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Title: Chips From A German Workshop, Vol. V. - Miscellaneous Later Essays
Author: Müller, F. Max (Friedrich Max), 1823-1900
Language: English
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                       CHIPS FROM A GERMAN WORKSHOP


                          F. MAX MÜLLER, M. A.,


                                VOLUME V.

                       MISCELLANEOUS LATER ESSAYS.

                                NEW YORK:

                         CHARLES SCRIBNER’S SONS.



I. On Freedom
II. On The Philosophy Of Mythology.
III. On False Analogies In Comparative Theology.
IV. On Spelling.
V. On Sanskrit Texts Discovered In Japan.



 Presidential Address Delivered Before The Birmingham Midland Institute,
                            October 20, 1879.

Not more than twenty years have passed since John Stuart Mill sent forth
his plea for Liberty.(1)

If there is one among the leaders of thought in England who, by the
elevation of his character and the calm composure of his mind, deserved
the so often misplaced title of Serene Highness, it was, I think, John
Stuart Mill.

But in his Essay “On Liberty,” Mill for once becomes passionate. In
presenting his Bill of Rights, in stepping forward as the champion of
individual liberty, he seems to be possessed by a new spirit. He speaks
like a martyr, or the defender of martyrs. The individual human soul, with
its unfathomable endowments, and its capacity of growing to something
undreamt of in our philosophy, becomes in his eyes a sacred thing, and
every encroachment on its world-wide domain is treated as sacrilege.
Society, the arch-enemy of the rights of individuality, is represented
like an evil spirit, whom it behooves every true man to resist with might
and main, and whose demands, as they cannot be altogether ignored, must be
reduced at all hazards to the lowest level.

I doubt whether any of the principles for which Mill pleaded so warmly and
strenuously in his Essay “On Liberty” would at the present day be
challenged or resisted, even by the most illiberal of philosophers, or the
most conservative of politicians. Mill’s demands sound very humble to
_our_ ears. They amount to no more than this, “that the individual is not
accountable to society for his actions so far as they concern the
interests of no person but himself, and that he may be subjected to social
or legal punishments for such actions only as are prejudicial to the
interests of others.”

Is there any one here present who doubts the justice of that principle, or
who would wish to reduce the freedom of the individual to a smaller
measure? Whatever social tyranny may have existed twenty years ago, when
it wrung that fiery protest from the lips of John Stuart Mill, can we
imagine a state of society, not totally Utopian, in which the individual
man need be less ashamed of his social fetters, in which he could more
freely utter all his honest convictions, more boldly propound all his
theories, more fearlessly agitate for their speedy realization; in which,
in fact, each man can be so entirely himself as the society of England,
such as it now is, such as generations of hard-thinking and hard-working
Englishmen have made it, and left it as the most sacred inheritance to
their sons and daughters?

Look through the whole of history, not excepting the brightest days of
republican freedom at Athens and Rome, and you will not find one single
period in which the measure of liberty accorded to each individual was
larger than it is at present, at least in England. And if you wish to
realize the full blessings of the time in which we live, compare Mill’s
plea for Liberty with another written not much more than two hundred years
ago, and by a thinker not inferior either in power or boldness to Mill
himself. According to Hobbes, the only freedom which an individual in his
ideal state has a right to claim is what he calls “freedom of thought,”
and that freedom of thought consists in our being able to think what we
like—so long as we keep it to ourselves. Surely, such freedom of thought
existed even in the days of the Inquisition, and we should never call
thought free, if it had to be kept a prisoner in solitary and silent
confinement. By freedom of thought we mean freedom of speech, freedom of
the press, freedom of action, whether individual or associated, and of
that freedom the present generation, as compared with all former
generations, the English nation, as compared with all other nations,
enjoys, there can be no doubt, a good measure, pressed down, and shaken
together, and sometimes running over.

It may be said that some dogmas still remain in politics, in religion, and
in morality; but those who defend them claim no longer any infallibility,
and those who attack them, however small their minority, need fear no
violence, nay, may reckon on an impartial and even sympathetic hearing, as
soon as people discover in their pleadings the true ring of honest
conviction and the warmth inspired by an unselfish love of truth.

It has seemed strange, therefore, to many readers of Mill, particularly on
the Continent, that this plea for liberty, this demand for freedom for
every individual to be what he is, and to develop all the germs of his
nature, should have come from what is known as the freest of all
countries, England. We might well understand such a cry of indignation if
it had reached us from Russia; but why should English philosophers, of all
others, have to protest against the tyranny of society? It is true,
nevertheless, that in countries governed despotically, the individual,
unless he is obnoxious to the Government, enjoys far greater freedom, or
rather license, than in a country like England, which governs itself.
Russian society, for instance, is extremely indulgent. It tolerates in its
rulers and statesmen a haughty defiance of the simplest rules of social
propriety, and it seems amused rather than astonished or indignant at the
vagaries, the frenzies, and outrages of those who in brilliant
drawing-rooms or lecture-rooms preach the doctrines of what is called
Nihilism or Individualism,(2)—viz., “that society must be regenerated by a
struggle for existence and the survival of the strongest, processes which
Nature has sanctioned, and which have proved successful among wild
animals.” If there is danger in these doctrines the Government is expected
to see to it. It may place watchmen at the doors of every house and at the
corner of every street, but it must not count on the better classes coming
forward to enrol themselves as special constables, or even on the
coöperation of public opinion which in England would annihilate that kind
of Nihilism with one glance of scorn and pity.

In a self-governed country like England, the resistance which society, if
it likes, can oppose to the individual in the assertion of his rights, is
far more compact and powerful than in Russia, or even in Germany. Even
where it does not employ the arm of the law, society knows how to use that
quieter, but more crushing pressure, that calm, Gorgon-like look which
only the bravest and stoutest hearts know how to resist.

It is against that indirect repression which a well-organized society
exercises, both through its male and female representatives, that Mill’s
demand for liberty seems directed. He does not stand up for unlimited
individualism; on the contrary, he would have been the most strenuous
defender of that balance of power between the weak and the strong on which
all social life depends. But he resents those smaller penalties which
society will always inflict on those who disturb its dignified peace and
comfort:—avoidance, exclusion, a cold look, a stinging remark. Had Mill
any right to complain of these social penalties? Would it not rather
amount to an interference with individual liberty to deprive any
individual or any number of individuals of those weapons of self-defence?
Those who themselves think and speak freely, have hardly a right to
complain, if others claim the same privilege. Mill himself called the
Conservative party the stupid party _par excellence_, and he took great
pains to explain that it was so not by accident, but by necessity. Need he
wonder if those whom he whipped and scourged used their own whips and
scourges against so merciless a critic?

Freethinkers—and I use that name as a title of honor for all who, like
Mill, claim for every individual the fullest freedom in thought, word, or
deed, compatible with the freedom of others—are apt to make one mistake.
Conscious of their own honest intentions, they cannot bear to be misjudged
or slighted. They expect society to submit to their often very painful
operations as a patient submits to the knife of the surgeon. This is not
in human nature. The enemy of abuses is always abused by his enemies.
Society will never yield one inch without resistance, and few reformers
live long enough to receive the thanks of those whom they have reformed.
Mill’s unsolicited election to Parliament was a triumph not often shared
by social reformers; it was as exceptional as Bright’s admission to a seat
in the Cabinet, or Stanley’s appointment as Dean of Westminster. Such
anomalies will happen in a country fortunately so full of anomalies as
England; but, as a rule, a political reformer must not be angry if he
passes through life without the title of Right Honorable; nor should a
man, if he will always speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but
the truth, be disappointed if he dies a martyr rather than a Bishop.

But even granting that in Mill’s time there existed some traces of social
tyranny, where are they now? Look at the newspapers and the journals. Is
there any theory too wild, any reform too violent, to be openly defended?
Look at the drawing-rooms or the meetings of learned societies. Are not
the most eccentric talkers the spoiled children of the fashionable world?
When young lords begin to discuss the propriety of limiting the rights of
inheritance, and young tutors are not afraid to propose curtailing the
long vacation, surely we need not complain of the intolerance of English

Whenever I state these facts to my German and French and Italian friends,
who from reading Mill’s Essay “On Liberty” have derived the impression
that, however large an amount of political liberty England may enjoy, it
enjoys but little of intellectual freedom, they are generally willing to
be converted so far as London, or other great cities are concerned. But
look at your Universities, they say, the nurseries of English thought!
Compare their mediæval spirit, their monastic institutions, their
scholastic philosophy, with the freshness and freedom of the Continental
Universities! Strong as these prejudices about Oxford and Cambridge have
long been, they have become still more intense since Professor Helmholtz,
in an inaugural address which he delivered at his installation as Rector
of the University of Berlin, lent to them the authority of his great name.
“The tutors,” he says,(3) “in the English Universities cannot deviate by a
hair’s-breadth from the dogmatic system of the English Church, without
exposing themselves to the censure of their Archbishops and losing their
pupils.” In German Universities, on the contrary, we are told that the
extreme conclusions of materialistic metaphysics, the boldest speculations
within the sphere of Darwin’s theory of evolution, may be propounded
without let or hindrance, quite as much as the highest apotheosis of Papal

Here the facts on which Professor Helmholtz relies are entirely wrong, and
the writings of some of our most eminent tutors supply a more than
sufficient refutation of his statements. Archbishops have no official
position whatsoever in English Universities, and their censure of an
Oxford tutor would be resented as impertinent by the whole University. Nor
does the University, as such, exercise any very strict control over the
tutors, even when they lecture not to their own College only. Each Master
of Arts at Oxford claims now the right to lecture (_venia docendi_), and I
doubt whether they would submit to those restrictions which, in Germany,
the Faculty imposes on every _Privat-docent_. _Privat-docents_ in German
Universities have been rejected by the Faculty for incompetence, and
silenced for insubordination. I know of no such cases at Oxford during my
residence of more than thirty years, nor can I think it likely that they
should ever occur.

As to the extreme conclusions of materialistic metaphysics, there are
Oxford tutors who have grappled with the systems of such giants as Hobbes,
Locke, or Hume, and who are not likely to be frightened by Büchner and

I know comparisons are odious, and I should be the last man to draw
comparisons between English and German Universities unfavorable to the
latter. But with regard to freedom of thought, of speech, and action,
Professor Helmholtz, if he would spend but a few weeks at Oxford, would
find that we enjoy it in fuller measure here than the Professors and
_Privat-docents_ in any Continental University. The publications of some
of our professors and tutors ought at least to have convinced him that if
there is less of brave words and turbulent talk in their writings, they
display throughout a determination to speak the truth, which may be
matched, but could not easily be excelled, by the leaders of thought in
France, Germany, or Italy.

The real difference between English and Continental Universities is that
the former govern themselves, the latter are governed. Self-government
entails responsibilities, sometimes restraints and reticences. I may here
be allowed to quote the words of another eminent Professor of the
University of Berlin, Du Bois Reymond, who, in addressing his colleagues,
ventured to tell them,(4) “We have still to learn from the English how the
greatest independence of the individual is compatible with willing
submission to salutary, though irksome, statutes.” That is particularly
true when the statutes are self-imposed. In Germany, as Professor
Helmholtz tells us himself, the last decision in almost all the more
important affairs of the Universities rests with the Government, and he
does not deny that in times of political and ecclesiastical tension, a
most ill-advised use has been made of that power. There are, besides, the
less important matters, such as raising of salaries, leave of absence,
scientific missions, even titles and decorations, all of which enable a
clever Minister of Instruction to assert his personal influence among the
less independent members of the University. In Oxford the University does
not know the Ministry, nor the Ministry the University. The acts of the
Government, be it Liberal or Conservative, are freely discussed, and often
powerfully resisted by the academic constituencies, and the personal
dislike of a Minister or Ministerial Councillor could as little injure a
professor or tutor as his favor could add one penny to his salary.

But these are minor matters. What gives their own peculiar character to
the English Universities is a sense of power and responsibility: power,
because they are the most respected among the numerous corporations in the
country; responsibility, because the higher education of the whole country
has been committed to their charge. Their only master is public opinion as
represented in Parliament, their only incentive their own sense of duty.
There is no country in Europe where Universities hold so exalted a
position, and where those who have the honour to belong to them may say
with greater truth _Noblesse oblige_.

I know the dangers of self-government, particularly where higher and more
ideal interests are concerned, and there are probably few who wish for a
real reform in schools and Universities who have not occasionally yielded
to the desire for a Dictator, of a Bismarck or a Falk. But such a desire
springs only from a momentary weakness and despondency; and no one who
knows the difference between being governed and governing one’s self,
would ever wish to descend from that higher though dangerous position to a
lower one, however safe and comfortable it might seem. No one who has
tasted the old wine of freedom would ever really wish to exchange it for
the new wine of external rule. Public opinion is sometimes a hard master,
and majorities can be great tyrants to those who want to be honest to
their own convictions. But in the struggle of all against all, each
individual feels that he has his rightful place, and that he may exercise
his rightful influence. If he is beaten, he is beaten in fair fight; if he
conquers, he has no one else to thank. No doubt, despotic Governments have
often exercised the most beneficial patronage in encouraging and rewarding
poets, artists, and men of science. But men of genius who have conquered
the love and admiration of a whole nation are greater than those who have
gained the favor of the most brilliant Courts; and we know how some of the
fairest reputations have been wrecked on the patronage which they had to
accept at the hands of powerful Ministers or ambitious Sovereigns.

But to return to Mill and his plea for Liberty. Though I can hardly
believe that, were he still among us, he would claim a larger measure of
freedom for the individual than is now accorded to every one of us in the
society in which we move, yet the chief cause on which he founded his plea
for Liberty, the chief evil which he thought could be remedied only if
society would allow more elbow-room to individual genius, exists in the
same degree as in his time—aye, even in a higher degree. The principle of
individuality has suffered more at present than perhaps at any former
period of history. The world is becoming more and more gregarious, and
what the French call our _nature moutonnière_, our tendency to leap where
the sheep in front of us has leapt, becomes more and more prevalent in
politics, in religion, in art, and even in science. M. de Tocqueville
expressed his surprise how much more Frenchmen of the present day resemble
one another than did those of the last generation. The same remark, adds
John Stuart Mill, might be made of England in a greater degree. “The
modern _régime_ of public opinion,” he writes, “is in an unorganized form
what the Chinese educational and political systems are in an organized;
and unless individuality shall be able successfully to assert itself
against this yoke, Europe, notwithstanding its noble antecedents and its
professed Christianity, will tend to become another China.”

I fully agree with Mill in recognizing the dangers of uniformity, but I
doubt whether what he calls the _régime_ of public opinion is alone, or
even chiefly, answerable for it. No doubt there are some people in whose
eyes uniformity seems an advantage rather than a disadvantage. If all were
equally strong, equally educated, equally honest, equally rich, equally
tall, or equally small, society would seem to them to have reached the
highest ideal. The same people admire an old French garden, with its
clipped yew-trees, forming artificial walls and towers and pyramids, far
more than the giant yews which, like large serpents, clasp the soil with
their coiling roofs, and overshadow with their dark green branches the
white chalk cliffs of the Thames. But those French gardens, unless they
are constantly clipped and prevented from growing, soon fall into decay.
As in nature, so in society, uniformity means but too often stagnation,
while variety is the surest sign of health and vigor. The deepest secret
of nature is its love of continued novelty. Its tendency, if unrestrained,
is towards constantly creating new varieties, which, if they fulfil their
purpose, become fixed for a time, or, it may be, forever; while others,
after they have fulfilled their purpose, vanish to make room for new and
stronger types.

The same is the secret of human society. It consists and lives in
individuals, each meant to be different from all the others, and to
contribute his own peculiar share to the common wealth. As no tree is like
any other tree, and no leaf on the same tree like any other leaf, no human
being is, or is meant to be, exactly like any other human being. It is in
this endless, and to us inconceivable, variety of human souls that the
deepest purpose of human life is to be realized; and the more society
fulfils that purpose, the more its allows free scope for the development
of every individual germ, the richer will be the harvest in no distant
future. Such is the mystery of individuality that I do not wonder if even
those philosophers who, like Mill, confine the use of the word _sacred_
within the very smallest compass, see in each individual soul something
sacred, something to be revered, even where we cannot understand it,
something to be protected against all vulgar violence.

Where I differ from Mill and his school is on the question as to the
quarter from whence the epidemic of uniformity springs which threatens the
free development of modern society. Mill points to the society in which we
move; to those who are in front of us, to our contemporaries. I feel
convinced that our real enemies are at our back, and that the heaviest
chains which are fastened on us are those made, not by the present, but by
past generations—by our ancestors, not by our contemporaries.

It is on this point, on the trammels of individual freedom with which we
may almost be said to be born into the world, and on the means by which we
may shake off these old chains, or at all events learn to carry them more
lightly and gracefully, that I wish to speak to you this evening.

You need not be afraid that I am going to enter upon the much discussed
subject of heredity, whether in its physiological or psychological
aspects. It is a favorite subject just now, and the most curious facts
have been brought together of late to illustrate the working of what is
called heredity. But the more we know of these facts, the less we seem
able to comprehend the underlying principle. Inheritance is one of those
numerous words which by their very simplicity and clearness are so apt to
darken our counsel. If a father has blue eyes and the son has blue eyes,
what can be clearer than that he inherited them? If the father stammers
and the son stammers, who can doubt but that it came by inheritance? If
the father is a musician and the son a musician, we say very glibly that
the talent was inherited. But what does _inherited_ mean? In no case does
it mean what _inherited_ usually means—something external, like money,
collected by a father, and, after his death, secured by law to his son.
Whatever else inherited may mean, it does not mean that. But unfortunately
the word is there, it seems almost pedantic to challenge its meaning, and
people are always grateful if an easy word saves them the trouble of hard

Another apparent advantage of the theory of heredity is that it never
fails. If the son has blue, and the father black, eyes, all is right
again, for either the mother, or the grandmother, or some historic or
prehistoric ancestor, may have had blue eyes, and atavism, we know, will
assert itself after hundreds and thousands of years.

Do not suppose that I deny the broad facts of what is called by the name
of heredity. What I deny is that the name of heredity offers any
scientific solution of a most difficult problem. It is a name, a metaphor,
quite as bad as the old metaphor of _innate ideas_; for there is hardly a
single point of similarity between the process by which a son may share
the black eyes, the stammering, or the musical talent of his father, and
that by which, after his father’s death, the law secures to the son the
possession of the pounds, shillings, and pence which his father held in
the Funds.

But whatever the true meaning of heredity may be, certain it is that every
individual comes into the world heavy-laden. Nowhere has the consciousness
of the burden which rests on each generation as it enters on its journey
through life found stronger expression than among the Buddhists. What
other people call by various names, “fate or providence,” “tradition or
inheritance,” “circumstances or environment,” they call _Karman_,
deed—what has been done, whether by ourselves or by others, the
accumulated work of all who have come before us, the consequences of which
we have to bear, both for good and for evil. Originally this _Karman_
seems to have been conceived as personal, as the work which we ourselves
have done in our former existences. But, as personally we are not
conscious of having done such work in former ages, that kind of _Karman_,
too, might be said to be impersonal. To the question how _Karman_ began,
what was the nucleus of that accumulation which forms the condition of
present existence, Buddhism has no answer to give, any more than any other
system of religion or philosophy. The Buddhists say it began with
_avidyâ_, and _avidyâ_ means ignorance.(5) They are much more deeply
interested in the question how _Karman_ may be annihilated, how each man
may free himself from the influence of _Karman_, and Nirvâ_n_a, the
highest object of all their dreams, is often defined by Buddhist
philosophers as “freedom from _Karman_.”(6)

What the Buddhists call by the general name of _Karman_, comprehends all
influences which the past exercises on the present, whether physical or
mental.(7) It is not my object to examine or even to name all these
influences, though I confess nothing is more interesting than to look upon
the surface of our modern life as we look on a geological map, and to see
the most ancient formations cropping out everywhere under our feet.
Difficult as it is to color a geological map of England, it would be still
more difficult to find a sufficient variety of colors to mark the
different ingredients of the intellectual condition of her people.

That all of us, whether we speak English or German, or French or Russian,
are really speaking an ancient Oriental tongue, incredible as it would
have sounded a hundred years ago, is now recognized by everybody. Though
the various dialects now spoken in Europe have been separated many
thousands of years from the Sanskrit, the ancient classical language of
India, yet so close is the bond that holds the West and East together,
that in many cases an intelligent Englishman might still guess the meaning
of a Sanskrit word. How little difference is there between Sanskrit _sûnu_
and English _son_, between Sanskrit _duhitar_ and English _daughter_,
between Sanskrit _vid_, to know, and English to _wit_, between Sanskrit
_vaksh_, to grow, and English to _wax!_ Think how we value a Saxon urn, or
a Roman coin, or a Keltic weapon! how we dig for them, clean them, label
them, and carefully deposit them in our museums! Yet what is their
antiquity compared with the antiquity of such words as _son_ or
_daughter_, _father_ and _mother_? There are no monuments older than those
collected in the handy volumes which we call Dictionaries, and those who
know how to interpret those English antiquities—as you may see them
interpreted, for instance, in Grimm’s Dictionary of the German, in
Littré’s Dictionary of the French, or in Professor Skeats’ Etymological
Dictionary of the English Language—will learn more of the real growth of
the human mind than by studying many volumes on logic and psychology.

And as by our language we belong to the Aryan stratum, we belong through
our letters to the Hamitic. We still write English in hieroglyphics; and
in spite of all the vicissitudes through which the ancient hieroglyphics
have passed in their journey from Egypt to Phœnicia, from Phœnicia to
Greece, from Greece to Italy, and from Italy to England, when we write a
capital F [Cursive F], when we draw the top line and the smaller line
through the middle of the letter, we really draw the two horns of the
cerastes, the horned serpent, which the ancient Egyptians used for
representing the sound of f. They write the name of the king whom the
Greeks called _Cheops_, and they themselves _Chu-fu_, like this:(8)—

                         [Three Egyptian signs.]

Here the first sign, the sieve, is to be pronounced _chu_; the second, the
horned serpent, _fu_, and the little bird, again, _u_. In the more cursive
or Hieratic writing the horned serpent appears as [Egyptian character]; in
the later Demotic as [Egyptian character] and [Egyptian character]. The
Phœnicians, who borrowed their letters from the Hieratic Egyptian, wrote
[Phoenician character] and [Phoenician character]. The Greeks, who took
their letters from the Phœnicians, wrote [Greek character]. When the
Greeks, instead of writing, like the Phœnicians, from right to left, began
to write from left to right, they turned each letter, and as [Phoenician
character] became [Greek character], our k, so [Phoenician character],
vau, became F, the Greek so-called Digamma, [Greek character], the Latin

The first letter in _Chu-fu_, too, still exists in our alphabet, and in
the transverse line of our H we may recognize the last remnant of the
lines which divide the sieve. The sieve appears in Hieratic as [Egyptian
character], in Phœnician as [Phoenician character], in ancient Greek as
[Greek character], which occurs on an inscription found at Mycenæ and
elsewhere as the sign of the spiritus asper, while in Latin it is known to
us as the letter H.(9) In the same manner the undulating line of our
capital L [Cursive L] still recalls very strikingly the bent back of the
crouching lion, [Egyptian character], which in the later hieroglyphic
inscriptions represents the sound of L.

If thus in our language we are Aryan, in our letters Egyptian, we have
only to look at our watches to see that we are Babylonian. Why is our hour
divided into sixty minutes, our minute into sixty seconds? Would not a
division of the hour into ten, or fifty, or a hundred minutes have been
more natural? We have sixty divisions on the dials of our watches simply
because the Greek astronomer Hipparchus, who lived in the second century
B. C., accepted the Babylonian system of reckoning time, that system being
sexagesimal. The Babylonians knew the decimal system, but for practical
purposes they counted by _sossi_ and _sari_, the _sossos_ representing 60,
the _saros_ 60 × 60, or 3,600. From Hipparchus that system found its way
into the works of Ptolemy, about 150 A. D., and thence it was carried down
the stream of civilization, finding its last resting-place on the
dial-plates of our clocks.

And why are there twenty shillings to our sovereign? Again the real reason
lies in Babylon. The Greeks learnt from the Babylonians the art of
dividing gold and silver for the purpose of trade. It has been proved that
the current gold piece of Western Asia was exactly the sixtieth part of a
Babylonian _mnâ_, or _mina_. It was nearly equal to our sovereign. The
difficult problem of the relative value of gold and silver in a
bi-metallic currency had been solved to a certain extent in the ancient
Mesopotamian kingdom, the proportion between gold and silver being fixed
at 1 to 13-1/3. The silver shekel current in Babylon was heavier than the
gold shekel in the proportion of 13-1/3 to 10, and had therefore the value
of one tenth of a gold shekel; and the half silver shekel, called by the
Greeks a drachma, was worth one twentieth of a gold shekel. The drachma,
or half silver shekel, may therefore be looked upon as the most ancient
type of our own silver shilling in its relation of one twentieth of our
gold sovereign.(10)

I shall mention only one more of the most essential tools of our mental
life—namely, our _figures_, which we call Arabic, because we received them
from the Arabs, but which the Arabs called Indian, because they received
them from the Indians—in order to show you how this nineteenth century of
ours is under the sway of centuries long past and forgotten; how we are
what we are, not by ourselves, but by those who came before us, and how
the intellectual ground on which we stand is made up of the detritus of
thoughts which were first thought, not on these isles nor in Europe, but
on the shores of the Oxus, the Nile, the Euphrates, and the Indus.

Now you may well ask, _Quorsum hæc omnia?_ What has all this to do with
freedom and with the free development of individuality? Because a man is
born the heir of all the ages, can it be said that he is not free to grow
and to expand, and to develop all the faculties of his mind? Are those who
came before him, and who left him this goodly inheritance, to be called
his enemies? Is that chain of tradition which connects him with the past
really a galling fetter, and not rather the leading-strings without which
he would never learn to walk straight?

Let us look at the matter more closely. No one would venture to say that
every individual should begin life as a young savage, and be left to form
his own language, and invent his own letters, numerals, and coins. On the
contrary, if we comprehend all this and a great deal more, such as
religion, morality, and secular knowledge, under the general name of
_education_, even the most advanced defenders of individualism would hold
that no child should enter society without submitting, or rather without
being submitted, to education. Most of us would even go farther, and make
it criminal for parents or even for communities to allow children to grow
up uneducated. The excuse of worthless parents that they are at liberty to
do with their children as they like, has at last been blown to the winds,
and among the principal advocates of compulsory education, and of the
necessity of curtailing the freedom of savage parents of savage children,
have been Mill and his friends, the apostles of liberty and
individualism.(11) I remember the time when pseudo-Liberals were not
ashamed to say that, whatever other nations, such as the Germans, might
do, England would never submit to compulsory education; but that
faint-hearted and mischievous cry has at last been silenced. A new era may
be said to date in the history of every nation from the day on which
“compulsory education” becomes part of its statute-book; and I may
congratulate the most Liberal town in England on having proved itself the
most inexorable tyrant in carrying it into effect.

But do not let us imagine that compulsory education is without its
dangers. Like a powerful engine, it must be carefully watched, if it is
not to produce, what all compulsion will produce, a slavish receptivity,
and, what all machines do produce, monotonous uniformity.

We know that all education must in the beginning be purely dogmatic.
Children are taught language, religion, morality, patriotism, and
afterwards, at school, history, literature, mathematics, and all the rest,
long before they are able to question, to judge, or choose for themselves,
and there is hardly anything that a child will not believe, if it comes
from those in whom the child believes.

Reading, writing, and arithmetic, no doubt, must be taught dogmatically,
and they take up an enormous amount of time, particularly in English
schools. English spelling is a national misfortune, and in the keen
international race among all the countries of Europe, it handicaps the
English child to a degree that seems incredible till we look at
statistics. I know the difficulties of a Spelling Reform, I know what
people mean when they call it impossible; but I also know that personal
and national virtue consists in doing so-called impossible things, and
that no nation has done, and has still to do, so many impossible things as
the English.

But, granted that reading, writing, and arithmetic occupy nearly the whole
school time and absorb the best powers of the pupils, cannot something be
done in play-hours? Is there not some work that can be turned into play,
and some play that can be turned into work? Cannot the powers of
observation be called out in a child while collecting flowers, or stones,
or butterflies? Cannot his judgment be strengthened either in gymnastic
exercises, or in measuring the area of a field or the height of a tower?
Might not all this be done without a view to examinations or payment by
results, simply for the sake of filling the little dull minds with one
sunbeam of joy, such sunbeams being more likely hereafter to call hidden
precious germs into life than the deadening weight of such lessons as, for
instance, that _th-ough_ is though, _thr-ough_ is through, _en-ough_ is
enough. A child who believes that will hereafter believe anything. Those
who wish to see Natural Science introduced into elementary schools
frighten school-masters by the very name of Natural Science. But surely
every school-master who is worth his salt should be able to teach children
a love of Nature, a wondering at Nature, a curiosity to pry into the
secrets of Nature, an acquisitiveness for some of the treasures of Nature,
and all this acquired in the fresh air of the field and the forest, where,
better than in frowzy lecture-rooms, the edge of the senses can be
sharpened, the chest widened, and that freedom of thought fostered which
made England what it was even before the days of compulsory education.

But in addressing you here to-night, it was my intention to speak of
higher rather than of elementary education.

All education—as it now exists in most countries of Europe—may be divided
into three stages—_elementary_, _scholastic_, and _academical_; or call it
_primary_, _secondary_, and _tertiary_.

Elementary education has at last been made compulsory in most civilized
countries. Unfortunately, however, it seems impossible to include under
compulsory education anything beyond the very elements of knowledge—at
least for the present; though I know from experience that, with proper
management, a well-conducted elementary school can afford to provide
instruction in extra subjects—such as natural science, modern languages,
and political economy—and yet, with the present system of government
grants, be self-supporting.(12)

The next stage above the elementary is _scholastic_ education, as it is
supplied in grammar schools, whether public or private. According as the
pupils are intended either to go on to a university, or to enter at once
on leaving school on the practical work of life, these schools are divided
into two classes. In the one class, which in Germany are called
_Realschulen_, less Latin is taught, and no Greek, but more of
mathematics, modern languages, and physical science; in the other, called
_Gymnasia_ on the Continent, classics form the chief staple of

It is during this stage that education, whether at private or public
schools, exercises its strongest levelling influence. Little attention can
be paid at large schools to individual tastes or talents. In Germany—even
more, perhaps, than in England—it is the chief object of a good and
conscientious master to have his class as uniform as possible at the end
of the year; and he receives far more credit from the official examiner if
his whole class marches well and keeps pace together, than if he can
parade a few brilliant and forward boys, followed by a number of
straggling laggards.

And as to the character of the teaching at school, how can it be otherwise
than authoritative or dogmatic? The Sokratic method is very good if we can
find the _viri Socratici_ and leisure for discussion. But at school, which
now may seem to be called almost in mockery σχολή, or leisure, the true
method is, after all, that patronized by the great educators of the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Boys at school must turn their mind
into a row of pigeon-holes, filling as many as they can with useful notes,
and never forgetting how many are empty. There is an immense amount of
positive knowledge to be acquired between the ages of ten and
eighteen—rules of grammar, strings of vocables, dates, names of towns,
rivers, and mountains, mathematical formulas, etc. All depends here on the
receptive and retentive powers of the mind. The memory has to be
strengthened, without being overtaxed, till it acts almost mechanically.
Learning by heart, I believe, cannot be too assiduously practised during
the years spent at school. There may have been too much of it when, as the
Rev. H. C. Adams informs us in his “Wykehamica” (p. 357), boys used to say
by heart 13,000 and 14,000 lines, when one repeated the whole of Virgil,
nay, when another was able to say the whole of the English Bible by rote:
“Put him on where you would, he would go fluently on, as long as any one
would listen.”

No intellectual investment, I feel certain, bears such ample and such
regular interest as gems of English, Latin, or Greek literature deposited
in the memory during childhood and youth, and taken up from time to time
in the happy hours of solitude.

One fault I have to find with most schools, both in England and on the
Continent. Boys do not read enough of the Greek and Roman classics. The
majority of our masters are scholars by profession, and they are apt to
lay undue stress on what they call accurate and minute scholarship, and to
neglect wide and cursory reading. I know the arguments for minute
accuracy, but I also know the mischief that is done by an exclusive
devotion to critical scholarship before we have acquired a real
familiarity with the principal works of classical literature. The time
spent in our schools in learning the rules of grammar and syntax, writing
exercises, and composing verses, is too large. Look only at our Greek and
Latin grammars, with all their rules and exceptions, and exceptions on
exceptions! It is too heavy a weight for any boy to carry; and no wonder
that when one of the thousand small rules which they have learnt by heart
is really wanted, it is seldom forthcoming. The end of classical teaching
at school should be to make our boys acquainted, not only with the
language, but with the literature and history, the ancient thought of the
ancient world. Rules of grammar, syntax, or metre, are but means towards
that end; they must never be mistaken for the end itself. A young man of
eighteen, who has probably spent on an average ten years in learning Greek
and Latin, ought to be able to read any of the ordinary Greek or Latin
classics without much difficulty; nay, with a certain amount of pleasure.
He might have to consult his dictionary now and then, or guess the meaning
of certain words; he might also feel doubtful sometime whether certain
forms came from ἵημι, I send, or εἶμι, I go, or εἰμί, I am, particularly
if preceded by prepositions. In these matters the best scholars are least
inclined to be pharisaical; and whenever I meet in the controversies of
classical scholars the favorite phrase, “Every school-boy knows, or ought
to know, this,” I generally say to myself, “No, he ought not.” Anyhow,
those who wish to see the study of Greek and Latin retained in our public
schools ought to feel convinced that it will certainly not be retained
much longer, if it can be said with any truth that young men who leave
school at eighteen are in many cases unable to read or to enjoy a
classical text, unless they have seen it before.

Classical teaching, and all purely scholastic teaching, ought to be
finished at school. When a young man goes to a University, unless he means
to make scholarship his profession, he ought to be free to enter upon a
new career. If he has not learnt by that time so much of Greek and Latin
as is absolutely necessary in after-life for a lawyer, or a student of
physical science, or even a clergyman, either he or his school is to
blame. I do not mean to say that it would not be most desirable for every
one during his University career to attend some lectures on classical
literature, on ancient history, philosophy, or art. What is to be
deprecated is, that the University should have to do the work which
belongs properly to the school.

The best colleges at Oxford and Cambridge have shown by their
matriculation examinations what the standard of classical knowledge ought
to be at eighteen or nineteen. That standard can be reached by boys while
still at school, as has been proved both by the so-called local
examinations, and by the examinations of schools held under the Delegates
appointed by the Universities. If, therefore, the University would
reassert her old right, and make the first examination, called at Oxford
Responsions, a general matriculation examination for admission to the
University, not only would the public schools be stimulated to greater
efforts, but the teaching of the University might assume, from the very
beginning, that academic character which ought to distinguish it from mere
school-boy work.

Academic teaching ought to be not merely a continuation, but in one sense
a correction of scholastic teaching. While at school instruction must be
chiefly dogmatic, at the University is it to be Sokratic? for I find no
better name for that method which is to set a man free from the burden of
purely traditional knowledge; to make him feel that the words which he
uses are often empty, that the concepts he employs are, for the most part,
mere bundles picked up at random; that even where he knows facts he does
not know the evidence for them; and where he expresses opinions, they are
mostly mere dogmas, adopted by him without examination.

But for the Universities, I should indeed fear that Mill’s prophecies
might come true, and that the intellect of Europe might drift into dreary
monotony. The Universities always have been, and, unless they are diverted
from their original purpose, always will be, the guardians of the freedom
of thought, the protectors of individual spontaneity; and it was owing, I
believe, to Mill’s want of acquaintance with true academic teaching that
he took so desponding a view of the generation growing up under his eyes.

When we leave school, our heads are naturally brimful of dogma—that is, of
knowledge and opinions at second-hand. Such dead knowledge is extremely
dangerous, unless it is sooner or later revived by the spirit of free
inquiry. It does not matter whether our scholastic dogmas be true or
false. The danger is the same. And why? Because to place either truth or
error above the reach of argument is certain to weaken truth and to
strengthen error. Secondly, because to hold as true on the authority of
others anything which concerns us deeply, and which we could prove
ourselves, produces feebleness, if not dishonesty. And, thirdly, because
to feel unwilling or unable to meet objections by argument is generally
the first step towards violence and persecution.

I do not think of religious dogmas only. They are generally the first to
rouse inquiry, even during our school-boy days, and they are by no means
the most difficult to deal with. Dogma often rages where we least expect
it. Among scientific men the theory of evolution is at present becoming,
or has become, a dogma. What is the result? No objections are listened to,
no difficulties recognized, and a man like Virchow, himself the strongest
supporter of evolution, who has the moral courage to say that the descent
of man from any ape whatsoever is, as yet, before the tribunal of
scientific zoölogy, “not proven,” is howled down in Germany in a manner
worthy of Ephesians and Galatians. But at present I am thinking not so
much of any special dogmas, but rather of that dogmatic state of mind
which is the almost inevitable result of the teaching at school. I think
of the whole intellect, what has been called the _intellectus sibi
permissus_, and I maintain it is the object of academic teaching to rouse
that intellect out of its slumber by questions not less startling than
when Galileo asked the world whether the sun was really moving and the
earth stood still; or when Kant asked whether time and space were objects,
or necessary forms of our sensuous intuition. Till our opinions have thus
been tested and stood the test, we can hardly call them our own.

How true this is with regard to religion has been boldly expressed by
Bishop Beveridge.

“Being conscious to myself,” he writes in his “Private Thoughts on
Religion,” “how great an ascendant Christianity holds over me beyond the
rest, as being that religion whereinto I was born and baptized; that which
the supreme authority has enjoined and my parents educated me in; that
which every one I meet withal highly approves of, and which I myself have,
by a long-continued profession, made almost natural to me: I am resolved
to be more jealous and suspicious of this religion than of the rest, and
be sure not to entertain it any longer without being convinced, by solid
and substantial arguments, of the truth and certainty of it.”

This is bold and manly language from a Bishop, nearly two hundred years
ago, and I certainly think that the time has come when some of the
divinity lecturers at Oxford and Cambridge might well be employed in
placing a knowledge of the sacred books of other religions within the
reach of undergraduates. Many of the difficulties—most of them of our own
making—with regard to the origin, the handing down, the later corruptions
and misinterpretations of sacred texts, would find their natural solution,
if it was shown how exactly the same difficulties arose and had to be
dealt with by theologians of other creeds. If some—aye, if many—of the
doctrines of Christianity were met with in other religions also, surely
that would not affect their value, or diminish their truth; while nothing,
I feel certain, would more effectually secure to the pure and simple
teaching of Christ its true place in the historical development of the
human mind than to place it side by side with the other religions of the
world. In the series of translations of the “Sacred Books of the East,” of
which the first three volumes have just appeared,(13) I wished myself to
include a new translation of the Old and New Testaments; and when that
series is finished it will, I believe, be admitted that nowhere would
these two books have had a grander setting, or have shone with a brighter
light, than surrounded by the Veda, the Zendavesta, the Buddhist
Tripi_t_aka, and the Qurân.

But as I said before, I was not thinking of religious dogmas only, or even
chiefly, when I maintained that the character of academic teaching must be
Sokratic, not dogmatic. The evil of dogmatic teaching lies much deeper,
and spreads much farther.

Think only of language, the work of other people, not of ourselves, which
we pick up at random in our race through life. Does not every word we use
require careful examination and revision? It is not enough to say that
language assists our thoughts or colors them, or possibly obscures them.
No language and thought are indivisible. It was not from poverty of
expression that the Greeks called reason and language by the same word,
λόγος. It was because they knew that, though we may distinguish between
thought and speech, as we distinguish between force and function, it is as
impossible to tear the one by violence away from the other as it is to
separate the concave side of a lens from its convex side. This is
something to learn and to understand, for, if, properly understood, will
it supply the key to most of our intellectual puzzles, and serve as the
safest thread through the whole labyrinth of philosophy.

“It is evident,” as Hobbes remarks,(14) “that truth and falsity have no
place but amongst such living creatures as use speech. For though some
brute creatures, looking upon the image of a man in a glass, may be
affected with it, as if it were the man himself, and for this reason fear
it or fawn upon it in vain; yet they do not apprehend it as true or false,
but only as like; and in this they are not deceived. Wherefore, as men owe
all their true ratiocination to the right understanding of speech, so also
they owe their errors to the misunderstanding of the same; and as all the
ornaments of philosophy proceed only from man, so from man also is derived
the ugly absurdity of false opinion. For speech has something in it like
to a spider’s web (as it was said of old of Solon’s laws), for by
contexture of words tender and delicate wits are ensnared or stopped, but
strong wits break easily through them.”

Let me illustrate my meaning by at least one instance.

Among the words which have proved spider’s webs, ensnaring even the
greatest intellects of the world from Aristotle down to Leibniz, the terms
_genus_, _species_, and _individual_ occupy a very prominent place. The
opposition of Aristotle to Plato, of the Nominalists to the Realists, of
Leibniz to Locke, of Herbart to Hegel, turns on the true meaning of these
words. At school, of course, all we can do is to teach the received
meaning of _genus_ and _species_; and if a boy can trace these terms back
to Aristotle’s γένος and εἶδος, and show in what sense that philosopher
used them, every examiner would be satisfied.

But the time comes when we have to act as our own examiners, and when we
have to give an account to ourselves of such words as _genus_ and
_species_. Some people write, indeed, as if they had seen a _species_ and
a _genus_ walking about in broad daylight; but a little consideration will
show us that these words express subjective concepts, and that, if the
whole world were silent, there would never have been a thought of a
_genus_ or a _species_. There are languages in which we look in vain for
corresponding words; and if we had been born in the atmosphere of such a
language, these terms and thoughts would not exist for us. They came to
us, directly or indirectly, from Aristotle. But Aristotle did not invent
them, he only defined them in his own way, so that, for instance,
according to him, all living beings would constitute a _genus_, men a
_species_, and Sokrates an _individual_.

No one would say that Aristotle had not a perfect right to define these
terms, if those who use them in his sense would only always remember that
they are thinking the thoughts of Aristotle, and not their own. The true
way to shake off the fetters of old words, and to learn to think our own
thoughts, is to follow them up from century to century, to watch their
development, and in the end to bring ourselves face to face with those who
first found and framed both words and thoughts. If we do this with _genus_
and _species_, we shall find that the words which Aristotle defined—viz.,
γένος and εἶδος—had originally a very different and far more useful
application than that which he gave to them. γένος, _genus_, meant
generation, and comprehended such living beings only as were believed to
have a common origin, however they might differ in outward appearance, as,
for instance, the spaniel and the bloodhound, or, according to Darwin, the
ape and the man. εἶδος, or species, on the contrary, meant appearance, and
comprehended all such things as had the same form or appearance, whether
they had a common origin or not, as if we were to speak of a species of
four-footed, two-footed, horned, winged, or blue animals.

That two such concepts, as we have here explained, had a natural
justification we may best learn from the fact that exactly the same
thoughts found expression in Sanskrit. There, too, we find _g_âti,
generation, used in the sense of _genus,_ and opposed to âk_ri_ti,
appearance, used in the sense of _species_.

So long as these two words or thoughts were used independently (much as we
now speak of a genealogical as independent of a morphological
classification) no harm could accrue. A family, for instance, might be
called a γένος, the _gens_ or clan was a γένος, the nation (_gnatio_) was
a γένος, the whole human kith and kin was a γένος; in fact, all that was
descended from common ancestors was a true γένος. There is no obscurity of
thought in this.

On the other side, taking εἶδος or species in its original sense, one man
might be said to be like another in his εἶδος or appearance. An ape, too,
might quite truly be said to have the same εἶδος or species or appearance
as a man, without any prejudice as to their common origin. People might
also speak of different εἴδη or forms or classes of things, such as
different kinds of metals, or tools, or armor, without committing
themselves in the least to any opinion as to their common descent.

Often it would happen that things belonging to the same εἶδος, such as the
white man and the negro, differed in their εἶδος or appearance; often also
that things belonged to the same εἶδος, such as eatables, differed in
their γένος, as, for instance, meat and vegetables.

All this is clear and simple. The confusion began when these two terms,
instead of being coördinate, were subordinated to each other by the
philosophers of Greece, so that what from one point of view was called a
_genus_, might from another be called a species, and _vice versâ_. Human
beings, for instance, were now called a _species_, all living beings a
_genus_, which may be true in logic, but is utterly false in what is older
than logic—viz., language, thought, or fact. According to language,
according to reason, and according to nature, all human beings constitute
a γένος, or generation, so long as they are supposed to have common
ancestors; but with regard to all living beings we can only say that they
form an εἶδος—that is, agree in certain appearances, until it has been
proved that even Mr. Darwin was too modest in admitting at least four or
five different ancestors for the whole animal world.(15)

In tracing the history of these two words, γένος and εἶδος, you may see
passing before your eyes almost the whole panorama of philosophy, from
Plato’s "ideas" down to Hegel’s _Idee_. The question of _genera_, their
origin and subdivision, occupied chiefly the attention of natural
philosophers, who, after long controversies about the origin and
classification of _genera_ and _species_, seem at last, thanks to the
clear sight of Darwin, to have arrived at the old truth which was
prefigured in language—namely, that Nature knows nothing but _genera_, or
generations, to be traced back to a limited number of ancestors, and that
the so-called _species_ are only _genera_, whose genealogical descent is
_as yet_ more or less obscure.

But the question as to the nature of the εἶδος became a vital question in
every system of philosophy. Granting, for instance, that women in every
clime and country formed one species, it was soon asked what constituted a
species? If all women shared a common form, what was that form? Where was
it? So long as it was supposed that all women descended from Eve, the
difficulty might be slurred over by the name of heredity. But the more
thoughtful would ask even then how it was that, while all individual women
came and went and vanished, the form in which they were cast remained the

Here you see how philosophical mythology springs up. The very question
what εἶδος or species or form was, and where these things were kept,
changed those words from predicates into subjects. εἶδος was conceived as
something independent and substantial, something within or above the
individuals participating in it, something unchangeable and eternal. Soon
there arose as many εἴδη or forms or types as there were general concepts.
They were considered the only true realities of which the phenomenal world
is only as a shadow that soon passeth away. Here we have, in fact, the
origin of Plato’s ideas, and of the various systems of idealism which
followed his lead, while the opposite opinion that ideas have no
independent existence, and that the one is nowhere found except in the
many (τὸ ἕν παρὰ τὰ πολλά), was strenuously defended by Aristotle and his

The same red thread runs through the whole philosophy of the Middle Ages.
Men were cited before councils and condemned as heretics because they
declared that _animal_, _man_, or _woman_ were mere names, and that they
could not bring themselves to believe in an ideal animal, an ideal man, an
ideal woman as the invisible, supernatural, or metaphysical types of the
ordinary animal, the individual man, the single woman. Those philosophers,
called _Nominalists_, in opposition to the _Realists_, declared that all
general terms were _names only_, and that nothing could claim reality but
the individual.

We cannot follow this controversy farther, as it turns up again between
Locke and Leibniz, between Herbart and Hegel. Suffice it to say that the
knot, as it was tied by language, can be untied by the science of language
alone, which teaches us that there is and can be no such thing as “a name
only.” That phrase ought to be banished from all works on philosophy. A
name is and always has been the subjective side of our knowledge, but that
subjective side is as impossible without an objective side as a key is
without a lock. It is useless to ask which of the two is the more real,
for they are real only by being, not two, but one. Realism is as one-sided
as Nominalism. But there is a higher Nominalism, which might better be
called the Science of Language, and which teaches us that, apart from
sensuous perception, all human knowledge is by names and by names only,
and that the object of names is always the general.

This is but one out of hundreds and thousands of cases to show how names
and concepts which come to us by tradition must be submitted to very
careful snuffing before they will yield a pure light. What I mean by
academic teaching and academic study is exactly this process of snuffing,
this changing of traditional words into living words, this tracing of
modern thought back to ancient primitive thought, this living, as it were,
once more, so far as it concerns us, the whole history of human thought
ourselves, till we are as little afraid to differ from Plato or Aristotle
as from Comte or Darwin.

Plato and Aristotle are, no doubt, great names; every school-boy is awed
by them, even though he may have read very little of their writings. This,
too, is a kind of dogmatism that requires correction. Now, at his
University, a young student might chance to hear the following, by no
means respectful, remarks about Aristotle, which I copy from one of the
greatest English scholars and philosophers: “There is nothing so absurd
that the old philosophers, as Cicero saith, who was one of them, have not
some of them maintained; and I believe that scarce anything can be more
absurdly said in natural philosophy than that which now is called
Aristotle’s Metaphysics; or more repugnant to government than much of that
he hath said in his Politics; nor more ignorantly than a great part of his
Ethics.” I am far from approving this judgment, but I think that the shock
which a young scholar receives on seeing his idols so mercilessly broken
is salutary. It throws him back on his own resources; it makes him honest
to himself. If he thinks the criticism thus passed on Aristotle unfair, he
will begin to read his works with new eyes. He will not only construe his
words, but try to reconstruct in his own mind the thoughts so carefully
elaborated by that ancient philosopher. He will judge of their truth
without being swayed by the authority of a great name, and probably in the
end value what is valuable in Aristotle, or Plato, or any other great
philosopher far more highly and honestly than if he had never seen them
trodden under foot.

Do not suppose that I look upon the Universities as purely iconoclastic,
as chiefly intended to teach us how to break the idols of the schools. Far
from it! But I do look upon them as meant to supply a fresher atmosphere
than we breathed at school, and to shake our mind to its very roots, as a
storm shakes the young oaks, not to throw them down, but to make them
grasp all the more firmly the hard soil of fact and truth! “_Stand upright
on thy feet_” ought to be written over the gate of every college, if the
epidemic of uniformity and sequacity which Mill saw approaching from
China, and which since his time has made such rapid progress Westward, is
ever to be stayed.

Academic freedom is not without its dangers; but there are dangers which
it is safer to face than to avoid. In Germany—so far as my own experience
goes—students are often left too much to themselves, and it is only the
cleverest among them, or those who are personally recommended, who receive
from the professors that individual guidance and encouragement which
should and could be easily extended to all.

