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titude of varieties, according to situation, subsistence, climate, employment, and education. And yet when a number of animals were found, and, among others, those remarkable ones, the Lama, the Alpaca, and the Guanaco, peculiar to the lofty region of the Andes, and unknown to the rest of the world, it seemed to afford the theorist some grounds for arguing, that the same power which placed these quadrupeds on the newly-discovered continent might also have planted there, originally, the American race of man, which, says our author, is characterized by the formation of the scull, the colour of the skin, the extreme thinness of the beard, and straight and glossy hair. But, admitting that these were specific differences, which they are not, such an argument might very easily be overthrown. How do we know that these animals proceed not from the remaining few of those which escaped one of those great catastrophes which has so evidently befallen the earth, by taking refuge on those elevated regions, while the Gnoo, the Hippopotamus, and the Camelopardalis found security on the opposite continent of Africa ? At any rate, the opinion that the geological constitution of America is different from that of the old world, has completely been refuted.
• We discern in the former the same succession of stony strata that we find in our own hemisphere ; and it is probable that in the mountains of Peru, the granites, the micaceous schists, or the different formations of gypsum and gritstone existed originally at the same periods as the rocks of the same denominations in the Alps of Switzerland. The whole globe appears to have undergone the same catastrophe. At a height superior to that of Mount Blanc, on the summit of the Andes, we find petrified sea-shells ; fossil bones of elephants are spread over the equinoctial regions; and what is very remarkable, they are not discovered at the feet of the palm tree in the burning plains of the Orinoco, but on the coldest and most elevated regions of the Cordilleras In the new world as well as in the old, generations of species long extinct have preceded those which now people the earth, the waters, and the air.-(Introduction, p. 12.)
We cannot discover from what particular Asiatic stock M. de Humboldt supposes the American race to have derived their origine He finds in the Toltecks, the Aztecks, the Muyscas, and the Perų. vians, so many resemblances and analogies to every nation of Asia, and to every tribe, from the Caucasus to the Tschoudes, and from the borders of Scandinavia to Japan, and occasionally to some of the nations of Europe and Africa,--that, unless China or Thibet preponderate, we are unable to say how he has settled the point in his own mind. From etymological researches, he derives but little aid; although in his introduction to the Personal Narrative' he prepares us for much learned discussion on the character of languages, which are the most durable monuments of nations.
In eighty-three American languages examined by Messrs. Barton and Vater, one hundred and seventy words only were found whose roots could be considered as common to both continents; and of these, three-fifths resembles the Mantchou, the Tongouse, the Mongol, and the Samoyede; and two-fifths, the Celtic and Tschoud, the Biscayen, the Coptic, and the Congo languages. One hundred and two words, however, common to Asia and America, were not to be rejected by a comparative etymologist. The terms,” says M. de Humboldt, of mox, igh, tox, baz, hix, and chic, do not seem to belong to America, but to that part of Eastern Asia which is inhabited by nations whose language are monosyllabic. He adds,
we shall on this occasion observe that the Chinese termination tsin is found in a great number of Mexican proper names; for instance, in Tonantsin, Acamapitsin, Coanacoisin, Cuitlahuatsin, and Tzilacatsin.'-(ii. p. 223.)-We are surprised, we own, that while on this subject we escaped a long and detailed comparison between the sesquipedalian compounds of the Sanscrit and such Azteck words as Tlacahuepaneuexcotzin, Tetlayhiouiltiliztli, and Amatlacuilolitquitcátlaxtlahuilli
. But the fact is, that M. de Hum. boldt is not much of an etymologist, and we think not the worse of him on that account. As to his monosyllabic derivatives, we should just as soon expect to be told that old Lilly's monosyllabic. hexameters—his gryps, Thrax, rex, grex, Phryx, &c.--were stolen from a Jesuit's Chinese dictionary, as to find M. de Humboldt's mox, tox, hix, or chic, among the dialects of any of the IndoChinese nations. We will not suspect that he can be ignorant of the powers of the letters of the Spanish alphabet, but conclude rather that he has merely transcribed from Spanish books, and not collected from living authorities on the spot, such words as Ixtilizochitl, Tixlpitzin, Qzocuilltexeque, and a hundred of the same kind, in all of which the Spanish x, whose power is so different from the same letter in French, is religiously preserved. We remember a Portuguese x to have drawn a very learned etymologist into a ridiculous blunder: he had proved, to his own satisfaction, that the Latin word eximius was derived from the Chinese root aim; not once suspecting that the power of x, in the Portuguese alphabet, is, in ours, equivalent to sh, and that of m to ng; so that, according to his theory, the Romans must have pronounced their derivative eshingius. We have always considered as extremely absurd, the attempt to deduce a common origin between nations from the identity of a few monosyllables, whether in sound or sense; a similar mechanism in the structure of two different lan. guages affords a far better ground for such a conclusion.
