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“Of all rapacious animals, man is the most 'universal destroyer. The destruction of carni
have a very different meaning with the palatial retraction of the tongue. The noise made by the dental is exactly that which is fometimes used to express impatience, and the palatial is much more ful and sonorous, and not unlike the clacking (clucking] of a hen that has young chickens. All languages in their infancy confifted, probablely, of fimple or monofyllable founds; but as these could convey onely a very limited number of ideas, recourse was had to inflexion of voice and composition of the simple founds to make the vocabulary more copious. The division of such fimple sounds into their elements, and by the various combinations of these elements to form an almost unlimited number of new sounds, was one of the most wonderful inventions in the history of man, and much beyond the genius of a Hottentot. He has done, however, all that he found to be necessary by a very few compound words, and by the clucking' with the tongue. In the first formation of his language nature seems to have been his guide. The croaking of a frog is readily recognize'd in kraak or kraaic; the lowing of an ox, in 'mnoo; the mewling of a cat, in meau ; the neighing of a horse, in ba ba; the breaking of the fea upon the shore, in burroo: all of which are correo fpondent words in the language of this people (and, with the flightest variation, in our own, as croak, moo, mew, ba ba'! (which occurs in the book of Job), and burra, or, as the Irish pronounce it, burroo). Many instances, besides these, sufficiently prove that the vocables (Scoticè] were adopted in imitation of the sounds proceeding from the different objects they were meant to express. In the origin they might probablely be much clofeër imitations ...The genius of a language is nerally discoverable in the application of new words to new ideas. The Hottentots, who had never seen nor heard the re
vorous quadrupeds, birds, and insects, is, in general, limited to particular kinds : but the ra
port of a gun before their unfortunate connection with Europeans, had a new word to invent in order to express it. They called it kaboo, and pronounced the word in so emphatick a manner that it was scarcely possible to mistake their meaning. The ka is thrown out with a strong palatial stroke of the tongue, in imitation of the sound given by the stroke of the flint against the cover of the pan; and, with out-stretch'd lips, a full mouth, and prolong'd sound [like ourselves] the boo fends forth the report. This language, at first, appears to be of luch a nature as to make it impossible for an [a] European to acquire." (Travels in Soutbern Africa, p. 160, &c.) These observations are not less ingenious and profound, than solid and important; they, perhap, throw more light upon the subject than any thing yet writen. Prejudice and bigotry may swallow the absurdity of speech or language being the gift of god; without haveing the sense to perceive that, in this case, all the human species, throughout the world, would as infalliblely have spokeën one and the same language as they utter articulate sounds, eat, drink, sleep, and perform the other usual avocations of nature. It cannot be doubted, however, that the subject wil, one day, if not by himself, by such another mind and genius as those of this perspicacious traveler, be, with matters of greater importance, fully elucidateëd, when tyranny and fanaticism fhal no longer unite to oppress, enslave, and, as it were, ftultify, man; to “ lay their hand on the spring there is in society, and put a stop to its motion.”
“ When the first mortals crawling rose to birth,
pacity of man has hardly any limitation. His empire over the other animals which inhabit this
But soon improve'd, with clubs they bolder fought,
“ Men,” according to Vitruvius, “ by old custom, were born, like wild beasts, in forests, caves and woods, and, wild food being eaten, they spent their life. In a certain congress of men (whom they had inviteëd together by signs to behold a fire which bad been raise'd by accident and kept up by skil] when they would have utter'd, otherwise, sounds out of their breath, by dayly custom, they made words, such as might hap en to be alloted to them by nature: afterward, by signifying things more frequently in use, fortuitously, began to speak: so that they procreateëd languageës amongst themfelves.”+
“If there were any language natural to man, all men would speak it, or at least they would have a great propensity and great dispositions to speak it, [and] many foot-steps of it would remain among the different people of the world. Children that were abandon’d and exposed or deaf would speak this language; all which is contrary to experience. Let any one leave a child without talking to it and it wil never speak any language, either known or unknown. Melablin Echebas, king of Indostan, having appointed a certain child to be brought up at a distance from the company of men, the child globe is allmost universal. He accordingly employs his power, and subdues or devours every fpecies. Of some of the quadruped tribes, as the horse, the dog, the cat, he makes domestick slaves, and, though, in this country, none of these fpecies is use’d for food, he either obligeës them to labour for him, or keeps them as sourceës of pleasure and amusement... The ox [which, as wel as
* Horace, Satires, B. 1, S. 3. (Francis.) ☆ Of urchitexture, B. 2, C.1.
continue'd without ever speaking. There were two boys of about nine years old, found in 1661, amidst a troop of bears in Poland, one of which was takeën and great endeavours were used to teach him to speak; but this could never be accomplish'd : he should, however, have spoken the language which was natural to man, there haveing been no defect, as the phy-. fician reported, in his tongue. We must conclude, therefor, that there is no national language peculiar to '
man. He has, indeed, certain sounds, motions and natural signs to express his pasfions, his joy, pleasure, grief and desires; but he has no speech or articulate found, whereby to fignify his other thoughts. The induction which some pretend to draw from other animals, who have, they fay, a kind of language among them, is many ways false and defective. Animals have certain crys
and sounds which are natural to them, whereby they declare their joy, their appetite or pain : in like manner as man gives indications of his joy by laughing, and of his grief by fighing; but this is very different from speech ... So that, takeing the matter right, neither men nor'animals have any natural language."*
Calmets Dictionary of the bible, ii, 26.
the horse, and the ram, he changeës from its natural condition by a barbarous and cruel operation], after receiveing the emoluments of his labour and fertility, he rewards with death, and then feeds upon his carcase ! Many other species, though not commonly use'd as food, are dayly massacre'd in millions for the purposeës of commerce, luxury, and caprice. Myriads of quadrupeds are annually destroy'd for the sake of their furs, their hides, their tusks, their odoriferous fecretions, &c. Over the feather'd tribes, the dominion of man is not less [usurpingly] extensive. By his fagacity and address he has been enable'd to domesticate turkeys, geese, and the various kinds of poultry. These he multiplys without end, and devours at pleasure. [Others he imprisons in cageës to afford him the melody of their song.] Neither do the inhabitants of the waters escape the rapacity of man...neither air nor water can defend against the ingenuity, the art, and the destructive industry of the human species... In artificial ponds, he feeds and Tears carp, tench, perch, trout, and other species, and with them, occasionally, furnishes his table (which even rivers and seas are constantly drain'd to supply]. Next to man the carnivorous quadrupeds are the most numerous and the most de structive. Di.firent parts of the earth are in.