ λέγειν.
Expressions like _for to do_, show that the simple _to_ was not always
felt to be sufficiently expressive to convey the meaning of an original


The infinitive has formed the subject of many learned treatises.
I divide them into two classes, those which appeared before and after
Wilhelm’s excellent essay, written in Latin, “De Infinitivi Vi et
Natura,” 1868; and in a new and improved edition, “De Infinitivo
Linguarum Sanscritæ, Bactricæ, Persicæ, Græcæ, Oscæ, Umbricæ, Latinæ,
Goticæ, forma et usu,” Isenaci, 1873. In this essay the evidence
supplied by the Veda was for the first time fully collected, and the
whole question of the nature of the infinitive placed in its true
historical light. Before Wilhelm the more important works were Hofer’s
book, “Vom Infinitiv, besonders im Sanskrit,” Berlin, 1840; Bopp’s
paragraphs in his “Comparative Grammar;” Humboldt’s paper, in Schlegel’s
“Indische Bibliothek” (II. 74), 1824; and his posthumous paper in Kuhn’s
“Zeitschrift” (II. 245), 1853; some dissertations by L. Meyer, Merguet,
and Golenski. Benfey’s “Sanskrit Grammar” (1852), too, ought to be
mentioned, as having laid the first solid foundations for this and all
other branches of grammatical research, as far as Sanskrit is concerned.
After Wilhelm the same subject has been treated with great independence
by Ludwig, “Der Infinitif im Veda,” 1871, and again “Agglutination oder
Adaptation,” 1873; and also by Jolly, “Geschichte des Infinitivs,” 1873.

I had myself discussed some questions connected with the nature of the
infinitive in my “Lectures on the Science of Language,” vol. ii. p. 15
seq., and I had pointed out in Kuhn’s “Zeitschrift,” XV. 215 (1866) the
great importance of the Vedic +vayodhai+ for unraveling the formation of
Greek infinitives in σ-θαι.


At a still earlier time, in 1847, in my “Essay on Bengali,” I said: “As
the infinitives of the Indo-Germanic languages must be regarded as the
absolute cases of a verbal noun, it is probable that in Bengali the
infinitive in _ite_ was also originally a locative, which expressed not
only local situation, but also movement towards some object, as an end,
whether real or imaginary. Thus the Bengali infinitive corresponds
exactly with the English, where the relation of case is expressed by the
preposition _to_. Ex. tâhâke mârite âmi âsiyâchi, means, I came to the
state of beating him, or, I came to beat him; âmâke mârite deo, give me
(permission), let me (go) to the action of beating, _i.e._, allow me to
beat. Now as the form of the participle is the same as that of the
infinitive, it may be doubted if there is really a distinction between
these two forms as to their origin. For instance, the phrase âpan
putrake mârite âmi tâhâka dekhilâm, can be translated, I saw him beating
his own son; but it can be explained also as, what they nonsensically
call in Latin grammar _accusativus cum infinitivo_, that is to say, the
infinitive can be taken for a locative of the verbal noun, and the whole
phrase be translated, I saw him in the action of beating his own son,
(_vidi patrem cædere ipsius filium_). As in every Bengali phrase the
participle in _ite_ can be understood in this manner, I think it
admissible to ascribe this origin to it, and instead of taking it for a
nominative of a verbal adjective, to consider it as a locative of a
verbal noun.”


I also tried to show that the infinitive in the Dravidian languages is a
verbal noun with or without a case suffix. This view has been confirmed
by Dr. Caldwell, but, in deference to him, I gladly withdraw the
explanation which I proposed in reference to the infinitive in Tamil.
I quote from Dr. Caldwell’s “Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian
Languages,” 2d ed. p. 423: “Professor Max Müller, noticing that the
majority of Tamil infinitives terminate in _ka_, supposed this _ka_ to
be identical in origin with _kô_, the dative-accusative case-sign of the
Hindi, and concluded that the Dravidian infinitive was the accusative of
a verbal noun. It is true that the Sanskrit infinitive and Latin supine
in _tum_ is correctly regarded as an accusative, and that our English
infinitive _to do_, is the dative of a verbal noun; it is also true that
the Dravidian infinitive is a verbal noun in origin, and never
altogether loses that character; nevertheless, the supposition that the
final _ka_ of most Tamil infinitives is in any manner connected with
_ku_, the sign of the Dravidian dative, or of _kô_, the Hindi
dative-accusative, is inadmissible. A comparison of various classes of
verbs and of the various dialects shows that the _kâ_ in question
proceeds from a totally different source.”

[Transcriber’s Note:

In the following section the Devanagari letters were printed without
virama, but they should be read as the consonant alone.]


As in my article on _Vayodhai_, published in Kuhn’s “Zeitschrift,” 1866,
p. 215, I had entered a _caveat_ against identifying Greek β with
Sanskrit ज, I take this opportunity of frankly withdrawing it.
Phonetically, no doubt, these two letters represent totally distinct
powers, and to say that Sanskrit ज ever became Greek β is as irrational
to-day as it was ten years ago. But historically I was entirely wrong,
as will be seen from the last edition of Curtius’ “Grundzüge.” The
guttural sonant check was palatalized in the Southeastern Branch, and
there became j and _z_, while in the Northwestern Branch the same g was
frequently labialized and became gv, v, and b. Hence, where we have ज in
Sanskrit, we may and do find β in Greek.

But after withdrawing my former _caveat_, I make bold to propose
another, namely, that the original palatal sonant flatus, which in
Sanskrit is graphically represented by j, can never be represented
in Greek by β. Whether j in Sanskrit represents an original palatal
sonant check or an original palatal sonant flatus can generally be
determined by a reference to Zend, which represents the former by j, the
latter by _z_. We may therefore formulate this phonetic law:--

  +“When Sanskrit j is represented by Zend _z_, it cannot be
  represented by Greek β.”+

In this manner it is possible, I believe, to utilize Ascoli’s and Fick’s
brilliant discovery as to a twofold, or even threefold, distinction of
the Aryan k, as applied to the Aryan g. They have proved that all Aryan
languages show traces of an original distinction between a guttural surd
check, k, frequently palatalized in the Southeastern Branch (Sk. c,
Zend c) and liable to labialization, in Latin, Greek, Cymric, and
Gothic; and another k, never liable to labialization, but changed into a
flatus, palatal or otherwise, in Sanskrit, Lithuanian, and Old Slavonic.
They showed, in fact,--

  [Transcriber’s Note:
  The following list has been rotated 90° for space.]

  Sanskrit.  क (च)        श
  Lith.      k            sz
  Slav.      k, č, c      s
  Gadh.      c            c
   & Cym.    p
  Lat.       c, qu, v     c
  Greek.     κ, κϝ, κκ,   κ
               π, ππ,
               τ, ττ,
  Gothic.    hv, h        h

In the same manner we ought in future to distinguish between a guttural
sonant check, g, frequently palatalized in the Southeastern Branch
(Sk. j, Zend j), and liable to labialization, like k; and another g,
never liable to labialization, but changed into a flatus, palatal or
otherwise, in Zend, Lithuanian, and Old Slavonic. As we never have
π = श we never have β = ज, if ज in Zend is _z_.

The evidence will be found under Sk. +jan+, +jabh+, +jar+ (to decay, and
to praise), +jush+, +jñâ+, +jñu+, +jâmâtar+; +aj+, +bhrâj+, +marj+,
+yaj+, +raj(atam)+.

Gothic _quinô_, Gadh. _ben_, Bœot. βάνα depend on Zend +jeni+; Gadh.
_baith-is_ on Zend +jaf-ra+. It is wrong to connect σβεσ with +jas+, on
account of Zend +zas+, and +gyâ-ni+ with βία, on account of Zend

    [Footnote 1: The following statute was approved by the University
    of Oxford in 1868 (_Statuta Universitatis Oxoniensis_, iv., i.,
    37. §§ 1-3):--

    “1. Professor philologiæ comparativæ a Vice-Cancellario, et
    professoribus linguarum Hebraicæ, Sanskriticæ, Græcæ, Latinæ, et
    Anglo-Saxonicæ eligatur. In æqualitate suffragantium rem decidat

    “Proviso tamen ut si vir cl. M. Müller, M.A., hodie linguarum
    modernarum Europæ professor Taylorianus, eam professionem intra
    mensem post hoc statutum sancitum resignaverit, seque professoris
    philologiæ comparativæ munus suscipere paratum esse scripto
    Vice-Cancellarium certiorem fecerit, is primus admittatur

    “2. Professor quotannis per sex menses in Universitate incolat et
    commoretur inter decimum diem Octobris et primum diem Julii

    “3. Professor duas lectionum series in duobus discretis terminis
    legat, terminis Paschatis et S. Trinitatis pro uno reputatis;
    scilicet per sex septimanas in utroque termino, et bis ad minimum
    in unaquaque septimana: atque insuper per sex septimanas unius
    alicujus termini bis ad minimum in unaquaque septimana per unius
    horæ spatium vacet instruendis auditoribus in iis quæ melius sine
    solennitate tradi possunt. Unam porro ad minimum lectionem
    quotannis publice habeat ab academicis quibuscunque sine mercede
    audiendam. De die hora et loco quibus hæc lectio solennis habenda
    sit academiam modo consueto certiorem faciat.”]

    [Footnote 2: An offer to found a professorship of Chinese, to be
    held by an Englishman whom even Stanislas Julien recognized as the
    best Chinese scholar of the day, has lately been received very
    coldly by the Hebdomadal Council of the University.]

    [Footnote 3: _Liber Sextus Decretalium_ (Lugduni, 1572), p. 1027:
    “Ut igitur peritia linguarum hujusmodi possit habiliter per
    instructionem efficaciam obtinere, hoc sacro approbante concilio
    scholas in subscriptarum linguarum generibus ubicunque Romanam
    curiam residere contigerit, necnon in Parisiensi, et Oxoniensi,
    Bononiensi, et Salmantino studiis providimus erigendas; statuentes
    ut in quolibet locorum ipsorum teneantur viri catholici,
    sufficienter habentes Hebraicæ, Arabicæ, et Chaldææ linguarum

    [Footnote 4: Greaves, _Oratio Oxonii habita_, 1637, p. 19: “Paucos
    ultra centum annos numeramus ex quo Græcæ primum literæ oras hasce
    appulerunt, antea ignotæ prorsus, nonnullis exosæ etiam et invisæ,
    indoctissimis scilicet fraterculis, quibus religio erat graece
    scire, et levissimus Atticæ eruditionis gustus hæresin sapiebat.”]

    [Footnote 5: See _Biographia Britannica Literaria_, vol. i.
    p. 110.]

    [Footnote 6: M. M.’s _Lectures on the Science of Language_,
    vol. i. p. 171.]

    [Footnote 7: Ibid., p. 176.]

    [Footnote 8: See Notes A and B, pp. 43, 45.]

    [Footnote 9: See M. M., _Science of Religion_, 1873, p. 293.]

    [Footnote 10: See Weber, _Indische Studien_, vol. i. p. 38.]

    [Footnote 11: See Haug, in Ewald’s _Biblische Jahrbücher_, vol.
    vi. p. 162.]

    [Footnote 12: _Anab._, i. 2, 7: Ἐνταῦθα Κύρῳ Βασίλεια ἦν καὶ
    παράδεισος μέγας, ἀγρίων θηρίων πλήρης, ἅ ἐκεῖνος ἐθήρευεν ἀπὸ
    ἵππου, ὁπότε γυμνάσαι βούλοιτο ἑαυτόν τε καὶ τοὺς ἵππους. Διὰ
    μέσου δὲ τοῦ παραδείσου ῥεῖ ὁ Μαίανδρος ποταμός κ.τ.λ. _Hell._,
    iv. 1, 15: Ἐν περιειργμένοις παραδείσοις κ.τ.λ.]

    [Footnote 13: See _Indian Antiquary_, 1874, p. 332.]

    [Footnote 14: Grassmann, Kuhn’s _Zeitschrift_, vol. ix. p. 23.]

    [Footnote 15: Ebel, Kuhn’s _Zeitschrift_, vol. viii. p. 242.]

    [Footnote 16: Schleicher, _Compendium_, § 112.]

    [Footnote 17: Lottner, Kuhn’s _Zeitschrift_, vol. ix. p. 319.]

    [Footnote 18: Leo Meyer, _Die Gothische Sprache_, § 31.]

    [Footnote 19: Choeroboscus, _B. A._, p. 1274, 29: Τὰ ἀπαρέμφατα
    ἀμφιβάλλεται εἰ ἄρα εἰσὶ ῥήματα ἢ οὐχί. Schoemann, _Rede-theile_,
    p. 49.]

    [Footnote 20: Apollonius, _De Constr._, i. c. 8, p. 32: Δυνάμει
    αὐτὸ τὸ ῥῆμα οὔτε πρόσωπα ἐπιδέχεται οὔτε ἀριθμούς, ἀλλὰ
    ἐγγενόμενον ἐν προσώποις τότε καὶ τὰ πρόσωπα διέστειλεν . . . .
    καὶ ψυχικὴν διάθεσιν. Schoemann, l.c. p. 19.]

    [Footnote 21: Note C, p. 47.]

    [Footnote 22: Benfey, _Orient und Occident_, vol. i. p. 606; vol.
    ii. pp. 97, 132.]

    [Footnote 23: _Chips_, vol. iii. p. 134.]

    [Footnote 24: Dr. Kielhorn in his grammar gives correctly +tad+ as
    base, +tat+ as nom. and acc. sing., because in the latter case
    phonetic rules either require or allow the change of _d_ into _t_.
    Boehtlingk, Roth, and Benfey also give the right forms. Curtius,
    like Bopp, gives +yat+, Schleicher +tat+, which he supposes to
    have been changed at an early time into +tad+ (§ 203).]

    [Footnote 25: Weich ist es (_ṭ_ oder _ḍ_) wohl im abl. sing.,
    +gafnâṭ+ (+gafnâdha+). Justi, _Handbuch der Zendsprache_, p. 362.]

    [Footnote 26: _Orient und Occident_, vol. i. p. 298.]

    [Footnote 27: _Entwickelung der Lateinischen Formenlehre_, 1870,
    p. 20.]

    [Footnote 28: _Grundriss der Lateinischen Declination_, 1866,
    p. 9.]

    [Footnote 29: See Benfey, l.c. p. 298.]

    [Footnote 30: In the dictionary of Boehtlingk and Roth we read
    _s.v._ +gnâ+, “scarce in the singular; nom. sing. seems to be
    +gnâs+, according to the passage Rv. IV. 9, 4, and Naigh. I. 11,
    in one text, while the other text gives the form +gnâ+.” Against
    this, it should be remarked, that it would make no difference
    whether the MSS. of the Naighaṇṭuka give +gnâ+ or +gnâs+. +Gnâ+
    would be the nom. sing., +gnâs+ would be the form in which the
    word occurs most frequently in the Veda. It is easy to see that
    the collector of the Naighaṇṭuka allowed himself to quote words
    according to either principle.

    Devarâja, in his commentary on +gnâ+, explains it: “Gamer dhâtor
    dhâpṛ́vasyajyatibhyo naḥ (U. S. III. 6) iti bahulakân napratyayo
    bhavati ṭilopaś ca; ṭap. Gatyarthâ buddhyarthâḥ jânanti karmeti
    gnâḥ. Yadvâ gacchati yajñeshu; abhí yajñám gṛṇîhi no gnâvaḥ
    (patnîvaḥ) Rv. I. 15, 3. Chandâṃsi vai gnâ iti brâhmaṇam iti
    Mâdhavaḥ. Asmấ îd u gnấś cid (Rv. I. 61, 8) ity api; gâyatryâdyâ
    devapatnya iti sa eva. Tasmâc chandasâm gâyatryâdînâm vâgrûpatvâd

    In his remarks on Nigh. III. 29, it is quite clear that Devarâja
    takes +gnâḥ+ as a nom. plur., not as a nom. sing. He says: Menâ
    gnâ iti stríṇâm; ubhâv api śabdau vyâkhyâtau vânnâmasu. Mânayanti
    hi tâḥ patiśvaśuramátulâdayaḥ, pûjyâ bhûshayitavyâś ceti smaraṇât.
    Gacchanty enâḥ patayo patyârthinaḥ. The passage quoted in the
    Nirukta III. 29, gnâs tvâkṛntann apaso ’tanvata vayitryo ’vayan,
    is taken from the Tâṇḍyabrâhmaṇa I. 8, 9. “O dress! the women cut
    thee out, the workers stretched thee out, the weavers wove thee.”

    Thus every support which the Nighaṇṭu or the Nirukta was supposed
    to give to the form +gnâḥ+ as a nom. sing. vanishes. And if it is
    said _s.v._ +gnâspati+, that in this compound +gnâḥ+ might be
    taken as a nom. sing., and that the Pada-text separates
    +gnâḥ-patiḥ+, it has been overlooked that the separation in Rv.
    II. 38, 10, is a mere misprint. See Prâtiśâkhya, 738. The compound
    +gnâspatiḥ+ has been correctly explained as standing for
    +gnâyâspatiḥ+, and the same old genitive is also found in
    +jâspatiḥ+ and +jâspatyam+. See also Vâjasan. Prâtiśâkhya, IV. 39.
    It is important to observe that the metre requires us to pronounce
    +gnâspati+ either as +gnăāspătĭḥ+ or as +gănāspătĭḥ+.

    There is, as far as I know, no passage where +gnâḥ+ in the Veda
    can be taken as a nom. sing., and it should be observed that
    +gnâḥ+ as nom. plur. is almost always disyllabic in the Rig-veda,
    excepting the tenth Maṇḍala; that the acc. sing. (V. 43, 6) is,
    however, disyllabic, but the acc. plur. monosyllabic (I. 22, 10).
    In V. 43, 13, we must either read +gn̆āḥ+ or +ōshădhī̆ḥ.+]

    [Footnote 31: Sthâ, svâbhiprâyabodhanânukûlasthiti, to reveal by
    gestures, a meaning not found in our dictionaries. Wilson renders
    it wrongly by to stay with, which would govern the instrumental.
    +Śap+, cursing, means to use curses in order to convey some
    meaning or intention to another person.]

    [Footnote 32: Wilson’s _Sanskrit Grammar_, p. 390.]

    [Footnote 33: In verbs compounded with prepositions the accent is
    on the penultimate: _e.g._, +samídhe+, +atikráme+, etc.]

    [Footnote 34: See M. M.’s _Translation of the Rig-Veda_, I.
    p. 34.]

    [Footnote 35: Morris, _Historic Outlines of English Accidence_,
    p. 52.]

    [Footnote 36: Morris, l.c. p. 177.]



FRIDAY, MAY 29, 1868.[1]

Part I.


There are few sensations more pleasant than that of wondering. We have
all experienced it in childhood, in youth, and in our manhood, and we
may hope that even in our old age this affection of the mind will not
entirely pass away. If we analyze this feeling of wonder carefully, we
shall find that it consists of two elements. What we mean by wondering
is not only that we are startled or stunned,--that I should call the
merely passive element of wonder. When we say “I wonder,” we confess
that we are taken aback, but there is a secret satisfaction mixed up
with our feeling of surprise, a kind of hope, nay, almost of certainty,
that sooner or later the wonder will cease, that our senses or our mind
will recover, will grapple with these novel impressions or experiences,
grasp them, it may be, throw them, and finally triumph over them. In
fact we wonder at the riddles of nature, whether animate or inanimate,
with a firm conviction that there is a solution to them all, even though
we ourselves may not be able to find it.

Wonder, no doubt, arises from ignorance, but from a peculiar kind of
ignorance; from what might be called a fertile ignorance: an ignorance
which, if we look back at the history of most of our sciences, will be
found to have been the mother of all human knowledge. For thousands of
years men have looked at the earth with its stratifications, in some
places so clearly mapped out; for thousands of years they must have seen
in their quarries and mines, as well as we ourselves, the imbedded
petrifications of organic creatures: yet they looked and passed on
without thinking more about it--they did not wonder. Not even an
Aristotle had eyes to see; and the conception of a science of the earth,
of Geology, was reserved for the eighteenth century.

Still more extraordinary is the listlessness with which during all the
centuries that have elapsed since the first names were given to all
cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field, men
have passed by what was much nearer to them than even the gravel on
which they trod, namely, the words of their own language. Here, too, the
clearly marked lines of different strata seemed almost to challenge
attention, and the pulses of former life were still throbbing in the
petrified forms imbedded in grammars and dictionaries. Yet not even a
Plato had eyes to see, or ears to hear, and the conception of a science
of language, of Glottology, was reserved for the nineteenth century.

I am far from saying that Plato and Aristotle knew nothing of the
nature, the origin, and the purpose of language, or that we have nothing
to learn from their works. They, and their successors, and their
predecessors too, beginning with Herakleitos and Demokritos, were
startled and almost fascinated by the mysteries of human speech as much
as by the mysteries of human thought; and what we call grammar and the
laws of language, nay, all the technical terms which are still current
in our schools, such as _noun_ and _verb_, _case_ and _number_,
_infinitive_ and _participle_, all this was first discovered and named
by the philosophers and grammarians of Greece, to whom, in spite of all
our new discoveries, I believe we are still beholden, whether
consciously or unconsciously, for more than half of our intellectual

But the interest which those ancient Greek philosophers took in language
was purely philosophical. It was the form, far more than the matter of
speech which seemed to them a subject worthy of philosophical
speculation. The idea that there was, even in their days, an immense
mass of accumulated speech to be sifted, to be analyzed, and to be
accounted for somehow, before any theories on the nature of language
could be safely started, hardly ever entered their minds; or when it
did, as we see here and there in Plato’s “Kratylos,” it soon vanished,
without leaving any permanent impression. Each people and each
generation has its own problems to solve. The problem that occupied
Plato in his “Kratylos” was, if I understand him rightly, the
possibility of a perfect language, a correct, true, or ideal language,
a language founded on his own philosophy, his own system of types or
ideas. He was too wise a man to attempt, like Bishop Wilkins, the actual
construction of a philosophical language. But, like Leibniz, he just
lets us see that a perfect language is conceivable, and that the chief
reason of the imperfections of real language must be found in the fact
that its original framers were ignorant of the true nature of things,
ignorant of dialectic philosophy, and therefore incapable of naming
rightly what they had failed to apprehend correctly. Plato’s view of
actual language, as far as it can be made out from the critical and
negative rather than didactic and positive dialogue of “Kratylos,” seems
to have been very much the same as his view of actual government. Both
fall short of the ideal, and both are to be tolerated only in so far as
they participate in the perfections of an ideal state and an ideal
language.[2] Plato’s “Kratylos” is full of suggestive wisdom. It is one
of those books which, as we read them again from time to time, seem
every time like new books: so little do we perceive at first all that is
pre-supposed in them,--the accumulated mould of thought, if I may say
so, in which alone a philosophy like that of Plato could strike its
roots and draw its support.

But while Plato shows a deeper insight into the mysteries of language
than almost any philosopher that has come after him, he has no eyes for
that marvelous harvest of words garnered up in our dictionaries, and in
the dictionaries of all the races of the earth. With him language is
almost synonymous with Greek, and though in one passage of the
“Kratylos” he suggests that certain Greek words might have been borrowed
from the Barbarians, and, more particularly from the Phrygians, yet that
remark, as coming from Plato, seems to be purely ironical, and though it
contains, as we know, a germ of truth that has proved most fruitful in
our modern science of language, it struck no roots in the minds of Greek
philosophers. How much our new science of language differs from the
linguistic studies of the Greeks; how entirely the interest which Plato
took in language is now supplanted by new interests, is strikingly
brought home to us when we see how the _Société de Linguistique_, lately
founded at Paris, and including the names of the most distinguished
scholars of France, declares in one of its first statutes that “it will
receive no communication concerning the origin of language or the
formation of a universal language,” the very subjects which, in the time
of Herakleitos and Plato, rendered linguistic studies worthy of the
consideration of a philosopher.

It may be that the world was too young in the days of Plato, and that
the means of communication were wanting to enable the ancient
philosopher to see very far beyond the narrow horizon of Greece. With us
it is different. The world has grown older, and has left to us in the
annals of its various literatures the monuments of growing and decaying
speech. The world has grown larger, and we have before us, not only the
relics of ancient civilization in Asia, Africa, and America, but living
languages in such number and variety that we draw back almost aghast at
the mere list of their names. The world has grown wiser too, and where
Plato could only see imperfections, the failures of the founders of
human speech, we see, as everywhere else in human life, a natural
progress from the imperfect towards the perfect, unceasing attempts at
realizing the ideal, and the frequent triumphs of the human mind over
the inevitable difficulties of this earthly condition,--difficulties,
not of man’s own making, but, as I firmly believe, prepared for him, and
not without a purpose, as toils and tasks, by a higher Power and by the
highest Wisdom.

Let us look then abroad and behold the materials which the student of
language has now to face. Beginning with the language of the Western
Isles, we have at the present day, at least 100,000 words, arranged as
on the shelves of a Museum, in the pages of Johnson and Webster. But
these 100,000 words represent only the best grains that have remained in
the sieve, while clouds of chaff have been winnowed off, and while many
a valuable grain too has been lost by mere carelessness. If we counted
the wealth of English dialects, and if we added the treasures of the
ancient language from Alfred to Wycliffe, we should easily double the
herbarium of the linguistic flora of England. And what are these Western
Isles as compared to Europe; and what is Europe, a mere promontory, as
compared to the vast continent of Asia; and what again is Asia, as
compared to the whole inhabitable world? But there is no corner of that
world that is not full of language: the very desert and the isles of the
sea teem with dialects, and the more we recede from the centres of
civilization, the larger the number of independent languages, springing
up in every valley, and overshadowing the smallest island.

    Ἴδαν ἐς πολύδενδρον ἀνὴρ ὑλατόμος ἐνθὼν
    Παπταίνει, παρέοντος ἄδην, πόθεν ἄρξεται ἔργω.

We are bewildered by the variety of plants, of birds, and fishes, and
insects, scattered with lavish prodigality over land and sea;--but what
is the living wealth of that Fauna as compared to the winged words which
fill the air with unceasing music! What are the scanty relics of fossil
plants and animals, compared to the storehouse of what we call the dead
languages! How then can we explain it that for centuries and centuries,
while collecting beasts, and birds, and fishes, and insects, while
studying their forms, from the largest down to the smallest and almost
invisible creatures, man has passed by this forest of speech, without
seeing the forest, as we say in German, for the very number of its trees
(_Man sah den Wald vor lauter Bäumen nicht_), without once asking how
this vast currency could have been coined, what inexhaustible mines
could have supplied the metal, what cunning hands could have devised the
image and superscription,--without once wondering at the countless
treasure inherited by him from the fathers of the human race?

Let us now turn our attention in a different direction. After it had
been discovered that there was this great mass of material to be
collected, to be classified, to be explained, what has the Science of
Language, as yet, really accomplished? It has achieved much, considering
that real work only began about fifty years ago; it has achieved little,
if we look at what still remains to be done.

The first discovery was that languages admit of classification. Now this
was a very great discovery, and it at once changed and raised the whole
character of linguistic studies. Languages might have been, for all we
know, the result of individual fancy or poetry; words might have been
created here and there at random, or been fixed by a convention, more or
less arbitrary. In that case a scientific classification would have been
as impossible as it is if applied to the changing fashions of the day.
Nothing can be classified, nothing can be scientifically ruled and
ordered, except what has grown up in natural order and according to
rational rule.

Out of the great mass of speech that is now accessible to the student of
language, a number of so-called families have been separated, such as
the _Aryan_, the _Semitic_, the _Ural-Altaic_, the _Indo-Chinese_, the
_Dravidian_, the _Malayo-Polynesian_, the _Kafir_ or _Bâ-ntu_ in Africa,
and the _Polysynthetic_ dialects of America. The only classes, however,
which have been carefully examined, and which alone have hitherto
supplied the materials for what we might call the Philosophy of
Language, are the Aryan and the Semitic, the former comprising the
languages of India, Persia, Armenia, Greece and Italy, and of the
Celtic, Teutonic, and Slavonic races; the latter consisting of the
languages of the Babylonians, the Syrians, the Jews, the Ethiopians, the

These two classes include, no doubt, the most important languages of the
world, if we measure the importance of languages by the amount of
influence exercised on the political and literary history of the world
by those who speak them. But considered by themselves, and placed in
their proper place in the vast realm of human speech, they describe but
a very small segment of the entire circle. The completeness of the
evidence which they place before us in the long series of their literary
treasures, points them out in an eminent degree as the most useful
subjects on which to study the anatomy of speech, and nearly all the
discoveries that have been made as to the laws of language, the process
of composition, derivation, and inflexion, have been gained by Aryan and
Semitic scholars.

Far be it from me, therefore, to underrate the value of Aryan and
Semitic scholarship for a successful prosecution of the Science of
Language. But while doing full justice to the method adopted by Semitic
and Aryan scholars in the discovery of the laws that regulate the growth
and decay of language, we must not shut our eyes to the fact that our
field of observation has been thus far extremely limited, and that we
should act in defiance of the simplest rules of sound induction, were we
to generalize on such scanty evidence. Let us but clearly see what place
these two so-called families, the Aryan and Semitic, occupy in the great
kingdom of speech. They are in reality but two centres, two small
settlements of speech, and all we know of them is their period of decay,
not their period of growth, their descending, not their ascending
career, their Being, as we say in German, not their Becoming (_Ihr
Gewordensein, nicht ihr Werden_). Even in the earliest literary
documents both the Aryan and Semitic speech appear before us as fixed
and petrified. They had left forever that stage during which language
grows and expands, before it is arrested in its exuberant fertility by
means of religious or political concentration, by means of oral
tradition, or finally by means of a written literature. In the natural
history of speech, writing, or, what in early times takes the place of
writing, oral tradition, is something merely accidental. It represents a
foreign influence which, in natural history, can only be compared to the
influence exercised by domestication on plants and animals. Language
would be language still, nay, would be more truly language, if the idea
of a literature, whether oral or written, had never entered men’s minds;
and however important the effects produced by this artificial
domestication of language may be, it is clear that our ideas of what
language is in a natural state, and therefore what Sanskrit and Hebrew,
too, must have been before they were tamed and fixed by literary
cultivation, ought not to be formed from an exclusive study of Aryan and
Semitic speech. I maintain that all that we call Aryan and Semitic
speech, wonderful as its literary representatives may be, consists of
neither more or less than so many varieties which all owe their origin
to only two historical concentrations of wild unbounded speech; nay,
however perfect, however powerful, however glorious in the history of
the world,--in the eyes of the student of language, Sanskrit, Greek, and
Latin, Hebrew, Arabic, and Syriac, are what a student of natural history
would not hesitate to call “_monstra_,” unnatural, exceptional
formations which can never disclose to us the real character of language
left to itself to follow out its own laws without let or hindrance.

For that purpose a study of Chinese and the Turanian dialects, a study
even of the jargons of the savages of Africa, Polynesia, and Melanesia
is far more instructive than the most minute analysis of Sanskrit and
Hebrew. The impression which a study of Greek and Latin and Sanskrit
leaves on our minds is, that language is a work of art, most
complicated, most wonderful, most perfect. We have given so many names
to its outward features, its genders and cases, its tenses and moods,
its participles, gerunds, and supines, that at last we are frightened at
our own devices. Who can read through all the so-called irregular verbs,
or look at the thousands and thousands of words in a Greek Dictionary
without feeling that he moves about in a perfect labyrinth? How then, we
ask, was this labyrinth erected? How did all this come to be? We
ourselves, speaking the language which we speak, move about, as it were,
in the innermost chambers, in the darkest recesses of that primeval
palace, but we cannot tell by what steps and through what passages we
arrived there, and we look in vain for the thread of Ariadne which in
leading us out of the enchanted castle of our language, would disclose
to us the way by which we ourselves, or our fathers and forefathers
before us, entered into it.

The question how language came to be what it is has been asked again and
again. Even a school-boy, if he possesses but a grain of the gift of
wondering must ask himself why _mensa_ means one table, and _mensæ_ many
tables; why I love should be _amo_, I am loved _amor_, I shall love
_amabo_, I have loved _amavi_, I should have loved _amavissem_. Until
very lately two answers only could have been given to such questions.
Both sound to us almost absurd, yet in their time they were supported by
the highest authorities. Either, it was said, language, and particularly
the grammatical framework of language was made by _convention_, by
agreeing to call one table _mensa_, and many tables _mensæ_; or, and
this was Schlegel’s view, language was declared to possess an organic
life, and its terminations, prefixes, and suffixes were supposed to have
sprouted forth from the radicals and stems and branches of language,
like so many buds and flowers. To us it seems almost incredible that
such theories should have been seriously maintained, and maintained by
men of learning and genius. But what better answer could they have
given? What better answer has been given even now? We have learnt
something, chiefly from a study of the modern dialects, which often
repeat the processes of ancient speech, and thus betray the secrets of
the family. We have learnt that in some of the dialects of modern
Sanskrit, in Bengali for instance,[4] the plural is formed, as it is in
Chinese, Mongolian, Turkish, Finnish, Burmese, and Siamese, also in the
Dravidian and Malayo-Polynesian dialects, by adding a word expressive of
plurality, and then appending again the terminations of the singular. We
have learnt from French how a future, _je parlerai_, can be formed by an
auxiliary verb: “I to speak have” coming to mean, I shall speak. We have
learnt from our own language, whether English or German, that suffixes,
such as _head_ in _godhead_, _ship_ in _ladyship_, _dom_ in _kingdom_
were originally substantives, having the meaning of quality, shape, and
state. But I doubt whether even thus we should have arrived at a
thorough understanding of the real antecedents of language, unless, what
happened in the study of the stratification of the earth, had happened
in the study of language. If the formation of the crust of the earth had
been throughout regular and uniform, and if none of the lower strata had
been tilted up, so that even those who run might read, no shaft from the
surface could have been sunk deep enough to bring the geologist from the
tertiary strata down to the Silurian rocks. The same in language. Unless
some languages had been arrested in their growth during their earlier
stages, and had remained on the surface in this primitive state exposed
only to the decomposing influence of atmospheric action, and to the
ill-treatment of literary cultivation, I doubt whether any scholar would
have had the courage to say that at one time Sanskrit was like unto
Chinese, and Hebrew no better than Malay. In the successive strata of
language thus exposed to our view, we have in fact, as in Geology, the
very thread of Ariadne, which, if we will but trust to it, will lead us
out of the dark labyrinth of language in which we live, by the same road
by which we and those who came before us, first entered into it. The
more we retrace our steps, the more we advance from stratum to stratum,
from story to story, the more shall we feel almost dazzled by the
daylight that breaks in upon us; the more shall we be struck, no longer
by the intricacy of Greek or Sanskrit grammar, but by the marvelous
simplicity of the original warp of human speech, as preserved, for
instance, in Chinese; by the child-like contrivances, that are at the
bottom of Paulo-post Futures and Conditional Moods.

Let no one be frightened at the idea of studying a Chinese grammar.
Those who can take an interest in the secret springs of the mind, in the
elements of pure reason, in the laws of thought, will find a Chinese
grammar most instructive, most fascinating. It is the faithful
photograph of man in his leading-strings, trying the muscles of his
mind, groping his way, and so delighted with his first successful grasps
that he repeats them again and again. It is child’s play, if you like,
but it displays, like all child’s play, that wisdom and strength which
are perfect in the mouth of babes and sucklings. Every shade of thought
that finds expression in the highly finished and nicely balanced system
of Greek tenses, moods, and particles can be expressed, and has been
expressed, in that infant language by words that have neither prefix nor
suffix, no terminations to indicate number, case, tense, mood, or
person. Every word in Chinese is monosyllabic, and the same word,
without any change of form, may be used as a noun, a verb, an adjective,
an adverb, or a particle. Thus _ta_, according to its position in a
sentence, may mean great, greatness, to grow, very much, very.[5]

And here a very important observation has been made by Chinese
grammarians, an observation which, after a very slight modification and
expansion, contains indeed the secret of the whole growth of language
from Chinese to English. If a word in Chinese is used with the _bonâ
fide_ signification of a noun or a verb, it is called a _full word_
(_shi-tsé_); if it is used as a particle or with a merely determinative
or formal character, it is called an _empty word_ (_hiu-tsé_[6]). There
is as yet no outward difference between full and empty words in Chinese,
and this renders it all the more creditable to the grammarians of China
that they should have perceived the inward distinction, even in the
absence of any outward signs.

Let us learn then from Chinese grammarians this great lesson, that words
may become empty, and without restricting the meaning of empty words as
they do, let us use that term in the most general sense, as expressive
of the fact that words may lose something of their full original

Let us add to this another observation, which the Chinese could not well
have made, but which we shall see confirmed again and again in the
history of language, viz.: that empty words, or, as we may also call
them, dead words, are most exposed to phonetic decay.

It is clear then that, with these two preliminary observations, we can
imagine three conditions of language:--

1. There may be languages in which all words, both empty and full,
retain their independent form. Even words which are used when we should
use mere suffixes or terminations, retain their outward integrity in
Chinese. Thus, in Chinese, _jin_ means man, _tu_ means crowd, _jin-tu_,
man-crowd. In this compound both _jin_ and _tu_ continue to be felt as
independent words, more so than in our own compound _man-kind_; but
nevertheless _tu_ has become empty, it only serves to determine the
preceding word _jin_, man, and tells us the quantity or number in which
_jin_ shall be taken. The compound answers in intention to our plural,
but in form it is wide apart from _men_, the plural of _man_.

2. Empty words may lose their independence, may suffer phonetic decay,
and dwindle down to mere suffixes and terminations. Thus in Burmese the
plural is formed by _to_, in Finnish, Mordvinian, and Ostiakian by _t_.
As soon as _to_ ceases to be used as an independent word in the sense of
number, it becomes an empty, or if you like, an obsolete word, that has
no meaning except as the exponent of plurality; nay, at last, it may
dwindle down to a mere letter, which is then called by grammarians the
termination of the plural. In this second stage phonetic decay may
well-nigh destroy the whole body of an empty word, but--and this is
important--no full words, no radicals are as yet attacked by that
disintegrating process.

3. Phonetic decay may advance, and does advance still further. Full
words also may lose their independence, and be attacked by the same
disease that had destroyed the original features of suffixes and
prefixes. In this state it is frequently impossible to distinguish any
longer between the radical and formative elements of words.

If we wished to represent these three stages of language algebraically,
we might represent the first by RR, using R as the symbol of a root
which has suffered no phonetic decay; the second, by R + ρ or ρ + R, or
ρ + R + ρ, representing by ρ an empty word that has suffered phonetic
change; the third, by rρ, or ρr, or ρrρ, when both full and empty words
have been changed, and have become welded together into one
indistinguishable mass through the intense heat of thought, and by the
constant hammering of the tongue.

Those who are acquainted with the works of Humboldt will easily
recognize, in these three stages or strata, a classification of language
first suggested by that eminent philosopher. According to him languages
can be classified as _isolating_, _agglutinative_,[7] and
_inflectional_, and his definition of these three classes agrees in the
main with the description just given of the three strata or stages of

But what is curious is that this threefold classification, and the
consequences to which it leads, should not at once have been fully
reasoned out, nay, that a system most palpably erroneous should have
been founded upon it. We find it repeated again and again in most works
on Comparative Philology, that Chinese belongs to the _isolating_ class,
the Turanian languages to the _combinatory_, the Aryan and Semitic to
the _inflectional_; nay, Professor Pott[8] and his school seem convinced
that no evolution can ever take place from _isolating_ to _combinatory_
and from _combinatory_ to _inflectional_ speech. We should thus be
forced to believe that by some inexplicable grammatical instinct, or by
some kind of inherent necessity, languages were from the beginning
created as _isolating_ or _combinatory_, or _inflectional_, and must
remain so to the end.

It is strange that those scholars who hold that no transition is
possible from one form of language to another, should not have seen that
there is really no language that can be strictly called either
isolating, or combinatory, or inflectional, and that the transition from
one stage to another is in fact constantly taking place under our very
noses. Even Chinese is not free from combinatory forms, and the more
highly developed among the combinatory languages show the clearest
traces of incipient inflection. The difficulty is not to show the
transition of one stratum of speech into another, but rather to draw a
sharp line between the different strata. The same difficulty was felt in
Geology, and led Sir Charles Lyell to invent such pliant names as
_Eocene_, _Meiocene_, and _Pleiocene_, names which indicate a mere dawn,
a minority, or a majority of new formations, but do not draw a fast and
hard line, cutting off one stratum from the other. Natural growth, and
even merely mechanical accumulation and accretion, here as elsewhere,
are so minute and almost imperceptible that they defy all strict
scientific terminology, and force upon us the lesson that we must be
satisfied with an approximate accuracy. For practical purposes
Humboldt’s classification of languages may be quite sufficient, and we
have no difficulty in classing any given language, according to the
prevailing character of its formation, as either isolating, or
combinatory, or inflectional. But when we analyze each language more
carefully we find there is not one exclusively isolating, or exclusively
combinatory, or exclusively inflectional. The power of composition,
which is retained unimpaired through every stratum, can at any moment
place an inflectional on a level with an isolating and a combinatory
language. A compound such as the Sanskrit +go-duh+, cow-milking, differs
little, if at all, from the Chinese _nieou-jou_, _vaccæ lac_, or in the
patois of Canton, _ngau ü_, cow-milk, before it takes the terminations
of the nominative, which is, of course, impossible in Chinese.

So again in English _New-town_, in Greek _Nea-polis_, would be simply
combinatory compounds. Even _Newton_ would still belong to the
combinatory stratum; but _Naples_ would have to be classed as belonging
to the inflectional stage.

Finnish, Hungarian, Turkish, and the Dravidian languages belong in the
main to the combinatory stratum; but having received a considerable
amount of literary cultivation, they all alike exhibit forms which in
every sense of the word are inflectional. If in Finnish, for instance,
we find _käsi_, in the singular, hand, and _kädet_, in the plural,
hands, we see that phonetic corruption has clearly reached the very core
of the noun, and given rise to a plural more decidedly inflectional than
the Greek χεῖρ-ες, or the English _hand-s_. In Tamil, where the suffix
of the plural is +gaḷ+, we have indeed a regular combinatory form in
+kei-gaḷ+, hands; but if the same plural suffix +gaḷ+ is added to +kal+,
stone, the euphonic rules of Tamil require not only a change in the
suffix, which becomes +kaḷ+, but likewise a modification in the body of
the word, +kal+ being changed to +kar+. We thus get the plural +karkaḷ+
which in every sense of the word is an inflectional form. In this plural
suffix +gaḷ+, Dr. Caldwell has recognized the Dravidian +taḷa+ or
+daḷa+, a host, a crowd; and though, as he admits himself in the second
edition (p. 143), the evidence in support of this etymology may not be
entirely satisfactory, the steps by which the learned author of the
Grammar of the Dravidian languages has traced the plural termination
+lu+ in Telugu back to the same original suffix +kaḷ+ admit of little

Evidence of a similar kind may easily be found in any grammar, whether
of an isolating, combinatory, or inflectional language, wherever there
is evidence as to the ascending or descending progress of any particular
form of speech. Everywhere amalgamation points back to combination, and
combination back to juxtaposition, everywhere isolating speech tends
towards terminational forms, and terminational forms become

I may best be able to explain the view commonly held with regard to the
strata of language by a reference to the strata of the earth. Here, too,
where different strata have been tilted up, it might seem at first sight
as if they were arranged perpendicularly and side by side, none
underlying the other, none presupposing the other. But as the geologist,
on the strength of more general evidence, has to reverse this
perpendicular position, and to re-arrange his strata in their natural
order, and as they followed each other horizontally, the student of
language too is irresistibly driven to the same conclusion. No language
can by any possibility be inflectional without having passed through the
combinatory and isolating stratum; no language can by any possibility be
combinatory without clinging with its roots to the underlying stratum of
isolation. Unless Sanskrit and Greek and Hebrew had passed through the
combinatory stratum, nay, unless, at some time or other, they had been
no better than Chinese, their present form would be as great a miracle
as the existence of chalk (and the strata associated with it) without an
underlying stratum of oolite (and the strata associated with it;) or a
stratum of oolite unsupported by the trias or system of new red
sandstone. Bunsen’s dictum, that “the question whether a language can
begin with inflections, implies an absurdity,” may have seemed too
strongly worded: but if he took inflections in the commonly received
meaning, in the sense of something that may be added or removed from a
base in order to define or to modify its meaning, then surely the simple
argument _ex nihilo nihil fit_ is sufficient to prove that the
inflections must have been something by themselves, before they became
inflections relatively to the base, and that the base too must have
existed by itself, before it could be defined and modified by the
addition of such inflections.

But we need not depend on purely logical arguments, when we have
historical evidence to appeal to. As far as we know the history of
language, we see it everywhere confined within those three great strata
or zones which we have just described. There are inflectional changes,
no doubt, which cannot as yet be explained, such as the _m_ in the
accusative singular of masculine, feminine, and in the nominative and
accusative of neuter nouns; or the change of vowels between the Hebrew
_Piel_ and _Pual_, _Hiphil_ and _Hophal_, where we might feel tempted to
admit formative agencies different from juxtaposition and combination.
But if we consider how in Sanskrit the Vedic instrumental plural,
+aśvebhis+ (Lat. _equobus_), becomes before our very eyes +aśvais+ (Lat.
_equis_), and how such changes as _Bruder_, brother, and _Brüder_,
brethren, _Ich weiss_, I know, A.S. _wât_, and _Wir wissen_, we know,
A.S. _wit-on_, have been explained as the results of purely mechanical,
_i.e._, combinatory proceedings, we need not despair of further progress
in the same direction. One thing is certain, that, wherever inflection
has yielded to a rational analysis, it has invariably been recognized as
the result of a previous combination, and wherever combination has been
traced back to an earlier stage, that earlier stage has been simple
juxtaposition. The primitive blocks of Chinese and the most perplexing
agglomerates of Greek can be explained as the result of one continuous
formative process, whatever the material elements may be on which it was
exercised; nor is it possible even to imagine in the formation of
language more than these three strata through which hitherto all human
speech has passed.

All we can do is to subdivide each stratum, and thus, for instance,
distinguish in the second stratum the suffixing (R + ρ) from the
prefixing (ρ + R), and from the affixing (ρ + R + ρ) languages.

A fourth class, the infixing or incapsulating languages, are but a
variety of the affixing class, for what in Bask or in the polysynthetic
dialects of America has the appearance of actual insertion of formative
elements into the body of a base can be explained more rationally by the
former existence of simpler bases to which modifying suffixes or
prefixes have once been added, but not so firmly as to exclude the
addition of new suffixes at the end of the base, instead of, as with us,
at the end of the compound. If we could say in Greek δείκ-μι-νυ, instead
of δείκ-νυ-μι, or in Sanskrit +yu-mi-na-j+, instead of +yu-na-j-mi+, we
should have a real beginning of so-called incapsulating formations.[9]

A few instances will place the normal progress of language from stratum
to stratum more clearly before our eyes. We have seen that in Chinese
every word is monosyllabic, every word tells, and there are, as yet, no
suffixes by which one word is derived from another, no case-terminations
by which the relation of one word to another could be indicated. How,
then, does Chinese distinguish between the son of the father, and the
father of the son? Simply by position. _Fú_ is father, _tzé_, son;
therefore _fú tzé_ is son of the father, _tzé fú_, father of the son.
This rule admits of no exception but one. If a Chinese wants to say _a
wine-glass_, he puts _wine_ first and _glass_ last, as in English. If he
wants to say _a glass of wine_, he puts _glass_ first and _wine_ last.
Thus _i-pei thsieou_, a cup of wine; _thsieou pei_, a wine-cup. If,
however, it seems desirable to mark the word which is in the genitive
more distinctly, the word _tchi_ may be placed after it, and we may say,
_fú tchi tzé_, the son of the father. In the Mandarin dialect this
_tchi_ has become _ti_, and is added so constantly to the governed word,
that, to all intents and purposes, it may be treated as what we call the
termination of the genitive. Originally this _tchi_ was a relative, or
rather a demonstrative, pronoun, and it continues to be used as such in
the ancient Chinese.[10]

It is perfectly true that Chinese possesses no derivative suffixes; that
it cannot derive, for instance, _kingly_ from a noun, such as _king_, or
adjectives like _visible_ and _invisible_ from a verb _videre_, to see.
Yet the same idea which we express by invisible, is expressed without
difficulty in Chinese, only in a different way. They say _khan-pu-kien_,
“I-behold-and-do-not-see,” and this to them conveys the same idea as the
English _invisible_, though more exactly _invisible_ might be rendered
by _kien_, to see, _pou-te_, one cannot, _tí_, which.

We cannot in Chinese derive from _ferrum_, iron, a new substantive
_ferrarius_, a man who works in iron, a blacksmith; _ferraria_, an iron
mine, and again _ferrariarius_, a man who works in an iron mine. All
this is possible in an inflectional language only. But it is not to be
supposed that in Chinese there is an independent expression for every
single conception, even for those which are clearly secondary and
derivative. If an arrow in Chinese is _shi_, then a maker of arrows
(in old French _fléchier_, in English _fletcher_) is called an
arrow-man, _shi-jin_. _Shui_ means water, _fu_, man; hence _shui-fu_, a
water man, a water carrier. The same word _shui_, water, if followed by
_sheu_, hand, stands for steersman, literally, water-hand. _Kin_ means
gold, _tsiang_, maker; hence _kin-tsiang_, a goldsmith. _Shou_ means
writing, _sheu_, hand; hence _shou-sheu_, a writer, a copyist,
literally, a writing-hand.

A transition from such compounds to really combinatory speech is
extremely easy. Let _sheu_, in the sense of hand, become obsolete, and
be replaced in the ordinary language by another word for hand; and let
such names as _shu-sheu_, author, _shui-sheu_, boatsman, be retained,
and the people who speak this language will soon accustom themselves to
look upon _sheu_ as a mere derivative, and use it by a kind of false
analogy, even where the original meaning of _sheu_, hand, would not have
been applicable.[11]

We can watch the same process even in comparatively modern languages. In
Anglo-Saxon, for instance, _hâd_ means state, order. It is used as an
independent word, and continued to be so used as late as Spenser, who

    “Cuddie, I wote thou kenst little good,
    So vainly t’ advaunce thy headlesse hood.”

After a time, however, _hâd_, as an independent word, was lost, and its
place taken by more classical expressions, such as _habit_, _nature_, or
_disposition_. But there remained such compounds as _man-hâd_, the state
of man, _God-hâd_, the nature of God; and in these words the last
element, being an empty word and no longer understood, was soon looked
upon as a mere suffix. Having lost its vitality, it was all the more
exposed to phonetic decay, and became both _hood_ and _head_.

Or, let us take another instance, The name given to the fox in ancient
German poetry was _Regin-hart_. _Regin_ in Old High German means thought
or cunning, _hart_, the Gothic _hardu_, means strong. This _hart_[12]
corresponds to the Greek κράτος, which, in its adjectival form of
κρατης, forms as many proper names in Greek as _hart_ in German. In
Sanskrit the same word exists as _kratu_, meaning intellectual rather
than bodily strength, a shade of meaning which is still perceivable even
in the German _hart_, and in the English _hard_ and _hardy_.
_Reginhart_, therefore, was originally a compound, meaning
“thought-strong,” strong in cunning. Other words formed in the same or a
very similar manner are: _Peranhart_ and _Bernhart_, literally,
bear-minded, or bold like a bear; _Eburhart_, boar-minded; _Engil-hart_,
angel-minded; _Gothart_, god-minded; _Egin-hart_, fierce-minded;
_Hugihart_, wise-minded or strong in thought, the English _Hogarth_. In
Low German the second element, _hart_, lost its _h_ and became _ard_.
This _ard_ ceased to convey any definite meaning, and though in some
words which are formed by _ard_ we may still discover its original
power, it soon became a mere derivative, and was added promiscuously to
form new words. In the Low German name for the fox, _Reinaert_, neither
the first nor the second word tells us any longer anything, and the two
words together have become a mere proper name. In other words the first
portion retains its meaning, but the second, _ard_, is nothing but a
suffix. Thus we find the Low German _dronk-ard_, a drunkard; _dick-ard_,
a thick fellow; _rik-ard_, a rich fellow; _gêrard_, a miser. In English
_sweet-ard_, originally a very sweet person, has been changed and
resuscitated as _sweet-heart_,[13] by the same process which changed
_shamefast_ into _shamefaced_. But, still more curious, this suffix
_ard_, which had lost all life and meaning in Low German, was taken over
as a convenient derivative by the Romance languages. After having
borrowed a number of words such as _renard_, fox, and proper names like
_Bernard_, _Richard_, _Gerard_, the framers of the new Romance dialects
used the same termination even at the end of Latin words. Thus they
formed not only many proper names, like _Abeillard_, _Bayard_,
_Brossard_, but appellatives like _leccardo_, a gourmand, _linguardo_,
a talker, _criard_, a crier, _codardo_, Prov. _coart_, Fr. _couard_, a
coward.[14] That a German word _hart_, meaning strong, and originally
strength, should become a Roman suffix may seem strange; yet we no
longer hesitate to use even Hindustani words as English suffixes. In
Hindustani +válá+ is used to form many substantives. If +Dilli+ is
Delhi, then +Dill-vállá+ is a man of Delhi. +Go+ is cow, +go-válá+ a
cow-herd, contracted into +gválá+. Innumerable words can thus be formed,
and as the derivative seemed handy and useful, it was at last added even
to English words, for instance in “Competition wallah.”

These may seem isolated cases, but the principles on which they rest
pervade the whole structure of language. It is surprising to see how
much may be achieved by an application of those principles, how large
results may be obtained by the smallest and simplest means. By means of
the single radical î or +yâ+ (originally +ya+), which in the Aryan
languages means to go or to send, the almost unconscious framers of
Aryan grammar formed not only their neuter, denominative, and causative
verbs, but their passives, their optatives, their futures, and a
considerable number of substantives and adjectives. Every one of these
formations, in Sanskrit as well as in Greek, can be explained, and has
been explained, as the result of a combination between any given verbal
root and the radical _î_ or +yâ+.

There is, for instance, a root +nak+, expressive of perishing or
destruction. We have it in +nak+, night; Latin _nox_, Greek νύξ, meaning
originally the waning, the disappearing, the death of day. We have the
same root in composition, as, for instance, +jîva-nak+, life-destroying;
and by means of suffixes Greek has formed from it νεκ-ρός, a dead body,
νέκ-υς, dead, and νέκ-υ-ες in the plural, the departed. In Sanskrit this
root is turned into a simple verb, +naś-a-ti+, he perishes. But in order
to give to it a more distinctly neuter meaning, a new verbal base is
formed by composition with +ya+, +naś-ya-ti+, he goes to destruction, he

By the same or a very similar process denominative verbs are formed in
Sanskrit to a very large extent. From +râjan+, king, we form
+râjâ-ya-te+, he behaves like a king, literally, he goes the king, he
acts the king, _il a l’allure d’un roi_. From +kumârî+, girl,
+kûmârâ-ya-te+, he behaves like a girl, etc.[15]

After raising +naś+ to +nâśa+, and adding the same radical +ya+,
Sanskrit produces a causative verb, +nâśa-ya-ti+, he sends to
destruction, the Latin _nêcare_.

In close analogy to the neuter verb +naśyati+, the regular passive is
formed in Sanskrit by composition with +ya+, but by adding, at the same
time, a different set of personal terminations. Thus +náś-yá-ti+ means
he perishes, while +naś-yá-te+ means he is destroyed.

The usual terminations of the Optative in Sanskrit are:--

    yâm,  yâs,  yât,  yâma,  yâta,  yus,

or, after bases ending in vowels:--

    iyam,  is,  it, ima,  ita,  iyus.

In Greek:--

    ιην,  ιης,  ιη,  ιημεν,  ιητε,  ιεν,

or, after bases ending in o:--

    ιμι,  ις,  ι,  ιμεν,  ιτε,  ιεν.

In Latin:--

    iêm   iês  iet  ----   ----   ient,
    îm,   îs,  it,  îmus,  îtis,  int.

If we add these terminations to the root +AS+, to be, we get the
Sanskrit +s-yâm+ for +as-yâm+:--

    syâm,  syâs,  syât,  syâma,  syâta,  syus.

Greek ἐσ-ίην, contracted to εἴην:--

    εἴην,  εἴης,  εἴη,  εἴημεν,  εἴητε,  εἶεν

Latin _es-iem_, changed to _siêm_, _sîm_, and _erîm_:--

    siêm,  siês,  siet,[16]  ----     ----     sient.
    sim,   sîs,   sit,[17]   sîmus,   sitis,   sint.
    erîm,  erîs,  erit,      erîmus,  erîtis,  erint.

If we add the other termination to a verbal base ending in certain
vowels, we get the Sanskrit +bhara-iyam+, contracted to +bháreyam+:--

    bharêyam,  bharês,  bharêt,  bharêma,  bharêta, bharêyus.

in Greek φέρο-ιμι:--

    φέρο-ιμι, φέρο-ις, φέρο-ι, φέρο-ιμεν, φέρο-ιτε, φέρο-ιεν

in Latin _fere-im_, changed to _ferem_, used in the sense of a future,
but replaced[18] in the first person by _feram_, the subjunctive of the

  feram,  ferês,  feret,  ferêmus,  ferêtis,  ferent.

Perfect Subjunctive:--

  tul-erîm, tul-erîs, tul-erit,  tul-erimus, tul-eritis,[19] tul-erint.

Here we have clearly the same auxiliary verb, i or +ya+, again, and we
are driven to admit that what we now call an optative or potential mood,
was originally a kind of future, formed by +ya+, to go, very much like
the French _je vais dire_, I am going to say, I shall say, or like the
    1  2  3    4     1 2  3   4
  +ngi-ya-ku-tanda+, I go to love, I shall love.[20]
The future would afterwards assume the character of a civil command, as
“thou wilt go” may be used even by us in the sense of “go;” and the
imperative would dwindle away into a potential, as we may say: “Go and
you will see,” in the same sense as, If you go, you will see.

The terminations of the future are:--


    syâmi,  syasi,  syati,  syâmas,  syâtha,  syanti.


    σω,  σεις,  σει,  σομεν,  σετε,  σοντι.


    ero,  erĭs,  erĭt,  erĭmus,  erĭtis,  erunt.

In these terminations we have really two auxiliary verbs, the verb +as+,
to be, and +ya+, to go, and by adding them to any given root, as, for
instance, +DA+, to give, we have the Sanskrit (+dâ-as-yâ-mi+):--

    dâ-s-yâ-mi,  dâ-s-ya-si,  dâ-s-ya-ti,
      dâ-s-yâ-mas,  dâ-s-ya-tha,  dâ-s-ya-nti,

Greek (δω-εσ-ιω):--

    δώ-σ-ω,[21] δώ-σ-εις,  δώ-σ-ει,
      δώ-σ-ομεν,  δώ-σ-ετε,  δώ-σ-ουσι


    pot-ero,  pot-erĭs,  pot-erit,  pot-erĭmus,  pot-erĭtis,  pot-erunt.

A verbal form of very frequent occurrence in Sanskrit is the so-called
gerundive participle which signifies that a thing is necessary or proper
to be done. Thus from +budh+, to know, is formed +bodh-ya-s+, one who is
to be known, _cognoscendus_; from +guh+, to hide, +gúh-ya-s+, or
+goh-ya-s+, one who is to be hidden, literally, one who goes to a state
of hiding or being hidden; from +yaj+, to sacrifice, +yâj-ya-s+, one who
is or ought to be worshipped. Here, again, what is going to be becomes
gradually what will be, and lastly, what shall be. In Greek we find but
few analogous forms, such as ἅγιος, holy, στύγ-ι-ος, to be hated; in
Latin _ex-im-i-us_, to be taken out; in Gothic _anda-nêm-ja_, to be
taken on, to be accepted, agreeable, German _angenehm_.[22]

While the gerundive participles in +ya+ are formed on the same principle
as the verbal bases in +ya+ of the passive, a number of substantives in
+ya+ seem to have been formed in close analogy to the bases of
denominative verbs, or the bases of neuter verbs, in all of which the
derivative +ya+ expresses originally the act of going, behaving, and at
last of simple being. Thus from +vid+, to know, we find in Sanskrit
+vid-yâ+, knowing, knowledge; from +śi+, to lie down, +śayyâ+; resting.
Analogous forms in Latin are _gaud-i-um_, _stud-i-um_, or with feminine
terminations, _in-ed-i-a_, _in-vid-i-a_, _per-nic-i-es_, _scab-i-es_; in
Greek, μαν-ί-α, ἁμαρτ-ί-α, or ἁμάρτ-ι-ον; in German, numerous abstract
nouns in _i_ and _e_.[23]

This shows how much can be achieved, and has been achieved, in language
with the simplest materials. Neuter, denominative, causative, passive
verbs, optatives and futures, gerundives, adjectives, and substantives,
all are formed by one and the same process, by means of one and the same
root. It is no inconsiderable portion of grammar which has thus been
explained by this one root +ya+, to go, and we learn again and again how
simple and yet how wonderful are the ways of language, if we follow them
up from stratum to stratum to their original starting-point.

Now what has happened in these cases, has happened over and over again
in the history of language. Everything that is now formal, not only
derivative suffixes, but everything that constitutes the grammatical
framework and articulation of language, was originally material. What we
now call the terminations of cases were mostly local adverbs; what we
call the personal endings of verbs were personal pronouns. Suffixes and
affixes were mostly independent words, nominal, verbal, or pronominal;
there is, in fact, nothing in language that is now empty, or dead, or
formal, that was not originally full, and alive, and material. It is the
object of Comparative Grammar to trace every formal or dead element back
to its life-like form; and though this resuscitating process is by no
means complete, nay, though in several cases it seems hopeless to try to
discover the living type from which proceeded the petrified fragments
which we call terminations or suffixes, enough evidence has been brought
together to establish on the firmest basis this general maxim, that
_Nothing is dead in any language that was not originally alive_; that
nothing exists in a tertiary stratum that does not find its antecedents
and its explanation in the secondary or primary stratum of human speech.

After having explained, as far as it was possible in so short a time,
what I consider to be the right view of the stratification of human
speech, I should have wished to be able to show to you how the aspect of
some of the most difficult and most interesting problems of our science
is changed, if we look at them again with the new light which we have
gained regarding the necessary antecedents of all language. Let me only
call your attention to one of the most contested points in the Science
of Language. The question whether we may assign a common origin to the
Aryan and Semitic languages has been discussed over and over again. No
one thinks now of deriving Sanskrit from Hebrew, or Hebrew from
Sanskrit; the only question is whether at some time or other the two
languages could ever have formed part of one and the same body of
speech. There are scholars, and very eminent scholars, who deny all
similarity between the two, while others have collected materials that
would seem to make it difficult to assign such numerous coincidences to
mere chance. Nowhere, in fact, has Bacon’s observation on this radical
distinction between different men’s dispositions for philosophy and the
sciences been more fully verified than among the students of the Science
of Language:--_Maximum et velut radicale discrimen ingeniorum, quoad
philosophiam et scientias, illud est, quod alia ingenia sint fortiora et
aptiora ad notandas rerum differentias; alia ad notandas rerum
similitudines. . . . . . Utrumque autem ingenium facile labitur in
excessum, prensando aut gradus rerum, aut umbras._[24] Before, however,
we enter upon an examination of the evidence brought forward by
different scholars in support of their conflicting theories, it is our
first duty to ask a preliminary question, viz.: What kind of evidence
have we any right to expect, considering that both Sanskrit and Hebrew
belong, in the state in which we know them, to the inflectional stratum
of speech?

Now it is quite true that Sanskrit and Hebrew had a separate existence
long before they reached the tertiary stratum, before they became
thoroughly inflectional; and that consequently they can share nothing in
common that is peculiar to the inflectional stratum in each, nothing
that is the result of phonetic decay, which sets in after combinatory
formations have become unintelligible and traditional. I mean, supposing
that the pronoun of the first person had been originally the same in the
Semitic and Aryan languages, supposing that in the Hebrew _an-oki_
(Assyrian _an-aku_, Phen. _anak_) the last portion, _oki_, was
originally identical with the Sanskrit +ah+ in +aham+, the Greek ἐγ in
ἐγ-ώ, it would still be useless to attempt to derive the termination
of the first person singular, whether in _kâtal-ti_ or in _ektôl_, from
the same type which in Sanskrit appears as +mi+ or +am+ or +a+, in
+tudâ-mi+, +atud-am+, +tutod-a+. There cannot be between Hebrew and
Sanskrit the same relationship as between Sanskrit and Greek, if indeed
the term of relationship is applicable even to Sanskrit and Greek, which
are really mere dialectic varieties of one and the same type of speech.

The question then arises, Could the Semitic and Aryan languages have
been identical during the second or _combinatory_ period? Here, as
before, the answer must be, I believe, decidedly negative, for not only
are the empty words which are used for derivative purposes different in
each, but, what is far more characteristic, the manner in which they are
added to the stems is different too. In the Aryan languages formative
elements are attached to the ends of words only; in the Semitic
languages they are found both at the end and at the beginning. In the
Aryan languages grammatical compounds are all according to the formula
rρ; in the Semitic we have formations after the formulas rρ, ρr, and

There remains, therefore, the first or isolating stage only in which
Semitic and Aryan speech might have been identical. But even here we
must make a distinction. All Aryan roots are monosyllabic, all Semitic
roots have been raised to triliteral form. Therefore it is only previous
to the time when the Semitic roots assumed this secondary triliteral
form that any community could possibly be admitted between these two
streams of language. Supposing we knew as an historical fact that at
this early period--a period which transcends the limits of everything we
are accustomed to call historical--Semitic and Aryan speech had been
identical, what evidence of this union could we expect to find in the
actual Semitic and Aryan languages such as we know them in their
inflectional period? Let us recollect that the 100,000 words of English,
nay, the many hundred thousand words in all the dictionaries of the
other Aryan languages, have been reduced to about 500 roots, and that
this small number of roots admits of still further reduction. Let us,
then, bear in mind that the same holds good with regard to the Semitic
languages, particularly if we accept the reduction of all triliteral to
biliteral roots. What, then, could we expect in our comparison of Hebrew
and Sanskrit but a small number of radical coincidences, a similarity in
the form and meaning of about 500 radical syllables, everything else in
Hebrew and Sanskrit being an after-growth, which could not begin before
the two branches of speech were severed once and forever.

But more, if we look at these roots we shall find that their predicative
power is throughout very general, and therefore liable to an infinite
amount of specification. A root that means to fall (Sk. +pat+,
πί-πτ-ω) comes to mean to fly (Sk. +ut-pat+, πέτομαι). The root
+dâ+, which means to give, assumes, after the preposition â, the sense
of taking. The root +yu+, which means to join, means to separate if
preceded by the preposition +vi+. The root +ghar+, which expresses
brightness, may supply, and does supply in different Aryan languages,
derivations expressive of brightness (gleam), warmth (Sk. +gharma+,
heat), joy (χαίρειν), love (χάρις), of the colors of green (Sk.
+hari+), yellow (_gilvus_, _flavus_), and red (Sk. +harit+, _fulvus_),
and of the conception of growing (_ger-men_). In the Semitic languages
this vagueness of meaning in the radical elements forms one of the
principal difficulties of the student, for according as a root is used
in its different conjugations, it may convey the most startling variety
of conception. It is also to be taken into account that out of the very
limited number of roots which at that early time were used in common by
the ancestors of the Aryan and Semitic races, a certain portion may have
been lost by each, so that the fact that there are roots in Hebrew of
which no trace exists in Sanskrit, and _vice versâ_, would again be
perfectly natural and intelligible.

It is right and most essential that we should see all this clearly, that
we should understand how little evidence we are justified in expecting
in support of a common origin of the Semitic and Aryan languages, before
we commit ourselves to any opinion on this important subject. I have by
no means exhausted all the influences that would naturally, nay
necessarily, have contributed towards producing the differences between
the radical elements of Aryan and Semitic speech, always supposing that
the two sprang originally from the same source. Even if we excluded the
ravages of phonetic decay from that early period of speech, we should
have to make ample allowances for the influence of dialectic variety. We
know in the Aryan languages the constant play between gutturals,
dentals, and labials (_quinque_, Sk. +panca+, πέντε, Æol. πέμπε, Goth.
_fimf_). We know the dialectic interchange of Aspirate, Media, and
Tenuis, which, from the very beginning, has imparted to the principal
channels of Aryan speech their individual character (τρεῖς, Goth.
_threis_, High German _drei_).[25] If this and much more could happen
within the dialectic limits of one more or less settled body of speech,
what must have been the chances beyond those limits? Considering how
fatal to the identity of a word the change of a single consonant would
be in monosyllabic languages, we might expect that monosyllabic roots,
if their meaning was so general, vague, and changeable, would all the
more carefully have preserved their consonantal outline. But this is by
no means the case. Monosyllabic languages have their dialects no less
than polysyllabic ones; and from the rapid and decisive divergence of
such dialects, we may learn how rapid and decisive the divergence of
language must have been during the isolating period. Mr. Edkins, who has
paid particular attention to the dialects of Chinese, states that in the
northern provinces the greatest changes have taken place, eight initial
and one final consonant having been exchanged for others, and three
finals lost. Along the southern bank of the Yang-tsï-kiang, and a little
to the north of it, the old initials are all preserved, as also through
Chekiang to Fuh-kien. But among the finals, _m_ is exchanged for _n_;
_t_ and _p_ are lost, and also _k_, except in some country districts.
Some words have two forms, one used colloquially, and one appropriated
to reading. The former is the older pronunciation, and the latter more
near to Mandarin. The cities of Su-cheu, Hang-cheu, Ningpo, and
When-cheu, with the surrounding country, may be considered as having one
dialect, spoken probably by thirty millions of people, _i.e._, by more
than the whole population of Great Britain and Ireland. The city of
Hwei-cheu has a dialect of its own, in which the soft initial consonants
are exchanged for hard and aspirated ones, a process analogous to what
we call _Lautverschiebung_ in the Aryan languages. At Fu-cheu-fu, in the
eastern part of the province of Kiang-si, the soft initials have
likewise been replaced by aspirates. In many parts of the province of
Hunan the soft initials still linger on; but in the city of Chang-sha
the spoken dialect has the five tones of Mandarin, and the aspirated and
other initials distributed in the same manner. In the island of Hai-nan
there is a distinct approach to the form which Chinese words assume in
the language of Annam. Many of the hard consonants are softened, instead
of the reverse taking place as in many other parts of China. Thus _ti_,
_di_, both _ti_ in Mandarin, are both pronounced _di_ in Hai-nan. _B_
and _p_ are both used for many words whose initials are _w_ and _f_ in
Mandarin. In the dialects of the province of Fuhkien the following
changes take place in initial consonants: _k_ is used for _h_; _p_ for
_f_; _m_, _b_, for _w_; _j_ for _y_; _t_ for _ch_; _ch_ for _s_; _ng_
for _i_, _y_, _w_; _n_ for _j_.[26] When we have clearly realized to
ourselves what such changes mean in words consisting of one consonant
and one vowel, we shall be more competent to act as judges, and to
determine what right we have to call for more ample and more definite
evidence in support of the common origin of languages which became
separated during their monosyllabic or isolating stages, and which are
not known to us before they are well advanced in the inflectional stage.

It might be said,--Why, if we make allowance for all this, the evidence
really comes to nothing, and is hardly deserving of the attention of the
scholar. I do not deny that this is, and always has been my own opinion.
All I wish to put clearly before other scholars is, that this is not our
fault. We see why there can be no evidence, and we find there is no
evidence, or very little support of a common origin of Semitic and Aryan
speech. But that is very different from dogmatic assertions, so often
and so confidently repeated, that there can be no kind of relationship
between Sanskrit and Hebrew, that they must have had different
beginnings, that they represent, in fact, two independent species of
human speech. All this is pure dogmatism, and no true scholar will be
satisfied with it, or turn away contemptuously from the tentative
researches of scholars like Ewald, Raumer, and Ascoli. These scholars,
particularly Raumer and Ascoli, have given us, as far as I can judge,
far more evidence in support of a radical relationship between Hebrew
and Sanskrit than, from my point of view, we are entitled to expect.
I mean this as a caution in both directions. If, on one side, we ought
not to demand more than we have a right to demand, we ought, on the
other, not to look for, nor attempt to bring forward, more evidence than
the nature of the case admits of. We know that words which have
identically the same sound and meaning in Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, and
German, cannot be the same words, because they would contravene those
phonetic laws that made these languages to differ from each other. _To
doom_ cannot have any connection with the Latin _damnare_; _to call_
cannot be the Greek καλεῖν, the Latin _calare_; nor Greek φαῦλος
the German _faul_; the English _care_ cannot be identified with Latin
_cura_, nor the German _Auge_ with the Greek αὐγή. The same applies,
only with a hundred-fold greater force, to words in Hebrew and Sanskrit.
If any triliteral root in Hebrew were to agree with a triliteral word in
Sanskrit, we should feel certain, at once, that they are not the same,
or that their similarity is purely accidental. Pronouns, numerals, and a
few imitative rather than predicative names for father and mother, etc.,
may have been preserved from the earliest stage by the Aryan and Semitic
speakers; but if scholars go beyond, and compare such words as Hebrew
_barak_, to bless, and Latin _precari_; Hebrew _lab_, heart, and the
English _liver_; Hebrew _melech_, king, and the Latin _mulcere_, to
smoothe, to quiet, to subdue, they are in great danger, I believe, of
proving too much.

Attempts have lately been made to point out a number of roots which
Chinese shares in common with Sanskrit. Far be it from me to stigmatize
even such researches as unscientific, though it requires an effort for
one brought up in the very straitest school of Bopp, to approach such
inquiries without prejudice. Yet, if conducted with care and sobriety,
and particularly with a clear perception of the limits within which such
inquiries must be confined, they are perfectly legitimate; far more so
than the learned dogmatism with which some of our most eminent scholars
have declared a common origin of Sanskrit and Chinese as out of the
question. I cannot bring myself to say that the method which Mr.
Chalmers adopts in his interesting work on the “Origin of Chinese” is
likely to carry conviction to the mind of the _bonà fide_ skeptic.
I believe, before we compare the words of Chinese with those of any
other language, every effort should be made to trace Chinese words back
to their most primitive form. Here Mr. Edkins has pointed out the road
that ought to be followed, and has clearly shown the great advantage to
be derived from an accurate study of Chinese dialects. The same scholar
has done still more by pointing out how Chinese should at first be
compared with its nearest relatives, the Mongolian of the
North-Turanian, and the Tibetan of the South-Turanian class, before any
comparisons are attempted with more distant colonies that started during
the monosyllabic period of speech. “I am now seeking to compare,” he
writes, “the Mongolian and Tibetan with the Chinese, and have already
obtained some interesting results:--

“1. A large proportion of Mongol words are Chinese. Perhaps a fifth are
so. The identity is in the first syllable of the Mongol words, that
being the root. The correspondence is most striking in the adjectives,
of which perhaps one half of the most common are the same radically as
in Chinese; e.g., _sain_, good; _begen_, low; _ic‘hi_, right; _sologai_,
left; _c‘hihe_, straight; _gadan_, outside; _c’hohon_, few; _logon_,
green; _hung-gun_, light (not heavy). But the identity is also extensive
in other parts of speech, and this identity of common roots seems to
extend into the Turkish, Tatar, etc.; e.g., _su_, water; _tenri_,

“2. To compare Mongol with Chinese it is necessary to go back at least
six centuries in the development of the Chinese language. For we find in
common roots final letters peculiar to the old Chinese, _e.g._, final
_m_. The initial letters also need to be considered from another
standpoint than the Mandarin pronunciation. If a large number of words
are common to Chinese, Mongol, and Tatar, we must go back at least
twelve centuries to obtain a convenient epoch of comparison.

“3. While the Mongol has no traces of tones, they are very distinctly
developed in Tibetan. Csoma de Körös and Schmidt do not mention the
existence of tones, but they plainly occur in the pronunciation of
native Tibetans resident in Peking.

“4. As in the case of the comparison with Mongol, it is necessary in
examining the connection of Tibetan with Chinese to adopt the old form
of the Chinese with its more numerous final consonants, and its full
system of soft, hard, and aspirated initials. The Tibetan numerals
exemplify this with sufficient clearness.

“5. While the Mongol is near the Chinese in the extensive prevalence of
words common to the two languages, the Tibetan is near in phonal
structure, as being tonic and monosyllabic. This being so, it is less
remarkable that there are many words common to Chinese and Tibetan, for
it might have been expected; but that there should be perhaps as many in
the Mongol with its long untoned polysyllables, is a curious

This is no doubt the right spirit in which researches into the early
history of language should be conducted, and I hope that Mr. Edkins, Mr.
Chalmers, and others, will not allow themselves to be discouraged by the
ordinary objections that are brought against all tentative studies. Even
if their researches should only lead to negative results, they would be
of the highest importance. The criterion by which we test the
relationship of inflectional languages, such as Sanskrit and Greek,
Hebrew and Arabic, cannot, from the nature of the case, be applied to
languages which are still in the combinatory or isolating stratum, nor
would they answer any purpose, if we tried by them to determine whether
certain languages, separated during their inflectional growth, had been
united during their combinatory stage, or whether languages, separated
during their combinatory progress, had started from a common centre in
their monosyllabic age. Bopp’s attempt to work with his Aryan tools on
the Malayo-Polynesian languages, and to discover in them traces of Aryan
forms, ought to serve as a warning example.

However, there are dangers also, and even greater dangers, on the
opposite shore, and if Mr. Chalmers in his interesting work on “the
Origin of Chinese,” compares, for instance, the Chinese _tzé_, child,
with the Bohemian _tsi_, daughter, I know that the indignation of the
Aryan scholars will be roused to a very high pitch, considering how they
have proved most minutely that _tsi_ or _dci_ in Bohemian is the regular
modification of _dugte_, and that _dugte_ is the Sanskrit +duhitar+, the
Greek θυγάτηρ, daughter, originally a pet-name, meaning a milk-maid,
and given by the Aryan shepherds, and by them only, to the daughters of
their house. Such accidents[28] will happen in so comprehensive a
subject as the Science of Language. They have happened to scholars like
Bopp, Grimm, and Burnouf, and they will happen again. I do not defend
haste or inaccuracy, I only say, we must venture on, and not imagine
that all is done, and that nothing remains to conquer in our science.
Our watchword, here as elsewhere, should be Festina lente! but, by all
means, Festina! Festina! Festina!

Part II.


In a former Lecture on the “Stratification of Language” I ventured to
assert that wherever _inflection_ has yielded to a rational analysis, it
has invariably been recognized as the result of a previous
_combination_, and wherever _combination_ has been traced back to an
earlier stage, that earlier stage has been simply _juxtaposition_.

Professor Pott in his “Etymologische Forschungen” (1871, p. 16), a work
which worthily holds its place by the side of Bopp’s “Comparative
Grammar,” questions the correctness of that statement; but in doing so
he seems to me to have overlooked the restrictions which I myself had
introduced, in order to avoid the danger of committing myself to what
might seem too general a statement. I did not say that every form of
inflection had been proved to spring from a previous combination, but I
spoke of those cases only where we have succeeded in a rational analysis
of inflectional forms, and it was in these that I maintained that
inflection had always been found to be the result of previous
combination. What is the object of the analysis of grammatical
inflections, or of Comparative Grammar in general, if not to find out
what terminations originally were, before they had assumed a purely
formal character? If we take the French adverb _sincèrement_, sincerely,
and trace it back to the Latin _sincerâ mente_, we have for a second
time the three stages of juxtaposition, combination, and, to a certain
extent, inflection, repeated before our eyes. I say, inflection, for
_ment_, though originally an independent word, soon becomes a mere
adverbial suffix, the speakers so little thinking of its original
purport, that we may say of a stone that it falls _lourdement_, heavily,
without wishing to imply that it falls _luridâ mente_, with a heavy,
lit., with a lurid mind.

If we take the nom. sing. of a noun in Sanskrit, Greek, or Latin, we
find that masculine nouns end frequently in _s_. We have for instance,
Sk. +veśa-s+, Gr. οἶκο-ς, Lat. _vîcu-s_. These three words are
identical in their termination, in their base, and in their root. The
root is the Sk. +viś+, to settle down, to enter upon or into a thing.
This root, without undergoing any further change, may answer the purpose
both of a verbal and a nominal base. In the precative, for instance, we
have +viś-yâ-t+, he may enter, which yields to a rational analysis into
+viś+, the root +yâ+, to go, and the old pronominal stem of the third
person, _t_, he. We reduplicate the root, and we get the perfect
+vi-viś-us+, they have entered. Here I can understand that objections
might be raised against accepting us as a mere phonetic corruption of
+ant+ and +anti+; but if, as in Greek, we find as the termination of the
third pers. plur. of the perfect ᾶσι, we know that this is a merely
phonetic change of the original +anti+,[29] and this +anti+ has been
traced back by Pott himself (whether rightly or wrongly, we need not
here inquire) to the pronominal stems +ana+, that, and +ti+, he. These
two stems, when joined together, become +anti+,[30] meaning _those_ and
_he_, and are gradually reduced to ᾶσι, and in Sanskrit to +us+ for
+ant+. What we call reduplication has likewise been traced back by Pott
himself to an original repetition of the whole root, so that +vi-viś+
stands for an original or intentional +viś-viś+; thus showing again the
succession of the three stages, juxtaposition, +viś-viś+, combination
+vi-viś+, inflection, the same, +vi-viś+, though liable to further
phonetic modification.

Used as a nominal base the same root +viś+ appears, without any change,
in the nom. plur. +viś-as+, the settlers, the clans, the people. Now
here again Professor Pott himself has endeavored to explain the
inflection +as+ by tracing it back to the pronominal base +as+, in
+asau+, _ille_. He therefore takes the plural +viś-as+ as a compound,
meaning “man and that;” that is to say, he traces the inflection back to
a combinatory origin.

By raising the simple base +viś+ to +viśa+, we arrive at new verbal
forms, such as +viś-â-mi+, I enter, +viś-a-si+, thou enterest,
+viś-a-ti+, he enters. In all these inflectional forms, the antecedent
combinatory stage is still more or less visible, for +mi+, +si+, +ti+,
whatever their exact history may have been, are clearly varieties of the
pronominal bases of the first, second, and third persons, +ma+, +tva+,

Lastly, by raising +viś+ to +veśa+, we arrive at a new nominal base, and
by adding to it the stem of a demonstrative pronoun _s_, we form the
so-called nom. sing. +veśa-s+, οἶκο-ς, _vicu-s_, from which we started,
meaning originally house-here, this house, the house.

In all this Professor Pott would fully agree, but where he would differ,
would be when we proceed to generalize, and to lay it down as an axiom,
that all inflectional forms _must_ have had the same combinatory origin.
He may be right in thus guarding against too hasty generalization, to
which we are but too prone in all inductive sciences. I am well aware
that there are many inflections which have not yielded, as yet, to any
rational analysis, but, with that reservation, I thought, and I still
think, it right to say that, until some other process of forming those
inflections has been pointed out, inflection may be considered as the
invariable result of combination.

It is impossible in writing, always to repeat such qualifications and
reservations. They must be taken as understood. Take for instance the
augment in Greek and Sanskrit. Some scholars have explained it as a
negative particle, others as a demonstrative pronoun; others, again,
took it as a mere symbol of differentiation. If the last explanation
could be established by more general analogies, then, no doubt, we
should have here an inflection, that cannot be referred to combination.
Again, it would be difficult to say, what independent element was added
to the pronoun +sa+, he, in order to make it sâ, she. This, too, may,
for all we know, be a case of phonetic symbolism, and, if so, it should
be treated on its own merits. The lengthening of the vowel in the
subjunctive mood was formerly represented by Professor Curtius as a
symbolic expression of hesitation, but he has lately recalled that
explanation as untenable. I pointed out that when in Hebrew we meet with
such forms as _Piel_ and _Pual_, _Hiphil_ and _Hophal_, we feel tempted
to admit formative agencies, different from mere juxtaposition and
combination. But before we admit this purely phonetic symbolism, we
should bear in mind that the changes of _bruder_, brother, into
_brüder_, brethren, of _Ich weiss_, I know, into _wir wissen_, we know,
which seem at first sight purely phonetic, have after all been proved to
be the indirect result of juxtaposition and combination, so that we
ought to be extremely careful and first exhaust every possible rational
explanation, before we have recourse to phonetic symbolism as an element
in the production of inflection forms.

The chief object, however, of my lecture on the “Stratification of
Language” was not so much to show that inflection everywhere presupposes
combination, and combination juxtaposition, but rather to call attention
to a fact that had not been noticed before, viz.: that there is hardly
any language, which is not at the same time _isolating_, _combinatory_,
and _inflectional_.

It had been the custom in classifying languages morphologically to
represent some languages, for instance Chinese, as _isolating_; others,
such as Turkish or Finnish, as _combinatory_; others, such as Sanskrit
or Hebrew, as _inflectional_. Without contesting the value of this
classification for certain purposes, I pointed out that even Chinese,
the very type of the isolating class, is not free from combinatory
forms, and that the more highly developed among the combinatory
languages, such as Hungarian, Finnish, Tamil, etc., show the clearest
traces of incipient inflection. “The difficulty is not,” as I said, “to
show the transition of one stratum of speech into another, but rather to
draw a sharp line between the different strata. The same, difficulty was
felt in Geology, and led Sir Charles Lyell to invent such pliant names
as _Eocene_, _Meiocene_, and _Pleiocene_, names which indicate a mere
dawn, a minority, or a majority of new formations, but do not draw a
fast and hard line, cutting off one stratum from the other. Natural
growth and even merely mechanical accumulation and accretion, here as
elsewhere, are so minute and almost imperceptible that they defy all
strict scientific terminology, and force upon us the lesson that we must
be satisfied with an approximate accuracy.”

Holding these opinions, and having established them by an amount of
evidence which, though it might easily be increased, seemed to me
sufficient, I did not think it safe to assign to the three stages in the
history of the Aryan languages, the _juxtapositional_, the
_combinatory_, and the _inflectional_, a strictly successive character,
still less to admit in the growth of the Aryan languages a number of
definite stages, which should be sharply separated from each other, and
assume an almost chronological character. I fully admit that wherever
_inflectional_ forms in the Aryan languages have yielded to a rational
analysis, we see that they are preceded chronologically by _combinatory_
formations; nor should I deny for one moment that _combinatory_ forms
presuppose an antecedent, and therefore chronologically more ancient
stage of mere juxtaposition. What I doubt is whether, as soon as
combination sets in, juxtaposition ceases, and whether the first
appearance of inflection puts an end to the continued working of

It seems to me, even if we argue only on _à priori_ grounds, that there
must have been at least a period of transition during which both
principles were at work together, and I hardly can understand what
certain scholars mean if they represent the principle of inflection as a
sudden psychological change which, as soon as it has taken place, makes
a return to combination altogether impossible. If, instead of arguing _à
priori_, we look the facts of language in the face, we cannot help
seeing that, even after that period during which it is supposed that the
United Aryan language had attained its full development, I mean at a
time when Sanskrit, Greek, and Latin had become completely separated, as
so many national dialects, each with its own fully developed
inflectional grammar, the power of combination was by no means extinct.
The free power of composition, which is so manifest in Sanskrit and
Greek, testifies to the continued working of combination in strictly
historical times. I see no real distinction between the transition of
_Néa pólis_, i.e., new town, into _Neápolis_, and into _Naples_, and the
most primitive combination in Chinese, and I maintain that as long as a
language retains that unbounded faculty of composition, which we see in
Sanskrit, in Greek, and in German, the growth of new inflectional forms
from combinatory germs must be admitted as possible. Forms such as the
passive aorist in Greek, ἐτέθην, or the weak preterite in Gothic
_nas-i-da_, _nas-i-dédjau_, need not have been formed before the Aryan
family broke up into national languages; and forms such as Italian
_meco_, _fratelmo_, or the future _avro_, I shall have, though not
exactly of the same workmanship, show at all events that analogous
powers are at work even in the latest periods of linguistic growth.

Holding these opinions, which, as far as I know, have never been
controverted, I ought perhaps, when I came to publish the preceding
Lecture, to have defended my position against the powerful arguments
advanced in the meantime by my old friend, Professor G. Curtius, in
support of a diametrically opposite opinion in his classical essay, “On
the Chronology of the Indo-Germanic Languages,” published in 1867, new
edition, 1873. While I had endeavored to show that juxtaposition,
combination, and inflection, though following each other in succession,
do not represent chronological periods, but represent phases, strongly
developed, it is true, in certain languages, but extending their
influence far beyond the limits commonly assigned to them, Professor
Curtius tried to establish the chronological character not only of these
three, but of four other phases or periods in the history of Aryan
speech. Confining himself to what he considers the undivided Aryan
language to have been, before it was broken up into national dialects,
such as Sanskrit, Greek, and Latin, he proceeds to subdivide the
antecedent period of its growth into _seven_ definite stages, each
marked by a definite character, and each representing a sum of years in
the chronology of the Aryan language. As I had found it difficult to
treat Chinese as entirely _juxtapositional_, or Turkish as entirely
_combinatory_, or Sanskrit as entirely _inflectional_, it was perhaps
not to be wondered at that not even the persuasive pleading of my
learned friend could convince me of the truth of the more minute
chronological division proposed by him in his learned essay. But it
would hardly have been fair if, on the present occasion, I had reprinted
my “Rede Lecture” without explaining why I had altered nothing in my
theory of linguistic growth, why I retained these three phases and no
more, and why I treated even these, not as chronological periods, in the
strict sense of the word, but as preponderating tendencies, giving an
individual character to certain classes of language, without being
totally absent in others. Professor Curtius is one of the few scholars
with whom it is pleasant to differ. He has shown again and again that
what he cares for is truth, not victory, and when he has defended his
position against attacks not always courteous, he has invariably done
so, not with hard words, but with hard arguments. I therefore feel no
hesitation in stating plainly to him where his theories seem to me
either not fully supported, or even contradicted by the facts of
language, and I trust that this free exchange of ideas, though in
public, will be as pleasant as our conversations in private used to be,
now more than thirty years ago.

Let us begin with the _First Period_, which Professor Curtius calls the
_Root-Period_. There must have been, as I tried to explain before,
a period for the Aryan languages, during which they stood on a level
with Chinese, using nothing but roots, or radical words, without having
reduced any of them to a purely formal character, without having gone
through the process of changing what Chinese grammarians call _full_
words into _empty_ words. I have always held, that to speak of roots as
mere abstractions, as the result of grammatical theory, is
self-contradictory. Roots which never had any real or historical
existence may have been invented both in modern and ancient collections
or +Dhâtupâṭhas+; but that is simply the fault of our etymological
analysis, and in no way affects the fact, that the Aryan, like all other
languages we know, began with roots. We may doubt the legitimacy of
certain chemical elements, but not the reality of chemical elements in
general. Language, in the sense in which we use the word, begins with
roots, which are not only the ultimate facts for the Science of
Language, but real facts in the history of human speech. To deny their
historical reality would be tantamount to denying cause and effect.

Logically, no doubt, it is possible to distinguish between a root as a
mere postulate, and a root used as an actual word. That distinction has
been carefully elaborated by Indian grammarians and philosophers, but it
does in no way concern us in purely historical researches. What I mean
by a root used in real language is this: when we analyze a cluster of
Sanskrit words, such as +yodha-s+, a fighter, +yodhaka-s+, a fighter,
+yoddhâ+, a fighter, +yodhana-m+, fighting, +yuddhi-s+, a fight,
+yuyutsu-s+, wishing to fight, +â-yudha-m+, a weapon, we easily see that
they presuppose an element +yudh+, to fight, and that they are all
derived from that element by well-known grammatical suffixes. Now is
this +yudh+, which we call the root of all these words, a mere
abstraction? Far from it. We find it as +yudh+ used in the Veda either
as a nominal or as a verbal base, according to suffixes by which it is
followed. Thus +yudh+ by itself would be a fighter, only that +dh+ when
final, has to be changed into t. We have +goshu-yúdh-am+, an accusative,
the fighter among cows. In the plural we have +yúdh-as+, fighters; in
the locative +yudh-i+, in the fight; in the instrumental, +yudh-â+, with
the weapon. That is to say, we find that as a nominal base, +yudh+,
without any determinative suffixes, may express fighting, the place of
fighting, the instrument of fighting, and a fighter. If our grammatical
analysis is right, we should have +yudh+ as a nominal base in
+yúdh-ya-ti+, lit. he goes to fighting, +yudh-yá-te+, pass.;
+(a)-yut-smahi+, aor., either we were to fight, or we were fighters;
+yú-yut-sa-ti+, he is to fight-fight; +yudh-ya-s+, to be fought (p. 94),
etc. As a verbal base we find +yudh+, for instance, or +yu-yudh-e+, I
have fought; in +a-yud-dha+, for +a-yudh-ta+, he fought. In the other
Aryan languages this root has left hardly any traces; yet the Greek
ὑσμῖν, and ὑσμίνη would be impossible without the root +yudh+.

The only difference between Chinese and these Sanskrit forms which we
have just examined, is that while in Chinese such a form as +yudh-i+, in
the battle, would have for its last element a word clearly meaning
middle, and having an independent accent, Sanskrit has lost the
consciousness of the original material meaning of the _i_ of the
locative, and uses it traditionally as an empty word, as a formal
element, as a mere termination.

I also agree with Curtius that during the earliest stage, not of
Sanskrit, but of Aryan speech in general, we have to admit two classes
of roots, the _predicative_ and _demonstrative_, and that what we now
call the plural of +yudh+, +yudh-as+, fighters, was, or may have been,
originally a compound consisting of the predicative root +yudh+, and the
demonstrative root, +as+ or +sa+, possibly repeated twice, meaning
“fight-he-he,” or “fight-there-there,” _i.e._, fighters.

There is another point with regard to the character of this earliest
radical stage of the Aryan language, on which formally I should have
agreed with Curtius, but where now I begin to feel more doubtful,--I
mean the necessarily monosyllabic form of all original roots. There is,
no doubt, much to be said for this view. We always like to begin with
what is simple. We imagine, as it has been said, that “the simple idea
must break forth, like lightning, in a simple body of sound, to be
perceived in one single moment.” But, on the other hand, the simple, so
far as it is the general, is frequently, to us at least, the last result
of repeated complex conceptions, and therefore there is at all events no
_à priori_ argument against treating the simplest roots as the latest,
rather than the earliest products of language. Languages in a low state
of development are rich in words expressive of the most minute
differences, they are poor in general expressions, a fact which ought to
be taken into account as an important qualification of a remark made by
Curtius that language supplies necessaries first, luxuries afterwards
(p. 32). I quote the following excellent remarks from Mr. Sayce’s
“Principles of comparative Philology” (p. 208): “Among modern savages
the individual objects of sense have names enough, while general terms
are very rare. The Mohicans have words for cutting various objects, but
none to signify cutting simple.”[31] In taking this view we certainly
are better able to explain the actual forms of the Aryan roots, viz., by
_elimination_, rather than by _composition_. If we look for instance, as
I did myself formerly, on such roots as +yudh+, +yuj+, and +yauṭ+, as
developed from the simpler root +yu+, or on +mardh+, +marg+, +mark+,
+marp+, +mard+, +smar+, as developed from +mar+, then we are bound to
account for the modificatory elements, such as _dh_, _g_, _k_, _p_, _d_,
_s_, _n_, _t_, _r_, as remnants of other roots, whether predicative or
demonstrative. Thus Curtius compares +tar+ or +tra+, with +tras+,
+tram+, +trak+, +trap+; +tri+ and +tru+ with +trup+, +trib+, taking the
final consonants as modificatory letters. But what are these
modificatory letters? Every attempt to account for them has failed. If
it could be proved that these modificatory elements, which Curtius calls
_Determinatives_, produced always the _same_ modification of meaning,
they might then be classed with the verbal suffixes which change simple
verbs into causative, desiderative, or intensive verbs. But this is not
the case. On the other hand, it would be perfectly intelligible that
such roots as +mark+, +marg+, +mard+, +mardh+, expressing different
kinds of crushing, became fixed side by side, that by a process of
elimination, their distinguishing features were gradually removed, and
the root +mar+ left as the simplest form, expressive of the most general
meaning. Without entering here on that process of mutual friction by
which I believe that the development of roots can best be explained, we
may say at least so much, that whatever process will account for the
root +yu+, will likewise account for the root +yuj+, nay, that roots
like +mark+ or +mard+ are more graphic, expressive, and more easily
intelligible than the root mar.

However, if this view of the origin of roots has to be adopted, it need
not altogether exclude the other view. In the process of simplification,
certain final letters may have become typical, may have seemed invested
with a certain function or determinative power, and may therefore have
been added independently to other roots, by that powerful imitative
tendency which asserts itself again and again through the whole working
of language. But however that may be, the sharp line of distinction
which Curtius draws between the First Period, represented by simple, and
the Second Period represented by derivative roots, seems certainly no
longer tenable, least of all as dividing _chronologically_ two distinct
periods in the growth of language.

When we approach the Third Period, it might seem that here, at least,
there could be no difference of opinion between Professor Curtius and
myself. That Third Period represents simply what I called the first
setting in of _combination_, following after the _isolating_ stage.
Curtius calls it the _primary verbal period_, and ascribes to it the
origin of such combinatory forms as +dấ-ma+, give-I, +dâ-tva+,
give-thou, +dấ-ta+, give-he; +dâ-ma-tvi+, give-we, +dâ-tva-tvi+,
give-you, +dâ-(a)nti+, give-they. These verbal forms he considers as
much earlier than any attempts at declension in nouns. No one who has
read Curtius’ arguments in support of this chronological arrangement
would deny their extreme plausibility; but there are grave difficulties
which made me hesitate in adopting this hypothetical framework of
linguistic chronology. I shall only mention one, which seemed to me
insurmountable. We know that during what we called the First Radical
Period the sway of phonetic laws was already so firmly established,
that, from that period onward to the present day, we can say, with
perfect certainty, which phonetic changes are possible, and which are
not. It is through these phonetic laws that the most distant past in the
history of the Aryan language is connected with the present. It is on
them that the whole science of etymology is founded. Only because a
certain root has a tenuis, a media, an aspirate, or a sibilant, is it
possible to keep it distinct from other roots. If t and s could be
interchanged, then the root +tar+, to cross, would not be distinct from
the root +sar+, to go. If d and +dh+ could vary, then +dar+, to tear,
would run together with +dhar+, to hold. These phonetic distinctions
were firmly established in the radical period, and continue to be
maintained, both in the undivided Aryan speech, and in the divided
national dialects, such as Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, and Gothic. How then
can we allow an intervening period, during which +ma-tvi+, could become
+masi+, +tva-tvi+, +thas+, and the same +tva-tvi+ appear also as +sai+?
Such changes, always most startling, may have been possible in earlier
periods; but when phonetic order had once been established, as it was in
what Curtius calls his first and second periods, to admit them as
possible, would be, as far as I can judge, to admit a complete
anachronism. Of two things one; either we must altogether surrender
those chaotic changes which are required for identifying Sanskrit e with
Greek μαι, and Greek μαι with +mâ-ma+, etc., or we must throw them back
to a period anterior to the final settlement of the Aryan roots.

