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ON THE TYRIAN INSCRIPTION
Found in the Island of Malta.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CLASSICAL JOURNAL. You will doubtless admit, that to decypher inscriptions of ancient monuments is commonly attended with extreme difficulty, especially, when it is considered how many circumstances may concur to increase the difficulty. Ancient characters, hardly to be traced, and the language of an ancient and remote nation, whose history and literature are lost, confirm the remark : and hence several essays are made ere we can obtain any satis-, factory solution : a reference to your Classical Journal, and the exertions of your literary correspondents on the present article, may apologise for the intrusion of my paper on the subject.
From the face of the inscription, as represented in Hebrew characters in the tenth Number, pag. 400. it appears to relate to the establishment of certain ecclesiastical missionaries from Tyre, the mart of Phænicia, to Malta, with commendatory letters from the Governor of Tyre and his colleagues, to the Metropolitan of the Island. In order to a clear statement, let the inscription stand corrected in Hebrew characters as follows, together with its interpretation, as the same appears to me.
The Inscription in Hebrew characters.
לאדנו למלי קרת בעל צר אמנדד עבדו עבדאסר ואחיאסר שמר שני בני אסר שנור בני עבדאסר
כשמע קלם יברכם
CVSTODI DVOS FILIOS ESSARI
PROTECT THE SONS OF HEBEDESSAR:
MAY HE BLESS THEM.
napa a priest of a city, or metropolitan: and that this title was addressed to an ecclesiastic of rank, is sufficiently apparent from the concluding sentence, “When he heareth their voice may he bless them.” 73 Sya Baal Zur may well be interpreted « Governor of Tyre” as explained above; and thus the inscription represents the governor of Tyre, by name Amandad, and his two colleagues, named Hebedessar, and Achiessar, intreating the favorable reception of the missionaries by the Muley of the city, whose benediction he and his colleagues implore upon them, and recommend them to protection.
It should be observed, that the island of Malta, anciently called Melita, was famous for the shipwreck and escape of St. Paul and his companions, Acts ch. xxvii. 1, and there can be little doubt, that in memory of their signal deliverance, a Christian church was soon planted in that island, and, as occasion required, those Islanders might have had priests from Tyre; in memory of which, the inscription in question appears to record no small testimony.
The First Rudiments of General Grammar, applicable to all Languages. By D. St. Quentin, M. A. Longman and Co. 1812. Pr. 2s. 6d.
An Introduction to French Grammar. Third Edition. By the Same. Longman and Co. 1812.
1812. Pr. 2s. 6d. A New Grammar of the French Language. Second Edition. By the same. Longman and Co. 1812. Pr. 4s. 6d.
All the world, that is to say, all the world in England, learned bishops, rich nobles, and richer commoners, are still disputing on the fruitful subject of national education. Some wear « the red rose”.of Lancaster ; others will follow no badge but the sacerdotal rose of Dr. Bell; whilst all co-operate with almost equal success in the promotion of the great cause, by emulously endeavouring to diffuse useful knowledge at the least possible expense of time and labor. At a time when the poor derive so much benefit from the effect of these simple and regular systems, we hail, with peculiar pleasure, a writer who aims at freeing the children of the rich from some of the most troublesome incumbrances of learning; who. wages war against confusion, and obscurity; who seeks to
relieve all well-dressed masters and misses from groping their way through the “ darkness visible” of half a dozen contradictory grammars, huddling rule upon rule, exception upon exception, and dialogue upon dialogue, with the most hopeless and incredible perseverance; and actually engages to place the aforesaid unfortu. nates on a level with those happy ragged urchins who, learning nothing. de trop,' are never ordered to forget, and being taught to understand as well as to repeat, seldom find it difficult to remember.
