that exists among various dialects of the same stock; as that, taking the most familiar case, between French
, and Spanish; or, in a wider sense, among all the 60 languages of the Aryan or Indo-European
stock, the 20 of the Semitic family (Hebrew, Chaldaic, etc.), the 168 of the great South African stock, the 35 of the Algonkin (Indian) stock, and so on. These groups offer comparatively slight variations within themselves; but the moment we go beyond a single stock, the several groups seem to have nothing in common.
The parent stock in the Aryan group, for instance, is absolutely separated from the Semitic, that from the Chinese, and so on. Of these last two it was said by Wilhelm von Humboldt
— who was not inclined to supernatural explanations — that it was easier to believe that each came by some direct communication from Heaven than that either could have been developed out of the other.
And as there are estimated to be about 200 of these utterly distinct and remote parent stocks, the difficulty of accounting for them has hitherto seemed almost insuperable.
Yet all this while, Mr. Hale
thinks, the real solution was one of the simplest things in the world, and lay close at land, namely, in the nursery.
Some observations made by a woman and recorded-not, unhappily, at once, but long after-gave the key to the whole mystery.
The solution is to be found,