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It is no doubt in consequence of this particular origin of his countrymen, that Mr O'Brien assures us the Egyptian name, Osiris, ought to be written, in the proper Milesian manner, O'Siris-like O'Gorman Mahon or O'Brien.
By Shaw, Jones, and other African travellers, we have been furnished with vocabularies of the language spoken by the people of Mount Atlas; and the close resemblance which not only their language, but also some of their national customs, bear to those of the people of Ireland, are remarked strongly by Jones. Their manner particularly of crying out the Ulalu,—or, as they read it, Wiley, wiley, wogh, wogh,' over the dead,—and their exclamations, Why did you die?' are described by this traveller as strikingly Irish.* Whatever grounds there may be for these representations, we ourselves once heard a Moorish gentleman, who has been many years resident in England, relate a circumstance so curiously coincident with the accounts of these travellers, that we feel ourselves tempted to repeat it briefly here. Being, for a short time, on a visit to Ireland, and happening to stop one day at the post-office of a small country town, to enquire for letters, he heard with surprise a language sounding in his ears, whose tones for a moment made him believe himself in his own country. It was the conversation, in Irish, of some poor people who had thronged to look at him, and resembled remarkably, he said, the language of the Brerebbers, or African mountaineers; -a language which, by some writers, is said to be a corruption of the ancient Punic or Numidian.
A version which we have heard of this anecdote represents our Moorish friend as saying, that he understood these people, and could converse with them ;-but our memory does not authorize us in venturing so far. Here, however, is a scent for Mr O'Brien, by following which all Mauritania may be transported to Connaught, or vice versa, just as it may suit his purpose. we are to believe Jones, these original Irish of Mount Atlas are already all dressed for the occasion; as they wear, it seems, exactly the same sort of kilt, or philabeg, which used to be worn by the ancient Hibernians, and which we of Scotland have inherited from them.+ Already the site of Carthage is signalized,
* Shilhensis populus eundem quem Arabes, Judæi, et Hiberni habent ritum mortem amicorum deplorandi, vociferando Wiley! wiley! wogh! wogh! &c. terram in ordine pulsantes, sculpentes vultum et evellentes crines suos, dicendo woe! woe! cur mortuus es? woe! woe!'-JONES, Dissertatio de lingua Shillensi.
Habitus eorum similis est Hibernico, involvunt enim sese lodicibus, vel lickseeas duabus ulnis largis et 3 vel 4 longis: mulieres Hibernicarum more liberos humeris circumferunt.—Ib.
not only by the Irish gentleman, from that city, who figures in Plautus, but by those good cakes, spotted over with the seeds of poppy, coriander, and saffron, which are, to this day, known in Dublin by the Oriental name of Baran breac.* Under the aus
pices of Mr O'Brien, the empire of the Nemedi, or Numidians, may be restored; and who knows but he may even resuscitate that famed Mauritanian Republic,' by a pretended Proclamation from which poor Sir Robert Wilson was once so well hoaxed in his early, fraternizing days?
Having said so much of Mr O'Brien, we feel that we are bound to let him speak a little for himself; and shall, therefore, through the remainder of this article, treat the reader to our author's ipsissima verba. Perceiving how extensive is his acquaintance with all the Eastern dialects, we were, for some time, doubtful as to which of them his own style principally follows;-but the information which he himself affords, on this point, relieves us from our uncertainty. After some remarks on the use of the initial letter E, in the Persico-Hibernian language, he proceeds thus :
The prefixing of this letter, in both instances of its occurrence, whether we regard the Eastern or Western hemisphere, [i. e. Persia or Ireland,] was neither the result of chance, nor intended as an operative in the import of the term. It was a mere dialectal distinction, appertaining to the court language of the dynasty of the times, and, what is astoundingly miraculous, retains the same appellation, with literal precision, unimpaired, unadulterated, in both countries, up to the moment in which I write.
· Palavhi is the appellation of this courtly dialect in Persia, and Palahver is the epithet assigned to it in Ireland; and such is the softness and mellifluence of its enchanting tones, and its energy also, that to soothe care, to excite sensibility, or to stimulate heroism, it may properly be designated as "the language of the Gods."-P. 121.
The specimens of the Palahver, or Court language, which we are about to exhibit, must be considered, we presume, as of the most refined kind; though we confess our own learned researches would have suggested to us the Phoenician term, Phudge, as the most fitting and appropriate for them. Speaking of the various types and epithets under which woman and her attributes have been described in all the various mythologies of antiquity, he says,
Of all those various epithets, however vitiated by time, or injured by accommodation to different climates and languages, the import,-intact and undamaged, is still preserved in the primitive Irish tongue,† and
* Ledwick, Letter to Governor Pownal.
+ The Italics throughout are all Mr O'Brien's own.
in that alone; and with that fertility of conception whereby it engendered all myths, and kept the human intellect suspended by its verbal phantasmagoria, we shall find the drift and the design, the type and the thing typified, united in the ligature of one appellative chord, which, to the enlightened and the few, presented a chastened, yet sublime and microscopic, moral delineation; but, to the profane and the many, was an impenetrable night, producing submission the most slavish, and mental prostration the most abject; or, wherever a ray of the equivoque did happen to reach their eyes-perverted, with that propensity which we all have to the depraved, into the most reckless indulgence, and the most profligate licentiousness.-P. 212.
The names given to Goddesses, he tells us, are to be taken in a double meaning, as referring equally to love and astronomy: thus,
From Astarte (Acrapan), the Greeks formed Aster (Acrp), a star, thereby retaining but one branch of this duplicity. The Irish deduced from it the well-known endearment, Astore; and I believe I do not exaggerate, when I affirm, that in the whole circuit of dialectal enunciations, there exists not another sound, calculated to convey to a native of this country so many commingling ideas of tender pathos, and of exalted adventure, as this syllabic representation of the lunar deity.'-P. 213.
