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with our Paleys, and Benthams, and sury department; are you not in quest Franklins, and Biddles, the doctrine of pudding or praise, to faiten yourself that “the chief end of man is, to serve or others with for his service? or are and glorify Mammon, and to learn the you only hastening to pay him his old art of buying and selling," has been price for the kingdoms of this world? virtually taught us, in one form or At all events, please keep the snout of another, long enough: it has made us, your sensualism or utilitarianism out of out and out, a nation of Mammonists, the pulpit, the chair, and the closet. Mammonists in politics, Mammonists in True, true, the stomach says yet bacon, education, Maminonists in morality, and yet bacon; and, sure enough, we must Mammonists even in religion !

have bacon ; but God Almighty says, And does our practical wiseacre still seek me, as you shant have even baron; keep saying, aim at the useful, aim at and we reckon his word is nearly or the useful? Well now, our good sir, quite as good as the stomach's! or our bad sir, or our indifferent sir, we We will end by simply remarking, have heard enough of your everlasting that a passion for knowledge finds the cant about the useful; please go to to pursuit thereof its own exceeding great phet with your useful; you had it of the reward, and therefore cleaves to it, and devil in the outset, and we hugely sus- is satisfied with it. A calculation of pect you have not paid bim for

yet: profit, impatient of the pursuil, and in heaven's name, return to him before anxious only for results, gets cheated, you have worn it all ont. Aim at the as it ought to be, by its own cunning useful ? Away with it! Aim at the into taking up with the appearance of true, the beautiful, and the good, and results; seeking, meanwhile, to abridge we'll risk but that you will be useful the process by resorting to system and enough. Then God will use you; now machinery ; and hence the succession we suspect none but Satan can use you. of improvements and reformations with You are a clerk, we take it, in his trea- which society has so long been cursed.


The American Ethnological Society Hawks, Dr. Morton, Messrs. Bradford, is a society of recent formation in the Catherwood, Stephens, Hodgson, Marsh, city of New York, and has for its ob- Prescott, Professors Salisbury, Woolsey, ject the study of the Physical History &c., all of whom are well-known for of Man. In this is embraced all that their learning in philology, antiquities, relates to man, such as the origin and and the more solid branches of knowdivisions of races and nations, the diver- ledge. A society composed of such sities of the human race, the antiqui- men has long been wanted in this counties of nations, languages and compara- try, and we are glad to see that one las tive philology ; together with the phy- been formed, and has put forth so learosical geography of the globe as far as ed a volume of transactions as the one it is connected with the support and now before us. We wish them suchabitation of man.

cess, and hope they may persevere in The president of this society is the the work they have commenced, for we venerable Albert Gallatin, whose mind believe that in this department of lite(judging from the elaborate and learned rature our countrymen are not behind article in the volume which is the sub- those of any country in Europe, except ject of these remarks) is as active and the Germans. vigorous in his old age as it was in his The first paper in this volume is by youth. Among the other members, we the venerable and learned Albert Ga. nice the names of Dr. Robinson, Mr. latin, entitled “ Notes on the seini-civi

blcraft, Hon. John Pickering, Dr. lized nations of Mexico, Yucatan and

Vol. I., 8vo., pp. 504.

Bartlett and Welford, New York. 1845.

Central America." This essay fills whatever the result might be, a more 350 pages of the work. The author critical investigation than had heretofirst examines the languages, by giving fore been attempted, appeared necescomparative tables of the most common sary, in order to elicit and ascertain the words in the several languages, of which truth." grammars, dictionaries and vocabularies Another remarkable feature is prehave been published. Such tables are sented in the grammatical construction of useful for etymological comparisons, and the Indian languages, a feature which no serve to show the very great dissimi- other languages in the world possess larity that exists in words conveying to so remarkable an extent. This pethe same meaning in languages spoken culiarity is the power of compounding by people contiguous to each other. words, or of expressing in the least This phenomenon is peculiar to the number of words the greatest number of aborigines of America, and the re- ideas. To effect this, not only are two searches of philologists have not as yet or more words joined together, and the been able satisfactorily to account for termination or inflection of a radical vaso great a diversity of dialects and lan- ried as in the most of the European languages as are found on the continents guages, but by interweaving together of North and South America. Although the most significant sounds or syllables we thus find great diversities in lan- of each single word, so as to form a guages, there are, nevertheless, tribes compound that will awaken in the mind and nations, living in some instances at once all the ideas singly expressed by contiguous, and in others far apart, the words from which they are taken. whose speech presents but a dialectical Another process is, by an anadifference. These, it is evident, ori- logous combination of the various parts ginally sprang from the same stock, or of speech, particularly by means of the were, at a remote period, one great verb, so that its various forms and infainily.

