Page images
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

inclusive ; about 20 are in the fourth chapter of Ezra, 17 in the fifth, 16 in the sixth, and 15 in the seventh ; there is likewise one verse in the tenth chapter of JEREMIAH.* In a note indeed on this last mentioned passage Dr. BLANEY expresses a doubt of its being really authentic.

There are also many anomalies in words and phrases in the Old Testament, which can only be explained by tracing them back to their Chaldaic origin.

This original Chaldee, as it is found in the books of DANFEL and EZRA, was in process of time much corrupted by the introduction of the Hebrew idiom and terms, and finally by the adoption of words and phrases from the languages of those nations, with whom the Jews had intercourse. Hence it is less pure in the Targums, which were written after the Babylonish captivity; and still more imperfect and debased in the Talmuds and other books."

Its affinity with the Hebrew has led some to consider it, as only a dialect of, or at least to have been derived from that language st while others affirm it the more ancient tongue. I But it has been observed,f that, though the Hebrew and Chaldee languages may be considered, as similar, yet they are not so in that degree, which might be expected from two eastern languages of such early antiquity, used in countries so near each other, and whose variations may be esteemed the effects of changes in the habits, manners, or modes of speaking of the different inhabitants rather, than founded in any essential discrimination, or original distinction.

The construction of the Hebrew is easy, simple, and natura!. That of the Chaldee is much more complexed, inyolved, and pleonastic ; it also abounds in indeclinable words or particles, some of which have a variety of senses according to the different situations, in which they occur; and oth

* The IIth.

+ PFEIFFERUS, in Critica Sacra, c. iii. $ 2, quæst. 6, and EnorczOP. BRIT. ANNICA, article CHALDEE. VITRINGA, obs. sacr. l. I. C. V. S 5.

MYRICEVS, in præf. ad Gram. Chaldeo. Syr. T. CAMPANELLE, de sensy Ferum, 1. 4. c. 2 CAMBDEN's Britannia, p. 204., et al.

$ WINTLE's preliminary dissertation to a new version of Daniel xxxi.

[ocr errors]

ers are crowded together to express nothing more, than what in ordinary use might be denoted by a single word. The inflexion of its nouns and verbs too varies much from the Hebrew, and their signification has often a much greater late itude. Indeed so great is the difference, that an attentive observer may soon be convinced of the justice of that predic. tion of JEREMIAH,* that God would bring against the Jews “ a nation, whose language they should not understand," when this nation was the Assyrian, or Chaldee.t.

Yet let not the “ well disposed and understanding youth," who would acquire.“ the learning and tongue of the Chal« deans," I so indispensibly necessary to the biblical student, be discouraged in his laudable pursuit. Whoever is . well versed in the Hebrew will find no difficulty in learning the Chaldee.s To assist his studies let him consult the Chaldee and Syriac grammar of ERPENIUS, the “ Schola Syriaca et “ Chaldaica” of LEUSDEN, the “ Institutio linguæ sanctæ” of BYTHNER, and the Chaldee vocabulary, annexed to Taylor's Hebrew concordànce. I wish I might also refer him to a most admirable Chaldee and English dictionary by the late professor SEWALL ; but it remains in manuscript among the neglected oriental treasures in the Library of Harvard College. Perhaps some privileged ALUMNUS of that flourishing seminary may yet be allowed to present it to the public, with other learned compositions of the same author, as a memorial of gratitude to a man of most amiable manners, fine talents, and extensive erudition ; and as a desirable, rich accession to the stores of literature.

* Ch. V. v.15. † WINTLE. Daniel ch. i. v. 4.

S“ Spatio bimestri Chaldæa et Syriaca, quantum Theologo satis est addi" sci potest ab eo, qui Hebraicæ rudimentis instructus est.” LUCAS BRUGEN318, de paraph. Chald.

CHR. VIRVRGIUS supposes, that it may be learned in three bours ! Vide Trio hor. Chald,



(Continued from page 171]

IN 1765. the treasuryship of Saint Martin de Tours became vacant; it was the second dignity of the chapter ; the king had the nomination of it. M. and Madame de Choiseul asked it for me. I profited by the occasion to give op two thousand livres of my pension on the Mercury, which were given at my solicitation to M. Masin, and one thousand livres to M. de la Place to aid him in paying the other pension, supported by that journal.

