« PreviousContinue »
public Examinations and Disputations, as at the College of Fort-William. The examination in September, 1808, (a few months after the above speech of 'Lord Minto was pronounced) was held in the presence of J. H. Harington, Esq. Vice-President of the Asiatic Society, Dr. Leyden, and other Oriental scholars : when the three youths, mentioned above, maintained a Disputation in the Chinese Language. On this occasion, the Respondent defended the following position : “ To commit to memory the Chi“ nese Classics, is the best mode of acquiring « the Chinese Language,"
One most valuable effect of these measures, is a work just published by Mr. Joshua Marshman, the elder pupil of Mr. Lassar. It is the first volume of " the works of Confucius, con“ taining the Original Texts, with a transla~ tion; to which is prefixed a Dissertation on " the Chinese Language, pp. 877, 4to.” to be followed by four volumes more. This translation will be received with gratitude by the learned, and will be considered as a singular monument of the indefatigable labour of an English Missionary in the acquisition of a new language.
While treating of the cultivation of the Chinese Language, it is just that we should notice also the endeavours of the London Missionary Society in the same department. While Mr. Laşsar and Mr Marshman are translating the Scriptures at Calcutta, Mr. Morrison is prosecuting a similar work at Canton in China, with the aid of able native scholars. It is stated in the report of their Society, that the principal difficulties have been surmounted, and that the period of his acquiring a complete knowledge of the language, is by no means so distant as what he once expected.
66 It has proved of great advantage to him that he
copied and carried out with him the Chinese “ translation of the Gospels preserved in the « British Museum, which he now finds, from “ his own increasing acquaintance with the
language, and the opinion of the Chinese “ assistants, to be exceedingly valuable, and 56 which must, from the excellency of the style, “ have been produced by Chinese natives."
He adds, that the manuscript of the New Testament is fit to be printed; and that he proposes to publish also a Dictionary and a Grammar of the language, the last of which is already“ prepared for the press.” The
expence to the London Missionary Society for the cur
* See their Report for 1810, p. 22.
rent year, in the Chinese department alone, is stated to be £500. We greatly admire the liberal spirit which animates this institution, in the prosecution of its noble designs.
The foregoing notices of the progress of Chinese literature will, it is presumed, be acceptable to many ; for the cultivation of the Chinese language, considered merely in a political point of view, must prove of the utmost advantage to this country, in her further transactions with that ancient and ingenious, but jealous, incommunicative, and partially civilized nation.
Ir is admitted by all writers, that the civilization of the Hindoos will be promoted by intercourse with the English. But this only applies to that small portion of the natives, who live in the vicinity of Europeans, and mix with them. As for the bulk of the population, they scarcely ever see an Englishman. It becomes then of importance “ to ascertain what “ have been the actual effects of Christianity “ in those interior provinces of Hindostan, “ where it has been introduced by the Christian “ Missionaries; and to compare them with such " of their countrymen as remain in their pristine
Idolatry.” It'was a chief object of the Author's tour through India, to mark the relative influence of Paganism and Christianity. In order then that the English nation may be able to form a judgment on this subject, he will proceed to give some account of the Hindoos of Juggernaut, and of the native Christians in Tanjore. The Hindoos of Juggernaut have as yet had no advantages of Christian instruction, and continue to worship the Idol called Juggernaut. The native Christians of Tanjore, until the light of revelation visited them, worshipped an Idol also, called the great Black Bull of Tanjore. And, as in this brief work the Author chiefly proposes to state merely what he himself has seen, with little comment or observation, it will suffice to give a few extracts from the Journal of his tour through these Provinces.
Extracts froin the AUTHOR'S JOURNAL in his
Author's Tour to the Temple of Juggernaut in Orissa, in the year 1806.
• Buddruck, in Orissa, May 30th, 1806. • We know that we are approaching Juggernaut (and yet we are more than fifty miles from it) by the human bones which we have seen for some days strewed by the way. At this place we have been joined by several large bodies of pilgrims, perhaps 2000 in number, who have come from various parts of Northern India. Some of them, with whom I have conversed, say, that they have been two months on their march, travelling slowly in the hottest season of the year, with their wives and children. Some old persons are among them who wish to die at Juggernaut. Numbers of pilgrims die on the road; and their bodies generally remain unburied. On a plain by the river, near the Pilgrim's Caravansera at this place, there are more than a hundred skulls. The dogs, jackals, and vultures, seem to live here on human prey. The vultures exhibit a shocking tameness. The obscene animals will not leave the body sometimes till we come close to them. This Buddruck is a horrid place. Wherever I turn my eyes, I meet death in some shape or other. Surely Juggernaut cannot be worse than Buddruck.'
• In sight of Juggernaut, 12th June, 1806. Many thousands of pilgrims have accompanied