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I Also find another similarity between the names of the numbers, as they are combined both among the Delawares and the Five Nations of North America, and the Wanats. All the latter fay towachfon, for twenty; and the former, the Delawares, fay nisha naghky, for the fame number, ex- pressing the tens by the word wachfon and naghky; now, I cannot but think the latter is a corruption of the former, and that the Five Nations were always their superiors, both in power and antiquity: and the fame may be faid of the Shawanefe; for they use a word for the very fame purpofe, which seems also a corruption of the wach/on, and that is, wapitiky, in which it agrees with the wachfon in the first syllable, and with the naghhy in the last.
The Carribeans have not the least likeness to any of the North Americans, in the names of their numbers; they seem to be alone in their notions of counting, and so limited, as to be incapable of rising higher than the number twenty, of which I have given some account in the beginning of this chapter; but we must add here, a few other anecdotes of their notions in this matter: they fay aban, for one; biam, for two; elcoua, for three; biambouri, for four. Now, biam being the name for two, they add bouri to it, to signify four; and bouri means all, or in tire; so that, in their idiom, this word, added to the biam, denotes four to be a perfect, or intire number. As to the five, they cannot express it, but by three long words: viz. laoyagone ouacabo apourcou; of which, being interpreted, the meaning is, come the other, or fifth, of this hand: and when they come to this number, then they add the four names of the units to these words, to fay one and Jive, two
and and five, three and jive, four and five, and then they have the two sentences, mentioned already, to express ten and twenty. After which, if they want to go any farther,. they are bewildered, and fay tamigati cachi nitibouri-bali, or saccao-balij which signifies, "there are as many more as the hairs of my head, or grains of fand upon the seashore." These accounts I have from the Carribean French dictionary of Pere Raymond, printed at Auxerre, in 1665; who was one of the first mistioners sent to- the Carribean islands. Thus we fee, that when these people were driven from the continent to these islands, they entered upon a new scene, and, in time, they dwindled into an absolute oblivion of the use of their numbers, inventing a new and most imperfect manner of counting, as well as of conducting most of their affairs: just so, all the inhabitants that were driven to the coasts of the Frozen Sea, all along to the most North-eaftern promontory of land, called the Ichuchjkoy Aros, and so to Kamptfchatka, have lost all kinds. of knowledge of what their ancestors were doing in the more Southern regions of Furopean and Asiatic Tar.taryy and for other reasons, given before.
Historical observations upon alphabets, and the invention of letters j with a table of some of those of Europe.
Y*&T%IODORUS S1CULUS, in his first book, itn D fe Ferris to prove my opinion, that hieroglyphical ^J§£-5 writing was only confined to the facred affairs of the Egyptian, Ethiopian, and other priests; but was never used by the public; for that symbolical kind of writing, which consisted only of the images of various things put together, would very ill suit the tranfaction of the business of the world, especially too, as mercantile affairs were begun, and carried on, very early after the flood, which required a more intelligible and ready way than by figures of animals, Sec. for the dispatch of business. Let us fee what Diod. Sicul. fays, in the above place; nothing less than "that every body was taught "the vulgar, or common, letters; but that thofe which "were accounted facred, were only known to the priests, "whofe fathers, or predecessors, taught them privately." He fays, particularly, " the priests teach their children "two kinds of letters; one of which they call facred, "and the other of more common use.'* This would certainly point out, that the first was adapted to their religious purpofes, and the other for common business; and in another place, a little further on, where he tells us that "the common people learned the trades of their fathers, "or relations, whereby they lived, he fays that they teach "writing letters, but not every one, only thofe chiefly
"who are the masters of artsand this, among the common people.
I Think an argument, in support of this opinion, may be drawn from the following animadversions, which, however, I submit to the reader's consideration, to judge of them as he pleases: the first is, that all we know of Egyptian writing, we have from tables, columns, statues, and such like; which, most likely, were inscribed for facred purposes, of some kind or other; and we certainly must think this of them, till some genuine interpretations of them can be obtained to invalidate this opinion; and this is probably among the desiderata vana. Again, I believe it can hardly admit of a doubt, that the sons of Shem spoke the Hebrew tongue; and it is proved before, that those of Ham had the fame language; nor can it be proved, that they had not their letters also in Noah's family: if this be true, the sons of Ham, who were Phœnicians, Egyptians, Ethiopians, 8cc. needed not to be driven to the shift of inventing images for writing their language, in the performance of common business, when they had characters to express all they wanted. No! it seems most likely, that the priests of that idolatrous race invented this manner of writing, by hieroglyphics, for the mysteries of their religious worship, in order to blind the vulgar, and enslave the minds of the people, for which the common manner of writing would be improper: and this is the case, to this day, all over the pagan world. That most authors think hieroglyphical writing was for sacred purpofes, is well known, among whom Ammian, Mar cell, in his twenty-second book, fays, "there are ccr
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