There is too much time spent in the German Universities in mere lecturing,
and often in simply retailing to a class what each student might read in
books in a far more perfect form. Lectures are useful if they teach us how
to teach ourselves; if they stimulate; if they excite sympathy and
curiosity; if they give advice that springs from personal experience; if
they warn against wrong roads; if, in fact, they have less the character
of a show-window than of a workshop. Half an hour’s conversation with a
tutor or a professor often does more than a whole course of lectures in
giving the right direction and the right spirit to a young man’s studies.
Here I may quote the words of Professor Helmholtz, in full agreement with
him. “When I recall the memory of my own University life,” he writes, “and
the impression which a man like Johannes Müller, the professor of
physiology, made on us, I must set the highest value on the personal
intercourse with teachers from whom one learns how thought works in
independent heads. Whoever has come in contact but once with one or
several first-class men will find his intellectual standard changed for

In English Universities, on the contrary, there is too little of academic
freedom. There is not only guidance, but far too much of constant personal
control. It is often thought that English undergraduates could not be
trusted with that amount of academic freedom which is granted to German
students, and that most of them, if left to choose their own work, their
own time, their own books, and their own teachers, would simply do
nothing. This seems to me unfair and untrue. Most horses, if you take them
to the water, will drink; and the best way to make them drink is to leave
them alone. I have lived long enough in English and in German Universities
to know that the intellectual fibre is as strong and sound in the English
as in the German youth. But if you supply a man, who wishes to learn
swimming, with bladders—nay, if you insist on his using them—he will use
them, but he will probably never learn to swim. Take them away, on the
contrary, and depend on it, after a few aimless strokes and a few painful
gulps, he will use his arms and his legs, and he will swim. If young men
do not learn to use their arms, their legs, their muscles, their senses,
their brain, and their heart too, during the bright years of their
University life, when are they to learn it? True, there are thousands who
never learn it, and who float happily on through life buoyed up on mere
bladders. The worst that can happen to them is that some day the bladders
may burst, and they may be left stranded or drowned. But these are not the
men whom England wants to fight her battles. It has often been pointed out
of late that many of those who during this century have borne the brunt of
the battle in the intellectual warfare in England, have not been trained
at our Universities, while others who have been at Oxford and Cambridge,
and have distinguished themselves in after life, have openly declared that
they attended hardly any lectures in college, or that they derived no
benefit from them. What can be the ground of that? Not that there is less
work done at Oxford than at Leipzig, but that the work is done in a
different spirit. It is free in Germany; it has now become almost
compulsory in England. Though an old professor myself, I like to attend,
when I can, some of the professorial lectures in Germany; for it is a real
pleasure to see hundreds of young faces listening to a teacher on the
history of art, on modern history, on the science of language, or on
philosophy, without any view to examinations, simply from love of the
subject or of the teacher. No one who knows what the real joy of learning
is, how it lightens all drudgery and draws away the mind from mean
pursuits, can see without indignation that what ought to be the freest and
happiest years in a man’s life should often be spent between cramming and

And here I have at last mentioned the word, which to many friends of
academic freedom, to many who dread the baneful increase of uniformity,
may seem the cause of all mischief, the most powerful engine for
intellectual levelling—_Examination_.

There is a strong feeling springing up everywhere against the tyranny of
examinations, against the cramping and withering influence which they are
supposed to exercise on the youth of England. I cannot join in that
outcry. I well remember that the first letters which I ventured to address
to the _Times_, in very imperfect English, were in favor of examinations.
They were signed _La Carrière ouverte_, and were written before the days
of the Civil Service Commission! I well remember, too, that the first time
I ventured to speak, or rather to stammer, in public, was in favor of
examinations. That was in 1857, at Exeter, when the first experiment was
made, under the auspices of Sir T. Acland, in the direction of what has
since developed into the Oxford and Cambridge Local Examinations. I have
been an examiner myself for many years, I have watched the growth of that
system in England from year to year, and, in spite of all that has been
said and written of late against it, I confess I do not see how it would
be possible to abolish it, and return to the old system of appointment by

But though I have not lost my faith in examinations, I cannot conceal the
fact that I am frightened by the manner in which they are conducted, and
by the results which they produce. As you are interested yourselves at
this Midland Institute in the successful working of examinations, you will
perhaps allow me in conclusion to add a few remarks on the safeguards
necessary for the efficient working of examinations.

All examinations are a means to ascertain how pupils have been taught;
they ought never to be allowed to become the end for which pupils are
taught. Teaching with a view to them lowers the teacher in the eyes of his
pupils; learning with a view to them is apt to produce shallowness and

Whatever attractions learning possesses in itself, and whatever efforts
were formerly made by boys at school from a sense of duty, all this is
lost if they once imagine that the highest object of all learning is to
gain marks in a competition.

In order to maintain the proper relation between teacher and pupil, all
pupils should be made to look to their teachers as their natural examiners
and fairest judges, and therefore in every examination the report of the
teacher ought to carry the greatest weight. This is the principle followed
abroad in examining candidates at public schools; and even in their
examination on leaving school, which gives them the right to enter the
University, they know that their success depends far more on the work
which they have done during the years at school, than on the work done on
the few days of their examination. There are outside examiners appointed
by Government to check the work done at schools and during the
examinations; but the cases in which they have to modify or reverse the
award of the master are extremely rare, and they are felt to reflect
seriously on the competency or impartiality of the school authorities.

To leave examinations entirely to strangers reduces them to the level of
lotteries, and fosters a cleverness in teachers and taught often akin to
dishonesty. An examiner may find out what a candidate knows _not_, he can
hardly ever find out all he knows; and even if he succeeds in finding out
_how much_ a candidate knows, he can seldom find out _how_ he knows it. On
these points the opinion of the masters who have watched their pupils for
years is indispensable for the sake of the examiner, for the sake of the
pupils, and for the sake of their teachers.

I know I shall be told that it would be impossible to trust the masters,
and to be guided by their opinion, because they are interested parties.
Now, first of all, there are far more honest men in the world than
dishonest, and it does not answer to legislate as if all school-masters
were rogues. It is enough that they should know that their reports would
be scrutinized, to keep even the most reprobate of teachers from bearing
false witness in favor of their pupils.

Secondly, I believe that unnecessary temptation is now being placed before
all parties concerned in examinations. The proper reward for a good
examination should be honor, not pounds, shillings, and pence. The
mischief done by pecuniary rewards offered in the shape of scholarships
and exhibitions at school and University, begins to be recognized very
widely. To train a boy of twelve for a race against all England is
generally to overstrain his faculties, and often to impair his usefulness
in later life; but to make him feel that by his failure he will entail on
his father the loss of a hundred a year, and on his teacher the loss of
pupils, is simply cruel at that early age.

It is said that these scholarships and exhibitions enable the sons of poor
parents to enjoy the privilege of the best education in England, from
which they would otherwise be debarred by the excessive costliness of our
public schools. But even this argument, strong as it seems, can hardly
stand, for I believe it could be shown that the majority of those who are
successful in obtaining scholarships and exhibitions at school or at the
University are boys whose parents have been able to pay the highest price
for their children’s previous education. If all these prizes were
abolished, and the funds thus set free used to lessen the price of
education at school and in college, I believe that the sons of poor
parents would be far more benefited than by the present system. It might
also be desirable to lower the school fees in the case of the sons of poor
parents, who were doing well at school from year to year; and, in order to
guard against favoritism, an examination, particularly _vivâ voce_, before
all the masters of a school, possibly even with some outside examiner,
might be useful. But the present system bids fair to degenerate into mere
horse-racing, and I shall not wonder if, sooner or later, the two-year
olds entered for the race have to be watched by their trainer that they
may not be overfed or drugged against the day of the race. It has come to
this, that schools are bidding for clever boys in order to run them in the
races, and in France, I read, that parents actually extort money from
schools by threatening to take away the young racers that are likely to
win the Derby.(17)

If we turn from the schools to the Universities we find here, too, the
same complaints against over-examination. Now it seems to me that every
University, in order to maintain its position, has a perfect right to
demand two examinations, but no more: one for admission, the other for a
degree. Various attempts have been made in Germany, in Russia, in France,
and in England to change and improve the old academic tradition, but in
the end the original, and, as it would seem, the natural system, has
generally proved its wisdom and reasserted its right.

If a University surrenders the right of examining those who wish to be
admitted, the tutors will often have to do the work of school-masters, and
the professors can never know how high or how low they should aim in their
public lectures; and the result will be a lowering of the standard at the
Universities, and consequently at the public schools. Some Universities,
on the contrary, like over-anxious mothers, have multiplied examinations
so as to make quite sure, at the end of each term or each year, that the
pupils confided to them have done at least some work. This kind of forced
labor may do some good to the incorrigibly idle, but it does the greatest
harm to all the rest. If there is an examination at the end of each year,
there can be no freedom left for any independent work. Both teachers and
taught will be guided by the same pole-star—examinations; no deviation
from the beaten track will be considered safe, and all the pleasure
derived from work done for its own sake, and all the just pride and joy,
which those only know who have ever ventured out by themselves on the open
sea of knowledge, must be lost.

We must not allow ourselves to be deceived by the brilliant show of
examination papers.

It is certainly marvellous what an amount of knowledge candidates will
produce before their examiners; but those who have been both examined and
examiners know best how fleeting that knowledge often is, and how
different from that other knowledge which has been acquired slowly and
quietly, for its own sake, for our own sake, without a thought as to
whether it would ever pay at examinations or not. A candidate, after
giving most glibly the dates and the titles of the principal works of
Cobbett, Gibbon, Burke, Adam Smith, and David Hume, was asked whether he
had ever seen any of their writings, and he had to answer, No. Another who
was asked which of the works of Pheidias he had seen, replied that he had
only read the first two books. This is the kind of dishonest knowledge
which is fostered by too frequent examinations. There are two kinds of
knowledge, the one that enters into our very blood, the other which we
carry about in our pockets. Those who read for examinations have generally
their pockets cram full; those who work on quietly and have their whole
heart in their work are often discouraged at the small amount of their
knowledge, at the little life-blood they have made. But what they have
learnt has really become their own, has invigorated their whole frame, and
in the end they have often proved the strongest and happiest men in the
battle of life.

Omniscience is at present the bane of all our knowledge. From the day he
leaves school and enters the University a man ought to make up his mind
that in many things he must either remain altogether ignorant, or be
satisfied with knowledge at second-hand. Thus only can he clear the decks
for action. And the sooner he finds out what his own work is to be, the
more useful and delightful will be his life at the University and later.
There are few men who have a passion for all knowledge; there is hardly
one who has not a hobby of his own. Those so-called hobbies ought to be
utilized, and not, as they are now, discouraged, if we wish our
Universities to produce more men like Faraday, Carlyle, Grote, or Darwin.
I do not say that in an examination for a University degree a minimum of
what is now called general culture should not be insisted on; but in
addition to that, far more freedom ought to be given to the examiner to
let each candidate produce his own individual work. This is done to a far
greater extent in Continental than in English Universities, and the
examinations are therefore mostly confided to the members of the _Senatus
Academicus_, consisting of the most experienced teachers, and the most
eminent representatives of the different branches of knowledge in the
University. Their object is not to find out how many marks each candidate
may gain by answering a larger or smaller number of questions, and then to
place them in order before the world like so many organ pipes. They want
to find out whether a man, by the work he has done during his three or
four University years, has acquired that vigor of thought, that maturity
of judgment, and that special knowledge, which fairly entitle him to an
academic degree, with or without special honors. Such a degree confers no
material advantages;(18) it does not entitle its holder to any employment
in Church or State; it does not vouch even for his being a fit person to
be made an Archbishop or Prime Minister. All this is left to the later
struggle for life; and in that struggle it seems as if those who, after
having surveyed the vast field of human knowledge, have settled on a few
acres of their own and cultivated them as they were never cultivated
before, who have worked hard and have tasted the true joy and happiness of
hard work, who have gladly listened to others, but always depended on
themselves, were, after all, the men whom great nations delighted to
follow as their royal leaders in the onward march towards greater
enlightenment, greater happiness, and greater freedom.

To sum up, no one can read Mill’s Essay “On Liberty” at the present moment
without feeling that even during the short period of the last twenty years
the cause which he advocated so strongly and passionately, the cause of
individual freedom, has made rapid progress—aye, has carried the day. In
no country _may_ a man be so entirely himself, so true to himself, and yet
loyal to society, as in England.

But, although the enemy whose encroachments Mill feared most and resented
most has been driven back and forced to keep within his own bounds—though
such names as Dissenter and Nonconformist, which were formerly used in
society as fatal darts, seem to have lost all the poison which they once
contained—Mill’s principal fears have nevertheless not been belied, and
the blight of uniformity which he saw approaching with its attendant evils
of feebleness, indifference, and sequacity, has been spreading more widely
than ever.

It has ever been maintained that the very freedom which every individual
now enjoys has been detrimental to the growth of individuality; that you
must have an Inquisition if you want to see martyrs, that you must have
despotism and tyranny to call forth heroes. The very measures which the
friends of individual development advocated so warmly, compulsory
education and competitive examinations, are pointed out as having chiefly
contributed to produce that large array of pass-men, that dead level of
uninteresting excellence, which is the _beau idéal_ of a Chinese Mandarin,
while it frightened and disheartened such men as Humboldt, Tocqueville,
and John Stuart Mill himself.

There may be some truth in all this, but it is certainly not the whole
truth. Education, as it has to be carried on, whether in elementary or in
public schools, is no doubt a heavy weight which might well press down the
most independent spirit; it is, in fact, neither more nor less than
placing, in a systematized form, on the shoulders of every generation the
ever-increasing mass of knowledge, experience, custom, and tradition that
has been accumulated by former generations. We need not wonder, therefore,
if in some schools all spring, all vigor, all joyousness of work is
crushed out under that load of names and dates, of anomalous verbs and
syntactic rules, of mathematical formulas and geometrical theories which
boys are expected to bring up for competitive examinations.

But a remedy has been provided, and we are ourselves to blame if we do not
avail ourselves of it to the fullest extent. Europe erected its
Universities, and called them the homes of the Liberal Arts, and
determined that between the mental slavery of the school and the physical
slavery of busy life every man should have at least three years of
freedom. What Sokrates and his great pupil Plato had done for the youth of
Greece,(19) these new academies were to do for the youth of Italy, France,
England, Spain, and Germany; and, though with varying success, they have
done it. The mediæval and modern Universities have been from century to
century the homes of free thought. Here the most eminent men have spent
their lives, not in retailing traditional knowledge, as at school, but in
extending the frontiers of science in all directions. Here, in close
intercourse with their teachers, or under their immediate guidance,
generation after generation of boys fresh from school have grown up into
men during the three years of their academic life. Here, for the first
time, each man has been encouraged to dare to be himself, to follow his
own tastes, to depend on his own judgment, to try the wings of his mind,
and, lo, like young eagles thrown out of their nest, they could fly. Here
the old knowledge accumulated at school was tested, and new knowledge
acquired straight from the fountain-head. Here knowledge ceased to be a
mere burden, and became a power invigorating the whole mind, like snow
which during winter lies cold and heavy on the meadows, but when it is
touched by the sun of spring melts away, and fertilizes the ground for a
rich harvest.

That was the original purpose of the Universities; and the more they
continue to fulfil that purpose, the more will they secure to us that real
freedom from tradition, from custom, from mere opinion and superstition,
which can be gained by independent study only; the more will they foster
that “human development in its richest diversity” which Mill, like
Humboldt, considered as the highest object of all society.

Such academic teaching need not be confined to the old Universities. There
is many a great University that sprang from smaller beginnings than your
Midland Institute. Nor is it necessary, in order to secure the real
benefits of academic teaching, to have all the paraphernalia of a
University, its colleges and fellowships, its caps and gowns. What is
really wanted is the presence of men who, having done good work in their
life, are willing to teach others how to work for themselves, how to think
for themselves, how to judge for themselves. That is the true academic
stage in every man’s life, when he learns to work, not to please others,
be they schoolmasters or examiners, but to please himself, when he works
from sheer love of work, and for the highest of all purposes, the quest of
truth. Those only who have passed through that stage know the real
blessings of work. To the world at large they may seem mere drudges—but
the world does not know the triumphant joy with which the true
mountaineer, high above clouds and mountain walls that once seemed
unsurpassable, drinks in the fresh air of the High Alps, and away from the
fumes, the dust, and the noises of the city, revels alone, in freedom of
thought, in freedom of feeling, and in the freedom of the highest faith.



          A Lecture Delivered At The Royal Institution In 1871.

What can be in our days the interest of mythology? What is it to us that
Kronos was the son of Uranos and Gaia, and that he swallowed his children,
Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Pluton, and Poseidon, as soon as they were born?
What have we to do with the stories of Rhea, the wife of Kronos, who, in
order to save her youngest son from being swallowed by his father, gave
her husband a stone to swallow instead? And why should we be asked to
admire the exploits of this youngest son, who, when he had grown up, made
his father drink a draught, and thus helped to deliver the stone and his
five brothers and sisters from their paternal prison? What shall we think
if we read in the most admired of classic poets that these escaped
prisoners became afterwards the great gods of Greece, gods believed in by
Homer, worshipped by Sokrates, immortalized by Pheidias? Why should we
listen to such horrors as that Tantalos killed his own son, boiled him,
and placed him before the gods to eat? or that the gods collected his
limbs, threw them into a cauldron, and thus restored Pelops to life,
_minus_, however, his shoulder, which Demeter had eaten in a fit of
absence, and which had therefore to be replaced by a shoulder made of

Can we imagine anything more silly, more savage, more senseless, anything
more unworthy to engage our thoughts, even for a single moment? We may
pity our children that, in order to know how to construe and understand
the master-works of Homer and Virgil, they have to fill their memory with
such idle tales; but we might justly suppose that men who have serious
work to do in this world would banish such subjects forever from their

And yet, how strange, from the very childhood of philosophy, from the
first faintly-whispered Why? to our own time of matured thought and
fearless inquiry, mythology has been the ever-recurrent subject of anxious
wonder and careful study. The ancient philosophers, who could pass by the
petrified shells on mountain-tops and the fossil trees buried in their
quarries without ever asking the question how they came to be there, or
what they signified, were ever ready with doubts and surmises when they
came to listen to ancient stories of their gods and heroes. And, more
curious still, even modern philosophers cannot resist the attraction of
these ancient problems. That stream of philosophic thought which,
springing from Descartes (1596-1650), rolled on through the seventeenth
and eighteenth centuries in two beds—the _idealistic_, marked by the names
of Malebranche (1638-1715), Spinoza (1632-1677), and Leibniz (1646-1716);
and the _sensualistic_, marked by the names of Locke (1632-1704), David
Hume (1711-1776), and Condillac (1715-1780), till the two arms united
again in Kant (1724-1804), and the full stream was carried on by Schelling
(1775-1854), and Hegel (1770-1831),—this stream of modern philosophic
thought has ended where ancient philosophy began—in a Philosophy of
Mythology, which, as you know, forms the most important part of
Schelling’s final system, of what he called himself his _Positive
Philosophy_, given to the world after the death of that great thinker and
poet, in the year 1854.

I do not mean to say that Schelling and Aristotle looked upon mythology in
the same light, or that they found in it exactly the same problems; yet
there is this common feature in all who have thought or written on
mythology, that they look upon it as something which, whatever it may
mean, does certainly not mean what it seems to mean; as something that
requires an explanation, whether it be a system of religion, or a phase in
the development of the human mind, or an inevitable catastrophe in the
life of language.

According to some, mythology is history changed into fable; according to
others, fable changed into history. Some discover in it the precepts of
moral philosophy enunciated in the poetical language of antiquity; others
see in it a picture of the great forms and forces of nature, particularly
the sun, the moon, and the stars, the changes of day and night, the
succession of the seasons, the return of the years—all this reflected by
the vivid imagination of ancient poets and sages.

Epicharmos, for instance, the pupil of Pythagoras, declared that the gods
of Greece were not what, from the poems of Homer, we might suppose them to
be—personal beings, endowed with superhuman powers, but liable to many of
the passions and frailties of human nature. He maintained that these gods
were really the Wind, the Water, the Earth, the Sun, the Fire, and the
Stars. Not long after his time, another philosopher, Empedokles, holding
that the whole of nature consisted in the mixture and separation of the
four elements, declared that Zeus was the element of Fire, Here the
element of Air, Aidoneus or Pluton the element of Earth, and Nestis the
element of Water. In fact, whatever the free thinkers of Greece discovered
successively as the first principles of Being and Thought, whether the air
of Anaximenes, or the fire of Herakleitos, or the Nous or Mind of
Anaxagoras, was readily identified with Zeus and the other divine persons
of Olympian mythology. Metrodoros, the contemporary of Anaxagoras, went
even farther. While Anaxagoras would have been satisfied with looking upon
Zeus as but another name of his Nous, the highest intellect, the mover,
the disposer, the governor of all things, Metrodoros resolved not only the
persons of Zeus, Here, and Athene, but likewise those of human kings and
heroes—such as Agamemnon, Achilles, and Hektor—into various combinations
and physical agencies, and treated the adventures ascribed to them as
natural facts hidden under a thin veil of allegory.

Sokrates, it is well known, looked upon such attempts at explaining all
fables allegorically as too arduous and unprofitable: yet he, too, as well
as Plato, pointed frequently to what they called the _hypónoia_, the
under-current, or, if I may say so, the under-meaning of ancient

Aristotle speaks more explicitly:—

“It has been handed down,” he says, “by early and very ancient people, and
left to those who came after, in the form of myths, that these (the first
principles of the world) are the gods, and that the divine embraces the
whole of nature. The rest has been added mythically, in order to persuade
the many, and in order to be used in support of laws and other interests.
Thus they say that the gods have a human form, and that they are like to
some of the other living beings, and other things consequent on this, and
similar to what has been said. If one separated out of these fables, and
took only that first point, namely, that they believed the first essences
to be gods, one would think that it had been divinely said, and that while
every art and every philosophy was probably invented ever so many times
and lost again, these opinions had, like fragments of them, been preserved
until now. So far only is the opinion of our fathers, and that received
from our first ancestors, clear to us.”

I have quoted the opinions of these Greek philosophers, to which many more
might have been added, partly in order to show how many of the most
distinguished minds of ancient Greece agreed in demanding an
interpretation, whether physical or metaphysical, of Greek mythology,
partly in order to satisfy those classical scholars, who, forgetful of
their own classics, forgetful of their own Plato and Aristotle, seem to
imagine that the idea of seeing in the gods and heroes of Greece anything
beyond what they appear to be in the songs of Homer, was a mere fancy and
invention of the students of Comparative Mythology.

There were, no doubt, Greeks, and eminent Greeks too, who took the legends
of their gods and heroes in their literal sense. But what do these say of
Homer and Hesiod? Xenophanes, the contemporary of Pythagoras, holds Homer
and Hesiod responsible for the popular superstitions of Greece. In this he
agrees with Herodotus, when he declares that these two poets made the
theogony for the Greeks, and gave to the gods their names, and assigned to
them their honors and their arts, and described their appearances. But he
then continues in a very different strain from the pious historian.(20)
“Homer,” he says,(21) “and Hesiod ascribed to the gods whatever is
disgraceful and scandalous among men, yea, they declared that the gods had
committed nearly all unlawful acts, such as theft, adultery, and fraud.”
“Men seem to have created their gods, and to have given to them their own
mind, voice, and figure. The Ethiopians made their gods black and
flat-nosed; the Thracians red-haired and blue-eyed.” This was spoken about
500 B. C. Herakleitos, about 460 B. C., one of the boldest thinkers of
ancient Greece, declared that Homer deserved to be ejected from public
assemblies and flogged; and a story is told that Pythagoras (about 540 B.
C.) saw the soul of Homer in Hades, hanging on a tree and surrounded by
serpents, as a punishment for what he had said of the gods. And what can
be stronger than the condemnation passed on Homer by Plato? I shall read
an extract from the “Republic,” from the excellent translation lately
published by Professor Jowett:—

“But what fault do you find with Homer and Hesiod, and the other great
story-tellers of mankind?”

“A fault which is most serious,” I said: “the fault of telling a lie, and
a bad lie.”

“But when is this fault committed?”

“Whenever an erroneous representation is made of the nature of gods and
heroes—like the drawing of a limner which has not the shadow of a likeness
to the truth.”

“ ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘that sort of thing is certainly very blamable; but what
are the stories which you mean?’ ”

“ ‘First of all,’ I said, ‘there was that greatest of all lies in high
places, which the poet told about Uranos, and which was an immoral lie
too—I mean what Hesiod says that Uranos did, and what Kronos did to him.
The fact is that the doings of Kronos, and the sufferings which his son
inflicted upon him, even if they were true, ought not to be lightly told
to young and simple persons; if possible, they had better be buried in
silence. But if there is an absolute necessity for their mention, a very
few might hear them in a mystery, and then let them sacrifice not a common
(Eleusinian) pig, but some huge and unprocurable victim; this would have
the effect of very greatly reducing the number of the hearers.’ ”

“ ‘Why, yes,’ said he, ‘these stories are certainly objectionable.’ ”

“ ‘Yes, Adeimantos, they are stories not to be narrated in our state; the
young man should not be told that in committing the worst of crimes he is
far from doing anything outrageous, and that he may chastise his father
when he does wrong in any manner that he likes, and in this will only be
following the example of the first and greatest of the gods.’ ”

“ ‘I quite agree with you,’ he said; ‘in my opinion those stories are _not
fit to be repeated_.’ ‘Neither, if we mean our future guardians to regard
the habit of quarrelling as dishonorable, should anything be said of the
wars in heaven, and of the plots and fightings of the gods against one
another, which are quite untrue. Far be it from us to tell them of the
battles of the giants, and embroider them on garments; or of all the
innumerable other quarrels of gods and heroes with their friends and
relations. If they would only believe us, we would tell them that
quarrelling is unholy, and that never up to this time has there been any
quarrel between citizens; this is what old men and old women should begin
by telling children, and the same when they grow up. And these are the
sort of fictions which the poets should be required to compose. But the
narrative of Hephaestos binding Here his mother, or how, on another
occasion, Zeus sent him flying for taking her part when she was being
beaten—such tales must not be admitted in our state, whether they are
supposed to have an allegorical meaning or not. For the young man cannot
judge what is allegorical and what is literal, and anything that he
receives into his mind at that age is apt to become indelible and
unalterable; and therefore the tales which they first hear should be
models of virtuous thoughts.’ ”

To those who look upon mythology as an ancient form of religion, such
freedom of language as is here used by Xenophanes and Plato, must seem
startling. If the Iliad were really the Bible of the Greeks, as it has not
infrequently been called, such violent invectives would have been
impossible. For let us bear in mind that Xenophanes, though he boldly
denied the existence of all the mythological deities, and declared his
belief in One God, “neither in form nor in thought like unto mortals,”(22)
was not therefore considered a heretic. He never suffered for uttering his
honest convictions: on the contrary, as far as we know, he was honored by
the people among whom he lived and taught. Nor was Plato ever punished on
account of his unbelief, and though he, as well as his master, Sokrates,
became obnoxious to the dominant party at Athens, this was due to
political far more than to theological motives. At all events, Plato, the
pupil, the friend, the apologist of Sokrates, was allowed to teach at
Athens to the end of his life, and few men commanded greater respect in
the best ranks of Greek society.

But, although mythology was not religion in our sense of the word, and
although the Iliad certainly never enjoyed among Greeks the authority
either of the Bible, or even of the Veda among the Brahmans, or the Zend
Avesta among the Parsis, yet I would not deny altogether that in a certain
sense the mythology of the Greeks belonged to their religion. We must only
be on our guard, here as everywhere else, against the misleading influence
of words. The word Religion has, like most words, had its history; it has
grown and changed with each century, and it cannot, therefore, have meant
with the Greeks and Brahmans what it means with us. Religions have
sometimes been divided into _national_ or _traditional_, as distinguished
from _individual_ or _statutable_ religion. The former are, like
languages, home-grown, autochthonic, without an historical beginning,
generally without any recognized founder, or even an authorized code; the
latter have been founded by historical persons, generally in antagonism to
traditional systems, and they always rest on the authority of a written
code. I do not consider this division as very useful(23) for a scientific
study of religion, because in many cases it is extremely difficult, and
sometimes impossible, to draw a sharp line of demarcation, and to
determine whether a given religion should be considered as the work of one
man, or as the combined work of those who came before him, who lived with
him, nay, even of those who came after him. For our present purpose,
however, for showing at once the salient difference between what the
Greeks and what we ourselves should mean by Religion, this division is
very serviceable. The Greek religion was clearly a national and
traditional religion, and, as such, it shared both the advantages and
disadvantages of this form of religious belief; the Christian religion is
an historical and, to a great extent, an individual religion, and it
possesses the advantage of an authorized code and of a settled system of
faith. Let it not be supposed, however, that between traditional and
individual religions the advantages are all on one, the disadvantages on
the other side. As long as the immemorial religions of the different
branches of the human race remained in their natural state, and were not
pressed into the service of political parties or an ambitious priesthood,
they allowed great freedom of thought and a healthy growth of real piety,
and they were seldom disgraced by an intolerant or persecuting spirit.
They were generally either honestly believed, or, as we have just seen,
honestly attacked, and a high tone of intellectual morality was preserved,
untainted by hypocrisy, equivocation, or unreasoning dogmatism. The
marvellous development of philosophy in Greece, particularly in ancient
Greece, was chiefly due, I believe, to the absence of an established
religion and an influential priesthood; and it is impossible to overrate
the blessing which the fresh, pure, invigorating, and elevating air of
that ancient Greek philosophy has conferred on all ages, not excepting our
own. I shudder at the thought of what the world would have been without
Plato and Aristotle, and I tremble at the idea that the youth of the
future should ever be deprived of the teaching and the example of these
true prophets of the absolute freedom of thought. Unfortunately, we know
but little of the earliest fathers of Greek philosophy; we have but
fragments, and those not always trustworthy, nor easily intelligible, of
what they taught on the highest questions that can stir the heart of man.
We have been accustomed to call the oracular sayings of men like Thales,
Pythagoros, Xenophanes, or Herakleitos, philosophy, but there was in them
as much of religion as in the songs of Homer and Hesiod. Homer and Hesiod
were great powers, but their poems were not the only feeders of the
religious life of Greece. The stream of ancient wisdom and philosophy
flowed parallel with the stream of legend and poetry; and both were meant
to support the religious cravings of the soul. We have only to attend
without prejudice to the utterances of these ancient prophets, such as
Xenophanes and Herakleitos, in order to convince ourselves that these men
spoke with authority to the people,(24) that they considered themselves
the equals of Homer and Hesiod, nay, their betters, and in no way fettered
by the popular legends about gods and goddesses. While modern religions
assume in general a hostile attitude towards philosophy, ancient religions
have either included philosophy as an integral part, or they have at least
tolerated its growth in the very precincts of their temples.

After we have thus seen what limitations we must place on the meaning of
the word Religion, if we call mythology the religion of the ancient world,
we may now advance another step.

We have glanced at the principal interpretations which have been proposed
by the ancients themselves of the original purpose and meaning of
mythology. But there is one question which none, either of the ancient or
of the modern interpreters of mythology, has answered, or even asked, and
on which, nevertheless, the whole problem of mythology seems to turn. If
mythology is history changed into fable, why was it so changed? If it is
fable represented as history, why were such fables invented? If it
contains precepts of moral philosophy, whence their immoral disguise? If
it is a picture of the great forms and forces of nature, the same question
still returns, why were these forms and forces represented as heroes and
heroines, as nymphs and shepherds, as gods and goddesses? It is easy
enough to call the sun a god, or the dawn a goddess, after these
predicates have once been framed. But how were these predicates framed?
How did people come to know of gods and goddesses, heroes and nymphs, and
what meaning did they originally connect with these terms? In fact, the
real question which a philosophy of mythology has to answer is this—Is the
whole of mythology an invention, the fanciful poetry of a Homer or Hesiod,
or is it a growth? Or, to speak more definitely, Was mythology a mere
accident, or was it inevitable? Was it only a false step, or was it a step
that could not have been left out in the historical progress of the human

The study of the history of language, which is only a part of the study of
the history of thought, has enabled us to give a decisive answer to this
question. Mythology is inevitable, it is natural, it is an inherent
necessity of language, if we recognize in language the outward form and
manifestation of thought: it is, in fact, the dark shadow which language
throws on thought, and which can never disappear till language becomes
altogether commensurate with thought, which it never will. Mythology, no
doubt, breaks out more fiercely during the early periods of the history of
human thought, but it never disappears altogether. Depend upon it, there
is mythology now as there was in the time of Homer, only we do not
perceive it, because we ourselves live in the very shadow of it, and
because we all shrink from the full meridian light of truth. We are ready
enough to see that if the ancients called their kings and heroes
Διογενεῖς, sprung of Zeus, that expression, intended originally to convey
the highest praise which man can bestow on man, was apt to lapse into
mythology. We easily perceive how such a conception, compatible in its
origin with the highest reverence for the gods, led almost inevitably to
the growth of fables, which transferred to divine beings the incidents of
human paternity and sonship. But we are not so ready to see that it is our
fate, too, to move in allegories which illustrate things intellectual by
visions exhibited to the fancy. In our religion, too, the conceptions of
paternity and sonship have not always been free from all that is human,
nor are we always aware that nearly every note that belongs to human
paternity and sonship must be taken out of these terms, before they can be
pronounced safe against mythological infection. Papal decisions on
immaculate conception are of no avail against that mythology. The mind
must become immaculate and rise superior to itself; or it must close its
eyes and shut its lips in the presence of the Divine.

If then we want to understand mythology, in the ordinary and restricted
sense of the word, we must discover the larger circle of mental phenomena
to which it belongs. Greek mythology, is but a small segment of mythology;
the religious mythologies of all the races of mankind are again but a
small segment of mythology. Mythology, in the highest sense, is the power
exercised by language on thought in every possible sphere of mental
activity; and I do not hesitate to call the whole history of philosophy,
from Thales down to Hegel, an uninterrupted battle against mythology, a
constant protest of thought against language. This will require some

Ever since the time of Wilhelm von Humboldt, all who have seriously
grappled with the highest problems of the Science of Language have come to
the conviction that thought and language are inseparable, that language is
as impossible without thought as thought is without language; that they
stand to each other somewhat like soul and body, like power and function,
like substance and form. The objections which have been raised against
this view arise generally from a mere misunderstanding. If we speak of
language as the outward realization of thought, we do not mean language as
deposited in a dictionary, or sketched in a grammar; we mean language as
an act, language as being spoken, language as living and dying with every
word that is uttered. We might perhaps call this speech, as distinguished
from language.

Secondly, though if we speak of language, we mean chiefly phonetic
articulate language, we do not exclude the less perfect symbols of
thought, such as gestures, signs, or pictures. They, too, are language in
a certain sense, and they must be included in language before we are
justified in saying that discursive thought can be realized in language
only. One instance will make this clear. We hold that we cannot think
without language. But can we not count without language? We certainly can.
We can form the conception of _three_ without any spoken word, by simply
holding up three fingers. In the same manner, the hand might stand for
five, both hands for ten, hands and feet for twenty.(25) This is how
people who possessed no organs of speech would speak; this is how the deaf
and dumb _do_ speak. Three fingers are as good as three strokes, three
strokes are as good as three clicks of the tongue, three clicks of the
tongue are as good as the sound _three_, or _trois_, or _drei_, or
_shalosh_ in Hebrew, or _san_ in Chinese. All these are signs, more or
less perfect, but being signs, they fall under the category of language;
and all we maintain is, that without some kind of sign, discursive thought
is impossible, and that in that sense, language, or λόγος, is the only
possible realization of human thought.

Another very common misunderstanding is this: people imagine that, if it
be impossible to think, except in language, language and thought must be
one and the same thing. But a true philosophy of language leads to the
very opposite result. Every philosopher would say that matter cannot exist
without form, nor form without matter, but no philosopher would say that
therefore it is impossible to distinguish between form and matter. In the
same way, though we maintain that thought cannot exist without language
nor language without thought, we do distinguish between thought and
language, between the inward and the outward λόγος, between the substance
and the form. Nay, we go a step beyond. We admit that language necessarily
reacts on thought, and we see in this reaction, in this refraction of the
rays of language, the real solution of the old riddle of mythology.

You will now see why these somewhat abstruse disquisitions were necessary
for our immediate purpose, and I can promise those who have hitherto
followed me on this rather barren and rugged track, that they will now be
able to rest, and command, from the point of view which we have reached,
the whole panorama of the mythology of the human mind.

We saw just now that the names of numbers may most easily be replaced by
signs. Numbers are simple analytical conceptions, and for that very reason
they are not liable to mythology: name and conception being here
commensurate, no misunderstanding is possible. But as soon as we leave
this department of thought, mythology begins. I shall try by at least one
example to show how mythology not only pervades the sphere of religion or
religious tradition, but infects more or less the whole realm of thought.

When man wished for the first time to grasp and express a distinction
between the body and something else within him distinct from the body, an
easy name that suggested itself was _breath_. The breath seemed something
immaterial and almost invisible, and it was connected with the life that
pervaded the body, for as soon as the breath ceased, the life of the body
became extinct. Hence the Greek name ψυχή,(26) which originally meant
breath, was chosen to express at first the principle of life, as
distinguished from the decaying body, afterwards the incorporeal, the
immaterial, the undecaying, the immortal part of man—his soul, his mind,
his Self. All this was very natural. When a person dies, we too say that
he has given up the ghost, and ghost, too, meant originally spirit, and
spirit meant breath.

A very instructive analogous case is quoted by Mr. E. B. Tylor from a
compendium of the theology of the Indians of Nicaragua, the record of
question and answer in an inquest held by Father Francisco de Bobadilla in
the early days of the Spanish conquest. Asked, among other things,
concerning death, the Indians said: “Those who die in their houses go
underground, but those who are killed in war go to serve the gods
(_teotes_). When men die, there comes forth from their mouth something
which resembles a person, and is called _julio_ (Aztec _yuli_, ‘to live’).
This being is like a person, but does not die, and the corpse remains
here.” The Spanish ecclesiastics inquired whether those who go on high
keep the same body, features, and limbs as here below; to which the
Indians answered, “No, there is only the heart.” “But,” said the
Spaniards, “as the hearts are torn out” (they meant in the case of
warriors who fell into the hands of the enemy), “what happens then?”
Hereupon the Indians replied: “It is not precisely the heart, but that
which is in them, and makes them live, and which quits the body when they
die;” and again they said, “It is not their heart which goes up on high,
but that which makes them live, that is, the breath coming out from their
mouth, which is called _julio_.” “Then,” asked the Spaniards, “does this
heart, _julio_, or soul, die with the body?” “When the deceased has lived
well,” replied the Indians, “the _julio_ goes up on high with our gods;
but when he has lived ill, the _julio_ perishes with the body, and there
is an end of it.”

The Greeks expressed the same idea by saying that the ψυχή had left the
body,(27) had fled through the mouth, or even through a bleeding
wound,(28) and had gone into Hades, which meant literally no more than the
place of the Invisible (Ἁίδης). That the breath had become invisible was
matter of fact; that it had gone to the house of Hades, was mythology
springing spontaneously from the fertile soil of language.

The primitive mythology was by no means necessarily religious. In the very
case which we have chosen, philosophical mythology sprang up by the side
of religious mythology. The religious mythology consisted in speaking of
the spirits of the departed as ghosts, as mere breath and air, as
fluttering about the gates of Hades, or ferried across the Styx in the
boat of Charon.(29)

The philosophical mythology, however, that sprang from this name was much
more important. We saw that _Psyche_, meaning originally the breathing of
the body, was gradually used in the sense of vital breath, and as
something independent of the body; and that at last, when it had assumed
the meaning of the immortal part of man, it retained that character of
something independent of the body, thus giving rise to the conception of a
soul, not only as a being without a body, but in its very nature opposed
to body. As soon as that opposition had been established in language and
thought, philosophy began its work in order to explain how two such
heterogeneous powers could act on each other—how the soul could influence
the body, and how the body could determine the soul. Spiritualistic and
materialistic systems of philosophy arose, and all this in order to remove
a self-created difficulty, in order to join together again what language
had severed, the living body and the living soul. The question whether
there is a soul or spirit, whether there is in man something different
from the mere body, is not at all affected by this mythological
phraseology. We certainly can distinguish between body and soul, but as
long as we keep within the limits of human knowledge, we have no right to
speak of the living soul as a breath, or of spirits and ghosts as
fluttering about like birds or fairies. The poet of the nineteenth century

    “The spirit does but mean the breath,
    I know no more.”

And the same thought was expressed by Cicero two thousand years ago:
“Whether the soul is air or fire, I do not know.” As men, we only know of
embodied spirits, however ethereal their bodies may be conceived to be,
but of spirits, separate from body, without form or frame, we know as
little as we know of thought without language, or of the Dawn as a
goddess, or of the Night as the mother of the Day.

Though breath, or spirit, or ghost are the most common names that were
assigned through the metaphorical nature of language to the vital, and
afterwards to the intellectual, principle in man, they were by no means
the only possible names. We speak, for instance, of the _shades_ of the
departed, which meant originally their shadows. Those who first introduced
this expression—and we find it in the most distant parts of the
world(30)—evidently took the shadow as the nearest approach to what they
wished to express; something that should be incorporeal, yet closely
connected with the body. The Greek εἰδῶλον, too, is not much more than the
shadow, while the Latin _manes_ meant probably in the beginning no more
than the Little Ones, the Small Folk.(31) But the curious part, as showing
again the influence of language on thought, an influence more powerful
even than the evidence of the senses, is this, that people who speak of
the life or soul as the shadow of the body, have brought themselves to
believe that a dead body casts no shadow, because the shadow has departed
from it; that it becomes, in fact, a kind of Peter Schlemihl.(32)

Let us now return to mythology in the narrower sense of the word. One of
the earliest objects that would strike and stir the mind of man, and for
which a sign or a name would soon be wanted, is surely the Sun. It is very
hard for us to realize the feelings with which the first dwellers on the
earth looked upon the sun, or to understand fully what they meant by a
morning prayer, or a morning sacrifice. Perhaps there are few people here
present who have watched a sunrise more than once or twice in their lives;
few people who have ever known the true meaning of a morning prayer, or a
morning sacrifice. But think of man at the very dawn of time: forget for a
moment, if you can, after having read the fascinating pages of Mr. Darwin,
forget what man is supposed to have been before he was man; forget it,
because it does not concern us here whether his bodily form and frame were
developed once for all in the mind of a Creator, or gradually in the
creation itself, which from the first monad or protoplasm to the last of
the primates, or man, is not, I suppose, to be looked on as altogether
causeless, meaningless, purposeless; think of him only as man (and man
means the thinker), with his mind yet lying fallow, though full of
germs—germs of which I hold as strongly as ever no trace has ever, no
trace will ever, be discovered anywhere but in man; think of the Sun
awakening the eyes of man from sleep, and his mind from slumber! Was not
the Sunrise to him the first wonder, the first beginning of all
reflection, all thought, all philosophy? was it not to him the first
revelation, the first beginning of all trust, of all religion? To us that
wonder of wonders has ceased to exist, and few men now would even venture
to speak of the sun as Sir John Herschel has spoken, calling him “the
Almoner of the Almighty, the delegated dispenser to us of light and
warmth, as well as the centre of attraction, and as such, the immediate
source of all our comforts, and, indeed, of the very possibility of our
existence on earth.”(33)

Man is a creature of habit, and wherever we can watch him, we find that
before a few generations have passed he has lost the power of admiring
what is regular, and that he can see signs and wonders only in what is
irregular. Few nations only have preserved in their ancient poetry some
remnants of the natural awe with which the earliest dwellers on the earth
saw that brilliant being slowly rising from out the darkness of the night,
raising itself by its own might higher and higher, till it stood
triumphant on the arch of heaven, and then descended and sank down in its
fiery glory into the dark abyss of the heaving and hissing sea. In the
hymns of the Veda the poet still wonders whether the sun will rise again;
he asks how he can climb the vault of heaven? why he does not fall back?
why there is no dust on his path? And when the rays of the morning rouse
him from sleep and call him back to new life; when he sees the sun, as he
says, stretching out his golden arms to bless the world and rescue it from
the terrors of darkness, he exclaims, “Arise, our life, our spirit has
come back! the darkness is gone, the light approaches!”

For so prominent an object in the primeval picture-gallery of the human
mind, a sign or a name must have been wanted at a very early period. But
how was this to be achieved? As a mere sign, a circle would have been
sufficient, such as we find in the hieroglyphics of Egypt, in the graphic
system of China, or even in our own astronomical tables. If such a sign
was fixed upon, we have a beginning of language in the widest sense of the
word, for we have brought the Sun under the general concept of roundness,
and we have found a sign for this concept which is made up of a large
number of single sensuous impressions. With such definite signs mythology
has little chance; yet the mere fact that the sun was represented as a
circle would favor the idea that the sun was round; or, as ancient people,
who had no adjective as yet for round or _rotundus_,(34) would say, that
the sun was a wheel, a _rota_. If, on the contrary, the round sign
reminded the people of an eye, then the sign of the sun would soon become
the eye of heaven, and germs of mythology would spring up even from the
barren soil of such hieroglyphic language.

But now, suppose that a real name was wanted for the sun, how could that
be achieved?

We know that all words are derived from roots, that these roots express
general concepts, and that, with few exceptions, every name is founded on
a general concept under which the object that has to be named can be
ranged. How these roots came to be, is a question into which we need not
enter at present. Their origin and growth form a problem of psychology
rather than of philology, and each science must keep within its proper
bounds. If a name was wanted for snow, the early framers of language
singled out one of the general predicates of snow, its whiteness, its
coldness, or its liquidity, and called the snow the white, the cold, or
the liquid, by means of roots conveying the general idea of whiteness,
coldness, or liquidity. Not only Nix, nivis, but Niobe(35) too, was a name
of the snow, and meant the melting; the death of her beautiful children by
the arrows of Apollon and Artemis represents the destruction of winter by
the rays of the sun. If the sun itself was to be named, it might be called
the brilliant, the awakener, the runner, the ruler, the father, the giver
of warmth, of fertility, of life, the scorcher, the destroyer, the
messenger of death, and many other names; but there was no possibility of
naming it, except by laying hold of one of its characteristic features,
and expressing that feature by means of one of the conceptual or
predicative roots.

Let us trace the history of at least one of these names. Before the Aryan
nations separated, before there was a Latin, a Greek, or a Sanskrit
language, there existed a root _svar_ or _sval_, which meant to beam, to
glitter, to warm. It exists in Greek, σέλας, splendor; σελήνη, moon; in
Anglo-Saxon, as _swélan_, to burn, to sweal; in modern German, _schwül_,
oppressively hot. From it we have in Sanskrit the noun _svar_, meaning
sometimes the sky, sometimes the sun; and exactly the same word has been
preserved in Latin, as _sol_; in Gothic as _sauil_; in Anglo-Saxon, as
_sol_. A secondary form of _svar_ is the Sanskrit _sûrya_ for _svârya_,
the sun, which is the same word as the Greek ἥλιος.

All these names were originally mere predicates; they meant bright,
brilliant, warm. But as soon as the name _svar_ or _sûrya_ was formed, it
became, through the irresistible influence of language, the name, not only
of a living, but of a male being. Every noun in Sanskrit must be either a
masculine or a feminine (for the neuter gender was originally confined to
the nominative case), and as _sûrya_ had been formed as a masculine,
language stamped it once for all as the sign of a male being, as much as
if it had been the name of a warrior or a king. In other languages where
the name for sun is a feminine, and the sun is accordingly conceived as a
woman, as a queen, as the bride of the moon, the whole mythology of the
love-making of the heavenly bodies is changed.

You may say that all this shows, not so much the influence of language on
thought, as of thought on language; and that the sexual character of all
words reflects only the peculiarities of a child’s mind, which can
conceive of nothing except as living, as male or female. If a child hurts
itself against a chair, it beats and scolds the chair. The chair is looked
upon not as _it_, but as _he_; it is the naughty chair, quite as much as a
boy is a naughty boy. There is some truth in this, but it only serves to
confirm the right view of the influence of language on thought; for this
tendency, though in its origin intentional, and therefore the result of
thought, became soon a mere rule of tradition in language, and it then
reacted on the mind with irresistible power. As soon, in fact, as _sûryas_
or ἥλιος appears as a masculine, we are in the very thick of mythology. We
have not yet arrived at Helios as a god—that is a much later stage of
thought, which we might describe almost in the words of Plato at the
beginning of the seventh book of the “Republic,” “And after this, he will
reason that the sun is he who gives the seasons and the years, and is the
guardian of all that is in the visible world, and in a certain way the
cause of all things which he and his fellows have been accustomed to
behold.” We have not yet advanced so far, but we have reached at least the
first germs of a myth. In the Homeric hymn to Helios, Helios is not yet
called an immortal, but only ἐπιείκελος ἀθανάτοισι, like unto immortals,
yet he is called the child of Euryphaessa, the son of Hyperion, the
grandson of Uranos and Gæa.(36)

All this is mythology; it is ancient language going beyond its first

Nor is there much difficulty in interpreting this myth. Helios, the sun,
is called the son of Hyperīon, sometimes Hyperīon himself. This name
Hyperīon is derived from the preposition ὑπέρ, the Latin _super_, which
means above. It is derived by means of the suffix -ιων, which originally
was not a patronymic, but simply expressed belonging to. So if Helios was
called Hyperion, this simply meant he who dwells on high, and corresponds
to Latin _Summanus_ or _Superior_, or _Excelsior_. If, on the contrary,
Helios is called Hyperionides, this, too, which meant originally no more
than he who comes from, or belongs to those who dwell on high,(37) led to
the myth that he was the descendant of Hyperion; so that in this case, as
in the case of Zeus Kronīon, the son really led to the conception of his
father. Zeus Kronīon meant originally no more than Zeus the eternal, the
god of ages, the ancient of days; but -ιων becoming usual as a patronymic
suffix, Kronion was supposed to mean the son of Kronos. Kronos, the
father, was created in order to account for the existence of the name
Kronion. If Hyperīon is called the son of Euryphaessa, the wide-shining,
this requires no commentary; for even at present a poet might say that the
sun is born of the wide-shining dawn. You see the spontaneous generation
of mythology with every new name that is formed. As not only the sun, but
also the moon and the dawn could be called dwellers on high, they, too,
took the name of Hyperionis or Hyperionides; and hence Homer called
Selene, the Moon, and Eos, the Dawn, sisters of Helios, and daughters of
Hyperion and Euryphaessa, the Dawn doing service twice, both as mother,
Euryphaessa, and as daughter, Eos. Nay, according to Homer, Euryphaessa,
the Dawn, is not only the wife, but also the sister of Helios. All this is
perfectly intelligible, if we watch the growth of language and mythology;
but it leads, of course, to the most tragic catastrophes as soon as it is
all taken in a literal sense.

Helios is called ἀκάμας, the never-tiring; πανδερκής, the all-seeing;
φαέθων, the shining; and also φοῖβος, the brilliant. This last epithet
φοῖβος has grown into an independent deity Phœbus, and it is particularly
known as a name of Apollon, Phoibos Apollon; thus showing what is also
known from other sources, that in Apollo, too, we have one of the many
mythic disguises of the sun.

