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AUTHOR OF A TELUGU DICTIONARY, GRAMMAR, ETC. PROFESSOR OF TELUGU IN
THE UNIVERSITY OF LONDON.
NOBIS PRIMA SIT VIRTUS PERSPICUITAS.
-Quinctil. viü. 2.
SANSKRIT LITERATURE is chiefly in verse. and plays, the histories and legends, treatises on law, divinity, astronomy, mathematicks, and indeed nearly all literature being in metre. The “ Prosody is easy and beautiful,” says Sir William Jones. “ It is infinitely more rich and more yaried,” observes the learned Chézy, “than that of Greek; and has no syllables of doubtful quantity.” The venerable Colebrooke (Essays ii. 62) speaks of the aid it affords in deciphering passages rendered obscure by the inaccuracy of the transcripts: he notices that the artifice of its construction is peculiar, and not devoid of ingenuity; and it is richer than that of any other language. Yet many who have attempted the study in India, guided by a Pandit, complain that the art is intricate. Indeed most of the aspirants have been disheartened (as I was at first); for the Prosody is overlaid with a profusion of pedantic refinements, arithmetical and superstitious. Most of the rules in the Sanskrit Prosodies are intended to guide composers, not learners.
In 1827, at Madras, at the desire of the College Board, I printed a short account of Telugu and Sanskrit Prosody. Ten years after, when I was in London, the learned Professor Rosen, who had edited Colebrooke's Essays, requested me to prepare a statement which he printed in the Asiatic Journal for 1837. This fell into the hands of a young German at Konigsberg who had been reading Sanskrit for two years: and encouraged him. In 1855 Professor Wilson introduced him to me in London: he was Professor Theodor Goldstücker, whose skill in Sanskrit lore has in late years been acknowledged by learned brahmans in Bengal, Benares, and Lahore. He called upon me to prepare an easier and more complete volume for the use of students. Accordingly I have written the rules again, addressing the explanations to the beginner: who now can learn more in ten days than a pandit could have taught him in ten years.
Professor Francis Johnson has with his usual kindness
superintended the printing of these pages.
Numerical Symbols are much used in Sanskrit books on Prosody, as well as regarding chronology. Of these I have subjoined an explanation: with some suggestions for Memoria Technica in English.
22, KILDARE GARDENS, LONDON,