flections will express not only the prinThe first table presented by Mr. Gal- cipal action, but the greatest possible latin exhibits five languages, viz., the number of the moral ideas and physical Poconchi, the Quiche, and the Chorti objects connected with it.* This sysof Guatemala ; the Maya, of Yucatan, tem, observed by Mr. Duponceau and and the Huasteca, of that part of Mexi- others in the Indian languages of the co contiguous to Guatemala. The ety- United States, which have been critimological analogies in these are so cally examined, also prevails in the striking as to leave no doubt of their languages of the Esquimaux and in common origin. If this comparison is those of the aboriginal tribes in the far extended farther, not the least similarity west. Mr. Gallatin has examined sevis discernible, even in the most com- eral of the Mexican languages besides mon works.

those before alluded to spoken in “The investigation of the languages of Yucatan and Guatemala. On the subthe Indians within the United States, ject of these he says: east of the Rocky Mountains, and north One of the most general features, and of the States, as far as the Polar Sea, which has struck all those who have exhas satisfactorily shown that, however amined those languages, is the multidissimilar in their words, their struc- tude of compounded words, many of ture and grammatical forms were sub- them of inordinate length, and the fastantially the same. A general exami- cility with which new words of the same nation of the Mexican proper, and of the character might be formed. There is, languages of Peru, of Chili, and of some however, an apparent difference in the other tribes of South America, has ren- manner in which words are compounded dered it probable that, in that respect, in the several Indian languages. In the vaall, or nearly all, the languages of Ame- rious Algonkin dialects, compound words rica belong to the same family. This, are found, consisting of the union of five if satisfactorily ascertained, would, con- or six words so abbreviated that only one nected with the similarity of physical syllable of each has been preserved. type, prove a general, though not, per- Analogous instances occur in the Eskihaps, universal, cominon origin. But mo, and occasionally in some other lan

* Duponceau on the Indian Languages, p. 30.

guages. But this mode of compound- languages than any work hitherto ing words by the union of single sylla- published. bles borrowed from each of the primi. The system of numeration or arithtives, is in no other language carried to metic among the Mexicans, is one of the same extent, as in the Algonkin. interest, and presents some peculiari

“ Among the nations which are the ties which do not belong to more civilizsubject of this inquiry, compound words ed nations. A knowledge of arithmetic are very numerous; but it is rare to find, or some system of numeration, must, independent of the agglutination of pro- as Mr. Gallatin observes, “ have prenouns and insertion of particles, words ceded calendars, or any atteinpt to comconsisting of the union of more than pute time.” two primitives; one of which generally “ Men must have known how to loses one of its syllables. It must, how- count as far as 365, before they ascer ever, be observed, that the mode of cem- tained that the solar year consisted of pounding words is only adverted to in- 365 days. It is well known, that almost cidentally, and not discussed as a dis- all nations, in forming their system of tinct subject, in the ordinary grammars. numeration, have adopted a 'decimal Words of that description occur among arithmetic, and that this was the natural other illustrations, and some may be ex- result of men first beginning to count tracted from dictionaries. But the by their ten fingers. This is the case principles on which words are com- with all the Indian tribes within the pounded in any language, can be ascer- United States; though it must be altained only by those who are thoroughly lowed that there is much confusion and practically acquainted with it. and but little regularity in the formation

It would occupy too much space to of the names expressing the higher enter at length into the grammatical numbers, which they hardly ever structure of the Mexican languages, or wanted. The arithmetic of the Peruto offer a conjecture as to the remarka- vians and of the Araucanians is purely ble form they assume, or the powers decimal. they possess in common with the aborigi- “Traces are found in several of the nal tongues of America, beyond the culti- Indian languages, of their having first vated languages of either ancient or counted by fives. This has already modern times. When the learned first been pointed out in the Eskimo, of began to investigate the American lan- Hudson's Bay, where the names of the guages, they were struck with their numerals, 8, 9 and 10, mean respecremarkable powers of compounding, tively the middle, the fourth, and the and the endless variety in their inflec- little fingers. tions. The conclusion they arrived at, “ This primitive mode of counting by was, that none but a highly cultivated fives, is also apparent in the Mexican, people could have brought their lán- the Otomi; and the Carib languages. guages to such a state of perfection, and that this continent must have been Mexican-1 Ce Otomi-1 Ra peopled by a civilized race, the only


