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nution of strength, and falling down,” are stated by Orfila as the chief symptoms*, and every one knows how closely these resemble what is felt in crowded halls.
'One of the evils of ignorance is, that we often sin and suffer the punishment, without being aware that we are sinning, and that it is in our power to avoid the suffering by avoiding the sin. generations, mankind have experienced the evil results of deficient ventilation, especially in towns, and suffered the penalty of delicate health, headachs, fevers, consumptions, cutaneous and nervous diseases ; and yet, from ignorance of the true nature and importance of the function of respiration, and of the great consumption of air in its performance, architects have gone on planning and constructing houses and edifices, without bestowing a thought on the means of supplying them with fresh air, although animal life cannot be carried on without it: and, while ingenuity and science have been taxed to the uttermost to secure a proper supply of water, the admission of pure air, though far more essential, has been left to steal in like a thief in the night, through any hole it can find open. In constructing hospitals, indeed, ventilation has been thought of, because a notion is prevalent that the sick require fresh air, and cannot recover without it; but it seems not to have been perceived, that what is indispensable for the recovery of the sick, may be not less advantageous in preserving from sickness those who are well. Were. a general knowledge of the structure of man to constitute a regular part of a liberal education, such inconsistencies as this would soon disappear, and the scientific architect would speedily devise the best means for supplying our houses with pure air, as he has already supplied them with pure water.'--p. 198.
We are acquainted with a school where the evils which the author speaks of, are obviated in a great degree by a very simple rule. The boys after being in school for about an hour are turned out to play for ten minutes, by which arrangement they are refreshed, and the school undergoes a proper ventilation.
A lamentable instance of ignorance and prejudice was lately mentioned in the newspapers, which shows that the old notions of non-ventilation in cases of illness are not yet entirely rooted out. A youth at York, an apprentice to a respectable tradesman, caught the small-pox: another tradesman of the same town undertook to cure him with doses of Morison's Vegetable Pills—the latest panacea that has imposed on the English public, whose large credulity seems to require some such bare-faced imposture once in every two or three years. The young man swallowed the pills in countless numbers : no air was admitted into his bed-room, and after a fortnight's suffering and suffocation, he was dying. When almost at his last gasp, some individual, wiser than the rest, caused the window
Toxicologie, ii, 242.
to be thrown open; but relief was then too late. When the individual who administered the pills and who had prevented any proper medical advice being given until it was too late, was called to account for his conduct, not one, but several witnesses solemnly averred that they believed the death of the unfortunate youth was neither attributable to the pills nor to the ignorance of the self-constituted physician, but solely to the opening of the window and the admission of fresh air into the room.
There are several other excellent passages in this book, particularly those which relate to the health-discipline proper to be observed in places of education, and by men of studious habits. Parents, and those who have the care of young persons, ought to know at least as much of the functions of the human body as Dr. Combe's book contains. By following his judicious advice, they may save the young of both sexes from much pain and illness, and from that complicated train of mental disorders, which sooner or later are the result of disordered animal functions.
BOPP'S COMPARATIVE GRAMMAR. Vergleichende Grammatik des Sanskrit, Zend, Griechischen,
Lateinischen, Litthauischen, Gothischen und Deutschen; von Franz Bopp. Ist Fascic. xviii. and 288 pages, small
4to. Berlin. 1833. Comparative Grammar of the Sanskrit, Zend, Greek, Latin,
Lithuanian, Gothic, and German, &c. It is characteristic of the spirit of inquiry which now prevails, that it does not stop short after having ascertained a series of facts, but endeavours to penetrate farther, and to comprehend the inherent law that determines their connexion and relative position. By the degree in which different branches of knowledge admit of this disclosure of an internal and necessary coherence, we estimate their relative intellectual value and interest. No other branch of knowledge seems more perfectly to illustrate this tendency of our age, than the natural sciences. But who could have anticipated that even the wayward play of the sounds of language widely spread over a vast extent of countries, and reaching from an age anterior to the commencement of history, down to our own days, would be thus fixed by the investigation of permanent and immutable laws? Researches directed towards the discovery or farther development of general principles in the structure of languages, cannot be thought idle and fanciful, even if they are appreciated merely by the applicability of their results, to purposes of acknowledged usefulness. Languages, ancient and modern, form at present, and ought always to form, one of the principal objects of instruction in our places of education : by their study, the minds of our youth are trained to habits of diligent and accurate observation. Is it not then an endeavour well worthy of encouragement, which promises to enliven a chaotic mass of barren and incoherent facts now encumbering the memory of the learner, by the display of a system of analogies which will give employment and food to his reasoning faculties? We are as yet, perhaps, far distant from the accomplishment of an end so desirable. But the rapid succession in which valuable publications connected with the subject are now following each other, offers every fair hope of our ultimately approaching it.
