페이지 이미지

prevalent among the Hindus. That which is often in their mouths, imancient wisdom of the east, which porting that “all the universe is was celebrated even by the writers under the power of the gods ; the of Greece and Rome, owed its ho- gods are subject to the power of nors among the philosophers, per- the Mantras ; the Mantras are unhaps, to the discoveries in the scie der the power of the Brahmans; ences reached by superior minds the Brahmans are therefore our even in those early times; but with gods." The argument, adds L'Abbé, the ignorant to the terrific powers is regular in form, and the concluassumed by a set of designing men, sion technical ; and accordingly, and was mistaken by them for the in many books, as I have elsevirtue of the incantation muttered where mentioned, they are called over their benediction and their the Terrestrial Gods ! curse. These reflections, Mr. Edi I would endeavour then to actor, passed in my mind on reading count for the unlimited sway the the ixth, xth and with chapters of Brahman hierarchy, has assumed L'Abbé Dubois' Description of the over the consciences, I had alPeople of India, a publication which most said, the natures of their folwithout attempting to dictate, I lowers, by supposing it to have cannot but allow myself to say, it been gradually achieved by insiwould be desirable to see reviewed nuatively disseminating a popular in your Journal, as containing an belief in the peculiar force of their apparently authentic body of use- formularies ; at the same time ful information. In those chap- claiming, what the possessorsofsuch ters L'Abbé produces much that wonder-working rites might do with is new concerning the Gurus or a good grace, the exclusive right bishops, the Purohitas or officiat- of their due administration : for ing priests of Hinduism, and their it does not seem likely that the Mantras, or forms of incantatory claims of any class of men upon prayer. These are the chief or- the privileges and honors of a preders in that hierarchy whose me- scriptive priesthood could have thod of usurpation we are now to been otherwise secured, had not examine.

that course been adopted which We may reasonably presume, after ages have shewn too strong that the opinions which bind the a propensity to copy, and a won present Hindu race in infatuated drous value, virtue, and efficacy subjugation to the priesthood, were been claimed for their ceremonials. the same also employed by the ori. Thus the priest and all his sysginal impostors for the erection of tem became enshrined in the affectheir authority. Now where a be- tions, the hopes, and terrors of the lief in magic is general through- populace; and very soon the car out a country, it is very evident of these divinities was dragged, that the man, or the body of men, by the force of superstition, over who should possess sufficient ad- the prostrate minds and happiness dress to claim successfully a supe. of the whole land. . rior knowledge in these preterna With respect to the collateralevitural capacities, would in the nature dence fairly deducible from the hisof things, by means of that very im- tory of other systems, it would pression, become the hierophants, occupy by far too many of your the legislators, and the despots of pages were I to adduce the cirthe land. Such we find to be the cumstantial details ; suffice it to case; the generality of the Brah. say, that an examination of the mans have the reputation of being Christian writers, from the earliest conversant with these tremendous- fathers downwards, will convince ly potent formularies, so as fully every impartial person, that faith to justify the Sanskrita strophe in the efficacy of ceremonies, and

in the priestly authority, were si can enchain the gods; their litur. multaneous and co-operative, till gies by an inherent benediction can both were consummated iti the ex infuse the moral virtues and eneraltation and magnification of the gies to bless into water and stones; Romish see. It scarcely need be their curse can suspend or invert added, in the Greek church the the laws of nature; their words can case was similar.

raise chimeras and horrors which Such then I take to be the course sometimes shake nature to dissolu. of the origin and consolidation of tion, or hopes as wild and profitBrahmanic power, and of the pa. less; and as the acme, the perfecpal power ; and were such a hydration of their functions, their legislaever to attempt (un yevoito) to rear tive authority abolishing the canons its accursed heads over the British of reason and conscience, can throne and people, what more rea transmute vice to virtue ; and oh, dy way could be devised, than to wondrous alchemy, make virtue persuade us that to this body of to be vice! Truly enough these men is delegated authority to ad are gods! for to all the intents mit into the state of salvation, by and purposes of moral government, means of certain rites to be by the being who is invested with them duly administered ?

such faculties is, to those who conTo return however and to con fess his sway, a Deity; and not only clude, consider for a moment the so, but in arrogating such sway, awful character with which such he arrogates a superiority to that a set of beings have become in- Being whose laws he dares to dis, vested, the powers with which arrange or modify. they are armed. Their Mantras


To the Editor of the Asiatic Journal.

