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If therefore the author and publisher of the present work had merely undertaken to answer these wants by a republication of Bux. torf with some necessary additions and corrections, they would have deserved the encouragement and warmest thanks of every Hebrew scholar. But in truth far more than this has been effected. The enterprising publishing house of Tauchnitz in Leipsic, to whom the literary public is already so highly indebted for correct and beautiful editions of standard works in almost every language to which the typographical art has been applied, have attended to the “getting up" of the work in question in the highest style of art without regard to expense. They have also succeeded in obtaining as its editor the learned and talented Dr. Julius Fürst, who, although but recently become known to the public as an author, by the publication of his Aramaic Lehrgebäude and Perlenschnüre, has already obtained the reputation of an Orientalist of the very highest order.
In these works, of which in a future number we intend to offer a review, he has proved himself a most able and successful advocate of the analytico-historical as opposed to the mere rational method of investigation adopted and defended by some writers of the present day. This method, which consists, as its name implies, of combining the evidences afforded by philological analysis with the testimony of tradition, he has employed with great philosophical acumen in tracing out and displaying the degree of relationship between the languages of the Shemitish and Indo-European families which had already been partially demonstrated to exist. His Lehrgebäude ex. hibits in a vast number of instances the success which has attended his investigation in this department of philological inquiry ; and although, as might have been anticipated, he has been severely at. tacked by the partisans of the rational school, who reject all histori. cal evidence which does not coincide with their own à priori deductions, he has forced upon every impartial scholar a conviction of the soundness of his views and of the correctness of the results which their practical application has led him to obtain.
The high expectations to which the novelty and importance of his speculations gave rise among oriental scholars have been fully met by the present publication, which combines in itself a concordance the most comprehensive in its plan and accurate in its execution that has yet appeared, and a lexicon which may be termed perfect as far as relates to the etyniological history of the words and the philusophical development of their various shades of signification. The plan of the work is as follows. The words, both Hebrew and Chaldee, are ranged under their respective roots, and preceding the enu. meration of the passages in which each one is found is a detailed account of its etymology and meanings in rabbinical Hebrew and in Latin.
These two statements, however, are by no means exact counter
parts to each other. In the rabbinical portion the opinions of the most celebrated Jewish doctors and grammarians are stated and discussed, and the meaning of each word settled upon a sound historical basis that will cause to be laid aside as we trust forever many of the far-fetched and unfounded speculations in which modern lexicographers have indulged. The evidence, too, which is thus derived from tradition and from the concurrence of ancient interpreters, is remarkably strengthened by the collateral proof afforded by a most extensive and ingenious comparison of the roots, first with those of the other Shemitish languages, and next with those of the Indo-European stock ; the results of which are as instructive as they are in many cases new and surprising. The frequency of his references to and quotations from the Talmudic writers shows a familiarity with their productions far surpassing even that of the learned Buxtorf, while the purity and elegance of his Hebrew style reminds one of the writings of the Jewish sages of antiquity.
The Latin account of the word which succeeds the Rabbinic is deserving of equal commendation for the beauty and correctness of the style in which it is written. It contains 1, a repetition of the etymologies already given ; 2, a comparison of the equivalent terms in the fragments of the three Greek translations, the Chaldee paraphrases, the Vulgate, and other classical versions ; 3, a complete enumeration of the various Greek expressions employed in the rendering of each word by the Seventy ; and 4, a variety of philological and archaeological observations, frequently of great interest and importance.
It will thus be seen that as a lexicon the work of Buxtorf, which gives but a single meaning to each word, is one which cannot be compared with it for a moment. As a concordance the superiority of the work of Dr. Fürst is hardly less marked. Its principal features in this point of view are as follows:
1. The word to be illustrated is accurately pointed, the place of the accent marked, and its grammatical form stated.
2. The text of the cited passages, here as in Buxtorf left unpointed, has been revised according to the standard edition of the Hebrew Bible by Hahn; and the places in which various readings occur are pointed out by means of the masoretic signs. In the course of the revision a vast number of errors have been corrected, and we are enabled to state from actual examination that very few indeed have been suffered to remain.
3. The references to book, chapter, and verse, which were given by Buxtorf in Hebrew, are here put for greater convenience in Roman letters and Arabic numerals, while the number of citations has been immensely increased by means of the editor's own researches as well as by the contributions of his friends. Many passages given by Buxtorf, which contain words similar in form to those under
SECOND SERIES, vol. 1. NO. 1.
which they are placed but totally different in etymology and signification, are corrected and inserted under their proper heads.
4. A number of words which Buxtorf had omitted on account of the immense number of times which they occur have found a place in the new Concordance. All the nouns too, as well as those par. ticles which are derived from verbal roots, are given. Particles from pronominal roots are excluded from the body of the work, but will be placed in an alphabetical list at the end.
The work as we have stated is arranged on the etymological plan, to the advantages of which those of the alphabetical arrangement are superadded by means of an index at the end containing all the biblical Hebrew and Chaldee words in alphabetical order, with references to the pages of the Concordance on which they are found. There are also several other highly valuable appendages to the work, among which are: An alphabetical list of all the Aramaic, Talmudic, and Rabbinic words explained in the lexicographical division, the number of which is so great as to form an almost complete Aramaic and Rabbinic lexicon in themselves; a tabular view of the Hebrew roots arranged according to their affinities with those of the other six families of languages of the ancient world; a collection of the fragments of the old Aramaic Masora, preceded by a his. lory of the same ; and lastly, a chronological table of the sacred writings. The work is calculated to make ten parts of one hundred and twenty folio pages each, six of which have already reached us. It is truly a herculean undertaking, and we cannot doubt but that in this country as well as in Europe it will meet with the applause and encouragement to which it is so eminently entitled.
