Page images

Miscellanies, Original and Select.

PROCEEDINGS OF SOCIETIES. Royal Asiatic Society.-A general meeting was held on the 5th of April ; the Right Hon. C. W. Williams Wynn, president, in the chair.

Several donations were presented, including the following, viz:

From Professor Burnouf, a copy of his Commentaire sur le Yuçna. From Geo. Frere, Esq., a copy of the San-kwo-she, or history of the three kingdoms, and other Chinese works.' From the Royal Society of London, the Philosophical Transactions for 1833. From the Royal College of Surgeons in London, a catalogue of their museum and a memoir on the Pearly Nautiius by Mr. Owen. From H. J. Domis. Esq, F. M. R. A.S., a model in miniature of an European gentleman, executed in composition by a native Javanese artist.

Lieutenants George and William Broadfoot, both elected at the last meeting, having made their payments and signed the obligation book, were admitted members of the society.

Alexander Boswell, Esq., and William Geddes, Esq., were elected resident members of the society.

James Bird, Esq., read his biographical sketch of the late Captain Mc Murdo, which did not differ essentially from that drawn up by Dr. Mc Adam and inserted in the Transactions of the Literary Society of Bombay. Mr. Bird, however, introduced brief notices of the unpublished MSS. of Captain Mc Murdo, two of which, a memoir on the Indus, and an account of Sinde, have been communicated to the Royal Asiatic Society; and likewise took occasion, from the rise of Captain Mc Murdo in his profession, to point out the great advantages possessed by the military service of the East-India Company, in affording opportunities to young men of an enterprising and persevering spirit to secure the highest station and rewards open to their competition.

Thanks were returned to Mr, Bird, and the meeting adjourned.

April the 19th. The general meeting of the society' was held this day, Sir George Thomas Staunton, Bart., vice-president, in the chair.

Among the donations presented at this meeting were the following, viz :

From the Royal Geographical Society, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and Asiatic Society of Bengal, their respective Transactions. From Lieutenant Wm. Broadfoot, a Hindoo silver coin, with the inscription on the obverse “ Salutation to Dúrga and to Crishna,” and on the reverse, the name of King Vicrama Sarudéva. From Colonel. Colebrooke, ten original plans and sketches of districts in Java.

Henry Newnham, Esq., elected March 15th, having made his payments and signed the obligation book, was admitted a member of the society.

A short sketch of the life of M. Csoma de Körosi, the Hungarian traveller, contained in a letter from that gentleman to Captain Kennedy, assistant to the resident at Debli, and communicated by Charles Elliott, Esq., was read.

: Mr. Csorna de Körosi states himself to be of the Siculian nation, in the great principality of Transylvania; and, after describing the nature of his studies in Germany, explains how the desire to increase his knowledge of languages drew him towards the east. After various peregrinations, in Egypt and Asia Minor, he arrived at Baghdad on the 22d of July 1820, and after receiving some assistance from Mr. Rich, he proceeded to Tehran, where he arrived on the 14th of October, He speaks in high terms of the protection and support which Messrs Henry and George Willock both extended towards him. He stayed there till March 1821, when he pursued his route by Meshed, Bokhara and Bamian, to Kabul in January 1822. On the 9th of June in that year, he reached Leh, the capital of Ladakh, and on his return to Lahore, he met with Mr. Moorcroft, whom he accompanied back to Leh, where he devoted himself to the study of the Thibetan language and literature. The account concludes with a notice of his visit to the British Indian territory, viz. at: Subathoo, where it was drawn up for the information of the government.

The thanks of the society were returned to Mr. C. Elliott for his communication.

It was announced that the anniversary meeting would be held on the 10th

of May.

The anniversary meeting of this society was held on the 10th of May, at its house in Grafton-street; the Right Hon. Charles W. Williams Wynn, M. P., president, in the chair.

