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of the Arabian tribes : borrowing yet repu. meric poems might carefully preserve them;
diating the Magian lore, and rivalling yet and this either in writing, or by the practice
courting the Chrisian by a patchwork from we pointed out in a recent No. (XXXIX. p.
his creed: all this mass of vague and mon. 141,) as prevalent among the Arabs, and
strous shaplessness the Mahommedan is which at once establishes the practicability,
bound to admire and to imitate. It is the by the practice, of oral preservation.
canon alike of his creed and his taste; and We affirm, in full confidence of every
departure from either is a sin against both. proof and defiance of opposite and unground-
Crude and debased therefore in its theology, ed assertion, that there is not a Mythos but
the Koran vitiates while the Old Testament involves history, not a cloud interposed by
elevates ; from that the followers of Mahom- poetic Beauty but shrouds and preserves
med refer the highest emanations to mere some favoured child of the skies. If reality

It is strange to see a creed appa- were not the source of Mythos, what is either,
rently resembling our own, (one Christian or both? what is the former? what was the.
divine at least has considered it a kindred last? Invention is not creation of the un.
revelation ;) yet debasing religion by sheer known, but combination of the results of facts
absurdities, and, farther, turning it into a and actuality; occurring possibly at distance
bauble plaything for illustrating the sports of of time or of place; extrinsic perhaps, but
fancy and similitudes of beauty ; shocking not the less Experiences, Truth, enlarged
the best and holiest feelings, the noblest as by fancy, remoteness, and fear.
well as the commonest taste, breaking up

the We appear 10 have digressed, but this is sealed wells of devotional solitude, and leav- only in seeming; for our argument affects ing its waters as a muddy pool, trampled by the very point, where prepossession becomes every beast of the passing caravan. prejudice--an error entailing all the disad.

It is this style that in a great measure forms vantages of ignorance; beginning in this the difference between Hindustanee and Hin- alone, and fixing us hopelessly there. Are duee Poetry; the former bringing an ample we then on the faith of an unproved and unportion of Mahommedan vitiation into the provable assertion to determine that legends purity of the native taste, which more than are not records, and that the earliest vehicles any in Asia assimilates the Hinduee to the of History necessarily turn it into Fable. English, in simplicity though not in energy. The Englishman, whose connections, some The Hinduee infuses into the Sanscrit or sa- in every society, are in the East; who values cred tongue much of this same simplicity, or himself on his variety of encyclopediac native taste; but the great poems in the latter knowledge; who runs to even every new language develope the system of Brahmin- folly, and every passing quack that promises ism, a figuratively historical form; we recog. him an extension of science into impossibili. nize reality under the veil of fiction ; a poet's ty; yet turns from the history of those coun. genius moulding the actually past into fable. tries that cradled his carly race, that involve

The Hinduee and Sanscrit are also exclu. the interests of those he holds dear, and that ded beyond a few words for the sake of de. fill the teeming wornb of immediate futurity finition from the present survey; but we take with changes, perhaps dangers, that he predi. this occasion, nevertheless, to disclaim the cates as threatening his nation. silly sophism of a high but worthless authori A little labour might unravel the clue; but ty, that the lays of nations are not their le- who shall attempt while there are none to gends : that their mythos is not their history; encourage? We seek to buy knowledge ; and that therefore it is hopeless to examine we pant for novelty at any price; we look for facts the only documents that are left us, for it in the clouds of air, or of a prognosti. the only ones also that our earliest ancestry cator's bemuddled brain, but we will not re. could possess or could leave us.

ceive it fron that quarter of eartlı whence We know not why Herder also should alone it can come, even after vainly searchhave imagined that Homer cast away the ing everywhere else, and resigning from ancient mythology in order to write history. these all hope of the issues of History. Is So far from casting away, he preserved that this indifference a superiority of wisdom, or mythology; but the art of writing had en. of ignorance? Is it apathy, even to shame? tirely changed the system of history. If Where is the Shah-Nameh? It sleeps for Cadmus carried some letters into Greece, or us in its native tongue, though purified by even the alphabet, in the time of Moses; if the long labours of Macan, unnoticed even Palamedes added (evidently Eastern) char- in his distant grave. There are numbers acters to this at the siege of Troy, the one or who could translate that early History of more narrators of that siege might have Persia, sole relic and record of the cradle of known them, or at any rate the immediate earliest man. Where are the Mahabharata followers, reciters, and admirers of the Ho.land Ramayuna, traditions of Ceylon and

