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of wov, evil. The expression per EDE TETOV, therefore, implies the quality (uet,) of a subject (po) who does (€?) the thing which is (FET) evil (sou). Is it not evident, that this phrase forms an analysis easy to be represented in hieroglyphic characters? It is upon similar principles of periphrasis, that the Chinese use the term ti-ten-tie-gin for barber, word for word, to shave-head-of-man, or man to shave the head; co-maimai-tie-chi, for merchant, literally to make-purchase-sale-of-man.
The forms, which in the Coptic language indicate the various persons of the verb, are monosyllables, or dissyllables, which can be united or detached from it, the verb remaining invariable, and frequently another word intervenes between this prefixed form and the verb. In certain tenses, two or three particles are employed, one of which precedes, and the other follows the verb, without however being affixed to it. Ex. ve a govi owal me, the evening had arrived: the terms ve a te form the third person singular, masculine of the pluperfect of the verb ownl, and nevertheless the subject govi is introduced between vɛ a and owni, the monosyllable te being always placed at the end of the proposition, the result of which has been, that when the Copts adopted a Greek verb, they applied it indifferently to such person and tenses as by chance offered, and it remained immutable, as we observe in this example, ναινα ερανέχεσθε μμωτεν, I would have supported you: ερανείσθε is composed of the Coptic monosyllable εg to do, and of uvexeode, the second person plural, present middle of ávéxouai: it is in this manner that the Coptic interpreter has translated the Greek expression av ήνεχόμην υμών (n).
We have mentioned that the ancient Egyptians, independently of the bieroglyphics, employed an alphabetic or syllabic character. The Copts use the Greek alphabet, to which they have added eight letters, in order to express certain articulations peculiar to their language. At what epocha has this change taken place? This is a topic concerning which the learned entertain very different opinions. Some, like La Croze and Father Georgi, refer this alteration to the distant period of the reign of Psammeticus; but this hypothesis is very satisfactorily refuted by the Rosetta inscription. Father Bonjour fixes the date at the epocha, when Egypt was subjugated by Alexander; D. Monfaucon, Jablonski, M. Th. Valperga, ascribe it to the reign of the Ptolemies. In fine M. Zoega, in support of his argument, citing a passage from Aristides, relative to the word kavúßos, concludes thereby, that the Greek characters were not adopted in Egypt before the third century of
The opinion of this scholar is farther confirmed by the passage of Capitolinus, where this author speaks of the inscription engray
the tomb of the Emperor Gordian, Græcis, et Latinis, et Perscis, et Judaicis, et Ægyptiacis literis. By the Egyptian characters, it is evident we are not here to understand the Grecian, since the former are distinctly specified, no mention being made of the lieroglyphics; for admitting even that this character was yet known and understood in Egypt, at the period of which we speak, the knowledge of it would
(m) Act. Chap. 18. v, 14.
have been confined to such a very disproportionate number, as to render it unfit to be employed in an inscription destined to be read by every one, ut abomnibus legeretur. The subject in question, therefore, in this passage, is the vulgar Egyptian character; consequently the ancient alphabetic form still existed towards the middle of the third century, as the demise of Gordian III. occurred in the year 244, according to the calculation of the erudite, and accurate Tillemont.
The passage of Capitolinus, in my opinion, appears to have more weight for the decision of this argument, than that of Aristides. For certain it is, that the Egyptian word represented by the Greek kavúßos, could not be properly transcribed in Greek letters; and, in fine, if the Copts give the exact pronunciation of it in their character, the reason to be assigned is this, that they employ one of the eight letters which they have added to the Greek alphabet. Thus the observation of Aristides on the subject, in his time, might have been made four centuries later, at a period, when, beyond a doubt, the actual Coptic character had long usurped the place of the ancient Egyptian. The same difficulty might be entertained also, to a certain extent, with regard to the p. ssage of Capitolinus, for this author, instead of implying, ut abomnibus legeretur, rather wishes to signify, as Jopine, that it might be read by all nations (n) and not by every one.
I am induced to ascribe to a more early date, the period when the Egyptians might have adopted the Greek alphabet, augmented by eight particular letters. This change must have been occasioned by some potent cause, or in consequence of a revolution in the political or religious system of Egypt; and I conjecture that the Christian religion has been principally instrumental in effecting it. Probably the new character remained sometime confined to the Christians, and in the interim the Pagans retained the usage of the ancient form. This same change conspiring with religion, was capable of operating the total destruction of all ancient monuments of the national literature, so that no motives of interest induced the Egyptians, once become proselytes to Christianity, to transmit in the new character, any part of that erudition which must have been annihilated in proportion as the number of those conversant with it have diminished. Upon this principle of reasoning opposite opinions may be conciliated, to a certain extent; for the new Coptic character might have possibly been adopted towards the termination of the first century, and the ancient form, nevertheless, preserved its usage until the fourth century, or even up to the period of the subversion of idolatry at Alexandria.
(n) Pour qu'elle pût être lue de toutes les nations, et non pas de tout le monde.
THE SUICIDE'S LAST SONG.
BY CALDER CAMPBELL.
World ! sad crypt, where spider-spirits
Weave their subtle nets, to lure Woman's worth, and manhood's merits,
All that's bright, and all that's pure.
Shall one votive tear-drop shed ?