The report of the council of the proceedings of the society, during the last year, was read. After alluding to the continued illness of the venerable director of the society, H. T. Colebrooke, Esq., and referring to the prosperous state of the society's financial affairs, the report noticed the loss which the society has sustained by the deaths of several valuable and influential members, particularly specifying H. R. H. Abbas Mirza, Prince Royal of Persia ; Sir John Malcolm, Lieut. Colonel Coombs, Edward Upham, Esq., Rami Mohun Roy, Ram Raz, &c. &c. The report next adverted to the various donations presented to the society since the last anniversary, especially the handsome contribution by Col. Doyle, of several valuable Persian MSS., a large collection of printed books, original drawings, maps, charts, &c. &c. The council then announced that steps had been taken to establish auxiliary societies in various parts of the east, and dwelt with satisfaction on the institution of a literary association among the learned Hindús of the Madras presidency. The attention of the members was next called to the third fasciculus of the third volume of the society's Transactions, copies of which were laid on the table; and the council, in alluding to the papers contained in it, took occasion to pay a just compliment to the author of one of them, Lieut. Burnes, whose enterprising journey from the north-western frontier of India to Persia has lately excited so much interest. The report next referred to the publication of an essay on the architecture of the Hindús, by Ram Raz, accompanied by forty-eight plates, the printing of which is just completed and specimens of which were laid before the members. In announcing the resignation by Colonel Tod, from ill-health, of the office of librarian, the council expressed its regret at the loss of that gentleman's services, distinguished as he had ever been in the promotion of the society's welfare. In conclusion, the report dwelt on the peculiar character and claims of the society, and pointed out the gratifying circumstance that the importance of its objects had been duly estimated in the highest quarter, as evinced in the honours conferred by its illustrious patron on two of its members (Sir Charles Wilkins, L.L.D. and Sir Graves Haughton, M.A.), distinguished for their attainments in Oriental literature.

The auditors' report was then read by David Pollock, Esq., F.R.S. The accounts, made up to the close of the year 1833, exhibited a balance in the society's favour, at that date, of £365. 158. 4d., being upwards of £72 more than had been calculated on, and the estimated balance at the end of the present year amounts to £276. 2s.; the expenses this year being much enhanced by the projected publication of the society's Journal, in addition to the fasciculus of the Transactions before alluded to.

Sir George Thomas. Staunton, bart., moved, in a short address, that the reports of the council and auditors be received and printed, with thanks to the auditors for their services, which was seconded by L. H. Petit, Esq., and carried unanimously.

Mr. Pollock returned thanks on behalf of the auditors.

The Right Hon. Sir A. Johnston, chairman of the committee of correspondence, then read the report of the committee as to its proceedings during the last year ; after which he delivered an able and lengthened exposé of the various matters to which the attention of the committee, as stated in its report, had, been drawn. The three points to which he more particularly adverted were the obtaining of materials for a code of laws adapted to the circumstances of the yarious people subjected to British sway in India; the facilitating of the intercourse between Europe and India by means of steam-navigation; and lastly, the opening of the trade with China to all British subjects. On each of these topics Sir Alexander entered into elaborate and interesting details, which we regret our liinited space prevents our doing justice to, and concluded by drawing attention to various facts, which indicated an abatement of the. apathy with which every thing connected with India has hitherto been regarded in this country, and promised to afford great facilities for the future operations of the society.

The adoption of the report of the committee of correspondence and thanks to the Right Hon. chairman of the committee for his interesting address, was moved by the Right Hon Charles Grant, M.P., in an eloquent speech, in which, after paying a tribute of applause to the exertions of Sir Alexander Johnston, for the promotion of the society's welfare, he expressed his regret that he had not before had the opportunity of attending the society's meetings, but hoped to make up for the deficiency in future. He dwelt on the high importance of the society's views, and the gratifying effect of its exertions in stimulating the talents of natives of India to activity in literary and scientific pursuits. He regarded the society as a rallying point for those who, after devoting themselves to acquiring knowledge of every kind connected with the East, returned home and became the representatives of the people of India. After some further observations, the right hon. gentleman concluded by submitting his motion, which was seconded by Sir H. Willock, and carried nem. con.