I now proceed to point out a second difficulty. If Curtius uses these
same personal terminations, +masi+, +tvasi+, and +anti+, as proof
positive that they must have been compounded out of +ma+ + +tva+, and
+tva-tva+, before there were any case terminations, I do not think his
argument is quite stringent. Curtius says: “If plural suffixes had
existed before the coining of these terminations, we should expect them
here, as well as in the noun” (p. 33). But the plural of the pronoun _I_
could never have been formed by a plural suffix, like the plural of
_horse_. _I_ admits of no plural, as little as _thou_, and hence the
plural of these very pronouns in the Aryan language is not formed by the
mere addition of a plural termination, but by a new base. We say _I_,
but _we_; _thou_ but _you_, and so through all the Aryan languages.
According to Curtius himself, +masi+, the termination of the plural, is
not formed by repeating +ma+, by saying I and I, but by +ma+ and +tva+,
I and thou, the most primitive way, he thinks, of expressing _we_. The
termination of the second person plural might be expressed by repeating
_thou_. “You did it,” might have been rendered by “thou and thou did
it;” but hardly by treating _thou_ like a noun, and adding to it a
plural termination. The absence of plural terminations, therefore at the
end of the personal suffixes of the verbs, does not prove, as far as I
can see, that plurals of nouns were unknown when the first, second, and
third persons plural of the Aryan verbs were called into existence.

Again, if Curtius says, that “what language has once learnt, it does not
forget again, and that therefore if the plural had once found expression
in nouns, the verb would have claimed the same distinction,” is true, no
doubt, in many cases, but not so generally true as to supply a safe
footing for a deductive argument. In so late a formation as the
periphrastic future in Sanskrit, we say +dâtâ-smaḥ+, as it were _dator
sumus_, not +dâtâraḥ smaḥ+; and in the second person plural of the
passive in Latin _amamini_, though the plural is marked, the gender is
always disregarded.

Further, even if we admit with Bopp and Curtius that the terminations of
the medium are composed of two pronouns, that the _ta_ of the third
person singular stands for _ta-ti_, to-him-he, that καλύπτεται in fact
meant originally hide-himself-he, it does not follow that in such a
compound one pronominal element should have taken the termination of the
accusative, any more than the other takes the termination of the
nominative. The first element in every composition takes necessarily its
Pada or thematic form; the second or final element has suffered so much,
according to Bopp’s own explanation, that nothing would be easier to
explain than the disappearance of a final consonant, if it had existed.
The absence of case-terminations in such compounds cannot therefore be
used as proof of the non-existence of case-terminations at a time when
the medial and other personal endings took their origin. On the
contrary, these terminations seem to me to indicate, though I do not say
to prove, that the conception of a subjective, as distinct from an
objective case, had been fully realized by those who framed them. I do
not myself venture to speak very positively of such minute processes of
analysis as that which discovers in the Sk. first pers. sing. ind. pres.
of the middle, tude, I strike, an original +tuda+ + a + i, +tuda+ + +ma+
+ i, +tuda+ + +ma+ + +mi+, tuda + +mâ+ + +ma+, but admitting that the
middle was formed in that way, and that it meant originally
_strike-to-me-I_, then surely we have in the first +mâ+ an oblique case,
and in the compound itself the clearest indication that the distinction
between a nominative and an oblique case, whether dative or accusative,
was no longer a mystery. Anyhow, and this is the real point at issue,
the presence of such compounds as +mâ-ma+, to-me-I, is in no way a proof
that at the time of their formation people could not distinguish between
+yudh (s)+, nom., a fighter, and +yudh (am)+, acc., a fighter; and we
must wait for more irrefragable evidence before admitting, what would
under all circumstances be a most startling conclusion, namely, that the
Aryan language was spoken for a long time without case-terminations, but
with a complete set of personal terminations, both in the singular and
the plural. For though it is quite true that the want of cases could
only be felt in a sentence, the same seems to me to apply to personal
terminations of the verb. The one, in most languages we know, implies
the other, and the very question whether conjugation or declension came
first is one of those dangerous questions which take something for
granted which has never been proved.

During all this time, according to Curtius, our Aryan language would
have consisted of nothing but roots, used for nominal and verbal
purposes, but without any purely derivative suffixes, whether verbal or
nominal, and without declension. The only advance, in fact, made beyond
the purely Chinese standard, would have consisted in a few combinations
of personal pronouns with verbal stems, which combinations assumed
rapidly a typical character, and led to the formation of a skeleton of
conjugation, containing a _present_, _an aorist_ with an augment, and a
_reduplicated perfect_. Why, during the same period, nominal bases
should not have assumed at least some case-terminations, does not
appear; and it certainly seems strange that people who could say
+vak-ti+, speak-he, +vak-anti+, speak-this-he, should not have been able
to say +vâk-s+, whether in the sense of speak-there, _i.e._, speech or
speak-there, _i.e._, speaker.

The next step which, according to Curtius, the Aryan language had to
make, in order to emerge from its purely radical phase, was the creation
of bases, both verbal and nominal, by the addition of verbal and nominal
suffixes to roots, both primary and secondary. Curtius calls this fourth
the Period of the _Formation of Themes_. The suffixes are very numerous,
and it is by them that the Aryan languages have been able to make their
limited number of roots supply the vast materials of their dictionary.
From +bhar+, to carry, they formed +bhar-a+, a carrier, but sometimes
also a burden. In addition to +bhar-ti+, carry-he, they formed
+bhara-ti+, meaning possibly carrying-he. The growth of these early
themes may have been very luxuriant, and, as Professor Curtius expresses
it, chiefly _paraschematic_. It may have been left to a later age to
assign to that large number of possible synonyms more definite meanings.
Thus from φέρω, I carry, we have φορά, the act of carrying, used also in
the sense of _impetus_ (being carried away), and of _provectus_, i.e.,
what is brought in. Φορός means carrying, but also violent, and
lucrative; φέρετρον, an instrument of carrying, means a bier; φαρέτρα,
a quiver, for carrying arrows. Φορμός comes to mean a basket; φόρτος,
a burden; φορός, tribute.

All this is perfectly intelligible, both with regard to nominal and
verbal themes. Curtius admits four kinds of verbal themes as the outcome
of his Fourth Period. He had assigned to his Third Period the simple
verbal themes ἐσ-τί, and the reduplicated themes such as δίδω-σι. To
these were added, in the Fourth Period, the following four secondary

    (1) πλέκ-ε-(τ)-ι     Sanskrit +lipa-ti+
    (2) ἀλείφ-ε-(τ)-ι       „     +laipa-ti+
    (3) δείκ-νυ-σι          „     +lip-nau-ti+
    (4) δάμ-νη-σι           „     +lip-nâ-ti+.

He also explains the formation of the subjunctive in analogy with bases
such as +lipa-ti+, as derived from +lip-ti+.

Some scholars would probably feel inclined to add one or two of the more
primitive verbal themes, such as

    limpa-ti      _rumpo_
    limpana-ti    λαμβάνε(τ)ι

but all would probably agree with Curtius in placing the formation of
these themes, both verbal and nominal, between the radical and the
latest inflectional period. A point, however, on which there would
probably be considerable difference of opinion is this, whether it is
credible, that at a time when so many nominal themes were formed,--for
Curtius ascribes to this Fourth Period the formation of such nominal
bases as

    λόγ-ο, intellect,  = +lipa-ti+
    λοίπ-ο, left,      = +laipa-ti+
    λιγ-νύ, smoke,     = +lip-nau-ti+
    δάφ-νη, laurel,    = +lip-nâ-ti+--

the simplest nominal compounds, which we now call nominative and
accusative, singular and plural, were still unknown; that people could
say +dhṛsh-nu-más+, we dare, but not +dhṛsh-ṇú-s+, daring-he; that they
had an imperative, +dhṛshṇuhí+, dare, but not a vocative, +dhṛshṇo+?
Curtius strongly holds to that opinion, but with regard to this period
too, he does not seem to me to establish it by a regular and complete
argument. Some arguments which he refers to occasionally have been
answered before. Another, which he brings in incidentally, when
discussing the abbreviation of certain suffixes, can hardly be said to
carry conviction. After tracing the suffixes +ant+ and +tar+ back to
what he supposes to have been their more primitive forms, +an-ta+ and
+ta-ra+, he remarks that the dropping of the final vowel would hardly be
conceivable at a time when there existed case-terminations. Still this
dropping of the vowel is very common, in late historical times, in
Latin, for instance, and other Italian dialects, where it causes
frequent confusion and heteroclitism.[32] Thus the Augustan _innocua_
was shortened in common pronunciation to _innoca_, and this dwindles
down in Christian inscriptions to _innox_. In Greek, too, διάκτορος is
older than διάκτωρ; φύλακος older than φύλαξ.

Nor can it be admitted that the nominal suffixes have suffered less from
phonetic corruption than the terminations of the verb, and that
therefore they must belong to a more modern period (pp. 39, 40). In
spite of all the changes which the personal terminations are supposed to
have undergone, their connection with the personal pronouns has always
been apparent, while the tracing back of the nominal suffixes, and,
still more, of the case-terminations to their typical elements, forms
still one of the greatest difficulties of comparative grammarians.[33]

Professor Curtius is so much impressed with the later origin of
declension that he establishes one more period, the fifth, to which he
assigns the growth of all compound verbal forms, compound stems,
compound tenses, and compound moods, before he allows the first
beginnings of declension, and the formation even of such simple forms as
the nominative and accusative. It is difficult, no doubt, to disprove
such an opinion by facts or dates, because there are none to be found on
either side: but we have a right to expect very strong arguments indeed,
before we can admit that at a time when an aorist, like ἔδεικ-σα,
Sanskrit +a-dik-sha-t+ was possible, that is to say, at a time when the
verb +as+, which meant originally to breathe, had by constant use been
reduced to the meaning of being; at a time when that verb, as a mere
auxiliary, was joined to a verbal base in order to impart to it a
general historical power; when the persons of the verb were
distinguished by pronominal elements, and when the augment, no longer
purely demonstrative, had become the symbol of time past, that at such a
time people were still unable to distinguish, except by a kind of
Chinese law of position, between “the father struck the child,” and “the
child struck the father.” Before we can admit this, we want much
stronger proofs than any adduced by Curtius. He says, for instance, that
compound verbal bases formed with +yâ+, to go, and afterwards fixed as
causatives, would be inconceivable during a period in which accusatives
existed. From +naś+, to perish, we form in Sanskrit +nâśa-yâmi+, I make
perish. This, according to Curtius, would have meant originally, I send
to perishing. Therefore +nâśa+ would have been, in the accusative,
+nâśam+, and the causative would have been +nâśamyâmi+, if the
accusative had then been known. But we have in Latin[34] _pessum dare_,
_venum ire_, and no one would say that compounds like _calefacio_,
_liquefacio_, _putrefacio_, were impossible after the first Aryan
separation, or after that still earlier period to which Curtius assigns
the formation of the Aryan case-terminations. Does Professor Curtius
hold that compound forms like Gothic _nasi-da_ were formed not only
before the Aryan separation, but before the introduction of
case-terminations? I hold, on the contrary, that such really old
compositions never required, nay never admitted, the accusative. We say
in Sanskrit, +dyu-gat+, going to the sky, +dyu-ksha+, dwelling in the
sky, without any case-terminations at the end of the first part of the
compound. We say in Greek, σακέσ-παλος, not σάκοσ-παλος,
παιδοφόνος, not παιδαφόνος, ὀρεσ-κῷος, mountain-bred, and
also ὀρεσί-τροφος, mountain-fed. We say in Latin, _agri-cola_, not
_agrum-cola_, _fratri-cīda_, not _fratrem-cīda_, _rēgĭfugium_, not
_regis-fugium_. Are we to suppose that all these words were formed
before there was an outward mark of distinction between nominative and
accusative in the primitive Aryan language? Such compounds, we know, can
be formed at pleasure, and they continued to be formed long after the
full development of the Aryan declension, and the same would apply to
the compound stems of causal verbs. To say, as Curtius does, that
composition was possible only before the development of declension,
because when cases had once sprung up, the people would no longer have
known the bases of nouns, is far too strong an assertion. In
Sanskrit[35] the really difficult bases are generally sufficiently
visible in the so-called Pada, cases, _i.e._, before certain
terminations beginning with consonants, and there is besides a strong
feeling of analogy in language, which would generally, though not always
(for compounds are frequently framed by false analogy), guide the
framers of new compounds rightly in the selection of the proper nominal
base. It seems to me that even with us there is still a kind of
instinctive feeling against using nouns, articulated with
case-terminations, for purposes of composition, although there are
exceptions to that rule in ancient, and many more in modern languages.
We can hardly realize to ourselves a Latin _pontemfex_, or _pontisfex_,
still less _ponsfex_ instead of _pontifex_, and when the Romans drove
away their kings, they did not speak of a _regisfugium_ or a
_regumfugium_, but they took, by habit or by instinct, the base _regi_,
though none of them, if they had been asked, knew what a base was.
Composition, we ought not to forget, is after all only another name for
combination, and the very essence of combination consists in joining
together words which are not yet articulated grammatically. Whenever we
form compounds, such as _railway_, we are still moving in the
combinatory stage, and we have the strongest proof that the life of
language is not capable of chronological division. There was a period in
the growth of the Aryan language when the principle of combination
preponderated, when inflection was as yet unknown. But inflection itself
was the result of combination, and unless combination had continued long
after inflection set in, the very life of language would have become

I have thus tried to explain why I cannot accept the fundamental fact on
which the seven-fold division of the history of the Aryan language is
founded, viz., that the combinatory process which led to the Aryan
system of conjugation would have been impossible, if at the time nominal
bases had already been articulated with terminations of case and number.
I see no reason why the earliest case-formations, I mean particularly
the nominative and accusative in the singular, plural, and dual, should
not date from the same time as the earliest formations of conjugation.
The same process that leads to the formation of +vak-ti+, speak-he,
would account for the formation of +vak-s+, speak-there, _i.e._,
speaker. Necessity, which after all is the mother of all inventions,
would much sooner have required the clear distinction of singular and
plural, of nominative and accusative, than of the three persons, of the
verbs. It is far more important to be able to distinguish the subject
and the object in such sentences as “the son has killed the father,” or
“the father has killed the son,” than to be able to indicate the person
and tense of the verb. Of course we may say that in Chinese the two
cases are distinguished without any outward signs, and by mere position;
but we have no evidence that the law of position was preserved in the
Aryan languages, after verbal inflection had once set in. Chinese
dispenses with verbal inflection as well as with nominal, and an appeal
to it would therefore prove either too much or too little.

At the end of the five periods which we have examined, but still before
the Aryan separation, Curtius places the sixth, which he calls the
Period of the Formation of Cases, and the seventh, the Period of
Adverbs. Why I cannot bring myself to accept the late date here assigned
to declension, I have tried to explain before. That adverbs existed
before the great branches of Aryan speech became definitely separated
has been fully proved by Professor Curtius. I only doubt whether the
adverbial period can be separated chronologically from the case period.
I should say, on the contrary, that some of the adverbs in Sanskrit and
the other Aryan languages exhibit the most primitive and obsolete
case-terminations, and that they existed probably long before the system
of case-terminations assumed its completeness.

If we look back at the results at which we have arrived in examining the
attempt of Professor Curtius to establish seven distinct chronological
periods in the history of the Aryan speech, previous to its separation
into Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, Slavonic, Teutonic, and Celtic, I think we
shall find two principles clearly established:--

1. That it is impossible to distinguish more than _three_ successive
phases in the growth of the Aryan language. In the first phase or period
the only materials were roots, not yet compounded, still less
articulated grammatically, a form of language to us almost
inconceivable, yet even at present preserved in the literature and
conversation of millions of human beings, the Chinese. In that stage of
language, “king rule man heap law instrument,” would mean, the king
rules men legally.

The _second_ phase is characterized by the combination of roots, by
which process one loses its independence and its accent, and is changed
from a full and material into an empty or formal element. That phase
comprehends the formation of compound roots, of certain nominal and
verbal stems, and of the most necessary forms of declension and
conjugation. What distinguishes this phase from the inflectional is the
consciousness of the speaker, that one part of his word is the stem or
the body, and all the rest its environment, a feeling analogous to that
which we have when we speak of _man_-hood, _man_-ly, _man_-ful,
_man_-kind, but which fails us when we speak of _man_ and _men_, or if
we speak of _wo-man_, instead of _wif-man_. The principle of combination
preponderated when inflection was as yet unknown. But inflection itself
was the result of combination, and unless it had continued long after
inflection set in, the very life of language would have become extinct.

The _third_ phase is the inflectional, when the base and the
modificatory elements of words coalesce, lose their independence in the
mind of the speaker, and simply produce the impression of modification
taking place in the body of words, but without any intelligible reason.
This is the feeling which we have throughout nearly the whole of our own
language, and it is only by means of scientific reflection that we
distinguish between the root, the base, the suffix, and the termination.
To attempt more than this three-fold division seems to me impossible.

2. The second principle which I tried to establish was that the growth
of language does not lend itself to a chronological division, in the
strict sense of the word. Whatever forces are at work in the formation
of languages, none of them ceases suddenly to make room for another, but
they work on with a certain continuity from beginning to end, only on a
larger or smaller scale. Inflection does not put a sudden end to
combination, nor combination to juxtaposition. When even in so modern a
language as English we can form by mere combination such words as
_man-like_, and reduce them to _manly_, the power of combination cannot
be said to be extinct, although it may no longer be sufficiently strong
to produce new cases or new personal terminations. We may admit, in the
development of the Aryan language, previous to its division, three
successive strata of formation, a _juxtapositional_, a _combinatory_,
and an _inflectional_; but we shall have to confess that these strata
are not regularly superimposed, but tilted, broken up, and convulsed.
They are very prominent each for a time, but even after that time is
over, they may be traced at different points, pervading the very latest
formations of tertiary speech. The true motive power in the progress of
all language is combination, and that power is not extinct even in our
own time.

    [Footnote 1: This Lecture has been translated by M. Louis Havet,
    and forms the first fasciculus of the Bibliothèque de l’École des
    Hautes Études, publiée sous les auspices du Ministère de
    l’Instruction Publique. Paris, 1869.]

    [Footnote 2: See Benfey, _Ueber die Aufgabe des Kratylos_,
    Göttingen, 1868.]

    [Footnote 3: Theokritos, xvii. 9.]

    [Footnote 4: In my essay _On the Relation of Bengali to the Aryan
    and Aboriginal Languages of India_, published in 1848, I tried to
    explain these plural suffixes, such as +dig+, +gaṇa+, +jâti+,
    +varga+, +dala+. I had translated the last word by _band_,
    supposing from Wilson’s Dictionary, and from the Śabda-kalpa-druma
    that _dala_ could be used in the sense of band or multitude.
    I doubt, however, whether _dala_ is ever used in Sanskrit in that
    sense, and I feel certain that it was not used in that sense with
    sufficient frequency to account for its adoption in Bengali. Dr.
    Friedrich Müller, in his useful abstracts of some of the grammars
    discovered by the _Novara_ in her journey round the earth
    (1857-59), has likewise referred +dal+ to the Sanskrit +dala+, but
    he renders what I had in English rendered by _band_, by the German
    word _Band_. This can only be an accident. I meant _band_ in the
    sense of a band of robbers, which in German would be _Bande_. He
    seems to have misunderstood me, and to have taken _band_ for the
    German _Band_, which means a ribbon. Might +dala+ in Bengali be
    the Dravidian +taḷa+ or +daḷa+, a host, a crowd, which Dr.
    Caldwell (p. 197) mentions as a possible etymon of the pluralizing
    suffix in the Dravidian languages? Bengali certainly took the idea
    of forming its plurals by composition with words expressive of
    plurality from its Dravidian neighbor, and it is not impossible
    that in some cases it might have transferred the very word +daḷa+,
    crowd. This +daḷa+ and +taḷa+ appears in Tamil as _kala_ and
    _gala_, and as Sanskrit _k_ may in Sinhalese be represented by _v_
    (+loka+ = _lova_), I thought that the plural termination used in
    Sinhalese after inanimate nouns might possibly be a corruption of
    the Tamil _kala_. Mr. Childers, however, in his able “Essay on the
    formation of the Plural of Neuter Nouns in Sinhalese”
    (_J. R. A. S._, 1874, p. 40), thinks that the Sinhalese _vala_ is
    a corruption of the Sanskrit +vana+, forest, an opinion which
    seems likewise to be held by Mr. D’Alwis (l.c. p. 48). As a case
    in point, in support of mv own opinion, Mr. Childers mentioned to
    me the Sinhalese _malvaru_, Sanskrit +mâlâ-kâra+, a wreath-maker,
    a gardener. In Persian both _ân_ and _hâ_ are remnants of decayed
    plural terminations, not collective words added to the base.]

    [Footnote 5: Stanislas Julien, _Exercises Pratiques_, p. 14.]

    [Footnote 6: Endlicher, _Chinesische Grammatik_, § 122. Wade,
    _Progressive Course on the Parts of Speech_, p. 102. A different
    division of words adopted by Chinese grammarians is that into
    _dead_ and _live words_, _ssè-tsé_ and _sing-tsé_, the former
    comprising nouns, the latter verbs. The same classes are sometimes
    called _tsing-tsé_ and _ho-tsé_, unmoved and moved words. This
    shows how purposeless it would be to try to find out whether
    language began with noun or verb. In the earliest phase of speech
    the same word was both noun and verb, according to the use that
    was made of it, and it is so still to a great extent in Chinese.
    See Endlicher, _Chinesische Grammatik_, § 219.]

    [Footnote 7: _Agglutinative_ seems an unnecessarily uncouth word,
    and as implying a something which glues two words together, a kind
    of _Bindevocal_, it is objectionable as a technical term.
    _Combinatory_ is technically more correct, and less strange than

    [Footnote 8: Professor Pott, in his article entitled “Max Müller
    und die Kennzeichen der Sprachverwandtschaft,” published in 1855,
    in the _Journal of the German Oriental Society_, vol. ix. p. 412,
    says, in confutation of Bunsen’s view of a real historical
    progress of language from the lowest to the highest stage: “So
    cautious an inquirer as W. von Humboldt declines expressly, in the
    last chapter of his work on the _Diversity of the Structure of
    Human Language_ (p. 414), any conclusions as to a real historical
    progress from one stage of language to another, or at least does
    not commit himself to any definite opinion. This is surely
    something very different from that gradual progress, and it would
    be a question whether, by admitting such an historical progress
    from stage to stage, we should not commit an absurdity hardly less
    palpable than by trying to raise infusoria into horses or still
    further into men. [What was an absurdity in 1855 does not seem to
    be so in 1875.] Mr. Bunsen, it is true, does not hesitate to call
    the monosyllabic idiom of the Chinese an inorganic formation. But
    how can we get from an inorganic to an organic language? In nature
    such a thing would be impossible. No stone becomes a plant, no
    plant a tree, by however wonderful a metamorphosis, except, in a
    different sense, by the process of nutrition, _i.e._, by
    regeneration. The former question, which Mr. Bunsen answers in the
    affirmative, is disposed of by him with the short dictum: ‘The
    question whether a language can be supposed to begin with
    inflections, appears to us simply an absurdity;’ but unfortunately
    he does not condescend, by a clear illustration, to make that
    absurdity palpable. Why, in inflectional languages, should the
    grammatical form always have added itself to the matter
    subsequently and _ab extra_? Why should it not partially from the
    beginning have been created with it and in it, as having a meaning
    with something else, but not having antecedently a meaning of its

    [Footnote 9: Cf. D. G. Brinton, _The Myths of the New World_,
    p. 6, note.]

    [Footnote 10: Julien, _Exercises Pratiques_, p. 120. Endlicher,
    _Chineseische Grammatik_, § 161. See, also, Nöldeke, _Orient und
    Occident_, vol. i. p. 759. _Grammar of the Bornu Language_
    (London, 1853), p. 55: “In the Treaty the genitive is supplied by
    the relative pronoun _agu_, singularly corroborative of the Rev.
    R. Garnett’s theory of the genitive case.”]

    [Footnote 11: “Time changes the meaning of words as it does their
    sound. Thus, many old words are retained in compounds, but have
    lost their original signification. E.g., _’k·eu_, mouth, has been
    replaced in colloquial usage by _’tsui_, but it is still employed
    extensively in compound terms and in derived senses. Thus, _k·wai‘
    ’k·eu_ a rapid talker, _.men ’k·eu_, door, _,kwan ’k·eu_, custom
    house. So also _muh_, the original word for eye, has given place
    to _’yen, tsing_, or _’yen_ alone. It is, however, employed with
    other words in derived senses. E.g., _muh hia·_, at present; _muh
    luh_, table of contents.

    “The primitive word for head, _’sheu_, has been replaced by
    _.t‘eu_, but is retained with various words in combination. E.g.,
    _tseh ’sheu_, robber chief.”

    Edkins, _Grammar of the Chinese Colloquial Language_, 2d edition,
    1864, p. 100.]

    [Footnote 12: Grimm, _Deutsche Grammatik_, ii. 339.]

    [Footnote 13: Cf. the German Liebhart, mignon, in Anshelm, 1, 335.
    Grimm, _Deutsche Grammatik_, iii. 707. I feel more doubtful now as
    to _sweetard_. Dr. Morris mentions it in his _Historical Outlines
    of English Grammar_, p. 219; but Koch, when discussing the same
    derivations in his _English Grammar_, does not give the word. Mr.
    Skeat writes to me: “The form really used in Middle English is
    _sweeting_. Three examples are given in Stratmann. One of the best
    is in my edition of William of Palerne, where, however, it occurs
    not _once_ only (as given by Stratmann), but _four times_, viz.:
    in lines 916, 1537, 2799, 3088. The lines are:--

      ‘Nai, sertes, _sweting_, he seide· that schal I neuer.’    916
      ‘& seide aswithe· _sweting_, welcome!’                    1537
      ‘Sertes, _sweting_, thæt is soth. seide william thanne.’  2799
      ‘treuli, _sweting_, that is soth· seide william thane.’   3088

    The date of this poem is about A.D. 1360. Shakespeare has both
    forms, viz.: _sweeting_ and _sweet-heart_. Chaucer has _swete
    herte_, just as we should use _sweet-heart_.”]

    [Footnote 14: Diez, _Grammatik_, ii. 358. Grimm, _Deutsche
    Grammatik_, i. p. 340, 706.]

    [Footnote 15: See _Sanskrit Grammar_, § 497. I doubt whether in
    Greek ἀγγελλω is a denominative verb and stands for ἀγγελ(ο)ϳω
    (Curtius, _Chronologie_, p. 58). I should prefer to explain it as
    ἀνα-γαρ-ίω, to proclaim, as a verb of the fourth class.]

    [Footnote 16: Lex Repetund. “ceivis romanus ex hac lege fiet,
    nepotesque -- ceiveis romanei justei sunto.” Cf. Egger, _Lat,
    Serm. Vetust. Reliq._, p. 245. Meunier, in _Mémoires de la Societé
    de Linguistique de Paris_, vol. i. p. 34.]

    [Footnote 17: Still used as long by Plautus; of. Neue,
    _Formenlehre_, ii. p. 340.]

    [Footnote 18: In old Latin the termination of the first person
    singular was _em_. Thus Quintilian, i. 7, 23, says: “Quid? non
    Cato Censorius _dicam_ et _faciam_, _dicem_ et _faciem_ scripsit,
    eundemque in ceteris, quæ similiter cadunt, modum tenuit? quod et
    ex veteribus ejus libris manifestum est, et a Messala in libro de
    s. littera positum.” Neue, _Formenlehre_, ii. p. 348. The
    introduction of _feram_, originally a subjunctive, to express the
    future in the first person, reminds us of the distinction in
    English between _I shall_ and _thou wilt_, though the analogy
    fails in the first person plural. In Homer the use of the
    subjunctive for the future is well known. See Curtius,
    _Chronologie_, p. 50.]

    [Footnote 19: Historically the _i_ in _tuleritis_ should be long
    in the subjunctive of the perfect, short in the future.]

    [Footnote 20: Bleek, _On the Concord_, p. lxvi.]

    [Footnote 21: In δώ-σω, for δωσίω, the _i_ or _y_ is lost in Greek
    as usual. In other verbs _s_ and _y_ are both lost. Hence τενεσίω
    becomes τενέσω, and τενῶ the so-called Attic future. Bopp,
    _Vergleich-Grammatik_, first ed., p. 903. In Latin we have traces
    of a similar future in forms like _fac-so_, _cap-so_, etc. See
    Neue, _Formenlehre_, ii. p. 421. The Epic dialect sometimes
    doubles the σ when the vowel is short, αἰδέσσομαι. But this can
    hardly be considered a relic of the original σι, because the same
    reduplication takes places sometimes in the Aorist, ἐγέλασσα.]

    [Footnote 22: See Bopp, _Vergleichende Grammatik_, §§ 897, 898.
    These verbal adjectives should be carefully distinguished from
    nominal adjectives, such as Sanskrit +div-yá-s+, divinus,
    originally +div-i-a-s+, _i.e._, divi-bhavas, being in heaven;
    ὀίκεῖος, domesticus, originally οἴκει-ο-ς, being in the house.
    These are adjectives formed, it would seem, from old locatives,
    just as in Bask we can form from _etche_, house, _etche-tic_, of
    the house, and _etche-tic-acoa_, he who is of the house; or from
    _seme_, son, _semea-ren_, of the son, and _semea-ren-a_, he who is
    of the son. See W. J. van Eys, _Essai de Grammaire de la Langue
    Basque_, 1867, p. 16.]

    [Footnote 23: Bopp, _Vergleichende Grammatik_, §§ 888-898.]

    [Footnote 24: Bacon, _Novum Organum_, i. 55.]

    [Footnote 25: Until a rational account of these changes,
    comprehended under the name of _Lautverschiebung_, is given, we
    must continue to look upon them, not as the result of phonetic
    decay, but of dialectic growth. I am glad to find that this is
    more and more admitted by those who think for themselves, instead
    of simply repeating the opinions of others. Grimm’s Law stands no
    longer alone, as peculiar to the Teutonic languages, but analogous
    changes have been pointed out in the South-African, the Chinese,
    the Polynesian dialects, showing that these changes are everywhere
    collateral, not successive. I agree with Professor Curtius and
    other scholars that the impulse to what we call _Lautverschiebung_
    was given by the third modification in each series of consonants,
    by the _gh_, _dh_, _bh_ in Sanskrit, the χ, θ, φ, in Greek.
    I differ from him in considering the changes of _Lautverschiebung_
    as the result of dialectic variety, while he sees their motive
    power in phonetic corruption. But whether we take the one view or
    the other, I do not see that Dr. Scherer has removed any of our
    difficulties. See Curtius, _Grundzüge_, 4th ed., p. 426, note. Dr.
    Scherer, in his thoughtful work, _Zur Geschichte der Deutschen
    Sprache_, has very nearly, though not quite, apprehended the
    meaning of my explanation as to the effects of dialectic change
    contrasted with those of phonetic decay. If it is allowable to use
    a more homely illustration, one might say with perfect truth, that
    each dialect chooses its own phonetic garment, as people choose
    the coats and trousers which best fit them. The simile, like all
    similes, is imperfect, yet it is far more exact than if we compare
    the ravages of phonetic decay, as is frequently done, to the wear
    and tear of these phonetic suits.]

    [Footnote 26: Edkins, _Grammar_, p. 84.]

    [Footnote 27: Having stated this on the authority of Mr. Edkins,
    one of our best living Chinese scholars, it is but fair that I
    should give the opinion of another Chinese scholar, the late
    Stanislas Julien, whose competence to give an opinion on this
    subject Mr. Edkins would probably be the first to acknowledge. All
    that we really want is the truth, not a momentary triumph of our
    own opinions. M. Julien wrote to me in July, 1868:--

    “Je ne suis pas du tout de l’avis d’Edkins qui dit qu’un grand
    nombre de mots mongols sont chinois; c’est faux, archifaux.

      _Sain_ est mandchou et veut dire bon, en chinois _chen_.
      _begen_, low: en chinois _hia_.
      _itchi_, droit; en chinois _yeou_.
      _sologaï_, left, gauche; en chinois _tso_.
      _c’hihe_, straight; en chinois _tchi_ (rectus).
      _gadan_, outside; en chinois _waï_.
      _logon_, green; en chinois _tsing_.
      _c’hohon_, few; en chinois _chao_.
      _hungun_, light (not heavy); en chinois _king_.

    “Je voudrais bien savoir comment M. Edkins prouve que les mots
    qu’il cite sont chinois.

    “Foucaux a échoué également en voulant prouver, autrefois, que
    200 mots thibétains qu’il avait choisis ressemblaïent aux mots
    chinois correspondants.”

    M. Stanislas Julien wrote again to me on the 21st of July:--

    “J’ai peur que vous ne soyez fâché du jugemont sevère que j’ai
    porté sur les identifications faites par Edkins du mongol avec
    le chinois. J’ai d’abord pris dans votre savant article les mots
    mongols qu’il cite et je vous ai montré qu’ils ne ressemblent pas
    le moins du monde au chinois.

    “Je vais vous en citer d’autres tirés du Dictionnaire de
    Khienlung chinois mandchou-mongol.

      Mongol                  Chinois
      _tegri_, ciel             _thien._
      _naran_, soleil           _ji._
      _naram barimoni_,   }     _ji-chi._
        éclipse de soleil }
      _saran_, lune             _youeï._
      _oudoun_, étoile          _sing._
      _egoulé_, nuages,         _yun._
      _ayounga_, le tonnerre    _louï._
      _tchagilgan_, éclair      _tien._
      _borogan_, la pluie       _yu._
      _sigouderi_, la rosée     _lou._
      _kirago_, la gelée        _choang_.
      _lapsa_, la neige         _ sioue._
      _salgin_, le vent         _fong._
      _ousoun_, l’eau           _chouï._
      _gal_, le feu             _ho._
      _siroi_, la terre         _thou._
      _aisin_, l’or             _altan._

    “Je vous donnerai, si vous le désirez, 1000 mots mongols avec
    leurs synonymes chinois, et je défie M. Edkins de trouver dans les
    1000 mots mongols un seul qui ressemble au mot chinois synonyme.

    “Comme j’ai fait assez de thibétain, je puis vous fournir aussi
    une multitude de mots thibétains avec leurs correspondants en
    chinois, et je défierai également M. Edkins de trouver un seul mot
    thibétain dans mille qui ressemble au mot chinois qui a le même

    My old friend, M. Stanislas Julien, wrote to me once more on this
    subject, the 6th of August, 1868:--

    “Depuis une quinzaine d’anneés, j’ai l’avantage d’entretenir les
    meilleures relations avec M. Edkins. J’ai lu, anciennement dans un
    journal que publie M. Léon de Rosny (actuellement professeur
    titulaire de la langue Japanaise) le travail où M. Edkins a tâché
    de rapprocher et d’identifier, par les sons, des mots mongols et
    chinois ayant la même signification. Son systême m’a paru mal
    fondé. Quelques mots chinois peuvent être entrés dans la langue
    mongole par suite du contact des deux peuples, comme cela est
    arrivé pour le mandchou, dont beaucoup de mots sont entrés dans la
    langue mongole en en prenant les terminaisons; mais il ne faudrait
    pas se servir de ces exemples pour montrer l’identité ou les
    ressemblances des deux langues.

    “Quand les mandchous ont voulu traduire les livres chinois, ils
    ont rencontré un grand nombre de mots dont les synonymes
    n’existaient pas dans leur langue. Ils se sont alors emparé des
    mots chinois en leur donnant des terminaisons mandchoues, mais
    cette quasi-ressemblance de certains mots mandchous ne prouve
    point le moins du monde l’identité des deux langues. Par exemple,
    un préfet se dit en chinois _tchi-fou_, et un sous-préfet
    _tchi-hien_; les mandchous qui ne possédaient point ces
    fonctionaires se sont contentés de transcire les sons chinois
    _dchhifou_, _dchhikhiyan_.

    “Le tafetas se dit en chinois _tcheou-tse_; les mandchous, n’ayant
    point de mots pour dire tafetas, ont transcrit les sons chinois
    par _tchousé_. Le bambou se dit _tchou-tze_; ils ont écrit l’arbre
    (moo) _tchousé_. Un titre de noblesse écrit sur du papier doré
    s’appelle _tsĕ_; les mandchous écrivent _tche_. Je pourrais vous
    citer un nombre considérable de mots du même genre, qui ne
    prouvent pas du tout l’identité du mandchou et du chinois.

    “L’ambre s’appelle _hou-pe_; les mandchous écrivent _khôba_. La
    barbe s’appelle _hou-tse_, ils écrivent _khôsé_.

    “Voici de quelle manière les mandchous ont fait certains verbes.
    Une balance s’appelle en chinois _thien ping_, ils écrivent
    _p’ing-sé_; puis pour dire peser avec une balance, ils ont fait le
    verbe _p’ingselembi_; _lembi_ est une terminaison commune à
    beaucoup de verbes.

    “Pour dire faire peser, ordonner de peser avec une balance, ils
    écrivent _p’ingseleboumbi_; _boumbi_ est la forme factive ou
    causative; cette terminaison sert aussi pour le passif; de sorte
    que ce verbe peut signifier aussi _être pesé avec une balance_.

    “Je pourrais citer aussi des mots mandchous auxquels on a donné la
    terminaison mongole, et _vice versâ_.”

    These remarks, made by one who, during his lifetime, was
    recognised by friend and foe as the first Chinese scholar in
    Europe, ought to have their proper weight. They ought certainly to
    make us cautious before persuading ourselves that the connection
    between the northern and southern branches of the Turanian
    languages has been found in Chinese. On the other hand I am quite
    aware that all that M. Stanislas Julien says against Mr. Edkins
    may be true, and that nevertheless Chinese may have been the
    central language from which Mongolian in the north and Tibetan in
    the south branched off. A language, such as Chinese, with a small
    number of sounds and an immense number of meanings, can easily
    give birth to dialects which, in their later development, might
    branch off in totally different directions. Even with languages so
    closely connected as Sanskrit and Latin, it would be easy to make
    out a list of a thousand words in Latin which could not be matched
    in Sanskrit. The question, therefore, is not decided. What is
    wanted are researches carried on by competent scholars, in an
    unprejudiced and at the same time thoroughly scientific spirit.]

    [Footnote 28: If Mr. Chalmers’ comparison of the Chinese and
    Bohemian names for daughter is so unpardonable, what shall we say
    of Bopp’s comparison of the Bengali and Sanskrit names for sister?
    Sister in Bengali is +bohinî+, the Hindi +bahin+ and +bhân+, the
    Prakrit +bahiṇî+, the Sanskrit +bhaginî+. Bopp, in the most
    elaborate way, derives +bohinî+ from the Sanskrit +svasṛ+, sister.
    Bopp, _Vergleichende Grammatik_, Vorrede zur vierten Abtheilung,
    p. x.]

    [Footnote 29: Curtius, _Verbum_, p. 72.]

    [Footnote 30: Pott, E. F., 1871, p. 21.]

    [Footnote 31: Dr. Callaway, in his _Remarks on the Zulu Language_
    (1870), p. 2, says: “The Zulu Language contains upwards of 20,000
    words in _bonâ fide_ use among the people. Those curious
    appellations for different colored cattle, or for different maize
    cobs, to express certain minute peculiarities of color or
    arrangement of color, which it is difficult for us to grasp, are
    not synonymous, but instances in which a new noun or name is used
    instead of adding adjectives to one name to express the various
    conditions of an object. Neither are these various verbs used to
    express varieties of the same action, synonyms, such as _ukupata_,
    to carry in the hand, _ukwetshata_, to carry on the shoulder,
    _ukubeleta_, to carry on the back.”]

    [Footnote 32: Bruppacher, _Lantlere der Oskischen Sprache_, p. 48.
    Büchler, _Grundriss der Lateinischen Declination_, p. 1.]

    [Footnote 33: “Die Entstehung der Casus ist noch das
    allerdunkelste im weiten Bereich des indogermanischen
    Formensystems.” Curtius, _Chronologie_, p. 71.]

    [Footnote 34: Corssen, ii. 888.]

    [Footnote 35: Cf. Clemm, _Die neusten Forschungen auf dem Gebiet
    der Griechischen Composita_, p. 9.]




“Count not your chickens before they be hatched,” is a well-known
proverb in English, and most people, if asked what was its origin, would
probably appeal to La Fontaine’s delightful fable, _La Laitière et le
Pot au Lait_.[1] We all know Perrette, lightly stepping along from her
village to the town, carrying the milk-pail on her head, and in her
day-dreams selling her milk for a good sum, then buying a hundred eggs,
then selling the chickens, then buying a pig, fattening it, selling it
again, and buying a cow with a calf. The calf frolics about, and kicks
up his legs--so does Perrette, and, alas! the pail falls down, the milk
is spilt, her riches gone, and she only hopes when she comes home that
she may escape a flogging from her husband.

Did La Fontaine invent this fable? or did he merely follow the example
of Sokrates, who, as we know from the Phædon,[2] occupied himself in
prison, during the last days of his life, with turning into verse some
of the fables, or, as he calls them, the myths of Æsop.

La Fontaine published the first six books of his fables in 1668,[3] and
it is well known that the subjects of most of these early fables were
taken from Æsop, Phædrus, Horace, and other classical fabulists, if we
may adopt this word “fabuliste,” which La Fontaine was the first to
introduce into French.

In 1678 a second edition of these six books was published, enriched by
five books of new fables, and in 1694 a new edition appeared, containing
one additional book, thus completing the collection of his charming

The fable of Perrette stands in the seventh book, and was published,
therefore, for the first time in the edition of 1678. In the preface to
that edition La Fontaine says: “It is not necessary that I should say
whence I have taken the subjects of these new fables. I shall only say,
from a sense of gratitude, that I owe the largest portion of them to
Pilpay the Indian sage.”

If, then, La Fontaine tells us himself that he borrowed the subjects of
most of his new fables from Pilpay, the Indian sage, we have clearly a
right to look to India in order to see whether, in the ancient
literature of that country, any traces can be discovered of Perrette
with the milk-pail.

Sanskrit literature is very rich in fables and stories; no other
literature can vie with it in that respect; nay, it is extremely likely
that fables, in particular animal fables, had their principal source in
India. In the sacred literature of the Buddhists, fables held a most
prominent place. The Buddhist preachers, addressing themselves chiefly
to the people, to the untaught, the uncared for, the outcast, spoke to
them, as we still speak to children, in fables, in proverbs and
parables. Many of these fables and parables must have existed before the
rise of the Buddhist religion; others, no doubt, were added on the spur
of the moment, just as Sokrates would invent a myth or fable whenever
that form of argument seemed to him most likely to impress and convince
his hearers. But Buddhism gave a new and permanent sanction to this
whole branch of moral mythology, and in the sacred canon, as it was
settled in the third century before Christ, many a fable received, and
holds to the present day, its recognized place. After the fall of
Buddhism in India, and even during its decline, the Brahmans claimed the
inheritance of their enemies, and used their popular fables for
educational purposes. The best known of these collections of fables in
Sanskrit is the Pañcatantra, literally the Pentateuch, or Pentamerone.
From it and from other sources another collection was made, well known
to all Sanskrit scholars by the name of Hitopadesa, _i.e._, Salutary
Advice. Both these books have been published in England and Germany, and
there are translations of them in English, German, French, and other

The first question which we have to answer refers to the date of these
collections, and dates in the history of Sanskrit literature are always
difficult points. Fortunately, as we shall see, we can in this case fix
the date of the Pañcatantra at least, by means of a translation into
ancient Persian, which was made about 550 years after Christ, though
even then we can only prove that a collection somewhat like the
Pañkatantra must have existed at that time; but we cannot refer the
book, in exactly that form in which we now possess it, to that distant

If we look for La Fontaine’s fable in the Sanskrit stories of the
Pañcatantra, we do not find, indeed, the milkmaid counting her chickens
before they are hatched, but we meet with the following story:--

  “There lived in a certain place a Brâhman, whose name was
  Svabhâvakṛpaṇa, which means ‘a born miser.’ He had collected a
  quantity of rice by begging (this reminds us somewhat of the
  Buddhist mendicants), and after having dined off it, he filled a pot
  with what was left over. He hung the pot on a peg on the wall,
  placed his couch beneath, and looking intently at it all the night,
  he thought, ‘Ah, that pot is indeed brimful of rice. Now, if there
  should be a famine, I should certainly make a hundred rupees by it.
  With this I shall buy a couple of goats. They will have young ones
  every six months, and thus I shall have a whole herd of goats. Then,
  with the goats, I shall buy cows. As soon as they have calved,
  I shall sell the calves. Then, with the cows, I shall buy buffaloes;
  with the buffaloes, mares. When the mares have foaled, I shall have
  plenty of horses; and when I sell them, plenty of gold. With that
  gold I shall get a house with four wings. And then a Brâhman will
  come to my house, and will give me his beautiful daughter, with a
  large dowry. She will have a son, and I shall call him Somaśarman.
  When he is old enough to be danced on his father’s knee, I shall sit
  with a book at the back of the stable, and while I am reading the
  boy will see me, jump from his mother’s lap, and run towards me to
  be danced on my knee. He will come too near the horse’s hoof, and,
  full of anger, I shall call to my wife, “Take the baby; take him!”
  But she, distracted by some domestic work does not hear me. Then I
  get up, and give her such a kick with my foot.’ While he thought
  this, he gave a kick with his foot, and broke the pot. All the rice
  fell over him, and made him quite white. Therefore, I say, ‘He who
  makes foolish plans for the future will be white all over, like the
  father of Somaśarman.’”[5]

I shall at once proceed to read you the same story, though slightly
modified, from the Hitopadeśa.[6] The Hitopadeśa professes to be taken
from the Pañcatantra and some other books; and in this case it would
seem as if some other authority had been followed. You will see, at all
events, how much freedom there was in telling the old story of the man
who built castles in the air.

  “In the town of Devîkoṭṭa there lived a Brâhman of the name of
  Devaśarman. At the feast of the great equinox he received a plate
  full of rice. He took it, went into a potter’s shop, which was full
  of crockery, and, overcome by the heat, he lay down in a corner and
  began to doze. In order to protect his plate of rice, he kept a
  stick in his hand, and began to think, ‘Now, if I sell this plate of
  rice, I shall receive ten cowries (kapardaka). I shall then, on the
  spot, buy pots and plates, and after having increased my capital
  again and again, I shall buy and sell betel nuts and dresses till I
  become enormously rich. Then I shall marry four wives, and the
  youngest and prettiest of the four I shall make a great pet of. Then
  the other wives will be so angry, and begin to quarrel. But I shall
  be in a great rage, and take a stick, and give them a good
  flogging.’ . . . . While he said this, he flung his stick away; the
  plate of rice was smashed to pieces, and many of the pots in the
  shop were broken. The potter, hearing the noise, ran into the shop,
  and when he saw his pots broken, he gave the Brâhman a good
  scolding, and drove him out of his shop. Therefore I say, ‘He who
  rejoices over plans for the future will come to grief, like the
  Brâhman who broke the pots.’”

In spite of the change of a Brahman into a milkmaid, no one, I suppose,
will doubt that we have here in the stories of the Pañcatantra and
Hitopadeśa the first germs of La Fontaine’s fable.[7] But how did that
fable travel all the way from India to France? How did it doff its
Sanskrit garment and don the light dress of modern French? How was the
stupid Brahman born again as the brisk milkmaid, “_cotillon simple et
souliers plats_?”

It seems a startling case of longevity that while languages have
changed, while works of art have perished, while empires have risen and
vanished again, this simple children’s story should have lived on, and
maintained its place of honor and its undisputed sway in every
school-room of the East and every nursery of the West. And yet it is a
case of longevity so well attested that even the most skeptical would
hardly venture to question it. We have the passport of these stories
_viséed_ at every place through which they have passed, and, as far as I
can judge, _parfaitement en règle_. The story of the migration of these
Indian fables from East to West is indeed wonderful; more wonderful and
more instructive than many of these fables themselves. Will it be
believed that we, in this Christian country and in the nineteenth
century, teach our children the first, the most important lessons of
worldly wisdom, nay, of a more than worldly wisdom, from books borrowed
from Buddhists and Brahmans, from heretics and idolaters, and that wise
words, spoken a thousand, nay, two thousand years ago, in a lonely
village of India, like precious seed scattered broadcast all over the
world, still bear fruit a hundred and a thousand-fold in that soil which
is the most precious before God and man, the soul of a child? No
lawgiver, no philosopher, has made his influence felt so widely, so
deeply, and so permanently as the author of these children’s fables. But
who was he? We do not know. His name, like the name of many a benefactor
of the human race, is forgotten. We only know he was an Indian--a
nigger, as some people would call him--and that he lived at least two
thousand years ago.

No doubt, when we first hear of the Indian origin of these fables, and
of their migration from India to Europe, we wonder whether it can be so;
but the fact is, that the story of this Indo-European migration is not,
like the migration of the Indo-European languages, myths, and legends,
a matter of theory, but of history, and that it was never quite
forgotten either in the East or in the West. Each translator, as he
handed on his treasure, seems to have been anxious to show how he came
by it.

Several writers who have treated of the origin and spreading of
Indo-European stories and fables, have mixed up two or three questions
which ought to be treated each on its own merits.

The first question is whether the Aryans, when they broke up their
pro-ethnic community, carried away with them, not only their common
grammar and dictionary, but likewise some myths and legends which we
find that Indians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Celts, Germans, Slaves,
when they emerge into the light of history, share in common? That
certain deities occur in India, Greece, and Germany, having the same
names and the same character, is a fact that can no longer be denied.
That certain heroes, too, known to Indians, Greeks, and Romans, point to
one and the same origin, both by their name and by their history, is a
fact by this time admitted by all whose admission is of real value. As
heroes are in most cases gods in disguise, there is nothing very
startling in the fact that nations, who had worshipped the same gods,
should also have preserved some common legends of demi-gods or heroes,
nay, even in a later phase of thought, of fairies and ghosts. The case,
however, becomes much more problematical when we ask, whether stories
also, fables told with a decided moral purpose, formed part of that
earliest Aryan inheritance? This is still doubted by many who have no
doubts whatever as to common Aryan myths and legends, and even those
who, like myself, have tried to establish by tentative arguments the
existence of common Aryan fables, dating from before the Aryan
separation, have done so only by showing a possible connection between
ancient popular saws and mythological ideas, capable of a moral
application. To any one, for instance, who knows how in the poetical
mythology of the Aryan tribes, the golden splendor of the rising sun
leads to conceptions of the wealth of the Dawn in gold and jewels and
her readiness to shower them upon her worshippers, the modern German
proverb, _Morgenstunde hat Gold im Munde_, seems to have a kind of
mythological ring, and the stories of benign fairies, changing
everything into gold, sound likewise like an echo from the
long-forgotten forest of our common Aryan home. If we know how the trick
of dragging stolen cattle backwards into their place of hiding, so that
their footprints might not lead to the discovery of the thief, appears
again and again in the mythology of different Aryan nations, then the
pointing of the same trick as a kind of proverb, intended to convey a
moral lesson, and illustrated by fables of the same or a very similar
character in India and Greece, makes one feel inclined to suspect that
here too the roots of these fables may reach to a pro-ethnic period.
_Vestigia nulla retrorsum_ is clearly an ancient proverb, dating from a
nomadic period, and when we see how Plato (“Alcibiades,” i. 123) was
perfectly familiar with the Æsopian myth or fable,--κατὰ τὸν Αἰσώπου
μῦθον, he says--of the fox declining to enter the lion’s cave, because
all footsteps went into it and none came out, and how the Sanskrit
Pañcatantra (III. 14) tells of a jackal hesitating to enter his own
cave, because he sees the footsteps of a lion going in, but not coming
out, we feel strongly inclined to admit a common origin for both fables.
Here, however, the idea that the Greeks, like La Fontaine, had borrowed
their fable from the Pañcatantra would be simply absurd, and it would be
much more rational, if the process must be one of borrowing, to admit,
as Benfey (“Pantschatantra,” i. 381) does, that the Hindus, after
Alexander’s discovery of India, borrowed this story from the Greeks. But
if we consider that each of the two fables has its own peculiar
tendency, the one deriving its lesson from the absence of backward
footprints of the victims, the other from the absence of backward
footprints of the lion himself, the admission of a common Aryan proverb
such as “_vestigia nulla retrorsum_” would far better explain the facts
such as we find them. I am not ignorant of the difficulties of this
explanation, and I would myself point to the fact that among the
Hottentots, too, Dr. Bleek has found a fable of the jackal declining to
visit the sick lion, “because the traces of the animals who went to see
him did not turn back.”[8] Without, however, pronouncing any decided
opinion on this vexed question, what I wish to place clearly before you
is this, that the spreading of Aryan myths, legends, and fables, dating
from a pro-ethnic period, has nothing whatever to do with the spreading
of fables taking place in strictly historical times from India to
Arabia, to Greece and the rest of Europe, not by means of oral
tradition, but through more or less faithful translations of literary
works. Those who like may doubt whether _Zeus_ was +Dyaus+, whether
_Daphne_ was +Ahanâ+, whether _La Belle au Bois_ was the mother of two
children, called _L’Aurore_ and _Le Jour_,[9] but the fact that a
collection of fables was, in the sixth century of our era, brought from
India to Persia, and by means of various translations naturalized among
Persians, Arabs, Greeks, Jews, and all the rest, admits of no doubt or
cavil. Several thousand years have passed between those two migrations,
and to mix them up together, to suppose that Comparative Mythology has
anything to do with the migration of such fables as that of Perrette,
would be an anachronism of a portentous character.

There is a third question, viz., whether besides the two channels just
mentioned, there were others through which Eastern fables could have
reached Europe, or Æsopian and other European fables have been
transferred to the East. There are such channels, no doubt. Persian and
Arab stories, of Indian origin, were through the crusaders brought back
to Constantinople, Italy, and France; Buddhist fables were through
Mongolian[10] conquerors (13th century) carried to Russia and the
eastern parts of Europe. Greek stories may have reached Persia and India
at the time of Alexander’s conquests and during the reigns of the
Diadochi, and even Christian legends may have found their way to the
East through missionaries, travellers, or slaves.

Lastly, there comes the question, how far our common human nature is
sufficient to account for coincidences in beliefs, customs, proverbs,
and fables, which, at first sight, seem to require an historical
explanation. I shall mention but one instance. Professor Wilson (“Essays
on Sanskrit Literature,” i. p. 201) pointed out that the story of the
Trojan horse occurs in a Hindu tale, only that instead of the horse we
have an elephant. But he rightly remarked that the coincidence was
accidental. In the one case, after a siege of nine years, the principal
heroes of the Greek army are concealed in a wooden horse, dragged into
Troy by a stratagem, and the story ends by their falling upon the
Trojans and conquering the city of Priam. In the other story a king bent
on securing a son-in-law, had an elephant constructed by able artists,
and filled with armed men. The elephant was placed in a forest, and when
the young prince came to hunt, the armed men sprang out, overpowered the
prince and brought him to the king, whose daughter he was to marry.
However striking the similarity may seem to one unaccustomed to deal
with ancient legends, I doubt whether any comparative mythologist has
postulated a common Aryan origin for these two stories. They feel that,
as far as the mere construction of a wooden animal is concerned, all
that was necessary to explain the origin of the idea in one place was
present also in the other, and that while the Trojan horse forms an
essential part of a mythological cycle, there is nothing truly
mythological or legendary in the Indian story. The idea of a hunter
disguising himself in the skin of an animal, or even of one animal
assuming the disguise of another,[11] are familiar in every part of the
world, and if that is so, then the step from hiding under the skin of a
large animal to that of hiding in a wooden animal is not very great.

Every one of these questions, as I said before, must be treated on its
own merits, and while the traces of the first migration of Aryan fables
can be rediscovered only by the most minute and complex inductive
processes, the documents of the latter are to be found in the library of
every intelligent collector of books. Thus, to return to Perrette and
the fables of Pilpay, Huet, the learned bishop of Avranches, the friend
of La Fontaine, had only to examine the prefaces of the principal
translations of the Indian fables in order to track their wanderings, as
he did in his famous “Traite de l’Origine des Romans,” published at
Paris in 1670, two years after the appearance of the first collection of
La Fontaine’s fables. Since his time the evidence has become more
plentiful, and the whole subject has been more fully and more profoundly
treated by Sylvestre de Sacy,[12] Loiseleur Deslongchamps,[13] and
Professor Benfey.[14] But though we have a more accurate knowledge of
the stations by which the Eastern fables reached their last home in the
West, Bishop Huet knew as well as we do that they came originally from
India through Persia by way of Bagdad and Constantinople.

In order to gain a commanding view of the countries traversed by these
fables, let us take our position at Bagdad in the middle of the eighth
century, and watch from that central point the movements of our literary
caravan in its progress from the far East to the far West. In the middle
of the eighth century, during the reign of the great Khalif Almansur,
Abdallah ibn Almokaffa wrote his famous collection of fables, the
“Kalila and Dimnah,” which we still possess. The Arabic text of these
fables has been published by Sylvestre de Sacy, and there is an English
translation of it by Mr. Knatchbull, formerly Professor of Arabic at
Oxford. Abdallah ibn Almokaffa was a Persian by birth, who after the
fall of the Omeyyades became a convert to Mohammedanism, and rose to
high office at the court of the Khalifs. Being in possession of
important secrets of state, he became dangerous in the eyes of the
Khalif Almansur, and was foully murdered.[15] In the preface, Abdallah
ibn Almokaffa tells us that he translated these fables from Pehlevi, the
ancient language of Persia; and that they had been translated into
Pehlevi (about two hundred years before his time) by Barzûyeh, the
physician of Khosru Nushirvan, the King of Persia, the contemporary of
the Emperor Justinian. The King of Persia had heard that there existed
in India a book full of wisdom, and he had commanded his Vezier,
Buzurjmihr, to find a man acquainted with the languages both of Persia
and India. The man chosen was Barzûyeh. He travelled to India, got
possession of the book, translated it into Persian, and brought it back
to the court of Khosru. Declining all rewards beyond a dress of honor,
he only stipulated that an account of his own life and opinions should
be added to the book. This account, probably written by himself, is
extremely curious. It is a kind of _Religio Medici_ of the sixth
century, and shows us a soul dissatisfied with traditions and
formularies, striving after truth, and finding rest only where many
other seekers after truth have found rest before and after him, in a
life devoted to alleviating the sufferings of mankind.

There is another account of the journey of this Persian physician to
India. It has the sanction of Firdúsi, in the great Persian epic, the
Shah Nâmeh, and it is considered by some[16] as more original than the
one just quoted. According to it, the Persian physician read in a book
that there existed in India trees or herbs supplying a medicine with
which the dead could be restored to life. At the command of the king he
went to India in search of those trees and herbs; but, after spending a
year in vain researches, he consulted some wise people on the subject.
They told him that the medicine of which he had read as having the power
of restoring men to life had to be understood in a higher and more
spiritual sense, and that what was really meant by it were ancient books
of wisdom preserved in India, which imparted life to those who were dead
in their folly and sins.[17] Thereupon the physician translated these
books, and one of them was the collection of fables, the “Kalila and

It is possible that both these stories were later inventions; the
preface also by Ali, the son of Alshah Farési, in which the names of
Bidpai and King Dabshelim are mentioned for the first time, is of later
date. But the fact remains that Abdallah ibn Almokaffa, the author of
the oldest Arabic collection of our fables, translated them from
Pehlevi, the language of Persia at the time of Khosru Nushirvan, and
that the Pehlevi text which he translated was believed to be a
translation of a book brought from India in the middle of the sixth
century. That Indian book could not have been the Pañcatantra, as we now
possess it, but must have been a much larger collection of fables, for
the Arabic translation, the “Kalilah and Dimnah,” contains eighteen
chapters instead of the five of the Pañcatantra, and it is only in the
fifth, the seventh, the eighth, the ninth, and the tenth chapters that
we find the same stories which form the five books of the Pañkatantra in
the _textus ornatior_. Even in these chapters the Arabic translator
omits stories which we find in the Sanskrit text, and adds others which
are not to be found there.

In this Arabic translation the story of the Brahman and the pot of rice
runs as follows:--

  “A religious man was in the habit of receiving every day from the
  house of a merchant a certain quantity of butter (oil) and honey, of
  which, having eaten as much as he wanted, he put the rest into a
  jar, which he hung on a nail in a corner of the room, hoping that
  the jar would in time be filled. Now, as he was leaning back one day
  on his couch, with a stick in his hand, and the jar suspended over
  his head, he thought of the high price of butter and honey, and said
  to himself, ‘I will sell what is in the jar, and buy with the money
  which I obtain for it ten goats, which, producing each of them a
  young one every five months, in addition to the produce of the kids
  as soon as they begin to bear, it will not be long before there is a
  large flock.’ He continued to make his calculations, and found that
  he should at this rate, in the course of two years, have more than
  four hundred goats. ‘At the expiration of this term I will buy,’
  said he, ‘a hundred black cattle, in the proportion of a bull or a
  cow for every four goats. I will then purchase land, and hire
  workmen to plough it with the beasts, and put it into tillage, so
  that before five years are over I shall, no doubt, have realized a
  great fortune by the sale of the milk which the cows will give, and
  of the produce of my land. My next business will be to build a
  magnificent house, and engage a number of servants, both male and
  female; and, when my establishment is completed, I will marry the
  handsomest woman I can find, who, in due time becoming a mother,
  will present me with an heir to my possessions, who, as he advances
  in age, shall receive the best masters that can be procured; and, if
  the progress which he makes in learning is equal to my reasonable
  expectations, I shall be amply repaid for the pains and expense
  which I have bestowed upon him; but if, on the other hand, he
  disappoints my hopes, the rod which I have here shall be the
  instrument with which I will make him feel the displeasure of a
  justly-offended parent.’ At these words he suddenly raised the hand
  which held the stick towards the jar, and broke it, and the contents
  ran down upon his head and face.”[18] . . . .

You will have observed the coincidences between the Arabic and the
Sanskrit versions, but also a considerable divergence, particularly in
the winding up of the story. The Brahman and the holy man both build
their castles in the air; but, while the former kicks his wife, the
latter only chastises his son. How this change came to pass we cannot
tell. One might suppose that, at the time when the book was translated
from Sanskrit into Pehlevi, or from Pehlevi into Arabic, the Sanskrit
story was exactly like the Arabic story, and that it was changed
afterwards. But another explanation is equally admissible, viz., that
the Pehlevi or the Arabic translator wished to avoid the offensive
behavior of the husband kicking his wife, and therefore substituted the
son as a more deserving object of castigation.

We have thus traced our story from Sanskrit to Pehlevi, and from Pehlevi
to Arabic; we have followed it in its migrations from the hermitages of
Indian sages to the court of the kings of Persia, and from thence to the
residence of the powerful Khalifs at Bagdad. Let us recollect that the
Khalif Almansur, for whom the Arabic translation was made, was the
contemporary of Abderrhaman, who ruled in Spain, and that both were but
little anterior to Harun al Rashid and Charlemagne. At that time,
therefore, the way was perfectly open for these Eastern fables, after
they had once reached Bagdad, to penetrate into the seats of Western
learning, and to spread to every part of the new empire of Charlemagne.
They may have done so, for all we know; but nearly three hundred years
pass before these fables meet us again in the literature of Europe. The
Carlovingian empire had fallen to pieces, Spain had been rescued from
the Mohammedans, William the Conqueror had landed in England, and the
Crusades had begun to turn the thoughts of Europe towards the East,
when, about the year 1080, we hear of a Jew of the name of Symeon, the
son of Seth, who translated these fables from Arabic into Greek. He
states in his preface that the book came originally from India, that it
was brought to the King Chosroes of Persia, and then translated into
Arabic. His own translation into Greek must have been made from an
Arabic MS. of the “Kalila and Dimna,” in some places more perfect, in
others less perfect, than the one published by De Sacy. The Greek text
has been published, though very imperfectly, under the title of
“Stephanites and Ichnelates.”[19] Here our fable is told as follows
(p. 337):--

  “It is said that a beggar kept some honey and butter in a jar close
  to where he slept. One night he thus thought within himself:
  ‘I shall sell this honey and butter for however small a sum; with it
  I shall buy ten goats, and these in five months will produce as many
  again. In five years they will become four hundred. With them I
  shall buy one hundred cows, and with them I shall cultivate some
  land. And what with their calves and the harvests, I shall become
  rich in five years, and build a house with four wings,[20]
  ornamented with gold, and buy all kinds of servants, and marry a
  wife. She will give me a child, and I shall call him Beauty. It will
  be a boy, and I shall educate him properly; and if I see him lazy,
  I shall give him such a flogging with this stick. . . . .’ With
  these words he took a stick that was near him, struck the jar, and
  broke it, so that the honey and milk ran down on his beard.”

This Greek translation might, no doubt, have reached La Fontaine; but as
the French poet was not a great scholar, least of all a reader of Greek
MSS., and as the fables of Symeon Seth were not published till 1697, we
must look for other channels through which the old fable was carried
along from East to West.

There is, first of all, an Italian translation of the “Stephanites and
Ichnelates,” which was published at Ferrara in 1583.[21] The title is,
“Del Governo de’ Regni. Sotto morali essempi di animali ragionanti tra
loro. Tratti prima di lingua Indiana in Agarena da Lelo Demno Saraceno.
Et poi dall’ Agarena nella Greca da Simeone Setto, philosopho
Antiocheno. Et hora tradotti di Greco in Italiano.” This translation was
probably the work of Giulio Nuti.

There is, besides, a Latin translation, or rather a free rendering of
the Greek translation by the learned Jesuit, Petrus Possinus, which was
published at Rome in 1666.[22] This may have been, and, according to
some authorities, has really been one of the sources from which La
Fontaine drew his inspirations. But though La Fontaine may have
consulted this work for other fables, I do not think that he took from
it the fable of Perrette and the milk-pail.

The fact is, these fables had found several other channels through
which, as early as the thirteenth century, they reached the literary
market of Europe, and became familiar as household words, at least among
the higher and educated classes. We shall follow the course of some of
these channels. First, then, a learned Jew, whose name seems to have
been Joel, translated our fables from Arabic into Hebrew (1250?). His
work has been preserved in one MS. at Paris, but has not yet been
published, except the tenth book, which was communicated by Dr. Neubauer
to Benfey’s journal, “Orient und Occident” (vol. i. p. 658). This Hebrew
translation was translated by another converted Jew, Johannes of Capua,
into Latin. His translation was finished between 1263-1278, and, under
the title of “Directorium Humanæ Vitæ,” it became very soon a popular
work with the select reading public of the thirteenth century.[23] In
the “Directorium,” and in Joel’s translation, the name of Sendebar is
substituted for that of Bidpay. The “Directorium” was translated into
German at the command of Eberhard, the great Duke of Würtemberg,[24] and
both the Latin text and the German translation occur, in repeated
editions, among the rare books printed between 1480 and the end of the
fifteenth century.[25] A Spanish translation, founded both on the German
and the Latin texts, appeared at Burgos in 1493;[26] and from these
different sources flowed in the sixteenth century the Italian renderings
of Firenzuola (1548)[27] and Doni (1552).[28] As these Italian
translations were repeated in French[29] and English, before the end of
the sixteenth century, they might no doubt have supplied La Fontaine
with subjects for his fables.

But, as far as we know, it was a third channel that really brought the
Indian fables to the immediate notice of the French poet. A Persian
poet, of the name of Nasr Allah, translated the work of Abdallah ibn
Almokaffa into Persian about 1150. This Persian translation was enlarged
in the fifteenth century by another Persian poet, Husain ben Ali called
el Vaez, under the title of “Anvári Suhaili.”[30] This name will be
familiar to many members of the Indian Civil Service, as being one of
the old Haileybury class-books which had to be construed by all who
wished to gain high honors in Persia. This work, or at least the first
books of it, were translated into French by David Sahid of Ispahan, and
published at Paris in 1644, under the title of “Livre des Lumières, ou,
la Conduite des Rois, composé par le Sage Pilpay, Indien.” This
translation, we know, fell into the hands of La Fontaine, and a number
of his most charming fables were certainly borrowed from it.

But Perrette with the milk-pail has not yet arrived at the end of her
journey, for if we look at the “Livre des Lumières,” as published at
Paris, we find neither the milkmaid nor her prototype, the Brahman who
kicks his wife, or the religious man who flogs his boy. That story
occurs in the later chapters, which were left out in the French
translation; and La Fontaine, therefore, must have met with his model

Remember that in all our wanderings we have not yet found the milkmaid,
but only the Brahman or the religious man. What we want to know is who
first brought about this metamorphosis.

No doubt La Fontaine was quite the man to seize on any jewel which was
contained in the Oriental fables, to remove the cumbersome and
foreign-looking setting, and then to place the principal figure in that
pretty frame in which most of us have first become acquainted with it.
But in this case the charmer’s wand did not belong to La Fontaine, but
to some forgotten worthy, whose very name it will be difficult to fix
upon with certainty.

We have, as yet, traced three streams only, all starting from the Arabic
translation of Abdallah ibn Almokaffa, one in the eleventh, another in
the twelfth, a third in the thirteenth century, all reaching Europe,
some touching the very steps of the throne of Louis XIV., yet none of
them carrying the leaf which contained the story of “Perrette,” or of
the “Brahman,” to the threshold of La Fontaine’s home. We must,
therefore, try again.

After the conquest of Spain by the Mohammedans, Arabic literature had
found a new home in Western Europe, and among the numerous works
translated from Arabic into Latin or Spanish, we find towards the end of
the thirteenth century (1289) a Spanish translation of our fables,
called “Calila é Dymna.”[31] In this the name of the philosopher is
changed from Bidpai to Bundobel. This, or another translation from
Arabic, was turned into Latin verse by Raimond de Béziers in 1313 (not

Lastly, we find in the same century another translation from Arabic
straight into Latin verse, by Baldo, which became known under the name
of “Æsopus alter.”[32]

From these frequent translations, and translations of translations, in
the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries, we see quite clearly
that these Indian fables were extremely popular, and were, in fact, more
widely read in Europe than the Bible, or any other book. They were not
only read in translations, but having been introduced into sermons,[33]
homilies, and works on morality, they were improved upon, acclimatized,
localized, moralized, till at last it is almost impossible to recognize
their Oriental features under their homely disguises.

I shall give you one instance only.

Rabelais, in his “Gargantua,” gives a long description how a man might
conquer the whole world. At the end of this dialogue, which was meant as
a satire on Charles V., we read:--

  “There was there present at that time an old gentleman well
  experienced in the wars, a stern soldier, and who had been in many
  great hazards, named Echephron, who, hearing this discourse, said:
  ‘J’ay grand peur que toute ceste entreprise sera semblable à la
  farce _du pot au laict_ duquel un cordavanier se faisoit riche par
  resverie, puis le pot cassé, n’eut de quoy disner.’”

This is clearly our story, only the Brahman has, as yet, been changed
into a shoemaker only, and the pot of rice or the jar of butter and
honey into a pitcher of milk. Now it is perfectly true that if a writer
of the fifteenth century changed the Brahman into a shoemaker, La
Fontaine might, with the same right, have replaced the Brahman by his
milkmaid. Knowing that the story was current, was, in fact, common
property in the fifteenth century, nay, even at a much earlier date, we
might really be satisfied after having brought the germs of “Perrette”
within easy reach of La Fontaine. But, fortunately, we can make at least
one step further, a step of about two centuries. This step backwards
brings us to the thirteenth century, and there we find our old Indian
friend again, and this time really changed into a milkmaid. The book I
refer to is written in Latin, and is called, “Dialogus Creaturarum
optime moralizatus;” in English, the “Dialogue of Creatures moralized.”
It was a book intended to teach the principles of Christian morality by
examples taken from ancient fables. It was evidently a most successful
book, and was translated into several modern languages. There is an old
translation of it in English, first printed by Rastell,[34] and
afterwards repeated in 1816. I shall read you from it the fable in
which, as far as I can find, the milkmaid appears for the first time on
the stage, surrounded already by much of that scenery which, four
hundred years later, received its last touches at the hand of La

  “DIALOGO C. (p. ccxxiii.) For as it is but madnesse to trust to
  moche in surete, so it is but foly to hope to moche of vanyteys, for
  vayne be all erthly thinges longynge to men, as sayth Davyd, Psal.
  xciiii: Wher of it is tolde in fablys that a lady uppon a tyme
  delyvered to her mayden a _galon of mylke_ to sell at a cite, and by
  the way, as she sate and restid her by a dyche side, she began to
  thinke that with the money of the mylke she wold bye an henne, the
  which shulde bringe forth chekyns, and when they were growyn to
  hennys she wolde sell them and by piggis, and eschaunge them in to
  shepe, and the shepe in to oxen, and so whan she was come to
  richesse she sholde be maried right worshipfully unto some worthy
  man, and thus she reioycid. And whan she was thus mervelously
  comfortid and ravisshed inwardly in her secrete solace, thinkynge
  with howe greate ioye she shuld be ledde towarde the chirche with
  her husbond on horsebacke, she sayde to her self: ‘Goo we, goo we.’
  Sodaynlye she smote the ground with her fote, myndynge to spurre the
  horse, but her fote slypped, and she fell in the dyche, and there
  lay all her mylke, and so she was farre from her purpose, and never
  had that she hopid to have.”[35]

Here we have arrived at the end of our journey. It has been a long
journey across fifteen or twenty centuries, and I am afraid our
following Perrette from country to country, and from language to
language, may have tired some of my hearers. I shall, therefore, not
attempt to fill the gap that divides the fable of the thirteenth century
from La Fontaine. Suffice it to say, that the milkmaid, having once
taken the place of the Brahman, maintained it against all comers. We
find her as Dona Truhana, in the famous “Conde Lucanor,” the work of the
Infante Don Juan Manuel,[36] who died in 1347, the grandson of St.
Ferdinand, the nephew of Alfonso the Wise, though himself not a king,
yet more powerful than a king; renowned both by his sword and by his
pen, and possibly not ignorant of Arabic, the language of his enemies.
We find her again in the “Contes et Nouvelles” of Bonaventure des
Periers, published in the sixteenth century, a book which we know that
La Fontaine was well acquainted with. We find her after La Fontaine in
all the languages of Europe.[37]

[Transcriber’s Note:

This large table could not be reproduced as printed, so the information
has been split into two groups. The table itself gives only the years
and languages of the translations, with their family relationship. The
following lists then give the full text, again divided into two formats:
the first strictly chronological, the second sorted by branches.

Words in [brackets] were added by the transcriber.]

   500-  531-579 _Pehlevi_ (lost)
   600   570 _Syriac_

   700-  754-775 _Arabic_
   800     _________|_________________________________________
          |         |         |             |                 |
  1000-   |         |         |             |               1080
  1100    |         |         |             |               Greek
          |         |         |             |                 |
  1100-   |         |      1118-53          |                _|_____
  1200    |         |      Persian          |               |       |
          |         |         |             |               |       |
  1200-   |        1289       |            1250             |       |
  1300   Latin    Spanish     |           Hebrew            |       |
                    |         |             |               |       |
                    |         |           1263-78           |       |
                    |         |            Latin            |       |
                    |         |       ______|_______        |       |
                    |         |       |            |        |       |
  1300-            1313       |    [pre-1325]      |        |       |
  1400             Latin      |      German        |        |       |
                              |                    |        |       |
  1400-                     1494                1493        |       |
  1500                     Persian             Spanish      |       |
               _______________|                  |          |       |
              |       |       |                  |          |       |
  1500-    1590 “New” |    1540                 1548        |       |
  1600     [Persian]  |    Turkish             Italian      |       |
              |       |       |       ___________|___       |       |
          Hindustani  |       |       |        |    |       |       |
                      |       |      1552      |  1556      |       |
                      |       |     Italian    |  French    |       |
                      |       |      |_________|______      |       |
                      |       |      |                |     |       |
                      |       |     1570            1579    |     1583
                      |       |    English         French   |    Italian
  1600-              1644     |                             |
  1700              French    |--1654 Spanish              1666
                              |                           Latin
  1700-                     1724

  1800                     French

[Full text, by date:]

531-579. Khosru Nushirvan, King of Persia; his physician, Barzûyeh,
translates the Indian fables into _Pehlevi_, s. t. “Qalilag and Damnag”

570. Translation of the “Qualilag and Damnag,” from Indian into
_Syriac_, by Bud Periodeutes (Benfey and Socin).

754-775. Khalif Almansur. Abdallah ibn Almokaffa (d. 760) translates the
Pehlevi into _Arabic_ (ed. de Sacy, 1816).

1080. Into _Greek_, by Simeon Seth, s. t. “Ichnelates et Stephanites,”
ed. Starkius, 1697.

1118-53. Into _Persian_, by Abul Maali Nasr Allah (prose).

Into _Latin_ by Baldo, s. t. Alter Æsopus (ed. du Méril).

1250. Into _Hebrew_, by Rabbi Joel.

1263-78. Into _Latin_, by Johannes of Capua, s. t. “Directorium humanæ
vitæ” (print. 1480).

1289. Into _Spanish_, by order of the Infante Don Alfonso, s. t. “Calila
é Dymna” (ed. de Gayangos)

1313. Into _Latin_, by Raimond de Beziers, s. t. “Calila et Dimna.”

Into _German_ under Eberhard, Duke of Würtemberg (d. 1325), printed
before 1483.


1493. Into _Spanish_, s. t. “Exemplario contra los Engaños.”

1494. Modernized in _Persian_, by Husain ben Ali, el Vaez, s. t. “Anvari

1540. Into _Turkish_, by Ali Tchelebi, s. t. “Homayun Nameh.”

1548. Into _Italian_, by Ange Firenzuola, s. t. “Discorsi degli

1552. Into _Italian_, by Doni, s. t. “La Filosofia Morale.”

1556. Into _French_, by Gabr. Cottier, s. t. “Le Plaisant Discours des

1570. Into _English_, by North.

1579. Into _French_, by Pierre de La Rivey, s. t. “Deux Livres de
Filosofie Fabuleuse.”

1583. Into _Italian_, by G. Nuti, s. t. “Del Governo de’ Regni.”

1590. New, by Abulfazl, for Akbar, “Ayari Danish.”

Translated into _Hindustani_, s. t. “Khirud Ufroz,” the Illuminator of
the Understanding.

1644. Into _French_, by David Sahid d’Ispahan (Gaulmin), s. t. “Livre
des Lumières, ou la Conduite des Rois, composé par le sage Pilpay,
Indien” (4 cap. only).

Into _Spanish_, by Brattuti, “Espejo politico,” 1654.

1666. Into _Latin_, by Petrus Possinus.

1724. Into _French_, by Galland, s. t. “Les Contes et Fables
Indiennes de Bibpaï et de Lokman” (4 cap. only); finished in 1778 by

[Full text, by branches; each added indentation is a new branch.]

Into _Latin_ by Baldo, s. t. Alter Æsopus (ed. du Méril).

  1289. Into _Spanish_, by order of the Infante Don Alfonso, s. t.
    “Calila é Dymna” (ed. de Gayangos)
  1313. Into _Latin_, by Raimond de Beziers, s. t. “Calila et Dimna.”

    1118-53. Into _Persian_, by Abul Maali Nasr Allah (prose).
    1494. Modernized in _Persian_, by Husain ben Ali, el Vaez, s. t.
      “Anvari Suhaili.”
    a: 1590. New, by Abulfazl, for Akbar, “Ayari Danish.”
    a: Translated into _Hindustani_, s. t. “Khirud Ufroz,” the
      Illuminator of the Understanding.
    b: 1644. Into _French_, by David Sahid d’Ispahan (Gaulmin), s. t.
      “Livre des Lumières, ou la Conduite des Rois, composé par le
      sage Pilpay, Indien” (4 cap. only).
    c: 1540. Into _Turkish_, by Ali Tchelebi, s. t. “Homayun Nameh.”
    c: Into _Spanish_, by Brattuti, “Espejo politico,” 1654.
    c: 1724. Into _French_, by Galland, s. t. “Les Contes et Fables
      Indiennes de Bibpaï et de Lokman” (4 cap. only); finished in
      1778 by Cardonne.

      1250. Into _Hebrew_, by Rabbi Joel.
      1263-78. Into _Latin_, by Johannes of Capua, s. t. “Directorium
        humanæ vitæ” (print. 1480).
      a: Into _German_ under Eberhard, Duke of Würtemberg (d. 1325),
        printed before 1483.
      b: 1493. Into _Spanish_, s. t. “Exemplario contra los Engaños.”
      b: 1548. Into _Italian_, by Ange Firenzuola, s. t. “Discorsi
        degli Animali.”
      b: 1552. Into _Italian_, by Doni, s. t. “La Filosofia Morale.”
      b: 1556. Into _French_, by Gabr. Cottier, s. t. “Le Plaisant
        Discours des Animaux.”
      b: 1570. Into _English_, by North.
      b: 1579. Into _French_, by Pierre de La Rivey, s. t. “Deux
        Livres de Filosofie Fabuleuse.”

        1080. Into _Greek_, by Simeon Seth, s. t. “Ichnelates et
          Stephanites,” ed. Starkius, 1697.
        1583. Into _Italian_, by G. Nuti, s. t. “Del Governo de’
        1666. Into _Latin_, by Petrus Possinus.

You see now before your eyes the bridge on which our fables came to us
from East to West. The same bridge which brought us Perrette brought us
hundreds of fables, all originally sprung up in India, many of them
carefully collected by Buddhist priests, and preserved in their sacred
canon, afterwards handed on to the Brahminic writers of a later age,
carried by Barzûyeh from India to the court of Persia, then to the
courts of the Khalifs at Bagdad and Cordova, and of the emperors at
Constantinople. Some of them, no doubt, perished on their journey,
others were mixed up together, others were changed till we should hardly
know them again. Still, if you once know the eventful journey of
Perrette, you know the journey of all the other fables that belong to
this Indian cycle. Few of them have gone through so many changes, few of
them have found so many friends, whether in the courts of kings or in
the huts of beggars. Few of them have been to places where Perrette has
not also been. This is why I selected her and her passage through the
world as the best illustration of a subject which otherwise would
require a whole course of lectures to do it justice.

But though our fable represents one large class or cluster of fables, it
does not represent all. There were several collections, besides the
Pancatantra, which found their way from India to Europe. The most
important among them is the “Book of the Seven Wise Masters, or the Book
of Sindbad,” the history of which has lately been written, with great
learning and ingenuity, by Signor Comparetti.[38]

These large collections of fables and stories mark what may be called
the high roads on which the literary products of the East were carried
to the West. But there are, beside these high roads, some smaller, less
trodden paths on which single fables, sometimes mere proverbs, similes,
or metaphors, have come to us from India, from Persepolis, from Damascus
and Bagdad. I have already alluded to the powerful influence which
Arabic literature exercised on Western Europe through Spain. Again,
a most active interchange of Eastern and Western ideas took place at a
later time during the progress of the Crusades. Even the inroads of
Mongolian tribes into Russia and the East of Europe kept up a literary
bartering between Oriental and Occidental nations.

But few would have suspected a Father of the Church as an importer of
Eastern fables. Yet so it is.

At the court of the same Khalif Almansur, where Abdallah ibn Almokaffa
translated the fables of Calila and Dimna from Persian into Arabic,
there lived a Christian of the name of Sergius, who for many years held
the high office of treasurer to the Khalif. He had a son to whom he gave
the best education that could then be given, his chief tutor being one
Cosmas, an Italian monk, who had been taken prisoner by the Saracens,
and sold as a slave at Bagdad. After the death of Sergius, his son
succeeded him for some time as chief councillor (πρωτοσύμβουλος) to
the Khalif Almansur. Such, however, had been the influence of the
Italian monk on his pupil’s mind, that he suddenly resolved to retire
from the world, and to devote himself to study, meditation, and pious
works. From the monastery of St. Saba, near Jerusalem, this former
minister of the Khalif issued the most learned works on theology,
particularly his “Exposition of the Orthodox Faith.” He soon became the
highest authority on matters of dogma in the Eastern Church, and he
still holds his place among the saints both of the Eastern and Western
Churches. His name was Joannes, and from being born at Damascus, the
former capital of the Khalifs, he is best known in history as Joannes
Damascenus, or St. John of Damascus. He must have known Arabic, and
probably Persian; but his mastery of Greek earned him, later in life,
the name of Chrysorrhoas, or Gold-flowing. He became famous as the
defender of the sacred images, and as the determined opponent of the
Emperor Leo the Isaurian, about 726. It is difficult in his life to
distinguish between legend and history, but that he had held high office
at the court of the Khalif Almansur, that he boldly opposed the
iconoclastic policy of the Emperor Leo, and that he wrote the most
learned theological works of his time, cannot be easily questioned.

Among the works ascribed to him is a story called “Barlaam and
Joasaph.”[39] There has been a fierce controversy as to whether he was
the author of it or not. Though for our own immediate purposes it would
be of little consequence whether the book was written by Joannes
Damascenus or by some less distinguished ecclesiastic, I must confess
that the arguments hitherto adduced against his authorship seem to me
very weak.

The Jesuits did not like the book, because it was a religious novel.
They pointed to a passage in which the Holy Ghost is represented as
proceeding from the Father “and the Son,” as incompatible with the creed
of an Eastern ecclesiastic. That very passage, however, has now been
proved to be spurious; and it should be borne in mind, besides, that the
controversy on the procession of the Holy Ghost from the Father and the
Son, or from the Father through the Son, dates a century later than
Joannes. The fact, again, that the author does not mention
Mohammedanism,[40] proves nothing against the authorship of Joannes,
because, as he places Barlaam and Joasaph in the early centuries of
Christianity, he would have ruined his story by any allusion to
Mohammed’s religion, then only a hundred years old. Besides, he had
written a separate work, in which the relative merits of Christianity
and Mohammedanism are discussed. The prominence given to the question of
the worship of images shows that the story could not have been written
much before the time of Joannes Damascenus, and there is nothing in the
style of our author that could be pointed out as incompatible with the
style of the great theologian. On the contrary, the author of “Barlaam
and Joasaph” quotes the same authors whom Joannes Damascenus quotes most
frequently--_e.g._, Basilius and Gregorius Nazianzenus. And no one but
Joannes could have taken long passages from his own works without saying
where he borrowed them.[41]

The story of “Barlaam and Joasaph”--or, as he is more commonly called,
Josaphat--may be told in a few words: “A king in India, an enemy and
persecutor of the Christians, has an only son. The astrologers have
predicted that he would embrace the new doctrine. His father, therefore,
tries by all means in his power to keep him ignorant of the miseries of
the world, and to create in him a taste for pleasure and enjoyment.
A Christian hermit, however, gains access to the prince, and instructs
him in the doctrines of the Christian religion. The young prince is not
only baptized, but resolves to give up all his earthly riches; and after
having converted his own father and many of his subjects, he follows his
teacher into the desert.”

The real object of the book is to give a simple exposition of the
principal doctrines of the Christian religion. It also contains a first
attempt at comparative theology, for in the course of the story there is
a disputation on the merits of the principal religions of the world--the
Chaldæan, the Egyptian, the Greek, the Jewish, and the Christian. But
one of the chief attractions of this manual of Christian theology
consisted in a number of fables and parables with which it is enlivened.
Most of them have been traced to an Indian source. I shall mention one
only which has found its way into almost every literature of the

  “A man was pursued by a unicorn, and while he tried to flee from it,
  he fell into a pit. In falling he stretched out both his arms, and
  laid hold of a small tree that was growing on one side of the pit.
  Having gained a firm footing, and holding to the tree, he fancied he
  was safe, when he saw two mice, a black and a white one, busy
  gnawing the root of the tree to which he was clinging. Looking down
  into the pit, he perceived a horrid dragon with his mouth wide open,
  ready to devour him, and when examining the place on which his feet
  rested, the heads of four serpents glared at him. Then he looked up,
  and observed drops of honey falling down from the tree to which he
  clung. Suddenly the unicorn, the dragon, the mice, and the serpents
  were all forgotten, and his mind was intent only on catching the
  drops of sweet honey trickling down from the tree.”

An explanation is hardly required. The unicorn is Death, always chasing
man; the pit is the world; the small tree is man’s life, constantly
gnawed by the black and the white mouse--_i.e._, by night and day; the
four serpents are the four elements which compose the human body; the
dragon below is meant for the jaws of hell. Surrounded by all those
horrors, man is yet able to forget them all, and to think only of the
pleasures of life, which, like a few drops of honey, fall into his mouth
from the tree of life.[43]

But what is still more curious is, that the author of “Barlaam and
Josaphat” has evidently taken his very hero, the Indian Prince Josaphat,
from an Indian source. In the “Lalita Vistara”--the life, though no
doubt the legendary life, of Buddha--the father of Buddha is a king.
When his son is born, the Brahman Asita predicts that he will rise to
great glory, and become either a powerful king, or, renouncing the
throne and embracing the life of a hermit become a Buddha.[44] The great
object of his father is to prevent this. He therefore keeps the young
prince, when he grows up, in his garden and palaces, surrounded by all
pleasures which might turn his mind from contemplation to enjoyment.
More especially he is to know nothing of illness, old age, and death,
which might open his eyes to the misery and unreality of life. After a
time, however, the prince receives permission to drive out; and then
follow the four drives,[45] so famous in Buddhist history. The places
where these drives took place were commemorated by towers still standing
in the time of Fa Hian’s visit to India, early in the fifth century
after Christ, and even in the time of Hiouen Thsang, in the seventh
century. I shall read you a short account of the three drives:[46]--

  “One day when the prince with a large retinue was driving through
  the eastern gate of the city, on the way to one of his parks, he met
  on the road an old man, broken and decrepit. One could see the veins
  and muscles over the whole of his body, his teeth chattered, he was
  covered with wrinkles, bald, and hardly able to utter hollow and
  unmelodious sounds. He was bent on his stick, and all his limbs and
  joints trembled. ‘Who is that man?’ said the prince to his coachman.
  ‘He is small and weak, his flesh and his blood are dried up, his
  muscles stick to his skin, his head is white, his teeth chatter, his
  body is wasted away; leaning on his stick, he is hardly able to
  walk, stumbling at every step. Is there something peculiar in his
  family, or is this the common lot of all created beings?’

  “‘Sir,’ replied the coachman, ‘that man is sinking under old age,
  his senses have become obtuse, suffering has destroyed his strength,
  and he is despised by his relations. He is without support and
  useless, and people have abandoned him, like a dead tree in a
  forest. But this is not peculiar to his family. In every creature
  youth is defeated by old age. Your father, your mother, all your
  relations, all your friends, will come to the same state; this is
  the appointed end of all creatures.’

  “‘Alas!’ replied the prince, ‘are creatures so ignorant, so weak and
  foolish as to be proud of the youth by which they are intoxicated,
  not seeing the old age which awaits them? As for me, I go away.
  Coachman, turn my chariot quickly. What have I, the future prey of
  old age--what have I to do with pleasure?’ And the young prince
  returned to the city without going to the park.

  “Another time the prince was driving through the southern gate to
  his pleasure-garden, when he perceived on the road a man suffering
  from illness, parched with fever, his body wasted, covered with mud,
  without a friend, without a home, hardly able to breathe, and
  frightened at the sight of himself, and the approach of death.
  Having questioned his coachman, and received from him the answer
  which he expected, the young prince said, ‘Alas! health is but the
  sport of a dream, and the fear of suffering must take this frightful
  form. Where is the wise man who, after having seen what he is, could
  any longer think of joy and pleasure?’ The prince turned his
  chariot, and returned to the city.

  “A third time he was driving to his pleasure-garden through the
  western gate, when he saw a dead body on the road, lying on a bier
  and covered with a cloth. The friends stood about crying, sobbing,
  tearing their hair, covering their heads with dust, striking their
  breasts, and uttering wild cries. The prince, again, calling his
  coachman to witness this painful scene, exclaimed, ‘Oh, woe to
  youth, which must be destroyed by old age! Woe to health, which must
  be destroyed by so many diseases! Woe to this life, where a man
  remains so short a time! If there were no old age, no disease, no
  death; if these could be made captive forever!’ Then, betraying for
  the first time his intentions, the young prince said, ‘Let us turn
  back, I must think how to accomplish deliverance.’

  “A last meeting put an end to hesitation. He was driving through the
  northern gate on the way to his pleasure-gardens, when he saw a
  mendicant, who appeared outwardly calm, subdued, looking downwards,
  wearing with an air of dignity his religious vestment, and carrying
  an alms-bowl.

  “‘Who is that man?’ asked the prince.

  “‘Sir,’ replied the coachman, ‘this man is one of those who are
  called Bhikshus, or mendicants. He has renounced all pleasures, all
  desires, and leads a life of austerity. He tries to conquer himself.
  He has become a devotee. Without passion, without envy, he walks
  about asking for alms.’

  “‘This is good and well said,’ replied the prince. ‘The life of a
  devotee has always been praised by the wise. It will be my refuge,
  and the refuge of other creatures; it will lead us to a real life,
  to happiness and immortality.’

  “With these words the young prince turned his chariot, and returned
  to the city.”

If we now compare the story of Joannes of Damascus, we find that the
early life of Josaphat is exactly the same as that of Buddha. His father
is a king, and after the birth of his son, an astrologer predicts that
he will rise to glory; not, however, in his own kingdom, but in a higher
and better one; in fact, that he will embrace the new and persecuted
religion of the Christians. Everything is done to prevent this. He is
kept in a beautiful palace, surrounded by all that is enjoyable; and
great care is taken to keep him in ignorance of sickness, old age, and
death. After a time, however, his father gives him leave to drive out.
On one of his drives he sees two men, one maimed, the other blind. He
asks what they are, and is told that they are suffering from disease. He
then inquires whether all men are liable to disease, and whether it is
known beforehand who will suffer from disease and who will be free; and
when he hears the truth, he becomes sad, and returns home. Another time,
when he drives out, he meets an old man with wrinkled face and shaking
legs, bent down, with white hair, his teeth gone, and his voice
faltering. He asks again what all this means, and is told that this is
what happens to all men; and that no one can escape old age, and that in
the end all men must die. Thereupon he returns home to meditate on
death, till at last a hermit appears,[47] and opens before his eyes a
higher view of life, as contained in the Gospel of Christ.

No one, I believe, can read these two stories without feeling convinced
that one was borrowed from the other; and as Fa Hian, three hundred
years before John of Damascus, saw the towers which commemorated the
three drives of Buddha still standing among the ruins of the royal city
of Kapilavastu, it follows that the Greek father borrowed his subject
from the Buddhist scriptures. Were it necessary, it would be easy to
point out still more minute coincidences between the life of Josaphat
and of Buddha, the founder of the Buddhist religion. Both in the end
convert their royal fathers, both fight manfully against the assaults of
the flesh and the devil, both are regarded as saints before they die.
Possibly even a proper name may have been transferred from the sacred
canon of the Buddhists to the pages of the Greek writer. The driver who
conducts Buddha when he flees by night from his palace where he leaves
his wife, his only son, and all his treasures, in order to devote
himself to a contemplative life, is called Chandaka, in Burmese,
Sanna.[48] The friend and companion of Barlaam is called Zardan.[49]
Reinaud in his “Mémoire sur l’Inde,” p. 91 (1849), was the first, it
seems, to point out that Youdasf, mentioned by Massoudi as the founder
of the Sabæan religion, and Youasaf, mentioned as the founder of
Buddhism by the author of the “Kitáb-al-Fihrist,” are both meant for
Bodhisattva, a corruption quite intelligible with the system of
transcribing that name with Persian letters. Professor Benfey has
identified Theudas, the sorcerer in “Barlaam and Joasaph,” with the
Devadatta of the Buddhist scriptures.[50]

How palpable these coincidences are between the two stories is best
shown by the fact that they were pointed out, independently of each
other, by scholars in France, Germany, and England. I place France
first, because in point of time M. Laboulaye was the first who called
attention to it in one of his charming articles in the “Debats.”[51]
A more detailed comparison was given by Dr. Liebrecht.[52] And, lastly,
Mr. Beal, in his translation of the “Travels of Fa Hian,”[53] called
attention to the same fact--viz., that the story of Josaphat was
borrowed from the “Life of Buddha.” I could mention the names of two or
three scholars besides who happened to read the two books, and who could
not help seeing, what was as clear as daylight, that Joannes Damascenus
took the principal character of his religious novel from the “Lalita
Vistara,” one of the sacred books of the Buddhists; but the merit of
having been the first belongs to M. Laboulaye.

This fact is, no doubt, extremely curious in the history of literature;
but there is another fact connected with it which is more than curious,
and I wonder that it has never been pointed out before. It is well known
that the story of “Barlaam and Josaphat” became a most popular book
during the Middle Ages. In the East it was translated into Syriac(?),
Arabic, Ethiopic, Armenian, and Hebrew; in the West it exists in Latin,
French, Italian, German, English, Spanish, Bohemian, and Polish. As
early as 1204, a King of Norway translated it into Icelandic, and at a
later time it was translated by a Jesuit missionary into Tagala, the
classical language of the Philippine Islands. But this is not all,
Barlaam and Josaphat have actually risen to the rank of saints, both in
the Eastern and in the Western churches. In the Eastern church the 26th
of August is the saints’ day of Barlaam and Josaphat; in the Roman
Martyrologium, the 27th of November is assigned to them.