« his

Hindostan, the fountain of science, the mira-stration from our hands. We are bound cle of language? We know not even the however to give some account of his book, names of Ferdousi, Jyavansa, and Vyasa. and are satisfied that there is not a reader The labours of our own Asiatic Society are who will consider him obnoxious to any the known everywhere, but at home; their funds, slightest of the foregoing remarks. With to the national disgrace, always inadequate, that modesty which is the very mark of may be suffered 10 fail, unless they take to real but unconscious merit we find him meteorology and predict sunshine for Cal- dedicating his present labour to the two men cutta, or bring thence more sagaciously a best qualified to appreciate it, De Sacy, and novel store of moonshine for London itself.

our countryman J. Shakspeare, the learned The Inscriptions of Persepolis are read and able compiler of the Hindustanee Dicand commentated by foreigners, while our tionary; the latter of whom, in graceful antiquarian enlightenment is still wondering acknowledgment, he addresses as whether those marks are accidental ! Bur- master.” nouf is unheard of; De Tassy unknown or The merits of the editing, fortunately, do unappreciated; and even Silvestre de Sacy, not come in the way of a popular journal ; the revered of Europe, the learned, and the nor indeed is there anything to remark on loved, dies in the fulness of honours and this head beyond its accuracy and the felicity years, with scarcely the passing notice of an of research and illustration to be expected English newspaper obituary. We do not from this various, eminent, and accomplished ask with the Arab, “ Is a light extinguished scholar. from the skies ?"_but we feel that the loss From the causes already assigned, namely, relieves our ignorance, which would other the defecis of Mosleman taste, we cannot wise have ostracised him in weariness of his offer much in the way of extract to the praise, or black-balled him, as unknown in reader: and M. de Tassy's own sound and the clubs.

candid judgment has prevented him from It must be owned however on the other attempting to render those passages—unfor. hand that those who have endeavoured to tunately too numerous in this class of writers render Orientalism more popular in Britain, -of petty conceits and play upon words ; have too often demanded from a cultivated the easy substitute for thought and genius. taste and a manly vigour of judgment the The biography of Eastern poets is gener. blind and indiscriminating admiration they ally scanty, and always dencient in material themselves paid to the idol they chose to dates and facts: for in countries destitute of worship. The more obscure à MS. the fixed institutions and patient training of the higher, they deemed, must necessarily be its general mind, indolence asks nothing beyond value; in the very ratio of its probable worth the power of imagination to bestow. "The lessness. If a poem was translated, its de. little that can be given of his biography we fects were gratuitously enlarged, its combi- offer to the reader. nations dislocated, its epithets turned into Schah Wali Ullah, the father of Hinduswhole phrases. Instead of comparing the tanee poetry, was a native of Guzrat, and genius of the two languages, the most awk- probably of Surat, if we may judge from a ward form was selected of what was cour. poem he has left in its praise, exalting it teously termed literal version; the original above all the cities of the world, and remindprolixity became interminable; and the ing us, though unfavorably, of the beautiful translator received all praise for his resolu. ode to Shiraz by Hafiz, to whom M. de Tas. tion in finishing to write what no one else sy compares him. This -we presume is not would even begin to read. Thus passages as a rival, which would certainly be above which, properly rendered, have been found his deserts, but as a mysticist, and also as absolute parallels to some in Shakspeare,* excelling, like the great Persian, all his counwere rendered utterly impracticable; thoughts trymen, wlio grant him the palm of supewhich he has used took the seinblance of riority ; and which with usual oriental exagmonstrosity; and language he would appear geration he frankly claims for himself, even (but for the impossibility) to have translated, over the nightingale," the Prince of Harhave been marked with the scorn of no vul. mony." He wrote about the middle of the gar judges in English.†

17th century, and in various parts of India, We have dwelt the more freely upon these as Delhi, Bengal, and the Deccan, the pecupreliminary considerations because the name liar dialect of which last kingdom occurs of M. Garcin de Tassy is too honourably frequently in his Odes. He seems to have known among scholars to require any illus. praised equally the Sunnites and the Shias,

ihe two great sects of the Mahommedans; the * See Literary Gazette, September, 1833.

former of whom, as the Turks, abominate 1 Gibbon's Rome, vol. ix.