The president then submitted to the consideration of the members a few alterations in, and additions to, the society's regulations, which were adopted by the meeting; after which the president expressed his satisfaction at the state and prospects of the society after an existence of eleven years; lamenting, at the same time, the absence of its founder, Mr. Colebrooke, who, however, though absent, must feel high gratification at learning the prosperous state of an institution which owed its formation to himself. The right hon. gentleman also mentioned, in reference to the distinctions conferred upon two members of the society by his Majesty, that the honour had been in the first instance offered to the revered director of the society, by whom it had been declined from his advanced age and infirm state of health.

Thanks were then unanimously voted seriatim to the council and officers of the society; on that to the council being submitted, Captain Gowan took occasion to suggest the desirableness of the president of the Board of Control being ex. officio the president of the society, at the same time disclaiming any intention of referring, invidiously, to the gentleman at present filling the latter office.

Mr. Wynn, in putting the question, observed, that he himself had considered it proper to offer to resign the office of president of the society, when

he left the Board of Control, but the council had not deemed it necessary to accept it; he was, however, ready at any time to yield his office into the hands either of his right hon. friend near him, or any other person whom the society might select; as far as his individual opinion went, it would not be advisable to connect the office of president of the society to that of president of the Board of Control, which depended so much on political considerations, especially as it had been provided in the charter of the society, at the express suggestion of his late Majesty, King George IV., that the president of the Board of Control for the time being should always be a vice-patron of the society.

Similar opinions were expressed by Mr. Grant, Sir George Staunton, Mr. Pollock, and other members. Mr. Grant observed, that an individual supa posed to possess merely an ex officio interest in the society would not be a very proper person to place in the president's chair.

Mr. J. L. Goldsmid subsequently moved a vote of thanks to the Right Hon. Charles Grant for his attendance this day, and his general attention to the interests of our Indian empire, which was seconded by the Right Hon. Sir A. Johnston, and carried unanimously.

Scrutineers having been appointed, the ballot for officers and council took place; the former list of officers was re-elected with the exception of Sir G.C. Haughton as librarian in the room of Colonel Tod ; Sir R. H. Inglis, bart., Mr. Butterworth Bayley, Col. Colebrooke, Mr. Elliott, Mr. Jenkins, Mr. Petit, Mr. D. Pollock, and Professor Wilson were elected into the council in the room of the Earl of Caledon, Rt. Hon. H. Ellis, Rt. Hon. Holt Mackenzie, Hon. R. H. Clive, Mr. Clarke, Col. Doyle, Col. Tcd, and Mr. Tucker.

The next general meeting was announced for the 7th of June.

Among the members and visitors present were Mr. Tricoupi, the Greek Minister, the Rt, Hon. H. Ellis, Sir C. Wilkins, Sir R. Rice, &c. &c.

CRITICAL NOTICES. The Dispatches of Field-Marshal the Duke of Wellington, K. G., during his various Cam

paigns in India, Denmark, Portugal, Spain, the Low Countries, and France, from 1799 to 1818. Compiled from Official and Authentic Documents, by Lieut.-Colonel GURWOOD. Vol. I. London, 1834, Murray.

The early military history of the Duke of Wellington, in India, which attracted less attention at the time than it deserved, partly owing to the important events then transpiring in Europe, now appears written by the great chief's own hand, in the despatches detailing the victories he achieved. Colonel Gurwood has illustrated and connected these valuable documents with the general history of political events in India, by means of authentic data, including the diary and papers of the late Lord Harris, manuscript journals of Captain (now Major-General Sir Jasper) Nicoll, the autograph correspondence between Marquess Wellesley and various official personages, the records of the East India Company, &c. &c.