In exposing some error of his great precursor, Vallancey, he thus eloquently characterises him:
This is but an item in that great ocean of incertitude in which that enterprising etymologist had, unfortunately, been swallowed up. Having perceived, by the perusal of the manuscripts of our country, that there must have been a time when it basked in the sunshine of literary superiority; yet unable tangibly to grapple with it, having no clue into the origin of its sacred repute, or the collateral particulars of its date, nature, or supporters, he was tossed about by the ferment of a parturient imagination, without the saving ballast of a discriminating faculty.'-P. 254.
After amassing proofs of his theory from mythology and etymology, our author next draws, for the same purpose, upon theology; and having proved, to his own satisfaction, that all the knowledge derived by Moses from the Egyptians, respecting the Creation, the Deluge, and the Fall, was learned by the latter from the Pish-de-danaan ancestors of the Irish, he comes to the conclusion, that the Jewish legislator, though talented, and ' otherwise highly favoured,' was wholly ignorant of the real meaning of what the Egyptians had taught him; and this ignorance he conceives (if we rightly understand the following paragraph) to have arisen solely from the unlucky circumstance of Moses never having learned Irish :
But though it is undeniable, from their symbols, that the Egyptians must have been well apprized of the constitution of those rites, yet am I
as satisfied as I am of my physical motion, that the folding of that web, in which they were so mystically doubled, was lost to their grasp in the labyrinths of antiquity.
Moses, therefore, could not have learned from the Egyptians more than the Egyptians themselves had known. He related the allegory as he had received it from them; and it is, doubtless, to his ignorance of its ambiguous interpretation, accessible only through that language in which it was originally involved, that we are indebted for a transmission, so essentially Irish.'-P. 281.
Another source of theological error, which he traces equally to a want of knowledge of the Irish, is the false interpretation given, as he thinks, to the opening verses of the Gospel of St John, and more particularly to the word Logos, the true meaning of which is to be sought, not in Greek, but in Irish
Having asserted that the preliminary part was inalienably Irish, I now undertake to prove a radical misconception, nay, a derogation from the majesty of the Messiah, to have crept into the text, in consequence of its having been translated by persons unacquainted with that language! The term logos, which you render word, means to an iota the spiritual flame-log, or logh, being the original denomination. The Greeks, who have borrowed all their religion from the Irish, adopted this also from their vocabulary; but its form not being suited to the genius of their language, they fashioned it thereto by adding the termination os, as loghos.-P. 484.
There is still much more of this rich and rare matter,-every page, indeed, would afford specimens of it; nor is there any lack, as we have seen, of that sort of Irish eloquence, which, like the old Appian Way, holds on its course for some time prosperously, and then loses itself in a bog. We have also a good deal of the sort of etymology described in the following French epigram :— Alfana vient d'equus sans doute; Mais il faut avouer aussi, Qu'en venant delà jusqu'ici,
Il a bien changé sur sa route.'
But, however our own foiblesse for such speculations might tempt us to select a few more samples, we suspect that, by this time, our readers have had quite enough of them.
It can hardly be necessary, we trust, to say, that to no deficiency whatever of reverence for the high and authentic claims of Ireland to antiquity, nor to any want of deep interest in her history, is the light tone we may seem to have indulged, in the ceding remarks, to be attributed. If some, more ardent than judicious, among her champions, have erred through excess of zeal, and brought ridicule on a good cause by the extravagance of their advocacy, there are some, on the other hand, who have succeeded in shedding over her past times and records that steady light,
which alone distinguishes the bounds of truth from those of fiction. By the work of the late venerable librarian of Stowe, the authenticity of the Irish Chronicles is placed beyond dispute; and the Essay of Mr Dalton on the religion, learning, arts, and government of Ireland, abounds with research on these several subjects, alike creditable to his industry and his judgment. Let us hope that the same service which these and other sensible Irishmen have achieved for their country's ancient history, will be effected also for the modern, by the work which is now expected from Mr Moore.
ART. VIII. On the Connexion of the Physical Sciences. By MRS SOMERVILLE. 12mo. London: 1834.
E have already had an opportunity of making our readers acquainted with Mrs Somerville's valuable work on the 'Mechanism of the Heavens.' As the contents of that volume were of too abstruse a character to be accessible to any but mathematical readers, the author prefixed to it a preliminary dissertation, containing a general and popular view of the subject which she proposed to investigate, and a rapid sketch of the Physical Sciences which have the closest alliance with Astronomy. The interest which this work excited in the scientific world, created a desire on the part of its less gifted readers to possess a still more popular and enlarged view of the subjects of which it treats; and Mrs Somerville was naturally anxious to gratify a wish, which, in reference to the diffusion of popular science, had also, we believe, been expressed by the same distinguished individual who had suggested the composition of the original work. The author has therefore recast this preliminary dissertation; and by introducing the subjects of Meteorology, Electricity, Galvanism, and Magnetism, she has produced the present work On the Connexion of the Physical Sciences.' The volume is dedicated to the Queen in the following lines, which indicate the simplicity and modesty of character that distinguish the accomplished author: If I have succeeded in my endeavour to make the laws by which the material world is governed more familiar to my countrywomen, I shall have the gratifica'tion of thinking that the gracious permission to dedicate my 'book to your Majesty has not been misplaced.'
While Mrs Somerville thus assigns to herself the task of making the laws of the material world more familiar to her country