The Armenian then proceeded to tell me that he had carried on the business of his father, which seemed to embrace most matters, from buying silks of Lascars, to speculating in the funds, and that he had considerably increased the property which his father had left him. He candidly confessed that he was wonderfully fond of gold, and said there was nothing like it for giving a person respectability and consideration in the world: to which assertion I made no answer, being not exactly prepared to contradict it.
And, when he had related to me his history, he expressed a desire to know something more of myself, whereupon I gave him the outline of my history, concluding with saying, I am now a poor author, or rather philologist, upon the streets of London, possessed of many tongues, which I find of no use in the world.
Learning without money is anything but desirable, said the Armenian, as it unfits a man for humble occupations. It is true that it may occasionally beget him friends; I confess to you that your understanding something of my language weighs more with me than the service you rendered me in rescuing my pocket- book the other day from the claws of that scoundrel whom I yet hope to see hanged, if not crucified, notwithstanding there were in that pocket-book papers and documents of considerable value. Yes, that circumstance makes my heart warm towards you, for I am proud of my language - as I indeed well may be - what a language, noble and energetic! quite original, differing from all others both in words and structure.
You are mistaken, said I; many languages resemble the Armenian both in structure and words.
For example? said the Armenian.
For example, said I, the English.
The English! said the Armenian; show me one word in which the English resembles the Armenian.
You walk on London Bridge, said I.
Yes, said the Armenian.
I saw you look over the balustrade the other morning.
True, said the Armenian.
Well, what did you see rushing up through the arches with noise and foam?
What was it? said the Armenian. What was it? - you dont mean the TIDE?
Do I not? said I.
Well, what has the tide to do with the matter?
Much, said I; what is the tide?
The ebb and flow of the sea, said the Armenian.
The sea itself; what is the Haik word for sea?
The Armenian gave a strong gasp; then, nodding his head thrice, You are right, said he, the English word tide is the Armenian for sea; and now I begin to perceive that there are many English words which are Armenian; there is - and -; and there again in French, there is - and - derived from the Armenian. How strange, how singular - I thank you. It is a proud thing to see that the language of my race has had so much influence over the languages of the world.
|Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.|