The present volume records the transactions down to the end of 1803, and consequently comprehends the most important in which the duke was concerned. It contains a body of information of infinite value to the historical as well as the military reader, which clears up a variety of obscure points; and whilst it deserves to be a manual to the British officer, will afford to the historian of India a guide, the utility of which he would soou appreciate. A Letter to the Right Hon. Charles Grant, on the Roads in India. By George FENNEK

HUGHES, Captain ret. 19th Reg., late Assistant Collector of Land Revenue and Sea Customs, and Magistrate of Police at Bombay. London, 1834. Kidd. Simpkin and Marshall. " The roads in India,” Mr. !łughes states, “generally speaking, are worthy no other designation than cattle-tracks. In many parts of the country, they are carried over ground which is ploughed up during the season of cultivation, and consequently, dunng three or four months of the year, all trace of a road is wholly obliterated." Road-making has, however, received an impulse in India during the last two years, which renders this description less applicable than when the writer was there. In the Bengal presidency many new roads have been executed, and more are contemplated.

The importance of these means of communication to the government, as well as to the humble cultivator, is too obvious to be disputed, and therefore it is the worst economy to suffer expense to defeat any well-conceived projects of this nature.

Mr. Hughes shows how severely the want of means of transport to a market presses upon the ryots, who are at the mercy of the soucar or banker, a dealer in grain as well as a moneysender, who receives a fixed payment in kind, whereby he often reaps the labourer's entire crop. The government are immediately interested in the formation of roads; for “ if produce can find no sale, the revenue cannot be collected.” Politically considered, roads are of importance. “In the present state of our north-western defences," observes Mr. Hughes, “ I do not hesitate to aflirm, that it would be an undertaking not only practical (practicable) but facile on the part of Russia, if she should deem it expedient, to invade Northern India. It is a vulnerable quarter, and in no part of our territories have we more to guard against an European enemy than this, and it is without roads.” He proposes that a road should be formed from Deesa, through Sehora, to Ajmeer and Delhi. So, in a commercial point of view : “ By reason of the deficiency of roads in the north-western portion of India, considerable quantities of British piece and other goods have found their way into the country from Russia, through Afghanistan and its conjoined frontier.”

Mr. Hughes observes, that money laid out in roads is merely “ lent at low interest, and without risk; the return is made quickly in rich produce; the loan is expended in the country.” He suggests that the army might be employed, as the Roman soldiers were, in making roads “ free of cost.” He mentions a magnificent project, suggested by Dr. Milne, to form a line of communication from Bombay, through Poonah, Ahmedouggur, Aurungabad, Oomrouty, Nagpore, and Midnapore, to Calcutta.

A considerable portion of this letter is occupied with details respecting the admirable road on the Bhore Ghaut, commenced and partly executed by the autbor. Narrative of a Tour in North America ; comprising Mexico, the Mines of Real del.

Monte, the United States, and the British Colonies ; with an Excursion to the Island of Cuba. In a series of Letters, written in the years 1831-2. By HENRY Tudor, Esq., Barrister at Law. Two Vols. London, 1834. Duncan.

The motive with which this work was written, that of rescuing a nation connected by the ties of language and manners with our own, from obloquy, and from censure which personal experience and observation convinced the author was groundless, is sufficiently commendable in itself to be a passport to a far inferior production. It consists of letters, genuine as the author assures us, written whilst travelling, and therefore, if the style and composition were not faultless, we should find a compensation in the freshness and accuracy of the descriptions. We have, however, no fault to find on either score ; the letters are very agreeably written ; what Mr. Tudor saw he has well described, and the tone which reigns throughout the work piaces it in favourable contrast with other publications on America, in which, for some reason, there is generally too much bitterness and satire to be agreeable in books of travels. A Treatise on the Progressive Improvement and Present State of the Manufactures in

Metal. Vol. III. being Vol. LIV. of Dr. Lardner's Cabinet Cyclopædia. London, 1834. Longman and Co. Taylor.

The third and concluding volume of this valuable treatise is appropriated to manu. factures in tin, lead, copper, gold, silver, and alloys. It is replete with interest, even to the reader who seeks for amusement merely. The details respecting casting and mending bells, type-founding, cannon-founding, and various manufactures in brass and mixed metals, are highly curious. Upon the whole, these three volumes are

« PreviousContinue »