Ali; and the latter, as the Persians, hold him

in reverence as a prophet. This impartiali- | to offer our readers a fuller, and therefore ty was, we suspect, probably the result of more gratifying view of his labours, in the mysticism and its tolerant indifference rather enlarged work, we trust speedily to appear, than subserviency to circumstances; since on the Hindustanee poets. A work impor. M. de Tassy remarks that he never men- tant to more than one professed teacher of tions or lauds any sovereign, in which re- the Hindustanee language in England, who spect he differs from his most celebrated suc. have not hesitated to affirm the non-existence cessors, Meer, Hassan, and Sauda, who load of any original compositions in a language with praise the princess under whom they absolutely abounding in poets ! wrote.

Our extracts, from our limits, must neces. The Odes (ghuzals) of Wali are not nu. sarily be short: but it will be seen, unless merous : his style is concise for an Orien- spoiled by our labours, that, with all the tal poet, and always easy and elegant. He drawbacks we have mentioned, the bard semay indeed be considered, says his able edi. lected by M. de Tassy is far from destitute tor and translator, a model of eloquence 10 of grace. his countrymen,

" What crowds, by love selected, stray We have already stated that criticism on Lost in thy tresses darkening path! the execution of the work before us would That glance, where soft allurements play, be as superfluous as thankless ; but admit Those eyes, oppress my heart with scathe. ting this merit of execution, we must not let the high and deserved celebrity of M. Gar.

“ The lover's hand may seal his doom; cin de Tassy mislead us as to the value of

Yes—in thine eyes I read my fate :

The beams of Heaven thy face illume; the class of writers he has chosen to intro

Th' Eternal, lights thy Beauty's state !" duce to Europe. The extravagance and erring taste of more Western Asia, ingrafted

We have here attempted to illustrate an on the simpler strains of Hindustan, have opinion given in a preceding page, of the ne. had, in our opinion, the simple effect of neu. cessity for modifying Orientalisms utterly tralizing both the beauties and defects of the unsuited in their literal sense for European two styles. The calm, pure, and intense comprehension, by equivalents familiar to simplicity of the earlier Indian poets, even

ourselves. The poet in the fourth line calls where encunibered with the monstrous and

his charmer's eyes the defenders, or guar. revolting, extravagances of Brahminism, dians, of the glance that has subjected his breathes that hushed and inoveless stillness

heart :-thus making them accomplices; and which, like the glassy surface of a lake or

in a phrase far more extravagant to us than the deep repose of infancy, steals through second instance the lover declares he sees

it would be considered in the east. In the the outward sense and pervades the heart, with a quietude more perfect and dear than his doom in the Mufti of her eyes. The even when the spirit lies mute and involved, Mufti is the reader of the Mosque, and, acburthened with beatitude in the very depths holds the reader of his sentence of death.

ting in his well-known capacity, the lover be: of Greece so often sought to represent in its In Europe the admirers of beauty are said deities, is, as we have said, the peculiar altri-- to read her eyes themselves : though what þute of original Hindustan. Turned to the is written there we do not pretend to deci. purposes of factitious illustration, this power,

pher.

There is something more than pretty ism purely internal, sinks in the task ; and the bolder metaphor of the west is thus robbed

in the following sentence. of the daring that constitutes its principal

"If I could enjoy the sight of thee I could charm, and which was sustained by the ner.

compass eternity.' vous strength of the Arabic, by Turkish This is perhaps easier conceived than exstateliness, or the dreamy charm of the Per- plained, unless we take refuge in the doc. sian. The mysticism of the Arab is sensual. trine of a German philosopher, ly ardent, of the Turk elaborate, of the Per. "Infinite space requires infinite time to sian imaginative, while that of the Hindu is comprehend it.” essentially contemplative. The mixture of He that could receive in his scuse all the this with either of the former is therefore Ineffable of beauty might have power to an antagonism; a vain attempt to amalga- conceive also the Illimitable of endless du. mate the positive with the negative, conse

ration. quently injurious to both.

