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duced at subsequent periods, to designate more accurately the technical forms of art, religion, or science. But because the Cornish contains a little Greek, in common with the other European languages, it is neither reasonable nor philological, to suppose that it is particularly allied to it, or that it shares in its elegance and copiousness. Even modern English, perhaps, contains a larger number of Greek words than the Cornish; it possesses much of a Grecian cast, and that too in words, which, it is evident, were never introduced for scientific purposes. The affinity of English to Latin is considerable, as might be anticipated. It is well known, how much Greek there is in the latter, however it may be altered and disguised in form and meaning. But Latin is derived from the Celtic, and is an intermediate link which unites it and its derivative idioms to the Greek language. I cannot account for so many Greek words in our English, on any other ground, than that of this common origin ;' and it is rather to this, than to the Grecian trade from Marseilles, that I attribute the Greek, which is intermixed in the Cornish vocabularies.
It cannot be denied, that during the long intercourse of the Greeks with the coasts of Cornwall, the natives might have be
'The following words, allowing for their disguises, corruptions, and endings, come from the Greek :
sickle, Sdyk 7. know, γνωμι.
skiff, okápos. leave, λείπω.
spread, otelpw. like, έκελος.
strong, otepeós. loose, aúw.
sword, oldnpos. lose, ολέσκω.
tane, dauda. most, uels wv.
tear, τείρω. mother, μήτηρ.
view, eldw. over, υπέρ.
vw pause, rauw.
winter, wash, rain, βαίνω.
whole, 8mos. rock, rag, crag, phonoue. wind, w. roof, όροφος.
now, vûv. one, Éva.
fail, fall, openw. faith, πίστις. father, nathp. fire, trûp. first, apôros. foot, πούς. ford, Tópos. full, πλέος.
} w and seros.
come acquainted with their language, and adopted terms from it, either for objects to which they had already given names, or for such as had hitherto been unknown, and were then introduced for the first time. As their voyages were subsequent to those of the Phenicians, it naturally follows that more of those Greek words should have been retained in use, or rather, that the comparative recency of that period has been the means that fewer have been forgotten, or become obsolete. I will even allow it to be probable, that a great deal of Greek, which might have once been incorporated with the Cornish, has in the lapse of ages unavoidably been lost; but I can go no farther, unless I wished to imitate that ingenuity, which establishes a Greek town of Heraclea on Hartland Point, and would make that headland to be the pillars which terminated the discoveries of the Phocæan navigators.
The following passage, from Dr. Pryce, deserves some animadversion :
“ As from the Hebrews to the Phenicians, so from the Phenicians to the Greeks, came letters and arts. · And accordingly from the Phenician character, the Greeks appear to have composed their letters, and the Latins progressively from the Greeks. So likewise our ancient and true Cornish appears to be mostly derived from the Greek and old Latin tongues, as it partakes much of their cadence and softness, with less of the guttural harshness peculiar to the Hebrew and Chaldee. This is the more easily accounted for, as the Phenicians about the time of the Trojan war, first discovered the Scilly Islands and the western shores of Cornwall; with the natives of which they traded for tin, and sold it to the Greeks." Nothing is so calculated to mislead, as the bold assertions of an able man, which are therefore implicitly believed, and his errors continually repeated. As to his first position, we have already examined how little there is of a Phenician or Hebrew mixture in the Cornish. Those languages, however, are not so generally understood in a Cornishman, to be jealous of the honors of his county, and to have a disposition to believe the exaggerated
· Preface, p. 1.
