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long rows of wedge-shaped inscriptions had not been deciphered by the brilliant genius and the persevering industry of our honored Director, and had not disclosed
intimate relationship between the language of the Mesopotamian kingdoms and what we call the Semitic languages still spoken by Arabs, by Syrians, and by Jews? Nor was it their language only that has brought the cuneiform inscriptions within the sphere of our scientific interests. After all, though we are Aryas in language and thought, our religion has drawn many elements from Semitic sources. The Old Testament is nearer to us than the Veda. It was by showing us the real historical position of the sacred traditions of the Jews among the traditions of the Babylonians and Assyrians, and of the whole Semitic race, that cuneiform studies have taken their place within the sphere of modern research, and are helping us to solve questions which have perplexed Biblical students for centuries.
been slow to avail itself of the Mährchen of ancient Egypt in order to show how even the nurseries of the whole world are akin. The solemn Egyptians were as fond of stories as all other nations. Some of these stories have lately been translated, and these translations may, on the whole, be accepted as trustworthy. I shall read you one, translated by Professor Brugsch, and which he considers as the prototype of another story with which we have all been familiar from our early childhood:
The two sons of one father and one mother were, on some beautiful day, doing their work in the field.
The great brother gave an order to the little brother, saying, "Go away from here, and fetch me seed.corn from the village." The little brother went to find the wife of his great brother, and found her sitting and busy platting her hair. And he said to her, "Rise and give me seed-corn, that I may return to the field, for my great brother has commanded me saying, 'Hasten back to me and do not
And the woman said to him, "Go and open the seed-chest, that thou mayest take what thy heart desires, and that my hair may not be unfastened while I go."
tarry. The traditions about the Creation of the world, about the Deluge, about the Tower of Babel, are now known to have been Semitic in a general sense; they were not, as we imagined -nay, as we were called upon to believe -the exclusive property of the Jewish
Egypt also has been drawn into this enchanted and enchanting circle. Its hieroglyphic, hieratic, and demotic literature now claims a voice in the council of the mos modern research. The close relations between Egypt, Babylon, and Palestine in the most ancient times have
lately received an unexpected confirmation. A diplomatic correspondence between the Courts of Egypt and Babylon has been discovered which is referred to 2000 B.C. That Egypt influenced not only Palestine from the days of Moses, but likewise Babylon and Nineveh, as, in later times, Greece, can no longer be doubted. With every year new rays of light from the land of the pyramids help us to see how much in our most familiar thoughts comes from Egypt. I will not tell you tonight the fairy story of the migration of our alphabet. Suffice it to say that, as in speaking English we speak Sanskrit, in writing our letters we are really scrawling hieroglyphic signs.
But let us look for a moment at the folk-lore of Egypt. Folklore, you know, is very popular just now, and it has not
Then the youth went to his chamber to fetch a large measure, for he wished to carry off as much seed as possible. After he had loaded himself with barley and buck-wheat, he marched away with his heavy burden. But the woman stood in his way and said. " How heavy is the burden?" He answered, "Three bushels of buck-wheat and two bushels of barley; together they are five bushels that rest on my shoulders.
Thus he spoke to her, and she laid hold of him and said, "Let us rest for an hour. I shall give thee precious garments and all that is most beautiful."
But the youth became furious at this base proposal, like a panther from the South, and she was very much terrified, yes, very much. And he addressed her saying, "Look, thou, O woman, hast been to me like a mother, and thy husband like a father, because he is older than I, and he has brought me up. Is it not a great sin what thou hast said to me? Never repeat that speech. Then no man shall hear a word of it out of my mouth."
Then he lifted his burden and walked to the field, and came to his great brother, and they found plenty of work to do. And when the evening drew near, his great brother returned home, but his little brother remained with the
flock, laden with all the good things of the field. And he led the flock home, that it might rest in the stable in the village.
But lo, the wife of his great brother was afraid on account of the proposal which she had made to the little brother. And she swallowed a potful of fat, and became as one who was sick, for she wished her husband to think that she was sick on account of his little brother.
And when her husband came home in the evening and entered the house, as was his wont, he found his wife lying on her couch, as if going to die. She did not pour water over his hands, according to custom, nor did she light the lamp before him, so that the house was dark. And she lay still and was sick.
Then her husband said to her, "Who has spoken to thee?" And she answered, "No one has spoken to me except thou and thy little brother. When he came home to fetch the seed, he found me alone and asked me to rest with him for an hour. But I did not listen to him, and said, 'Am I not thy mother, and is not thy great brother to thee like a father?' Thus I spake to him, but he did not mind my words, but beat me, that I should not inform thee. Now, if you allow him to live, I shall kill myself."'