This attempt however at the sublime very In the very small space we can bestow generally stops at the ridiculous. upon any thing in the shape of illustration " The infidels of Europe have been steeped at present, we shall devote the less to M. de in infidelity by the sight of the locks of ihy Tassy because we trust shortly to be enabled | hair."

We doubt whether the cause is quite suf-| known that we can scarcely venture to de. ficient for this grievous catastrophe : but it termine upon a single point of its earlier hisis in these extravagances that the admirers tory ; and the absence of all dates has been of Eastern poets, endowed with the faculty a source of incessant confusion and distrust. of the divining rod, discover a well of mys. Nevertheless we assume that statements tical feeling where there is not the smallest should not be neglected solely on account of appearance fairly above ground, to warrant the difficulties they present ; since a concurthe conclusion.

rence of facts in one place may often tally The really mystic portions of the great with a date or an ascertained point of histoEastern poets display, we think, a purer and ry in another, and the collation of the two nobler simplicity than that, for instance, thus afford many an opportunity for filling which the most renowned of this class of

up
the

gaps of our present defective infor. commentators, the Turkish Sudi, in general mation in all that regards the East. insists upon attributing to Hafiz. We would It is clear that the absence of dates depoint, in addition, to the singularly beautiful notes a rude age, and the mere infancy of poem entitled (le Réveil) the Waking, and history ; but though thus vague and insuffi. which we shall not do our readers the injus. cient, the very defects are the evidence of a tice to offer in any but M. De Tassy's own peculiar value, namely, that of the earliest words—and for all else refer them to his de antiquity in writing. The traditions then of lightful volumes.

the first ages are rendered tangible, if we "Ne perds pas ton temps dans l'insouciance; do not choose to reject them on the single sois vigilant. Jusqu'à quand resteras-tu dans ground of their failing to evince the exact. le sommeil ? réveille-toi, réveille-toi. Si tu ness which is a want of later times only, as le dessein de voir la face de cette invisible For the cotemporaries of events in the ear. et spirituelle beauté, laisse, avec dégoût, oui, liest ages of the world could not be supposed lalsse avec dégoût les adorateurs de la beauté to contemplate the curiosity of long subsematérielle. Imprime d'abord sur ton front l'empreinte de la blessure de l'amour, et puis quent posterity. tu pourras te mettre à la tête, oui, à la tête We distinctly avow our opinion that in de ceux que l'amour a jetés dans le chagrin, Ceylon will be found the relics of much that Cet étre resplendissant d'éclat parait comme we desire to know of the past, not merely as l'aurore sur l'horizon du monde. O mes yeux, regards that island itself, but also various il n'est pas temps de dormir ; réveillez-vous. countries of the East. We hail, therefore, Walî répète jour et nuit cet hémistiche :: Ne the promise held out by the intended translaperdons pas inutilement le temps; veillons, tion of the Mahawanso, as one of the most veillons.'"-p. 37. Having spoken of Hindu poetry, we can race; and Mr. Turnour has judged wisely

important documents of the early human not do better than illustrate its simplicity by in obtaining the assistance of a native in the following beautiful extract from the laie

rendering from so difficult a tongue as the Colonel Broughton's specimens-premising Pali. that the lotus is the symbol of beauty, and

The attempt was made before, but most that a mirror is a customary ornament of

inefficiently, in England : yet under circumwoman in many parts of Hindustan.

De.

stances that might have procured more in scribing a lover holding a silent conference dulgence for Mr. Upham, who at least led with his mistress,

the way, sensible as he was of its impor“ He with submissive reverence due tance; but who, from his assumption of

A lotus to his forehead pressed : Eastern studies only late in life, was incapa-
She raised her mirror to his view
Then turned the image to her breast." ble of executing it with advantage. We re-

gret that a tone of blame against this certain. If this is not the elegance of simplicity it ly superficial labourer pervades Mr. Turhas no existence.

nour's otherwise judicious and unquestiona. bly most able introduction.