So far all is clear, because all the names which we have to deal with are
intelligible, or, at all events, yield to the softest etymological
pressure. But now if we hear the story of Phoibos Apollon falling in love
with Daphne, and Daphne praying to her mother, the Earth, to save her from
Phoibos; and if we read how either the earth received her in her lap, and
then a laurel tree sprang up where she had disappeared, or how she herself
was changed into a laurel tree, what shall we think of this? It is a mere
story, it might be said, and why should there be any meaning in it? My
answer is, because people do not tell such stories of their gods and
heroes, unless there is some sense in them. Besides, if Phoibos means the
sun, why should not Daphne have a meaning too? Before, therefore, we can
decide whether the story of Phoibos and Daphne is a mere invention, we
must try to find out what can have been the meaning of the word Daphne.

In Greek it means a laurel,(38) and this would explain the purely Greek
legend that Daphne was changed into a laurel tree. But who was Daphne? In
order to answer this question, we must have recourse to etymology, or, in
other words, we must examine the history of the word. Etymology, as you
know, is no longer what it used to be; and though there may still be a
classical scholar here and there who crosses himself at the idea of a
Greek word being explained by a reference to Sanskrit, we naturally look
to Sanskrit as the master-key to many a lock which no Greek key will open.
Now Daphne, as I have shown, can be traced back to Sanskrit Ahanâ, and
Ahanâ in Sanskrit means the dawn. As soon as we know this, everything
becomes clear. The story of Phoibos and Daphne is no more than a
description of what every one may see every day; first, the appearance of
the Dawn in the eastern sky, then the rising of the Sun as if hurrying
after his bride, then the gradual fading away of the bright Dawn at the
touch of the fiery rays of the sun, and at last her death or disappearance
in the lap of her mother, the Earth. All this seems to me as clear as
daylight, and the only objection that could be raised against this reading
of the ancient myth would be, if it could be proved, that Ahanâ does not
mean Dawn, and that Daphne cannot be traced back to Ahanâ, or that
_Helios_ does not mean the Sun.

I know there is another objection, but it seems to me so groundless as
hardly to deserve an answer. Why, it is asked, should the ancient nations
have told these endless stories about the Sun and the Dawn, and why should
they have preserved them in their mythology? We might as well ask why the
ancient nations should have invented so many irregular verbs, and why they
should have preserved them in their grammar. A fact does not cease to be a
fact, because we cannot at once explain it. As far as our knowledge goes
at present, we are justified in stating that the Aryan nations preserved
not only their grammatical structure, and a large portion of their
dictionary, from the time which preceded their separation, but that they
likewise retained the names of some of their deities, some legends about
their gods, some popular sayings and proverbs, and in these, it may be,
the seeds of parables, as part of their common Aryan heirloom. Their
mythological lore fills, in fact, a period in the history of Aryan
thought, half-way between the period of language and the period of
literature, and it is this discovery which gives to mythology its
importance in the eyes of the student of the most ancient history and
psychology of mankind.

And do not suppose that the Greeks, or the Hindus, or the Aryan nations in
general, were the only people who possessed such tales. Wherever we look,
in every part of the world, among uncivilized as well as a civilized
people, we find the same kind of stories, the same traditions, the same

I shall give one story from the extreme North, another from the extreme

Among the Esquimaux of Repulse Bay, on the west side of Hudson’s Bay, on
the Arctic Circle, Mr. John Rae picked up the following story:—

“Many years ago, a great Esquimaux Conqueror gained so much power that he
was able to rise unto the heavens, taking with him on one occasion a
sister, a very beautiful girl, and some fire. He added much fuel to the
fire, and thus formed the Sun. For some time he and his sister lived in
great harmony, but after a time he became very cruel, and ill-treated his
sister in many ways. She bore it at first with great patience, until at
last he threw fire at her, and scorched one side of her face. This
spoiling of her beauty was beyond endurance; she therefore ran away from
him, and formed the Moon. Her brother then began, and still continues to
chase her; but although he sometimes got near, he has not yet overtaken
her, nor ever will.

“When it is New Moon, the burnt side of the face is towards us; at Full
Moon it is the reverse.”

There are dialectic varieties in the Mythology of the Esquimaux as of the
Greeks and Hindus, and, with a change of gender between Sun and Moon, the
same story occurs among other tribes in the following form:—

“There was a girl at a party, and some one told his love for her by
shaking her shoulders, after the manner of the country. She could not see
who it was in the dark hut, so she smeared her hands with soot, and when
he came back she blackened his cheek with her hand. When a light was
brought she saw that it was her brother and fled. He ran after her,
followed her, and as she came to the end of the earth, he sprang out into
the sky. Then she became the sun, and he the moon, and this is why the
moon is always chasing the sun through the heavens, and why the moon is
sometimes dark as he turns his blackened cheek towards the earth.”(39)

We now turn to the South, and here, among the lowest of the low, among the
Hottentots, who are despised even by their black neighbors, the Zulus, we
find the following gem of a fable, beaming with mingled rays of religion
and philosophy:—

“The Moon, it is said, sent once an insect to men, saying, ‘Go thou to
men, and tell them, As I die, and dying live, so ye shall also die, and
dying live.’ The insect started with the message, but whilst on his way
was overtaken by the hare, who asked: ‘On what errand art thou bound?’ The
insect answered, ‘I am sent by the Moon to men, to tell them that as she
dies and dying lives, they also shall die and dying live.’ The hare said,
‘As thou art an awkward runner, let me go’ (to take the message). With
these words he ran off, and when he reached men, he said, ‘I am sent by
the Moon to tell you, As I die, and dying perish, in the same manner ye
also shall die and come wholly to an end.’ Then the hare returned to the
Moon, and told her what he had said to men. The Moon reproached him
angrily, saying, ‘Darest thou tell the people a thing which I have not
said?’ With these words she took up a piece of wood, and struck him on the
nose. Since that day the hare’s nose is slit.”

Of this story, too, there are various versions and in one of them the end
is as follows:—

“The hare, having returned to the Moon, was questioned as to the message
delivered, and the Moon, having heard the true state of the case, became
so enraged with him that she took up a hatchet to split his head; falling
short, however, of that, the hatchet fell upon the upper lip of the hare,
and cut it severely. Hence it is that we see the ‘hare-lip.’ The hare,
being duly incensed at having received such treatment, raised his claws,
and scratched the Moon’s face; and the dark parts which we now see on the
surface of the Moon are the scars which she received on that

The Finns, Lapps, and Esthonians do not seem a very poetical race, yet
there is poetry even in their smoky huts, poetry surrounded with all the
splendor of an arctic night, and fragrant with the perfume of moss and
wild flowers. Here is one of their legends:—

“Wanna Issi had two servants, Koit and Ämmarik, and he gave them a torch
which Koit should light every morning, and Ämmarik should extinguish in
the evening. In order to reward their faithful services, Wanna Issi told
them they might be man and wife, but they asked Wanna Issi that he would
allow them to remain forever bride and bridegroom. Wanna Issi assented,
and henceforth Koit handed the torch every evening to Ämmarik, and Ämmarik
took it and extinguished it. Only during four weeks in summer they remain
together at midnight; Koit hands the dying torch to Ämmarik, but Ämmarik
does not let it die, but lights it again with her breath. Then their hands
are stretched out, and their lips meet, and the blush of the face of
Ämmarik colors the midnight sky.”

This myth requires hardly any commentary; yet as long as it is impossible
to explain the names, Wanna Issi, Koit, and Ämmarik, it might be said that
the story was but a love story, invented by an idle Lapp, or Finn, or
Esthonian. But what if Wanna Issi in Esthonian means the Old Father, and
if Koit means the Dawn? Can we then doubt any longer that Ämmarik(41) must
be the Gloaming and that their meeting in the summer reflects those summer
evenings when, particularly in the North, the torch of the sun seems never
to die, and when the Gloaming is seen kissing the Dawn?

I wish I could tell you some more of these stories which have been
gathered from all parts of the world, and which, though they may be
pronounced childish and tedious by some critics, seem to me to glitter
with the brightest dew of nature’s own poetry, and to contain those very
touches that make us feel akin, not only with Homer or Shakespeare, but
even with Lapps, and Finns, and Kaffirs.

I cannot resist, however, the temptation of inserting here a poetical
rendering of the story of Koit and Ämmarik, sent to me from the New World,
remarking only that instead of Lapland, Esthonia is really the country
that may claim the original story.


    “Two servants were in Wanna Issi’s pay;
      A blazing torch their care;
    Each morning Koit must light it till its ray
      Flamed through the air;

    “And every evening Ämmarik’s fair hand
      Must quench the waning light;
    Then over all the weary, waiting land
      Fell the still night.

    “So passed the time; then Wanna Issi said,
      “For faithful service done,
    Lo, here reward! To-morrow shall ye wed,
      And so be one.”

    “ ‘Not so,’ said Koit; ‘for sweeter far to me
      The joy that neareth still;
    Then grant us ever fast betrothed to be.”
      They had their will.

    “And now the blazing lustre to transfer
      Himself, is all his claim;
    Warm from her lover’s hand it comes to her,
      To quench the flame.

    “Only for four times seven lengthening days,
      At midnight, do they stand
    Together, while Koit gives the dying blaze
      To Ämmarik’s hand.

    “O wonder then! She lets it not expire,
      But lights it with her breath—
    The breath of love, that, warm with quickening fire,
      Wakes life from death.

    “Then hands stretch out, and touch, and clasp on high,
      Then lip to lip is pressed,
    And Ämmarik’s blushes tinge the midnight sky
      From east to west.”


If people cannot bring themselves to believe in solar and celestial myths
among the Hindus and Greeks, let them study the folk-lore of the Semitic
and Turanian races. I know there is, on the part of some of our most
distinguished scholars, the same objection against comparing Aryan to
non-Aryan myths, as there is against any attempt to explain the features
of Sanskrit or Greek by a reference to Finnish or Bask. In one sense that
objection is well founded, for nothing would create greater confusion than
to ignore the genealogical principle as the only safe one in a scientific
classification of languages, of myths, and even of customs. We must first
classify our myths and legends, as we classify our languages and dialects.
We must first of all endeavor to explain what wants explanation in one
member of a family by a reference to other members of the same family,
before we allow ourselves to glance beyond. But there is in a comparative
study of languages and myths not only a philological, but also a
philosophical, and, more particularly, a psychological interest, and
though even in this more general study of mankind the frontiers of
language and race ought never to disappear, yet they can no longer be
allowed to narrow or intercept our view. How much the student of Aryan
mythology and ethnology may gain for his own progress by allowing himself
a wider survey over the traditions and customs of the whole human race, is
best known to those who have studied the works of Klemm, Waitz, Bastian,
Sir John Lubbock, Mr. Tylor, and Dr. Callaway. What is prehistoric in
language among the Aryan nations, is frequently found as still historic
among Turanian races. The same applies with regard to religions, myths,
legends, and customs. Among Finns and Lapps, among Zulus and Maoris, among
Khonds and Karens, we sometimes find the most startling analogies to Aryan
traditions, and we certainly learn, again and again, this one important
lesson, that as in language, so in mythology, there is nothing which had
not originally a meaning, that every name of the gods and heroes had a
beginning, a purpose, and a history.

Jupiter was no more called Jupiter by accident, than the Polynesian
_Maui_, the Samoyede _Num_, or the Chinese _Tien_.(42) If we can discover
the original meaning of these names, we have reached the first ground of
their later growth. I do not say that, if we can explain the first purpose
of the mythological names, we have solved the whole riddle of mythology,
but I maintain that we have gained firm ground. I maintain that every true
etymology gives us an historical fact, because the first giving of a name
was an historical fact, and an historical fact of the greatest importance
for the later development of ancient ideas. Think only of this one fact,
which no one would now venture to doubt, that the supreme deity of the
Greeks, the Romans, the Germans, is called by the same name as the supreme
deity of the earliest Aryan settlers in India. Does not this one fact draw
away the curtain from the dark ages of antiquity, and open before our eyes
an horizon which we can hardly measure by years? The Greek _Zeus_ is the
same word as the Latin _Ju_ in _Jupiter_, as the German _Tiu_; and all
these were merely dialectic varieties of the Vedic _Dyaus_.(43) Now
_dyaus_ in Sanskrit is the name of the sky, if used as a feminine; if used
as a masculine, as it is still in the Veda, it is the sky as a man or as a
god—it is Zeus, the father of gods and men. You know, of course, that the
whole language of ancient India is but a sister dialect of Greek, Latin,
of German, Keltic, and Slavonic, and that if the Greek says _es-ti_, he
is, if the Roman says _est_, the German _ist_, the Slave _yesté_, the
Hindu, three thousand years ago, said _as-ti_, he is. This _as-ti_ is a
compound of a root _as_, to be, and the pronoun _ti_. The root meant
originally _to breathe_, and dwindled down after a time to the meaning of
_to be_. All this must have happened before a single Greek or German
reached the shores of Europe, and before a single Brahman descended into
the plains of India. At that distant time we must place the gradual growth
of language and ideas, of a language which we are still speaking, of ideas
which we are still thinking; and at the same time only can we explain the
framing of those names which were the first attempts at grasping
supernatural powers, which became in time the names of the deities of the
ancient world, the heroes of mythology, the chief actors in many a legend,
nay, some of which have survived in the nursery tales of our own time.(44)

My time, I see, is nearly over, but before I finish, I feel that I have a
duty to perform from which I ought not to shrink. Some of those who have
honored me with their presence to-night may recollect that about a year
ago a lecture was delivered in this very room by Professor Blackie, in
which he tried to throw discredit on the scientific method of the
interpretation of popular myths, or on what I call Comparative Mythology.
Had he confined his remarks to the subject itself, I should have felt most
grateful for his criticisms, little minding the manner in which they were
conveyed—for a student of language knows what words are made of. Nor, had
his personal reflections concerned myself alone, should I have felt called
upon to reply to them thus publicly, for it has always seemed to me that
unless we protest against unmerited praise, we have no right to protest
against unmerited abuse. I believe I can appeal to all here present, that
during the many years I have had the honor to lecture in this Institution,
I have _not once_ allowed myself to indulge in any personal remarks, or
attacked those who, being absent, cannot defend themselves. Even when I
had to answer objections, or to refute false theories, I have always most
carefully avoided mentioning the names of living writers. But as Professor
Blackie has directed his random blows, not against myself, but against a
friend of mine, Mr. Cox, the author of a work on Aryan Mythology, I feel
that I must for once try to get angry, and return blow for blow. Professor
Blackie speaks of Mr. Cox as if he had done nothing beyond repeating what
I had said before. Nothing can be more unfair. My own work in Comparative
Mythology has consisted chiefly in laying down some of the general
principles of that science, and in the etymological interpretation of some
of the ancient names of gods, goddesses, and heroes. In fact, I have made
it a rule never to interpret or to compare the legends of India, Greece,
Italy, or Germany, except in cases where it was possible, first of all, to
show an identity or similarity in the Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, or German
names of the principal actors. Mr. Cox having convinced himself that the
method which I have followed in mythology rests on sound and truly
scientific principles, has adopted most, though by no means all, of my
etymological interpretations. Professor Blackie, on the contrary, without
attempting any explanation of the identity of mythological names in Greek
and Sanskrit which must be either disproved or explained, thunders forth
the following sentence of condemnation: “Even under the scientific
guidance of a Bopp, a Bott, a Grimm, and a Müller, a sober man may
sometimes, even in the full blaze of the new sun of comparative philology,
allow himself to drink deep draughts, if not of _maundering madness_, at
least of _manifest hallucination_.”

If such words are thrown at my head, I pick them up chiefly as
etymological curiosities, and as striking illustrations of what Mr. Tylor
calls “survivals in culture,” showing how the most primitive implements of
warfare, rude stones and unpolished flints, which an ethnologist would
suppose to be confined to prehistoric races, to the red Indians of America
or the wild Picts of Caledonia, turn up again most unexpectedly at the
present day in the very centre of civilized life. All I can say is, that
if, as a student of Comparative Mythology, I have been drinking deep
draughts of maundering madness, I have been drinking in good company. In
this respect Mr. Cox has certainly given me far more credit than I
deserve. I am but one out of many laborers in this rich field of
scientific research, and he ought to have given far greater prominence to
the labors of Grimm, Burnouf, Bopp, and, before all, of my learned friend,
Professor Kuhn.

But while, with regard to etymology, Mr. Cox contents himself with
reporting the results of other scholars, he stands quite independent in
his own treatment of Comparative Mythology. Of this Professor Blackie
seems to have no suspicion whatever. The plan which Mr. Cox follows is to
collect the coincidences in the legends themselves, and to show how in
different myths the same story with slight variations is told again and
again of different gods and heroes. In this respect his work is entirely
original and very useful; for although these coincidences may be explained
in different ways, and do not afford a proof of a common historical origin
of the mythologies of India, Greece, Italy, and Germany, they are all the
more interesting from a purely psychological point of view, and supply
important material for further researches. Mr. Tylor has lately worked
with great success in the same rich mine; extending the limits of
mythological research far beyond the precincts of the Aryan world, and
showing that there are solar myths wherever the sun shines. I differ from
Mr. Cox on many points, as he differs from me. I shall certainly keep to
my own method of never attempting an interpretation or a comparison,
except where the ground has first been cleared of all uncertainty by
etymological research, and where the names of different gods and heroes
have been traced back to a common source. I call this the _nominalistic_
as opposed to the _realistic_ method of Comparative Mythology, and it is
the former only that concerns the student of the Science of Language. I
gratefully acknowledge, however, the help which I have received from Mr.
Cox’s work, particularly as suggesting new clusters of myths that might be
disentangled by etymological analysis.

But not only has Professor Blackie failed to perceive the real character
of Mr. Cox’s researches, but he has actually charged him with holding
opinions which both Mr. Cox and myself have repeatedly disavowed, and most
strenuously opposed. Again and again have we warned the students of
Comparative Mythology that they must not expect to be able to explain
everything. Again and again have we pointed out that there are irrational
elements in mythology, and that we must be prepared to find grains of
local history on which, as I said,(45) the sharpest tools of Comparative
Mythology must bend or break. Again and again have we shown that
historical persons(46)—not only Cyrus and Charlemagne, but Frederick
Barbarossa and even Frederick the Great—have been drawn into the vortex of
popular mythology. Yet these are the words of Professor Blackie: “The cool
way in which Max Müller and his English disciple, Mr. Cox, assume that
there are no human figures and historical characters in the whole gallery
of heroes and demi-gods in the Greek Mythology, is something very

I readily admit that some of the etymologies which I have proposed of
mythological names are open to criticism; and if, like other scholars,
Professor Blackie had pointed out to me any cases where I might seem to
him to have offended against Grimm’s law or other phonetic rules, I should
have felt most grateful; but if he tells me that the Greek Erinys should
not be derived from the Sanskrit Sara_n_yû, but from the Greek verb
ἐρινύειν, to be angry, he might as well derive _critic_ from _to
criticise_;(47) and if he maintains that a name may have two or three
legitimate etymologies, I can only answer that we might as well say that a
child could have two or three legitimate mothers.

I have most reluctantly entered upon these somewhat personal explanations,
and I should not have done so if I alone had been concerned in Professor
Blackie’s onslaught. I hope, however, that I have avoided anything that
could give just offence to Professor Blackie, even if he should be present
here tonight. Though he abuses me as a German, and laughs at the
instinctive aversion to external facts and the extravagant passion for
self-evolved ideas as national failings of all Germans (I only wonder that
the story of the camel and the inner consciousness did not come in), yet I
know that for many years German poetry and German scholarship have had few
more ardent admirers, and German scholars few more trusty friends, than
Professor Blackie. Nationality, it seems to me, has as little to do with
scholarship as with logic. On the contrary, in every nation he that will
work hard and reason honestly may be sure to discover some grains of
truth. National jealousies and animosities have no place in the republic
of letters, which is, and I trust always will be, the true international
republic of all friends of work, of order, and of truth.



Very different from the real similarities that can be discovered in nearly
all the religions of the world, and which, owing to their deeply human
character, in no way necessitate the admission that one religion borrowed
from the other, are those minute coincidences between the Jewish and the
Pagan religions which have so often been discussed by learned theologians,
and which were intended by them as proof positive, either that the Pagans
borrowed their religious ideas direct from the Old Testament, or that some
fragments of a primeval revelation, granted to the ancestors of the whole
race of mankind, had been preserved in the temples of Greece and Italy.

Bochart, in his “Geographia Sacra,” considered the identity of Noah and
Saturn so firmly established as hardly to admit of the possibility of a
doubt. The three sons of Saturn—Jupiter, Neptune, and Pluto—he represented
as having been originally the three sons of Noah: Jupiter being Ham;
Neptune, Japhet; and Shem, Pluto. Even in the third generation the two
families were proved to have been one, for Phut, the son of Ham, or of
Jupiter Hammon, could be no other than Apollo Pythius; Canaan no other
than Mercury; and Nimrod no other than Bacchus, whose original name was
supposed to have been Bar-chus, the son of Cush. G. J. Vossius, in his
learned work, “De Origine et Progressu Idolatriæ” (1688), identified
Saturn with Adam, Janus with Noah, Pluto with Ham, Neptune with Japhet,
Minerva with Naamah, Vulcan with Tubal Cain, Typhon with Og. Huet, the
friend of Bochart, and the colleague of Bossuet, went still farther; and
in his classical work, the “Demonstratio Evangelica,” he attempted to
prove that the whole theology of the heathen nations was borrowed from
Moses, whom he identified not only with ancient law-givers, like Zoroaster
and Orpheus, but with gods and demi-gods, such as Apollo, Vulcan, Faunus,
and Priapus.

All this happened not more than two hundred years ago; and even a hundred
years ago, nay, even after the discovery of Sanskrit and the rise of
Comparative Philology, the troublesome ghost of Huet was by no means laid
at once. On the contrary, as soon as the ancient language and religion of
India became known in Europe, they were received by many people in the
same spirit. Sanskrit, like all other languages, was to be derived from
Hebrew, the ancient religion of the Brahmans from the Old Testament.

There was at that time an enthusiasm among Oriental scholars, particularly
at Calcutta, and an interest for Oriental antiquities in the public at
large, of which we in these days of apathy for Eastern literature can
hardly form an adequate idea. Everybody wished to be first in the field,
and to bring to light some of the treasures which were supposed to be
hidden in the sacred literature of the Brahmans. Sir William Jones, the
founder of the Asiatic Society at Calcutta, published in the first volume
of the “Asiatic Researches” his famous essay, “On the Gods of Greece,
Italy, and India;” and he took particular care to state that his essay,
though published only in 1788, had been written in 1784. In that essay he
endeavored to show that there existed an intimate connection, not only
between the mythology of India and that of Greece and Italy, but likewise
between the legendary stories of the Brahmans and the accounts of certain
historical events as recorded in the Old Testament. No doubt, the
temptation was great. No one could look down for a moment into the rich
mine of religious and mythological lore that was suddenly opened before
the eyes of scholars and theologians, without being struck by a host of
similarities, not only in the languages, but also in the ancient
traditions of the Hindus, the Greeks, and the Romans; and if at that time
the Greeks and Romans were still supposed to have borrowed their language
and their religion from Jewish quarters, the same conclusion could hardly
be avoided with regard to the language and the religion of the Brahmans of

The first impulse to look in the ancient religion of India for
reminiscences of revealed truth seems to have come from missionaries
rather than from scholars. It arose from a motive, in itself most
excellent, of finding some common ground for those who wished to convert
and those who were to be converted. Only, instead of looking for that
common ground where it really was to be found—namely, in the broad
foundations on which all religions are built up: the belief in a divine
power, the acknowledgment of sin, the habit of prayer, the desire to offer
sacrifice, and the hope of a future life—the students of Pagan religion as
well as Christian missionaries were bent on discovering more striking and
more startling coincidences, in order to use them in confirmation of their
favorite theory that some rays of a primeval revelation, or some
reflection of the Jewish religion, had reached the uttermost ends of the
world. This was a dangerous proceeding—dangerous because superficial,
dangerous because undertaken with a foregone conclusion; and very soon the
same arguments that had been used on one side in order to prove that all
religious truth had been derived from the Old Testament were turned
against Christian scholars and Christian missionaries, in order to show
that it was not Brahmanism and Buddhism which had borrowed from the Old
and New Testament, but that the Old and the New Testament had borrowed
from the more ancient religions of the Brahmans and Buddhists.

This argument was carried out, for instance, in Holwell’s “Original
Principles of the Ancient Brahmans,” published in London as early as 1779,
in which the author maintains that “the Brahmanic religion is the first
and purest product of supernatural revelation,” and “that the Hindu
scriptures contain to a moral certainty the original doctrines and terms
of restoration delivered from God himself, by the mouth of his first
created Birmah, to mankind, at his first creation in the form of man.”

Sir William Jones(48) tells us that one or two missionaries in India had
been absurd enough, in their zeal for the conversion of the Gentiles, to
urge “that the Hindus were even now almost Christians, because their
Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesa were no other than the Christian Trinity;” a
sentence in which, he adds, we can only doubt whether folly, ignorance, or
impiety predominates.

Sir William Jones himself was not likely to fall into that error. He
speaks against it most emphatically. “Either,” he says, “the first eleven
chapters of Genesis—all due allowance being made for a figurative Eastern
style—are true, or the whole fabric of our national religion is false; a
conclusion which none of us, I trust, would wish to be drawn. But it is
not the truth of our national religion as such that I have at heart; it is
truth itself; and if any cool, unbiassed reasoner will clearly convince me
that Moses drew his narrative through Egyptian conduits from the primeval
fountains of Indian literature, I shall esteem him as a friend for having
weeded my mind from a capital error, and promise to stand amongst the
foremost in assisting to circulate the truth which he has ascertained.”

But though he speaks so strongly against the uncritical proceedings of
those who would derive anything that is found in the Old Testament from
Indian sources, Sir William Jones himself was really guilty of the same
want of critical caution in his own attempts to identify the gods and
heroes of Greece and Rome with the gods and heroes of India. He begins his
essay,(49) “On the Gods of Greece, Italy, and India,” with the following

“We cannot justly conclude, by arguments preceding the proof of facts,
that one idolatrous people must have borrowed their deities, rites, and
tenets from another, since gods of all shapes and dimensions may be framed
by the boundless powers of imagination, or by the frauds and follies of
men, in countries never connected; but when features of resemblance, too
strong to have been accidental, are observable in different systems of
polytheism, without fancy or prejudice to color them and improve the
likeness, we can scarce help believing that some connection has
immemorially subsisted between the several nations who have adopted them.
It is my design in this essay to point out such a resemblance between the
popular worship of the old Greeks and Italians and that of the Hindus; nor
can there be any room to doubt of a great similarity between their strange
religions and that of Egypt, China, Persia, Phrygia, Phœnice, and Syria;
to which, perhaps, we may safely add some of the southern kingdoms, and
even islands of America; while the Gothic system which prevailed in the
northern regions of Europe was not merely similar to those of Greece and
Italy, but almost the same in another dress, with an embroidery of images
apparently Asiatic. From all this, if it be satisfactorily proved, we may
infer a general union or affinity between the most distinguished
inhabitants of the primitive world at the time when they deviated, as they
did too early deviate, from the rational adoration of the only true God.”

Here, then, in an essay written nearly a hundred years ago by Sir W.
Jones, one of the most celebrated Oriental scholars in England, it might
seem as if we should find the first outlines of that science which is
looked upon as but of to-day or yesterday—the outlines of Comparative
Mythology. But in such an expectation we are disappointed. What we find is
merely a superficial comparison of the mythology of India and that of
other nations, both Aryan and Semitic, without any scientific value,
because carried out without any of those critical tests which alone keep
Comparative Mythology from running riot. This is not intended as casting a
slur on Sir W. Jones. At his time the principles which have now been
established by the students of the science of language were not yet known,
and as with words, so with the names of deities, similarity of sound, the
most treacherous of all sirens, was the only guide in such researches.

It is not pleasant to have to find fault with a man possessed of such
genius, taste, and learning as Sir W. Jones, but no one who is acquainted
with the history of these researches will be surprised at my words. It is
the fate of all pioneers, not only to be left behind in the assault which
they had planned, but to find that many of their approaches were made in a
false direction, and had to be abandoned. But as the authority of their
names continues to sway the public at large, and is apt to mislead even
painstaking students and to entail upon them repeated disappointments, it
is necessary that those who know should speak out, even at the risk of
being considered harsh or presumptuous.

A few instances will suffice to show how utterly baseless the comparisons
are which Sir W. Jones instituted between the gods of India, Greece, and
Italy. He compares the Latin Janus with the Sanskrit deity Ganesa. It is
well known that Janus is connected with the same root that has yielded the
names of Jupiter, Zeus, and Dyaus, while Ganesa is a compound, meaning
lord of hosts, lord of the companies of gods.

Saturnus is supposed to have been the same as Noah, and is then identified
by Sir W. Jones with the Indian Manu Satyavrata, who escaped from the
flood. Ceres is compared with the goddess Sri, Jupiter or Diespiter with
Indra or Divaspati; and though etymology is called a weak basis for
historical inquiries, the three syllables Jov in Jovis, Zeu in Zeus, and
Siv in Siva are placed side by side, as possibly containing the same root,
only differently pronounced. Now the s of Siva is a palatal s, and no
scholar who has once looked into a book on Comparative Philology need be
told that such an s could never correspond to a Greek Zeta or a Latin J.

In K_ri_sh_n_a, the lovely shepherd-god, Sir W. Jones recognizes the
features of Apollo Nomius, who fed the herds of Admetus, and slew the
dragon Python; and he leaves it to etymologists to determine whether
Gopâla—_i. e._, the cow-herd—may not be the same word as Apollo. We are
also assured, on the authority of Colonel Vallancey, that K_ri_sh_n_a in
Irish means the sun, and that the goddess Kâlî, to whom human sacrifices
were offered, as enjoined in the Vedas (?) was the same as Hekate. In
conclusion, Sir W. Jones remarks, “I strongly incline to believe that
Egyptian priests have actually come from the Nile to the Gangâ and Yamunâ,
and that they visited the Sarmans of India, as the sages of Greece visited
them, rather to acquire than to impart knowledge.”

The interest that had been excited by Sir William Jones’s researches did
not subside, though he himself did not return to the subject, but devoted
his great powers to more useful labors. Scholars, both in India and in
Europe, wanted to know more of the ancient religion of India. If Jupiter,
Apollo, and Janus had once been found in the ancient pantheon of the
Brahmans; if the account of Noah and the deluge could be traced back to
the story of Manu Satyavrata, who escaped from the flood, more discoveries
might be expected in this newly-opened mine, and people rushed to it with
all the eagerness of gold-diggers. The idea that everything in India was
of extreme antiquity had at that time taken a firm hold on the minds of
all students of Sanskrit; and, as there was no one to check their
enthusiasm, everything that came to light in Sanskrit literature was
readily accepted as more ancient than Homer, or even than the Old

It was under these influences that Lieutenant Wilford, a contemporary of
Sir William Jones at Calcutta, took up the thread which Sir William Jones
had dropped, and determined at all hazards to solve the question which at
that time had excited a worldwide interest. Convinced that the Brahmans
possessed in their ancient literature the originals, not only of Greek and
Roman mythology, but likewise of the Old Testament history, he tried every
possible means to overcome their reserve and reticence. He related to
them, as well as he could, the principal stories of classical mythology,
and the leading events in the history of the Old Testament; he assured
them that they would find the same things in their ancient books, if they
would but look for them; he held out the hopes of ample rewards for any
extracts from their sacred literature containing the histories of Adam and
Eve, of Deukalion and Prometheus; and at last he succeeded. The coyness of
the Pandits yielded; the incessant demand created a supply; and for
several years essay after essay appeared in the “Asiatic Researches,” with
extracts from Sanskrit MSS., containing not only the names of Deukalion,
Prometheus, and other heroes and deities of Greece, but likewise the names
of Adam and Eve, of Abraham and Sarah, and all the rest.

Great was the surprise, still greater the joy, not only in Calcutta, but
in London, at Paris, and all the universities of Germany. The Sanskrit
MSS. from which Lieutenant Wilford quoted, and on which his theories were
based, had been submitted to Sir W. Jones and other scholars; and though
many persons were surprised, and for a time even incredulous, yet the fact
could not be denied that all was found in these Sanskrit MSS. as stated by
Lieutenant Wilford. Sir W. Jones, then President of the Asiatic Society,
printed the following declaration at the end of the third volume of the
“Asiatic Researches”:—

“Since I am persuaded that the learned essay on Egypt and the Nile has
afforded you equal delight with that which I have myself received from it,
I cannot refrain from endeavoring to increase your satisfaction by
confessing openly that I have at length abandoned the greatest part of the
natural distrust, and incredulity which had taken possession of my mind
before I had examined the sources from which our excellent associate,
Lieutenant Wilford, has drawn so great a variety of new and interesting
opinions. Having lately read again and again, both alone and with a
Pandit, the numerous original passages in the Purânas, and other Sanskrit
books, which the writer of the dissertation adduces in support of his
assertions, I am happy in bearing testimony to his perfect good faith and
general accuracy, both in his extracts and in the translation of them.”

Sir W. Jones then proceeds himself to give a translation of some of these
passages. “The following translation,” he writes, “of an extract from the
Padma-purâna is minutely exact”:—

“1. To _Satyavarman_, the sovereign of the whole earth, were born three
sons; the eldest, _Sherma_; then _Charma_; and thirdly, _Jyapeti_.

“2. They were all men of good morals, excellent in virtue and virtuous
deeds, skilled in the use of weapons to strike with, or to be thrown,
brave men, eager for victory in battle.

“3. But _Satyavarman_, being continually delighted with devout meditation,
and seeing his sons fit for dominion, laid upon them the burden of

“4. Whilst he remained honoring and satisfying the gods, and priests, and
kine. One day, by the act of destiny, the king, having drunk mead,

“5. Became senseless, and lay asleep naked; then was he seen by _Charma_,
and by him were his two brothers called.

“6. To whom he said: What now has befallen? In what state is this our
sire? By those two was he hidden with clothes, and called to his senses
again and again.

“7. Having recovered his intellect, and perfectly knowing what had passed,
he cursed _Charma_, saying, Thou shalt be the servant of servants:

“8. And since thou wast a laugher in their presence, from laughter shalt
thou acquire a name. Then he gave to _Sherma_ the wide domain on the south
of the snowy mountains.

“9. And to _Jyapeti_ he gave all on the north of the snowy mountains; but
he, by the power of religious contemplation, obtained supreme bliss.”

After this testimony from Sir W. Jones—wrung from him, as it would seem,
against his own wish and will—Lieutenant Wilford’s essays became more
numerous and more startling every year.

At last, however, the coincidences became too great. The MSS. were again
carefully examined; and then it was found that a clever forgery had been
committed, that leaves had been inserted in ancient MSS., and that on
these leaves the Pandits, urged by Lieutenant Wilford to disclose their
ancient mysteries and traditions, had rendered in correct Sanskrit verse
all that they had heard about Adam and Abraham from their inquisitive
master. Lieutenant (then Colonel) Wilford did not hesitate for one moment
to confess publicly that he had been imposed upon; but in the meantime the
mischief had been done, his essays had been read all over Europe, they
retained their place in the volumes of the “Asiatic Researches,” and to
the present day some of his statements and theories continue to be quoted
authoritatively by writers on ancient religion.

Such accidents, and, one might almost say, such misfortunes, will happen,
and it would be extremely unfair were we to use unnecessarily harsh
language with regard to those to whom they have happened. It is perfectly
true that at present, after the progress that has been made in an accurate
and critical study of Sanskrit, it would be unpardonable if any Sanskrit
scholar accepted such passages as those translated by Sir W. Jones as
genuine. Yet it is by no means certain that a further study of Sanskrit
will not lead to similar disenchantments, and deprive many a book in
Sanskrit literature which now is considered as very ancient of its claims
to any high antiquity. Certain portions of the Veda even, which, as far as
our knowledge goes at present, we are perfectly justified in referring to
the tenth or twelfth century before our era, may some day or other dwindle
down from their high estate, and those who have believed in their extreme
antiquity will then be held up to blame or ridicule, like Sir W. Jones or
Colonel Wilford. This cannot be avoided, for science is progressive, and
does not acknowledge, even in the most distinguished scholars, any claims
to infallibility. One lesson only may we learn from the disappointment
that befell Colonel Wilford, and that is to be on our guard against
anything which in ordinary language would be called “too good to be true.”

Comparative Philology has taught us again and again that when we find a
word exactly the same in Greek and Sanskrit, we may be certain that it
cannot be the same word; and the same applies to Comparative Mythology.
The same god or the same hero cannot have exactly the same name in
Sanskrit and Greek, for the simple reason that Sanskrit and Greek have
deviated from each other, have both followed their own way, have both
suffered their own phonetic corruptions; and hence, if they do possess the
same word, they can only possess it either in its Greek or its Sanskrit
disguise. And if that caution applies to Sanskrit and Greek, members of
the same family of language, how much more strongly must it apply to
Sanskrit and Hebrew! If the first man were called in Sanskrit Âdima, and
in Hebrew Adam, and if the two were really the same word, then Hebrew and
Sanskrit could not be members of two different families of speech, or we
should be driven to admit that Adam was borrowed by the Jews from the
Hindus for it is in Sanskrit only that âdima means the first, whereas in
Hebrew it has no such meaning.

The same remark applies to a curious coincidence pointed out many years
ago by Mr. Ellis in his “Polynesian Researches” (London, 1829, vol. ii. p.
38). We there read:—

“A very generally received Tahitian tradition is that the first human pair
were made by Taaroa, the principal deity formerly acknowledged by the
nation. On more than one occasion I have listened to the details of the
people respecting his work of creation. They say that, after Taaroa had
formed the world, he created man out of araea, red earth, which was also
the food of man until bread first was made. In connection with this some
relate that Taaroa one day called for the man by name. When he came, he
caused him to fall asleep, and, while he slept, he took out one of his
_ivi_, or bones, and with it made a woman, whom he gave to the man as his
wife, and they became the progenitors of mankind. This,” Mr. Ellis
continues, “always appeared to me a mere recital of the Mosaic account of
creation, which they had heard from some European, and I never placed any
reliance on it, although they have repeatedly told me it was a tradition
among them before any foreigners arrived. Some have also stated that the
woman’s name was _Ivi_, which would be by them pronounced as if written
_Eve_. _Ivi_ is an aboriginal word, and not only signifies a bone, but
also a widow, and a victim slain in war. Notwithstanding the assertion of
the natives, I am disposed to think that _Ivi_, or _Eve_, is the only
aboriginal part of the story, as far as it respects the mother of the
human race. Should more careful and minute inquiry confirm the truth of
this declaration, and prove that their account was in existence among them
prior to their intercourse with Europeans, it will be the most remarkable
and valuable oral tradition of the origin of the human race yet known.”

In this case, I believe the probability is that the story of the creation
of the first woman from the bone of a man(50) existed among the Tahitians
before their intercourse with Christians, but I need hardly add that the
similarity between the Polynesian name for bone, _ivi_, even when it was
used as the name of the first woman, and the English corruption of the
Hebrew הוה, Chāvah, Eve, could be the result of accident only. Whatever
Chāvah meant in Hebrew, whether life or living or anything else, it never
meant bone, while the Tahitian _ivi_, the Maori _wheva_,(51) meant bone,
and bone only.

These principles and these cautions were hardly thought of in the days of
Sir William Jones and Colonel Wilford, but they ought to be thought of at
present. Thus, before Bopp had laid down his code of phonetic laws, and
before Burnouf had written his works on Buddhism, one cannot be very much
surprised that Buddha should have been identified with Minos and Lamech;
nay, that even the Babylonian deity Belus, and the Teutonic deity Wodan or
Odin, should have been supposed to be connected with the founder of
Buddhism in India. As Burnouf said in his “Introduction a l’Histoire du
Buddhisme,” p. 70: “On avait même fait du Buddha une planète; et je ne
sais pas si quelques savants ne se plaisent pas encore aujourd’hui à
retrouver ce sage paisible sous les traits du belliqueux Odin.” But we did
not expect that we should have to read again, in a book published in 1869,
such statements as these:(52)—

“There is certainly a much greater similarity between the Buddhism of the
Topes and the Scandinavian mythology than between it and the Buddhism of
the books; but still the gulf between the two is immense; and if any
traces of the doctrines of the gentle ascetic (Buddha) ever existed in the
bosom of Odin or his followers, while dwelling near the roots of the
Caucasus, all that can be said is, that they suffered fearful shipwreck
among the rocks of the savage superstitions of the North, and sank, never
again to appear on the surface of Scandinavian mythology. If the two
religions come anywhere in contact, it is at their base, for underlying
both there existed a strange substratum of Tree and Serpent Worship; on
this the two structures seem to have been raised, though they afterwards
diverged into forms so strangely dissimilar” (p. 34).

Or again (p. 32):—

“We shall probably not err far if we regard these traces of serpent
worship as indicating the presence in the Northeast of Scotland of the
head of that column of migration, or of propagandism, which, under the
myth of Wodenism, we endeavored in a previous chapter to trace from the
Caucasus to Scandinavia.”

“The arbors under which two of the couples are seated are curious
instances of that sort of summer-house which may be found adorning
tea-gardens in the neighborhood of London to the present day. It is scenes
like these that make us hesitate before asserting that there could not
possibly be any connection between Buddhism and Wodenism” (p. 140).

“One of the most tempting nominal similarities connected with this subject
is suggested by the name of Mâyâ. The mother of Buddha was called Mâyâ.
The mother of Mercury was also Maia, the daughter of Atlas. The Romans
always called Wodin, Mercury, and _dies Mercurii_ and _Wodensday_ alike
designated the fourth day of the week.... These and other similarities
have been frequently pointed out and insisted upon, and they are too
numerous and too distinct not to have some foundation in reality” (p. 186,

Statements like these cannot be allowed to pass unnoticed or
uncontradicted, particularly if supported by the authority of a great
name; and after having spoken so freely of the unscientific character of
the mythological comparisons instituted by scholars like Sir William Jones
and Lieutenant Wilford, who can no longer defend themselves, it would be
mere cowardice to shrink from performing the same unpleasant duty in the
case of a living writer, who has shown that he knows how to wield the
weapons both of defence and attack.

It is perfectly true that the mother of Buddha was called Mâyâ, but it is
equally true that the Sanskrit Mâyâ cannot be the Greek Maiā. It is quite
true, also, that the fourth day of the week is called _dies Mercurii_ in
Latin, and Wednesday in English; nay, that in Sanskrit the same day is
called _Budha-dina_ or _Budha-vâra_. But the origin of all these names
falls within perfectly historical times, and can throw no light whatever
on the early growth of mythology and religion.

First of all, we have to distinguish between _Budha_ and _Buddha_. The two
names, though so like each other, and therefore constantly mistaken one
for the other, have nothing in common but their root. _Buddha_ with two
d’s, is the participle of _budh_, and means awakened, enlightened.(53) It
is the name given to those who have reached the highest stage of human
wisdom, and it is known most generally as the title of Gotama,
_S_âkya-muni, the founder of Buddhism, whose traditional era dates from
543 B. C. _Budha_, on the contrary, with one d, means simply knowing, and
it became in later times, when the Hindus received from the Greeks a
knowledge of the planets, the name of the planet Mercury.

It is well known that the names of the seven days of the week are derived
from the names of the planets,(54) and it is equally well known that in
Europe the system of weeks and week-days is comparatively of very modern
origin. It was not a Greek, nor a Roman, nor a Hindu, but a Jewish or
Babylonian invention. The Sabbath (Sabbata) was known and kept at Rome in
the first century B. C. with many superstitious practices. It is mentioned
by Horace, Ovid, Tibullus (_dies Saturni_), Persius, Juvenal. Ovid calls
it a day “_rebus minus apta gerendis_.” Augustus (Suet. “Aug.” c. 76)
evidently imagined that the Jews fasted on their Sabbath, for he said,
“Not even a Jew keeps the fast of the Sabbath so strictly as I have kept
this day.” In fact, Josephus (“Contra Apion.” ii. 39) was able to say that
there was no town, Greek or not Greek, where the custom observing the
seventh day had not spread.(55) It is curious that we find the seventh
day, the Sabbath, even under its new Pagan name, as _dies Saturni_ or
_Kronike_, mentioned by Roman and Greek writers, before the names of the
other days of the week made their appearance. Tibullus speaks of the day
of Saturn, _dies Saturni_; Julius Frontinus (under Nerva, 96-98) says that
Vespasian attacked the Jews on the day of Saturn, _dies Saturni_; and
Justin Martyr (died 165) states that Christ was crucified the day before
the day of Kronos, and appeared to his disciples the day after the day of
Kronos. He does not use the names of Friday and Sunday. Sunday, as _dies
Solis_, is mentioned by Justin Martyr (“Apolog.” i. 67), and by Tertullian
(died 220), the usual name of that day amongst Christians being the
Lord’s-day, Κυριακή, _dominica_ or _dominicus_. Clemens of Alexandria
(died 220) seems to have been the first who used the names of Wednesday
and Friday, Ἑρμοῦ καὶ Ἀφροδίτης ἡμέρα.

It is generally stated, on the authority of Cassius Dio, that the system
of counting by weeks and weekdays was first introduced in Egypt, and that
at his time, early in the third century, the Romans had adopted it, though
but recently. Be this as it may, it would seem that, if Tibullus could use
the name of _dies Saturni_ for Saturday, the whole system of weekdays must
have been settled and known at Rome in his time. Cassius Dio tells us that
the names were assigned to each day διὰ τεσσάρων, by fours; or by giving
the first hour of the week to Saturn, then giving one hour to each planet
in succession, till the twenty-fifth hour became again the first of the
next day. Both systems lead to the same result, as will be seen from the
following table:—

_Planets._    _Latin._        _French._      _Sanskrit._
1 Saturn 1    Dies Saturni    Samedi (dies   Saui-vāra
2 Jupiter 6   Dies Solis      Dimanche       Ravi-vāra
3 Mars 4      Dies Lunæ       Lundi          Soma-vāra
4 Sun 2       Dies Martis     Mardi          Bhauma-vāra
5 Venus 7     Dies Mercurii   Mercredi       Brihaspati-vāra
7 Moon 3      Dies Veneris    Vendredi       Sukra-vāra

_Planets._    _Old Norse._    _Anglo-Saxon._   _English._
1 Saturn 1    laugardagr      sätres däg       Saturday
              (washing day)
2 Jupiter 6   sunnadagr       sunnan däg       Sunday
3 Mars 4      mânadagr        monan däg        Monday
4 Sun 2       tysdagr         tives däg        Tuesday
5 Venus 7     odhinsdagr      vôdenes däg      Wednesday
6 Mercury 5   thôrsdagr       thunores däg     Thursday
7 Moon 3      friadagr        frige däg        Friday

_Planets._    _Old-High           _Middle-High      _German._
              German._            German._
1 Saturn 1    sambaztag (sunnûn   samztac (sunnen   Samstag
              âband)              âbent)            (Sonnabend)
2 Jupiter 6   sunnûn dag          sunnen tac        Sonntag
3 Mars 3      mânin tac (?)       mân tac           Montag
4 Sun 2       ziuwes tac (cies    zies tac (zies    Dienstag
              dac)                tac)
5 Venus 7     wuotanes tac (?)    mittwoch          Mittwoch
6 Mercury 5   donares tac         donres tac        Donnerstag
7 Moon 3      fria dag            frîtac            Freitag

After the names of the week-days had once been settled, we have no
difficulty in tracing their migration towards the East and towards the
West. The Hindus had their own peculiar system of reckoning days and
months, but they adopted at a later time the foreign system of counting by
weeks of seven days, and assigning a presiding planetary deity to each of
the seven days, according to the system described above. As the Indian
name of the planet Mercury was Budha, the _dies Mercurii_ was naturally
called _Budha-vâra_ but never _Buddha-vâra_; and the fact that the mother
of Mercury was called Maia, and the mother of Buddha Mâyâ, could,
therefore, have had no bearing whatever on the name assigned to the Indian
Wednesday.(56) The very Buddhists, in Ceylon, distinguish between buddha,
the enlightened, and budha, wise, and call Wednesday the day of Budha, not
of Buddha.(57) Whether the names of the planets were formed in India
independently, or after Greek models, is difficult to settle. The name of
Budha, the knowing or the clever, given to the planet Mercury, seems,
however, inexplicable except on the latter hypothesis.

Having traced the origin of the Sanskrit name of the _dies Mercurii_,
Budha-vâra, let us now see why the Teutonic nations, though perfectly
ignorant of Buddhism, called the same day the day of Wodan.

That the Teutonic nations received the names of the week-days from their
Greek and Roman neighbors admits of no doubt. For commercial and military
arrangements between Romans and Germans some kind of _lingua franca_ must
soon have sprung up, and in it the names of the week-days must have found
their place. There would have been little difficulty in explaining the
meaning of Sun-day and Mon-day to the Germans, but in order to make them
understand the meaning of the other names, some explanations must have
been given on the nature of the different deities, in order to enable the
Germans to find corresponding names in their own language. A Roman would
tell his German friend that _dies Veneris_ meant the day of a goddess who
represented beauty and love, and on hearing this the German would at once
have thought of his own goddess of love, _Freyja_, and have called the
_dies Veneris_ the day of _Freyja_ or Friday.(58)

If _Jupiter_ was described as the god who wields the thunderbolt, his
natural representative in German would be _Donar_,(59) the Anglo-Saxon
_Thunar_, the Old Norse _Thor_; and hence the _dies Jovis_ would be called
the day of _Thor_, or Thursday. If the fact that Jupiter was the king of
the gods had been mentioned, his proper representative in German would, no
doubt, have been _Wuotan_ or _Odin_.(60) As it was, _Wuotan_ or _Odin_ was
chosen as the nearest approach to _Mercury_, the character which they
share in common, and which led to their identification, being most likely
their love of travelling through the air,(61) also their granting wealth
and fulfilling the wishes of their worshippers, in which capacity Wuotan
is known by the name of _Wunsch_(62) or _Wish_. We can thus understand how
it happened that father and son changed places, for while _Mercurius_ is
the son of _Jupiter_, _Wuotan_ is the father of _Donar_. _Mars_, the god
of war, was identified with the German _Tiu_ or _Ziu_, a name which,
though originally the same as _Zeus_ in Greek or _Dyaus_ in Sanskrit, took
a peculiarly national character among the Germans, and became their god of

There remained thus only the _dies Saturni_, the day of Saturn, and
whether this was called so in imitation of the Latin name, or after an old
German deity of a similar name and character, is a point which for the
present we must leave unsettled.

What, however, is not unsettled is this, that if the Germans, in
interpreting these names of Roman deities as well as they could, called
the _dies Mercurii_, the same day which the Hindus had called the day of
_Budha_ (with one _d_), their day of _Wuotan_, this was not because “the
doctrines of the gentle ascetic existed in the bosom of Odin or his
followers, while dwelling near the roots of the Caucasus,” but for very
different and much more tangible reasons.