These observations are perhaps only applicable to young ladies. The established Latin grammars give a secure ground-work to our sons; but our daughters, while they are taught to draw like artists and to play like professors, are left to pick up grammaticalknowledge as they can. And yet female education is undoubtedly the most fashionable topic of the day : never was there a time in which so much was talked and written «about it, Goddess, and about it." We can scarcely take up a novel without encountering some philosophical plan to render all the descendants of Eve as charming as Milton has made their first mother, all and every one of them « wisest, virtuousest, discreetest, best." The fact is that our writers on education deal more in theory than in instruction; they tell us what ought to be taught, but not how to teach it; and the finest superstructures are in danger of falling because the architect will not condescend to the necessary drudgery of laying a solid foundation. We see instances of this every day. One mamma admires (who indeed does not admire ?) the beautiful theory of Miss Edgeworth ; another prefers the system of Mrs. Hamilton ; every one admits their merit and their ingenuity; and every one finds their plans difficult at home, and almost impossible at school : so that after a few weeks' trial the poor child is sent again to her governess and her vocabulary, to catch her English from the nursery-maid and her French from the barbarous jargon of some provincial bonne. Mr. St. Quentin has done his best to remove these evils by supplying our schools and governesses with elementary books so simple, clear, and instructive, that not only the docile pupil
, but the less tractable teacher, cannot well avoid learning from them. Clearness and simplicity are the only merits to which he pretends. He does not overlay the memory; he rather, like a skilful gardener, loosens the surrounding clay, and gives the roots of thought room to fix and expand.
We extract from his preface part of his first lesson, adapted to the capacity of children of six years old.
Suppose three or four of them to be seated round a table, with a master at the head : let him first endeavour to inspire them with confidence and good humor, after which he may address them in the following manner :-“ My dear children, you are not come to ao
age, when it is necessary for you to learn grammar, which teaches you how to express your ideas by words. You know what words are ; but you do not exactly understand what is meant by the word idea. It shall, therefore, be the object of my first lesson to explain it to you.
“ You see in your grammar that an idea is the mere representation, or image, in our own mind, of any thing external that came to our knowledge through the five senses. And that you may perfectly understand what this means, let me ask you some questions.
“ Miss Adèle, do you see your grand-mamma -No, Sir. --Why not?-Because she is not here.—Then, my dear child, shut your eyes. Do you see her now?--No, Sir, I do not.-But cannot you imagine that you see her?— Yes, I can.-How is she dressed ? In a white gown, with a white
and black ribbands.--Well, this is an idea ; it is because you have seen your grand-mamma before, who is very good to you, because you have spoken to her and kissed her, that you
have now a representation or image, of her; and this representation or image is called an idea.
«°Miss Emily, will you think of something ; but do not tell it ; have you done so ?— Yes, Sir.--Does any one know what Miss Emily thought of ?-No.-Will you have the goodness to tell us? I thought of a plum-cake.--Well, now we all know your idea, because we have often seen, touched, and tasted plum- cakes."
The succeeding lessons are on the plan of the Abbé Gaultier, and the author has contrived to carry on his pupils so rapidly, that his little book contains nearly all that is necessary to be learnt of the grammatical construction of the English language.
The introductory French work ought rather to have been called a vocabulary; though the auxiliary verbs conjugated negatively and interrogatively, and the excellent selection of phrases, render it a very useful first book. But the new French grammar is certainly the author's most important work. Of the perfect arrangement and dependence of the different parts of speech, in which consists perhaps its greatest merit, we can of course give no example; and we regret that the form of our pages precludes our inserting a specimen of his tables of irregular verbs, or of his method of conveying the French pronunciation to those who cannot procure a master. We can only transcribe one of the dialogues in which pure and grammatical English has been translated (if we may be allowed so to use the word) into English literally adapted to the French idiom.
Instead of introducing the French in the opposite column of the familiar phrases which beginners learn mechanically, without paying th least attention to the difference of idiom and construction, the author has given the English only, with such transposition of the words as corresponds to the French construction ; that the scholar, by being obliged to construct the English and commit the French to
memory, may be enabled to discern and compare their different idioms, and thus acquire more speedily, and retain more accurately, the knowledge of the language.
From this manner of learning French there will be no danger of corrupting the English. 1st. Because it requires a certain accuracy and precision, which will oblige the learner to attach to each word its own idea ; an accuracy which will wonderfully facilitate the acquisition of any language. 2d. Because this method exactly shows the difference of both languages; and the more the French construction differs from the English, the less it is to be feared that it will be imitated in conversation. VII.
Did you walk yesterday?
Do not walk so fast, it quite tires me.
How the dogs are barking!
Do you ride on horse-back?
I am rery fond of it.
Yourself are you walked yesterday?
sweet. (') * March not so fast, that me fa
tigues too-much. How (comme) the dogs bark! I believe that the carriage is at the
to-mount at horse?
mount at horse,
in their carriage.
the carriage of niy uncle.
most healthy of the world.
Do not be afraid, I know very well
how to ride on horse-back.
Let us take a ride.
I like better to go on horse-back.
in the world.
· The asterisk is the sign of the first negation ne-see the Grammar, page 190.