Page:An Essay on the Age and Antiquity of the Book of Nabathaean Agriculture.djvu/33

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BABYLONIAN LITERATURE.

Agriculture.” Besides, so strong is the conviction of Dr. Chwolson; so great the sincerity with which he lays bare the objections which may be made to it, that his work furnishes the means of criticising his own opinions. It is needless, to add, that to dissent from him on such a subject cannot diminish those sentiments of acknowledgment and esteem which are due to a scholar who was the first to open up such a series of investigations. Dr. Chwolson, in turning the attention of critics to facts and texts too much disregarded before, fully merits to be called their originator; and it would be unjust to forget, that if his opinions are combatted, it is with weapons which he himself has furnished, and on ground which he himself has prepared. And even if his opinion as to the age of the Nabathæan books should hereafter be given up, it will be no more a discredit to him than is a similar bold opinion a stain on the glory of the great Indian scholars of Calcutta, regarding the antiquity of works, which they