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Philadelphia, usually lived and messed to. house. The club of wine, which was asaccount with the state, shows a very mode. he table. Mr. Gerry appears to have retain. orses. Some others were without either of
or a conversation party, constituted their sorbing interest of public concerns, the coning novelties in political affairs, which every ned means for relaxation from the duties of
1.-Edda Sæmunder hins fróda, Collectio C
Scaldorum, sæmundiana dicta, ex recens
curavit A. A. Afzelius, Holmiæ, 1818, 8 2.--Snorra-Edda ásamt Skáldu ok parmed
dum, útgefin af Rasmúsi Rask, Stockhóli 3.-R. Rask om Zendsprogets og Zendo
Egthed, Köbenhavn, 1826. 4.- Den Gamle Ægyptiske Tidsregning, ef bearbejdet af R. Rask, Köbenhavn, 1827.
inadequate source of supply for the impati. excited. Expresses were interchanged be. e pleasure of its presiding officer, and were of the members. Private travellers often outticipated their intelligence. Newspapers did channels of intelligence being uncertain, the comparing different rumours, sifting true rermining the state of things obscured by conheir probable operation, furnished sufficient tually devoted to the public service," ch forms a considerable part of this arded as its chief recommendation. characteristic wisdom, much curious nd fact illustrative of the revolution
letters of Gerry himself, of Samuel ck, Joseph Warren, Hawley, Francis son, Sewall, &c. In going through the otation, a variety of pregnant passassion that the whole correspondence fit, we content ourselves with referticular perusal.
The ancient history of those Scandinavia
ART. VIII.-SCANDINAVIAN LITERATURE.
1.--Edda Sæmunder hins fróda, Collectio Carminum veterum
Scaldorum, sæmundiana dicta, ex recensione Erasmi Rask
curavit A. A. Afzelius, Holmiæ, 1818, 8vo. 2.-Snorra-Edda Ásamt Skuldu ok parmed fylgjandi ritgjör.
dum, útgefin af Rasınúsi Rask, Stockhólmi, is 18, Svo. 3.—R. Rask om Zendsprogets og Zendavestas Ælde og
Ægthed, Köbenhavn, 1826. 4.-Den Gamle Ægyptiske Tidsregning, efler kilderne på ny
bearbejdet af R. Rask, Köbenhavn, 1827.
The ancient history of those Scandinavian and Teutonic na. tions who subyerted the Roman empire, and founded the modern states of Europe upon its ruins, has always justly been regarded as an object of rational curiosity by their civilized descendants. The concise text of Tacitus has been studied and commented with intense interest ; but had the philosophical historian been as familiar with the history and manners of the Scandinavian nations, as he was with the other less remote tribes who were destined to be the conquerors of his countrymen, the researches of the learned, in modern times, would probably have been much facilitated. It is, however, in the ancient languages of the northern nations, that their history and antiquities must be explored. The formation of these languages is in itself an object of great interest to the student of human nature. The early progress of these nations, in the arts which are appropriated to civilized life, has probably been exaggerated by the fond enthusiasm of those who are devoted to these studies, but the Runic inscriptions which have escaped the ravages of time, and the destroying zeal of the missionaries, show that their language was at once rich, copious, and energetic. Situated near the polar regions, under a firmament enlightened by the reflection of bright snows, by the flashes of the aurora borealis, or by a summer sun almost perpetually above the horizon,—the face of heaven was hardly ever veiled from their eyes. Surrounded on every side with broad seas, which the necessities of subsistence and intercourse compelled them to navigate, they watched the stars, and gave to them expressive and poetical names. Like the Greeks, they used the letters of the alphabet for the purpose of expressing numbers, but in a different order ; and upon some of the Runic pillars, (of wood,) which are still preserved in the museum of the University of Copenhagen, there are traced rude calendars, sufficiently exact to satisfy their simple wants. Most of these, indeed, are of a date subsequent to the introduction of Christianity, but they are evidently copied from more ancient models. But it was in the poetical art, like most nations in the early dawn of civilization, that they chiefly delighted. Their history, laws, and precepts of religion, were all preserved and communicated in verse. The Scalds, like the bards of Germany and the Celtic tribes, were at once poets, priests, and legislators. They followed the warrior princes in their excursions by sea and by land, celebrated their exploits and virtues, and animated their courage and patriotism. They sung the praises of heroes, and delivered the oracles of the Gods.
It is well known, that the present inhabitants of Iceland derive their origin from a colony of Norwegians, who settled there in the ninth century. Whilst the Scandinavian peninsula was desolated with war, and darkened with superstition,—the inhabitants of this remote and sequestered island pursued with ardour and success the study of Scandinavian literature, and recorded in their Sagus the exploits, fabulous and true, of their ancestors. One of the most curious monuments of this literature, is that commonly called the Edda, a system of mythology which is said to have been compiled in Iceland in the thirteenth century, and which has been constantly studied by the antiquaries of Sweden and Denmark, as containing the most precious remains of their historical traditions. After the conquest of Italy by the Goths in the sixth century, their national pride, which delighted to revert to a supposed Scandinavian origin, was flattered by one of the courtiers of Ravenna, Cassiodorus, who published a Gothic history, the original of which has been lost, but was abridged by Jornandes, an imperfect copy of whose work has been preserved. In this history, their origin is deduced from the Scandinavian peninsula, on the faith of some ancient Gothic chronicles in verse, which were preserved by tradition in the nation. But the complete and perfect text of the Edda, or rather the Eddas, (for there are more than one of these collections of chronicles or songs,) was never given to the world until the publication of the two volumes, the titles of which are first prefixed to this article. They contain the entire text of these curious books, in the original ancient Scandinavian or Icelandic language, the parent of all the modern dialects of the north of Europe, especially the Danish and Swedish. The first mentioned work is a collection of songs, mostly of the Pagan times, relating to the exploits of the deities and ancient heroes of the North : the second, is a prosaical view of the Scandinavian mythology and poetical art, interwoven with many stories and songs of the ancient Scalds or bards.
