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ment will be noticed ; and I shall now continue my extracts from his familiar correspondence.
Sir WILLIAM JONES to J. SHORE, Esq. Gardens, near Calcutta, March 25, 1787. - I am charmed, my dear Sir, with the short but comprehensive work of Rhadacaunt, your pundit, the title of which I see is Purán-arthupracusam, or the meaning of the Purans displayed. It contains pedigrees, or lists of kings, from the earliest times to the decline of the Indian empire ; but the proper names are so murdered, or so strangely disguised in Persian letters, that I am only tantalized with a thirst for more accurate information. If the pundit at your request, will lend me the original, my marhatta writer shall copy it elegantly, with spaces between the lines for a literal English translation, which may perhaps be agreeable, with your consent, to our society.
Sir WILLIAM JONES to J. SHORE, Esq.
his High Mightiness Tatbu Arnu (king of Ava”). When I began it, I feared I feared it was hostile, but am glad to find it so amicable. Dulce mihi nomen pacis If he is at peace with the Siamese, he may be a good
* If the reader has a curiosity to see this singular letter, he may gratify it. The perusal, may perhaps recall to his recollection, the following lines: Here's a large mouth indeed,
That spits forth death and mountains, rocks and seas
Official translation of a letter from the Rajah or Principal of the Burmas to the Collector of Chittagong :
I am lord of a whole people, and of 101 countries, and my titles are Rajah Chat
terdary (i.e. sitting under a canopy) and Rajah Surey Bunkshee, (i. e. descendant of the P P Sun),
Sun). Sitting on the throne with a splendid canopy of gold, I hold in subjection to my authority many Rajahs; gold, silver, and jewels, are the produce of my country, and in my hand is the instrument of war, that, as the lightning of Heaven, humbles and subdues my enemies; my troops require neither injunctions nor commands, and my elephants and horses are without number. In my service are ten pundits learned in the Shaster, and 104 priests, whose wisdom is not to be equalled ; agreeably to whose learning and intelligence, I execute and distribute justice among my people, so that my mandates, like the lightning, suffer no resistance nor control. My subjects are endowed with virtue and the principles of justice, and refrain from all immoral practices, and I am as the Sun, blessed with the light of wisdom to discover the secret designs of men; whoever is worthy of being called a Rajah, is merciful and just towards his people; thieves, robbers, and disturbers of the peace, have at length received the punishment due to their crimes; and now the word of my mouth is dreaded as the lightning from Heaven. I am as a greatsea, among 2000 rivers, and many rivulets, and as the mountain Shumeroo, surrounded by 40,000 hills, and like unto these is my authority, extending itself over 101 Rajahs; further, 10,000 Rajahs pay daily attendance at my Durbar, and my country excels every country of the world; my palace as the heavens, studded with gold and precious stones, is revered more than any other palace in the universe. My occupations resemble the business of the chief of the angels, and I have written unto all the provinces of Arracan, with orders to forward this letter in safety to Chittagong, formerly subject to the Rajah Sery Tamah Chucka, by whom the country was cultivated and populated; and he erected 2400 places of public worship, and made 24 tanks. Previous to his accession, the country was subject to other Rajahs, whose title was Chatterdary, who erected places of worship, and appointed priests to administer the rites of religion to people of every denomination; but at that period the country was ill governed, previous to the accession of Rajah Sery Tamah Chucka to the government of the countries of Rutunpoor, Dootinady, Arracan, Dooraputty, Ramputty, Chagdoye, Mahadaye, Mawong, in whose time the country was governed with justice and ability, and his wisdom was as the lightning; and the people were happy under his administration. He was also favoured with the friendship of the religious men of the age, one of whom, by name Budder, resorting to his place of residence, was solicited by the Rajah to appoint some one for the purpose of instructing him in religious rites, and Shawhmany was accordingly appointed agreeably to the Rajah's requisition; at this time it rained from Heaven, gold, silver, and precious stones, which were buried under ground in charge of the above priest, whose house was of gold and silver workmanship, to which the people resort,
a good neighbour, and we may be gainers by his gold and ivory; but I have no inclination to taste his sweet and delicious petroleum, which he praises so highly ; I am satisfied with the smell of it, and with its singular property of restoring the scent of Russia
resort, and worship the deities; and the Rajah kept a large establishment of servants, and of
leather. I am told he is an able man; but from all I can learn, I suspect him to be an ambitious dog, who would act the lion if he could, and end, as he is said to have begun, the Aurenzeb of the Indian peninsula.
We are pretty well, and hope that you are now in good health. You will not (though you dislike medicine) object to my prescription:
Take a concerto of Corelli,
Would I could be as good a physician to you, as I am, &c.
Sir WILLIAM JONES to J. SHORE, Esq.
- May 12, 1787. You have sent me a treasure, which will enable me to satisfy my mind at least on the chronology of India ; need I say, that I shall ever be happy in the conversation of so learned a man as Rhadacaunt P Before I return to Calcutta, I shall have read his interesting book, and shall be better able to converse with him in
Sanscrit, which I speak continually with my pundit.
I can easily conceive all your feelings, but consider, my dear friend, that you are now collecting for yourself (while you serve your country) those flowers which will give a brighter bloom even to the valleys of Devonshire, that you are young and have as fair a prospect of long happiness as any mortal can have. I predict, that when I meet you a few years hence at Teignmouth, where I hope to spend many a season with all that my soul cherishes in this world, I shall hear, you confess, that your painful toil in India, conduced in the end to your happiness. That you may enjoy as much of it as human life affords, is the sincere wish of, &c.
Sir WILLIAM JONES to J. SHORE, Esq. June 24. * , * * # o # * # # * * # I am well, rising constantly between three and four, and usually walking two or three miles before sun-rise; my
wife is tolerably well ; and we only lament, that the damp weather
will soon oblige us to leave our herds, and flocks, and all our rural delights on the banks of the Baghiratti. The business of the court will continue at least two months longer, after which I purpose to take a house at Bandell or Hugli, and pass my autumnal vacation as usual with the Hindu bards. I have read your pundit's curious book twice in Sanscrit, and will have it elegantly copied ; the Dabistan also I have read through twice with great attention; and both copies are ready to be returned, as you shall direct. Mr. R. Johnston thinks he has a young friend who will translate the Dabistan, and the greatest part of it would be very interesting to a . curious reader, but some of it cannot be translated. It contains more recondite learning, more entertaining history, more beautiful, specimens of poetry, more ingenuity and wit, more indecency and blasphemy, than I ever saw collected in a single volume ; the two last are not the author's, but are introduced in the chapters on the heretics and infidels of India. On the whole, it is the most amusing and instructive book I ever read in Persian”.
I hear nothing from Europe, but what all the papers contain; and that is enough to make me rejoice exceedingly, that I am in
* The Dabistan, is a treatise on twelve different religions, composed by a Mohammedan traveller, a native of Cashmir, named Mohsan, but distinguished by the assumed name of Fani, or perishable. Sir William Jones, in his sixth discourse to the society, on the Persians, refers to it as a rare and interesting tract, which had cast a gleam of light on the primeval history of Iran and the human race, of which he had long de
spaired, and which could hardly have dawned from any other quarter. Asi Sla,