There have been from time to time misgivings about the historical
character of these two saints. Leo Allatius, in his “Prolegomena,”
ventured to ask the question, whether the story of “Barlaam and
Josaphat” was more real than the “Cyropædia” of Xenophon, or the
“Utopia” of Thomas More; but, _en bon Catholique_, he replied, that as
Barlaam and Josaphat were mentioned, not only in the Menæa of the Greek,
but also in the Martyrologium of the Roman Church, he could not bring
himself to believe that their history was imaginary. Billius thought
that to doubt the concluding words of the author, who says that he
received the story of “Barlaam and Josaphat” from men incapable of
falsehood, would be to trust more in one’s own suspicions than in
Christian charity, which believeth all things. Bellarminus thought he
could prove the truth of the story by the fact that, at the end of it,
the author himself invokes the two saints Barlaam and Josaphat! Leo
Allatius admitted, indeed, that some of the speeches and conversations
occurring in the story might be the work of Joannes Damascenus, because
Josaphat, having but recently been converted, could not have quoted so
many passages from the Bible. But he implies that even this could be
explained, because the Holy Ghost might have taught St. Josaphat what to
say. At all events, Leo has no mercy for those “quibus omnia sub
sanctorum nomine prodita male olent, quemadmodum de sanctis Georgio,
Christophoro, Hippolyto, Catarina, aliisque nusquam eos in rerum natura
extitisse impudentissime nugantur.” The Bishop of Avranches had likewise
his doubts; but he calmed them by saying: “Non pas que je veuille
soustenir que tout en soit supposé: il y auroit de la témerité à
desavouer qu’il y ait jamais eû de Barlaam ni de Josaphat. Le témoignage
du Martyrologe, qui les met au nombre des Saints, et leur intercession
que Saint Jean Damascene reclame à la fin de cette histoire ne
permettent pas d’en douter.”[54]

With us the question as to the historical or purely imaginary character
of Josaphat has assumed a new and totally different aspect. We willingly
accept the statement of Joannes Damascenus that the story of “Barlaam
and Josaphat” was told him by men who came from India. We know that in
India a story was current of a prince who lived in the sixth century
B.C., a prince of whom it was predicted that he would resign the throne,
and devote his life to meditation, in order to rise to the rank of a
Buddha. The story tells us that his father did everything to prevent
this; that he kept him in a palace secluded from the world, surrounded
by all that makes life enjoyable; and that he tried to keep him in
ignorance of sickness, old age, and death. We know from the same story
that at last the young prince obtained permission to drive into the
country, and that, by meeting an old man, a sick man, and a corpse, his
eyes were opened to the unreality of life, and the vanity of this life’s
pleasures; that he escaped from his palace, and, after defeating the
assaults of all adversaries, became the founder of a new religion. This
is the story, it may be the legendary story, but at all events the
recognized story of Gautama Śâkyamuni, best known to us under the name
of Buddha.

If, then, Joannes Damascenus tells the same story, only putting the name
of Joasaph or Josaphat, _i.e._, Bodhisattva, in the place of Buddha; if
all that is human and personal in the life of St. Josaphat is taken from
the “Lalita Vistara”--what follows? It follows that, in the same sense
in which La Fontaine’s Perrette is the Brahman of the Pañcatantra, St.
Josaphat is the Buddha of the Buddhist canon. It follows that Buddha has
become a saint in the Roman Church; it follows that, though under a
different name, the sage of Kapilavastu, the founder of a religion
which, whatever we may think of its dogma, is, in the purity of its
morals, nearer to Christianity than any other religion, and which counts
even now, after an existence of 2,400 years, 455,000,000 of believers,
has received the highest honors that the Christian Church can bestow.
And whatever we may think of the sanctity of saints, let those who doubt
the right of Buddha to a place among them read the story of his life as
it is told in the Buddhist canon. If he lived the life which is there
described, few saints have a better claim to the title than Buddha; and
no one either in the Greek or in the Roman Church need be ashamed of
having paid to Buddha’s memory the honor that was intended for St.
Josaphat, the prince, the hermit, and the saint.

History, here as elsewhere, is stranger than fiction; and a kind fairy,
whom men call Chance, has here, as elsewhere, remedied the ingratitude
and injustice of the world.


I am enabled to add here a short account of an important discovery made
by Professor Benfey with regard to the Syriac translation of our
Collection of Fables. Doubts had been expressed by Sylvestre de Sacy and
others, as to the existence of this translation, which was mentioned for
the first time in Ebedjesu’s catalogue of Syriac writers published by
Abraham Ecchellensis, and again later by Assemani (“Biblioth. Orient.,”
tom. iii. part 1, p. 219). M. Renan, on the contrary, had shown that the
title of this translation, as transmitted to us, “Kalilag and Damnag,”
was a guarantee of its historical authenticity. As a final k in Pehlevi
becomes h in modern Persian, a title such as “Kalilag and Damnag,”
answering to “Kalilak and Damnak” in Pehlevi, in Sanskrit “Karaṭaka and
Damanaka,” could only have been borrowed from the Persian before the
Mohammedan era. Now that the interesting researches of Professor Benfey
on this subject have been rewarded by the happy discovery of a Syriac
translation, there remains but one point to be cleared up, viz., whether
this is really the translation made by Bud Periodeutes, and whether this
same translation was made, as Ebedjesu affirms, from the Indian text,
or, as M. Renan supposes, from a Pehlevi version. I insert the account
which Professor Benfey himself gave of his discovery in the Supplement
to the “Allgemeine Zeitung” of July 12, 1871, and I may add that both
text and translation are nearly ready for publication (1875).

_The oldest MS. of the Pantschatantra._

  GÖTTINGEN, _July 6, 1871_.

The account I am about to give will recall the novel of our celebrated
compatriot Freytag (“Die verlorene Handschrift,” or “The Lost MS.”), but
with this essential difference, that we are not here treating of a
creation of the imagination, but of a real fact; not of the MS. of a
work of which many other copies exist, but of an unique specimen; in
short, of the MS. of a work which, on the faith of one single mention,
was believed to have been composed thirteen centuries ago. This mention,
however, appeared to many critical scholars so untrustworthy, that they
looked upon it as the mere result of confusion. Another most important
difference is, that this search, which has lasted three years, has been
followed by the happiest results: it has brought to light a MS. which,
even in this century, rich in important discoveries, deserves to be
ranked as of the highest value. We have acquired in this MS. the oldest
specimen preserved to our days of a work, which, as translated into
various languages, has been more widely disseminated and has had a
greater influence on the development of civilization than any other
work, excepting the Bible.

But to the point.

Through the researches, which I have published in my edition of the
Pantschatantra,[55] it is known that about the sixth century of our era,
a work existed in India, which treated of deep political questions under
the form of fables, in which the actors were animals. It contained
various chapters, but these subdivisions were not, as had been hitherto
believed, eleven to thirteen in number, but, as the MS. just found shows
most clearly, there were at least twelve, perhaps thirteen or fourteen.
This work was afterwards so entirely altered in India, that five of
these divisions were separated from the other six or nine, and much
enlarged, whilst the remaining ones were entirely set aside. This
apparently curtailed, but really enlarged edition of the old work, is
the Sanskrit book so well known as the Pantschatantra, “The Five Books.”
It soon took the place, on its native soil, of the old work, causing the
irreparable loss of the latter in India.

But before this change of the old work had been effected in its own
land, it had, in the first half of the sixth century, been carried to
Persia, and translated into Pehlevi under King Chosru Nuschirvan
(531-579). According to the researches which I have described in my book
already quoted, the results of which are fully confirmed by the newly
discovered MS., it cannot be doubted that, if this translation had been
preserved, we should have in it a faithful reproduction of the original
Indian work, from which, by various modifications, the Pantschatantra is
derived. But unfortunately this Pehlevi translation, like its Indian
original, is irretrievably lost.

But it is known to have been translated into Arabic in the eighth
century by a native of Persia, by name Abdallah ibn Almokaffa (d. 760),
who had embraced Islamism, and it acquired, partly in this language,
partly in translations and retranslations from it (apart from the
recensions in India, which penetrated to East, North, and South Asia,)
that extensive circulation which has caused it to exercise the greatest
influence on civilization in Western Asia, and throughout Europe.

Besides this translation into Pehlevi, there was, according to one
account, another, also of the sixth century, in Syriac. This account we
owe to a Nestorian writer, who lived in the thirteenth century. He
mentions in his catalogue of authors[56] a certain Bud Periodeutes, who
probably about 570 had to inspect the Nestorian communities in Persia
and India, and who says that, in addition to other books which he names,
“he translated the book ‘Qalîlag and Damnag’ from the Indian.”

Until three years ago, not the faintest trace of this old Syrian
translation was to be found, and the celebrated Orientalist, Silvestre
de Sacy, in the historical memoir which he prefixed to his edition of
the Arabic translation, “Calila and Dimna” (Paris, 1816), thought
himself justified in seeing in this mention a mere confusion between
Barzûyeh, the Pehlevi translator, and a Nestorian Monk.

The first trace of this Syriac version was found in May, 1868. On the
sixth of that month, Professor Bickell of Münster, the diligent promoter
of Syrian philology, wrote to tell me that he had heard from a Syrian
Archdeacon from Urumia, Jochannân bar Bâbisch, who had visited Münster
in the spring to collect alms, and had returned there again in May,
that, some time previously, several Chaldæan priests who had been
visiting the Christians of St. Thomas in India, had brought back with
them some copies of this Syriac translation, and had given them to the
Catholic Patriarch in Elkosh (near Mossul). He had received one of

Though the news appeared so unbelievable and the character of the Syrian
priest little calculated to inspire confidence in his statements, it
still seemed to me of sufficient importance for me to ask my friends to
make further inquiries in India, where other copies ought still to be in
existence. Even were the result but a decided negative, it would be a
gain to science. These inquiries had no effect in proving the truth of
the archdeacon’s assertions; but, at the same time, they did not
disprove them. It would of course have been more natural to make
inquiries among the Syrians. But from want of friends and from other
causes, which I shall mention further on, I could hardly hope for any
certain results, and least of all, that if the MS. really existed,
I could obtain it, or a copy of it.

The track thus appeared to be lost, and not possible to be followed up,
when, after the lapse of nearly two years, Professor Bickell, in a
letter of February 22, 1870, drew my attention to the fact that the
Chaldæan Patriarch, Jussuf Audo, who, according to Jochannân bar
Bâbisch, was in possession of that translation, was now in Rome, as
member of the Council summoned by the Pope.

Through Dr. Schöll of Weimar, then in Rome, and one Italian savant,
Signor Ignazio Guidi, I was put into communication with the Patriarch,
and with another Chaldæan priest, Bishop Qajjât, and received
communications, the latest of June 11, 1870, which indeed proved the
information of Jochannân bar Bâbisch to be entirely untrustworthy; but
at the same time pointed to the probable existence of a MS. of the
Syriac translation at Mardîn.

I did not wait for the last letters, which might have saved the
discoverer much trouble, but might also have frustrated the whole
inquiry; but, as soon as I had learnt the place where the MS. might be,
I wrote; May 6, 1870, exactly two years after the first trace of the MS.
had been brought to light, to my former pupil and friend, Dr. Albert
Socin of Basle, who was then in Asia on a scientific expedition, begging
him to make the most careful inquiries in Mardîn about this MS., and
especially to satisfy himself whether it had been derived from the
Arabian translation, or was independent of and older than the latter. We
will let Dr. Socin, the discoverer of the MS., tell us himself of his
efforts and their results.

“I received your letter of May 6, 1870, a few days ago, by Bagdad and
Mossul, at Yacho on the Chabôras. You say that you had heard that the
book was in the library at Mardîn. I must own that I doubted seriously
the truth of the information, for Oriental Christians always say that
they possess every possible book, whilst in reality they have but few.
I found this on my journey through the ‘Christian Mountain,’ the Tûr el’
’Abedîn, where I visited many places and monasteries but little known.
I only saw Bibles in Estrangelo character, which were of value, nowhere
profane books; but the people are so fanatical, and watch their books so
closely, that it is very difficult to get sight of anything; and one has
to keep them in good humor. Unless after a long sojourn, and with the
aid of bribery, there can never be any thought of buying anything from a
monastic library. Arrived in Mardîn, I set myself to discover the book.
I naturally passed by all Moslem libraries, as Syriac books only exist
among the Christians. I settled at first that the library in question
could only be the Jacobite Cloister, ‘Der ez Zàferân,’ the most
important centre of the Christians of Mardîn. I therefore sent to the
Patriarch of Diarbekir for most particular introductions, and started
for ‘Der ez Zàferân,’ which lies in the mountains, 5½ hours from Mardîn.
The recommendations opened the library to me. I looked through four
hundred volumes, without finding anything; there was not much of any
value. On my return to Mardîn, I questioned people right and left; no
one knew anything about it. At length I summoned up courage one day, and
went to the Chaldæan monastery. The different sects in Mardîn are most
bitter against each other, and as I unfortunately lodged in the house of
an American missionary, it was very difficult for me to gain access to
these Catholics, who were unknown to me. Luckily my servant was a
Catholic, and could state that I had no proselytizing schemes. After a
time I asked about their books; Missals and Gospels were placed before
me; I asked if they had any books of Fables. ‘Yes, there was one there.’
After a long search in the dust, it was found and brought to me.
I opened it, and saw at the first glance, in red letters, ‘Qalîlag and
Damnag,’ with the old termination g, which proved to me that the work
was not translated from the Arabic ‘Calila ve Dimnah.’ You may be
certain that I did not show what I felt. I soon laid the book quietly
down. I had indeed before asked the monk specially for ‘Kalila and
Dimna,’ and with some persistency, before I inquired generally for books
of fables; but he had not the faintest suspicion that the book before
him was the one so eagerly sought after. After about a week or ten days,
in order to arouse no suspicion, I sent a trustworthy man to borrow the
book; but he was asked at once if it were for the ‘Fréngi den Prot’
(Protestant), and my confidant was so good as to deny it, ‘No, it was
for himself.’ I then examined the book more carefully. Having it safely
in my possession, I was not alarmed at the idea of a little hubbub.
I therefore made inquiries, but in all secret, whether they would sell
it. ‘No, never,’ was the answer I expected and received, and the idea
that I had borrowed it for myself was revived. I therefore began to have
a copy made. But I was obliged to leave Mardîn and even the neighboring
Diarbekir, before I received the copy. In Mardîn itself the return of
the book was loudly demanded, as soon as they knew I was having it
copied. I was indeed delighted when, through the kindness of friends,
_post tot discrimina rerum_ I received the book at Aleppo.”

So far writes my friend, the fortunate discoverer, who, as early as the
19th of August, 1870, announced in a letter the happy recovery of the
book. On April 20, 1871, he kindly sent it to me from Basle.

This is not the place to descant on the high importance of this
discovery. It is only necessary to add that there is not the least doubt
that it has put us in possession of the old Syriac translation, of which
Ebedjesu speaks. There is only one question still to be settled, whether
it is derived direct from the Indian, or through the Pehlevi
translation? In either case it is the oldest preserved rendering of the
original, now lost in India, and therefore of priceless value.

The fuller treatment of this and other questions, which spring from this
discovery, will find a place in the edition of the text, with
translation and commentary, which Professor Bickell is preparing in
concert with Dr. Hoffman and myself.




In modern times, too, each poet or fabulist tells the story as seems
best to him. I give three recensions of the story of Perrette, copied
from English schoolbooks.


    A milkmaid who poised a full pail on her head,
    Thus mused on her prospects in life, it is said:--
    Let me see, I should think that this milk will procure
    One hundred good eggs or fourscore, to be sure.
        Well then, stop a bit, it must not be forgotten,
    Some of these may be broken, and some may be rotten;
    But if twenty for accident should be detached,
    It will leave me just sixty sounds eggs to be hatched.
        Well, sixty sound eggs--no, sound chickens I mean:
    Of these some may die--we’ll suppose seventeen;
    Seventeen, not so many!--say ten at the most,
    Which will leave fifty chickens to boil or to roast.
        But then there’s their barley, how much will they need?
    Why, they take but one grain at a time when they feed,
    So that’s a mere trifle;--now then, let me see,
    At a fair market-price how much money there’ll be.
    Six shillings a pair, five, four, three-and-six,
    To prevent all mistakes that low price I will fix;
    Now what will that make? Fifty chickens I said;
    Fifty times three-and-six?--I’ll ask brother Ned.
        Oh! but stop, three-and-sixpence a pair I must sell them!
    Well, a pair is a couple; now then let us tell them.
    A couple in fifty will go (my poor brain),
    Why just a score times, and five pairs will remain.
        Twenty-five pairs of fowls, now how tiresome it is
    That I can’t reckon up such money as this.
    Well there’s no use in trying, so let’s give a guess--
    I’ll say twenty pounds, and it can be no less.
        Twenty pounds I am certain will buy me a cow,
    Thirty geese and two turkeys, eight pigs and a sow;
    Now if these turn out well, at the end of the year
    I shall fill both my pockets with guineas, ’tis clear.
        Forgetting her burden when this she had said,
    The maid superciliously tossed up her head,
    When, alas for her prospects! her milkpail descended,
    And so all her schemes for the future were ended.
        This moral, I think, may be safely attached--
    “Reckon not on your chickens before they are hatched!”



A country maid was walking with a pail of milk upon her head, when she
fell into the following train of thoughts: “The money for which I shall
sell this milk will enable me to increase my stock of eggs to three
hundred. These eggs will bring at least two hundred and fifty chickens.
The chickens will be fit to carry to market about Christmas, when
poultry always bear a good price; so that by May-day I shall have money
enough to buy me a new gown. Green?--let me consider--yes, green becomes
my complexion best, and green it shall be. In this dress I will go to
the fair, where all the young fellows will strive to have me for a
partner; but I shall perhaps refuse every one of them, and with an air
of distain toss from them.” Charmed with this thought, she could not
forbear acting with her head what thus passed in her mind, when down
came the pail of milk, and with it all her fancied happiness.--_From
Guy’s “British Spelling Book._”


Alnasker was a very idle fellow, that would never set his hand to work
during his father’s life. When his father died he left him to the value
of a hundred pounds in Persian money. In order to make the best of it he
laid it out in glasses and bottles, and the finest china. These he piled
up in a large open basket at his feet, and leaned his back upon the wall
of his shop in the hope that many people would come in to buy. As he sat
in this posture, with his eyes upon the basket, he fell into an amusing
train of thought, and talked thus to himself: “This basket,” says he,
“cost me a hundred pounds, which is all I had in the world. I shall
quickly make two hundred of it by selling in retail. These two hundred
shall in course of trade rise to ten thousand, when I will lay aside my
trade of a glass-man, and turn a dealer in pearls and diamonds, and all
sorts of rich stones. When I have got as much wealth as I can desire,
I will purchase the finest house I can find, with lands, slaves, and
horses. Then I shall set myself on the footing of a prince, and will ask
the grand Vizier’s daughter to be my wife. As soon as I have married
her, I will buy her ten black servants, the youngest and best that can
be got for money. When I have brought this princess to my house, I shall
take care to breed her in due respect for me. To this end I shall
confine her to her own rooms, make her a short visit, and talk but
little to her. Her mother will then come and bring her daughter to me,
as I am seated on a sofa. The daughter, with tears in her eyes, will
fling herself at my feet, and beg me to take her into my favor. Then
will I, to impress her with a proper respect for my person, draw up my
leg, and spurn her from me with my foot in such a manner that she shall
fall down several paces from the sofa.” Alnasker was entirely absorbed
with his ideas, and could not forbear acting with his foot what he had
in his thoughts; so that, striking his basket of brittle ware, which was
the foundation of all his grand hopes, he kicked his glasses to a great
distance into the street, and broke them into a thousand
pieces.--“_Spectator._” (From the “Sixth Book,” published by the
Scottish School Book Association, W. Collins & Co., Edinburgh).


Pertsch, in Benfey’s “Orient und Occident,” vol. ii. p. 261. Here the
story is told as follows: “Perche si conta che un certo pouer huomo
hauea uicino a doue dormiua, un mulino & del buturo, & una notte tra se
pensando disse, io uenderò questo mulino, & questo butturo tanto per il
meno, che io comprerò diece capre. Le quali mi figliaranno in cinque
mesi altre tante, & in cinque anni multiplicheranno fino a quattro
cento; Le quali barattero in cento buoi, & con essi seminarò una
cãpagna, & insieme da figliuoli loro, & dal frutto della terra in altri
cinque anni, sarò oltre modo ricco, & farò un palagio _quadro_, adorato,
& comprerò schiaui una infinità, & prenderò moglie, la quale mi farà un
figliuolo, & lo nominerò Pancalo, & lo farò ammaestrare come bisogna. Et
se vedrò che non si curi con questa bacchetta cosí il percoterò. Con che
prendendo la bacchetta che gli era uicina, & battendo di essa il vaso
doue era il buturo, e lo ruppe, & fuse il buturo. Dopò gli partorì la
moglie un figliuolo, e la moglie un dì gli disse, habbi un poco cura di
questo fanciullo o marito, fino che io uo e torno da un seruigio. La
quale essendo andata fu anco il marito chiamato dal Signore della terra,
& tra tanto auuenne che una serpe salì sopra il fanciullo. Et vna
donzella uicina, corsa là l’uccise. Tornato il marito uide insanguito
l’vscio, & pensando che costei l’hauesse ucciso, auanti che il uedesse,
le diede sul capo, di un bastone, e l’uccise. Entrato poi, & sano
trouando il figliuolo, & la serpe morta, si fu grandemente pentito, &
piāse amaramente. Cosí adunque i frettolosi in molte cose errano.” (Page


This and some other extracts, from books not to be found at Oxford, were
kindly copied for me by my late friend, E. Deutsch, of the British

“Georgii Pachymeris Michael Palæologus, sive Historia rerum a M. P.
gestarum,” ed. Petr. Possinus. Romæ, 1666.

Appendix ad observationes Pachymerianas, Specimen Sapientiæ Indorum
veterum liber olim ex lingua Indica in Persicam a Perzoe Medico: ex
Persica in Arabicam ab Anonymo: ex Arabica in Græcam a Symeone Seth,
a Petro Possino Societ. Iesu, novissime e Græca in Latinam translatus.

“Huic talia serio nuganti haud paulo cordatior mulier. Mihi videris,
Sponse, inquit, nostri cujusdam famuli egentissimi hominis similis ista
inani provisione nimis remotarum et incerto eventu pendentrum rerum. Is
diurnis mercedibus mellis ac butyri non magna copia collectâ duobus ista
vasis e terra coctili condiderat. Mox secum ita ratiocinans nocte quadam
dicebat: Mel ego istud ac butyrum quindecim minimum vendam denariis. Ex
his decem Capras emam. Hæ mihi quinto mense totidem alias parient.
Quinque annis gregem Caprarum facile quadringentarum confecero. Has
commutare tunc placet cum bobus centum, quibus exarabo vim terræ magnam
et numerum tritici maximum congeram. Ex fructibus hisce quinquennio
multiplicatis, pecuniaæ scilicet tantus existet modus, ut facile in
locupletissimis numerer. Accedit dos uxoris quam istis opibus ditissiman
nansciscar. Nascetur mihi filius quem jam nunc decerno nominare
Panealum. Hunc educabo liberalissime, ut nobilium nulli concedat. Qui si
ubi adoleverit, ut juventus solet, contumacem se mihi præbeat, haud
feret impune. Baculo enim hoc illum hoc modo feriam. Arreptum inter hæc
dicendum lecto vicinum baculum per tenebras jactavit, casuque incurrens
in dolia mellis et butyri juxta posita, confregit utrumque, ita ut in
ejus etiam os barbamque stillæ liquoris prosilirent; cætera effusa et
mixta pulveri prorsus corrumperentur; ac fundamentum spei tantæ, inopem
et multum gementem momento destitueret.” (Page 602.)


“Directorium Humanæ Vitæ alias Parabolæ Antiquorum Sapientum,” fol. s.
l. e. a. k. 4 (circ. 1480?): “Dicitque olim quidam fuit heremita apud
quendam regem. Cui rex providerat quolibet die pro sua vita. Scilicet
provisionem de sua coquina et vasculum de melle. Ille vero comedebat
decocta, et reservabat mel in quodam vase suspenso super suum caput
donec esset plenum. Erat autem mel percarum in illis diebus. Quadam vero
die: dum jaceret in suo lecto elevato capite, respexit vas mellis quod
super caput ei pendebat. Et recordatus quoniam mel de die in diem
vendebatur pluris solito seu carius, et dixit in corde suo. Quum fuerit
hoc vas plenum: vendam ipsum uno talento auri: de quo mihi emam decem
oves, et successu temporis he oves facient filios et filias, et erunt
viginti. Postea vero ipsis multiplicatis cum filiis et filiabus in
quatuor annis erunt quatuor centum. Tunc de quibuslibet quatuor ovibus
emam vaccam et bovem et terram. Et vaccæ multiplicabuntur in filiis,
quorum masculos accipiam mihi in culturam terre, præter id quod
percipiam de eis de lacte et lana, donec non consummatis aliis quinque
annis multiplicabuntur in tantum quod habebo mihi magnas substantias et
divitias, et ero a cunctis reputatus dives et honestus. Et edificabo
mihi tunc grandia et excellentia edificia pre omnibus meis vicinis et
consanguinibus, itaque omnes de meis divitiis loquantur, nonne erit mihi
illud jocundum, cum omnes homines mihi reverentiam in omnibus locis
exhibeant. Accipiam postea uxorem de nobilibus terre. Cumque eam
cognovero, concipiet et pariet mihi filium nobilem et delectabilem cum
bona fortuna et dei beneplacito qui crescet in scientia virtute, et
relinquam mihi per ipsum bonam memoriam post mei obitum et castigabo
ipsum dietim: si mee recalcitraverit doctrine; ac mihi in omnibus erit
obediens, et si non: percutiam eum isto baclo et erecto baculo ad
percutiendum percussit vas mellis et fregit ipsum et defluxit mel super
caput ejus.”


“Das Buch der Weisheit der alter Weisen,” Ulm, 1415. Here the story is
given as follows:--

“Man sagt es wohnet eins mals ein brůder der dritten regel der got fast
dienet, bei eins künigs hof, den versach der künig alle tag zů auff
enthalt seines lebens ein kuchen speiss und ein fleschlein mit honig.
diser ass alle tag die speiss von der kuchen und den honig behielt er in
ein irden fleschlein das hieng ob seiner petstat so lang biss es voll
ward. Nun kam bald eine grosse teür in den honig und eins morgens früe
lag er in seinem pett und sach das honig in dem fleschlein ob seinem
haubt hangen do fiel ym in sein gedanck die teüre des honigs und fieng
an mit ihm selbs ze reden. wann diss fleschlein gantz vol honigs wirt so
verkauff ich das umb fünff güldin, darum̅ kauff ich mir zehen gůter
schaff und die machen alle des jahrs lember. und dann werden eins jahrs
zweintzig und die und das von yn kummen mag in zehen jaren werden
tausent. dann kauff ich umb fier schaff ein ku und kauff dobei ochsen
und ertrich die meren sich mit iren früchten und do nimb ich dann die
frücht zů arbeit der äcker. von den andern küen und schaffen nimb ich
milich und woll ee das andre fünff jar fürkommen so wird es sich allso
meren das ich ein grosse hab und reichtumb überkumen wird dann will ich
mir selbs knecht und kellerin kauffen und hohe und hübsche bäw ton. und
darnach so nimm ich mir ein hübsch weib von einem edeln geschlecht die
beschlaff ich mit kurtzweiliger lieb. so enpfecht sie und gebirt mir ein
schön glückseligten sun und gottförchtigen. und der wirt wachsen in lere
und künsten und in weissheit. durch den lass ich mir einen gůten leümde
nach meinem tod. aber wird er nit fölgig sein und meiner straff nit
achten so wolt ich yn mit meinem stecken über sein rucken on erbermde
gar hart schlahen. und nam sein stecken da mit man pflag das pet ze
machen ym selbs ze zeigen wie frefelich er sein sun schlagen wölt. und
schlůg das irden fass das ob seinem haubt hieng zů stücken dass ym das
honig under sein antlit und in das pet troff und ward ym von allen sein
gedencken nit dann das er sein antlit und pet weschen můst.”


This translation has lately been published by Don Pascual de Gayangos in
the “Biblioteca de Autores Españoles,” Madrid, 1860, vol. li. Here the
story runs as follows (p. 57):--

“Del religioso que vertió la miel et la manteca sobre su cabeza.

“Dijo la mujer: ‘Dicen que un religioso habia cada dia limosna de casa
de un mercader rico, pan é manteca é miel e otras cosas, et comia el pan
é lo ál condesaba, et ponia la miel é la manteca en un jarra, fasta quel
a finchó, et tenia la jarra colgada á la cabecera de su cama. Et vino
tiempo que encareció la miel é la manteca, et el religioso fabló un dia
consigo mismo, estando asentado en su cama, et dijo así: Venderé cuanto
está en esta jarra por tantos maravedís, é comparé con ellos diez
cabras, et empreñarse-han, é parirán á cabo de cinco meses; et fizo
cuenta de esta guisa, et falló que en cinco años montarian bien
cuatrocientas cabras. Desí dijo: Venderlas-he todas, et con el precio
dellas compraré cien vacas, por cada cuatro cabezas una vaca, é haberé
simiente é sembraré con los bueyes, et aprovecharme-he de los becerros
et de las fembras é de la leche é manteca, é de las mieses habré grant
haber, et labraré muy nobles casas, é compraré siervos é siervas, et
esto fecho casarme-he con una mujer muy rica, é fermosa, é de grant
logar, é empreñarla-he de fijo varon, é nacerá complido de sus miembros,
et criarlo-he como á fijo de rey, é castigarlo-he con esta vara, si non
quisiere ser bueno é obediente’. E él deciendo esto, alzó la vara que
tenia en la mano, et ferió en la olla que estaba colgada encima dél,
é quebróla, é cayóle la miel é la manteca sobre su cabeza,” etc.


[Transcriber’s Note: In the following selection, all brackets and
parentheses are in the original.]

See “Poésies inédites du Moyen Âge,” par M. Edélstand Du Méril. Paris,
1854. XVI. De Viro et Vase Olei (p. 239):--

    “Uxor ab antiquo fuit infecunda marito.
    Mesticiam (l. mœstitiam) cujus cupiens lenire vix (l. vir) hujus,
    His blandimentis solatur tristi[ti]a mentis:
    Cur sic tristaris? Dolor est tuus omnis inanis:
    Pulchræ prolis eris satis amodo munere felix.
    Pro nihilo ducens conjunx hæc verbula prudens,
    His verbis plane quod ait vir monstrat inane:
    Rebus inops quidam . . . (bone vir, tibi dicam)
    _Vas oleo plenum_, longum quod retro per ævum
    Legerat orando, loca per diversa vagando,
    Fune ligans ar(c)to, tecto[que] suspendit ab alto.
    Sic præstolatur tempus quo pluris ematur[atur]
    Qua locupletari se sperat et arte beari.
    Talia dum captat, hæc stultus inania jactat:
    Ecce potens factus, fuero cum talia nactus,
    Vinciar uxori quantum queo nobiliori:
    Tunc sobolem gignam, se meque per omnia dignam,
    Cujus opus morum genus omne præibit avorum.
    Cui nisi tot vitæ fuerint insignia rite,
    Fustis hic absque mora feriet caput ejus et [h]ora.
    Quod dum narraret, dextramque minando levaret,
    Ut percussisset puerum quasi præsto fuisset
    Vas in prædictum manus ejus dirigit ictum
    Servatumque sibi vas il[l]ico fregit olivi.”

I owe the following extract to the kindness of M. Paul Meyer:--

_Apologi Phædrii ex ludicris I. Regnerii Belnensis doct. Medici,
Divione, apud Petrum Palliot, 1643 in 12, 126 pages et de plus un

Le recueil se divise en deux partis, pars I., pars II. La fable en
question est à la page 32, pars I. fab. xxv.


_Pagana et eius mercis emptor._

    Pagana mulier, lac in olla fictili,
    Ova in canistro, rustici mercem penus,
    Ad civitatem proximam ibat venditum.
    In eius aditu factus huic quidam obvius
    Quanti rogavit ista quæ fers vis emi?
    Et illa tanti. Tantin’? hoc fuerit nimis.
    Numerare num me vis quod est æquum? vide
    Hac merce quod sit nunc opus mihi plus dabo
    Quam præstet illam cede, et hos nummos cape,
    Ea quam superbe fœde rusticitas agit,
    Hominem reliquit additis conviciis,
    Quasi æstimasset vilius mercem optimam.
    Aversa primos inde vix tulerat gradus,
    Cum lubricato corruit strato viæ:
    Lac olla fundit quassa, gallinaceæ
    Testæ vitellos congerunt cœno suos
    Caput cruorem mittit impingens petræ
    Luxata nec fert coxa surgentem solo:
    Ridetur ejus non malum, sed mens procax,
    Qua merx et ipsa mercis et pretium perit;
    Seque illa deflens tot pati infortunia
    Nulli imputare quam sibi hanc sortem potest
    Dolor sed omnis sæviter recruduit
    Curationis danda cum merces fuit.

    In re minori cum quis et fragili tumet
    Hunc sortis ingens sternit indignatio.


Hulsbach, “Sylva Sermonum,” Basileæ, 1568, p. 28: “In sylva quadam
morabatur heremicola jam satis provectæ ætatis, qui quaque die accedebat
civitatem, afferens inde mensuram mellis, qua donabatur. Hoc recondebat
in vase terreo, quod pependerat supra lectum suum. Uno dierum jacens in
lecto, et habens bacalum in manu sua, hæc apud se dicebat: Quotidie mihi
datur vasculum mellis, quod dum indies recondo, fiet tandem summa
aliqua. Jam valet mensura staterem unum. Corraso autem ita floreno uno
aut altero, emam mihi oves, quæ fœnerabunt mihi plures: quibus
divenditis coëmam mihi elegantem uxorculam, cum qua transigam vitam meam
lætanter: ex ea suscitabo mihi puellam, quam instituam honeste. Si vero
mihi noluerit obedire, hoc baculo eam ita comminuam: atque levato baculo
confregit suum vasculum, et effusum est mel, quare cassatum est suum
propositum, et manendum adhuc in suo statu.”


“El Conde Lucanor, compuesto por el excelentissimo Principe don Iuan
Manuel, hijo del Infante don Manuel, y nieto del Santo Rey don
Fernando,” Madrid, 1642; cap. 29, p. 96. He tells the story as follows:
“There was a woman called Dona Truhana (Gertrude), rather poor than
rich. One day she went to the market carrying a pot of honey on her
head. On her way she began to think that she would sell the pot of
honey, and buy a quantity of eggs, that from those eggs she would have
chickens, that she would sell them and buy sheep; that the sheep would
give her lambs, and thus calculating all her gains, she began to think
herself much richer than her neighbors. With the riches which she
imagined she possessed, she thought how she would marry her sons and
daughters, and how she would walk in the street surrounded by her sons
and daughters-in-law; and how people would consider her happy for having
amassed so large a fortune, though she had been so poor. While she was
thinking over all this, she began to laugh for joy, and struck her head
and forehead with her hand. The pot of honey fell down, was broken, and
she shed hot tears because she had lost all that she would have
possessed if the pot of honey had not been broken.”


Bonaventure des Periers, “Les Contes ou les Nouvelles.” Amsterdam, 1735.
Nouvelle XIV. (vol. i. p. 141). (First edition, Lyon, 1558): “Et ne les
(les Alquemistes) sçauroiton mieux comparer qu’à une bonne femme qui
portoit une potée de laict au marché, faisant son compte ainsi: qu’elle
la vendroit deux liards: de ces deux liards elle en achepteroit une
douzaine d’œufs, lesquelz elle mettroit couver, et en auroit une
douzaine de poussins: ces poussins deviendroient grands, et les feroit
chaponner: ces chapons vaudroient cinq solz la piece, ce seroit un escu
et plus, dont elle achepteroit deux cochons, masle et femelle: qui
deviendroient grands et en feroient une douzaine d’autres, qu’elle
vendroit vingt solz la piece; apres les avoir nourris quelque temps, ce
seroient douze francs, dont elle achepteroit une iument, qui porteroit
un beau poulain, lequel croistroit et deviendroit tant gentil: il
sauteroit et feroit _Hin_. Et en disant _Hin_, la bonne femme, de l’aise
qu’elle avoit en son compte, se print à faire la ruade que feroit son
poulain: et en ce faisant sa potée de laict va tomber, et se respandit
toute. Et voila ses œufs, ses poussins, ses chappons, ses cochons, sa
jument, et son poulain, tous par terre.”

    [Footnote 1: La Fontaine, _Fables_, livre vii., fable 10.]

    [Footnote 2: Phædon, 61, 5: Μετὰ δὲ τὸν θεὸν, ἐννοήσας, ὅτι τὸν
    ποιητὴν δέοι, εἶπερ μέλλοι ποιητὴς εἶναι, ποιεῖν μύθους, ἀλλ’ οὐ
    λόγους, καὶ αὐτὸς οὐκ ἦ μυθολογικός, διὰ ταῦτα δὴ οὓς προχείρους
    εἶχον καὶ ἠπιστάμην μύθους τοὺς Αἰσώπου, τούτων ἐποίησα οἷς
    πρώτοις ἐνέτυχον.]

    [Footnote 3: Robert, _Fables Inédites_, des XIIe, XIIIe, et XIVe
    Siècles; Paris, 1825; vol. i. p. ccxxvii.]

    [Footnote 4: _Pantschatantrum sive Quinquepartitum_, edidit
    I. G. L. Kosegarten. Bonnæ, 1848.

    _Pantschatantra, Fünf Bücher indischer Fablen, aus dem Sanskrit
    übersetzt._ Von Th. Benfey. Leipzig, 1859.

    _Hitopadesa_, with interlinear translation, grammatical analysis,
    and English translation, in Max Müller’s Handbooks for the study
    of Sanskrit. London, 1864.

    _Hitopadesa, eine alte indische Fabelsammlung aus dem Sanskrit zum
    ersten Mal in das Deutsche übersetzt._ Von Max Müller. Leipzig,

    [Footnote 5: _Pañcatantra_, v. 10.]

    [Footnote 6: _Hitopadeśa_, ed. Max Müller, p. 120; German
    translation, p. 159.]

    [Footnote 7: Note A, page 188.]

    [Footnote 8: _Hottentot Fables and Tales_, by Dr. W. H. I. Bleek,
    London, 1894, p. 19.]

    [Footnote 9: _Academy_, vol. v. p. 548.]

    [Footnote 10: _Die Märchen des Siddhi-kür_, or _Tales of an
    Enchanted Corpse_, translated from Kalmuk into German by B. Jülg,
    1866. (This is based on the +Vetâlapañcaviṃśati+.) _Die Geschichte
    des Ardschi-Bordschi Chan_, translated from Mongolian by Dr. B.
    Jülg, 1868. (This is based on the +Siṃhâsanadvâtriṃśati+.)
    A Mongolian translation of the _Kalila and Dimnah_, is ascribed to
    Mélik Said Iftikhar eddin Mohammed ben Abou Nasr, who died A.D.
    1280. See Barbier de Meynard, “Description de la Ville de Kazvin,”
    _Journal Asiatique_, 1857, p. 284; Lancereau, _Pantchatantra_,
    p. xxv.]

    [Footnote 11: Plato’s expression, “As I have put on the lion’s
    skin” (_Kratylos_, 411), seems to show that he knew the fable of
    an animal or a man having assumed the lion’s skin without the
    lion’s courage. The proverb ὄνος παρὰ Κυμαίους seems to be applied
    to men boasting before people who have no means of judging. It
    presupposes the story of a donkey appearing in a lion’s skin.

    A similar idea is expressed in a fable of the Pañcatantra (IV. 8)
    where a dyer, not being rich enough to feed his donkey, puts a
    tiger’s skin on him. In this disguise the donkey is allowed to
    roam through all the corn-fields without being molested, till one
    day he sees a female donkey, and begins to bray. Thereupon the
    owners of the field kill him.

    In the Hitopadeśa (III. 3) the same fable occurs, only that there
    it is the keeper of the field who on purpose disguises himself as
    a she-donkey, and when he hears the tiger bray, kills him.

    In the Chinese Avadânas, translated by Stanislas Julien (vol. ii.
    p. 59), the donkey takes a lion’s skin and frightens everybody,
    till he begins to bray, and is recognized as a donkey.

    In this case it is again quite clear that the Greeks did not
    borrow their fable and proverb from the Pañcatantra; but it is not
    so easy to determine positively whether the fable was carried from
    the Greeks to the East, or whether it arose independently in two

    [Footnote 12: _Calilah et Dimna, ou, Fables de Bidpai, en Arabe,
    précédées d’un Mémoire sur l’origine de ce livre._ Par Sylvestre
    de Sacy. Paris, 1816.]

    [Footnote 13: Loiseleur Deslongchamps, _Essai sur les Fables
    Indiennes, et sur leur Introduction en Europe._ Paris, 1838.]

    [Footnote 14: _Pantschatantra, Fünf Bucher indischer Fabeln,
    Märchen und Erzählungen, mit Einleitung._ Von. Th. Benfey.
    Leipzig, 1859.]

    [Footnote 15: See Weil, _Geschichte der Chalifen_, vol. ii.
    p. 84.]

    [Footnote 16: Benfey, p. 60.]

    [Footnote 17: Cf. _Barlaam et Joasaph_, ed. Boissonade, p. 37.]

    [Footnote 18: _Kalila and Dimna; or, the Fables of Bidpai,
    translated from the Arabic._ By the Rev. Wyndham Knatchbull, A.M.
    Oxford, 1819.]

    [Footnote 19: _Specimen Sapientiæ Indorum Veterum, id est Liber
    Ethico-Politicus pervetustus, dictus Arabice Kalilah ve Dimnah,
    Græce Stephanites et Ichnelates, nunc primum Græce ex MS. Cod.
    Holsteiniano prodit cum versione Latina, opera S. G. Starkii._
    Berolini, 1697.]

    [Footnote 20: This expression, a four-winged house, occurs also in
    the Pañcatantra. As it does not occur in the Arabic text,
    published by De Sacy, it is clear that Symeon must have followed
    another Arabic text in which this adjective, belonging to the
    Sanskrit, and no doubt to the Pehlevi text, also, had been

    [Footnote 21: Note B, p. 190.]

    [Footnote 22: Note C, p. 191.]

    [Footnote 23: Note D, p. 192.]

    [Footnote 24: Note E, p. 193.]

    [Footnote 25: Benfey, _Orient und Occident_, vol. i. p. 138.]

    [Footnote 26: Ibid. vol. i. p. 501. Its title is: “Exemplario
    contra los engaños y peligros del mundo,” ibid. pp. 167, 168.]

    [Footnote 27: _Discorsi degli animali, di Messer Agnolo
    Firenzuola, in prose di M. A. F._ (Fiorenza, 1548.)]

    [Footnote 28: _La Moral Filosophia del Doni, tratta da gli antichi
    scrittori._ Vinegia, 1552.

    _Trattati Diversi di Sendebar Indiano, filosopho morale._ Vinegia,

    P. 65. _Trattato Quarto._

    A woman tells her husband to wait till her son is born, and

    “Stava uno Romito domestico ne i monti di Brianza a far penitenza
    e teneva alcune cassette d’ api per suo spasso, e di quelle a suoi
    tempi ne cavava il _Mele_, e di quello ne vendeva alcuna parte tal
    volta per i suoi besogni. Avenne che un’ anno ne fu una gran
    carestia, e egli attendeva a conservarlo, e ogni giorno lo
    guardava mille volte, e gli pareva cent’ anni ogni hora, che e gli
    indugiava a empierlo di Mele,” etc.]

    [Footnote 29: _Le Plaisant et Facétieux Discours des Animaux,
    novellement traduict de Tuscan en François._ Lyon, 1556, par
    Gabriel Cottier.

    _Deux Livres de Filosofie Fabuleuse, le Premier Pris des Discours
    de M. Ange Firenzuola le Second Extraict des Traictez de Sandebar
    Indien, par Pierre de La Rivey._ Lyon, 1579.

    The second book is a translation of the second part of Doni’s
    _Filosofia Morale_.]

    [Footnote 30: _The Anvar-i Suhaili, or the Lights of Canopus,
    being the Persian version of the Fables of Pilpay, or the Book,
    Kalilah and Damnah, rendered into Persian by Husain Vá’iz
    U’l-Káshifi, literally translated by E. B. Eastwick._ Hertford,

    [Footnote 31: Note F, p. 194.]

    [Footnote 32: Note G, p. 194.]

    [Footnote 33: Note H, p. 196.]

    [Footnote 34: _Dialogues of Creatures moralysed_, sm. 4to, circ.
    1517. It is generally attributed to the press of John Rastell, but
    the opinion of Mr. Haslewood, in his preface to the reprint of
    1816, that the book was printed on the continent, is perhaps the
    correct one. (_Quaritch’s Catalogue_, July, 1870.)]

    [Footnote 35: The Latin text is more simple: “Unde cum quedam
    domina dedisset ancille sue lac ut venderet et lac portaret ad
    urbem juxta fossatum cogitare cepit quod de p̅cio lactis emerit
    gallinam quæ faceret pullos quos auctos in gallinas venderet et
    porcellos emeret eosque mutaret in oves et ipsas in boves. Sic que
    ditata contraheret cum aliquo nobili et sic gloriabatur. Et cum
    sic gloriaretur et cogitaret cum quanta gloria duceretur ad illum
    virum super equum dicendo gio gio cepit pede percutere terram
    quasi pungeret equum calcaribus. Sed tunc lubricatus est pes ejus
    et cecidit in fossatum effundendo lac. Sic enim non habuit quod se
    adepturam sperabat.” _Dialogus Creaturarum optime moralizatus_
    (ascribed to Nicolaus Pergaminus, supposed to have lived in the
    thirteenth century). He quotes Elynandus, in _Gestis Romanorum_.
    First edition, “per Gerardum leeu in oppido Goudensi inceptum;
    munere Dei finitus est, Anno Domini, 1480.”]

    [Footnote 36: Note I, p. 197.]

    [Footnote 37: My learned German translator, Dr. Felix Liebrecht,
    says in a note: “Other books in which our story appears before La
    Fontaine are _Esopus_, by Burkhard Waldis, ed. H. Kurz, Leipzig,
    1862, ii. 177; note to _Des Bettlers Kaufmannschaft_; and
    Oesterley, in Kirchoff’s _Wendunmuth_, v. 44, note to i. 171,
    _Vergebene Anschleg reich zuwerden_ (Bibl. des liter. Vereins zu
    Stuttg. No. 99).”]

    [Footnote 38: _Ricerche intorno al Libro di Sindibad._ Milano,

    [Footnote 39: The Greek text was first published in 1832 by
    Boissonade, in his _Anecdota Græca_, vol. iv. The title, as given
    in some MSS. is: Ἱστορία ψυχωφελὴς ἐκ τῆς ἐνδοτέρας τῶν Αἰθιόπων
    χώρας, τῆς Ἰνδῶν λεγομένης, πρὸς τὴν ἁγίαν πόλιν μετενεχθεῖσα διὰ
    Ἰωάννου τοῦ μοναχοῦ [other MSS. read, συγγράφεισα παρα τοῦ ἁγιου
    πατρος ἠμων Ἰωαννου τοῦ Δαμασκηνοῦ], ἀνδρὸς τιμίου καὶ ἐναρέτου
    μονῆς τοῦ ἁγίου Σάβα· ἐν ᾗ ὁ βίος Βαρλαάμ καὶ Ἰωάσαφ τῶν ἀοιδίμων
    καὶ μακαρίων. Joannes Monachus occurs as the name of the author in
    other works of Joannes Damascenus. See Leo Allatius, Prolegomena,
    p. L., in _Damasceni Opera Omnia_. Ed. Lequien, 1748. Venice.

    At the end the author says: Ἐως ὧδε τὸ πέρας τοῦ παρόντος λόγου,
    ὃν κατὰ δύναμιν ἐμὴν γεγράφηκα, καθὼς ἀκήκοα παρὰ τῶν ἀψευδῶς
    παραδεδωκότων μοι τιμίων ἀνδρῶν. Γένοιτο δὲ ἠμᾶς, τοὺς
    ἀναγινώκοντάς τε καὶ ἀκούοντας τὴν ψυχωφελῆ διήγησιν ταύτην, τῆς
    μερίδος ἀξιωθῆναι τῶν εὐαρεστησάντων τῷ κυρίῳ εὐχαῖς καὶ
    πρεσβείαις Βαρλαὰμ καὶ Ἰωάσαφ τῶν μακαρίων, περὶ ὧν ἠ διήγησις.
    See also Wiener, _Jahrbücher_, vol. lxiii. pp. 44-83; vol. lxxii.
    pp. 274-288; vol. lxxiii. pp. 176-202.]

    [Footnote 40: Littré, _Journal des Savants_, 1865, p. 337.]

    [Footnote 41: The _Martyrologium Romanum_, whatever its authority
    may be, states distinctly that the acts of Barlaam and Josaphat
    were written by Sanctus Joannes Damascenus. “Apud Indos Persis
    finitimos sanctorum Barlaam et Josaphat, quorum actus mirandos
    sanctus Joannes Damascenus conscripsit.” See Leonis Allatii
    Prolegomena, in _Joannis Damasceni Opera_, ed. Lequien, vol. i.
    p. xxvi. He adds: “Et Gennadius Patriarcha per Concil. Florent.
    cap. 5: οὐχ ἥττον δὲ καὶ ὁ Ἰωάννης ὁ μέγας τοῦ Δαμασκοῆ ὀφθαλμὸς
    ἐν τῷ βίῳ Βαρλαὰμ καὶ Ἰωσάφατ τῶν Ἰνδῶν μαρτυρεῖ λέγων.”]

    [Footnote 42: The story of the caskets, well known from the
    _Merchant of Venice_, occurs in _Barlaam and Josaphat_, though it
    is used there for a different purpose.]

    [Footnote 43: Cf. Benfey, _Pantschatantra_, vol. i. p. 80; vol.
    ii. p. 528; _Les Avadanas, Contes et Apologues indiens_, par
    Stanislas Julien, i. pp. 132, 191; _Gesta Romanorum_, cap. 168;
    _Homáyun Nameh_, cap. iv.; Grimm, _Deutsche Mythologie_, pp. 758,
    759; Liebrecht, _Jahrbücher für Rom. und Engl. Literatur_, 1860.]

    [Footnote 44: _Lalita Vistara_, ed. Calcutt., p. 126.]

    [Footnote 45: Ibid., p. 225.]

    [Footnote 46: See M. M.’s _Chips from a German Workshop_, Amer.
    ed., vol. i. p. 207.]

    [Footnote 47: Minayeff, _Mélanges Asiatiques_, vi. 5, p. 584,
    remarks: “According to a legend in the _Mahâvastu_ of Yaśas or
    Yaśoda (in a less complete form to be found in Schiefner, _Eine
    tibetische Lebensbeschreibung Sâkyamunis_, p. 247; Hardy, _Manual
    of Buddhism_, p. 187; Bigandet, _The Life or Legend of Gaudama_,
    p. 113), a merchant appears in Yosoda’s house, the night before he
    has the dream which induces him to leave his paternal house, and
    proclaims to him the true doctrine.”]

    [Footnote 48: _Journal of the American Oriental Society_, vol.
    iii. p. 21.]

    [Footnote 49: In some places one might almost believe that Joannes
    Damascenus did not only hear the story of Buddha, as he says, from
    the mouth of people who had brought it to him from India, but that
    he had before him the very text of the _Lalita Vistara_. Thus in
    the account of the three or four drives we find indeed that the
    Buddhist canon represents Buddha as seeing on three successive
    drives, first an old, then a sick, and at last a dying man, while
    Joannes makes Joasaph meet two men on his first drive, one maimed,
    the other blind, and an old man, who is nearly dying, on his
    second drive. So far there is a difference which might best be
    explained by admitting the account given by Joannes Damascenus
    himself, viz: that the story was brought from India, and that it
    was simply told him by worthy and truthful men. But, if it was so,
    we have here another instance of the tenacity with which oral
    tradition is able to preserve the most minute points of the story.
    The old man is described by a long string of adjectives both in
    Greek and in Sanskrit, and many of them are strangely alike. The
    Greek γέρων, old, corresponds to the Sanskrit +jîrṇa+;
    πεπαλαιώμενος, aged, is Sanskrit +vṛddha+; ἐρρικνώμενος τὸ
    πρόσωπον, shriveled in his face, is +balînicitakâya+, the body
    covered with wrinkles; παρείμενος τὰς κνήμας, weak in his knees,
    is +pravedhayamânaḥ sarvângapratyangaiḥ+, trembling in all his
    limbs; συγκεκυφώς, bent, is +kubja+; πεπολιώμενος, gray, is
    +palitakeśa+; ἐστερήμενος τοὺς ὀδόντας, toothless, is
    +khaṇḍadanta+; ἐγκεκομένα λαλῶν, stammering, is

    [Footnote 50: _Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen
    Gesellschaft_, vol. xxiv p. 480.]

    [Footnote 51: _Débats_, 1859, 21 and 26 Juillet.]

    [Footnote 52: _Die Quellen des Barlaam und Josaphat, in Jahrbuch
    für roman. und engl. Litteratur_, vol. ii. p. 314, 1860.]

    [Footnote 53: _Travels of Fah-hian and Sung-yun, Buddhist Pilgrims
    from China to India._ (400 A.D. and 518 A.D.) Translated from the
    Chinese by Samuel Beal. London, Trübner & Co. 1869.]

    [Footnote 54: Littré, _Journal des Savants_, 1865, p. 337.]

    [Footnote 55: _Pantschatantra; Fünf. Bücher indischer Fabeln,
    Märchen und Erzählungen. Aus dem Sanskrit übersetzt mit Einleitung
    und Ammerkungen_, 2 Theile, Leipzig, 1859; and particularly in the
    first part, the introduction, called “Ueber das Indische
    Grundwerk, und dessen Ausflüsse, so wie über die Quellen und die
    Verbreitung des Inhalts derselben.”]

    [Footnote 56: Cf. Assemani, _Biblioth. Orient._ iii. 1, 220, and
    Renan, in the _Journal Asiatique_, Cinq. Série, t. vii. 1856,
    p. 251.]




MAY 23, 1872.

You will easily understand that, in giving my first lecture in a German
University, I feel some difficulty in mastering and repressing the
feelings which stir within my heart. I wish to speak to you, as it
becomes a teacher, with perfect calmness, thinking of nothing but of the
subject which 1 have to treat. But here where we are gathered together
to-day, in this old free imperial town, in this University, full of the
brightest recollections of Alsatian history and German literature, even
a somewhat gray-headed German professor may be pardoned if, for some
moments at least, he gives free vent to the thoughts that are foremost
in his mind. You will see, at least, that he feels and thinks as you all
feel and think, and that in living away from Germany he has not
forgotten his German language, or lost his German heart.

The times in which we live are great, so great, that we can hardly
conceive them great enough; so great that we, old and young, cannot be
great and good and brave and hardworking enough, if we do not wish to
appear quite unworthy of the times in which our lot has been cast.

We older people have lived through darker times, when to a German,
learning was the only refuge, the only comfort, the only pride; times
when there was no Germany except in our recollection, and perhaps in our
secret hopes. And those who have lived through those sadder days feel
all the more deeply the blessings of the present. We have a Germany
again, a united, great, and strong country; and I call this a blessing,
not only in a material sense, as giving, at last, to our homes a real
and lasting security against the inroads of our powerful neighbors, but
also in a moral sense, as placing every German under a greater
responsibility, as reminding us of our higher duties, as inspiring us
with courage and energy for the battle of the mind even more than for
the battle of the arm.

That blessing has cost us dear, fearfully dear, dearer than the friends
of humanity had hoped; for, proud as we may be of our victories and our
victors, let us not deceive ourselves in this, that there is in the
history of humanity nothing so inhuman, nothing that makes us so
entirely despair of the genius of mankind, nothing that bows us so low
to the very dust, as war--unless even war becomes ennobled and
sanctified, as it was with us, by the sense of duty, duty towards our
country, duty towards our town, duty towards our home, towards our
fathers and mothers, our wives and children. Thus, and thus only, can
even war become the highest and brightest of sacrifices; thus, and thus
only, may we look history straight in the face, and ask, “Who would have
acted differently?”

I do not speak here of politics in the ordinary sense of the word,--nay,
I gladly leave the groping for the petty causes of the late war to the
scrutiny of those foreign statesmen who have eyes only for the
infinitesimally small, but cannot, or will not, see the powerful
handiwork of Divine justice that reveals itself in the history of
nations as in the lives of individuals. I speak of politics in their
true and original meaning, as a branch of ethics, as Kant has proved
them to be, and from this point of view, politics become a duty from
which no one may shrink, be he young or old. Every nation must have a
conscience, like every individual; a nation must be able to give to
itself an account of the moral justification of a war in which it is to
sacrifice everything that is most dear to man. And that is the greatest
blessing of the late war, that every German, however deep he may delve
in his heart, can say without a qualm or a quiver, “The German people
did not wish for war, nor for conquest. We wanted peace and freedom in
our internal development. Another nation or rather its rulers, claimed
the right to draw for us lines of the Main, if not new frontiers of the
Rhine; they wished to prevent the accomplishment of that German union
for which our fathers had worked and suffered. The German nation would
gladly have waited longer still, if thereby war could have been averted.
We knew that the union of Germany was inevitable, and the inevitable is
in no hurry. But when the gauntlet was thrown in our face, and, be it
remembered, with the acclamation of the whole French nation, then we
knew what, under Napoleonic sway, we might expect from our powerful
neighbor, and the whole German people rose as one man for defense, not
for defiance. The object of our war was peace, and a lasting peace, and
therefore now, after peace has been won, after our often menaced, often
violated, western frontier has been made secure forever by bastions,
such as nature only can build, it becomes our duty to prove to the world
that we Germans are the same after as before the war, that military
glory has nothing intoxicating to us, that we want peace with all the

You know that the world at large does not prophesy well for us. We are
told that the old and simple German manners will go, that the ideal
interests of our life will be forgotten, that, as in other countries, so
with us, our love for the True and the Beautiful will be replaced by
love of pleasure, enjoyment, and vanities. It rests with us with all our
might to confound such evil prophesies, and to carry the banner of the
German mind higher than ever. Germany can remain great only by what has
made her great--by simplicity of manners, contentment, industry,
honesty, high ideals, contempt of luxury, of display, and of vain-glory.
“_Non propter vitam vivendi perdere causas_,”-- “Not for the sake of
life to lose the real objects of life,” this must be our watchword
forever, and the _causæ vitæ_, the highest objects of life, are for us
to-day, and will, I trust, remain for coming generations the same as
they were in the days of Lessing, of Kant, of Schiller, and of Humboldt.

And nowhere, methinks, can this return to the work of peace be better
inaugurated than here in this very place, in Strassburg. It was a bold
conception to begin the building of the new temple of learning in the
very midst of the old German frontier fortress. We are summoned here, as
in the days of Nehemiah, when “the builders every one had his sword
girded by his side and so builded.” It rests with us, the young as well
as the old, that this bold conception shall not fail. And therefore I
could not resist the voice of my heart, or gainsay the wish of my
friends who believed that I, too, might bring a stone, however small, to
the building of this new temple of German science. And here I am among
you to try and do my best. Though I have lived long abroad, and pitched
my workshop for nearly twenty-five years on English soil, you know that
I have always remained German in heart and mind. And this I must say for
my English friends, that they esteem a German who remains German far
more than one who wishes to pass himself off as English. An Englishman
wishes every man to be what he is. I am, and I always have been,
a German living and working in England. The work of my life, the edition
of the Rig-Veda, the oldest book of the Indian, aye, of the whole Aryan
world, could be carried out satisfactorily nowhere but in England, where
the rich collections of Oriental MSS., and the easy communications with
India, offer to an Oriental scholar advantages such as no other country
can offer. That by living and working in England I have made some
sacrifices, that I have lost many advantages which the free intercourse
with German scholars in a German university so richly offers, no one
knows better than myself. Whatever I have seen of life, I know of no
life more perfect than that of a German professor in a German school or
university. You know what Niebuhr thought of such a life, even though he
was a Prussian minister and ambassador at Rome. I must read you some of
his words, they sound so honest and sincere: “There is no more grateful,
more serene life than that of a German teacher or professor, none that,
through the nature of its duties and its work, secures so well the peace
of our heart and our conscience. How many times have I deplored it with
a sad heart, that I should ever have left that path of life to enter
upon a life of trouble which, even at the approach of old age, will
probably never give me lasting peace. The office of a schoolmaster, in
particular, is one of the most honorable, and despite of all the evils
which now and then disturb its ideal beauty, it is for a truly noble
heart the happiest path of life. It was the path which I had once chosen
for myself, and how I wish I had been allowed to follow it!”

I could quote to you the words of another Prussian ambassador, Bunsen.
He, too, often complained with sadness that he had missed his true path
in life. He too, would gladly have exchanged the noisy hotel of the
ambassador for the quiet home of a German professor.

From my earliest youth it has been the goal of my life to act as a
professor in a German university, and if this dream of my youth was not
to be fulfilled in its entirety, I feel all the more grateful that,
through the kindness of my friends and German colleagues, I have been
allowed, at least once in my life, to act during the present spring and
summer as a real German professor in a German university.

This was in my heart, and I wanted to say it, in order that you might
know with what purpose I have come, and with what real joy I begin the
work which has brought us together to-day.

I shall lecture during the present term on “The Results of the Science
of Language;” but you will easily understand that to sum up in one
course of lectures the results of researches which have been carried on
with unflagging industry by three generations of scholars, would be a
sheer impossibility. Besides, a mere detailing of results, though it is
possible, is hardly calculated to subserve the real objects of academic
teaching. You would not be satisfied with mere results: you want to know
and to understand the method by which they have been obtained. You want
to follow step by step that glorious progress of discovery which has led
us to where we stand now. What is the use of knowing the Pythagorean
problem, if we cannot prove it? What would be the use of knowing that
the French _larme_ is the same as the German _Zähre_ (tear), if we could
not with mathematical exactness trace every step by which these two
words have diverged till they became what they are?

The results of the Science of Language are enormous. There is no sphere
of intellectual activity which has not felt more or less the influence
of this new science. Nor is this to be wondered at. Language is the
organ of all knowledge, and though we flatter ourselves that we are the
lords of language, that we use it as a useful tool, and no more, believe
me there are but few who can maintain their complete independence with
respect to language, few who can say of her, Ἔχω Λαΐδα, οὐκ ἔχομαι.
To know language historically and genetically, to be able more
particularly to follow up the growth of our technical terms to their
very roots, this is in every science the best means to keep up a living
connection between the past and the present, the only way to make us
feel the ground on which we stand.

Let us begin with what is nearest to us, _Philology_. Its whole
character has been changed as if by magic. The two classical languages,
Greek and Latin, which looked as if they had fallen from the sky or been
found behind the hedge, have now recovered their title-deeds, and have
taken their legitimate place in that old and noble family which we call
the Indo-European, the Indo-Germanic, or by a shorter, if not a better
name, the Aryan. In this way not only have their antecedents been
cleared up, but their mutual relationship, too, has for the first time
been placed in its proper light. The idea that Latin was derived from
Greek, an idea excusable in scholars of the Scipionic period, or that
Latin was a language made up of Italic, Greek, and Pelasgic elements,
a view that had maintained itself to the time of Niebuhr, all this has
now been shown to be a physical impossibility. Greek and Latin stand
together on terms of perfect equality; they are sisters, like French and

                    “Facies non omnibus una,
    Nec diversa tamen qualem decet esse sororum.”

If it could be a scientific question which of the two is the elder
sister, Greek or Latin, Latin, I believe, could produce better claims of
seniority than Greek. Now, as in the modern history of language we are
able to explain many things that are obscure in French and Italian by
calling in the Provençal, the Spanish, the Portuguese, nay, even the
Wallachian and the Churwälsch, we can do the same in the ancient history
of language, and get light for many things which are difficult and
unintelligible in Greek and Latin, by consulting Sanskrit, Zend, Gothic,
Irish, and even Old Bulgarian. We can hardly form an idea of the
surprise which was occasioned among the scholars of Europe by the
discovery of the Aryan family of languages, reaching with its branches
from the Himalayan mountains to the Pyrenees. Not that scholars of any
eminence believed at the end of the last century that Greek and Latin
were derived from Hebrew: that prejudice had been disposed of once for
all, in Germany at least, by Leibniz. But after that theory had been
given up, no new truly scientific theory had taken its place. The
languages of the world, with the exception of the Semitic, the family
type of which was not to be mistaken, lay scattered about as _disjecta
membra poëtæ_, and no one thought of uniting them again into one organic
whole. It was the discovery of Sanskrit which led to the reunion of the
Aryan languages, and if Sanskrit had taught us nothing else, this alone
would establish its claim to a place among the academic sciences of our

When Greek and Latin had once been restored to their true place in the
natural system of the Aryan languages, their special treatment, too,
became necessarily a different one. In grammar, for instance, scholars
were no longer satisfied to give forms and rules, and to place what was
irregular by the side of what was regular. They wished to know the
reasons of the rules as well as of the exceptions; they asked why the
forms were such as they were, and not otherwise; they required not only
a logical, but also an historical foundation of grammar. People asked
themselves for the first time, why so small a change as _mensa_ and
_mensæ_ could express the difference between one and many tables; why a
single letter, like _r_, could possess the charm of changing I love,
_amo_, into I am loved, _amor_. Instead of indulging in general
speculations on the logic of grammar, the riddles of grammar received
their solution from a study of the historical development of language.
For every language there was to be a historical grammar, and in this way
a revolution was produced in philological studies to be compared only to
the revolution produced in chemistry by the discoveries of Lavoisier, or
in geology by the theories of Lyell. For instance, instead of attempting
an explanation why the genitive singular and the ablative plural of the
first and second declensions could express rest in a place--_Romæ_, at
Rome; _Tarenti_, at Tarentum; _Athenis_, at Athens; _Gabiis_, at
Gabii--one glance at the past history of these languages showed that
these so-called genitives were not and never had been genitives, but
corresponded to the old locatives in _i_ and _su_ in Sanskrit. No doubt,
a pupil can be made to learn anything that stands in a grammar; but I do
not believe that it can conduce to a sound development of his
intellectual powers if he first learns at school the real meaning of the
genitive and ablative, and then has to accept on trust that, somehow or
other, the same cases may express rest in a place. A well-known English
divine, opposed to reform in spelling, as in everything else, once
declared that the fearful orthography of English formed the best
psychological foundation of English orthodoxy, because a child that had
once been brought to believe that t-h-r-o-u-g-h sounded like “through,”
t-h-o-u-g-h like “though,” r-o-u-g-h like “rough,” would afterwards
believe anything. Be that as it may, I do not consider that grammatical
rules like those just quoted on the genitive and ablative, assuming the
power of the locative, are likely to strengthen the reasoning powers of
any schoolboy.

Even more pernicious to the growth of sound ideas was the study of
etymology, as formerly carried on in schools and universities.
Everything here was left to chance or to authority, and it was not
unusual that two or three etymologies of the same word had to be learnt,
as if the same word might have had more than one parent. Yet it is many
years since Otfried Müller told classical scholars that they must either
surrender the whole subject of the historical growth of language,
etymology, and grammatical morphology, or trust in these matters
entirely to the guidance of Comparative Philology. As a student at
Leipzig, I lived to see old Gottfried Hermann quoting the paradigms of
Sanskrit grammar in one of his last _Programs_; and Boeckh declared in
1850, at the eleventh meeting of German philologists, that, in the
present state of the science of language, the grammar of the classical
languages cannot dispense with the coöperation of comparative grammar.
And yet there are scholars even now who would exclude the Science of
Language from schools and universities. What gigantic steps truly
scientific etymology has made in Greek and Latin, every scholar may see
in the excellent works of Curtius and Corssen. The essential difference
between the old and the new systems consists here, too, in this, that
while formerly people were satisfied if they knew, or imagined they
knew, from what source a certain word was derived, little value is now
attached to the mere etymology of a word, unless at the same time it is
possible to account, according to fixed phonetic laws, for all the
changes which a word has undergone in its passage through Latin, Greek,
and Sanskrit. How far this conscientiousness may be carried is shown by
the fact that the best comparative philologists decline to admit, on
phonetic grounds, the identity of such words as the Latin _Deus_, and
the Greek Θεός, although the strongest internal arguments may be urged
in favor of the identity of these words.[1]

Let us go on to _Mythology_. If mythology is an old dialect, outliving
itself, and, on the strength of its sacred character, carried on to a
new period of language, it is easy to perceive that the historical
method of the Science of Language would naturally lead here to most
important results. Take only the one fact, which no one at present would
dare to question, that the name of the highest deity among the Greeks
and Romans, Ζεύς, and _Jupiter_, is the same as the Vedic +Dyaus+, the
sky, and the old German _Zio_, Old Norse _Tyr_, whose name survives in
the modern names of _Dienstag_ or _Tuesday_. Does not this one word
prove the union of those ancient races? Does it not show us, at the
earliest dawn of history, the fathers of the Aryan race, the fathers of
our own race, gathered together in the great temple of nature, like
brothers of the same house, and looking up in adoration to the sky as
the emblem of what they yearned for, a father and a God. Nay, can we not
hear in that old name of _Jupiter_, _i.e._, Heaven-Father, the true
key-note which still sounds on in our own prayer, “Our Father which art
in heaven,” and which imparts to these words their deepest tone, and
their fullest import? By an accurate study of these words we are able to
draw the bonds of language and belief even more closely together. You
know that the nom. sing. of Ζεύς has the acute, and so has the nom.
sing. of +Dyaus+; but the vocative of Ζεύς has the circumflex, and so
has likewise the vocative of +Dyaus+ in the Veda.[2] Formerly the accent
might have been considered as something late, artificial, and purely
grammatical: the Science of Language has shown that it is as old as
language itself, and it has rightly called it the very soul of words.
Thus even in these faint pulsations of language, in the changes of
accent in Greek and Sanskrit, may we feel the common blood that runs in
the veins of the old Aryan dialects.

History, too, particularly the most ancient history, has received new
light and life from a comparative study of languages. Nations and
languages were in ancient times almost synonymous, and what constitutes
the ideal unity of a nation lies far more in the intellectual factors,
in religion and language, than in common descent and common blood. But
for that very reason we must here be most cautious. It is but too easily
forgotten that if we speak of Aryan and Semitic families, the ground of
classification is language, and language only. There are Aryan and
Semitic languages, but it is against all rules of logic to speak,
without an expressed or implied qualification, of an Aryan race, of
Aryan blood, of Aryan skulls, and to attempt ethnological classification
on purely linguistic grounds. These two sciences, the Science of
Language and the Science of Man, cannot, at least for the present, be
kept too much asunder; and many misunderstandings, many controversies,
would have been avoided, if scholars had not attempted to draw
conclusions from language to blood, or from blood to language. When each
of these sciences shall have carried out independently its own
classification of men and of languages, then, and then only, will it be
time to compare their results; but even then, I must repeat, what I have
said many times before, it would be as wrong to speak of Aryan blood as
of dolichocephalic grammar.[3]

We have all accustomed ourselves to look for the cradle of the Aryan
languages in Asia, and to imagine these dialects flowing like streams
from the centre of Asia to the South, the West, and the North. I must
confess that Professor Benfey’s protest against this theory seems to me
very opportune, and his arguments in favor of a more northern, if not
European, origin of the whole Aryan family of speech, deserve, at all
events, far more attention than they have hitherto received.

For the same reasons it seems to me at least a premature undertaking to
use the greater or smaller number of coincidences between two or more of
the Aryan languages as arguments in support of an earlier or later
separation of the people who spoke them. First of all, there are few
points on which the opinions of competent judges differ more decidedly
than when the exact degrees of relationship between the single Aryan
languages have to be settled. There is agreement on one point only,
viz., that Sanskrit and Zend are more closely united than any other
languages. But though on this point there can hardly be any doubt, no
satisfactory explanation of this extraordinary agreement has as yet been
given. In fact, it has been doubted whether what I called the “Southern
Division” of the Aryan family could properly be called a division at
all, as it consisted only of varieties of one and the same type of Aryan
speech. As soon as we go beyond Sanskrit and Zend, the best authorities
are found to be in open conflict. Bopp maintained that the Slavonic
languages were most closely allied to Sanskrit, an opinion shared by
Pott. Grimm, on the contrary, maintained a closer relationship between
Slavonic and German. In this view he was supported by Lottner,
Schleicher, and others, while Bopp to the last opposed it. After this,
Schleicher (as, before him, Newman in England) endeavored to prove a
closer contact between Celtic and Latin, and, accepting Greek as most
closely united with Latin, he proceeded to establish a Southwestern
European division, consisting of Celtic, Latin, and Greek, and running
parallel with the Northwestern division, consisting of Teutonic and
Slavonic; or, according to Ebel, of Celtic, Teutonic, and Slavonic.

But while these scholars classed Greek with Latin, others, such as
Grassmann and Sonne, pointed out striking peculiarities which Greek
shares with Sanskrit, and with Sanskrit only, as, for instance, the
augment, the voiceless aspirates, the _alpha privativum_ (a, not an),
the +mâ+ and μή _prohibitivum_, the +tara+ and τερο as the suffix of
the comparative, and some others. A most decided divergence of opinion
manifested itself as touching the real relation of Greek and Latin.
While some regarded these languages not only as sisters, but as twins,
others were not inclined to concede to them any closer relationship than
that which unites all the members of the Aryan family. While this
conflict of opinions lasts (and they are not mere assertions, but
opinions supported by arguments), it is clear that it would be premature
to establish any historical conclusions, such, for instance, as that the
Slaves remained longer united with the Indians and Persians than the
Greeks, Romans, Germans, and Celts; or, if we follow Professor Sonne,
that the Greeks remained longer united with the Indians than the other
Aryan nations. I must confess that I doubt whether the whole problem
admits of a scientific solution. If in a large family of languages we
discover closer coincidences between some languages than between others,
this is no more than we should expect, according to the working of what
I call the Dialectic Process. All these languages sprang up and grew and
diverged, before they were finally separated; some retained one form,
others another, so that even the apparently most distant members of the
same family might, on certain points, preserve relics in common which
were lost in all the other dialects, and _vice versâ_. No two languages,
not even Lithuanian and Old Slavonic, are so closely united as Sanskrit
and Zend, which share together even technical terms, connected with a
complicated sacrificial ceremonial. Yet there are words occurring in
Zend, and absent in Sanskrit, which crop up again sometimes in Greek,
sometimes in Latin, sometimes in German.[4] As soon as we attempt to
draw from such coincidences and divergences historical conclusions as to
the earlier or later separation of the nations who developed these
languages, we fall into contradictions like those which I pointed out
just now between Bopp, Grimm, Schleicher, Ebel, Grassmann, Sonne, and
others. Much depends, in all scientific researches, on seeing that the
question is properly put. To me the question, whether the closer
relations between certain independent dialects furnish evidence as to
the successive times of their separation, seems, by its very nature,
fruitless. Nor have the answers been at all satisfactory. After a number
of coincidences between the various members of the Aryan family have
been carefully collected, we know no more in the end than what we knew
at first, viz., that all the Aryan dialects are closely connected with
each other. We know--

1. That Slavonic is most closely united with German (Grimm, Schleicher);

2. That German is most closely united with Celtic (Ebel, Lottner);

3. That Celtic is most closely united with Latin (Newman, Schleicher);

4. That Latin is most closely united with Greek (Mommsen, Curtius);

5. That Greek is most closely united with Sanskrit (Grassmann, Sonne,

6. That Sanskrit is most closely united with Zend (Burnouf).

Let a mathematician draw out the result, and it will be seen that we
know in the end no more than we knew at the beginning. Far be it for me
to use a mere trick in arguing, and to say that none of these
conclusions can be right, because each is contradicted by others. Quite
the contrary. I admit that there is some truth in every one of these
conclusions, and I maintain, for that very reason, that the only way to
reconcile them all is to admit that the single dialects of the Aryan
family did not break off in regular succession, but that, after a
long-continued community, they separated slowly, and, in some cases,
contemporaneously, from their family-circle, till they established at
last, under varying circumstances, their complete national independence.
This seems to me all that at present one may say with a good conscience,
and what is in keeping with the law of development in all dialects.

If now we turn away from the purely philological results of the Science
of Language, in order to glance at the advantages which other sciences
have derived from it, we shall find that they consist mostly in the
light that has been shed on obscure words and old customs. This
advantage is greater than, at first sight, it might seem to be. Every
word has its history, and the beginning of this history, which is
brought to light by etymology, leads us back far beyond its first
historical appearance. Every word, as we know, had originally a
predicative meaning, and that predicative meaning differs often very
considerably from the later traditional or technical meaning. This
predicative meaning, however, being the most original meaning of the
word, allows us an insight into the most primitive ideas of a nation.

Let us take an instance from jurisprudence. _Pœna_, in classical Latin,
means simply punishment, particularly what is either paid or suffered
in order to atone for an injury. (_Si injuriam faxit alteri, viginti
quinque æris pœnœ sunto, fragm. xii. tab._) The word agrees so
remarkably, both in form and meaning, with the Greek ποινή, that
Mommsen assigned to it a place in what he calls Græco-Italic ideas.[5]
We might suppose, therefore, that the ancient Italians took _pœna_
originally in the sense of ransom, simply as a civil act, by which he
who had inflicted injury on another was, as far as he and the injured
person were concerned, restored _in integrum_. The etymology of the
word, however, leads us back into a far more distant past, and shows us
that when the word _pœna_ was first framed, punishment was conceived
from a higher moral and religious point of view, as a purification from
sin; for _pœna_, as first shown by Professor Pott (and what has he not
been the first to show?) is closely connected with the root pu, to
purify. Thus we read in the “Atharva-veda,” xix. 33, 3:--

    “Tvám bhû́mim átyeshi ójasâ
    Tvám védyâm sîdasi cấrur adhvaré
    Tvấm pavítram ṛshayo bhárantas
    Tvám puníhi duritấni asmát.”

  “Thou, O God of Fire, goest mightily across the earth; thou sittest
  brilliantly on the altar at the sacrifice. The prophets carry Thee
  as the Purifier; purify us from all misdeeds.”

From this root +pu+ we have, in Latin, _pūrus_, and _pŭtus_, as in
_argentum purum putum_, fine silver, or in _purus putus est ipse_,
Plaut. Ps. 4, 2, 31. From it we also have the verb _purgare_, for
_purigare_, to purge, used particularly with reference to purification
from crime by means of religious observances. If this transition from
the idea of purging to that of punishing should seem strange, we have
only to think of _castigare_, meaning originally to purify, but
afterwards in such expressions as _verbis et verberibus castigare_, to
chide and to chasten.

I cannot convince myself that the Latin _crimen_ has anything in
common with κρίνειν. The Greek κρίνειν is no doubt connected with Latin
_cer-no_, from which _cribrum_, sieve. It means to separate, to sift,
so that κρῖμα may well signify a judgment, but not a crime or misdeed.
_Crīmen_, as every scholar knows or ought to know, meant originally an
accusation, not a crime, and, in spite of all appearances to the
contrary, has nothing whatever in common with _discrīmen_, which means
what separates two things, a difference, a critical point. _In crimen
venire_ means to get into bad repute, to be calumniated; _in discrimine
esse_ means to be in a critical and dangerous position.

It is one of the fundamental laws of etymology that in tracing words
back to their roots, we have to show that their primary, not their
secondary meanings agree with the meaning of the root. Therefore, even
if _crīmen_ had assumed in later times the meaning of judgment, yet its
derivation from the Greek κρίνειν would have to be rejected, because
it would explain the secondary only, but not the primary meaning of
_crīmen_. Nothing is clearer than the historical development of the
meanings of _crīmen_, beginning with accusation, and ending with guilt.

I believe I have proved that _crīmen_ is really and truly the same word
as the German _Verleumdung_, calumny.[6] _Verleumdung_ comes from
_Leumund_, the Old High-German _hliumunt_, and this _hliumunt_ is the
exact representative of the Vedic +śromata+, derived from the root
+śru+, to hear, _cluere_, and signifying good report, glory, the Greek
κλέος, the Old High-German _hruom_. The German word _Leumund_ can be
used in a good and a bad sense, as good or evil report, while the Latin
_crī-men_, for _croe-men_ (like _liber_ for _loeber_), is used only _in
malam partem_. It meant originally what is heard, report, _on dit_,
gossip, accusation; lastly, the object of an accusation, a crime, but
never judgment, in the technical sense of the word.

The only important objection that could be raised against tracing
_crīmen_ back to the root +śru+, is that this root has in the
Northwestern branch of the Aryan family assumed the form +clu+, instead
of +cru+, as in κλέος, _cliens_, _gloria_, O.Sl. _slovo_, A.S. _hlûd_,
loud, _inclutus_. I myself hesitated for a long time on account of this
phonetic difficulty, nor do I think it is quite removed by the fact that
Bopp (“Comp. Gr.” § 20) identified the German _scrir-u-mês_, we cry
(instead of _scriw-u-mês_), with Sk. +śrâv-ayâ-mas+, we make hear; nor
by the _r_ in _in-cre-p-are_, in κράζω, as compared with κλάζω, nor even
by the _r_ in ἀ-κρο-ά-ομαι, which Curtius seems inclined to derive from
+śru+. The question is whether this phonetic difficulty is such as to
force us to surrender the common origin of +śromata+, _hliumunt_, and
_crīmen_; but even if this should be the case, the derivation of
_crīmen_ from _cerno_ or κρίνειν would remain as impossible as ever.

This will give you an idea in what manner the Science of Language can
open before our eyes a period in the history of law, customs, and
manners, which hitherto was either entirely closed, or reached only by
devious paths. Formerly, for instance, it was supposed that the Latin
word _lex_, law, was connected with the Greek λόγος. This is wrong,
for λόγος never means law in the sense in which _lex_ does. λόγος,
from λέγειν, to collect, to gather, signifies, like κατάλογος,
a gathering, a collection, an ordering, be it of words or thoughts. The
idea that there is a λόγος, an order or law, for instance, in nature, is
not classical, but purely modern. It is not improbable that _lex_ is
connected with the English word _law_, only not by way of the Norman
_loi_. English _law_ is A.S. _lagu_ (as _saw_ corresponds both to the
German _Sage_ and _Säge_), and it meant originally what was laid down or
settled, with exactly the same conception as the German _Gesetz_. It has
been attempted to derive the Latin _lex_, too, from the same root,
though there is this difficulty, that the root of _liegen_ and _legen_
does not elsewhere occur in Latin. The mere disappearance of the
aspiration would be no serious obstacle. If, however, the Latin _lex_
cannot be derived from that root, we must, with Corssen, refer it to the
same cluster of words to which _ligare_, to bind, _obligatio_, binding,
and the Oscan ablative _lig-ud_ belong, and assign to it the original
meaning of _bond_. On no account can it be derived from _legere_, to
read, as if it meant a bill first read before the people, and afterwards
receiving legal sanction by their approval.

From these considerations we gain at least this negative result, that,
before their separation, the Aryan languages had no settled word for
law; and even such negative results have their importance. The Sanskrit
word for law is +dharma+, derived from +dhar+, to hold fast. The Greek
word is νόμος, derived from νέμειν, to dispense, from which _Nemesis_,
the dispensing deity, and perhaps even _Numa_, the name of the fabulous
king and lawgiver of Rome.

Other words might easily be added which, by the disclosure of their
original meaning, give us interesting hints as to the development of
legal conceptions and customs, such as marriage, inheritance, ordeals,
and the like. But it is time to cast a glance at theology, which, more
even than jurisprudence, has experienced the influence of the Science of
Language. What was said with regard to mythology, applies with equal
force to theology. Here, too, words harden, and remain unchanged longer
even than in other spheres of intellectual life; nay, their influence
often becomes greater the more they harden, and the more their original
meaning is forgotten. Here it is most important that an intelligent
theologian should be able to follow up the historical development of the
_termini technici_ and _sacrosancti_ of his science. Not only words like
_priest_, _bishop_, _sacrament_, or _testament_, have to be correctly
apprehended in that meaning which they had in the first century, but
expressions like λόγος, πνεῦμα ἅγιον, δικαιοσύνη have to be traced
historically to the beginnings of Christianity, and beyond, if we wish
to gain a conception of their full purport.

In addition to this, the Philosophy of Religion, which must always form
the true foundation of theological science, owes it to the Science of
Language that the deepest germs of the consciousness of God among the
different nations of the world have for the first time been laid open.
We know now with perfect certainty that the names, that is, the most
original conceptions, of the Deity among the Aryan nations, are as
widely removed from coarse fetichism as from abstract idealism. The
Aryans, as far as the annals of their language allow us to see,
recognized the presence of the Divine in the bright and sunny aspects of
nature, and they, therefore, called the blue sky, the fertile earth, the
genial fire, the bright day, the golden dawn their +Devas+, that is,
their bright ones. The same word, +Deva+ in Sanskrit, _Deus_ in Latin,
remained unchanged in all their prayers, their rites, their
superstitions, their philosophies, and even to-day it rises up to heaven
from thousands of churches and cathedrals,--a word which, before there
were Brahmans or Germans, had been framed in the dark workshop of the
Aryan mind.

That the natural sciences, too, should have felt the electric shock of
our new science is not surprising, considering that man is the crown of
nature, the apex to which all other forces of nature point and tend. But
that which makes man man, is language. _Homo animal rationale, quia
orationale_, as Hobbes said. Buffon called the plant a sleeping animal;
living philosophers speak of the animal as a dumb man. Both, however,
forget that the plant would cease to be a plant if it awoke, and that
the brute would cease to be a brute the moment it began to speak. There
is, no doubt, in language a transition from the material to the
spiritual: the raw material of language belongs to nature, but the form
of language, that which really makes language, belongs to the spirit.
Were it possible to trace human language _directly_ back to natural
sounds, to interjections or imitations, the question whether the Science
of Language belongs to the sphere of the natural or the historical
sciences would at once be solved. But I doubt whether this crude view of
the origin of language counts one single supporter in Germany. With one
foot language stands, no doubt, in the realm of nature, but with the
other in the realm of the spirit. Some years ago, when I thought it
necessary to bring out as clearly as possible the much neglected natural
element in language, I tried to explain in what sense the Science of
Language had a right to be called the last and the highest of the
natural sciences. But I need hardly say that I did not lose sight,
therefore, of the intellectual and historical character of language; and
I may here express my conviction that the Science of Language will yet
enable us to withstand the extreme theories of the evolutionists, and to
draw a hard and fast line between spirit and matter, between man and

This short survey must suffice to show you how omnipresent the Science
of Language has become in all spheres of human knowledge, and how far
its limits have been extended, so that it often seems impossible for one
man to embrace the whole of its vast domain. From this I wish, in
conclusion, to draw some necessary advice.

Whoever devotes himself to the study of so comprehensive a science must
try never to lose sight of two virtues: conscientiousness and modesty.
The older we grow, the more we feel the limits of human knowledge. “Good
care is taken,” as Goethe said, “that trees should not grow into the
sky.” Every one of us can make himself real master of a small field of
knowledge only, and what we gain in extent, we inevitably lose in depth.
It was impossible that Bopp should know Sanskrit like Colebrooke, Zend
like Burnouf, Greek like Hermann, Latin like Lachmann, German like
Grimm, Slavonic like Miklosich, Celtic like Zeuss. That drawback lies in
the nature of all comparative studies. But it follows by no means that,
as the French proverb says, _qui trop embrasse, mal étreint_. Bopp’s
“Comparative Grammar” will always mark an epoch in linguistic studies,
and no one has accused the old master of superficiality. There are, in
fact, two kinds of knowledge; the one which we take in as real
nourishment, which we convert _in succum et sanguinem_, which is always
present, which we can never lose; the other which, if I may say so, we
put into our pockets, in order to find it there whenever it is wanted.
For comparative studies the second kind of knowledge is as important as
the first, but in order to use it properly, the greatest
conscientiousness is required. Not only ought we, whenever we have to
use it, to go back to the original sources, to accept nothing on trust,
to quote nothing at second-hand, and to verify every single point before
we rely on it for comparative purposes, but, even after we have done
everything to guard against error, we ought to proceed with the greatest
caution and modesty. I consider, for instance, that an accurate
knowledge of Sanskrit is a _conditio sine quâ non_ in the study of
Comparative Philology. According to my conviction, though I know it is
not shared by others, Sanskrit must forever remain the central point of
our studies. But it is clearly impossible for us, while engaged in a
scholarlike study of Sanskrit, to follow at the same time the gigantic
strides of Latin, Greek, German, Slavonic, and Celtic philology. Here we
must learn to be satisfied with what is possible, and apply for advice
whenever we want it, to those who are masters in these different
departments of philology. Much has of late been said of the antagonism
between comparative and classical philology. To me it seems that these
two depend so much on each other for help and advice that their
representatives ought to be united by the closest ties of fellowship. We
must work on side by side, and accept counsel as readily as we give it.
Without the help of Comparative Philology, for instance, Greek scholars
would never have arrived at a correct understanding of the Digamma--nay,
a freer intercourse with his colleague, Bopp, would have preserved
Bekker from several mistakes in his restoration of the Digamma in Homer.
Latin scholars would have felt far more hesitation in introducing the
old _d_ of the ablative in Plautus, if the analogy of Sanskrit had not
so clearly proved its legitimacy.

On the other hand, we, comparative philologists, should readily ask and
gladly accept the advice and help of our classical colleagues. Without
their guidance, we can never advance securely; their warnings are to us
of the greatest advantage, their approval our best reward. We are often
too bold, we do not see all the difficulties that stand in the way of
our speculations, we are too apt to forget that, in addition to its
general Aryan character, every language has its peculiar genius. Let us
all be on our guard against omniscience and infallibility. Only through
a frank, honest, and truly brotherly coöperation can we hope for a true
advancement of knowledge. We all want the same thing; we all are
_etymologists_--that is, lovers of truth. For this, before all things,
the spirit of truth, which is the living spirit of all science, must
dwell within us. Whoever cannot yield to the voice of truth, whoever
cannot say, “I was wrong,” knows little as yet of the true spirit of

Allow me, in conclusion, to recall to your remembrance another passage
from Niebuhr. He belongs to the good old race of German scholars. “Above
all things,” he writes, “we must in all scientific pursuits preserve our
truthfulness so pure that we thoroughly eschew every false appearance;
that we represent not even the smallest thing as certain of which we are
not completely convinced; that if we have to propose a conjecture, we
spare no effort in representing the exact degree of its probability. If
we do not ourselves, when it is possible, indicate our errors, even such
as no one else is likely to discover; if, in laying down our pen, we
cannot say in the sight of God, ‘Upon strict examination, I have
knowingly written nothing that is not true;’ and if, without deceiving
either ourselves or others, we have not presented even our most odious
opponents in such a light only that we could justify it upon our
death-beds--if we cannot do this, study and literature serve only to
make us unrighteous and sinful.”

Few, I fear, could add, with Niebuhr: “In this I am convinced that I do
not require from others anything of which a higher spirit, if He could
read my soul, could convict me of having done the contrary.” But all of
us, young as well as old, should keep these words before our eyes and in
our hearts. Thus, and thus only, will our studies not miss their
highest goal: thus, and thus only, may we hope to become true
etymologists--_i.e._, true lovers, seekers, and, I trust, finders of




That Greek θ does not legitimately represent a Sanskrit, Latin,
Slavonic, and Celtic _d_ is a fact that ought never to have been
overlooked by comparative philologists, and nothing could be more useful
than the strong protest entered by Windischmann, Schleicher, Curtius,
and others, against the favorite identification of Sk. +deva+, _deus_,
and θεός. Considering it as one of the first duties, in all etymological
researches, that we should pay implicit obedience to phonetic laws,
I have never, so far as I remember, quoted θεός as identical with
_deus_, together with the other derivatives of the root +div+, such as
+Dyaus+, Ζεύς, _Jupiter_, +deva+, Lith. _deva-s_, Irish _día_.

But with all due respect for phonetic laws, I have never in my own heart
doubted that θεός belonged to the same cluster of words which the early
Aryans employed to express the brightness of the sky and of the day, and
which helped them to utter their first conception of a god of the bright
sky (+Dyaus+), of bright beings in heaven, as opposed to the powers of
night and darkness and winter (+deva+), and, lastly, of deity in the
abstract.[7] I have never become an atheist; and though I did not
undervalue the powerful arguments advanced against the identity of
_deus_ and θεός, I thought that other arguments also possessed their
value, and could not be ignored with impunity. If, with our eyes shut,
we submit to the dictates of phonetic laws, we are forced to believe
that while the Greeks shared with the Hindus, the Italians, and Germans
the name for the bright god of the sky Zeus, +Dyaus+, _Jovis_, _Zio_,
and while they again shared with them such derivatives as δῖος,
heavenly, Sk. +divyas+, they threw away the intermediate old Aryan word
for god, +deva+, _deus_, and formed a new one from a different root, but
agreeing with the word which they had rejected in all letters but one.
I suppose that even the strongest supporters of the atheistic theory
would have accepted δεός, if it existed in Greek, as a correlative of
+deva+ and _deus_; and I ask, would it not be an almost incredible
coincidence, if the Greeks, after giving up the common Aryan word, which
would have been δοιϝός or δειϝός or δεϝός, had coined a new word for god
from a different root, yet coming so near to δεϝός as θεϝός? These
internal difficulties seem to me nearly as great as the external: at all
events it would not be right to attempt to extenuate either.

Now I think that, though much has been said against θεός for δεϝός,
something may also be said in support of δεϝός assuming the form of
θεός. Curtius is quite right in repelling all arguments derived from Sk.
+duhitar+ = θυγάτηρ, or Sk. +dvâr+ = θύρ-α; but I think he does not do
full justice to the argument derived from φιάλη and φιαρός. The Greek
φιάλη has been explained as originally πιϝάλη, the lost digamma causing
the aspiration of the initial π. Curtius says: “This etymology of φιάλη
is wrecked on the fact that in Homer the word does not mean a vessel for
drinking, but a kind of kettle.” That is true, but the fact remains that
in later Greek φιάλη means a drinking cup. Thus Pindar (“Isthm.,” v. 58)

    Ἄνδωκε δ’ αὐτῷ φέρτατος
    οἰνοδόκον φιάλαν χρυσῷ πεφρικυῖαν Τελαμών,

which refers clearly to a golden goblet, and not a kettle. Besides, we
have an exactly analogous case in the Sk. +pâtram+. This, too, is
clearly derived from +pâ+, to drink, but it is used far more frequently
in the sense of vessel in general, and its etymological meaning vanishes
altogether when it comes to mean a vessel for something, a fit person.
I see no etymology for φιάλη, except πιϝάλη, a drinking vessel.

Secondly, as to φιαρός, which is supposed to be the same as πιαρός, and
to represent the Sanskrit +pîvaras+, fat, Curtius says that it occurs in
Alexandrian poets only, that it there means bright, resplendent, and is
used as an adjective of the dawn, while πιαρός means fat, and fat only.
Against this I venture to remark, first, that there are passages where
φιαρός means sleek, as in Theocr. ii. 21, φιαρωτέρα ὄμφακος ὠμᾶς, said
of a young plump girl, who in Sanskrit would be called +pîvarî+;
secondly, that while πῖαρ is used for cream, φιαρός is used as an
adjective of cream; and, thirdly, that the application of φιαρός to the
dawn is hardly surprising, if we remember the change of meaning in
λιπαρός in Greek, and the application in the Veda of such words as
+ghṛta pratîka+, to the dawn. Lastly, as in φιάλη, I see no etymology
for φιαρός, except πιϝαρός.

I think it is but fair therefore to admit that θεός for δεϝός would find
some support by the analogy of φιάλη for πιϝάλη, and of φιαρός for
πιϝαρός. There still remain difficulties enough to make us cautious in
asserting the identity of θεός and _deus_; but in forming our own
opinion these difficulties should be weighed impartially against the
internal difficulties involved in placing θεός as a totally independent
word, by the side of +deva+ and _deus_. And, as in φιάλη and φιαρός, may
we not say of θεός also that there is no etymology for it, if we
separate it from Ζεύς and δῖος, from +Dyaus+ and +divyas+? Curtius
himself rejects Plato’s and Schleicher’s derivation of θεός from θέω, to
run: likewise C. Hoffmann’s from +dhava+, man; likewise Bühler’s from a
root +dhi+, to think or to shine; likewise that of Herodotus and
A. Göbel from θες, a secondary form of θε, to settle. Ascoli’s analysis
is highly sagacious, but it is too artificial. Ascoli[8] identifies
θεός, not with +deva+, but with _divyá-s_. +Divyás+ becoming διϝεός
(like +satya+, ἐτεός), the accent on the last syllable would produce the
change to δϝεό-ς, ϝ would cause aspiration in the preceding
consonant and then disappear, leaving θεός = +divyás+. All these changes
are just possible phonetically, but, as Curtius observes, the point for
which the theists contend is not gained, for we should still have to
admit that the Greeks lost the common word for god, +deva+ and _deus_,
and that they alone replaced it by a derivative +divya+, meaning
heavenly, not bright.

Curtius himself seems in favor of deriving θεός from θες, to implore,
which we have in θεσ-σάμενοι, θέσσαντο, πολύθεστος, etc. Θεός, taken as
a passive derivative, might, he thinks, have the meaning of ἀρητός in
πολυάρητος, and mean the implored being. I cannot think that this is a
satisfactory derivation. It might be defended phonetically and
etymologically, though I cannot think of any analogous passive
derivatives of a root ending in _s_. Where it fails to carry conviction
is in leaving unexplained the loss of the common Aryan word for deity,
and in putting in its place a name that savors of very modern thought.

I think the strongest argument against the supposed aspirating power of
medial _v_, and its subsequent disappearance, lies in the fact that
there are so many words having medial _v_, which show no trace of this
phonetic process (Curtius, p. 507). On the other hand, it should be
borne in mind, that the Greeks might have felt a natural objection to
the forms which would have rendered +deva+ with real exactness, I mean
δοιός or δέος, the former conveying the meaning of double, the latter of
fear. A mere wish to keep the name for god distinct from these words
might have produced the phonetic anomaly of which we complain; and,
after all, though I do not like to use that excuse, there are exceptions
to phonetic laws. No one can explain how ὄγδοος was derived from ὀκτώ or
ἕβδομος from ἑπτά, yet the internal evidence is too strong to be shaken
by phonetic objections. In the case of θεός and _deus_ the internal
evidence seems to me nearly as strong as in ὄγδοος and ἕβδομος, and
though unwilling to give a final verdict, I think the question of the
loss in Greek of the Aryan word for god and its replacement by another
word nearly identical in form, but totally distinct in origin, should be
left for the present an open question in Comparative Philology.



