Page:An Essay on the Age and Antiquity of the Book of Nabathaean Agriculture.djvu/75

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59
BABYLONIAN LITERATURE.

dependently of the peculiarities which have still to be adduced, as much, at least, as it is possible to do, from the extracts of M. Quatremère and Dr. Chwolson,[1] we shall find in it all the evidences of lower antiquity:—no grandeur of expression; a flimsy method of reasoning, bordering on puerility, in a word, strikingly analogous to that of Arabian authors; and, above all, that flat and prolix style of those periods of much writing consequent upon an influx of paper or other writing materials; whilst throughout the whole work the style is essentially personal and reflective, so contrary to that of works of high antiquity. There the author keeps ever in the background, to render more prominent the doc-

  1. The Paris Manuscript, which had been sent to the Russian minister for Dr. Chwolson’s use, was only returned to the Bibliothèque Impériale when the present memoir was nearly finished. I have not thought it necessary to devote further time to the perusal of this manuscript, already examined by M. Quatremère, and which only could furnish me an imperfect text of one third of the work, of which Dr. Chwolson possesses a complete and collated copy. We must wait for the promised edition of Prof. Chwolson in order to make a consecutive and comparative examination of the work.