M. de Humboldt is almost as unfortunate in his · Chinese termination tsin.' The Chinese language being wholly monosyllabic, can hardly be said to have terminations; the same syllable is at once initial and final. But this little word tsin, in De Guignes? Chinese Dictionary of 14,000 characters, scarcely the third part of those in use, has no less than forty-three different significations, and probably, therefore, in the whole language, three times that number, or one hundred and twenty-nine: among other things, it means, a particular kind of horse, a species of rice, of fish, of precious stone ; it means cold, and to make warm, to cul, to sleep, &c. Whether in any, or which, of these senses it is employed in his • Cuitlahuatzin, and · Tzilacatsin,' he does not inform us. If, as he says, it be true that • languages are the most durable monuments of nations, still we think he has done right in deserting this fruitful field of speculation ; though the ground which he has taken is, in our opinion, ten times more tender and treacherous than that which he has abandoned. "If,' says he, languages supply but feeble evidence of ancient communication between the two worlds, this communication is fully proved by the cosmogonies, the monuments, the hieroglyphics, and institutions of the people of America and Asia. We shall state some of the proofs pro- ; duced by M. de Humboldt, leaving our readers to form their own judgment as to their validity ;-but first it should be observed, that all which regards the history, cosmogony, institutions, &c. of this people, is, to say the least of it, very problematical, being drawn solely from those rude Mexican paintings, which may be made to represent whatever the interpreter pleases,--and copied by M. de Humboldt from the writings of the early Spaniards, Acosta, Gomara, Torquemada, Garcilasso de la Vega, and others;—but particularly from that fanciful and credulous system-monger, the Abbé Clavigero, whose two quarto volumes,as Robertson justly observes, 6 contain hardly any addition to the ancient history of the Mexican empire as related by Acosta and Herrera, but what is derived from the improbable narratives and fanciful conjectures of Torquemada and Boturini.' This Italian Abbé and Gemelli Careri are the two principal authorities on whom M. de Humboldt ventures to erect a new and improved system of interpretation, although the latter has been strongly suspected of having exercised his ingenuity in showing how very successfully a 'voyage round the world may be performed by the fire-side. But having copied Gemelli's hieroglyphic painting, M. de Humboldt could not do less than defend the author of the Giro del Mundo' against the charge of writing a ' fictitious voyage.'
“I can affirm it,' says M. de Humboldt, to be no less certain that
Gemelli was in Mexico, at Acapulco, and the small villages of Mazatlan and of San Augustin de las Cuevas, than that Pallas has been in the Crimea, and Mr. Salt in Abyssinia. Gemelli's descriptions have that local tint which is the principal charm of the narratives of travels written by the most unlettered men; and which can be given only by those who have been ocular witnesses of what they describe.
We can say the same of Gemelli's descriptions in another quarter of the globe; and also bear testimony that his book contains an inextricable mixture of errors and well-observed facts' --such facts and such errors, however, as might have been collected out of the works of preceding travellers.