Professor Brugsch thinks that we have to recognize in this popular Egyptian story the source of the story of Joseph and Potiphar's wife, as preserved to us in the Book of Genesis. Most students of folklore will probably agree with him; but I think we ought to pause. We may admit that it is possible, that it is probable; but we cannot say that it is proven.
There is one objection pointed out by Professor Brugsch himself. He says that such names as Potiphar never occur in Egyptian before the ninth century, and that therefore Moses himself could never have heard the name of Potiphar and his wife. Potiphar in Egyptian means the gift of the god Ra, from puti, gift, and ra, the god Ra, with the article p. It would, therefore, have meant the same as the Greek name Heliodoros. Professor Brugsch is, no doubt, a very high author. ity on such matters, perhaps the highest. Still it seems to me that very important arguments have been brought forward to show that proper names, formed on the same lines as Potiphar, do occur at a much earlier time. On this point we must wait for Professor Brugsch's reply. But even if he were right on this point, folk-lorists would say that the story in Genesis might still have been borrowed from Egyptian, because no scholar now maintains that the text of Genesis, as we possess it, is older than the ninth century, or that it was written down before about 500 B.C.
What makes me feel doubtful whether the story in Genesis was really borrowed from the Egyptian story is something different. It is the peculiar character of the Egyptian story. The sinfulness of the Egyptian woman consists not so much in her falling in love with a stranger, as in
her almost incestuous passion for her husfather and the same mother, and to whom band's younger brother, who had the same These
she herself had been like a mother. characteristic features are entirely absent in the story of Potiphar's wife. She is simply a frail woman, the wife of a captain of the guard; and I must leave it to my friends the folk-lorists to determine whether there could only have been one Potiphar's wife in the whole ancient history of Egypt, or whether the chapter of accidents and accidental coincidences is not larger than we imagine.
Having thus shown you by a few examples how near the language, the literature, the religion, and even the folk-lore of India, Babylon, Nineveh, and Egypt have been brought to us, and how closely they touch even some of the burning questions of our own time, I should like, by way of contrast, to say a few words about China. China claims to possess the most ancient literature of the world, but you see that its extreme old age, supposing it were granted, has proved as yet of very little attraction. Chinese studies are confined to a very small number of scholars. The public at large, which is always ready and anxious to listen to anything new or old from India, from Babylon, Nineveh, or from Egypt, takes little notice as yet of the saying and doings of the old emperors of China.
Why is that? Because there are no intellectual bonds that unite us with ancient China. We have received nothing from the Chinese. the Chinese. There is no electric contact between the white and the yellow race. has not been brought near to our hearts. China is simply old, very old—that is, remote and strange. If Chinese scholars would bring the ancient literature near to us, if they would show us something in it that really concerns us, something that is not merely old but eternally young, Chinese studies would soon take their place in public estimation by the side of IndoEuropean, Babylonian, and Egyptian scholarship. There is no reason why China should remain so strange, so far removed from our common interests. There is much to be learned, for instance, in watching the origin and growth of the Chinese system of writing. There is more of psychology and logic to be gathered from the pictorial representation of thought in China than from many lengthy treatises
on the origin of language and the classification of concepts. Chinese religion also is a subject well worth the serious attention of the theologian, and the very contrast between their philosophy and our own might teach us at least that one useful lesson that there is more to be learned even there than is dreamt of in our philosophy.
If the facts which I have so far placed before you are true, what follows? It follows that Oriental scholarship must no longer rely on the old saying that distance lends enchantment to the scene. Mere distance, mere antiquity, mere strangeness, will not secure to it a lasting hold on our affections.
Unless the scholar has a heart, and unless he can discover something in the ancient world that appeals to our hearts, his labor will be in vain. The world will pass by, after a cursory glance at our mummies, and will take its lantern, if possibly it may find a man, somewhere else. It is sometimes supposed that physical science as distinguished from historical science, the study of the works of nature as kept apart from the study of the works of man, possesses great advantages. It deals with tangible facts, it clears up many mysteries, and it often leads to useful and lucrative discoveries. All that is true. But I confess I wonder how my old friend M. Renan, who has done so much to make the study of Eastern antiquity a living study, could have expressed a regret at having dedicated his life and energies to Oriental languages and not to chemistry. Man has been, is, and always will be, the centre of the world, the measurer of all things. Take even the chemist's atoms. Who made them? who thought and named them? Nature gives us no atoms. Nature knows nothing that is not divisible. Man postulated atoms in spite of nature; and that fundamental concept, that belief in the infinite, in the infinitely small, as well as in the infinitely great, is more important to a thoughtful student than the whole table of atoms of the chemist.