2.- History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, the Catholic.
By William H. Prescott. In three Volumes. Fourth Edition.
509, 531. A brief notice of the first edition of this work will he found in the Repository for April last, (Vol. XI. p. 518.) The fourth edition is now before the public, in which several verbal inaccuracies of the first are corrected and a variety of new and valuable references and illustrations are supplied.
This large and valuable historical work is such as rarely appears in any language. It is the fruit of long labor and of learned and accurate research, with advantages which have not been possessed by any previous writer of Spanish history. The candor and thoroughness with which the author has pursued his investigations and ihe honesty with which he has submitted his authorities to the inspection of the reader, are worthy of all praise. One of the first impressions produced by the reading of this book is that the author has thoroughly studied his subject,--that it is trustworthy.
The title of the work does not convey to the reader an adequate idea of its scope and design. The author has accomplished much more than his title promises. It is not the "history of the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella” merely, but of Spain, for a considerable time previous to the commencement of that reign, and continued through the regencies of Ferdinand and of Ximenes which succeeded it, to the beginning of the reign of Charles the Fifth. The plan of the work is singularly bold and philosophical.
In two introductory chapters of more than ninety pages we have a graphic and very satisfactory view of the political condition of Spain, from the eighth to the fifteenth century. During that long and dreary period, it was broken up into a number of small but independent States, divided in their interests and often in deadly hostility with each other. By the middle of the fifteenth century, these numerous States had become reduced to four ; Castle, Aragon, Navarre, and the Moorish kingdom of Granada. Of the first two of these our author gives a more particular account in his introductory chapters, the history of their constitutions, the characteristics of the people, their religious enthusiasm, the influence of their Minstrelsy, their chivalry, the Cortes, its power, boldness, etc. the nobility, their privileges and wealth, knights, clergy, the poverty of the crown, &c. all which are necessary to enable the reader to understand the origin of subsequent events and the agencies concerned in their production.
We are thus presented with the scattered and heterogeneous materials which were about to be combined to constitute a great nation ; a nation “ born to decay,” but destined, during the brief career of its glory and its conquests, to exert a more signal influence, on the civilization of Europe and the world, than any other nation of its
The marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella first united the crowns of Castile and Aragon. After this, their policy and success in arms soon reduced to subjection the kingdoms of Granada and Navarre, and thus completed the internal national structure of modern Spain. In the meantime Sicily and the Balearic Isles had descended to Ferdinand, with the crown of Aragon, and during the same reign Naples and the whole of lower Italy were added to the Spanish do. minions, while the arms of Ximenes acquired for it a new sovereignty in the north of Africa, and the discoveries of Columbus extended the empire of Spain to a world before unknown.
And not only was Spain, at this time, the most interesting nation in the world, but the age of Ferdinand and Isabella's reign was one of the most important points in the world's history. It was an age of revolution and of wonderful expansion of the elements of modern civilization. The properties of the needle had now just begun to be applied to maritime adventure, unfolding new avenues to wealth and knowledge. Gunpowder and fire-arms were beginning to modify the art of war; and printing had just come into use, diffusing intel. lectual life with a rapidity and to an extent before unknown. It was an age too of concentration among the powers of Europe, when the first visible causes began to operate which have resulted in the modern political state of the European nations. The whole European world was in a state of excited action, and the human mind was moving forward with visible and accelerated steps. Learning was about to revive, the impulses were now given which resulted in the glorious Protestant Reformation, and the discovery of the American continent, first opened that broad theatre for the development of the principles of civil and religious freedom, which are so happily illustrated in the Constitution and usages of our own United States, and which are even now exerting a reflex influence so benign and pow. erful upon the old world.
The history of the reign which embraced the beginnings of these great ends, is one of more than common interest, not only to the general reader, but to the philosopher, the statesman, the philanthropist and the Christian of every land; while, to Americans, it embra. ces topics of peculiar attraction.
We deem it unnecessary and out of place to attempt, here, an extended review of this admirable history. Every part of it seems to us so indispensable to the full and correct understanding of the whole, that, to give an adequate exhibition of the merits of the work, we should need to write it over again, and give to our author the credit of original discovery, in regard to most of the important matters of which it is composed. They are such as have never before been presented in the English language. This history is therefore essentially a new one, though the times of which it treats have long since passed away. Robertson's “ Charles the Fifth," and the works of Hallam, Roscoe, Milman, Flechier and Sismondi have treated in a popular historical form several topics embracing partial views of Spanish affairs under the administration of Ferdinand and Isabella. Irving, of our own country, in his lives of Columbus and other Spanish voyagers, and also in his chronicle of the Conquest of Granada, has shed a brilliant light upon some of the striking events of that age. But a full history of that reign, its internal policy, its external relations, its important connections with the preceding and subsequent ages of the world, was never attempted by any historian in our language, until it has not only been attempted but executed in a most attractive and satisfactory manner by our countryman, Mr. Prescott.
The leading personages in this history, as the title indicates, are the reigning sovereigns of Spain. Associated with them are “the Admiral," Columbus, “ the great Captain," Gonsalvo, and Ximenes, whose various characteristics and exploits made him the wonder of his age. Around these several heroes of his narrative, to say nothing of a host of inferiors, our author throws all the life and interest