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We can by no means agree with M. Champollion in thinking that the ancient Egyptians inade use of an alphabet to represent the sounds and articulations of certain words before the domination of the Greeks and Romans; one reason assigned by him for this opinion is, that if the Egyptians had invented their phonetic writing in imitation of the Greek or Roman alphabet, they would naturally have established a number of phonetic signs equal to the known elements of those alphabets ; whereas, in different places, different signs are employed to express the same letter. "Now the same thing happens precisely among the Chinese, as we have already noticed; no two persons writing in their hieroglyphics the same word in the same characters. The transition is by no means so easy as M. Champollion seems to think. The Chinese have carried their plan of symbolical writing far beyond the point reached by the Egyptians, and have perfected a very curious and ingenious system of combining their symbols, which may be varied to an indefinite extent. Every one of their characters, too, has its sound, though the same sound may equally belong to a hundred different characters; and as it is necessary for a Chinese to know the sound of the characters of his language, as well as their sense, it is also necessary that he should have some determinate method of accomplishing this. How, then, does he proceed to ascertain the sounds of new characters, which are daily brought into use, as old ones are exploded ? Not by an alphabet, as M. Champollion thiks he has proved the Egyptians to have done, but by a method which, though somewhat more clumsy, is perhaps not less efficient. It is by inserting in the dictionaries, after each character, two others that are well known; the initial vowels or consonants of the first, added to the final vowels or consonants of the latter, giving the sound of the unknown character. : For instance, if the two explanatory characters should be phang and tsai, a Chinese would immediately know that the sound of the character he was seeking was phai; if, on the contrary, they stood reversed, as tsat and phang, the sound of the new character would be tsang. The two characters which are thus used to produce the sound of a third, are called the mother characters, whilst that produced is termed the daughter. Such is the resource of this ingenious people to supply the want of an alphabet; and when we consider how many volumes have been written by them on the subject of their language, and that the Thibetian alphabet is printed in all their books, we must besitate before we can allow the Egyptians the knowledge of one of the greatest and most important inventions of man--the means of expressing sounds and conveying ideas by the combination of a few simple letters. Bearing these difficulties in mind, we should be inclined to think that the
letter P must have been introduced into the name of Ptolemy by a Greek, as an Egyptian would naturally have written it Tolemy, unless, indeed, it was pronounced Pe-to-le--my,-in which case they would follow the sound by the ear, and write it as a word of four syllables. And precisely in this mode would a Chinese write (conformably with his unaccustomed organs) the English word strong, in three distinct syllables, se-te-long, over each of which he would place the sign of mouth, to show it was mere sound, and not that 'the magistrate had procured a dragon,' as three written symbols might be used to express the three syllables, which would bear this meaning,
Indeed, we are much inclined to believe that the writing of foreign names in Egyptian hieroglyphics is the invention of the Greeks, who, not to shock the prejudices of the Egyptians, but at the same time desirous of recording the names of their princes on the everlasting monuments, consented to have them engraven in the characters of the country; or that it must have been done by Egyptian artists acquainted with the Greek language, or under the direction of Greeks.
M. Champollion, however, seems quite certain he shall be able to show, that long before the arrival of the Greeks in Egypt, the natives made use of the same hieroglyphico-phonetic signs, as were subsequently in use—but he adds, the develop ment of this valuable and decisive fact belongs to my work upon the pure hieroglyphic writing ;' whereiu he is to prove that at a very remote period, and before the conquest of the country by Cambyses, the Egyptians were in the habit of writing in their hieroglyphic characters the proper names of people, countries, cities, sovereigns, and of individual strangers, the remembrance of whom it was thought important to insert in their historical texts, or in their monumental inscriptions. Nous verrons. If he will produce the name of Cambyses, as he has done those of Alexander and his successors, though even this would not prove the fact, we should feel inclined to lean to his supposition; but when he goes so far as to maintain that the Egyptians furnished the model on which the people of Western Asia constructed their alphabets, merely because all the letters of the Hebrew, the Chaldaic and Syriac alphabets bear names which are significant, and which the Greeks have adopted from the Phenicians, we consider him to be wandering into the mazes of theory, and venture to pronounce that he will lose himself in the inextricable labyrinth.
Art. XII.- A Letter to His Majesty George the Fourth, King
of the United Empire of Great Britain and Ireland, on the
Temper and Aspect of the Times. London. 1822. IN N 1815 a war unexampled in its nature, duration and conse
quences terminated. This war raised the character of Britain to a height which was before thought inaccessible to human effort. It placed her in almost every variety and combination of situation and circumstance that could destroy the unanimity, corrupt the morals, blight the honour, baffle the wisdom, dissipate the
courage, and exhaust the hopes, resources and energies of a nation, only to render her triumph the more glorious and conplete. Her conduct and achievements in this contest form a picture even oppressive with grandeur and sublimity. Not only the fleets and armies of half the world, but the fiercest and deadliest passions of human nature were arrayed against her;—not only her fame and possessions, but her good principles and existence were attacked :-seductions, snares, evil examples, traitorous counsels, and the dagger of the assassin all combined with open assault to accomplish her destruction; and still she triumphed! Wealth seemed to spring from expenditure, armies and fleets from the waste of battle, and courage and hope from disaster. She entered the conflict poor and feeble, she came out of it rich and invincible. The last years of this long and destructive war saw Europe deluged with her wealth, the sea covered with her fleets, and her armies conquering at once in three quarters of the globe. The means by which this success was gained were as honourable as it was resplendent. Her faith remained untarnished amidst universal perfidy, her magnanimity and virtue gathered vigour as those of her enemies vanished, and, scorning to repel crime with crime, she fought with no other weapons than those which were offered by honour and honesty.