But, apart from all this, by what possible process could Buddha and Odin
have ever been brought together in the flesh? In the history of ancient
religions, Odin belongs to the same stratum of mythological thought as
_Dyaus_ in India, _Zeus_ in Greece, _Jupiter_ in Italy. He was worshipped
as the supreme deity during a period long anterior to the age of the Veda
and of Homer. His travels in Greece, and even in Tyrkland,(64) and his
half-historical character as a mere hero and a leader of his people, are
the result of the latest Euhemerism. Buddha, on the contrary, is not a
mythological, but a personal and historical character, and to think of a
meeting of Buddha and Odin, or even of their respective descendants, at
the roots of Mount Caucasus, would be like imagining an interview between
Cyrus and Odin, between Mohammed and Aphrodite.

A comparative study of ancient religions and mythologies, as will be seen
from these instances, is not a subject to be taken up lightly. It requires
not only an accurate acquaintance with the minutest details of comparative
philology, but a knowledge of the history of religions which can hardly be
gained without a study of original documents. As long, however, as
researches of this kind are carried on for their own sake, and from a mere
desire of discovering truth, without any ulterior objects, they deserve no
blame, though, for a time, they may lead to erroneous results. But when
coincidences between different religions and mythologies are searched out
simply in support of preconceived theories, whether by the friends or
enemies of religion, the sense of truth, the very life of all science, is
sacrificed, and serious mischief will follow without fail. Here we have a
right, not only to protest, but to blame. There is on this account a great
difference between the books we have hitherto examined, and a work lately
published in Paris by M. Jacolliot, under the sensational title of “La
Bible dans l’Inde, Vie de Jeseus Christna.” If this book had been written
with the pure enthusiasm of Lieutenant Wilford, it might have been passed
by as a mere anachronism. But when one sees how its author shuts his eyes
against all evidence that would tell against him, and brings together,
without any critical scruples, whatever seems to support his theory that
Christianity is a mere copy of the ancient religion of India, mere silence
would not be a sufficient answer. Besides, the book has lately been
translated into English, and will be read, no doubt, by many people who
cannot test the evidence on which it professes to be founded. We learn
that M. Jacolliot was some years ago appointed President of the Court of
Justice at Chandernagore, and that he devoted the leisure left him from
the duties of his position to studying Sanskrit and the holy books of the
Hindus. He is said to have put himself in communication with the Brahmans,
who had obtained access to a great number of MSS. carefully stored up in
the depths of the pagodas. “The purport of his book is” (I quote from a
friendly critic), “that our civilization, our religion, our legends, our
gods, have come to us from India, after passing in succession through
Egypt, Persia, Judea, Greece, and Italy.” This statement, we are told, is
not confined to M. Jacolliot, but has been admitted by almost all Oriental
scholars. The Old and New Testaments are found again in the Vedas, and the
texts quoted by M. Jacolliot in support of his theory are said to leave it
without doubt. Brahma created Adima (in Sanskrit, the first man) and gave
him for companion Heva (in Sanskrit, that which completes life). He
appointed the island of Ceylon for their residence. What follows
afterwards is so beautifully described that I may be pardoned for quoting
it. Only I must warn my readers, lest the extract should leave too deep an
impression on their memory, that what M. Jacolliot calls a simple
translation from Sanskrit is, as far as I can judge, a simple invention of
some slightly mischievous Brahman, who, like the Pandits of Lieutenant
Wilford, took advantage of the zeal and credulity of a French judge:—

“Having created the Man and the Woman (_simultaneously_, not one after the
other), and animated them with the divine afflatus—the Lord said unto
them: ‘Behold, your mission is to people this beautiful Island [Ceylon],
where I have gathered together everything pleasant and needful for your
subsistence—the rest of the Earth is as yet uninhabitable, but should your
progeny so increase as to render the bounds of paradise too narrow a
habitation, let them inquire of me by sacrifice and I will make known my

“And thus saying, the Lord disappeared....

“Then Adam and Eve dwelt together for a time in perfect happiness; but ere
long a vague disquietude began to creep upon them.... The Spirit of Evil,
jealous of their felicity and of the work of Brahma, inspired them with
disturbing thoughts;—‘Let us wander through the Island,’ said Adam to his
companion, ‘and see if we may not find some part even more beautiful than
this.’ ...

“And Eve followed her husband ... wandering for days and for months; ...
but as they advanced the woman was seized with strange and inexplicable
terrors: ‘Adam,’ said she, ‘let us go no farther: it seems to me that we
are disobeying the Lord; have we not already quitted the place which he
assigned us for a dwelling and forbade us to leave?’

“ ‘Fear not,’ replied Adam; ‘this is not that fearful wilderness of which
he spake to us.’ ....

“And they wandered on....

“Arriving at last at the extremity of the Island, they beheld a smooth and
narrow arm of the sea, and beyond it a vast and apparently boundless
country, connected with their Island only by a narrow and rocky pathway
arising from the bosom of the waters.

“The wanderers stood amazed: the country before them was covered with
stately trees, birds of a thousand colors flitting amidst their foliage.

“... ‘Behold, what beautiful things!’ cried Adam, ‘and what good fruit
such trees must produce; ... let us go and taste them, and if that country
is better than this, we will dwell there.’

“Eve, trembling, besought Adam to do nothing that might irritate the Lord
against them. ‘Are we not well here? Have we not pure water and delicious
fruits? Wherefore seek other things?’

“ ‘True,’ replied Adam, ‘but we will return; what harm can it be to visit
this unknown country that presents itself to our view?’ .... And as he
approached the rocks, Eve, trembling, followed.

“Placing his wife upon his shoulders, he proceeded to cross the space that
separated him from the object of his desires, but no sooner did he touch
the shore than trees, flowers, fruits, birds, all that they had perceived
from the opposite side, in an instant vanished amidst terrific clamor; ...
the rocks by which they had crossed sunk beneath the waters, a few sharp
peaks alone remaining above the surface, to indicate the place of the
bridge which had been destroyed by Divine displeasure.

“The vegetation which they had seen from the opposite shore was but a
delusive mirage raised by the Spirit of Evil to tempt them to

“Adam fell, weeping, upon the naked sands, ... but Eve throwing herself
into his arms, besought him not to despair; ... ‘let us rather pray to the
Author of all things to pardon us.’ ....

“And as she spake there came a voice from the clouds, saying,

“ ‘Woman! _thou_ hast only sinned from love to thy husband, whom I
commanded thee to love, and thou hast hoped in me.

“ ‘I therefore pardon thee—and I pardon him also for _thy_ sake: ... but
ye may no more return to paradise, which I had created for your happiness;
... through your disobedience to my commands the Spirit of Evil has
obtained possession of the Earth.... Your children reduced to labor and to
suffer by your fault will become corrupt and forget me....

“ ‘But I will send Vish_n_u, who will be born of a woman, and who will
bring to all the hope of a reward in another life, and the means by prayer
of softening their sufferings.’ ”

The translator from whom I have quoted exclaims at the end, as well he

“What grandeur and what simplicity is this Hindu legend! and at the same
time how simply logical!... Behold here the veritable Eve—the true woman.”

But much more extraordinary things are quoted by M. Jacolliot, from the
Vedas and the commentaries.

On p. 63 we read that Manu, Minos, and Manes, had the same name as Moses;
on p. 73, the Brahmans who invaded India are represented as the successors
of a great reformer called Christna. The name of Zoroaster is derived from
the Sanskrit Sûryastara (p. 110), meaning “he who spreads the worship of
the Sun.” After it has been laid down (p. 116) that Hebrew was derived
from Sanskrit, we are assured that there is little difficulty in deriving
Jehovah from Zeus.(65) Zeus, Jezeus, Jesus, and Isis are all declared to
be the same name, and later on (p. 130) we learn that “at present the
Brahmans who officiate in the pagodas and temples give this title of
Jeseus—_i. e._ the pure essence, the divine emanation—to Christna only,
who alone is recognized as the Word, the truly incarnated, by the
worshippers of Vish_n_u and the freethinkers among the Brahmans.”

We are assured that the Apostles, the poor fishermen of Galilee, were able
to read the Veda (p. 356); and it was their greatest merit that they did
not reject the miraculous accounts of the Vedic period, because the world
was not yet ripe for freedom of thought. Kristna, or Christna, we read on
p. 360, signified in Sanskrit, sent by God, promised by God, holy; and as
the name of Christ or _Christos_ is not Hebrew, whence could it have been
taken except from Krishna, the son of Devakî, or, as M. Jacolliot writes,

It is difficult, nay, almost impossible, to criticise or refute such
statements, and yet it is necessary to do so; for such is the interest, or
I should rather say the feverish curiosity, excited by anything that bears
on ancient religion, that M. Jacolliot’s book has produced a very wide and
very deep impression. It has been remarked with some surprise that Vedic
scholars in Europe had failed to discover these important passages in the
Veda which he has pointed out, or, still worse, that they had never
brought them to the knowledge of the public. In fact, if anything was
wanting to show that a general knowledge of the history of ancient
religion ought to form part of our education, it was the panic created by
M. Jacolliot’s book. It is simply the story of Lieutenant Wilford over
again, only far less excusable now than a hundred years ago. Many of the
words which M. Jacolliot quotes as Sanskrit are not Sanskrit at all;
others never have the meaning which he assigns to them; and as to the
passages from the Vedas (including our old friend the Bhagaveda-gîta),
they are not from the Veda, they are not from any old Sanskrit writer—they
simply belong to the second half of the nineteenth century. What happened
to Lieutenant Wilford has happened again to M. Jacolliot. He tells us the
secret himself:—

“One day,” he says (p. 280), “when we were reading the translation of
Manu, by Sir W. Jones, a note led us to consult the Indian commentator,
Kullûka Bha_tt_a, when we found an allusion to the sacrifice of a son by
his father prevented by God himself after he had commanded it. We then had
only one _idée fixe_—namely, to find again in the dark mass of the
religious books of the Hindu, the original account of that event. We
should never have succeeded but for ‘the complaisance’ of a Brahman with
whom we were reading Sanskrit, and who, yielding to our request, brought
us from the library of his pagoda the works of the theologian Ramatsariar,
which have yielded us such precious assistance in this volume.”

As to the story of the son offered as a sacrifice by his father, and
released at the command of the gods, M. Jacolliot might have found the
original account of it from the Veda, both text and translation, in my
“History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature.” He would soon have seen that the
story of _S_una_hs_epa being sold by his father in order to be sacrificed
in the place of an Indian prince, has very little in common with the
intended sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham. M. Jacolliot has, no doubt, found
out by this time that he has been imposed upon; and if so, he ought to
follow the example of Colonel Wilford, and publicly state what has
happened. Even then, I doubt not that his statements will continue to be
quoted for a long time, and that _Adima_ and _Heva_, thus brought to life
again, will make their appearance in many a book and many a lecture-room.

Lest it be supposed that such accidents happen to Sanskrit scholars only,
or that this fever is bred only in the jungles of Indian mythology, I
shall mention at least one other case which will show that this disease is
of a more general character, and that want of caution will produce it in
every climate.

Before the discovery of Sanskrit, China had stood for a long time in the
place which was afterwards occupied by India. When the ancient literature
and civilization of China became first known to the scholars of Europe,
the Celestial Empire had its admirers and prophets as full of enthusiasm
as Sir W. Jones and Lieutenant Wilford, and there was nothing, whether
Greek philosophy or Christian morality, that was not supposed to have had
its first origin among the sages of China. The proceedings of the Jesuit
missionaries in China were most extraordinary. They had themselves
admitted the antiquity of the writings of Confucius and Lao-tse, both of
whom lived in the sixth century B. C.(66) But in their zeal to show that
the sacred books of the Chinese contained numerous passages borrowed from
the Bible, nay, even some of the dogmas of the later Church, they hardly
perceived that, taking into account the respective dates of these books,
they were really proving that a kind of anticipated Christianity had been
accorded to the ancient sages of the Celestial Empire. The most learned
advocate of this school was Father Prémare. Another supporter of the same
view, Montucci,(67) speaking of Lao-tse’s Tao-te-king, says:—

“We find in it so many sayings clearly referring to the triune God, that
no one who has read this book can doubt that the mystery of the most holy
Trinity was revealed to the Chinese more than five centuries before the
advent of Christ. Everybody, therefore, who knows the strong feeling of
the Chinese for their own teachers, will admit that nothing more efficient
could be found in order to fix the dogmas of the Christian religion in the
mind of the Chinese than the demonstration that these dogmas agree with
their own books. The study, therefore, and the translation of this
singular book (the Tao-te-king) would prove most useful to the
missionaries, in order to bring to a happy issue the desired gathering in
of the Apostolic harvest.”

What followed is so extraordinary that, though it has often been related,
it deserves to be related again, more particularly as the whole problem
which was supposed to have been solved once for all by M. Stanislas
Julien, has of late been opened again by Dr. von Strauss, in the “Journal
of the German Oriental Society,” 1869.

There is a passage at the beginning of the fourteenth chapter of the
Tao-te-king in which Father Amyot felt certain that the three Persons of
the Trinity could be recognized. He translated it:—

“He who is as it were visible but cannot be seen is called _Khi_.

“He whom we cannot hear, and who does not speak to our ear, is called

“He who is as it were tangible, but cannot be touched, is called _Wei_.”

Few readers, I believe, would have been much startled by this passage, or
would have seen in it what Father Amyot saw. But more startling
revelations were in store. The most celebrated Chinese scholar of his
time, Abel Rémusat, took up the subject; and after showing that the first
of the three names had to be pronounced, not Khi, but I, he maintained
that the three syllables I Hi Wei, were meant for _Je-ho-vah_. According
to him, the three characters employed in this name have no meaning in
Chinese; they are only signs of sounds foreign to the Chinese language;
and they were intended to render the Greek Ἰαῶ, the name which, according
to Diodorus Siculus, the Jews gave to their God. Rémusat goes on to remark
that Lao-tse had really rendered this Hebrew name more accurately than the
Greeks, because he had preserved the aspiration of the second syllable,
which was lost in Greek. In fact, he entertained no doubt that this word,
occurring in the work of Lao-tse, proves an intellectual communication
between the West and China, in the sixth century B. C.

Fortunately, the panic created by this discovery did not last long. M.
Stanislas Julien published in 1842 a complete translation of this
difficult book; and here all traces of the name of Jehovah have

“The three syllables, he writes, “which Abel Rémusat considered as purely
phonetic and foreign to the Chinese language, have a very clear and
intelligible meaning, and have been fully explained by Chinese
commentators. The first syllable, I, means without color; the second, Hi,
without sound or voice; the third, Wei, without body. The proper
translation therefore is:—”

“You look (for the Tao, the law) and you see it not: it is colorless.

“You listen and you hear it not: it is voiceless.

“You wish to touch it and you reach it not: it is without body.”

Until, therefore, some other traces can be discovered in Chinese
literature proving an intercourse between China and Judæa in the sixth
century B. C., we can hardly be called upon to believe that the Jews
should have communicated this one name, which they hardly trusted
themselves to pronounce at home, to a Chinese philosopher; and we must
treat the apparent similarity between I-Hi-Wei and Jehovah as an accident,
which ought to serve as a useful warning, though it need in no way
discourage a careful and honest study of Comparative Theology.



The remarks which I venture to offer in these pages on the corrupt state
of the present spelling of English, and on the advantages and
disadvantages connected with a reform of English orthography, were written
in fulfillment of a promise of very long standing. Ever since the
publication of the Second Volume of my “Lectures on the Science of
Language,” in 1863, where I had expressed my sincere admiration for the
courage and perseverance with which Mr. Isaac Pitman and some of his
friends (particularly Mr. A. J. Ellis, for six years his most active
associate) had fought the battle of a reform in English spelling, Mr.
Pitman had been requesting me to state more explicitly than I had done in
my “Lectures” my general approval of his life-long endeavors. He wished
more particularly that I should explain why I, though by profession an
etymologist, was not frightened by the specter of phonetic spelling, while
such high authorities as Archbishop Trench and Dean Alford had declared
that phonetic spelling would necessarily destroy the historical and
etymological character of the English language.

If I ask myself why I put off the fulfillment of my promise from year to
year, the principal reason I find is, that really I had nothing more to
say than what, though in few words, I had said before. Every thing that
can be said on this subject has been said, and well said, not only by Mr.
Pitman, but by a host of writers and lecturers, among whom I might mention
Mr. Alexander J. Ellis, Dr. Latham, Professors Haldeman, Whitney, and
Hadley, Mr. Withers, Mr. E. Jones, Dr. J. H. Gladstone, and many others.
The whole matter is no longer a matter for argument; and the older I grow,
the more I feel convinced that nothing vexes people so much, and hardens
them in their unbelief and in their dogged resistance to reforms, as
undeniable facts and unanswerable arguments. Reforms are carried by Time,
and what generally prevails in the end, are not logical deductions, but
some haphazard and frequently irrational motives. I do not say, therefore,
with Dean Swift, that “there is a degree of corruption wherein some
nations, as bad as the world is, will proceed to an amendment; till which
time particular men should be quiet.” On the contrary, I feel convinced
that practical reformers, like Mr. Pitman, should never slumber nor sleep.
They should keep their grievances before the public in season and out of
season. They should have their lamps burning, to be ready whenever the
right time comes. They should repeat the same thing over and over again,
undismayed by indifference, ridicule, contempt, and all the other weapons
which the lazy world knows so well how to employ against those who venture
to disturb its peace.

I myself, however, am not a practical reformer; least of all in a matter
which concerns Englishmen only—namely, the spelling of the English
language. I should much rather, therefore, have left the fight to others,
content with being merely a looker-on. But when I was on the point of
leaving England my conscience smote me. Though I had not actually given a
pledge, I remembered how, again and again, I had said to Mr. Pitman that I
would much rather keep than make a promise; and though overwhelmed with
other work at the time, I felt that before my departure I ought, if
possible, to satisfy Mr. Pitman’s demands. The article was written; and
though my own plans have since been changed, and I remain at Oxford, it
may as well be published in discharge of a debt which has been for some
time heavy on my conscience.

What I wish most strongly to impress on my readers is that I do not write
as an advocate. I am not an agitator for phonetic reform in England. My
interest in the matter is, and always has been, purely theoretical and
scientific. Spelling and the reform of spelling are problems which concern
every student of the science of language. It does not matter whether the
language be English, German, or Dutch. In every written language the
problem of reforming its antiquated spelling must sooner or later arise;
and we must form some clear notion whether any thing can be done to remove
or alleviate a complaint inherent in the very life of language. If my
friends tell me that the idea of a reform of spelling is entirely
Quixotic, that it is a mere waste of time to try to influence a whole
nation to surrender its historical orthography and to write phonetically,
I bow to their superior wisdom as men of the world. But as I am not a man
of the world, but rather an observer of the world, my interest in the
subject, my convictions as to what is right and wrong, remain just the
same. It is the duty of scholars and philosophers not to shrink from
holding and expressing what men of the world call Quixotic opinions; for,
if I read the history of the world rightly, the victory of reason over
unreason, and the whole progress of our race, have generally been achieved
by such fools as ourselves “rushing in where angels fear to tread,” till,
after a time, the track becomes beaten, and even angels are no longer
afraid. I hold, and have confessed, much more Quixotic theories on
language than this belief—that what has been done before by Spaniards and
Dutchmen—what is at this very moment being done by Germans, namely, to
reform their corrupt spelling—may be achieved even by Englishmen and

I have expressed my belief that the time will come when not only the
various alphabets and systems of spelling, but many of the languages
themselves which are now spoken in Europe, to say nothing of the rest of
the world, will have to be improved away from the face of the earth and
abolished. Knowing that nothing rouses the ire of a Welshman or a Gael so
much as to assert the expediency, nay, necessity, of suppressing the
teaching of their languages at school, it seems madness to hint that it
would be a blessing to every child born in Holland, in Portugal, or in
Denmark—nay, in Sweden and even in Russia—if, instead of learning a
language which is for life a barrier between them and the rest of mankind,
they were at once to learn one of the great historical languages which
confer intellectual and social fellowship with the whole world. If, as a
first step in the right direction, four languages only, namely, English,
French, German, Italian (or possibly Spanish) were taught at school, the
saving of time—and what is more precious than time?—would be infinitely
greater than what has been effected by railways and telegraphs. But I know
that no name in any of the doomed languages would be too strong to
stigmatize such folly. We should be told that a Japanese only could
conceive such an idea; that for a people deliberately to give up its
language was a thing never heard of before; that a nation would cease to
be a nation if it changed its language; that it would, in fact, commit
“the happy despatch,” _à la Japonaise_. All this may be true, but I hold
that language is meant to be an instrument of communication, and that in
the struggle for life, the most efficient instrument of communication must
certainly carry the day, as long as natural selection, or, as we formerly
called it, reason, rules the world.

The following figures may be of use in forming an opinion as to the fates
of the great languages of Europe:(68)—

Portuguese is spoken in
  Portugal, by 3,980,000
  Brazil, by 10,000,000
  Total: 13,980,000
Italian, by 27,524,238
French, in France, Belgium, Switzerland, etc., by 40,188,000
Spanish, in
  Spain, by 16,301,000
  South America, by 27,408,082
  Total: 43,709,082
Russian, by 51,370,000
German, by 55,789,000
English, in
  Europe, by 31,000,000
  America, by 45,000,000
  Australia, etc., by 2,000,000
  the Colonies, by 1,050,000
  Total: 79,050,000

According to De Candolle, the population doubles in

England, in                           56 years
America, among the German races, in   25 years
Italy, in                             135 years
Russia, in                            100 years
Spain, in                             112 years
South America, in                     27-½ years
Germany, in                           100 years
France, in                            140 years

Therefore, in 200 years (barring accidents)

Italian will be spoken by                       53,370,000
French will be spoken by                        72,571,000
German will be spoken by                        157,480,000
Spanish will be spoken in
  Europe, by                                    36,938,338
  South America, by                             468,347,904
  Total:                                        505,286,242
English will be spoken in
  Europe, by                                    178,846,153
  United States, and British Dependencies, by   1,658,440,000
  Total:                                        1,837,286,153

But I shall say no more on this, for as it is, I know I shall never hear
the end of it, and shall go down to posterity, if for nothing else, at
least for this the most suicidal folly in a student of languages; a folly
comparable only to that of Leibniz, who actually conceived the possibility
of one universal language.

To return, however, to the problem to the solution of which Mr. Pitman has
devoted the whole of his active life, let me say again that my interest in
it is purely philological; or, if you like, historical. The problem which
has to be solved in England and the United States of America is not a new
one, nor an isolated one. It occurs again and again in the history of
language; in fact, it must occur. When languages are reduced to writing,
they are at first written phonetically, though always in a very
rough-and-ready manner. One dialect, that of the dominant, the literary,
or priestly character, is generally selected; and the spelling, once
adopted, becomes in a very short time traditional and authoritative. What
took place thousands of years ago, we can see taking place, if we like, at
the present moment. A missionary from the island of Mangaia, the Rev. W.
Gill, first introduced the art of writing among his converts. He learned
their language, at least one dialect of it, he translated part of the
Bible into it, and adopted, of necessity, a phonetic spelling. That
dialect is gradually becoming the recognized literary language of the
whole island, and his spelling is taught at school. Other dialects,
however, continue to be spoken, and they may in time influence the
literary dialect. For the present, however, the missionary dialect, as it
is called by the natives themselves, and the missionary spelling, rule
supreme, and it will be some time before a spelling reform is wanted out

Among the more ancient nations of Europe, not only does the pronunciation
of language maintain its inherent dialectic variety, and fluctuate through
the prevalence of provincial speakers, but the whole body of a language
changes, while yet the spelling, once adopted in public documents, and
taught to children, remains for a long time the same. In early times, when
literature was in its infancy, when copies of books could easily be
counted, and when the _norma scribendi_ was in the hands of a few persons,
the difficulty of adapting the writing to the ever-varying pronunciation
of a language was comparatively small. We see it when we compare the Latin
of early Roman inscriptions with the Latin of Cicero. We know from Cicero
himself that when he settled among the patricians of Rome, he had on some
small points to change both his pronunciation and his spelling of Latin.
The reform of spelling was a favorite subject with Roman scholars, and
even emperors were not too proud to dabble in inventing new letters and
diacritical signs. The difficulty, however, never assumes serious
proportions. The small minority of people who were able to read and write,
pleased themselves as best they could; and, by timely concessions,
prevented a complete estrangement between the written and the spoken

Then came the time when Latin ceased to be Latin, and the vulgar dialects,
such as Italian, French, and Spanish took its place. At that time the
spelling was again phonetic, though here and there tinged by reminiscences
of Latin spelling. There was much variety, but considering how limited the
literary intercourse must have been between different parts of France,
Spain, or Italy, it is surprising that on the whole there should have been
so much uniformity in the spelling of these modern dialects. A certain
local and individual freedom of spelling, however, was retained; and we
can easily detect in mediæval MSS. the spelling of literate and illiterate
writers, the hand of the learned cleric, the professional clerk, and the

[A style of spelling will now be introduced which has received the name of
Semiphonotypy. It requires no new letter: “[D] [p]” for the vowel in
_but_, _son_, are made from “D p” by a pen-knife. The short vowels,
diphthongs, and consonants are all written phonetically, except an
occasional “n” = “[n]” before _k_ and _g_, and “th” = both “[t]” and
“[dh]” leaving only the long vowels in the old spelling. Six syllables out
of seven are thus written as in full phonotypy. The italic and script
forms of “[P [italic form] ]” are “[p [italic form] ]” (a turned italic
“_a_”) and [P p [script form] ].]

The great event hwich formz a deseisiv epok in the histori ov speling iz
the introd[p]kshon ov printing. With printed buks, and partikiularli with
printed Beibelz, skaterd over the k[p]ntri, the speling of w[p]rdz bekame
rijid, and universali beinding. S[p]m langwejez, s[p]ch az Italian, wer
more fortiunate than [p]therz in having a more rashonal sistem ov speling
tu start with. S[p]m, agen, leik Jerman, wer abel tu make teimli
konseshonz, hweil [p]therz, s[p]ch az Spanish, D[p]ch, and French, had
Akademiz tu help them at kritikal periodz ov their histori. The most
[p]nfortiunate in all theze respekts woz Inglish. It started with a Latin
alfabet, the pron[p]nsiashon ov hwich woz [p]nseteld, and hwich had tu be
apleid tu a Tiutonik langwej. After this ferst fonetik kompromeiz it had
tu pas through a konfiúzd sistem ov speling, half Sakson, half Norman;
half fonetik, half tradishonal. The histori ov the speling, and even ov
the pron[p]nsiashon, ov Inglish, in its pasej from Anglo-Sakson tu midel
and modern Inglish, haz lateli been st[p]did with great s[p]kses bei Mr.
Ellis and Mr. Sweet. Ei m[p]st refer tu their buks “On Erli Inglish
Pron[p]nsiashon,” and “On the Histori ov Inglish Soundz,” hwich kontain a
welth ov il[p]strashon, almost bewildering. And even after Inglish reachez
the period ov printing, the konfiuzhon iz bei no meanz terminated; on the
kontrari, for a teim it iz greater than ever. Hou this kame tu pas haz
been wel il[p]strated bei Mr. Marsh in hiz ekselent “Lektiurz on the
Inglish Langwej,” p. 687, _seq_.(69) Hwot we nou kall the establisht
sistem ov Inglish orthografi may, in the main, be trast bak tu Jonson’z
Dikshonari, and tu the stil more kaprishus sway ekserseizd bei larj
printing ofisez and p[p]blisherz. It iz true that the evil ov printing
karid tu a serten ekstent its own remedi. If the speling bekame
[p]nchanjabel, the langwej itself, too, woz, bei meanz ov a printed
literatiur, chekt konsiderabli in its natiural growth and its dealektik
vareieti. Nevertheles Inglish haz chanjed sins the invenshon ov printing;
Inglish iz chanjing, though bei imperseptibel degreez, even nou; and if we
kompare Inglish az spoken with Inglish az riten, they seem almost leik two
diferent langwejez; az diferent az Latin iz from Italian.

This, no dout, iz a nashonal misfortiun, but it iz inevitabel. Litel az we
perseive it, langwej iz, and alwayz m[p]st be, in a state ov fermentashon;
and hwether within hundredz or thouzandz ov yearz, all living langwejez
m[p]st be prepared tu enkounter the difik[p]lti hwich in Ingland starez us
in the fase at prezent. “Hwot shal we do?” ask our frendz. “Ther iz our
hole nashonal literatiur,” they say, “our leibrariz aktiuali b[p]rsting
with buks and nuizpaperz. Ar all theze tu be thrown away? Ar all valiuabel
buks tu be reprinted? Ar we ourselvz tu [p]nlern hwot we hav lernd with so
much tr[p]bel, and hwot we hav taught tu our children with greater
tr[p]bel stil? Ar we tu sakrifeiz all that iz historikal in our langwej,
and sink doun tu the low level ov the _Fonetik Nuz_?” Ei kud go on
m[p]ltipleiing theze kwestionz til even thoze men ov the w[p]rld who nou
hav onli a shrug ov the shoulder for the reformerz ov speling shud say,
“We had no eidea hou strong our pozishon reali iz.”

But with all that, the problem remainz [p]nsolvd. Hwot ar peopel tu do
hwen langwej and pron[p]nsiashon chanje, hweil their speling iz deklared
tu be [p]nchanjabel? It iz, ei believ, hardli nesesari that ei shud prove
hou kor[p]pt, efete, and [p]terli irrashonal the prezent sistem ov speling
iz, for now[p]n seemz inkleind tu denei all thát. Ei shal onli kwote,
therefor, the j[p]jment ov w[p]n man, the late Bishop Thirlwall, a man who
never uzed ekzajerated langwej. “Ei luk,” he sez “[p]pon the establisht
sistem, if an aksidental k[p]stom may be so kalld, az a mas ov anomaliz,
the growth ov ignorans and chans, ekwali rep[p]gnant tu gud taste and tu
komon sens. B[p]t ei am aware that the p[p]blik kling tu theze anomaliz
with a tenasiti proporshond tu their abs[p]rditi, and ar jel[p]s ov all
enkroachment on ground konsekrated tu the free play ov bleind kaprise.”

It may be useful, houever, tu kwote the testimonialz ov a fiu praktikal
men in order tu show that this sistem ov speling haz reali bek[p]m w[p]n
ov the greatest nashonal misfortiunz, swolowing [p]p milionz ov m[p]ni
everi year and bleiting all atempts at nashonal ediukashon. Mr. Edward
Jones, a skoolmaster ov great eksperiens, having then siuperintendens ov
the Heibernian Skoolz, Liverpool, rote, in the year 1868:

“The G[p]vernment haz for the last twenti yearz taken ediukashon [p]nder
its kare. They diveided the subjekts ov instr[p]kshon intu siks gradez.
The heiest point that woz atempted in the G[p]vernment Skoolz woz that a
piupil shud be abel tu read with tolerabel eaze and ekspreshon a pasej
from a niuzpaper, and tu spel the same with a tolerabel amount ov

Let [p]s luk at the rez[p]lts az they apear in the report ov the Komíti ov
Kounsil on Ediukashon for 1870-71:

Skoolz or Departments [p]nder separate hed teacherz in Ingland and Walez
inspekted diuring the year 31st August, 1870, 15,287
Sertifikated asistant, and piupil  teacherz emploid in theze skoolz,
Skolarz in daili averej atendans throughout the year, 1,168,981
Skolarz prezent on the day ov inspekshon, 1,473,883
Skolarz prezented for ekzaminashon:
  [P]nder ten yearz ov aje, 473,444
  Over ten yearz ov aje, 292,144
  Total: 765,588
Skolarz prezented for Standard VI.:
  [P]nder ten yearz ov aje, 227
  Over ten yearz ov aje, 32,953
  Total: 33,180
Skolarz who past in Standard VI.:
  1. Reading a short paragraf from a niuzpaper, 30,985
  2. Reiting the same from diktashon, 27,989
  3. Arithmetik, 22,839

Therfor, les than w[p]n skolar for each teacher, and les than two skolarz
for each skool inspekted, reacht Standard VI.

In 1873 the state ov thingz, akording tu the ofishal ret[p]rnz ov the
Ediukashon Department, woz m[p]ch the same. Ferst ov all, ther ought tu
hav been at skool 4,600,000 children between the ajez ov three and
therteen. The number ov children on the rejister ov inspekted skoolz woz
2,218,598. Out ov thát number, about 200,000 leav skool aniuali, their
ediukashon beïng supozed tu be finisht. Out ov theze 200,000, neinti per
sent. leav without reaching the 6th Standard, eighti per sent. without
reaching the 5th, and siksti per sent. without reaching the 4th Standard.

The report for 1874-75 showz an inkreas ov children on the buks, b[p]t the
proporshon ov children pasing in the vari[p]s standardz iz s[p]bstanshali
the same. (See “Popiular Ediukashon,” bei E. Jones, B.A., an
eks-skoolmaster, 1875.) It iz kalkiulated that for such rezults az theze
the k[p]ntri, hwether bei taksashon or bei voluntari kontribiushonz, payz
nearli £3,500,000 aniuali.

Akording tu the same authoriti, Mr. E. Jones, it nou takes from siks tu
seven yearz tu lern the arts ov reading and speling with a fair degree ov
intelijens—thát iz, about 2,000 ourz; and tu meni meindz the difik[p]ltiz
ov orthografi ar ins[p]rmountabel. The bulk ov the children pas through
the G[p]vernment skoolz without having akweird the abiliti tu read with
eaze and intelijens.

“An averej cheild,” sez anuthcr skoolmaster, “begining skool at seven,
ought tu be abel tu read the Niu Testament fluentli at eleven or twelv
yearz ov aje, and at therteen or fourteen ought tu be abel tu read a gud
leading artikel with eaze and ekspreshon.” That iz, with seven ourz a week
for forti weeks for feiv yearz, a cheild rekweirz 1,400 ourz’ w[p]rk, tu
be abel tu read the Niu Testament.

After a kareful ekzaminashon ov y[p]ng men and wimen from therteen tu
twenti yearz ov aje in the faktoriz ov Birmingham, it woz proved that onli
4-½ per sent. wer abel tu read a simpel sentens from an ordinari skool-buk
with intelijens and akiurasi.

This apleiz tu the lower klasez. B[p]t with regard tu the heier klasez the
kase seemz almost w[p]rs; for Dr. Morell, in hiz “Maniual ov Speling,”
aserts that out ov 1,972 failiurz in the Sivil Servis Ekzaminashonz 1,866
kandidates wer pl[p]kt for speling.

So much for the piupilz. Am[p]ng the teacherz themselvz it woz found in
Amerika that out ov w[p]n h[p]ndred komon w[p]rdz the best speler am[p]ng
the eighti or neinti teacherz ekzamind faild in w[p]n, s[p]m preiz-takerz
faild in four or feiv, and s[p]m [p]therz mist over forti. The Depiuti
State Siuperintendent deklared that on an averej the teacherz ov the State
wud fail in speling tu the ekstent ov 25 per sent.

Hwot, houever, iz even more seri[p]s than all this iz not the great waste
ov teim in lerning tu read, and the almost komplete failiur in nashonal
ediukashon, but the aktiual mischef d[p]n bei s[p]bjekting y[p]ng meindz
tu the illojikal and tedi[p]s dr[p]jeri ov lerning tu read Inglish az
speld at prezent. Everithing they hav tu lern in reading (or
pron[p]nsiashon) and speling iz irrashonal; w[p]n rule kontradikts the
[p]ther, and each statement haz tu be aksepted simpli on authoriti, and
with a komplete disregard ov all thoze rashonal instinkts which lei
dormant in the cheild, and ought tu be awakend bei everi keind ov helthi

Ei nó ther ar personz who kan defend enithing, and who hold that it iz diu
tu this veri disiplin that the Inglish karakter iz hwot it iz; that it
retainz respekt for authoriti; that it d[p]z not rekweir a reazon for
everithing; and that it duz not admit that hwot iz inkonseivabel iz
therefor imposibel. Even Inglish orthodoksi haz been trast bak tu thát
hiden sourse, bekauz a cheild akustomd tu believe that t-h-o-u-g-h iz
_tho_, and that t-h-r-o-u-g-h iz _throo_, w[p]d afterwardz believe
enithing. It may be so; stil ei dout hwether even such objekts wud
justifei s[p]ch meanz. Lord Lytton sez, “A more leiing, round-about,
p[p]zel-heded deluzhon than thát bei hwich we konfiúz the klear instinkts
ov truth in our ak[p]rsed sistem ov speling woz never konkokted bei the
father ov fol·shud.... Hou kan a sistem ov ediukashon fl[p]rish that
beginz bei so monstr[p]s a fols·hud, hwich the sens ov hearing s[p]feisez
tu kontradikt?”

Though it may seem a w[p]rk ov siupererogashon tu bring forward stil more
fakts in s[p]port ov the jeneral kondemnashon past on Inglish speling, a
fiu ekstrakts from a pamflet bei Mr. Meiklejohn, late Asistant-Komishoner
ov the Endoud Skoolz Komishon for Skotland, may here feind a plase.

“Ther ar therteen diferent wayz ov reprezenting the sound ov long
_o_:—_note_, _boat_, _toe_, _yeoman_, _soul_, _row_, _sew_, _hautboy_,
_beau_, _owe_, _floor_, _oh!_, _O!_”

And agen (p. 16),

“Double-you-aitch-eye-see-aitch is _which_
Tea-are-you-tea-aitch is _truth_
Bee-o-you-gee-aitch is _bough_
See-are-eh-bee is _crab_
Bee-ee-eh-see-aitch is _beach_
Oh-you-gee-aitch-tee is _ought_
Oh-enn-see-ee is _once_

“Or, tu sum up the hole indeitment agenst the kulprit: 1. Out ov the
twenti-siks leterz, onli eight ar true, fikst, and permanent kwolitiz—thát
iz, are true both tu eí and ear. 2. Ther ar therti-eight distinkt soundz
in our spoken langwej; and ther ar about 400 distinkt simbolz (simpel and
kompound) tu reprezent theze therti-eight soundz. In [p]ther wurdz, ther
ar 400 servants tu do the w[p]rk ov therti-eight. 3. Ov the twenti-siks
leterz, fifteen hav akweird a habit ov heiding themselvz. They ar riten
and printed; b[p]t the ear haz no akount ov them; such ar _w_ in _wrong_,
and _gh_ in _right_. 4. The vouel soundz ar printed in diferent wayz; a
long o, for ekzampel, haz therteen printed simbolz tu reprezent it. 5.
Fourteen vouel soundz hav 190 printed simbolz atácht tu their servis. 6.
The singel vouel e haz feiv diferent funkshonz; it ought onli tu hav
w[p]n. 7. Ther ar at least 1,300 w[p]rdz in hwich the simbol and the sound
ar at varians—in hwich the w[p]rd iz not sounded az it iz printed. 8. Ov
theze 1,300, 800 ar monosilabelz—the komonest w[p]rdz, and s[p]pozed tu be
eazier for children. 9. The hole langwej ov k[p]ntri children leiz within
theze w[p]rdz; and meni agrikultiural laborerz go from the kradel tu the
grave with a stok ov no more than 500 w[p]rdz.”

The kwestion, then, that wil hav tu be anserd sooner or later iz this:—Kan
this unsistematik sistem ov speling Inglish be aloud tu go on for ever? Iz
everi Inglish cheild, az kompared with [p]ther children, tu be m[p]lkted
in two or three yearz ov hiz leif in order tu lern it? Ar the lower klasez
tu go through skool without lerning tu read and reit their own langwej
intelijentli? And iz the kuntri tu pay milionz everi year for this [p]ter
failiur ov nashonal ediukashon? Ei do not believ that s[p]ch a state ov
thingz wil be aloud tu kontiniu for ever, partikiularli az a remedi iz at
hand—a remidi that haz nou been tested for twenti or therti yearz, and
that haz anserd ekstremli wel. Ei mean Mr. Pitman’z sistem ov fonetik
reiting, az apleid tu Inglish. Ei shal not enter here intu eni miniút
disk[p]shon ov fonetiks, or re-open the kontroversi hwich haz arizen
between the advokets ov diferent sistemz ov fonetik reiting. Ov kourse,
ther ar diferent degreez ov ekselens in diferent sistemz ov fonetik
speling; but even the w[p]rst ov theze sistemz iz infinitli siuperior tu
the tradishonal speling.

Ei giv Mr. Pitman’z alfabet, hwich komprehendz the therti-siks broad
tipikal soundz ov the Inglish langwej, and aseinz tu each a definit sein.
With theze therti-siks seinz, Inglish kan be riten rashonali and red
eazili; and, hwot iz most important, it haz been proved bei an eksperiens
ov meni yearz, bei niumer[p]s p[p]blikashonz, and bei praktikal
eksperiments in teaching both children and ad[p]lts, that such a sistem az
Mr. Pitman’z iz perfektli praktikal.


The phonetic letters in the first column are pronounced like the italic
letters in the words that follow. The last column contains the _names_ of
the letters.



P p         ro_p_e     p[i]
B b         ro_b_e     b[i]
T t         fa_t_e     t[i]
D d         fa_d_e     d[i]
[Ch] [ch]   e_tch_     [ch][e]
J j         e_dg_e     j[e]
K k         lee_k_     k[e]
G g         le_ag_ue   g[e]


F f         sa_f_e      ef
V v         sa_v_e      v[i]
[T] [t]     wrea_th_    i[t]
[Dh] [dh]   wrea_th_e   [dh][i]
S s         hi_ss_      es
Z z         hi_s_       z[i]
[Sh] [sh]   vi_ci_ous   i[sh]
[Z] [Z]     vi_si_on    [z][i]


M m       see_m_   em
N n       see_n_   en
[N] [n]   si_ng_   i[n]


L l   fa_ll_     el
R r   _r_a_r_e   ar


W w   _w_et   w[e]
Y y   _y_et   y[e]


H h   _h_ay   [e][ch]



A a       _a_m     at
[A] [a]   _al_ms   [a]
E e       _e_ll    et
[E] [e]   _a_le    [e]
I i       _i_ll    it
[I] [i]   _ee_l    [i]


O o         _o_n     ot
[W] [w]     _a_ll    [w]
[U] [u]     _u_p     [u]t
[O] [o]     _o_pe    [o]
U u         f_u_ll   ut
[Ue] [ue]   f_oo_d   [ue]

DIPHTHONGS: Ei ei, IU iu, OU ou, AI ai, OI oi, as heard in b_y_, ne_w_,
no_w_, K_ai_ser, b_oy_.

[In the next fourteen pages, five of the new letters will be employed,
viz., [a], [u], [t], [z], [n], for the sounds represented by the italic
letters in f_a_ther, _s_on, b_u_t, _th_in, vi_si_on, si_ng_.]

Nou ei ask eni intelijent reader who d[u]z not [t]i[n]k that everi[t]i[n]
niu and stranje iz, _ipso facto_, ridikiul[u]s and abs[u]rd, hwether after
a fiu dayz’ praktis, he or she wud not read and reit I[n]glish, akordi[n]
tu Mr. Pitman’z sistem, with perfekt eaze? Ov kourse it takes more than
feiv minits tu master it, and more than feiv minits tu form an opinion ov
its merits. B[u]t admiti[n] even that peopel ov a serten aje shud feind
this niu alfabet tr[u]bels[u]m, we m[u]st not forget that no reform kan be
karid out without a jenerashon or two ov marterz; and hwot true reformerz
hav tu [t]i[n]k ov iz not themselvz, b[u]t thoze who k[u]m after
them—thoze, in fakt, who ar nou growi[n] [u]p tu inherit hereafter,
hwether they leik it or not, all the gud and all the evil hwich we chooz
tu leav tu them.

It meit be sed, houever, that Mr. Pitman’z sistem, bei[n] enteirli
fonetik, iz too radikal a reform, and that meni and the w[u]rst
irregiularitiz in I[n]glish speli[n] kud be removed without goï[n] kweit
so far. The prinsipel that haf a loaf iz beter than no bred iz not without
s[u]m tru[t], and in meni kasez we nó that a polisi ov kompromeiz haz been
prod[u]ktiv ov veri gud rez[u]lts. B[u]t, on the [u]ther hand, this
haf-harted polisi haz often retarded a real and komplete reform ov
ekzisti[n] abiúsez; and in the kase ov a reform ov speli[n], ei almost
dout hwether the difik[u]ltiz inherent in haf-me[z]urz ar not az great az
the difik[u]ltiz ov karii[n] a komplete reform. If the w[u]rld iz not redi
for reform, let [u]s wait. It seemz far beter, and at all events far more
onest, tu wait til it iz redi than tu kari the rel[u]ktant wurld with you
a litel way, and then tu feind that all the impulsiv forse iz spent, and
the greater part ov the abiúsez establisht on fermer ground than ever.

Mr. Jones,(70) who reprezents the konsiliatori reformerz ov speli[n], wud
be satisfeid with a moderet skeme ov speli[n] reform, in hwich, bei
obzervi[n] analoji and folowi[n] presedent in olteri[n] a komparativli
small n[u]mber ov w[u]rdz, it wud be posibel tu simplifei ortografi tu a
konsiderabel ekstent without apleii[n] eni niu prinsipel, or introdiúsi[n]
niu leterz, and yet tu rediús the teim and labor in teachi[n] readi[n] and
speli[n] bei at least w[u]n-haf. It meit at all events be posibel tu setel
the speli[n] ov thoze two or three touzand w[u]rdz hwich at prezent ar
speld diferentli bei diferent au[t]oritiz. This skeme, advokated bei Mr.
Jones, iz sertenli veri klever; and if it had a chans ov s[u]kses, ei
meiself shud konsider it a great step in adváns. Mei onli dout iz hwether,
in a kase leik this, a small me[z]ur ov reform wud be karid more eazili
than a komplete reform. It iz diferent in Jerman, hwere the diseaz haz not
spred so far. Here the Komíti apointed bei G[u]vernment tu konsider the
kwestion ov a reform ov speli[n] haz deklared in favor ov s[u]m s[u]ch
moderet prinsipelz az Mr. Jones advokates for I[n]glish. In I[n]glish,
houever, the difik[u]ti leiz in chanji[n] eni[t]i[n]; and if the prinsipel
ov eni chanje iz w[u]ns admited, it wud reali be eazier, ei believ, tu
begin _de novo_ than tu chanje s[u]m[t]i[n], and leav the rest

Let [u]s nou see hou Mr. Pitman’z or eni similar sistem ov fonetik
reiti[n] haz w[u]rkt hwere it haz been put tu the test.

Mr. William White reits: “Ei speak from eksperiens. Ei hav taught poor
children in Glasgow tu read the Sermon on the Mount after a kourse ov
ekserseizez ekstendi[n] over no more than siks ourz.”

The folowi[n] iz an ekstrakt from a leter riten s[u]m teim ago bei the
late Mr. William Colbourne, manajer ov the Dorset Ba[n]k at St[u]rminster,
tu a frend ov hiz a skoolmaster. He sez:—

“Mei litel Sidney, who iz nou a fiu m[u]n[t]s more than four yearz old,
wil read eni fonetik buk without the sleitest hezitashon; the hardest
namez or the lo[n]gest w[u]rdz in the Old or Niu Testament form no
obstakel tu him. And hou lo[n] do you [t]ink it tuk me (for ei am hiz
teacher) tu impart tu him this pouer? Hwei s[u]m[t]i[n] les than eight
ourz! You may believ it or not, az you leik, b[u]t ei am konfident that
not more than that amount ov teim woz spent on him, and that woz in
snachez ov feiv minits at a teim, hweil tea woz geti[n] redi. Ei no you
wil be inkleind tu say, ‘All that iz veri wel, b[u]t hwot iz the use ov
readi[n] fonetik buks? he iz stil az far of, and may be farther, from
readi[n] romanik buks.’ B[u]t in this you ar mistaken. Take an[u]ther
ekzampel. Hiz nekst elder br[u]ther, a boi ov siks yearz, haz had a
fonetik ediukashon so far. Hwot iz the konsekwens? Hwei, readin in the
ferst staje woz so deleitful and eazi a [t]i[n] tu him that he taught
himself tu read romanikali, and it wud be a difik[u]lt mater tu feind
w[u]n boi in twenti, ov a korespondi[n] aje, that kud read haf so wel az
he kan in eni buk. Agen, mei oldest boi haz riten more fonetik shorthand
and lo[n]hand, perhaps, than eni boi ov hiz aje (eleven yearz) in the
ki[n]dom; and now[u]n ei daresay haz had les tu do with that abs[u]rditi
ov abs[u]rditiz, the speli[n]-buk! He iz nou at a ferst-rate skool in
Wiltshire, and in the haf-year presedi[n] Kristmas, he karid of the preiz
for or[t]ografi in a kontest with boiz s[u]m ov them hiz seniorz bei

Bei the adopshon ov the fonetik alfabet, the difik[u]ltiz that lei in the
way ov forenerz lerni[n] I[n]glish, also wud be d[u]n away with. The Rev.
Newman Hall reits, “Ei met with a Danish jentelman the [u]ther day who
heili preizd the I[n]glish fonotipik Niu Testament. It had been ov great
use tu him, and _enabeld him tu read [buks in the komon speli[n]] without
an instr[u]kter_, removi[n] the greatest obstakel in akweiri[n] I[n]glish,
the monstr[u]s anomali[z] ov pron[u]nsiashon.” Ekzampelz leik theze go a
lo[n] way.

Mr. A. J. Ellis, than whom now[u]n haz labord more devotidli for a reform
ov speli[n], az a ferst step in a reform ov nashonal ediukashon, and who
haz himself elaborated several most injeni[u]s sistemz ov fonetik
reiti[n], givz [u]s the folowi[n] az the rez[u]ltz ov hiz praktikal

“With the fonetik sistem ov speli[n], the Primer iz masterd within tree
m[u]n[t]s at most. The children then proseed tu praktis this fonetik
readi[n] for s[u]m teim, til they kan read with fluensi from the jeneral
luk ov the w[u]rd, and not from konsideri[n] the pouerz ov its leterz.
[T]ree m[u]n[t]s more, at most, ar rekweird for this staje.

“Hwen this pouer ov fluent readi[n] in fonetik print iz akweird, buks in
the ordinari print, suited tu their kapasitiz, ar tu be put intu the
children’z handz and they ar told tu read them. Each w[u]rd hwich they
fail tu ges iz told them immedietli; but it iz found that children ar
mostli abel tu read the ordinari print without eni f[u]rther
instr[u]kshon. The teim nesesari for kompleti[n] this step may be taken,
at the lo[n]gest, az two m[u]n[t]s, so that the hole teim ov lerni[n] tu
read in the ordinari print, on the Readi[n] Reform sistem, may be rekond
az feiv ourz a week for eight m[u]n[t]s. The hole task haz, in meni kasez,
been akomplisht in les teim, even in [t]ree m[u]n[t]s. On the [u]ther
hand, in w[u]n skool hwere it iz uzed, eleven m[u]nts ar okupeid, az the
master feindz it advantaj[u]s in [u]ther respekts tu keep the piupil
lo[n]ger at fonetik readi[n] B[u]t onli w[u]n our a day iz rekweired.” Mr.
Ellis s[u]mz [u]p az folowz:

“Kareful eksperiments in teachi[n] children ov vari[u]s ajez and ra[n]ks,
and even pauperz and kriminal ad[u]lts, hav establisht—

“1. That piupilz may be taught tu read buks in fonetik print, slowli b[u]t
shureli, in from ten tu forti ourz, and will atain konsiderabel fluensi
after a fiu weeks’ praktis.

