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the unthinking improvidents consume, or rather waste, their provision nearly as fast as they procure it. While they remain at the two villages just mentioned they do nothing but fish, and feast. They cook in two ways:—first, by immersing heated stones into a tub of water which contains their food, and secondly, by placing it between strata of green leaves which are laid upon a bed of such stones. They have no seasoning; and so great, indeed, is their aversion to salt, that, when Maquina once detected Jewitt boiling away sea water, he snatched up the kettle and turned out its contents,-warning his captive, at the same time, that he must never be caught in such a business again. Whatever they eat, however, whether it be fish, or flesh, or vegetable food,—is always accompanied with a profusion of train-oil. That the astringent qualities of salt may, in the long-run, prove injurious to the system, is very possible; that the loosening and digestive effects of oil, on the other hand, must tend to keep it sound and in order, is very certain; and that the unexampled healthiness of the Nootkians, therefore, (only five natural deaths occurred during Jewitt's three years' residence among them) may, in a great measure, be attributed to their abstinence from the former, and the free use of the latter, is, we think, abundantly probable. Colic is almost the only disease which ever afficts them, and they cure that easy enough by merely rubbing the body.
The language of the Nootkians partakes of the simplicity which pervades every thing about them. If we can judge from the specimens given us in the Narrative, or if we may credit the positive testimony of the narrator himself, it consists of but two parts of speech,—of the noun and the verb; or, in other words, of those signs only which stand for the two great divisions of terrestrial phenomena,--to wit, objects, and events. It would, at the first view, scem almost impossible that thought should be communicated through these two symbols only; yet it is a fact, that hardly any written or printed sentence in our own language will become unintelligible by the erasure of every word except the nouns and the verbs; while in our colloquial language, on the other hand, we very frequently use nothing but the nouns, and supply the verbs by means of gesticulation. In expressions which are anywise complicated, we hardly think the adjective could be dispensed with; and yet we greatly doubt whether the Nootkians have a part of speech which is simply and purely attributive. The abstract word-goodness—is perhaps unknown to men in a state of savagism; and we suspect our natives have never gone further in abstraction than to institute some single substantive which comprehends what we should express by a substantive and an adjective. Thus we ap
prehend that by the word wocash they signify what in English would be good thing. Our conjecture derives some corroration, too, from the manner in which they compound words for the expression of what in our own language would be we child and female child. The words chickup, klootzmah, and tinassis respectively signify, man, woman, and child; while the word which stands for the latter, united to those which siguity the two former,-that is, tanassis-chickup, and tanassis-klootzmah,—-constitute respectively the expressions for son and daughter, or man-child and woman-child.-Pronouns are not so indispensable as adjectives; and if we have conjectured rightly about the want of the latter, there will be no di:ficulty in believing the non-existence of the former. Accordingly we see, in the expression quoted on p. 157, for example, that, although we have substituted the pronoun in the translation, the noun is uniformly employed in the original. Literally translated the sentence would be find the enemy-not fear the enemy-find the enemy asleep;' the Nootkian word matemas being repeated in all the three clauses of the original passage. Perhaps, indeed, it is the nature of language, that, while in a state of rudeness, all the labour of elocution is performed by one or two words; and that, as civilization advances, the general division of labour is even extended to the parts of speech. There is something in the idea which, we confess, has the appearance of refinement; yet it is the general process of nature, -as in producing a flower, for example,—first to throw out altogether, and at once (says lord Bacon), the rudiments of all the parts in one body;' and afterwards, we may add, to ramify the several parts into their appropriate functions and positions. In the verbs of all languages, it is impossible, we suppose, to detect the latent rudiments of a pronoun; but we think it can be done in the Greek, Latin, Spanish, and perhaps some others. Turtolky, for example, seems to be compounded of turtw and nuests;—amamus is still more probably a union of amo with nos;—and we are very sure that habemos is compounded of haber and nos. The other subordinate words of a language seem to be absolutely creatures of civilization; and yet we presume they are, to a great extent, derived from some other words.
Such are the government, religion, manners, customs, and language of the people, among whom our captives were obliged to spend nearly three years of their lives. We cannot find space enough to tell our readers all the hardships they underwent from the frequent scarcity of food,-irom the tasks which their master set them, and from the insults which they were sure of receiving from the tribe whenever the phylarch was away. Once in each week, however, they found rest, Both retired on Sunday to the borders of a pond not far from the village;- Jewitt to approach his Maker, -and Thompson to get away from the savages. Jewitt repeatedly wrote letters which the chiefs of neighbouring tribes promised, out of envy to Maquina, they would deliver to the captain of the first ship which might come on the coast; but nineteen were miscarried, or rather not carried at all. The twentieth reached the commander of the brig Lydia, from Boston; and the exclamation of Weena-weena-mamethlee'-'Strangers! strangers! white men!' soon after announced her appearance off Nootka. No words could have sounded more agreeably in the ears of our captives; and yet, lest any manifestation of joy should induce the natives to despatch them, Jewitt received the information with great indifference and told his comrade that they had better continue at work. Maquina was surprised at such conduct; and exclaimed, “What! John, you no glad go aboard! He wanted himself to go aboard, in order to procure such articles as his tribe stood in need of; and had come to ask Jewitt if he thought the enterprise would be perfectly safe. Certainly,' answered the honest armourer: 'you have generally received good treatment at the hands of all other white men; and why should you imagine there is danger in visiting those who are on board of this ship?'-The king, accordingly, determined to go,--provided John would write him a letter of recommendation. Įt ran as follows:< TO CAPTAIN
OF THE BRIG
• Nootka, July 19, 1805. "SIR-The bearer of this letter is the Indian king by the name of Maquina. He was the instigator of the capture of the ship Boston, of Boston, in North America, John Salter captain, and of the murder of twenty-five men of her crew, the two only survivors being now on shore; wherefore I hope you will take care to confine him according to his merits, putting in your dead-lights, and keeping so good a watch over him, that he cannot escape from you. By so doing we shall be able to obtain our release in the course of a few hours.
