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in all their civil servants. It was to meet the case of these that Richardson projected and performed his task. His work was therefore meant to be, and was in fact, a Persian dictionary.

But another revolution, still further back, * had brought the languages of Persia and Arabia into so singular a relation to each other, that although a man might study Arabic, and study it successfully, without a tincture of Persian, no man could possibly peruse a Persian book without a smattering of Arabic.

By this concatenation of remote occurrences, we obtain an explanation of the mongrel character of Richardson's great work. What we have said will also explain the disproportionate attention paid to Persian by the English literati, both at home, and in the East. Arabic has seldom been with them an object of critical attention. For the most part, their acquaintance with it has been superficial, and has arisen out of its relations to Persian lexicography and grammar. To those who are acquainted with both tongues, we need not say, that such a mode of study could avail but little, there being, perhaps, no two living languages, more radically different in genius and essential structure.

Richardson did nothing to advance the study of Arabic apart from Persian. Even his Arabic grammar was designed to aid the Persian student, and to all others it is useless. It ought never to be used by any one who wishes to obtain a thorough knowledge of the subject. The simple circumstance, that he has treated the punctuation as a thing of minor import, if it does not fasten upon him the charge of ignorance, fastens upon his grammar that of gross deficiency. His Dictionary, as we have already hinted, gives, or rather aims to give, just Arabic enough 10 master the Persian, and gives it in such a form, that to the careful student of the former language it is absolutely useless. The Arabic words, which are introduced at all, are introduced as Persian words, and only so far as they are such, without regard to the forms of Arabic grammar. No finite verbs are given, and the in. finitives are uniformly set down as nouns substantive, the form which they assume as Persian vocables.

It is a priori evident, that such a Dictionary can afford no aid to one who studies Arabic for its own sake; a truth which has been confirmed by fair experiment. But even this was

* The conquest of Persia by the Caliph Omar.


not all. As a Persian lexicon, the work of Richardson, as might, indeed, have been expected from the author's opportunities and aids, was imperfect. It was, in fact, as Mr. Johnson well observes, a limited translation from the Thesaurus of Meninski.

It was liable, therefore, to be wanting in two points, accuracy and copiousness. Mistakes in translation were almost inevitable in so large a work; and the translator was left to guess whether certain Arabic words were likely to occur in any Persian writers. That he frequently guessed amiss, is no discredit to his scholarship, though a great disadvantage to the student who consults his work. As a Persian lexicon, it was much improved by Wilkins, agreeably to what we have already stated. The Arabic department, we believe, underwent no considerable change. It was reserved for the present editor, not only to enhance its value to the Persian student, but to give it a place among authorities in Arabic philology. It is now, in fact, an Arabic lexicon of no small value—not for beginners, but for those who are somewhat advanced. A firm foundation cannot possibly be laid, in Arabic philology, without the careful use of systematic works like that of Golius. An attempt to learn the rudiments by means of Richardson's Grammar, and to commence a course of reading with the help of his Dictionary, even in its most improved condition, would be worse than unsuccessful; for it could hardly fail to generate a superficial scholarship, more contemptible than unassuming ignorance. But to those who have already learned to grope their way, with some success, through the mazes of the most intricate and scientific grammar in the world—and especially to those who have their eye upon the Persian, as a collateral or ulterior object-Mr. Johnson has presented an expensive, but a very welcome aid.

It may here be proper to state the amount of the improvements, as asserted by their author, and partially confirmed by a limited inspection of the work itself. As to the Persian many thousand words of purely Persian origin have been inserted from the celebrated work Burhani Kati, and from a manuscript dictionary compiled by a learned native of the East, from twenty-four native writers, under the inspection of Mr. Haughton, late Professor of Hindu Literature in the East India College, Hertfordshire. This work, in which the definitions are sustained by copious citations from the classics of the language, commands the student's confidence in the results which it has furnished. As to the Arabic--Richardson's

VOL. IV. No. II.-2 B

definitions have been carefully collated with those of Meninski, and the errors rectified. Many thousands of words given by the latter, though omitted by Richardson, have been inserted. In all cases of doubt, an appeal has been made from Meninski and Golius to the Camus; from which source likewise thousands of words are added, which were overlooked by Golius. What we have mentioned would be quite enough to set the work immeasurably above the first edition. But the half is not yet told. The whole of Willmet's excellent lexicon, adapted to the Koran, Hariri, and the Life of Timur, is incorporated here. And as only a small portion of Hariri had been published, when that work appeared, the definitions given in the Arabic Scholia to Hariri, contained in De Sacy's beautiful edition, (1 vol. fol. Paris, 1822,) have been translated and inserted in their places.

