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NATIONAL QUARTERLY REVIEW.
1 8 6 2.
ART. I.-1. Histoire des Gaulois depuis les temps les plus reculés,
jusqu'à l'entière Soumission de la Gaule à la Domination
Romaine. Par M. AMÉDÉE THIERRY. 3 vols. 12mo. Paris. 2. The Eastern Origin of Celtic Nations proved by a comparison of
their Dialects with the Sanscrit, Greek, Latin and Teutonic Languages. By James CowLES PRICHARD, M. D., F. R. S.
Edited by R. G. Latham, M. A., M. D., F. R. S. London. 3. Kelten und Germanen, eine historische untersuchung. Von
ADOLF HOLZMANN. Stuttgart. 4. The History of the Celtic Language ; wherein it is shown to be
based upon natural principles, and elementarily considered. By L. G. MACLEAN, F.O.S., author of "Historical Account of
Iona," &c. London. 5. Die Wanderungen der Kelten. Historisch-Kritisch dargelegt.
Von LEOPOLD CONTZEN. London. 6. Celtic Researches, on the Origin, Traditions and Language of
the Ancient Britons, with some Introductory Sketches on Primitive Society. By EDWARD DAVIES, Curate of Olveston, Glou
cestershire. London. 7. Prospectus of a Dictionary of the Language of the Aire Coti, or
Ancient Irish, compared with the Language of the Cuti, or Ancient Persians, with the Hindostanee, the Arabic, and Chaldean Languages. By Lieutenant-General CHARLES VALANCEY, author of "The Vindication of the Ancient History of Ireland.” With a preface containing an epitome of the Ancient History of Ireland, corroborated by late discoveries in the Puranas of the Brahmins, and by our learned countrymen in the East. Dublin. VOL. IV.NO. VIII.
8. Das ethonographische Verhältniss der Kelten und Germunen,
nach den Ansichten der Alten und den sprachlichen ueberresten
dargelegt. Von Dr. H. B. C. BRANDES. Leipzig. 9. A Vindication of the Celts, from Ancient Authorities ; with
Observations on Mr. Pinkerton's Hypothesis, concerning the
THERE are few evils so great but that good may be evolved from them. Most political economists and moralists regard foreign conquest as an evil. The wisest statesmen of England, as well as of all other enlightened countries, have been opposed to the subjugation of India, vast—almost inexhaustible—a source of material wealth as it has proved; yet it may well be doubted whether the treasures of knowledge found in the conquered country are not sufficient to indemnify the world
-even the Hindoos themselves—for all the harm that has been done by the conquerors. It is not too much to say, that those, who first pointed out the intimate connection between the Sanscrit and the principal languages of Europe, discovered another New World. So far as any authentic records inform us, comparative philology had no existence anterior to their time—and what other science has been productive of more good ? Certainly, no science, art, or political system has produced a more salutary effect on civilization. In this respect, its influence has proved second only to that of Christianity itself, of which it is a worthy auxiliary. Christianity teaches us to regard all mankind as our brethren; and comparative philology teaches us that many races, hitherto regarded as radically different from each other, are in reality but different branches of one and the same race.
Thus it is we have learned that, however much the Hindoos differ from ourselves in their complexion, manners, customs, and religion, they, as well as we, belong to the noble Caucasian family. The importance of this is much greater than it might seem at first sight; for there are no worse prejudices than those founded on diversity of races ; no pre-' judices are so deeply rooted, or so likely to produce internecine strife. The history of the world affords too many proofs of this, to render it necessary that we should cite any particular instances here. Indeed, all history consists of little more than conflicts of races; it is such conflicts that have brought to ruin all the great empires of the world.
Only a few brief years have elapsed since qur own country was threatened with a similar conflict. Fortunately, comparative philology had already accomplished sufficient to avert it; for, bad as the war is in which we are now engaged, and much as it is to be deplored as a calamity, it is mild and humane in its characteristics, and harmless in its results, when compared with a war of races, in which the nearest neighbors devote their best, or, rather, their worst, energies to the extermination of each other. The tendency of a political and geographical war is, to reconcile to each other different races, fighting for a common cause, by showing them that what is the interest of one is the interest of the other; and it has a similar effect in restraining religious prejudices. A political war is the best logic for these purposes, since it shows the most thoughtless how absurd it is to hate those ready to fight shoulder to shoulder with them in defence of their common country and common rights, merely because they think it right to worship God in a different manner from themselves, or because they belong, or are supposed to belong, to a different race.
This is sufficiently obvious at the present moment. The Anglo-Saxon no longer reproaches the Celt with being of an inferior race; nor does the Protestant reproach the Catholic with believing in a false religion, or vice versa. Both understand that the great question is, not whether they are AngloSaxons or Celts, Protestants or Catholics, but whether they are willing to defend their country, and maintain its institutions against all foes.
As there is perfect unanimity in this sentiment at the present moment, we will try to show that neither in
peace nor in war is there any real foundation for the assumption that the Celts are an inferior race. Nor do we undertake the task in any partisan spirit. We do not put ourselves forward as the champion of the Celts, or the opponent of the Saxons. We are neither one nor the other. We respect both races ; we hold that one, as well as the other, has acted a noble part on the world's stage, and furnished its full quota of intellectual greatness. Our object is, not to glorify either race, but to vindicate the Celts from aspersions too often cast upon them. This we conceive to be for the interest of both, and it is with this view we undertake it, in the hope that, when we have arranged our present difficulties, all races and creeds doing their part in the good work, there will be no recurrence of the unnatural jealousies, accusations
and recriminations of a few years since, but that all will regard each other as forming one nationality, with the fullest right of worshipping God as they think proper, or of tracing their descent to Celt, Goth, or Hun, as may best please their fancy.
In attempting to do justice to the Celtic race in the interest of truth and civilization, we will not confine ourselves to what others have said on the same subject with a similar intention. Nor shall we content ourselves with drawing conclusions from the works whose titles stand at the head of our article, further than they seem to be sustained by facts; for we are aware that the vindicators, as well as the opponents of the Celtic race, have often permitted their zeal to get the better of their judgment. In other words, both have gone to ridiculous extremes, and neither had any sources of information which are not equally open to us.
No writer of the present day need pretend to know anything more of the ancient Celts than they can learn from the historians and philosophers of Greece and Rome. In general, it is sufficient to consult translations for this purpose, though all who are acquainted with the original will of course prefer it. disputed points, however, the translations must not be depended on, since the most important passages are those most likely to be garbled and interpolated, so as to change the whole sense, by partisan writers, as we may take occasion to show in the course of our remarks.
No one work, ancient or modern, gives so true an insight into the character of the ancient Celtic race as the Commentaries (De Bello Gallico) of Cæsar; indeed, it describes them better than all other worksput together. Not that other great ancient writers took no notice of the Celts. Scarcely any of them, from Herodotus to Tacitus, have failed to do so. They are spoken of as a great and powerful people by Strabo, Aristotle, Diodorus Siculus, Valerius Flaccus, Zenophon, Plutarch, &c., &c. But, before we attempt to examine the dicta of any of these, we will glance at a passage or. two of M. Thierry's Histoire des Gaulois, which is incomparably the best modern authority on the subject, and then have a word to say on two or three more recent works.
M. Thierry is no enthusiast; he wishes, not to eulogize, but to state facts—the results of careful study and investigation. And far from disdaining to acknowledge the ancient Gauls as the ancestors of his countrymen, he is proud to