The vocative of +Dyaus+, having the circumflex, is one of those
linguistic gems which one finds now and then in the Rig-Veda, and which
by right ought to have a place of honor in a Museum of Antiquities. It
is a unique form. It occurs but once in the Rig-Veda, never again, as
far as we know at present, in the whole of Vedic literature, and yet it
is exactly that form which a student of language would expect who is
familiar with the working of the laws of accent in Sanskrit and in
Greek. Without a thorough knowledge of these laws, the circumflexed
vocative in Sanskrit, +Dyaûs+, corresponding to Greek Ζεῦ, would seem
a mere anomaly, possibly an accidental coincidence, whereas in reality
it affords the most striking proof of the organic working of the laws of
accent, and at the same time an unanswerable testimony in favor of the
genuineness of the ancient text of the Rig-Veda.

The laws of accent bearing on this circumflexed vocative are so simple
that I thought they would have been understood by everybody. As this
does not seem to have been the case, I add a few explanatory remarks.

It was Benfey who, as on so many other points, so on the accent of
vocatives, was the first to point out (in 1845) that it was a
fundamental law of the Aryan language to place the acute on the first
syllable of all vocatives, both in the singular, and in the dual and
plural.[9] In Sanskrit this law admits of no exception; in Greek and
Latin the rhythmic accent has prevailed to that extent that we only find
a few traces left of the original Aryan accentuation. It is well known
that in vocatives of nouns ending in _ius_, the ancient Romans preserved
the accent on the first syllable, that they said _Vírgili_, _Váleri_,
from _Virgílius_ and _Valérius_. This statement of Nigidius Figulus,
preserved by Gellius, though with the remark that in his time no one
would say so, is the only evidence of the former existence of the
Aryan law of accentuation in Latin. In Greek the evidence is more
considerable, but the vocatives with the accent on the first syllable
are, by the supreme law of the rhythmic accent in Greek, reduced to
vocatives, drawing back their accent as far as they can, consistently
with the law which restricts the accent to the last three syllables.
Thus while in Sanskrit a word like Ἀγαμέμνων would in the vocative
retract the accent on the first syllable Ἄγαμεμνον, the Greek could do
no more than say Ἀγάμεμνον with the accent on the antepenultimate. In
the same manner the vocative of Ἀριστοτέλης, can only be Ἀριστότελες,
whereas in Sanskrit it would have been Ἄριστοτελες.

Here, however, the question arises, whether in words like Ἀγαμέμνων[10]
and Ἀριστοτέλης[11] the accent was not originally on the
antepenultimate, but drawn on the penultimate by the rhythmic law. This
is certainly the case in ἥδιον, as the vocative of ἡδίων, for we know
that both in Sanskrit and Greek, comparatives in ιων retract their
accent as far as possible, and have it always on the first syllable in
Sanskrit, always on the penultimate in Greek, if the last syllable is
long. But, _cessante causâ cessat effectus_, and therefore the accent
goes back on the antepenultimate, not only in the vocative, but likewise
in the nom. neuter ἥδιον.

It is possible that the same process may explain the vocative δέσποτα
from δεσπότης, if we compare Sanskrit compounds with +pati+, such as
+dâsápati+, +gấspati+, +dámpati+, which leave the accent on the first
member of the compound. In Δημήτηρ also all becomes regular, if we admit
the original accentuation to have been Δήμητηρ, changed in Δημήτηρ, but
preserved in the genitive Δήμητρος, and the vocative Δήμητερ.[12]

But there are other words in which this cannot be the case, for
instance, ἄδελφε, πόνηρε, μόχθερε from ἀδελφός, πονηρός, μοχθηρός. Here
the accent is the old Aryan vocatival accent. Again, in πατήρ, πατέρα,
Sk. +pitấ+, +pitáram+, in μήτηρ, μητέρα, Sk. +mâtấ+, +mâtáram+, in
θυγάτηρ, θυγατέρα, Sk. +duhitấ+, +duhitáram+, the radical accent was
throughout on the suffix +tár+, nor would the rules of the rhythmic
accent in Greek prevent it from being on the antepenultimate in the
accusative. The fact therefore that it is retracted on the penultimate
and antepenultimate in the vocative, shows clearly that we have here,
too, the last working of the original Aryan accentuation. The irregular
accent in the nom. sing. of μήτηρ, instead of μητήρ, is probably due to
the frequent use of the vocative (an explanation which I had adopted
before I had seen Benfey’s essay), and the same cause may explain the
apparently irregular accentuation in θύγατρα, by the side of θυγατέρα,
in θύγατρες, and θύγατρας. Similar vocatives with retracted accent are
δᾶερ, nom. δαήρ, εἴνατερ, nom. εἰνάτηρ, γύναι, nom. γυνή, σῶτερ, nom.
σωτήρ, ἄνερ, nom. ἀνήρ, Ἄπολλον, nom. Ἀπόλλων, Πόσειδον, nom. Ποσειδῶν,
Ἥρακλες, nom. Ἡρακλῆς.

We have thus established the fact that one feature of the primitive
Aryan accentuation, which consisted in the very natural process of
placing the high accent on the first syllable of vocatives, was strictly
preserved in Sanskrit, while in Greek and Latin it only left some
scattered traces of its former existence. Without the light derived from
Sanskrit, the changes in the accent of vocatives in Greek and Latin
would be inexplicable, they would be, what they are in Greek grammar,
mere anomalies; while, if placed by the side of Sanskrit, they are
readily recognized as what they really are, remnants of a former age,
preserved by frequent usage or by an agent whom we do not like to
recognize, though we cannot altogether ignore him,--viz. chance.

Taking our position on the fact that change of accent in the vocative in
Greek is due to the continued influence of an older system of Aryan
accentuation, we now see how the change of nom. Ζεύς into voc. Ζεῦ,
and of nom. +Dyaús+, into voc. +Dyaû́s+, rests on the same principle.
In Sanskrit the change, though at first sight irregular, admits of
explanation. What we call the circumflex in Sanskrit, is the combination
of a rising and falling of the voice, or, as we should say in Greek, of
an acute and grave accent. As +Dyaús+ was originally +Diaús+, and is
frequently used as two syllables in the Veda, the vocative would have
been +Díaùs+, and this contracted would become +Dyaus+. Thus we have
+paribhvế+ from +paribhûs+. In Greek the facts are the same, but the
explanation is more difficult. The general rule in Greek is that
vocatives in ου, οι, and ευ, from oxytone or perispome nominatives, are
perispome; as πλακοῦ, βοῦ, Λητοῖ, Πηλεῦ, βασιλεῦ, from πλακοῦς, οῦντος,
placenta, βοῦς, Λητώ, Πηλεύς, βασιλεύς. The rationale of that rule has
never been explained, as far as Greek is concerned. Under this rule the
vocative of Ζεύς becomes Ζεῦ; but no Greek grammarian has attempted to
explain the process by which Ζεύς becomes Ζεῦ, and nothing remains for
the present but to admit that we have in it an ancient Aryan relic
preserved in Greek long after the causes which had produced it had
ceased to act. It would fall into the same category as εἶμι and ἴμεν.
Here, too, the efficient cause of the length and shortness of the
radical vowel _i_, viz., the change of accent, Sk. +émi+, but +imás+,
has disappeared in Greek, while its effect has been preserved. But
whatever explanation may hereafter be adopted, the simple fact which I
had pointed out remains, the motive power which changed the nom. +dyaús+
into the vocative +dyaû́s+, is the same which changed Ζεύς into Ζεῦ.
Those who do not understand, or do not admit this, are bound to produce,
from the resources of Greek itself, another motive power to account for
the change of Ζεύς into Ζεῦ; but they must not imagine that a mere
reference to a Greek elementary grammar suffices for explaining that

The passage in the Rig-Veda (VI. 51, 5) to which I referred is unique,
and I therefore give it here, though it has in the meantime been most
ably discussed by Benfey in his “Essay on the Vocative” (1872).

    “Dyaû́ḥ pítaḥ pṛthivi mấtaḥ ádhruk
    Ζεῦ πάτερ πλατεῖα μῆτερ ἀτρεκ(ές)
    Ágne bhrấtaḥ vasavaḥ mṛláta naḥ[13]
    Ignis φράτερ ϝέΣηϝες μέλδετε nos.”

This passage is clearly one of great antiquity, for it still recognizes
+Dyaús+, the father, as the supreme god, Earth, the mother, by his side,
and Agni, fire, as the brother, not of Heaven and Earth, but of man,
because living with men on the hearth of their houses. +Vasu+, as a
general name of the bright gods, like +deva+ in other hymns,
corresponds, I believe, to the Greek adjective ἐΰς. The genitive plural
ἐάων is likewise derived from ἐΰς or +vásus+, by Benfey (l.c. p. 57),
and +dâtấ vásûnâm+ (Rv. VIII. 51, 5) comes certainly very near to δοτὴρ
ἐάων. The only difficulty would be the ā instead of the η, as in ἐῆος,
the gen. sing. of ἐΰς in Homer, a difficulty which might be removed by
tracing the gen. plur. ἐάων back to a fem. ἐά, corresponding to a Sk.
+vasavî+ or +vasavyâ+. As to μέλδετε, it is phonetically the nearest
approach to +mṛlata+, _i.e._, *+mardata+, though in Greek it means “make
mild” rather than “be mild.” Mild and _mollis_ come from the same root.

What gives to this passage its special value is, that in all other
passages when +dyaus+ occurs as a vocative and as bisyllabic, it appears
simply with the _udâtta_, thus showing at how early a time even the
Hindus forgot the meaning of the circumflex on _dyaû́s_, and its
legitimate appearance in that place. Thus in Rv. VIII. 100, 12, we

    “Sákhe Vishṇo vitarám ví kramasva,
    Dyaúḥ dehí lokám vájrâya viskábhe
    Hánâva vṛtrám riṇácâva síndhûn
    Índrasya yantu prasavé vísṛshṭâḥ.”

    “Friend Vishṇu, stride further,
    Dyaus give room for the lightning to leap,
    Let us both kill Vṛtra and free the rivers,
    Let them go, sent forth at the command of Indra.”

Here, I have little doubt, the ancient Rishis pronounced +Dyaû́s+, but
the later poets, and the still later +Âcâryas+ were satisfied with the
acute, and with the acute the word is written here in all the MSS.
I know.



It has been objected that the three instances which I had quoted of Zend
words, not occurring in Sanskrit, but preserved in one or the other of
the Indo-European languages, were not sufficient to establish the fact
which I wished to establish, particularly as one of them, +kehrp+,
existed in Sanskrit, or, at least, in Vedic Sanskrit, as +kṛp+. I admit
that I ought to have mentioned the Vedic +kṛp+, rather than the later
+kalpa+; but I doubt whether the conclusions which I wished to draw
would have been at all affected by this. For what I remarked with regard
to +kalpa+, applies with equal force to +kṛp+; it does not in Sanskrit
mean body or flesh, like +kehrp+, and _corpus_, but simply form. But
even if +kehrp+ were not a case in point, nothing would have been easier
than to replace it by other words, if at the time of printing my lecture
I had had my collectanea at hand. I now subjoin a more complete list of
words, present in Zend, absent in Sanskrit, but preserved in Greek,
Latin, or German.

  Zend +ana+, prep., upon; Greek ἀνά; Goth, _ana_, upon.

  Zend +erezataêna+, adj., made of silver; Lat. _argentinus_. In Sk.
  we have +rajatam+, silver, but no corresponding adjective.

  Zend +içi+, ice; O.N. _îss_; A.S. _îs_; O.H.S. _îs_.

Grimm compares the Irish _eirr_, snow, and he remarks that the other
Aryan languages have each framed their own words for ice, Lith. _ledas_,
O.S. _led_, and distantly connected with these, through the Russian
_cholodnyi_, the Latin _glacies_, for _gelacies_, Greek κρύος, κρυμός,

The root from which these Greek words for ice are derived has left
several derivatives in other languages, such as Lat. _cru-s-ta_, and
O.N. _hrî-m_, rime, hoar-frost, and in Zend +khrûta+, used as an
adjective of +zim+, winter, originally the hard winter. In Zend
+khrûma+, and +khrûra+, Sk. +krûra+, as in Greek κρυόεις, the meaning
has changed to _crudus_, _crudelis_. In the English _raw_, O.H.G.
_hrâo_, a similar change of meaning may be observed.

Another name connected with ice and winter is the Zend +zyâo+, frost,
from the root +hi+, which has given us χι-ών, Sk. +hi-ma+, Lat.
_hiem-s_, O.S. _zima_, but which in the simplest form has been preserved
in Zend only and in the O.N. _gȩ_. Fick quotes _gȩ_ with the doubtful
meanings of cold and snow, Curtius with that of storm, identifying it
with Norw. _gjö_, _nix autumni recens_.

There is still another name for snow, absent in Sanskrit, but fully
represented in Zend and the other Aryan languages, viz., Zend _çnizh_,
to snow, Lat. _nix_, Goth. _snaív-s_, Lith. _snig-ti_, to snow, Ir.
_snechta_, snow, Gr. νίφ-α (acc).[14]

  Zend +aêva+, one; Gr. οἶος.

  Zend +kamara+, girdle, vault; Gr. καμάρα, vault, covered carriage;
  A.S. _himil_. Connected with this we find the Zend +kameredhe+,
  skull, vault of head, very nearly connected with κμέλεθρον,

  Zend +kareta+, knife; Lith. _kalta-s_, knife; cf. _culter_, Sk.
  +kart-ari+, etc. The Slav. _korda_, O.N. _kordi_, Hung. _kard_, are
  treated by Justi as words borrowed from Persian.

  Zend +cvant+, Lat. _quantus_. Sk. has +tâvat+, _tantus_, and
  +yâvat+, but not +kâvat+.

  Zend +garaṇh+, reverence; Gr. γέρας.

  Zend +thrâfaṇh+, food; Gr. -τρέφες.

  Zend +da+, _e.g._ +vaêçmen-da+, towards the house; Gr. οἶκόν-δε; cf.
  Goth. _du_, to, O.S. _do_.

  Zend +daiti+, gift; Gr. δόσις, Lat. _dôs_, _dôti-s_, Lith. _důti-s_.

  Zend +dâmi+, creation; Gr. θέμις, law.

  Zend +naçu+, corpse; Gr. νέκυς; Goth. _nau-s_.

  Zend +napo+, nom. sing.; A.S. _nefa_; O.H.G. _nefo_.

  Zend +paithya+ in +qaêpaithya+, own; Lat. _sua-pte_, _ipse_; Lith.
  _pati-s_, self.

  Zend +peretu+, bridge; Lat. _portus_.

  Zend +fraêsta+, most, best; Gr. πλεῖστος.

  Zend +brvat+, brow; Gr. ἀβροῦτες (Macedon.); Lat.

  Zend +madh+, to cure; Lat. _mederi_.

  Zend +man+, in +upa-man+, to wait; Lat. _manere_.

  Zend +mîzhda+; Gr. μισθός; Goth. _mizd-ô_; O.S. _mîzda_.

  Zend +yâre+, year; Goth. _jer_; O.S. _jarŭ_, spring.

  Zend +yâoṇh+, +yâh+, to gird; +yâonha+, dress; Gr. ζωσ in ζώννυμι;
  O.S. _po-yasu_, girdle.

  Zend +râçta+, straight; Lat. _rectus_; Goth. _raiht-s_.

  Zend +rap+, to go; Lat. _repere_.

  Zend +varez+, to work, +vareza+, work, +varstva+, work; Goth,
  _vaurkjan_, to work; Gr. ἔοργα, ῥέζω; Goth. _vaurstv_.

  Zend +vaêti+, willow; Lith. _vỹti-s_, withy; Lat. _vîtis_.

  Zend +çtaman+, mouth; Gr. στόμα.

    [Footnote 1: Note A, p. 227.]

    [Footnote 2: Note B, p. 230.]

    [Footnote 3: See M. M.’s _Letter to Chevalier Bunsen, on the
    Turanian Languages_, 1854, second chapter, second section,
    “Ethnology versus Phonology.”]

    [Footnote 4: Note C, p. 235.]

    [Footnote 5: “Judgment (_crimen_, κρίνειν), penance (_pœna_,
    ποινή), retribution (_talio_, ταλάω, τλῆναι, are Græco-Italic
    conceptions.” Mommsen, _Röm. Geschichte_, vol. i. p. 25.]

    [Footnote 6: See my article in Kuhn’s _Zeitschrift_, vol. xix.
    p. 46.]

    [Footnote 7: _Lectures on the Science of Language_, vol. ii.
    p. 467.]

    [Footnote 8: _Rendiconti del Reale Instituto Lombardo, classe de
    lettre_, iv. fasc. 6.]

    [Footnote 9: See Benfey, _Über die Enstehung des Indo-germanischen
    Vocativs_, Göttingen, 1872, p. 35.]

    [Footnote 10: The rule is that vocatives in ον from proper names
    in ων retract the accent, except Λακεδαῖμον, and those in φρον, as
    Λυκόφρον from Λυκόφρων.]

    [Footnote 11: Vocatives in ες from proper names in ης retract the
    accent, as Σώκρατες, except those in ωδες, ωλες, ωρες, ηρες, as

    [Footnote 12: Benfey, l.c. p. 40.]

    [Footnote 13: See, also, M. M.’s _Lectures on the Science of
    Language_, vol. ii, p. 472.]

    [Footnote 14: See M. M.’s _Introduction to the Science of
    Religion_, p. 372, note.]




3, 1873.

The number of religions which have attained stability and permanence in
the history of the world is very small. If we leave out of consideration
those vague and varying forms of faith and worship which we find among
uncivilized and unsettled races, among races ignorant of reading and
writing, who have neither a literature nor laws, nor even hymns and
prayers handed down by oral teaching from father to son, from mother to
daughter, we see that the number of the real historical religions of
mankind amounts to no more than eight. The Semitic races have produced
three--the Jewish, the Christian, the Mohammedan; the Aryan, or
Indo-European races an equal number--the Brahman, the Buddhist, and the
Parsi. Add to these the two religious systems of China, that of
Confucius and Lao-tse, and you have before you what may be called the
eight distinct languages or utterances of the faith of mankind from the
beginning of the world to the present day; you have before you in broad
outlines the religious map of the whole world.

All these religions, however, have a history, a history more deeply
interesting than the history of language, or literature, or art, or
politics. Religions are not unchangeable; on the contrary, they are
always growing and changing; and if they cease to grow and cease to
change, they cease to live. Some of these religions stand by themselves,
totally independent of all the rest; others are closely united, or have
influenced each other during various stages of their growth and decay.
They must therefore be studied together, if we wish to understand their
real character, their growth, their decay, and their resuscitations.
Thus, Mohammedanism would be unintelligible without Christianity;
Christianity without Judaism: and there are similar bonds that hold
together the great religions of India and Persia--the faith of the
Brahman, the Buddhist, and the Parsi. After a careful study of the
origin and growth of these religions, and after a critical examination
of the sacred books on which all of them profess to be founded, it has
become possible to subject them all to a scientific classification, in
the same manner as languages, apparently unconnected and mutually
unintelligible, have been scientifically arranged and classified; and by
a comparison of those points which all or some of them share in common,
as well as by a determination of those which are peculiar to each, a new
science has been called into life, a science which concerns us all, and
in which all who truly care for religion must sooner or later take their
part--_the Science of Religion_.

Among the various classifications[2] which have been applied to the
religions of the world, there is one that interests us more immediately
to-night, I mean the division into Non-Missionary and Missionary
religions. This is by no means, as might be supposed, a classification
based on an unimportant or merely accidental characteristic; on the
contrary, it rests on what is the very heart-blood in every system of
human faith. Among the six religions of the Aryan and Semitic world,
there are three that are opposed to all missionary enterprise--Judaism,
Brahmanism, and Zoroastrianism; and three that have a missionary
character from their very beginning--Buddhism, Mohammedanism, and

The Jews, particularly in ancient times, never thought of spreading
their religion. Their religion was to them a treasure, a privilege,
a blessing, something to distinguish them, as the chosen people of God,
from all the rest of the world. A Jew must be of the seed of Abraham:
and when in later times, owing chiefly to political circumstances, the
Jews had to admit strangers to some of the privileges of their
theocracy, they looked upon them, not as souls that had been gained,
saved, born again into a new brotherhood, but as strangers גְּרֵיים‭‭,
as Proselytes (προσήλυτοι); which means men who have come to them as
aliens, not to be trusted, as their saying was, until the twenty-fourth

A very similar feeling prevented the Brahmans from ever attempting to
proselytize those who did not by birth belong to the spiritual
aristocracy of their country. Their wish was rather to keep the light to
themselves, to repel intruders; they went so far as to punish those who
happened to be near enough to hear even the sound of their prayers, or
to witness their sacrifices.[4]

The Parsi, too, does not wish for converts to his religion; he is proud
of his faith, as of his blood; and though he believes in the final
victory of truth and light, though he says to every man, “Be bright as
the sun, pure as the moon,” he himself does very little to drive away
spiritual darkness from the face of the earth, by letting the light that
is within him shine before the world.

But now let us look at the other cluster of religions, at Buddhism,
Mohammedanism, and Christianity. However they may differ from each other
in some of their most essential doctrines, this they share in
common--they all have faith in themselves, they all have life and vigor,
they want to convince, they mean to conquer. From the very earliest dawn
of their existence these three religions were missionary; their very
founders, or their first apostles, recognized the new duty of spreading
the truth, of refuting error, of bringing the whole world to acknowledge
the paramount, if not the divine, authority of their doctrines. This is
what gives to them all a common expression, and lifts them high above
the level of the other religions of the world.

Let us begin with Buddhism. We know, indeed, very little of its origin
and earliest growth, for the earliest beginnings of all religions
withdraw themselves by necessity from the eye of the historian. But we
have something like contemporary evidence of the Great Council, held at
Pâṭaliputra, 246 B.C., in which the sacred canon of the Buddhist
scriptures was settled, and at the end of which missionaries were chosen
and sent forth to preach the new doctrine, not only in India, but far
beyond the frontiers of that vast country.[5] We possess inscriptions
containing the edicts of the king who was to Buddhism what Constantine
was to Christianity, who broke with the traditions of the old religion
of the Brahmans, and recognized the doctrines of Buddha as the state
religion of India. We possess the description of the Council of
Pâṭaliputra, which was to India what the Council of Nicæa, 570 years
later, was to Europe; and we can still read there[6] the simple story,
how the chief elder who had presided over the Council, an old man, too
weak to travel by land, and carried from his hermitage to the Council in
a boat--how that man, when the Council was over, began to reflect on the
future, and found that the time had come to establish the religion of
Buddha in foreign countries. He therefore dispatched some of the most
eminent priests to Cashmere, Cabul, and farther west, to the colonies
founded by the Greeks in Bactria, to Alexandria on the Caucasus, and
other cities. He sent others northward to Nepal, and to the inhabited
portions of the Himalayan mountains. Another mission proceeded to the
Dekhan, to the people of Mysore, to the Mahrattas, perhaps to Goa; nay,
even Birma and Ceylon are mentioned as among the earliest missionary
stations of Buddhist priests. We still possess accounts of their manner
of preaching. When threatened by infuriated crowds, one of those
Buddhist missionaries said calmly, “If the whole world, including the
Deva heavens, were to come and terrify me, they would not be able to
create in me fear and terror.” And when he had brought the people to
listen, he dismissed them with the simple prayer, “Do not hereafter give
way to anger, as before; do not destroy the crops, for all men love
happiness. Show mercy to all living beings, and let men dwell in peace.”

No doubt, the accounts of the successes achieved by those early
missionaries are exaggerated, and their fights with snakes and dragons
and evil spirits remind us sometimes of the legendary accounts of the
achievements of such men as St. Patrick in Ireland, or St. Boniface in
Germany. But the fact that missionaries were sent out to convert the
world seems beyond the reach of reasonable doubt;[7] and this fact
represents to us at that time a new thought, new, not only in the
history of India, but in the history of the whole world. The recognition
of a duty to preach the truth to every man, woman, and child, was an
idea opposed to the deepest instincts of Brahmanism; and when, at the
end of the chapter on the first missions, we read the simple words of
the old chronicler, “who would demur, if the salvation of the world is
at stake?” we feel at once that we move in a new world, we see the dawn
of a new day, the opening of vaster horizons--we feel, for the first
time in the history of the world, the beating of the great heart of

The Koran breathes a different spirit; it does not invite, it rather
compels the world to come in. Yet there are passages, particularly in
the earlier portions, which show that Mohammed, too, had realized the
idea of humanity, and of a religion of humanity; nay, that at first he
wished to unite his own religion with that of the Jews and Christians,
comprehending all under the common name of Islâm. Islâm meant originally
humility or devotion; and all who humbled themselves before God, and
were filled with real reverence, were called Moslim. “The Islâm,” says
Mohammed, “is the true worship of God. When men dispute with you, say,
‘I am a Moslim.’ Ask those who have sacred books, and ask the heathen;
‘Are you Moslim?”’ If they are, they are on the right path; but if they
turn away, then you have no other task but to deliver the message, to
preach to them the Islâm.”[9]

As to our own religion, its very soul is missionary, progressive,
world-embracing; it would cease to exist, if it ceased to be
missionary--if it disregarded the parting words of its Founder: “Go ye
therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe
all things I have commanded; and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the
end of the world.”

It is this missionary character, peculiar to these three religions,
Buddhism, Mohammedanism, and Christianity, which binds them together,
and lifts them to a higher sphere. Their differences, no doubt, are
great; on some points they are opposed to each other like day and night.
But they could not be what they are, they could not have achieved what
they have achieved, unless the spirit of truth and the spirit of love
had been alive in the hearts of their founders, their first messengers,
and missionaries.

The spirit of truth is the life-spring of all religion, and where it
exists it must manifest itself, it must plead, it must persuade, it must
convince and convert. Missionary work, however, in the usual sense of
the word, is only one manifestation of that spirit; for the same spirit
which fills the heart of the missionary with daring abroad, gives
courage also to the preacher at home, bearing witness to the truth that
is within him. The religions which can boast of missionaries who left
the old home of their childhood, and parted with parents and
friends--never to meet again in this life--who went into the wilderness,
willing to spend a life of toil among strangers, ready, if need be, to
lay down their life as witnesses to the truth, as martyrs for the glory
of God--the same religions are rich also in those honest and intrepid
inquirers who, at the bidding of the same spirit of truth, were ready to
leave behind them the cherished creed of their childhood, to separate
from the friends they loved best, to stand alone among men that shrug
their shoulders, and ask, “What is truth?” and to bear in silence a
martyrdom more galling often than death itself. There are men who say
that, if they held the whole truth in their hand, they would not open
one finger. Such men know little of the working of the spirit of truth,
of the true missionary spirit. As long as there are doubt and darkness
and anxiety in the soul of an inquirer, reticence may be his natural
attitude. But when once doubt has yielded to certainty, darkness to
light, anxiety to joy, the rays of truth will burst forth; and to close
our hand or to shut our lips would be as impossible as for the petals of
a flower to shut themselves against the summons of the sun of spring.

What is there in this short life that should seal our lips? What should
we wait for, if we are not to speak _here_ and _now_? There is
missionary work at home as much as abroad; there are thousands waiting
to listen if _one_ man will but speak the truth, and nothing but the
truth; there are thousands starving, because they cannot find that food
which is convenient for them.

And even if the spirit of truth might be chained down by fear or
prudence, the spirit of love would never yield. Once recognize the
common brotherhood of mankind, not as a name or a theory, but as a real
bond, as a bond more binding, more lasting than the bonds of family,
caste, and race, and the questions, Why should I upon my hand? why
should I open my heart? why should I speak to my brother? will never be
asked again. Is it not far better to speak than to walk through life
silent, unknown, unknowing? Has any one of us ever spoken to his friend,
and opened to him his inmost soul, and been answered with harshness or
repelled with scorn? Has any one of us, be he priest or layman, ever
listened to the honest questionings of a truth-loving soul, without
feeling his own soul filled with love? aye, without feeling humbled by
the very honesty of a brother’s confession?

If we would but confess, friend to friend, if we would be but honest,
man to man, we should not want confessors or confessionals.

If our doubts and difficulties are self-made, if they can be removed by
wiser and better men, why not give to our brother the opportunity of
helping us? But if our difficulties are not self-made, if they are not
due either to ignorance or presumption, is it not even then better for
us to know that we are all carrying the same burden, the common burden
of humanity, if haply we may find, that for the heavy laden there is but
one who can give them rest?

There may be times when silence is gold, and speech silver: but there
are times also when silence is death, and speech is life--the very life
of Pentecost.

How can man be afraid of man? How can we be afraid of those whom we

Are the young afraid of the old? But nothing delights the older man more
than to see that he is trusted by the young, and that they believe he
will tell them the truth.

Are the old afraid of the young? But nothing sustains the young more
than to know that they do not stand alone in their troubles, and that in
many trials of the soul the father is as helpless as the child.

Are the women afraid of men? But men are not wiser in the things
appertaining to God than women, and real love of God is theirs far more
than ours.

Are men afraid of women? But though women may hide their troubles more
carefully, their heart aches as much as ours, when they whisper to
themselves, “Lord, I believe, help thou my unbelief.”

Are the laity afraid of the clergy? But where is the clergyman who would
not respect honest doubt more than unquestioning faith?

Are the clergy afraid of the laity? But surely we know, in this place at
least, that the clear voice of honesty and humility draws more hearts
than the harsh accents of dogmatic assurance or ecclesiastic

    “There lives more faith in honest doubt,
    Believe me, than in half the creeds.”

A missionary must know no fear; his heart must overflow with love--love
of man, love of truth, love of God; and in this, the highest and truest
sense of the word, every Christian is, or ought to be, a missionary.

And now, let us look again at the religions in which the missionary
spirit has been at work, and compare them with those in which any
attempt to convince others by argument, to save souls, to bear witness
to the truth, is treated with pity or scorn. _The former are alive, the
latter are dying or dead._

The religion of Zoroaster--the religion of Cyrus, of Darius and
Xerxes--which, but for the battles of Marathon and Salamis, might have
become the religion of the civilized world, is now professed by only
100,000 souls--that is, by about a ten-thousandth part of the
inhabitants of the world. During the last two centuries their number has
steadily decreased from four to one hundred thousand, and another
century will probably exhaust what is still left of the worshippers of
the Wise Spirit, Ahura-mazda.

The Jews are about thirty times the number of the Parsis, and they
therefore represent a more appreciable portion of mankind. Though it is
not likely that they will ever increase in number, yet such is their
physical vigor and their intellectual tenacity, such also their pride of
race and their faith in Jehovah, that we can hardly imagine that their
patriarchal religion and their ancient customs will soon vanish from the
face of the earth.

But though the religions of the Parsis and Jews might justly seem to
have paid the penalty of their anti-missionary spirit, how, it will be
said, can the same be maintained with regard to the religion of the
Brahmans? That religion is still professed by at least 110,000,000 of
human souls, and, to judge from the last census, even that enormous
number falls much short of the real truth. And yet I do not shrink from
saying that their religion is dying or dead. And why? Because it cannot
stand the light of day. The worship of Śiva, of Vishṇu, and the other
popular deities, is of the same, nay, in many cases of a more degraded
and savage character than the worship of Jupiter, Apollo, and Minerva;
it belongs to a stratum of thought which is long buried beneath our
feet: it may live on, like the lion and the tiger, but the mere air of
free thought and civilized life will extinguish it. A religion may
linger on for a long time, it may be accepted by the large masses of the
people, because it is there, and there is nothing better. But when a
religion has ceased to produce defenders of the faith, prophets,
champions, martyrs, it has ceased to live, in the true sense of the
word; and in that sense the old, orthodox Brahmanism has ceased to live
for more than a thousand years.

It is true there are millions of children, women, and men in India who
fall down before the stone image of Vishṇu, with his four arms, riding
on a creature half bird, half man, or sleeping on the serpent; who
worship Śiva, a monster with three eyes, riding naked on a bull, with a
necklace of skulls for his ornament. There are human beings who still
believe in a god of war, Kârtikêya, with six faces, riding on a peacock,
and holding bow and arrow in his hands; and who invoke a god of success,
Gaṇeśa, with four hands and an elephant’s head, sitting on a rat. Nay,
it is true that, in the broad daylight of the nineteenth century, the
figure of the goddess Kali is carried through the streets of her own
city, Calcutta,[10] her wild disheveled hair reaching to her feet, with
a necklace of human heads, her tongue protruded from her mouth, her
girdle stained with blood. All this is true; but ask any Hindu who can
read and write and think, whether these are the gods he believes in, and
he will smile at your credulity. How long this living death of national
religion in India may last, no one can tell: for our purposes, however,
for gaining an idea of the issue of the great religious struggle of the
future, that religion too is dead and gone.

The three religions which are alive, and between which the decisive
battle for the dominion of the world will have to be fought, are the
three missionary religions, _Buddhism, Mohammedanism, and Christianity_.
Though religious statistics are perhaps the most uncertain of all, yet
it is well to have a general conception of the forces of our enemies;
and it is well to know that, though the number of Christians is double
the number of Mohammedans, the Buddhist religion still occupies the
first place in the religious census of mankind.[11]

Buddhism rules supreme in Central, Northern, Eastern, and Southern Asia,
and it gradually absorbs whatever there is left of aboriginal heathenism
in that vast and populous area.

Mohammedanism claims as its own Arabia, Persia, great parts of India,
Asia Minor, Turkey, and Egypt; and its greatest conquests by missionary
efforts are made among the heathen population of Africa.

Christianity reigns in Europe and America, and it is conquering the
native races of Polynesia and Melanesia, while its missionary outposts
are scattered all over the world.

Between these three powers, then, the religious battle of the future,
the Holy War of mankind, will have to be fought, and is being fought at
the present moment, though apparently with little effect. To convert a
Mohammedan is difficult; to convert a Buddhist, more difficult still; to
convert a Christian, let us hope, well nigh impossible.

What then, it may be asked, is the use of missionaries? Why should we
spend millions on foreign missions, when there are children in our
cities who are allowed to grow up in ignorance? Why should we deprive
ourselves of some of the noblest, boldest, most ardent and devoted
spirits and send them into the wilderness, while so many laborers are
wanted in the vineyard at home.

It is right to ask these questions; and we ought not to blame those
political economists who tell us that every convert costs us £200, and
that at the present rate of progress it would take more than 200,000
years to evangelize the world. There is nothing at all startling in
these figures. Every child born in Europe is as much a heathen as the
child of a Melanesian cannibal; and it costs us more than £200 to turn a
child into a Christian man. The other calculation is totally erroneous;
for an intellectual harvest must not be calculated by adding simply
grain to grain, but by counting each grain as a living seed, that will
bring forth fruit a hundred and a thousand fold.

If we want to know what work there is for the missionary to do, what
results we may expect from it, we must distinguish between two kinds of
work: the one is _parental_, the other _controversial_. Among
uncivilized races the work of the missionary is the work of a parent;
whether his pupils are young in years or old, he has to treat them with
a parent’s love, to teach them with a parent’s authority; he has to win
them, not to argue with them. I know this kind of missionary work is
often despised; it is called mere religious kidnapping; and it is said
that missionary success obtained by such means proves nothing for the
truth of Christianity; that the child handed over to a Mohammedan would
grow up a Mohammedan, as much as a child taken by a Christian missionary
becomes a Christian. All this is true; missionary success obtained by
such means proves nothing for the truth of our creeds: but it proves,
what is far more important, it proves Christian love. Read only the
“Life of Patteson,” the bishop of Melanesia; follow him in his vessel,
sailing from island to island, begging for children, carrying them off
as a mother her new-born child, nursing them, washing and combing them,
clothing them, feeding them, teaching them in his Episcopal Palace, in
which he himself is everything, nurse, and housemaid, and cook,
schoolmaster, physician, and bishop--read there, how that man who tore
himself away from his aged father, from his friends, from his favorite
studies and pursuits, had the most loving of hearts for these children,
how indignantly he repelled for them the name of savages, how he trusted
them, respected them, honored them, and when they were formed and
established, took them back to their island home, there to be a leaven
for future ages. Yes, read the life, the work, the death of that man,
a death in very truth, a ransom for the sins of others--and then say
whether you would like to suppress a profession that can call forth such
self-denial, such heroism, such sanctity, such love. It has been my
privilege to have known some of the finest and noblest spirits which
England has produced during this century, but there is none to whose
memory I look up with greater reverence, none by whose friendship I feel
more deeply humbled than by that of that true saint, that true martyr,
that truly parental missionary.

The work of the parental missionary is clear, and its success
undeniable, not only in Polynesia and Melanesia, but in many parts of
India--(think only of the bright light of Tinnevelly)--in Africa, in
China, in America, in Syria, in Turkey, aye, in the very heart of

The case is different with the controversial missionary, who has to
attack the faith of men brought up in other religions, in religions
which contain much truth, though mixed up with much error. Here the
difficulties are immense, the results very discouraging. Nor need we
wonder at this. We know, each of us, but too well, how little argument
avails in theological discussion; how often it produces the very
opposite result of what we expected; confirming rather than shaking
opinions no less erroneous, no less indefensible, than many articles of
the Mohammedan or Buddhist faith.

And even when argument proves successful, when it forces a verdict from
an unwilling judge, how often has the result been disappointing; because
in tearing up the rotten stem on which the tree rested, its tenderest
fibres have been injured, its roots unsettled, its life destroyed.

We have little ground to expect that these controversial weapons will
carry the day in the struggle between the three great religions of the

But there is a third kind of missionary activity, which has produced the
most important results, and through which alone, I believe, the final
victory will be gained. Whenever two religions are brought into contact,
when members of each live together in peace, abstaining from all direct
attempts at conversion, whether by force or by argument, though
conscious all the time of the fact that they and their religion are on
their trial, that they are being watched, that they are responsible for
all they say and do--the effect has always been the greatest blessing to
both. It calls out all the best elements in each, and at the same time
keeps under all that is felt to be of doubtful value, of uncertain
truth. Whenever this has happened in the history of the world, it has
generally led either to the reform of both systems, or to the foundation
of a new religion.

When after the conquest of India the violent measures for the conversion
of the Hindus to Mohammedanism had ceased, and Mohammedans and Brahmans
lived together in the enjoyment of perfect equality, the result was a
purified Mohammedanism, and a purified Brahmanism.[12] The worshippers
of Vishṇu, Śiva, and other deities became ashamed of these mythological
gods, and were led to admit that there was, either over and above these
individual deities, or instead of them, a higher divine power (the
Para-Brahma), the true source of all being, the only and almighty ruler
of the world. That religious movement assumed its most important
development at the beginning of the twelfth century, when Râmânuja
founded the reformed sect of the worshippers of Vishṇu; and again, in
the fourteenth century, when his fifth successor, Râmânanda, imparted a
still more liberal character to that powerful sect. Not only did he
abolish many of the restrictions of caste, many of the minute ceremonial
observances in eating, drinking, and bathing, but he replaced the
classical Sanskrit--which was unintelligible to the large masses of the
people--by the living vernaculars, in which he preached a purer worship
of God.

The most remarkable man of that time was a weaver, the pupil of
Râmânanda, known by the name of Kabir. He indeed deserved the name which
the members of the reformed sect claimed for themselves, Avadhûta, which
means one who has shaken off the dust of superstition. He broke entirely
with the popular mythology and the customs of the ceremonial law, and
addressed himself alike to Hindu and Mohammedan. According to him, there
is but one God, the creator of the world, without beginning and end, of
inconceivable purity, and irresistible strength. The pure man is the
image of God, and after death attains community with God. The
commandments of Kabir are few: Not to injure anything that has life, for
life is of God; to speak the truth; to keep aloof from the world; to
obey the teacher. His poetry is most beautiful, hardly surpassed in any
other language.

Still more important in the history of India was the reform of Nânak,
the founder of the Sikh religion. He, too, worked entirely in the spirit
of Kabir. Both labored to persuade the Hindus and Mohammedans that the
truly essential parts of their creeds were the same, that they ought to
discard the varieties of practical detail, and the corruptions of their
teachers, for the worship of the _One Only Supreme_, whether he was
termed Allah or Vishṇu.

The effect of these religious reforms has been highly beneficial; it has
cut into the very roots of idolatry, and has spread throughout India an
intelligent and spiritual worship, which may at any time develop into a
higher national creed.

The same effect which Mohammedanism produced on Hinduism is now being
produced, in a much higher degree, on the religious mind of India by the
mere presence of Christianity. That silent influence began to tell many
years ago, even at a time when no missionaries were allowed within the
territory of the old East India Company. Its first representative was
Ram Mohun Roy, born just one hundred years ago, in 1772, who died at
Bristol in 1833, the founder of the Brahma-Samâj. A man so highly
cultivated and so highly religious as he was, could not but feel
humiliated at the spectacle which the popular religion of his country
presented to his English friends. He drew their attention to the fact
that there was a purer religion to be found in the old sacred writings
of his people, the Vedas. He went so far as to claim for the Vedas a
divine origin, and to attempt the foundation of a reformed faith on
their authority. In this attempt he failed.

No doubt the Vedas and other works of the ancient poets and prophets of
India, contain treasures of truth, which ought never to be forgotten,
least of all by the sons of India. The late good Bishop Cotton, in his
address to the students of a missionary institution at Calcutta, advised
them to use a certain hymn of the Rig-Veda in their daily prayers.[13]
Nowhere do we find stronger arguments against idolatry, nowhere has the
unity of the Deity been upheld more strenuously against the errors of
polytheism than by some of the ancient sages of India. Even in the
oldest of their sacred books, the Rig-Veda, composed three or four
thousand years ago--where we find hymns addressed to the different
deities of the sky, the air, the earth, the rivers--the protest of the
human heart against many gods, breaks forth from time to time with no
uncertain sound. One poet, after he has asked to whom sacrifice is due,
answers, “to Him who is God above all gods.”[14] Another poet, after
enumerating the names of many deities, affirms, without hesitation, that
“these are all but names of Him who is One.” And even when single
deities are invoked, it is not difficult to see that, in the mind of the
poet, each one of the names is meant to express the highest conception
of deity of which the human mind was _then_ capable. The god of the sky
is called Father and Mother and Friend; he is the Creator, the Upholder
of the Universe; he rewards virtue and punishes sin; he listens to the
prayers of those who love him.

But granting all this, we may well understand why an attempt to claim
for these books a divine origin, and thus to make them an artificial
foundation for a new religion, failed. The successor of Ram Mohun Roy,
the present head of the Brahma-Samâj, the wise and excellent
Debendranâth Tagore, was for a time even more decided in holding to the
Vedas as the sole foundation of the new faith. But this could not last.
As soon as the true character of the Vedas,[15] which but few people in
India can understand, became known, partly through the efforts of
native, partly of European scholars, the Indian reformers relinquished
the claim of divine inspiration in favor of their Vedas, and were
satisfied with a selection of passages from the works of the ancient
sages of India, to express and embody the creed which the members of the
Brahma-Samâj hold in common.[16]

The work which these religious reformers have been doing in India is
excellent, and those only who know what it is, in religious matters, to
break with the past, to forsake the established custom of a nation, to
oppose the rush of public opinion, to brave adverse criticism, to submit
to social persecution, can form any idea of what those men have
suffered, in bearing witness to the truth that was within them.

They could not reckon on any sympathy on the part of Christian
missionaries; nor did their work attract much attention in Europe till
very lately, when a schism broke out in the Brahma-Samâj between the old
conservative party and a new party, led by Keshub Chunder Sen. The
former, though willing to surrender all that was clearly idolatrous in
the ancient religion and customs of India, wished to retain all that
might safely be retained: it did not wish to see the religion of India
denationalized. The other party, inspired and led by Keshub Chunder Sen,
went further in their zeal for religious purity. All that smacked of the
old leaven was to be surrendered; not only caste, but even that sacred
cord--the religious riband which makes and marks the Brahman, which is
to remind him at every moment of his life, and whatever work he may be
engaged in, of his God, of his ancestors, and of his children--even that
was to be abandoned; and instead of founding their creed exclusively on
the utterances of the ancient sages of their own country, all that was
best in the sacred books of the whole world was selected and formed into
a new sacred code.[17]

The schism between these two parties is deeply to be deplored; but it is
a sign of life. It augurs success rather than failure for the future. It
is the same schism which St. Paul had to heal in the Church of Corinth,
and he healed it with the words, so often misunderstood, “Knowledge
puffeth up, but charity edifieth.”

In the eyes of our missionaries this religious reform in India has not
found much favor: nor need we wonder at this. Their object is to
transplant, if possible, Christianity in its full integrity from England
to India, as we might wish to transplant a full-grown tree. They do not
deny the moral worth, the noble aspirations, the self-sacrificing zeal
of these native reformers; but they fear that all this will but increase
their dangerous influence, and retard the progress of Christianity, by
drawing some of the best minds of India, that might have been gained
over to our religion, into a different current. They feel towards Keshub
Chunder Sen[18] as Athanasius might have felt towards Ulfilas, the Arian
Bishop of the Goths: and yet, what would have become of Christianity in
Europe but for those Gothic races, but for those Arian heretics, who
were considered more dangerous than downright pagans?

If we think of the future of India, and of the influence which that
country has always exercised on the East, the movement of religious
reform which is now going on appears to my mind the most momentous in
this momentous century. If our missionaries feel constrained to
repudiate it as their own work, history will be more just to them than
they themselves.[19] And if not as the work of Christian missionaries,
it will be recognized hereafter as the work of those missionary
Christians who have lived in India, as examples of a true Christian
life, who have approached the natives in a truly missionary spirit, in
the spirit of truth and in the spirit of love; whose bright presence has
thawed the ice, and brought out beneath it the old soil, ready to
blossom into new life. These Indian puritans are not against us; for all
the highest purposes of life they are with us, and we, I trust, with
them. What would the early Christians have said to men, outside the pale
of Christianity, who spoke of Christ and his doctrine as some of these
Indian reformers? Would they have said to them, “Unless you speak our
language and think our thoughts, unless you accept our Creed and sign
our Articles, we can have nothing in common with you.”

O that Christians, and particularly missionaries, would lay to heart the
words of a missionary Bishop![20] “I have for years thought,” writes
Bishop Patteson, “that we seek in our missions a great deal too much to
make _English_ Christians. . . . . Evidently the heathen man is not
treated fairly, if we encumber our message with unnecessary
requirements. The ancient Church had its ‘selection of fundamentals.’
. . . . Any one can see what mistakes we have made in India. . . . Few
men think themselves into the state of the Eastern mind. . . . We seek
to denationalize these races, as far as I can see; whereas we ought
surely to change as little as possible--only what is clearly
incompatible with the simplest form of Christian teaching and practice.
I do not mean that we are to compromise truth . . . . but do we not
overlay it a good deal with human traditions!”

If we had many such missionaries as Bishop Patteson and Bishop Cotton,
if Christianity were not only preached, but lived in that spirit, it
would then prove itself what it is--the religion of humanity at large,
large enough itself to take in all shades and diversities of character
and race.

And more than that--if this true missionary spirit, this spirit of truth
and love, of forbearance, of trust, of toleration, of humility, were
once to kindle the hearts of all those chivalrous ambassadors of Christ,
the message of the Gospel which they have to deliver would then become
as great a blessing to the giver as to the receiver. Even now,
missionary work unites, both at home and abroad, those who are widely
separated by the barriers of theological sects.[21]

It might do so far more still. When we stand before a common enemy, we
soon forget our own small feuds. But why? Often, I fear, from motives of
prudence only and selfishness. Can we not, then, if we stand in spirit
before a common friend--can we not, before the face of God, forget our
small feuds, for very shame? If missionaries admit to their fold
converts who can hardly understand the equivocal abstractions of our
creeds and formulas, is it necessary to exclude those who understand
them but too well to submit the wings of their free spirit to such
galling chains! When we try to think of the majesty of God, what are all
those formulas but the stammerings of children, which only a loving
father can interpret and understand! The fundamentals of our religion
are not in these poor creeds; true Christianity lives, not in our
belief, but in our love--_in our love of God, and in our love of man,
founded on our love of God_.

That is the whole Law and the Prophets, that is the religion to be
preached to the whole world, that is the Gospel which will conquer all
other religions--even Buddhism and Mohammedanism--which will win the
hearts of all men.

There can never be too much love, though there may be too much
faith--particularly when it leads to the requirement of exactly the same
measure of faith in others. Let those who wish for the true success of
missionary work learn to throw in of the abundance of their faith; let
them learn to demand less from others than from themselves. That is the
best offering, the most valuable contribution which they can make to-day
to the missionary cause.

Let missionaries preach the Gospel again as it was preached when it
began the conquest of the Roman Empire and the Gothic nations; when it
had to struggle with powers and principalities, with time-honored
religions and triumphant philosophies, with pride of civilization and
savagery of life--and yet came out victorious. At that time conversion
was not a question to be settled by the acceptance or rejection of
certain formulas or articles; a simple prayer was often enough: “God be
merciful to me a sinner.”

There is one kind of faith that revels in words, there is another that
can hardly find utterance: the former is like riches that come to us by
inheritance; the latter is like the daily bread, which each of us has to
win in the sweat of his brow. We cannot expect the former from new
converts; we ought not to expect it or to exact it, for fear that it
might lead to hypocrisy or superstition. The mere believing of miracles,
the mere repeating of formulas requires no effort in converts, brought
up to believe in the Purâṇas of the Brahmans or the Buddhist Jâtakas.
They find it much easier to accept a legend than to love God, to repeat
a creed than to forgive their enemies. In this respect they are exactly
like ourselves. Let missionaries remember that the Christian faith at
home is no longer what it was, and that it is impossible to have one
Creed to preach abroad, another to preach at home. Much that was
formerly considered as essential is now neglected; much that was
formerly neglected is now considered as essential. I think of the laity
more than of the clergy; but what would the clergy be without the laity?
There are many of our best men, men of the greatest power and influence
in literature, science, art, politics, aye even in the Church itself,
who are no longer Christian in the old sense of the word. Some imagine
they have ceased to be Christians altogether, because they feel that
they cannot believe as much as others profess to believe. We cannot
afford to lose these men, nor shall we lose them if we learn to be
satisfied with what satisfied Christ and the Apostles, with what
satisfies many a hard-working missionary. If Christianity is to retain
its hold on Europe and America, if it is to conquer in the Holy War of
the future, it must throw off its heavy armor, the helmet of brass and
the coat of mail, and face the world like David, with his staff, his
stones, and his sling. We want less of creeds, but more of trust; less
of ceremony, but more of work; less of solemnity, but more of genial
honesty; less of doctrine, but more of love. There is a faith, as small
as a grain of mustard-seed, but that grain alone can move mountains, and
more than that, it can move hearts. Whatever the world may say of us, of
us of little faith, let us remember that there was one who accepted the
offering of the poor widow. She threw in but two mites, but that was all
she had, even all her living.



    Mahâdayassâpi jinassa kaḍḍhanaṃ,
    Vihâya pattaṃ amataṃ sukham pi te
    Kariṃsu lokassa hitaṃ tahiṃ tahiṃ,
    Bhaveyya ko lokahite pamâdavâ?

The first line is elliptical.

    (Imitating) the resignation of the all-merciful Conqueror,
    They also, resigning the deathless bliss within their reach,
    Worked the welfare of mankind in various lands.
    What man is there who would be remiss in doing good to mankind?

Hardy, in his “Manual of Buddhism” (p. 187), relates how fifty-four
princes and a thousand fire-worshippers became the disciples of Buddha.
“Whilst Buddha remained at Isipatana, Yasa, the son of Sujatá, who had
been brought up in all delicacy, one night went secretly to him, was
received with affection, became a priest, and entered the first path.
The father, on discovering that he had fled, was disconsolate: but
Buddha delivered to him a discourse, by which he became a rahat. The
fifty-four companions of Yasa went to the monastery to induce him to
return, and play with them as usual; but when they saw him, they were so
struck with his manner and appearance, that they also resolved on
becoming priests. When they went to Buddha, they were admitted, by the
power of +irdhi+ received the +pirikara+ requisites of the priesthood,
and became rahats. Buddha had now sixty disciples who were rahats, and
he commanded them to go by different ways, and proclaim to all that a
supreme Buddha had appeared in the world.”

Mr. Childers has kindly sent me the following extract from Fausböll’s
“Dhammapada” (p. 119), where the same story is told:--

. . . . Yasakulaputtassa upanissayasampattiṃ disvâ taṃ rattibhâge
nibbijjitvâ gehaṃ pahâya nikkhantaṃ “ehi Yasati” pakkositvâ, tasmiñ ñeva
rattibhâge sotâpattiphalaṃ punadivase arahattuṃ pâpesi. Apare pi tassa
sahâyake catupaṇṇâsajane ehibhikkhupabbajjâya pabbâjetvâ arahattuṃ
pâpesi. Evaṃ loke ekasaṭṭhiyâ arahantesu jâtesu vutthavasso pavâretva
“caratha bhikkhave cârikan” ti saṭṭhiṃ bhikkhû disâsu pesetvâ. . . . .
“Seeing that the young nobleman Yasa was ripe for conversion, in the
night, when weary with the vanities of the world he had left his home
and embraced the ascetic life,--he called him, saying, ‘Follow me,
Yasa,’ and that very night he caused him to obtain the fruition of the
first path, and on the following day arhatship. And fifty-four other
persons, who were friends of Yasa’s, he ordained with the formula,
‘Follow me, priest,’ and caused them to attain arhatship. Thus when
there were sixty-one arhats in the world, having passed the period of
seclusion during the rains and resumed active duties, he sent forth the
sixty priests in all directions, saying, ‘Go forth, priests, on your
rounds (or travels).’”

Another passage, too, showing Buddha’s desire to see his doctrine
preached in the whole world, was pointed out to me by Mr. Childers from
the “Mahâparinibbâna Sutta,” which has since been published by this
indefatigable scholar in the “Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society,”
vol. vii., p. 77:--

“Three months before his death, when Gautama’s health and strength is
fast failing, he is tempted by Mâra, who comes to him and urges him to
bring his life and mission at once to a close by attaining Nirvâṇa
(dying). Buddha replies that he will not die until his disciples are
perfect on all points, and able to maintain the Truth with power against
all unbelievers. Mâra replies that this is already the case, whereupon
Buddha uses these striking words: Na tâvâhaṃ pâpima parinibbayissâmi
yâva me imaṃ brahmacariyaṃ na iddhañ c’ eva bhavissati phîtañ ca
vitthârikaṃ bâhujaññaṃ puthubhûtaṃ, yâvad eva manusschi suppakâsitan ti.
‘O wicked one, I will not die until this my holy religion thrives and
prospers, until it is widely spread, known to many peoples, and grown
great, until it is completely published among men.’ Mara again asserts
that this is already the case, and Buddha replies, ‘Strive no more,
wicked one, the death of the Tathagata is at hand, at the end of three
months from this time, the Tathâgata will attain Nirvâṇa.’”



The present position of the two parties in the Brahma-Samâj is well
described by Rajnarain Bose (the “Adi Brahmo Samaj,” Calcutta, 1873,
p. 11). “The particular opinions above referred to can be divided into
two comprehensive classes--conservative and progressive. The
conservative Brahmos are those who are unwilling to push religious and
social reformation to any great extreme. They are of opinion that
reformation should be gradual, the law of gradual progress being
universally prevalent in nature. They also say that the principle of
Brahmic harmony requires a harmonious discharge of all our duties, and
that, as it is a duty to take a part in reformation, so there are other
duties to perform, namely, those towards parents and society, and that
we should harmonize all these duties as much as we can. However
unsatisfactory such arguments may appear to a progressive Brahmo, they
are such as could not be slighted at first sight. They are certainly
such as to make the conservative Brahmo think sincerely that he is
justified in not pushing religious and social reformation to any great
extreme. The progressive Brahmo cannot therefore call him a hypocrite.
A union of both the conservative and the progressive elements in the
Brahmo church is necessary for its stability. The conservative element
will prevent the progressive from spoiling the cause of reformation by
taking premature and abortive measures for advancing that cause; the
progressive element will prevent the conservative from proving a stolid
obstruction to it. The conservative element will serve as a link between
the progressive element and the orthodox community, and prevent the
progressive Brahmo from being completely estranged from that community,
as the native Christians are; while the progressive element will prevent
the conservative from remaining inert and being absorbed by the orthodox
community. The common interests of Brahmo Dharma should lead both
classes to respect, and be on amicable terms with each other. It is true
the progressive of the present half century will prove the conservative
of the next; but there could never come a time when the two classes
would cease to exist in the bosom of the church. She should, like a wise
mother, make them live in peace with each other, and work harmoniously
together for her benefit.

“As idolatry is intimately interwoven with our social fabric,
conservative Brahmos, though discarding it in other respects, find it
very difficult to do so on the occasion of such very important domestic
ceremonies as marriage, +shradh+ (ancestral sacrifices), and +upanayana+
(spiritual apprenticing); but they should consider that Brahmoism is not
so imperative on any other point as on the renunciation of idolatry. It
can allow conservatism in other respects, but not on the point of
idolatry. It can consider a man a Brahmo if he be conservative in other
respects than idolatry; but it can never consider an idolater to be a
Brahmo. The conservative Brahmo can do one thing, that is, observe the
old ritual, leaving out only the idolatrous portion of it, if he do not
choose to follow the positive Brahmo ritual laid down in the ‘Anushthána
Paddhati.’ Liberty should be given by the progressive Brahmo to the
conservative Brahmo in judging of the idolatrous character of the
portions of the old ritual rejected by him. If a progressive Brahmo
requires a conservative one to reject those portions which the former
considers to be idolatrous, but the latter does not, he denies liberty
of conscience to a fellow-Brahmo.

“The Adi Brahmo-Samaj is the national Hindu Theistic Church, whose
principles of church reformation we have been describing above. Its
demeanor towards the old religion of the country is friendly, but
corrective and reformative. It is this circumstance which preëminently
distinguishes it from the Brahmo-Samaj of India, whose attitude to that
religion is antagonistic and offensive. The mission of the Adi Samaj is
to fulfill the old religion, and not to destroy it. The attitude of the
Adi Samaj to the old religion is friendly, but it is not at the same
time opposed to progress. It is a mistake to call it a conservative
church. It is rather a conservative-progressive church, or, more
correctly, simply a church or religious body, leaving matters of social
reformation to the judgments of individual members or bodies of such
members. It contains both progressive and conservative members. As the
ultra-progressive Brahmos, who wanted to eliminate the conservative
element from it, were obliged to secede from it, so if a high
conservative party arise in its bosom which would attempt to do violence
to the progressive element and convert the church into a partly
conservative one, that party also would be obliged to secede from it.
Only men who can be tolerant of each others opinions, and can respect
each others earnest convictions, progressive and conservative, can
remain its members.”

The strong national feeling of the Indian reformers finds expression in
the following passage from “Brahmic Questions,” p. 9:--

“A Samaj is accessible to all. The minds of the majority of our
countrymen are not deeply saturated with Christian sentiments. What
would they think of a Brahmo minister who would quote on the Vedi
(altar) sayings from the Bible? Would they not from that time conceive
an intolerable hatred towards Brahmoism and everything Brahmo? If
quoting a sentence from the Bible or Koran offend our countrymen, we
shall not do so. Truth is as catholic when taken from the Sâstras as
from the Koran or the Bible. True liberality consists, not in quoting
texts from the religious Scriptures of other nations, but in bringing
up, as we advance, the rear who are groveling in ignorance and
superstition. We certainly do not act against the dictates of
conscience, if we quote texts from the Hindu Sâstras only, and not from
all the religious Scriptures of all the countries on the face of the
globe. Moreover, there is not a single saying in the Scriptures of other
nations, which has not its counterpart in the Sâstras.”

And again in “The Adi Brahma-Samaj, its Views and Principles,” p. 1:--

“The members of the Adi Samaj, aiming to diffuse the truths of Theism
among their own nation, the Hindus, have naturally adopted a Hindu mode
of propagation, just as an Arab Theist would adopt an Arabian mode of
propagation, and a Chinese Theist a Chinese one. Such differences in the
aspect of Theism in different countries must naturally arise from the
usual course of things, but they are adventitious, not essential,
national, not sectarian. Although Brahmoism is universal religion, it is
impossible to communicate a universal form to it. It must wear a
particular form in a particular country. A so-called universal form
would make it appear grotesque and ridiculous to the nation or religious
denomination among whom it is intended to be propagated, and would not
command their veneration. In conformity with such views, the Adi Samaj
has adopted a Hindu form to propagate Theism among Hindus. It has
therefore retained many innocent Hindu usages and customs, and has
adopted a form of divine service containing passages extracted from the
Hindu Sâstras only, a book of Theistic texts containing selections from
those sacred books only, and a ritual containing as much of the ancient
form as could be kept consistently with the dictates of conscience.”



“Why have I cherished respect and reverence for Christ? . . . Why is it
that, though I do not take the name of ‘Christian,’ I still persevere in
offering my hearty thanksgivings to Jesus Christ? There must be
something in the life and death of Christ,--there must be something in
his great gospel which tends to bring comfort and light and strength to
a heart heavy-laden with iniquity and wickedness. . . . I studied Christ
ethically, nay spiritually,--and I studied the Bible also in the same
spirit, and I must acknowledge candidly and sincerely that I owe a great
deal to Christ and to the gospel of Christ. . . .

“My first inquiry was, What is the creed taught in the Bible? . . . Must
I go through all the dogmas and doctrines which constitute Christianity
in the eye of the various sects, or is there something simple which I
can at once grasp and turn to account?

“I found Christ spoke one language, and Christianity another. I went to
him prepared to hear what he had to say, and was immensely gratified
when he told me: ‘Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy
mind, with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and love thy
neighbor as thyself;’ and then he added, ‘This is the whole law and the
prophets,’ in other words, the whole philosophy, theology, and ethics of
the law and the prophets are concentrated in these two great doctrines
of love to God and love to man; and then elsewhere he said, ‘This do and
ye shall inherit everlasting life.’ . . . If we love God and love man we
become Christ-like, and so attain everlasting life.

“Christ never demanded from me worship or adoration that is due to God,
the Creator of the Universe. . . . He places himself before me as the
spirit I must imbibe in order to approach the Divine Father, as the
great Teacher and guide who will lead me to God.

“There are some persons who believe that if we pass through the ceremony
of baptism and sacrament, we shall be accepted by God, but if you accept
baptism as an outward rite, you cannot thereby render your life
acceptable to God, for Christ wants something internal, a complete
conversion of the heart, a giving up the yoke of mammon and accepting
the yoke of religion, and truth, and God. He wants us to baptize our
hearts not with cold water, but with the fire of religious and spiritual
enthusiasm; he calls upon us not to go through any outward rite, but to
make baptism a ceremony of the heart, a spiritual enkindling of all our
energies, of all our loftiest and most heavenly aspirations and
activities. That is true baptism. So with regard to the doctrine of the
sacrament. There are many who eat the bread and drink the wine at the
sacramental table, and go through the ceremony in the most pious and
fervent spirit; but, after all, what does the sacrament mean? If men
simply adopt it as a tribute of respect and honor to Christ, shall he be
satisfied? Shall they themselves be satisfied? Can we look upon them as
Christians simply because they have gone through this rite regularly for
twenty or fifty years of their lives? I think not. Christ demands of us
absolute sanctification and purification of the heart. In this matter,
also, I see Christ on one side, and Christian sects on the other.

“What is that bread which Christ asked his disciples to eat? what that
wine which he asked them to taste? Any man who has simple intelligence
in him, would at once come to the conclusion that all this was
metaphorical, and highly and eminently spiritual. Now, are you prepared
to accept Christ simply as an outward Christ, an outward teacher, an
external atonement and propitiation, or will you prove true to Christ by
accepting his solemn injunctions in their spiritual importance and
weight? He distinctly says, every follower of his must eat his flesh and
drink his blood. If we eat, bread is converted into strength and health,
and becomes the means of prolonging our life; so, spiritually, if we
take truth into our heart, if we put Christ into the soul, we assimilate
the spirit of Christ to our spiritual being, and then we find Christ
incorporated into our existence and converted into spiritual strength,
and health, and joy, and blessedness. Christ wants something that will
amount to self-sacrifice, a casting away of the old man, and a new
growth in the heart. I thus draw a line of demarcation between the
visible and outward Christ, and the invisible and inward Christ, between
bodily Christ and spiritual Christ, between the Christ of images and
pictures, and the Christ that grows in the heart, between dead Christ
and living Christ, between Christ that lived and that was, and Christ
that does live and that is. . . . .

“To be a Christian then is to be Christ-like. Christianity means
becoming like Christ, not acceptance of Christ as a proposition or as an
outward representation, but spiritual conformity with the life and
character of Christ. And what is Christ? By Christ I understand one who
said, ‘Thy will be done;’ and when I talk of Christ, I talk of that
spirit of loyalty to God, that spirit of absolute determinedness and
preparedness to say at all times and in all circumstances, ‘Thy will be
done, not mine.’ . . . .

“This prayer about forgiving an enemy and loving an enemy, this
transcendental doctrine of love of man, is really sweet to me, and when
I think of that blessed Man of God, crucified on the cross, and uttering
those blessed words, ‘Father, forgive them, they know not what they do;’
oh! I feel that I must love that being, I feel that there is something
within me which is touched by these sweet and heavenly utterances,
I feel that I must love Christ, let Christians say what they like
against me; that Christ I must love, for he preached love for an
enemy. . . . .

“When every individual man becomes Christian in spirit--repudiate the
name, if you like--when every individual man becomes as prayerful as
Christ was, as loving and forgiving towards enemies as Christ was, as
self-sacrificing as Christ was, then these little units, these little
individualities, will coalesce and combine together by the natural
affinity of their hearts; and these new creatures, reformed,
regenerated, in the child-like and Christ-like spirit of devotion and
faith, will feel drawn towards each other, and they shall constitute a
real Christian church, a real Christian nation. Allow me, friends, to
say, England is not yet a Christian nation.”


_Q._ Who is the deity of the Brahmos?

_A._ The One True God, one only without a second, whom all Hindu Śâstras

_Q._ What is the divine worship of the Brahmos?

_A._ Loving God, and doing the works He loveth.

_Q._ What is the temple of the Brahmos?

_A._ The pure heart.

_Q._ What are the ceremonial observances of the Brahmos?

_A._ Good works.

_Q._ What is the sacrifice of the Brahmos?

_A._ Renunciation of selfishness.

_Q._ What are the austerities of the Brahmos?

_A._ Not committing sin. The Mahábhárata says, He who does not commit
sin in mind, speech, action, or understanding, performs austerities; not
he who drieth up his body.

_Q._ What is the place of pilgrimage of the Brahmos?

_A._ The company of the good.

_Q._ What is the Veda of the Brahmos?

_A._ Divine knowledge. It is superior to all Vedas. The Veda itself
says: The inferior knowledge is the Rig Veda, the Yajur Veda, the Sama
Veda, the Atharva Veda, etc.; the superior knowledge is that which
treats of God.

_Q._ What is the most sacred formula of the Brahmos?

_A._ Be good and do good.

_Q._ Who is the true Brahman?

_A._ He who knows Brahma. The Brihadâraṇyaka-Upanishad says: He who
departs from this world knowing God, is a Brahman. (See “Brahmic
Questions of the Day,” 1869.)


DECEMBER 3, 1873.

  _Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a
  Christian. And Paul said, I would to God, that, not only thou, but
  all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as
  I am, except these bonds._

  Ὁ δὲ Ἀγρίππας πρὸς τὸν Παῦλον ἔφη· Ἐν ὀλίγῳ με πείθεις Χριστιανὸν
  γενέσθαι. Ὁ δὲ Παῦλος εἶπεν· Εὐξαίμην ἂν τῷ Θεῳ, καὶ ἐν ὀλίγῳ καὶ ἐν
  πολλῷ οὐ μόνον σε, ἀλλὰ καὶ πάντας τοὺς ἀκούοντάς μου σήμερον
  γενέσθαι τοιούτους, ὁποῖος κἀγώ εἰμι παρεκτὸς τῶν δεσμῶν τούτων.
  ACTS xxvi. 28, 29.

When I preached on a like occasion last year, I spoke at some length of
the prospects of Christian missions,[24] and I ventured to give seven
grounds which the peculiar circumstances of our time afforded for
greater confidence in the future. First, the better knowledge of the
Divine nature acquired by the extinction of the once universal belief
that all heathens were everlastingly lost; secondly, the increased
acquaintance with the heathen religions themselves; thirdly, the
instruction which Christian missionaries have gained or may gain from
their actual experience in foreign parts; fourthly, the recognition of
the fact that the main hindrance to the success of Christian missions
arises from the vices and sins of Christendom; fifthly, an
acknowledgment of the indirect influences of Christianity through
legislation and civilization; sixthly, the newly awakened perception of
the duty of making exact, unvarnished, impartial statements on this
subject; seventhly, the testimony borne by missionary experience to the
common elements and essential principles of the Christian religion.

On these--the peculiar grounds for hope and for exertion in this our
generation--I content myself with referring to the observations which I
then made, and which I will not now repeat.

I propose on this occasion to make a few remarks on the End and on the
Means of Christian Missions; remarks which must of necessity be general
in their import, but which for that reason are the more suitable to be
offered by one who cannot speak from personal and special experience.

The text is taken from a striking incident in the life of the greatest
of apostolic missionaries. It was in the presence of Festus and Agrippa
that Paul had poured forth those few burning utterances which to Festus
seemed like madness, but which Paul himself declared to be words of
truth and soberness. Then it was that the Jewish prince, Agrippa--far
better instructed and seeing deeper into Paul’s mind than the heathen
Festus, yet still unconvinced--broke in upon the conversation with the
words which in the English translation have well nigh passed into a
proverb, “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” The sense which
they thus give would be in itself perfectly suitable to the halting,
fickle character of the Herodian family, and would accurately describe
the numerous half-converts throughout the world--“Almost,” but not
quite, “thou persuadest me to join the good cause.” But the sense which,
by the nearly universal consent of modern scholars, they really bear in
the original is something still more instructive. The only meaning of
which the Greek words are capable is an exclamation, half in jest and
half in earnest, “It is but a very brief and simple argument that you
offer to work so great a change;” or, if we may venture to bring out the
sense more forcibly, “So few words, and such a vast conclusion!” “So
slight a foundation, and so gigantic a superstructure!” “So scanty an
outfit, and so perilous an enterprise!” The speech breathes something of
the spirit of Naaman, when he was told to wash in the Jordan--“Are not
Abana and Pharpar better than all the waters of Israel?” It is like the
complaint of the popular prophets in the time of Hezekiah, whose taste
demanded stronger flavor than the noble simplicity of Isaiah, “Thou
givest us only line upon line, precept upon precept.” It breathes the
spirit of the Ephesian Christians who, when they heard St. John’s
repeated maxim of “Little children, love one another,” said, “Is this
all that he has to tell us?” It expresses the spirit of many an one
since, who has stumbled at the threshold of the genuine Gospel--“So
vague, so simple, so universal. Is this worth the sacrifice that you
demand? Give us a demonstrative argument, a vast ceremonial, a complex
system, a uniform government. Nothing else will satisfy us.”

As Agrippa’s objection, so is Paul’s answer. It would have indeed borne
a good sense had he meant what in our English version he is made to say,
“I would that thou wert converted both ‘almost and altogether.’ Halfness
or wholeness--I admire them both. Half a soul is better than none at
all. To have come half way is better than never to have started at all;
but half is only good, because it leads towards the whole.”
Nevertheless, following the real meaning of Agrippa’s remark, St. Paul’s
retort, in fact, bears a yet deeper significance--“I would to God, that
whether by little or by much, whether by brief arguments or by long
arguments, somehow and somewhere, the change were wrought. The means to
me are comparatively nothing, so long as the end is accomplished.” It is
the same spirit as that which dictated the noble expression in the
Epistle to the Philippians: “Some preach Christ of envy and strife, some
also of good will. The one preach Christ of contention, the other of
love. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence or in
truth, Christ is preached.”[25]

And then he proceeds to vindicate the end which makes him indifferent as
to the means. Agrippa, in his brief taunt, had said, “Such are the
arguments by which you would fain make me a _Christian_.” It is one of
the few, one of the only three occasions on which that glorious name is
used in the New Testament. It is here charged not with the venerable
meaning which we now attach to it, but with the novel and degrading
associations which it bore in the mouth of every Jew and every Roman at
that time--of Tacitus or Josephus, no less than of Festus or Agrippa.
“Is it,” so the king meant to say, “is it that you think to make me a
_Christian_, a member of that despised, heretical, innovating sect, of
which the very name is a sufficient condemnation?”

It is only by bearing this in mind that we see the force of St. Paul’s
answer. He does not insist on the word; he does not fight even for this
sacred title; he does not take it up as a pugnacious champion might take
up the glove which his adversary had thrown down; he does not say,
“I would that thou wast a Christian.” In his answer he bears his
testimony to one of the gravest, the most fruitful, of all theological
truths--that it is not the name but the thing, not the form but the
reality, on which stress must be laid; and he gives the most lucid,
heart-stirring illustration of what the reality is. “I would that not
only thou, but all those who hear me were (I ask for no ambiguous
catchword or byword, but) what you see before you; I would that you all
were such as I am--such as I am, upheld by the hopes, filled with the
affections, that sustain my charmed existence;” and then, with that
exquisite courtesy which characterizes so many traits of the Apostle’s
history, glancing at the chains which bound him to the Roman
guard--“‘except these bonds.’ This, whether you call it Christian or
not, is what I desire to see you and all the world.” “You see it before
you in the life, the character, the spirit, of one who knows what
Christianity is, and who wishes that all his fellow-creatures should
partake of the happiness that he has gained, repose on the same
principles that give him strength.” This, then, is the statement of the
greatest of missionaries, both as to the end which he sought to attain,
and the means by which he and we should seek to attain it.

I. Let us first take the End: “Such as I am, except these bonds.” That
is the state to which St. Paul desired to bring all those who heard him.
That, according to him, was the description of a Christian. No doubt if
he had been pressed yet further, he would have said that he meant, “Such
as Jesus Christ, my Lord.” But he was satisfied with taking such a
living, human, imperfect exemplification as he whom Festus and Agrippa
saw in their presence. “Such as Paul was.” Here is no ambiguous
definition, no obsolete form. What manner of man he was we know even
better than Festus or Agrippa knew. Look at him with all his
characteristic peculiarities; a man passionately devoted to his own
faithful friends, and clinging to the reminiscences of his race and
country, yet with a heart open to embrace all mankind; a man combining
the strongest convictions with an unbounded toleration of differences,
and an unbounded confidence in truth; a man penetrated with the freedom
of the Spirit, but with a profound appreciation of the value of great
existing institutions, whether civil or religious--a thorough Roman
citizen and a thorough Eastern gentleman; embarked on a career of daring
fortitude and endurance, undertaken in the strength of the persuasion
that in Jesus Christ of Nazareth he had seen the highest perfection of
Divine and human goodness--a Master worth living for and worth dying
for, whose Spirit was to be the regenerating power of the whole world.
This character, this condition it was to which St. Paul desired that his
hearers should be brought. One only reservation he makes; “except these
bonds,” except those limitations, those circumscriptions, those
vexations, those irritations, which belonged to the suffering, toil-worn
circumstances in which he was at that moment placed.

Such is the aim which, following the example of their most illustrious
predecessor, all missionaries ought to have before their eyes. To
create, to preach, to exhibit those elements of character, those
apostolical graces, those Divine intuitions, which even the hard Roman
magistrate and the superficial Jewish prince recognized in Paul of
Tarsus. Where these are, there is Christianity. In proportion as any of
these are attained, in that proportion has a human being become a
Christian. Wherever and in proportion as these are not, there the
missionary’s labor has failed--there the seed has been sown to no
purpose--there the name of Christian may be, but the reality is not.

This preëminence of the object of Christian missions--namely, the
formation of heroic, apostolic, and therefore Christian characters--has
a wide practical importance. In these days--when there is so much
temptation to dwell on the scaffolding, the apparatus, the organization
of religion, as though it were religion itself--it is doubly necessary
to bear in mind what true Religion is, wherein lies the essential
superiority of Christianity to all the other forms of religion on the
surface of the earth. It is not merely the baptism of thousands of
infants, such as filled a large part of the aspirations even of so great
a missionary as Francis Xavier; nor the adoption of the name of Christ,
as was done on so vast a scale by the ferocious rebels of China; nor the
repetition, with ever so much accuracy, of the Christian creed, as was
done by the pretended converts from Mahommedanism or Judaism, under the
terrible compulsion of the Catholic sovereigns of Spain. Nor is it the
assurance ever so frequently repeated, that we are saved; nor is it the
absolution, ever so solemnly pronounced by a priest; nor is it the
shedding of floods of tears; nor is it the adoption of voluntary
self-degradation or solitary seclusion. All these may be found in other
religions in even greater force than in Christianity. That which alone,
if anything, stamps Christianity as the supreme religion, is that its
essence, its object, is in none of these things, valuable as some of
them may be as signs and symptoms of the change which every mission is
intended to effect. The change itself, the end itself, Christianity
itself, is at once greater and simpler. It is to be such as Paul was; it
is to produce characters, which in truthfulness, in independence, in
mercy, in purity, in charity, may recall something of the great Apostle,
even as he recalled something of the mind which was in Christ Jesus. It
was this clear vision of what he desired to see as the fruits of his
teaching that made St. Paul so ready to admire whatsoever things were
lovely and of good report wherever he found them. In Gentile or in Jew,
in heathen or in Christian, he recognized at once the spirits kindred to
his own, and welcomed them accordingly. He felt that he could raise them
yet higher; but he was eager to claim them as his brethren even from the
first.[26] Even in the legends which surround his history there has been
preserved something of this genuine apostolic sympathy. It was a fine
touch in the ancient Latin hymn which described how, when he landed at
Puteoli, he turned aside to the hill of Pausilipo to shed a tear over
the tomb of Virgil, and thought how much he might have made of that
noble soul if he had found him still on earth:--

    “Ad Maronis mausoleum
    Ductus, fudit super eum
      Piæ rorem lacrymæ--
    ‘Quantum,’ dixit, ‘te fecissem
    Si te vivum invenissem,
      Poetarum maxime.’”

It was this which made him cling with such affectionate interest to his
converts, to his friends, to his sons, as he calls them, in Christ
Jesus. All that he sought, all that he looked for in them, was that they
should show in their characters the seal of the spirit that animated
himself. Whether they derived this character from himself or from
Apollos or Cephas he cared not to ask. He was their pupil as much as
their master. He disclaimed all dominion over their independent faith;
he claimed only to be a helper in their joy.

This reproduction of Paul--this reproduction of all that is best in
ourselves or better than ourselves--in the minds and hearts of mankind,
is the true work of the Christian missionary; and, in order to do this,
he must be himself that which he wishes to impress upon them in
humility, goodness, courtesy, and holiness, except only the straitening
bonds which cramp or confine each separate character, nation, and
church. No disparager of Christian missions can dispute this *--no
champion of Christian missions need go beyond this. When, in the last
century, the Danish missionary, Schwarz, was pursuing his labors at
Tanjore, and the Rajah Hyder Ali desired to treat with the English
government, he said: “Do not send to me any of your agents, for I trust
neither their words nor their treaties. But send to me the missionary of
whose character I hear so much from every one; him will I receive and
trust.” That was the electrifying, vivifying effect of the apparition of
such an one as Paul--“a man who had indeed done nothing worthy of bonds
or of death”--a man in whose entire disinterestedness and in whose
transparent honor the image and superscription of his Master was written
so that no one could mistake it. “In every nation, he that feareth God
and worketh righteousness” is the noblest work of God our Creator--the
most precious result of human endeavor. If any such--by missionary
efforts, either of convert or teacher, either direct or indirect--have
been produced, then the prayers uttered, the labors inspired, the hopes
expressed in these and like services have not been altogether in vain.
One of the most striking facts to which our attention has been called as
demanding our thankfulness on this day is the solemn testimony borne by
the Government of India to the fruits of “the blameless lives and
self-denying labors of its six hundred Protestant missionaries.” And
what are those fruits? Not merely the adoption of this or that outward
form of Christianity by this or that section of the Indian community. It
is something which is in appearance less, but in reality far greater
than this. It is something less like the question of Agrippa, but more
like the answer of Paul. It is that they have “infused new vigor into
the stereotyped life of the vast populations placed under English rule;”
it is that they are “preparing those populations to be in every way
better men and better citizens of the great Empire under which they
dwell.” That is a verdict on which we can rest with the assurance that
it is not likely to be reversed. Individual conversions may relapse--may
be accounted for by special motives; but long-sustained, wide-reaching
changes of the whole tenor and bent of a man or of a nation are beyond
suspicion. When we see the immovable, and, as the official document
says, “the stereotyped” forms of Indian life re-animated with a vigor
unknown to the Oriental races in earlier days, this is a regeneration as
surprising as that which, to a famous missionary of the past generation,
seemed as impossible as the restoration of a mummy to life--namely, the
conversion of a single Brahmin.

This, then, is the End of Christian missions, whether to heathens or to
Christians, namely, to make better men and better citizens--to raise the
whole of society by inspiring it with a higher view of duty, with a
stronger sense of truth; with a more powerful conviction that only by
goodness and truth can God be approached or Christ be served--that God
is goodness and truth, and that Christ is the Image of God, because He
is goodness and truth. If this be the legitimate result of Christianity,
no further arguments are needed to prove that it contains a light which
is worth imparting, and which, wherever it is imparted, vindicates its
heavenly origin and its heavenly tendency.

II. This is the End; and now what are the Means? They are what we might
expect in the view of so great an end. Anything (so the Apostle
tells us), be it small or great, short or long, scanty or ample,--the
manners of a Jew for Jews, the manners of a Gentile for Gentiles, “all
things for all men,”[27]--are worth considering if “by any of these
means he might save,” that is, elevate, sanctify, purify any of those to
whom he spoke. When we reflect upon the many various efforts to do good
in this manifold world--the multitude of sermons, societies, agencies,
excitements, which to some seem as futile and fruitless as to others
they seem precious and important--it is a true consolation to bear in
mind the Apostle’s wise and generous maxim, “Whether by little or by
much, whether in pretence or in truth, whether of strife or of good
will, Christ is preached, and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will
rejoice.” It may be by a short, sudden, electric shock, or it may be by
a long course of civilizing, humanizing tendencies. It may be by a
single text, such as that which awoke the conscience of Augustine; or a
single interview like Justin’s with the unknown philosopher; or it may
be by a long systematic treatise--Butler’s “Analogy,” or Lardner’s
“Credibilia,” or the “Institutes” of Calvin, or the “Summa Theologiæ” of
Aquinas. It may be by the sudden flush of victory in battle, such as
convinced Clovis on the field of Tolbiac; or the argument of a peaceful
conference, such as convinced our own Ethelbert. It may be by teachers
steeped in what was by half the Christian world regarded as deadly
heresy, such as the Arian Bishop Ulfilas, by whom were converted to the
faith those mighty Gothic tribes which formed the first elements of
European Christendom, and whose deeds Augustine regarded,
notwithstanding their errors, as the glory of the Christian name.[28] It
may be by teachers immersed in superstitions as barbarous, as completely
repudiated by the civilized world, as were those of the famous Roman
Pontiff who sent the first missionaries to these shores. Sometimes the
change has been effected by the sight of a single picture, as when
Vladimir of Russia was shown the representation of the Last Judgment;
sometimes by a dream or a sign, known only to those who were affected by
it--such as the vision of the Cross which arrested Constantine on his
way to Rome, or changed Colonel Gardiner’s dissolute youth to a manhood
of strict and sober piety. Sometimes it has been by the earnest
preaching of missionaries, confessedly ill-educated and ill-prepared for
the work which they had to accomplish; sometimes by the slow
infiltration of Christian literature and Christian civilization; the
grandeur, in old days, of Rome and Constantinople; in our days, the
superiority of European genius, the spread of English commerce, the
establishment of just laws, pure homes, merciful institutions.

We do not say that all these means are equally good or equally
efficacious. St. Paul, in his argument with Agrippa, did not mean to say
that “almost and altogether,” that “much and little,” were the same; he
did not mean that it was equally good that Christ should be preached in
strife or in good-will; he did not mean that a good end justified bad
means, or that we may do evil that good may come; he did not mean to
justify the falsehoods which are profanely called pious frauds, nor the
persecutions which have been set on foot by those who thought to do God
service, or the attempt to stimulate artificial excitement by
undermining the moral strength and manly independence of the human
spirit. God forbid! But what he meant, and what we mean with him, is
this: In true Christian missions, in the conversion of human souls from
dead works, from sin, from folly, from barbarism, from hardness, from
selfishness, to goodness and purity, justice and truth, the field is so
vast, the diversity of character in men and nations is so infinite, the
enterprise so arduous, the aspects of Divine truth so various, that it
is on the one hand a duty for each one to follow out that particular
means of conversion which seems to him most efficacious, and on the
other hand to acquiesce in the converging use of many means which
cannot, by the nature of the case, appear equally efficacious to every
one. Such a toleration, such an adoption of the different modes of
carrying on what John Bunyan called “the Holy War,” “the Siege of Man’s
Soul,” must indeed be always controlled by the determination to keep the
high, paramount, universal end always in view; by the vigilant endeavor
to repress the exaggeration, to denounce the follies and the falsehoods
which infect even the best attempts of narrow and fallible, though good
and faithful, servants of their Lord. But, if once we have this
principle fixed in our minds, it surely becomes a solace to remember
that the soul of man is won by a thousand different approaches--that
thus the instruments which often seem most unworthy may yet serve to
produce a result far above themselves--that when “we have toiled all
night and taken nothing” by keeping close to the shore, or by throwing
out our nets always on one side, yet if we have courage “to launch out
into the deep, and cast out our nets on the other side of the ship,” we
shall “enclose a great multitude of fishes, so that the net shall

He is a traitor to the cause who exalts the means above the end, or who
seeks an end altogether different from that to which his allegiance
binds him; but he is not a traitor, but a faithful soldier, who makes
the best use of all the means that are placed in his hands. Long after
the imperfect instruments have perished the results will endure, and in
forms wholly unlike the insufficiency or the meagreness of the first
propelling cause. The preaching of Henry Martyn may have been tinged by
a zeal often not according to knowledge; but the savor of his holy and
self-denying life has passed like a sweet-smelling incense through the
whole framework of Indian society. “Even,” so he said himself, “if I
should never see a native converted, God may design by my patience and
continuance in the work to encourage future missionaries.”

The more profoundly we are impressed with the degradation of the heathen
nations, with the corruption of the Christian churches, the more
thankful should we be for any attempts, however slight and however
various, to quicken the sluggish mass, and enlighten the blackness of
the night, provided only that the mass is permanently quickened, and the
darkness is in any measure dispelled. “I have lived too long,” said Lord
Macaulay on his return from India to England, “I have lived too long in
a country where people worship cows, to think much of the differences
which part Christians from Christians.” And, in fact, as the official
report to which I have referred testifies in strong terms, the presence
of the great evils which Indian missionaries have to confront, has often
produced in them a noble and truly Christian indifference to the trivial
divergences between themselves. “Even a one-eyed man,” says the proverb,
“is a king amongst the blind.” Even the shepherd’s sling may perchance
smite down the Goliath of Gath. The rough sledge-hammer of a rustic
preacher may strike home, where the most polished scholar would plead in
vain. The calm judgment of the wise and good, or the silent example, or
the understanding sympathy, or the wide survey of the whole field of the
religions of mankind, may awaken convictions which all the declamations
of all the churches would fail to arouse.

The misery of the war on the coast of Africa, the terrible prospect of
the Indian famine, may furnish the very opening which we most desire.
They may be the very touchstones by which these suffering heathens will
test the practical efficiency of a Christian government and a Christian
nation, of Christian missionaries and Christian people, and, having so
tested it, will judge.

When the first Napoleon suddenly found himself among the quicksands of
the Red Sea he ordered his generals to ride out in so many opposite
directions, and the first who arrived on firm ground to call on the rest
to follow. This is what we may ask of all the various schemes and
agencies--all the various inquiries after truth now at work in all the
different branches and classes of Christendom--“Ride out amongst those
quicksands! Ride out in the most opposite directions, and let him that
first finds solid ground call out to us! It may perchance be the very
ground in the midst of this quaking morass where we shall be able to
stand firm and move the world.”

There is one special variety of means which I would venture to name in
conclusion. Ever since the close of the Apostolic age there have been
two separate agencies in the Christian Church by which the work of
conversion has been carried on. The chief, the recognized, the ordinary
agency has been that of the clergy. Every presbyter, every bishop in the
Church of the first ages, and again in the beginning of Christian
Europe, was, in the strict sense of the word, a missionary; and although
their functions have in these latter days been for the most part best
fulfilled by following their stationary, fixed, pastoral charges, yet it
is still from their ranks in all the different churches that the noble
army of missionaries and martyrs in foreign lands has been, and is and
must be recruited. Most unwise and unworthy would be any word which
should underrate the importance of this mighty element in the work of
renewing the face of the earth. But there has always been recognized,
more or less distinctly, the agency of Christian laymen in this same
work of evangelization. Not only in that more general sense in which I
have already indicated the effect of the laws, and literature, and
influence of Christian Europe--not only in that unquestionable sense in
which the best of all missionaries is a high-minded governor, or an
upright magistrate, or a devout and pure-minded soldier, who is always
“trusting in God and doing his duty;” not only in these senses do we
look for the coöperation of laymen, but also in the more direct forms of
instruction, of intelligent and far-seeing interest in labors, which,
though carried on mainly by the clergy, must, if they are to be good for
anything, concern all mankind alike. In the early centuries of
Christianity the aid of laymen was freely invoked and freely given in
this great cause. Such was Origen, the most learned and the most gifted
of the Fathers, who preached as a layman in the presence of presbyters
and bishops. Such was one of the first evangelizers of India, Pantænus;
such was the hermit Telemachus, whose earnest protest, aided by his
heroic death, extinguished at Rome the horrors of the gladiatorial
games; such was Antony, the mighty preacher in the wilds of the Thebaid
and the streets of Alexandria; such, in later days, was Francis of
Assisi, when first he began his career as the most famous preacher of
the Middle Ages; such, just before the Reformation, was our own Sir
Thomas More.[29] In these instances, as in many others, the influence,
the learning, the zeal of laymen, was directly imported into the work of
Christianizing the nations of Europe. It is for this reason that we in
our age also, so far as the law and order of our churches permit, have
frequently received the assistance of laymen; who, by the weight of
their character or their knowledge, can render a fresh testimony, or
throw a fresh light on subjects where we, the clergy, should perhaps be
heard less willingly. As their voices have been raised on this sacred
subject of missions in many a humble parish church; as also on other
sacred topics, such as Christian art and history, their words have often
been heard within the consecrated walls of this and other great abbeys
and cathedrals;--so, in the hope that a more systematic form may thus be
given to our knowledge, and a more concentrated direction to our zeal,
we shall have the privilege of listening this evening in the nave of
this church to a scholar renowned throughout the world, whose knowledge
of all heathen religions, ancient and modern, in their relation to the
experience of Christian missions, probably exceeds that of any other
single person in Europe.

I conclude by once more applying the Apostle’s words to the Means and
the End of Christian missions. We would to God that whether by little or
by much, whether by sudden stroke or by elaborate reasoning, whether in
a brief moment or by long process of years, whether by the fervor of
active clergy, or by the learning of impartial laymen, whether by
illiterate simplicity or by wide philosophy--not only those who hear me,
but all on whom the services of this day, far and near, have any
influence, may become, at least in some degree, such as was Paul the
Apostle, such as have been the wisest and best of Christian
missionaries, except only those bonds which belong to time and place,
not to the Eternal Spirit and the Everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ. We
cannot wish a better wish, or pray a better prayer to God on this day
than that amongst the missionaries who teach, amongst the heathens who
hear, there should be raised up men who should exhibit that type of
Christian truth and of Christian life which was seen by Festus and
Agrippa in Paul of Tarsus. May the Giver of all good gifts give to us
some portion of his cheerful and manly faith, of his fearless energy, of
his horror of narrowness and superstition, of his love for God and for
mankind, of his absolute faith in the triumph of his Redeemer’s cause.
May God our Father waken in us the sense that we are all his children;
may the whole earth become more and more one fold under one Good
Shepherd, Jesus Christ his Son; may the Holy Spirit of Heaven

            “Our souls inspire,
    And lighten with celestial fire.”


The delivery of a lecture on Missions in Westminster Abbey by a layman,
and that layman a German, caused great excitement at the time. While
some persons of great experience and authority in Church and State
expressed their full approval of the bold step which the Dean of
Westminister had taken, and while some of the most devoted missionaries
conveyed to me their hearty thanks for what I had said in my lecture,
others could not find terms sufficiently violent to vent their
displeasure against the Dean, and to proclaim their horror at the
heretical opinions embodied in my address. I was publicly threatened
with legal proceedings, and an eminent lawyer informed me in the “Times”
of the exact length of imprisonment I should have to undergo.

I did not reply. I had lived long enough in England to know that no good
cause can ever be served by a breach of the law, and neither the Dean
nor I myself would have acted as we did unless it had been ascertained
beforehand from the highest authorities that, with the sanction of the
Dean, there was nothing illegal in a layman delivering such a lecture
within the precincts of his Abbey. As to the opinions which I expressed
on that occasion, I had expressed them before in my published “Lectures
on the Science of Religion.” Whether they are orthodox or heretical,
others are more competent to determine than I am. I simply hold them to
be true, and at my time of life, mere contradictions, abuse, or even
threats are not likely to keep me from expressing opinions which,
whether rightly or wrongly, seem to me founded in truth.

But while I refrained from replying to mere outbursts of anger, I gladly
availed myself of the opportunity offered by an article published in the
“Fortnightly Review” (July, 1874), by Mr. Lyall, a highly distinguished
Indian civilian, in order to explain more fully some of the views
expressed in my lecture which seemed liable to misapprehension.
Unfortunately the writer of the article “On Missionary Religions” had
not the whole of my lecture before him when writing his criticisms, but
had to form his opinion of it from a condensed report which appeared in
the “Times” of December 5th, 1873. The limits of a lecture are in
themselves very narrow, and when so large a subject as that of which I
had to treat in Westminster Abbey had to be condensed within sixty
minutes, not only those who wish to misunderstand, but those also who
try to judge fairly, may discover in what has been said, or what has not
been said, a very different meaning from that which the lecturer wished
to convey. And if a closely-packed lecture is compressed once more into
one column of the “Times,” it is hardly possible to avoid what has
happened in this case. Mr. Lyall has blamed me for not quoting facts or
statements which, as he will have seen by this time, I had quoted in my
lecture. I am reminded by him, for instance, of the remarks made by Sir
George Campbell in his report upon the government of Bengal in 1871-72,
when he wrote, “It is a great mistake to suppose that the Hindu religion
is not proselytizing; the system of castes gives room for the
introduction of any number of outsiders; so long as people do not
interfere with existing castes, they may form a new caste and call
themselves Hindus; and the Brahmans are always ready to receive all who
will submit to them and pay them. The process of manufacturing Rajputs
from ambitious aborigines goes on before our eyes.” “This,” Mr. Lyall
observes, “is one recently recorded observation out of many that might
be quoted.”

It is this very passage which I had quoted in my third note, only that
in quoting it from the “Report on the Progress and Condition of India,”
laid before Parliament in 1873, I had added the caution of the reporter,
that “this assertion must be taken with reserve.”

With such small exceptions, however, I have really nothing to complain
of in the line of argument adopted by Mr. Lyall. I believe that, after
having read my paper, he would have modified some portions of what he
has written, but I feel equally certain that it is well that what he has
written should have been written, and should be carefully pondered both
by those who have the interests of the natives, and by those who have
the interests of Christian missions at heart. The few remarks which I
take the liberty of making are made by way of explanation only; on all
truly essential points I believe there is not much difference of opinion
between Mr. Lyall and myself.

As my lecture in Westminister Abbey was delivered shortly after the
publication of my “Introduction to the Science of Religion,” I ventured
to take certain points which I had fully treated there as generally
known. One of them is the exact value to be ascribed to canonical books
in a scientific treatment of religion. When Mr. Lyall observes _in
limine_, that inferences as to the nature and tendency of various
existing religions which are drawn from study and exegetic comparison of
their scriptures, must be qualified by actual observation of these
religions and their popular form and working effects, he expresses an
opinion which I hold as strongly as he holds it himself. After
enumerating the books which are recognized as sacred or authoritative by
large religious communities in India, books of such bulk and such
difficulty that it seems almost impossible for any single scholar to
master them in their entirety, I added (p. 111), “And even then our eyes
would not have reached many of the sacred recesses in which the Hindu
mind has taken refuge, either to meditate on the great problems of life,
or to free itself from the temptations and fetters of worldly existence
by penances and mortifications of the most exquisite cruelty. India has
always been teeming with religious sects, and its religious life has
been broken up into countless local centres which it required all the
ingenuity and perseverance of a priestly caste to hold together with a
semblance of dogmatic uniformity.”

