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An Account of a Curious Philological Book

THE Volume I now notice, I have never been fortunate enough to meet with. It must be not only a singular curiosity, but an invaluable work, however imperfectly it may be compiled. I draw this account of it from the Matanasiana. It may serve for a curious Catalogue of Languages.

“There is in French a thick quarto volume, containing 1030 pages, printed in 1613, which has for title—
“A Treasury of the History of the Languages of this Universe; containing the origin, beauties, perfections, declensions, mutations, changes, conversions, and ruins of Languages.
Hebrew,Ethiopian,Spanish,Lingua Franca,
Punic,Sclavonian,Pomeranian,East Indian,
Persian,Etrurian,Russian,West Indian,
Tartarian,Latin,Moscovian,New Guinea,
African,Italian,Gothic,Terra Nuova,
Morescan,Catalan,Norman,and the Lan-
guages of the Beasts and Birds

The Author of this wonderful work was Mr. Claude Duret, President à Moulins.

This work is not much enlightened by Criticism, yet the perusal to some readers may be amusing. We are surprized at the prodigious number of Authors Duret quotes in every page. There are also added Alphabets of every kind of characters, and a variety of remarks, historical as well as literary.

Editor’s Notes

 § D’Israeli evidently tracked down a copy of this book between 1793 and 1798, when, in the fourth edition of the Curiosities, he added that it was ‘more curious for its nature than happy in its execution. It is very imperfectly compiled…’