The vast attainments of the learned editor of these publications, who is still a young man, will perhaps be rather appalling to our more languid and moderate students. His genius early received its bent and direction by an ardent passion for the philosophical
study of languages. Previously to undertaking the above works, he had spent upwards of three years in Iceland, and had published, (first in Danish, and afterwards in Swedish,) a grammar of the ancient Scandinavian tongue, still preserved and studied in that island. He had also published a lexicon, Islandico-latinoDanicum, which was originally compiled by a native Icelander, Björn Haldorsen, and participated in several other publications relating to the ancient Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon literature. After he had completed the publication of his Icelandic grammar, and of the Eddas, at Stockholm, he proceeded on his travels through Finland to St. Petersburg, where he remained nearly a year, for the purpose of studying the Finnish, and especially the Sclavonic class of languages, and to ascertain their connexion with the languages of the North. He had before traced an affinity between these two classes of languages, in a treatise which he published in Danish, at Copenhagen, in 1818, entitled Undersögelse om det gamle nordiske eller islandiske Sprogs Oprindelse, part of which has been translated into the German by the late Professor J. S. Vater, in his Vergleichungstafeln, Halle, 1822. In order to pursue his favourite object of investigating the affinity of the Asiatic languages with the European, he travelled through the Russian empire by the way of Moscow, Astrachan, and Mosdock, to Tiflis, in Georgia, where he remained several months engaged in the study of the Persic, to prepare himself for a tour through Persia. From Tiflis, he went by the route of Erivan, Tauris, Teheran, Ispahan, and Shiraz, to Bushehr, where he embarked in a British ship of war for Bombay,--touching on the voyage at Muskat, in Arabia. At Bombay, he was received with great attention and kindness by the Governor, the hon. Mr. Elphinstone, (well known in the literary world by his travels in Afghanistan,) and was fortunately enabled to purchase a very valuable collection of MSS. relative to the Zendúvestà, for the university at Copenhagen, whither he brought them on his return to Europe in 1823. On these original and very ancient MSS. is founded the above treatise, Om Zendsprogets og Zenduvestàs Ælde og Ægthed, (on the age and genuineness of the Zendávestà and the Zend language,) written originally in English for the Bombay Literary Society, but afterwards translated by the author into Danish, and read before the Society of Scandinavian Literature, at Copenhagen, and published in their Transactions. It was translated into German, and published at Berlin in 1826, by Professor Van der Hagen, enlarged with an Appendix containing a dissertation on the whole Japhetic (European) stock of languages, selected and translated from other papers of the author. In this work, Professor Rask has attempted to restore the ancient Zend alphabet, many of its letters having been mistaken and confounded by the French
• A plate is annexed, representing gether with the new one reformed ay, he proceeded in company with ident at the court of Scindeah, the
and from thence through Agra,
Ceylon. Here he embarked in an
tion of a paper by Mr. Erskine, pub-
to have overthrown,) that the Zend
he does not seem to think that Sir
of the Zend
Scandinavian Literature ing to the Japhetic race. 2. Into Classes, as nian, the Celtic, the Sclavonian, and the Goth rate and very distinct classes, though belongi same race. 3. Stocks, or Stems, (Stamme in I Teutonic and Scandinavian, which both belong in their internal structure are almost
oppo 4. Branches, such as the upper and lower br. man. 5. Languages, such as Icelandic, Danis Scandinavian stock, or Dutch and English of branch, —or Mæso-Gothic, High-Dutch, &c. man branch. 6. Dialects.—A particular acco cation of languages is contained in the appendi gen's translation of the above-mentioned work
Professor Rask found that the Caucasian lar ly and radically different from those of the Jap the Ossetic and Dugoric dialects,-these two bi the ancient Median or Zend tongue, as had be strated by Klaproth, the celebrated traveller in other languages in that region cannot be arrang and are hardly reducible to less than seven d not even different classes of languages. Most do belong to the Scythian race, and consequen lated, more or less, to the Tartar and Mongolt Asia.
The last of the works, the titles of which an article, is a treatise on the Chronology of an have essayed an examination of this dark and
a former number of our Journal, in connexion discoveries of Champollion upon the hierogly Rev. No. II. Art. 6. Professor Rask has poin takes in Pritchard's Egyptian Mythology, in London in 1819,--and has in many instanc ferent result. According to him, the kingd founded by Menes-2484 B. C.-Abraham 1834,-the Exodus of the Tenulis
death of Trith