We must take care, however, in all scientific studies, not to render a
task impossible by attaching to it conditions which, humanly speaking,
cannot be fulfilled. It is desirable, no doubt, to study some of the
local varieties of faith and worship in every religion, but it is
impossible to do this with anything like completeness. Were we to wait
till we had examined every Christian sect before trusting ourselves to
form a general judgment of Christianity, not one of us could honestly
say that he knew his own religion. It seems to me that in studying
religions we must expect to meet with the same difficulties which we
have to encounter in the comparative study of languages. It may, no
doubt, be argued with great force that no one knows English who is
ignorant of the spoken dialects, of the jargon of sailors and miners, or
of the slang of public-houses and prisons. It is perfectly true that
what we call the literary and classical language is never the really
living language of a people, and that a foreigner may know Shakespeare,
Milton, and Byron, and yet fail to understand, if not the debates in
Parliament, at all events the wrangling of sellers and buyers in the
markets of the city. Nevertheless, when we learn English, or German, or
French, or any of the dead languages, such as Latin and Greek, we must
depend on grammars, which grammars are founded on a few classical
writers; and when we speak of these languages in general, when we
subject them to a scientific treatment, analyze them, and attempt to
classify them, we avail ourselves for all such purposes almost
exclusively of classical works, of literary productions of recognized
authority. It is the same, and it can hardly be otherwise, when we
approach the study of religions, whether for practical or for scientific
purposes. Suppose a Hindu wished to know what the Christian religion
really was, should we tell him to go first to Rome, then to Paris, then
to St. Petersburg, then to Athens, then to Oxford, then to Berlin, that
he might hear the sermons of Roman Catholics, Greeks, and Protestants,
or read their so-called religious papers, in order to form out of these
scattered impressions an idea of the real nature of the working effects
of Christianity? Or should we not rather tell him to take the Bible, and
the hymns of Christian Churches, and from them to form his ideal of true
Christianity? A religion is much more likely to become “a mysterious
thing,” when it is sought for in the heart of each individual believer,
where alone, no doubt, it truly lives, or in the endless shibboleths of
parties, or in the often contradictory tenets of sects, than when it is
studied in those sacred books which are recognized as authoritative by
all believers, however much they may vary in their interpretations of
certain passages, and still more in the practical application of the
doctrines contained in their sacred codes to the ordering of their daily
life. Let the dialects of languages or religions be studied by all
means, let even the peculiarities in the utterances of each town,
village, or family, be carefully noted; but let it be recognized at the
same time that, for practical purposes, the immense variety of
individual expression has to be merged in one general type, and that
this alone supplies the chance of a truly scientific treatment.

So much in justification of the principle which I have followed
throughout in my treatment of the so-called Book-religions, holding that
they must be judged, first of all, out of their own mouths, _i.e._, out
of their sacred writings. Although each individual believer is
responsible for his religion, no religion can be made responsible for
each individual believer. Even if we adopt the theory of development in
religion, and grant to every thinking man his right of private
interpretation, there remains, and their must always remain, to the
historian of religion, an appeal to the statutes of the original code
with which each religion stands and falls, and by which alone it can
justly be judged.

It may be, as Mr. Lyall says, an inveterate modern habit to assume all
great historic names to represent something definite, symmetrical, and
organized. It may be that Asiatic institutions, as he asserts, are
incapable of being circumscribed by rules and formal definitions. But
Mr. Lyall, if he directed his attention to European institutions, would
meet with much the same difficulties there. Christianity, in the largest
sense of the word, is as difficult to define as Brahmanism, the English
constitution is as unsymmetrical as the system of caste. Yet, if we mean
to speak and argue about them, we must attempt to define them, and with
regard to any religion, whether Asiatic or European, no definition, it
seems to me, can be fairer than that which we gain from its canonical

I now come to a more important point. I had divided the six great
religions of the world into _Missionary_ and _non-Missionary_, including
Judaism, Brahmanism, and Zoroastrianism, under the latter; Buddhism,
Christianity, and Mohammedanism, under the former category. If I had
followed the good old rule of always giving a definition of technical
terms, the objections raised by Mr. Lyall and others would probably
never have been urged. I thought, however, that from the whole tenor of
my lecture it would have been clear that by missionary religions I meant
_those in which the spreading of the truth and the conversion of
unbelievers are raised to the rank of a sacred duty by the founder or
his immediate successors_. In explaining the meaning of the word
proselyte, or προσήλυτος, I had shown that literally it means those
who come to us, not those to whom we go, so that even a religion so
exclusive as Judaism might admit proselytes, might possibly, if we
insisted only on the etymological meaning of the word, be called
proselytizing, without having any right to the name of a missionary
religion. But I imagined that I had said enough to make such a
misunderstanding impossible. We may say that the English nobility grows,
but we should never say that it proselytizes, and it would be a mere
playing with words if, because Brahmanism admits new-comers, we were to
claim for it the title of a proselytizing religion. The Brahmanic
Scriptures have not a word of welcome for converts, quite the contrary;
and as long as these Scriptures are recognized as the highest authority
by the Hindus themselves, we have no right to ascribe to Brahmanism what
is in direct contradiction with their teaching. The burning of widows
was not enjoined in the Vedas, and hence, in order to gain a sanction
for it, a passage in the Veda was falsified. No such necessity was ever
felt with regard to gaining converts for the Brahmanic faith, and this
shows that, though admission to certain Brahmanic privileges may be
easier at present than it was in the days of Viśvâmitra, conversion by
persuasion has never become an integral portion of the Brahmanic law.

However, as Mr. Lyall does not stand alone in his opinions, and as
others have claimed for Judaism and Zoroastrianism the same missionary
character which he claims in the name of Brahmanism, a few explanations
may not be out of place.

Till very lately, an orthodox Jew was rather proud of the fact that he
and his people had never condescended to spread their religion among
Christians by such means as Christians use for the conversion of Jews.
The Parsi community, too, seemed to share with the Quakers a prudent
reluctance in admitting outsiders to the advantages conferred by
membership of so respectable and influential a community, while the
Brahmans certainly were the very last to compass heaven and earth for
the conversion of Mlecchas or outcasts. Suddenly, however, all this is
changed. The Chief Rabbi in London, stung to the quick by the reproach
of the absence of the missionary spirit in Judaism, has delivered a
sermon to show that I had maligned his people, and that, though they
never had missionaries, they had been the most proselytizing people in
the world. Some strong arguments in support of the same view have been
brought forward by the Rev. Charles Voysey, whose conception of Judaism,
however, is founded rather on what the great prophets wished it should
have been than on what history teaches us it was. As the facts and
arguments advanced by the Jewish advocates did not modify my judgment of
the historical character of Judaism, I did not think it necessary to
reply, particularly as another eminent Rabbi, the editor of the “Jewish
World,” fully endorsed my views of Judaism, and expressed his surprise
at the unorthodox theories advanced by so high an authority as Dr.
Adler. I am informed, however, that the discussion thus originated will
not remain without practical results, and that something like a Jewish
Missionary Society is actually forming in London, to prove that, if
missionary zeal is a test of life, the Jewish religion will not shrink
from such a test. “We have done something,” the Rev. Charles Voysey
remarks, “to stir them up; but let us not forget that our reminder was
answered, not by a repulse or expression of surprise, but by an
assurance that many earnest Jews had already been thinking of this very
work, and planning among themselves how they could revive some kind of
missionary enterprise. Before long, I feel sure they will give practical
evidence that the missionary spirit is still alive and striving in their
religion.” And again: “The Jews will soon show whether their religion is
alive or dead, will soon meet the rival religions of the world on more
than equal terms, and will once more take the lead in these days of
enlightened belief, and in search after conceptions worthy of a God,
just as of old Judaism stood on a lofty height, far above all the
religions of mankind.”

What has happened in London seems to have happened in Bombay also. The
Zoroastrians, too, did not like to be told that their religion was
dying, and that their gradual decay was due to the absence of the
missionary spirit among them. We read in the “Oriental” of April, 1874,
“There is a discussion as to whether it is contrary to the creed of
Zoroaster to seek converts to the faith. While conceding that Zoroaster
was himself opposed to proselytizing heathens, most of the Parsis hold
that the great decrease in the number of his followers renders it
absolutely necessary to attempt to augment the sect.”

Lastly, Mr. Lyall stands up for Brahmanism, and maintains that in India
Brahmanism had spread out during the last hundred years, while Islam and
Christianity have contracted. “More persons in India,” he says, “become
every year Brahmanists, than all the converts to all the other religions
in India, put together.” “The number of converts,” he maintains, “added
to Brahmanism in the last few generations, especially in this country,
must be immense; and _if the word proselyte may be used in the sense of
one that has come, not necessarily being one that has been invited or
persuaded to come_, then Brahmanism may lay claim to be by far the most
successful proselytizing religion of modern times in India.”

The words which I have ventured to put in italics, will show at once how
little difference of opinion there is between Mr. Lyall and myself, as
long as we use the same words in the same sense. If proselytizing could
be used in the etymological sense, here assigned to it by Mr. Lyall,
then, no doubt, Brahmanism would be a proselytizing or missionary
religion. But this is mere playing with words. In English, proselytizing
is never used in that sense. If I meant by missionary religions nothing
more than religions which are capable of increase by admitting those
that wish to be admitted, religions which say to the world at large,
“Knock and it shall be opened unto you,” but no more, then, no doubt,
Brahmanism, or at least some phases of it, might be called by that name.
But what, according to my explanation, constitutes a missionary religion
is something totally different. It is the spirit of truth in the hearts
of believers which cannot rest unless it manifests itself in thought,
word, and deed, which is not satisfied till it has carried its message
to every human soul, till what it believes to be the truth is accepted
as the truth by all members of the human family.

That spirit imparts to certain religions a character of their own,
a character which, if I am not mistaken, constitutes the vital principle
of our own religion, and of the other two which, in that respect, stand
nearest to Christianity--Buddhism and Mohammedanism. This is not a mere
outward difference, depending on the willingness of others to join or
not to join; it is an inward difference which stamped Christianity as a
missionary religion, when as yet it counted no more than twelve
apostles, and which lays on every one that calls himself a Christian the
duty of avowing his convictions, whatever they may be, and gaining
others to embrace the truth. In that sense every true Christian is a
missionary. Mr. Lyall is evidently aware of all this, if we may judge by
the expressions which he uses when speaking of the increase of
Brahmanism. He speaks of the clans and races which inhabit the
hill-tracts, the out-lying uplands, and the uncleared jungle districts
of India, as _melting_ into Hinduism. He represents the ethnical
frontier, described by Mr. Hunter in the “Annals of Rural Bengal,” as an
ever-breaking shore of primitive beliefs, which _tumble_ constantly into
the ocean of Brahmanism. And even when he dwells on the fact that
non-Aryans are invited by the Brahmans to enter in, he adds that this is
done for the sake of profit and repute, not from a wish to eradicate
error, to save souls, or to spread the truth. Such instances occurred
even in the ancient history of India; and I had myself, in my “History
of Ancient Sanskrit Literature,” pointed out the case of the Rathakaras
or carpenters who were admitted to the Vedic sacrifices, and who,
probably from a mere similarity of name--their leader being called
Bribu,--had the old Vedic Ribhus assigned to them as their peculiar
deities. But these were exceptions, they were _concessions aux nègres_,
deviations from traditional rules, entirely owing to the pressure of
circumstances; not manifestations springing from religious impulses. If
Mr. Lyall remarks himself, that a religion which thus, half
involuntarily, enlarges its borders, is not, in the strict sense of the
word, a missionary religion, he shows that he is fully aware of the
profound difference between a religion that grows by mere agglomeration
and a religion that grows by its own strength, by its irrepressible
missionary zeal. In answer to his concluding remark, that this ground
was _not_ taken in my lecture, I can only say that it was, nay, that it
formed the very foundation on which the whole argument of my lecture was
meant to rest.

There is more force in the objections which Mr. Lyall raises against my
calling Brahmanism already dead. The word was too strong; at all events,
it was liable to be misunderstood. What I meant to say was that the
popular worship of Śiva and Vishṇu belongs to the same intellectual
stratum as the worship of Jupiter and Apollo, that it is an anachronism
in the nineteenth century, and that, for our purposes, for
prognosticating the issues of the religious struggles of the future, it
may simply be set aside. For settling any of the questions that may be
said to be pending between Christianity, Mohammedanism, and Buddhism,
Brahmanism is dead. For converting any number of Christians,
Mohammedans, and Buddhists back to idolworship, Brahmanism is dead. It
may absorb Sonthals, and Gonds, and Bhils, and other half savage races,
with their rough-hewn jungle deities, it may even raise them to a higher
stage of civilization, and imbue them with the first principles of a
truer faith and a purer worship, but for carrying any of the strong
positions of Buddhism, Mohammedanism, and Christianity, Brahmanism is
powerless and dead. In India itself, where it clings to the soil with a
thousand roots, it was beaten by Buddhism, and, if it afterwards
recovered its position, that was due to physical force, not to
persuasion and conversion. The struggle between Mohammedanism and
Brahmanism in India was on both sides a political rather than a
religious struggle: still when a change of religion arose from
conviction, we see Brahmanism yielding to the purer light of Islam, not
Islam to Brahmanism.

I did not undervalue the actual power of Brahmanism, particularly its
power of resistance; nor did I prophesy its speedy extinction. I said on
the contrary that “a religion may linger on for a long time, and be
accepted by the large masses of the people, because it is there, and
there is nothing better.” “It is true,” I added, “there are millions of
children, women, and men in India who fall down before the stone image
of Vishṇu, with his four arms, riding on a creature, half-bird,
half-man, or sleeping on the serpent; who worship Śiva, a monster with
three eyes, riding naked on a bull, with a necklace of skulls for his
ornament. There are human beings who still believe in a god of war,
Kârtikeya, with six faces, riding on a peacock, and holding bow and
arrow in his hands; and who invoke a god of success, Gaṇeśa, with four
hands and an elephant’s head, sitting on a rat. Nay, it is true that, in
the broad daylight of the nineteenth century, the figure of the goddess
Kali is carried through the streets of her own city, Calcutta, her wild
disheveled hair reaching to her feet, with a necklace of human heads,
her tongue protruded from her mouth, her girdle stained with blood. All
this is true; but ask any Hindu who can read and write and think,
whether these are the gods he believes in, and he will smile at your
credulity. How long this living death of national religion in India may
last, no one can tell: for our purposes, however, for gaining an idea of
the issue of the great religious struggle of the future, that religion
is dead and gone.”

I ask Mr. Lyall, is this true or is it not? He says himself, “that
Brahmanism may possibly melt away of a heap and break up, I would not
absolutely deny.” Would Mr. Lyall say the same of Buddhism,
Mohammedanism, or Christianity? He points himself to the description
which Gibbon gives of the ancient Roman religion in the second century
of the Christian era, and shows how closely applicable it is to the
present state of Brahmanism in India. “The tolerant superstition of the
people, ‘not confined by the claims of any speculative system,’ the
‘devout polytheist, whom fear, gratitude, and curiosity, a dream, or an
omen, a singular disorder, or a distant journey, perpetually disposed to
multiply the articles of his belief, and to enlarge the list of his
protectors;’ the ‘ingenious youth alike instructed in every school to
reject and despise the religion of the multitude;’ the philosophic class
who ‘look with indulgence on the errors of the vulgar, diligently
practice the ceremonies of their fathers, and devoutly frequent the
temples of their gods;’ the ‘magistrates who know and value the
advantages of religion as it is connected with civil government;’--all
these scenes and feelings are represented in India at this moment,
though by no means in all parts of India.” If, then, in the second
century a student of religious pathology had expressed his conviction
that in spite of the number of its professors, in spite of its
antiquity, in spite of its indigenous character, in spite of its
political, civil, and social influences, in spite of its temples and
priests, in spite of its schools and philosophers, the ancient religion
of Jupiter had lost its vitality, was sick unto death, nay, for all real
purposes was dead, would he have been far wrong? It may be replied, no
doubt, that similar corruptions have crept into other religions also,
that gaudy dolls are carried about in Christian cathedrals, that people
are invited to see tears rolling down from the eyes of images, or to
worship wine changed into blood, to say nothing of even more terrible
hallucinations on the Eucharist propounded from so-called Protestant
pulpits, and that, in spite of all this, we should not call the
Christian religion dying or dead. This is true, and I thought that by my
remarks on the different revivals of Hinduism from the twelfth to the
nineteenth century, I had sufficiently indicated that new life may
spring even from such apparently hopeless corruption. If it is
Brahmanism that lives in the sects of Râmânuja and Râmânanda, in the
poetry of Kabir and the wisdom of Nànak, in the honest purposes of Ram
Mohun Roy and in the high aspirations of Keshub Chunder Sen, then I
quite agree with Mr. Lyall that Brahmanism is not dead, but lives more
intensely than ever.

But here, for some reason or other, Mr. Lyall seems to demur to my
hopeful estimate of Brahmoism. He had expressed his own conviction that
Brahmanism, though it might suddenly collapse and vanish, was more
likely gradually to spiritualize and centralize its Pantheon, reduce its
theology to a compact system, soften down its morals by symbolisms and
interportations, discard “dogmatic extremes,” and generally to bring
itself into accordance with improved standards of science and
intelligence. He had also quoted with implied approval the remark of
qualified observers, “that we might at any time witness a great
Brahmanic reforming revival in India, if some really gifted and
singularly powerful prophet were to arise among the Hindus.” But when I
hinted that this prophet had actually arisen, and that in Brahmoism, as
preached by Ram Mohun Roy, Debendranath Tagore, and Keshub Chunder Sen,
we ought to recognize a transition from Brahmanism to a purer faith;
when I pointed out that, though Christian missionaries might not wish to
recognize Brahmoism as their work, it was the work of those missionary
Christians who have lived in India as examples of a true Christian life,
who have approached the natives in a truly missionary spirit, in the
spirit of truth and in the spirit of love, Mr. Lyall replies that
“Brahmoism, as propagated by Keshub Chunder Sen, seems to be
Unitarianism of an European type, and, so far as one can understand its
argument, appears to have no logical stability or _locus standi_ between
revelation and pure rationalism; that it propounds either too much or
too little to its hearers.” “A faith,” he continues, “which contains
mere fervent sentiments, and high conceptions of morality, does not
partake of the complexion or nature of those religions which have
encompassed the heart of great nations, nor is it generally supposed in
India that Brahmoism is perceptibly on the increase.”

_Mutatis mutandis_, this is very much what an orthodox Rabbi might have
said of Christianity. Let us wait. I am not given to prophecy, but
though I am no longer young, I still hold to a belief that a cause
upheld with such honesty of purpose, purity, and unselfishness as
Brahmoism has been, must and will meet with ultimate success. Does Mr.
Lyall think that Unitarian Christianity is no Christianity? Does he find
logical stability in Trinitarianism? Does he consider pure rationalism
incompatible with revelation? Does he know of any teacher who might not
be accused of saying either too little or too much? In A.D. 890 the
Double Procession was as much a burning question as the Homoousia in
324,--are, therefore, both Channing and Dr. Döllinger to be
anathematized now? Brahmoism may not be like the religions of old, but
must the religions of the future be like the religions of the past?
However, I do not wish to draw Mr. Lyall into a theological argument.
His estimate of the real value and vitality of Brahmoism may be right,
mine may be wrong. His presence in India, and his personal intercourse
with the Brahmos, may have given him opportunities of judging which I
have not. Only let us not forget that for watching the movements of a
great struggle, and for judging of its successful issue, a certain
distance from the field of battle has its advantages, and that judges in
India have not always proved the best judges of India.

One point, however, I am quite willing to concede. If Brahmoism and
similar movements may be considered as reforms and resuscitations of
Brahmanism, then I withdraw my expression that Brahmanism is dead. Only
let us remember that we are thus using Brahmanism in two very different
senses, that we are again playing with words. In the one sense it is
stark idolatry, in the other the loftiest spiritual worship. The former
asserts the existence of many personal gods, the latter shrinks even
from the attribute of personality as too human a conception of the
Highest Spirit. The former makes the priest a kind of god on earth, the
latter proclaims the priesthood of all men; the former is guided by
scriptures which man calls sacred, the latter knows of no sacred oracles
but the still small voice in the heart of every man. The two are like
two opposite poles. What is negative on one side is positive on the
other; what is regarded by the one as the most sacred truth is
anathematized by the other as deadly error.

Mr. Lyall tells us of Ghási Dás, an inspired prophet, who sojourned in
the wilderness for six months, and then issued forth preaching to the
poor and ignorant the creed of the True Name (Satnám). He gathered about
half a million people together before he died in 1850. He borrowed his
doctrines from the well-known Hindu sect of the Satnâmis, and though he
denounced Brahmanic abuses, he instituted caste rules of his own, and
his successor was murdered, not for heresy, but because he aped
Brahmanic insignia and privileges. Mr. Lyall thinks that this community,
if left alone, will relapse into a modified Brahmanism. This may be so,
but it can hardly be said, that a reform, the followers of which are
murdered for aping Brahmanic insignia and privileges, represents
Brahmanism which Mr. Lyall defines as “the broad denomination of what is
recognized by all Hindus as the supreme theological faculty and the
comprehensive scheme of authoritative tradition to which all minor
beliefs are referred for sanction.”

When I spoke of Brahmanism as dead, I meant the popular orthodox
Brahmanism, which is openly patronized by the Brahmans, though scorned
by them in secret; I did not, and could not, mean the worship of Bramah
as the Supreme Spirit, which has existed in India from the time of the
Upanishads to the present day, and has lately assumed the name of
Brahmoism,--a worship so pure, so exalted, so deeply human, so truly
divine, that every man can join in it without apostasy, whether he be
born a Jew, a Gentile, or a Christian.

That many antagonistic forms of religious faith, some the most degraded,
others the most exalted, should live on the same soil, among the same
people, is indeed a disheartening truth, enough almost to shake one’s
belief in the common origin and the common destinies of the human race.
And yet we must not shut our eyes to the fact that amongst ourselves,
too, men who call themselves Christians are almost as widely separated
from each other in their conceptions of the Divine and the Human, in
their grounds of belief and in their sense of duty, as, in India, the
worshippers of Gaṇeśa, the god of success, with four hands and an
elephant’s head, sitting on a rat, on one side, and the believers in the
true Brahma on the other. There is a Christianity that is dead, though
it may be professed by millions of people, but there is also, let us
trust, a Christianity that is alive, though it may count but twelve
apostles. As in India, so in Europe, many would call death what we call
life, many would call life what we call death. Here, as elsewhere, it is
high time that men should define the exact meaning of their words,
trusting that definiteness, frankness, and honesty may offer a better
chance of mutual understanding, and serve as a stronger bond of union
between man and man, than vague formulas, faint-hearted reticence, and
what is at the root of it all, want of true love of Man, and of true
faith in God.

If Mr. Lyall imagined that the object of my Lecture was to discourage
missionary efforts, he must have found out his mistake, when he came to
read it, as I delivered it in Westminster Abbey. I know of no nobler
life than that of a true missionary. I tried to defend the labors of the
paternal missionary against disparaging criticisms. I tried to account
for the small success of controversial missions, by showing how little
is gained by mere argument and casuistry at home. And I pointed to the
indirect missionary influence, exercised by every man who leads a
Christian life in India or elsewhere, as the most encouraging sign of
the final triumph of a pure and living Christianity. It is very
possible, as Mr. Lyall says somewhat sarcastically, that “missionaries
will even yet hardly agree that the essentials of their religion are not
in the creeds, but in love; because they are sent forth to propound
scriptures which say clearly that what we believe or disbelieve is
literally a _burning_ question.” But those who, with Mr. Lyall, consider
love of man founded on love of God, nothing but “flat morality,” must
have forgotten that a Higher One than they declared, that on these two
hang all the law and the commandments. By placing abstruse tenets, the
handiwork of Popes and Councils, in the place of Christ’s teaching, and
by making a belief in these positive articles a _burning_ question, weak
mortals have driven weak mortals to ask, “Are we Christians still?” Let
them for once “by observation and experience” try the oldest and
simplest and most positive article of Christianity, real love of man
founded on real love of God, and I believe they will soon ask
themselves, “When shall we be Christians at last?”

    [Footnote 1: “NOTICE.

    “Westminster Abbey. Day of Intercession for Missions, Wednesday,
    December 3d, 1873. Lecture in the Nave, at eight o’clock, p.m.

    Hymn 25 (_Bp. Heber_)
      _Wittenberg_ (p. 50).

      “From Greenland’s icy mountains,
        From India’s coral strands,
      Where Afric’s sunny fountains,
        Roll down their golden sands;
      From many an ancient river,
        From many a palmy plain,
      They call us to deliver
        Their land from error’s chain.

      “What though the spicy breezes
        Blow soft o’er Ceylon’s isle;
      Though every prospect pleases,
        And only man is vile!
      In vain with lavish kindness
        The gifts of God are strown;
      The heathen in his blindness
        Bows down to wood and stone.

      “Can we whose souls are lighted
        With wisdom from on high,
      Can we to men benighted
        The lamp of life deny?
      Salvation, O Salvation!
        The joyful sound proclaim,
      Till earth’s remotest nation
        Has learnt Messiah’s name.

      “Waft, waft, ye winds, his story;
        And you, ye waters, roll;
      Till, like a sea of glory,
        It spreads from pole to pole;
      Till o’er our ransomed nature,
        The Lamb for sinners slain,
      Redeemer, King, Creator,
        In bliss returns to reign. Amen.

    “There will be a Lecture delivered in the Nave, on Missions, by
    Professor Max Müller, M.A.

    Ps. 100 (_New Version_)
      _Old Hundredth_ (p. 21).

      “With one consent let all the earth
        To God their cheerful voices raise;
      Glad homage pay with awful mirth,
        And sing before Him songs of praise.

      “Convinced that He is God alone,
        From Whom both we and all proceed;
      We whom He chooses for His own,
        The flock that He vouchsafes to feed.

      “O enter then His temple gate,
        Thence to His courts devoutly press;
      And still your grateful hymns repeat,
        And still His Name with praises bless.

      “For He’s the Lord supremely good,
        His mercy is forever sure;
      His truth, which all times firmly stood,
        To endless ages shall endure. Amen.”]

    [Footnote 2: Different systems of classification applied to the
    religions of the world are discussed in my _Introduction to the
    Science of Religion_, pp. 122-143.]

    [Footnote 3: “Proselyto ne fidas usque ad vigesimam quartam
    generationem,” Jalkut Ruth, f. 163. d; Danz, in Meuschen, _Nov.
    Test, ex Talm. illustr._, p. 651.]

    [Footnote 4: _India, Progress and Condition_, Blue Book presented
    to Parliament, 1873, p. 99. “It is asserted (but the assertion
    must be taken with reserve) that it is a mistake to suppose that
    the Hindu religion is not proselytizing. Any number of outsiders,
    so long as they do not interfere with established castes, can form
    a new caste, and call themselves Hindus, and the Brahmans are
    always ready to receive all who submit to and pay them.” Can this
    be called proselytizing?]

    [Footnote 5: Cf. _Mahavanso_, cap. 5.]

    [Footnote 6: Cf. _Mahavanso_, cap. 12.]

    [Footnote 7: In some of the places mentioned by the _Chronicle_ as
    among the earliest stations of Buddhist missions, relics have been
    discovered containing the names of the very missionaries mentioned
    by the _Chronicle_. See Koeppen, _Die Religion des Buddha_,
    p. 188.]

    [Footnote 8: Note A, p. 266.]

    [Footnote 9: “_Islâm_ is the verbal noun, and _Moslim_ the
    participle of the same root, which also yields _Salâm_, peace, and
    _salim_ and _salym_, whole, honest. _Islâm_ means, therefore, to
    satisfy or pacify by forbearance; it also means simply
    subjection.” Sprenger, _Mohammad_, i. p. 69; iii. 486.]

    [Footnote 10: Lassen, _Indische Alterthumskunde_, vol. iv. p. 635.
    Cf. _Indian Antiquary_, 1873, p. 370. _Academy_, 1874, p. 61.]

    [Footnote 11: _Chips from a German Workshop_, vol. i.; _Essays on
    the Science of Religion_, pp. 161, 216.]

    [Footnote 12: Lassen, _Indische Alterthumskunde_, vol. iv. p. 606;
    Wilson, _Asiatic Researches_, xvi. p. 21.]

    [Footnote 13: See _Brahmic Questions of the Day_, 1869, p. 16.]

    [Footnote 14: _History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature_, by M. M.
    (2d ed.) p. 569.]

    [Footnote 15: _The Adi Brahma-Samaj, Its views and Principles_,
    Calcutta, 1870, p. 10.]

    [Footnote 16: _A Brief History of the Calcutta Brahma-Samâj_,
    1868, p. 15.]

    [Footnote 17: See Note B, p. 269.]

    [Footnote 18: See Note C, p. 272.]

    [Footnote 19: The _Indian Mirror_ (Sept. 10, 1869) constantly
    treats of missionary efforts of various kinds in a spirit which is
    not only friendly, but even desirous of reciprocal sympathy; and
    hopeful that whatever differences may exist between them (the
    missionaries) and the Brahmos, the two parties will heartily
    combine as brethren to exterminate idolatry, and promote true
    morality in India.

    Many of our ministers and leading men, says the _Indian Mirror_,
    are recruited from missionary schools, which, by affording
    religious education, prove more favorable to the growth and spread
    of Brahmoism than government schools with Comte and Secularism
    (_Indian Theism_, by S. D. Collet, 1870, p. 22).]

    [Footnote 20: _Life of John Coleridge Patteson_, by C. M. Yonge,
    ii. p. 167.]

    [Footnote 21: “The large body of European and American
    missionaries settled in India bring their various moral influences
    to bear upon the country with the greater force, because they act
    together with a compactness which is but little understood. Though
    belonging to various denominations of Christians, yet from the
    nature of their work, their isolated position, and their long
    experience, they have been led to think rather of the numerous
    questions on which they agree, than of those on which they differ,
    and they coöperate heartily together. Localities are divided among
    them by friendly arrangements, and, with a few exceptions, it is a
    fixed rule among them that they will not interfere with each
    other’s converts and each other’s spheres of duty. School books,
    translations of the Scriptures and religious works, prepared by
    various missions, are used in common; and help and improvements
    secured by one mission are freely placed at the command of all.
    The large body of missionaries resident in each of the presidency
    towns form missionary conferences, hold periodic meetings, and act
    together on public matters. They have frequently addressed the
    Indian government on important social questions involving the
    welfare of the native community, and have suggested valuable
    improvements in existing laws. During the past twenty years, on
    five occasions, general conferences have been held for mutual
    consultation respecting their missionary work; and in January
    last, at the latest of these gatherings, at Allahabad, 121
    missionaries met together, belonging to twenty different
    societies, and including several men of long experience who have
    been twenty years in India.” _India, Progress and Condition_,
    1873, p. 134.]

    [Footnote 22: Brahma-Samâj, the Church of Brahma, is the general
    title. When the schism took place, the original Samâj was called
    Adi Brahma-Samâj, _i.e._, the First Church of Brahma, while the
    progressive party, under Keshub Chunder Sen was distinguished by
    the name of the Brahma-Samâj of India. The vowels _u_ and _o_ are
    often the same in Bengali, and are sometimes used for _a_.]

    [Footnote 23: This sermon, which was preached by the Dean of
    Westminster in the forenoon of Wednesday, December 3d, 1873, and
    in which his reasons are stated for inviting a layman to speak on
    the subject of missions in the evening of the same day, and within
    the same sacred precincts, is here reprinted with his kind

    [Footnote 24: _Prospects of Christian Missions_, a sermon preached
    in Westminster Abbey on December 20, 1872. Strahan & Co., London.]

    [Footnote 25: Phil. i. 13-16.]

    [Footnote 26: Acts xiv. 16, 17; xvii. 23, 28; xix. 37; xxi. 26;
    xxii. 28; xxv. 11. Rom. ii. 6-15; xiii. 1-7; xiv. 9; 1 Cor. ix.
    20-22; xx. 33. Phil. iv. 8.]

    [Footnote 27: 1 Cor. ix. 20-22.]

    [Footnote 28: In the well-known passage where, speaking of the
    moderation and humanity of these heretical Arians in the capture
    of Rome, he concludes: “Hoc Christi nomini, hoc Christiano tempori
    tribuendum quisquis non videt, cæecus; quisquis non laudat,
    ingratus; quisquis laudanti reluctatur, ingratus est.” _De
    Civitate Dei_, i. c. 7. Compare Ibid. c. 1, and Sermon cv., _De.
    Ev. S. Luc._]

    [Footnote 29: “Sir Thomas More, after he was called to the Bar in
    Lincoln’s Inn, did, for a considerable time, read a public lecture
    out of S. Augustine, _De Civitate Dei_, in the Church of
    S. Lawrence in the Old Jewry to which the learneder sort of the
    City of London did resort.” Wood’s _Athenæ Oxonienses_, fol. ed.
    1721, pp. 182, 183.]




No one likes to be asked, what business he has to exist, and yet,
whatever we do, whether singly or in concert with others, the first
question which the world never fails to address to us, is _Dic cur hic?_
Why are you here? or to put it into French, What is your _raison
d’être_? We have had to submit to this examination even before we
existed, and many a time have I been asked the question, both by friend
and foe, What is the good of an International Congress of Orientalists?

I shall endeavor, as shortly as possible, to answer that question, and
show that our Congress is not a mere fortuitous congeries of barren
atoms or molecules, but that we are at least Leibnizian monads, each
with his own self, and force and will, and each determined, within the
limits of some preëstablished harmony, to help in working out some
common purpose, and to achieve some real and lasting good.

It is generally thought that the chief object of a scientific Congress
is social, and I am not one of those who are incapable of appreciating
the delights and benefits of social intercourse with hard-working and
honest-thinking men. Much as I detest what is commonly called society,
I willingly give up glaciers and waterfalls, cathedrals and picture
galleries, for one half hour of real society, of free, frank, fresh, and
friendly intercourse, face to face, and mind to mind, with a great, and
noble, and loving soul, such as was Bunsen; with a man intrepid in his
thoughts, his words, and his deeds, such as was John Stuart Mill; or
with a scholar who, whether he had been quarrying heavy blocks, or
chiseling the most brittle filigree work, poured out all his treasures
before you with the pride and pleasure of a child, such as was Eugéne
Burnouf. A Congress therefore, and particularly an International
Congress, would certainly seem to answer some worthy purpose, were it
only by bringing together fellow workers of all countries and ages, by
changing what were to us merely great names into pleasant companions,
and by satisfying that very right and rational curiosity which we all
feel, after having read a really good book, of seeing what the man looks
like who could achieve such triumphs.

All this is perfectly true; yet, however pleasant to ourselves this
social intercourse may appear, in the eyes of the world at large it will
hardly be considered a sufficient excuse for our existence. In order
therefore to satisfy that outer world that we are really doing
something, we point of course to the papers which are read at our public
meetings, and to the discussions which they elicit. Much as I value that
feature also in a scientific congress, I confess I doubt, and I know
that many share that doubt, whether the same result might not be
obtained with much less trouble. A paper that contains something really
new and valuable, the result, it may be, of years of toil and thought,
requires to be read with care in a quiet corner of our own study, before
the expression of our assent or dissent can be of any weight or value.
There is too much hollow praise, and occasionally too much wrangling and
ill-natured abuse at our scientific tournaments, and the world at large,
which is never without a tinge of malice and a vein of quiet humor, has
frequently expressed its concern at the waste of “oil and vinegar” which
is occasioned by the frequent meetings of our British and Foreign

What then is the real use of a Congress, such as that which has brought
us together this week from all parts of the world? What is the real
excuse for our existence? Why are we here, and not in our workshops?

It seems to me that the real and permanent use of these scientific
gatherings is twofold.

(1) They enable us to take stock, to compare notes, to see where we are,
and to find out where we ought to be going.

(2) They give us an opportunity, from time to time, to tell the world
where we are, what we have been doing for the world, and what, in
return, we expect the world to do for us.

The danger of all scientific work at present, not only among Oriental
scholars, but, as far as I can see, everywhere, is the tendency to
extreme specialization. Our age shows in that respect a decided reaction
against the spirit of a former age, which those with gray heads among us
can still remember, an age represented in Germany by such names as
Humboldt, Ritter, Böckh, Johannes, Müller, Bopp, Bunsen, and others; men
who look to us like giants, carrying a weight of knowledge far too heavy
for the shoulders of such mortals as now be; aye, men who _were_ giants,
but whose chief strength consisted in this, that they were never
entirely absorbed or bewildered by special researches, but kept their
eye steadily on the highest objects of all human knowledge; who could
trace the vast outlines of the kosmos of nature or the kosmos of the
mind with an unwavering hand, and to whose maps and guide books we must
still recur, whenever we are in danger of losing our way in the mazes of
minute research. At the present moment such works as Humboldt’s
“Kosmos,” or Bopp’s “Comparative Grammar,” or Bunsen’s “Christianity and
Mankind,” would be impossible. No one would dare to write them, for fear
of not knowing the exact depth at which the _Protogenes Haeckelii_ has
lately been discovered or the lengthening of a vowel in the
+Saṃhitapâṭha+ of the Rig-Veda. It is quite right that this should be
so, at least, for a time; but all rivers, all brooks, all rills, are
meant to flow into the ocean, and all special knowledge, to keep it from
stagnation, must have an outlet into the general knowledge of the world.
Knowledge for its own sake, as it is sometimes called, is the most
dangerous idol that a student can worship. We despise the miser who
amasses money for the sake of money, but still more contemptible is the
intellectual miser who hoards up knowledge instead of spending it,
though, with regard to most of our knowledge, we may be well assured and
satisfied that, as we brought nothing into the world so we may carry
nothing out.

Against this danger of mistaking the means for the end, of making bricks
without making mortar, of working for ourselves instead of working for
others, meetings such as our own, bringing together so large a number of
the first Oriental scholars of Europe, seem to me a most excellent
safeguard. They draw us out of our shell, away from our common routine,
away from that small orbit of thought in which each of us moves day
after day, and make us realize more fully, that there are other stars
moving all around us in our little universe, that we all belong to one
celestial system, or to one terrestrial commonwealth, and that, if we
want to see real progress in that work with which we are more especially
entrusted, the re-conquest of the Eastern world, we must work with one
another, for one another, like members of one body, like soldiers of one
army, guided by common principles, striving after common purposes, and
sustained by common sympathies. Oriental literature is of such enormous
dimensions that our small army of scholars can occupy certain prominent
positions only; but those points, like the stations of a trigonometrical
survey, ought to be carefully chosen, so as to be able to work in
harmony together. I hope that in that respect our Congress may prove of
special benefit. We shall hear, each of us, from others, what they wish
us to do. “Why don’t you finish this?” “Why don’t you publish that?” are
questions which we have already heard asked by many of our friends. We
shall be able to avoid what happens so often, that two men collect
materials for exactly the same work, and we may possibly hear of some
combined effort to carry out great works, which can only be carried out
_viribus unitis_, and of which I may at least mention one, a translation
of the “Sacred Books of Mankind.” Important progress has already been
made for setting on foot this great undertaking, an undertaking which I
think the world has a right to demand from Oriental scholars, but which
can only be carried out by joint action. This Congress has helped us to
lay the foundation-stone, and I trust that at our next Congress we shall
be able to produce some tangible results.

I now come to the second point. A Congress enables us to tell the world
what we have been doing. This, it seems to me, is particularly needful
with regard to Oriental studies which, with the exception of Hebrew,
still stand outside the pale of our schools and universities, and are
cultivated by the very smallest number of students. And yet, I make bold
to say, that during the last hundred, and still more during the last
fifty years, Oriental studies have contributed more than any other
branch of scientific research to change, to purify, to clear, and
intensify the intellectual atmosphere of Europe, and to widen our
horizon in all that pertains to the Science of Man, in history,
philology, theology, and philosophy. We have not only conquered and
annexed new worlds to the ancient empire of learning, but we have
leavened the old world with ideas that are already fermenting even in
the daily bread of our schools and universities. Most of those here
present know that I am not exaggerating; but as the world is skeptical
while listening to orations _pro domo_, I shall attempt to make good my

At first, the study of Oriental literature was a matter of curiosity
only, and it is so still to a great extent, particularly in England. Sir
William Jones, whose name is the only one among Oriental scholars that
has ever obtained a real popularity in England, represents most worthily
that phase of Oriental studies. Read only the two volumes of his life,
and they will certainly leave on your mind the distinct impression that
Sir William Jones was not only a man of extensive learning and refined
taste, but undoubtedly a very great man--one in a million. He was a good
classical scholar of the old school, a well-read historian, a thoughtful
lawyer, a clear-headed politician, and a true gentleman, in the old
sense of the word. He moved in the best, I mean the most cultivated
society, the great writers and thinkers of the day listened to him with
respect, and say what you like, we still live by his grace, we still
draw on that stock of general interest which he excited in the English
mind for Eastern subjects.

Yet the interest which Sir William Jones took in Oriental literature was
purely æsthetic. He chose what was beautiful in Persian and translated
it, as he would translate an ode of Horace. He was charmed with
Kâlidâsa’s play of “Sakuntala”--and who is not?--and he left us his
classical reproduction of one of the finest of Eastern gems. Being a
judge in India, he thought it his duty to acquaint himself with the
native law-books in their original language, and he gave us his masterly
translation of the “Laws of Manu.” Sir William Jones was fully aware of
the startling similarity between Sanskrit, Latin, and Greek. More than a
hundred years ago, in a letter written to Prince Adam Czartoryski, in
the year 1770, he says: “Many learned investigators of antiquity are
fully persuaded, that a very old and almost primeval language was in use
among the northern nations, from which not only the Celtic dialect, but
even Greek and Latin are derived; in fact, we find πατήρ and μήτηρ in
Persian, nor is θυγάτηρ so far removed from _dockter_, or even ὄνομα and
_nomen_ from Persian _nâm_, as to make it ridiculous to suppose that
they sprang from the same root. We must confess,” he adds, “that these
researches are very obscure and uncertain, and you will allow, not so
agreeable as an ode of Hafez, or an elegy of Amr’alkeis.” In a letter,
dated 1787, he says: “You will be surprised at the resemblance between
Sanskrit and both Greek and Latin.”

Colebrooke also, the great successor of Sir William Jones, was fully
aware of the relationship between Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, German, and
even Slavonic. I possess some curious MS. notes of his, of the year 1801
or 1802, containing long lists of words, expressive of the most
essential ideas of primitive life, and which he proved to be identical
in Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, German, and Slavonic.[1]

Yet neither Colebrooke nor Sir William Jones perceived the full import
of these facts. Sir William Jones died young; Colebrooke’s energies,
marvelous as they were, were partly absorbed by official work, so that
it was left to German and French scholars to bring to light the full
wealth of the mine which those great English scholars had been the first
to open. We know now that in language, and in all that is implied by
language, India and Europe are one; but to prove this, against the
incredulity of all the greatest scholars of the day, was no easy matter.
It could be done effectually in one way only, viz., by giving to
Oriental studies a strictly scientific character, by requiring from
Oriental students not only the devotion of an _amateur_, but the same
thoroughness, minuteness, and critical accuracy which were long
considered the exclusive property of Greek and Latin scholars. I could
not think of giving here a history of the work done during the last
fifty years. It has been admirably described in Benfey’s “History of the
Science of Language.”[2] Even if I attempted to give merely the names of
those who have been most distinguished by really original
discoveries--the names of Bopp, Pott, Grimm, Burnouf, Rawlinson,
Miklosich, Benfey, Kuhn, Zeuss, Whitley, Stokes--I am afraid my list
would be considered very incomplete.

But let us look at what has been achieved by these men, and many others
who followed their banners! The East, formerly a land of dreams, of
fables, and fairies, has become to us a land of unmistakable reality;
the curtain between the West and the East has been lifted, and our old
forgotten home stands before us again in bright colors and definite
outlines. Two worlds, separated for thousands of years, have been
reunited as by a magic spell, and we feel rich in a past that may well
be the pride of our noble Aryan family. We say no longer vaguely and
poetically _Ex Oriente Lux_, but we know that all the most vital
elements of our knowledge and civilization,--our languages, our
alphabets, our figures, our weights and measures, our art, our religion,
our traditions, our very nursery stories, come to us from the East; and
we must confess that but for the rays of Eastern light, whether Aryan or
Semitic or Hamitic, that called forth the hidden germs of the dark and
dreary West, Europe, now the very light of the world, might have
remained forever a barren and forgotten promontory of the primeval
Asiatic continent. We live indeed in a new world; the barrier between
the West and the East, that seemed insurmountable, has vanished. The
East is ours, we are its heirs, and claim by right our share in its

We know what it was for the Northern nations, the old barbarians of
Europe, to be brought into spiritual contact with Rome and Greece, and
to learn that beyond the small, poor world in which they had moved,
there was an older, richer, brighter world, the ancient world of Rome
and Athens, with its arts and laws, its poetry and philosophy, all of
which they might call their own and make their own by claiming the
heritage of the past. We know how, from that time, the Classical and
Teutonic spirits mingled together and formed that stream of modern
thought on whose shores we ourselves live and move. A new stream is now
being brought into the same bed, the stream of Oriental thought, and
already the colors of the old stream show very clearly the influence of
that new tributary. Look at any of the important works published during
the last twenty years, not only on language, but on literature,
mythology, law, religion, and philosophy, and you will see on every page
the working of a new spirit. I do not say that the East can ever teach
us new things, but it can place before us old things, and leave us to
draw from them lessons more strange and startling than anything dreamt
of in our philosophy.

Before all, a study of the East has taught us the same lesson which the
Northern nations once learnt in Rome and Athens, that there are other
worlds beside our own, that there are other religions, other
mythologies, other laws, and that the history of philosophy from Thales
to Hegel is not the whole history of human thought. In all these
subjects the East has supplied us with parallels, and with all that is
implied in parallels, viz., the possibility of comparing, measuring, and
understanding. The _comparative spirit_ is the truly scientific spirit
of our age, nay of all ages. An empirical acquaintance with single facts
does not constitute knowledge in the true sense of the word. All human
knowledge begins with the Two or the Dyad, the comprehension of two
single things as one. If in these days we may still quote Aristotle, we
may boldly say that “there is no science of that which is unique.”
A single event may be purely accidental, it comes and goes, it is
inexplicable, it does not call for an explanation. But as soon as the
same fact is repeated, the work of comparison begins, and the first step
is made in that wonderful process which we call generalization, and
which is at the root of all intellectual knowledge and of all
intellectual language. This primitive process of comparison is repeated
again and again, and when we now give the title of _Comparative_ to the
highest kind of knowledge in every branch of science, we have only
replaced the old word _intelligent_ (_i.e._, interligent) or
inter-twining, by a new and more expressive term, _comparative_. I shall
say nothing about the complete revolution of the study of languages by
means of the comparative method, for here I can appeal to such names as
Mommsen and Curtius, to show that the best among classical scholars are
themselves the most ready to acknowledge the importance of the results
obtained by the intertwining of Eastern and Western philology.

But take mythology. As long as we had only the mythology of the
classical nations to deal with, we looked upon it simply as strange,
anomalous, and irrational. When, however, the same strange stories, the
same hallucinations, turned up in the most ancient mythology of India,
when not only the character and achievements, but the very names of some
of the gods and heroes were found to be the same, then every thoughtful
observer saw that there must be a system in that ancient madness, that
there must be some order in that strange mob of gods and heroes, and
that it must be the task of comparative mythology to find out, what
reason there is in all that mass of unreason.

The same comparative method has been applied to the study of religion
also. All religions are Oriental, and with the exception of the
Christian, their sacred books are all written in Oriental languages. The
materials, therefore, for a comparative study of the religious systems
of the world had all to be supplied by Oriental scholars. But far more
important than those materials, is the spirit in which they have been
treated. The sacred books of the principal religions of mankind had to
be placed side by side with perfect impartiality, in order to discern
the points which they share in common as well as those that are peculiar
to each. The results already obtained by this simple juxtaposition are
full of important lessons, and the fact that the truths on which all
religions agree far exceed those on which they differ, has hardly been
sufficiently appreciated. I feel convinced, however, that the time will
come when those who at present profess to be most disquieted by our
studies, will be the most grateful for our support,--for having shown by
evidence which cannot be controverted, that all religions spring from
the same sacred soil, the human heart; that all are quickened by the
same divine spirit, the still small voice; and that, though the outward
forms of religion may change, may wither and decay, yet, as long as man
is what he is and what he has been, he will postulate again and again
the Infinite as the very condition of the Finite, he will yearn for
something which the world cannot give, he will feel his weakness and
dependence, and in that weakness and dependence discover the deepest
sources of his hope, and trust, and strength.

A patient study of the sacred scriptures of the world is what is wanted
at present more than anything else, in order to clear our own ideas of
the origin, the nature, the purposes of religion. There can be no
science of one religion, but there can be a science of many. We have
learnt already one lesson, that behind the helpless expressions which
language has devised, whether in the East or in the West, for uttering
the unutterable, be it _Dyaushpitâ_ or _Ahuramazda_, be it _Jehovah_ or
_Allah_, be it the All or the Nothing, be it the First Cause or Our
Father in heaven, there is the same intention, the same striving, the
same stammering, the same faith. Other lessons will follow, till in the
end we shall be able to restore that ancient bond which unites not only
the East with the West, but all the members of the human family, and may
learn to understand what a Persian poet meant when he wrote many
centuries ago (I quote from Mr. Conway’s “Sacred Anthology”), “Diversity
of worship has divided the human race into seventy-two nations. From
among all their dogmas I have selected one--the Love of God.”

Nor is this comparative spirit restricted to the treatment of language,
mythology, and religion. While hitherto we knew the origin and spreading
of most of the ancient arts and sciences in one channel only, and had to
be satisfied with tracing their sources to Greece and Rome, and thence
down the main stream of European civilization, we have now for many of
them one or two parallel histories in India and in China. The history of
geometry, for instance,--the first formation of geometrical conceptions
or technical terms--was hitherto known to us from Greece only: now we
can compare the gradual elaboration of geometrical principles both in
Greece and India, and thus arrive at some idea of what is natural or
inevitable, and what is accidental or purely personal in each. It was
known, for instance, that in Greece the calculation of solid figures
began with the building of altars, and you will hear to-day from Dr.
Thibaut, that in India also the first impulse to geometric science was
given, not by the measuring of fields, as the name implies, but by the
minute observances in building altars.

Similar coincidences and divergences have been brought to light by a
comparative study of the history of astronomy, of music, of grammar,
but, most of all, by a comparative study of philosophic thought. There
are indeed few problems in philosophy which have not occupied the Indian
mind, and nothing can exceed the interest of watching the Hindu and the
Greek, working on the same problems, each in his own way, yet both in
the end arriving at much the same results. Such are the coincidences
between the two, that but lately an eminent German professor,[3]
published a treatise to show that the Greeks had borrowed their
philosophy from India, while others lean to the opinion that in
philosophy the Hindus are the pupils of the Greeks. This is the same
feeling which impelled Dugald Stewart, when he saw the striking
similarity between Greek and Sanskrit, to maintain that Sanskrit must
have been put together after the model of Greek and Latin by those
arch-forgers and liars, the Brahmans, and that the whole of Sanskrit
literature was an imposition. The comparative method has put an end to
such violent theories. It teaches us that what is possible in one
country is possible also in another; it shows us that, as there are
antecedents for Plato and Aristotle in Greece, there are antecedents for
the Vedânta and Sânkhya philosophies in India, and that each had its own
independent growth. It is true, that when we first meet in Indian
philosophy with our old friends, the four or five elements, the atoms,
our metaphysics, our logic, our syllogism, we are startled; but we soon
discover that, given the human mind and human language, and the world by
which we are surrounded, the different systems of philosophy of Thales
and Hegel, of Vyâsa and Kapila, are inevitable solutions. They all come
and go, they are maintained and refuted, till at last all philosophy
ends where it ought to begin, with an inquiry into the necessary
conditions and the inevitable forms of knowledge, represented by a
criticism of Pure Reason and, what is more important still, by a
criticism of Language.

Much has been done of late for Indian philosophy, particularly by
Ballantyne and Hall, by Cowell and Gough, by the editors of the
“Bibliotheca Indica,” and the “Pandit.” Yet it is much to be desired,
that some young scholars, well versed in the history of European
philosophy, should devote themselves more ardently to this promising
branch of Indian literature. No doubt they would find it a great help,
if they were able to spend some years in India, in order to learn from
the last and fast disappearing representatives of some of the old
schools of Indian philosophy what they alone can teach. What can be done
by such a combination of Eastern and Western knowledge, has lately been
shown by the excellent work done by Dr. Kielhorn, the Professor of
Sanskrit at the Deccan College in Punah. But there is now so much of
published materials, and Sanskrit MSS. also are so easily obtained from
India, that much might be done in England, or in France, or in
Germany--much that would be of interest not only to Oriental scholars,
but to all philosophers whose powers of independent appreciation are not
entirely blunted by their study of Plato and Aristotle, of Berkeley,
Hume, and Kant.

I have so far dwelt chiefly on the powerful influence which the East,
and more particularly India, has exercised on the intellectual life and
work of the West. But the progress of Oriental scholarship in Europe,
and the discovery of that spiritual relationship which binds India and
England together, have likewise produced practical effects of the
greatest moment in the East. The Hindus, in their first intercourse with
English scholars, placed before them the treasures of their native
literature with all the natural pride of a nation that considered itself
the oldest, the wisest, the most enlightened nation in the world. For a
time, but for a short time only, the claims of their literature to a
fabulous antiquity were admitted, and dazzled by the unexpected
discovery of a new classical literature, people raved about the beauty
of Sanskrit poetry in truly Oriental strains. Then followed a sudden
reaction, and the natives themselves, on becoming more and more
acquainted with European history and literature, began to feel the
childishness of their claims, and to be almost ashamed of their own
classics. This was a national misfortune. A people that can feel no
pride in the past, in its history and literature, loses the mainstay of
its national character. When Germany was in the very depth of its
political degradation, it turned to its ancient literature, and drew
hope for the future from the study of the past. Something of the same
kind is now passing in India. A new taste, not without some political
ingredients, has sprung up for the ancient literature of the country;
a more intelligent appreciation of their real merits has taken the place
of the extravagant admiration for the masterworks of their old poets;
there is a revival in the study of Sanskrit, a surprising activity in
the republication of Sanskrit texts, and there are traces among the
Hindus of a growing feeling, not very different from that which Tacitus
described, when he said of the Germans: “Who would go to Germany,
a country without natural beauty, with a wretched climate, miserable to
cultivate or to look at--_unless it be his fatherland_?”

Even the discovery that Sanskrit, English, Greek, and Latin are cognate
languages, has not been without its influence on the scholars and
thinkers, or the leaders of public opinion, in India. They, more than
others, had felt for a time most keenly the intellectual superiority of
the West, and they rose again in their own estimation by learning that,
physically, or at all events, intellectually, they had been and might be
again, the peers of Greeks and Romans and Saxons. These silent
influences often escape the eye of the politician and the historian, but
at critical moments they decide the fate of whole nations and

The intellectual life of India at the present moment is full of
interesting problems. It is too much the fashion to look only at its
darker sides, and to forget that such intellectual regenerations as we
are witnessing in India, are impossible without convulsions and
failures. A new race of men is growing up in India, who have stepped,
as it were, over a thousand years, and have entered at once on the
intellectual inheritance of Europe. They carry off prizes at English
schools, take their degrees in English universities, and are in every
respect our equals. They have temptations which we have not, and now and
then they succumb; but we, too, have temptations of our own, and we do
not always resist. One can hardly trust one’s eyes in reading their
writings, whether in English or Bengali, many of which would reflect
credit on our own Quarterlies. With regard to what is of the greatest
interest to us, their scholarship, it is true that the old school of
Sanskrit scholars is dying out, and much will die with it which we shall
never recover; but a new and most promising school of Sanskrit students,
educated by European professors, is springing up, and they will, nay,
to judge from recent controversies, they have already become most
formidable rivals to our own scholars. The essays of Dr. Bhao Daji,
whom, I regret to say, we have lately lost by death, on disputed
points in Indian archæology and literature, are most valuable. The
indefatigable Rajendra Lal Mitra is rendering most excellent service in
the publications of the Asiatic Society at Calcutta, and he discusses
the theories of European Orientalists with all the ease and grace of
an English reviewer. The Râjah of Besmah, Giriprasâda-sinha, has just
finished his magnificent edition of the “White Yajurveda.” The Sanskrit
books published at Calcutta by Târânâtha, and others, form a complete
library, and Târânâtha’s new “Dictionary of the Sanskrit Language” will
prove most useful and valuable. The editions of Sanskrit texts published
at Bombay by Professor Bhâṇḍârkar, Shankar Pandurang Pandit, and others,
need not fear comparison with the best work of European scholars. There
is a school of native students at Benares whose publications, under
the auspices of Mr. Griffith, have made their journal, the “Pandit,”
indispensable to every Sanskrit scholar. Râjârâmasâstrî’s and
Bâlaśâstrî’s edition of the “Mahâbhâshya” has received the highest
praise from European students. In the “Antiquary,” a paper very ably
conducted by Mr. Burgess, we meet with contributions from several
learned natives, among them from his Highness the Prince of Travancore,
from Ram Dass Sen, the Zemindar of Berhampore, from Kâshinâth Trimbak
Telang, from Sashagiriśâstrî, and others, which are read with the
greatest interest and advantage by European scholars. The collected
essays of Ram Dass Sen well deserve a translation into English, and
Rajanîkânta’s “Life of the Poet Jajadeva,” just published, bears witness
to the same revival of literary tastes and patriotic feelings.

Besides this purely literary movement, there is a religious movement
going on in India, the Brahmo-Samâj, which, both in its origin and its
later development, is mainly the result of European influences. It began
with an attempt to bring the modern corrupt forms of worship back to the
purity and simplicity of the Vedas; and by ascribing to the Veda the
authority of a Divine Revelation, it was hoped to secure that infallible
authority without which no religion was supposed to be possible. How was
that movement stopped, and turned into a new channel? Simply by the
publication of the Veda, and by the works of European scholars, such as
Stevenson, Mill, Rosen, Wilson, and others, who showed to the natives
what the Veda really was, and made them see the folly of their way.[5]
Thus the religion, the literature, the whole character of the people of
India are becoming more and more Indo-European. They work for us, as we
work for them. Many a letter have I received from native scholars in
which they express their admiration for the wonderful achievements of
European ingenuity, for railways, and telegraphs, and all the rest; and
yet what, according to their own confession, has startled them and
delighted them most, is the interest we have taken in their literature,
and the new life which we have imparted to their ancient history. I know
these matters seem small, when we are near to them, when we are in the
very midst of them. Like the tangled threads hanging on a loom, they
look worthless, purposeless. But history weaves her woof out of all of
them, and after a time, when we see the full and finished design, we
perceive that no color, however quiet, could have been dropped, no
shade, however slight, could have been missed, without spoiling the

And now, after having given this account of our stewardship, let me say
in conclusion a few words on the claims which Oriental studies have on
public sympathy and support.

Let me begin with the Universities--I mean, of course the English
Universities--and more particularly that University which has been to me
for many years an _Alma Mater_, Oxford. While we have there, or are
founding there, professorships for every branch of Theology,
Jurisprudence, and Physical Science, we have hardly any provision for
the study of Oriental languages. We have a chair of Hebrew, rendered
illustrious by the greatest living theologian of England, and we have a
chair of Sanskrit, which has left its mark in the history of Sanskrit
literature; but for the modern languages of India, whether Aryan or
Dravidian, for the language and literature of Persia, both ancient and
modern, for the language and antiquities of Egypt and Babylon, for
Chinese, for Turkish, nay even for Arabic, there is nothing deserving
the name of a chair. When in a Report on University Reform, I ventured
to point out these gaps, and to remark that in the smallest of German
Universities most of these subjects were represented by professors,
I was asked whether I was in earnest in maintaining that Oxford, the
first University in what has rightly been called the greatest Oriental
Empire, ought really to support the study of Oriental languages.

The second claim we prefer is on the Missionary Societies. I have lately
incurred very severe obloquy for my supposed hostility to missionary
enterprise. All I can say is, I wish that there were ten missionaries
for every one we have now. I have always counted missionaries among my
best friends; I have again and again acknowledged how much Oriental
studies and linguistic studies in general, owe to them, and I am proud
to say that, even now, while missionaries at home have abused me in
unmeasured language, missionaries abroad, devoted, hard-working
missionaries, have thanked me for what I said of them and their work in
my lay-sermon in Westminster Abbey last December.

Now it seems to me that, first of all, our Universities, and I think
again chiefly of Oxford, might do much more for missions than they do at
present. If we had a sufficient staff of professors for Eastern
languages, we could prepare young missionaries for their work, and
should be able to send out from time to time such men as Patteson, the
Bishop of Melanesia, who was every inch an Oxford man. And in these
missionaries we might have not only apostles of religion and
civilization, but at the same time, the most valuable pioneers of
scientific research. I know there are some authorities at home who
declare that such a combination is impossible, or at least undesirable;
that a man cannot serve two masters, and that a missionary must do his
own work and nothing else. Nothing, I believe, can be more mistaken.
First of all, some of our most efficient missionaries have been those
who have done also the most excellent work as scholars, and whenever I
have conversed on this subject with missionaries who have seen active
service, they all agree that they cannot be converting all day long, and
that nothing is more refreshing and invigorating to them than some
literary or scientific work. Now what I should like to see is this:
I should like to see ten or twenty of our non-resident fellowships,
which at present are doing more harm than good, assigned to missionary
work, to be given to young men who have taken their degree, and who,
whether laymen or clergymen, are willing to work as assistant
missionaries on distant stations, with the distinct understanding that
they should devote some of their time to scientific work, whether the
study of languages, or flowers, or stars, and that they should send home
every year some account of their labors. These men would be like
scientific consuls, to whom students at home might apply for information
and help. They would have opportunities of distinguishing themselves by
really useful work, far more than in London, and after ten years, they
might either return to Europe with a well-established reputation, or if
they find that they have a real call for missionary work, devote all
their life to it. Though to my own mind there is no nobler work than
that of a missionary, yet I believe that some such connection with the
Universities and men of science would raise their position, and would
call out more general interest, and secure to the missionary cause the
good-will of those whose will is apt to become law.

Thirdly, I think that Oriental studies have a claim on the colonies and
the colonial governments. The English colonies are scattered all over
the globe, and many of them in localities where an immense deal of
useful scientific work might be done, and would be done with the
slightest encouragement from the local authorities, and something like a
systematic supervision on the part of the Colonial Office at home. Some
years ago I ventured to address the Colonial Secretary of State on this
subject, and a letter was sent out in consequence to all the English
colonies, inviting information on the languages, monuments, customs, and
traditions of the native races. Some most valuable reports have been
sent home during the last five or six years, but when it was suggested
that these reports should be published in a permanent form, the expense
that would have been required for printing every year a volume of
Colonial Reports, and which would not have amounted to more than a few
hundred pounds for all the colonies of the British Empire, part of it to
be recovered by the sale of the book, was considered too large.

Now we should bear in mind that at the present moment some of the tribes
living in or near the English colonies in Australia, Polynesia, Africa,
and America, are actually dying out, their languages are disappearing,
their customs, traditions, and religions will soon be completely swept
away. To the student of language, the dialect of a savage tribe is as
valuable as Sanskrit or Hebrew, nay, for the solution of certain
problems, more so; every one of these languages is the growth of
thousands and thousands of years, the workmanship of millions and
millions of human beings. If they were now preserved, they might
hereafter fill the most critical gaps in the history of the human race.
At Rome at the time of the Scipios, hundreds of people might have
written down a grammar and dictionary of the Etruscan language, of
Oscan, or Umbrian; but there were men then, as there are now, who
shrugged their shoulders and said, What can be the use of preserving
these barbarous, uncouth idioms?--What would we not give now for some
such records?

And this is not all. The study of savage tribes has assumed a new
interest of late, when the question of the exact relation of man to the
rest of the animal kingdom has again roused the passions not only of
scientific inquirers, but also of the public at large. Now what is
wanted for the solution of this question, are more facts and fewer
theories, and these facts can only be gained by a patient study of the
lowest races of mankind. When religion was held to be the specific
character of man, it was asserted by many travellers that they had seen
races without any religious ideas; when language was seen to be the real
frontier line between man and beast, it was maintained that there were
human beings without language. Now all we want to know are facts, let
the conclusions be whatever they may. It is by no means easy to decide
whether savage tribes have a religion or not; at all events it requires
the same discernment, and the same honesty of purpose as to find out
whether men of the highest intellect among us have a religion or not.
I call the Introduction to Spencer’s “First Principles” deeply
religious, but I can well understand that a missionary, reporting on a
tribe of Spencerian savages, might declare that they had no idea
whatsoever of religion. Looking at a report sent home lately by the
indefatigable Governor of New South Wales, Sir Hercules Robinson, I find
the following description of the religious ideas of the Kamilarois, one
of the most degraded tribes in the Northwestern district of the

“Bhaiami is regarded by them as the maker of all things. The name
signifies ‘maker,’ or ‘cutter-out,’ from the verb +bhai+, +baialli+,
+baia+. He is regarded as the rewarder and punisher of men according to
their conduct. He sees all, and knows all, if not directly, through the
subordinate deity Turramûlan, who presides at the Bora. Bhaiami is said
to have been once on the earth. Turramûlan is mediator in all the
operations of Bhaiami upon man, and in all man’s transactions with
Bhaiami. Turramûlan means ‘leg on one side only,’ ‘one-legged.’”

This description is given by the Rev. C. Greenway, and if there is any
theological bias in it, let us make allowance for it. But there remains
the fact that Bhaiami, their name for deity, comes from a root +bhai+,
to “make,” to “cut out,” and if we remember that hardly any of the names
for deity, either among the Aryan or Semitic nations, comes from a root
with so abstract a meaning, we shall admit, I think, that such reports
as these should not be allowed to lie forgotten in the pigeon-holes of
the Colonial Office, or in the pages of a monthly journal.

What applies to religion, applies to language. We have been told again
and again that the Veddahs in Ceylon have no language. Sir Emerson
Tennant wrote “that they mutually make themselves understood by signs,
grimaces, and guttural sounds, which have little resemblance to definite
words or language in general.” When these statements were repeated,
I tried to induce the Government of Ceylon to send a competent man to
settle the question. I did not receive all I wanted, and therefore
postponed the publication of what was sent me. But I may say so much,
that more than half of the words used by the Veddahs, are, like
Singhalese itself, mere corruption of Sanskrit; their very name is the
Sanskrit word for hunter, +veddhâ+, or, as Mr. Childers supposes,
+vyâdha+. There is a remnant of words in their language of which I can
make nothing as yet. But so much is certain; either the Veddahs started
with the common inheritance of Aryan words and ideas; or, at all events,
they lived for a long time in contact with Aryan people, and adopted
from them such words as were wanting in their language. If they now
stand low in the scale of humanity, they once stood higher, nay they may
possibly prove, in language, if not in blood, the distant cousins of
Plato, and Newton, and Goethe.

It is most essential to keep _la carrière ouverte_ for facts, even more
than for theories, and for the supply of such facts the Colonial
Government might render most useful service.

It is but right to state that whenever I have applied to the Governors
of any of the Colonies, I have invariably met with the greatest kindness
and readiness to help. Some of them take the warmest interest in these
researches. Sir George Grey’s services to the science of language have
hardly been sufficiently appreciated as yet, and the Linguistic Library
which he founded at the Cape, places him of right by the side of Sir
Thomas Bodley. Sir Hercules Robinson, Mr. Musgrave in South Australia,
Sir Henry Barkley at the Cape, and several others, are quite aware of
the importance of linguistic and ethnological researches. What is wanted
is encouragement from home, and some systematic guidance. Dr. Bleek, the
excellent librarian of Sir George Grey’s Library at the Cape, who has
devoted the whole of his life to the study of savage dialects, and whose
Comparative Grammar of the South African languages will hold its place
by the side of Bopp’s, Diez’s, and Caldwell’s Comparative Grammars, is
most anxious that there should be a permanent linguistic and
ethnological station established at the Cape; in fact, that there should
be a linguist attached to every zoölogical station. At the Cape there
are not only the Zulu dialects to be studied, but two most important
languages, that of the Hottentots and that of the Bushmen. Dr. Bleek has
lately been enabled to write down several volumes of traditional
literature from the mouths of some Bushman prisoners, but he says, “my
powers and my life are drawing to an end, and unless I have some young
men to assist me, and carry on my work, much of what I have done will be
lost.” There is no time to be lost, and I trust therefore that my appeal
will not be considered importunate by the present Colonial Minister.

Last of all, we turn to India, the very cradle of Oriental scholarship,
and here, instead of being importunate and urging new claims for
assistance, I think I am expressing the feelings of all Oriental
scholars in publicly acknowledging the readiness with which the Indian
Government, whether at home or in India, whether during the days of the
old East India Company, or now under the auspices of the Secretary of
State, has always assisted every enterprise tending to throw light on
the literature, the religion, the laws and customs, the arts and
manufactures of that ancient Oriental Empire.

Only last night I received the first volume of a work which will mark a
new era in the history of Oriental typography. Three valuable MSS. of
the Mahâbhâshya have been photolithographed at the expense of the Indian
Government, and under the supervision of one whom many of us will miss
here to-day, the late Professor Goldstücker. It is a magnificent
publication, and as there are only fifty copies printed, it will soon
become more valuable than a real MS.

There are two surveys carried on at the present moment in India,
a literary and an archæological survey. Many years ago, when Lord Elgin
went to India as Governor-general, I suggested to him the necessity of
taking measures in order to rescue from destruction whatever could still
be rescued of the ancient literature of the country. Lord Elgin died
before any active measures could be taken, but the plan found a more
powerful advocate in Mr. Whitley Stokes, who urged the Government to
appoint some Sanskrit scholars to visit all places containing
collections of Sanskrit MSS., and to publish lists of their titles, so
that we might know, at all events, how much of a literature, that had
been preserved for thousands of years, was still in existence at the
present moment. This work was confided to Dr. Bühler, Dr. Kielhorn, Mr.
Burnell, Rajendralal Mitra, and others. Several of their catalogues have
been published, and there is but one feeling among all Sanskrit scholars
as to the value of their work. But they also feel that the time has come
for doing more. The mere titles of the MSS. whet our appetite, but do
not satisfy it. There are, of course, hundreds of books where the title,
the name of the author, the _locus et annus_ are all we care to know.
But of books which are scarce, and hitherto not known out of India, we
want to know more. We want some information of the subject and its
treatment, and if possible, of the date, of the author, and of the
writers quoted by him. We want extracts, intelligently chosen, in fact,
we want something like the excellent catalogue which Dr. Aufrecht has
made for the Bodleian Library. In Mr. Burnell, Dr. Bühler, Dr. Kielhorn,
the Government possesses scholars who could do that work admirably; what
they want is more leisure, more funds, more assistance.

Contemporaneously with the Literary Survey, there is the Archæological
Survey, carried on by that gallant and indefatigable scholar, General
Cunningham. His published reports show the systematic progress of his
work, and his occasional communications in the Journal of the Asiatic
Society of Bengal tell us of his newest discoveries. The very last
number of that journal brought us the news of the discovery of the
wonderful ruins of the Buddhist temple of Bharahut,[6] which, with their
representations of scenes from the early Buddhist literature, with their
inscriptions and architectural style, may enable us to find a _terminus
a quo_ for the literary and religious history of India. We should not
forget the services which Mr. Fergusson has rendered to the history of
Indian architecture, both by awakening an interest in the subject, and
by the magnificent publication of the drawings of the sculptures of
Sanchi and Amravati, carried on under the authority of the Secretary of
State for India. Let us hope that these new discoveries may supply him
with materials for another volume, worthy of its companion.

It was supposed for a time that there was a third survey carried on in
India, ethnological and linguistic, and the volume, published by Colonel
Dalton, “Descriptive Ethnology of Bengal,” with portraits from
photographs, was a most excellent beginning. But the other India
Governments have not hitherto followed the example of the Bengal
Government, and nothing has of late come to my knowledge in this
important line of research. Would not Dr. Hunter, who has done so much
for a scientific study of the non-Aryan languages and races of India,
take up this important branch of research, and give us, not only
photographs and graphic description, but also, what is most wanted,
scholarlike grammars of the principal races of India? Lists of words, if
carefully chosen, like those in Colonel Dalton’s work and in Sir George
Campbell’s “Specimens,” are, no doubt, most valuable for preliminary
researches, but without grammars, none of the great questions which are
still pending in Indian Ethnology will ever be satisfactorily and
definitely settled. No real advance has been made in the classification
of Indian dialects since the time when I endeavored, some twenty years
ago, to sum up what was then known on that subject, in my letter to
Bunsen “On the Turanian Languages.” What I then for the first time
ventured to maintain against the highest authorities in Indian
linguistic ethnology, viz., that the dialects of the Mundas or the Koles
constituted a third and totally independent class of languages in India,
related neither to the Aryan nor to the Dravidian families, has since
been fully confirmed by later researches, and is now, I believe,
generally accepted. The fact also, on which I then strongly insisted,
that the Uraon Koles, and Rajmahal Koles, might be Koles in blood, but
certainly not in language, their language being, like that of the Gonds,
Dravidian, is now no longer disputed. But beyond this, all is still as
hypothetical as it was twenty years ago, simply because we can get no
grammars of the Munda dialects. Why do not the German missionaries at
Ranchi, who have done such excellent work among the Koles, publish a
grammatical analysis of that interesting cluster of dialects? Only a
week ago, one of them, Mr. Jellinghaus, gave me a grammatical sketch of
the Mundári language, and even this, short as it is, was quite
sufficient to show that the supposed relationship between the Munda
dialects and the Khasia language, of which we have a grammar, is
untenable. The similarities pointed out by Mason between the Munda
dialects and the Talaing of Pegu, are certainly startling, but equally
startling are the divergences; and here again no real result will be
obtained without a comparison of the grammatical structure of the two
languages. The other classes of Indian languages, the Taic, the
Gangetic, subdivided into Trans-Himalayan and Sub-Himalayan, the
Lohitic, and Tamulic, are still retained, though some of their names
have been changed. Without wishing to defend the names which I had
chosen for these classes, I must say that I look upon the constant
introduction of new technical terms as an unmixed evil. Every
classificatory term is imperfect. Aryan, Semitic, Hamitic, Turanian, all
are imperfect, but, if they are but rightly defined, they can do no
harm, whereas a new term, however superior at first sight, always makes
confusion worse confounded. The chemists do not hesitate to call sugar
an acid rather than part with an old established term; why should not we
in the science of language follow their good example?

Dr. Leitner’s labors in Dardistan should here be mentioned. They date
from the year 1866. Considering the shortness of the time allotted to
him for exploring that country, he has been most successful in
collecting his linguistic materials. We owe him a vocabulary of two
Shinâ dialects (the Ghilghiti and Astori), and of the Arnyia, the
Khayuna, and the Kalâsha-Mânder. These vocabularies are so arranged as
to give us a fair idea of the systems of conjugation and declension.
Other vocabularies, arranged according to subjects, allow us an insight
into the intellectual life of the Shinas, and we also receive most
interesting information on the customs, legends, superstitions, and
religion of the Dardus. Some of the important results, obtained by the
same enterprising scholar in his excavations on the Takht-i-bahai hills
will be laid before the Archæological Section of this Congress. It is
impossible to look at the Buddhist sculptures which he has brought home
without perceiving that there is in them a foreign element. They are
Buddhist sculptures, but they differ both in treatment and expression
from what was hitherto known of Buddhist art in various parts of the
world. Dr. Leitner thinks that the foreign element came from Greece,
from Greek or Macedonian workmen, the descendants of Alexander’s
companions; others think that local and individual influences are
sufficient to account for apparent deviations from the common Buddhist
type. On this point I feel totally incompetent to express an opinion,
but whatever the judgment of our archæological colleagues may be,
neither they nor we ourselves can have any doubt that Dr. Leitner
deserves our sincere gratitude as an indefatigable explorer and
successful discoverer.

Many of the most valuable treasures of every kind and sort, collected
during these official surveys, and by private enterprise, are now
deposited in the Indian Museum in London, a real mine of literary and
archæological wealth, opened with the greatest liberality to all who are
willing to work in it.

It is unfortunate, no doubt, that this meeting of Oriental scholars
should have taken place at a time when the treasures of the Indian
Museum are still in their temporary exile; yet, if they share in the
regret felt by every friend of India, at the delay in the building of a
new museum, worthy both of England and of India, they will also carry
away the conviction, that such delay is simply due to a desire to do the
best that can be done, in order to carry out in the end something little
short of that magnificent scheme of an Indian Institute, drawn by the
experienced hand of Mr. Forbes Watson.

And now, in conclusion, I have to express my own gratitude for the
liberality both of the Directors of the old East India Company and of
the present Secretary of State for India in Council, for having enabled
me to publish that work the last sheet of which I am able to present to
this Meeting to-day, the “Rig-Veda, with the Commentary of Sâyaṇâcârya.”
It is the oldest book of the Aryan world, but it is also one of the
largest, and its publication would have been simply impossible without
the enlightened liberality of the Indian Government. For twenty-five
years I find, that taking the large and small editions of the Rig-Veda
together, I have printed every year what would make a volume of about
six hundred pages octavo. Such a publication would have ruined any
bookseller, for it must be confessed, that there is little that is
attractive in the Veda, nothing that could excite general interest. From
an æsthetic point of view, no one would care for the hymns of the
Rig-Veda, and I can well understand how, in the beginning of our
century, even so discriminating a scholar as Colebrooke could express
his opinion that, “The Vedas are too voluminous for a complete
translation, and what they contain would hardly reward the labor of the
reader, much less that of the translator. The ancient dialect in which
they are composed, and specially that of the three first Vedas, is
extremely difficult and obscure; and, though curious, as the parent of a
more polished and refined language, its difficulties must long continue
to prevent such an examination of the whole Vedas, as would be requisite
for extracting all that is remarkable and important in those voluminous
works. But they well deserve to be occasionally consulted by the
Oriental scholar.” Nothing shows the change from the purely æsthetic to
the purely scientific interest in the language and literature of India
more clearly than the fact that for the last twenty-five years the work
of nearly all Sanskrit scholars has been concentrated on the Veda. When
some thirty years ago I received my first lessons in Sanskrit from
Professor Brockhaus, whom I am happy and proud to see to-day among us,
there were but few students who ventured to dive into the depths of
Vedic literature. To-day among the Sanskrit scholars whom Germany has
sent to us--Professors Stenzler, Spiegel, Weber, Hang, Pertsch,
Windisch--there is not one who has not won his laurels on the field of
Vedic scholarship. In France also a new school of Sanskrit students has
sprung up who have done most excellent work for the interpretation of
the Veda, and who bid fair to rival the glorious school of French
Orientalists at the beginning of this century, both by their persevering
industry and by that “sweetness and light” which seems to be the
birthright of their nation. But, I say again, there is little that is
beautiful, in our sense of the word, to be found in the hymns of the
Rig-Veda, and what little there is, has been so often dwelt on, that
quite an erroneous impression as to the real nature of Vedic poetry has
been produced in the mind of the public. My old friend, the Dean of St.
Paul’s, for instance, in some thoughtful lectures which he delivered
this year on the “Sacred Poetry of Early Religions,” has instituted a
comparison between the Psalms and the hymns of the Veda, and he arrives
at the conclusion that the Psalms are superior to the Vedic hymns. No
doubt they are, from the point of view which he has chosen, but the
chief value of these hymns lies in the fact that they are so different
from the Psalms, or, if you like, that they are so inferior to the
Psalms. They are Aryan, the Psalms Semitic; they belong to a primitive
and rude state of society, the Psalms, at least most of them, are
contemporaneous with or even later than the heydays of the Jewish
monarchy. This strange misconception of the true character of the Vedic
hymns seemed to me to become so general, that when some years ago I had
to publish the first volume of my translation, I intentionally selected
a class of hymns which should in no way encourage such erroneous
opinions. It was interesting to watch the disappointment. What, it was
said, are these strange, savage, grotesque invocations of the
Storm-gods, the inspired strains of the ancient sages of India? Is this
the wisdom of the East? Is this the primeval revelation? Even scholars
of high reputation joined in the outcry, and my friends hinted to me
that they would not have wasted their life on such a book.

Now, suppose a geologist had brought to light the bones of a fossil
animal, dating from a period anterior to any in which traces of animal
life had been discovered before, would any young lady venture to say by
way of criticism, “Yes, these bones are very curious, but they are not
pretty!” Or suppose a new Egyptian statue had been discovered, belonging
to a dynasty hitherto unrepresented by any statues, would even a
school-boy dare to say, “Yes, it is very nice, but the Venus of Milo is
nicer?” Or suppose an old MS. is brought to Europe, do we find fault
with it, because it is not neatly printed? If a chemist discovers a new
element, is he pitied because it is not gold? If a botanist writes on
germs, has he to defend himself, because he does not write on flowers?
Why, it is simply because the Veda is so different from what it was
expected to be, because it is not like the Psalms, not like Pindar, not
like the Bhagavadgîtâ, it is because it stands alone by itself, and
reveals to us the earliest germs of religious thought, such as they
really were; it is because it places before us a language, more
primitive than any we knew before; it is because its poetry is what you
may call savage, uncouth, rude, horrible, it is for that very reason
that it was worth while to dig and dig till the old buried city was
recovered, showing us what man was, what we were, before we had reached
the level of David, the level of Homer, the level of Zoroaster, showing
us the very cradle of our thoughts, our words, and our deeds. _I_ am not
disappointed with the Veda, and I shall conclude my address with the
last verses of the last hymn, which you have now in your hands,--verses
which thousands of years ago may have been addressed to a similar
meeting of Aryan fellow-men, and which are not inappropriate to our

  Sám gacchadhvam sám vadadhvam sám vaḥ mánâṃsi jànatâm,
  Devâh bhâgám yáthâ pû́rve[7] saṃjânânấḥ upấsate,
  Samânáh mántraḥ sámitiḥ samánî́ samânám mánaḥ sahá cittám eshâm,
  Samnám mántram abhí mantraye vaḥ samânéna vaḥ havíshâ juhomi.
  Samânî́ vaḥ ấkûtiḥ samânấ hṛdayâni vaḥ,
  Samânám astu vaḥ mánaḥ yáthâ vaḥ súsaha ásati.

“Come together! Speak together! Let your minds be concordant--the gods
by being concordant receive their share, one after the other. Their word
is the same, their counsel is the same, their mind is the same, their
thoughts are at one; I address to you the same word, I worship you with
the same sacrifice. Let your endeavor be the same! Let your hearts be
the same! Let your mind be the same, that it may go well with you.”



In the “Indian Mirror,” published at Calcutta, 20 September, 1874,
a native writer gave utterance almost at the same time to the same

“When the dominion passed from the Mogul to the hands of Englishmen, the
latter regarded the natives as little better than niggers, having a
civilization perhaps a shade better than that of the barbarians. . . .
The gulf was wide between the conquerors and the conquered. . . . There
was no affection to lessen the distance between the two races. . . . The
discovery of Sanskrit entirely revolutionized the course of thought and
speculations. It served as the ‘open sesame’ to many hidden treasures.
It was then that the position of India in the scale of civilization was
distinctly apprehended. It was then that our relations with the advanced
nations of the world were fully realized. We were niggers at one time.
We now become brethren. . . . The advent of the English found us a
nation low sunk in the mire of superstitions, ignorance, and political
servitude. The advent of scholars like Sir William Jones found us fully
established in a rank above that of every nation as that from which
modern civilization could be distinctly traced. It would be interesting
to contemplate what would have been our position if the science of
philology had not been discovered. . . . It was only when the labor of
scholars brought to light the treasures of our antiquity that they
perceived how near we were to their races in almost all things that they
held dear in their life. It was then that our claims on their affection
and regard were first established. As Hindus we ought never to forget
the labor of scholars. We owe them our life as a nation, our freedom as
a recognized society, and our position in the scale of races. It is the
fashion with many to decry the labors of those men as dry, unprofitable,
and dreamy. We should know that it is to the study of the roots and
inflections of the Sanskrit language that we owe our national
salvation. . . . Within a very few years after the discovery of
Sanskrit, a revolution took place in the history of comparative science.
Never were so many discoveries made at once, and from the speculations
of learned scholars like ----, the dawnings of many truths are even now
visible to the world. . . . Comparative mythology and comparative
religion are new terms altogether in the world. . . . We say again that
India has no reason to forget the services of scholars.”


The following letter addressed by me to the “Academy,” October 17, 1874,
p. 433, gives the reasons for this statement:--

“I was aware of the mission of the four young Brahmans sent to Benares
in 1845, to copy out and study the four Vedas respectively. I had read
of it last in the ‘Historical Sketch of the Brahmo Samaj,’ which Miss
Collet had the kindness to send me. But what I said in my address before
the Oriental Congress referred to earlier times. That mission in 1845
was, in fact, the last result of much previous discussion, which
gradually weakened and destroyed in the mind of Ram Mohun Roy and his
followers their traditional faith in the Divine origin of the Vedas. At
first Ram Mohun Roy met the arguments of his English friends by simply
saying, ‘If you claim a Divine origin for your sacred books, so do we;’
and when he was pressed by the argument derived from internal evidence,
he appealed to a few hymns, such as the Gâyatrî, and to the Upanishads,
as by no means inferior to passages in the Bible, and not unworthy of a
divine author. The Veda with him was chiefly in the Upanishads, and he
had hardly any knowledge of the hymns of the Rig-Veda. I state this on
the authority of a conversation that passed between him and young Rosen,
who was then working at the MSS. of the Rig-Veda-Sanhitâ in the British
Museum, and to whom Ram Mohun Roy expressed his regret at not being able
to read his own sacred books.

“There were other channels, too, through which, after Ram Mohun Roy’s
death in 1833, a knowledge of the studies of European scholars may have
reached the still hesitating reformers of the Brahma Sabhá. Dvarka Náth
Tagore paid a visit to Europe in the year 1845. I write from memory.
Though not a man of deep religious feelings, he was an enlightened and
shrewd observer of all that passed before his eyes. He was not a
Sanskrit scholar; and I well recollect, when we paid a visit together to
Eugène Burnouf, Dvarka Náth Tagore putting his dark delicate hand on one
side of Burnouf’s edition of the ‘Bhagavat Purâṇa,’ containing the
French translation, and saying he could understand that, but not the
Sanskrit original on the opposite page. I saw him frequently at Paris,
where I was then engaged in collecting materials for a complete edition
of the Vedas and the commentary of Sâyaṇâcârya. Many a morning did I
pass in his rooms, smoking, accompanying him on the pianoforte, and
discussing questions in which we took a common interest. I remember one
morning, after he had been singing some Italian, French, and German
music, I asked him to sing an Indian song. He declined at first, saying
that he knew I should not like it; but at last he yielded, and sang, not
one of the modern Persian songs, which commonly go by the name of
Indian, but a genuine native piece of music. I listened quietly, but
when it was over, I told him that it seemed strange to me, how one who
could appreciate Italian and German music could find any pleasure in
what sounded to me like mere noise, without melody, rhythm, or harmony.
‘Oh,’ he said, ‘that is exactly like you Europeans! When I first heard
your Italian and German music I disliked it; it was no music to me at
all. But I persevered, I became accustomed to it, I found out what was
good in it, and now I am able to enjoy it. But you despise whatever is
strange to you, whether in music, or philosophy, or religion; you will
not listen and learn, and we shall understand you much sooner than you
will understand us.’

“In our conversations on the Vedas he never, as far as I recollect,
defended the divine origin of his own sacred writings in the abstract,
but he displayed great casuistic cleverness in maintaining that every
argument that had ever been adduced in support of a supernatural origin
of the Bible could be used with equal force in favor of a divine
authorship of the Veda. His own ideas of the Veda were chiefly derived
from the Upanishads, and he frequently assured me that there was much
more of Vedic literature in India than we imagined. This Dvarka Náth
Tagore was the father of Debendra Náth Tagore, the true founder of the
Brahmo Samáj, who, in 1845, sent the four young Brahmans to Benares to
copy out and study the four Vedas. Though Dvarka Náth Tagore was so far
orthodox that he maintained a number of Brahmans, yet it was he also who
continued the grant for the support of the Church, founded at Calcutta
by Ram Mohun Roy. One letter written by Dvarka Náth Tagore from Paris to
Calcutta in 1845, would supply the missing link between what was passing
at that time in a room of a hotel on the Place Vendôme, and the
resolution taken at Calcutta to find out, once for all, what the Vedas
really are.

“In India itself the idea of a critical and historical study of the Veda
originated certainly with English scholars. Dr. Mill once showed me the
first attempt at printing the sacred Gâyatrî in Calcutta; and, if I am
not mistaken, he added that unfortunately the gentleman who had printed
it died soon after, thus confirming the prophecies of the Brahmans that
such a sacrilege would not remain unavenged by the gods. Dr. Mill,
Stevenson, Wilson, and others were the first to show to the educated
natives in India that the Upanishads belonged to a later age than the
hymns of the Rig-Veda, and likewise the first to exhibit to Ram Mohun
Roy and his friends the real character of these ancient hymns. On a mind
like Ram Mohun Roy’s the effect was probably much more immediate than on
his followers, so that it took several years before they decided on
sending their commissioners to Benares to report on the Veda and its
real character. Yet that mission was, I believe, the result of a slow
process of attrition produced by the contact between native and European
minds, and as such I wished to present it in my address at the Oriental

    [Footnote 1: These lists of common Aryan words were published in
    the _Academy_, October 10, 1874, and are reprinted at the end of
    the next article “On the Life of Colebrooke.”]

    [Footnote 2: _Geschichte der Sprachwissenschaft und Orientalischen
    Philologie in Deutschland_, von Theodor Benfey. München, 1869.]

    [Footnote 3: _Aristoteles’ Metaphysik, eine Tochter der
    Sânkhya-Lehre des Kapila_, von Dr. C. B. Schlüter. 1874.]

    [Footnote 4: See Note A, p. 355.]

    [Footnote 5: See Note B, p. 356.]

    [Footnote 6: _Academy_, August 1, 1874.]

    [Footnote 7: I read +yathâpûrve+ as one word.]



The name and fame of Henry Thomas Colebrooke are better known in India,
France, Germany, Italy--nay, even in Russia--than in his own country. He
was born in London on the 15th of June, 1765; he died in London on the
10th of March, 1837; and if now, after waiting for thirty-six years, his
only surviving son, Sir Edward Colebrooke, has at last given us a more
complete account of his father’s life, the impulse has come chiefly from
Colebrooke’s admirers abroad, who wished to know what the man had been
whose works they know so well. If Colebrooke had simply been a
distinguished, even a highly distinguished, servant of the East India
Company, we could well understand that, where the historian has so many
eminent services to record, those of Henry Thomas Colebrooke should have
been allowed to pass almost unnoticed. The history of British India has
still to be written, and it will be no easy task to write it. Macaulay’s
“Lives” of Clive and Warren Hastings are but two specimens to show how
it ought to be, and yet how it cannot be, written. There is in the
annals of the conquest and administrative tenure of India so much of the
bold generalship of raw recruits, the statesmanship of common clerks,
and the heroic devotion of mere adventurers, that even the largest
canvas of the historian must dwarf the stature of heroes; and characters
which, in the history of Greece or England, would stand out in bold
relief, must vanish unnoticed in the crowd. The substance of the present
memoir appeared in the “Journal” of the Royal Asiatic Society soon after
Mr. Colebrooke’s death. It consisted originally of a brief notice of his
public and literary career, interspersed with extracts from his letters
to his family during the first twenty years of residence in India. Being
asked a few years since to allow this notice to appear in a new edition
of his “Miscellaneous Essays,” which Mr. Fitz-Edward Hall desired to
republish, Sir Edward thought it incumbent on him to render it more
worthy of his father’s reputation. The letters in the present volume
are, for the most part, given in full; and some additional
correspondence is included in it, besides a few papers of literary
interest, and a journal kept by him during his residence at Nagpur,
which was left incomplete. Two addresses delivered to the Royal Asiatic
and Astronomical Societies, and the narrative of a journey to and from
the capital of Berar, are given in an appendix and complete the volume,
which is now on the eve of publication.

Although, as we shall see, the career of Mr. Colebrooke, as a servant of
the East India Company, was highly distinguished, and in its
vicissitudes, as here told by his son, both interesting and instructive,
yet his most lasting fame will not be that of the able administrator,
the learned lawyer, the thoughtful financier and politician, but that of
the founder and father of true Sanskrit scholarship in Europe. In that
character Colebrooke has secured his place in the history of the world,
a place which neither envy nor ignorance can ever take from him. Had he
lived in Germany, we should long ago have seen his statue in his native
place, his name written in letters of gold on the walls of academies; we
should have heard of Colebrooke jubilees and Colebrooke scholarships. In
England, if any notice is taken of the discovery of Sanskrit--a
discovery in many respects equally important, in some even more
important, than the revival of Greek scholarship in the fifteenth
century--we may possibly hear the popular name of Sir William Jones and
his classical translation of Sakuntala; but of the infinitely more
important achievements of Colebrooke, not one word. The fact is, the
time has not yet come when the full importance of the Sanskrit philology
can be appreciated by the public at large. It was the same with Greek
philology. When Greek began to be studied by some of the leading spirits
in Europe, the subject seemed at first one of purely literary curiosity.
When its claims were pressed on the public, they were met by opposition,
and even ridicule; and those who knew least of Greek were most eloquent
in their denunciations. Even when its study had become more general, and
been introduced at universities and schools, it remained in the eyes of
many a mere accomplishment--its true value for higher than scholastic
purposes being scarcely suspected. At present we know that the revival
of Greek scholarship affected the deepest interests of humanity, that it
was in reality a revival of that consciousness which links large
portions of mankind together, connects the living with the dead, and
thus secures to each generation the full intellectual inheritance of our
race. Without that historical consciousness the life of man would be
ephemeral and vain. The more we can see backward, and place ourselves in
real sympathy with the past, the more truly do we make the life of
former generations our own, and are able to fulfill our own appointed
duty in carrying on the work which was begun centuries ago in Athens and
at Rome. But while the unbroken traditions of the Roman world, and the
revival of Greek culture among us, restored to us the intellectual
patrimony of Greece and Rome only, and made the Teutonic race in a
certain sense Greek and Roman, the discovery of Sanskrit will have a
much larger influence. Like a new intellectual spring, it is meant to
revive the broken fibres that once united the Southeastern with the
Northwestern branches of the Aryan family; and thus to rëestablish the
spiritual brotherhood, not only of the Teutonic, Greek, and Roman, but
likewise of the Slavonic, Celtic, Indian, and Persian branches. It is to
make the mind of man wider, his heart larger, his sympathies
world-embracing; it is to make us truly _humaniores_, richer and prouder
in the full perception of what humanity has been, and what it is meant
to be. This is the real object of the more comprehensive studies of the
nineteenth century, and though the full appreciation of this their true
import may be reserved to the future, no one who follows the
intellectual progress of mankind attentively can fail to see that, even
now, the comparative study of languages, mythologies, and religions has
widened our horizon; that much which was lost has been regained; and
that a new world, if it has not yet been occupied, is certainly in
sight. It is curious to observe that those to whom we chiefly owe the
discovery of Sanskrit were as little conscious of the real importance of
their discovery as Columbus was when he landed at St. Salvador. What Mr.
Colebrooke did, was done from a sense of duty, rather than from literary
curiosity; but there was also a tinge of enthusiasm in his character,
like that which carries a traveller to the wastes of Africa or the
icebound regions of the Pole. Whenever there was work ready for him, he
was ready for the work. But he had no theories to substantiate, no
preconceived objects to attain. Sobriety and thoroughness are the
distinguishing features of all his works. There is in them no trace of
haste or carelessness; but neither is there evidence of any
extraordinary effort, or minute professional scholarship. In the same
business-like spirit in which he collected the revenue of his province
he collected his knowledge of Sanskrit literature; with the same
judicial impartiality with which he delivered his judgments he delivered
the results at which he had arrived after his extensive and careful
reading; and with the same sense of confidence with which he quietly
waited for the effects of his political and financial measures, in spite
of the apathy or the opposition with which they met at first, he left
his written works to the judgment of posterity, never wasting his time
in the repeated assertion of his opinions, or in useless controversy,
though he was by no means insensible to his own literary reputation. The
biography of such a man deserves a careful study; and we think that Sir
Edward Colebrooke has fulfilled more than a purely filial duty in giving
to the world a full account of the private, public, and literary life of
his great father.

Colebrooke was the son of a wealthy London banker, Sir George
Colebrooke, a Member of Parliament, and a man in his time of some
political importance. Having proved himself a successful advocate of the
old privileges of the East India Company, he was invited to join the
Court of Directors, and became in 1769 chairman of the Company. His
chairmanship was distinguished in history by the appointment of Warren
Hastings to the highest office in India, and there are in existence
letters from that illustrious man to Sir George, written in the crisis
of his Indian Administration, which show the intimate and confidential
relations subsisting between them. But when, in later years, Sir George
Colebrooke became involved in pecuniary difficulties, and Indian
appointments were successively obtained for his two sons, James Edward
and Henry Thomas, it does not appear that Warren Hastings took any
active steps to advance them, beyond appointing the elder brother to an
office of some importance on his secretariat. Henry, the younger
brother, had been educated at home, and at the age of fifteen he had
laid a solid foundation in Latin, Greek, French, and particularly in
mathematics. As he never seems to have been urged on, he learned what he
learned quietly and thoroughly, trying from the first to satisfy himself
rather than others. Thus a love of knowledge for its own sake remained
firmly engrained in his mind through life, and explains much of what
would otherwise remain inexplicable in his literary career.

At the age of eighteen he started for India, and arrived at Madras in
1783, having narrowly escaped capture by French cruisers. The times were
anxious times for India, and full of interest to an observer of
political events. In his very first letter from India Colebrooke thus
sketches the political situation:--

  “The state of affairs in India seems to bear a far more favorable
  aspect than for a long time past. The peace with the Mahrattas and
  the death of Hyder Ally, the intended invasion of Tippoo’s country
  by the Mahrattas, sufficiently removed all alarm from the country
  powers; but there are likewise accounts arrived, and which seem to
  be credited, of the defeat of Tippoo by Colonel Matthews, who
  commands on the other coast.”