Her victory was the gain of the whole world, but it was more especially that of those whom she conquered. It was not alone the triumph of men, or of a nation, but it was the triumph of feelings and principles. She did more than crush a tyrant and usurper-than defeat combined Europe and America-than dash to pieces the most gigantic combination of force, resource, talent and energy that the world ever heard of;--she restored dethroned Religion, she re-established all those feelings and principles which dispense prosperity and happiness to individuals and nations, and which it had been the object of her enemies to destroy.
Thus fought and triumphed Britain, and she had her reward. At the peace she obtained every thing she wished for. It secured to her glory such as had never blazed round her, and power such
as she had never possessed. Never was any other nation the object of such universal and boundless honour, admiration and benediction.
What her population then was, may be gathered from her conduct and achievements. No other than a nation in the highest degree moral, religious, loyal, wise, industrious, and enlightened would thus have rallied round the throne and altar when these alone were attacked—would thus have remained upright amidst the universal sacrifice of honesty around it--would thus have continued unshaken amidst the most grievous sufferings and the most feeble hopes: and no other than the most perfect form of government, and the most able ministry could have called forth, concentrated and directed the resources and energies of such a nation so as to enable it thus to plan and act-to suffer and obtain.
What has been the history of this country--the same country which in 1815 enjoyed this splendid reputation since that period?
In 1816, a large portion of the lower orders were disaffected, and the Spa-fields meetings and riot took place.
In 1817, in consequence of this disaffection, the Habeas Corpus Act was suspended.
In 1819 the disaffection was found to have extended to the great mass of the lower classes. In the metropolis and various parts of England and Scotland, innumerable meetings of these classes were held, at which the most diabolical sentiments and intentions were promulgated. The government and all constituted authorities were loaded with execrations—the church and its ministers were reviled-threats of assassination ivere directed against many of the most eminent and spotless persons in the nation-mothers were called upon to inculcate on their children hatred of their rulers and the ministers of religion, and to instruct them in sedition and blasphemy; and combinations were entered into, the declared object of which was, to overthrow the government, to comnit the most atrocious public and private robberies, and, in truth, to perpetrate almost every species of wickedness. The disatfected considered their success to be certain, and, from their immense numbers, it was regarded by the rest of the nation to be possible. A large addition was, in consequence, made to the army, Parliament was assembled at an unusual period, and several new laws were passed considerably abridging the liberties and privileges of the nation, but which were the only alternative to the loss of the whole. la 1820 a rebellion broke out in Scotland, the ramifications of
which extended to several parts of England. A plot was formed for assassinating the ministers. The queen was solemnly arraigued at the bar of the House of Peers. Before one syllable was offered in disproof of the charges brought against her, the lower orders in almost all parts of the country voted her addresses compounded of equal portions of adulation, slander and sedition. The laws were openly set at defiance-attempts were made to corrupt and intimidate public justice, and a ferment was kept up which threatened the dissolution of every thing sacred in the empire. !
In 1821 the queen died. On the day of her funeral an immense concourse of the lower orders assembled avowedly for the purpose of violating her last wishes and the authority of govern
The military and civil power was attacked and overpowered, blood was shed over her ashes, and amidst shouts and execrations and laughter they were borne through the metropolis, the appalling trophy of infidel and revolutionary victory. · In 1822, up to the hour in which these lines are traced, the same turbulent and seditious spirit has been manifested by the lower ranks at almost all the public meetings which have been held for the purpose of discussing the state of agriculture. The honest, intelligent and loyal speaker has been hooted down, and the seditious and senseless demagogue has been alone listened to. Whenever resolutions and petitions containing fair statements and rational arguments have been proposed, they have generally been rejected for others alike false, absurd and inflammatory, and which have been passed only because they reviled the government and the legislature, and called for the subversion of the constitution,
In what way this mighty and deplorable change has been effected-by what means it has come to pass that a nation has so suddenly fallen from pre-eminence in intelligence and virtue to so low a point of ignorance and vice, constitutes a problem the solution of which interests alike the peasant and the statesman. In the best of times the richest lessons for promoting individual and general prosperity might be drawn from it; and in the present ones of mob philosophy and regicide triumph, it will point out how nations may be saved from ruin, and mankind preserved from that abyss of barbarism, guilt and misery into which it seems to be madly hastening.
:! It is demonstrable that the change has not resulted from any thing that would in the smallest degree justify it; the disaffection has not arisen from misrule, nor the atrocities from provocation. At no former period was the practical freedom of the subject so great; and never did the nation possess a sovereign and ministry who more scrupulously abstained from trenching on public privileges, or overlooked so many wanton abuses of liberty on the N 4