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lish language, and another quite different to prove the similarity or dissimilarity between languages which one admits himself he does not understand—such as the Sanscrit, the Zend, the Hebrew, the Arabic, and the Celtic ; all of which Dr. Prichard had carefully studied. Nothing is more easy than to assert that the English language, if not purely AngloSaxon, has at least little, if any, of the Celtic in its composition, and it requires no ordinary amount of learning and labor to prove the coftrary. The same remark will apply to statements made in editing and annotating a work like Dr. Prichard's, and hence it is that Dr. Latham adopts the safe and convenient plan of using insinuations rather than assertions.*
As a specimen of his efforts in this way, we may refer to his remarks on the Eastern origin of the Celts; which are cavilling rather than argumentative. “In one sense,” he says, “and with one school of ethnologists, the statement that the Kelts are of Eastern origin is little more than a truism. Out of the vast proportion of investigators who assign to the whole human race one common origin, there are very few who place the area of that common origin either in Europe, or America, still less in Australia or Polynesia. Add to this that very few, indeed, have ever put a claim for Africa being the birth-place of mankind. Such being the case, it is clear that, in the minds of many, all nations what
This is not the only instance in which Dr. Latham takes occasion to differ with the most eminent ethnologists and philologists, as may be seen by a recent work of his, entitled, “On the Varieties of Man." In this he appropriates the researches of others in comparative philology, without adding a single new fact of his own, and then proceeds to divide all the languages of the world into four classes, which he calls the Anaptotic, Aptotic, Agglutinate, and Amalgamate, informing us, at the same time, that there are only three methods of grammar : the Classical, English, and Chinese. All languages, ancient and modern, dead and living, are to be referred to one of these classes. As for the Sanscrit, he does not recognize it at all. It may, he admits, be a genuine language ; but it is more likely to be a forgery. Even this allegation is not new, however, with Dr. Latham. Others before him did not like the trouble of learning it; then, because they could not comprehend it, the only conclusion they could arrive at was, that it is “hypothetical,” and the Doctor adopts the same course. No wonder that the German critics laugh, in spite of their characteristic gravity, at such “blind leaders of the blind;" the truly learned and cosmopolitan Schlegel declaring the theory “as happy as that which would account for the Egyptian pyramids as natural crystallizations." We must take leave abruptly of Dr. Latham, with the remark that ethnologists and critics like him do much mischief ; and we are sorry that the same remark applies to his American imitator, the Hon. George P. Marsh, whose Lectures on the English Language are little better, in a philological point of view, than a transposition of the errors of Dr. Latham, and what that gentleman has appropriated from others, but entirely misapplied.
ever are of Eastern origin—the Tasmanians, Polynesians and Laplanders, as well as the Kelts; the Kelts as well as the Laplanders, Polynesians, or Tasmanians."*
It is needless to pursue the remarks of Dr. Latham, they prove nothing against the facts in the text of Dr. Prichard, or, indeed, in the text of any other ethnologist worthy of the name. But Dr. Latham is by no means peculiar in his opposition to Celtic influence in the formation' of the English language. The Rev. Mr. Harrison, in his Rise, Progress, and Present Structure of the English Language, represents our language as almost exclusively Anglo-Saxon. Even the Messrs. Chambers, than whom no writers are more liberal, or cosmopolitan, tell us in their Cyclopædia of English Literature, that the Celtic, which had been the language of the aboriginal people of Great Britain, shrank from the Anglo-Saxon into Wales, Cornwall, and other remote parts of the Island, as the Indian tongues are now retiring before the advance of the British settlers in North America. “From its first introduction, the Anglo-Saxon tongue experienced little change for five centuries, the chief accessions which it received being Latin terms introduced by Christian missionaries." note at the bottom of the same page, the Messrs. Chambers admit, that “it is now believed that the British language was not so entirely extinguished by the Saxons as was generally stated by our historians down to the last age.”+ _Need we say that the note flatly contradicts the text ? Even during the brief interval that elapsed between the writing of the two assertions, the cause of truth and science advanced. In the mean time, the critic had consulted some work on comparative philology, and, finding his mistake, had the candor and honesty to correct it in a note.
Those who inform us that the English is pure AngloSaxon, are after all much more absurd and thoughtless than those who would trace the Celtic language to antediluvian times. Had Cæsar found Britain a wilderness, without any inhabitants, instead of finding it thickly inhabited by Celts, it would still have been very illogical, on the part of some of our self-styled modern ethnologists, to assert that our present dialect has but few Latin and Celtic words. To prove this, it would only be necessary to examine some Roman antiquities. Nor should we ask, for this purpose, any other than English authorities, for we hold that none are fairer, or freer from prejudice, than Englishmen, who are really learned. Of this character are Charles Roach Smith, F.S.A., author of The Antiquities of Richborough, Reculver, and Lymne, in Kent, and Prof. Buckman, author of Illustrations of the Remains of Roman Art in Cirencester, the Site of Ancient Corinum. There are several others which we could mention in connection with this branch of our subject; but enough for the present.
* Eastern Origin of Celtic Nations, Latham's Edition, pp. 72–3. † Chambers’s Cyclopædia of English Literature.