From Madras Colebrooke proceeded, in 1783, to Calcutta, where he met his
elder brother, already established in the service. His own start in
official life was delayed, and took place under circumstances by no
means auspicious. The tone, both in political and private life, was at
that time at its lowest ebb in India. Drinking, gambling, and
extravagance of all kinds were tolerated even in the best society, and
Colebrooke could not entirely escape the evil effects of the moral
atmosphere in which he had to live. It is all the more remarkable that
his taste for work never deserted him, and “that he would retire to his
midnight Sanskrit studies unaffected by the excitement of the
gambling-table.” It was not till 1786--a year after Warren Hastings had
left India--that he received his first official appointment, as
Assistant Collector of Revenue in Tirhut. His father seems to have
advised him from the first to be assiduous in acquiring the vernacular
languages, and we find him at an early period of his Indian career thus
writing on this subject: “The one, and that the most necessary, Moors
(now called Hindustani), by not being written, bars all close
application; the other, Persian, is too dry to entice, and is so seldom
of any use, that I seek its acquisition very leisurely.” He asked his
father in turn to send him the Greek and Latin classics, evidently
intending to carry on his old favorite studies, rather than begin a new
career as an Oriental scholar. For a time he seemed, indeed, deeply
disappointed with his life in India, and his prospects were anything but
encouraging. But although he seriously thought of throwing up his
position and returning to England, he was busy nevertheless in
elaborating a scheme for the better regulation of the Indian service.
His chief idea was, that the three functions of the civil service--the
commercial, the revenue, and the diplomatic--should be separated; that
each branch should be presided over by an independent board, and that
those who had qualified themselves for one branch should not be
transferred to another. Curiously enough, he lived to prove by his own
example the applicability of the old system, being himself transferred
from the revenue department to a judgeship, then employed on an
important diplomatic mission, and lastly raised to a seat in Council,
and acquitting himself well in each of these different employments.
After a time his discontent seems to have vanished. He quietly settled
down to his work in collecting the revenue of Tirhut; and his official
duties soon became so absorbing, that he found little time for
projecting reforms of the Indian Civil Service.

Soon also his Oriental studies gave him a new interest in the country
and the people. The first allusions to Oriental literature occur in a
letter dated Patna, December 10, 1786. It is addressed to his father,
who had desired some information concerning the religion of the Hindus.
Colebrooke’s own interest in Sanskrit literature was from the first
scientific rather than literary. His love of mathematics and astronomy
made him anxious to find out what the Brahmans had achieved in these
branches of knowledge. It is surprising to see how correct is the first
communication which he sends to his father on the four modes of
reckoning time adopted by Hindu astronomers, and which he seems chiefly
to have drawn from Persian sources. The passage (pp. 23-26) is too long
to be given here, but we recommend it to the careful attention of
Sanskrit scholars, who will find it more accurate than what has but
lately been written on the same subject. Colebrooke treated, again, of
the different measures of time in his essay “On Indian Weights and
Measures,” published in the “Asiatic Researches,” 1798; and in stating
the rule for finding the planets which preside over the day, called
_Horâ_, he was the first to point out the coincidence between that
expression and our name for the twenty-fourth part of the day. In one of
the notes to his Dissertation on the Algebra of the Hindus he showed
that this and other astrological terms were evidently borrowed by the
Hindus from the Greeks, or other external sources; and in a manuscript
note published for the first time by Sir E. Colebrooke, we find him
following up the same subject, and calling attention to the fact that
the word _Horâ_ occurs in the Sanskrit vocabulary--the _Medinî-Kosha_,
and bears there, among other significations, that of the rising of a
sign of the zodiac, or half a sign. This, as he remarks, is in diurnal
motion one _hour_, thus confirming the connection between the Indian and
European significations of the word.

While he thus felt attracted towards the study of Oriental literature by
his own scientific interests, it seems that Sanskrit literature and
poetry by themselves had no charms for him. On the contrary, he declares
himself repelled by the false taste of Oriental writers; and he speaks
very slightingly of “the _amateurs_ who do not seek the acquisition of
useful knowledge, but would only wish to attract notice, without the
labor of deserving it, which is readily accomplished by an ode from the
Persian, an apologue from the Sanskrit, or a song from some unheard-of
dialect of Hinduee, of which _amateur_ favors the public with a _free_
translation, without understanding the original, as you will immediately
be convinced, if you peruse that repository of nonsense, the ‘Asiatic
Miscellany.’” He makes one exception, however, in favor of Wilkins.
“I have never yet seen any book,” he writes, “which can be depended on
for information concerning the real opinions of the Hindus, except
Wilkins’s ‘Bhagvat Geeta.’ That gentleman was Sanskrit mad, and has more
materials and more general knowledge respecting the Hindus than any
other foreigner ever acquired since the days of Pythagoras.” Arabic,
too, did not then find much more favor in his eyes than Sanskrit. “Thus
much,” he writes, “I am induced to believe, that the Arabic language is
of more difficult acquisition than Latin, or even than Greek; and,
although it may be concise and nervous, it will not reward the labor of
the student, since, in the works of science, he can find nothing new,
and, in those of literature, he could not avoid feeling his judgment
offended by the false taste in which they are written, and his
imagination being heated by the glow of their imagery. A few dry facts
might, however, reward the literary drudge. . . . .”

It may be doubted, indeed, whether Colebrooke would ever have overcome
these prejudices, had it not been for his father’s exhortations. In
1789, Colebrooke was transferred from Tirhut to Purneah; and such was
his interest in his new and more responsible office, that, according to
his own expression, he felt for it all the solicitude of a young author.
Engrossed in his work, a ten years’ settlement of some of the districts
of his new collectorship, he writes to his father in July, 1790:--

  “The religion, manners, natural history, traditions, and arts of
  this country may, certainly, furnish subjects on which my
  communications might, perhaps, be not uninteresting; but to offer
  anything deserving of attention would require a season of leisure to
  collect and digest information. Engaged in public and busy scenes,
  my mind is wholly engrossed by the cares and duties of my station;
  in vain I seek, for relaxation’s sake, to direct my thoughts to
  other subjects; matters of business constantly recur. It is for this
  cause that I have occasionally apologized for a dearth of subjects,
  having no occurrences to relate, and the matters which occupy my
  attention being uninteresting as a subject of correspondence.”

When, after a time, the hope of distinguishing himself impelled
Colebrooke to new exertions, and he determined to become an author, the
subject which he chose was not antiquarian or philosophical, but purely

  “Translations,” he writes, in 1790, “are for those who rather need
  to fill their purses than gratify their ambition. For original
  compositions on Oriental history and sciences is required more
  reading in the literature of the East than I possess, or am likely
  to attain. My subject should be connected with those matters to
  which my attention is professionally led. One subject is, I believe,
  yet untouched--the agriculture of Bengal. On this I have been
  curious of information; and, having obtained some, I am now pursuing
  inquiries with some degree of regularity. I wish for your opinion,
  whether it would be worth while to reduce into form the information
  which may be obtained on a subject necessarily dry, and which
  (curious, perhaps) is, certainly, useless to English readers.”

Among the subjects of which he wishes to treat in this work we find some
of antiquarian interest, _e.g._, what castes of Hindus are altogether
forbid cultivating, and what castes have religious prejudices against
the culture of particular articles. Others are purely technical; for
instance, the question of the succession and mixture of crops. He states
that the Hindus have some traditional maxims on the succession of crops
to which they rigidly adhere; and with regard to mixture, he observes
that two, three, or even four different articles are sown in the same
field, and gathered successively, as they ripen; that they are sometimes
all sown on the same day, sometimes at different periods, etc.

His letters now became more and more interesting, and they generally
contain some fragments which show us how the sphere of his inquiries
became more and more extended. We find (p. 39) observations on the
Psylli of Egypt and the snake-charmers of India, on the Sikhs (p. 45),
on human sacrifices in India (p. 46). The spirit of inquiry which had
been kindled by Sir W. Jones, more particularly since the foundation of
the Asiatic Society of Bengal in 1784, had evidently reached Colebrooke.
It is difficult to fix the exact date when he began the study of
Sanskrit. He seems to have taken it up and left it again in despair
several times. In 1793 he was removed from Purneah to Nattore. From that
place he sent to his father the first volumes of the “Asiatic
Researches,” published by the members of the Asiatic Society. He drew
his father’s attention to some articles in them, which would seem to
prove that the ancient Hindus possessed a knowledge of Egypt and of the
Jews, but he adds: “No historical light can be expected from Sanskrit
literature; but it may, nevertheless, be curious, if not useful, to
publish such of their legends as seem to resemble others known to
European mythology.” The first glimmering of comparative mythology in

Again he writes in 1793, “In my Sanskrit studies, I do not confine
myself now to particular subjects, but skim the surface of all their
sciences. I will subjoin, for your amusement, some remarks on subjects
treated in the ‘Researches.’”

What the results of that skimming were, and how far more philosophical
his appreciation of Hindu literature had then become, may be seen from
the end of the same letter, written from Rajshahi, December, 6, 1793:--

  “Upon the whole, whatever may be the true antiquity of this nation,
  whether their mythology be a corruption of the pure deism we find in
  their books, or their deism a refinement from gross idolatry;
  whether their religious and moral precepts have been engrafted on
  the elegant philosophy of the Nyâya and Mimânsâ, or this philosophy
  been refined on the plainer text of the Veda; the Hindu is the most
  ancient nation of which we have valuable remains, and has been
  surpassed by none in refinement and civilization; though the utmost
  pitch of refinement to which it ever arrived preceded, in time, the
  dawn of civilization in any other nation of which we have even the
  name in history. The further our literary inquiries are extended
  here, the more vast and stupendous is the scene which opens to us;
  at the same time, that the true and false, the sublime and the
  puerile, wisdom and absurdity, are so intermixed, that, at every
  step, we have to smile at folly, while we admire and acknowledge the
  philosophical truth, though couched in obscure allegory and puerile

In 1794, Colebrooke presented to the Asiatic Society his first paper,
“On the Duties of a Faithful Hindu Widow,” and he told his father at the
same time, that he meant to pursue his Sanskrit inquiries diligently,
and in a spirit which seems to have guided all his work through life:
“The only caution,” he says, “which occurs to me is, not to hazard in
publication anything crude or imperfect, which would injure my
reputation as a man of letters; to avoid this, the precaution may be
taken of submitting my manuscripts to private perusal.”

Colebrooke might indeed from that time have become altogether devoted to
the study of Sanskrit, had not his political feelings been strongly
roused by the new Charter of the East India Company, which, instead of
sanctioning reforms long demanded by political economists, confirmed
nearly all the old privileges of their trade. Colebrooke was a
free-trader by conviction, and because he had at heart the interests
both of India and of England. It is quite gratifying to find a man,
generally so cold and prudent as Colebrooke, warm with indignation at
the folly and injustice of the policy carried out by England with regard
to her Indian subjects. He knew very well that it was personally
dangerous for a covenanted servant to discuss and attack the privileges
of the Company, but he felt that he ought to think and act, not merely
as the servant of a commercial company, but as the servant of the
British Government. He wished, even at that early time, that India
should become an integral portion of the British Empire, and cease to
be, as soon as possible, a mere appendage, yielding a large commercial
revenue. He was encouraged in these views by Mr. Anthony Lambert, and
the two friends at last decided to embody their views in a work, which
they privately printed, under the title of “Remarks on the Present State
of the Husbandry and Commerce of Bengal.” Colebrooke, as we know, had
paid considerable attention to the subject of husbandry, and he now
contributed much of the material which he had collected for a purely
didactic work, to this controversial and political treatise. He is
likewise responsible, and he never tried to shirk that responsibility,
for most of the advanced financial theories which it contains. The
volume was sent to England, and submitted to the Prime Minister of the
day and several other persons of influence. It seems to have produced an
impression in the quarters most concerned, but it was considered prudent
to stop its further circulation on account of the dangerous free-trade
principles, which it supported with powerful arguments. Colebrooke had
left the discretion of publishing the work in England to his friends,
and he cheerfully submitted to their decision. He himself, however,
never ceased to advocate the most liberal financial opinions, and being
considered by those in power in Leadenhall Street as a dangerous young
man, his advancement in India became slower than it would otherwise have

A man of Colebrooke’s power, however, was too useful to the Indian
Government to be passed over altogether, and though his career was
neither rapid nor brilliant, it was nevertheless most successful. Just
at the time when Sir W. Jones had died suddenly, Colebrooke was removed
from the revenue to the judicial branch of the Indian service, and there
was no man in India, except Colebrooke, who could carry on the work
which Sir W. Jones had left unfinished, viz.: “The Digest of Hindu and
Mohammedan Laws.” At the instance of Warren Hastings, a clause had been
inserted in the Act of 1772, providing that “Maulavies and Pundits
should attend the Courts, to expound the law and assist in passing the
decrees.” In all suits regarding inheritance, marriage, caste, and
religious usages and institutions, the ancient laws of the Hindus were
to be followed, and for that purpose a body of laws from their own books
had to be compiled. Under the direction of Warren Hastings, nine
Brahmans had been commissioned to draw up a code, which appeared in
1776, under the title of “Code of Gentoo Laws.”[2] It had been
originally compiled in Sanskrit, then translated into Persian, and from
that into English. As that code, however, was very imperfect, Sir W.
Jones had urged on the Government the necessity of a more complete and
authentic compilation. Texts were to be collected, after the model of
Justinian’s Pandects, from law-books of approved authority, and to be
digested according to a scientific analysis, with references to original
authors. The task of arranging the text-books and compiling the new code
fell chiefly to a learned Pandit, Jagannâtha, and the task of
translating it was now, after the death of Sir W. Jones, undertaken by
Colebrooke. This task was no easy one, and could hardly be carried out
without the help of really learned pandits. Fortunately Colebrooke was
removed at the time when he undertook this work, to Mirzapur, close to
Benares, the seat of Brahmanical learning, in the north of India, and
the seat of a Hindu College. Here Colebrooke found not only rich
collections of Sanskrit MSS, but likewise a number of law pandits, who
could solve many of the difficulties which he had to encounter in the
translation of Jagannâtha’s Digest. After two years of incessant labor,
we find Colebrooke on January 3, 1797, announcing the completion of his
task, which at once established his position as the best Sanskrit
scholar of the day. Oriental studies were at that time in the ascendant
in India. A dictionary was being compiled, and several grammars were in
preparation. Types also had been cut, and for the first time Sanskrit
texts issued from the press in Devanâgarî letters. Native scholars, too,
began to feel a pride in the revival of their ancient literature. The
Brahmans, as Colebrooke writes, were by no means averse to instruct
strangers; they did not even conceal from him the most sacred texts of
the Veda. Colebrooke’s “Essays on the Religious Ceremonies of the
Hindus,” which appeared in the fifth volume of the “Asiatic Researches”
in the same year as his translation of the “Digest,” show very clearly
that he had found excellent instructors, and had been initiated in the
most sacred literature of the Brahmans. An important paper on the Hindu
schools of law seems to date from the same period, and shows a
familiarity, not only with the legal authorities of India, but with the
whole structure of the traditional and sacred literature of the
Brahmans, which but few Sanskrit scholars could lay claim to even at the
present day. In the fifth volume of the “Asiatic Researches” appeared
also his essay “On Indian Weights and Measures,” and his “Enumeration of
Indian Classes.” A short, but thoughtful memorandum on the origin of
caste, written during that period, and printed for the first time in his
“Life,” will be read with interest by all who are acquainted with the
different views of living scholars on this important subject.

Colebrooke’s idea was that the institution of caste was not artificial
or conventional, but that it began with the simple division of freemen
and slaves, which we find among all ancient nations. This division, as
he supposes, existed among the Hindus before they settled in India. It
became positive law after their emigration from the northern mountains
into India, and was there adapted to the new state of the Hindus,
settled among the aborigines. The class of slaves or +Śûdras+ consisted
of those who came into India in that degraded state, and those of the
aborigines who submitted and were spared. Menial offices and mechanical
labor were deemed unworthy of freemen in other countries besides India,
and it cannot therefore appear strange that the class of the +Śûdras+
comprehended in India both servants and mechanics, both Hindus and
emancipated aborigines. The class of freemen included originally the
priest, the soldier, the merchant, and the husbandman. It was divided
into three orders, the +Brâhmaṇas+, +Kshatriyas+, and +Vaiśyas+, the
last comprehending merchants and husbandmen indiscriminately, being the
yeomen of the country and the citizens of the town. According to
Colebrooke’s opinion, the +Kshatriyas+ consisted originally of kings and
their descendants. It was the order of princes, rather than of mere
soldiers. The +Brâhmaṇas+ comprehended no more than the descendants of a
few religious men who, by superior knowledge and the austerity of their
lives, had gained an ascendency over the people. Neither of these orders
was originally very numerous, and their prominence gave no offense to
the far more powerful body of the citizens and yeomen.

When legislators began to give their sanction to this social system,
their chief object seems to have been to guard against too great a
confusion of the four orders--the two orders of nobility, the sacerdotal
and the princely, and the two orders of the people, the citizens and the
slaves, by either prohibiting intermarriage, or by degrading the
offspring of alliances between members of different orders. If men of
superior married women of inferior, but next adjoining, rank, the
offspring of their marriage sank to the rank of their mothers, or
obtained a position intermediate between the two. The children of such
marriages were distinguished by separate titles. Thus, the son of a
+Brâhmaṇa+ by a +Kshatriya+ woman was called +Mûrdhâbhishikta+, which
implies royalty. They formed a distinct tribe of princes or military
nobility, and were by some reckoned superior to the +Kshatriya+. The son
of a +Brâhmaṇa+ by a +Vaiśya+ woman was a +Vaidya+ or +Ambashṭha+; the
offspring of a +Kshatriya+ by a +Vaisya+ was a +Mahishya+, forming two
tribes of respectable citizens. But if a greater disproportion of rank
existed between the parents--if, for instance, a +Brâhmaṇa+ married a
+Śûdra+, the offspring of their marriage, the +Nishâda+, suffered
greater social penalties; he became impure, notwithstanding the nobility
of his father. Marriages, again, between women of superior with men of
inferior rank were considered more objectionable than marriages of men
of superior with women of inferior rank, a sentiment which continues to
the present day.

What is peculiar to the social system, as sanctioned by Hindu
legislators, and gives it its artificial character, is their attempt to
provide by minute regulations for the rank to be assigned to new tribes,
and to point out professions suitable to that rank. The tribes had each
an internal government, and professions naturally formed themselves into
companies. From this source, while the corporations imitated the
regulations of tribes, a multitude of new and arbitrary tribes sprang
up, the origin of which, as assigned by Manu and other legislators, was
probably, as Colebrooke admits, more or less fanciful.

In his “Remarks on the Husbandry and Internal Commerce of Bengal,” the
subject of caste in its bearing on the social improvement of the Indian
nation was likewise treated by Colebrooke. In reply to the erroneous
views then prevalent as to the supposed barriers which caste placed
against the free development of the Hindus, he writes:--

  “An erroneous doctrine has been started, as if the great population
  of these provinces could not avail to effect improvements,
  notwithstanding opportunities afforded by an increased demand for
  particular manufactures or for raw produce: because, ‘professions
  are hereditary among the Hindus; the offspring of men of one calling
  do not intrude into any other; professions are confined to
  hereditary descent; and the produce of any particular manufacture
  cannot be extended according to the increase of the demand, but must
  depend upon the population of the caste, or tribe, which works on
  that manufacture; or, in other words, if the demand for any article
  should exceed the ability of the number of workmen who produce it,
  the deficiency cannot be supplied by calling in assistance from
  other tribes.’

  “In opposition to this unfounded opinion, it is necessary that we
  not only show, as has been already done, that the population is
  actually sufficient for great improvement, but we must also prove,
  that professions are not separated by an impassable line, and that
  the population affords a sufficient number whose religions
  prejudices permit, and whose inclination leads them to engage in,
  those occupations through which the desired improvement may be

  “The Muselmans, to whom the argument above quoted cannot in any
  manner be applied, bear no inconsiderable proportion to the whole
  population. Other descriptions of people, not governed by Hindu
  institutions, are found among the inhabitants of these provinces; in
  regard to these, also, the objection is irrelevant. The Hindus
  themselves, to whom the doctrine which we combat is meant to be
  applied, cannot exceed nine tenths of the population; probably, they
  do not bear so great a proportion to the other tribes. They are, as
  is well known, divided into four grand classes; but the three first
  of them are much less numerous than the +Śûdra+. The aggregate of
  +Brâhmaṇa+, +Kshatriya+, and +Vaiśya+ may amount, at the most, to a
  fifth of the population; and even these are not absolutely
  restricted to their own appointed occupations. Commerce and
  agriculture are universally permitted; and, under the designation of
  servants of the other three tribes, the +Śûdras+ seem to be allowed
  to prosecute any manufacture.

  “In this tribe are included not only the true +Śûdras+, but also the
  several castes whose origin is ascribed to the promiscuous
  intercourse of the four classes. To these, also, their several
  occupations were assigned; but neither are they restricted, by
  rigorous injunctions, to their own appointed occupations. For any
  person unable to procure a subsistence by the exercise of his own
  profession may earn a livelihood in the calling of a subordinate
  caste, within certain limits in the scale of relative precedence
  assigned to each; and no forfeiture is now incurred by his intruding
  into a superior profession. It was, indeed, the duty of the Hindu
  magistrate to restrain the encroachments of inferior tribes on the
  occupations of superior castes; but, under a foreign government,
  this restraint has no existence.

  “In practice, little attention is paid to the limitations to which
  we have here alluded: daily observation shows even Brâhmanas
  exercising the menial profession of a Sûdra. We are aware that every
  caste forms itself into clubs, or lodges, consisting of the several
  individuals of that caste residing within a small distance; and that
  these clubs, or lodges, govern themselves by particular rules and
  customs, or by laws. But, though some restrictions and limitations,
  not founded on religious prejudices, are found among their by-laws,
  it may be received, as a general maxim, that the occupation
  appointed for each tribe is entitled merely to a preference. Every
  profession, with few exceptions, is open to every description of
  persons, and the discouragement arising from religious prejudices is
  not greater than what exists in Great Britain from the effects of
  municipal and corporation laws. In Bengal, the numbers of people
  actually willing to apply to any particular occupation are
  sufficient for the unlimited extension of any manufacture.

  “If these facts and observations be not considered as a conclusive
  refutation of the unfounded assertion made on this subject, we must
  appeal to the experience of every gentleman who may have resided in
  the provinces of Bengal, whether a change of occupation and
  profession does not frequently and indefinitely occur? Whether
  Brâhmanas are not employed in the most servile offices? And whether
  the Sûdra is not seen elevated to situations of respectability and
  importance? In short, whether the assertion above quoted be not
  altogether destitute of foundation?”

It is much to be regretted that studies so auspiciously begun were
suddenly interrupted by a diplomatic mission, which called Colebrooke
away from Mirzapur, and retained him from 1798 to 1801 at Nagpur, the
capital of Berar. Colebrooke himself had by this time discovered that,
however distinguished his public career might be, his lasting fame must
depend on his Sanskrit studies. We find him even at Nagpur continuing
his literary work, particularly the compilation and translation of a
Supplementary Digest. He also prepared, as far as this was possible in
the midst of diplomatic avocations, some of his most important
contributions to the “Asiatic Researches,” one on Sanskrit prosody,
which did not appear till 1808, and was then styled an essay on Sanskrit
and Prakrit poetry; one on the Vedas, another on Indian Theogonies (not
published), and a critical treatise on Indian plants. At last, in May,
1801, he left Nagpur to return to his post at Mirzapur. Shortly
afterwards he was summoned to Calcutta, and appointed a member of the
newly constituted Court of Appeal. He at the same time accepted the
honorary post of Professor of Sanskrit at the college recently
established at Fort William, without, however, taking an active part in
the teaching of pupils. He seems to have been a director of studies
rather than an actual professor, but he rendered valuable service as
examiner in Sanskrit, Bengali, Hindustani, and Persian. In 1801 appeared
his essay on the Sanskrit and Prakrit languages, which shows how well he
had qualified himself to act as professor of Sanskrit, and how well, in
addition to the legal and sacred literature of the Brahmans, he had
mastered the _belles lettres_ of India also, which at first, as we saw,
had rather repelled him by their extravagance and want of taste.

And here we have to take note of a fact which has never been mentioned
in the history of the science of language, viz., that Colebrooke at that
early time devoted considerable attention to the study of Comparative
Philology. To judge from his papers, which have never been published,
but which are still in the possession of Sir E. Colebrooke, the range of
his comparisons was very wide, and embraced not only Sanskrit, Greek,
and Latin, with their derivatives, but also the Germanic and Slavonic

The principal work, however, of this period of his life was his Sanskrit
Grammar. Though it was never finished, it will always keep its place,
like a classical _torso_, more admired in its unfinished state than
other works which stand by its side; finished, yet less perfect. Sir E.
Colebrooke has endeavored to convey to the general reader some idea of
the difficulties which had to be overcome by those who, for the first
time, approached the study of the native grammarians, particularly of
Pâṇini. But this grammatical literature, the 3,996 grammatical _sûtras_
or rules, which determine every possible form of the Sanskrit language
in a manner unthought of by the grammarians of any other country, the
glosses and commentaries, one piled upon the other, which are
indispensable for a successful unraveling of Pâṇini’s artful web, which
start every objection, reasonable or unreasonable, that can be imagined,
either against Pâṇini himself or against his interpreters, which
establish general principles, register every exception, and defend all
forms apparently anomalous of the ancient Vedic language; all this
together is so completely _sui generis_, that those only who have
themselves followed Colebrooke’s footsteps can appreciate the boldness
of the first adventurer, and the perseverance of the first explorer of
that grammatical labyrinth. Colebrooke’s own Grammar of the Sanskrit
language, founded on works of native grammarians, has sometimes been
accused of obscurity, nor can it be denied that for those who wish to
acquire the elements of the language, it is almost useless. But those
who know the materials which Colebrooke worked up in his grammar, will
readily give him credit for what he has done in bringing the _indigesta
moles_ which he found before him into something like order. He made the
first step, and a very considerable step it was, in translating the
strange phraseology of Sanskrit grammarians into something at least
intelligible to European scholars. How it could have been imagined that
their extraordinary grammatical phraseology was borrowed by the Hindus
from the Greeks, or that its formation was influenced by the grammatical
schools established among the Greeks in Bactria, is difficult to
understand, if one possesses but the slightest acquaintance with the
character of either system, or with their respective historical
developments. It would be far more accurate to say that the Indian and
Greek systems of grammar represent two opposite poles, exhibiting the
two starting-points from which alone the grammar of a language can be
attacked, viz., the theoretical and the empirical. Greek grammar begins
with philosophy, and forces language into the categories established by
logic. Indian grammar begins with a mere collection of facts,
systematizes them mechanically, and thus leads in the end to a system
which, though marvelous for its completeness and perfection, is
nevertheless, from a higher point of view, a mere triumph of scholastic

Colebrooke’s grammar, even in its unfinished state, will always be the
best introduction to a study of the native grammarians--a study
indispensable to every sound Sanskrit scholar. In accuracy of statement
it still holds the first place among European grammars, and it is only
to be regretted that the references to Pânini and other grammatical
authorities, which existed in Colebrooke’s manuscript, should have been
left out when it came to be printed. The modern school of Sanskrit
students has entirely reverted to Colebrooke’s views on the importance
of a study of the native grammarians. It is no longer considered
sufficient to know the correct forms of Sanskrit declension or
conjugation: if challenged, we must be prepared to substantiate their
correctness by giving chapter and verse from Pâṇini, the fountain-head
of Indian grammar. If Sir E. Colebrooke says that “Bopp also drew deeply
from the fountain-head of Indian grammar in his subsequent labors,” he
has been misinformed. Bopp may have changed his opinion that “the
student might arrive at a critical knowledge of Sanskrit by an attentive
study of Foster and Wilkins, without referring to native authorities;”
but he himself never went beyond, nor is there any evidence in his
published works that he himself tried to work his way through the
intricacies of Pâṇini.

In addition to his grammatical studies, Colebrooke was engaged in
several other subjects. He worked at the Supplement to the “Digest of
Laws,” which assumed very large proportions; he devoted some of his time
to the deciphering of ancient inscriptions, in the hope of finding some
fixed points in the history of India; he undertook to supply the
Oriental synonymes for Roxburgh’s “Flora Indica”--a most laborious task,
requiring a knowledge of botany as well as an intimate acquaintance with
Oriental languages. In 1804 and 1805, while preparing his classical
essay on the Vedas for the press, we find him approaching the study of
the religion of Buddha. In all these varied researches, it is most
interesting to observe the difference between him and all the other
contributors to the “Asiatic Researches” at that time. They were all
carried away by theories or enthusiasm; they were all betrayed into
assertions or conjectures which proved unfounded. Colebrooke alone, the
most hard-working and most comprehensive student, never allows one word
to escape his pen for which he has not his authority; and when he speaks
of the treatises of Sir W. Jones, Wilford, and others, he readily admits
that they contain curious matter, but as he expresses himself, “very
little conviction.” When speaking of his own work, as for instance, what
he had written on the Vedas, he says: “I imagine my treatise on the
Vedas will be thought curious; but, like the rest of my publications,
little interesting to the general reader.”

In 1805, Colebrooke became President of the Court of Appeal--a high and,
as it would seem, lucrative post, which made him unwilling to aspire to
any other appointment. His leisure, though more limited than before, was
devoted, as formerly, to his favorite studies; and in 1807 he accepted
the presidency of the Asiatic Society--a post never before or after
filled so worthily. He not only contributed himself several articles to
the “Asiatic Researches,” published by the Society, viz., “On the Sect
of Jina,” “On the Indian and Arabic Divisions of the Zodiack,” and “On
the Frankincense of the Ancients;” but he encouraged also many useful
literary undertakings, and threw out, among other things, an idea which
has but lately been carried out, viz., a _Catalogue raisonné_ of all
that is extant in Asiatic literature. His own studies became more and
more concentrated on the most ancient literature of India, the Vedas,
and the question of their real antiquity led him again to a more
exhaustive examination of the astronomical literature of the Brahmans.
In all these researches, which were necessarily of a somewhat
conjectural character, Colebrooke was guided by his usual caution.
Instead of attempting, for instance, a free and more or less divinatory
translation of the hymns of the Rig-Veda, he began with the tedious but
inevitable work of exploring the native commentaries. No one who has not
seen his MSS., now preserved at the India Office, and the marginal notes
with which the folios of Sâyaṇa’s commentary are covered, can form any
idea of the conscientiousness with which he collected the materials for
his essay. He was by no means a blind follower of Sâyaṇa, or a believer
in the infallibility of traditional interpretation. The question on
which so much useless ingenuity has since been expended, whether in
translating the Veda we should be guided by native authorities or by the
rules of critical scholarship, must have seemed to him, as to every
sensible person, answered as soon as it was asked. He answered it by
setting to work patiently, in order to find out, first, all that could
be learnt from native scholars, and afterwards to form his own opinion.
His experience as a practical man, his judicial frame of mind, his
freedom from literary vanity, kept him, here as elsewhere, from falling
into the pits of learned pedantry. It will seem almost incredible to
later generations that German and English scholars should have wasted so
much of their time in trying to prove, either that we should take no
notice whatever of the traditional interpretation of the Veda, or that,
in following it, we should entirely surrender our right of private
judgment. Yet that is the controversy which has occupied of late years
some of our best Sanskrit scholars, which has filled our journals with
articles as full of learning as of acrimony, and has actually divided
the students of the history of ancient religion into two hostile camps.
Colebrooke knew that he had more useful work before him than to discuss
the infallibility of fallible interpreters--a question handled with
greater ingenuity by the Maimânsaka philosophers than by any living
casuists. He wished to leave substantial work behind him; and though he
claimed no freedom from error for himself, yet he felt conscious of
having done all his work carefully and honestly, and was willing to
leave it, such as it was, to the judgment of his contemporaries and of
posterity. Once only during the whole of his life did he allow himself
to be drawn into a literary controversy; and here, too, he must have
felt what most men feel in the end--that it would have been better if he
had not engaged in it. The subject of the controversy was the antiquity
and originality of Hindu astronomy. Much had been written for and
against it by various writers, but by most of them without a full
command of the necessary evidence. Colebrooke himself maintained a
doubtful attitude. He began, as usual, with a careful study of the
sources at that time available, with translations of Sanskrit treatises,
with astronomical calculations and verifications; but, being unable to
satisfy himself, he abstained from giving a definite opinion. Bentley,
who had published a paper in which the antiquity and originality of
Hindu astronomy were totally denied, was probably aware that Colebrooke
was not convinced by his arguments. When, therefore, an adverse
criticism of his views appeared in the first number of our Review,
Bentley jumped at the conclusion that it was written or inspired by
Colebrooke. Hence arose his animosity, which lasted for many years, and
vented itself from time to time in virulent abuse of Colebrooke, whom
Bentley accused not only of unintentional error, but of willful
misrepresentation and unfair suppression of the truth. Colebrooke ought
to have known that in the republic of letters scholars are sometimes
brought into strange society. Being what he was, he need not--nay, he
ought not--to have noticed such literary rowdyism. But as the point at
issue was of deep interest to him, and as he himself had a much higher
opinion of Bentley’s real merits than his reviewer, he at last
vouchsafed an answer in the “Asiatic Journal” of March, 1826. With
regard to Bentley’s personalities, he says: “I never spoke nor wrote of
Mr. Bentley with disrespect, and I gave no provocation for the tone of
his attack on me.” As to the question itself, he sums up his position
with simplicity and dignity. “I have been no favorer,” he writes, “no
advocate of Indian astronomy. I have endeavored to lay before the
public, in an intelligible form, the fruits of my researches concerning
it. I have repeatedly noticed its imperfections, and have been ready to
admit that it has been no scanty borrower as to theory.”

Colebrooke’s stay in India was a long one. He arrived there in 1782,
when only seventeen years of age, and he left it in 1815, at the age of
fifty. During all this time we see him uninterruptedly engaged in his
official work, and devoting all his leisure to literary labor. The
results which we have noticed so far, were already astonishing, and
quite sufficient to form a solid basis of his literary fame. But we have
by no means exhausted the roll of his works. We saw that a supplement to
the “Digest of Laws” occupied him for several years. In it he proposed
to recast the whole title of inheritance, so imperfectly treated in the
“Digest” which he translated, and supplement it with a series of
compilations on the several heads of Criminal Law, Pleading, and
Evidence, as treated by Indian jurists. In a letter to Sir T. Strange he
speaks of the Sanskrit text as complete, and of the translation as
considerably advanced; but it was not till 1810 that he published, as a
first installment, his translation of two important treatises on
inheritance, representing the views of different schools on this
subject. Much of the material which he collected with a view of
improving the administration of law in India, and bringing it into
harmony with the legal traditions of the country, remained unpublished,
partly because his labors were anticipated by timely reforms, partly
because his official duties became too onerous to allow him to finish
his work in a manner satisfactory to himself.

But although the bent of Colebrooke’s mind was originally scientific,
and the philological researches which have conferred the greatest lustre
on his name grew insensibly beneath his pen, the services he rendered to
Indian jurisprudence would deserve the highest praise and gratitude if
he had no other title to fame. Among his earlier studies he had applied
himself to the Roman law with a zeal uncommon among Englishmen of his
standing, and he has left behind him a treatise on the Roman Law of
Contracts. When he directed the same powers of investigation to the
sources of Indian law he found everything in confusion. The texts and
glosses were various and confused. The local customs which abound in
India had not been discriminated. Printing was of course unknown to
these texts; and as no supreme judicial intelligence and authority
existed to give unity to the whole system, nothing could be more
perplexing than the state of the law. From this chaos Colebrooke brought
forth order and light. The publication of the “Dhaya-bhâga,” as the
cardinal exposition of the law of inheritance, which is the basis of
Hindu society, laid the foundation of no less a work than the revival of
Hindu jurisprudence, which had been overlaid by the Mohammedan conquest.
On this foundation a superstructure has now been raised by the combined
efforts of Indian and English lawyers: but the authority which is to
this day most frequently invoked as one of conclusive weight and
learning is that of Colebrooke. By the collection and revision of the
ancient texts which would probably have been lost without his
intervention, he became in some degree the legislator of India.

In 1807 he had been promoted to a seat in Council--the highest honor to
which a civilian, at the end of his career, could aspire. The five
years’ tenure of his office coincided very nearly with Lord Minto’s
Governor-generalship of India. During these five years the scholar
became more and more merged in the statesman. His marriage also took
place at the same time, which was destined to be happy, but short. Two
months after his wife’s death he sailed for England, determined to
devote the rest of his life to the studies which had become dear to him,
and which, as he now felt himself, were to secure to him the honorable
place of the father and founder of true Sanskrit scholarship in Europe.
Though his earliest tastes still attracted him strongly towards physical
science, and though, after his return to England, he devoted more time
than in India to astronomical, botanical, chemical, and geological
researches, yet, as an author, he remained true to his vocation as a
Sanskrit scholar, and he added some of the most important works to the
long list of his Oriental publications. How high an estimate he enjoyed
among the students of physical science is best shown by his election as
President of the Astronomical Society, after the death of Sir John
Herschel in 1822. Some of his published contributions to the scientific
journals, chiefly on geological subjects, are said to be highly
speculative, which is certainly not the character of his Oriental works.
Nay, judging from the tenor of the works which he devoted to
scholarship, we should think that everything he wrote on other subjects
would deserve the most careful and unprejudiced attention, before it was
allowed to be forgotten; and we should be glad to see a complete edition
of all his writings, which have a character at once so varied and so

We have still to mention some of his more important Oriental
publications, which he either began or finished after his return to
England. The first is his “Algebra, with Arithmetic and Mensuration,
from the Sanskrit of Brahmagupta and Bhâskara, preceded by a
Dissertation on the State of the Sciences as known to the Hindus,”
London, 1817. It is still the standard work on the subject, and likely
to remain so, as an intimate knowledge of mathematics is but seldom
combined with so complete a mastery of Sanskrit as Colebrooke possessed.
He had been preceded by the labors of Burrow and E. Strachey; but it is
entirely due to him that mathematicians are now enabled to form a clear
idea of the progress which the Indians had made in this branch of
knowledge, especially as regards indeterminate analysis. It became
henceforth firmly established that the “Arabian Algebra had real points
of resemblance to that of the Indians, and not to that of the Greeks;
that the Diophantine analysis was only slightly cultivated by the Arabs;
and that, finally, the Indian was more scientific and profound than
either.” Some of the links in his argument, which Colebrooke himself
designated as weak, have since been subjected to renewed criticism; but
it is interesting to observe how here, too, hardly anything really new
has been added by subsequent scholars. The questions of the antiquity of
Hindu mathematics--of its indigenous or foreign origin, as well as the
dates to be assigned to the principal Sanskrit writers, such as
Bhâskara, Brahmagupta, Aryabhaṭṭa, etc.,--are very much in the same
state as he left them. And although some living scholars have tried to
follow in his footsteps, as far as learning is concerned, they have
never approached him in those qualities which are more essential to the
discovery of truth than mere reading, viz., caution, fairness, and

Two events remain still to be noticed before we close the narrative of
the quiet and useful years which Colebrooke spent in England. In 1818 he
presented his extremely valuable collection of Sanskrit MSS. to the East
India Company, and thus founded a treasury from which every student of
Sanskrit has since drawn his best supplies. It may be truly said, that
without the free access to this collection--granted to every scholar,
English or foreign--few of the really important publications of Sanskrit
texts, which have appeared during the last fifty years, would have been
possible; so that in this sense also, Colebrooke deserves the title of
the founder of Sanskrit scholarship in Europe.

The last service which he rendered to Oriental literature was the
foundation of the Royal Asiatic Society. He had spent a year at the Cape
of Good Hope, in order to superintend some landed property which he had
acquired there; and after his return to London, in 1822, he succeeded in
creating a society which should do in England the work which the Asiatic
Society of Bengal, founded in 1784 at Calcutta, by Sir W. Jones, had
done in India. Though he declined to become the first president, he
became the director of the new society. His object was not only to
stimulate Oriental scholars living in England to greater exertions, but
likewise to excite in the English public a more general interest in
Oriental studies. There was at that time far more interest shown in
France and Germany for the literature of the East than in England,
though England alone possessed an Eastern Empire. Thus we find
Colebrooke writing in one of his letters to Professor Wilson:--

  “Schlegel, in what he said of some of us (English Orientalists) and
  of our labors, did not purpose to be uncandid, nor to undervalue
  what has been done. In your summary of what he said you set it to
  the right account. I am not personally acquainted with him, though
  in correspondence. I do think, with him, that as much has not been
  done by the English as might have been expected from us. Excepting
  you and me, and two or three more, who is there that has done
  anything! In England nobody cares about Oriental literature, or is
  likely to give the least attention to it.”

And again:--

  “I rejoice to learn that your great work on the Indian drama may be
  soon expected by us. I anticipate much gratification from a perusal.
  Careless and indifferent as our countrymen are, I think,
  nevertheless, you and I may derive some complacent feelings from the
  reflection that, following the footsteps of Sir W. Jones, we have,
  with so little aid of collaborators, and so little encouragement,
  opened nearly every avenue, and left it to foreigners, who are
  taking up the clue we have furnished, to complete the outline of
  what we have sketched. It is some gratification to national pride
  that the opportunity which the English have enjoyed has not been
  wholly unemployed.”

Colebrooke’s last contributions to Oriental learning, which appeared in
the “Transactions” of the newly-founded Royal Asiatic Society, consist
chiefly in his masterly treatises on Hindu philosophy. In 1823 he read
his paper on the Sânkhya system; in 1824 his paper on the Nyâya and
Vaiśeshika systems; in 1826 his papers on the Mîmânsâ; and, in 1827, his
two papers on Indian Sectaries and on the Vedânta. These papers, too,
still retain their value, unimpaired by later researches. They are dry,
and to those not acquainted with the subject they may fail to give a
living picture of the philosophical struggles of the Indian mind. But
the statements which they contain can, with very few exceptions, still
be quoted as authoritative, while those who have worked their way
through the same materials which he used for the compilation of his
essays, feel most struck by the conciseness with which he was able to
give the results of his extensive reading in this, the most abstruse
domain of Sanskrit literature. The publication of these papers on the
schools of Indian metaphysics, which anticipated with entire fidelity
the materialism and idealism of Greece and of modern thought, enabled
Victor Cousin to introduce a brilliant survey of the philosophy of India
into his Lectures on the History of Philosophy, first delivered, we
think, in 1828. Cousin knew and thought of Colebrooke exclusively as a
metaphysician. He probably cared nothing for his other labors. But as a
metaphysician he placed him in the first rank, and never spoke of him
without an expression of veneration, very unusual on the eloquent but
somewhat imperious lips of the French philosopher.

The last years of Colebrooke’s life were full of suffering, both bodily
and mental. He died, after a lingering illness, on March 10, 1837.

To many even among those who follow the progress of Oriental scholarship
with interest and attention, the estimate which we have given of
Colebrooke’s merits may seem too high; but we doubt whether from the
inner circle of Sanskrit scholars, any dissentient voice will be raised
against our awarding to him the first place among Sanskritists, both
dead and living. The number of Sanskrit scholars has by this time become
considerable, and there is hardly a country in Europe which may not be
proud of some distinguished names. In India, too, a new and most useful
school of Sanskrit students is rising, who are doing excellent work in
bringing to light the forgotten treasures of their country’s literature.
But here we must, first of all, distinguish between two classes of
scholars. There are those who have learnt enough of Sanskrit to be able
to read texts that have been published and translated, who can discuss
their merits and defects, correct some mistakes, and even produce new
and more correct editions. There are others who venture on new ground,
who devote themselves to the study of MSS., and who by editions of new
texts, by translations of works hitherto untranslated, or by essays on
branches of literature not yet explored, really add to the store of our
knowledge. If we speak of Colebrooke as _facile princeps_ among Sanskrit
scholars, we are thinking of real scholars only, and we thus reduce the
number of those who could compete with him to a much smaller compass.

Secondly, we must distinguish between those who came before Colebrooke
and those who came after him, and who built on his foundations. That
among the latter class there are some scholars who have carried on the
work begun by Colebrooke beyond the point where he left it, is no more
than natural. It would be disgraceful if it were otherwise, if we had
not penetrated further into the intricacies of Pâṇini, if we had not a
more complete knowledge of the Indian systems of philosophy, if we had
not discovered in the literature of the Vedic period treasures of which
Colebrooke had no idea, if we had not improved the standards of
criticism which are to guide in the critical restoration of Sanskrit
texts. But in all these branches of Sanskrit scholarship those who have
done the best work are exactly those who speak most highly of
Colebrooke’s labors, They are proud to call themselves his disciples.
They would decline to be considered his rivals.

There remains, therefore, in reality, only one who could be considered a
rival of Colebrooke, and whose name is certainly more widely known than
his, viz., Sir William Jones. It is by no means necessary to be unjust
to him in order to be just to Colebrooke. First of all, he came before
Colebrooke, and had to scale some of the most forbidding outworks of
Sanskrit scholarship. Secondly, Sir William Jones died young, Colebrooke
lived to a good old age. Were we speaking only of the two men, and their
personal qualities, we should readily admit that in some respects Sir W.
Jones stood higher than Colebrooke. He was evidently a man possessed of
great originality, of a highly cultivated taste, and of an exceptional
power of assimilating the exotic beauty of Eastern poetry. We may go
even further, and frankly admit that, possibly, without the impulse
given to Oriental scholarship through Sir William Jones’s influence and
example, we should never have counted Colebrooke’s name among the
professors of Sanskrit. But we are here speaking not of the men, but of
the works which they left behind; and here the difference between the
two is enormous. The fact is, that Colebrooke was gifted with the
critical conscience of a scholar--Sir W. Jones was not. Sir W. Jones
could not wish for higher testimony in his favor than that of Colebrooke
himself. Immediately after his death, Colebrooke wrote to his father,
June, 1794:--

  “Since I wrote to you the world has sustained an irreparable loss in
  the death of Sir W. Jones. As a judge, as a constitutional lawyer,
  and for his amiable qualities in private life, he must have been
  lost with heartfelt regret. But his loss as a literary character
  will be felt in a wider circle. It was his intention shortly to have
  returned to Europe, where the most valuable works might have been
  expected from his pen. His premature death leaves the results of his
  researches unarranged, and must lose to the world much that was only
  committed to memory, and much of which the notes must be
  unintelligible to those into whose hands his papers fall. It must be
  long before he is replaced in the same career of literature, if he
  is ever so. None of those who are now engaged in Oriental researches
  are so fully informed in the classical languages of the East; and I
  fear that, in the progress of their inquiries, none will be found to
  have such comprehensive views.”

And again:--

  “You ask how we are to supply his place? Indeed, but ill. Our
  present and future presidents may preside with dignity and
  propriety; but who can supply his place in diligent and ingenious
  researches? Not even the combined efforts of the whole Society; and
  the field is large, and few the cultivators.”

Still later in life, when a reaction had set in, and the indiscriminate
admiration of Sir W. Jones had given way to an equally indiscriminate
depreciation of his merits, Colebrooke, who was then the most competent
judge, writes to his father:--

  “As for the other point you mention, the use of a translation by
  Wilkins, without acknowledgment, I can bear testimony that Sir W.
  Jones’s own labors in Manu sufficed without the aid of a
  translation. He had carried an interlineary Latin version through
  all the difficult chapters; he had read the original three times
  through, and he had carefully studied the commentaries. This I know,
  because it appears clearly so from the copies of Manu and his
  commentators which Sir William used, and which I have seen. I must
  think that he paid a sufficient compliment to Wilkins, when he said,
  that without his aid he should never have learned Sanskrit.
  I observe with regret a growing disposition, here and in England, to
  depreciate Sir W. Jones’s merits. It has not hitherto shown itself
  beyond private circles and conversation. Should the same disposition
  be manifested in print, I shall think myself bound to bear public
  testimony to his attainments in Sanskrit.”

Such candid appreciation of the merits of Sir W. Jones, conveyed in a
private letter, and coming from the pen of the only person then
competent to judge both of the strong and the weak points in the
scholarship of Sir William Jones, ought to caution us against any
inconsiderate judgment. Yet we do not hesitate to declare that, as
Sanskrit scholars, Sir William Jones and Colebrooke cannot be compared.
Sir William had explored a few fields only, Colebrooke had surveyed
almost the whole domain of Sanskrit literature. Sir William was able to
read fragments of epic poetry, a play, and the laws of Manu. But the
really difficult works, the grammatical treatises and commentaries, the
philosophical systems, and, before all, the immense literature of the
Vedic period, were never seriously approached by him. Sir William Jones
reminds us sometimes of the dashing and impatient general who tries to
take every fortress by bombardment or by storm, while Colebrooke never
trusts to anything but a regular siege. They will both retain places of
honor in our literary Walhallas. But ask any librarian, and he will say
that at the present day the collected works of Sir W. Jones are hardly
ever consulted by Sanskrit scholars, while Colebrooke’s essays are even
now passing through a new edition, and we hope Sir Edward Colebrooke
will one day give the world a complete edition of his father’s works.



By T. H. Colebrooke.

  Oxford, September, 1874.

I mentioned in my Address before the Aryan section of the Oriental
Congress that I possessed some MS. notes of Colebrooke’s on Comparative
Philology. They were sent to me some time ago by his son, Sir E.
Colebrooke, who gave me leave to publish them, if I thought them of
sufficient importance. They were written down, as far as we know, about
the years 1801 or 1802, and contain long lists of words expressive of
some of the most important elements of early civilization, in Sanskrit,
Greek, Latin, Teutonic, Celtic, and Slavonic. Like everything that
Colebrooke wrote, these lists are prepared with great care. They exist
in rough notes, in a first, and in a second copy. I give them from the
second copy, in which many words from less important languages are
omitted, and several doubtful comparisons suppressed. I have purposely
altered nothing, for the interest of these lists is chiefly historical,
showing how, long before the days of Bopp and Grimm, Colebrooke had
clearly perceived the relationship of all the principal branches of the
Aryan family, and, what is more important, how he had anticipated the
historical conclusions which a comparison of the principal words of the
great dialects of the Aryan family enables us to draw with regard to the
state of civilization anterior to the first separation of the Aryan
race. No one acquainted with the progress which Comparative Philology
has made during the last seventy years would think of quoting some of
the comparisons here suggested by Colebrooke as authoritative. The
restraints which phonetic laws have since imposed on the comparison of
words were unknown in his days. But with all that, it is most surprising
to see how careful Colebrooke was, even when he had to guess, and how
well he succeeded in collecting those words which form the earliest
common dictionary of our ancestors, and supply the only trustworthy
materials for a history of the very beginnings of the Aryan race.


[Transcriber’s Note:

The transliteration system in this section is different from Müller’s.
Note in particular:

  c, c’h, ch, j = k, kh, c, j (Müller’s k, kh, {k}, {g})
  rĭ            = ṛ (Müller’s {ri})
  ä ï ö ü         dots represent dieresis, not umlaut

The letter ṭ was shown as t́ (t with acute). This has been regularized
because Colebrooke’s form may not display reliably. The form ń for ṇ
has been retained; ḍ does not occur.]


  _Sans._ Pitrĭ (-tá). _Beng._ _Hind._ Pitá. _Pers._ Pider.

  _Sans._ Janayitrĭ (-tá). _Gr._ Geneter, Gennetor. _Lat._ Genitor.

  _Sans._ Táta. _Beng._ Tát. _Arm._ Tat. _Wal._ _Corn._ Tad.
  _Ang._ Dad.

  _Sans._ Vaptrĭ (-tá). _Beng._ Bápá. _Hind._ Bábá, Báp. _Germ._ Vater.
  _Belg._ Vader. _Isl._ Bader. _Gr._ _Lat._ Pater.


  _Sans._ Janayitrí, Jananí. _Gr._ Gennêteira. _Lat._ Genitrix.

  _Sans._ Mátrĭ (-tá). _Beng._ Mátá. _Lat._ Mater. _Gr._ Meter.
  _Sclav._ Mati. _Ir._ Mat’hair. _Germ._ Mutter. _Sax._ Moder.
  _Belg._ _Isl._ Mooder.

N.B. The roots _jan_ and _jani_ (the past tense of which last is
_jajnyé_, pronounced _jagyé_ in Bengal, Tirhut, etc.) are evidently
analogous to the Latin _gigno_, and Greek _gennao_.


  _Sans._ Putra. _Hind._ Putr, Pút. _Támil._ Putren. _Ori._ Púá.

  _Sans._ Súnu. _Hind._ Sún, Suän. _Goth._ Sunus. _Sax._ Suna.
  _Belg._ Soen, Sone. _Sue._ Son. _Dalm._ Szun. _Pol._ _Boh._ Syn.
  _Scl._ Sin, Syn.


  _Sans._ Naptrĭ (-tá). _Lat._ Nepos. _Hind._ Nátí. _Mahr._ Nátú.


  _Sans._ Naptrí. _Lat._ Neptis. _Hind._ Natní. _Beng._ Nátní.
  _Ori._ Nátuni.

+Daughter’s Son.+

  _Sans._ Dauhitra. _Beng._ Dauhitro. _Hind._ Dóhtá.
  _Gr._ Thugatridous.

+Son’s Son.+

  _Sans._ Pautra. _Hind._ Pótá. _Beng._ Pautro.


  _Sans._ Duhitrĭ (-tá). _Beng._ Duhitá. _Hind._ Dóhitá.
  _Goth._ Dauhter. _Sax._ Dohter. _Pers._ Dokhter. _Belg._ Dochtere.
  _Germ._ Tochter. _Gr._ Thygater. _Sue._ Dotter. _Isl._ Dooter.
  _Dan._ Daater.

  _Sans._ Tócá. _Russ._ Doke. _Hind._ Dhíya, Dhí. _Or._ Jhíä.
  _Scl._ Hzhi. _Dalm._ Hchii. _Boh._ Dey, Deera. _Ir._ Dear.


  _Sans._ Bhrátrĭ (-tá). _Hind._ Bhrátá, Bhaï, Bhayá, Bír, Bíran.
  _Pers._ Birádar. _Corn._ Bredar. _Wal._ Braud. _Ir._ Brathair.
  _Arm._ Breur. _Mona._ Breyr. _Scl._ Brat. _Russ._ Brate.
  _Dalm._ Brath. _Boh._ Bradr. _Germ._ Bruder. _Ang.-Sax._ Brother.
  _Sax._ Brother. _Lat._ Frater. _Gall._ Frère.


  _Sans._ Bhaginí. _Hind._ Bhagní, Bahin, Bhainá. _Beng._ Bhoginí,
  Boïn. _Mahr._ Bahin. _Or._ Bhauní.

  _Sans._ Swasrĭ (-sá). _Ir._ Shiur. _Gall._ Soeur. _Mona._ Sywr.
  _Sicil._ Suora. _Lat._ Soror. _Germ._ Schwester. _Sax._ Sweoster.
  _Goth._ Swister. _Holl._ Zuster. _Wal._ C’huaer.


  _Sans._ Śwaśura. _Beng._ Sósur. _Mahr._ Sasará. _Hind._ Susar,
  Súsrá, Sasúr. _Lat._ Sócer, Socerus. _Gr._ Hecyros.


  _Sans._ Śwaśrú. _Beng._ Sosru, Sásuri. _Hind._ Sás. _Mahr._ Sású.
  _Lat._ Socrus. _Gr._ Hecyra.

+Wife’s Brother.+

  _Sans._ Syála. _Beng._ Syáloc. _Hind._ Sálá. _Or._ Salá.

+Husband’s Brother.+

  _Sans._ Dévrĭ (-vá), Dévara. _Hind._ Déwar. _Guj._ Díyar.
  _Mahr._ Dír. _Gr._ Daêr. _Lat._ Levir (_olim_ Devir).


  _Sans._ Jámátrĭ (-tá). _Hind._ Jamáí, Jawáí. _Pers._ Dámád.


  _Sans._ Vidhavá. _Lat._ Vidua. _Sax._ Widwa. _Holl._ Weduwe.


  _Sans._ Badhú. _Hind._ Bahú. _Beng._ Bäú. _Gall._ Bru.

  _Sans._ Snushá. _Cashm._ Nus. _Penj._ Nuh. _Gr._ Nyos. _Lat._ Nurus.


  _Sans._ Heli (-lis). _Gr._ Helios. _Arm._ Heol. _Wal._ Hayl, Heyluen.

  _Sans._ Mitra. _Pehl._ Mithra.

  _Sans._ Mihara, Mahira. _Pers._ Mihr.

  _Sans._ Súra, Súrya. _Hind._ Súrej. _Mahr._ Súrj, Súrya. _Ori._ Suruy.


  _Sans._ Chandra. _Hind._ Chánd, Chandr, Chandramá.

  _Sans._ Más (máh). _Pers._ Máh. _Boh._ Mesyc. _Pol._ Miesyac.
  _Dalm._ Miszecz.


  _Sans._ Tárá. _Hind._ Tárá. _Pers._ Sitareh. _Gr._ Aster.
  _Belg._ Sterre. _Sax._ Steorra. _Germ._ Stern. _Corn._ _Arm._ Steren.


  _Sans._ Mása (-sas). _Hind._ Mahiná, Más. _Pers._ Máh.
  _Scl._ Messcz. _Dalm._ Miszecz. _Wal._ Misguaith. _Gr._ Mene.
  _Lat._ Mensis. _Gall._ Mois.


  _Sans._ Diva. _Mahr._ Diwas. _Lat._ Dies. _Sax._ Dæg.

  _Sans._ Dina. _Hind._ Din. _Boh._ Den. _Scl._ Dan. _Dalm._ Daan.
  _Pol._ Dzien. _Ang._ (Ant.) Den.


  _Sans._ Rátri. _Hind._ Rát. _Penj._ Rátter.

  _Sans._ Niś, Niśá. _Wal._ _Arm._ Nos.

  _Sans._ Nactá. _Lat._ Nox. _Gr._ Nyx. _Goth._ Nahts, Nauts.
  _Sax._ Niht. _Isl._ Natt. _Boh._ Noc. _Gall._ Nuit.

+By Night.+

  _Sans._ (adv.) Nactam. _Lat._ Noctu. _Gr._ Nyctor.

+Sky, Heaven.+

  _Sans._ Div, Diva. _Beng._ Dibi. _Liv._ Debbes.

  _Sans._ Swar, Swarga. _Hind._ Swarag. _Guz._ Sarag. _Cant._ Cerua.

  _Sans._ Nabhas. _Beng._ Nebho. _Russ._ Nebo. _Scl._ Nebu.
  _Boh._ Nebe. _Pol._ Niebo.


  _Sans._ Déva (-vas), Dévatá. _Hind._ Déwatá. _Penj._ Déú.
  _Tamil._ Taivam. _Lat._ Deus. _Gr._ Theos. _Wal._ Diju. _Ir._ Diu.

  _Sans._ Bhagaván. _Dalm._ Bogh. _Croat._ Bog.


  _Sans._ Agni. _Casm._ Agin. _Beng._ Águn. _Hind._ Ag. _Scl._ Ogein.
  _Croat._ Ogayn. _Pol._ Ogien. _Dalm._ Ogany. _Lat._ Ignis.

  _Sans._ Vahni. _Boh._ Ohen.

  _Sans._ Anala. _Beng._ Onol. _Mona._ Aul.

  _Sans._ Śushman (má). _Cant._ Sua.

  _Sans._ Tanúnapát. _Wal._ Tân. _Ir._ Teene.

  _Sans._ Varhis. _Sax._ Vür. _Belg._ Vier.


  _Sans._ Áp. _Pers._ Áb.

  _Sans._ Páníya. _Hind._ Pání.

  _Sans._ Udaca. _Russ._ Ouode. _Scl._ Voda. _Boh._ Woda.

  _Sans._ Níra, Nára. _Beng._ Nír. _Carn._ Níra. _Tel._ Níllu.
  _Vulg. Gr._ Nero.

  _Sans._ Jala. _Hind._ Jal. _Ir._ Gil.

  _Sans._ Arńa. _Ir._ An.

  _Sans._ Vár, Vári. _Beng._ Bár. _Ir._ Bir. _Cant._ Vra.


  _Sans._ Abhra. _Penj._ Abhar. _Casm._ Abar. _Pers._ Abr.
  _Gr._ Ombros. _Lat._ Imber.


  _Sans._ Nara. _Pers._ Nar. _Gr._ Aner.

  _Sans._ Mánava, Mánusha. _Guz._ Mánas. _Beng._ Mánus. _Dan._ Mand.
  _Sax._ Man, Men.


  _Sans._ Manas. _Gr._ Menos. _Lat._ Mens.


  _Sans._ Had´d´a. _Hind._ Hadí.

  _Sans._ Asthi. _Lat._ Os. _Gr._ Osteon.


  _Sans._ Hasta. _Hind._ Hát’h. _Penj._ Hatt’h. _Beng._ Hát.
  _Pers._ Dest.

  _Sans._ Cara. _Gr._ Cheir. _Vulg. Gr._ Chere.

  _Sans._ Páni. _Wal._ Pawen. _Ang._ Paw.


  _Sans._ Jánu. _Penj._ Jáhnu. _Pers._ Zánu. _Hind._ Gutaná.
  _Gr._ Gonu. _Lat._ Genu. _Gall._ Genou. _Sax._ Cneow.


  _Sans._ Páda, Pad. _Or._ Pád. _Beng._ Pod, Pá. _Hind._ Páú, Payar.
  _Lat._ Pes (pedis). _Gr._ Pous (podos). _Vulg. Gr._ Podare.
  _Gall._ Pied. _Goth._ Fotus. _Sax._ Fot, Vot. _Sue._ Foot.

  _Sans._ Anghri. _Beng._ Onghri. _Scl._ Noga. _Pol._ Nogi.


  _Sans._ Stana. _Beng._ Stan. (_Ang._ Pap.) _Gr._ Sternon.
  _Lat._ Sternum. (_Ang._ Chest.)


  _Sans._ Nábhi. _Hind._ Nábh. _Beng._ Náï. _Or._ Nahi. _Pers._ Náf.
  _Gr._ Omphalos. _Sax._ Nafela, Navela.


  _Sans._ Carńa. _Hind._ Cán. _Arm._ Skuarn. _Corn._ Skevam.


  _Sans._ Nasicá, Násá, Nasya. _Hind._ Nác. _Penj._ Nacca.
  _Casm._ Nast. _Lat._ Nasus. _Germ._ Nase. _Belg._ Nuese.
  _Sax._ Noese, Nosa. _Sue._ Nasa. _Boh._ Nos. _Scl._ Nus.
  _Dalm._ Nooss.


  _Sans._ Danta. _Hind._ Dánt. _Penj._ Dand. _Pers._ Dendan.
  _Wal._ Dant. _Lat._ Dens. _Gall._ Dent. _Gr._ Odous (-ontos).
  _Belg._ Tant, Tand. _Sax._ Toth.


  _Sans._ Muc’ha. _Hind._ Muc’h, Muh, Munh, Múnh. _Penj. _ Múh.
  _Guz._ Móh. _Sax._ Muth.


  _Sans._ Anka, flank; Anga, membrum. _Gr._ Agkōn.


  _Sans._ Vách (vác). _Lat._ Vox. _Gr._ Ossa.


  _Sans._ Náman (-ma). _Hind._ Nám, Náon̆. _Pers._ Nám. _Gr._ Onoma.
  _Lat._ Nomen. _Gall._ Nom. _Sax._ Nama.


  _Sans._ Ráj (-t´, -d´), Rájan (-já). _Hind._ Rájá. _Lat._ Rex.
  _Gall._ Roy. _Wal._ Rhuy, Rhiydh. _Ir._ Righ, Rak.


  _Sans._ Rájnya (-am). _Lat._ Regnum.


  _Sans._ C’héta. _Hind._ C’hérá. _Wal._ Kaer. _Arm._ Koer.


  _Sans._ Ócas. _Gr._ Oicos.

  _Sans._ Grĭha. _Hind._ Ghar. _Casm._ Gar.

+Ship _or_ Boat.+

  _Sans._ Nau (naus). _Gr._ Naus. _Lat._ Navis. _Pers._ Nau.
  _Hind._ Nau, Náú. _Or._ Ná. _Carn._ Náviya.

+A Small Boat.+

  _Sans._ Plava. _Mah._ Plav. _Gr._ Ploion.

+Thing, Wealth.+

  _Sans._ Rai (rás). _Lat._ Res.


  _Sans._ Parvata. _Hind._ Parbat, Pahár. _Penj._ Parabat.
  _Carn._ Parbatavu.

  _Sans._ Adri. _Penj._ Adari. _Ir._ Ard.

  _Sans._ Naga, Aga. _Ir._ Aigh.

  _Sans._ Grávan (-vá), Giri. _Lus._ Grib. _Scl._ Hrib.

+Rock _or_ Stone.+

  _Sans._ Prastara. _Hind._ Patt’har. _Guz._ Pat’har. _Beng._ Pat’har.
  _Gr._ Petra. _Lat._ Petra.

  _Sans._ Grávan (-vá). _Penj._ Garáv.


  _Sans._ Dru (drus), Druma (-mas). _Gr._ Drys (Drymos, a wood).
  _Epir._ Druu. _Russ._ Dreous. _Scl._ Drevu.

  _Sans._ Taru. _Goth._ Triu, Trie. _Sax._ Treo, Treow. _Dan._ Tree.


  _Sans._ Róhita. _Gr._ Rhoa, Rhoia.


  _Sans._ Ghóṭaca. _Hind._ Ghórá. _Guz._ Ghóró. _Casm._ Guru.
  _Wal._ Goruydh, Govar.

  _Sans._ Haya (-yas). _Ant. Sans._ Arusha. _Isl._ Hors, Hestur.
  _Dan._ Hest. _Sue._ Hast. _Sax._ Hors.

  _Sans._ Aśva. _Penj._ Aswa. _Pers._ Asp.


  _Sans._ C’hara. _Penj._ C’har. _Pers._ Khar.

  _Sans._ Gardabha. _Hind._ Gadhá. _Tirh._ Gadahá.


  _Sans._ Aśwatara. _Pers._ Astar.


  _Sans._ Ushṭra. _Hind._ Unt. _Guz._ Ut. _Penj._ Ustar.
  _Pers._ Ushtur, Shutur.

+Ox, Cow, Bull.+

  _Sans._ Gó (gaus). _Hind._ Gau, Gáí. _Beng._ Goru. _Pers._ Gau.
  _Sax._ Cu. _Sue._ Koo. _Belg._ Koe. _Germ._ Kue. _Sans._ Ucshan
  (-shá). _Sax._ Oxa. _Dan._ Oxe. _Isl._ Uxe. _Boh._ Ochse.
  _Germ._ Ochs. _Wai._ Ychs.

  _Sans._ Vrĭsha, Vrĭshan (-shá). _Tirh._ Brikh. _Boh._ Byk.
  _Pol._ Beik. _Dalm._ Bak. _Lus._ Bik. _Hung._ Bika. _Wal._ Byuch.
  _Arm._ Biych. _Corn._ Byuh.


  _Sans._ Bucca, Barcara. _Hind._ Bacrá. _Mahr._ Bócar. _Guz._ Bócaró.
  _Beng._ Bócá. _Arm._ Buch. _Corn._ Byk. _Sax._ Bucca. _Gall._ Bouc.
  _Sue._ Bock. _Belg._ Bocke. _Ital._ Becco.


  _Sans._ Avi (-vis). _Gr._ Ois. _Lat._ Ovis. _Sax._ Eowe.


  _Sans._ Urńá. _Hind._ Un. _Scl._ Volna. _Pol._ Welna. _Boh._ Wlna.
  _Dalm._ Vuna. _Sue._ Ull. _Isl._ Ull. _Belg._ Wul. _Germ._ Wolle.
  _A.-Sax._ Wulle. _Wal._ Gulan. _Corn._ Gluan. _Arm._ Gloan.
  _Ir._ Olann.

+Hair of the Body.+

  _Sans._ Lava. _Ir._ Lo.

  _Sans._ Lóman (-ma), Róman (-ma). _Hind._ Róán. _Beng._ Lóm, Róm.
  _Casm._ Rúm. _Mah._ Rómé.

+Hair of the Head.+

  _Sans._ Césa. _Hind._ Cés. _Casm._ Cís. _Lat._ Crinis.

  _Sans._ Bála. _Hind._ Bál.


  _Sans._ Súcara (fem -rí). _Penj._ Súr.
  _Hind._ Súär, Súwar, Sú, Suén. _Beng._ Shúcar, Shúór. _Mahr._ Dúcar.
  _Tirh._ Súgar. _Nepal._ Surún. _Dan._ Suin. _Sue._ Swiin.
  _Lus._ Swina. _Carn._ Swynia, Swine. _Ang._ Swine. _Sax._ Sugn.
  _Holl._ Soeg, Sauwe. _Germ._ Sauw. _Ang._ Sow. _Belg._ Soch.
  _Lat._ Sus. _Gr._ Hys, Sys. _Lacon._ Sika. _Pers._ Khuc.
  _Wal._ Húkh. _Corn._ Hoch, Hoh.


  _Sans._ Varáha. _Hind._ Baráh. _Oris._ Barahá. _Beng._ Boráhó, Borá.
  _Corn._ Bora, Baedh. _Belg._ Beer. _Sax._ Bar. _Ang._ Boar.
  _Span._ Berraco. _Gall._ Verrat. _Ital._ Verro.


  _Sans._ Múshaca, Múshá. _Hind._ Mus, Musá, Musí, Músrí, Músná.
  _Penj._ Múshá. _Tirh._ Mús. _Lat._ Mus. _Gr._ Mûs. _Sax._ Mus.


  _Sans._ Ricsha. _Hind._ Rích’h. _Penj._ Richh. _Guz._ Rénchh.
  _Tirh._ Rikh.

  _Sans._ Bhalla, Bhallaca, Bhállúca. _Hind._ Bhál, Bhálú.

  _Sans._ Ach’ha, Acsha. _Gr._ Arctos. _Wal._ Arth.


  _Sans._ Vrĭca. _Dalm._ Vuuk. _Scl._ Vulk. _Pol._ Wulk.


  _Sans._ Crĭmi. _Pers._ Cirm. _Beng._ Crimi. _Tamil._ Crimi.


  _Sans._ Ahi (ahis). _Gr._ Ophis. _Sans._ Sarpa. _Pers._ Serp.
  _Lat._ Serpens. _Hind._ Sárp.


  _Sans._ Cocila. _Hind._ Coil. _Lat._ Cuculus. _Gr._ Kokkyx.

  _Sans._ Pica. _Lat._ Picus.


  _Sans._ Carcata. _Beng._ Cáncŕá, Céncŕá. _Hind._ Céncrá, Cécrá.
  _Gr._ Carcinos. _Lat._ Cancer. _Wal._ Krank. _Corn._ _Arm._ Kankr.
  _Gall._ Cancre. _Ir._ Kruban. _Sax._ Crabbe. _Ang._ Crab.


  _Sans._ Carcatí. _Beng._ Cáncur. _Hind._ Cácrí. _Lat._ Cucumer,
  Cucumis. _Gall._ Concombre. _Ang._ Cucumber.


  _Sans._ Swana, Swána. _Lat._ Sonus. _Wal._ Sûn, Sôn, Sain.
  _Sax._ Sund.


  _Sans._ Swapna, Śaya, Swápa. _Beng._ Shóön.
  _Hind._ (Supna) Sona [to sleep]. _Gr._ Hypnos.
  _Wal._ Heppian [to sleep]. _Sax._ Sleepan. _Ang._ Sleep.


  _Sans._ Nava (m. Navas, f. Navá, n. Navam), Navína. _Lat._ Novus.
  _Gr._ Neos, Nearos. _Pers._ Nó. _Hind._ Nayá, Nawén. _Beng._ Niara.
  _Wal._ _Corn._ Neuydh. _Ir._ Núadh. _Arm._ Nevedh, Noadh.
  _Gall._ Neuf. _Ang._ New. _Sax._ Neow.


  _Sans._ Yuvan (Yuvâ). _Lat._ Juvenis.


  _Sans._ Tanus. _Lat._ Tenuis.


  _Sans._ Mahâ. _Gr._ Megas. _Lat._ Magnus.


  _Sans._ Urus. _Gr._ Eurus.


  _Sans._ Jírńas. _Gr._ Geron.


  _Sans._ Itaras. _Gr._ Heteros.

  _Sans._ Anyas. _Lat._ Alius.


  _Sans._ Múd’has, Múrchas. _Gr._ Moros.


  _Sans._ Csháras. _Gr._ Xeros.


  _Sans._ Agha. _Gr._ Hagos (veneratio, scelus).


  _Sans._ Eca. _Hind._ _Beng._ _etc._ Ec. _Pers._ Yéc.


  _Sans._ Dwi (nom. du. Dwau). _Hind._ Do. _Pers._ Do. _Gr._ Dyo.
  _Lat._ Duo. _Gall._ Deux. _Corn._ Deau. _Arm._ Dou. _Ir._ Do.
  _Goth._ Twai. _Sax._ Twu. _Ang._ Two.


  _Sans._ Tri (nom. pl. Trayas). _Lat._ Tres. _Gr._ Treis.
  _Gall._ Trois. _Germ._ Drei. _Holl._ Dry. _Sax._ Threo.
  _Ang._ Three. _Wal._ _Arm._ _Ir._ Tri. _Corn._ Tre.


  _Sans._ Chatur (nom. pl. Chatwáras, fem. Chatasras). _Lat._ Quatuor.
  _Gall._ Quatre. _Gr._ Tessares. _Pers._ Chehár. _Hind._ Chehár.


  _Sans._ Cha. _Lat._ Que.


  _Sans._ Pancha. _Hind._ Pánch. _Pers._ Penj. _Gr._ Pente.
  _Arm._ _Corn._ Pemp. _Wai._ Pymp.


  _Sans._ Shash. _Pers._ Shesh. _Lat._ Sex. _Gr._ Hex.
  _Gall._ _Ang._ Six. _Wal._ Khuêkh. _Corn._ Huih. _Arm._ Huekh.
  _Ir._ She, Seishear.


  _Sans._ Sapta. _Lat._ Septem. _Gall._ Sept. _Germ._ Sieben.
  _Ang._ Seven. _Sax._ Seofon. _Gr._ Hepta. _Pers._ Heft. _Hind._ Sát.
  _Wal._ Saith. _Arm._ _Corn._ Seith. _Ir._ Sheakhd.


  _Sans._ Asht’a. _Pers._ Hasht. _Hind._ Áth. _Gall._ Huit.
  _Sax._ Eahta. _Ang._ Eight. _Ir._ Okht. _Lat._ Octo.


  _Sans._ Nava. _Hind._ Nó. _Lat._ Novem. _Wal._ _Corn._ Nau.
  _Arm._ Nâo. _Ir._ Nyi. _Pers._ Noh. _Gall. _ Neuf. _Sax._ Nigon.
  _Ang._ Nine.


  _Sans._ Daśa. _Hind._ Das. _Pers._ Dah. _Lat. _ Decem. _Ir._ Deikh.
  _Arm._ Dêk. _Corn._ Dêg.



  _Sans._ Aham (acc. Má; poss. and dat. Mé; du. Nau; pl. Nas).
  _Lat._ _Gr._ Ego, etc. _Pers._ Men. _Hind._ Mai. _Ir._ Me.
  _Wal._ _Corn._ Mi. _Arm._ Ma.


  _Sans._ Twam (acc. Twá; poss. and dat. Té; du. Vám; pl. Vas).
  _Lat._ Tu, etc. _Gr._ Su, etc. _Hind._ Tú, Tain. _Beng._ Tumi, Tui.
  _Ir._ Tu. _Pers._ To. _Arm._ Te. _Corn._ Ta. _Wal._ Ti.


  _Sans._ Antar. _Lat._ Inter. _Sans._ Upari. _Gr._ Hyper.
  _Lat._ Super. _Sans._ Upa. _Gr._ Hypo. _Lat._ Sub. _Sans._ Apa.
  _Gr._ Apo. _Sans._ Pari. _Gr._ Peri. _Sans._ Pra. _Gr._ _Lat._ Pro.
  _Sans._ Pará. _Gr._ Pera. _Sans._ Abhi. _Gr._ Amphi. _Sans._ Ati.
  _Gr._ Anti. _Sans._ Ama. _Gr._ Amá. _Sans._ Anu. _Gr._ Ana.


  _Sans._ (terminations of comparatives and superlatives) Taras, tamas.
  _Gr._ Teros, tatos. _Lat._ Terus, timus. _Sans._ Ishṭhas.
  _Gr._ Istos.

  _Sans._ (termin. of nouns of agency) Trĭ. _Gr._ Tor, ter. _Lat._ Tor.

  _Sans._ (termin. of participle) Tas. _Gr._ Tos. _Lat._ Tus.

  _Sans._ (termin. of supine) Tum. _Lat._ Tum.


+To Be+, Root AS.

  _Sans._ Asti, Asi, Asmi, Santi, Stha, Smas.

  _Gr._ Esti, Eîs (Essi), Eimi (D. Emmi), Eisi (D. Enti), Este, Esmen
  (D. Eimes).

  _Lat._ Est, Es, Sum, Sunt, Estis, Sumus.

+To Go+, Root I.

  _Sans._ Éti, Ési. Émi, Yanti, Itha, Imas.

  _Lat._ It, Is, Eo, Eunt, Itis, Imus.

  _Gr._ Eîsi, Eîs, Eîmi, Eîsi, Ite, Imen (D. Imes).

+To Eat+, Root AD.

  _Sans._ Atti, Atsi, Admi, Adanti, Attha, Admas. _Lat._ Edit, Edis,
  Edo, Edunt, Editis, Edimus. _Gr._ Esthiei. _Sax._ Etan.

+To Give+, Root DA.

  _Sans._ Dadáti, Dadási, Dadámi. _Lat._ Dat, Das, Do. _Gr._ Didōsi,
  Didōs, Didōmi.

  Hence, _Sans._ Dánam, _Lat._ Donum.

+To Join+, Root YUJ.

  _Sans._ Yunacti, Yunjanti. _Lat._ Jungit, Jungunt. _Sans._ Yunajmi.
  _Gr._ Zeugnumi.

  Hence, _Sans._ Yugam. _Lat._ Yugum. _Gr._ Zugos, Zugon. _Hind._ Juä.
  _Sax._ Geoc. _Ang._ Yoke. _Dutch._ Joek.

+To Sit+, Root SAD.

  _Sans._ Sídati, Sídanti. _Lat._ Sedet, Sedent.

  Hence, _Sans._ Sadas. _Lat._ Sedes.

+To Subdue+, Root DAM.

  _Sans._ Dámayati. _Gr._ Damaei. _Lat._ Domat.

  Hence, Damanam. Damnum.

+To Drink+, Root PA or PĪ

  _Sans._ Pibati, Pibanti; Piyaté. _Lat._ Bibit, Bibunt. _Gr._ Pinei,

+To Die+, Root MRĬ.

  _Sans._ Mrĭyaté, Mrĭyanté. _Lat._ Moritur, Moriuntur.

  Hence, Mrĭtis, Mors, Mrĭtas, Mortuus.

+To Know+, Root JNYA.

  _Sans._ Jánátí, Jánanti. _Gr._ Ginosco _or_ Gignosco. _Lat._ Nosco.

  Hence, Jnyátas. _Lat._ Nótus. _Gr._ Gnostos.

+To Beget+, Root JAN.

  _Sans._ Jáyaté. Pret. Jajnyé (pronounced jagyé). _Gr._ Ginomai _vel_
  Gignomai. _Lat._ Gigno.

+To Go+, Root SRĬP.

  _Sans._ Sarpati. _Lat._ Serpit. _Gr._ Herpei.

+To See+, Root DRĬS.

  _Gr._ Derco. _Sans._ Drĭś. _Hind._ Dék’h, to see.

+To Procreate+, Root SU.

  _Sans._ Súyaté (rad. Sú).

  Hence, _Sans._ Súta, son. _Hind._ Suän̆. _Gr._ Huios, Huieus.

+To Know+, Root VID.

  _Sans._ Vid, to know. _Lat._ Video, to see.

+To Delight+, Root TRĬP.

  _Sans._ Trip. _Gr._ Terpo.

+To Strew+, Root STRĬ.

  _Sans._ Strĭ. _Lat._ Sterno. _Ang._ To strew. _Gr._ Stornumi,


  _Sans._ A. _Gr._ A _priv._ (before vowels An).

  _Sans._ Su. _Gr._ Eû.

  _Sans._ Dus. _Gr._ Dys.

  _Sans._ Cha. _Gr._ Te. _Lat._ Que.

  _Sans._ Na, No. _Lat._ Ne, Non. _Ang._ No.

  _Sans._ Chit (in comp.). _Lat._ Quid. _Gr._ Ti.

  _Sans._ Nanu. _Lat._ Nonne.

  _Sans._ Prabháte. _Gr._ Proï.

  _Sans._ Pura, Puratas. _Gr._ Pro, Proteros, etc.

  _Sans._ Punar. _Gr._ Palin.

  _Sans._ Pura. _Gr._ Palai.

  _Sans._ Alam. _Gr._ Halis.

  _Sans._ Hyas. _Gr._ Chthes.

  _Sans._ Adya. _Hind._ Aj. _Lat._ Hodie.

    [Footnote 1: _Miscellaneous Essays._ By Henry Thomas Colebrooke.
    With a Life of the author by his son. In three volumes. London:

    [Footnote 2: The word +Gentoo+, which was commonly applied in the
    last century to the Hindus, is, according to Wilson, derived from
    the Portuguese word _gentio_, gentile or heathen. The word
    _caste_, too, comes from the same source.]

    [Footnote 3: See the list of words given at the end of this
    article, p. 400.]



During the whole of the year that has just passed away, all my spare
time has been required for the completion of my edition of the Rig-Veda
and its Sanskrit commentary. I had to shut my eyes to everything else.
Many a book which I felt tempted to read was put aside, and hardly a
single Review could draw me away from my purpose. Thus it has come to
pass that I did not know, till a few days ago, that some Lectures which
I had delivered at the Royal Institution on “Mr. Darwin’s Philosophy of
Language,” and which had been fully reported in “Fraser’s Magazine” for
May, June, and July, 1873, had elicited a reply emanating from one who
writes if not in, at least with Mr. Darwin’s name, and who himself would
be, no doubt most proud to acknowledge the influence of “family bias.”
I could not have guessed from the title of the paper, “Professor Whitney
on the Origin of Language: by George H. Darwin,” that it was meant as an
answer to the arguments which I had ventured to advance in my Lectures
at the Royal Institution against Mr. Darwin’s views on language. It was
only when telling a friend that I soon hoped to find time to complete
those Lectures, that I was asked whether I had seen Darwin’s reply.
I read it at once in the November number of the “Contemporary Review;”
and, as it will take some time before I can hope to finish my book on
“Language as the true barrier between Man and Beast,” I determined, in
the meantime, to publish a brief rejoinder to the defense of Mr.
Darwin’s philosophy, so ably and chivalrously conducted by his son.

With regard to the proximate cause of Mr. Darwin’s defense of his
father’s views on language--viz. an article in the “Quarterly Review,”
I may say at once that I knew nothing about it till I saw Mr. G.
Darwin’s article; and if there should be any suspicion in Mr. Darwin’s
mind that the writer in the “Quarterly Review” is in any sense of the
word my _alter ego_ I can completely remove that impression.

It seems that the writer in the “Quarterly” expressed himself in the
following terms with regard to Mr. Darwin’s competency on linguistic

  “Few recent intellectual phenomena are more astounding than the
  ignorance of these elementary yet fundamental distinctions and
  principles (_i.e._, as to the essence of language) exhibited by
  conspicuous advocates of the monistic hypothesis. Mr. Darwin, for
  example, does not exhibit the faintest indication of having grasped

Mr. Darwin, I mean the father, if he has read my lectures, or anything
else I have written, might easily have known that that is not the tone
in which I write, least of all when speaking of men who have rendered
such excellent service to the advancement of science as the author of
the book “On the Origin of Species.” To me, the few pages devoted to
language by Mr. Darwin were full of interest, as showing the conclusions
to which that school of philosophy which he so worthily represents is
driven with regard to the nature and origin of language. If put into
more becoming language, however, I do not think there would be anything
offensive in stating that Mr. Darwin, Sr., knows the results of the
Science of Language at second hand only, and that his opinions on the
subject, however interesting as coming from him, cannot be accepted or
quoted as authoritative. It has often done infinite mischief when men
who have acquired a right to speak with authority on one subject,
express opinions on other subjects with which they are but slightly
acquainted. These opinions, though never intended for that purpose, are
sure to be invested by others, particularly by interested persons, with
an authority to which in themselves they have no right whatever. It is
true it would be difficult to carry on any scientific work, without to
some extent recognizing the authority of those who have established
their claim to a certain amount of infallibility within their own
special spheres of study. But when either the Pope expresses an opinion
on astronomy, or the Duke of Wellington on a work of art, they certainly
ought not to be offended if asked for their reasons, like any other
mortals. No linguistic student, if he had ventured to express an opinion
on the fertilization of orchids, differing from that of Mr. Darwin,
would feel aggrieved by being told that his opinion, though showing
intelligence, did not show that real grasp of the whole bearing of the
problem which can be acquired by a life-long devotion only. If the
linguistic student, who may be fond of orchids, cared only for a
temporary triumph in the eyes of the world, he might easily find, among
the numerous antagonists of Mr. Darwin, one who agreed with himself, and
appeal to him as showing that he, though a mere layman in the Science of
Botany, was supported in his opinions by other distinguished botanists.
But no real advance in the discovery of truth can ever be achieved by
such mere cleverness. How can the soundness and truth of Mr. Darwin’s
philosophy of language be established by an appeal like that with which
Mr. Darwin, Jr., opens his defense of his father?

  “Professor Whitney,” he says, “is the first philologist of note who
  has professedly taken on himself to combat the views of Professor
  Max Müller; and as the opinions of the latter most properly command
  a vast deal of respect in England, we think it will be good service
  to direct the attention of English readers to this powerful attack,
  and, as we think, successful refutation of the somewhat dogmatic
  views of our Oxford linguist.”

First of all, nothing would convey a more erroneous impression than to
say that Professor Whitney was the first philologist of note who has
combated my views. There is as much combat in the linguistic as in the
physical camp, though Mr. Darwin may not be aware of it. Beginning with
Professor Pott, I could give a long list of most illustrious scholars in
Germany, France, Italy, and surely in England also, who have subjected
my views on language to a far more searching criticism than Professor
Whitney in America. But even if Professor Whitney were the only
philologist who differed from me, or agreed with Mr. Darwin, how would
that affect the soundness of Mr. Darwin’s theories on language? Suppose
I were to quote in return the opinion of M. Renouvier, the distinguished
author of “Les Principes de la Nature,” who, in his journal, “La
Critique Philosophique,” expresses his conviction that my criticism of
Mr. Darwin’s philosophy contains not a simple _polémique_, but has the
character of a _rédressement_; would that dishearten Mr. Darwin? I must
confess that I had never before read Professor Whitney’s “Lectures on
Language,” which were published in America in 1867; and I ought to thank
Mr. Darwin for having obliged me to do so now, for I have seldom perused
a book with greater interest and pleasure,--I might almost say,
amusement. It was like walking through old familiar places, like
listening to music which one knows one has heard before somewhere, and,
for that very reason, enjoys all the more. Not unfrequently I was met by
the _ipsissima verba_ of my own lectures on the Science of Language,
though immediately after they seemed to be changed into an inverted
fugue. Often I saw how carefully the same books and pamphlets which I
had waded through had been studied: and on almost every page there were
the same doubts and difficulties, the same hopes and fears, the same
hesitations and misgivings through which I myself well remembered having
passed when preparing my two series of “Lectures on Language.” Of
course, we must not expect in Professor Whitney’s Lectures, anything
like a systematic or exhaustive treatment. They touch on points which
were most likely to interest large audiences at Washington, and other
towns in America. They were meant to be popular, and nothing would be
more unfair than to blame an author for not giving what he did not mean
to give. The only just complaint we have heard made about these Lectures
is that they give sometimes too much of what is irreverently called
“padding.” Professor Whitney had read my own Lectures before writing
his; and though he is quite right in saying the principal facts on which
his reasonings are founded have been for some time past the commonplaces
of Comparative Philology, and required no acknowledgment, he makes an
honorable exception in my favor, and acknowledges most readily having
borrowed here and there an illustration from my Lectures. As to my own
views on the Science of Language, I am glad to find that on all really
important points, he far more frequently indorses them--nay,
corroborates them by new proofs and illustrations--than attempts to
refute them; and even in the latter case he generally does so by simply
pronouncing his decided preference for one out of two opinions, while I
had been satisfied with stating what could be said on either side. He
might here and there have tempered the wind to the shorn lamb, but I
believe there is far more license allowed in America, in the expression
of dissent, than in England; and it is both interesting and instructive
in the study of Dialectic Growth, to see how words which would be
considered offensive in England, have ceased to be so on the other side
of the Atlantic, and are admitted into the most respectable of American

With regard to the question, for instance, on which so much has lately
been written, whether we ought to ascribe to language a natural growth
or historical change, I see not one single argument produced on either
side of the question in Professor Whitney’s Second Lecture, beyond those
which I had discussed in my Second Lecture. After stating all that could
be said in support of extending the name of history to the gradual
development of language, I tried to show that, after all, that name
would not be quite accurate.

  “The process,” I said, “through which language is settled and
  unsettled combines in one the two opposite elements of necessity and
  free will. Though the individual seems to be the prime agent in
  producing new words and new grammatical forms, he is so only after
  his individuality has been merged in the common action of the
  family, tribe, or nation to which he belongs. He can do nothing by
  himself, and the first impulse to a new formation in language,
  though given by an individual, is mostly, if not always, given
  without premeditation, nay, unconsciously. The individual, as such,
  is powerless, and the results, apparently produced by him, depend on
  laws beyond his control, and on the coöperation of all those who
  form together with him one class, one body, one organic whole.”
  (Page 43.)

After going through the whole argument, I summed up in the end by

  “We cannot be careful enough in the use of our words. Strictly
  speaking, neither _history_ nor _growth_ is applicable to the
  changes of the shifting surface of the earth. _History_ applies to
  the actions of free agents, _growth_ to the natural unfolding of
  organic beings. We speak, however, of the growth of the crust of the
  earth,[1] and we know what we mean by it; and it is in this sense,
  but not in the sense of growth as applied to a tree, that we have a
  right to speak of the growth of language.”

What do we find in Professor Whitney’s Second Lecture? He objects, like
myself, to comparing the growth of language and the growth of a tree,
and like myself, he admits of an excuse, viz., when the metaphor is
employed for the sake of brevity or liveliness of delineation (p. 35).
I had said:--

  “Ever since Horace, it has been usual to compare the changes of
  language with the growth of trees. But comparisons are treacherous
  things; and though we cannot help using metaphorical expressions, we
  should always be on our guard,” etc.

So far we are in perfect harmony. But immediately after, the wind begins
to blow. One sentence is torn out from the context, where I had said:--

  “That it is not in the power of man (not men) either to produce or
  to prevent change in language; that we might think as well of
  changing the laws which control the circulation of our blood, or of
  adding an inch to our height, as of altering the laws of speech, or
  inventing new words, _according to our pleasure_.”

In order to guard against every possible apprehension as to what I meant
by _according to our pleasure_, I quoted the well-known anecdotes of the
Emperor Tiberius and of the Emperor Sigismund, and referred to the
attempts of Protagoras, and other purists, as equally futile. Here the
Republican indignation of the American writer is roused; I, at least,
can find no other motive. He tells me that what I really wanted to say
was this:--

  “If so high and mighty a personage as an emperor could not do so
  small a thing as alter the gender and termination of a single
  word--much less can any one of inferior consideration hope to
  accomplish such a change.” . . .

He then exclaims:--

  “The utter futility of deriving such a doctrine from such a pair of
  incidents, or a thousand like them, is almost too obvious to be
  worth the trouble of pointing out. . . . High political station does
  not confer the right to make or unmake language,” etc.

Now every reader, even though looking only at these short extracts, will
see that the real point of my argument is here entirely missed, though I
do not mean to say that it was intentionally missed. The stress was laid
by me on the words _according to our pleasure_; and in order to
elucidate that point, I first quoted instances taken from those who in
other matters have the right of saying _car tel est mon plaisir_, and
then from others. I feel a little guilty in not having mentioned the
anecdote about _carrosse_; but not being able to verify it, I thought I
might leave it to my opponents. However, after having quoted the two
Emperors, I quoted a more humble personage, Protagoras, and referred to
other attempts at purism in language; but all that is, of course, passed
over by my critic, as not answering his purpose.

Sometimes, amidst all the loud assertion of difference of opinion on
Professor Whitney’s part, not only the substantial, but strange to say,
the verbal agreement between his and my own Second Lecture is startling.
I had said: “The first impulse to a new formation in language, though
given by an individual, is mostly, if not always, given _without
premeditation_, nay, _unconsciously_.” My antagonist varies this very
slightly and says: “The work of each individual is done
_unpremeditately, or, as it were, unconsciously_” (p. 45). While I had
said that we individually can no more change language, _selon notre
plaisir_, than we can add an inch to our stature, Professor Whitney
again adopts a slight alteration and expresses himself as follows: “They
(the facts of language) are almost as little the work of man as is the
form of his skull” (p. 52). What is the difference between us? What is
the difference between changing our stature and changing our skull? Nor
does he use the word growth as applied to language, less frequently than
myself; nay, sometimes he uses it so entirely without the necessary
limitations, that even I should have shrunk from adopting his
phraseology. We read--“In this sense language is a growth” (p. 46);
“a language, like an organic body, is no mere aggregate of similar
particles--it is a complex of related and mutually helpful parts”
(p. 46); “language is fitly comparable with an organized body” (p. 50);
“compared with them, language is a real growth” (p. 51); etc., etc.,

In fact, after all has been said by Professor Whitney that had been said
before, the only difference that remains is this--that he, after making
all these concessions, prefers to class the Science of Language as an
historical, not as a physical science. Why should he not? Everybody who
is familiar with such questions, knows that all depends on a clear and
accurate definition of the terms which we employ. The method of the
Science of Language and the physical sciences is admitted, even by him,
to be the same (p. 52). Everything therefore depends on the wider or
narrower definition which we adopt of physical science. Enlarge the
definition of the natural sciences, and the science of language will
enter in freely; narrow it, and it will enter with difficulty, or not at
all. The same with the historical sciences. Enlarge their definition,
and the science of language will enter in freely; narrow it, and it will
enter with difficulty, or not at all. There is hardly a word that is
used in so many different meanings as nature, and that man in many of
his apparently freest acts is under the sway of unsuspected laws of
nature, cannot sound so very novel to a student of Kant’s writings, to
say nothing of later philosophers.[2] My principal object in claiming
for the Science of Language the name of a physical science, was to make
it quite clear, once for all, that Comparative Philology was totally
distinct from ordinary Philology, that it treats language not as a
vehicle of literature, but for its own sake; that it wants to explain
the origin and development far more than the idiomatic use of words, and
that for all these purposes it must adopt a strictly inductive method.
Many of these views which, when I delivered my first lectures, met with
very determined opposition, are now generally accepted, and I can well
understand, that younger readers should be surprised at the elaborate
and minute arguments by which I tried to show in what sense the Science
of Language may be counted as one of the physical sciences. Let them but
read other books of the same period, and they will see with how much
zeal these questions were then being discussed, particularly in England.
Writing in England, and chiefly for English readers, I tried as much as
possible to adapt myself to the intellectual atmosphere of that country,
and as to the classification of the inductive sciences, I started from
that which was then most widely known, that of Whewell in his “History
of the Inductive Sciences.” He classes the Science of Language as one of
the palaitiological sciences, but makes a distinction between
palaitiological sciences treating of material things--for instance,
geology, and others respecting the products which result from man’s
imaginative and social endowments--for instance, Comparative Philology.
He still excludes the latter from the circle of the physical
sciences,[3] properly so called, but he adds:--

  “We have seen that biology leads us to psychology, if we choose to
  follow the path; and thus the passage from the material to the
  immaterial has already unfolded itself at one point; and we now
  perceive that there are several large provinces of speculation which
  concern subjects belonging to man’s immaterial nature, and which are
  governed by the same laws as sciences altogether physical. It is not
  our business to dwell on the prospects which our philosophy thus
  opens to our contemplation: but we may allow ourselves, in this last
  stage of our pilgrimage among the foundations of the physical
  sciences, to be cheered and animated by the ray that thus beams upon
  us, however dimly, from a higher and brighter region.”

Considering the high position which Dr. Whewell held among the
conflicting parties of philosophic and religious thought in England, we
should hardly have expected that the hope which he expressed of a
possible transition from the material to the immaterial, and the place
which he tentatively, and I more decidedly, assigned to the Science of
Language, could have roused any orthodox animosities. Yet here is the
secret spring of Professor Whitney’s efforts to claim for the Science of
Language, in spite of his own admissions as a scholar, a place among the
moral and historical, as distinct from the physical sciences. The
theological bias, long kept back, breaks through at last, and we are
treated to the following sermon:--

  “There is a school of modern philosophers who are trying to
  materialize all science, to eliminate the distinction between the
  physical and the intellectual and moral, to declare for nought the
  free action of the human will, and to resolve the whole story of the
  fates of mankind into a series of purely material effects, produced
  by assignable physical causes, and explainable in the past, or
  determinable in the future, by an intimate knowledge of those
  causes, by a recognition of the action of compulsory motives upon
  the passively obedient nature of man. With such, language will
  naturally pass, along with the rest, for a physical product, and its
  study for physical science; and, however we may dissent from their
  general classification, we cannot quarrel with its application in
  the particular instance. But by those who still hold to the grand
  distinction,” etc., etc., etc.

At the end of this arguing _pro_ and _con._, the matter itself remains
exactly where it was before. The Science of Language is a physical
science, if we extend the meaning of nature so far as to include human
nature, in those manifestations at least where the individual does not
act freely, but under reciprocal restraint. The Science of Language is
an historical, or, as Professor Whitney prefers to call it, a moral
science, if we comprehend under history the acts performed by men
“unpremeditately, or, as it were, unconsciously,” and therefore beyond
the reach of moral considerations.