But these tokens, ere we part,
A lute, a rose, a brooch, a heart ! Lute —its lays have burst my
Followed by hopes darkly crost ;
Woo’d, and won, and loved, and lost!
1 have wandered many a day; And through passion's fiercest phases
Hotly have pursued my way:
In my crime-enshrouded youth !
Life, and love, and hope, and truth !
MRS. CHARLOTTE SMITH.
It is a common observation that we are often disposed to make greater use of other people's property than of our own; not because it is more highly esteemed, but because it is less frequently at our command. Thus we often read a borrowed book with peculiar zest, and find our private shelves less familiar to us than a public library; for we are apt to delay the perusal of volumes which know
can refer to at our leisure, until we almost forget that we possess them. This spirit of procrastination is especially manifested if the books in question happen to be out of fashion and rarely noticed in print or conversation. Happening lately, in an idle mood, to turn to our own neglected collection, we met with the Elegiac Sonnets of Mrs. Charlotte Smith, and as we had not read them since our boyhood, when they seemed to our puerile judgment to be productions of extraordinary beauty, we returned to them with a pleasurable feeling, and a curiosity to discover the nature of the change that years and more extensive reading had effected in our taste. It is sufficiently remarkable how the same reader will sometimes fluctuate, at intervals, in his literary fancies; but the fickleness of the public mind is still more surprising. How many once popular writers are now despised or forgotten, while some who were formerly neglected are almost regarded with idolatry! With respect to the particular case of Charlotte Smith, we confess that our individual opinion has corresponded to a considerable extent with the variation of the general judgment, and the verses that seemed very wonderful compositions to our boyish taste, make a very different impression upon us now. Her poems, however, ran through numerous and large editions on their first appearance, and it is curious to trace, in various contemporary publications, the respect with which they were treated by some of the first critics of her time. Cowper, who was assuredly no mean judge of poetical excellence, speaks very warmly of her “ charming Sonnets." It is true that he also thought the frigid Hayley a man of genius, but at one period his taste would have been called in question if he had esteemed him less. The “Triumphis of Temper” did not try the temper of our ancestors, but was really, for a considerable period, a very popular performance. It is strange enough that Cowper should have been the very person who commenced the grand revolution in our poetical literature which brought such writers as his friends Hayley and Mrs. Smith into comparative contempt. It was he who first taught us by precept and example that English verse was capable of infinite improvement, notwithstanding what was long considered the actual perfection of Pope. We do not mean to fall into the too common injustice of those who think it necessary, when they admire the greater freedom and variety of the present systems of versification, to deny all merit to poetry of a different order. We are not exclusives in taste, and can read alternately such poets as Coleridge and Pope with a disposition to enjoy and appreciate their very opposite and peculiar excel
lencies both of style and matter. The dreaminess, the profound intensity, and the subtile and mystical harmonies of the one, need not render us insensible to the terseness, the wit and energy, and the less elaborate, though more precise, music of the other. The great facility with which Pope's manner was imitated by his followers was one cause of the decline of his popularity; for when it was found that every poetaster had got his tune by heart, the public grew weary and sick of the repetition, and soon thought less respectfully of what at first was a marvel and a luxury. In the re-action of taste thus created, the great poetical idol of his time is now as unjustly underrated as he was formerly overvalued; and it seems by many critics to be utterly forgotten, that Pope's chief excellence is by no means dependent on the mere sound of his verse. Not only do his works teem with infinite wit and wisdom, expressed with wonderful felicity and precision, but he has displayed some of those finer and more etherial qualities that ought long ago to have settled the idle question of, whether he was a true poet or merely a clever writer in verse. His Rape of the Lock, and several descriptive passages in the Windsor Forest, afford indisputable evidence that he possessed a fancy at once delicate and prolific, and that he could " look on nature with a poet's eye.” If Pope had lived in later times he would probably have been a very different kind of poet, and have attended more to the cultivation and development of his imagination. It was formerly the fashion to regard poets as mere“ men of wit about town,” but they are now expected to be at once fanciful and profound. People at last begin to make distinctions between verse and poetry, and cleverness and genius. Mere talent in a poem is no longer respected as it used to be, for there is now a general love of poetry for its own sake, and readers look less for smart and pointed passages of shrewd sense and satire than for thoughts and words steeped in the hues of imagination. The consequence is that a much higher and more, etherial tone pervades the poetry of the day, and readers, accustomed to strains of loftier mood turn with something like disgust from the verses that charmed them in their earlier years. The old common-places of poetry no longer deceive us, and the artificial expressions in which many wretched writers once enveloped their sickly sentimentalities and thus passed upon the world for poets, are now utterly discarded, and if a writer's style be not fresh and natural he is not to be endured. Even Pope himself indulged too much in the use of epithets that were nothing more than sounding expletives that became the more disgusting from their eternal repetition by his servile herd of imitators. The Lady, to whose Sonnets we must now return, deals very liberally in the old fashioned diction, and in that querulous egotism and fantastic melancholy which were common to all her contemporary Sonneteers. According to their notions, to be truly poetical it was necessary to be sad, and the whole world was to be informed of their affliction. With respect to poor Charlotte Smith, though thus ostentatiously communicative, she was not like too many of her contemporaries, a tuneful hypocrite, for she really was acquainted with grief, and had no little cause for those “ melodious tears," with which she gave herself to fame. She suffered severely