« PreviousContinue »
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. Harrington, esq. Vice-President of the Asiatic Society, Dr. John 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, containing “the Original Text, with a translation ; 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 will be proper to notice the endeavours of the London Missionary Society in the same department. While Mr. Lassar 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. “It has proved of great advantage to him that “he copied and carried out with him the Chi“nese 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 “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 expense to the London Missionary Society for the current year, in the Chinese department alone, is stated to be sé500.
The foregoing notices of the progress of Chinese literature will, I doubt not, 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.
It 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 judgmenton this subject, he will proceed to give Some account of the Hindoos of Juggernaut, and of the native Christians in Tangore. 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 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.
ExTHActs from the AUTHOR's Jou RNAL in his 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 n 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.
Many thousands of pilgrims have accompanied us. for some days past. They cover the road before and behind as far as the eye can reach. At nine o'clock this morning, the temple of Juggernaut appeared in view at a great distance. When the multitude first saw it, they gave a shout, and fell to the ground and worshipped. I have heard nothing to-day but shouts and acclamations by the successive bodies of pilgrims. From the place where I now stand I have a view of a host of people like an army, encamped at the outer gate of the town of Juggernaut; where a guard of soldiers is posted to prevent their entering the town, until they have paid the pilgrim's tax.---I passed a devotee to day