If we have expressed our belief that the universal spirit of inquiry after general principles now abroad, has prompted this deeper investigation of the structure of languages, we ought not to leave unnoticed the new impulse and aid which such inquiries have of late years received from several important additions to the matériel of linguistic study. We allude particularly to the discovery (for a discovery it may very properly be called) of the Sanskrit, a language which bears the stamp of the nearest affinity to the Greek and Latin, and which, by its remote geographical position, as well as by the antiquity and peculiar character of its literature, is raised beyond the suspicion of adulteration from abroad. The total absence of authentic sources respecting the history of India renders it, indeed, extremely difficult to determine the epoch of any of the ancient monuments of Sanskrit literature with precision : but it is more than probable that the antiquity of some of them considerably exceeds even the earliest epoch assigned to the origin of the Homeric poems. In a chronological treatise which is appended to the Rig Veda, the solstitial
points are reckoned to be at the beginning of the constellation Dhanishtha (a, b, y, and 8 Delphini), and in the middle of Aslesha (a Cancri, &c.); and it is observed by Mr. Colebrooke, that such was the position of these points in the fourteenth century, before the Christian era. Part at least of the hymns in honour of the several Hindu deities, whose festivals this treatise was destined to regulate, now embodied in the Rig Veda, must then have been already extant. The unsettled character of the language and style of these hymns, their metrical structure, and the mythological ideas prevalent in them, all appear in striking contrast with the profane literature of the Hindus, which evidently belongs to more recent ages, and in which the lanJULY--Oct., 1834.
guage is found immutably fixed, being restricted to the grammatical system still observed by learned natives in their Sanskrit compositions.
Along with the Sanskrit, we must notice the accession made to our stock of information by the Pali, the sacred language of the Buddhists of India and some adjacent islands; by the several Prakrit dialects occasionally introduced into the Sanskrit dramatic poems; and by the vernacular idioms now spoken in northern India, many of which stand in a similar relation to the Sanskrit, that the Roman languages of modern Europe do to the Latin.
Another recent acquisition from the East, of far greater importance than the latter languages, for the purposes of comparative philology, is the Zend language. The written documents in which this language has been handed down to us are few, and of limited extent as compared with the wide and diversified range of Hindu literature: nor does the student here meet with that aid and guidance from native tradition which is ready to direct his steps upon entering the domain of Sanskrit literature. Even among the Parsees, who regard the Zend as their primitive national language, the exact understanding of the ancient sacred books that are written in it, seems to be lost : the glossaries and partial paraphrases into more familiar languages which they possess, and the interpretations which they could furnish, have proved unsatisfactory, and sometimes incorrect. To become available for the purposes of comparative philology, the knowledge of the Zend must be again discovered by a careful study of the Zend writings, and a diligent control of the given interpretation by means of the cognate languages. Zend manuscripts are extremely rare in Europe, and it was therefore a most acceptable service to this branch of literature, when M. Eugène Burnouf some years ago began to publish a lithographic fac-simile edition of one of the manuscripts brought to Europe by Anquétil Duperron, the Vendidad Sade. Several accomplished oriental scholars, among whom M. Burnouf himself and M. Bopp rank foremost, have since turned their attention to the Zend, and there seems to be much reason to hope that through their united efforts the grammatical system of this remarkable language, the nearest in point of kindred, locality and age, to the Sanskrit, may soon be completely recovered, and placed connectedly before us.
But while thus dwelling upon the extension of the eastern branch of linguistic research, we ought not to leave unnoticed the ardour with which several long neglected parts of European philology have begun to be cultivated. Grimm's great work on Teutonic Grammar has been followed by critical editions of several productions of ancient German literature, which have thus first become available for the purposes of comparative analysis ; to Dobrowsky and Schaffarik a similar merit is dụe with regard to the Slavonic language; and it is with feelings of no common satisfaction, that we finally allude to the zeal with which some excellent scholars in this country are now endeavouring to promote the interests of Anglo-Saxon philology.
Our extended and improved acquaintance with the IndoGermanic languages, and their contrast to the Semitic dialects, which bear so close and striking a family-likeness to each other, has led to a distinct notion of what has often been vaguely called the affinity of languages. We call cognate those languages which, however remote the countries where they are spoken, or however different the age of the documents in which they are respectively laid before us, exhibit such traces of resemblance in their structure, as force upon us the belief that they are of common origin, being divergent branches of the same stock. It is a remark of which the history of languages offers many curious illustrations, that detached words, especially names of natural productions and commodities, terms connected with certain offices and political institutions, &c., are frequently handed over like coin from one nation to another, and thus become the common property of languages utterly distinct from each other. The coincidence in sound and import of a number of isolated words in different languages, ought not therefore to be made the sole criterion of their affinity. There are other characteristics, more intimately connected with the intellectual constitution of the nation by which a language is spoken: we mean its system of grammatical inflexions, those modifications in the form of words which convey an idea, not of things or acts, but of the relations of both. The names of things may always be considered as reflected images of the objects which they represent, and are, like these, liable to change from external causes; their grammatical forms seem to partake of the independent and enduring character of those intellectual powers the presence and action of which they manifest.
Twelve centuries of Mohammedan dominion have deluged the language of Persia with numberless Arabian words and phrases, but have not so far crushed its genius as to make it submit to one single mode of Semitic inflection.
To a comparative investigation of the principal Indo-Germanic languages, Professor Bopp has devoted the work of which we have given the title at the head of this article. Its plan we cannot better explain than by using his own words.