A slight comparison convinced us, that the original work had undergone surprising changes; but we must confess that we were somewhat startled by the assertion of such large improvements, especially the incorporation of so great a mass of valuable matter-even of whole books. To satisfy our scruples, we have resorted to experiment, trying the dictionary upon certain passages taken promiscuously from the Koran and Hariri. Though we dare not vouch for the perfection of so large a work, we freely say, that so far as we have gone, the editor's pretensions have been fully verified.

Besides the improvements which have been already mentioned, there is another of considerable moment. Regard has been had in this edition to the forms of Arabic grammar. Roots are given and defined as such, and in various minor points, an effort has been made to render the book subservient to the study of that language, independently of the Persian. Add to this, that many medical, rhetorical, botanical and legal terms, and the peculiar local signification of many others, have been supplied, and we are ready for the Editor's assertion, that " from various and authentic sources he has been enabled to enrich the present work by the addition of more than thirty-eight thousand words, Persian and Arabic; also to arrange and suppply numerous important meanings that had been overlooked, or purposely omitted, in more than half the words.contained in the second edition."

The confidence of the scholar is further increased by a knowledge of the fact, that this third edition comes forth with the sanction of the celebrated scholar who prepared the second; Dr. Wilkins having examined every sheet before the final impression.

We have said thus much about this sumptuous and colossal book, because the increasing taste and zeal for Oriental studies give an interest to every thing adapted to facilitate and forward them. We have no idea that it will find its way into many private libraries; but we do think that it should have place upon the shelves and tables of those public institutions, where the taste for such pursuits is generally fostered, and sometimes created, by accidental contact with a work like this. A larger supply of philological appliances, and a freer access to them, on the part of students, would, we think, without constraint, or even formal exhortation, do a great deal for the benefit of biblical, classical, and oriental learning. Many scholars, both in Europe and America, can, no doubt, trace their relish for the course of study which they have pursued, to incidents almost too trivial for rememberance; the opening of a book, a casual conversation, or an item of intelligence. Philological reading-rooms have done much good, not so much by direct operation on the intellect, as by their indirect influence upoņ the taste. Why may they not be multiplied ?


The Mohammedan imposture is, in some respects, the most remarkable of all false religions. The specious simplicity of its essential doctrines, and its perfect freedom from idolatry, distinguish it forever from the gross mythology of classical and oriental paganism. But besides these characteristics, it displays a third, more interesting still. We mean the peculiar relation which it bears to Christianity. Whether it happened from a happy accident or a sagacious policy, we think it clear that Islam owes a vast proportion of its vast success, to the fact that Mohammed built upon another man's foundation. Assuming the correctness of the common doc

* The citations in this article are chiefly in the words of Sale, with occasional departures from his phraseology, too minute to need specification. Where there is more than a verbal difference, the reader is apprized of it.

trine that the impostor was a brilliant genius, though a worthless libertine, and that his book is the offspring, not of insane stupidity, but of consummate artifice, there certainly is ground for admiration in the apparent union of simplicity and efficacy in the whole design. The single idea of admitting freely the divine legation of the Hebrew seers, and exhibiting himself as the topstone of the edifice, the Last Great Prophet, and the Paraclete of Christ, has certainly the aspect of a master stroke of policy. Besides conciliating multitudes of Jews and soi-disant Christians, at the very first, this circumstance has aided the imposture not a little ever since. It relieves the Moslem doctors from the dire necessity of waging war against both law and gospel. Whatever can be cited from the Greek and Hebrew Scriptures, without disparaging Mohammed, they admit as readily as any Jew or Christian. Whatever, on the contrary, is hostile to his doctrines or pretensions, or at all at variance with the statements of the Koran, is disposed of, not by an absolute rejection of the Bible, but by a resort to the convenient supposition of corruption in the text. It is not the policy of Islam to array itself against the Jewish and the Christian dispensations, as an original and independent system; but to assume the same position in relation to the Gospel, which the Gospel seems to 'hold in relation to the Law-or, in other words, to make itself the grand dénouement of that grand scheme, of which the Old and New Testaments were only the preparatory stages. Indeed, if we were fully satisfied that the Rasool Allah* had any plan at all, we should be disposed to account for it in this way.

He was acquainted with three forms of religion, Judiasm, Christianity, and Paganism. Disgusted with the latter, he was led, we may suppose, to make some inquiries into the points of difference, between the Jews and Christians. This he could not do, without discovering their singular relation to each other, the Christians acknowledging the Scriptures of the Jews, but adding others to them, and regarding Jesus Christ as the Messiah-the Jews on the other hand rejecting the New Testament, and bitterly denying the Messiahship of Christ. This fact might very readily suggest the project of a new dispensation—a third one to the Christian, and a second to the Jew. The impostor would thus be furnished with an argument ad hominem to stop the mouths of both. To the Jews he

* The Apostle of God. We are not aware that Mohammed ever called him. self a prophet.

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