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his essay itself; and shall conclude our remarks on the Sanscrit Language by an appeal to the authority of Dr. Wilkins.

"He who knows Sanscrit has already acquired a knowledge of one half of almost every vernacular language of India; while he who remains ignorant of it, can never possess a perfect and critical understanding of any, though he may attain a certain proficiency in the practical use of them. The several dialects confounded under the common terms Hindi, Hindavi, Hindostani, and Bhasha, deprived of Sanskrit, would not only lose all their beauty and energy, but, with respect to the power of expressing abstract ideas, or terms in science, would be absolutely reduced to a state of barbarism. These, and the idioms peculiar to Bengal, Kamarupa, and the adjacent provinces; the Tamul, the Telinga, the Carnatic, the Malabar, together with that of the Mahratta states, and of Gujarat, so abound with Sanskrit, that scarcely a sentence can be expressed in either of them without

its assistance. The learned languages of Tibet, of Ava, and of Ceylon, are enriched by it; and every one of them is indebted to it for its alphabet, however dissimilar their characters may seem at first sight."

“The lover of science, the antiquary, the historian, the moralist, the poet, and the man of taste, will obtain in Sanskrit books an inexhaustible fund of information and amusement. Besides the Vedas, there exist at this day numerous original treatises of considerable antiquity, on astronomy, mathematics, and other sciences, highly worthy of examination; various systems of philosophy and metaphysics; innumerable tracts on grammar, elocution, logic, the art of poetry, music, medicine, ethics, politics, and other topics; with sublime and elegant poems on every variety of subject; more particularly those grand mythological treasures, the ancient poems called Puránas, an endless assemblage of enchanting allegory and fable, and of the most interesting stories of ancient times, recounted in polished numbers, calculated to allure the

reader into the paths of Religion, Honour, and Virtue."*

From what has been stated, and also from the authorities occasionally referred to,+ we think ourselves authorized to advance, that traces of the language, learning, and mythology of the Hindus, will be found, not only throughout the Indo-Chinese nations, but also to the extremities of Tartary. That, in such extensive progress, some deviations may have been made; that, in some regions, new divinities may have been invented; and that rites and rules, necessary or admissible in the climate of India, may have been found inapplicable in more rigid countries, must naturally be supposed: but wherever we may direct

* Preface to the Grammar of the Sanscrit language, Pp. x, xii.

See also the Author's Sketches on the Hindus, vol. ii. p. 171, et seq.; the account given of Thibet by Mr. Bogle, who was sent on an ambassy to the Lama by Governor Hastings.-Relation of another ambassy thither by Turner, in 4to; and the account given by Symes of his ambassy to Ava, 4to, and 8vo.

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our inquiries, throughout the immense space we have mentioned, we are persuaded that some prominent features of the Hindū languages and religion will be discovered.

A short account of the doctrines and religious practices of the Siamese (we conceive) will, not unappropriately, conclude this chapter.

Their laws and tenets, as we have already observed, are written in Pali. They say, that " a language, in which so many mysteries are communicated, should itself be a mystery, and not profaned by the impious; or, what may be written in it, misapprehended by the ignorant."

Their religion enjoins the adoration of God; and Father Tachard,* with an honest frankness, observes, that as far as regards precepts of morality, and instruc

* A Jesuit missionary already quoted by us; he was at Siam at the same time as the Abbé de Choisy. See his Voyages à Siam, published at Paris in 1686 and 1689.

tions for our conduct in life, "no Christian can teach any thing more perfect than what it prescribes. It not only forbids its followers to do ill, but enjoins the necessity of doing good, and of stifling every improper thought, or criminal desire.”

The belief in an universal pervading spirit, and in the immortality and transmigration of the soul, forms a fundamental part of the doctrines of the Siamese. They believe the universe to be eternal, without beginning or end; but they admit, that particular parts of it, such as this world, its productions and inhabitants, may be destroyed and again regenerated.

They have their good and evil genii; their rural and other deities, who preside over their forests and rivers, and interfere in all sublunary affairs.

They are extremely curious to look into futurity, by applying to their astrologers and oracles; and there is a famous cavern where they go to make sacrifices, and consult the priests who attend there.

Far from considering suicide as a crime,

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