I may seem to have entered more fully into this question than its real
importance requires, but I was anxious, before replying to Mr. Darwin’s
objections, to show to him the general style of argument that pervades
Professor Whitney’s writings, and the character of the armory from which
he has borrowed his weapons against me. I have not been able to get
access to Professor Whitney’s last article, and shall therefore confine
myself here to those arguments only which Mr. Darwin has adopted as his
own, though, even if I had seen the whole of the American article,
I should have preferred not to enter into any personal controversy with
Professor Whitney. I have expressed my sincere appreciation of the
industry and acumen which that scholar displays in his lectures on the
Science of Language. There are some portions, particularly those on the
Semitic and American languages, where he has left me far behind. There
are some illustrations extremely well chosen, and worked out with a
touch of poetic genius; there are whole chapters where by keeping more
on the surface of his subject, he has succeeded in making it far more
attractive and popular than I could have hoped to do. That treatment,
however, entails its dangers, unless an author remembers, at every
moment, that in addressing a popular audience he is in honor bound to be
far more careful than if he writes for his own professional colleagues
only. The comparative portion, I mean particularly the Seventh Lecture,
is hardly what one would have expected from so experienced a teacher,
and it is strange to find (p. 219) the inscription on the Duilian column
referred to about B.C. 263, after Ritschl and Mommsen had pointed out
its affected archaisms; to see (p. 222) the name Ahura-Mazda rendered by
“the mighty spirit;” to meet (p. 258) with “sarvanâman,” the Sanskrit
name for pronoun, translated by “name for everything, universal
designation;” to hear the Phœnician alphabet still spoken of as the
_ultimate_ source of the world’s alphabets, etc. Such mistakes, however,
can be corrected, but what can never be corrected is the unfortunate
tone which Professor Whitney has adopted throughout. His one object
seems to be to show to his countrymen that he is the equal of Bopp,
Renan, Schleicher, Steinthal, Bleek, Hang, and others--aye, their
superior. In stating their opinions, in criticizing their work, in
suggesting motives, he shrinks from nothing, evidently trusting to the
old adage, _semper aliquid hœret_. I have often asked myself, why should
Professor Whitney have assumed this exceptional position among
Comparative Philologists. It is not American to attack others, simply in
order to acquire notoriety. America has possessed, and still possesses,
some excellent scholars, whom every one of these German and French
_savants_ would be proud to acknowledge as his peers. Mr. Marsh’s
“Lectures on the English Language” are a recognized standard work in
England; Professor’s March’s “Anglo-Saxon Grammar” has been praised by
everybody. Why is there no trace of self-assertion or personal abuse in
any of their works? It is curious to observe in Professor Whitney’s
works, that the less he has thought on certain subjects, the louder he
speaks, and where arguments fail him, _epitheta ornantia_, such as
_worthless_, _futile_, _absurd_, _ridiculous_, _superficial_, _unsound_,
_high-flown_, _pretentious_, _disingenuous_, _false_, are poured out in
abundance. I believe there is not one of these choice counters with
which, at some time or other, he has not presented me; nay, he has even
poured the soothing oil of praise over my bruised head. _Quand on se
permet tout, on peut faire quelque chose._ But what has been the result?
It has actually become a distinction to belong to the noble army of his
martyrs, while, whenever one is praised by him, one feels inclined to
say with Phocion, οὐ δὴ πού τι κακὸν λέγων ἐμαυτὸν λέληθα.

What such behavior may lead to, we have lately seen in an encounter
between the same American _savant_ and Professor Steinthal, of
Berlin.[4] In his earlier writings Professor Whitney spoke of Professor
Steinthal as an eminent master in linguistic science, from whose
writings he had derived the greatest instruction and enlightenment.
Afterwards the friendly relations between the Yale and Berlin professors
seem to have changed, and at last Professor Steinthal became so
exasperated by the misrepresentations and the overbearing tone of the
American linguist, that he, in a moment of irritation, forgot himself so
far as to retaliate with the same missiles with which he had been
assailed. What the missiles used in such encounters are, may be seen
from a few specimens. One could hardly quote them all in an English
Review. While dwelling on the system of bold misrepresentation adopted
by Professor Whitney, Professor Steinthal calls him--“That vain man who
only wants to be named and praised;” “that horrible humbug;” “that
scolding flirt;” “that tricky attorney;” “wherever I read him, hollow
vacuity yawns in my face; arrogant vanity grins at me.” Surely, mere
words can go no further--we must expect to hear of tomahawk and
bowie-knife next. Scholars who object to the use of such weapons,
whether for offensive or defensive purposes, can do nothing but what I
have done for years--remain silent, select what is good in Professor
Whitney’s writings, and try to forget the rest.

Surely, students of language, of all people in the world, ought to know
what words are made of, and how easy it is to pour out a whole
dictionary of abuse without producing the slightest effect. A page of
offensive language weighs nothing--it simply shows the gall of
bitterness and the weakness of the cause; whereas real learning, real
love of truth, real sympathy with our fellow-laborers, manifest
themselves in a very different manner. There were philosophers of old
who held that words must have been produced by nature, not by art,
because curses produced such terrible effects. Professor Whitney holds
that language was produced θέσει, not φύσει, and yet he shares the
same superstitious faith in words. He bitterly complains that those whom
he reviles, do not revile him again. He wonders that no one answers his
strictures, and he is gradually becoming convinced that he is
unanswerable. Whatever Mr. Darwin, Jr., may think of Professor Whitney
as an ally, I feel certain that Mr. Darwin, Sr., would be the last to
approve the spirit of his works, and that a few pages of his
controversial writings would make him say: _Non tali auxilio._

I now proceed to examine some of the extracts which Mr. Darwin, Jr.,
adopts from Professor Whitney’s article, and even in them we shall see
at once what I may call the spirit of the advocate, though others might
call it by another name.

Instead of examining the facts on which my conclusions were founded, or
showing, by one or two cases, at least, that I had made a mistake or
offended against the strict rules of logic, there appears the following
sweeping exordium, which has done service before in many an opening
address of the counsel for the defendant:--

  “It is never entirely easy to reduce to a skeleton of logical
  statement a discussion as carried on by Müller, because he is
  careless of logical sequence and connection, preferring to pour
  himself out, as it were, over his subject, in a gush of genial
  assertion and interesting illustration.”

Where is the force of such a sentence? It is a mere pouring out of
assertions, though without any interesting illustration, and not exactly
genial. All we learn from it is, that Professor Whitney does not find it
entirely easy to reduce what I have written to a skeleton of logical
sequence, but whether the fault is mine or his, remains surely to be
proved. There may be a very strong logical backbone in arguments which
make the least display of Aldrich, while in others there is a kind of
whited and sepulchral logic which seldom augurs well for what is behind
and beneath.

There is a very simple rule of logic, sometimes called the Law of the
Excluded Middle, according to which either a given proposition or its
contradictory must be true. By selecting passages somewhat freely from
different parts of Professor Whitney’s lectures, nothing would be easier
than to prove, and not simply to assert that he has violated again and
again that fundamental principle. In his earlier Lectures we are told,
that “to ascribe the differences of language and linguistic growth
directly to physical causes, . . . . is wholly meaningless and futile”
(p. 152). When we come to the great variety of the American languages,
we are told that “their differentiation has been favored by the
influence of the variety of climate and mode of life.” On page 40, we
read that a great genius “may now and then coin a new word!” On page
123, we are told “it is not true that a genius can impress a marked
effect upon language.” On page 177, M. Renan and myself are told that we
have committed a serious error in admitting dialects as antecedent
feeders of national or classical languages, and that it is hardly worth
while to spend any effort in refuting such an opinion. On page 181, we
read, “a certain degree of dialectic variety is inseparable from the
being of any language,” etc., etc., etc.

I should not call this a fair way of dealing with any book; I only give
these few specimens to show that the task of changing Professor
Whitney’s Lecture into a logical skeleton would not always be an easy

The pleading is now carried on by Mr. G. Darwin:--

  “In taking up the cudgels, Müller is _clearly_ impelled by an
  overmastering fear lest man should lose ‘his proud position in the
  creation’ if his animal descent is proved.”

I should in nowise be ashamed of the fear thus ascribed to me, but
whether it was an overmastering fear, let those judge who have read such
passages in my Lectures, as the following:--

  “The question is not whether the belief that animals so distant as a
  man, a monkey, an elephant, and a humming bird, a snake, a frog, and
  a fish, could all have sprung from the same parents is monstrous,
  but simply and solely whether it is true. If it is true, we shall
  soon learn to digest it. Appeals to the pride or humility of man, to
  scientific courage, or religious piety, are all equally out of

If this and other passages in my Lectures are inspired by overmastering
fear, then surely Talleyrand was right in saying that language was
intended to disguise our thoughts. And may I not add, that if such
charges can be made with impunity, we shall soon have to say, with a
still more notorious diplomatist, “What is truth?” Such reckless charges
may look heroic, but what applied to the famous charge of Balaclava,
applies to them: _C’est magnifique, sans doute, mais ce n’est pas la

I am next charged, I do not know whether by the senior or the junior
counsel, with maintaining the extraordinary position that if an
insensible graduation could be established between ape and man, their
minds would be _identical_.

Here all depends on what is meant by _mind_ and by _identical_. Does Mr.
Darwin mean by “mind” something substantial--an agent that deals with
the impressions received through the senses, as a builder deals with his
bricks? Then, according to his father’s view, the one builder may build
a mere hovel, the other may erect a cathedral, but through their descent
they are substantially the same. Or does he mean by “mind,” the mode and
manner in which sensations are received and arranged, what one might
call, in fact, the law of sensuous gravitation? Then I say again,
according to his father’s view, that law is substantially the same for
animal and man. Nor is this a conclusion derived from Mr. Darwin’s
premises against his will. It is the opinion strongly advocated by him.
He has collected the most interesting observations on the incipient
germs, not only of language, but of æsthetics and ethics, among animals.
If Mr. Darwin, Jr., holds that the mind of man is not substantially
identical with the animal mind, if he admits a break somewhere in the
ascending scale from the Protogenes to the first Man, then we should be
driven to the old conclusion--viz., that man was formed of the dust of
the ground, but that God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life,
and man became a living soul. Does Mr. Darwin, Jr., accept this?

Next it is said, that by a similar argument the distinction between
black and white, hot and cold, a high and a low note might be
eliminated. This sounds no doubt formidable--it almost looks like a
logical skeleton. But let us not be frightened by words. Black and white
are no doubt as different as possible, so are hot and cold, a high and a
low note. But what is the difference between a high and a low note? It
is simply the smaller or larger number of vibrations in a given time. We
can count these vibrations, and we also know that, from time to time, as
the velocity of the vibrations increases, our dull senses can
distinguish new tones. We have therefore here to deal with differences
that used to be called differences of degree, as opposed to differences
in kind. What applies to a low and a high note, applies to a low and
high degree of heat, and to the various degrees of light which we call
by the names of colors. In all these cases, what philosophers call the
substance, remains the same, just as, according to evolutionists, the
substance of man and animal is the same. Therefore, if man differs from
an animal no more than a high note differs from a low, or, _vice versâ_,
if a high note differs no more from a low than man differs from an ape,
my argument would seem to stand in spite of the shower of words poured
over it.

I myself referred to the difference between a high and a low note for a
totally different purpose, viz., in order to call attention to those
strange lines and limits in nature which, in spite of insensible
graduation, enable us to distinguish broad degrees of sound which we
call keys; broad degrees of light, which we call colors; broad degrees
of heat, for which our language has a less perfect nomenclature. These
lines and limits have never been explained, nor the higher limits which
separate sound from light, and light from heat. Why we should derive
pleasure from the exact number of vibrations which yield C, and then
have painful sensations till we come to the exact number of vibrations
which yield C sharp, remains as yet a mystery. But as showing that
nature had drawn these sharp lines across the continuous stream of
vibrations, whether of sound or light, seemed to me an important
problem, particularly for evolutionist philosophers, who see in nature
nothing but “insensible graduation.”

The next charge brought against me is, that I overlook the undoubted and
undisputed fact that species do actually vary in nature. This seems to
me begging the whole question. If terms like _species_ are fetched from
the lumber-room of scholastic philosophy, they must be defined with
logical exactness, particularly at present, when the very existence of
such a thing as a _species_ depends on the meaning which we assign to
it. Nature gives us individuals only, and each individual differs from
the other. But “species” is a thing of _human workmanship_,[5] and it
depends entirely on the disputed definition of the term, whether species
vary or not. In one sense, Mr. Darwin’s book, “On the Origin of
Species,” may be called an attempt to repeal the term “species,” or, at
all events, an attempt at giving a new definition to that word which it
never had before. No one appreciates more than I do the service he has
rendered in calling forth a new examination of that old and somewhat
rusty instrument of thought.[6] Only, do not let us take for granted
what has to be proved.

The dust of words grows thicker and thicker as we go on, for I am next
told that the same line of proof would show “that the stature of a man
or boy was identical, because the boy passes through every gradation on
attaining the one stature from the other. No one could maintain such a
position who grasped the doctrines of continuity and of the differential
calculus.” It seems to me that even without the help of the differential
calculus, we can, with the help of logic and grammar, put a stop to this
argument. Boy is the subject, stature looks like a subject, but is
merely a predicate, and should have been treated as such by Mr. Darwin.
If a boy arrives by insensible graduation or growth at the stature of
man, the man is substantially the same as the boy. His stature may be
different, the color of his hair may be so likewise; but what
philosophers used to call the substance, or the individuality, or the
personality, or what we may call the man, remains the same. If
evolutionists really maintain that the difference between man and beast
is the same as between a grown-up man and a boy, the whole of my
argument is granted, and granted with a completeness which I had no
right to expect. Will Mr. Darwin, Senior, indorse the concessions thus
made by Mr. Darwin, Junior?

In order to show how the simplest matters can be complicated by a free
use of scholastic terms, I quote the following sentence, which is meant
as an answer to my argument:--

  “According to what is called the Darwinian theory, organisms are in
  fact precisely the result of a multiple integration of a complex
  function of a very great number of variables; many of such variables
  being bound together by relationships amongst themselves, an example
  of one such relationship being afforded by the law, which has been
  called ‘correlation of growth.’”

Next follows a rocket from Mr. Whitney’s armory:--

  “As a linguist,” he says, “Professor Müller claims to have found in
  language an endowment which has no analogies, and no preparations in
  even the beings nearest to man, and of which, therefore, no process
  of transmutation could furnish an explanation. Here is the pivot on
  which his whole argument rests and revolves.”

So far, the statement is correct, only that I expressed myself a little
more cautiously. It is well known, that the animals which in other
respects come nearest to man, possess very imperfect phonetic organs,
and that it would be improper, therefore, to refer more particularly to
them. But, however that may be, I expected at all events some proof that
I had made a mistake, that my argument jars, or my pivot gives. But
nothing of the kind. No facts, no arguments, but simply an assertion
that I do not argue the case with moderation and acuteness, on strict
scientific grounds, and by scientific methods in setting up language as
the specific difference between man and animals. And why? Because many
other writers have adduced other differences as _the_ correct ones.

There is a good deal of purely explosive matter in these vague charges
of want of moderation and acuteness. But what is the kernel?
I represented language as the specific difference between man and
animals, without mentioning other differences which others believe to be
specific. It would seem to show moderation rather than the absence of
it, if I confined myself to language, to the study of which I have
devoted the whole of my life; and perhaps a certain acuteness, in not
touching on questions which I do not pretend to have studied, as they
ought to be. But there were other reasons, too, which made me look upon
language as _the_ specific difference. The so-called specific
differences mentioned by others fall into two classes--those that are
implied by language, as I defined the word, and those which have been
proved untenable by Mr. Darwin and others. Let us read on now, to see
what these specific differences are:--

  “Man alone is capable of progressive improvement.”

    Partly denied by Mr. Darwin, partly shown to be the result of
language, through which each successive generation profits by the
experience of its predecessors.

  “He alone makes use of tools or fire.”
    The former disproved by Mr. Darwin, the latter true.

  “He alone domesticates other animals.”
    Denied, in the case of the ants.

  “He alone possesses property.”
    Disproved by every dog in-the-manger.

  “He alone employs language.”

  “No other animal is self-conscious.”
    Either right or wrong, according to the definition of the word,
    and never capable of direct proof.

  “He alone comprehends himself.”
    True, implied by language.

  “He alone has the power of abstraction.”
    True, implied by language.

  “He alone possesses general ideas.”
    True, implied by language.

  “He alone has sense of beauty.”
    Disproved or rendered doubtful by sexual selection.

  “He alone is liable to caprice.”
    Disproved by every horse, or monkey, or mule.

  “He alone has the feeling of gratitude.”
    Disproved by every dog.

  “He alone has the feeling of mystery.”
    _Cela me passe._

  “He alone believes in God.”

  “He alone is endowed with a conscience.”
    Denied by Mr. Darwin.

Did it show then such want of moderation or acuteness if I confined
myself to language, and what is implied by language, as the specific
difference between man and beast? Really, one sometimes yearns for an
adversary who can hit straight, instead of these random strokes page
after page.

The next attack is so feeble that I should gladly pass it by, did I not
know from past experience that the very opposite motive would be
assigned to my doing so. I had stated that if there is a _terra
incognita_ which excludes all positive knowledge, it is the mind of
animals. How, then, I am asked, do you know that no animal possesses the
faintest germs of the faculty of abstracting and generalizing, and that
animals receive their knowledge through the senses only? I still
recollect the time when any philosopher who, even by way of
illustration, ventured to appeal to the mind of animals, was simply
tabooed, and I thought every student of the history of philosophy would
have understood what I meant by saying that the whole subject was
transcendent. However, here is my answer: I hold that animals receive
their knowledge through the senses, because I can apply a crucial test,
and show that if I shut their eyes, they cannot see. And I hold that
they are without the faculty of abstracting and generalizing, because I
have here nothing before me but mere assertions, I know of no crucial
test to prove that these assertions are true. Those who have read my
Lectures, and were able to reduce them to a skeleton of logical
statement, might have seen that I had adduced another reason, viz., the
fact that general conceptions are impossible without language (using
language in the widest sense, so as to include hieroglyphic, numerical,
and other signs), and that as no one has yet discovered any outward
traces of language among animals, we are justified in not ascribing to
them, as yet, the possession of abstract ideas. This seems to me to
explain fully “why the same person (viz., my poor self) should be
involved in such profound ignorance, and yet have so complete a
knowledge of the limits of the animal mind.” If I had said that man has
five senses, and no more, would that be wrong? Yet having myself only
five senses, I could not possibly prove that other men may not have a
sixth sense, or at all events a disposition to develop it. But I am
quite willing to carry my agnosticism, with regard to the inner life of
animals, still further, and to say again what I wrote in my Lectures
(p. 46):--

  “I say again and again, that according to the strict rules of
  positive philosophy, we have no right either to assert or to deny
  anything with reference to the so-called mind of animals.”

But there is another piece of Chinese artillery brought out by Mr. G.
Darwin. As if not trusting it himself, he calls on Mr. Whitney to fire
it off--“The minds of our fellow men, too,” we are told, “are a _terra
incognita_ in exactly the same sense as are those of animals.”

No student of psychology would deny that each individual has immediate
knowledge of his own mind only, but even Mr. G. Darwin reminds Mr.
Whitney that, after all, with man we have one additional source of
evidence--viz., language; nay, he even doubts whether there may not be
others, too. If Mr. Darwin, Jr., grants that, I willingly grant him that
the horse’s impression of green--nay, my friend’s impression of
green--may be totally different from my own, to say nothing of
Daltonism, color-blindness, and all the rest.[7]

After this, I need hardly dwell on the old attempts at proving, by a
number of anecdotes, that animals possess conceptual knowledge. The
anecdotes are always amusing, and are sure to meet with a grateful
public, but for our purpose they have long been ruled out of court. If
Mr. Darwin, Jr., should ever pass through Oxford, I promise to show him
in my own dog, Waldmann, far more startling instances of sagacity than
any he has mentioned, though I am afraid he will be confirmed all the
more in his anthropomorphic interpretation of canine intelligence.

Now comes a new appeal _ad populum_. I had ventured to say that in our
days nothing was more strongly to be recommended to young and old
philosophers than a study of the history of philosophy. There is a
continuity, not only in Nature, but also in the progress of the human
mind; and to ignore that continuity, to begin always like Thales or
Democritus, is like having a special creation every day. Evolutionists
seem to imagine that there is evolution for everything, except for
evolutionism. What would chemists say, if every young student began
again with the theory of a phlogiston, or every geologist with
Vulcanism, or every astronomer with the Ptolemæic system? However, I did
not go back very far; I only claimed a little consideration for the work
done by such giants as Locke, Hume, Berkeley, and Kant. I expressed a
hope that certain questions might be considered as closed, or, if they
were to be re-opened, that at least the controversy should be taken up
where it was left at the end of the last debate. Here, however, I failed
to make any impression. My appeal is stigmatized as “an attempt to crush
my adversaries by a reference to Kant, Hume, Berkeley, and Locke.” And
the popular tribune finishes with the following brave words:
“Fortunately we live in an age, which (except for temporary relapses)
does not pay any great attention to the pious founders, and which tries
to judge for itself.”

I never try to crush my adversaries by deputy. Kant, Hume, Berkeley, and
Locke may all be antiquated for all I know; but I still hold it would be
useful to read them, before we declare too emphatically that we have
left them behind.

I cannot deny myself the satisfaction of quoting on this point the wise
and weighty words of Huxley:--

  “It is much easier to ask such questions than to answer them,
  especially if one desires to be on good terms with one’s
  contemporaries: but, if I must give an answer, it is this: The
  growth of physical science is now so prodigiously rapid, that those
  who are actively engaged in keeping up with the present, have much
  ado to find time to look at the past, and even grow into the habit
  of neglecting it. But, natural as this result may be, it is none the
  less detrimental. The intellect loses, for there is assuredly no
  more effectual method of clearing up one’s own mind on any subject
  than by talking it over, so to speak, with men of real power and
  grasp who have considered it from a totally different point of view.
  The parallax of time helps us to the true position of a conception,
  as the parallax of space helps us to that of a star. And the moral
  nature loses no less. It is well to turn aside from the fretful stir
  of the present, and to dwell with gratitude and respect upon the
  services of those mighty men of old who have gone down to the grave
  with their weapons of war, but who, while they yet lived, won
  splendid victories over ignorance.”

Next follow some extraordinary efforts on Mr. Whitney’s part to show
that Locke, whose arguments I had simply re-stated, knew very little
about human or animal understanding, and then the threadbare argument of
the deaf and dumb is brushed up once more. Until something new is said
on that old subject, I must be allowed to remain myself deaf and

Then comes the final and decisive charge. I had said that “if the
science of language has proved anything, it has proved that conceptual
or discursive thought can be carried on in words only.” Here again I had
quoted a strong array of authorities--not, indeed, to kill free
inquiry--I am not so bloodthirsty, as my friends imagine--but to direct
it to those channels where it had been carried on before. I quoted
Locke, I quoted Schelling, Hegel, Wilhelm von Humboldt, Schopenhauer,
and Mansel--philosophers diametrically opposed to each other on many
points, yet all agreeing in what seems to many so strange a doctrine,
that conceptual thought is impossible without language (comprehending by
language hieroglyphic, numerical, and similar symbols). I might have
quoted many other thinkers and poets. Professor Huxley seems clearly to
have seen the difference between trains of thought and trains of
feelings. “Brutes,” he says, “though, from the absence of language, they
can have no trains of thoughts, but only trains of feelings, yet have a
consciousness which, more or less distinctly, foreshadows our own.” And
who could express the right view of language more beautifully than Jean

  “Mich dünkt, der Mensch würde sich, so wie das spracblose Thier, das
  in der äussern Welt, wie in einem dunkeln, betäubenden Wellen-Meere
  schwimmt, ebenfalls in dem vollgestirnten Himmel der äussern
  Anschauung dumpf verlieren, wenn er das verworrene Leuchten nicht
  durch Sprache in Sternbilder abtheilte, und sich durch diese das
  Ganze in Theile für das Bewusstein auflösete.”

Having discussed that question very fully in my Lectures, I shall
attempt no more at present than to show that the objections raised by
Mr. Darwin, Jr., entirely miss the point. Does he really think that
those men could have spent all their lives in considering that question,
and never have been struck by the palpable objections raised by him? Let
us treat such neighbors, at least like ourselves. I shall, however, do
my best to show Mr. Darwin that even I had not been ignorant of these
objections. I shall follow him through every point, and, for fear of
misrepresenting him, quote his own words:--

  “(1) Concepts may be formed, and yet not put before the
  consciousness of the conceiver, so that he ‘realizes’ what he is

Does that mean that the conceiver conceives concepts without conceiving
them? Then, I ask, whom do these concepts belong to, where are they, and
under what conditions were they realized? Is to conceive an active or a
passive verb? May I once more quote Kant without incurring the suspicion
of wishing to strangle free inquiry by authority? “Concepts,” says the
old veteran, “are founded on the spontaneity of thought, sensuous
intuitions on the receptivity of impressions.”

  “(2) Complex thoughts are doubtless impossible without symbols, just
  as are the higher mathematics?”

Are lower mathematics possible without numerical symbols, and where is
the line which separates complex from simple thought? Everything would
seem to depend on that line which is so often spoken of by our critics.
There ought to be something in that line which would at once remove the
blunders committed by Humboldt and others. It would define the limit
between inarticulate and articulate thought; it might possibly be the
very frontier between the animal and the human mind, and yet that magic
line is simply conceived, spoken of freely, but never realized, _i.e._,
never traced with logical precision. Till that is done, that line,
though it may exist, is to me as if it did not exist.

  “(3) We know that dogs doubt and hesitate, and finally determine to
  act without any external determining circumstance.”

How this argument fits in here, is not quite clear to me; but, whatever
its drift may be, a perusal of Professor Huxley’s excellent paper, “The
Hypothesis that Animals are Automata,” will supply a full answer.

  “(4) Professor Whitney very happily illustrates the independence of
  thought from language, by calling up our state of mind when casting
  about, often in the most open manner, for new designations, for new
  forms of knowledge, or when drawing distinctions, and pointing
  conclusions, which words are then stretched or narrowed to cover.”

Language with us has become so completely traditional, that we
frequently learn words first and their meaning afterwards. The problem
of the original relation between concepts and words, however, refers to
periods when these words did not yet exist, but had to be framed for the
first time. We are speaking of totally different things; he, of the
geology, I, if I may say so, of the chemistry of speech. But even if we
accepted the test from modern languages, does not the very form of the
question supply the answer? If we want _new_ designations, _new_ forms
of knowledge, do we not confess that we have old designations, though
imperfect ones; old forms of knowledge which no longer answer our
purpose? Our old words, then, become gradually stretched or narrowed,
exactly as our knowledge becomes stretched or narrowed, or we at last
throw away the old word, and borrow another from our own, or even from a
foreign language.

  “It is a proof,” Mr. Darwin says, “that we realized and conceived
  the idea of the texture and nature of a musical sound before we had
  a word for it, that we had to borrow the expressive word “_timbre_”
  from the French.”

But how did we realize and conceive the idea before we had a word for
it? Surely, by old words. We called it quality, texture, nature--we knew
it as the result of the presence and absence of various harmonics. In
German, we stretched an old word, and called it _Farbe_; in English,
_timbre_ was borrowed from the French, just as we may call a pound
_vingt-cinq francs_; but the French themselves got their word by the
ordinary process--viz., by stretching the old word, _tympanum_.

  “(5) If Müller had brought before him some wholly new animal he
  would find that he could shut his eyes, and call up the image of it
  readily enough without any accompanying name.”

All this is far, far away from the real field of battle. No doubt, if I
look at the sun and shut my eyes, the image remains for a time. By
imagination I can also recall other sensuous impressions, and, in an
attack of fever, I have had sensuous impressions resuscitated without my
will. But how does that touch conceptual knowledge? As soon as I want to
know what animal it is which I conjure up or imagine to myself, I must
either have, for shortness’ sake, its scientific name, or I must
conceive and realize its ears, or its legs, or its tail, or something
else, but always something for which there is a name.

I have thus, in spite of the old warning, _Ne Hercules contra duos_,
gone through the whole string of charges brought against me by Mr.
Darwin and Professor Whitney; and while trying to show them that I was
not entirely unprepared for their combined attack, I hope I have not
been wanting in that respect which is due even to a somewhat rancorous
assailant. I have not returned evil for evil, nor have I noticed
objections which I could not refute without seeming to be offensive. Is
it not mere skirmishing with blank cartridge, when Professor Whitney
assures me that I have never fathomed “the theory of the antecedency of
the idea to the word in the minds of those who hold that theory?”
Surely, that is the theory which everybody holds who forms his idea of
the origin of language from the manner in which we acquire a traditional
language ready made, or, later in life, learn foreign languages. It has
been my object to show that our problem is not, how languages are
learnt, but how language is developed. We might as well form our ideas
of the origin of the alphabet from the manner in which we learn to
write, and then smile when we are told that, in writing “F” we still
draw in the two upper strokes, the two horns of the _cerastes_, and that
the connecting line in the “H” is the last remnant of the lines dividing
the sieve, both hieroglyphics occurring in the name of Chufu or Cheops.

Philosophy is a study as much as philology, and though common sense is,
no doubt, very valuable within its proper limits, I do not hesitate to
say, though I hear already the distant grumbling of _Jupiter tonans_,
that it is generally the very opposite of philosophy. One of the most
eminent and most learned of living German philosophers--Professor
Carriere, of Munchen--says in a very friendly review of Professor
Whitney’s “Lectures on Language”--

  “Philosophical depth and precision in psychological analysis are not
  his strong points, and in that respect the reader will hardly find
  anything new in his Lectures.”

He goes on to say that--

  “The American scholar did not see that language is meant first for
  forming, afterwards for communicating thought.” “Wordmaking,” he
  says with great truth, “is the first philosophy--the first poetry of
  mankind. We can have sensations, desires, intentions, but we cannot
  think, in the proper sense of the word, without language. Every word
  expresses the general. Mr. Whitney has not understood this, and his
  calling language a human institution is very shallow.”

Against Professor Whitney’s view that language is arbitrary and
conventional, and against the opposite view that language is
instinctive, Professor Carriere quotes the happy expression of M. Renan,
“_La liaison du sens et du mot n’est jamais nécessaire, jamais
arbitraire, toujours elle est motivée._” Here the nail is hit on the
head. Professor Carriero highly commends Professor Whitney’s lectures,
and he does by no means adopt all my own views; but he felt obliged to
enter a protest against certain journalistic proceedings which in
Germany have attracted general attention.

In conclusion, if I may judge from Professor Whitney’s lectures, unless
he has changed very much of late, I doubt whether he would prove a real
ally of Mr. Darwin in his views on the origin of language. Towards the
end of his article, even Mr. Darwin, Jr., becomes suspicious. Professor
Whitney, he says, makes a dangerous assertion when he says that we shall
never know anything of the transitional forms through which language has
passed, and he advises his friend to read a book lately published by
Count G. A. de Goddesand Liancourt and F. Pincott, called “Primitive and
Universal Laws of Language,” in which he would find much information and
enlightenment on the real origin of roots. There is an unintentional
irony in that advice which Professor Whitney will not fail to
appreciate. How any one who cares for truth can speak of a dangerous
assertion, I do not understand. The Pope may say so, or a barrister;
a true friend of truth knows of no danger.

In his “Lectures on Language,” Professor Whitney protests strongly
against Darwinian materialism. But, as he confesses himself half a
convert to the _Bow-wow_ and _Pooh-pooh_ theories, thus showing how
wrong I was in supposing that those theories had no advocates among
comparative philologists in the nineteenth century; nay, as now, after
he has discovered at last that I am no believer in _Ding-dongism_, he
seems inclined to say a kind word for the advocates of that
theory--Heyse and Steinthal--who knows whether, after my Lectures on
Darwin’s “Philosophy of Language,” he may not be converted by Bleek and
Haeckel, the mad Darwinian, as he calls him?

All this, no doubt, has its humorous side, and I have tried to answer it
good-humoredly. But it seems to me that it also has a very serious
import. Why is there all this wrangling as to whether man is the
descendant of a lower animal or not? Why cannot people examine the
question in a temper more consonant with a real love of truth? Why look
for artificial barriers between man and beast, if they are not there?
Why try to remove real barriers, if they are there? Surely we shall
remain what we are, whatever befall. When we throw the question back
into a very distant antiquity, all seems to grow confused and out of
focus. Yet time and space make little difference in the solution of
these problems. Let us see what exists to-day. We see to-day that the
lowest of savages--men whose language is said to be no better than the
clucking of hens, or the twittering of birds, and who have been declared
in many respects lower even than animals, possess this one specific
characteristic, that if you take one of their babies, and bring it up in
England, it will learn to speak as well as any English baby, while no
amount of education will elicit any attempts at language from the
highest animals, whether bipeds or quadrupeds. That disposition cannot
have, been formed by definite nervous structures, congenitally framed,
for we are told by the best Agriologists that both father and mother
clucked like hens. This fact, therefore, unless disproved by experiment,
remains, whatever the explanation may be.

Let us suppose, then, that myriads of years ago there was, out of
myriads of animal beings, one, and one only, which made that step which
in the end led to language, while the whole rest of the creation
remained behind;--what would follow? That one being then, like the
savage baby now, must have possessed something of his own--a germ very
imperfect, it may be, yet found nowhere else, and that germ, that
capacity, that disposition--call it what you like--is, and always will
remain the specific difference of himself and all his descendants. It
makes no difference whether we say it came of itself, or it was due to
environment, or it was the gift of a Being in whom we live and move. All
these are but different expressions for the Unknown. If that germ of the
Logos had to pass through thousands of forms, from the Protogenes to
Adam, before it was fit to fulfill its purpose, what is that to us? It
was there _potentiâ_ from the beginning; it manifested itself where it
was, in the paulo-post-future man; it never manifested itself where it
was not, in any of the creatures that were animals from the beginning,
and remained so to the end.

Surely, even if all scholastic philosophy must now be swept away, if to
be able to reduce all the wisdom of the past to a _tabula rasa_ is
henceforth to be the test of a true philosopher, a few landmarks may
still be allowed to remain, and we may venture to quote, for instance,
_Ex nihilo nihil fit_, without being accused of trying to crush free
inquiry by an appeal to authority. Language is something, it
pre-supposes something; and that which it pre-supposes, that from which
it sprang, whatever its pre-historic, pre-mundane, pre-cosmic state may
have been, must have been different from that from which it did not
spring. People ask whether that germ of language was “slowly evolved,”
or “divinely implanted,” but if they would but lay a firm grip on their
words and thoughts, they would see that these two expressions, which
have been made the watchwords of two hostile camps, differ from each
other dialectically only.

That there is in us an animal--aye, a bestial nature--has never been
denied; to deny it would take away the very foundation of Psychology and
Ethics. We cannot be reminded too often that all the materials of our
knowledge we share with animals; that, like them, we begin with sensuous
impressions, and then, like ourselves, and like ourselves only, proceed
to the General, the Ideal, the Eternal. We cannot be reminded too often
that in many things we are like the beasts of the field, but that, like
ourselves, and like ourselves only, we can rise superior to our bestial
self, and strive after what is Unselfish, Good, and God-like. The wing
by which we soar above the Sensuous, was called by wise men of old the
_Logos_; the wing which lifts us above the Sensual, was called by good
men of old the _Daimonion_. Let us take continual care, especially
within the precincts of the Temple of Science, lest by abusing the gift
of speech or doing violence to the voice of conscience, we soil the two
wings of our soul, and fall back, through our own fault, to the dreaded
level of the Gorilla.

    [Footnote 1: “The vast number of grammatical forms has had a
    stratified origin. As on the surface of the earth older and
    younger layers of stones are found one above the other, or one by
    the side of the other, We had similar appearances in language at
    any time of its existence.” Curtius, _Zur Chronologie_, p. 14.]

    [Footnote 2: See _Academy_, 19 June, 1875.]

    [Footnote 3: As it has been objected that I had no right to claim
    Dr. Whewell’s authority in support of my classification, I may
    here add a passage from a letter (Nov. 4, 1861) addressed to me by
    Dr. Whewell, in which he fully approves of my treating the Science
    of Language as one of the physical sciences. “You have more than
    once done me the honor, in your lectures, of referring to what I
    have written but it seems to me possible that you may not have
    remarked how completely I agree with you in classing the Science
    of Language among the physical sciences, as to its history and

    [Footnote 4: _Antikritik, Wie einer den Nagel auf den Kopf
    trifft_: Berl. 1874.]

    [Footnote 5: Cf. Sachs’ _Botany_, p. 830.]

    [Footnote 6: See _Lectures on the Science of Language_, vol. ii.]

    [Footnote 7: Fiske, _Outlines of Cosmic Philosophy_, vol. i.
    p. 17.]

    [Footnote 8: See Kilian, _Uber die Racenfrage der Semitischen und
    Arischen Sprachbände_, 1874.]




It has been remarked by many observers that in all branches of physical
as well as historical learning there is at the present moment a strongly
pronounced tendency towards special researches. No one can hold his own
among his fellow-workers who cannot point to some discovery, however
small, to some observation, to some decipherings, to some edition of a
text hitherto unpublished, or, at least, to some conjectural readings
which are, in the true sense of the word, his property. A man must now
have served from the ranks before he is admitted to act as a general,
and not even Darwin or Mommsen would have commanded general attention
for their theories on the ancient history of Rome, or on the primitive
development of animal life, unless they had been known for years as
sturdy workers in their respective quarries.

On the whole, I believe that this state of public opinion has produced a
salutary effect, but it has also its dangers. An army that means
conquest, cannot always depend on its scouts and pioneers, nor must it
be broken up altogether into single detachments of tirailleurs. From
time to time, it has to make a combined movement in advance, and for
that purpose it wants commanders who know the general outlines of the
battle-field, and are familiar with the work that can best be done by
each branch of the service.


If we look upon scholars, historians, students of physical science, and
abstract philosophers, as so many branches of the great army of
knowledge which has been fighting its way for centuries for the conquest
of truth, it might be said, if we may follow up our comparison a little
further, that the light cavalry of physical science had lately made a
quick movement in advance, and detached itself too much from the support
of the infantry and heavy artillery. The charge was made against the old
impregnable fortress, the Origin of Life, and to judge from the
victorious hurrahs of the assaulting squadron, we might have thought
that a breach had at last been effected, and that the keys to the long
hidden secrets of creation and development had been surrendered. As the
general commanding this attack, we all recognize Mr. Darwin, supported
by a brilliant staff of dashing officers, and if ever general was well
chosen for victory, it was the author of the “Origin of Species.”

There was indeed for a time a sanguine hope, shared by many a brave
soldier, that the old warfare of the world would, in our time, be
crowned with success, that we should know at last what we are, whence we
came, and whither we go; that, beginning with the simplest elementary
substances, we should be able to follow the process of combination and
division, leading by numberless and imperceptible changes from the
lowest Bathybios to the highest Hypsibios, and that we should succeed in
establishing by incontrovertible facts what old sages had but guessed,
viz., that there is nowhere anything hard and specific in nature, but
all is flowing and growing, without an efficient cause or a determining
purpose, under the sway of circumstances only, or of a self-created
environment. Πάντα ῥεῖ.

But that hope is no longer so loudly and confidently expressed as it was
some years ago. For a time all seemed clear and simple. We began with
Protoplasm, which anybody might see at the bottom of the sea, developing
into Moneres, and we ended with the bimanous mammal called _Homo_,
whether _sapiens_ or _insipiens_, everything between the two being
matter of imperceptible development.


The difficulties began where they generally begin, at the beginning and
at the end. _Protoplasm_ was a name that produced at first a soothing
effect on the inquisitive mind, but when it was asked, whence that power
of development, possessed by the Protoplasm which begins as a Moneres
and ends as Homo, but entirely absent in other Protoplasm, which resists
all mechanical manipulation, and never enters upon organic growth, it
was seen that the problem of development had not been solved, but only
shifted, and that, instead of simple Protoplasm, very peculiar kinds of
Protoplasm were required, which under circumstances might become and
remain a Moneres, and under circumstances might become and remain _Homo_
forever. That which determined Protoplasm to enter upon its marvelous
career, the first κινοῦν ἀκινητόν, remained as unknown as ever. It was
open to call it an internal and unconscious, or an external and
conscious power, or both together: physical, metaphysical, and religious
mythology were left as free as ever. The best proof of this we find in
the fact that Mr. Darwin himself retained his belief in a personal
Creator, while Haeckel denies all necessity of admitting a conscious
agent; and Von Hartmann[1] sees in what is called the philosophy of
evolutionism the strongest confirmation of idealism, “all development
being in truth but the realization of the unconscious reason of the
creative idea.”


While the difficulty at the beginning consists in this that, after all,
nothing can be developed except what was enveloped, the difficulty at
the end is this that something is supposed to be developed that was not
enveloped. It was here where I thought it became my duty to draw Mr.
Darwin’s attention to difficulties which he had not suspected at all, or
which, at all events, he had allowed himself to under-value. Mr. Darwin
had tried to prove that there was nothing to prevent us from admitting a
possible transition from the brute to man, as far as their physical
structure was concerned, and it was natural that he should wish to
believe that the same applied to their mental capacities. Now, whatever
difference of opinion there might be among philosophers as to the
classification and naming of these capacities, and as to any rudimentary
traces of them to be discovered in animals, there had always been a
universal consent that language was a distinguishing characteristic of
man. Without inquiring what was implied by language, so much was
certain, that language was something tangible, present in every man,
absent in every brute. Nothing, therefore, was more natural than that
Mr. Darwin should wish to show that this was an error: that language was
nothing specific in man, but had its antecedents, however imperfect, in
the signs of communication among animals. Influenced, no doubt, by the
works of some of his friends and relatives on the origin of language, he
thought that it had been proved that our words could be derived
_directly_ from imitative and interjectional sounds. If the Science of
Language has proved anything, it has proved that this is not the case.
We know that, with certain exceptions, about which there can be little
controversy, all our words are derived from roots, and that every one of
these roots is the expression of a general concept. “Without roots, no
language; without concepts, no roots,” these are the two pillars on
which our philosophy of language stands, and with which it falls.


Any word taken from Mr. Wedgwood’s Dictionary will show the difference
between those who derive words _directly_ from imitative and
interjectional sounds, and those who do not. For instance, s.v. _to
plunge_, we read:--

  “Fr. _plonger_ Du. _plotsen_, _plonssen_, _plonzen_, to fall into
  the water--Kil.; _plotsen_, also to fall suddenly on the ground. The
  origin, like that of _plump_, is a representation of the noise made
  by the fall. Swiss _bluntschen_, the sound of a thick heavy body
  falling into the water.” Under _plump_ we read, “that the radical
  image is the sound made by a compact body falling into the water, or
  of a mass of wet falling to the ground. _He smit den sten in’t
  water, plump! seg dat_, ‘He threw the stone into the water; it cried
  plump!’ _Plumpen_, to make the noise represented by plump, to fall
  with such a noise, etc., etc., etc.”

All this sounds extremely plausible, and to a man not specially
conversant with linguistic studies, far more plausible than the real
etymology of the word. To plunge is, no doubt, as Mr. Wedgwood says, the
French _plonger_ but the French _plonger_ is _plumbicare_, while in
Italian _piombare_ is _cadere a piombo_, to fall straight like the
plummet. To plunge, therefore, has nothing to do with the splashing
sound of heavy bodies falling into the water, but with the concept of
straightness, here symbolized by the plummet.

This case, however, would only show the disregard of historical facts
with which the onomatopœic school has been so frequently and so justly
charged. But as we cannot trace _plumbum_, or μόλυβος, or Old Slav.
_olovo_ with any certainty to a root such as _mal_, to be soft, let us
take another word, such as _feather_. Here, again, we find that Mr.
Wedgwood connects it with such words as Bav. _fledern_, Du. _vlederen_,
to flap, flutter, the loss of the _l_ being explained by such words as
to splutter and to sputter. We have first to note the disregard of
historical facts, for _feather_ is O.H.G. _fedara_, Sk. pat-tra, Gr.
πτερόν for πετερον, all derived from a root _pat_, to fly, from which we
have also _penna_, old _pesna_, πέτ-ομαι, _peto_, _impetus_, etc. The
root _pat_ expresses violent motion, and it is specialized into upward
motion, πέτομαι, I fly; downward motion, Sk. +patati+, he falls; and
onward motion, as in Latin _peto_, _impetus_, etc. Feather, therefore,
as derived from this root, was conceived as the instrument of flying,
and was never intended to imitate the noise of Du. _vlederen_, to
flutter, and to flap.


As this want of historical treatment among onomatopœic philologists has
frequently been dwelt on by myself and others, these instances may
suffice to mark the difference between the school so ably and powerfully
represented by Mr. Wedgwood, and the school of Bopp, to which I and most
comparative philologists belong. It was in the name of that school that
I ventured to address my protest to the school of evolutionists,
reminding them of difficulties, which they had either ignored
altogether, or, at all events, greatly undervalued, and putting our case
before them in such a form that even philosophers, not conversant with
the special researches of philologists, might gain a clear insight into
the present state of our science, and form their opinion accordingly.

In doing this I thought I was simply performing a duty which, in the
present state of divided and subdivided labor, has to be performed, if
we wish to prevent a useless waste of life. However different our
pursuits may be, we all belong, as I said before, to the same army, we
all have the same interests at heart, we are bound together by what the
French would call the strongest of all solidarities, the love of truth.
If I had thought only of my own fellow-laborers in the field of the
Science of Language, I should not have considered that there was any
necessity for the three Lectures which I delivered in 1873 at the Royal
Institution. In my first course of Lectures on the Science of Language
(1861), delivered before Evolutionism had assumed its present
dimensions, I had already expressed my conviction that language is the
one great barrier between the brute and man.

  “Man speaks,” I said, “and no brute has ever uttered a word.
  Language is something more palpable than a fold of the brain or an
  angle of the skull. It admits of no caviling, and no process of
  natural selection will ever distill significant words out of the
  notes of birds or the cries of beasts.”

No scholar, so far as I know, has ever controverted any of these
statements. But when Evolutionism became, as it fully deserved, the
absorbing interest of all students of nature, when it was supposed that,
if a Moneres could develop into a Man, Bow-wow and Pooh-pooh might well
have developed by imperceptible degrees into Greek and Latin, I thought
it was time to state the case for the Science of Language and its
bearing on some of the problems of Evolutionism more fully, and I gladly
accepted the invitation to lecture once more on this subject at the
Royal Institution in 1873. My object was no more than a statement of
facts, showing that the results of the Science of Language did not at
present tally with the results of Evolutionism, that words could no
longer be derived directly from imitative and interjectional sounds,
that between these sounds and the first beginnings of language, in the
technical sense of the word, a barrier had been discovered, represented
by what we call Roots, and that, as far as we know, no attempt, not even
the faintest, has ever been made by any animal, except man, to approach
or to cross that barrier. I went one step further. I showed that Roots
were with man the embodiments of general concepts, and that the only way
in which man realized general concepts, was by means of those roots, and
words derived from roots. I therefore argued as follows: We do not know
anything and cannot possibly know anything of the mind of animals:
therefore, the proper attitude of the philosopher with regard to the
mental capacities of animals is one of complete neutrality. For all we
know, the mental capacities of animals may be of a higher order than our
own, as their sensuous capacities certainly are in many cases. All this,
however, is guesswork; one thing only is certain. If we are right that
man realizes his conceptual thought by means of words, derived from
roots, and that no animal possesses words derived from roots, it
follows, not indeed, that animals have no conceptual thought (in saying
this, I went too far), but that their conceptual thought is different in
its realized shape from our own.

From public and private discussions which followed the delivery of my
lectures at the Royal Institution (an abstract of them was published in
“Fraser’s Magazine,” and republished, I believe, in America), it became
clear to me that the object which I had in view had been fully attained.
General attention had been roused to the fact that at all events the
Science of Language had something to say in the matter of Evolutionism,
and I know that those whom it most concerned were turning their thoughts
in good earnest to the difficulties which I had pointed out. I wanted no
more, and I thought it best to let the matter ferment for a time.


But what was my surprise when I found that a gentleman who had acquired
considerable notoriety, not indeed by any special and original
researches in Comparative Philology, but by his repeated attempts at
vilifying the works of other scholars, Professor Whitney, had sent a
paper to Mr. Darwin, intended to throw discredit on the statements which
I had recommended to his serious consideration. I did not know of that
paper till an abstract of it appeared in the “Contemporary Review,”
signed George Darwin, and written with the avowed purpose of
discrediting the statements which I had made in my Lecture at the Royal
Institution. If Professor Whitney’s appeal had been addressed to
scholars only, I should gladly have left them to judge for themselves.
But as Mr. Darwin, Jr., was prevailed upon to stand sponsor to Professor
Whitney’s last production, and to lend to it, if not the weight, at
least the lustre of his name, I could not, without appearing
uncourteous, let it pass in silence. I am not one of those who believe
that truth is much advanced by public controversy, and I have carefully
eschewed it during the whole of my literary career. But if I had left
Professor Whitney’s assertions unanswered, I could hardly have
complained, if Mr. Darwin, Sr., and the many excellent _savants_ who
share his views, had imagined that I had represented the difficulties
which the students of language feel with regard to animals developing a
language, in a false light; that in fact, instead of wishing to assist,
I had tried to impede the onward march of our brave army. I have that
faith in οἱ περὶ Darwin, that I believe they want honest advice, from
whatever quarter it may come, and I therefore was persuaded to deviate
for once from my usual course, and, by answering _seriatim_ every
objection raised by Professor Whitney, to show that my advice had been
tendered _bonâ fide_, that I had not spoken in the character of a
special pleader, but simply and solely as a man of truth.


My “Answer to Mr. Darwin” appeared in the “Contemporary Review” of
November, 1874, and if it had only elicited the letter which I received
from Mr. Darwin, Sr., I should have been amply repaid for the trouble I
had taken in the matter.

It produced, however, a still more important result, for it elicited
from the American assailant a hasty rejoinder, which opened the eyes
even of his best friends to the utter weakness of his case. Professor
Whitney, himself, had evidently not expected that I should notice his
assault. He had challenged me so often before, and I had never answered
him. Why, then, should I have replied now? My answer is, because, for
the first time, his charges had been countersigned by another.

I had not even read his books before, and he blames me severely for that
neglect, bluntly asking me, why I had not read them. That is indeed a
question extremely difficult to answer without appearing to be rude.
However, I may say this, that to know what books one must read, and what
books one may safely leave unread, is an art which, in these days of
literary fertility, every student has to learn. We know on the whole
what each scholar is doing, we know those who are engaged in special and
original work, and we are in duty bound to read whatever they write.
This in the present state of Comparative Philology, when independent
work is being done in every country of Europe, is as much as any man can
do, nay, often more than I feel able to do. But then, on the other hand,
we claim the liberty of leaving uncut other books in our science, which,
however entertaining they may be in other respects, are not likely to
contain any new facts. In doing this, we run a risk, but we cannot help

And let me ask Professor Whitney, if by chance he had opened a book and
alighted on the following passage, would he have read much more?

  “Take as instances _home_ and _homely_, _scarce_ and _scarcely_,
  _direct_ and _directly_, _lust_ and _lusty_, _naught_ and _naughty_,
  _clerk_ and _clergy_, a _forge_ and a _forgery_, _candid_ and
  _candidate_, _hospital_ and _hospitality_, _idiom_ and _idiocy_,
  _alight_ and _delight_, etc.”

Is there any philologist, comparative or otherwise, who does not know
that _light_, the Gothic _liuhath_, is connected with the Latin
_lucere_; that to _delight_ is connected with Latin _delector_, Old
French _deleiter_, and with Latin _de-lic-ere_; while to _alight_ is of
Teutonic origin, and connected with Gothic _leihts_, Latin _levis_,
Sanskrit _laghus_?

But then, Professor Whitney continues, when at last he had forced me to
read some of his writings, why did I not read them carefully? Why did I
read Mr. Darwin’s article in the “Contemporary Review” only, and not his
own in an American journal?

Now here I feel somewhat guilty: still I can offer some excuse. I did
not read Professor Whitney’s reply in the American original, first,
because I could not get it in time; secondly, because I only felt bound
to answer the arguments which Mr. Darwin had adopted as his own. Looking
at the original article afterwards, I found that I had not been entirely
wrong. I see that Mr. Darwin has used a very wise discretion in his
selection, and I may now tell Professor Whitney that he ought really to
be extremely grateful that nothing except what Mr. Darwin had approved
of, was placed before the English readers of the “Contemporary Review,”
and therefore answered by me in the same journal.


Other charges, however, of neglect and carelessness on my part in
reading Professor Whitney’s writings, I can meet by a direct negative.
Among the more glaring mistakes of his lectures which I had pointed out,
was this, that fifteen years after Rougé’s discovery, Professor Whitney
still speaks of “the Phenician alphabet as the ultimate source of the
world’s alphabets.” Professor Whitney answers: “If Professor Müller had
read my twelfth lecture he would have found the derivative nature of the
Phenician alphabet fully discussed.” When I read this, I felt a pang,
for it was quite true that I had not read that lecture. I saw a note to
it, in which Professor Whitney states that the sketch of the history of
writing contained in it was based on Steinthal’s admirable essay on the
“Development of Writing,” and being acquainted with that, I thought I
could dispense with lecture No. 12. However, as I thought it strange
that there should be so glaring a contradiction between two lectures of
the same course, that in one the Phenician alphabet should be
represented as the ultimate source, in another as a derivative alphabet,
I set to work and read lecture No. 12. Will it be believed that there is
not one word in it about Rougé’s discovery, published, as I said,
fifteen years ago, that the old explanation that _Aleph_ stood for an
ox, _Beth_ for a house, _Gimel_ for camel, _Daleth_ for door, is simply
repeated, and that similarities are detected between the forms of the
letters and the figures of the objects whose names they bear? Therefore
of two things one, either Professor Whitney was totally ignorant of what
has been published on this subject during the last fifteen years by
Rougé, father and son, by Brugsch, Lenormant and others, or he thought
he might safely charge me with having misrepresented him, because
neither I nor any one else was likely to read lecture No. 12.

After this instance of what Professor Whitney considers permissible,
I need hardly say more; but having been cited by him before a tribunal
which hardly knows me, to substantiate what I had asserted in my “Answer
to Mr. Darwin,” it may be better to go manfully through a most
distasteful task, to answer _seriatim_ point after point, and thus to
leave on record one of the most extraordinary cases of what I can only
call Literary Daltonism.


I am accused by Professor Whitney of having read his lectures
carelessly, because I had only been struck by what seemed to me
repetitions from my own writings, without observing the deeper
difference between his lectures and my own. He therefore advises me to
read his lectures again. I am afraid I cannot do that, nor do I see any
necessity for it, because though I was certainly staggered by a number
of coincidences between his lectures and my own, I was perfectly aware
that they differed from each other more than I cared to say. I imagined
I had conveyed this as clearly as I could, without saying anything
offensive, by observing that in many places his arguments seemed to me
like an _inverted fugue_ on a _motive_ taken from my lectures. But if I
was not sufficiently outspoken on that point, I am quite willing to make
amends for it now.


I must give one instance at least of what I mean by an _inverted fugue_.

I had laid great stress on the fact that, though we are accustomed to
speak of language as a thing by itself, language after all is not
something independent and substantial, but, in the first instance, an
act, and to be studied as such. Thus I said (p. 51):--

  “To speak of language as a thing by itself, as living a life of its
  own, as growing to maturity, producing offspring, and dying away, is
  sheer mythology.”

Again (p. 58):--

  “Language exists in man, it lives in being spoken, it dies with each
  word that is pronounced, and is no longer heard.”

When I came to Professor Whitney’s Second Lecture, and read (p. 35):--

  “Language has, in fact, no existence save in the minds and mouths of
  those who use it,”

I felt pleasantly reminded of what I knew I had said somewhere. But what
was my surprise, when a few lines further on I read:--

  “This truth is sometimes explicitly denied, and the opposite
  doctrine is set up, that language has a life and growth independent
  of its speakers, with which men cannot interfere. A recent popular
  writer (Professor Max Müller) asserts that, ‘although there is a
  continuous change in language, it is not in the power of man either
  to produce or to prevent it. We might think as well of changing the
  laws which control the circulation of our blood, or of adding an
  inch to our height, as of altering the laws of speech, or inventing
  new words according to our own pleasure.’”

How is one to fight against such attacks? The very words which Professor
Whitney had paraphrased before, only substituting “skull” for “height,”
and by which I had tried to prove “that languages are not the artful
creations of individuals,” are turned against me to show that, because I
denied to any _single_ individual the power of changing language _ad
libitum_, I had set up the opposite doctrine, viz. that language has a
life and growth independent of its speakers.

Does Professor Whitney believe that any attentive reader can be taken in
by such artifices? Suppose I had said that in a well-organized republic
no individual can change the laws according to his pleasure, would it
follow that I held the opposite doctrine, that laws have a life and
growth independent of the lawgiver? The simile is weak, because an
individual may, under very peculiar circumstances, change a law
according to his pleasure: but weak as it is, I hope it will convince
Professor Whitney that Formal Logic is not altogether a useless study to
a Professor of Linguistics. I only wonder what Professor Whitney would
have said if he had been able to find in my Lectures a definition of
language (p. 46), worthy of Friedrich Schlegel, viz.:--

  “Language, like an organic body, is no mere aggregate of similar
  particles; it is a complex of related and mutually helpful parts.”

And again:--

  “The rise, development, decline, and extinction of language are like
  the birth, increase, decay, and death of a living creature.”

In these poetical utterances of Professor Whitney’s we have an outbreak
of philological mythology of a very serious nature, and this many years
after I had uttered my warning that “to speak of language as a thing by
itself, as living a life of its own, as growing to maturity, producing
offspring, and dying away, is sheer mythology” (I. p. 51).


It is, no doubt, quite natural that in reading Professor Whitney’s
lectures I should have been struck more forcibly than others by
coincidences, which have reference not only to general arguments, but
even to modes of expression and illustrations. I had pointed out some of
these verbal or slightly disguised coincidences in my first article, but
I could add many more. As we open the book, it begins by stating that
the Science of Language is a modern science, that its growth was
analogous to that of other sciences, that from a mere collection of
facts it advanced to classification, and from thence to inductive
reasoning on language. We are told that ancient nations considered the
languages of their neighbors as merely barbarous, that Christianity
changed that view, that a study of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew widened the
horizon of scholars, and that at present no dialect, however rude, is
without importance to the students of the Science of Language. Next
comes the importance of the discovery of Sanskrit, and a challenge for a
place among the recognized sciences in favor of our new science.

Now I ask any one who may have read my Lectures, whether it was not very
natural that I should be struck with a certain similarity between my old
course of lectures on the Science of Language, and the lectures
delivered soon after on the Science of Language at Washington? But I was
not blind to the differences, and I never wished to claim as my own what
was original in the American book.

For instance, when the American Professor says that one of the most
important problems is to find out “How we learn English,” I said at
once, “That’s his ane;” and when after leading us from mother to
grandmother, and great-grandmother, he ends with Adam, and says:--

  “It is only the first man before whom every beast of the field and
  every fowl of the air must present itself, to see what he will call
  it; and whatever he calls any living creature, that is the name
  thereof, not to himself alone, but to his family and descendants,
  who are content to style each as their father had done before them.”

I said again, “That’s his ane.”

When afterwards we read about the large and small number of words used
by different ranks and classes, and by different writers, when we come
to the changes in English, the phonetic changes, to phonetics in
general, to changes of meaning, etc., few, I think, will fail to
perceive what I naturally perceived most strongly, “the leaves of memory
rustling in the dark.” I perceived even such accidental reminiscences

  _Old Prussian leaving behind a brief catechism_ (p. 215), and,

  _Old Prussian leaving behind an old catechism_ (p. 200);

  _Frisian having a literature of its own_ (p. 211), and the

  _Frisians having a literature of their own_ (p. 178),

though, of course, no other reader could possibly perceive such
unimportant coincidences. These, no doubt, were mere accidents; but when
we consider that there is perhaps no science which admits of more varied
illustration than the Science of Language, then to find page after page
the same instances which one had collected one’s self, certainly left
the impression that the soil from which these American lectures sprang,
was chiefly alluvial. Of course, as Professor Whitney has acknowledged
his indebtedness to me for these illustrations, I have no complaint to
make, I only protest against his ingratitude in representing such
illustrations as mere by-work. For the purpose of teaching and placing a
difficult subject into its proper light, illustrations, I think, are
hardly less important than arguments. In order to show, for instance, in
what sense Chinese may be called a _parler enfantin_, I had said:--

  “If a child says _up_, that _up_ is to his mind, noun, verb,
  adjective, all in one. It means, I want to get up on my mother’s

What has Professor Whitney to say on the same subject?

  “It is thus that, even at present, children begin to talk; a radical
  word or two means in their mouths a whole sentence; _up_ signifies
  ‘Take me up into your lap.’”

Enough of this, if not too much. Perhaps a thousand years hence, if any
of our books survive so long, the question whether my lectures were
written by myself, or by an American scholar settled in Germany, may
exercise the critical acumen of the philologists of the future.


But I see there is one more charge of carelessness brought against me,
and as I promised to answer every one, I must at least mention it.

  “He has not even observed that my Lectures are printed and published
  in England, and not only in America.”

Why I ought to have observed this, I do not understand. Would it have
served as an advertisement? Should I have said that the author resided
in Canada to secure his book against the imminent danger of piracy in
England? Or does Professor Whitney suspect here too, one of those
sinister influences which he thought had interfered with the sale of his
books in England? However, whatever sin of omission I have committed,
I am quite willing to apologize, in order to proceed to graver matters.


I stand charged next not only with having read Professor Whitney’s
writings in too cursory a manner, but with actually having
misrepresented his views on the question, so often discussed of late,
whether the Science of Language should be reckoned one of the historical
or one of the physical sciences. Let us look at the facts:--

I had tried to show in my very first Lecture in what sense the Science
of Language might properly be called a physical, and in what sense it
might be called an historical science. I had given full weight to the
arguments on either side, because I felt that, owing to the twofold
nature of man, much might be said with perfect truth for one or the
other view. When I look back on what I wrote many years ago, after
having carefully weighed all that has been written on the subject during
the last fifteen years, I am glad to find that I can repeat every word I
then wrote, without a single change or qualification.

  “The process” I said (p. 49), “through which language is settled and
  unsettled, combines in one the two opposite elements of necessity
  and freewill. Though the individual seems to be the prime mover in
  producing new words and new grammatical forms, he is so only after
  his individuality has been merged in the common action of the
  family, tribe, or nation to which he belongs. He can do nothing by
  himself, and the first impulse to a new formation in language,
  _though given by an individual_, is mostly, if not always, given
  without premeditation, nay, unconsciously. The individual, as such,
  is powerless, and the results apparently produced by him, depend on
  laws beyond his control, and on the coöperation of all those who
  form together with him one class, one body, or one organic whole.
  But though it is easy to show that language cannot be changed or
  moulded by the taste, the fancy, or genius of man, it is
  nevertheless through the instrumentality of man alone that language
  can be changed.”

Now I ask any reader of Mr. Whitney’s Lectures, whether he has found in
them anything in addition to what I had said on this subject, anything
materially or even in form, differing from it. He speaks indeed of the
actual additions made by individuals to language, but he treats them, as
I did, as rare exceptions (p. 32), and I cannot help thinking that when
he wrote (p. 52):--

  “Languages are almost as little the work of man as is the form of
  his skull, the outlines of his face, the construction of his arm and

he was simply paraphrasing what I had said, though, as will be seen, far
more cautiously than my American colleague, because my remarks referred
to the laws of language only, not to language as a whole (p. 47):--

  “We might think as well of changing the laws which control the
  circulation of our blood, or of adding an inch to our height, as of
  altering the laws of speech, and inventing new words, _according to
  our own pleasure_.”

I cannot hope to convince Mr. Whitney, for after I had tried to explain
to him, why I considered the question whether the Science of Language is
to be classed as a physical or an historical science, as chiefly a
question of technical definition, he replies:--

  “That I should probably consider it as more than a matter of
  terminology or technical definition whether our science is an
  historical science, _because men make language_, or a physical
  science, _because men do not make language_.”

Everybody will see that to attempt a serious argument on such
conditions, is simply impossible.

If Professor Whitney can produce one single passage in all my writings
where I said that _men do not make language_, I promise to write no more
on language at all. I see now that it is Schleicher who, according to
Professor Whitney, at least, held these crude views, who called
languages natural organisms, which, without being determinable by the
will of man, arose, grew, and developed themselves, in accordance with
fixed laws, and then again grow old and die out; who ascribed to
language that succession of phenomena which is wont to be termed life,
and who accordingly classed _Glottik_, the Science of Language, as a
natural science. These are the very opinions which, with the exception
of the last, are combated in my writings.

I understood perfectly well what Mr. Whitney meant, when he, like nearly
all scholars before him, claimed the Science of Language as an
historical or a moral science. Man is an amphibious creature, and all
the sciences concerning man, will be more or less amphibious sciences.
I did not rush into print, because he took the opposite side to the one
I had taken. On the contrary, having myself laid great stress on the
fact that language was not to be treated as an artful creation of the
individual, I was glad that the artistic element in language, such as it
is, should have found so eloquent an advocate. But I confess, I was
disappointed when I saw that, with the exception of a few purely
sentimental protests, there was nothing in Mr. Whitney’s treatment of
the subject that differed from my own. I proved this, if not to his
satisfaction, at least to that of others, by giving _verbatim_ extracts
from his Lectures, and what is the consequence? As he can no longer deny
his own words, he uses the only defense which remained, he now accuses
me of garbling quotations and thus misrepresenting him. This, of course,
may be said of all quotations, short of reprinting a whole chapter. Yet
to my mind the charge is so serious, that I feel in duty bound to repel
it, not by words, but by facts.

This is the way in which Professor Whitney tries to escape from the net
in which he had entangled himself. In his reply to my argument he

  “He chooses even more than once a sentence, in order to prove that I
  maintain an opinion, directly from an argument in support of the
  opposite opinion; for instance, in quoting my words, ‘that languages
  are almost as little the work of man as is the form of his skull,’
  he overlooks the preceding parts of the same sentence: ‘_as opposed_
  to the objects which he, the linguist, follows in his researches,
  and the results which he wishes to attain.’ The whole is a part of a
  section which is to prove that the absence of reflection and
  conscious intent, takes away from the facts of language the
  subjective character which would otherwise belong to them as
  products of the voluntary action.”

Very well. We now have what Professor Whitney says that he said. Let us
now read what he really said (p. 51):--

  “The linguistic student feels that he is not dealing with _the
  artful creations of individuals_. So far as concerns the purposes
  for which he examines them, and the results he would derive from
  them, they are almost as little the work of man as is the form of
  his skull.”

To render “so far as concerns the purposes” by “Gegenüber den Zwecken,
die er bei seinen Untersuchungen verfolgt,” is a strong measure. But
even thus, the facts remain as I, not as he, had stated them. There was
no garbling on my part, but something worse than garbling on his, and
all this for no purpose whatever, except for one which I do not like to
suggest. As a linguistic student Professor Whitney feels what I had
felt, ‘that we are not dealing with the artful creations of
individuals.’ What Professor Whitney may feel besides about language,
does not concern us, but it does concern us, and it does still more
concern him, that he should not endeavor to impart to scientific
language that character which, as he admits, it has not, viz., that of
being the very artful creation of an individual.

I am quite willing to admit, and I have done so before on several
occasions, that I may have laid too great stress on those
characteristics of the Science of Language by which it belongs to the
physical sciences. I have explained why I did so at the time. In fact
these are not new questions. Because I had said, as Dr. Whewell had said
before me,--

  “That there are several large provinces of speculation which concern
  subjects belonging to man’s immaterial nature, and which are
  governed by the same laws as sciences altogether physical,”

it did not follow, as Professor Whitney seems to think, that I regarded
language as something like a cow or a potato. I cannot defend myself
against such puerilities.

In reviewing Schleicher’s essay, “On Darwinism tested by the Science of
Language,” I had said:--

  “It is not very creditable to the students of the Science of
  Language that there should have been among them so much wrangling as
  to whether that science is to be treated as one of the natural or as
  one of the historical sciences. They, if any one, ought to have seen
  that they were playing with language, or rather that language was
  playing with them, and that unless a proper definition is first
  given of what is meant by nature and by natural science, the
  pleading for and against the admission of the Science of Language to
  the circle of the natural sciences, may be carried on _ad
  infinitum_. It is, of course, open to anybody so to define the
  meaning of nature as to exclude human nature, and so to narrow the
  sphere of the natural sciences, as to leave no place for the Science
  of Language. It is also possible so to interpret the meaning of
  growth that it becomes inapplicable alike to the gradual formation
  of the earth’s crust, and to the slow accumulation of the _humus_ of
  language. Let the definition of these terms be plainly laid down,
  and the controversy, if it will not cease at once, will at all
  events become more fruitful. It will then turn on the legitimate
  definition of such terms as nature and mind, necessity and
  free-will, and it will have to be determined by philosophers rather
  than by scholars. Unless appearances deceive us, it is not the
  tendency of modern philosophy to isolate human nature, and to
  separate it by impassable barriers from nature at large, but rather
  to discover the bridges which lead from one bank to the other, and
  to lay bare the hidden foundations which, deep beneath the surface,
  connect the two opposite shores. It is, in fact, easy to see that
  the old mediæval discussions on necessity and free-will are turning
  up again in our own time, though slightly disguised, in the
  discussions on the proper place which man holds in the realm of
  nature; nay, that the same antinomies have been at the root of the
  controversy from the days when Greek philosophers maintained that
  language existed φύσει or θέσει, to our own days, when scholars
  range themselves in two hostile camps, claiming for the Science of
  Language a place either among the physical or the historical
  branches of knowledge.”

And again:--

  “At all events we should never allow ourselves to forget that, if we
  speak of languages as natural productions, and of the Science of
  Language as one of the natural sciences, what we chiefly wish to say
  is, that languages are not produced by the free-will of individuals,
  and that, if they are works of art, they are works of what may be
  called a natural or unconscious art--an art in which the individual,
  though he is the agent, is not a free agent, but checked and
  governed from the very first breath of speech by the implied
  cooperation of those to whom his language is addressed, and without
  whose acceptance language, not being understood, would cease to be

In the first lecture which I delivered at Strassburg, I dwelt on the
same problem, and said:--

  “There is, no doubt, in language a transition from the material to
  the spiritual; the raw material of language belongs to nature, but
  the form of language, that which really makes language, belongs to
  the spirit. Were it possible to trace human language _directly_ back
  to natural sounds, to interjections or imitations, the question
  whether the Science of Language belongs to the sphere of the natural
  or the historical sciences would at once be solved. But I doubt
  whether this crude view of the origin of language counts one single
  supporter in Germany. With one foot language stands, no doubt, in
  the realm of nature, but with the other in the realm of spirit. Some
  years ago, when I thought it necessary to bring out as clearly as
  possible the much neglected natural element in language, I tried to
  explain in what sense the Science of Language had a right to be
  called the last and the highest of the natural sciences. But I need
  hardly say that I did not lose sight, therefore, of the intellectual
  and historical character of language; and I may here express my
  conviction that the Science of Language will yet enable us to
  withstand the extreme theories of the evolutionists, and to draw a
  hard and fast line between spirit and matter, between man and

Professor Whitney will see, therefore, that all that can be said, and be
justly said, against treating the Science of Language as a purely
physical science was not so new to me as he expected; nay, his friends
might possibly tell him that the _pro’s_ and _con’s_ of this question
had been far more fully and fairly weighed before his own lectures were
published than afterwards. A writer on this subject, if he wishes to win
new laurels, must do more than furbish up old weapons, and fight against
monsters which owe their existence to nothing but his own heated


His knowledge of the German language ought to have kept Professor
Whitney from an insinuation that I had claimed for Glottology a place
among the physical sciences, because I feared that otherwise the title
of “science” would be altogether denied to my researches. Now whatever
artificial restriction may have been forced on the term “science” in
English and American, the corresponding term in German, _Wissenschaft_,
has, as yet, resisted all such violence, and it was as a German that I
ventured to call _Sprachwissenschaft_ by its right name in English, and
did not hesitate to speak even of a Science of Mythology, a Science of
Religion, and a Science of Thought.

Finally, as to my wishing to smuggle in Glottology, and to secure for it
at least some small corner in the circle of the Physical Sciences, I am
afraid I cannot lay claim to such modesty. When at the meeting of the
British Association at Oxford in 1847, Bunsen claimed the establishment
of a separate section for Ethnology, he said:--

  “If man is the apex of creation, it seems right on the one side,
  that a historical inquiry into his origin and development should
  never be allowed to sever itself from the general body of natural
  science, and, in particular, from physiology. But on the other hand,
  if man is the apex of creation, if he is the end to which all
  organic formations tend from the very beginning; if man is at once
  the mystery and the key of natural science; if that is the only view
  of natural science worthy of our age, then ethnologic philology,
  once established on principles as clear as the physiological are, is
  _the highest branch_ of that science for the advancement of which
  this Association is instituted. It is not an appendix to physiology
  or to anything else; but its object is, on the contrary, capable of
  becoming the end and goal of the labors and transactions of a
  scientific association.”

These words of my departed friend express better than anything which I
can say, what I meant by claiming for the Science of Language and the
Science of Man, a place among the physical sciences. By enlarging the
definition of physical science so as to make it comprehend both
Anthropology and Glottology, I thought I was claiming a wider scope and
a higher dignity for physical science. The idea of calling language a
vegetable, in order to smuggle it through the toll-bar of the physical
sciences, certainly never entered my mind.

When one remembers how since 1847, man has become the central point of
the discussions of the British Association year after year, Bunsen’s
words sound almost prophetic, and it might have been guessed, even in
America, that the friend and pupil of Bunsen was not likely to abate
much in his claims for the recognition of the Science of Man, as the
highest of all sciences.

Have I done? Yes, I believe I have answered all that required an answer
in Mr. Darwin’s article, in Professor Whitney’s new attack in the
“Contemporary Review,” and in his Lectures. But alas! there is still a
page bristling with challenges.

Have I read not only his lectures, but all his controversial articles?
No. Then I ought.

Have I quoted any passage from his writings to prove that the less he
has thought on a subject, the louder he speaks No. Then I ought.

Have I produced any proof that he wonders that no one answers his
strictures? No. Then I ought.

He actually appeals to my honor. What can I do? I cannot say that I have
since read all his controversial articles, but I have read a
considerable number, and I frankly confess that on many points they have
raised my opinion of Professor Whitney’s acquirements. It is true, he is
not an original worker, but he is a hard reader, and a very smart
writer. The gall of bitterness that pervades all his writings, is
certainly painful, but that concerns him far more than us.


First then, I am asked to explain what I meant by saying that Professor
Whitney speaks the loudest on subjects on which he has thought the
least. I could best explain my meaning, if I were to collect all that
Professor Whitney has written on the relation of language to thought. He
certainly grows most boisterous in these latitudes, and yet he evidently
has never, as yet, read up that subject, nay, he seems convinced that
what has been written on it by such dreamers as Locke, Schelling, Hegel,
Humboldt, Schopenhauer, Mansel, and others, deserves no consideration
whatever. To maintain, what every one of these philosophers maintains,
that a conception cannot be entertained without the support of a word,
would be, according to the Yale Professor, the sheerest folly
(p. 125),--“part of that superficial and unsound philosophy which
confounds and identifies speech, thought, and reason” (p. 439).

I can quite enter into these feelings, for I can still remember the
mental effort that is required in order to surrender our usual view of
language, as a mere sign or instrument of thought, and to recognize in
it the realization of all conceptual thought. A mere dictionary would,
no doubt, seem the best answer to those who hold that thought and
language are inseparable, and to throw a stout Webster at our head might
be considered by many as good a refutation of such sheer folly, as a
slap in the face was supposed to be of Berkeley’s idealism. However,
Professor Whitney is an assiduous reader, and I do not at all despair
that the time will come when he will see what these thinkers really mean
by conceptual thought and by language, and I am quite prepared to hear
him say that “he had known all that long ago, that any child knew it,
that it was mere _bathos_, and that it was only due to a want of clear
and definitive expression, or to a want of knowledge of English,
excusable in a foreigner, if there had been so much darkening of counsel
by words without thought.” I shall then be told that:--

  “I consulted excellent authorities, and I worked these up with a
  commendable degree of industry, but that I am wanting in the inner
  light . . . and have never gained a comprehension of the movements
  that go on in my own mind, without which real insight into the
  relation of language to thought is impossible” (p. 268).


In order to accelerate that event, may I advise Professor Whitney to
read some articles lately published by Professor Prantl? Professor
Prantl is _facile princeps_ among German logicians, he is the author of
the “History of Logic,” and therefore perhaps even the American
Professor will not consider him, as he does others who differ from him,
as quite ignorant of the first rules of logic! At the meeting of the
Royal Academy at Munich, March 6, 1875, Professor Prantl claimed
permission, after having finished his “History of Logic,” to lay some
thoughts for the “Reform of Logic,” before the members of that Academy,
the very fundamental principle of that reform being

_The essential unity of thought and language._

  “Realized thought, or what others might call the realization of the
  faculty of thought, exists therefore in language only, and _vice
  versâ_, every element of language contains thought. Every kind of
  priority of real thought before its expression in language, is to be
  denied, as well as any separate existence of thought” (p. 181).

  “In one sense I should not deny that there is something in animals
  which in a very high degree of elevation is called language in man.
  In recognition of the distance produced by this high degree of
  elevation, one can agree with Max Müller, that language is the true
  frontier between brute and man.” (p. 168).

Or, if the Yale Professor wants a more popular treatment of the subject,
he might read Dr. Loewe’s essay on “The Simultaneity of the Genesis of
Speech and Thought,” also published this year. Dr. Loewe, too, avails
himself gladly of the new results obtained by the Science of Language,
and shows clearly that the origin of thought is the origin of language.

Every one who has to write on philosophical subjects in English, German,
and French, or who has to superintend translations of what he has
written into other languages, must know how difficult it is to guard
always against being misunderstood, but a reader familiar with his
subject at once makes allowance for this; he does not raise clouds of
dust for nothing. Observe the difference between some criticisms passed
on what I had said, by Dr. Loewe, and by others. I had said in my
Lectures (ii. 82):--

  “It is possible, without language, to see, to perceive, to stare at,
  to dream about things; but, without words, not even such simple
  _ideas_ as white or black can be for a moment realized.”

My German translator had rendered _ideas_ by _Vorstellungen_ while I
used the word in the sense of concept, _Begriff_. Dr. Loewe in
commenting on this passage says:--

  “If M. M. maintains that _Vorstellungen_, such as white and black,
  cannot be realized for a moment without words, he is right, but only
  if by _Vorstellung_ he means _Begriff_. And this is clearly his
  meaning, because shortly before he had insisted on the fact that it
  was conceptual thought which is impossible without words. Were we to
  take his words literally, then it would be wrong, for sensuous
  images (Sinnesbilder), such as white and black, do not require words
  for their realization. One glance at the psychical life of animals
  would suffice to prove that sensuous representation (Vorstellen) can
  be carried out without language, for it is equally certain that
  animals have sensuous images as that they have no words.”

This is the language of a well-schooled philosopher, who cares for truth
and not for controversy, _à tout prix_. Let us contrast it for a moment
with the language of Professor Whitney (p. 249):--

  “This may be taking a very high view of language; it certainly is
  taking a very low view of reason. If only that part of man’s
  superior endowments which finds its manifestation in language is to
  receive the name of reason, what shall we style the rest? We had
  thought that the love and intelligence, the soul, that looks out of
  a child’s eyes upon us to reward our care long before it begins to
  prattle, were also marks of reason,” etc.

This is a pretty domestic idyl, but the marvelous confusion between
conceptual thought and the inarticulate signs of the affections, will,
I fear, remind logicians of infantine prattle with no mark of reason
about it, rather than of scientific argument.

It is quite clear, therefore, from this single specimen, that it would
be impossible to argue with Professor Whitney on this subject. He
returns to it again and again, his language grows stronger and stronger
every time, yet all the time he speaks like a man whom nothing shall
convince that the earth does move. He does not even know that he might
have quoted very great authorities on his side of the question, only
that they, knowing the bearings of the whole problem, speak of their
antagonists with the respect due say by Nyâya to a Sânkhya philosopher,
not with the contempt which a Brahman feels for a Mleccha.


But let us take a subject where, at all events, it is possible to argue
with the Professor--I mean Sanskrit Grammar--and we shall see again that
he is most apodictic when he is least informed. He has criticised the
first volume of my translation of the Rig-Veda. He dislikes it very
much, and gives me very excellent advice as to what I ought to have done
and what I ought not. He thinks I ought to have thought of the large
public who want to know something of the Veda, and not of mere scholars.
He thinks that the hymns addressed to the Dawn would have pleased the
young ladies better than the hymns to the Stormgods, and he broadly
hints that all the _pièces justificatives_ which I give in my commentary
are _de trop_. A translation, such as Langlois’, would, no doubt, have
pleased him best. I do not object to his views, and I hope that he or
his friends may some day give us a translation of the Rig-Veda, carried
out in that spirit. I shall devote the remaining years of my life to
carrying on what I ventured to call and still call the first _traduction
raisonnée_ of the Veda, on those principles which, after mature
reflection, I adopted in the first volume, and which I still consider
the only principles in accordance with the requirements of sound
scholarship. The very reason why I chose the hymns to the Maruts was
because I thought it was high time to put an end to the mere trifling
with Vedic translation. They are, no doubt, the most difficult, the most
rugged, and, it may be, the least attractive hymns, but they are on that
very account an excellent introduction to a scholarlike study of the
Veda. Mere guessing and skipping will not avail us here. There is no
royal road to the discovery of the meaning of difficult words in the
Veda. We must trace words of doubtful meaning through every passage
where they occur, and we must give an account of their meaning by
translating every passage that can be translated, marking the rest as,
for the present, untranslatable. Boehtlingk and Roth’s excellent
Dictionary is the first step in that direction, and a most important
step. But in it the passages have only undergone their first sifting and
classifying; they are not translated, nor are they given with perfect
completeness. Now if one single passage is left out of consideration in
establishing the meaning of a word, the whole work has to be done again.
It is only by adopting my own tedious, it may be, but exhaustive method
that a scholar may feel that whatever work he has done, it is done once
for all.

On such questions, however, it is easy to write a great deal in general
terms; though it is difficult to say anything on which all competent
scholars are not by this time fully agreed. It is not for me to gainsay
my American critic that my renderings into English, being those of a
foreigner, are tame and spiritless, but I doubt, whether in a new
edition I shall change my translation, “the lights in heaven shine
forth,” for what the American Professor suggests: “a sheen shines out in
the sky,” or “gleams glimmer in the sky.”

All this, however, anybody might have written after dinner. But once at
least Professor Whitney, Professor of Sanskrit in Yale, attempts to come
to close quarters, and ventures on a remark on Sanskrit grammar. It is
the only passage in all his writings, as far as I remember, where,
instead of indulging in mere sheet lightning, he comes down upon me with
a crashing thunderbolt, and points out a real grammatical blunder. He
says it is--

  “An extremely violent and improbable grammatical process to render
  +pari tasthushas+, as if the reading were +paritasthivâṃsas+. The
  participial form +tasthushas+ has no right to be anything but an
  accusative plural, or a genitive or ablative singular; let us have
  the authority for making a nominative plural of it, and treating
  +pari+ as its prefix, and better authority than the mere dictum of a
  Hindu grammarian.”

Those who are acquainted with Vedic studies know that Professor Benfey
has been for years preparing a grammar of the Vedic dialect, and, as
there is plenty of work for all workers, I purposely left the
grammatical questions to him, confining myself in my commentary to the
most necessary grammatical remarks, and giving my chief attention to the
meaning of words and the poetical conceptions of the ancient poets. If
the use of the accusatival form +tasthushas+, with the sense of a
nominative, had been confined to the Veda, or had never been remarked on
before, I ought, no doubt, to have called attention to it. But similar
anomalous forms occur in Epic literature also, and more than that,
attention had but lately been called to them by a very eminent Dutch
scholar, Dr. Kern, who, in his translation of the Bṛhat-Saṃhitâ, remarks
that the ungrammatical nom. plur. +vidushas+ is by no means rare in the
Mahâbhârata and kindred works. If Professor Whitney had only read as far
as the eleventh hymn in the first book of the Rig-Veda, he would have
met there in +abibhyushas+ an undoubted nom. plur. in +ushas+:--

    tvấm devấḥ ábibhyushaḥ tujyámânâsaḥ âvishuḥ,

    The gods, stirred up, came to thee, not fearing.

Now, I ask, was I so far wrong when I said that Professor Whitney speaks
loudest when he knows least, and that in charging me, for once at least,
with a tangible blunder, he only betrayed his ignorance of Sanskrit
grammar? In former times a scholar, after such a misfortune, would have
taken a vow of silence or gone into a monastery. What will Professor
Whitney do? He will take a vow of speech, and rush into a North American


There are other subjects to which Professor Whitney has of late paid
much more attention than to Sanskrit Grammar, and we shall find that on
them he argues in a much gentler tone.

It is well known that Professor Whitney held curious views about the
relation of vowels to consonants, and I therefore was not surprised to
hear from him that “my view of the essential difference between vowels
and consonants will not bear examination.” He mixes up what I call the
substance (breath and voice) with the form (squeezes and checks), and
forgets that _in rerum naturâ_ there exist no consonants except as
modifying the column of voice and breath, or as what Hindu grammarians
call +vyanjana+, _i.e._, determinants; and no vowels except as modified
by consonants. In order to support the second part of this statement,
viz., that it is impossible to pronounce an initial vowel without a
slight, and to many hardly perceptible, initial noise, the _coup de la
glotte_, I had appealed to musicians who know how difficult it is, in
playing on the flute or on the violin, to weaken or to avoid certain
noises (_Ansatz_) arising from the first impulses imparted to the air,
before it can produce really musical sensations. Professor Whitney, in
quoting this paragraph, leaves out the sentence where I say that I want
to explain the difficulty of pronouncing initial vowels without some
_spiritus lenis_, and charges me with comparing all consonants with the
unmusical noises of musical instruments. This was in 1866, whereas in
1854 I had said: “If we regard the human voice as a continuous stream of
air, emitted as breath from the lungs and changed by the vibration of
the _chordæ vocales_ into vocal sound, as it leaves the larynx, this
stream itself, as modified by certain positions of the mouth, would
represent the vowels. In the consonants, on the contrary, we should have
to recognize a number of stops opposing for a moment the free passage of
this vocal air.” I ask any scholar or lawyer, what is one to do against
such misrepresentations? How is one to qualify them, when to call them
unintentional would be nearly as offensive as to call them intentional?

The greatest offense, however, which I have committed in his eyes is
that I revived the old names of _hard_ and _soft_, instead of _surd_ and
_sonant_. Now I thought that one could only revive what is dead, but I
believe there is not a single scholar alive who does not use always or
occasionally the terms _hard_ and _soft_. Even Professor Whitney can
only call these technical terms obsolescent; but he thinks my influence
is so omnipotent that, if I had struck a stroke against these
obsolescent terms, they would have been well nigh or quite finished.
I cannot accept that compliment. I have tried my strokes against much
more objectionable things than _hard_ and _soft_, and they have not yet
vanished. I know of no living philologist who does not use the old terms
_hard_ and _soft_, though everybody knows that they are imperfect. I see
that Professor Pott[2] in one passage where he uses _sonant_ thinks it
necessary to explain it by _soft_. Why, then, am I singled out as the
great criminal? I do not object to the use of _surd_ or _sonant_. I have
used these terms from the very beginning of my literary career, and as
Professor Whitney evidently doubts my word, I may refer him to my
_Proposals_, submitted to the Alphabetic Conferences in 1854. he will
find that as early as that date, I already used _sonant_, though, like
Pott, I explained this new term by the more familiar _soft_. If he will
appeal to Professor Lepsius, he will hear how, even at that time, I had
translated for him the chapters of the Prâtiśâkhyas, which explain the
true structure of a physiological alphabet, and ascribe the distinction
between k and g to the absence and presence of voice. I purposely
avoided these new terms, because I doubted, and I still doubt, whether
we should gain much by their adoption. I do not exactly share the
misgivings that a _surd mute_ might be mistaken for a _deaf and dumb_
letter, but I think the name is awkward. _Voiced_ and _voiceless_ would
seem much better renderings of the excellent Sanskrit terms +ghoshavat+
and +aghosha+, in order to indicate that it is the presence and absence
of the voice which causes their difference. Frequent changes in
technical terms are much to be deprecated,[3] particularly if the new
terms are themselves imperfect.

Every scholar knows by this time what is meant by _hard_ and _soft_,
viz., _voiceless_ and _voiced_. The names _hard_ and _soft_, though not
perfect, have, like most imperfect names, some kind of excuse, as I
tried to show by Czermak’s experiments.[4] But while a good deal may be
said for _soft_ and _hard_, what excuse can be pleaded for such a term
as _media_, meaning originally a letter between the _Psila_ and the
_Dasea_? Yet, would it be believed that this very term is used by
Professor Whitney on the page following immediately after his
puritanical sermon against my backslidings!

This gentle sermon, however, which Professor Whitney preaches at me, as
if I were the Pope of Comparative Philologists, is nothing compared with
what follows later. When he saw that the difference between _voiced_ and
_voiceless_ letters was not so novel to me as he had imagined, that it
was known to me even before I published the Prâtisâkhya,--nay, when I
had told him that, to quote the words of Professor Brücke, the founder
of scientific phonetics,--

  “The medias had been classed as _sonant_ in all the systems
  elaborated by the students of language who have studied comparative

he does not hesitate to write as follows:--

  “Professor Müller, like some other students of philology (who except
  Professor Whitney himself?) finds himself unable longer to resist
  the force of the arguments against _hard_ and _soft_, and is
  convinced that _surd_ and _sonant_ are the proper terms to use; but,
  instead of frankly abandoning the one, and accepting the other in
  their place, he would fain make his hearers believe that he has
  always held and taught as he now wishes he had done. It is either a
  case of disingenuousness or of remarkable self-deception: there
  appears to be no third alternative.”

I call this a gentle reproof, as coming from Professor Whitney; but I
must say at the same time that I seldom saw greater daring displayed,
regardless of all consequences. The American captain sitting on the
safety-valve to keep his vessel from blowing up, is nothing in
comparison with our American Professor. I have shown that in 1854 the
terms _surd_ and _sonant_ were no novelty to me. But as Professor
Whitney had not yet joined our ranks at that time, he might very
properly plead ignorance of a paper which I myself have declared
antiquated by what I had written afterwards on the same subject. But
will it be believed that in the very same lecture which he is
criticising, there occurs the following passage (ii. p. 156):--

  “What is it that changes k into g, t into d, p into b? B is called a
  media, a soft letter, a sonant, in opposition to P, which is called
  a tenuis, a hard letter, or a surd. But what is meant by these
  terms? A tenuis, we saw, was so called by the Greeks, in opposition
  to the aspirates, the Greek grammarians wishing to express that the
  aspirates had a rough or shaggy sound, whereas the tenues were bald,
  slight, or thin. This does not help us much. _Soft_ and _hard_ are
  terms which, no doubt, express an outward difference of b and p, but
  they do not explain the cause of that difference. _Surd_ and
  _sonant_ are apt to mislead; for if, according to the old system
  both p and b continue to be classed as mute, it is difficult to see
  how, taking words in their proper sense, a mute letter could be
  sonant. . . . . Both p and b are momentary negations of breath and
  voice; or, as the Hindu grammarians say, both are formed by complete
  contact. But b differs from p in so far as, in order to pronounce
  it, breath must have been changed by the glottis into voice, which
  voice, whether loud or whispered, partly precedes, partly follows
  the check.”

And again:--

  “But although the hardness and softness are secondary qualities of
  _tenues mediæ_, of surd and sonant letters, the true physiological
  difference between p and b, t and d, k and g, is that in the former
  the glottis is wide open, in the latter narrowed, so as to produce
  either whispered or loud voice.”

In my introduction to the “Outline Dictionary for Missionaries,”
published in 1867, I wrote:--

  “Unfortunately, everybody is so familiar with his alphabet, that it
  takes some time to convince people that they know next to nothing
  about the true nature of their letters. Take even a scholar, and ask
  him what is T, and he may possibly say, a dental tenuis; ask him
  what is D, and he may reply, a dental media. But ask him what he
  really means by a tenuis or media, or what he considers the true
  difference between T and D, and he may probably say that T is hard
  and D is soft; or that T is sharp and D is flat; or, on the
  contrary, as some writers have actually maintained, that the sound
  of D requires a stronger impulse of the tongue than the sound of T:
  but we shall never get an answer that goes to the root of the
  matter, and lays hold of the mainspring and prime cause of all these
  secondary distinctions between T and D. If we consult Professor
  Helmholtz on the same subject, he tells us that ’the series of
  so-called mediæ, b, d, g, differs from that of the tenues, p, t, k,
  by this, that for the former the glottis is, at the time of
  consonantal opening, sufficiently narrowed to enable it to sound, or
  at least to produce the noise of the _vox clandestina_, or whisper,
  while it is wide open with tenues, and therefore unable to sound.
  Mediæ are therefore accompanied by the tone of the voice, and this
  may even, where they begin a syllable, set in a moment before, and
  where they end a syllable, continue a moment after the opening of
  the mouth, because some air may be driven into the closed cavity of
  the mouth, and support the sound of the vocal chords of the larynx.
  Because of the narrowed glottis, the rush of the air is more
  moderate, the noise of the air less sharp than with the tenuis, so
  that a great mass of air may rush at once from the chest.”

  “This to many may seem strange and hardly intelligible. But if they
  find that, several centuries before our era, the Indian grammarians
  gave exactly the same definition of the difference between p, t, k,
  and b, d, g, such a coincidence may possibly startle them, and lead
  them to inquire for themselves into the working of that wonderful
  instrument by which we produce the various sounds of our alphabet.”

If Professor Whitney asserts--

  “That I _repeatedly_ will not allow that the sonant letters _are_
  intonated, but only that they _may be_ intonated,”

I have no answer but a direct negative. For me to say so, would be to
run counter to all my own teaching, and if there is anywhere a passage
that would admit of such a construction, Professor Whitney knows
perfectly well that this could be due to nothing but an accidental want
of precision in expressing myself. I know of no such passage.[5]

In order to leave no doubt as to the real distinction between k, t,
p and g, d, b, I quoted, for the satisfaction of Sanskrit scholars,
the technical terms by which native grammarians define so admirably
the process of their formation, the +vâhyaprayatna+, viz.,
+vivâraśvâsâghoshâḥ+, and +saṃvâranâdaghoshâḥ+. Would it be believed
that Professor Whitney accuses me of having invented these long Sanskrit
terms, and to have appended them superfluously and pedantically, as
he says, to each list of synonyms? “They are found in no Sanskrit
grammarian,” he says. Here again I have no answer but a direct negative.
They are found in the native commentary on Pâṇini’s Grammar, in
Boehtlingk’s edition, p. 4, and fully explained in the Mahâbhâshya.

If one has again and again to answer the assertions of a critic by
direct negatives, is it to be wondered at that one rather shrinks from
such encounters? I have for the last twenty years discussed these
phonetic problems with the most competent authorities. Not trusting to
my own knowledge of physiology and acoustics, I submitted everything
that I had written on the alphabet, before it was published, to the
approval of such men as Helmholtz, Alexander Ellis, Professor Rolleston,
and I hold their _vu et approuvé_. I had no desire, therefore, to
discuss these questions anew with Professor Whitney, or to try to remove
the erroneous views which, till lately, he entertained on the structure
of a physiological alphabet. I believe Professor Whitney has still much
to learn on this subject, and as I never ask anybody to read what I
myself have written, still less to read it a second time, might I
suggest to him to read at all events the writings of Brücke, Helmholtz,
Czermak, to say nothing of Wheatstone, Ellis, and Bell, before he again
descends into this arena? If he had ever made an attempt to master that
one short quotation from Brücke, which I gave on p. 159, or even that
shorter one from Czermak, which I gave on p. 143:--

  “Die Reibungslaute zerfallen genau so wie die Verschlusslaute in
  _weiche_ oder _tönende_, bei denen das Stimmritzengeräusch oder der
  laute Stimmton mitlautet, und in _harte_ oder _tonlose_, bei denen
  der Kehlkopf absolut still ist,”

the theory which I followed in the classification both of the Checks and
the Breathings would not have sounded so unintelligible to him as he
says it did; he would have received some rays of that inner light on
phonetics which he misses in my Lectures, and would have seen that
besides the disingenuousness or the self-deception which he imputes to
me, in order to escape from the perplexity in which he found himself,
there was after all a third alternative, though he denies it, viz., his
being unwilling to confess his own ὀψιμαθία.


I now proceed to the next charge. I am told that I am in honor bound to
produce a passage where Professor Whitney expressed his dissatisfaction
at not being answered, or, as I had ventured to express it, considering
the general style of his criticism, when he is angry that those whom he
abuses, do not abuse him in turn. He is evidently conscious that there
is some slight foundation for what I had said, for he says that if
Steinthal thought he was angry, because “he (Mr. William Dwight Whitney)
and his school” had not been refuted, instead of philosophers of the
last century, he was mistaken. Yet what can be the meaning of this
sentence, that “Professor Steinthal ought to have confronted _the living
and aggressive_ views of others,” _i.e._, of Mr. William Dwight Whitney
and his school? (p. 365.)

However, I shall not appeal to that; I shall take a case which, in this
tedious process of incrimination and recrimination, may perhaps revive
for a moment the flagging interest of my readers.

I had in the second volume of my Lectures called attention to a curious
parallelism in the changes of meaning in certain names of trees and in
the changes of vegetation recorded in the strata of the earth. My facts
were these. _Foraha_ in Old High German, _Föhre_ in modern German,
_furh_ in Anglo-Saxon, _fir_ in English, signify the _pinus silvestris_.
In the Lombard Laws the same word _fereha_ means oak, and so does its
corresponding word in Latin, _quercus_.

Secondly, φηγός in Greek means oak, the corresponding word in Latin,
_fagus_, and in Gothic, _bôka_, means beech.

That is to say, in certain Aryan languages we find words meaning fir,
assuming the meaning of oak; and words meaning oak, assuming the name of

Now in the North of Europe geologists find that a vegetation of fir
exists at the lowest depth of peat deposits; that this was succeeded by
a vegetation of oak, and this by a vegetation of beech. Even in the
lowest stratum a stone implement was found under a fir, showing the
presence of human beings.

Putting these two sets of facts together, I said: Is it possible to
explain the change of meaning in one word which meant fir and came to
mean oak, and in another which meant oak and came to mean beech, by the
change of vegetation which actually took place in early ages? I said it
was an hypothesis, and an hypothesis only. I pointed out myself all that
seemed doubtful in it, but I thought that the changes of meaning and the
parallel changes of vegetation required an explanation, and until a
better one could be given, I ventured to suggest that such changes of
meaning were as the shadows cast on language by real, though
prehistoric, events.