accounts of Phenician commerce, and hence assume it as indubitable, that that people must necessarily have materially altered and modified the language of the vatives. But to assert that the ancient and true Cornish is mostly derived from the Greek, is an hypothesis which must either have been formed from an imperfect examination of the subject at all; or have proceeded from an ignorance of at least one of the two languages,' Į have indulged in a full scope for etymology, and yet how very few Greek words have been found in the Cornish! and even of these, a certain portion may be disputed. It is true, however, that the Cornish is allied to the old Latin tongue, or Celtic, as will appear hereafter ; but to affirm that it is indebted to this Greek and Latin connexion for its freedom from the guttural harshness peculiar to the Hebrew and Chaldee, cannot be substantiated by any conclusive argument. There is no need to have recourse to those mediums to account for its less disagreeable, and more harmonious sound, than its kindred dialect the Welsh. I ascribed that philological phenomenon to very natural causes in a former letter. The reasons I there assigned, are not confined to the European dialects, but are universal. In eastern Asia, the Malay is distinguished for the harmony of its sounds and the elegance of its diction. Captain Cook also found that the languages of Polynesia were full of vowels and particularly soft, though the speech of some islands was more pleasing than that of others. It is therefore ludicrous to have recourse to the intervention of Greek for the superior polish of the Cornish tongue, since it is probable, that it might have flowed from causes as natural as those which have operated on the Italian, the Persian, the Malay, and the Otaheitan. But, as the Doctor adds, “ The language at that time spoken in other parts of this island, having travelled, over a vast continent, was compounded and impure; and therefore we may boldly infer, that the superior purity of the ancient Cornish is chiefly to be ascribed to its genuine introduction from the shores of Greece and Sidon.” The
' A great connexion must have taken place between the Greeks and the Thracians; and many words must have been mutually imported. The latter were probably Teutonic, Ed.
Doctor might as well have said that our tinners are lineally der , scended from Phenician colonies, and that being sprung fronı Sidon, they are, through Canaan, the eldest branch of Ham the son of Noah. (Gen. x. 15.) To be serious, if the Doctor here nreans any thing, it must relate to the Greek and Phenician; but how improbable a theory! At most, the Britons could only have caught a few foreign words from the factories on their coast, and indeed the present state of the Cornish confirms this supposition. But from the latter part of the quotation, one would understand, that the Cornish was introduced from Greece and Sidon, in the same manner that the Europeans now carry their languages and institutions to their colonial establishments. Whatever was the author's meaning, his words certainly lead us to imagine that our Cornish is only a corruption from the languages of those nations, This is, however, so absurd, that it only requires to be examined to be exposed; and then it will appear that no more Greek or Phenician remains in Cornish than could have been acquired by the natives of any country from foreign factories. Thus far for this inconsiderate hypothesis of Dr. Pryce.
I conclude these remarks with those Cornish words, which appear to have affinity to the Greek,
Adletha, Arth, Awyr, Begel, Bewe, Bodo, Carreg, Ceibal, Clawd, Clewo, Coch, Cregys, Dagrou, Dau, Darras, Deanou, Deysif, Dilliis,
A soldier, 'Αθλητής.
An island, Νήσος.
'Odoús. A door,
A thief, Φωρ.
Γεννάω. Geyleisio, To tickle,
Γιγγιλίζω, Gheluys, Called,
Καλέω. Gruah, An old woman, Spaus.
Μειρακίον dow. Water, Guy, uy,
Nef, Heaven, Νεφέλη. Salt, Halein,
A lamb, Hesuek, Ease, “Ησυχία.
“Ήλιος. Pemp, Five, Houl, Sal, The sun,
Περνάω. Hylwys, To cry out, 'Onnusw. Porthwys, A ferryman, Πορθμεύς Hyrch, To command, "Apxw. Resas,
To flow, Keukraz, Crabs, Καύκρος. Reuki,
Ρέγχειν. Kentrow, Nails, Κέντρον. Riou, Cold,
'Plyos. Krên, A fountain, Κρήνη.
A promontory, 'Pív.
κύων. Skez, A shadow, Σκία.
Λαλέω. Yan, A yoke, Zuyóv.
The following are also derived from the Greek, but it is evident from their meanings, that they are not of a very ancient date, and that they were naturalised subsequent to the conversion of the Britons to Christianity.
Abestely, Apcar, Badeza, Brefusy, Cloireg, Diagon, Ebscob, Eglos, Erhmit, Grest,
Apostles, Αποστόλοι. Jedhewon, Jews, Ιουδαίοι.
Διάκονος. Penbast, Whitsuntide, Πεντεκόστος.
Επίσκοπος. Satnas, Satan, Σατάνας.
A synod, Σύνοδος.
The signification of all the words of this latter list determines their
age at once.