“2. That hwen the piupilz hav ataind fluensi in readi[n] from fonetik
print, a veri fiu ourz wil s[u]feis tu giv them the same fluensi in
readi[n] ordinari print.

“3. That the hole teim nesesari for imparti[n] a nolej ov bo[t] fonetik
and ordinari readi[n] d[u]z not ekseed eight m[u]nts for children ov
averaj intelijens, between four and feiv yearz ov aje, taught in klas, at
skool, not more than haf-an-our tu an our each day; and that in this teim
an abiliti tu read iz akweird siuperior tu that u[z]uali ataind in two or
[t]ree teimz the period on the old plan; hweil the pron[u]nsiashion ov the
piupil iz m[u]ch improved, hiz interest in hiz st[u]diz iz kept aleiv, and
a lojikal traini[n] ov endiuri[n] valiu iz given tu hiz meind bei the
habitual analisis and sin[t]ensis ov spoken soundz.

“4. That thoze taught tu read in this maner akweir the art ov ordinari
speli[n] more redili than thoze instr[u]kted on the old me[t]od.”

Tu all who no Mr. A. J. Ellis, this evidens wil be be s[u]fishent az tu
the praktikal usefulnes ov the Fonetik Sistem ov speli[n]. Tu thoze who
wish for more evidens ei rekomend a pamflet bei Mr. G. Withers, “The
I[n]glish La[n]gwej Speld az Pronounst,” 1874; and w[u]n bei Dr. J. W.
Martin, “The Gordian Not K[u]t,” 1875, hwere they wil feind the
konk[u]rent testimoni ov praktikal teacherz in I[n]gland, Skotland,
Eirland, and Amerika, all agreei[n] that, bo[t] az a praktikal and a
lojikal traini[n], the Fonetik Sistem haz proved the greatest s[u]kses.

Ther remainz, therefor, this w[u]n objekshon onli, that hwotever the
praktikal, and hwotever the [t]eoretikal advantejez ov the fonetik sistem
may be, it wud [u]terli destroi the historikal or etimolojikal karakter ov
the I[n]glish la[n]gwej.

S[u]poze it did; hwot then? The Reformashon iz s[u]pozed tu hav destroid
the historikal karakter ov the I[n]glish Ch[u]rch, and that sentimental
grievans iz stil felt bei s[u]m stiudents ov ekleziastikal antikwitiz.
B[u]t did I[n]gland, did all the reali progresiv nashonz ov Europe, alou
this sentimental grievans tu outweigh the praktikal and [t]eoretikal
advantejez ov Protestant Reform? La[n]gwej iz not made for skolarz and
etimolojists; and if the hole rase ov I[n]glish etimolojists wer reali tu
be swept away bei the introd[u]kshon ov a Speli[n] Reform, ei hope they
wud be the ferst tu rejois in sakrifeizi[n] themselvz in so gud a kauz.

B[u]t iz it reali the kase that the historikal kontiniúiti ov the
I[n]glish la[n]gwej wud bei broken bei the adopshon ov fonetik speli[n],
and that the profeshon ov the etimolojist wud be gon for ever? Ei say No,
most emfatikali, tu bo[t] propozishonz. If the seiens ov la[n]gwej haz
proved eni[t]i[n], it haz proved that all la[n]gwejez chanje akordi[n] tu
law, and with konsiderabel uniformiti. If, therefor, the reiti[n] folowd
_pari passu_, on the chanjez in pron[u]nsiashon, hwot iz kalld the
etimolojikal konsh[u]snes ov the speakerz and the readerz—ei speak, ov
kourse, ov ediukated peopel onli—wud not s[u]fer in the least. If we
retain the feeli[n] ov an etimolojikal konekshon between _gentlemanly_ and
_gentlemanlike_, we shud shureli retain it hwether we reit _gentlemanly_
or _gentelmanli_. If we feel that _think_ and _thought_, _bring_ and
_brought_, buy and _bought_, _freight_ and _fraught_, belo[n] tugether,
shud we feel it les if we rote _t[w]t_, _br[w]t_, _b[w]t_, _fr[w]t_? If,
in speaki[n], thoze who no Latin retain the feeli[n] that w[u]rdz endin in
-_ation_ korespond tu Latin w[u]rdz in -_atio_, wud they looz the feeli[n]
if they saw the same w[u]rdz speld with _[e][sh]on_, or even “-e[sh][u]n?”
Do they not rekogneiz Latin -_itia_, in -_ice_; or -_ilis_ in -_le_, az in
-_able_ (Latin _abilis_)? If the skolar noz, at w[u]ns, that s[u]ch
w[u]rdz az _barbarous_, _anxious_, _circus_, _genius_, ar ov Latin
oriji[n], wud he hezitate if the last silabel in all ov them wer uniformli
riten “[u]s?” Nay, iz not the prezent speli[n] ov _barbarous_ and
_anxious_ enteirli misleadi[n], bei konfoundi[n] w[u]rdz endi[n] in
_-osus_, s[u]ch az _famous_ (_famosus_) with w[u]rdz endi[n] in _-us_,
leik _barbarous_, _anxious_, ets.? Bekauz the Italianz reit _filosofo_, ar
they les aware than the I[n]glish, who reit _philosopher_, and the French,
who reit _philosophe_, that they hav before them the Latin _philosophus_,
the Greek φιλόσοφος? If we reit _f_ in _fansi_, hwei not in _phantom_? If
in _frenzy_ and _frantic_, hwei not in _phrenology_? A la[n]gwej hwich
tolerates _vial_ for _phial_, need not shiver at _filosofer_. Everi
eidiukated speaker nóz that s[u]ch w[u]rdz az _honour_, _ardour_,
_colour_, _odour_, _labour_, _vigour_, _error_, _emperor_, hav past from
Latin tu French, and from French tu I[n]glish. Wud he nó it les if all wer
speld aleik, s[u]ch az _onor_ (_onorable_), _ardor_, _vigor_ (_vigorous_),
_labor_ (_laborious_), or even “on[u]r, ard[u]r, vig[u]r?” The old
speli[n] ov _emperor_, _doctor_, _governor_, and _error_, woz _emperour_,
_doctour_, _governour_, and _errour_. If theze kud be chanjed, hwei not
the rest? Spenser haz _neibor_ for _neighbor_, and it iz difik[u]lt tu say
hwot woz gaind bei chanji[n] _-bor_ intu _-bour_ in s[u]ch piurli Sakson
w[u]rdz az _neighbor_, _harbor_. No dout if we see _laugh_ riten with _gh_
at the end, thoze who nó Jerman ar at w[u]ns remeinded ov its etimolojikal
konekshon with the Jerman _lachen_; b[u]t we shud soon nó the same bei
analoji, if we found not onli “laf,” b[u]t “kof” for _cough_ (Jerman,
_keuchen_), en[u]f for _enough_ (Jerman, _genug_), ets. In “draft,”
fonetik speli[n] haz nearli s[u]planted the so-kalld historikal speli[n]
_draught_; in “dwarf” (_dwergh_, _thweorh_) and in “ruff” (_rough_),

Hwot peopel kall the etimolojikal konsh[u]snes ov the speaker iz striktli
a mater ov oratorikal sentiment onli, and it wud remain nearli az stro[n]
az it iz nou, hwotever speli[n] be adopted. B[u]t even if it shud s[u]fer
here and there, we ought tu bear in meind that, eksept for oratorikal
p[u]rposez, that konsh[u]snes, konfeind az it iz tu a veri fiu ediukated
peopel, iz ov veri small importans, [u]nles it haz ferst been korekted bei
a strikt etimolojikal disiplin. Without that, it often dejenerates intu
hwot iz kalld “popiular etimoloji,” and aktiuali tendz, in s[u]m kasez, tu
vishiate the korekt speli[n] ov w[u]rdz.

Ei hav frekwentli dwelt on this before, in order tu show hou, hwot iz nou
kalld the etimolojikal or historikal speli[n] ov w[u]rdz iz, in meni
kasez, [u]terli [u]netimolojikal and [u]nhistorikal. We spel to _delight_,
and th[u]s indiús meni peopel tu believ that this w[u]rd iz s[u]mhou
konekted with _light_ [lux], or _light_ [levis]; hwereaz the old speli[n]
woz _to delyt_ or to _delite_ (Tyndale), reprezenti[n] the old French
_deleiter_. On the [u]ther hand, we feind for _quite_ and _smite_, the old
speli[n] _quight_, _smight_, hwich may be old and historikal, b[u]t iz
deseidedli [u]netimolojikal.

_Sovereign_ and _foreign_ ar speld az if they wer konekted with _reign_,
_regnum_; the true etimoloji ov the former beï[n] _superanus_, Old French,
_sovrain_, Old I[n]glish, _soveraine_; hweil _foreign_ iz the late Latin
_foraneus_; Old French _forain_; Old I[n]glish _forein_. And hwei du we
reit _to feign_? Archbishop Trench (“I[n]glish Past and Prezent,” p. 238)
[t]i[n]ks the _g_ in _feign_ iz elokwent tu the eí; b[u]t its elokwens iz
misleadi[n]. _Feign_ iz not taken from Latin _fingo_, az litel az _honour_
iz taken from Latin _honor_. _Feign_ k[u]mz from the Old French _faindre_;
it woz in Old I[n]glish _faynen_ and _feynen_, and it woz therefor a mere
etimolojikal feint tu insert the _g_ ov the Latin _fingo_, and the French
_feignant_. The Old I[n]glish _shammfasst_ (Orm.), formd leik _stedefasst_
(stedfast), iz nou speld _shamefaced_, az if it had s[u]m[t]i[n] tu do
with a bl[u]shi[n] fase. _Aghast_, insted ov Old I[n]glish _agast_, iz
s[u]pozed tu luk more freitful bekauz it remeindz [u]s ov _ghost_. The
French _lanterne_ woz riten _lant-horn_, az if it had been so kalld from
the transparent sheets ov horn that enklozed the leit. The _s_ in _island_
owez its orijin tu a mistaken belief that the w[u]rd iz konekted with
_isle_ (_insula_), hwereaz it iz the A[n]glo-Sakson _eáland_ (Jerman
_eiland_), that iz, water-land. The speli[n] _iland_ woz stil k[u]rent in
Shakspere’z teim. In _aisle_, too, the _s_ iz [u]netimolojikal, though it
iz historikal, az havi[n] been taken over from the Old French _aisle_.

This tendensi tu olter the speli[n] in order tu impart tu a w[u]rd, at all
hazardz, an etimolojikal karakter, beginz even in Latin, hwere _postumus_,
a siuperlativ ov _post_, woz s[u]mteimz riten _posthumus_, az if, hwen
apleid tu a late-born s[u]n, it woz dereivd from _humus_. In I[n]glish,
this fols speli[n] iz retaind in _posthumous_. _Cena_ woz speld bei peopel
who wonted tu show their nolej ov Greek _cœna_, az if konekted with κοινή,
hwich it iz not.

B[u]t nou let [u]s luk more karefuli intu the far more important
statement, that the I[n]glish la[n]gwej, if riten fonetikali, wud reali
looz its historikal and etimolojikal karakter. The ferst kwestion iz, in
hwot sens kan the prezent speli[n] ov I[n]glish be kalld historikal? We
hav onli tu go bak a veri short way in order tu see the modern [u]pstart
karakter ov hwot iz kalld historikal speli[n]. We nou reit _pleasure_,
_measure_, and _feather_, b[u]t not veri lo[n] ago, in Spenser’z teim,
theze w[u]rdz wer speld _plesure_, _mesure_, _fether_. Tyndale rote
_frute_; the _i_ in _fruit_ iz a mere restorashon ov the French speli[n].
For _debt_, on the kontrari, we feind, b[u]t [t]ree or four h[u]ndred
yearz ago, _dett_. This iz more historikal therefor than _debt_, bekauz in
French, from hwich the w[u]rd woz borowd, the _b_ had disapeard, and it
woz a piurli etimolojikal fansi tu restore it. The _b_ woz leikweiz
re-introdiúst in _doubt_, b[u]t the _p_ woz not restored in _tu kount_
(French _compter_, Latin _computare_), hwere _p_ had at least the same
reit az _b_ in _doute_. Th[u]s _receipt_ reziúmz the Latin _p_, b[u]t
_deceit_ d[u]z without it. Tu _deign_ keeps the _g_, tu _disdain_ d[u]z
without it. Ther iz an[u]ther _b_ hwich haz a serten historikal air in
s[u]m I[n]glish w[u]rdz, b[u]t hwich woz orijinali piurli fonetik, and iz
nou simpli siupérflu[u]s. The old w[u]rd for _member_ woz _lim_. In s[u]ch
kompoundz az _lim-lama_, lim(b)-lame; _lim-leas_, lim(b)-less; it woz
imposibel tu avoid the interkalashon ov a _b_ in pron[u]nsiashon. In this
maner the _b_ krept in, and we hav nou tu teach that in _limb_, _crumb_
(crume), _thumb_ (thuma), the _b_ m[u]st be riten, b[u]t not pronoúnst.
Agen, _tung_ (Jerman _zunge_), _yung_ (Jerman _jung_), az speld bei
Spenser, hav a far more historikal aspekt than _tongue_ and _young_.

If we wisht tu reit historikali, we ought tu reit _salm_ insted ov
_psalm_, for the inishal _p_, beï[n] lost in pron[u]nsiashon, woz dropt in
reiti[n] at a veri erli teim (A[n]glo-Sakson _sealm_), and woz
re-introdiúst simpli tu pleaz s[u]m ekleziastikal etimolojists; also
_nevew_ (French _neveu_) insted ov _nephew_, hwich iz both
[u]netimolojikal and [u]nfonetik.

In hwot sens kan it be kalld historikal speli[n] if the old pluralz ov
_mouse_ and _louse_, hwich wer _mys_ and _lys_, ar nou speld _mice_ and
_lice_? The plural ov _goose_ iz not speld _geece_ b[u]t _geese_, yet
everibodi nóz hou tu pronoúns it. The same mistaken atempt at an okazhonal
fonetik speli[n] haz separated _dice_ from _die_, and _pence_ from _pens_,
thát iz, _penyes_; hweil in _nurse_, hwere the speli[n] _nurce_ wud hav
been useful az remeindi[n] [u]s ov its true etimon _nourrice_, the _c_ haz
been replast bei _s_.

Ther ar, in fakt, meni speli[n]z hwich wud be at the same teim more
historikal and more fonetik. Hwei reit _little_, hwen now[u]n pronoúnsez
_little_, and hwen the old speli[n] woz _lytel_? Hwei _girdle_, hwen the
old speli[n] woz _girdel_? The same rule apleiz tu nearli all w[u]rdz
endi[n] in _le_, s[u]ch az _sickle_, _ladle_, _apple_, ets., hwere the
etimoloji iz kompleteli obskiúrd bei the prezent or[t]ografi. Hwei
_scent_, b[u]t _dissent_, hwen even Milton stil rote _sent_? Hwei _ache_,
insted ov the Shaksperian _ake_? Hwei _cat_, b[u]t _kitten_; hwei cow,
b[u]t _kine_? Hwei _accede_, _precede_, _secede_, b[u]t _exceed_,
_proceed_, _succeed_? Hwei, indeed, eksept tu waste the presh[u]s teim ov

And if it iz difik[u]lt tu say hwot konstitiuts historikal speli[n], it iz
ekwali perpleksi[n] tu defein the real meani[n] ov etimolojikal speli[n].
For hwere ar we tu stop? It wud be konsiderd veri [u]netimolojikal wer we
tu reit _nee_ insted ov _knee_, _now_ insted ov _know_, _night_ insted ov
_knight_; yet now[u]n komplainz about the los ov the inishal _h_, the
reprezentativ ov an orijinal _k_, in _loaf_, A. S. hlâf (cf. κλίβανος), in
_ring_ (A. S. _hring_); in _lade_, _ladder_, _neck_, ets.

If we ar tu reit etimolojikali, then hwei not ret[u]rn tu _loverd_, or
_hlaford_, insted ov _lord_? tu _nosethrill_, or _nosethirle_ insted ov
_nostril_; tu _swister_ insted ov _sister_; hwich wud not be more
tr[u]bels[u]m than _sword_. _Wifmann_ shureli wud be beter than _woman_;
_meadwife_ beter than _midwife_; _godspel_ beter than _gospel_, _ortyard_
beter than _orchard_, _puisne_ beter than _puny_. Frekwentli the prezent
rekogneizd speli[n] luks etimolojikal, b[u]t iz [u]terli [u]netimolojikal.
_Righteous_ luks leik an ajektiv in _-eous_, s[u]ch az _plenteous_, b[u]t
it iz reali a Sakson w[u]rd, _rightwis_, thát iz _rightwise_, formd leik
_otherwise_, ets.

_Could_ iz riten with an _l_ in analoji tu _would_, b[u]t hweil the _l_ iz
j[u]stifeid in _would_ from _will_, and _should_ from _shall_ we feind the
Old I[n]glish imperfekt ov _can_ riten _cuthe_, then _couthe_, _coude_.
The _l_, therefor, iz neither fonetik nor etimolojikal. N[u][t]i[n], agen,
kan be more misleadi[n] tu an etimolojist than the prezent speli[n] ov
_whole_ and _hale_. Both k[u]m from the same sourse, the Go[t]ik _hail-s_,
Sanskrit _kalya-s_, meani[n] orijinali, _fit_, _redi_; then _sound_,
_complete_, _whole_. In A[n]glo-Sakson we hav _hæl_, hole; and _hal_,
hel[t]i, without eni trase ov a _w_, either before or after. The Old
I[n]glish _halsum_, holes[u]m, iz the Jerman _hailsam_. _Whole_, therefor,
iz a mere mis-speli[n] the _w_ havi[n] probabli been aded in analoji tu
_who_, _which_, ets. From a piurli etimolojikal point ov viu, the _w_ iz
ro[n]li left out before _h_ in _hou_; for az A[n]glo-Sakson _hwy_ bekame
_why_, A[n]glo-Sakson _hwa_ shud hav bek[u]m _whow_.

If we reali atempted tu reit etimolojikali, we shud hav tu reit
_bridegroom_ without the _r_, bekauz _groom_ iz a mere kor[u]pshon ov
_guma_, man, A[n]glo-Sakson _bryd-guma_. We shud hav tu reit _burse_
insted ov _purse_, az in _disburse_. In fakt, it iz difik[u]lt tu say
hwere we shud stop. Hwei do we not reit _metal_ insted ov _mettle_,
_worthship_ insted ov _worship_, _chirurgeon_ insted ov _surgeon_,
_furhlong_ (thát iz, f[u]row lo[n]) insted ov _furlong_, _feordhing_ (thát
iz four[t] part) insted of _farthing_? If we reit piuni _puisne_, we meit
az wel reit _post-natus_. We meit spel koi, _quietus_; pert, _apertus_;
priest, _presbyter_; master, _magister_; sekston, _sacristan_; alms,
_eleemosyne_, ets. If enibodi wil tel me at hwot date etimolojikal
speli[n] iz tu begin, hwether at 1,500 A. D. or at 1,000 A. D., or 500 A.
D., ei am wili[n] tu disk[ú]s the kwestion. Til then, ei beg leav tu say
that etimolojikal speli[n] wud play greater havok in I[n]glish than
fonetik speli[n], even if we wer tu draw a lein not more than feiv
h[u]ndred yearz ago.

The two stro[n]gest argiuments, therefor, agenst fonetik speli[n], nameli,
that it wud destroi the historikal and etimolojikal karakter ov the
I[n]glish la[n]gwej, ar, after all, b[u]t veri parshali true. Here and
there, no dout, the etimoloji and histori ov an I[n]glish w[u]rd meit be
obskiúrd bei fonetik speli[n]; az if, for instans, we rote “Y[ue][o]p”
insted ov _Europe_. B[u]t even then analoji wud help [u]s, and teach thoze
who nó Greek, ov whom ther ar not meni, that “Y[ue]r” in s[u]ch w[u]rdz az
_Europe_, _Eurydice_, reprezented the Greek εὐρύς. The real anser,
houever, iz, that now[u]n kud onestli kall the prezent sistem ov speli[n]
either historikal or etimolojikal; and, ei believ, that, taken az a hole,
the los oka[z]ond bei konsistent fonetik speli[n] wud not be greater than
the gain.

An[u]ther objekshon [u]rjd agenst fonetik speli[n], nameli, that with it
it wud be imposibel tu disti[n]gwish homonimz, m[u]st be met in the same
way. No dout it iz a serten advantej if in reiti[n] we kan disti[n]gwish
_right_, _rite_, _write_, and _wright_. B[u]t if, in the h[u]ri ov
konversashon, ther iz hardli ever a dout hwich w[u]rd iz ment, shureli
ther wud be m[u]ch les danjer in the slow proses ov readi[n] a
kontiniu[u]s sentens. If vari[u]s speli[n]z ov the same w[u]rd ar nesesari
tu point out diferent meani[n]z, we shud rekweir eight speli[n]z for
_box_, tu signifei a chest, a Kristmas gift, a h[u]nti[n] seat, a tree, a
slap, tu sail round, seats in a [t]eater, and the fr[u]nt seat on a koach;
and this prinsipel wud hav tu be apleid tu ab[u]v 400 w[u]rdz. Who wud
[u]ndertake tu proveid all theze variashonz ov the prezent uniform
speli[n] ov theze w[u]rdz? And we m[u]st not forget that, after all, in
readi[n] a paje we ar seldom in dout hwether _sole_ meanz a fish, or the
_sole_ ov a fut, or iz uzed az an ajektiv. If ther iz at eni teim eni real
difik[u]lti, la[n]gwej proveidz its own remedi. It either drops s[u]ch
w[u]rdz az _rite_ and _sole_, replasi[n] them bei _seremony_ and _only_,
or it uzez a perifrastik ekspreshon, s[u]ch az the sole ov the fut, or the
sole and onli ground, ets.

[Five other new letters, representing the long vowels, will now be
introduced, namely

[e], [i], [w], [o], [ue],

for the sounds heard in

th_ey_, f_ie_ld, s_aw_, n_o_, d_o_, m_a_te, s_ee_, c_a_ll, c_o_re, tr_ue_,
m_a_re, pol_i_ce, _ou_ght, c_oa_l, p_oo_r.]

Th[u]s far ei hav treid tu anser the r[i]ali important argiuments hwich
hav b[i]n br[w]t forward agenst f[o]netik speli[n]. Ei hav d[u]n s[o] with
speshal referens tu the pouerful remonstransez ov Archbishop Trench, and
hiz m[o]st [e]bel pl[i]di[n] in f[e]vor ov the establisht sistem ov
or[t]ografi. Az a m[i]r skolar, ei fuli sh[e]r hiz f[i]li[n]z, and ei
sins[i]rli admeir hiz elokwent advokasi. Ei difer from him bek[w]z ei
d[ue] not tink, az h[i] d[u]z, that the los ent[e]ld bei fonetik speli[n]
wud b[i] s[o] gr[e]t az w[i] imajin; or that it wud b[i] [w]l on w[u]n
seid. Beseidz, [u]nles h[i] kan sh[o] hou a reform ov speli[n] iz not
[o]nli for the prezent tu b[i] avoided, b[u]t [w]ltugether tu b[i] renderd
[u]nnesesari, ei konsider that the s[ue]ner it iz t[e]ken in hand the
beter. It s[i]mz tu m[i] that the Archbishop luks on the introd[u]kshon ov
f[o]netik speli[n] az a m[i]r krochet ov a fiu skolarz, or az an atempt on
the part ov s[u]m haf-ediuk[e]ted personz, wishi[n] tu avoid the tr[u]bel
ov lerni[n] hou tu spel korektli. If that wer s[o], ei kweit agr[i] with
him that p[u]blik opinion wud never asiúm s[u]fishent fors for karii[n]
th[e]r sk[i]m. B[u]t ther iz a m[o]tiv pouer beheind th[i]z fenetik
reformerz hwich the Archbishop haz hardli t[e]ken intu akount. Ei m[i]n
the mizeri endiúrd bei milionz ov children at ski[ue]l, h[ue] meit lern in
w[u]n y[i]r, and with r[i]al advantej tu themselvz, hwot th[e] nou rekweir
f[o]r or feiv y[i]rz tu lern, and seldom s[u]ks[i]d in lerni[n] after
[w]l. If the evidens ov s[u]ch men az Mr. Ellis iz tu b[i] depended on,
and ei bel[i]v h[i] iz wili[n] tu s[u]bmit tu eni test, then sh[ue]rli the
los ov s[u]n historikal and etimolojikal _souvenirs_ wud be litel agenst
the hapines ov milionz ov children, and the stil heier hapines ov milionz
ov I[n]glishmen and I[n]glisewimen, gr[o]i[n] [u]p az the [e]rz tu [w]l
the wel[t] and stre[n][t] ov I[n]glish literatiur, or [u]n[e]bel tu r[i]d
[i]ven th[e]r Beibel. H[i]r it iz hwer ei ventiur tu difer from the
Archbishop, not az b[i]i[n] sa[n]gwin az tu eni imm[i]diet s[u]kses, b[u]t
simpli az f[i]li[n] it a diuti tu help in a k[w]z hwich at prezent iz
m[o]st [u]npopiular. The [i]vil d[e] m[e] b[i] put of for a lo[n] teim,
partikiularli if the w[e]t ov s[u]ch men az Archbishop Trench iz [t]ren
intu the [u]ther sk[e]l. B[u]t [u]nles la[n]gwe[i] s[i]sez tu b[i]
la[n]gwe[i], and reiti[n] s[i]sez tu b[i] reiti[n], the d[e] wil sh[ue]rli
k[u]m hwen p[i]s wil hav tu b[i] m[e]d betw[i]n the t[úe]. Jermani haz
apointed a G[u]vernment Komishon tu konsider hwot iz tu b[i] d[u]n with
Jerman speli[n] In Amerika, t[ue], s[u]m l[i]di[n] st[e]tsmen s[i]m
inkleind tu t[e]k [u]p the reform ov speli[n] on nashonal groundz. Iz ther
n[o] st[e]tsman in I[n]gland s[u]fishentli pr[ue]f agenst ridikiul tu
k[w]l the atenshon ov Parliment tu hwot iz a gr[o]i[n] misfortiun?

M[u]ch, houever, az ei difer from the Archbishop on th[i]z groundz, ei
kanot b[u]t deprek[e]t the t[o]n in hwich hiz pouerful opozishon ház b[i]n
met bei meni ov the [u]ph[o]lderz ov f[o]netik speli[n]. N[e], ei m[u]st
g[o] stil f[u]rther, and fra[n]kli konfés that tu w[u]n ov hiz argiuments
ei feind it difik[u]lt, at prezent, tu giv a satisfaktori anser.

“It iz a m[i]r as[u]mpshon,” the Archbishop remarks, “that [w]l men
pronoúns [w]l w[u]rdz aleik; or that hwenever th[e] k[u]m tu spel a w[u]rd
th[e] wil ekzaktli agr[i] az tu hwot the outlein ov its sound iz. Nou w[i]
ar sh[ue]r men wil not d[ue] this, from the fakt that, bef[o]r ther woz
eni fikst and seteld or[t]ografi in our la[n]gwej, hwen, th[e]rfor,
everibodi woz m[o]r or les a a f[o]nografer, s[i]ki[n] tu reit doun the
w[u]rd az it sounded tu _him_,—for h[i] had n[o] [u]ther l[w] tu geid
him,—the v[e]ri[e]shonz ov speli[n] ar infinit. T[e]k, for instans, the
w[u]rd _sudden_, hwich d[u]z not s[i]m tu promis eni gr[e]t sk[o]p for
vareieti. Ei hav meiself met with this w[u]rd speld in n[o] les than
f[ó]rt[i]n w[e]z am[u][n] our erli reiterz. Agen, in hou meni w[e]z woz
Raleigh’z n[e]m speld, or Shakspere’z? The s[e]m iz evident from the
speli[n] ov [u]nediukated personz in our [o]n d[.[e]]. Th[E] hav n[o]
[u]ther r[ue]l b[u]t the sound tu geid them. Hou iz it that th[e] d[ue]
not [w]l spel aleik?” _I[n]glish, Past and Prezent_, p. 203.

Leik m[o]st men h[ue] pl[i]d with th[e]r hart az wel az with th[e]r hed,
the Archbishop haz h[i]r [o]verlukt w[u]n obvi[u]s anser tu hiz kwestion.
Th[e] d[ue] not spel aleik bek[w]z th[e] hav b[i]n br[w]t [u]p with a
sistem ov speli[n] in hwich the s[e]m sound kan b[i] reprezented in ten
diferent w[e]z, and in hwich hardli eni w[u]n leter iz restrikted tu w[u]n
fonetik pouer onli. If children wer br[w]t [u]p with an alfabet in hwich
[i]ch leter had b[u]t w[u]n sound, and in hwich the s[e]m sound woz
[w]lw[e]z reprezented bei the s[e]m sein—and this iz the veri esens ov
f[o]netik reiti[n]—then it wud b[i] simpli imposibel that th[e] shud
dr[i]m ov reiti[n] _sudden_ in f[o]rt[i]n, or _Woburn_ in 140, diferent

B[u]t for [w]l thát ther iz s[u]m tr[ue][t] in the Archbishop’s remark;
and if w[i] komp[e]r the diferent w[e]z in hwich the advokets ov f[o]netik
speli[n]—men leik Pitman, Bell, Ellis, Withers, Jones—reit the s[e]m
w[u]rdz, [i]ven hwen y[ue]zi[n] the s[e]m fonetik alfabet, w[i] shal s[i]
that the difik[u]lti pointed out bei the Archbishop iz a r[i]al w[u]n.
Everiw[u]n n[o]z hou diferentli the s[e]m w[u]rdz [w]lwez hav b[i]n and
stil ar pronoúnst in diferent parts ov I[n]gland. And it iz not onli in
tounz and kountiz that th[i]z pekiuliaritiz prev[e]l; ther ar serten
w[u]rdz hwich w[u]n famili pronoúnsez diferentli from an[u]ther; and ther
ar beseidz the st[u]did and [u]nst[u]did pekiuliaritiz ov individiual
sp[i]kerz. Tu konvíns p[i]pel that w[u]n pron[u]nsi[e]shon iz reit and the
[u]ther ro[n], s[i]mz [u]terli hoples. Ei hav herd a heili k[u]ltiveted
man defendi[n] hiz dropi[n] the _h_ at the begini[n] ov serten w[u]rdz,
bei the [u]nanserabel argiument that in the pl[e]s hwer h[i] woz br[w]t
[u]p, n[o]w[u]n pronoúnst th[i]z inishal _hz_. Hwot Skochman wud admit
that hiz pron[u]nsi[e]shon woz f[w]lti? Hwot Eirishman wud s[u]bmit tu
l[w]z ov speli[n] past in L[u]ndon? And hwot renderz argiument on eni
neisetiz ov pron[u]nsieshon stil m[o]r difik[u]lt iz, that b[o][t] the
[i]r and the t[u][n] ar m[o]st trecher[u]s witnesez. Ei hav herd Amerikanz
m[e]nt[e]n in gud ernest that ther woz m[u]ch les of n[e]zal twa[n] in
Amerika than in I[n]gland. P[i]pel ar not awer hou th[e] pronoúns, and hou
diferentli th[e] pronoúns w[u]n and the s[e]m w[u]rd. Az a forener ei hav
had ampel oportiunitiz for obzerv[e]shon on this point. S[u]m frendz wud
tel m[i], for instans, that _world_ woz pronoúnst leik _whirl’d_, _father_
leik _farther_, _nor_ (bef[o]r konsonants) leik _gnaw_, _bud_ leik _bird_,
_burst_ leik _bust_, _for_ leik _fur_, _birth_ leik _berth_; that the
vouelz had the s[e]m sound in _where_ and _were_, in _not_ and _war_, in
_God_ and _gaudy_; hweil [u]therz ash[ue]rd m[i] that n[o]w[u]n b[u]t a
forener kud [t]i[n]k s[o]. And the w[u]rst iz that [i]ven the s[e]m person
d[u]z not [w]lwez pronoúns the s[e]m w[u]rd in ekzaktli the s[e]m maner.
Konstantli, hwen ei askt a frend tu rep[i]t a w[u]rd hwich h[i] had j[u]st
pronoúnst, h[i] wud pronoúns it agen, b[u]t with a sleit diferens. The
m[i]r fakt ov hiz treii[n] tu pronoúns wel wud give tu hiz
pron[u]nsi[e]shon a konsh[u]s and emfatik karakter. The prepozishon _of_
iz pronoúnst bei m[o]st p[i]pel _or_, b[u]t if kros-ekzamind, meni wil
s[e] that th[e] pronoúns _ov_, b[u]t the _o_ not ekzaktli leik _off_.

The konfiu[z]on bek[u]mz gr[e]test hwen it iz atempted tu eidentifei the
pron[u]nsi[e]shon, s[e] ov a vouel in Jerman with a vouel in I[n]glish.
N[o] t[úe] I[n]glishmen and n[o] t[úe] Jermanz s[i]md tu b[i] [e]bel tu
agr[i] on hwot th[e] herd with th[e]r [i]rz, or hwot th[e] sed with th[e]r
t[u][n]z; and the rez[u]lt in the end iz that n[o] vouel in Jernran woz
r[i]ali the s[e]m az eni [u]ther vouel in I[n]glish. Tu t[e]k w[u]n or
t[ú] instansez, from Mr. Ellis’z k[i] tu Palioteip (Palœtype), ei kan
h[i]r n[o] diferens betw[i]n the _a_ in Italian _mano_, I[n]glish
_father_, and Jerman _mahnen_, [u]nles ei restrikt mei obzerv[e]shonz tu
the [u]terans ov serten individiualz; hw[e]raz ei d[ue] h[i]r a veri
deseided, and jenerali adopted, diferens betw[i]n the vouelz in Jerman
_böcke_ and French _jeune_. Mr. Ellis, t[u]chi[n] on the s[e]m
difik[u]lti, remarks, “Mr. Bell’s pron[u]nsi[e]shon, in meni instansez,
diferz from thát hwich ei am ak[u]stomd tu giv, espeshali in foren
w[u]rdz. B[o][t] ov [u]s m[e] b[i] ro[n].” Mr. Sweet remarks, p. 10, “Mr.
Ellis insists stro[n]li on the monof[t]o[n]gal karakter ov hiz [o]n _eez_
and _ooz_. Ei h[i]r hiz _ee_ and _oo_ az disti[n]kt dif[t]o[n]z, not
[o]nli in hiz I[n]glish pron[u]nsi[e]shon, b[u]t [w]ls[o] in hiz
pron[u]nsi[e]shon ov French, Jerman, and Latin.” If f[o]netik reiti[n]
ment this miniút f[o]tografi ov sp[o]ken soundz, in hwich Mes. Bell and
Ellis eksél; if eni atempt had ever b[i]n m[e]d tu emploi this
h[e]r-spliti[n] mash[i]neri for a praktikal reform ov I[n]glish speli[n],
the objekshonz r[e]zd bei Archbishop Trench wud b[i] kweit [u]nanserabel.
Ther wud b[i] fifti diferent w[e]z ov speli[n] I[n]glish, and the
konfiu[z]on wud b[i] gr[e]ter than it iz nou. Not [i]ven Mr. Bell’z
[t]erti-siks kategoriz ov vouel sound wud b[i] s[u]fishent tu render everi
pekiuliariti ov vouel kwoliti, pich and kwontiti, with perfekt akiurasi.
(S[i] H. Sweet, “Histori ov I[n]glish Soundz,” pp. 58, 68.) B[u]t this woz
never intended, and hweil kons[i]di[n] m[u]ch tu the Archbishop’s
argiuments, ei m[u]st not kons[i]d t[ue] m[u]ch.

Hwot ei leik in Mr. Pitman’z sistem ov speli[n] iz ekzaktli hwot ei nó haz
b[i]n found f[w]lt with bei [u]therz n[e]mli that h[i] d[u]z not atempt tu
refein t[ue] m[u]ch, and tu ekspres in reiti[n] th[o]z endles sh[e]dz ov
pron[u]nsi[e]shon, hwich m[e] b[i] ov the gr[e]test interest tu the
stiudent ov akoustiks, or ov f[o]netiks, az apleid tu the st[u]di ov
livi[n] deialekts, b[u]t hwich, for praktikal az well az for seientifik
filolojikal p[u]rposez, m[u]st b[i] enteirli ign[o]rd. Reiti[n] woz never
intended tu f[o]tograf sp[o]ken la[n]gwejez: it woz ment tu indik[e]t, not
tu p[e]nt soundz. If Voltaire sez, “L’écriture c’est la peinture de la
voix,” h[i] iz reit; b[u]t hwen h[i] g[o]z on tu s[e], “plus elle est
ressemblante, meilleur elle est,” ei am not serten that, az in a piktiur
ov a landsk[e]p, s[o] in a piktiur ov the vois, pr[i]-R[e]if[e]leit
miniútnes m[e] not destroi the veri objekt ov the piktiur. La[n]gwej
d[i]lz in br[w]d k[u]lorz, and reiti[n] [w]t tu fol[o] the ekzampel ov
la[n]gwej, hwich th[o] it alouz an endles vareiti ov pron[u]nsi[e]shon,
restrikts itself for its [o]n p[u]rpos, for the p[u]rpos ov ekspresi[n]
[t][w]t in [w]l its modifik[e]shonz, tu a veri limited n[u]mber ov tipikal
vouelz and konsonants. Out ov the larj n[u]mber ov soundz, for instans,
hwich hav b[i]n katalogd from the v[e]ri[u]s I[n]glish deialekts, thoz
onli kan b[i] rekogneizd az konstitiuent elements ov the la[n]gwej hwich
in, and bei, th[e]r diferens from [i]ch [u]ther, konv[e] a diferens ov
m[i]ni[n]. Ov s[u]ch pregnant and [t][w]t-konv[e]i[n] vouelz, I[n]glish
pozésez n[o] m[o]r than twelv. Hwotever the meinor sh[e]dz ov vouel soundz
in I[n]glish deialekts m[e] b[i], th[e] d[ue] not enrich the la[n]gwej, az
s[u]ch, thát iz, th[e] d[ue] not en[e]bel the sp[i]ker tu konv[e] m[o]r
miniút sh[e]dz ov [t][w]t than the twelv tipikal si[n]gel vouelz. Beseidz,
ther jenerali iz hwot the French meit k[w]l a f[o]netik solidariti in
[i]ch deialekt. If w[u]n vouel ch[e]njez, the [u]therz ar apt tu fol[o],
and the m[e]n objekt ov la[n]gwej rem[e]nz the s[e]m [t]r[ue]out, n[e]mli,
tu prevent w[u]n w[u]rd from r[u]ni[n] intu an[u]ther, and yet tu abst[e]n
from t[ue], miniút fonetik disti[n]kshonz, hwich an ordinari [i]r meit
feind it difik[u]lt tu grasp. This prinsipel ov f[o]netik solidariti iz ov
gr[e]t importans, not onli in ekspl[e]ni[n] the gradiual ch[e]njez ov
vouelz, b[u]t [w]ls[o] s[u]ch jeneral ch[e]njez ov konsonants az w[i]
s[i], for instans, in the Jerman _Lautverschiebung_. Az s[ue]m az w[u]n
pl[e]s iz left v[e]kant, ther iz preshur tu fil it, or s[o] m[u]ch ov it
az iz left v[e]kant, b[u]t n[o] m[o]r.

Ther ar, in fakt, t[úe] branchez, or at [w]l events, t[úe] kweit
disti[n]kt praktikal aplik[e]shonz ov the seiens ov F[o]netiks, hwich for
wont ov beter n[e]mz, ei design[e]t az _filolojikal_ and _deialektikal_.
Ther iz hwot m[e] b[i] k[w]ld a filolojikal st[u]di ov F[o]netiks, hwich
iz an esenshal part ov the Seiens ov La[n]gwej, and haz for its objekt tu
giv a kl[i]r eid[i]a ov the alfabet, not az riten, b[u]t az sp[o]ken. It
tr[i]ts ov the mat[i]rialz out ov hwich, the instruments with hwich, and
the proses bei hwich, vouelz and konsonants ar formd; and after
ekspl[e]ni[n] hou serten leterz agr[i], and difer, in th[e]r mat[i]rial,
in the instruments with hwich, and the proses bei hwich th[e] ar prodiúst,
it en[e]belz [u]s tu [u]nderstand the k[w]zez and rez[u]lts ov hwot iz
k[w]ld F[o]netik Ch[e]nj. In meni respekts the most instr[u]ktiv
tr[i]tment ov the jeneral [t][i]ori ov F[o]netiks iz tu b[i] found in the
Prâti_s_âkhyas; partikiularli in the [o]ldest (400 B.K.), thát atacht tu
the Rig V[e]da.(71) Th[o] the n[u]mber ov posibel soundz m[e] s[i]m
infinit the n[u]mber ov r[i]al soundz y[ue]zd in Sanskrit or eni [u]ther
given la[n]gwej for the p[u]rpos ov ekspresi[n] diferent sh[e]dz ov
m[i]ni[n], iz veri limited. It iz with th[i]z br[w]d kategoriz ov sound
al[o]n that the Prâti_s_âkhyas d[i]l; and it iz for a proper
[u]nderstandi[n] ov th[i]z the Seiens ov La[n]jgwej haz tu inkl[ue]d
within its sf[i]r a k[e]rful st[u]di ov F[o]netiks.

The deialektikal st[u]di ov F[o]netiks haz larjer objekts. It wishez tu
ekz[w]st [w]l posibel soundz hwich kan b[i] prodiúst bei the v[o]kal
organz, litel konsernd az tu hwether th[i]z soundz ok[u]r in eni r[i]al
la[n]gwej or not. It iz partikiularli y[ue]sful for the p[u]rpos ov
p[e]nti[n], with the [u]tm[o]st akiurasi, the aktiual pron[u]nsi[e]shon ov
individiualz, and ov fiksi[n] the f[e]ntest sh[e]dz ov deialektik
vareieti. The m[o]st marvel[u]s ach[i]vment in this branch ov apleid
f[o]netiks m[e] b[i] s[i]n in Mr. Bell’z “Vizibel Sp[i]ch.”

Th[i]z t[úe] branchez ov f[o]netik seiens, houever, shud b[i] kept
k[e]rfuli disti[n]kt. Az the found[e]shon ov a praktikal alfabet, leikweiz
az the onli s[e]f found[e]shon for the Seiens ov La[n]gwej, w[i] wont
filolojikal or [t][i][o]retik F[o]netiks. W[i] wont an [u]nderstandi[n] ov
thez jeneral prinsipelz and thez br[w]d kategoriz ov sound hwich ar
tr[i]ted in the Prâtisâkhyas; w[i] d[ue] not wont eni ov the miniút
deialektikal disti[n]kshonz hwich hav no gramatikal p[u]rpos and ar
th[e]rfor outseid the p[e]l ov gramatikal seiens. T[ue], miniút
disti[n]kshon prodi[ue]sez konfiu[z]on, and hw[e]r it kan b[i] avoided,
without a sakrifeiz ov akiurasi, it [w]t tu b[i] avoided. Hw[e]r v[e]gnes
ekzists in r[i]aliti, and hwer n[e]tiur alouz a br[w]d marjin on either
seid, it wud b[i] ro[n] tu ignor thát latitiud. Akiurasi itself wud h[i]r
bek[u]m inakiurasi.

B[u]t hwen w[i] wont tu ekz[w]st [w]l posibel sh[e]dz ov sound, hwen w[i]
wont tu fotograf the pekiuliaritiz ov serten deialekts, or me[z]ur the
d[i]vi[e]shonz in the pron[u]nsi[e]shon ov individiualz bei the m[o]st
miniút degr[i]z, w[i] then m[u]st av[e]l ourselvz ov thát ekskwizit
artistik mash[i]neri konstr[u]kted bei Mr. Bell, and handeld with s[o]
m[u]ch skil bei Mr. A. J. Ellis, the fiu onli wil b[i] [e]bel tu y[ue]z it
with r[i]al s[u]kses.

S[u]m p[i]pel s[i]m tu imajin that the pouer ov disti[n]gwishi[n] miniút
diferensez ov soundz iz a natiural gift, and kanot b[i] akweird. It m[e]
b[i] so in kweit eksepshonal k[e]sez, b[u]t ei no az a fakt that a cheild
that had, az p[i]pel s[e], no [i]r for miuzik, and kud not si[n] “God
s[e]v the Kw[i]n,” gradiuali akweird the pouer ov disti[n]gwishi[n] the
ordinari nots, and ov si[n]i[n] a tiun. Sp[i]ki[n] from mei on
eksp[i]riens ei shud s[e] that a gud [i]r k[u]mz bei inheritans, for, az
lo[n] az ei kan remember, a fols not, or, az w[i] y[ue]st tu k[w]l it, an
impiur (_unrein_) n[o]t, woz tu m[i] fizikali p[e]nful.

B[u]t this apleiz tu miuzik [o]nli, and it iz bei n[o] m[i]nz jenerali
tr[ue], that p[i]pel h[ue] hav a gud miuzikal [i]r, hav [w]ls[o] a gud
[i]r for la[n]gwej. Ei hav non p[i]pel kweit [u]nmiuzikal, pozést ov a
veri gud [i]r for la[n]gwej, and _vice versâ_. The t[´[ue]] natiural
gifts, th[e]rfor, if natiural gifts th[e] ar, ov disti[n]gwishi[n] miniút
degr[i]z ov pich and kwoliti ov sound d[u] not s[i]m tu b[i] the s[e]m.
The r[i]al difik[u]lti, houever, hwich m[e]ks itself felt in disk[ú]si[n]
miniút sh[e]dz ov sound, areizez from the ins[u]fishensi ov our
nomenklatiur, from the [w]lm[o]st irrezistibel influens ov imajin[e]shon,
and in the end, from the wont ov a f[o]nometer. A gud miuzishan kan
disti[n]gwish betw[i]n _C sharp_ and _D flat_, a gud f[o]netishan betw[i]n
a “l[o]-bak-nar[o]” and a “l[o]-mikst-nar[o]” vouel. B[u]t th[e] kanot
[w]lw[e]z transl[e]t th[e]r sentiments intu definit la[n]gwej, and if
th[e] trei bei aktiual eksperiment tu imit[e]t th[i]z t[ú] soundz or
vouelz, the imperfekshonz ov the [i]r and t[u][n], b[o][t] in the sp[i]ker
and the lisener, fr[i]kwentli render [w]l atempts at a miutiual
[u]nderstandi[n] imposibel. W[i] shal never areiv at seientifik presi[z]on
til w[i] hav a f[o]nometer for kwoliti ov sound, nor d[ue] ei s[i] hwei
s[u]ch an instrument shud b[i] imposibel. Ei wel remember Wheatstone
teli[n] m[i], that h[i] wud [u]ndert[e]k tu r[i]prodiús bei m[i]nz ov an
instrument everi sh[e]d ov vouel in eni la[n]gw[e]j ov the w[u]rld, and ei
shud [t]i[n]k that Willis’z and Helmholtz’z eksperiments wud s[u]plei the
elements from hwich s[u]ch a f[o]nometer meit b[i] konstitiuted. Az s[ur]n
az w[i] kan me[z]ur, defein, and r[i]prodiús, at ple[z]ur, hwot at prezent
w[i] kan [o]nli deskreib in aproksim[r]t termz, the seiens ov f[o]netiks
wil bek[u]m m[o]st fr[ue]tful, and asiúm its lejitimet pl[e]s az a _sine
quâ non_ tu the stiudent ov la[n]gwej.

Ei hav s[u]mteimz b[i]n bl[e]md for havi[n] insisted on F[o]netiks
b[i]i[n] rekogneizd az the found[e]shon ov the Seiens ov La[n]gwej. Prof.
Benfey and [u]ther skolarz protested agenst the chapter ei hav dev[o]ted
tu F[o]netiks in the Sekond S[i]r[i]z ov mei “Lektiurz,” az an
[u]nnesesari inov[e]shon, and thoz protests hav bek[u]m stil stro[n]ger ov
l[e]t. B[u]t h[i]r, t[ue], w[i] m[u]st disti[n]gwish betw[i]n t[´[ue]]
[t]i[n]z. Filolojikal or jeneral F[o]netiks, ar, ei h[o]ld, az stro[n]li
az ever, an integral part ov the Seiens ov La[n]gwej; deialektik
F[o]netiks m[e] b[i] y[ue]sful h[i]r and th[e]r, b[u]t th[e] shud b[i]
kept within th[e]r proper sf[i]r; [u]therweiz, ei admit az redili az
eniw[u]n els, th[e] obskiúr rather than rev[i]l the br[w]d and masiv
k[u]lorz ov sound hwich la[n]gwej y[ue]zez for its ordinari w[u]rk.

