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often be subject to an uncertain and erroneous exposition, or wilful misinterpretation of their laws.
To the superintendance of this work, which was immediately undertaken at his suggestion, he affiduously devoted those hours which he could spare from his professional duties. After tracing the plan of the digest, he prescribed its arrangement and mode of execution, and selected from the most learned Hindus and Mahommedans fit persons for the task of compiling it ; flattered by his attention, and encouraged by his applause, the Pandits prosecuted their labours with cheerful zeal, to a satisfactory conclufion. The Molavees have also nearly finished their portion of the work, but we must ever regret, that the promised translation, as well as the meditated preliminary dissertation, have been frustrated by that decree, which so often intercepts the performance of human purposes.
During the course of this compilation, and as auxiliary to it, he was led to study the works of Menu, reputed by the Hindus to be the oldest, and holiest of legislatures; and finding them to comprize a system of religious and civil duties, and of law in all its branches, so comprehensive and minutely exact, that it might be considered as the Institutes of Hindu law, he presented a translation of them to the Government of Bengal. During the same period, deeming no labour excessive or fuperfluous that tended, in any respect, to promote the welfare or happiness of mankind, he gave the public an English version of the Arabick text of the SIRAJIYAH, or Mabommedan Law of Inheritance, with a Commentary. He had already published in England, a translation of a Tract on the same subject, by another Mahommedan Lawyer, containing, as his own words express, “ a lively and elegant epitome of the law of Inheritance, according to ZAID."
To these learned and important works, so far out of the road of amusement, nothing could have engaged his application, but that desire which he ever professed, of rendering his knowledge useful to his nation, and beneficial to the inhabitants of these provinces.
Without attending to the chronological order of their publication, I shall briefly recapitulate his other performances in Afiatick Literature, as far as my knowledge and recollection of them extend.
The vanity and petulance of ANQUETIL DU Perron, with his illiberal reflections on some of the learned members of the University of Oxford, extorted from him a letter, in the French language, which has been admired for accurate
criticism, just fatire, and elegant composition. A regard for the literary reputation of his country, induced him to translate, from a Perpan original into French, the life of Nadir SHAH, that it might not be carried out of England, with a reflection, that no person had been found in the British dominions capable of translating it. The students of Persian literature must ever be grateful to him, for a grammar of that language,
guage, in which he has shown the possibility of combining taste, and elegance, with the precision of a grammarian; and every admirer of Arabick poetry, knowledge his obligations to him, for an English version of the seven celebrated
poems, fo well known by the name of Moallakat, from the distinction to which their excellence had entitled them, of being suspended in the temple of Mecca: I should scarcely think it of importance to mention, that he did not disdain the office of Editor of a Sanscrit and Perhan work, if it did not afford me an opportunity of adding, that the latter was published at his own expence, and was fold for the benefit of insolvent debtors. A similar application was made of the produce of the SIRAJIYAH. - Of his lighter productions, the elegant amusements of his leisure hours, comprehending hymns on the Hindu mythology, poems consisting chiefly of translations from the Afatick languages, and the version of SACONTALA, an ancient Indian drama, it would be unbecoming to speak in a style of importance which he did not himself annex to them. They show the activity of a vigorous mind, its fertility, its genius, and its taste. Nor shall I particularly dwell on the discourses addressed to this Society, which we have all perused or heard, or on the other learned and interesting differtations, which form so large, and valuable a portion of the records of our Researches ; let us lament, that the spirit which dictated them is to us extinct, and that the voice to which we listened with improvement, and rapture, will be heard by us no more.
But I cannot pass over a paper, which has fallen into my posseffion since his demise, in the hand-writing of Sir William Jones himself, entitled DESIDERATA, as more explanatory than any thing I can say, of the comprehensive views of his enlightened mind. It contains, as a perusal of it will show, whatever is most curious, important, and attainable in the sciences and histories of India, Arabia, China, and Tartary ; subjects, which he had already most amply discussed in the disquisitions which he laid before the Society.
1.—The Ancient Geography of India, &c. from the Puranas.
2.-A Botanical Description of Indian Plants, from the Colhas, &c.
3.—A Grammar of the Sanscrit Language, from Panini, &c.
4.-A Dictionary of the Sanscrit Language, from thirty-two original Vocabularies and Niructi.
5.-On the Ancient Music of the Indians.
6.-On the Medical Substances of India, and the Indian Art of Medicine.
7.-On the Philosophy of the Ancient Indians.
8.-ATranslation of the Veda.
9.-On Ancient Indian Geometry, Astronomy, and Algebra.
10.-A Translation of the Puranas.
11.-A Translation of the Mahabbarat and Ramayan.
12.-On the Indian Theatre, &c. &c. &c.
13.-On the Indian Constellations, with their Mythology, from the Puranas.
14.-The History of India before the Ma. hommedan conqueit, from the Sanscrit-Cachmit Hiftories.