2 Yoho memento of whose existence and ad.

3 Yey

3 Hiu vancement in civilisation was to be

4 Naui

4 Gooho 6 Chica ce

6 Ra to found in their languages. The inves

7 Chic ome 7 Yo to tigations of modern philologists since

8 Chicu ey

8 Hia to the commencement of the present cen

9 Chicu naui 9 Cy to tury, have shown that the phenomena which characterize the Indian lan- “ In the Carib of St. Vincent, given guages of America do not arise from by Col. Galindo, five is ahana-wajap; their cultivation, but rather from the ten is sun-wajap; and wajap means want of it; that the number of hand. In that of Essequibo, five is their words is few in comparison with Winectanee, from oween, one,' and the cultivated languages; and that the aeena, hand." power they have obtained in their mul- “ But the characteristic of the group tiplicity of compounds and inflections, of nations, now under consideration, is is the result of necessity. The elabo- that they count by 'twenties,' instead rate work of Mr. Gallatin, entitled a of by ' tens. “Synopsis of the Indian tribes, etc.” "They have a primitive or uncomis more full on the subject of the Indian pounded name for "twenty ;' and in the

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same manner as we count from “ten' meration of the spoken language. They upwards, by the multiples, and the pow- liave distinct characters for the numeers of'ten,' so they count by the mul- rals 1, 20, 400, and 8000; and those are tiples and powers of “twenty. In the sufficient to express any number. The same manner, as we have primitive or unit is simply represented by a small uncompounded names for the second circle ; the numeral 20, by a standard and third powers of ten,' viz. one hun- shaped as a parallelogram; the numedred, and one thousand (the Greeks rical 400, by a feather; and 8000 by a added 'myriad' for its fourth power, purse supposed to contain as many or 10,000); so also, the American na- grains of cocoa. Moreover, although tions have primitive or uncompounded the number of units from 1 to 19 is names, for the second and third powers generally represented by as many small of twenty,' viz. for four hundred, and circles, yet, in the same manner as they eight thousand. Upon the same prin- had uncompounded names for the nuciple, they have no primitive or un- merals 5, 10, and 15, they also had an compounded words for the powers of abbreviated and direct way of repre“ten.' They express one hundred by a senting these numerals. This consistword which means ' five times twenty;' ed in dividing the parallelogram, or and one thousand by a word which means hieroglyphic of twenty, into four squares,

twice four hundred, plus ten times which, according as they were colored, twenty.'”

represented either 5, 10, or 15. It seems, The system of numeration of the also, that they occasionally represented principal languages of the semi-civilized the numerical 200 by half a feather.” nations of Mexico and Central America “ All the nations of Mexico and Yufollows in a table, in which the whole catan, and probably of Central America, is presented at one view. In this the which were within the pale of civilisanumerals in the langnages of Yucatan, tion, had two distinct modes of computGuatemala and the Huasteca of Mexico, ing time. The first and vulgar mode are the same, or nearly so. In passing was a period of twenty days, which has Tampico, where the latter is spoken, we certainly no connection with any celesfind not the least etymological analogy tial phenomenon, and which was clearly in their numerical terins. The system, derived from their system of numeration however, is the same in all, except in or arithmetic. the language of the Rio Norte and San " It has already been stated that inAntonio of Texas, which presents a

stead of the decimal mode of numerasingular anomaly, and shows, as was tion, naturally derived from our ten finthe case, that the people had not made gers, the Mexicans, and other nations so great an advance in civilisation as belonging to the same group, counted their southern neighbors. In fact they by twenties. They applied this vigircan hardly be included within the pale tesimal numeration to their division of of civilisation. This people began to time, and adopted for that purpose a compound at the number three, which period of twenty days. . An additional was expressed by the terms for one and proof that such was its origin is founded two. So with the higher numbers.' in the fact, that in the same manner as The terms for four and two and one, the Mexicans, having first counted by meant seven. The term for ten was fives, had primitive uncompounded five times two; for seventeen, five names and distinct symbols for the nutimes two and one, with two added, merals 5, 10, 15, and 20, so also the making the word juynpamuuj ajti c pil period of twenty days was divided into cn pil, presenting a formidable obstacle four s:nall periods of five days each. in the application of the system to prac