The hieroglyphical paintings which M. de Humboldt undertakes to explain over again, and improve on Clavigero's system, were not procured by him in America, but are those of the Vatican, of Veletri, of Vienna, of Dresden, of Berlin, of Paris, of Mendoza, (which are printed in Purchas's Pilgrims,) and of Gemelli; he seems to regret the want of a Codex Mexicanus,' which, as he learnt from a well-informed traveller, is shown in a library at Oxford, and is surprised that it should have remained unknown to the illustrious Scottish historian,--but Robertson knew how to appreciate those Mexican paintings; he knew that the most authentic and valuable, if any value can be attached to them, are those published by Purchas, and was therefore not likely to give himself much concern about what was inexplicable, unauthenticated, and consequently useless, if not injurious, to the truth of history; besides, we have reason to believe no such · Codex' exists at Oxford. If our readers should not feel disposed to concur in opinion with M. Pauw, when he says, 'on n'est pas certain que
le manus scrit Mexicain renferme un seul mot de ce qu'on croit y entrevoir, we would recommend them to examine and form their own esti. mate of M. de Humboldt's translation or interpretation of a lawa suit in hieroglyphical writing,' (vol. i. p. 141.) and the Epochs of Nature according to the Azteck Mythology,' (vol. ii, p. 15.) The explanation given to the latter will, we think, appear to them, as it does to us, a precious piece of mummery; and yet it is from this that M. de Humboldt lays the greatest stress on the ancient intercourse of the Old and New World.
The most prominent feature,' he says, among the analogies observed in the monuments, the manners, and traditions of the people of Asia and America, is that which the Mexican mythology exhibits in cosmogonical fiction of the periodical destructions and regenerations of the world.'
The Codex Vaticanus," which is supposed to contain this fiction, was copied, in 1566, by a Dominican monk of the name of Pedro de los Rios; and we are told that it represents the four different epochs or ages, at which the sun, and with it the human race, has been destroyed. According to this matchless record, we are now, that is to say the Mexicans are, in the fifth age, the gods having, for the fifth time, created a man and a woman. This fifth creation rather militates against the Bhagavata Pourana; but we have it, notwithstanding, elsewhere--a tradition of five ages, analogous with that of the Mexicans, being found on the elevated plains of Thibet,' Hesiod too, in his explanation of the oriental system of the renovation of nature, makes five generations in four ages, by dividing the age of brass into two parts; and M. de Humboldt observes, that we may be astonished that so clear a passage should ever have been misinterpreted.' The first sun, cycle, or age, was destroyed by famine, or giants, or tigers, it is not clear which, after a duration of 5206 years. It corresponds with the age of justice (Sakia Youga) of the Hindoos,' and we can be at no loss for a parallel case to that of the giants; as, 'according to the Pouranas, Bacchus or the young Rama then also gained his first victory over Ravana, King of the Giants of the Island of Ceylon.
The second age was destroyed by fire ; its duration was 4804 years. As birds alone were able to escape the general conflagration, all men were transformed into birds." The third age was terminated by tempests; the men who did not perish in them were transformed into apes. The fourth age was destroyed by water after a duration of 4008 years : "men were transformed into fish, except one man and one woman, who saved themselves in the trunk of an ahahuète, or cupressus
distica.' These two of course were the Mexican Noah and his wife, named Coxcox and Xochiquetzal. We shall extract the history of the deluge of Coxcox, though taken from the suspicious authority of Gemelli Careri, and we must say that, after reading it, in spite of the evidence of all that is symbolical and chronological in the painting of the migrations with the hieroglyphics contained in the manuscripts of Rome and Veletri, we find ourselves among the number of those infidels who give credit to the hypothesis, that the drawing of Gemelli is the fiction of some Spanish monk, who has attempted to prove, by apocryphal documents, that the traditions of the Hebrews are found among the indigenous nations of America.' The painting represents Coxcox in the midst of the water lying in
The mountain, the summit of which, crowned by a tree, rises above the waters, is the peak Colhuacan, the Ararat of the Mexicans. The horn, which is represented on the left, is the phonetic bieroglyphic of Colbuacan. At the foot of the mountain appear the heads of Coxcox and his wife. The latter of these is known by the two tresses in the form of borns, which denote the female sex, The men born after the