I asked for an impartial examination of the facts I had collected, and
of the theory I had based on them. What do I receive from Professor
Whitney? I must quote his _ipsissima verba_, to show the spirit that
pervades his arguments:--

  “It will not be difficult,” he says, “to gratify our author by
  refuting his hypothesis. Not the very slightest shade of
  plausibility, that we can discover, belongs to it. Besides the
  serious minor objections to which it is liable, it involves at least
  three impossible suppositions, either one of which ought to be
  enough to insure its rejection.

  “In the first place it assumes that the indications afforded by the
  peat-bogs of Denmark are conclusive as regards the condition of
  Europe--of all that part of it, at least, which is occupied by the
  Germanic and Italic races; that, throughout this whole region, firs,
  oaks, and beeches have supplanted and succeeded each other,
  notwithstanding that we find all of them, or two of them, still
  growing peaceably together in many countries.”

Here Professor Whitney is, as usual, ploughing with my heifer. I said:--

  “I must leave it to the geologist and botanist to determine whether
  the changes of vegetation as described above, took place in the same
  rotation over the whole of Europe, or in the North only,”

I had consulted several of my own geological friends, and they all told
me that there was, as yet, no evidence in Central Europe and Italy of a
succession of vegetation different from that in the North, and that, in
the present state of geological science, they could say no more. In the
absence of evidence to the contrary, I said, Let us wait and see;
Professor Whitney says, Don’t wait.

His second objection is his own, but hardly worthy of him.

  “The hypothesis,” he says, “assumes that the Germanic and Italic
  races, while they knew and named the fir-tree only, yet kept by them
  all the time, laid up in a napkin, the original term for oak, ready
  to be turned into an appellation for beech, when the oaks went out
  of fashion.”

This is not so. The Aryan nations formed many new words, when the
necessity for them arose. There, was no difficulty in framing ever so
many names for the oak, and there can be little doubt that the name
φηγός was derived from φάγω, the oak tree being called φηγός,
because it supplied food or mast for the cattle. If there remained some
consciousness of this meaning among the Greeks, and the Italians, and
Germans, then the transference of the name from the oak to the beech
would become still more easily intelligible, because both the beech-nuts
and the acorns supplied the ordinary mast for cattle.

Professor Whitney probably had misgivings that these two objections were
not likely to carry much weight, so he adds a third.

  “The hypothesis,” he says, “implies a method of transfer of names
  from one object to another which is totally inadmissible; this,
  namely--that, as the forest of firs gave way to that of oaks, the
  meaning of fir in the word _quercus_ gave way to that of oak: and in
  like manner in the other case. Now if the Latins had gone to sleep
  some fine night under the shade of their majestic oaks, and had
  waked in the morning to find themselves _patulæ sub tegmine fagi_,
  they might naturally enough have been led, in their bewilderment, to
  give the old name to the new tree. But who does not see that, in the
  slow and gradual process by which, under the influence of a change
  of climatic conditions, one species of tree should come to prevail
  over another, the supplanter would not inherit the title of the
  supplanted, but would acquire one of its own, the two subsisting
  together during the period of the struggle, and that of the
  supplanted going out of use and memory as the species it designated

This objection was of course so obvious that I had thought it my duty to
give a number of instances where old words have been transferred, not
_per saltum_, but slowly and gradually, to new objects, such as _musket_
originally a dappled sparrow-hawk, afterwards a gun. Other instances
might have been added, such as θάπτω, the Sanskrit _dah_, the latter
meaning to burn, the former to bury. But the best illustrations are
unintentionally offered by Professor Whitney himself. On p. 303 he
alludes to the fact that the names _robin_ and _blackbird_ have been
applied in America, for the sake of convenience, and under the
government of old associations, to birds essentially unlike, or only
superficially like, those to which they belong in the mother country. Of
course, every Englishman who settled in America knew that the bird he
called _robin_ was not the old Robin Redbreast he knew in England. Yet
the two names co-existed for a time in literature, nay, they may still
be said to co-exist in their twofold application, though, from a
strictly American point of view, the supplanting American bird has
inherited the title of the supplanted Cock-Robin of England.

Now, I ask, was there anything in these three cheap objections that
required an answer? Two of them I had myself fully considered, the third
was so flimsy that I thought no one would have dwelt on it. Anyhow,
I felt convinced that every reader was competent to judge between
Professor Whitney and myself, and it certainly never entered my mind
that I was in honor bound, either to strike out my chapter on the Words
for _Fir_, _Oak_, and _Beech_, or to fight.

Was I then so far wrong when I said that Professor Whitney cannot
understand how anybody could leave what he is pleased to call his
arguments, unheeded? Does he not express his surprise that in every new
edition I adhere to my views on _Fir_, _Oak_, and _Beech_, though he
himself had told me that I was wrong, and when he calls my expressed
desire for real criticism a mere “rhetorical flourish,” is this,
according to the opinion of American gentlemen, or is it not, abuse?


Professor Whitney’s ideas of what is real criticism, and what is mere
banter, personal abuse, or rudeness are indeed strange. He does not seem
to be aware that his name has become a by-word, at least in Europe, and
he defends himself against the charge of abusiveness with so much ardor
that one sometimes feels doubtful whether it is all the mere rhetoric of
a bad conscience, or a case of the most extraordinary self-deception. He
declares in so many words that he was never personal (_Ich bestreite
durchaus, dass was ich schrieb, im geringsten persönlich war_), and he
immediately goes on to say that “Steinthal burst a two from anger and
rancor, and his answer was a mere outpouring of abuse against his

Now I am the last person or personality in the world to approve of the
tone of Steinthal’s answer, and if Professor Whitney asks why I had
quoted it several times in public, it was because I thought it ought to
be a warning to others. I think that all who are interested in
maintaining certain civilized usages even in the midst of war, ought to
protest against such a return to primitive savagery, and I am glad to
find that my friend, Mr. Matthew Arnold, one of the highest authorities
on the rules of literary warfare, entertains the same opinion, and has
quoted what I had quoted from Professor Steinthal’s pamphlet, together
with other specimens of theological rancor, as extreme cases of bad

I frankly admit, however, that, when I said that Steinthal had defended
himself with the same weapons with which his American antagonist
attacked him, I said too much. Professor Whitney does not proceed to
such extremities as Professor Steinthal. But giving him full credit so
far, I still cannot help thinking that it was a fight with poisoned
arrows on one side, with clubs on the other. As Professor Whitney calls
for proofs, here they are:--

  Page 332. Why does he call Professor Steinthal, _Hajjim Steinthal_?
  Is that personal or not?

  Page 335. “Professor Steinthal startles and rebuffs a commonsense
  inquirer with a reply from a wholly different and unexpected point
  of view; as when you ask a physician, ‘Well, Doctor, how does your
  patient promise this morning?’ and he answers, with a wise look and
  an oracular shake of the head, ‘It is not given to humanity to look
  into futurity.’ The effect is not destitute of the element of
  _bathos_.” Is that personal?

  Page 337. Steinthal’s mode of arguing is “more easy and convenient
  than fair and ingenuous.” Is that personal?

  Page 338. “A mere verbal quibble.”

  Page 346. “The eminent psychologist may show himself a mere

  Page 356. “To our unpsychological apprehension, there is something
  monstrous in the very suggestion that a word is an act of the mind.”

  Page 357. “Prodigious . . . . Chaotic nebulosity . . . . We should
  not have supposed any man, at this age of the world, capable of
  penning the sentences we have quoted.”

  Page 359. “We are heartily tired of these comparisons that go
  limping along on one foot, or even on hardly the decent stump of a

  Page 363. “Can there be more utter mockery than this? We ask for
  bread, and a stone is thrown us.”

  Page 365. “He does not take the slightest notice of the _living_ and
  _aggressive_ views of others.”

  Page 366. “All this, again, is in our opinion very verbiage, mere
  turbid talk.”

  Page. 367. “The statement is either a truism or falsity.”

  Page 372. “We must pronounce Professor Steinthal’s attempt . . . . a
  complete failure, a mere continuation of the same delusive
  reasonings by which he originally arrived at it.”

  Page 374. “We have found in his book nothing but mistaken facts and
  erroneous deductions.”

If that is the language in which Professor Whitney speaks of one whom he

  “An eminent master in linguistic science, from whom he has derived
  great instruction and enlightenment,” and “whose books he has
  constantly had upon his table,”

what can other poor mortals like myself expect? It is true he has
avoided actionable expressions, while Professor Steinthal has not, at
least, according to German and English law. But suppose that hereafter,
when certain small animals have crossed what he calls “the impervious
distance,” and acquired the power of language, they were to say, “We
have only stung you, and you have killed us,” would they obtain much

I had collected a number of _epitheta ornantia_ which I had gathered at
random from Mr. Whitney’s writings, such as _worthless_, _futile_,
_absurd_, _ridiculous_, _superficial_, _unsound_, _high-flown_,
_pretentious_, _disingenuous_, _false_, and I claimed the honor of every
one of them having been presented to me as well as to other scholars by
our American assailant. Here, for the first time, Professor Whitney
seems staggered at his own vocabulary. However, he is never at a loss
how to escape. “As the epithets are translated into German,” he says,
“he is quite unable to find the passages to which I may refer.” This is
feeble. However, without taxing his memory further, he says that he
feels certain it must be a mistake, because he never could have used
such language. He never in his life said anything personal, but
criticised opinions only. This is “the language of simple-minded
consciousness of rectitude.”

What can I do? Professor Whitney ought to know his own writings better
than I do, and nothing remains to me, in order to repel the gravest of
all accusations, but to publish in the smallest type the following
Spicilegium. I must add that in order to do this work once for all,
I have complied with Professor Whitney’s request, and read nearly all
the articles with which he has honored every one of my writings, and in
doing so I believe I have at last found the key to much that seemed to
me before almost inexplicable.

Formerly I had simply acquiesced in the statement made by one of his
best friends, Professor Weber,[6] who, some ten years ago, when
reproving Professor Whitney for the acrimony of his language, said:--

  “I believe I am not wrong when I trace it to two causes: first,
  Professor Whitney found himself forced to acknowledge as erroneous
  and to withdraw several of his former views and assertions, which he
  had defended with great assurance, and this disturbed his
  equanimity; secondly, and still more, there were the miserable
  political circumstances of North America, which could not but
  exercise an irritating and galling effect on so warm a patriot as
  Whitney, an effect which was transferred unconsciously to his
  literary criticisms and polemics, whenever he felt inclined to it.”

These two scholars were then discussing the question, whether the
Nakshatras or the Lunar Zodiac of the Hindus, should be considered as
the natural discovery of the Brahmans, or as derived by them, one knows
not how, from China, from Chaldæa, or from some other unknown country.
They both made great efforts, Professor Weber chiefly in Sanskrit,
Professor Whitney in astronomy, in order to substantiate their
respective opinions. Professor Weber showed that Professor Whitney was
not very strong in Sanskrit, Professor Whitney retaliated by showing
that Professor Weber, as a philologue, had attempted to prove that the
precession of the equinox was from West to East, and not from East to
West. All this, at the time, was amusing to bystanders, but by this time
both combatants have probably found out, that the hypothesis of a
foreign origin of the Nakshatras, whether Chinese or Babylonian, was
uncalled for, or, at all events, is as uncertain to-day as it was ten
years ago. I myself, not being an astronomer, had been content to place
the evidence from Sanskrit sources before a friend of mine, an excellent
astronomer at Oxford, and after discussing the question again and again
with him, had arrived at the conviction that there was no excuse for so
violent a theory as postulating a foreign origin of the simple
triseinadic division of the Nakshatra Zodiac. I quite admit that my
practical knowledge of astronomy is very small,[7] but I do believe that
my astronomical ignorance was an advantage rather than a disadvantage to
me in rightly understanding the first glimmerings of astronomical ideas
among the Hindus. Be that as it may, I believe that at the present
moment few scholars of repute doubt the native origin of the Nakshatras,
and hardly one admits an early influence of Babylonian or Chinese
science on India. I stated my case in the preface to the fourth volume
of my edition of the Rig-Veda, and if anybody wishes to see what can be
done by misrepresentation, let him read what is written there, and what
Professor Whitney made of it in his articles in the “Journal of the
American Oriental Society.” His misunderstandings are so desperate, that
he himself at times feels uneasy, and admits that a more charitable
interpretation of what I wanted to say would be possible. When I saw
this style of arguing, the utter absence of any regard for what was, or
what might charitably be supposed to have been, my meaning, I made up my
mind once for all, that that American gentleman should never have an
answer from me, and in spite of strong temptation I kept my resolve till
now. A man who could say of Lassen that his statements were “wholly and
reprehensibly incorrect,” because he said that Colebrooke had shown that
the Arabs received their lunar mansions from the Hindus, was not likely
to show mercy to any other German professor.

I find, however, by reading one of his Essays, that there is a more
special reason why, in his repeated onslaughts on me, both before and
after the Rebellion, “he thinks he may dispense with the ordinary
courtesies of literary warfare.” I may tell it in his own words:--

  “Some one (I may add the name, now, it was the late Professor
  Goldstücker) falls fiercely upon the work of a company of
  collaborators; they unite in its defense; thereupon the aggressor
  reviles them as a mutual admiration society; and Müller repeats the
  accusation, giving it his own indorsement, and volunteering in
  addition that of another scholar.”

I might possibly represent the case in a different light, but I am
willing to accept the _acte d’accusation_ as it comes from the hand of
my accuser; nay more, I am quite ready to plead guilty to it. Only let
me explain how I came to commit this great offense. What is here
referred to must have happened more than ten years ago. Professor
Goldstücker had criticised the Sanskrit Dictionary published by
Professors Boehtlingk and Roth, and “the company of collaborators” had
united in its defense, only, as Professor Whitney is authorized to
assure us, “without any apparent or known concert.” Professor
Goldstücker was an old friend of mine, to whom in the beginning of my
literary career at Berlin and in Paris, I was indebted for much personal
kindness. He helped me when no one else did, and many a day, and many a
night too, we had worked together at the same table, he encouraging me
to persevere when I was on the point of giving up the study of Sanskrit
altogether. When Professor Goldstücker came to England, he undertook a
new edition of Wilson’s “Sanskrit Dictionary,” and he very soon became
entangled in a controversy with “the company of collaborators” of
another Sanskrit dictionary, published at the expense of the Russian
Academy. I do not defend him, far from it. He had a weakness very common
among scholars;--he could not bear to see a work praised beyond its real
merits, and he thought it was his duty to set everything right that
seemed to him wrong. He was very angry with me, because I would not join
in his condemnation of the St. Petersburg dictionary. I could not do
that, because, without being blind to its defects, I considered it a
most valuable performance, highly creditable to all its collaborators;
nay, I felt bound to say so publicly in England, because it was in
England that this excellent work had been unduly condemned. This
embittered my relations with Professor Goldstücker, and when the attacks
by the company of collaborators on him grew thicker and thicker, while I
was treated by them with the greatest civility, he persuaded himself
that I had taken part against him, that I had in fact become a sleeping
partner in what was then called the “International Praise Insurance
Society.” To show him once for all that this was not the case, and that
I was perfectly independent of any company of collaborators, I wrote
what I wrote at the time. Nor did I do so without having had placed
before me several reviews, which certainly seemed to give to the old
saying _laudari a viro laudato_ a novel meaning. Having done what I
thought I was bound to do for an old friend, I was perfectly prepared to
take the consequences of what might seem a rash act, and when I was
twitted with having done so anonymously, I, of course, thought it my
duty to reprint the article, at the first opportunity, with my name. Now
let it be borne in mind that one of the chief culprits, nay, as appeared
afterwards, the most eager mischief-maker, was Professor Whitney
himself, and let us now hear what he has to say. As if he himself were
entirely unconcerned in the matter, instead of having been the chief
culprit, he speaks of “cool effrontery;” “magisterial assumption,
towards a parcel of naughty boys caught in their naughtiness;” “most
discreditable;” “the epithet outrageous is hardly too strong.” Here his
breath fails him, and, fortunately for me, the climax ends. And this, we
are asked to believe, is not loud and boisterous but gentle and calm: it
is in fact “the language of simple-minded consciousness of rectitude!”

These gentle onslaughts were written and published by Professor Whitney
ten years ago. I happen to know that a kind of _colportage_ was
established to send his articles to gentlemen whom they would not
otherwise have reached. I was told again and again, that I ought to put
an end to these maneuvers, and yet, during all these years, I thought I
could perfectly well afford to take no notice of them. But when after
such proceedings Professor Whitney turns round, and challenges me before
a public which is not acquainted with these matters, to produce any of
the _epitheta ornantia_ I had mentioned as having been applied by him to
me, to Renan, to Schleicher, to Oppert, to Bleek, nay, even to Bopp and
Burnouf and Lassen, when with all “the simple-minded consciousness of
rectitude” he declares, that he was never personal, then I ask, Could I
remain silent any longer?

How hard Professor Whitney is driven in order to fix any real blame on
me, may be seen from what follows. The article in which the obnoxious
passage which, I was told, deprived me of any claim to the amenities of
literary intercourse occurs, had been reprinted in the “Indische
Studien,” before I reprinted it in the first volume of “Chips.” In
reprinting it myself, I had rewritten parts of it, and had also made a
few additions. In the “Indische Studien,” on the contrary, it had been
reprinted in its original form, and had besides been disfigured by
several inaccuracies or misprints. Referring to these, I had said that
it had been, as usual, very incorrectly reprinted. Let us hear what an
American pleader can make out of this:--

  “In this he was too little mindful of the requirements of fair
  dealing; for he leaves any one who may take the trouble to turn to
  the ‘Indische Studien,’ and compare the version there given with
  that found among the ‘Chips,’ to infer that all the discordances he
  shall discover are attributable to Weber’s incorrectness, whereas
  they are in fact mainly alterations which Müller has made in his own
  reprint; and the real inaccuracies are perfectly trivial in
  character and few in number--such printer’s blunders as are rarely
  avoided by Germans who print English, or by English who print
  German. We should doubtless be doing Müller injustice if we
  maintained that he deliberately meant Weber to bear the odium of all
  the discrepancies which a comparer might find; but he is equally
  responsible for the result, if it is owing only to carelessness on
  his part.”

What will the intelligent gentlemen of the jury say to this? Because I
complained of such blunders as altars being “construed,” instead of
“constructed,” “enlightoned” instead of “enlightened,” “gratulate”
instead of “congratulate,” and similar inaccuracies, occurring in an
unauthorized reprint of my article, therefore I really wanted to throw
the odium of what I had myself written in the original article, and what
was, as far as the language was concerned, perfectly correct, on
Professor Weber. Can forensic ingenuity go further? If America possesses
many such powerful pleaders, we wonder how life can be secure.

Having thus ascertained whence _illæ lacrumæ_, I must now produce a
small bottle at least of the tears themselves which Professor Whitney
has shed over me, and over men far better than myself, all of which, he
says, were never meant to be personal, and most of which have evidently
been quite dried up in his memory.

  I begin with Bopp. “Although his mode of working is wonderfully
  genial, his vision of great acuteness, and his instinct a generally
  trustworthy guide, he is liable to wander far from the safe track,
  and has done not a little labor over which a broad and heavy mantle
  of charity needs to be drawn” (I. 208).

  M. Renan and myself have “committed the very serious error of
  inverting the mutual relation of dialectic variety and uniformity of
  speech, thus turning topsy-turvy the whole history of linguistic
  development. . . . . It may seem hardly worth while to spend any
  effort in refuting an opinion of which the falsity will have been
  made apparent by the exposition already given” (p. 177).

  In another place (p. 284) M. Renan is told that his objection to the
  doctrine of a primitive Indo-European monosyllabism is noticed, not
  for any cogency which it possesses, but only on account of the
  respectability of M. Renan.

  Lassen and Burnouf, who thought that the geographical reminiscences
  in the first chapter of the Vendidad had a historical foundation,
  are told that their “claim is baseless, and even preposterous”
  (p. 201). Yet what Professor Whitney’s knowledge of Zend must be, we
  may judge from what he says of Burnouf’s literary productions. “It
  is well known,” he says, “that the great French scholar produced
  _two or three bulky volumes_ upon the Avesta.” I know of _one_ bulky
  volume only, “Commentaire sur la Yaçna,” tome i., Paris, 1833, but
  that may be due to my lamentable ignorance.

  “Professor Oppert simply exposes himself in the somewhat ridiculous
  attitude of one who knocks down, with gestures of awe and fright,
  a tremendous man of straw of his own erecting (I. 218). His
  erroneous assumptions will be received with most derisive
  incredulity (I. 221); the incoherence and aimlessness of his
  reasonings (I. 223); an ill-considered tirade, a tissue of
  misrepresentations of linguistic science (I. 237). He cannot impose
  upon us by his authority, nor attract us by his eloquence: his
  present essay is as heavy in style, as loose and vague in
  expression, unsound in argument, arrogant in tone” (I. 238). The
  motive imputed to Professor Oppert in writing his Essay is that “he
  is a Jew, and wanted to stand up for the Shemites.”

  If Professor Oppert is put down as a Shemite, Dr. Bleek is sneered
  at as a German. “His work is written with much apparent profundity,
  one of a class, not quite unknown in Germany, in which a minimum of
  valuable truth is wrapped up in a maximum of sonating phraseology”
  (I. 292). Poor Germany catches it again on page 315. “Even, or
  especially in Germany,” we are told, “many an able and acute scholar
  seems minded to indemnify himself for dry and tedious grubbings
  among the roots and forms of Comparative Philology by the most airy
  ventures in the way of constructing Spanish castles of linguistic

  In his last work Professor Whitney takes credit for having at last
  rescued the Science of Language from the incongruities and
  absurdities of European scholars.

  Now on page 119 Professor Whitney very properly reproves another
  scholar, Professor Goldstücker, for having laughed at the _German_
  school of Vedic interpretation. “He emphasizes it,” he says, “dwells
  upon it, reiterates it three or four times in a paragraph, as if
  there lay in the words themselves some potent argument. Any
  uninformed person would say, we are confident, that he was making an
  unworthy appeal to English prejudice against foreign men and foreign
  ways.” Professor Whitney finishes up with charging Professor
  Goldstücker, who was himself a German--I beg my reader’s pardon, but
  I am only quoting from a North American Review--with “fouling his
  own nest.” Professor Whitney, I believe, studied in a German
  university. Did he never hear of a ’cute little bird, who does to
  the nest in which he was reared, what he says Professor Goldstücker
  did to his own?

    Χαῖρέ μοι, ὠ Γώλδστυκρε, καὶ εἰν Ἀΐδαο δόμοισιν·
    Πάντα γὰρ ἤδη τοι τελέω, τὰ πάροιθεν ὑπέστην.

  Haeckel is called a headlong Darwinian (I. 293), Schleicher is
  infected with Darwinism (I. 294), “he represents a false and hurtful
  tendency (I. 298), he is blind to the plainest truths, and employs a
  mode of reasoning in which there is neither logic nor common sense
  (I. 323). His essays are unsound, illogical, untrue; but there are
  still incautious sciolists by whom every error that has a great name
  attached to it is liable to be received as pure truth, and who are
  ever specially attracted by good hearty paradoxes” (I. 330).

  I add a few more references to the _epitheta ornantia_ which I was
  charged with having invented. “Utter futility” (p. 36); “meaningless
  and futile” (p. 152); “headlong materialist” (p. 153); “better
  humble and true (Whitney) than high-flown, pretentious, and false”
  (not-Whitney, p. 434); “simply and solely nonsense” (I. 255);
  “darkening of counsel by words without knowledge” (I. 255);
  “rhetorical talk” (I. 723); “flourish of trumpets, lamentable (not
  to say) ridiculous failure” (I. 277).

What a contrast between the rattling discharges of these _mitrailleuses_
at the beginning of the war, and the whining and whimpering assurance
now made by the American professor, that he never in his life said
anything personal or offensive!


Having taken the trouble of collecting these spent balls from the
various battlefields of the American general, I hope that even Professor
Whitney will no longer charge me with having spoken without book. As
long as he cited me before the tribunal of scholars only, I should have
considered it an insult to them to suppose that they could not, if they
liked, form their own judgment. For fifteen years have I kept my fire,
till, like a Chinese juggler, Professor Whitney must have imagined he
had nearly finished my outline on the wall with the knives so skillfully
aimed to miss me. But when he dragged me before a tribunal where my name
was hardly known, when he thought that by catching the _aura popularis_
of Darwinism, he could discredit me in the eyes of the leaders of that
powerful army, when he actually got possession of the pen of the son,
fondly trusting it would carry with it the weight of the father, then I
thought I owed it to myself, and to the cause of truth and its progress,
to meet his reckless charges by clear rebutting evidence. I did this in
my “Answer to Mr. Darwin,” and as I did it, I did it thoroughly, leaving
no single charge unanswered, however trifling. At the same time, while
showing the unreasonableness of his denunciations, I could not help
pointing out some serious errors into which Professor Whitney had
fallen. Some thrusts can only be parried by _a-tempo_ thrusts.

Professor Whitney, like an experienced advocate, passes over in silence
the most serious faults which I had pointed out in his “Lectures,” and
after he has attempted--with what success, let others judge--to clear
himself from a few, he turns round, and thinks it best once for all to
deny my competency to judge him. And why?

  “I do not consider Professor Müller capable of judging me justly,”
  he says. And why? “Because I have felt moved, on account of his
  extraordinary popularity and the exceptional importance attached to
  his utterances, to criticise him more frequently than anybody else.”

Is not this the height of forensic ingenuity? Because A has criticised
B, therefore B cannot criticise A justly. In that case A has indeed
nothing to do but to criticise B C D to Z, and then no one in the world
can criticise him justly. I have watched many controversies, I have
observed many stratagems and bold movements to cover a retreat, but
nothing to equal this. Professor Pott was very hard on Professor
Curtius, but he did not screen himself by denying to his adversary the
competency to criticise him in turn. What would Newman have said, if
Kingsley had tried to shut him up with such a remark, a remark really
worthy of one literary combatant only, the famous Pastor Goeze, the
critic of Lessing?

What would even Professor Whitney think, if I were to say that, because
I have criticised his “Lectures,” he could not justly criticise my
“Sanskrit Grammar?” He might not think it good taste to publish an
advertisement to dissuade students in America from using my grammar; he
might think it unworthy of himself and dishonorable to institute
comparisons, the object of which would be too transparent in the eyes
even of his best friends in Germany. Mr. Whitney has lived too long in
Germany not to know the saying, _Man merkt die Absicht und man wird
verstimmt_. But should I ever say that he was incompetent to criticise
my “Sanskrit Grammar” justly? Certainly not. All that I might possibly
venture to say is, that before Professor Whitney undertakes to criticise
my own or any other Sanskrit grammar, he should look at § 84 of my
grammar, and practice that very simple rule, that if Visarga is preceded
by _a_, and followed by _a_, the Visarga is dropt, _a_ changed to _o_,
and the initial vowel elided. If with this rule clearly impressed on his
memory, he will look at his edition of the Atharva-Veda Prâtiśâkhya,
I. 33, then perhaps, instead of charging Hindu grammarians in his usual
style with “opinions obviously and grossly incorrect and hardly worth
quoting,” he might discover that +eke spṛshṭam+ could only have been
meant in the MSS. for +eke ’spṛshṭam+, and that the proper translation
was not that vowels are formed _by contact_, but that they are formed
_without contact_. Instead of saying that none of the other Prâtiśâkhyas
favors this opinion, he would find the same statement in the Rig-Veda
Prâtiśâkhya, Sûtra 719, page cclxi of my edition, and he might perhaps
say to himself, that before criticising Sanskrit grammars, it would be
useful to learn at least the phonetic rules. I had pointed out this slip
before, in the second edition of my “Sanskrit Grammar;” but, as to judge
from an article of his on the accent, Professor Whitney has not seen
that second edition (1870), which contains the Appendix on the accent in
Sanskrit, I beg leave to call his attention to it again.


I am glad to say that we now come to a more amusing part of this
controversy. After I had been told that because I was attacked first,
therefore I was not able to criticise Professor Whitney’s writings
justly, I am next told that I ought to be very grateful for having been
attacked, nay, I am told that, in my heart of hearts, I am really very
grateful indeed. I must quote this passage in full:--

  “During the last eight years I have repeatedly taken the opportunity
  accurately to examine and frankly to criticise the views of others
  and the arguments by which they were supported. I have done this
  more particularly against eminent and famous men whom the public has
  accustomed itself to regard as guides in matters referring to the
  Science of Language. What unknown and uncared for people say, is of
  no consequence whatever; but if Schleicher and Steinthal, Renan and
  Müller, teach what to me seems an error, and try to support it by
  proofs, then surely I am not only justified, but called upon to
  refute them, if I can. Among these students the last-named seems to
  be of different opinion. In his article, ‘My Reply to Mr. Darwin,’
  published in the March number of the ‘Deutsche Rundschau,’ he thinks
  it necessary to read me a severe lecture on my presumption, although
  he also flatters me by the hint that my custom of criticising the
  most eminent men only is appreciated, and those whom I criticise
  feel honored by it.”

I confess when I read this, I wished I had really paid such a pretty
compliment to my kind critic, but looking through my article from
beginning to end, I find no hint anywhere that could bear so favorable
an interpretation, unless it is where I speak of “the noble army of his
martyrs,” and of the untranslated remark of Phocion, which he may have
taken for a compliment. In saying that it was acknowledged to be an
honor to be attacked by him, Professor Whitney was, no doubt, thinking
of the words of Ovid, _Summa petunt dextra fulmina missa Jovis_, and I
am not going in future to deny him the title of the Jovial and Olympian
critic, nor should I suggest to him to read the line in Ovid immediately
preceding the one quoted. Against one thing only I must protest. Though
the last named, I am surely not, as he boldly asserts, the only one of
the four _sommités_ struck by his Olympian thunderbolts, who have humbly
declined too frequent a repetition of his celestial favors. Schleicher,
no doubt, was safe, for alas, he is dead! But Steinthal surely has
uttered rather Promethean protests against the Olympian,--

    Οἶδ’ ὅτι τραχὺς καὶ παρ’ ἑαυτῷ
    τὸ δίκαιον ἔχων Ζεύς· ἀλλ’ ἔμπας
    ἔσται ποθ’, ὅταν ταύτῃ ῥαισθῇ·

and as to M. Renan, does his silence mean more than--

    Ἐμοὶ δ’ ἔλασσον Ζηνὸς ἢ μηδὲν μέλει

I confess, then, frankly that, in my heart of hearts, I am not grateful
for these cruel kindnesses, and if he says that the other Serene
Highnesses have been less ungrateful than I am, I fear this is again one
of his over-confident assertions. My publishers in America may be
grateful to him, for I am told that, owing to Professor Whitney’s
articles, much more interest in my works has been excited in America
than I could ever have expected. But I cannot help thinking that by the
line of action he has followed, he has done infinite harm to the science
which we both have at heart. In order to account somehow or other for
his promiscuous onslaughts, he now tells Mr. Darwin and his friends that
in the Science of Language all is chaos. That is not so, unless Mr.
Whitney is here using chaos in a purely subjective sense. There are
differences of opinion, as there are in every living and progressive
science, but even those who differ most widely, perfectly understand and
respect each other, because they know that, from the days of Plato and
Aristotle, men who start from different points, arrive at different
conclusions, particularly when the highest problems in every science are
under consideration. I do not agree with Professor Steinthal, but I
understand him; I do not agree with Dr. Bleek, but I respect him;
I differ most of all from Schleicher, but I think that an hour or two of
private conversation, if it were possible still, would have brought us
much nearer together. At all events, in reading any of their books,
I feel interested, I breathe a new atmosphere, I get new ideas, I feel
animated and invigorated. I have now read nearly all that Professor
Whitney has written on the Science of Language, and I have not found one
single new fact, one single result of independent research, nay, not
even one single new etymology, that I could have added to my
Collectanea. If I am wrong, let it be proved. That language is an
institution, that language is an instrument, that we learn our language
from our mothers, as they learned it from their mothers and so on till
we come to Adam and Eve, that language is meant for communication, all
this surely had been argued out before, and with arguments, when
necessary, as strong as any adduced by Professor Whitney.

Professor Whitney may not be aware of this, or have forgotten it; but a
fertile writer like him ought at all events to have a good memory. In
his reply, p. 262, he tells us, for instance, as one of his latest
discoveries, that in studying language, we ought to begin with modern
languages, and that when we come to more ancient periods, we should
always infer similar causes from similar effects, and never admit new
forces or new processes, except when those which we know prove totally
inefficient. In my own Lectures I had laid it down as one of the
fundamental principles of the Science of Language that “what is real in
modern formations must be admitted as possible in ancient formations,
and that what has been found true on a small scale may be true on a
larger scale.” I had devoted considerable space to the elucidation of
this principle, and what did Professor Whitney write at that time

  “The conclusion sounds almost like a bathos; we should have called
  these, not fundamental principles, but obvious considerations, which
  hardly required any illustration” (p. 243).

Here is another instance of failure of memory. He assures us:--

  “That he would never venture to charge anybody with being influenced
  in his literary labors by personal vanity and a desire of notoriety,
  except perhaps after giving a long string of proofs--nay, not even
  then” (p. 274).

Yet it was he who said of (I. 131) the late Professor Goldstücker that--

  “Mere denunciation of one’s fellows and worship of Hindu
  predecessors do not make one a Vedic scholar,”

and that, after he had himself admitted that “no one would be found to
question his (Professor Goldstücker’s) immense learning, his minute
accuracy, and the sincerity and intensity of his convictions.”

By misunderstanding and sometimes, unless I am greatly mistaken,
willfully closing his eyes to the real views of other scholars,
Professor Whitney has created for himself a rich material for the
display of his forensic talents. Like the poor Hindu grammarian, we are
first made to say the opposite of what we said, and are then brow-beaten
as holding opinions “obviously and grossly incorrect and hardly worth
quoting.” All this is clever, but is it right? Is it even wise?

Much of what I have here written sounds very harsh, I know; but what is
one to do? I have that respect for language and for my friends, and, may
I add, for myself, to avoid harsh and abusive words, as much as
possible. I do not believe in the German saying, _Auf einen groben Klotz
gehört ein grober Keil_. I have tried hard, throughout the whole of my
literary career, and even in this “Defense,” not to use the weapons that
have been used against me during so many years of almost uninterrupted
attacks. Much is allowed, however, in self-defense that would be
blamable in an unprovoked attack, and if I have used here and there the
cool steel, I trust that clean wounds, inflicted by a sharp sword, will
heal sooner than gashes made with rude stones and unpolished flints.

Professor Whitney might still, I feel convinced, do some very useful
work, as the apostle of the Science of Language in America, if only,
instead of dealing in general theories, he would apply himself to a
critical study of scientific facts, and if he would not consider it his
peculiar calling to attack the personal character of other scholars. If
he must needs criticise, would it be quite impossible for him, even in
his character of Censor, to believe that other scholars are as honest as
himself, as independent, as outspoken, as devoted at all hazards to the
cause of truth? Does he really believe in his haste that all men who
differ from him, or who tell him that he has misapprehended their
teaching, are humbugs, pharisees, or liars? Professor Steinthal was a
great friend of his, does he imagine that his violent resentment was
entirely unprovoked? I have had hundreds of reviews of my books, some
written by men who knew more, some by men who knew less than myself.
Both classes of reviews proved very useful, but, beyond correcting
matters of fact, I never felt called upon to answer, or to enter into
personal recriminations with any one of my reviewers. We should not
forget that, after all, reviews are written by men, and that there are
often very tangible reasons why the same book is fiercely praised and
fiercely abused. No doubt, every writer who believes in the truth of his
opinions, wishes to see them accepted as widely as possible; but reviews
have never been the most powerful engines for the propaganda of truth,
and no one who has once known what it is to feel one’s self face to face
with Truth, would for one moment compare the applause of the many with
the silent approval of the still small voice of conscience within. Why
do we write? Chiefly, I believe, because we think we have discovered
facts unknown to others, or arrived at opinions opposed to those
hitherto held. Knowing the effort one has made one’s self in shaking off
old opinions or accepting new facts, no student would expect that
everybody else would at once follow his lead. Indeed, we wish to differ
from certain authorities, we wish to be criticised by them; their
opposition is far more important, far more useful, far more welcome to
us, than their approval could ever be. It would be an impossible task
were we to attempt to convert personally every writer who still differs
from us. Besides, there is no wheat without bran, and nothing is more
instructive than to watch how the millstones of public opinion slowly
and noiselessly separate the one from the other. I have brought my
harvest, such as it was, to the mill: I do not cry out when I see it
ground. From my peers I have received the highest rewards which a
scholar can receive, rewards far, far above my deserts; the public at
large has treated me no worse than others; and, if I have made some
enemies, all I can say is, I do not envy the man who in his passage
through life has made none.

Even now, though I am sorry for what Professor Whitney has done, I am
not angry with him. He has great opportunities in America, but also
great temptations. There is no part of the civilized world where a
scholar might do more useful work than in America, by the bold and
patient exploration of languages but little known, and rapidly
disappearing. Professor Whitney may still do for the philology of his
country what Dr. Bleek has done for the languages of Africa at the
sacrifice of a lifelong expatriation, alas! I have just time to add, at
the sacrifice of his life.

But I admit that America has also its temptations. There are but few
scholars there who could or would check Professor Whitney, even in his
wildest moods of asseveration, and by his command of a number of
American papers, he can easily secure to himself a temporary triumph.
Yet, I believe, he would find a work, such as Bancroft’s “On the Native
Races of the Pacific States of North America,” a far more useful
contribution to our science, and a far more permanent monument of his
life, than reviews and criticisms, however brilliant and popular.

It was because I thought Professor Whitney capable of rendering useful
service to the Science of Language in America that I forbore so long,
that I never for years noticed his intentional rudeness and arrogance,
that I received him, when he called on me at Oxford, with perfect
civility, that I assisted him when he wanted my help in procuring copies
of MSS. at Oxford. I could well afford to forget what had happened, and
I tried for many years to give him credit for honorable, though
mistaken, motives in making himself the mouthpiece of what he calls the
company of collaborators.

In fact, if he had arraigned me again and again before a tribunal of
competent judges, I should gladly have left my peers to decide between
me and my American traducer. But when he cleverly changed the venue and
brought his case before a tribunal where forensic skill was far more
likely to carry the day than complicated evidence that could be
appreciated by a special jury only, then, at last, I had to break
through my reserve. It was not exactly cowardice that had kept me so
long from encountering the most skillful of American swordsmen, but when
the duel was forced upon me, I determined it should be fought out once
for all.

I might have said much more; in fact, I had written much more than what
I here publish in self-defense, but I wished to confine my reply as much
as possible to bare facts. Professor Whitney has still to learn, it
seems, that in a duel, whether military or literary, it is the bullets
which hit, not the smoke, or the report, however loud. I do not flatter
myself that with regard to theories on the nature of language or the
relation between language and thought there ever will be perfect
unanimity among scholars, but as to my bullets or my facts, I believe
the case is different. I claim no infallibility, however, and would not
accept the papal tiara among comparative philologists, even though it
was offered me in such tempting terms by the hands of Professor Whitney.
In order, therefore, to satisfy Mr. Darwin, Professor Haeckel, and
others whose good opinion I highly value, because I know that they care
for truth far more than for victory, I now appeal to Professor Whitney
to choose from among his best friends three who are _Professores
ordinarii_ in any university of England, France, Germany, or Italy, and
by their verdict I promise to abide. Let them decide the following
points as to simple matters of fact, the principal bones of contention
between Professor Whitney and myself:--

  1. Whether the Latin of the inscription on the Duilian Column
  represents the Latin as spoken in 263 B.C. (p. 430);

  2. Whether Ahura-Mazda can be rendered by “the mighty spirit”
  (p. 430);

  3. Whether +sarvanâman+ in Sanskrit means “name for everything”
  (p. 430);

  4. Whether Professor Whitney knew that the Phenician alphabet had by
  Rougé and others been traced back to an Egyptian source (pp. 430,
  450, 468);

  5. Whether Professor Whitney thought that the words _light_,
  _alight_, and _delight_ could be traced to the same source (p. 467);

  6. Whether in the passages pointed out on p. 434, Professor Whitney
  contradicts himself or not;

  7. Whether he has been able to produce any passage from my writings
  to substantiate the charge that in my Lectures I was impelled by an
  overmastering fear lest man should lose his proud position in the
  creation (p. 435);

  8. Whether there are _verbatim_ coincidences between my Lectures and
  those of Professor Whitney (pp. 425, 470-474);

  9. Whether I ever denied that language was made through the
  instrumentality of man (p. 470);

  10. Whether I had or had not fully explained under what restrictions
  the Science of Language might be treated as one of the physical
  sciences, and whether Professor Whitney has added any new
  restrictions (pp. 422 seq., 475 seq.);

  11. Whether Professor Whitney apprehended in what sense some of the
  greatest philosophers declared conceptual thought impossible without
  language (p. 484);

  12. Whether the grammatical blunder, with regard to the Sanskrit
  +pari tasthushas+ as a nominative plur., was mine or his (p. 490);

  13. Whether I had not clearly defined the difference between hard
  and soft consonants long before Professor Whitney, and whether he
  has not misrepresented what I had written on the subject (p. 490);

  14. Whether in saying that the soft consonants can be intonated,
  I could have meant that they may or may not be intonated (p. 497);

  15. Whether I invented the terms +vivârasvâśâghoshâḥ+ and
  +saṃvâranâdaghoshâḥ+, and whether they are to be found in no
  Sanskrit grammarian (p. 498);

  16. Whether I was right in saying that Professor Whitney had
  complained about myself and others not noticing his attacks, and
  whether his remarks on my chapter on Fir, Oak, and Beech required
  being noticed (p. 500);

  17. Whether I had invented the _Epitheta ornantia_ applied by
  Professor Whitney to myself and other scholars, or whether they
  occur in his own writings (p. 504);

  18. Whether E. Burnouf has written two or three bulky volumes on the
  Avesta, or only one (p. 515);

  19. Whether Professor Whitney made a grammatical blunder in
  translating a passage of the Atharva-Veda Prâtiśâkhya, and on the
  strength of it charged the Hindu grammarian with holding opinions
  “obviously and grossly incorrect, and hardly worth quoting”
  (p. 519);

  20. Whether Professor Whitney has occasionally been forgetful
  (p. 523).

Surely there are among Professor Whitney’s personal friends scholars who
could say Yes or No to any of these twenty questions, and whose verdict
would be accepted, and not by scholars only, as beyond suspicion.
Anyhow, I can do no more for the sake of peace, and to put an end to the
supposed state of chaos in the Science of Language, and I am willing to
appear in person or by deputy before any such tribunal of competent

I hope I have thus at last given Professor Whitney that satisfaction
which he has claimed from me for so many years; and let me assure him
that I part with him without any personal feeling of bitterness or
hostility. I have grudged him no praise in former days, and whatever
useful work we may receive from him in future, whether on the languages
of India or of America, his books shall always receive at my hands the
same justice as if they had been written by my best friend. I have never
belonged to any company of collaborators, and never shall; but whosoever
serves in the noble army for the conquest of truth, be he private or
general, will always find in me a faithful friend, and, if need be,
a fearless defender. I gladly conclude with the words of old Fairfax
(Bulk and Selvedge, 1674): “I believe no man wishes with more
earnestness than I do, that all men of learning and knowledge were men
of kindness and sweetness, and that such as can outdo others would
outlove them too; especially while self bewhispers us, that it stands us
all in need to be forgiven as well as to forgive.”


  _September, 1875._

    [Footnote 1: See a very remarkable article by Von Hartmann on
    Haeckel, in the _Deutsche Rundschau_. July, 1875.]

    [Footnote 2: _Etymologische Forschungen_, 1871, p. 78, tönende,
    _d.h._ weiche.]

    [Footnote 3: See p. 348.]

    [Footnote 4: _Lectures_, vol. ii. p. 157.]

    [Footnote 5: Having still that kind of faith left, that a man
    could not willfully say a thing which he knows to be untrue,
    I looked again at every passage where I have dwelt on the
    difference between soft and hard consonants, and I think I may
    have found the passage which Professor Whitney grasped at, when he
    thought that I knew nothing of the difference between voiced and
    voiceless letters, until he had enlightened me on the subject.
    Speaking of letters, not as things by themselves, but as acts,
    I sometimes speak of the process that produces the hard consonant
    first, and then go on to say that it can be voiced, and be made
    soft. Thus when speaking of s and z, I say, the former is
    completely surd, the latter capable of intonation, and the same
    expression occurs again. Could Professor Whitney have thought that
    I meant to say that z was only capable of intonation, but was not
    necessarily intonated? I believe he did, for it is with regard to
    s and z that, as I see, he says, “it is a marvel to find men like
    Max Müller, in his last lectures about language, who still cling
    to the old view that a z, for instance, differs from s primarily
    by inferior force of utterance.” Now, I admit that my expression,
    “capable of intonation” might be misunderstood, and might have
    misled a mere tiro in these matters, who alighted on this passage,
    without reading anything before or after. But that a professor in
    an American university could have taken my words in that sense is
    to me, I confess, a puzzle, call it intellectual or moral, as you

    [Footnote 6: _Indische Studien_, x. 459.]

    [Footnote 7: When I saw how M. Biot, the great astronomer, treated
    Professor Weber _du haut en bas_, because, in criticising Biot’s
    opinion he had shown some ignorance of astronomy, I said, from a
    kind of fellow-feeling: “Weber’s Essays are very creditable to the
    author, and hardly deserved the withering contempt with which they
    were treated by Biot. I differ from nearly all the conclusions at
    which Professor Weber arrives, but I admire his great diligence in
    collecting the necessary evidence.” Upon this the American
    gentleman reads me the following lesson: First of all, I am told
    that my statement involves a gross error of fact; I ought to have
    said, Weber’s Essay, not Essays, because one of them, and the most
    important, was not published till after Biot’s death. I accept the
    reproof, but I believe all whom it concerned knew what Essay I
    meant. But secondly, I am told that the epithet _withering_ is
    only used by Americans when they intend to imply that, in their
    opinion, the subject of the contempt is withered, or ought to be
    withered by it. This may be so in American, but I totally deny
    that it is so in English. “Withering contempt,” in English, means,
    as far as I know, a kind of silly and arrogant contempt, such, for
    instance, as Professor Whitney displays towards me and others,
    intended to annihilate us in the eyes of the public, but utterly
    harmless in its consequences. But let me ask the American critic
    what he meant when, speaking of Biot’s treatment of Weber, he
    said, “Biot thought that Weber’s opinions had been _whiffed_ away
    by him as if unworthy of serious consideration.” Does _whiff away_
    in America mean more or less than _withering_? What Professor
    Whitney should have objected to was the adverb _hardly_. I wish I
    had said _vix, et ne vix quidem_.]


[Transcriber’s Note:

The Index is given as printed, covering volumes III and IV. Volume
III is available from Doctrine Publishing Corporation as e-text 26572.

Note that, because of the author’s transliteration system, many Sanskrit
words in c and j will be alphabetized as k and g. All footnotes given as
164 or 165 should be read as 163, 164.

Spelling and capitalization of roots from the Colebrooke appendix has
been regularized. The original forms, if different, are shown in
[[double brackets]].]

  Abbot of Cluny and Louis IX., iii. 179.
  Abdallah ibn Almokaffa, author of “Kalilah and Dimnah,” iv. 151, 184.
  Abdorrhaman, iv. 155.
  Abelard, iii. 51.
  Aberdeen, Lord, iii. 378.
  Ablative in _as_, as infinitive, iv. 50.
  ---- in _d_, iv. 225.
  ---- in toḥ, as infinitive, iv. 55.
  Abo, in Finland, iii. 310.
  Abury, remains at, iii. 285.
  Accusative in _am_, as infinitive, iv. 50.
  ---- in _tum_, as infinitive, iv. 55.
  ---- with the infinitive, iv. 38.
  Achilles, mediæval stories of, iii. 9.
  “Acta Eruditorum,” iii. 194.
  Adam of Bremen, iii. 119.
  Ad-venire = l’avenir, iv. 37.
  Adverb, the infinitive as an, iv. 31.
  ---- ἐπίῤῥημα, iv. 30.
  Adverbs, previous to Aryan separation, iv. 135.
  ---- Aryan, iv. 415.
  Ægyptus, iii. 249.
  Æneas, mediæval stories of, iii. 9.
  Æneas Sylvius, iii. 30.
  ---- as Pope Pius II., iii. 63.
  “Æneid,” by Heinrich von Veldecke, iii. 10.
  “Æsopus alter,” iv. 161.
  Affixing languages, iv. 85.
  African languages, Koelle’s sixty-seven, iii. 427.
  ἀγγέλλω = ἀναγαρίω, iv. 91.
  Agglutinative languages, iv. 79, see Combining languages.
    [[Author’s normal form is “combinatory”.]]
  Agni, god of fire, iv. 47.
  Agricola, iii. 67.
  Agricola = Schnitter, iii. 29.
  Agricola, not agrum-cola, iv. 133.
  Agriculture of Bengal, iv. 369.
  Agriologists, iv. 453.
  Ahanâ, same as Daphne, iv. 148.
  Ahura-Mazda, name of, iv. 430.
  Ak, the root, iv. 28.
  Aksh-an, or ak-an, iv. 26.
  Ak-sh-i, eye, iv. 25.
  Alam, with infinitive, iv. 48.
  Alcuin, iii. 6.
  Alemannish, iii. 122.
  “Alexander,” by Lamprecht, iii. 9.
  ---- mediæval stories of, iii. 9.
  Alexander’s conquest, brings Greek stories to India, iv. 149.
  Alexandria ad Caucasum, Buddhist priests sent to, iv. 244.
  Algebra with Arithmetic and Mensuration, from the Sanskrit of
      Brahmagupta and Bhâskara, iv. 391.
  Ali, the son of Alshah Farési, iv. 153.
  Alight, to, its etymology, iv. 467.
  All Souls’ College, iii. 490.
  Alpha privativum, iv. 213.
  Alphabet, origin of the Phenician, iv. 450, 468.
  American, polysynthetic dialects, iv. 70.
  Amestris, wife of Xerxes, iii. 417.
  An, a suffix, iv. 33, 34.
  Ancient Germany, by Bethmann-Hollweg, iii. 412.
  And, Aryan words for, iv. 412.
  Andanemja, Gothic, to be accepted, iv. 94.
  Andrew Borde, on Cornwall, iii. 243.
  Andrian, Baron, iii. 396.
  Ane, dative in, iv. 34.
  Angarii or Angivarii, iii. 117.
  Angenehm, agreeable, to be accepted, iv. 94.
  Angle or angre, for ange, iii. 166.
  Anglevarii, iii. 117.
  Anglia or Angria, iii. 118.
  Anglii or Angrii, iii. 118.
  Anglo-Saxon, iii. 122.
  ---- chair of, iv. 12, 13.
  ---- MSS. collected, iv. 12.
  ---- grammar, by March, iv. 447.
  Angrarii, tribe of, iii. 117.
  Angria or Anglia, iii. 118.
  Angrii or Anglii, iii. 118.
  Angrivarii, iii. 117.
  Angulus, the etymon of Anglia, iii. 118.
  Animals are automata, the hypothesis that, iv. 448.
  ---- their mind, terra incognita, iv. 442.
  ---- nearest to man, have very imperfect phonetic organs, iv. 440.
  ---- have sensuous images, but no words, iv. 487.
  Anno, poem on, iii. 9.
  Annoyance, iii. 182.
  An-ti, those and he, iv. 113.
  Antiquary, the, iv. 335.
  “Anvári-Suhaili,” by Husain ben Ali, iv. 159.
  Ἀπαρέμφατον (ῥῆμα), iv. 30, 31.
  Arabian Algebra, likeness to Indian, iv. 391.
  Arabic, difficulty of, iv. 368.
  ---- lectureship of, iv. 11.
  ---- lectureship of, not aided by Henry VIII., iv. 12.
  ---- lectureship of, supported by Archbishop Laud, iv. 12.
  ---- MSS. collected by Laud, iv. 12.
  ---- translation of fables, iv. 154.
  Archæological survey of India, iv. 346.
  Aria, iii. 441.
  Arian, not Iranian, iii. 429.
  Aristotle, iv. 327.
  ---- his knowledge of language, iv. 64.
  Arndt, iii. 402.
  Arnim, iii. 103.
  Arnold, iii. 39.
  ---- Dr., iii. 362, 397.
  ---- Matthew, iv. 505.
  Arnyia dialects, iv. 349.
  Arthur, stories of, iii. 9.
  Aryan family, iv. 16, 70, 71.
  Aryan language, seven periods of, iv. 118.
  ---- first period, iv. 119.
  ---- second period, iv. 124.
  ---- third period, iv. 124.
  ---- fourth period, iv. 129.
  ---- fifth period, iv. 131.
  ---- sixth period, iv. 135.
  ---- seventh period, iv. 135.
  ---- three strata only, iv. 136, 137.
  ---- inflectional, iv. 80.
  ---- no word for law in, iv. 220.
  Aryan nations, Benfey’s protest against their Eastern origin, iv. 212.
  ---- religions, three historical, iv. 240.
  ---- skulls, iv. 211.
  ---- suffixes, iv. 33.
  ---- words for father, mother, brother, etc, iv. 401. _seq._
  ---- words found in Zend, and not in Sanskrit, iv. 235.
  Aryan and Semitic languages, common origin of, iv. 96.
  Aryans, Southern division of, iv. 212.
  As, root, to be, Aryan words for, iv. 414.
  Ascoli, on gutturals, iv. 61, 104.
  Ashburnham, Lord, his MSS. of the Credo, iii. 165.
  Ashley, Lord, and Bunsen, iii. 367.
  -ασι for -αντι, iv. 112.
  Asiatic literature, catalogue raisonné of, iv. 385.
  ---- Researches, iv. 370.
  ---- Society of Calcutta, iv. 14.
  ---- Society of Calcutta, Colebrooke, President of, iv. 385.
  Asita’s prophecy about Buddha, iv. 171.
  Aspirates, the, iv. 495.
  Ass, Aryan words for, iv. 408.
  Asti, with infinitive, iv. 48.
  Astor, Bunsen’s pupil and friend, iii. 348, 485.
  Astori dialects of Shinâ, iv. 349.
  Astrological terms borrowed by Hindus from Greeks, iv. 367.
  Astronomical Society, Colebrooke, President of, iv. 391.
  Astronomy, antiquity of Hindu, iv. 387.
  Aśvais = equis, iv. 84.
  Aśvebhis = equobus, iv. 84.
  Athenian law of inheritance, prize essay by Bunsen, iii. 348.
  Attal Sarazin in Cornwall, iii. 307.
  Atterbom, Swedish poet, letters to Wilhelm Müller, iii. 105.
  Attic future, iv. 94 _note_.
  Attila, iii. 412.
  Aufrecht, Dr., iii. 417, 425, 443.
  Augâ, O.H.G., iv. 26.
  αὐγή, Auge, iv. 25.
  Augment, in Greek and Sanskrit, iv. 114.
  Augustenburg, Prince of, iii. 85, 88.
  Autbert, Bishop of Avranches, iii. 328.
  Avadhûta, sect of the, iv. 257.
  Avenir, the future, ad-venire, iv. 38.
  Avesta, two or three bulky volumes on the, iv. 515.
  Avranches, Bishop of, on Barlaam and Josaphat, iv. 178.
  ---- Bishop of, Autbert, iii. 328.
  Ayase, to go, iv. 36.
  Axmouth, iii. 289.

  Bachmann, on the Negro skull, iii. 252.
  Bacon, Lord, iii. 217.
  ---- on history of literature, iii. 3.
  ---- observations on the disposition of men for philosophy
      and science, iv. 97.
  ---- on Spinoza, iii. 218.
  ---- his Metaphysique, iii. 223.
  ---- his Physique, iii. 223.
  ---- his inductive method, iii. 225.
  ---- compared with Shakespeare, iii. 225.
  ---- author of Shakespeare’s plays, iii. 226.
  ---- Macaulay on, iii. 227.
  Bactria, Buddhist priests sent to, iv. 244.
  Baldo, his translation of “Kalila and Dimnah,” iv. 161.
  Bampton, iii. 293.
  Bancroft, “On the Native Races of America,” iv. 526.
  Banks, Sir Joseph, iii. 256.
  Bannister, Dr., iii. 242.
  ---- on Jews in Cornwall, iii. 313.
  Bântu family of language, iv. 70.
  Barahut, Buddhist remains at, iv. 346.
  Barbarossa, Frederick, iii. 51, 52.
  Barclay, Alexander, his translation of “Narrenschiff,” iii. 72.
  Barlaam and Joasaph, iv. 168.
  Barlaam and Josaphat, iv. 177.
  ---- changed into Christian saints, iv. 177.
  ---- Laboulaye, Liebrecht, Beal, on, iv. 176, 177.
  ---- Leo Allatius on, iv. 178.
  ---- Billius and Bellarminus on, iv. 178.
  ---- the Bishop of Avranches on, iv. 178.
  Barrington, Daines, iii. 256.
  Baruch, his share in Isaiah, iii. 481, 484.
  Barzuyeh, author of Pehlevi translation of fables, iv. 152, 184.
  βασιλεῦ, vocative, iv. 233.
  Basilius and Gregorius Nazianzenus, quoted by author of “Barlaam
      and Josaphat,” iv. 169.
  Bask language, iii. 429.
  Bask, derivative adjectives in, iv. 94.
  Basle, University of, iii. 63.
  Bathybios, iv. 457.
  Bavarian dialect, iii. 122.
  Bayard, iv. 90.
  Beal, on the story of Barlaam and Josaphat, iv. 176.
  Beamdun = Bampton, iii. 293.
  Bear, Aryan words for, iv. 410.
  βέεσθαι = vayodhai, iv. 56.
  Beget, to, root, Jan, Aryan words for, iv. 415.
  Beheim, Michael, iii. 18.
  Beieinander, Das, in the development of language, iv. 33.
  Bekker, on the Digamma in Homer, iii. 420; iv. 225.
  Bellows, Mr., on acts of vandalism in Cornwall, iii. 279.
  Benares, iii. 406.
  Benedictine Monks, rule of, iii. 5.
  Benfey, Professor, iii. 446.
  ---- his discovery of the old Syriac translation of the fables,
      iv. 181.
  ---- his history of the Science of Language, iv. 325.
  ---- his protest against the eastern origin of the Aryan nation,
      iv. 212.
  Bengal, agriculture of, iv. 370.
  ---- Colebrooke, on the husbandry of, iv. 373.
  Bengali, plural in, iv. 74.
  Bentley, on the antiquity of Hindu astronomy, iv. 387.
  Berkeley, iii. 218.
  Bernard, derivation of the word, iv. 90.
  Bernays, iii. 415.
  Bernhard, bearminded, iv. 90.
  Berthold, Duke of Zähringen, iii. 13.
  Berthold, iii. 20.
  Besmah, Rajah of, Giriprasâdasinha, iv. 335.
  Bethmann Hollweg, iii. 412, 443.
  Bhaginî, sister, in Sanskrit, iv. 110 _note_.
  Bhagvat Geeta, _i.e._ Bhagavad-Gîtâ, iv. 368.
  Bhaiami, maker or cutter out, iv. 342, 343.
  Bhaṇḍarkar, Prof., iv. 335.
  Bhao Daji, Dr., iv. 334.
  Bhâskara, Brahmagupta, Âryabhaṭṭa, iv. 392.
  βία, not connected with jyâni, iv. 62.
  Bible, first complete translation in German, 1373, iii. 21.
  ---- new translation by Bunsen, iii. 448.
  ---- partly translated, iii. 20.
  Bibliotheca volante, 1677, iii. 194.
  Bibliothèque Orientale, iii. 415.
  ---- Universelle et Historique, iii. 194.
  Bickell, Professor, iv. 184.
  Bidpai, mentioned by Ali, iv. 153; see _Pilpay_.
  ---- or Sendebar, iv. 158.
  Billius, on Barlaam and Josaphat, iv. 178.
  Birma, Buddhist priests sent to, iv. 244.
  Black, in the Schleswig-Hollstein ialect, iii. 130.
  Blackbird, iv. 503.
  Bleek, Dr., iii. 399; iv. 343, 522.
  ---- Whitney on, iv. 515.
  Blid and blithe, iii. 130.
  Blood, as determining nationality, iii. 247.
  Boar, Aryan words for, iv. 410.
  Bodhisattva, corrupted to Youdasf and Youasaf, iv. 176.
  Bodmer, iii. 39.
  Bodener d. 1776, his letter on Cornish, iii. 246.
  Boeckh, on Comparative Grammar, iv. 209.
  Boehme, Jacob, iii. 39, 218.
  Boehtlingk _versus_ Schott, iii. 429.
  Boehtlingk and Roth, Sanskrit Dictionary published by, iv. 511.
  Boetticher, Dr., iii. 416, 422, 433. (fragment of Livy).
  Bohinî, Bengali, for sister, iv. 110 _note_.
  Boie, and the Hainbund, iii. 127.
  Boileau, iii. 197.
  Bologna, University of, iv. 11.
  Bombay, Parsis of, iv. 305.
  Bonaventure des Periers, his “Contes et Nouvelles,” iv. 164.
  Bone, Aryan words for, iv. 405.
  Bonn, iii. 406.
  Book of Heroes, the Heldenbuch, iii. 69.
  ---- edited by Caspar von der Roen, iii. 69.
  ---- of Love, iii. 70.
  ---- of Sindbad, iv. 106.
  Book-religions, iv. 301.
  Books of Moses, poetical translation of, iii. 9.
  Bopp, his Comparative Grammar, iv. 17, 319.
  ---- Whitney on, iv. 515.
  Borde, Andrew, on Cornwall, iii. 243.
  Borghese, on Latin inscriptions, iii. 419.
  Botterell, Mr., on the Men-an-tol, iii. 279.
  Bottervogel, botterhahn, botterhex, butterfly, iii. 130.
  βοῦ, vocative, iv. 233.
  Boucher de Perthes, iii. 283.
  Bow-wow, Pooh-pooh theories, iv. 469.
  Brace, Manual of Races, iii. 252.
  Brahma, as the Supreme Spirit, iv. 315.
  Brahma-Dharma, the, iv. 269.
  Brahma-Samaj, iv. 258, 259, 335.
  Brahma-Samaj, schism in, iv. 260, 269.
  ---- of India, iv. 269 _note_.
  Brahman, the, and the rice, iv. 142.
  Brahmanism, its vitality, iv. 296, 308.
  Brahmans, their sacred cord, iv. 260.
  ---- do not proselytize, iv. 242.
  ---- sent to Benares to copy Vedas, iv. 357.
  Brandis, iii. 350, 352, 399, 438, 442.
  Breast, Aryan words for, iv. 406.
  Bremen Dictionary, Low German, iii. 123 _note_.
  Brentano, iii. 103.
  Brewster, iii. 420.
  Bribu, leader of the Rathakaras, iv. 307.
  Bride of Messina, Schiller’s play, iii. 92, 97, 427.
  British Association at Oxford, 1847, iii. 372.
  Broad, Aryan words for, iv. 411.
  Broad degrees of heat, light, and sound, iv. 437.
  Brockhaus, Professor, iv. 351.
  Brossard, iv. 90.
  Brother, Aryan words for, iv. 402.
  Brown-Willy, iii. 292.
  Brvat, Zend, brow, iv. 236.
  Bruit, iii. 171.
  Bud Periodeutes, his translation of fables, iv. 181, 183.
  Buddha, iii. 486.
  ---- life of, iv. 171.
  ---- his four drives, iv. 172.
  ---- identity with Josaphat, iv. 174, 180.
  ---- his driver, iv. 175.
  ---- his disciples, iv. 267.
  ---- his interview with Mâra, iv. 268.
  Buddhism, its history, iv. 242 _seq._
  Buddhism, countries professing it, iv. 252.
  Buddhist fables, iv. 141.
  ---- ---- carried by Mongolians to Russia, iv. 149.
  ---- Missionaries, sent to Cashmere, etc., iv. 243.
  Bühler, Dr., iv. 345.
  Bürger, iii. 127.
  Büsen, in Dithmarsch, iii. 138.
  Buffon, his view of plants, iv. 222.
  Building of altars, iv. 330.
  Bundobel, for Bidpay, iv. 161.
  Bunsen, iv. 318.
  ---- Sir R. Peel on, iii. 347.
  ---- his prize essay on Athenian law of inheritance, iii. 348.
  ---- his fellow students, iii. 348.
  ---- his journey to Denmark, iii. 352.
  ---- his copy of MSS. of Völuspa, iii. 352.
  ---- his friendship with Niebuhr, iii. 129, 353.
  ---- his marriage, iii. 357.
  ---- his life at Rome, iii. 358.
  ---- his Hymn- and Prayer-book, iii. 361, 413.
  ---- his friends at Rome, iii. 362.
  ---- his visit to England, iii. 362.
  ---- made D.C.L. at Oxford, iii. 363.
  ---- Prussian Envoy in England, iii. 370.
  ---- leaves England, iii. 382.
  ---- his “Hippolytus,” iii. 382, 416.
  ---- his “Signs of the Times,” iii. 382.
  ---- his “God in History,” iii. 382, 473.
  ---- his death, iii. 384.
  ---- his Chinese studies, iii. 402.
  ---- his recall, iii. 409.
  ---- and Chateaubriand, iii. 411.
  ---- at Heidelberg, iii. 439, 440.
  ---- “Egypt’s Place in History,” iii. 469.
  ---- Bible-work, iii. 452.
  ---- letters to Max Müller, iii. 393.
  ---- his views on German professors, iv. 204.
  ---- his “Christianity and Mankind,” iii. 382; iv. 320.
  ---- Burhware, iii. 117.
  Burgess, Mr., iv. 335.
  Burnell, Dr., iv. 345.
  Burning of widows, iv. 303.
  Burnouf, Eugène, iv. 318, 515.
  Burns, poems of, iii. 126.
  Bursa, or Royal Exchange, iii. 234.
  Bushmen, their traditional literature, iv. 344.
  ---- their language, iv. 344.
  But, buten, iii. 131.
  Butler’s Analogy, iv. 287.
  By night, Aryan words for, iv. 404.

  Cabale und Liebe, iii. 84.
  Cabul, Buddhist priests sent to, iv. 243.
  Cadaver, iv. 24.
  Cadmus, son of Libya, iii. 249.
  Cæsar, iii. 240.
  Cæsarius, Joh., iii. 64.
  Calcutta, city of Kali, iv. 251.
  ---- its goddess, iv. 309.
  ---- Colebrooke goes to, iv. 365.
  ---- Colebrooke at, iv. 381.
  Caldwell, Dr., iv. 74 _note_.
  ---- on Infinitive, iv. 60.
  Call, to, not from calare, iv. 104.
  Callaway, Remarks on the Zulu language, iv. 122.
  Cambridge, iii. 236.
  Camel, Aryan words for, iv. 408.
  Camelford, iii. 292.
  Campbell, Sir George, on the Hindu religion, iv. 297.
  Camphausen, iii. 443.
  Canterbury, iii. 117, 237.
  Cantware, people of Kent, iii. 117.
  Cant-ware-burh, iii. 117.
  Capperonier’s edition of Joinville, iii. 161.
  _Cap-so_, iv. 94 _note_.
  _Caput_ = _Haubida_, iv. 26.
  Cara clowse in cowse, iii. 321.
  _Care_, not from cura, iv. 104.
  Carew, on Cornish, iii. 244.
  Carlyle, iii. 54, 363, 397.
  Carlyle’s Life of Schiller, iii. 76.
  Carnac in Brittany, iii. 268.
  Carriere, Professor, iv. 451.
  _Carrosse_, iv. 425.
  Case-terminations, traced back, iv. 131.
  Cashmere, Buddhist priests sent to, iv. 243.
  Caskets, story of the, in Merchant of Venice, iv. 170 _note_.
  Caspar von der Roen, iii. 69.
  Caste, iv. 374 _note_.
  ---- Colebrooke on, iv. 376, 377.
  _Castigare_, iv. 217.
  Catalogue raisonné of Asiatic literature, iv. 385.
  Catalogues of MSS. still existing in India, iv. 345.
  Catechism of the Adi Brahma-Samâj, iv. 275.
  Catrou, iii. 196.
  Causality, the idea of, iii. 220.
  Celibacy and Fellowships, iv. 9.
  Celtes, Meissel, iii. 29.
  Celtic influence in Cornwall, iii. 242.
  ---- languages, iv. 3.
  ---- most closely united with Latin (Newman, Schleicher), iv. 215.
  ---- so-called monuments in the Dekhan, iii. 269.
  Celts and Germans, first distinguished by Cæsar, iii. 240.
  ---- Druids among the, iii. 241.
  Cenail, iii. 301.
  _Cerno_, to distinguish, iv. 217.
  Ceylon, Buddhist priests sent to, iv. 244.
  Chaldaic lectureship, iv. 11.
  Chaldea, Nakshatras derived from, iv. 508.
  Chalmers, “Origin of Chinese,” iv. 105.
  Chambers’ collection, the, iii. 397.
  Champollion, iii. 362.
  ---- discoveries of, iv. 2.
  Chandaka, or Sanna, Buddha’s driver, iv. 175.
  Channing, iv. 313.
  Chaos, in the Science of Language, iv. 522.
  Charlemagne, iii. 5; iv. 155.
  ---- stories of, iii. 9.
  Charles V. and Joinville’s history, iii. 158.
  ---- Rabelais’ satire on, iv. 161.
  Chasot, iii. 200.
  ---- his youth, iii. 201.
  ---- his campaigns, iii. 206, 207.
  ---- goes to France, iii. 209.
  ---- his life at Lübeck, iii. 210.
  ---- his last meeting with Frederic the Great, iii. 211.
  Chateaubriand, iii. 362.
  ---- and Bunsen, iii. 411.
  Chemistry of language, iv. 449.
  Chepsted, iii. 234.
  Chief Rabbi in London, iv. 304.
  Childers, Mr., Essay on the Plural in Singhalese, iv. 74 _note_.
  China, Nakshatras supposed to be derived from, iv. 508.
  Chinese studies, Bunsen’s, iii. 402.
  ---- Professorships of, iv. 3.
  ---- Grammar, iv. 76.
  ---- full and empty words, iv. 77.
  ---- dead and live words, iv. 77 _note_.
  ---- belongs to the isolating languages, iv. 79.
  ---- dialects of, iv. 102.
  ---- words in Mongolian, iv. 105.
  χι-ών = hi-ma, hiems, iv. 235.
  Chiwidden, iii. 299.
  Christian IX. and the Eider boundary, iii. 120.
  Christianity, countries professing, iv. 252.
  Christians of St. Thomas in India, iv. 184.
  Chronicle of the Roman Emperors, iii. 9.
  Chroniclers, old, iii. 159.
  Chronology of the Indo-Germanic languages, by Prof. Curtius, iv. 118.
  Chrysorrhoas (St. John of Damascus), iv. 168.
  Cimbric Chersonese, the, iii. 116.
  Circumflex in the vocative of Ζεύς, iv. 210.
  ---- in Sanskrit, iv. 233.
  Cistvaen or Kistvaen, iii. 266, 267.
  Clarendon, Lord, iii. 433.
  Classical reproduction of Sakuntala, by Sir W. Jones, iv. 323.
  Classification of skulls, iii. 248.
  ---- of languages, iv. 70.
  ---- applied to religions, iv. 241.
  Claudius, iii. 128.
  Clement V. and his proposals for founding Lectureships, iv. 11.
  Clemm, Die neusten Forschungen auf dem Gebiet der Griechischen
      Composita, iv. 133 _note_.
  Cleversulzbach, village of, iii. 75.
  Cloud, Aryan words for, iv. 405.
  Clovis, his conversion, iv. 287.
  _Cluere_, to hear, iv. 218.
  Çnish, Zend, to snow, iv. 236.
  Coat cards, iii. 289.
  Cobden, death of his son, iii. 458.
  _Codardo_, coward, iv. 90.
  Code of Gentoo Laws, iv. 374.
  Cœurdoux, le Père, iv. 14.
  Coincidences, iv. 472.
  Colebrooke, on the Vedas, iv. 350.
  ---- Life of, iv. 359.
  ---- started for India, iv. 364.
  ---- arrived at Madras, iv. 364.
  ---- goes to Calcutta, iv. 365.
  ---- becomes Collector of Tribute in Tirhut, iv. 365.
  ---- on Indian Weights and Measures, iv. 367.
  ---- goes to Purneah, iv. 369.
  ---- goes to Nattore, iv. 370.
  ---- on the duties of Hindu Widows, iv. 372.
  ---- on the Husbandry and Commerce of Bengal, iv. 373.
  ---- goes to Mirzapur, iv. 374.
  ---- translates Digest of Hindu and Mohammedan Laws, iv. 375.
  ---- on Caste, iv. 376, 378.
  ---- at Nagpur, iv. 380.
  ---- his supplementary Digest of Laws, iv. 380.
  ---- Essays on Sanskrit and Prakrit poetry, iv. 380.
  ---- Essays on the Vedas, iv. 380.
  ---- Essays on Indian Theogonies, iv. 380.
  ---- Essays on Indian Plants, iv. 380.
  ---- returns to Mirzapur, iv. 381.
  ---- goes to Calcutta, iv. 381.
  ---- member of the Court of Appeal, iv. 381.
  ---- Professor of Sanskrit, iv. 381.
  ---- attention to Comparative Philology, iv. 381.
  ---- his Sanskrit Grammar, iv. 381.
  ---- President of the Court of Appeal, iv. 385.
  ---- President of the Asiatic Society, iv. 385.
  ---- promoted to a Seat in Council, iv. 390.
  ---- leaves India, iv. 390.
  ---- the Legislator of India, iv. 390.
  ---- President of the Astronomical Society, iv. 391.
  ---- his translation of the Algebra of Brahmagupta and Bhâskara,
      iv. 391.
  ---- presents his Sanskrit MSS. to the East India Company, iv. 392.
  ---- founds the Royal Asiatic Society, iv. 392.
  ---- his treatises on Hindu philosophy, iv. 394.
  ---- his death, iv. 395.
  ---- testimony to Sir W. Jones, iv. 397.
  ---- Comparative View of Sanskrit and other Languages, iv. 400.
  Colenso, Bishop, iii. 248.
  Cologne Choir, the, iii. 421.
  Colonial Office, reports on native races, iv. 339.
  Colonies and colonial governments, Oriental studies have
      a claim on, iv. 339.
  Color-blindness, iv. 444.
  Combination traced to juxta-position, iv. 111.
  Combinatory stage, iv. 116.
  Come-to-good, iii. 292.
  Commandments of Kabir, iv. 257.
  Common origin of the Aryan and Semitic languages, iv. 96.
  Comparative Jurisprudence, Bunsen and, iii. 348.
  Comparative Mythology, first glimmerings of, in 1793, iv. 371.
  Comparative Philology, chair of, iv. 13.
  ---- Isolating period, iv. 18.
  ---- Syncretistic period, iv. 17.
  ---- Sanskrit the only sound foundation of, iv. 19.
  ---- Colebrooke’s attention to, iv. 381.
  Comparative spirit, the truly scientific spirit, iv. 327.
  Comparative Theology, first attempt at, iv. 170.
  Comparative view of Sanskrit and other languages by Colebrooke,
      iv. 400.
  Comparetti, on the book of Sindbad, iv. 166.
  Competition-wallah, iv. 90.
  Comte, iii. 475.
  Comte de Bretagne and Louis IX., iii. 180.
  Concepts, founded on the spontaneity of thought, iv. 447.
  “Conde Lucanor,” by Don Juan Manuel, iv. 164.
  Congress of Oriental sts, the International, iv. 317.
  Constance, Council of, iii. 65.
  Constantine Lascaris, iii. 63.
  Constantine’s vision, iv. 288.
  Constitution granted in Prussia, 1847, iii. 377.
  Controversial missions, small success of, iv. 316.
  Controversy on the authority of the traditional interpretation
      of the Vedas, iv. 386.
  Convention, language made by, iv. 73.
  Conway’s “Sacred Anthology,” iv. 329.
  Copper, iii. 256.
  Coptic roots, iii. 403.
  _Coquina_, _Keghin_, iii. 261.
  Cornelius, iii. 368.
  Cornish antiquities, iii. 238.
  ---- language, iii. 239.
  ---- language, loses ground, iii. 244.
  ---- used for sermons till 1678, iii. 245.
  ---- as spoken in 1707, iii. 245.
  ---- as written, 1776, iii. 246.
  ---- its vitality, iii. 247.
  ---- a Celtic language, iii. 239.
  ---- Antiquities:
  ---- ---- Mên Scrifa, iii. 271.
  ---- ---- Boscawen circle, iii. 272.
  ---- ---- Castle an Dinas, iii. 274.
  ---- ---- huts at Chysauster, iii. 275.
  ---- ---- Mincamber, the, iii. 277.
  ---- ---- injuries to, iii. 277, etc.
  ---- ---- Castallack Round, iii. 281.
  ---- proverbs, iii. 254.
  ---- Latin and English words in, iii. 256.
  ---- Dictionary, iii. 256.
  ---- Poems, “Mount Calvary,” iii. 257.
  ---- Plays, iii. 258.
  ---- MSS. in the Bodleian, iii. 258.
  ---- Guirrimears, iii. 259.
  ---- books extant in, iii. 260.
  ---- Latin words in, iii. 260.
  ---- ---- through French, iii. 261.
  ---- Saxon words in, iii. 262.
  ---- huts, iii. 275.
  Cornwall, its air of antiquity, iii. 238.
  ---- Jews in, iii. 287.
  ---- Jews’ houses in, iii. 287.
  ---- Saracens in, iii. 306.
  Corssen, his studies in Latin, iv. 18.
  Cosmas, an Italian monk, iv. 167.
  Cotswold Hills, the, iii. 305.
  Cottier, his translation of fables into French from Tuscan,
      iv. 159 _note_.
  Cotton, Bishop of Calcutta, iv. 258, 263.
  _Couard_, iv. 90.
  Council, Colebrooke promoted to a seat in, iv. 390.
  ---- of Pâṭaliputra, 246 B.C., iv. 243.
  Court of Appeal, Colebrooke member of, iv. 381.
  ---- Colebrooke President of the, iv. 385.
  Cousin, Victor, iv. 394.
  _Coward_, iv. 90.
  Crab, Aryan words for, iv. 410.
  _Credo_, Lord Ashburnham’s MS. of the, iii. 165.
  Creed of the Brahma Samâj, iv. 260.
  _Criard_, a crier, iv. 90.
  Cribrum, iv. 217.
  Crimean War, the, iii. 381.
  _Crimen_, iv. 218.
  “Critique Philosophique,” edited by Renouvier, iv. 420.
  Cromlechs, Roman coins in, iii. 264.
  ---- the, iii. 264.
  Cromlêh, or Cromlech, iii. 264.
  Crowther, Bishop, iii. 254.
  Crudus, crudelis, iv. 235.
  Crusaders, Persian and Arabic stories brought back by the, iv. 148.
  “Crusades, History of,” by Guillaume, Archbishop of Tyre, iii. 159.
  ---- interchange of eastern and western ideas during the, iv. 166.
  _Crusta_, iv. 235.
  Çtaman, Zend = στόμα, iv. 237.
  Cuckoo, Aryan words for, iv. 410.
  Cucumber, Aryan words for, iv. 410.
  Culina, iii. 261.
  Cunningham, General, iv. 346.
  Cupid and Sanskrit _Dipuc_, iv. 21.
  Cureton, Dr., and the Epistles of Ignatius, iii. 372.
  Curses, terrible effects produced by, iv. 432.
  Curthose, Robert, iii. 289.
  Curtius, E., iii. 457.
  ---- Professor G., iv. 118.
  ---- his Greek studies, iv. 18.
  ---- on Lautverschiebung, iv. 101 _note_.
  ---- on the Chronology of the Indo-Germanic Languages, iv. 111, 118.
  ---- Pott on, iv. 518.
  ---- Syndicus, iii. 201.
  Curtus, Robertus, iii. 289.
  Cvant, Zend, quantus, iv. 236.
  Cymric, iii. 239.
  Cyrus, religion of, iv. 249.
  Czartoryski, Prince, letter to, iv. 323.

  D, of the ablative, iv. 225.
  -da, Zend, = οἶκόν-δε, iv. 236.
  Dabshelim, King, iv. 153.
  Dach, Simon, iii. 37.
  δᾶερ, vocative, iv. 232.
  _Daigs_, dough, iv. 22.
  Daimonion, iv. 455.
  Daiti, Zend, δόσις, dôs, iv. 236.
  _Dala_, meaning of, iv. 74 _note_.
  ---- Bengali, same as Dravidian taḷa or daḷa, iv. 74 _note_.
  Dalberg, iii. 86, 87.
  Dalton, Colonel, “Ethnology of Bengal,” iv. 346.
  Daltonism, iv. 444.
  _Dấ-mane_, to give, iv. 33.
  Dâmi, Zend, creation, θέμις, iv. 236.
  _Damnare_, iv. 104.
  Danes in Cornwall, iii. 274.
  ---- negotiations with, iii. 400.
  Danis-mên, iii. 273.
  Danube, the, iii. 435.
  Daphne, same as Ahanâ, iv. 148.
  Dardistan, Dr. Leitner’s labors in, iv. 348.
  Dardus, the, their customs, iv. 349.
  Darius, religion of, iv. 249.
  Darwin, Mr., my reply to, iv. 417.
  ---- his belief in a personal Creator, iv. 459.
  Darwinism tested by the Science of Language, essay,
      by Schleicher, iv. 480.
  Dâsápati, gấspati, dámpati, iv. 232.
  _Dâtấ vásûnâm_, iv. 234.
  Dative in _e_, as infinitive, iv. 50.
  ---- in ai, as infinitive, iv. 50.
  ---- in _se_, as infinitive, iv. 51.
  ---- in _tvâya_, as infinitive, iv. 55.
  ---- in _âya_, as infinitive, iv. 51.
  ---- in _âyai_, as infinitive, iv. 52.
  ---- in _aye_, as infinitive, iv. 52.
  ---- in _taye_, as infinitive, iv. 53.
  ---- in _tyai_, as infinitive, iv. 53.
  ---- in _dhai_ and _dhyai_, as infinitive, iv. 55.
  ---- in _ase_, Latin ere, as infinitive, iv. 53.
  ---- in _mane_, Greek μεναι, as infinitive, iv. 53.
  ---- in _vane_, as infinitive, iv. 54.
  ---- in _ane_, as infinitive, iv. 54.
  ---- in _tave_ and _tavai_, iv. 55.
  Daughter, Aryan words for, iv. 420.
  Daughter-in-law, Aryan words for, iv. 403.
  Daughter’s son, Aryan words for, iv. 402.
  Daunou, on the MS. of Joinville, iii. 162.
  Dâ-váne, to give, iv. 34.
  David Sahid of Ispahan, his Livre des Lumières, iv. 159.
  Davy, Sir Humphrey, iii. 248.
  Dawns-mên or dancing stones, iii. 272.
  Day, Aryan words for, iv. 404.
  δε, in οἶκόνδε, iv. 236.
  Dead and dying religions, iv. 249.
  Dead and live words (ssè-tsé and sing-tsé) in Chinese, iv. 77 _note_.
  Deaf and dumb, iv. 446.
  Dean of St. Paul’s Lectures, iv. 352.
  Debendranath Tagore, iv. 312.
  ---- had the Vedas copied, iv. 357.
  Declensions in Old French, iii. 167, 170.
  _Deha_, body, iv. 23.
  _Dehî_, wall, iv. 22.
  _Deich_, iv. 22.
  _Deig-an_, to knead, iv. 22.
  Dekhan, so-called Celtic or Druidical or Scythian monument in,
      iii. 269.
  Del governo dei regni, iv. 157.
  Delight, to, root TṚP, Aryan words for, iv. 415.
    [[Index t{r}ip, Colebrooke TRĬP]]
  Δήμητερ, vocative, iv. 232.
  Demokritos, iv. 65.
  Demonstrative roots, iv. 121.
  Denmark, Bunsen’s journey to, iii. 352.
  Der ez Záferân, Jacobite Cloister of, iv. 186.
  De Rieux, first editor of Joinville, iii. 160.
  Derivative roots, second period of Aryan Language, iv. 124.
  δέσποτα, vocative, iv. 232.
  Des Cartes, iii. 221.
  Dessau, W. Müller’s life there, iii. 107.
  Determinatives, iv. 123.
  Deus, Greek Θεός, iv. 210.
  Deutsch, E., iv. 191.
  Devadatta or Theudas, iv. 176.
  Devrient, iii. 427.
  Dharma, law, iv. 220.
  _Dhava_, man, iv. 229.
  _Dhi_, to twinkle or to shine, iv. 229.
  Dhûrv-aṇe, in order to hurt, iv. 34.
  Diadochi, reigns of the, iv. 149.
  διάκτορος and διάκτωρ, iv. 131.
  Dialectic growth, iv. 422.
  Dialects, Low and High German, iii. 121.
  ---- English, iv. 68.
  ---- Chinese, iv. 102.
  ---- of the Mundas or the Koles, iv. 347.
  ---- of languages and religions must be studied, iv. 301.
  Dialogus Creaturarum, the, iv. 163, 164 _note_.
  _Dick-ard_, a thick fellow, iv. 89.
  Dictionary, Ost-Friesian, iii. 123 _note_.
  ---- Bremen, iii. 123 _note_.
  Dic-se, iv. 51.
  Die, to, root MṚ, Aryan word for, iv. 415.
    [[Index Mrĭ, Colebrooke MRĬ]]
  Dieppe, Dipa, iii. 233.
  Dietmar von Eist, iii. 57.
  _Dig_, plural suffix, iv. 74 _note_.
  Digamma in Homer, Bekker on the, iv. 225.
  Digest of Hindu and Mohammedan laws, iv. 373, 374.
  Dih, the root, iv. 23.
  _Dilli-válá_, man of Delhi, iv. 90.
  Dinas, or castle, iii. 274.
  Dingdongism, iv. 452.
  Diodorus Siculus, on St. Michael’s Mont, iii. 318.
  δῖος = divya, iv. 227.
  Dipa, for Dieppe, iii. 233.
  Dipuc, and Cupid, iv. 21.
  “Directorium Humanæ Vitæ,” iv. 158.
  Disciples of Buddha, iv. 267.
  “Discourses on Religion,” Schleiermacher’s, iii. 398.
  Discrimen, iv. 218.
  Dithmarschen, iii. 119.
  ---- republic of, iii. 129.
  Divina Satira, iii. 68.
  Divine origin claimed for the Vedas, iv. 259.
  _Div-yá-s_, divinus, iv. 94 _note_.
  _Divyás_, iv. 227, 229.
  Döllinger, Dr., iv. 313.
  “Dogmatics,” Schleiermacher’s, iii. 398.
  δοιϝός or δειϝός = deva, iv. 228.
  Dolichocephalic grammar, iv. 212.
  Dolly Pentreath, died 1778, iii. 245.
  Dol-mên or tolmên, iii. 271.
  Dominicans, iii. 20.
  ---- and Realists, iii. 64.
  Dom in kingdom, iv. 75.
  Don Carlos, Schiller’s, iii. 95.
  Doni, his Italian translation of fables, iv. 158.
  _Doom_, not from damnare, iv. 104.
  Dôs, dôtis, δόσις, iv. 236.
  δώ-σω, iv. 94.
  Double procession, question of the, iv. 313.
  _Dough_, iv. 22.
  δοῦναι, iv. 34.
  Dover, iii. 237.
  Drake, Sir Francis, iii. 235.
  Dramas or mystery plays, in Cornish, iii. 258.
  Dravidian family, iv. 70.
  ---- languages, iv. 347.
  Drink, to, root PA or PI, Aryan words for, iv. 414.  [[Index pa, pi]]
  _Dronk-ard_, drunkard, iv. 89.
  Druidical, so-called monuments in the Dekhan, iii. 269.
  Druids, the, iii. 240.
  ---- mentioned by Cæsar, iii. 240.
  ---- among the Celts, iii. 241.
  ---- mentioned by Pliny, iii. 241.
  Dry, Aryan words for, iv. 411.
  Du Cange, edition of Joinville, iii. 161.
  Due de Maine, iii. 195.
  Düsig, dizzy, iii. 131.
  Duhitâ, duhitáram, iv. 232.
  Duilian column, the, iv. 430.
  Duke of Wurtemberg and Schiller’s father, iii. 80, 81.
  Dun, iii. 293.
  Dun-bar-ton, iii. 306.
  Dutch language, iii. 122.
  Duties of a faithful Hindu widow, iv. 372.
  Dvarka Náth Tagore, iv. 357.
  ---- his visit to Eugène Burnouf, iv. 357.
  Dyaus, Ζεύς, Jupiter, Zio, Tyr, iv. 210.
  Dyu-gat, going to the sky, iv. 133.
  Dyu-ksha, dwelling in the sky, iv. 133.

  ἐά = vasavî or vasavyâ, iv. 234.
  _Eáge_, A.S., iv. 26.
  ἐάων = vasûnâm, iv. 234.
  Ear, Aryan words for, iv. 406.
  Eastern Church, feast days of SS. Barlaam and Josaphat, iv. 177.
  Easter plays, iii. 18.
  East India Company, Directors of the, iv. 350.
  Eastphalia, iii. 117.
  Eastwick, iii. 402.
  Eat, to, root Ad, Aryan words for, iv. 414.  [[Index Ad]]
  Eberhard, the great Duke of Wurtemberg, orders the German
      translation of fables, iv. 158.
  _Eburhart_, boar-minded, iv. 89.
  Eckhart, iii. 18, 487.
  Edda, the, iii. 56.
  Edkins, on Chinese dialects, iv. 105.
  Egalité, Duke of Orleans, iii. 156.
  Eginhard, iii. 159.
  _Egin-hart_, fierce-minded, iv. 89.
  ἐγώ, iv. 98.
  Egyptian forms, compared with Semitic and Iranian forms, iii. 411.
  “Egypt’s Place in History,” finished, iii. 473.
  Eight, Aryan words for, iv. 412.
  -ειν, infinitive, iv. 34.
  εἴνατερ, vocative, iv. 232.
  Elaine, legends about, iii. 328.
  Elbow, Aryan words for, iv. 407.
  Eleanor of Poitou, iii. 60.
  Elgin, Lord, iv. 345.
  Elizabeth, English spoken in Cornwall in her reign, iii. 243.
  Elkosh near Mossul, iv. 184.
  Emperors Tiberius and Sigismund, anecdotes of the, iv. 424.
  ἔμφασις, iv. 31.
  Empirical knowledge of grammar, iv. 29.
  Empson, iii. 406.
  Empty word in Chinese (hiu-tsé), iv. 77.
  -εναι, infinitive, iv. 33.
  Engern, iii. 117.
  _Engil-hart_, angel-minded, iv. 89.
  Englaland, iii. 118.
  English, dialect of Low German, iii. 121.
  ---- dialects, iv. 68.
  ---- language, number of words in, iv. 68.
  ---- and Latin words in Cornish, iii. 256.
  ---- philosophy, iii. 220.
  ---- universities, iv. 337.
  Engra, state of, iii. 118.
  ἔοργα, ῥέζω = Zend varez, iv. 237.
  Epic poetry, its importance, iii. 412.
  “Epistolæ Obscurorum Vivorum,” the, iii. 67.
  Epitheta ornantia, iv. 421.
  Equinox, precession of the, iv. 508.
  Erdmann, iii. 399.
  Erezataêna, Zend = argentinus, iv. 235.
  Esther, Queen, iii. 417, 418.
  Estre, to stand, to be, iii. 167.
  Ethelbert, his conversion, iv. 287.
  Ethnological Survey of India, iv. 346.
  Eton, iii. 236.
  Etruscan grammar, iv. 340.
  Etruscan-Tyrol, or Inca-Peruvian skull, iii. 252.
  ἐΰς, = vasus, iv. 234.
  Evolution, iv. 444.
  Evolutionism, iv. 444, 457.
  Ewald, iii. 444; iv. 104.
  Ewe, Aryan words for, iv. 409.
  Excluded middle, law of the, iv. 434.
  “Exemplario contra los engaños,” iv. 158 _note_.
  _Ex-im-i-us_, to be taken out, iv. 94.
  Ex nihilo nihil fit, iv. 454.
  Ex Oriente Lux, iv. 325.
  Extracts, illustrating history of German literature, iii. 44.

  F, its hieroglyphic prototype, iv. 450.
  Fables, migration of, iv. 139.
  ---- La Fontaine’s, iv. 139.
  ---- Æsop’s, iv. 139.
  ---- of Phædrus and Horace, iv. 140.
  ---- in Sanskrit, iv. 140.
  ---- animal, iv. 140.
  ---- Buddhist, iv. 141.
  ---- the Pañcatantra, iv. 141.
  ---- the Hitopadeśa, iv. 141.
  ---- common Aryan, iv. 145.
  ---- Arabic translation, iv. 155.
  ---- Greek translation, iv. 156.
  ---- Italian and Latin translation, iv. 157.
  ---- Hebrew translation, iv. 158.
  ---- German translation, iv. 158.
  ---- Italian, by Firenzuola and Doni, iv. 159.
  ---- Syriac translation of, found by Professor Benfey, iv. 181.
  _Fac-se_, iv. 51.
  _Facso_, iv. 94 _note_.
  Fade, preserving its _d_, iii. 167.
  Fallmerayer, on the Greek race, iii. 250.
  Families of languages, iv. 70.
  Father, Aryan words for, iv. 401.
  Father-in-law, Aryan words for, iv. 402.
  Fatuus, changed to fade, iii. 167.
  Feature, iv. 461.
  Fellowships, how to restore them to their original purpose, iv. 6.
  ---- made into a career for life, iv. 9.
  ---- prize, iv. 8.
  ---- and celibacy, iv. 9.
  Fellows of Colleges, work for, iv. 5.
  Felton’s “Lectures on Greece,” iii. 250.
  Feminine bases in _â_, iv. 45.
  _Feram_, instead of ferem, iv. 93.
  _Ferem_, in the sense of a future, iv. 92.
  Fergusson, Mr., iv. 346.
  Ferre = fer-se, iv. 51.
  Festivals, regulated bv the sun, iii. 284.
  Festus and Agrippa and St. Paul, iv. 277.
  Fichte, iii. 42.
  Fick, on gutturals, iv. 61.
  _Fides_, trust, iv. 39.
  _Fîdo_, I trust, iv. 39.
  _Fîdus_, trusty, iv. 39.
  “Fiesco,” Schiller’s, iii. 84.
  _Figulus_, potter, iv. 22.
  _Figura_, shape, iv. 22.
  Final dental of _tad_, iv. 43.
  _Fingere_, iv. 22.
  Fir, Oak, Beech, iv. 500.
  _Firdaus_, iv. 23.
  Firenzuola, his Italian edition of fables, iv. 158.
  Fire, Aryan words for, iv. 404.
  Fire worshippers as disciples of Buddha, iv. 267.
  Fischer, Kuno, iii. 217.
  ---- on Bacon, iii. 455.
  Five, Aryan words for, iv. 412.
  Flämsch, sulky, iii. 131.
  _Fléchier_, fletcher, iv. 87.
  Fleming, Paul, iii. 37.
  _Fletcher_, fléchier, iv. 87.
  Flimwolt, iii. 234.
  _Fœdus_, a truce, iv. 39.
  Fool, Aryan words for, iv. 411.
  Foot, Aryan words for, iv. 406.
  Formal things once material, iv. 95.
  Formation of themes, iv. 128.
  Four, Aryan words for, iv. 412.
  Four drives of Buddha, the, iv. 172.
  Fourth period of the Aryan language, iv. 129.
  Fox and the Bear, stories of, iii. 7.
  ---- old name for, iv. 88.
  Fraêsta, Zend πλεῖστος, iv. 236.
  Franciscans, iii. 20.
  Franciscans and Nominalists, iii. 65.
  Franke, iii. 38.
  Frankfort, its message to Stratford-on-Avon, iii. 214.
  Frankish dialect, iii. 122.
  Fränksch, strange, iii. 131.
  Fratelmo, iv. 117.
  Fratri-cīda, not fratrem-cīda, iv. 133.
  Frauenlob, Heinrich, iii. 16.
  Frederick the Great, iii. 81, 201.
  ---- at Rheinsberg, iii. 202.
  ---- studies Wolff, iii. 203.
  ---- his opinion of Wolff, iii. 204.
  Frederick I. of Prussia, iii. 32.
  Frederick II., 1215-50, iii. 14.
  Frederick William, the Great Elector, iii. 32.
  ---- III., iii. 359.
  ---- IV., iii. 359.
  ---- ---- and Niebuhr, iii. 129.
  Free towns of Germany, iii. 16.
  “Freidank’s Bescheidenheit,” iii. 15.
  French, ancient system of declension in, iii. 169.
  Friedrich I. Barbarossa, iii. 51, 52.
  Frisian dialect, the, iii. 122.
  Fritsche Closener’s “Chronicle,” iii. 17.
  Froissart, iii. 173.
  Frons, Zend brvat, iv. 236.
  Fronde’s “Nemesis of Faith,” iii. 374, 397.
  Fry, Mrs., and Bunsen, iii. 363, 370.
  Fulda, monastery of, iii. 6.
  Full words in Chinese (shi-tsé), iv. 77, 119.
  _Fulvus_ (harit), red, iv. 100.
  Future, terminations of, iv. 93.
  ---- so-called Attic, iv. 94 _note_.

  G in Sanskrit, labialized and unlabialized, iv. 62.
  Gaelic, iii. 239.
  Gagern, Henry von, iii. 396, 400.
  _Gaṇa_, plural suffix, iv. 74 _note_.
  Gaṇeśa, god of success, iv. 251, 309.
  ---- and Janus, iv. 21.
  Ganymedes and Kaṇvamedhâtithi, or Kaṇvamesha, iv. 21.
  Garaṇh, γέρας, iv. 236.
  “Gargantua,” Rabelais’, iv. 161.
  Garganus, Mount, iii. 332, 341.
  Jâspatiḥ, iv. 46 _note_.