“ The other computation of time was tical purposes.

a period of thirteen days, which was Baron Humboldt has shown traces of designated as being the account of the the system of vigintesimal numeration, moon, and which is said to have been or the method of computing by twen- derived from the number of days wher, ties, in the Basque language. The in each of its revolutions, the moon a'Muyscas of New Grenada, and the pears above the horizon during the Caribs, also count by twenties.

greater part of the night. The ludia, s' “ The Mexican hieroglyphics of the pretended that the moon

was then numerals are well known, and in per- awake, and asleep at other times. This sect accordance with the system of nu- explanation may not appear quite sauda

factory; and a period of thirteen days in feasts and rejoicings, and in renewing is not a lunar month, nor derived from all their utensils, furniture, and all that it. But it is certain that it had been related to the worship of their gods." adopted by the priests, and that it was The chapter on History and Chronoby it that they regulated their feasts and logy is devoted tn a critical examination all their religious rites. In its origin, of the early Spanish and Mexican the period of twenty days had no more historians, as well as to some of the connection with the solar year than that historical paintings left by the Mexicans. of thirteen. Yet the mode of connting The latter are exceedingly few and by twenty days was called the account throw little light on history. One of the of the sun, probably because it was that most curious is in the collection of which was first adjusted so as to corres- Mendoza, and is accoinpanied by a pond with the solar year.”

Spanish translation. This part contains After showing the divisions of time, a statement of the tributes paid by the we are shown the manner in which the several districts of country to Montezu. Mexicans ascertained the length of the ma. The city proper of Mexico was year. At first it consisted of 18 of their not included among those which paid months of 20 days each. Five supple- any; and the people of Tlatilulco were mentary days were subsequently added, held to keep in repair the temple named making their year to consist of 365 days Huiznahuac, besides paying a small

-thus arriving at the true length of the annual tribute. year, wanting six hours. They also “Some of the tributes were paid anhad a cycle of 52 years, which was nually, others every six months, and divided into four periods of thirteen others every 60 days. The number of years. At the termination of this cycle, districts paying tribute amounts to 363; they intercalated thirteen days, which of most of which the hieroglyphics, as was precisely equivalent to the interca- well as their names with oral language, lation of one day in every fourth or are given; the quantities of each artileap year. The number of days, then, cle are expressed in the paintings by in the 52 Mexican years was precisely ihe usual and well-known hieroglythe same as in the same number of our phics of numbers. The nature of the years; but every fourth year they lost various articles of wbich the tributes a day, which could not be made up until consisted, is expressed in the paintings 13 were so lost.

by graphic representations of the ob" It was the universal belief of the jects, which would rarely be intelligible, . Mexicans, that the sun would be ex- without the aid of the annexed intertinguished, and the world come to an pretation. These may be arranged end, at the end of some one of these under the heads of provisions, clothing, cycles, that is to say, on the last of these and a great variety of miscellaneous five supplementary days. Under that articles. expectation, those five days were spent The principal articles of provision in mourning-all their utensils, furni- are counted by Troxas or Granaries, ture, clothing, &c., were destroyed. containing each from four to five thouOn the evening of this last fatal day, sand fanegas, or about 9,000 bushels : the priests of Mexico, followed by an and they are stated as followeth : immense crowd, set off after the setting

( Maize,

troxas 29 of the sun, which they apprehended had

Frijoles (beans),

do 22 perhaps been seen for the last time, Chian,


20 from a mount two leagues distant from Guautli,

do 18 the city. There they waited till mid- Cacao,

loads 980 night, when they sacrificed a prisoner Axi (pimento or red pepper)do 160) in order to appease their god; and one Maguey and bees' honey, jugs 3970 of the priests lighted, by means of

White salt

loaves 2010 friction, a new fire. The success of

Cacahuap, .

baskets 170 that operation was considered as the proof The maize and frijoles continue to that the gods had granted at least 52 this day to be the principal articles of years more to the world. The fire was food of the natives of Mexico and Centransferred with great rapidity to all tral America. The cacahuap was a the neighboring places. When the new mixture of cacao and pounded maize. Bun arose again, all anxiety was at an The quantity of articles intended for end; the 13 intercalary days were spent clothing appears enormous, amounting


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