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only to investigations, by which the public interests were essentially aslifted, but to those scientific researches, which he more effectually promoted. The art of printing had been introduced into Bengal, by the untaught skill of Mr. Wilkins, and had advanced to great perfection; and many publications equally useful and interesting, issued from the press which he had established.
The genius, example, and direction of Sir William Jones, anticipated what time might perhaps have effected, but with flower progress. ' With advantages which no European in India poffeffed, he employed the ascendancy derived from his superior learning, knowledge, and abilities, to form an institution for promoting and preserving the literary labours of his countrymen; and while he exhibited himself an example for imitation, and pointed out in his discourses, those extensive investigations which he only was capable of conceiving, his conduct was adapted to encourage, and invite all who possessed talents and knowledge, to contribute to the success of the institution.
The establishment of the society, which does no less honour to him, than to the character of our countrymen in Asia, may hereafter form an important article in the general history of arts and sciences; and, if the future labours of the members should be continued with the same zeal, the obligations of the public will be proportionably increased*. In the twenty years which have elapsed since thisestablishment was formed, more accurate information on the history and antiquities, on the arts, sciences, and literature of India, has been given to the world, than ever before appeared; and without disparaging the labours of other investigators, and the merit of antecedent publications, the volumes of the Asiatic Researches will ever remain an honourable testimony of the zeal and abilities of the British residents in Hindustant.
* Three volumes of the Asiatic Researches were published before the death of Sir William Jones; a fourth was ready for the press, at the time of his demise, in April 1794, and a seventh volume has since been received in England.
+ I cannot omit this opportunity of paying a tribute to the enlightened views and enlarged policy of Marquis
of this work was transmitted by Sir William Jones to the Right 'Honourable Henry Dundas, with a letter intimating a wish that the King would honour the society by his acceptance of it, with which his Majesty graciously complied*.
Wellesley, Governor-General of India, in founding a college at Fort William, in Bengal, for the instruction of the servants of the East-India Company, in every branch of useful knowledge. The plan of the institution may perhaps have been more extensive than was absolutely necessary for this purpose, but against the principle of it, no solid objection could be urged. The functions assigned to the servants of the East-India Company, are of great magnitude, variety, and importance; and to discharge them properly requires the education of a statesman and legislator, and a thorough knowledge of the dialects in use in Hindustan. To enable the servants of the Company to acquire the necessary qualifications for the due discharge of these important duties, was the grand object of the institution, which at the same time comprehended the religious instruction, and the superintendance of the morals and habits of the pupils. Considered in a secondary and subordinate point of view, it was calculated to promote the objects proposed in the formation of the Asiatic society. A volume of essays by the students in the college has been published, which does equal honour to them and to the institution.
* The acceptance of the volume by the King, was announced by the following letter:
In the same year, Sir William presented to the public a translation of an ancient Indian drama, under the title of Sacontala, or the Fatal Ring, exhibiting a most pleasing and authentic picture of old Hindu manners, and one of the greatest curiofities that the literature of Afia had yet brought to light. Calidas, the author of it, whom Sir William Jones calls the Shakspeare of India, lived in the first century before Christ, not many years after Terence, and he wrote feveral other dramas and poetical pieces, of which only Sacontala has received an European dress. The violation of the unities, as well as the mixture of fo. reign mythology, which constitutes the ma
Lord GRENVILLE to the Right Honourable H. DUNDAS. SIR,
Whitehall, Feb. 22, 1790. Having laid before the King, Sir William Jones's letter to you; I am directed by His Majesty, to sig. nify his gracious acceptance of the volume transmitted by you; and at the same time to express His Majesty's satisfaction in the progress of the sciences in the British establishment in India, and his approbation of the important undertaking in which Sir William Jones is engaged.
I am, Sir,
W. W. GRENVILLE.
chinery of the play, are irreconcileable with the purer taste, which marks the dramatic compositions of Europe: but, although the translator declined offering a criticism on the characters and conduct of the play, “ from a
conviction that the tastes of men differ as “ much as the sentiments and passions, and " that in feeling the beauties of art as in smell.
ing flowers, tasting fruits, viewing prospects, " and hearing melody, every individual must “ be guided by his own sensations and the in" communicable associations of his own ideas," we may venture to pronounce that, exclusive of the wild, picturesque, and sublime imagery which characterises it, the simplicity of the dialogue in many of the scenes, and the natural characters of many of the personages introduced, cannot fail of exciting pleasure and interest in the reader; who will wish with me, perhaps, that Sir William Jones had not rigidly adhered to the determination which he expressed, not to employ his leisure in tranflating more of the works of Calidas.
In December 1789, the author of these me