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as given by Mr. Heckewelder. These are equally superficial and equally undeserved with his strictures upon the orthography; and, if he had read Mr. H's. work as a reviewer ought, before he attempted to criticise it, he would not have ventured to make them.
He represents Mr. H's. explanation of this term in such a manner, that the reader would suppose that author to have given no other meaning of it than original;" he then adds, with the air of one that cannot be mistaken, “ Lenee is undoubtedly used by the Delawares, in a restricted sense, to signify
But its more general meaning is male. Our word original conveys an improper idea of the Delaware word Lenape. Its true meaning is common; and it is applied to such objects either of nature, or of art, as are of common occurrence. Thus, aughkweeyun is cloth, and lenee aughkweeyun is common cloth, such as the Indians ordinarily use. Piyaughkeekun is a gun, and lenee piyaughkeekun is a fusil, or common gun, as contradistinguished from a rifle.” p. 68.
It might be uncandid to suppose, that this critic derived any part of his own information from the very source which he seems to hold in so little respect; yet he illustrates his remarks by one of the examples in Mr. Hos. work. But, acquitting him of this petty artifice of superficial reviewers, what will be the reader's surprise to find, that Mr. Heckewelder does, in fact,give as one signification of the word lenni, the very same English word with this critic, that is, common; but he gives besides, as his superior knowledge of the language enabled him to do, various other meanings ; just as single words in English have different senses. The reader shall have, as I know he will wish in this case, Mr. Heckewelder's own words: “I agree with you,” says he to Mr. Du Ponceau, that lenni, lenno, illenoh, illenou, illinois, appear to have all the same derivation, and to be connected with the idea of man, nation, or people. Lenno, in the Delaware language, signifies man, and so does Lenape, in a more extended
In the name of the Lenni Lenape, it signifies people; but the word lenni, which precedes it, has a different signification, and means original, and sometimes common, (the very meaning so formally stated by this reviewer!) plain, pure, unmixed. Under this general description the Indians comprehend all that they believe to have been first created in the origin of things. To all such things they prefix the word lenni; as, for instance, when they speak of high lands, they say lenni hacki, (original lands ;) but they do not apply the same epithet to low lands, which being generally formed by the overflowing, or washing of rivers, cannot therefore be called original. Trees, which grow
on high lands are called lenni hittuck, original trees. They also say lenni m'bi, pure water; leneyachkhican, a fowling piece, as distinguished from a rifle, because it was the first fire arm they ever saw; a rifle they call tetupalachgat. The say, lenachsinnall, common stones, because stones are found every where; lenachpoan, common bread; lenachgook, a common snake, such as are seen every where, (from achgook, a snake ;) lenchum, the original, common dog, not of the species brought into the country by the white people."* Besides, Mr. Hecke. welder, in giving his explanation of the Delaware name, says, it signifies not merely original people, but unchanged, unmixedot
From these extracts it will abundantly appear, how limited this reviewer's knowledge of the Delaware language is, in comparison with that of this venerable writer; and also, how little real difference there is between them on many points, when Mr. Heckewelder's opinions are candidly examined, by reading his work, and taking all his remarks together, instead of hastily catching at detached passages, and carping at opinions which the author never entertained.
This language may be thought strong by some of my readers; but it is mildness itself, in comparison with that of the reviewer, in speaking of Mr. Heckewelder; for he asserts of that venerable man, that one of his examples of the Delaware idiom,“ has been evidently formed to meet the case !” He most charitably observes, however, that Mr. H. had not thus answered Mr. Du Ponceau's inquiries “ with the slightest disposition to misrepresent;" but, what will the reader guess ?“ because the subject was not very familiar to him, and because slight analogies are easily traced between languages the most remote in their principles.” p. 76. In another place he observes, in the same strain—" such is the spirit of accommodation, in which examples are furnished !” As if this veteran missionary, who was probably acquainted with the Delaware language before this reviewer was born, could be so grossly ignorant, as not to understand his examples himself, and so weak as to permit the publishing of his silly fabrications, when detection was inevitable !
Yet says our author, “ we esteemed the man when living, and we cherish his memory now he is dead !" If our author was as felicitous in the mode of testifying his esteem for Mr. Heckewelder while living, as he is in cherishing his memory now he is dead, that revered servant of the gospel must have possessed a rare treasure in this friend of his. As my best wish, I shall only desire that the reviewer himself may, in due time, find a
* Heckewelder, p. 412, 413.
biographer, who will have taken the same effectual method of testifying his esteem for the man while living, and of cherishing his memory when he is dead."
I now proceed to notice some of this critic's notions of philology in relation to the Indian languages. It is evident, upon the first opening of his book, that his acquaintance with general philology is extremely limited; and this by the way, detracts much from the value of all that occasional praise he bestows upon Mr. Du Ponceau in general terms, that he “ displays much philological acuteness, and an entire knowledge of the principles of universal grammar.” Now I have an entire belief, that Mr. Du Ponceau deserves all this praise, because he has given proofs of his knowledge to the public; but I do not believe it one whit the more for this critic's affirming it, because I can perceive that the critic himself does not know enough of this subject to entitle his opinion to much consideration. If I could believe, that this reviewer had ever belonged to the honourable band of American soldiers, I should be almost inclined to say, if he would pardon the liberty, that his undertaking to set Mr. Du Ponceau right in questions of philology, reminded me of the anecdote of his brother soldier of antiquity, Hannibal, to whom a modest professor of that day undertook to read lectures on the art of war. Mr. Du Ponceau, I have no doubt, will feel as much obliged to our author, as Hannibal did to the professor.