If w[i] reflekt a litel, w[i] shal s[i] that the filolojikal konsepshon ov
a vouel iz s[u]m[t]i[n] t[o]tali diferent from its piurli akoustik or
deialektik konsepshon. The former iz ch[i]fli konsernd with the sf[i]r ov
posibel v[e]ri[e]shon, and the later with the piurli fenomenal
individiualiti ov [i]ch vouel. Tu the filolojist, the [t]rj[i] vouelz in
_septimus_, for instans, hwotever th[e]r ekzakt pron[u]nsi[e]shonz m[e]
hav b[i]n at diferent teimz, and in diferent provinsez ov the R[o]man
Empeir, ar p[o]tenshali w[u]n and the s[e]m. W[i] luk on _septimus_ and
ἕβύοώος az on Sanskrit _saptamas_, and [o]nli bei n[o]i[n] that _e_, _i_,
and _u_ in _septimus_ ar [w]l reprezentativz ov a short _a_, or that
_optimus_ standz for the m[o]r [e]nshent _optumus_ and _optomos_, d[ue]
w[i] t[e]k in at w[u]n glans the h[o]l histori and posibel v[e]ri[e]shon
ov th[i]z vouelz in diferent la[n]gwejez and deialekts. [I]ven hw[e]r a
vouel disap[i]rz kompl[i]tli, az in _gigno_ for _gigeno_, in πίπτω for
πιπευω the mentl ei ov the filolojist disérnz and w[e]z hwot n[o] [i]r kan
h[i]r. And hweil in th[i]z k[e]sez the etimolojist, disregardi[n] the
kl[i]rest vareieti ov pron[u]nsi[e]shon, tr[i]ts s[u]ch vouelz az _a_,
_e_, _i_, _o_, _u_ az w[u]n and the s[e]m, in [u]therz hw[e]r t[úe] vouelz
s[i]m tu hav ekzaktli the s[e]m sound tu the deialektishan, the filolojist
on hiz part pers[i]vz diferensez ov the gr[e]test importans. The _i_ in
_fides_ and _cliens_ m[e] hav the s[e]m sound az the _i_ in _gigno_ or
_septimus_, the _u_ ov _luo_ m[e] not difer from the _u_ in _optumus_ or
_lubens_, b[u]t th[e]r intrinsik valiu, th[e]r k[e]pabilitiz ov gr[o][t]
and dek[é], ar to t[o]tali diferent in [i]ch. W[i] shal never b[i] [e]bel
tu sp[i]k with eni[t]i[n] leik r[i]al seientifik akiurasi ov the
pron[u]nsi[e]shon ov [e]nshent la[n]gwejez, b[u]t [i]ven if w[i] luk tu
th[e]r riten ap[i]rans [o]nli, w[i] s[i] agén and agén hou vouelz, riten
aleik, ar historikali t[o]tali disti[n]kt. Grimm introdiúst the
disti[n]kshon betw[i]n _ái_ and _aí_, betw[i]n _áu_ and _aú_, not bek[w]z
it iz bei eni m[i]nz serten that the pron[u]nsi[e]shon ov th[i]z
dif[t]o[n]z v[e]rid, b[u]t bek[w]z h[i] wisht tu indik[e]t that the
antes[i]dents ov _ái_ and _áu_ wer diferent from th[o]z ov _aí_ and _aú_.
In Go[t]ik _faíhu_, (Sk. pa_s_u, pecu), _aí_ iz _a_ shortend tu _i_, and
br[o]ken bef[o]r _h_ tu _ái_; in Go[t]ik _váit_ (Sk. veda, οἶδα), _ai_, iz
radikal _i_ stre[n][t]end tu _ái_. In Go[t]ik _daúhtar_ (Sk. duhitar
θυγάτηρ), _aú_ iz radikal _u_ br[o]ken tu _aú_; in _aúhna_ [u]ven (Sk.
a_s_na, ἰπνο=ἰκνο=ἀκνο), the _au_ iz _a_, darkend tu _u_, and br[o]ken tu
_áu_; hweil in Go[t]ik _báug_ (πέφευγα), _áu_ iz orijinal _u_
stre[n][t]end tu _áu_. Hwen w[i] h[i]r _ê_ and _ô_ in Go[t]ik w[i] s[i]
_â_, j[u]st az w[i] s[i] Dorik _ā_ beheind Eionik η. Hwen w[i] h[i]r _c_
in _canis_, w[i] s[i] Sanskrit _s_; hwen w[i] h[i]r _c_ in _cruor_, w[i]
s[i] Sanskrit _k_. Hwen w[i] h[i]r γ in γένος, w[i] s[i] [A]rian _g_; hwen
w[i] h[i]r γ in φλέγω w[i] s[i] [A]rian _z_.

Th[i]z fiu il[u]str[e]shonz wil ekspl[e]n, ei h[o]p the esenshal diferens
in the aplik[e]shon ov f[o]netiks tu filoloji and deialektoloji, and wil
sh[o] that in the former our br[u]sh m[u]st ov nesesiti be br[w]d, hweil
in the later it m[u]st b[i] fein. It iz bei miksi[n] [u]p t[úe] separ[e]t
leinz ov reserch, [i]ch heili important in itself, that s[o] m[u]ch
konfiu[z]on haz ov l[e]t b[i]n ok[e][z]ond. The valiu ov piurli f[o]netik
obzerv[e]shonz shud on no akount b[i] [u]nderr[e]ted; b[u]t it iz
nesesari, for thát veri r[i]zon, that deialektikal az wel az filolojikal
f[o]netiks shud b[i] konfeind tu th[e]r proper sf[i]r. The filolojist haz
m[u]ch tu lern from the f[o]netishan, b[u]t h[i] shud never forget that
h[i]r, az elshw[e]r, hwot iz br[w]d and tipikal iz az important and az
seientifikali akiuret az hwot iz miniút and speshal.

Hwot iz br[w]d and tipikal iz often m[o]r akiuret [i]ven than hwot iz
miniút and speshal. It meit b[i] posibel, for instans, bei a f[o]tografik
proses, tu reprezent the ekzakt pozishon ov the t[u][n] and the inseid
w[w]lz ov the mou[t] hweil w[i] pronoúns the Italian vouel _i_. B[u]t it
wud b[i] the gr[e]test mist[e]k tu s[u]p[o]z that this imej givz [u]s the
[o]nli w[e] in hwich thát vouel iz, and kan b[i], pronoúnst. Th[o] [i]ch
individiual m[e] hav hiz [o]n w[e] ov plesi[n] the t[u][n] in pronoúnsi[n]
_i_, w[i] hav [o]nli tu trei the experiment in order tu konvins ourselvz
that, with s[u]m efort, w[i] m[e] v[e]ri that pozishon in meni w[e]z and
yet prodiús the sound ov. _i_. Hwen, th[e]rfor, in mei “Lektiurz on the
Seiens ov La[n]gwej,” ei g[e]v piktiurz ov the pozishonz ov the vokal
organz rekweird for pronounsi[n] the tipikal leterz ov the alfabet, ei tuk
gr[e]t k[e]r tu m[e]k them tipikal, thát iz, tu l[i]v them r[u]f skechez
rather than miniút f[o]tografs. Ei kanot beter ekspres hwot ei f[i]l on
this point than bei kw[o]ti[n] the w[u]rdz ov Hæckel:—

“For didaktik p[u]rposez, simpel sk[i]matik figiurz ar far m[o]r y[ue]sful
than piktiurz prezervi[n] the gr[e]test f[e][t]fulnes tu n[e]tiur and
karid out with the gr[e]test akiurasi.” (“Ziele und Wege,” p. 37.)

[The following three letters, now introduced, will complete the Phonetic

[dh] [ch] [sh]

for the sounds heard in—_the_n, _ch_eap, _sh_e.]

Tu ret[u]rn, after [dh]is digre[sh]en, tu Mr. Pitman’z alfabet, ei rep[i]t
[dh]at it rekomendz itself tu mei meind bei hwot [u][dh]erz k[w]l its
inakiurasi. It [sh]ez its r[i]al and praktikal wizdom bei not atempti[n]
tu fiks eni disti[n]k[sh]onz hwi[ch] ar not absol[ue]tli nesesari. If, for
instans, w[i] t[e]k [dh]e g[u]t[u]ral teniuis, w[i] feind that I[n]gli[sh]
rekogneizez w[u]n _k_ [o]nli, [w]l[dh]e its pron[u]nsi[e][sh]on v[e]riz
konsiderabli. It iz s[u]mteimz pronoúnst s[o] az tu prodiús [w]lmost a
[sh]arp krak; s[u]mteimz it haz a d[i]p, hol[o] sound; and s[u]mteimz a
soft, l[e]zi, _mouillé_ karakter. It v[e]riz konsiderabli akordi[n] tu
[dh]e vouelz hwi[ch] fol[o] it, az enibodi m[e] h[i]r, n[e] f[i]l, if h[i]
pronoúnsez in s[u]kse[sh]on, _kot_, _k[ue]l_, _kar_, _kat_, _kit_. B[u]t
az I[n]gli[sh] d[u]z not y[ue]z [dh][i]z diferent _kz_ for the p[u]rpos ov
disti[n]gwi[sh]i[n] w[u]rdz or gramatikal formz, w[u]n br[w]d kategori
[o]nli ov voisles g[u]t[u]ral [ch]eks haz tu b[i] admited in reiti[n]
I[n]gli[sh]. In [dh]e Semitik la[n]gwejez [dh]e k[e]s iz diferent; not
[o]nli ar _kaf_ and _kof_ diferent in sound, b[u]t [dh]is diforens iz
y[ue]zd tu disti[n]gwi[sh] diferent m[i]ni[n]z.

Or if w[i] t[e]k [dh]e vouel _a_ in its orijinal, piur
pron[u]nsi[e][sh]on, leik Italian _a_, w[i] kan [i]zili pers[i]v [dh]at it
haz diferent k[u]lorz in diferent kountiz ov I[n]gland. Yet in reiti[n] it
m[e] b[i] tr[i]ted az w[u]n, bek[w]z it haz b[u]t w[u]n and [dh]e s[e]m
gramatikal inten[sh]on, and d[u]z not konv[é] a niu m[i]ni[n] til it
eks[i]dz its weidest limits. Gud sp[i]kerz in I[n]gland pronoúns [dh]e _a_
in _last_ leik [dh]e piur Italian _a_; wi[dh] [u][dh]erz it bek[u]mz
br[w]d, wi[dh] [u][dh]erz [t]in. B[u]t [dh]e it m[e] [dh][u]s osil[e]t
konsiderabli, it m[u]st not enkr[o][ch]; on [dh]e provins ov _e_, hwi[ch]
wud [ch][e]nj its m[i]ni[n] tu _lest_; nor on [dh]e provins ov _o_,
hwk[ch] wud [ch]enj it tu _lost_; nor on [dh]e provins ov _u_, hwi[ch] wud
[ch]enj it tu _lust_.

[Dh]e difik[u]lti, [dh]erfor, hwi[ch] Ar[ch]bi[sh]op Trench haz pointed
out iz r[i]ali restrikted tu [dh][o]z k[e]sez hwer [dh]e
pron[u]nsi[e][sh]on ov vouelz—for it iz wi[dh] vouelz [ch][i]fli [dh]at
w[i] ar tr[u]beld—v[e]riz s[o] m[u][ch] az tu [o]verstep [dh]e br[w]dest
limits ov w[u]n ov [dh]e rekogneizd kategoriz ov sound, and tu enkr[o][ch]
on an[u][dh]er. If w[i] t[e]k [dh]e w[u]rd _fast_, hwi[ch] iz pronoúnst
veri diferentli [i]ven bei ediuk[e]ted p[i]pel, [dh]er wud b[i] no
nesesiti for indiketi[n] in reiti[n] [dh]e diferent [sh][e]dz ov
pron[u]nsi[e][sh]on hwi[ch] lei betw[i]n [dh]e sound ov [dh]e [sh]ort
Italian _a_ and [dh]e lo[n] _a_ herd in _father_. B[u]t hwen [dh]e _a_ in
_fast_ iz pronoúnst leik [dh]e _a_ in _fat_, [dh]en [dh]e nesesiti ov a
niu grafik eksp[o]nent wud areiz, and Ar[ch]bi[sh]op Trench wud b[i] reit
in twiti[n] f[o]netik reformerz wi[dh] sa[n]k[sh]oni[n] t[úe] speli[n]z
for [dh]e s[e]m w[u]rd.

Ei kud men[sh]on [dh]e n[e]mz ov [t]r[i] bi[sh]ops, w[u]n ov h[ue]m
pronoúnst [dh]e vouel in _God_ leik _G[w]d_, an[u][dh]er leik _rod_, a
[t]erd leik _gad_. [Dh]e last pron[u]nsi[e][sh]on wud probabli b[i]
kondemd bei everibodi, b[u]t [dh]e [u][dh]er t[ú] wud rem[e]n
sa[n]k[sh]ond bei [dh]e heiest [w][t]oriti, and [dh]erfor ret[e]nd in
fonetik reiti[n].

S[o] far, [dh]en, ei admit [dh]at Ar[ch]bi[sh]op Trench haz pointed out a
r[i]al difik[u]lti inh[i]rent in f[o]netik reiti[n]; b[u]t hwot iz [dh]at
w[u]n difik[u]lti komp[e]rd wi[dh] [dh]e difik[u]ltiz ov [dh]e prezent
sistem ov I[n]gli[sh] speli[n]? It wud not b[i] onest tu trei tu ev[e]d
hiz [ch]arj, bei s[e]i[n] [dh]at [dh]er iz b[u]t w[u]n pron[u]nsi[e][sh]on
rekogneizd bei [dh]e y[ue]zej ov ediuk[e]ted p[i]pel. [Dh]át iz not so,
and [dh][o]z h[ue] n[o] best [dh]e beioloji ov la[n]gwej, no [dh]at it
kan[o]t b[i] s[o]. [Dh]e veri leif ov la[n]gwej konsists in a konstant
fri[sh]on betw[i]n [dh]e sentripetal f[o]rs ov k[u]stom and [dh]e
sentrifiugal fors ov individiual fr[i]dom. Agenst [dh]at difik[u]lti
[dh][e]rfor, [dh]er iz n[o] remedi. [O]nli h[i]r agen [dh]e Ar[ch]bi[sh]op
s[i]mz tu hav overlukt [dh]e fakt [dh]at [dh]e difik[u]lti belo[n]z tu
[dh]e prezent sistem ov speli[n] n[i]rli az m[u][ch] az tu [dh]e fonetik
sistem. [Dh]er iz b[u]t w[u]n rekogneizd w[e] ov speli[n], b[u]t everibodi
pronoúnsez akordi[n] tu hiz [o]n idiosinkrasiz. It wud b[i] [dh]e s[e]m
wi[dh] f[o]netik speli[n]. W[u]n pron[u]nsie[sh]on, [dh]e best rekogneizd,
wud hav tu b[i] adopted az a standard in fonetik reiti[n], l[i]vi[n] tu
everi Ingli[sh]man hiz fr[i]dom tu pronoúns az s[i]me[t] gud tu him. W[i]
[sh]ud l[ue]z n[u][t]i[n] ov hwot w[i] nou pozés, and [w]l [dh]e
advantejez ov f[o]netik reiti[n] wud rem[e]n [u]nimp[e]rd. [Dh]e r[i]al
st[e]t ov [dh]e k[e]s iz, [dh][e]rfor, [dh]is—N[o]w[u]n defendz [dh]e
prezent sistem ov speli[n]; everiw[u]n admits [dh]e s[i]ri[u]s injuri
hwi[ch] it inflikts on na[sh]onal ediuk[e][sh]on. Everibodi admits [dh]e
praktikal advantejez ov fonetik speli[n], b[u]t after [dh]át, [w]l eksklem
[dh]at a reform ov speli[n], hw[o]der par[sh]al or kompl[i]t, iz
imposibel. Hwe[dh]er it iz imposibel or not, ei gladli l[i]v tu men ov de
w[u]rld tu deseid. Az a skolar, az a stiudent ov [dh]e histori ov
la[n]gwej, ei simpli m[e]nten [dh]at in everi riten la[n]gwej a reform ov
speli[n] iz, s[ue]nler or l[e]ter, inevitabel. N[o] dout [dh]e [i]vil d[e]
m[e] b[i] put of. Ei hav litel dout [dh]at it wil b[i] put of for meni
jener[e][sh]onz, and [dh]at a r[i]al reform wil probabli not b[i] karid
eksept konk[u]rentli wi[dh] a veiolent so[sh]al konv[u]l[sh]on. Onli let
[dh]e kwestion b[i] argiud f[e]rli. Let fakts hav s[u]m w[e]t, and let it
not b[i] s[u]p[o]zd bei men ov [dh]e w[u]rld [dh]at [dh]oz h[ue] defend
[dh]e prinsipelz ov [dh]e _Fonetik Niuz_ ar [o]nli t[i]totalerz and
vejet[e]rianz, h[ue] hav never lernd hou tu spel.

If ei hav sp[o]ken stro[n]li in s[u]port ov Mr. Pitman’z sistem, it iz not
bek[w]z on [w]l points ei konsider it siup[i]rior tu [dh]e sistemz
prep[e]rd bei [u][dh]er reformerz, h[ue] ar d[e]li inkr[i]si[n] in
n[u]mber, b[u]t [ch][i]fli bek[w]z it haz b[i]n tested so larjli, and haz
stud [dh]e test wel. Mr. Pitman’z _F[o]netik J[u]rnal_ haz nou [1880]
b[i]n p[u]bli[sh]t [t]erti-[e]t y[i]rz, and if it iz non [dh]at it iz
p[u]bli[sh]t w[i]kli in 12,000 kopiz, [i][ch] kopi reprezenti[n] at l[i]st
for or feiv r[i]derz, it m[e] not s[i]m so veri f[ue]li[sh], after [w]l,
if w[i] imajin [dh]at [dh]er iz s[u]m veital pouer in [dh]át insiguifikant



   Read At The Meeting Of The Royal Asiatic Society, February 16, 1880.

It is probably in the recollection of some of the senior members of this
Society how wide and deep an interest was excited in the year 1853 by the
publication of Stanislas Julien’s translation of the “Life and Travels of
Hiouen-thsang.” The account given by an eye-witness of the religious,
social, political, and literary state of India at the beginning of the
seventh century of our era was like a rocket, carrying a rope to a whole
crew of struggling scholars, on the point of being drowned in the sea of
Indian chronology; and the rope was eagerly grasped by all, whether their
special object was the history of Indian religion, or the history of
Indian literature, architecture, or politics. While many books on Indian
literature, published five-and-twenty years ago, are now put aside and
forgotten, Julien’s three volumes of Hiouen-thsang still maintain a fresh
interest, and supply new subjects for discussion, as may be seen even in
the last number of the Journal of your Society.

I had the honor and pleasure of working with Stanislas Julien, when he was
compiling those large lists of Sanskrit and Chinese words which formed the
foundation of his translation of Hiouen-thsang, and enabled him in his
classical work, the “Méthode pour déchiffrer et transcrire les noms
Sanskrits” (1861), to solve a riddle which had puzzled Oriental scholars
for a long time—viz., how it happened that the original Sanskrit names had
been so completely disguised and rendered almost unrecognizable in the
Chinese translations of Sanskrit texts, and how they could be restored to
their original form.

I had likewise the honor and pleasure of working with your late President,
Professor H. H. Wilson, when, after reading Julien’s works, he conceived
the idea that some of the original Sanskrit texts of which the Chinese
translations had been recovered might still be found in the monasteries of
China. His influential position as President of your Society, and his
personal relations with Sir John Bowring, then English Resident in China,
enabled him to set in motion a powerful machinery for attaining his
object; and if you look back some five-and-twenty years, you will find in
your Journal a full account of the correspondence that passed between
Professor Wilson, Sir J. Bowring, and Dr. Edkins, on the search after
Sanskrit MSS. in the temples or monasteries of China.

On February 15, 1854, Professor Wilson writes from Oxford to Sir John

“I send you herewith a list of the Sanskrit works carried to China by Hwen
Tsang in the middle of the seventh century, and in great part translated
by him, or under his supervision, into Chinese. If any of them,
_especially the originals_, should be still in existence, you would do
good service to Sanskrit literature and to the history of Buddhism by
procuring copies.”

_Chinese Translators of Sanskrit Texts._

It is a well-known fact that, even long before the time of
Hiouen-thsang—that is, long before the seventh century of our era—large
numbers of Sanskrit MSS. had been exported to China. These literary
exportations began as early as the first century A. D. When we read for
the first time of commissioners being sent to India by Ming-ti, the
Emperor of China, the second sovereign of the Eastern Han dynasty, about
62 or 65 A. D., we are told that they returned to China with a white
horse, carrying books and images.(72) And the account proceeds to state
that “these books still remain, and are reverenced and worshipped.”

From that time, when Buddhism was first officially recognized in
China,(73) there is an almost unbroken succession of importers and
translators of Buddhist, in some cases of Brahmanic texts also, till we
come to the two famous expeditions, the one undertaken by Fa-hian in
400-415, the other by Hiouen-thsang, 629-645 A. D. Fa-hian’s Travels were
translated into French by Abel Rémusat (1836), into English by Mr. Beal
(1869). Hiouen-thsang’s Travels are well known through Stanislas Julien’s
admirable translation. Of Hiouen-thsang we are told that he brought back
from India no less than 520 fasciculi, or 657 separate works, which had to
be carried by twenty-two horses.(74) He translated, or had translated, 740
works, forming 1,335 fasciculi.

I say nothing of earlier traces of Buddhism which are supposed to occur in
Chinese books. Whatever they may amount to, we look in vain in them for
evidence of any Chinese translations of Buddhist books before the time of
the Emperor Ming-ti; and what concerns us at present is, not the existence
or the spreading of Buddhism towards the north and east long before the
beginning of the Christian era, but the existence of Buddhist books, so
far as it can be proved at that time by the existence of Chinese
translations the date of which can be fixed with sufficient certainty.

In the following remarks on the history of these translations I have had
the great advantage of being able to use the Annals of the Sui Dynasty
(589-618), kindly translated for me by Professor Legge. In China the
history of each dynasty was written under the succeeding dynasty from
documents which may be supposed to be contemporaneous with the events they
relate. The account given in the Sui Chronicles of the introduction of
Buddhism and Buddhist works into China is said to be the best general
account to be found in early Chinese literature, and the facts here stated
may be looked upon as far more trustworthy than the notices hitherto
relied upon, and collected from Chinese writers of different dates and
different localities. I have also had the assistance of Mr. Bunyiu Nanjio,
who compared the names of the translators mentioned in the Sui Annals with
the names as given in the K’ai-yuen-shih-kiao-mu-lu (Catalogue of the
Buddhist books compiled in the period K’ai-yuen [A. D. 713-741]); and
though there still remain some doubtful points, we may rest assured that
the dates assigned to the principal Chinese translators and their works
can be depended on as historically trustworthy.

With regard to the period anterior to Ming-ti, the Sui Chronicles tell us
that after an investigation of the records, it was known that Buddhism had
not been brought to China previously to the Han dynasty (began 206 B. C.),
though some say that it had long been spread abroad, but had disappeared
again in the time of the _Kh_in(75) (221-206 B. C.). Afterwards, however,
when _K_ang-_kh_ien was sent on a mission to the regions of the West
(about 130 B. C.), he is supposed to have become acquainted with the
religion of Buddha. He was made prisoner by the Hiungnu (Huns),(76) and,
being kept by them for ten years, he may well have acquired during his
captivity some knowledge of Buddhism, which at a very early time had
spread from Cabul(77) towards the north and the east.

In the time of the Emperor Âi (B. C. 6-2) we read that _Kh_in-_k_ing
caused I-tsun to teach the Buddhist Sûtras orally, but that the people
gave no credence to them. All this seems to rest on semi-historical
evidence only.

The first official recognition of Buddhism in China dates from the reign
of the Emperor Ming-ti, and the following account, though not altogether
free from a legendary coloring, is generally accepted as authentic by
Chinese scholars: “The Emperor Ming-ti, of the After Han dynasty (58-75 A.
D.), dreamt that a man of metal (or golden color) was flying and walking
in a courtyard of the palace. When he told his dream in the Court, Fu-î
said that the figure was that of Buddha. On this the Emperor sent the
gentleman-usher Tsâi-yin and _Kh_in-_k_ing (who must then have been
growing old) both to the country of the great Yueh-_k_i(78) and to India,
in order to seek for such an image.”

An earlier account of the same event is to be found in the Annals of the
After (or Eastern) Han dynasty (25-120 A. D.). These annals were compiled
by Fan-yeh, who was afterwards condemned to death as a rebel (445 A. D.).
Here we read(79) (vol. 88, fol. 8 a _seq._): “There is a tradition that
the Emperor Ming-ti (58-75 A. D.) dreamt that there was a giant-like man
of golden color,(80) whose head was refulgent. The Emperor wanted his
retainers to interpret it. Then some said, ‘There is a god (or spirit) in
the West who is called Fo, whose height is sixteen feet, and of golden
color.’ Having heard this, the Emperor at once sent messengers to
Tien-_k_u (_i. e._ India), to inquire after the doctrine of Buddha.
Subsequently, copies of the image of Buddha were drawn in the middle
country (_i. e._ China).”

The emissaries whom the Emperor Ming-ti had sent to India obtained a
Buddhist Sûtra in forty-two sections, and an image of Buddha, with which
and the Shâmans Kâ_s_yapa Mâtaṅga and _K_û-fa-lan, they returned to the
East. When Tsâi-yin approached (the capital), he caused the book to be
borne on a white horse, and on this account the monastery of the White
Horse was built on the west of the Yung gate of the city of Lo to lodge
it. The classic was tied up and placed in the stone house of the Lan
tower, and, moreover, pictures of the image were drawn and kept in the
_Kh_ing-yüan tower, and at the top of the Hsien-_k_ieh hill.

Here we seem to be on _terra firma_, for some of the literary works by
Kâsyapa Mâtaṅga and _K_û-fa-lan are still in existence. Kâsyapa Mâtaṅga
(or, it may be, Kâsya Mâtaṅga(81)) is clearly a Sanskrit name. Mâtaṅga,
though the name of a _K_andâla or low-caste man, might well be borne by a
Buddhist priest.(82) The name of _K_û-fa-lan, however, is more difficult.
Chinese scholars declare that it can only be a Chinese name,(83) yet if
_K_û-fa-lan came from India with _K_âsyapa, we should expect that he too
bore a Sanskrit name. In that case, _K_û might be taken as the last
character of Tien-_k_û, India, which character is prefixed to the names of
other Indian priests living in China. His name would be Fâ-lan, _i. e._
Dharma + x, whatever lan may signify, perhaps padma, lotus.(84)

M. Feer,(85) calls him Gobhara_n_a, without, however, giving his authority
for such a name. The Sutra of the forty-two sections exists in Chinese,
but neither in Sanskrit nor in Pâli, and many difficulties would be
removed if we admitted, with M. Feer, that this so-called Sûtra of the
forty-two sections was really the work of Kâ_s_yapa and _K_û-fa-lan, who
considered such an epitome of Buddhist doctrines, based chiefly on
original texts, useful for their new converts in China.

It is curious that the Sui Annals speak here of no other literary work due
to Kâ_s_yapa and _K_û-fa-lan, though they afterwards mention the Shih-_k_u
_S_ûtra by _K_û-fa-lan as a work almost unintelligible. In the
Fan-i-ming-i-tsi (vol. iii. fol. 4 b), mention is made of five Sûtras,
translated by _K_û-fa-lan alone, after Kâ_s_yapa’s death. In the
K’ai-yuen-shih-kiao-mu-lu catalogue of the Buddhist books, compiled in the
period K’ai-yuen (713-741 A. D.), vol. i. fol. 6, four Sûtras only are
ascribed to _K_û-fa-lan:—

1. The Da_s_abhûmi, called the Sûtra on the destruction of the causes of
perplexity in the ten stations; 70 A. D. This is the Shi-_k_û Sûtra.

2. The Sûtra of the treasure of the sea of the law

3. The Sûtra of the original conduct of Buddha (Fo-pen-hing-king); 68 A.
D. (taken by Julien for a translation of the Lalita-vistara).

4. The Sûtra of the original birth of Buddha (_G_âtaka).

The compiler of the catalogue adds that these translations have long been

The next patron of Buddhism was Ying, the King of _Kh_û, at the time of
the Emperor _K_ang, his father (76-88). Many Shâmans, it is said, came to
China then from the Western regions, bringing Buddhist Sûtras. Some of
these translations, however, proved unintelligible.

During the reign of the Emperor Hwan (147-167), An-shi-kao (usually called
An-shing), a Shâman of An-hsi,(86) brought classical books to Lo, and
translated them. This is evidently the same translator of whom Mr. Beal
(“J. R. A. S.” 1856, pp. 327, 332) speaks as a native of Eastern Persia or
Parthia, and whose name Mr. Wylie wished to identify with Arsak. As
An-shi-kao is reported to have been a royal prince, who made himself a
mendicant and travelled as far as China, Mr. Wylie supposes that he was
the son of one of the Arsacidæ, Kings of Persia. Mr. Beal on the contrary,
takes the name to be a corruption of A_s_vaka or Assaka—_i. e._

Under the Emperor Ling, 168-189 A. D., _K_i-_kh_an (or _K_i-tsin), a
Shâman from the Yueh-_k_i (called _K_i-lau-kia-_k_uai by Beal),
_K_û-fo-soh (Ta-fo-sa), an Indian Shâman, and others, worked together to
produce a translation of the Nirvâ_n_a-sûtra, in two sections. The
K’ai-yuen-lu ascribes twenty-three works to _K_i-_kh_an, and two Sûtras to

Towards the end of the Han dynasty, _K_u-yung, the grand guardian, was a
follower of Buddha.

In the time of the Three Kingdoms (220-264) Khang-sang-hui, a Shâman of
the Western regions, came to Wû(88) with Sûtras and translated them.
Sun-_kh_üan, the sovereign, believed in Buddhism. About the same time
Khang-sang-khai translated the longer text of the Sukhavatîvyûha.

In Wei,(89) during the period Hwang-_kh_u (220-226) the Chinese first
observed the Buddhist precepts, shaved their heads, and became Sang—_i.
e._ monks.

Even before this, a Shâman of the Western regions had come here and
translated the Hsiâo-pin Sûtra—_i. e._ the Sûtra of Smaller Matters
(Khudda-kanikâya?)—but the head and tail of it were contradictory, so that
it could not be understood.

In the period Kan-lû (256-259), _K_û-shi-hsing (Chu-shuh-lan, in Beal’s
“Catalogue”) went to the West as far as Khoten, and obtained a Sûtra in
ninety sections, with which he came back to Yéh, in the Tsin period of
Yüen-khang (291-299), and translated it (with Dharmaraksha) under the
title of “Light-emitting Pra_gn_â-pâramitâ Sûtra.”(90)

In the period Thai-shi (265-274), under the Western Tsin (265-316),
Kû-fâ-hu(91) (Dharmaraksha), a Shâman of the Yüeh-_k_i, travelled through
the various kingdoms of the West, and brought a large collection of books
home to Lo, where he translated them. It is stated in the Catalogue of the
Great _K_au, an interlude in the dynasty of Thang (690-705 A. D.), that in
the seventh year of the period Thai-khang (286) he translated
_K_ing-fa-hwa—_i. e._ the Saddharma-pu_nd_arîka (Beal, “Catalogue,” p.

About 300 A. D. _K_i-kung-ming translated the Wei-ma (Vimala-kîrtti) and
Fa-hwa (Saddharma-pu_nd_arîka).(93)

In 335 the prince of the _Kh_au kingdom (during the Tsin dynasty)
permitted his subjects to become Shâmans, influenced chiefly by

In the time of the rebel Shih-leh, 330-333, during the Tsin dynasty, a
Shâman Wei-tao-an, or Tao-an, of _Kh_ang-shan, studied Buddhist literature
under Buddhasi_m_ha. He produced a more correct translation of the
Vimala-kîrtti-sûtra (and Saddharma-pu_nd_arîka), and taught it widely; but
as he was not an original translator, his name is not mentioned in the
K’ai-yuen-lu. On account of political troubles, Tâo-an led his disciples
southward, to Hsin-ye, and dispatched them to different quarters—Fâ-shang
to Yang-_k_âu, Fâ-hwa to Shû—while he himself, with Wei-yüan, went to
Hsiang-yang and _Kh_ang-an. Here Fu-_kh_ien, the sovereign of the Fûs, who
about 350 had got possession of _Kh_ang-an, resisting the authority of the
Tsin, and establishing the dynasty of the Former _Kh_in, received him with
distinction. It was at the wish of Tâo-an that Fu-_kh_ien invited
Kumâra_g_îva to _Kh_ang-an; but when, after a long delay, Kumâra_g_îva
arrived there, in the second year of the period Hung-shi (400 A. D.),
under Yâo-hsing, who, in 394, had succeeded Yâo-_kh_ang,(95) the founder
of the After _Kh_in dynasty, Tâo-an had been dead already twenty years.
His corrected translations, however, were approved by Kumâra_g_îva.

This Kumâra_g_îva marks a new period of great activity in the translation
of Buddhist texts. He is said to have come from Ku-tsi, in Tibet, where
the Emperor Yâo-hsing (397-415) sent for him. Among his translations are
mentioned the Wei-ma or Vima-la-kîrtti-sûtra (Beal’s “Catalogue,” p. 17);
the Saddharma-pu_nd_arîka (Beal’s “Catalogue,” p. 15); the
Satyasiddha-vyâkara_n_a _s_âstra (Beal’s “Catalogue,” p. 80). He was a
contemporary of the great traveller, Fa-hian, who went from _Kh_ang-an to
India, travelled through more than thirty states, and came back to Nanking
in 414, to find the Emperor Yâo-hsing overturned by the Eastern Tsin
dynasty. He was accompanied by the Indian contemplationist,
Buddha-bhadra.(96) Buddhabhadra translated the Fa-yan-king, the
Buddhâvata_m_saka-vaipulya-sûtra (Beal’s “Catalogue,” p. 9), and he and
Fa-hian together, the Mo-ho-sang-_k_i-liu—_i. e._ the Vinaya of the
Mahâsaṅghika school (Beal, “Catalogue,” p. 68).

Another Shâman who travelled to India about the same time was _K_i-mang,
of Hsin-fang, a district city of Kâo-_kh_ang. In 419, in the period
Yüan-hsi, he went as far as Pâ_t_ali-putra, where he obtained the
Nirva_n_a-sûtra, and the Saṅghika, a book of discipline.(97) After his
return to Kâo-_kh_ang he translated the Nirvâ_n_a-sûtra in twenty

Afterwards the Indian Shâman Dharmaraksha II.(98) brought other copies of
the foreign MSS. to the West of the Ho. And Tsü-_kh_ü Mung-sun, the king
of North Liang, sent messengers to Kâo-_kh_ang for the copy which
_K_i-mang had brought, wishing to compare the two.(99)

When _K_i-mang’s copy arrived,(100) a translation was made of it in thirty
sections. Dharmaraksha II. translated the Suvar_n_a-prabhâsa and the
Nirvâ_n_a-Sutrâ, 416-423 A. D. The K’ai-yuen-lu ascribes nineteen works to
Dharmalatsin in 131 fascicles.

Buddhism from that time spread very rapidly in China, and the translations
became too numerous to be all mentioned.

The Mahâyâna school was represented at that time chiefly by the following

    Translated by Kumâra_g_îva:
    The Vimalakîrtti-sûtra (Beal, “Catalogue,” p. 17.
    The Saddharmapun_nd_arika-sûtra (Beal, “Catalogue,” p. 15)
    The Satyasiddhavyâkara_n_a-_s_âstra (Beal, “Catalogue,” p. 80)

    Translated by Dharmalatsin, or Dharmaraksha II.:
    The Suvar_n_aprabhâsa-sûtra (Beal, “Catalogue,” p. 15)
    The Nirvâ_n_a-sûtra (Beal, “Catalogue.” p. 12)

The Hînayâna school was represented by—

    The Sarvâstivâda-vinaya by Kumâra_g_îva (Beal, “Catalogue,” pp.
    67, 68).

    The Dîrghâgama-sûtra, by Buddhaya_s_as, 410 A. D. (Beal,
    “Catalogue,” p. 36).

    The Vinaya of the four Parts, by Buddhaya_s_as.(101)

    The Ekottarâgama-sûtra (Aṅguttara), translated by Dharmanandin, of
    Tukhâra (Fa-hsi).

    The Abhidharma disquisitions, by Dharmayasas,(102) of Kophene.

During the period of Lung-an (397-401) the Ekottarâgama (Anguttara) and
Madhyamâgama-sûtras(103) were translated by Saṅghadeva of Kophene. This is
probably the Ma_gg_hima Nikâya, translated by Gotama Saṅghadeva, under the
Eastern Tsin dynasty, 317-419.

In the period Î-hsi (405-418) the Shâman _K_i-fâ-ling brought from Khoten
to Nanking, the southern capital, the Hwâ-yen Sûtra in 36,000 gâthâs, and
translated it. This may be the Buddhâvata_m_saka-sûtra, called the
Ta-fang-kwang-fo-fa-yan-king (Beal’s “Catalogue,” pp. 9, 10). This
translator is not mentioned in the K’ai-yuen-lu.

In 420 the Tsin dynasty came to an end.

The Emperor Thai-wu (424-452), of the N. Wei dynasty, persecuted the
Buddhists, 446; but from the year 452 they were tolerated. This dynasty
lasted from 386 to 535, when it was divided into two.

In 458 there was a conspiracy under Buddhist influences, and more
stringent laws were enforced against them.

In 460 five Buddhists arrived in China from Ceylon, _viâ_ Tibet. Two of
them, Yashaita, and Vudanandi, brought images.(104) In 502 a Hindu
translated Mahâyâna books, called Fixed Positions and Ten Positions.(105)

During the dynasties of _Kh_î (479-502), Liang (502-557), and _Kh_in
(557-589), many famous Shâmans came to China, and translated books.

The Emperor Wû of Liang (502-549) paid great honor to Buddhism. He made a
large collection of the Buddhist canonical books, amounting to 5,400
volumes, in the Hwâ-lin garden. The Shâman Pao-_kh_ang compiled the
catalogue in fifty-four fascicles.

In the period Yung-ping, 508-511, there was an Indian Shâman Bodhiru_k_i,
who translated many books, as Kumâra_g_îva had done. Among them were the
Earth-holding _s_âstra (bhûmîdhara _s_âstra?) and the Shi-ti-king-lun, the
Da_s_abhûmika _s_âstra, greatly valued by the followers of the

In 516, during the period Hsî-phing, the Chinese Shâman Wei-shang was sent
to the West to collect Sûtras and Vinayas, and brought back a collection
of 170 books. He is not, however, mentioned as a translator in the

In 518 Sung-yun, sent by the queen of the Wei country from Lo-yang to
India, returned after three years, with 175 volumes. He lived to see
Bodhidharma in his coffin. This Bodhidharma, the twenty-eighth patriarch,
had arrived in Canton by sea in 528, in the time of Wu-ti, the first
Emperor of the Liang dynasty. Some Sanskrit MSS. that had belonged to him,
and other relics, are still preserved in Japan.(107)

In the time of the Emperor Wû, of the Northern _K_âu dynasty (561-577), a
Shâman, Wei-yüan-sung, accused the Buddhist priests, and the Emperor
persecuted them. But in the first year of Kao-tsu, the founder of the Sui
dynasty, in 589, toleration was again proclaimed. He ordered the people to
pay a certain sum of money, according to the number of the members of each
family, for the purpose of preparing Sûtras (the Buddhist canon) and
images. And the Government caused copies of the whole Buddhist canon to be
made, and placed them in certain temples or monasteries in the capital,
and in several other large cities, in such provinces as Ping-_k_âu,
Hsiang-_k_âu, Lo-_k_âu, etc. And the Government caused also another copy
to be made and to be deposited in the Imperial Library. The Buddhist
sacred books among the people were found to be several hundred times more
numerous than those on the six Kings of Confucius. There were 1,950
distinct Buddhist books translated.

In the period Tâ-yeh (605-616) the Emperor ordered the Shâman _K_i-kwo to
compose a catalogue of the Buddhist books at the Imperial Buddhist chapel
within the gate of the palace. He then made some divisions and
classifications, which were as follows:—

The Sûtras which contained what Buddha had spoken were arranged under
three divisions:—

1. The Mahâyâna.
2. The Hînayâna.
3. The Mixed Sûtras.

Other books, that seemed to be the productions of later men, who falsely
ascribed their works to greater names, were classed as Doubtful Books.

There were other works in which Bodhisattvas and others went deeply into
the explanation of the meaning, and illustrated the principles of Buddha.
These were called Disquisitions, or _S_âstras. Then there were Vinaya, or
compilations of precepts, under each division as before, Mahâyâna,
Hînayâna, Mixed. There were also Records, or accounts of the doings in
their times of those who had been students of the system. Altogether there
were eleven classes under which the books were arranged:—

1. Sûtra.      Mahâyâna             617 in 2,076 chapters.
               Mixed                487 in 852 chapters.
               Mixed and doubtful   172 in 336 chapters.
2. Vinaya.     Mahâyâna             52 in 91 chapters.
               Hînayâna             80 in 472 chapters.
               Mixed                27 in 46 chapters.
3. _S_âstra.   Mahâyâna             35 in 141 chapters.
               Hînayâna             41 in 567 chapters.
               Mixed                51 in 437 chapters.
Total                               1962 in 6,198 chapters.

_Search for Sanskrit MSS. in China._

It was the publication of Hiouen-thsang’s Travels which roused the hopes
of Professor Wilson that some of the old Sanskrit MSS. which had been
carried away from India might still be discovered in China.(108)

But though no pains were spared by Sir John Bowring to carry out Professor
Wilson’s wishes, though he had catalogues sent to him from Buddhist
libraries, and from cities where Buddhist compositions might be expected
to exist, the results were disappointing, at least so far as Sanskrit
texts were concerned. A number of interesting Chinese books, translated
from Sanskrit by Hiouen-thsang and others, works also by native Chinese
Buddhists, were sent to the library of the East India House; but what
Professor Wilson and all Sanskrit scholars with him most desired, Sanskrit
MSS., or copies of Sanskrit MSS., were not forthcoming. Professor Wilson
showed me, indeed, one copy of a Sanskrit MS. that was sent to him from
China, and, so far as I remember, it was the Kâla-_K_akra,(109) which we
know as one of the books translated from Sanskrit into Chinese. That MS.,
however, is no longer to be found in the India Office Library, though it
certainly existed in the old East India House.

The disappointment at the failure of Professor Wilson’s and Sir J.
Bowring’s united efforts was felt all the more keenly because neither
Sanskrit nor Chinese scholars could surrender the conviction that, until a
very short time ago, Indian MSS. had existed in China. They had been seen
by Europeans, such as Dr. Gutzlaff, the hard-working missionary in China,
who in a paper, written shortly before his death, and addressed to Colonel
Sykes (“Journal R. A. S.” 1856, p. 73), stated that he himself had seen
Pâli MSS. preserved by Buddhist priests in China. Whether these MSS. were
in Pâli or Sanskrit would matter little, supposing even that Dr. Gutzlaff
could not distinguish between the two. He speaks with great contempt of
the whole Buddhist literature. There was not a single priest, he says,
capable of explaining the meaning of the Pâli texts, though some were
interlined with Chinese. “A few works,” he writes, “are found in a
character originally used for writing the Pâli, and may be considered as
faithful transcripts of the earliest writings of Buddhism. They are looked
upon as very sacred, full of mysteries and deep significations, and
therefore as the most precious relics of the founder of their creed. With
the letters of this alphabet the priests perform incantations(110) to
expel demons, rescue souls from hell, bring down rain on the earth, remove
calamities, etc. They turn and twist them in every shape, and maintain
that the very demons tremble at the recitation of them.”

Another clear proof of the existence of Sanskrit MSS. in China is found in
the account of a “Trip to Ning-po and T’hëen-t’hae,” by Dr. Edkins. After
he had arrived at Fang-kwang, he ascended the Hwa-ling hill, and at the
top of the hill he describes a small temple with a priest residing in it.
“Scattered over the hill,” he adds, “there are various little temples
where priests reside, but the one at the top is the most celebrated, as
being the place where Che-k’hae spent a portion of his time, worshipping a
Sanskrit manuscript of a Buddhist classic.” On his return he arrived at
the pagoda erected to the memory of Che-k’hae, the founder of the
Thëen-t’hae system of Buddhism, in the Chin dynasty (about 580 A. D.). And
a little farther on, situated in a deep dell on the left, was the
monastery of Kaon-ming-sze. This is particularly celebrated for its
possession of a Sanskrit MS., written on the palm leaf, once read and
explained by Che-k’hae, but now unintelligible to any of the followers of
Buddhism in these parts. The priests seemed to pay uncommon reverence to
this MS., which is the only one of the kind to be found in the East of
China, and thus of great importance in a literary point of view. It is
more than 1,300 years old, but is in a state of perfect preservation, in
consequence of the palm leaves, which are written on both sides, having
been carefully let into slips of wood, which are fitted on the same
central pin, and the whole, amounting to fifty leaves, inclosed in a
rosewood box.

This may account for the unwillingness of the priests to part with their
old MSS., whether Sanskrit or Pâli, but it proves at the same time that
they still exist, and naturally keeps up the hope that some day or other
we may still get a sight of them.

_Materials on which Sanskrit MSS. were written._

Of course, it might be said that if MSS. did not last very long in India,
neither would they do so in China. But even then, we might expect at least
that as in India the old MSS. were copied whenever they showed signs of
decay, so they would have been in China. Besides, the climate of China is
not so destructive as the heat and moisture of the climate of India. In
India, MSS. seldom last over a thousand years. Long before that time paper
made of vegetable substances decays, palm-leaves and birch-bark become
brittle, and white ants often destroy what might have escaped the ravages
of the climate. It was the duty, therefore, of Indian Rajahs to keep a
staff of librarians, who had to copy the old MSS. whenever they began to
seem unsafe, a fact which accounts both for the modern date of most of our
Sanskrit MSS. and for the large number of copies of the same text often
met with in the same library.

The MSS. carried off to China were in all likelihood not written on paper,
or whatever we like to call the material which Nearchus describes “as
cotton well beaten together,”(111) but on the bark of the birch tree or on
palm leaves. The bark of trees is mentioned as a writing material used in
India by Curtius;(112) and in Buddhist Sûtras, such as the Kara_nd_a-vyûha
(p. 69), we actually read of bhûr_g_a, birch, mâsi, ink, and karama
(kalam), as the common requisites for writing. MSS. written on that
material have long been known in Europe, chiefly as curiosities (I had to
write many years ago about one of them, preserved in the Library at All
Souls’ College). Of late,(113) however, they have attracted more serious
attention, particularly since Dr. Bühler discovered in Kashmir old MSS.
containing independent rescensions of Vedic texts, written on birch bark.
One of these, containing the whole text of the Rig-Veda Sa_m_hitâ(114)
with accents, was sent to me, and though it had suffered a good deal,
particularly on the margins, it shows that there was no difficulty in
producing from the bark of the birch tree thousands and thousands of pages
of the largest quarto or even folio size, perfectly smooth and pure,
except for the small dark lines peculiar to the bark of that tree.(115)

At the time of Hiouen-thsang, in the seventh century, palm leaves seem to
have been the chief material for writing. He mentions a forest of
palm-trees (_Borassus flabelliformis_) near Konka_n_apura (the Western
coast of the Dekhan),(116) which was much prized on account of its
supplying material for writing (vol. i. p. 202, and vol. iii. p. 148). At
a later time, too, in 965, we read of Buddhist priests returning to China
with Sanskrit copies of Buddhist books written on palm leaves
(peito).(117) If we could believe Hiouen-thsang, the palm leaf would have
been used even so early as the first Buddhist Council,(118) for he says
that Kâsyapa then wrote the Pi_t_akas on palm leaves (tâla), and spread
them over the whole of India. In the Pâli _G_âtakas, pa_nn_a is used in
the sense of letter, but originally par_n_a meant a wing, then a leaf of a
tree, then a leaf for writing. Pa_tt_a, also, which is used in the sense
of a sheet, was originally pattra, a wing, a leaf of a tree.
Suva_nn_a-pa_tt_a, a golden leaf to write on, still shows that the
original writing material had been the leaves of trees, most likely of
palm-trees.(119) Potthaka, _i. e._ pustaka, book, likewise occurs in the
Pâli _G_âtakas.(120)

Such MSS., written on palm leaves, if preserved carefully and almost
worshipped, as they seem to have been in China, might well have survived
to the present day, and they would certainly prove of immense value to the
students of Buddhism, if they could still be recovered, whether in the
original or even in later copies.

It is true, no doubt, that, like all other religions, Buddhism too had its
periods of trial and persecution in China. We know that during such
periods—as, for instance, in 845, under the Emperor Wu-tsung—monasteries
were destroyed, images broken, and books burnt. But these persecutions
seem never to have lasted long, and when they were over, monasteries,
temples, and pagodas soon sprang up again, images were restored, and books
collected in greater abundance than ever. Dr. Edkins tells us that “in an
account of the Ko-t’sing monastery in the History of T’ian-t’ai-shan it is
said that a single work was saved from a fire there several centuries ago,
which was written on the Pei-to (Pe-ta) or palm leaf of India.” He also
states that great pagodas were built on purpose as safe repositories of
Sanskrit MSS., one being erected by the Emperor for the preservation of
the newly arrived Sanskrit books at the request of Hiouen-thsang, lest
they should be injured for want of care. It was 180 feet high, had five
stories with grains of She-li (relics) in the centre of each, and
contained monuments inscribed with the prefaces written by the Emperor or
Prince Royal to Hiouen-thsang’s translations.

_Search for Sanskrit MSS. in Japan._

Being myself convinced of the existence of old Indian MSS. in China, I
lost no opportunity, during the last five-and-twenty years, of asking any
friends of mine who went to China to look out for these treasures,
but—with no result!

Some years ago, however, Dr. Edkins, who had taken an active part in the
search instituted by Professor Wilson and Sir J. Bowring, showed me a book
which he had brought from Japan, and which contained a Chinese vocabulary
with Sanskrit equivalents and a transliteration in Japanese. The Sanskrit
is written in that peculiar alphabet which we find in the old MSS. of
Nepâl, and which in China has been further modified, so as to give it an
almost Chinese appearance.

That MS. revived my hopes. If such a book was published in Japan, I
concluded that there must have been a time when such a book was useful
there—that is to say, when the Buddhists in Japan studied Sanskrit. Dr.
Edkins kindly left the book with me, and though the Sanskrit portion was
full of blunders, yet it enabled me to become accustomed to that peculiar
alphabet in which the Sanskrit words are written.

While I was looking forward to more information from Japan, good luck
would have it that a young Buddhist priest, Mr. Bunyiu Nanjio, came to me
from Japan, in order to learn Sanskrit and Pâli, and thus to be able in
time to read the sacred writings of the Buddhists in their original
language, and to compare them with the Chinese and Japanese translations
now current in his country. After a time, another Buddhist priest, Mr.
Kasawara, came to me for the same purpose, and both are now working very
hard at learning Sanskrit. Japan is supposed to contain 34,388,504
inhabitants, all of whom, with the exception of about 1 or 200,000
followers of the Shintô religion,(121) are Buddhists, divided into ten
principal sects, the sect to which Mr. Bunyiu Nanjio belongs being that of
the Shinshiu. One of the first questions which I asked Mr. Bunyiu Nanjio,
when he came to read Sanskrit with me, was about Sanskrit MSS. in Japan. I
showed him the Chinese-Sanskrit-Japanese Vocabulary which Dr. Edkins had
left with me, and he soon admitted that Sanskrit texts in the same
alphabet might be found in Japan, or at all events in China. He wrote home
to his friends, and after waiting for some time, he brought me in December
last a book which a Japanese scholar, Shuntai Ishikawa, had sent to me,
and which he wished me to correct, and then to send back to him to Japan.
I did not see at once the importance of the book. But when I came to read
the introductory formula, Evam mayâ srutam, “Thus by me it has been
heard,” the typical beginning of the Buddhist Sûtras, my eyes were opened.
Here, then, was what I had so long been looking forward to—a Sanskrit
text, carried from India to China, from China to Japan, written in the
peculiar Nepalese alphabet, with a Chinese translation, and a
transliteration in Japanese. Of course, it is a copy only, not an original
MS.; but copies presuppose originals at some time or other, and, such as
it is, it is a first instalment, which tells us that we ought not to
despair, for where one of the long-sought-for literary treasures that were
taken from India to China, and afterwards from China to Japan, has been
discovered, others are sure to come to light.