It is man who has to find the key to all the mysteries of nature, and when all these mysteries have been solved, there still remains the greatest mystery of all mysteries -man. However much we may forget it when absorbed in minute researches, man is, and will always remain, the hidden subject of all our thoughts.
Philosophers imagine that they can
study man in the abstract, or that they are able to discover all his secrets by introspection. Much, no doubt, has been achieved by that method; but, at the very best, all it can teach us is what man is, not how man has come to be what he is. To solve this problem, the most important of all problems that concern us, our age has discovered a new method, the historical method. What is called the Historical School has taken possession not only of philosophy, but likewise of the wide fields of language, mythology, religion, customs, and laws. The study of all these subjects has been completely reformedhas received a fresh foundation and a new life by being based on historical research, and by being pervaded by the historical spirit.
Here, then, in the study of the past lies the bright future of Oriental studies. Let Oriental scholars remember that they have to work for a great object, and let them never mistake the means for the end. That is the danger that besets Oriental more than any other studies. It is, no doubt, very creditable to learn to read hieroglyphics, to understand cuneiform inscriptions, to decipher the language of the Vedic hymns, to read Arabic, Persian, or Hebrew. But unless, while engaged in our special studies, whatever they may be, we can contribute some stones, however small, to the building of that temple which is dedicated to the knowledge of man, and therefore to the knowledge of God, we are but beasts of burden, carrying, it may be, heavy loads, but throwing them down by the road, where they are more likely to impede than to help the progress of true knowledge. Give us men who are not only scholars but thinkers, men like Sir W. Jones and Colebrooke in England, like Champollion and Eugène Burnouf in France, like Schlegel and Humboldt in Germany, and Oriental scholarship will soon take the place that of right belongs to it among the studies of mankind. loves man. Discover what is truly human, not only what is old, in India, Persia, Arabia, in Babylon and Nineveh, in Egypt
aye, and in China also-and Oriental studies will not only become popular-that may be worth very little-but they wil become helpful to the attainment of man's highest aim on earth, which is to study man, to know man, and, with all his weaknesses and follies, to learn to love man.-Nineteenth Century.
A TRAGEDY IN
THE LIFE OF A BOOK-HUNter.
BY GILFRID W. HARTLEY.
SOME ten or twelve years ago-the date is of no importance or the exact placean Englishman wandered down to the north of Scotland and invested some of his superfluous capital in a salmon river. Such an adventurer is often but poorly repaid for his enterprise. He generally finds that the water, which was low on his arrival, becomes lower during his first week, while for the remainder of his stay it is merely sufficient to keep the bed of the stream moist, and give the grouse something to drink. Or there is too much water; the river is running too big, and the fish make their way to quieter stretches above. And it now and then happens, when everything else seems right, that the fish are not up, or, if up, are able to find more profitable occupation for their spare time than taking artificial flies. In such wise the honest angler often makes his complaint. But this fisherman was more fortunate. During his month it rained a little almost every night, while four out of the five Sundays were regular specimens of Scotch downpours. It was very soothing, when lying awake at night, to listen to the drip of water on the roof, or the gurgle of a choked-up pipe in the yarda lullaby to a fisherman on the dry northeast coast. On Sundays, too, clad in rainproof garments, it was pleasant to splash across the hill to the little church, and listen to the minister holding forth to his small congregation of keepers and shepherds, translating as he went passages from the psalms and lessons for the benefit of his southern hearer.
This paper has nothing to do with salmon fishing, or it would be a pleasant task for us to give a minute and detailed account of the good sport which this Englishman-Mr. John Gibbs-enjoyed; to describe with accurate pen the skill with which he chose the temptations he offered to the fish, and the courage and coolness he displayed in the struggles which ensued. There is however something monotonous in continuous success, and it is just possible that the reader, after devour
ing with avidity the description of the first twenty or thirty battles, might then become a little wearied, a little sated, and wish for a blank day.
Gibbs eat salmon till he hated the sight of it, and he sent fish away to his friends to an extent which almost made the land lord think that the next dividend of the Highland Railway would be affected; four, five, six,-even eight fish in a day. "What slaughter!" some would say, who perhaps get their supplies by nets. But his honest soul was never vexed by such a thought. He knew over how many blank days that white month should rightly be spread to get a fair average, and he abated not a whit of his skill, or let off one single fish if he could help it.
