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The ftames of the numerals of moft of the nations ofEurope; a table of the names, with remarks upon their deviations; and on the names of some of those of Asia and America.
jTj^^lf HE necessity of some manner of counting began T $J* as ^oon as man P0^'e^e(i tne ^veral things that ^JSF^jl tended to his preservation, or that, in process of time, became commercial: accordingly, we find a method of reckoning, which has the fame origin all over the world, both in babarous and civilized nations. They all count by decimals, and ten being the determinate number, the accumulation of these tens with units makes the amount of any desired sum; and, indeed, this must have been sounded upon the number of the fingers natural to mankind.
I Find the Indians', all over America^ except the Caj-iheans, in this method, who, according to their several languages, give names to each unit, from one to ten; and proceed to add an unit to the ten, till there are two tens, to which sum they give a peculiar name; and so on to three tens, four tens, and till it comes to ten times ten, or to any number of tens. This is the case all over the Rajl also, even among the Malay's, of whofe numbers I had the names given me by persons who resided among them for many years, and spoke their language.
In America, the names of the numerals are very different in every nation, except the five nations and the WanatS, and I am informed that their dialects are so various, that thofe of one tribe can scarce understand their neighbours of another; perhaps this is pretty much the case in Africa, and in several parts of Ajia; which makes me imagine, that it would be very difficult to trace out any harmony, or affinity, in their several tongues. This, however, being not what I propofe, in my present undertaking, I shall pass on to my particular business, which is to consider the appellations of the numerals of the several countries in Europe, and, in this pursuit, I shall lay before my readers a table of their respective names, as I have before of some of their words, which will produce a very curious and surprizing result.
The chain of anecdotes, which appears, in the course of the foregoing chapters, mews very strongly how much the nations of Europe have derived from the Gomerians and Magogians, or Celts and Scythians: and a due consideration of the names of their numerals every where, will add much force to what has been thus suggested.
I Have faid before, that the Indians of the Western world counted by tens, differing only in the names, to which they, and all the world, were originally led by the nunv ber of their fingers \ but I find, in the names given to numbers by the ancient Caribeans, they made their period at jive, and added one to the name of each of those five, till they had compleated ten; and when, by adding the number of the toes of each soot respectively, they arrived to twenty, that was their ne plus \ for they had no nation
of of reiterating the fingers and toes to express any further number: and they had no other words to express ten, and twenty, than a sentence for each: for the first, chonn oucabo raim, i. e. all the little ones of both hands; and, for the second, chon nou gouchi raim, the little ones of both hands and feet; beyond this, they were incapable of advancing in numbers. Whereas, among the North Americans, they all counted to ten, and by adding one, two, three, &c. to ten, advanced to any number of units and tens up to one thoufand; now, as it is proved, that the Caribeans went from the continent, from among the Apalachians, to inhabit the islands called by their name, it is probable, that the Indians about Florida may have had formerly no better genius for numbers than they; I have collected the names given to numbers in several parts of North America, as well as in some of the Eajlern parts, and cannot find any apparent affinity between them and thofe of Europe, except in a very few; yet, by decomposing many of their names of things and places, it is very easy to derive them from the Celtic; of which I shall produce several examples, in a proper place.
But the sameness of the numeral names in most parts of Europe, with those in the Gomerian and Magogian tongues, is so amazingly palpable, that it will not be unworthy of a . particular enquiry into the reason of so curious a circumstance. There must, however, be the fame allowance made for the seeming difference in thofe names of different nations, that we have shewn to be very reasonable in the foregoing chapter, concerning the deviation, and other alterations, in the words of the languages j for, it is impof2 fible
sible to deny that they sprung from the lame source, when they are fairly laid down, and impartially considered.
When the Gomerians, on the one hand, came into Britain, and the Magogians, on the other, arrived in Ireland, they brought with them their numerals, as well as their language, where they remain, without any sensible alteration, at this time: and as numbers were useful to all mankind, thofe of that family, who continued to spread themselves all over Europe, retained them also, as will appear by the following table, and that, indeed, with less deviation than many parts of the several languages from one another j and this naturally brings on the inquiry, why there 'is not the like harmony, and the fame names, among the American Indians, and among people of other remote countries, since it is most certain, that the former went from Tartary by the ways mentioned above.
To this it may be answered: that all the arts and sciences that were known to Noah and his sons, were propagated by them to their immediate descendants, where they sirst settled, and we have shewn before where Noah's grandsons were seated; we can only mention, for our purpose, thofe of Japhet in Greece, the isies of EIi/ha j of whom, some of these two grand people, so often mentioned, were early settled in their present situation, and very soon shone forth in learning, both in Britain and Ireland; for these were well known to flourish all over Europe, whilst the Greeks were improving, in their turns, in Greece, and the Latins in Italy, on the one hand; and, on the other, the Magogians and Gomerians all over Germany, Trance, 6cc. The arts were transmitted, from
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place to place, in due time, in the more polished nations, by commerce or conquest; but were forgotten in the more remote countries, to which many colonies were driven by force, and where the necessities they were under, from the barrenness of their dwelling places, and the difficulties they met in procuring the principal neceflaries of life, obliterated all knowledge of every thing but what conduced to their immediate preservation. Thus, whilst some tribes of the Scythians were forming polite kingdoms, improving agriculture, and encouraging commerce; others were degenerating into favages, and of necessity compelled to lofe every ray of knowledge, and, consequently, the very names of the numbers, which their forefathers used.
These were the people who passed over to America* and, as they migrated southward into more friendly and fertile regions, to which numbers were naturally invited, they then began to form kingdoms and governments, surprizingly great, witness the Apalachians, Mexicans, and others; but some remain still favages to this day, where they are more remote from the central countries, whose inhabitants were always more polite.
But how polite, or favage soever the Americans were, they all entered into such new scenes and modes of life, and had so many new, and very different, productions of fertile nature to fill their eyes, that they were obliged to find new names for things, and so gradually lost their own, and formed new, languages: it is hence no wonder they should have given different names for their numbers, in every tribe throughout the American continent. This, however, could not be the cafe in Europe^ among the governments