We do not possess yet very authentic information on the ancient history of
Japan, and on the introduction of Buddhism into that island. M. Léon de
Rosny(122) and the Marquis D’Hervey de Saint-Denys(123) have given us some
information on the subject, and I hope that Mr. Bunyiu Nanjio will soon
give us a trustworthy account of the ancient history of his country, drawn
from native authorities. What is told us about the conversion of Japan to
Buddhism has a somewhat legendary aspect, and I shall only select a few of
the more important facts, as they have been communicated to me by my
Sanskrit pupil. Buddhism first reached Japan, not directly from China, but
from Corea, which had been converted to Buddhism in the fourth century A.
D. In the year 200 A. D. Corea had been conquered by the Japanese Empress
Zingu, and the intercourse thus established between the two countries led
to the importation of Buddhist doctrines from Corea to Japan. In the year
552 A. D. one of the Corean kings sent a bronze statue of Buddha and many
sacred books to the Court of Japan, and after various vicissitudes,
Buddhism became the established religion of the island about 600 A. D.
Japanese students were sent to China to study Buddhism, and they brought
back with them large numbers of Buddhist books, chiefly translations from
Sanskrit. In the year 640 A. D. we hear of a translation of the
Sukhavatîvyûhama-hâyâna-sûtra being read in Japan. This is the title of
the Sanskrit text now sent to me from Japan. The translation had been made
by Kô-sô-gai (in Chinese, Khang-sang-khai), a native of Tibet, though
living in India, 252 A. D., and we are told that there had been eleven
other translations of the same text.(124)

Among the teachers of these Japanese students we find our old friend
Hiouen-thsang, whom the Japanese call Genziô. In the year 653 a Japanese
priest, Dosho by name, studied under Genziô, adopted the views of the sect
founded by him,—the Hossô sect,—and brought back with him to Japan a
compilation of commentaries on the thirty verses of Vasubandhu, written by
Dharmapâla, and translated by Genziô. Two other priests, Chitsû and
Chitatsu, likewise became his pupils, and introduced the famous
Abhidharma-kosha-sâstra into Japan, which had been composed by Vasubandhu,
and translated by Genziô. They seem to have favored the Hînayâna, or the
views of the Small Vehicle (Kushashiu).

In the year 736 we hear of a translation of the
Buddhâvata_m_saka-vaipulya-sûtra, by Buddhabhadra and others(125) (317-419
A. D.), being received in Japan, likewise of a translation of the
Saddharma-pu_nd_arîka by Kumara_g_îva.(126)

And, what is more important still, in the ninth century we are told that
Kukai (died 835), the founder of the Shingon sect in Japan, was not only a
good Chinese, but a good Sanskrit scholar also. Nay, one of his disciples,
Shinnyo, in order to perfect his knowledge of Buddhist literature,
undertook a journey, not only to China, but to India, but died before he
reached that country.

These short notices, which I owe chiefly to Mr. Bunyiu Nanjio, make it
quite clear that we have every right to expect Sanskrit MSS., or, at all
events, Sanskrit texts, in Japan, and the specimen which I have received
encourages me to hope that some of these Sanskrit texts may be older than
any which exist at present in any part of India.

_The Sukhavatî-vyûha._

The text which was sent to me bears the title of
Sukhâvatî-vyûha-mahâyâna-sûtra.(127) This is a title well known to all
students of Buddhist literature. Burnouf, in his “Introduction à
l’Histoire du Buddhisme” (pp. 99-102),(128) gave a short account of this
Sûtra, which enables us to see that the scene of the dialogue was laid at
Râ_g_ag_ri_ha, and that the two speakers were Bhagavat and Ânanda.

We saw before, in the historical account of Buddhism in Japan, that no
less than twelve Chinese translations of a work bearing the same title
were mentioned. The Chinese tell us at least of five translations which
are still in existence.(129)

Those of the Han and Wu dynasties (25-280 A. D.), we are told, were too
diffuse, and those of the later periods, the T’ang and Sung dynasties, too
literal. The best is said to be that by Kô-sô-gai, a priest of Tibetan
descent, which was made during the early Wei dynasty, about 252 A. D. This
may be the same which was read in Japan in 640 A. D.

The same Sûtra exists also in a Tibetan translation, for there can be
little doubt that the Sûtra quoted by Csoma Körösi (“As. Res.” vol. xx. p.
408) under the name of Amitâbha-vyûha is the same work. It occupies, as M.
Léon Feer informs me, fifty-four leaves, places the scene of the dialogue
at Râ_g_ag_ri_ha, on the mountain Gr_i_dhra-kû_t_a, and introduces
Bhagavat and Ânanda as the principal speakers.

There are Sanskrit MSS. of the Sukhavatî-vyûha in your own Library, in
Paris, at Cambridge, and at Oxford.

The following is a list of the MSS. of the Sukhavatî-vyûha, hitherto

1. MS. of the Royal Asiatic Society, London (Hodgson Collection), No. 20.
Sukhavatîvyûha-mahâyânasûtra, sixty-five leaves. Dated Samvat 934 = A. D.
1814. It begins: Namo
da_s_adiganantâparyantalokadhâtupratish_t_itebhya_h_, etc. Eva_m_ mayâ
_s_rutam ekasmi_m_ samaye Bhagavân Râ_g_ag_ri_he viharati sma. It ends:
Sukhâvatîvyûha-mahâyânasûtra_m_ samâpta_m_. Sa_m_vat 934, kârttika_s_udi
4, sa_m_pûr_n_am abhût. _S_rîsuvar_n_apa_n_ârimabânagare
Maitrîpûrimahâvihâre _S_rîvâkva_g_radâsa va_g_râ_k_âryasya _G_ayânandasya
_k_a sarvârthasiddhe_h_. (Nepalese alphabet.)

2. MS. of the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris (Collection Burnouf), No. 85;
sixty-four leaves. It begins, after a preamble of five lines, Eva_m_ mayâ
_s_ruta_m_mekasmi samaya Bhagavân Râ_g_ag_ri_he viharati sma
G_ri_dhraku_t_e parvvate mahatâ Bhikshusanghena sârddham. Dvâtri_ms_ratâ
Bhikshusahasrai_h_. It ends: Bhagavato mitâbhasya gu_n_aparikîrttana_m_
Bodhisattvâmavaivartyabhûmiprave_s_a_h_. Amitâbhavyuhaparivartta_h_.
Sukhâvatîvyûha_h_ sampur_n_a_h_. Iti _S_rî Amitâbhasya Sukhâvatîvyuha nâma
mahâyânastûra_m_ samâpta_m_.(130) (Devanâgarî alphabet.)

3. MS. of the Société Asiatique at Paris (Collection Hodgson), No. 17;
eighty-two leaves. (Nepalese alphabet.)(131)

4. MS. of the University Library at Cambridge, No. 1368; thirty-five
leaves. It begins with some lines of prose and verse in praise of Amitâbha
and Sukhavatî, and then proceeds: Eva_m_ mayâ _s_rutam ekasmi_m_ samaye
Bhagavân Râ_g_ag_ri_he nagare viharati sma, G_ri_dhrakû_t_aparvate mahatâ
Bhikshusanghena sârddha, etc. It ends: iti srîmad amitâbhasya tathâgatasya
Sukhâvatîvyûha-mahâyânasûtra_m_ samâptam. (Nepalese alphabet, modern.)

5. MS. given by Mr. Hodgson to the Bodleian Library Oxford (Hodgson 3). It
begins with: Om namo ratnatrayâya. Om nama_h_
sarvabuddhabodhisattvebhya_h_, etc. Then Eva_m_ mayâ _s_rutam, etc. It
ends with sukhavâtîvyûhamahâyânasûtra_m_ samâpta_m_. (Nepalese alphabet,

But when I came to compare these Sanskrit MSS. with the text sent to me
from Japan, though the title was the same, I soon perceived that their
contents were different. While the text, as given in the ordinary
Devanâgari or Nepalese MSS., fills about fifty to sixty leaves, the text
of the Sûtra that reached me from Japan would hardly occupy more than
eight or ten leaves.

I soon convinced myself that this MS. was not a text abbreviated in Japan,
for this shorter text, sent to me from Japan, correspond in every respect
with the Chinese Sûtra translated by Mr. Beal in his “Catena,” pp.
378-383, and published in your Journal, 1866, p. 136. No doubt the Chinese
translation, on which Mr. Beal’s translation is based, is not only free,
but displays the misapprehensions peculiar to many Chinese renderings of
Sanskrit texts, due to a deficient knowledge either of Sanskrit or of
Chinese on the part of the translators, perhaps also to the different
genius of those two languages.

Yet, such as it is, there can be no doubt that it was meant to be a
translation of the text now in my possession. Mr. Beal tells us that the
translation he followed is that by Kumâra_g_îva, the contemporary of
Fa-hian (400 A. D.), and that this translator omitted repetitions and
superfluities in the text.(132) Mr. Edkins knows a translation, _s. t._
Wou-liang-sheu-king, made under the Han dynasty.(133) What is important is
that in the Chinese translation of the shorter text the scene is laid, as
in the Japanese Sanskrit text, at _S_râvastî, and the principal speakers
are Bhagavat and _S_âriputra.

There is also a Tibetan translation of the short text, described by Csoma
Körösi (“As. Res.” vol. xx. p. 439). Here, though the name of the scene is
not mentioned, the speakers are Bhagavat and _S_âriputra. The whole work
occupies seven leaves only, and the names of the sixteen principal
disciples agree with the Japanese text. The translators were
Pra_g_nâvarman, Sûrendra, and the Tibetan Lotsava Ya-shes-sde.

M. Feer informs me that there is at the National Library a Chinese text
called O-mi-to-king, _i. e._ Amitâbha-sûtra.(134) The scene is at
_S_râvastî; the speakers are Bhagavat _S_âriputra.

Another text at the National Library is called Ta-o-mi-to-king, _i. e._
Mahâ Amitâbha-sûtra, and here the scene is at Râ_g_ag_ri_ha.

There is, besides, a third work, called Kwan-wou-liang-sheu-king by
Kiang-ling-ye-she, _i. e._ Kâlaya_s_as, a foreigner of the West, who lived
in China about 424 A. D.

We have, therefore, historical evidence of the existence of three Sûtras,
describing Sukhavatî, or the Paradise of Amitâbha. We know two of them in
Sanskrit, Chinese, and Tibetan—one long, the other short. The third is
known as yet in Chinese only.

Of the two Sanskrit texts, the one from Nepal, the other from Japan, the
latter seems certainly the earlier. But even the fuller text must have
existed at a very early time, because it was translated by
_K_i-lau-kia-_kh_ai, under the Eastern Han dynasty (25-220 A. D.)—_i. e._
at all events before 220 A. D.

The shorter text is first authenticated through the translation of
Kumâra_g_îva, about 400 A. D.; but if the views generally entertained as
to the relative position of the longer and shorter Sûtras be correct, we
may safely claim for our short Sûtra a date within the second century of
our era.

What Japan has sent us is, therefore, a Sanskrit text, of which we had no
trace before, which must have left India at least before 400 A. D., but
probably before 200 A. D., and which gives us the original of that
description of Amitâbha’s Paradise, which formerly we knew in a Chinese
translation only, which was neither complete nor correct.

The book sent to me was first published in Japan in 1773, by Ziômiô, a
Buddhist priest. The Sanskrit text is intelligible, but full of
inaccuracies, showing clearly that the editor did not understand Sanskrit,
but simply copied what he saw before him. The same words occurring in the
same line are written differently, and the Japanese transliteration simply
repeats the blunders of the Sanskrit transcript.

There are two other editions of the same text, published in 1794 A. D. by
another Japanese priest, named Hôgŏ. These are in the possession of Mr.
Bunyiu Nanjio, and offered some help in correcting the text. One of them
contains the text and three Chinese translations, one being merely a
literal rendering, while the other two have more of a literary character
and are ascribed to Kumâra_g_îva (400 A. D.), and Hiouen-thsang (648 A.

Lastly, there is another book by the same Hôgŏ, in four volumes, in which
an attempt is made to give a grammatical analysis of the text. This,
however, as Mr. Bunyiu Nanjio informs me, is very imperfect.

I have to-day brought with me the Japanese Sanskrit text, critically
restored, and a literal translation into English, to which I have added a
few notes.


_Adoration to the Omniscient._

This is what I have heard. At one time the Blessed (Bhagavat, _i. e._
Buddha) dwelt at _S_râvastî,(135) in the _G_eta-grove, in the garden of
Anâthapi_nd_aka, together with(136) a large company of Bhikshus (mendicant
friars), viz. with thirteen hundred Bhikshus, all of them acquainted with
the five kinds of knowledge,(137) elders, great disciples,(138) and
Arhats,(139) such as _S_âriputra, the elder, Mahâmaudgalyâyana,
Mahâkâ_s_yapa, Mahâkapphi_n_a, Mahâkâtyâyana, Mahâkaush_th_ila, Revata,
_S_uddhipanthaka, Nanda, Ânanda, Râhula, Gavâmpati, Bharadvâ_g_a,
Kâlodayin, Vakkula, and Aniruddha. He dwelt together with these and many
other great disciples, and together with many noble-minded Bodhisattvas,
such as Ma_ñg_usrî, the prince, the Bodhisattva A_g_ita, the Bodhisattva
Gandhahastin, the Bodhisattva Nityodyukta, the Bodhisattva
Anikshiptadhura. He dwelt together with them and many other noble-minded
Bodhisattvas, and with _S_akra, the Indra or King(140) of the Devas, and
with Brahman Sahâmpati. With these and many other hundred thousands of
Nayutas(141) of sons of the gods, Bhagavat dwelt at _S_râvastî.

Then Bhagavat addressed the honored _S_âriputra and said: O _S_âriputra,
after you have passed from here over a hundred thousand Ko_t_is of
Buddha-countries there is in the Western part of a Buddha-country, a world
called Sukhavatî (the happy country). And there a Tathâgata, called
Amitâyus, an Arhat, fully enlightened, dwells now, and remains, and
supports himself, and teaches the Law.(142)

Now what do you think, _S_riputra, for what reason is that world called
Sukhavatî (the happy)? In that world Sukhavatî, O _S_riputra, there is
neither bodily nor mental pain for living beings. The sources of happiness
are innumerable there. For that reason is that world called Sukhavatî (the

And again, O _S_âriputra, that world Sukhavatî is adorned with seven
terraces, with seven rows of palm-trees, and with strings of bells.(143)
It is inclosed on every side,(144) beautiful, brilliant with the four
gems, viz. gold, silver, beryl, and crystal. With such arrays of
excellences peculiar to a Buddha-country is that Buddha-country adorned.

And again, O _S_âriputra, in that world Sukhavatî there are lotus lakes,
adorned with the seven gems, viz. gold, silver, beryl, crystal, red
pearls, diamonds, and corals as the seventh. They are full of water which
possesses the eight good qualities,(145) their waters rise as high as the
fords and bathing-places, so that even crows(146) may drink there; they
are full of golden sand, and of vast extent. And in these lotus lakes
there are all around on the four sides four stairs, beautiful and
brilliant with the four gems, viz. gold, silver, beryl, crystal. And on
every side of these lotus lakes gem trees are growing, beautiful and
brilliant with the seven gems, viz. gold, silver, beryl, crystal, red
pearls, diamonds, and corals as the seventh. And in those lotus lakes
lotus flowers are growing, blue, blue-colored, of blue splendor, blue to
behold; yellow, yellow-colored, of yellow splendor, yellow to behold; red,
red-colored, of red splendor, red to behold; white, white-colored, of
white splendor, white to behold; beautiful, beautifully-colored, of
beautiful splendor, beautiful to behold, and in circumference as large as
the wheel of a chariot.

And again, O _S_âriputra, in that Buddha-country there are heavenly
musical instruments always played on and the earth is lovely and of golden
color. And in that Buddha-country a flower-rain of heavenly Mândârava
blossoms pours down three times every day, and three times every night.
And the beings who are born there worship before their morning meal(147) a
hundred thousand Ko_t_is of Buddhas by going to other worlds; and having
showered a hundred thousand of Ko_t_is of flowers upon each Tathâgata,
they return to their own world in time for the afternoon rest.(148) With
such arrays of excellences peculiar to a Buddha-country is that
Buddha-country adorned.

And again, O _S_âriputra, there are in that Buddha-country swans,
curlews,(149) and peacocks. Three times every night, and three times every
day, they come together and perform a concert, each uttering his own note.
And from them thus uttering proceeds a sound proclaiming the five virtues,
the five powers, and the seven steps leading towards the highest
knowledge.(150) When the men there hear that sound, remembrance of Buddha,
remembrance of the Law, remembrance of the Assembly, rises in their mind.

Now, do you think, O _S_âriputra, that these are beings who have entered
into the nature of animals (birds, etc.)? This is not to be thought of.
The very name of hells is unknown in that Buddha-country, and likewise
that of (descent into) animal natures and of the realm of Yama (the four
apâyas).(151) No, these tribes of birds have been made on purpose by the
Tathâgata Amitâyus, and they utter the sound of the Law. With such arrays
of excellences, etc.

And again, O _S_âriputra, when those rows of palm-trees and strings of
bells in that Buddha-country are moved by the wind, a sweet and
enrapturing sound proceeds from them. Yes, O _S_âriputra, as from a
heavenly musical instrument consisting of a hundred thousand Ko_t_is of
sounds, when played by Âryas, a sweet and enrapturing sound proceeds, a
sweet and enrapturing sound proceeds from those rows of palm-trees and
strings of bells moved by the wind. And when the men hear that sound,
reflection on Buddha arises in their body, reflection on the Law,
reflection on the Assembly. With such arrays of excellences, etc.

Now what do you think, O _S_âriputra, for what reason is that Tathâgata
called Amitâyus? The length of life (âyus), O _S_âriputra, of that
Tathâgata and of those men there is immeasurable (amita). Therefore is
that Tathâgata called Amitâyus. And ten Kalpas have passed, O _S_âriputra,
since that Tathâgata awoke to perfect knowledge.

And what do you think, O _S_âriputra, for what reason is that Tathâgata
called Amitâbhâs? The splendor (âbhâs), O _S_âriputra, of that Tathâgata
is unimpeded over all Buddha-countries. Therefore is that Tathâgata called

And there is, O _S_âriputra, an innumerable assembly of disciples with
that Tathâgata, purified and venerable persons, whose number it is not
easy to count. With such arrays of excellences, etc.

And again, O _S_âriputra, of those beings also who are born in the
Buddha-country of the Tathâgata Amitâyus as purified Bodhisattvas, never
to return again and bound by one birth only, of those Bodhisattvas also, O
_S_âriputra, the number is not easy to count, except they are reckoned as
infinite in number.(152)

Then again all beings, O _S_âriputra, ought to make fervent prayer for
that Buddha-country. And why? Because they come together there with such
excellent men. Beings are not born in that Buddha-country of the Tathâgata
Amitâyus as a reward and result of good works performed in this present
life.(153) No, whatever son or daughter of a family shall hear the name of
the blessed Amitâyus, the Tathâgata, and having heard it, shall keep it in
mind, and with thoughts undisturbed shall keep it in mind for one, two,
three, four, five, six, or seven nights, that son or daughter of a family,
when he or she comes to die, then that Amitâyus, the Tathâgata, surrounded
by an assembly of disciples and followed by a host of Bodhisattvas, will
stand before them at their hour of death, and they will depart this life
with tranquil minds. After their death they will be born in the world
Sukhavatî, in the Buddha-country of the same Amitâyus, the Tathâgata.
Therefore, then, O _S_âriputra, having perceived this cause and
effect,(154) I with reverence say thus, Every son and every daughter of a
family ought to make with their whole mind fervent prayer for that

And now, O _S_âriputra, as I here at present glorify that world, thus in
the East, O _S_âriputra, other blessed Buddhas, led by the Tathâgata
Akshobhya, the Tathâgata Merudhva_g_a, the Tathâgata Mahâmeru, the
Tathâgata Meruprabhâsa, and the Tathâgata Ma_ñg_udhva_g_a, equal in number
to the sand of the river Gangâ, comprehend their own Buddha-countries in
their speech, and then reveal them.(155) Accept this repetition of the
Law, called the “Favor of all Buddhas,” which magnifies their
inconceivable excellences.

Thus also in the South, do other blessed Buddhas, led by the Tathâgata
_K_andrasûryapradîpa, the Tathâgata Yasa_h_prabha, the Tathâgata
Mahâr_k_iskandha, the Tathâgata Merupradîpa, the Tathâgata Anantavîrya,
equal in number to the sand of the river Gangâ, comprehend their own
Buddha-countries in their speech, and then reveal them. Accept, etc.

Thus also in the West do other blessed Buddhas, led by the Tathâgata
Amitâyus, the Tathâgata Amitaskandha, the Tathâgata Amitadhva_g_a, the
Tathâgata Mahâprabha, the Tathâgata Mahâratnaketu, the Tathagata
_S_uddhara_s_miprabha, equal in number to the sand of the river Gangâ,
comprehend, etc.

Thus also in the North do other blessed Buddhas, led by the Tathâgata
Mahâr_k_iskandha, the Tathâgata Vai_s_vânaranirghosha, the Tathâgata
Dundubhisvaranirghosha, the Tathâgata Dushpradharsha, the Tathâgata
Âdityasambhava, the Tathâgata _G_aleniprabha (_G_valanaprabha?), the
Tathâgata Prabhâkara, equal in number to the sand, etc.

Thus also in the Nadir do other blessed Buddhas, led by the Tathâgata
Si_m_ha, the Tathâgata Ya_s_as, the Tathâgata Ya_s_a_h_prabhâva, the
Tathâgata Dharma, the Tathâgata Dharmadhara, the Tathâgata Dharmadhva_g_a,
equal in number to the sand, etc.

Thus also in the Zenith do other blessed Buddhas, led by the Tathâgata
Brahmaghosha, the Tathâgata Nakshatrarâ_g_a, the Tathâgata
Indraketudhva_g_arâ_g_a, the Tathâgata Gandhottama, the Tathâgata
Gandhaprabhâsa, the Tathâgata Mahâr_k_iskandha, the Tathâgata
Ratnakusumasampushpitagâtra, the Tathâgata Sâlendrarâ_g_a, the Tathâgata
Ratnotpalasri, the Tathâgata Sarvâdarsa, the Tathâgata Sumerukalpa, equal
in number to the sand, etc.(156)

Now what do you think, O _S_âriputra, for what reason is that repetition
of the Law called the Favor of all Buddhas? Every son or daughter of a
family who shall hear the name of that repetition of the Law and retain in
their memory the names of those blessed Buddhas, will all be favored by
the Buddhas, and will never return again, being once in possession of the
transcendent true knowledge. Therefore, then, O _S_âriputra, believe,(157)
accept, and long for me and those blessed Buddhas!

Whatever sons or daughters of a family shall make mental prayer for the
Buddha-country of that blessed Amitâyus, the Tathâgata, or are making it
now or have made it formerly, all these will never return again, being
once in possession of the transcendent true knowledge. They will be born
in that Buddha-country, have been born, or are being born now. Therefore,
then, O _S_âriputra, mental prayer is to be made for that Buddha-country
by faithful sons and daughters of a family.

And as I at present magnify here the inconceivable excellences of those
blessed Buddhas, thus, O _S_âriputra, do those blessed Buddhas magnify my
own inconceivable excellences.

A very difficult work has been done by _S_âkyamuni, the sovereign of the
_S_âkyas. Having obtained the transcendent true knowledge in this world
Saha, he taught the Law which all the world is reluctant to accept, during
this corruption of the present Kalpa, during this corruption of mankind,
during this corruption of belief, during this corruption of life, during
this corruption of passions.

This is even for me, O _S_âriputra, an extremely difficult work that,
having obtained the transcendent true knowledge in this world Saha, I
taught the Law which all the world is reluctant to accept, during this
corruption of mankind, of belief, of passion, of life, and of this present

Thus spoke Bhagavat joyful in his mind. And the honorable _S_âriputra, and
the Bhikshus and Bodhisattvas, and the whole world with the gods, men,
evil spirits, and genii, applauded the speech of Bhagavat.(158)

This is the Mahâyânasûtra called Sukhavatîvyûha.

This Sûtra sounds to us, no doubt, very different from the original
teaching of Buddha. And so it is. Nevertheless it is the most popular and
most widely read Sûtra in Japan, and the whole religion of the great mass
of the people may be said to be founded on it. “Repeat the name of
Amitâbha as often as you can, repeat it particularly in the hour of death,
and you will go straight to Sukhavatî and be happy forever;” this is what
Japanese Buddhists are asked to believe: this is what they are told was
the teaching of Buddha. There is one passage in our Sûtra which seems even
to be pointedly directed against the original teaching of Buddha. Buddha
taught that as a man soweth so shall he reap, and that by a stock of good
works accumulated on earth the way is opened to higher knowledge and
higher bliss. Our Sûtra says No; not by good works done on earth, but by a
mere repetition of the name of Amitâbha is an entrance gained into the
land of bliss. This is no better than what later Brahmanism teaches, viz.
“Repeat the name of Hari or of K_ri_sh_n_a, and you will be saved.” It is
no better than what even some Christian teachers are reported to teach. It
may be that in a lower stage of civilization even such teaching has
produced some kind of good.(159) But Japan is surely ripe for better
things. What the worship of Amitâbha may lead to we can learn from a
description given by Dr. Edkins in his “Trip to Ning-po and T’hëen-t’hae.”
“The next thing,” he writes, “shown to us was the prison, in which about a
dozen priests had allowed themselves to be shut up for a number of months
or years, during which they were to occupy themselves in repeating the
name of Amida Buddha,(160) day and night, without intermission. During the
day the whole number were to be thus engaged; and during the night they
took it by turns, and divided themselves into watches, so as to insure the
keeping up of the work till morning. We asked when they were to be let
out. To which it was replied, that they might be liberated at their own
request, but not before they had spent several months in seclusion. We
inquired what could be the use of such an endless repetition of the name
of Buddha. To which it was answered, that the constant repetition of the
sacred name had a tendency to purify the heart, to deaden the affections
towards the present world, and to prepare them for the state of Nirvâ_n_a.
It was further asked whether Buddha was likely to be pleased with such an
endless repetition of his name. To which it was answered, that in the
Western world it was considered a mark of respect to repeat the name of
any one whom we delighted to honor. The recluses seemed most of them young
men; some of whom came out to the bars of their cage to look at the
strangers, but kept on repeating the name of Buddha as they stood there.
It appeared to us that nothing was more calculated to produce idiocy than
such a perpetual repetition of a single name, and the stupid appearance of
many of the priests whom we have seen seems to have been induced by some
such process.”

Is it not high time that the millions who live in Japan, and profess a
faith in Buddha, should be told that this doctrine of Amitâbha and all the
Mahâyâna doctrine is a secondary form of Buddhism, a corruption of the
pure doctrine of the Royal Prince, and that if they really mean to be
Buddhists, they should return to the words of Buddha, as they are
preserved to us in the old Sûtras? Instead of depending, as they now do,
on Chinese translations, not always accurate, of degraded and degrading
Mahâyâna tracts, why should they not have Japanese translations of the
best portions of Buddha’s real doctrine, which would elevate their
character, and give them a religion of which they need not be ashamed?
There are Chinese translations of some of the better portions of the
Sacred Writings of Buddhism. They exist in Japan too, as may be seen in
that magnificent collection of the Buddhist Tripi_t_aka which was sent
from Japan as a present to the English Government, and of which Mr. Beal
has given us a very useful Catalogue. But they are evidently far less
considered in Japan than the silly and the mischievous stories of Amitâbha
and his Paradise, and those which I know from translations are far from

I hope that Mr. Bunyiu Nanjio and Mr. Kasawara, if they diligently
continue their study of Sanskrit and Pâli, will be able to do a really
great and good work, after their return to Japan. And if more young
Buddhist priests are coming over, I shall always, so far as my other
occupations allow it, be glad to teach them, and to help them in their
unselfish work. There is a great future in store, I believe, for those
Eastern Islands, which have been called prophetically “the England of the
East,” and to purify and reform their religion—that is, to bring it back
to its original form—is a work that must be done before anything else can
be attempted.

In return, I hope that they and their friends in Japan, and in Corea and
China too, will do all they can to discover, if possible, some more of the
ancient Sanskrit texts, and send them over to us. A beginning, at all
events, has been made, and if the members of this Society who have friends
in China or in Japan will help, if H. E. the Japanese Minister, Mori
Arinori, who has honored us by his presence today, will lend us his
powerful assistance, I have little doubt that the dream which passed
before the mind of your late President may still become a reality, and
that some of the MSS. which, beginning with the beginning of our era, were
carried from India to China, Corea, and Japan, may return to us, whether
in the original or in copies, like the one sent to me by Mr. Shuntai

With the help of such MSS. we shall be able all the better to show to
those devoted students who from the extreme East have come to the extreme
West in order to learn to read their sacred writings in the original
Sanskrit or Pâli, what difference there is between the simple teaching of
Buddha and the later developments and corruptions of Buddhism. Buddha
himself, I feel convinced, never knew even the names of Amitâbha,
Avalokite_s_vara, or Sukhavatî. Then, how can a nation call itself
Buddhist whose religion consists chiefly in a belief in a divine Amitâbha
and his son Avalokite_s_vara, and in a hope of eternal life in the
paradise of Sukhavatî?

POSTSCRIPT: _Oxford, March 10, 1880._

The hope which I expressed in my paper on “Sanskrit Texts discovered in
Japan,” viz. that other Sanskrit texts might still come to light in Japan
or China, has been fulfilled sooner than I expected. Mr. A Wylie wrote to
me on March 3 that he had brought a number of Sanskrit-Chinese books from
Japan, and he afterwards kindly sent them to me to examine. They were of
the same appearance and character as the dictionary which Dr. Edkins had
lent me, and the Sukhavatî-vyûha which I had received from Japan. But with
the exception of a collection of invocations, called the Va_g_ra-sûtra,
and the short Pra_gñ_â-h_ri_daya-sûtra, they contained no continuous
texts. The books were intended to teach the Sanskrit alphabet, and every
possible and impossible combination of the Devanâgarî letters, and that
was all. Still, so large a number of books written to teach the Sanskrit
alphabet augurs well for the existence of Sanskrit texts. There was among
Mr. Wylie’s books a second Chinese-Sanskrit-Japanese vocabulary, of which
Mr. Kasawara has given me the following account: “This vocabulary is
called ‘A Thousand Sanskrit and Chinese Words’ and it is said to have been
arranged by I-tsing, who left China for India in 671, about twenty-seven
years after Hiouen-thsang’s return to China, and who is best known as the
author of a book called Nanhae-ki-kwei-_k_ou’en, on the manners and
customs of the Indian Buddhists at that time.

“This vocabulary was brought from China to Japan by Zikaku, a Japanese
priest, who went to China in 838 and returned in 847. It is stated at the
end of the book, that in the year 884 a Japanese priest of the name of
Rioyiu copied that vocabulary from a text belonging to another priest,
Yûĭkai. The edition brought from Japan by Mr. Wylie was published there in
the year 1727 by a priest called Jakumio.”

The following curious passage occurs in the preface of Jakumio’s edition:
“This vocabulary is generally called ‘One Thousand Sanskrit and Chinese
Words.’ It is stated in Annen’s work, that this was first brought (from
China) by Zikaku. I have corrected several mistakes in this vocabulary,
comparing many copies; yet the present edition is not free from blunders;
I hope the readers will correct them, if they have better copies.

“In the temple Hôriuji, in Yamato, there are treasured
Pra_gñ_âpâramitâh_ri_dayasûtram, and Son-shio-dhâra_n_i, written on two
palm leaves, handed down from Central India; and, at the end of these,
fourteen letters of the ‘siddha’ are written. In the present edition of
the vocabulary the alphabet is in imitation of that of the palm leaves,
except such forms of letters as cannot be distinguished from those
prevalent among the scriveners at the present day.

“Hôriuji is one of eleven temples founded by the prince Umayado (who died
A. D. 621). This temple is at a town named Tatsuta, in the province
Yamato, near Kioto, the western capital.”

Here, then, we have clear evidence that in the year 1727 palm leaves
containing the text of Sanskrit Sûtras were still preserved in the temple
of Hôriuji. If that temple is still in existence, might not some Buddhist
priest of Kioto, the western capital of Japan, be induced to go there to
see whether the palm leaves are still there, and, if they are, to make a
copy and send it to Oxford?

F. M. M.

SECOND POSTSCRIPT: _Oxford, August 2, 1880._

At the end of my paper on “Sanskrit Texts in Japan” I mentioned in a
postscript (March 10) that I had received from Mr. Wylie a copy of a
vocabulary called “A Thousand Sanskrit and Chinese Words,” compiled by
I-tsing, about 700 A. D., and brought to Japan by Zikaku, a Japanese
priest, in 847 A. D. The edition of this vocabulary which Mr. Wylie bought
in Japan was published by Jakumio in 1727, and in the preface the editor
says: “In the temple Hôriuji, in Yamato, there are treasured
Pra_gñ_âpâramitâh_ri_daya-sûtram and Sonshio-dhâra_n_î, written on two
palm leaves, handed down, from Central India.”

Hôriuji is one of eleven temples founded by Prince Umayado, who died in A.
D. 621. This temple is in a town named Tatsuta, in the province Yamato,
near Kioto, the western capital. I ended my article with the following
sentence: “Here, then, we have clear evidence that in the year 1727 palm
leaves containing the text of Sanskrit Sûtras were still preserved in the
temple of Hôriuji. If that temple is still in existence, might not some
Buddhist priest of Kioto, the western capital of Japan, be induced to go
there to see whether the palm leaves are still there, and, if they are, to
make a copy and send it to Oxford?”

Sooner than expected this wish of mine has been fulfilled. On April 28 Mr.
Shigefuyu Kurihara, of Kioto, a friend of one of my Sanskrit pupils, Mr.
Bunyiu Nanjio, who for some years had himself taken an interest in
Sanskrit, went to the temple or monastery of Hôriuji to inquire whether
any old Sanskrit MSS. were still preserved there. He was told that the
priests of the monastery had recently surrendered their valuables to the
Imperial Government, and that the ancient palm leaves had been presented
to the emperor.

In a chronicle kept at the monastery of Hôriuji it is stated that these
palm leaves and other valuables were brought by Ono Imoko, a retainer of
the Mikado (the Empress Suiko), from China (during the Sui dynasty,
589-618) to Japan, in the thirty-seventh year of the age of Prince
Umayado—_i. e._, A. D. 609. The other valuable articles were:

    1. Niô, _i. e._, a cymbal used in Buddhist temples;

    2. Midzu-game, a water vessel;

    3. Shaku-jio, a staff, the top of which is armed with metal rings,
    as carried by Buddhist priests;

    4. Kesa (Kashâya), a scarf, worn by Buddhist priests across the
    shoulder, which belonged to the famous Bodhidharma;

    5. Ha_k_i, a bowl, given by the same Bodhidharma.

These things and the Sanskrit MSS. are said to have belonged to some
Chinese priests, named Hwui-sz’ (Yeshi) and Nien-shan (Nenzen), and to
four others successively, who lived in a monastery on the mountain called
Nan-yo (Nangak), in the province of Hăng (Kô) in China. These palm-leaf
MSS. may, therefore, be supposed to date from at least the sixth century
A. D., and be, in fact, _the oldest Sanskrit MSS. now in existence_.(161)

May we not hope that His Excellency Mori Arinori, who expressed so warm an
interest in this matter when he was present at the meeting of the Royal
Asiatic Society, will now lend us his powerful aid, and request the
Minister of the Department of the Imperial Household to allow these MSS.
to be carefully copied or photographed?


Academic freedom not without dangers, 39.

_Adams_, H. C., quoted, 25.

Alphabet, phonetic, table of, 150;
  reading according to, 151 sq.

_Amyot_, quoted, 131.

Analogies, false, in comparative theology, 98 sq.

_Anaxagoras_, quoted, 56.

Anglo-Saxon names for the days of the week, 118.

Apostles, The, read the Veda, 127.

Archbishops have no official position in English universities, 8.

_Aristotle_, disrespectful remarks about, 38;
  quoted, 56.

Babylonian system of dividing gold and silver still found in the English
            sovereign, 19;
  of reckoning time found on the dial-plates of our clocks, 19.

_Beveridge_, Bishop, quoted, 30.

_Bochart_, quoted, 98.

_Brackett_, A. C., quoted, 88.

Budha, day of, 121.

-- and Buddha, distinction between, 115, 119.

Buddha, a personal and historical character, 122;
  repetition of his name meritorious, 235.

Buddhism, when recognized in China, 191 sq.;
  Japan converted to, 213;
  and Scandinavian mythology, connection between, 113 sq., 122.

_Buhler_, Dr., quoted, 208.

_Burnouf_, quoted, 112.

_Cassius, Dio_, quoted, 118.

Chinese translators of Sanskrit texts, 189.

Christian religion, historical and individual, 62.

_Cicero_, quoted, 72.

_Clement of Alexandria_, quoted, 58, 61.

_Clodd_, E., quoted, 84.

Coincidences between Jewish and Pagan religious, 98 sq.

_Colbourne_, Wm., quoted, 153.

Counting possible without language, 67.

Daphne, meaning of, 82.

_Davids Rhys_, quoted, 16.

Dictionaries, value of, 17.

Dogmatic teaching, evil of, 31.

Donar, 120.

_Du Bois-Reymond_, quoted, 9.

Duhitar, a Sanskrit word for daughter, 17.

Dyaus, 121.

_Edkins_, Dr., quoted, 205.

Education, academic, 28;
  elementary, 23;
  scholastic, 24;
  in the beginning purely dogmatic, 22;
  compulsory, mark of a new era, 21;
  dangers of compulsory, 22.

_Ellis_, quoted, 111 sq.

_Ellis_, A. J., quoted, 155 sq.

_Empedokles_, quoted, 56, 65.

English, society, intolerance of, 7.

-- universities described, 10;
  too little of academic freedom in, 40.

-- names for the days of the week, 118.

-- written in hieroglyphics, 17 sq.

-- spelling, a national misfortune, 22.

-- present number of speaking, 138;
  future number of speaking, 138.

_Epicharmos_, quoted, 55.

Esquimaux, tale among the, quoted, 83 sq.

Esthonian tale, quoted, 86 sq.

Examinations, good, to be rewarded by honor, 44;
  a means to ascertain how pupils have been taught, 43;
  strong feeling against, 42 sq.

_Fergusson_, Jas., quoted, 113 sq.

Figures, our, received from the Arabs, 20.

Forgeries in Sanskrit MSS., 109.

Freedom, address on, 1 sq.;
  of thought, meaning of, 3.

Freethinkers, a title of honor, 6.

French, names for the days of the week, 118;
  present number of speaking, 137;
  future number of speaking, 138.

Freyja, day of, 120.

Friday, 120.

Genus and Species, meaning of, 32 sq.

German names for the days of the week, 119.

-- Middle-High, names for the days of the week, 119.

-- Old-High, names for the days of the week, 119.

-- present number of speaking, 138;
  future number of speaking, 138.

-- Universities, how much time spent in lecturing in, 39.

Grammars, Latin and Greek, deficiencies of, 26.

Greek and Roman classics not read enough, 25.

Greek philosophy, its development chiefly due to the absence of an
            established religion and influential priesthood, 63;
  religion, national and traditional, 62.

_Gutzlaff_, quoted, 205.

_Haekel_, quoted, 182.

_Hall_, Newman, quoted, 154.

Helios, meaning of, 80.

_Helmholtz_, quoted, 7, 40.

_Herakleitos_, quoted, 58.

Heredity, meaning of, 14 sq.

_Herodotus_, quoted, 58.

_Herschel_, Sir John, quoted, 74 sq.

_Herzen_, quoted, 4.

_Hillebrand_, quoted, 9.

_Hipparchus_, a Greek astronomer, 19.

_Hobbes_, referred to, 3, 32.

_Holwell_, quoted, 102.

_Homer_, quoted, 71, 79;
  condemned by Plato, 59;
  his soul hanging in Hades on a tree, 58.

Hottentot fables quoted, 85 sq.

_Huet_, quoted, 99.

Indians of Nicaragua, quotation from a compendium of the theology of, 70.

Individualism, what? 4.

Individuality, principle of, suffering more now than before, 11.

Italian, present number of speaking, 137;
  future number of speaking, 138.

_Jacolliott_, quoted and criticised, 123 sq.

Japan converted to Buddhism, legend about, 213.

Jehovah, name of, found in Chinese literature, 131, 132.

_Jones_, Sir. W., quoted, 100, 101 sq., 107 sq.

-- Eduard, quoted, 144 sq.

_Josephus_, quoted, 116 sq.

Jovis dies, 120.

_Julien_, St., quoted, 132.

Jupiter, the name, no mere accident, 90 sq.;
  the thunderer, 120.

Justin Martyr, quoted, 117.

Karman, meaning of, 15 sq.

Knowledge, dead, dangerous, 28.

Kû-fa-lan, works ascribed to him, 194.

Kukai, founder of a sect in Japan, 214.

Language and thought inseparable, 67;
  its influence on thought, 79.

Lapland, legend of, quoted, 88.

Latin names for the days of the week, 118.

Mars, the god of war, 121.

_Meiklejohn_, quoted, 147.

Mercurii dies, 119, 121.

_Metrodorus_, quoted, 56.

_Mill_, J. S., quoted, 1, 12, 21;
  his plea for liberty decried, 4, without reason, 5;
  his election to Parliament a triumph, 6.

_Milligan_, quoted, 76.

_Montucci_, quoted, 130.

Mosaic account of creation found among the Tahitians, 111.

Müller’s, M., rejoinder to Prof. Blackie, 91 sq.

Mythology, meaning of, 55, 64 sq., 66;
  interest of, in our days, 53;
  religion of the Greeks, 61;
  now as there was in time of Homer, 65;
  pervades the sphere of religion and of thought, 69;
  philosophy of, lecture on, 53 sq.

Names to be submitted to very careful snuffing, 37.

Nihilism, defined, 4; dangers of, 5.

Nirvana, definition of, 16.

Nominalism, higher, or Science of Language, 37.

Odin, 120, 121, 122.

Old-Norse names for the days of the week, 118.

Omniscience to be avoided, 47.

Oriental tongue, now spoken in Europe, 16 sq.

Over-examinations, complaints against, 46.

Paradise. See Sukhavati.

Phoibos, meaning of, 81;
  and Daphne, story of, 81 sq.

Phonetic alphabet, table of, 150;
  reading according to, 151 sq.

Pioneer (an Indian paper), quoted, 113.

Planets, their names, 118;
  used for the names of the days of the week, 116.

_Plato_, quoted, 59 sq., 79.

Population, table of supposed number of years required for doubling the,
            in different countries, 138.

Portuguese, number of speaking, 137.

Power and Responsibility of English Universities, 10.

Psyche, meaning of, 69, 72.

Public opinion, 11, 12.

Religions, division of, 62.

_Remusat_ quoted, 131.

Russian, number of speaking, 138;
  society described, 4.

Sabbath mentioned by Roman and Greek writers, 117 sq.

Sanskrit names for the days of the week, 118.

-- MSS., materials on which they were written, 206 sq.;
     searched for in China, 203 sq.;
     in Japan, 210;
     texts discovered in Japan, 181 sq.;
     translated by Chinese, 189 sq.

Saturni dies, 116 sq., 121.

Scandinavian mythology and Buddhism, connection between, 113 sq., 122.

Schools in England and on the Continent, shortcomings of, 25 sq.

Self-government, dangers of, 10.

Semiphonotopy, name for a style of spelling, 141;
  reading according to, 191 sq.

_Sextus Empiricus_, quoted, 58.

Snow, name for, 77.

Society, human, secret of, 13.

_Sokrates_, quoted, 56.

Sokratic method, 24.

Spanish, present number of speaking, 137;
  future number of speaking, 138.

_Species_ and _Genus_, meaning of, 32 sq.

Spelling, reform of, 133 sq., 135 sq.;
  favorite subject with Roman scholars, 140.

_Stahl_, quoted, 69.

_Sueton_, quoted, 116.

Sukhavati-vyûha, a title of a Buddhist Sutra, 214;
  list of MSS. of, now extant, 216 sq.;
  translation of, 220 sq.

Sukhavati, or Paradise, described, 223 sq.

Sun, sign or name for, 75 sq., 78.

Sunrise, feelings at the, 74.

_Swift_, Dean, quoted, 134.

Table of the names of the days of the week in—
  Anglo-Saxon, 118.
  English, 118.
  French, 118.
  German, 119.
  -- Middle-High, 119.
  -- Old-High, 119.
  Latin, 118.
  Old Norse, 118.
  Sanskrit, 118.

Table of the names of the Planets, 118, 119.

_Tacitus_, quoted, 121.

Teachers to be natural examiners, 43.

Testament, the Old, accounts of, found in the literature of the Brahmans,
            100, 106.

-- Old and New, found in the Vedas., 123;
     borrowed from Brahmans and Buddhists, 101 sq.

Theology, on false analogies in comparative, 98 sq.

_Thirlwall_, Bishop, quoted, 143.

Thought and language inseparable, 67.

Thor, 120.

Thunar, 120.

Thursday, 120.

Tiu, 120.

_Tocqueville, De_, referred to, 12.

_Trench_, quoted, 169 sq.

_Tylor_, E. B., quoted, 70.

Uniformity, dangers of, 12 sq.

Universities, English and German, compared, 7 sq.;
  differences between, 9 sq.;
  guardians of freedom of thought, 28;
  mediæval and modern, home of free thought, 51.

Vaksh, Sanskrit word for to grow, like the English to wax, 17.

Veneris dies, 120.

Vid, Sanskrit word for to know, like the English to wit, 17.

_Virgil_ quoted, 71.

_Vosisus_, S. J., quoted, 99.

Week, names of the seven days of the, received from the names of the
            planets, 116.

Weeks and week-days, system of counting, first introduced in Egypt, 118.

_Wilford_, quoted, 106.

_Wilson_, quoted, 188.

Wodan, day of, 120, 121.

Wunsch or Wish, name of Wuotan, 121.

Wuotan, 120.

_Xenophanes_, on Homer and Hesiod, 57 sq.

Zeus Kronīon, meaning of, 80, 121.

Ziu, 121.


    1 Mill tells us that his Essay _On Liberty_ was planned and written
      down in 1854. It was in mounting the steps of the Capitol in
      January, 1855, that the thought first arose of converting it into a
      volume, and it was not published till 1859. The author, who in his
      Autobiography speaks with exquisite modesty of all his literary
      performances, allows himself one single exception when speaking of
      his Essay _On Liberty_. “None of my writings,” he says, “have been
      either so carefully composed or so sedulously corrected as this.”
      Its final revision was to have been the work of the winter of 1858
      to 1859, which he and his wife had arranged to pass in the South of
      Europe, a hope which was frustrated by his wife’s death. “The
      _Liberty_,” he writes, “is likely to survive longer than anything
      else that I have written (with the possible exception of the
      _Logic_), because the conjunction of her mind with mine has rendered
      it a kind of philosophic text-book of a single truth, which the
      changes progressively taking place in modern society tend to bring
      out into strong relief: the importance to man and society, of a
      large variety of character, and of giving full freedom to human
      nature to expand itself in innumerable and conflicting directions.”

    2 Herzen defined Nihilism as “the most perfect freedom from all
      settled concepts, from all inherited restraints and impediments
      which hamper the progress of the Occidental intellect with the
      historical drag tied to its foot.”

_    3 Ueber die Akademische Freiheit der Deutschen Universitäten_, Rede
      beim Antritt des Rectorats an der Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität in
      Berlin, am October 15, 1877, gehalten von Dr. H. Helmholtz.

_    4 Ueber eine Akademie der Deutschen Sprache_, p. 34. Another keen
      observer of English life, Dr. K. Hillebrand, in an article in the
      October number of the _Nineteenth Century_, remarks: “Nowhere is
      there greater individual liberty than in England, and nowhere do
      people renounce it more readily of their own accord.”

    5 Spencer Hardy, _Manual of Buddhism_, p. 391.

    6 Spencer Hardy, _Manual of Buddhism_, p. 39.

    7 “As one generation dies and gives way to another, the heir of the
      consequences of all its virtues and all its vices, the exact result
      of preëxistent causes, so each individual, in the long chain of
      life, inherits all, of good or evil, which all its predecessors have
      done or been, and takes up the struggle towards enlightenment
      precisely where they left it.” Rhys Davids, _Buddhism_, p. 104.

    8 Bunsen, _Egypt_, ii. pp. 77, 150.

_    9 Mémoire sur l’Origine Egyptienne de l’Alphabet Phénicien_, par E.
      de Rougé, Paris, 1874.

   10 See Brandis, _Das Münzwesen_.

   11 “Is it not almost a self-evident axiom, that the State should
      require and compel the education, up to a certain standard, of every
      human being who is born its citizen? Yet who is there that is not
      afraid to recognize and assert this truth?” _On Liberty_, p. 188.

_   12 Times_, January 25, 1879.

_   13 Sacred Books of the East_, edited by M. M., vols. i. to ix.;
      Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1879 and 1880.

_   14 Computation or Logic_, t. iii., viii., p. 36.

   15 Lectures on Mr. Darwin’s “Philosophy of Language,” _Fraser’s
      Magazine_, June, 1873, p. 26.

   16 Prantl, _Geschichte der Logik_, vol. i. p. 121.

   17 L. Noiré, _Pädagogisches Skizzenbuch_, p. 157; “Todtes Wissen.”

   18 Mill _On Liberty,_ p. 193.

   19 Zeller, _Ueber den wissenschaftlichen Unterricht bei den Griechen_,
      1878, p. 9.

   20 Her. ii. 53, οὗτοι δέ εἰσι οἱ ποιήσαντες θεογονίην Ἕλλησι, καὶ τοῖσι
      θεοῖσι τὰς ἐπωνυμίας δόντες καὶ τιμάς τε καὶ τέχνας διελόντες, καὶ
      εἴδεα αὐτῶν σημήναντες.

   21 Πάντα θεοῖς ἀνέθηκαν Ὀμηρός θ᾽ Ἠσίοδός τε
      ὅσσα παρ᾽ ἀνθρώποισι ὀνείδεα καὶ ψόγος ἐστίν.
      ὡς πλεῖστ᾽ ἐφθέγξαντο θεῶν ἀθεμίστια ἔργα,
      κλέπτειν μοιχεύειν τε καὶ ἀλλήλους ἀπατεύειν.
      Sext. Emp. _adv. Math._ 1289; ix. 193.