• John R. JEWITT, Armourer of the Boston,
for himself and
! John THOMPSON, Sailmaker of said ship.' When it was finished Maquina placed his finger upon the signature, and, searching our armourer's countenance with an eye which seemed to penetrate him to the bottom, -John (said he) you no lie?' John's face was fortunately painted, --so that no signs of guilt could be seen in a change of colour; and when
he answered the question with a pretty confident negative, the king was so firmly persuaded of his fidelity that he would listen to no advice from the chiefs or other members of the tribe,--but went on hastening the preparations for the visit, and only repeating amidst the expostulations and intreaties of his despairing subjects -- John no lie- John no lie.' But John did lie; and when the king delivered his letter, he was put immediately in irons. The fact was soon communicated to his people; who were almost crazed with the information, and threatened to cut Jewitt into pieces not bigger than his thumb, if he did not take the proper steps for the rescue of their king. But he knew they would never lay hands upon him, so long as Maquina was at his disposal; and he accordingly made them promise to deliver up himself and his comrade before he would consent to the liberation of the king. The exchange was finally effected; though not without considerable difficulty,- for the natives contrived every possible means to get possession of Maquina, and yet retain their captives. The Lydia proceeded to the north; returned by Nootka; traded again with that tribe; went to China, and finally arrived safely at Boston. Thompson died at Havannah not long after her arrival; and Jewitt is now distributing his Narrative through the United States, Art, V.-Conjectures respecting the Original Formation of
the Arabic Digits, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0. Communicated by John Disney, Esq.-From the Journal of Science and
the Arts, IN N the various researches of literature, the forms even of
letters have not been considered as unworthy of attention; and the investigation has, in some instances, tended to explain and facilitate their use in an eminent degree. Of this we have several instances particularly in regard to the roman letters used as numerals, in the valuable Cyclopædia now publishing by Dr. Rees, from which I shall take two or three examples, sufficient to elucidate what I mean.-D. a numeral for 500, because half of the gothic m. M. the initial of Mille, 1000. L. a numeral for 50, because it is half L., the ancient C., which stood for 100, the initial of Centum.* And so are explained other roman numerals. From having observed these it occurred to me, that it might not be difficult to find out how the Arabic numerals, or digits (as they are called), came by their present shapes; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0. The convenience and utility of these signs in the operations of arithmetic and science need 0 comment; but one seems quite at a loss to know how calculations of any extent could be carried on by roman numerals. Each figure was a sum, 4 was IV. i. e. 5 — i, and so placed, that one can as easily suppose it to be six; for there is no reason why the right hand figure may not be added to the left hand, as well as the left hand subtracted from it: one instance more; to express 29, the sum is both addition and substraction, XXIX. i. e. 10 + 10 + 10 — 1. I only notice this, as showing, that Arabic figures deserve at least as much attention as the
* See the two letters D. and L.
roman. In attempting to develop these several forms, I think I have succeeded in eight; the other two, 7 and 9, have hitherto defied all my efforts; perhaps some one else, to whom the subject may be amusing, may succeed better.
I must in the outset observe, that I found my whole conjecture upon two hypotheses; the first of which I have borrowed from the editors of the new Cyclopædia, viz. what they call the roundness of letters, arising from more rapid writing, as they instance in D, which, they say, is no other than the Greek á rounded a little by making it at two strokes.' This rounding I have availed myself of in the following figures, as will be seen: the second I have assumed myself, and is this; that while the Romans made every figure representing unity perpendicular, as I. II. &c. the inventors of the Arabic figures varied from this, by making it both ways; perpendicular, as 1, and horizontal, as =, in two, and E, in three; and all higher compounds either way. I shall now proceed to take each figure founded on these data in its turn.
1, requires no more than has been already stated.
2, was formed =, which written quickly, became Z: and, by the rounding attendant upon hurry in writing, becomes further changed into 2.
3, in like manner was formed of , written quickly, and rounded into 3, which still makes three distinct points to the left hand.
4, was, I suppose, a square o, i.e. = with two perpendiculars || added, one at each end, which when written quickly, is most easily done by taking the two opposite angles at one stroke each, thus, L1, as every one knows who has ever written geometrical problems; and these, by careless uniting, soon cross each other [1.; and this makes our present 4, at first actually a four-sided figure.
5, is as easily formed from 3; thus E, which, with two (perpendicularly) added, is soon made into S; and that hurried, and consequently rounded, is now 5.