The recipient of one of these salmona friend in the south-was the innocent cause of the adventure which shortly after befell Gibbs. After thanking him for the fish the letter went on to say: 66 I see by the Courier that there is to be a sale at Strathamat, so I suppose that old MacIntyre is dead. The old boy was very kind to me years ago when I had your water, and used often to give me a day on his pools, which were very good. He had some wonderful books, and as you are fond of such things you should go over and have a look at them. He said they were worth a lot of money. There was one-of Shakespeare's-Hamlet, or the Merry Wives, or one of those, which he used to sit and look at as if it was alive. I thought it was an inferior old article myself, but then perhaps I wasn't a very good judge."
Our fisherman was very fond of books, though so far as the great science of Bibliomania went he was uneducated; a man who knew ever so much less about such matters than Mr. Quaritch might know a very great deal more than he did. But there must have been something of the blood of the old collectors in his veins. He could at any time spend a pleasant morning in poking about a second-hand bookseller's shop, and regarded with indifference the dust which settled on him in the course of his examinations.
He loved the touch and feel of books, their backs and sides and edges, even the smell which hangs about the more ancient, seldom-opened specimens. A catalogue had a charm for him which he would not have found it very easy to give a reason for,-certainly not one which would have satisfied any of his friends, who were for the most part of the pure sportsmen breed, and who would have as soon occupied their time in reading a grocer's or an ironmonger's list as a second-hand bookseller's. Gibbs did not parade his little weakness before these friends; he found them unsympathetic, with souls above the arrangement of type and the width of margins. A large-paper copy, or one with the headlines and the edges mercilessly cropped, was to them a book and nothing more; they cared nothing for the work of the old printers, and you might call over the names of all the famous binders without arousing any enthusiasm in their minds.
"Hamlet, or the Merry Wives of Windsor, or one of those !"-what possibilities were opened up by these random words! Gibbs knew that the sale was to take place the next day, for his gillie (who was on the eve of being married) wished to attend it, to pick up something for his house, and another man had been engaged to take his place. Now the Englishman resolved not to fish at all but to go also himself.
The sale was advertised to begin at twelve, but it was well before that time when the intending purchasers were deposited at the scene of action, but a short time ago the home of the head of one of the most ancient clans in Scotland. Strathamat, as he was universally called, had been an embarrassed man. He had never been able to take in the world the position which was certainly his by birth. His wife had long been dead, he had no children, and for years he had led almost the life of a hermit, seeing few people except his bailiff and house servants. Then he died, and a great concourse of people came together from far and wide to attend him to his grave. He had been poor and little known and of little power in the world; but he was the chief of a great clan, and hundreds of men of his name came together to do him empty honor.
The house had the usual desolate appearance which houses have at such times.
People were going in and out, poking and measuring furniture, and laughing and joking as if a sale was the best fun in the world. The lawn in front of the house was littered with odds and ends; it seemed as if the rubbish of half the county had been collected there that day. Gibbs went into the principal sitting-room, a dingy faded place; some of the bedroom furniture had been brought in to sell there, and half filled it up; the carpet was rolled up in a corner, and near the door the chocolate-colored paper was hanging on the walls, where careless people had banged it when bringing things in. There had probably not been a fire in the room for weeks, and the air was heavy and mildewy. But Gibbs had no thought for furniture or color, or even smells that day. Up against one side of the room was a long low bookcase, and as he walked across to it his heart began to jump a little at the possibilities which lay therein.
The collection was quite a small one. Perhaps there were five or six hundred books in the room, the majority of which were unspeakably uninteresting. There were many old works on agriculture, a great number of theological treatises, Hume and Smollett's Histories, a broken set of Rees' Encyclopædia, and a common edition of the earlier poets; the bulk of the shelves were filled up with material such as this. But here and there in the last shelf examined were some books of quite a different kind, shining out from among their worthless companions as gold dust does in sand. It was plain that while the majority had stood their ground there for many years-perhaps ever since they were bought by their first owner-that the few had been well cared for, and had not till quite recently been in the bookcase at all. Some one, looking through the old man's effects, had found them in a drawer or cupboard, and had stuck them at random into the nearest shelf where there was room. There were several books illustrated by Rowlandson, the Three Tours of Dr. Syntax, the Cries of London, a fine copy of Goldsmith's Vicar of Wakefield. Some of Cruikshank's rarest works were there; the first edition of German Popular Stories,-what a dealer would call a spotless copy, in the original boards, as fresh and crisp as if it had just been sent out from the publisher's office. There was his Hans in Iceland with its strange