This volume is a mere Prospective Speci

men of the work itself, shortly to be brought CRITICAL NOTICES.

before the public ; and we trust on its earlist An Epitome of the History of Ceylon, com. appearance to bring it in some detail under

piled from Native Annals :and the First the reader's eye. We sincerely hope that Twenty Chapters of the Mahawanso. this forthcoming accession, not merely to our Translated by the Hon. George Turnour, literature, but to our knowledge also, will Esq. Ceylon Civil Service. Ceylon : 1836. meet with the support it so well deserves from (Not for Sale.)

the public. When we find the Ceylonese

language approaching often to that of ScanThe records of Ceylon are so imperfectly I dinavia, we confess to no ordinary portion of

curiosity as regards the history of either. the literal English, in the line addressed to The classical reader too will be surprised to the ship that bore Virgil, and entreating find parallels to his favorite pages in these

"Et serves animæ dimidium meæ." records of an unnoticed land. One fact is worth more than all we can say on this head. How indifferently is this rendered by The details given by Homer of the landing “And mayst thou preserve the half of my scul !" of Ulysses on the island of Circe, the impri The volume before us has considerable sonment of his men by, and his own rencon- merit, bụt might be much improved. tre with, that enchantress, are clearly identifiable with the adventures of a hero who reaches Lanca, or Ceylon, and in similar circumstances.

Grammatica Linguæ Armeniacæ. Auctore Is it nature that all the coincidences of

H. Petermann, Doct. Phil. et Prof. Extr. Greek and Indian history should be acciden

in Univers. Liter. Berolin. Berlin : tal? This would indeed be the credulity of

1837. scepticism.

A clear and succinct Grammar, materially simplifying the learner's progress in the dif.

ficult tongue it undertakes to teach ; and the Quinti Horatii Flacci Opera Omnia recen- value and antiquity of which has been always

sita et cum Versione Germanica edita. either over or under rated. Pars Prior, continens Carminum Libros The Armenian is neither the original and Q:inque. Lipsiæ. 1837.

primitive language which its native asserters Quintus Horalius Flaccus' Werke. affirm or it; for older forms of its words

Deutsche Eebersetzum gmit dem Urtexte and the fragments of a ruder grammar ex: zur Seite. Erster Theil, enthaltened die ist : nor is it the corruption that is pretended funf Bücher der Oden. Leipzig. 1837. by others of various modern and neighbour.

ing tongues, since it contains in its pure state THERE is no Latin poet, perhaps no poet of none of the words peculiar to these, and what antiquity, or even of modern times, so gen. it possesses in common with them is conerally quoted as Horace; and consequently stantly in a more primitive form. We exit can excite no surprise that his admirers of clude of course the term and corruptions inevery nation have been anxious to familiarize cidentally but necessarily introduced intheir countrymen with this poet of practical to it by commercial and political interlife. Horace is the very reverse of Words. worth ; not a sentiment, not a line, not a We recommend the grammar of M. Pephrase, but is strictly applicable to the active terman with perfect confidence. impulses and real business of the world in its various phases, whether of judgment, emotions, affections; affording maxims and rules of conduct either by simple dictation Versuch einer Geschichte der Armenischen of by implication.

Literatur, nach den Werkin der Mechite. Horace, like Boileau and Pope, appears to risten frei bearbeitet. Von Carl Fredehave written expressly to be quoted : desir rich Neumann. 8vo. Leipzig. 1836. (Es. ing less to live undivided in his works, than

say towards a History of Armenian Lito exist in portions in the memories of man.

terature, freely drawn up from the Works kind. Hence that terseness of style, that of the Monks of the Convent of Mechitar, curious felicity of expression ; originated by

at Venice.) By Chas. Fred. Neumann. and at the same time necessitating, purity of thought, severity of arrangement, and clear. It is now exactly one hundred years since ness of original conception. Hence too it the Messrs. Whiston published in London, is a touchstone for translators.

an edition of the Armenian History of Moses The volume before us certainly rivals of Chorene; and considering how few aids some former translations of Horace into they had in their undertaking, it is astonishGerman, and is equal to those of Passow, ing, observes the author of the present work, Preiss, and Gunther. It does not however that they were able to give so correct a text, render happily the metre of the original, to and to accompany it with such an excellent say nothing of the sense or even the harmo- translation. Since that time we are not ny—the voice of the real poet. To English aware that any publication has appeared in readers our meaning will be obvious, if they England on the subject of Armenian literaonly compare the graceful cadence of the ture, although it might have been expected Latin with the dryness and imperfection of that even in a commercial point of view the

course.

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