In the first place, it is well to remember that the connection of the Romans with Britain lasted five hundred yearsfrom 55 A. C., to 436 A. D. The Wall of Hadrian alone, with its numerous inscriptions, would prove that the Romans must have done much in Britain. All historians agree that it was a part of the Roman policy to establish the troops, who had effected the conquest, in possession of the vanquished territory, and this is fully borne out by the remains found in England. There is not one of the legions that conquered Britain that did not get a portion of the island, which was large or small in proportion to the valor it displayed, and the service it rendered. The inscriptions referred to prove beyond all doubt that Camulodunun (Colchester) was the first town in Britain that obtained the privileges and honor of a Roman Colonia, and it is believed to have been founded by the Ninth Legion. No historical fact of the period is better attested than that Cirencester was founded by Indians and Thracians; cavalry troops belonging to the Roman army. Of twenty-three Roman towns whose remains are still to be seen in England, scarcely two belonged to people of the same nation. Side by side we find towns built by Dacians, Moors, Gauls, Asturians, and Iberians. This will not seem strange, when it is recollected that the Romans, like the Carthaginians, had legions from every country that owned their sway. The Notitia, containing a list of the military stations, on Hadrian's Wall, shows that not fewer than twenty different nationalities were represented in the conquest of Britain, from the landing of Cæsar to the final abandonment of the island by Valentinian; scarcely two of these speaking the same dialect. We transcribe a few of these inscriptions, copied from the monuments, and translated into English by Mr. Petrie and Mr. Bruce : “ The prefect of the first ala (wing) of the Asteres at Condercum” (Bennell). “ The prefect of the Savinian ala at Hunnum” (Holton-Chester). " The tribune of the fourth cohort of the
Gauls at Vindolana” (Chester-holm). “The tribune of the third cohort of the Nervii at Alionis” (Ambleside).
66 The tribune of the sixth cohort of the Servii at Virosidum” (Elenborough). “The tribune of the first cohort of the Spaniards at Accelodunum” (Brough). “ The tribune of the second cobort of the Dalmatians at Magna in Northumbria” (Carvorran). 66 The tribune of the cohort of the Cornovii at Pons
(Newcastle). Nor were all these different people merely sojourners in the island. Whatever land each got they retained, and their posterity after them, from generation to generation. This is proved by their temples, altars, and deities. If there were no inscriptions to point out the different nationalities, these religious vestiges would be sufficient to do so by themselves, since they correspond in almost every instance with the accounts we read in history of the religion of the people near whose towns they are found. Thus, those found near the towns said to have been built by Gallic cohorts, are Celtic; those found near the towns said to have been built by Gothic cohorts, are Gothic, &c. An inscription at York informs us, that a legate of the Sixth Legion built in Eburicum a temple dedicated to Serapis. The Phænician deity Betatucadrus is found in Cumberland also at Westmoreland.
Neither are inscriptions, temples, altars, and sepulchral monuments the only evidences we have of these different nationalities. Specimens of manufacture, styles of architecture, and agricultural and mining implements are found, which combine to establish the same facts. Not more than three years ago, Mr. Ecroyd Smith found beautiful tesselated pavements in Yorkshire, inscribed with the names of several of the officers of the Sixth Legion. What would seem still more improbable to the skeptical, or to those who think that Britain had been little better than a wilderness before the arrival of the Saxons, Mr. Roach Smith, to whose valuable researches we have already referred, has found traces of the Roman woollen manufacture in London. As for Phænician bricks, they are to be found in all parts of the island. Mr. Bruce tells us, in his account of the Roman wall, that “ in the station of Corchester, portions of lead pipe have been found. It is an inch and a half in diameter, and has been formed by bending round a flat strip of the metal, and soldering the joint.” We have it on the same authority, that iron has been produced at the same period in large quantities. That coal was
extensively used in England, during the Roman period, is now beyond question. “In several places,” says Mr. Bruce, “ the source from which the mineral was procured can be pointed out; but the most extensive workings that I have heard of are in the neighborhood of Gridon Lough, near Sevingshields. Not long ago, a shaft was sunk, with the view of procuring the coal, which was supposed to be below the surface; the projector soon found that, though coal had been there, it was all removed. The ancient workings stretched beneath the bed of the lake."
All this may seem irrelevant to our subject; but it is not. We desire to make it clear, to the most thoughtless, that were it even true that the ancient Britons were treated by the Romans as they are said to have been treated by the Saxons —that is, driven into the recesses of the forest-of which there is no evidence, it would still be impossible that their language could have been entirely lost. In other words, we find that the most enlightened people of their time carried on all the processes of industry then known for nearly five hundred years, among a Celtic population acknowledged to be numerous, frequently introducing from the continent large additions of Gauls, Iberians and Celtiberians, together with people belonging to various other nationalities, as we have already seen. Is it consistent with common sense to believe, that the effect of all this on the language and people of Britain could be so completely neutralized by the conquest of the island by the Saxons and Angles, as that the present English people and their language could be as purely AngloSaxon as those assert who pretend to pass judgment on scores of dialects of whose very alphabets they are ignorant ?*
• The absurdity of the theory of Latham, Harrison, Marsh, and other would-be ethnologists like them, will be still more apparent, if it be borne in mind, that no language is more tenacious of its original forms than the Celtic. “In this state of the question,” says Prichard, “it is fortunate that there is one idiom in which the personal pronouns, as well as the verbal suffixes, have been preserved in a form apparently much less altered from their original one, than in any of the more celebrated and classical dialects, in which philologists have in general sought the means of elucidating the structure of language. I allude to the Celtic dialects, and particularly to that still spoken by the Welsh people, but which is found in a much more perfect state in the productions of British writers coeval with, or even of greater antiquity than, the oldest compositions of the Anglo-Saxons. The preservation of the pronouns in the Welsh language, during so long a period of time, has, perhaps, resulted from the circumstance, that in that idiom they are undeclinable words, whereas in most of the European dialects they are susceptible, as we have seen, of copious inflection and variety of endings. The terminations of words in general are but little capable of change in the Celtic idioms, as indeed are those idioms themselves,