      δοκέουσι θεοὺς γεγενῆσθαι
      τὴν σφετέρην τ᾽ αἴσθησιν ἔχειν φωνήν τε δέμας τε.—
      Ἀλλ᾽ εἴτοι χεῖράς γ᾽ εἶχον βόες ἠὲ λέοντες
      ἥ γράψαι χείρεσσι καὶ ἔργα τελεῖν ἄπερ ἄνδρες,
      καί κε θεῶν ἰδέας ἔγραφον καὶ σώματ᾽ ἐποίουν
      τοιαῦθ᾽ οἷόν περ καύτοὶ δέμας εἶχον ὁμοῖον,
      ἵπποι μέν θ᾽ ἵπποισι, βόες δέ τε βουσὶν ὁμοῖα.
      Clem. Alex. _Strom._ v. p. 601, c.

      Ὥς φησιν Ξενοφάνης Αἰθιοπές τε μέλανας σιμούς τε, Θρᾷκες τε πυρῥοὺς
      καὶ γλαυκοὺς. Clem. Alex. _Strom._ vii. p. 711, _B. Historia
      Philosophies_, ed. Ritter et Preller, cap. iii.

   22 Εἶς θεὸς ἔν τε θεοῖσι καὶ ἀνθρώποισι μέγιστος, οὔ τι δέμας θνητοῖσι
      ὁμοίιος οὐδὲ νόημα. Clem. Alex. _Strom._ v. p. 601, c.

   23 See _Introduction to the Science of Religion_, p. 139.

   24 Empedokles, _Carmina_, v. 411 (_Fragm. Philos. Græc._ vol. i. p.
      12):—ὦ φίλοι, οἶδα μὲν οὖν ὅτ᾽ ἀληθείη παρὰ μύθοις οὓς ἐγὼ ἐξερέω;
      μάλα δ᾽ ἀργαλέη γὲ τέτυκται ἀνδράσι καὶ δύσζηλος ἐπὶ φρένα πίστιος

_   25 Daily Life and Origin of the Tasmanians_, by J. Bonwick, 1870, p.

   26 The word ψυχή is clearly connected in Greek with ψύχω, which meant
      originally blowing, and was used either in the sense of cooling by
      blowing, or breathing by blowing. In the former acceptation it
      produced ψύχος, coldness; ψυχρός, cold; ψυχάω, I cool; in the latter
      ψυχή, breath, then life, then soul. So far the purely Greek growth
      of words derived from ψύχω is clear. But ψύχω itself is difficult.
      It seems to point to a root _spu_, meaning to blow out, to spit;
      Lat. _spuo_, and _spuma_, foam; Goth, _speivan_; Gr. πτύω, supposed
      to stand for σπιύω. Hesychius mentions ψύττει = πτύει, ψυττόν =
      πτύελον. (Pott, _Etym. Forsch._ No. 355.) Curtius connects this root
      with Gr. φυ, in φῦσα, blowing, bellows, φυσάω, to blow, φυσιάω, to
      snort, ποι-φύσσω, to blow, and with Lat. _spirare_ (_i.e._
      spoisare). See E. B. Tylor, “The Religion of Savages,” _Fortnightly
      Review_, 1866, p. 73.

      Stahl, who rejected the division of life and mind adopted by Bacon,
      and returned to the Aristotelian doctrine, falls back on Plato’s
      etymology of ψυχή as φυσέχη, from φύσιν ἔχειν or ὀχεῖν, Crat. 400 B.
      In a passage of his _Theoria Medica Vera_ (Halæ, 1708), pointed out
      to me by Dr. Rolleston, Stahl says: “Invenio in lexico græco
      antiquiore post alios, et Budæum imprimis, iterum iterumque reviso,
      nomenclaturam nimis quam fugitive allegatam; φυσέχη, poetice, pro
      ψυχή. Incidit animo suspicari, an non verum primum nomen animæ
      antiquissimis Græcis fuerit hoc φυσέχη, quasi ἔχων τὸ φύειν, e cuius
      vocis pronunciatione deflectente, uti vere familiariter solet
      vocalium, inprimis sub accentibus, fugitiva enunciatione, sensim
      natum sit φυσ-χή φσυχή, denique ad faciliorem pronunciationem in
      locum φσυχή, ψυχή. Quam suspicionem fovere mihi videtur illud, quod
      vocabuli ψυχῆς, pro anima, nulla idonea analogia in lingua græca
      occurrat; nam quæ a ψύχω ducitur, cum verus huius et directus
      significatus notorie sit refrigero, indirectus autem magis, spiro,
      nihil certe hæc ad animam puto.” (P. 44.)

   27 ἀνδροσδὲ ψυχὴ πάλιν ἐλθεῖν οὔτεν λειστὴ,
      οὔθ᾽ ἐλετὴ, ἐπεὶ ἄρ κεν ἀμείψεται ἔρκος ὀδόντων.
      _Il._ ix. 408.

   28 διὰ δ᾽ ἔντερα χαλκὸς ἄφυσσεν δῃώσας;
      ψυχὴ δὲ κατ᾽ οὐταμένην ὠτειλὴν ἔσσυτ᾽ ἐπειγομέυη.
      _Il._ xiv. 517.

   29 “Ter frustra compressa manu effugit imago,
      Par levibus ventis volucrique simillima somno.”
      Virg. _Æn._ ii. 792.

   30 See E. B. Tylor, _Fortnightly Review_, 1866, p. 74.

_   31 Im-manis_, originally “not small,” came to mean enormous or
      monstrous. See Preller, _Römische Mythologie_, p. 72 _seq._

_   32 Unkulunkulu; or the Tradition of Creation as existing among the
      Amazulu and other Tribes of South Africa_, by the Rev. J. Callaway,
      M. D. Natal, 1868. Part I. p. 91.

   33 See J. Samuelson, _Views of the Deity, Traditional and Scientific_,
      p. 144. Williams & Norgate, 1871.

   34 “It has already been implied that the Aborigines of Tasmania had
      acquired very limited powers of abstraction or generalization. They
      possessed no words representing abstract ideas; for each variety of
      gum-tree and wattle-tree, etc., etc., they had a name, but they had
      no equivalent for the expression, ‘a tree;’ neither could they
      express abstract qualities, such as hard, soft, warm, cold, long,
      short, round, etc.; for ‘hard’ they would say ‘like a stone;’ for
      ‘tall’ they would say ‘long legs,’ etc.; for ‘round’ they said ‘like
      a ball,’ ‘like the moon,’ and so on, usually suiting the action to
      the word, and confirming by some sign the meaning to be understood.”
      Milligan, _Vocabulary of the Dialects of some of the Aboriginal
      Tribes of Tasmania_, p. 34. Hobart Town, 1866.

   35 If Signer Ascoli blames me for deriving _Niobe_ with other names for
      snow from the root _snu_, instead of from the root _snigh_, this can
      only be due to an oversight. I am responsible for the derivation of
      Niobe, and for the admission of a secondary root _snyu_ or _nyu_,
      and so far I may be either right or wrong. But Signer Ascoli ought
      to have known that the derivation of Gothic _snáiv-s_, Old
      High-German _snéo_, or _snê_, gen. _snêwê-s_, Lithuanian _snèga-s_,
      Slav, _snjeg_, Hib. _sneachd_, from the root _snu_, rests on the
      authority of Bopp (_Glossarium_, 1847, s. v. snu; see also Grimm,
      _Deutsche Grammatik_, ii. p. 700). He ought likewise to have known
      that in 1852 Professor Schweizer-Siedler, in his review of
      Bötticher’s _Arica_ (Kuhn’s _Zeitschrift_, i. p. 479), had pointed
      out that _snigh_ may be considered as a secondary root by the side
      of _snu_ and _snâ_ (cf. σμάω, σμήχω; ψάω, ψήχω; νάω, νήχω). The real
      relation of _snu_ to _snigh_ had been explained as early as 1842 by
      Benfey, _Wurzellexicon_, ii. p. 54; and Signor Ascoli was no doubt
      aware of what Professor Curtius had written on the relation of
      _snigh_ to _snu_ (_Grundzüge der Greichischen Etymologie_, p. 297).
      Signor Ascoli has certainly shown with greater minuteness than his
      predecessors that not only Zend _snizh_ and Lithuanian _snêga-s_,
      but likewise Gothic _snaiv-s_, Greek νίφει, Latin nix, nĭv-is, and
      ninguis, may be derived from _snigh_; but if from _snigh_, a
      secondary development of the root _snu_, we can arrive at νίφ-α and
      at νίβα, the other steps that lead on to Niobe will remain just the

   36 At the end of the hymn the poet says:—

      χαῖρε, ἄναξ, πρόφρων δὲ βίον θυμήρε᾽ ὄπαζε;
      ἐκ σέο δ᾽ ἀρξάμενος κλῄσω μερόπων γένος ἀνδρῶν
      ἡμιθέων, ὦν ἔργα θεοὶ θνητοῖσιν ἔδειξαν.

      This would seem to imply that the poet looked upon Helios as a
      half-god, almost as a hero, who had once lived on earth.

   37 Corssen, _Ueber Steigerungsendungen_, Kuhn’s _Zeitschrift_, iii. p.

   38 See _Selected Essays_, vol. i. p. 399.

_   39 The Childhood of the World_, by E. Clodd, p. 62.

_   40 Reynard the Fox in South Africa, or Hottentot Fables and Tales_, by
      W. H. I. Bleek, 1864, p. 69. Dr. Theophilus Hahn, _Die Sprache der
      Nama_, 1870, p. 59. As a curious coincidence, it may be mentioned
      that in Sanskrit, too, the Moon is called _sasāanka_, _i. e._
      “having the marks of a hare,” the black marks in the moon being
      taken for the likeness of the hare. Another coincidence is that the
      Namaqua Hottentots will not touch hare’s flesh (see Sir James E.
      Alexander’s _Expedition of Discovery into the Interior of Africa_,
      vol. i. p. 269), because the hare deceived men, while the Jews
      abstain from it, because the hare is supposed to chew the cud (Lev.
      xi. 6).

      A similar tradition on the meaning of death occurs among the Zulus,
      but as they do not know of the Moon as a deity, the message that men
      are not to die, or that they are to die, is sent there by
      Unkulunkulu, the ancestor of the human race, and thus the whole
      story loses its point. See Dr. Callaway, _Unkulunkulu_, p. 4; and
      Gray, _Polynesian Mythology_, pp. 16-58.

   41 According to a letter just received from an Esthonian lady,
      _ämmarik_ does mean the gloaming in the language of the common
      people of Esthonia. Bertram (_Ilmatar_, Dorpat, 1870, p. 265)
      remarks that _Koit_ is the dawn, _Koido täht,_ the morning-star,
      also called _eha täht_. _Ämarik_, the ordinary name for the dawn, is
      used as the name for the evening twilight, or the gloaming in the
      well-known story, published by Fählmann (_Verhandlungen der
      gelehrten Estnischen Gesellschaft zu Dorpat_, vol. i.) In Finnish
      _hämära_ is twilight in general.

   42 See _Lectures on the Science of Religion_, pp. 194, 200.

   43 See my _Lectures on the Science of Language_ (10th ed.), vol. ii. p

   44 See a most interesting essay, _Le Petit Poucet_ (Tom Thumb), by
      Gaston Paris.

_   45 Selected Essays_, vol. i. p. 478: “Here then we see that mythology
      does not always create its own heroes, but that it lays hold of real
      history, and coils itself round it so closely that it is difficult,
      nay, almost impossible, to separate the ivy from the oak, the lichen
      from the granite to which it clings. And here is a lesson which
      comparative mythologists ought not to neglect. They are naturally
      bent on explaining everything that can be explained; but they should
      bear in mind that there may be elements in every mythological riddle
      which resist etymological analysis, for the simple reason that their
      origin was not etymological, but historical.”

_   46 Lectures on the Science of Language_, vol. ii. p. 581.

   47 Professor Blackie quotes Pausanias in support of this etymology. He
      says: “The account of Pausanias (viii. 25, 26), according to which
      the terrible impersonation of conscience, or the violated moral law,
      is derived from ἐρινύειν, an old Greek verb originally signifying to
      be angry, has sufficient probability, not to mention the obvious
      analogy of Ἀραί, another name sometimes given to the awful maids
      (σεμναί), from ἀρά, an imprecation.” If Professor Blackie will refer
      to Pausanias himself, he will find that the Arcadians assigned a
      very different cause to the anger of Demeter, which is supposed to
      have led to the formation of her new name Erinys.

_   48 Asiatic Researches, i._ p. 272; _Life of Sir W. Jones_, vol. ii. p.
      240 _seq._

_   49 Asiatic Researches_, i. p. 221.

   50 See _Introduction to the Science of Religion_, p. 48.

   51 The Rev. W. W. Gill tells me that the Maori word for bone is _iwi_,
      but he suspects a foreign origin for the fable founded on it.

_   52 Tree and Serpent Worship_, by James Fergusson. London, 1868. Very
      similar opinions had been advocated by Rajendralal Mitra, in a paper
      published in 1858 in the _Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society_,
      “Buddhism and Odinism, illustrated by extracts from Professor
      Holmboe’s Memoir on the _Traces du Buddhisme en Norvège_.” How much
      mischief is done by opinions of this kind when they once find their
      way into the general public, and are supported by names which carry
      weight, may be seen by the following extracts from the _Pioneer_
      (July 30, 1878), a native paper published in India. Here we read
      that the views of Holmboe, Rajendralal Mitra, and Fergusson, as to a
      possible connection between Buddha and Wodan, between Buddhism and
      Wodenism, have been adopted and preached by an English bishop, in
      order to convince his hearers, who were chiefly Buddhists, that the
      religion of the gentle ascetic came originally, if not from the
      Northeast of Scotland, at all events from the Saxons. “Gotama
      Buddha,” he maintained, “was a Saxon,” coming from “a Saxon family
      which had penetrated into India.” And again: “The most convincing
      proof to us Anglo-Indians lies in the fact that the Purânas named
      Varada and Matsy distinctly assert that the White Island in the
      West—meaning England—was known in India as Sacana, having been
      conquered at a very early period by the Sacas or Saks.” After this
      the bishop takes courage, and says: “Let me call your attention to
      the Pâli word _Nibban_, called in Sanskirt Nirv_âna_. In the
      Anglo-Saxon you have the identical word—Nabban, meaning ‘not to
      have,’ or ‘to be without a thing.’ ”

   53 See _Buddhaghosha’s Parables_, translated by Captain Rogers, with an
      Introduction containing Buddha’s Dhammapada, translated from Pâli,
      by M. M., 1870, p. 110, note.

   54 Hare, “On the Names of the Days of the Week” (_Philol. Museum_, Nov.
      1831); Ideler, _Handbuch der Chronologie_, p. 177; Grimm, _Deutsche
      Mythologie_, p. 111.

   55 A writer in the _Index_ objects to my representation of what
      Josephus said with regard to the observance of the seventh day in
      Greek and barbarian towns. He writes:—

      WASHINGTON, _Nov. 9, 1872._

      “The article by Max Müller in the _Index_ of this week contains, I
      think, one error, caused doubtless by his taking a false translation
      of a passage from Josephus instead of the original. ‘In fact,’ says
      Professor Müller, ‘Josephus (_Contra Apion._ ii. 39) was able to say
      that there was no town, Greek or not Greek, where the custom of
      observing the seventh day had not spread.’ Mr. Wm. B. Taylor, in a
      discussion of the Sabbath question with the Rev. Dr. Brown, of
      Philadelphia, in 1853 (_Obligation of the Sabbath_, p. 120), gives
      this rendering of the passage: ‘Nor is there anywhere any city of
      the Greeks, nor a single barbarian nation, whither the institution
      of the Hebdomade (_which we mark by resting_) has not travelled;’
      then in a note Mr. Taylor gives the original Greek of part of the
      passage, and adds: ‘Josephus does not say that the Greek and
      barbarian rested, but that _we_ [the Jews] observe it by rest.’

      “The corrected translation only adds strength to Max Müller’s
      position in regard to the very limited extent of Sabbath observance
      in ancient times; and Mr. Taylor brings very strong historical proof
      to maintain the assertion (p. 24) that ‘throughout all history we
      discover no trace of a Sabbath among the nations of antiquity.’ ”

      It seems to me that if we read the whole of Josephus’s work, _On the
      Antiquity of the Jews_, we cannot fail to perceive that what
      Josephus wished to show towards the end of the second book was that
      other nations had copied or were trying to copy the Jewish customs.
      He says: Ὑφ᾽ ἡμῶν τε διηνέχθησαν οἱ νόμοι καὶ τοῖς ἄλλοις ἅπασιν
      ἀνθρώποις, ἀεὶ καὶ μᾶλλον αὐτῶν ζῆλον ἐμπεποιήκασι. He then says
      that the early Greek philosophers, though apparently original in
      their theoretic speculations, followed the Jewish laws with regard
      to practical and moral precepts. Then follows this sentence: Οὐ μὴν
      ἀλλὰ καὶ πλήθεσιν ἤδη πολὺς ζῆλος γέγονεν ἐκ μακροῦ τῆς ἡμετέρας
      εὐσεβείας, οὐ δ᾽ ἔστιν οὐ πόλις Ἑλλήνων οὐδετισουν οὐδὲ βάρβαρος,
      οὐδὲ ἕν ἔθνος, ἔνθα μὴ τὸ τῆς ἑβδομάδος, ἥν ἀργοῦμεν ἡμεῖς, ἔθος οὐ
      διαπεφοιτηκε, καὶ αἱ νηστεῖαι καὶ λύχνων ἀνακαύσεις καὶ πολλὰ τῶν
      εἰς βρῶσιν ἡμῖν οὐ νενομισμένων παρατετήρηται. Μιμεῖσθαι δὲ
      πειρῶνται καὶ τὴν πρὸς ἀλλήλους ἡμῶν ὁμόνοιαν, κ.τ.λ. Standing where
      it stands, the sentence about the ἑβδομάς can only mean that “there
      is no town of Greeks nor of barbarians, nor one single people, where
      the custom of the seventh day, on which we rest, has not spread, and
      where fastings, and lighting of lamps, and much of what is forbidden
      to us with regard to food are not observed. They try to imitate our
      mutual concord also, etc.” Hebdomas, which originally meant the
      week, is here clearly used in the sense of the seventh day, and
      though Josephus may exaggerate, what he says is certainty “that
      there was no town, Greek or not Greek, where the custom of observing
      the seventh day had not spread.”

   56 Grimm, _Deutsche Mythologie_, p. 118, note.

   57 In Singalese Wednesday is Badâ, in Tamil Budau. See Kennet, in
      _Indian Antiquary_, 1874, p. 90; D’Alwis, _Journal of Ceylon Branch
      of the Royal Asiatic Society_, 1870, p. 17.

   58 Grimm, _Deutsche Mythologie_, p. 276.

_   59 Ibid._ p. 151.

_   60 Ibid._ p. 120.

   61 Grimm, _Deutsche Mythologie_, pp. 137-148.

_   62 Ibid._ p. 126. Oski in Icelandic, the god Wish, one of the names of
      the highest god.

   63 Tacit. _Hist._ iv. 64: “Communibus Diis et præcipuo Deorum Marti
      grates agimus.”

   64 Grimm, _l. c._ p. 148.

   65 P. 125. “Pour quiconque s’est occupé d’études philologiques, Jéhova
      dérivé de Zeus est facile à admettre.”

   66 Stanislas Julien, _Le Livre de la Voie et de la Vertu_. Paris, 1842,
      p. iv.

   67 Montucci, _De studiis sinicis_. Berolini, 1808.

   68 See W. E. A. Axon’s “The Future of the English Language,” the
      “Almanach de Gotha,” and De Candolle’s “Histoire des Sciences,”

   69 The pronoun _it_ woz speld in eight diferent wayz bei Tyndale
      th[p]s, _hyt_, _hytt_, _hit_, _hitt_, _it_, _itt_, _yt_, _ytt_.
      Another author speld _tongue_ in the folowing wayz: _tung, tong,
      tunge, tonge, tounge_. The w[p]rd _head_ woz vario[p]sli speld
      _hed_, _heede_, _hede_, _hefode_. The spelingz _obay_, _survay_,
      _pray_, _vail_, _vain_, ar often uzed for _obey_, _survey_, _prey_,
      _veil_, _vein_.

   70 Popular Education—A Revision of English Spelling a National
      Necessity. By E. Jones, B.A. London, 1875.

   71 “Rig-Veda-Prâti_s_âkhya, Das älteste Lehrbuch der Vedischen
      Phonetik, Sanskrit Text, mit Übersetzung und Anmerkungen,
      herausgegeben,” von F. Max Müller, Leipzig, 1869.

   72 Beal, _Travels of Buddhist Pilgrims_, Introd. p. xxi.; _Chinese
      Repository_, vol. x. No. 3, March, 1841.

   73 See an account of the Introduction of Buddhism into China, in
      _Journal Asiatique_, 1856, August, p. 105. _Recherches sur l’origine
      des ordres religieux dans l’empire chinois_, par Bazin.

   74 Stan. Julien, _Pèlerins Bouddhistes_, vol. i. p. 296.

   75 Dr. Edkins in his Notices of Buddhism in China (which unfortunately
      are not paged) says that Indians arrived at the capital of China in
      Shensi in 217 B. C. to propagate their religion.

   76 Dr. Edkins, _l. c._, states that _K_ang-_kh_ien, on his return from
      the country of the Getæ, informed the Emperor Wu-ti that he had seen
      articles of traffic from Shindo. The commentator adds that the name
      is pronounced Kando and Tindo, and that it is the country of the
      barbarians called Buddha (_sic_).

   77 Kabul or Ko-fu is, in the Eastern Han annals, called a state of the

   78 Generally identified with the Getæ, but without sufficient proof.

   79 Translated by Mr. Bunyiu Nanjio.

   80 The golden color or suvarnavar_n_atâ is one of the thirty-two marks
      of a Buddha, recognized both in the Southern and Northern schools
      (Burnouf, _Lotus_, 579).

   81 This name is written in various ways, Ka-shio-ma-tô-giya,
      Ka-shio-ma-tô, Shio-ma-tô, Ka-tô, Ma-tô. In the Fan-i-ming-i-tsi
      (vol. iii. fol. 4 a), it is said “that K. was a native of Central
      India, and a Brâhman by caste. Having been invited by the Chinese
      envoy, Tsâi-yin, he came to China, saw the Emperor, and died in
      Lo-yang, the capital.” Of _K_û-fa-lan it is said (_l. c._ vol. iii.
      fol. 4) that he was a native of Central India, well versed in
      Vinaya. When invited to go to China, the King would not let him
      depart. He left secretly, and arrived in China after Kâsyapa. They
      translated the Sûtra in forty-two sections together. After Kâsyapa
      died, _K_û-fa-lan translated five Sûtras.

   82 See Vasala-sutta (in Nipâta-sutta), _v._ 22.

   83 Fa is the Buddhist equivalent for friar.

   84 Mr. B. Nanjio informs me that both in China and Japan Buddhist
      priests adopt either _K_û, the last character of Tien-_k_û, India,
      or Shih, the first character of Shih-kia—_i. e._ Sâkya—as their

   85 L. Feer, _Sutra en 42 articles_, p. xxvii. _Le Dhammapada par F. Hû,
      suivi du Sutra en 42 articles_, par Léon Feer, 1878, p. xxiv.

   86 In Beal’s _Catalogue_ this name is spelt An-shi-ko, An-shi-kao, and

   87 His translations occur in Beal’s _Catalogue_, pp. 31, 35, 37, 38, 40
      (_bis_), 41 (_bis_), 42 (_bis_), 43, 45, 46, 47, 49, 50, 51 (_ter_),
      52 (_bis_), 54, 70, 88, 95 (_bis_). In the K’ai-yuen-lu it is stated
      that he translated 99 works in 115 fascicles.

   88 Wû, comprising _K_eh-kiang and other parts, with its capital in what
      is now Sû-_k_au, was the southern one of the Three Kingdoms.
      Sun-_kh_üan was its first sovereign.

   89 The northern of the Three Kingdoms, with its capital latterly in

   90 See Beal, _Catalogue_, p. 5.

   91 This name, _K_û-fâ-hu, is generally re-translated as Dharmaraksha.
      _K_û is the second character in Tien-_k_û, the name of India, and
      this character was used as their surname by many Indian priests
      while living in China. In that case their Sanskrit names were mostly
      translated into two Chinese characters: as Fâ, (law = dharma), hu
      (protection = raksha).—B. N.

   92 According to Mr. Beal (Fahian, p. xxiii.), this _K_û-fâ-hu, with the
      help of other Shâmans, translated no less than 165 texts, and among
      them the Lalita-vistara (Pou-yao-king), the Nirvâ_n_a Sûtra, and the
      Suvar_n_a-prabhâsa-Sûtra (265-308). The K’ai-yuen-lu assigns to him
      275 works, in 354 fascicles.

   93 Edkins, _l. c._ Beal, _Catalogue_, p. 17; 14.

   94 Edkins, _l. c._

   95 The Yâos subdued the Fûs, and ruled as the dynasty of the After

   96 See p. 208. He is sometimes called Balasan, or, according to Edkins,
      Palat’sanga, Baddala, or Dabadara. In the Fan-i-ming-i-tsi (vol.
      iii. fol. 6) the following account of Buddhabhadra is given:
      “Buddhabhadra met Kumâra_g_iva in China, and whenever the latter
      found any doubts, the former was always asked for an explanation. In
      the fourteenth year of Î-hsi (418 A. D.) Buddhabhadra translated the
      Fa-yan-king in sixty volumes.” This Sûtra is the
      Ta-fang-kwang-fo-fa-yan-king, Buddhâvata_m_saka-vai-pulya-sûtra
      (Beal’s _Catalogue_, p. 9). This translation was brought to Japan in

   97 The Sang-_k_i-liu, rules of priesthood; _i. e._ the Vinaya of the
      Mahâsaṅghika school.

   98 I call him Dharmaraksha II., in order to prevent a confusion which
      has been produced by identifying two Shâmans who lived at a distance
      of nearly 200 years—the one 250 A. D., the other 420 A. D. The first
      is called _K_û-fâ-hu, which can be rendered Dharmaraksha; the second
      is called Fâ-făng (law-prosperity), but, if transliterated, he is
      best known by the names T‘on-mo-la-tsin, T‘an-mo-tsin, or
      Dharmalatsin. He was a native of Central India, and arrived in China
      in the first year of the period Hiouen-shi of the Tsü-_kh_u family
      of the Northern Liang, 414 A. D. He was the contemporary of
      _K_i-mang, whom Mr. Beal places about 250 A. D., in order to make
      him a contemporary of Dharmaraksha I.

   99 Mung-sun died 432, and was succeeded by his heir, who lost his
      kingdom in 439. Yâo-_kh_ang’s kingdom, however, was destroyed by the
      Eastern Tsin, at the time of his second successor, 417, not by

  100 It is said in the tenth year of the period Hung-shi of Yâo-_kh_ang
      (better hsing), the copy arrived at _Kh_ang-an. But this cannot be,
      if _K_i-mang went to India in 419. There must be something wrong in
      these dates.

  101 The four Nikâyas or Âgamas; _cf._ Vinayapi_t_aka, vol. i. p. xl.

_  102 S_âriputrâbhidharma-_s_âstra; _cf._ Beal, _Catalogue_, p. 80.

  103 Beal, _Catalogue_, p. 36.

  104 Edkins, _l. c._

_  105 Ibid._

  106 Beal, _Catalogue_, p. 77; on p. 20 a translation of the Lankâvatâra
      is mentioned.

  107 See _Athenæum_, August 7, 1880; and _infra_, p. 370.

  108 A long list of Sanskrit texts translated into Chinese may be found
      in the _Journal Asiatique_, 1849, p. 353 _seq._, _s. t._
      “Concordance Sinico-Samskrite d’un nombre considérable de titres
      d’ouvrages Bouddhiques, recueillie dans un Catalogue Chinois de l’an
      1306, par M. Stanislas Julien.”

  109 Csoma Körösi, _As. Res._ vol. xx. p. 418. _Journal Asiatique_, 1849,
      p. 356.

_  110 Cf._ Beal, _Catalogue_, p. 66.

  111 The modern paper in Nepal is said to date from 500 years ago
      (Hodgson, _Essays_).

  112 M. M., _History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature_, p. 516.

  113 Burnell, _South Indian Palæography_, 2d ed. p. 84 _seq._

  114 See _Sacred Books of the East_, vol. i., Upanishads, Introduction,
      p. lxxviii.

  115 Dr. Bühler (_Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Bombay,_ 1877, p.
      29) has the following interesting remarks: “The Bhûrga MSS. are
      written on specially-prepared thin sheets of the inner bark of the
      Himalayan birch (_Bœtula Bhojpatr._ Wallich), and invariably in
      Sâradâ characters. The lines run always parallel to the narrow side
      of the leaf, and the MSS. present, therefore, the appearance of
      European books, not of Indian MSS., which owe their form to an
      imitation of the Tâlapatras. The Himâlaya seems to contain an
      inexhaustible supply of birch bark, which in Kasmîr and other hill
      countries is used both instead of paper by the shopkeepers in the
      bazaars, and for lining the roofs of houses in order to make them
      water-tight. It is also exported to India, where in many places it
      is likewise used for wrapping up parcels, and plays an important
      part in the manufacture of the flexible pipe-stems used by hukâ
      smokers. To give an idea of the quantities which are brought into
      Srînagar, I may mention that on one single day I counted fourteen
      large barges with birch bark on the river.... The use of birch bark
      for literary purposes is attested by the earliest classical Sanskrit
      writers. Kâlidâsa mentions it in his dramas and epics; Sustuta,
      Varâhamihira (_circa_ 500-550 A. D.) know it likewise. As is the
      case with nearly all old customs, the use of birch bark for writing
      still survives in India, though the fact is little known. Mantras,
      which are worn as amulets, are written on pieces of Bhûrga with
      ash_t_au gandbâ_h_, a mixture of eight odoriferous substances—_e.
      g._ camphor, sandal, tumeric—which vary according to the deity to
      which the writing is dedicated. The custom prevails in Bengal as
      well as in Gujarât. Birch-bark MSS. occur in Orissa. The Petersburg
      Dictionary refers to a passage in the Kâ_th_aka, the redaction of
      the Yajurveda formerly current in Kasmîr, where the word Bhûr_g_a
      occurs, though it is not clear if it is mentioned there too as
      material for writing on. The Kasmirian Pandits assert, and
      apparently with good reason, that in Kasmîr all books were written
      on bhûrgapattras from the earliest times until after the conquest of
      the Valley by Akbar, about 200-250 years ago. Akbar introduced the
      manufacture of paper, and thus created an industry for which Kasmîr
      is now famous in India.”

  116 Dr. Burnell, _Indian Antiquary_, 1880, p. 234, shows that
      Koṅka_n_apura is Koṅka_n_ah_ll_i in the Mysore territory.

  117 Beal’s _Travels of Buddhist Pilgrims_, Introd. p. xlvi.

_  118 Pèterins Buuddhistes_, vol. i. p. 158.

  119 Fausböll, _Dasaratha-jā_taka, p. 25.

  120 See, also, Albiruni, as quoted by Reinaud, _Memoir sur l’Inde_, p.

  121 See Letter to the _Times_, “On the Religions of Japan,” Oct. 20,

  122 “Le Bouddhisme dans l’extrème Orient,” _Revue Scientifique_,
      Décembre, 1879.

_  123 Journal Asiatique_, 1871, p. 386 _seq._

  124 Five of these translations were introduced into Japan; the others
      seem to have been lost in China. The translations are spoken of as
      “the five in existence and the seven missing.”

  125 See p. 192.

  126 See p. 192.

  127 The MSS. vary between Sukhavatî and Sukhâvatî.

  128 See, also, _Lotus de la bonne Loi_, p. 267.

_  129 Journal of the R. A. S._ 1856, p. 319.

  130 I owe this information to the kindness of M. Léon Feer at Paris.

  131 See _Journal Asiatique_, 3d series, vol. iii. p. 316; vol. iv. p.

_  132 J. R. A. S._ 1866, p. 136.

_  133 J. R. A. S._ 1866, p. 136.

  134 Beal, _Catalogue_, p. 23. _J. R. A. S._ 1856, p. 319. Beal,
      _Catalogue_, p. 77, mentions also an
      Amitâbha-sûtra-upade_s_a-_s_âstra, by Vasubandhu, translated by
      Bodhiru_k_i (Wou-liang-sheu-king-yeou-po-ti-she). There is an
      Amitâbha-sûtra, translated by Chi-hien of the Wu period—_i. e._
      222-280 A. D.—mentioned in Mr. Beal’s _Catalogue of the Buddhist
      Tripitaka_, p. 6. The next Sûtra, which he calls the Sûtra of
      measureless years, is no doubt the Amitâyus-sûtra, Amitâyus being
      another name for Amitâbha (Fu-shwo-wou-liang-sheu-king, p. 6). See,
      also, _Catalogue_, pp. 99, 102. Dr. Edkins also, in his _Notices of
      Buddhism in China_, speaks of a translation of “the Sûtra of
      boundless age,” by Fa-t’ian-pun, a native of Magadha, who was
      assisted in his translation by a native of China familiar with
      Sanskrit, about 1000 A. D.

_  135 S_râvastî, capital of the Northern Ko_s_alas, residence of King
      Prasena_g_it. It was in ruins when visited by Fa-hian (init. V.
      Sæc.); not far from the modern Fizabad. _Cf._ Burnouf,
      _Introduction_, p. 22.

  136 Sârdha, with, the Pâli saddhim. Did not the frequent mention of
      1,200 and a half (_i. e._ 1,250), 1,300 and a half (_i. e._ 1,350),
      persons accompanying Buddha arise from a misunderstanding of sârdha,
      meaning originally “with a half”?

  137 Abhi_gñ_ânâbhi_gñ_âtai_h_. The Japanese text reads
      abhi_gñ_âtâbhâ_gñ_âtai_h_—_i. e._ abhi_gñ_âtâbhi_gñ_âtai_h_. If this
      were known to be the correct reading, we should translate it by
      “known by known people,” _notus a viris notis_—_i. e._ well-known,
      famous. Abhi_gñ_âta in the sense of known, famous, occurs in
      Lalita-Vistara, p. 25, and the Chinese translators adopted that
      meaning here. Again, if we preferred the reading
      abhi_gñ_ânâbhi_gñ_âtai_h_, this, too, would admit of an intelligible
      rendering—viz. known or distinguished by the marks or
      characteristics, the good qualities, that ought to belong to a
      Bhikshu. But the technical meaning is “possessed of a knowledge of
      the five abhi_gñ_âs.” It would be better in that case to write
      abhi_gñ_âtâbhi_gñ_ânai_h_, but no MSS. seem to support that reading.
      The five abhi_gñ_âs or abhi_gñ_ânas which an Arhat ought to possess
      are the divine sight, the divine hearing, the knowledge of the
      thoughts of others, the remembrance of former existences, and magic
      power. See Burnouf, _Lotus_, Appendice, No. xiv. The larger text of
      the Sukhavatîvyûha has abhi_gñ_ânâbhi_gñ_aih, and afterwards
      abhi_gñ_âtâbhi_gñ_ai_h_. The position of the participle as the
      uttara-pada in such compounds as abhi_gñ_ânâbhi_gñ_âtai_h_ is common
      in Buddhist Sanskrit. Mr. Bendall has called my attention to the
      Pâli abhi_ññ_âta-abhi_ññ_âta (Vinaya-pi_t_aka, ed. Oldenberg, vol.
      i. p. 43), which favors the Chinese acceptation of the term.

  138 Mahâsrâvaka, the great disciples; sometimes the eighty principal

  139 Arhadbhi_h_. I have left the correct Sanskrit form, because the
      Japanese text gives the termination adbhi_h_. Hôgŏ’s text has the
      more usual form arhantai_h_. The change of the old classical arhat
      into the Pâli arahan, and then back into Sanskrit arhanta, arahanta,
      and at last arihanta, with the meaning of “destroyer of the
      enemies”—_i. e._ the passions—shows very clearly the different
      stages through which Sanskrit words passed in the different phases
      of Buddhist literature. In Tibet, in Mongolia, and in China, Arhat
      is translated by “destroyer of the enemy.” See Burnouf, _Lotus_, p.
      287; _Introduction_, p. 295. Arhat is the title of the Bhikshu on
      reaching the fourth degree of perfection. _Cf._ Sûtra of the 42
      Sections, cap. 2. Clemens of Alexandria (d. 220) speaks of the
      Σεμνοι who worshipped a pyramid erected over the relics of a god. Is
      this a translation of Arhat, as Lassen (“De nom. Ind. philosoph.” in
      _Rhein. Museum_, vol. i. p. 187) and Burnouf (_Introduction_, p.
      295) supposed, or a transliteration of Samana? Clemens also speaks
      of Σεμναί (_Stromat._ p. 539, Potter).

  140 Indra, the old Vedic god, has come to mean simply lord, and in the
      _K_anda Paritta (_Journal Asiatique_, 1871, p. 220) we actually find
      Asurinda, the Indra or Lord of the Asuras.

  141 The numbers in Buddhist literature, if they once exceed a Ko_t_i or
      Ko_t_î—_i. e._ ten millions—become very vague, nor is their value
      always the same. Ayuta, _i. e._ a hundred Ko_t_is; Niyuta, _i. e._ a
      hundred Ayutas; and Nayuta, _i. e._ 1 with 22 zeros, are often
      confounded; nor does it matter much so far as any definite idea is
      concerned which such numerals convey to our mind.

  142 Tish_th_ati dh_riy_ate yâpayati dharma_m_ _k_a desayati. This is
      evidently an idiomatic phrase, for it occurs again and again in the
      Nepalese text of the Sukhavatîvyûha (MS. 26 _b_, l. 1. 2; 55 _a_, l.
      2, etc.). It seems to mean, he stands there, holds himself, supports
      himself, and teaches the law. Burnouf translates the same phrase by,
      “ils se trouvent, vivent existent” (_Lotus_, p. 354). On yâpeti in
      Pâli, see Fausböll, Dasaratha-jâtaka, pp. 26, 28; and yâpana in

  143 Kiṅki_n_î_g_âla. The texts read kaṅka_n_î_g_alais _k_a and
      kaṅka_n_îgalais _k_a, and again later kaṅka_n_îgalunâm (also lû) and
      kaṅka_n_î_g_alânâm. Mr. Beal translates from Chinese “seven rows of
      exquisite curtains,” and again “gemmous curtains.” First of all, it
      seems clear that we must read _g_âla, net, web, instead of _g_ala.
      Secondly, kaṅka_n_a, bracelet, gives no sense, for what could be the
      meaning of nets or string of bracelets? I prefer to read
      kiṅki_n_î_g_âla, nets or strings or rows of bells. Such rows of
      bells served for ornamenting a garden, and it may be said of them
      that, if moved by the wind, they give forth certain sounds. In the
      commentary on Dhammapada 30, p. 191, we meet with kiṅkinika_g_âla,
      from which likewise the music proceeds; see Childers, _s. v. g_âla.
      In the MSS. of the Nepalese Sukhavatîvyûha (_R. A. S._), p. 39 _a_,
      l. 4, I likewise find svarnaratnakiṅki_n_î_g_âlâni, which settles
      the matter, and shows how little confidence we can place in the
      Japanese texts.

  144 Anuparikshipta, inclosed; see parikkhepo in Childers’ Dict.

  145 The eight good qualities of water are limpidity and purity,
      refreshing coolness, sweetness, softness, fertilizing qualities,
      calmness, power of preventing famine, productiveness. See Beal,
      _Catena_, p. 379.

  146 Kâkâpeya. One text reads Kâkapeya, the other Kâkâpeya. It is
      difficult to choose. The more usual word is kâkapeya, which is
      explained by Pâ_n_ini, ii. 1, 33. It is uncertain, however, whether
      kâkapeya is meant as a laudatory or as a depreciatory term.
      Boehtlingk takes it in the latter sense, and translates nadî
      kâkapeyâ, by a shallow river that could be drunk up by a crow.
      Târânâtha takes it in the former sense, and translates nadî
      kâkapeyâ, as a river so full of water that a crow can drink it
      without bending its neck (kâkair anatakandharai_h_ pîyate;
      pûr_n_odakatvena pra_s_asye kâkai_h_ peye nadyâdau). In our passage
      kâkapeya must be a term of praise, and we therefore could only
      render it by “ponds so full of water that crows could drink from
      them.” But why should so well known a word as kâkapeya have been
      spelt kâkâpeya, unless it was done intentionally? And if
      intentionally, what was it intended for? We must remember that
      Pâ_n_ini, ii. 1, 42 schol., teaches us how to form the word
      tîrthakâka, a crow at a tîrtha, which means a person in a wrong
      place. It would seem, therefore, that crows were considered out of
      place at a tîrtha or bathing-place, either because they were birds
      of ill omen, or because they defiled the water. From that point of
      view, kâkâpeya would mean a pond not visited by crows, free from
      crows. Professor Pischel has called my attention to Mahâparinibbâna
      Sutta (_J. R. A. S._ 1875, p. 67, p. 21), where kâkapeyâ clearly
      refers to a full river. Samatiṭṭḥika, if this is the right reading,
      occurs in the same place as an epithet of a river, by the side of
      kâkapeya, and I think it most likely that it means rising to a level
      with the tîrthas, the fords or bathing-places. Mr. Rhys Davids
      informs me that the commentary explains the two words by samatittikâ
      ti samaharitâ, kâkapeyyâ ti yatthatattha_k_i tîre _th_itena kâkena
      sakkâ patum ti.

  147 Purobhaktena. The text is difficult to read, but it can hardly be
      doubtful that purobhaktena corresponds to Pâli purebhatta_m_ (_i.
      e._ before the morning meal), opposed to pa_kkh_âbhatta_m_, after
      the noonday meal (_i. e._ in the afternoon). See Childers, _s. v._
      Pûrvabhaktikâ would be the first repast, as Professor Cowell informs

  148 Divâ vihârâya, for the noonday rest, the _siesta_. See Childers, _s.
      v._ vihâra.

  149 Krau_ñk_â_h_. Snipe, curlew. Is it meant for Kuravîka, or Karavîka,
      a fine-voiced bird (according to Kern, the Sk. karâyikâ), or for
      Kalaviṅka-Pâli Kalavîka? See Childers, _s. v._ opapâtiko; Burnouf,
      _Lotus_, p. 566. I see, however, the same birds mentioned together
      elsewhere, as ha_m_sakrau_ñk_amayûra_s_uka_s_âlikakokila, etc. On
      mayûra see Mahâv. Introd. p. xxxix.; Rv. I. 191, 14.

  150 Indriyabalabodhyaṅgasabda. These are technical terms, but their
      meaning is not quite clear. Spence Hardy, in his _Manual_, p. 498,
      enumerates the five indrayas, viz. (1) sardhâwa, purity (probably
      _s_raddhâ, faith), (2) wiraya, persevering exertion (vîrya), (3)
      sati or smirti, the ascertainment of truth (sm_ri_ti), (4) samâdhi,
      tranquillity, (5) pragnâwa, wisdom (pra_gñ_â).

      The five balayas (bala), he adds, are the same as the five indrayas.

      The seven bowdyânga (bodhyaṅga) are, according to him: (1) sihi or
      smirti, the ascertainment of the truth by mental application, (2)
      dharmmawicha, the investigation of causes. (3) wîraya, persevering
      exertion, (4) prîti, joy, (5) passadhi, or prasrabdhi, tranquillity,
      (6) samâdhi, tranquillity in a higher degree, including freedom from
      all that disturbs either body or mind, (7) upekshâ, equanimity.

      It will be seen from this that some of these qualities or
      excellences occur both as indriyas and bodhyaṅgas, while balas are
      throughout identical with indriyas.

      Burnouf, however, in his _Lotus_, gives a list of five balas (from
      the _Vocabulaire Pentaglotte_) which correspond with the five
      indriyas of Spence Hardy: viz. _s_raddhâ-bala, power of faith,
      vîrya-bala, power of vigor, sm_ri_ti-bala, power of memory,
      samâdhi-bala, power of meditation, pra_gñ_â-bala, power of
      knowledge. They precede the seven bodhyaṅgas both in the _Lotus_,
      the _Vocabulaire Pentaglotte_, and the Lalita-Vistara.

      To these seven bodhyaṅgas Burnouf has assigned a special treatise
      (Appendix xii. p. 796). They occur both in Sanskrit and Pâli.

  151 Niraya, the hells, also called Naraka. Yamaloka, the realm of Yama,
      the judge of the dead, is explained as the four Apâyas—_i. e._
      Naraka, hell, Tiryagyoni, birth as animals, Pretaloka, realm of the
      dead, Asuraloka, realm of evil spirits. The three terms which are
      here used together occur likewise in a passage translated by
      Burnouf, _Introduction_, p. 544.

  152 Iti sankhyâ_m_ ga_kkh_anti, they are called; _cf._ Childers, _s. v._
      sankhyâ. Asankhyeya, even more than aprameya, is the recognized term
      for infinity. Burnouf, _Lotus_, p. 852.

  153 Avaramâtraka. This is the Pâli oramattako, “belonging merely to the
      present life,” and the intention of the writer seems to be to
      inculcate the doctrine of the Mahâyâna, that salvation can be
      obtained by mere repetitions of the name of Amitâbha, in direct
      opposition to the original doctrine of Buddha, that as a man soweth,
      so he reapeth. Buddha would have taught that the ku_s_alamûla, the
      root or the stock of good works performed in this world
      (avaramâtraka), will bear fruit in the next, while here “vain
      repetitions” seems all that is enjoined. The Chinese translators
      take a different view of this passage, and I am not myself quite
      certain that I have understood it rightly. But from the end of this
      section, where we read kulaputre_n_a vâ kuladuhitrâ vâ tatra
      buddhakshetre _k_ittaprâ_n_idhâna_m_ kartavyam, it seems clear that
      the locative (buddhakshetre) forms the object of the pra_n_idhâna,
      the fervent prayer or longing. The Satpurushas already in the
      Buddhakshetra would be the innumerable men (manushyâs) and
      Boddhisattvas mentioned before.

  154 Arthavasa, lit. the power of the thing; _cf._ Dhammapada, p. 388,
      _v._ 289.

  155 I am not quite certain as to the meaning of this passage, but if we
      enter into the bold metaphor of the text, viz., that the Buddhas
      cover the Buddha-countries with the organ of their tongue and then
      unroll it, what is intended can hardly be anything but that they
      first try to find words for the excellences of those countries, and
      then reveal or proclaim them. Burnouf, however (_Lotus_, p. 417),
      takes the expression in a literal sense, though he is shocked by its
      grotesqueness. On these Buddhas and their countries, see Burnouf,
      _Lotus_, p. 113.

  156 It should be remarked that the Tathâgatas here assigned to the ten
      quarters differ entirely from those assigned to them in the
      Lalita-vistara, book xx. Not even Amitâbha is mentioned there.

  157 Pratîyatha. The texts give again and again pattîyatha, evidently the
      Pâli form, instead of pratîyata. I have left tha, the Pâli
      termination of the 2 p. pl. in the imperative, instead of ta,
      because that form was clearly intended, while pa for pra may be an
      accident. Yet I have little doubt that patîyatha was in the original
      text. That it is meant for the imperative, we see from
      _s_raddadhâdhvam, etc., farther on. Other traces of the influence of
      Pâli or Prakrit on the Sanskrit of our Sûtra appear in arhantai_h_,
      the various reading for arhadbhi_h_, which I preferred; sambahula
      for bahula; dh_ri_yate yâpayati; purobhaktena; anyatra; saṅkhyâm
      ga_kkh_anti; avaramâtraka; ve_th_ana instead of vesh_t_ana, in
      nirve_th_ana; dharmaparyâya (_Corp. Inscript._ plate XV.), etc.

  158 The Sukhavatîvyûha, even in its shortest text, is called a
      Mahâyâna-sûtra, nor is there any reason why a Mahâyâna-sûtra should
      not be short. The meaning of Mahâyâna-sûtra is simply a Sûtra
      belonging to the Mahâyâna school, the school of the Great Boat. It
      was Burnouf who, in his _Introduction to the History of Buddhism_,
      tried very hard to establish a distinction between the Vaipulya or
      developed Sûtras, and what he calls the simple Sûtras. Now, the
      Vaipulya Sûtras may all belong to the Mahâyâna school, but that
      would not prove that all the Sûtras of the Mahâyâna school are
      Vaipulya or developed Sûtras. The name of simple Sûtra, in
      opposition to the Vaipulya or developed Sûtras, is not recognized by
      the Buddhists themselves; it is really an invention of Burnouf’s. No
      doubt there is a great difference between a Vaipulya Sûtra, such as
      the Lotus of the Good Law, translated by Burnouf, and the Sûtras
      which Burnouf translated from the Divyâvadâna. But what Burnouf
      considers as the distinguishing mark of a Vaipulya Sûtra, viz. the
      occurrence of Bodhisattvas, as followers of the Buddha _S_âkyamuni,
      would no longer seem to be tenable (“Les présence des Bodhisattûvas
      ou leur absence intéresse done le fonds même des livres où on la
      remarque, et il est bien évident que ce seul point trace une ligno
      de démarcation profonde entre les Sûtras ordinaires et les Sûtras
      développés.” Burnouf. _Introduction_, p. 112.), unless we classed
      our short Sukhavatî-vyûha as a Vaipulya or developed Sûtra. For this
      there is no authority. Our Sûtra is called a Mahâyâna Sutra, never a
      Vaipulya Sûtra, and yet among the followers of Buddha, the
      Bodhisattvas constitute a very considerable portion. But more than
      that, Amitâbha, the Buddha of Sukhavatî, another personage whom
      Burnouf looks upon as peculiar to the Vaipulya Sûtras, who is, in
      fact, one of the Dhyâni-buddhas, though not called by that name in
      our Sûtra, forms the chief object of its teaching, and is
      represented as coeval with Buddha _S_âkyamuni. (“L’idée d’un ou de
      plusieurs Buddhas surhumains, celle de Bodhisattvas créés par eux,
      sont des conceptions aussi étrangères á ces livres (les Sûtras
      simples) que celle d’un Adibuddha ou d’un Dieu.”—Burnouf,
      _Introduction_, p. 120.) The larger text of the Sukhavatîvyûha would
      certainly, according to Burnouf’s definition, seem to fall into the
      category of the Vaipulya Sûtras. But it is not so called in the MSS.
      which I have seen, and Burnouf himself gives an analysis of that
      Sûtra (_Introduction_, p. 99) as a specimen of a Mahâyâna, but not
      of a Vaipulya Sûtra.

  159 See H. Yule, _Marco Polo_, 2d ed. vol. i. pp. 441-443.

  160 In China, as Dr. Edkins states, the doctrine of Amitâbha is
      represented by the so-called Lotus school (Lian-tsung) or Pure Land
      (Tsing-tu). The founder of this school in China was Hwei-yuan of the
      Tsin dynasty (fourth century). The second patriarch (tsu) of this
      school was Kwang-ming (seventh century).

  161 See page 191.

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