chapter  VII
5 Pages

Of the Language

THE effects of the confusion of Babel are come in as far as to those people whereof we speak, as well as in the hither world. For I see that the Patagonians do speak another language than them of Brazil, and they otherwise than the Peruvians, and the Peruvians are distinct from the Mexicans; the Isles likewise have their peculiar speech; they speak not in Florida as they do in Virginia; our Souriquois and Etechemins understand not the Armouchiquois; nor these the Iroquois. Briefly, every nation is divided by the language; yea, in one and the self-same province there is difference in language, even as in Gallia the Fleming, they of Basse Bretagne, the Gascon, and the Basque do not agree. For the author of the Hiflory of Virginia saith that there every Wiroans, or Lord, hath his peculiar speech. Let this be for example that the chief man or Captain of some precinct (whom our historians James Cartier and Laudonniere do call by the name of King) is called in Canada, Agohanna; among the Souriquois, Sagamos; in Virginia, Wiroans; in Florida, Paracussi; in the isles of Cuba, Cacique; the Kings of Peru, Inguas, and so forth. I have left the Armouchiquois and others, which I know not. As for the Brazilians, they have no Kings; but the old ancient men, whom they call Peoreroupichech because of the experience thay have of things past, are they which do govern, exhort, and dispose of all things. The very tongues are changed, as we see, that with us we have not the language of the ancient Gauls, nor that which was in Carolus Magnus' time (at least it doth differ very much); the Italians do speak no more Latin, nor the Grecians the ancient

Greek, specially in the sea-coasts, nor the Jews the ancient Hebrew. In like manner James Cartier hath left unto us a kind of Dictionary of the language of Canada, wherein our Frenchmen that haunt therein these days understand nothing; and therefore I would not insert it here: only I have there found Caraconi, which signifieth bread, and now they say Caracona, which I esteem to be a word of Basque. For the satisfaction of some I will set here some numbers of the ancient and new language of Canada.