He remarks, at p. 82, with no little formality, and with his usual air of confidence-Here it may not be uninteresting to correct an error into which many of our philologists have fallen, that the verb to be, Sum, is not found in any of our Indian languages. In the Miami it is in constant use, and there can be no mistake in its application."
This is certainly a bold and fearless discharge of his duty, as a public writer, in respect to that portion of readers, who are obliged to content themselves with taking upon trust whatever a reviewer asserts, whether he knows any thing of his subject or not. But as to the philologists in our country, who may chance to read this critique, I very much fear they will feel less grateful to our author than he may think they ought. If I am not greatly deceived, some of them will make bold to say to him, on certain points at least, and perhaps in an expressive dialect, which he of course will understand-N'gonni poghkitash metuk nihinwanchi k’skisukkwut, nit pish pahki kinawmun pepisse k’poghkitamunat kimat w’skisukkwut; that is, in plain English, which I add not for the benefit of this reviewer, but of readers in general-First cast out the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote that is in thy brother's eye.?
But to return to this verb sum,
On this it should be observed in the first place, that the common opinion of philologists is, that the substantive verb is generally, not universally, wanting in the Indian languages. This I still believe to be the case; nor is my belief at all shaken by the opinions of this reviewer, nor by the examples he adduces to the contrary, which, through a want of precise idea of that verb, he mistakenly considers as supporting his position.
My reasons for still believing that the want of the substantive verb is a general characteristic of the Indian languages, are, that there is an irresistible weight of authority in support of that opinion ; and the examples to the contrary, adduced by this reviewer, are too few in number, and of too equivocal a character, to be made the basis of any general conclusion. Besides, in regard to the examples he does give, I cannot but distrust the accuracy of his discrimination; though I dare say, that he honestly believes himself to be well founded in his opinion upon this point; and I certainly will not affirm, as he does of Mr. Heckewelder's examples, that they are “evidently formed to meet the case," or from “a spirit of accommodation."
As to the weight of authority, it is familiar to many readers, that almost two hundred years ago, the venerable apostle Eliot, as our brethren of Massachusetts style him, was forcibly struck with this deficiency in the dialect of the Massachusetts Indians, which every body knows to have been a language of the Delaware stock. This is distinctly noticed by him as constituting a marked difference between the Indian and the European languages. His observations on it will be found in his Indian Grammar, which was originally published in the year 1666, and has been lately re-printed in the invaluable work, the Massachusetts Historical Collections ; a publication replete with the most precious materials for American history, but which is not so often to be met with in our libraries in this city as it ought to be.Those readers, however, who take an interest in the history of our own country, and who may not have seen it, will, I am sure, thank me, for having particularly called their attention to a work, by which our brethren of Massachusetts have secured to themselves the gratitude of the latest posterity.
The venerable Eliot says on the point in question-“We have no complete distinct word for the Verb Substantive, as other learned languages and our English tongue have."* Now when the reader recollects, that Eliot was an educated man, and that he translated the whole Bible and Testament, in doing which he had constant occasion for the use of the verb to be,
* Indian Gram. p. 15, in Mass. Hlistor. Collect. vol. 9. of Second Series,
it is truly extraordinary that he should not have been able to find it, if it really existed in the language. Here there can be no ground for supposing anys philological ecstacy,” any oversight, or any misapprehension, or want of ability and opportunity to detect this lurking part of speech. The reader will here, by the way, keep in mind, that this Massachusetts language was a dialect of the Delaware, and will apply that fact presently when I come to consider that stock. If the reader is curious to examine this question for himself, instead of taking my word for it, I would refer him to Eliot's Indian Grammar, and to the copious Notes and Observations upon the Grammar, by Mr. Du Ponceau, and Mr. Pickering, philologists," says the Note above alluded to, “ of whom the country may be justly proud," and who have brought into one view all the principal facts and opinions relative to this question, but which are too extensive to be introduced in this place. By these remarks, however, I would not be understood as meaning to defend every opinion which those writers have advanced on the subject of the Indian languages; but, whatever doubts I may entertain as to some of their views, I have no hesitation in maintaining, that, wherever this reviewer has impugned their opinions, they are as clearly in the right as he is in the wrong;
Again, in addition to this decided opinion of Eliot, we have more recently that of Dr. Edwards, a well known scholar and a missionary among the Mohegans, whose language, like that of the Massachusetts Indians, is also a dialect of the Delaware stock. He
says, that the Mohegans “have no verb substantive in all the language;" and he adds, that this circumstance “ accounts for their not using that verb when they speak English: they say,
I man, I sick, &c.” Now, in order that the reader may properly estimate the weight of Dr. Edwards' authority in this case, he should know, as that distinguished man informs us himself in the Preface to his Observations, that he went among those Indians when he was but six years old—that, out of his father's house, he seldom heard any language spoken beside the Indian ; that the language became more familiar to him than his mother tongue; that even all his thoughts ran in Indian; and, that he acquired the pronunciation “perfectly," as the Indians them. selves acknowledged, which they said “ had never been acquired before by any Anglo-American."*
Once more — In the Chippeway, or Chippewa, which is also a dialect of the same family, we have the authority of the Rev. Mr. Dencke, the Germån missionary in Upper Canada, who is
* Edward's Observations, &c. in the Mass. Histor. Collect. vol. 10, Second Series. Vol. II.