The Duke de Maine, being colonel general of the Swiss guards, had created for M. de Malézieux, of whom he was very fond, the employment of secretary general, to which he attached rights, that belonged to him, and of which he made a sacrifice. - M. de Choiseul had already disposed of this place once in favor of M. Dubois, first clerk in the war de partment, reserving a pension of six thousand livres for Madame de Saint Chamaut, grand daughter of M. de Malézieux. M. Dubois having died the last of January 1768, M. de Choiseul gave me his place ; and the men of letters by right of jealousy made loud outcries. The two principal ones, Duclos and d'Alembert, went to M. de Malesherbes, and spake to him with bitterness and even threats. He succeeded in calming them by representing to them, that this place might: become from this example the patrimony of literary men. I cannot too often repeat, that the revenues of the secretary general belonged really to the colonel general, and he could dispose of them, as he pleased. I add, that some days after my nomination, I abandoned the three thousand livres, which

remained to me on the Mercury ; that I passed a thousand to M. de Guignes, a thousand to M. Chabanon, both my brethren at the academy, and a thousand to M. de la Place, author of the Mercury. I acknowledge on this occasion, D' Alembert and the other philosophers attached much more importance to this sacrifice, than I did myself.

In 1771 M. d'Aiguillon took away the Swiss guards from M. de Choiseul, who was at Chanteloup ; I was there also. He sent his resignation ; I wished also to send mine. He advised me to go to Paris, and not to part with it without some indemnity. I was resolved, if the place of colonel general passed to some great lord, to give in on the spot my brevet, and to return directly to Chanteloup ; but it was conferred upon the Count d'Artois, and my intended step would have been disrespectful. The day after my arrival I saw Madame de Brionne, who honored me with her kindness. Marshall de Castries was at her house, and was going to Versailles ; she begged him to interest himself, that I might preserve my place. I intreated both of them with a warmth, that appeared to affect them, to have it taken from me as soon, as possible; because, having made an engagement with M. de Choiseul, I could not make another with any person whatever. I went directly to Versailles ; I presented my brevet to Count d'Affry, charged by the Count d'Artois with the details of the Swiss regiments. He refused it, and showed me at the same time a letter of M. de Choiseul, which requested him to watch over my interests. The indignation, felt at court by the new persecution, which M. de Choiseul experienced from M. M. d'Aiguillon and de la Vauguyon, was converted into good will for me ; every one murmured, and exhorted me to assert my rights. The young Count d' Artois complained to the king, that he was forced to commence the exercise of his new employment by a cruel injustice ; and the king answered him, that I should receive a satisfactory salary. M. M. de Montaynard, de la Vauguyon, and d Aiguillon urged M. d'Affry to place the affair before the king. I urged him with still more ardor; yet he defer

red it. In the interval two or three courtiers of the second or third order demanded of me secretly, if they could with out displeasing M. and Madame de Choiseul solicit my place. Another man came to inform me, that, if I would promise not to return to Chanteloup, they might be affected in my favor. I would not seek for the first author of this advice, but he, who gave it to me, was attached to the Duke d Aiguillon. At last M. d'Affry, seeing me immoveable in my resolution, terminated the affair, and reserved for me on the place a pension of ten thousand livres, which I had not des demanded. The next day I returned to Chanteloup.

For some time past the state of my fortune permitted me to procure many things, which, I believed, I ought to refuse myself. I should have kept a carriage, had I not feared to blush at meeting in my way men of letters on foot, who had more merit, than myself. I contented myself with having two saddle horses in order to take exercise on horseback, which had been ordered by the physicians. I acquired the most beautiful and the best editions of books, necessary to my studies, and I had a great number of them bound in morocco. This is the only luxury, that I ever thought I could permit myself. I brought up and established in the best manner I could three of my nephews ; and I supported the rest of my family in Provence. I never refused the unfortu# nate, who addressed themselves to me ; but I reproach myself bitterly for having given them too great a preference to relations, whose wants were not sufficiently known to me either by their fault or my own. .

My revenue, considerable without doubt for a literary man, even after I had lost the place of secretary general of the Swiss guards, would have been much more, if I had not bounded it myself by cessions and refusals. It has been already seen, that I had given up my pension upon the mercury. I had also ceded that, which I enjoyed in quality of censor. I twice refused the honorable and useful place of perpetual secretary of the academy of belleslettres. After the death of M. Hardion, keeper of the books of the king's cabinet at

« PreviousContinue »