SIR,--Presuming that your pages however having been prevented by are open to the representations untoward events, all such retired and claims of the Company's ser- officers will, I am sure, unite with vants, I shall without further apolo me in feelings of gratitude, if the gy beg leave to lay the case of my honorable court will only be pleasself and other retired captains and ed to put us upon the same addisubalterns before you, in the fond tional pay, as is now enjoyed by hope, that it will speedily attract the captains, lieutenants, and enthe attention and support of many signs in the royal service, and considerate directors and proprie- which was so humanely granted durtors. The fact is, that many cap- ing the late war by the Duke of tains, lieutenants, and ensigns of York, from a conviction of the inthe three presidencies have from adequacy of their former rates of unpropitious circumstances, such as pay. This augmentation to rewounds, or confirmed bad health, tired captains and subalterns, canbeen compelled to retire upon full, not in its aggregate prove any but more generally upon half-pay, great object to the Honorable greatly against their inclinations; Company, whose territories have whereas, had their constitutions become so wonderfully extended enabled them longer to withstand within these few years, by the enerthe climate of India for higher gy and wisdom of their governors, promotion in the service, they and the valour, skill, and discipline would thereby have acquired some of their officers and troops. No sort of independence for the de- claim to increased pay can be made cline of life in this country. This by higher ranks of officers, because

it was not allowed in the royal officers ought to be put upon the service; besides, the present pay of same footing. field and general officers enables Many retired officers, subscribers them to support the appearance of to the Bengal orphan fund from its gentlemen, and proves a consider- first adoption, are in utter ignorance able aid in the maintenance of a

of the present state of that institu. family.

tion ; if the next Journal was to Your insertion of this plain re contain some account of its prepresentation, will confer a lasting sent funds, with any alterations in favour upon many deserving men, behalf of orphans, it would prove who being residents in various dis- highly satisfactory to every subtant parts, have it not in their scriber at home, and serve as dipower to adopt the usual and more rection to individuals in this counrespectful mode, by petition to the try having charge of such chilcourt of directors.

dren.--Yours, I have not a list of the King's

A RETIRED SUBALTERN OF THE service by me, whereby to assimilate the pay of the two services, but if

BENGAL ARMY. you will take the trouble to ascer: London, 26th Dec. 1817. tain it, and add it in a * Postscript it will elucidate my meaning, more

. We shall endeavour shortly to present the clearly, and in common justice our required information in detail.Ed.

To the Editor of the Asiatic Journal.

SIR,The first few sentences its corruption from the era of the of some of Demosthenes and Ci- Anwari Soheili

, in the beginning of cero's most finished orations are our sixteenth century, I meant composed in a rhythmical style, that observation only to imply that which approaches nearer to the themeli, be Ibarāti Rangeen, measured cadence of poetry thạn

or florid style of that work, when prose ; and their elegant taste could make

a prudent use of such compared with the Ibarāti Latīf a license. But the Greek or Lan Leblo or more simple prose style tin scholar equally well knows to of Sadi and his contemporaries, what abuse the rhetoricians of the was what the pompous phraseoloLower Empire turned this privilege, gy and measured periods of John. and how soon, in the consequent son's English is to the middle style corruption of them, they rendered of Addison's; and this may be the text of their respective clas= best exemplified by quoting a few sics a dead language.

passages at random, say from No. In my essay before the last, I 128 of his Rambler ; si In the stated that the Persian was the “ condition of men it frequently language of knowledge and com “happens, that grief and anxiety merce throughout all the civilized “ lie hid under the golden robes of parts of the East; and, like the “ prosperity, and the gloom of caFrench in Europe, iş esteemed, “ lamity is cleared by secret radiaand is, in fact, in a superior de « tions of hope and comfort; as in gree, the oriental language of po. “ the works of nature the bog is lite literature and social inter, "sometimes covered with flowers, course ; but when I stated its du 66 and the mine concealed in the ration, as a classical language, to barren crags!"-- Again ita" Įf have been for a period of five " we may judge by the account hundred years, and that dated “which may be obtained of every

56 man's fortune from others, it « familiar but not coarse, and ele.

may be concluded, that we are gant but not ostentatious, must “ all placed in an elysian region, give his days and nights to the “ overspread with the luxuriance 66 volumes of Addison !". of plenty, and fanned by the When by orders from the Court breezes of felicity :" - Again, of Directors, it was proposed in speaking of the ladies being ex 1796 to establish an academy at . empt from care and sorrow : Calcutta, for teaching the oriental " they must know only the changes languages to the young civil and 6 of more vivid and more gentle military servants, I was questioned “ joys; their life must always move by an active promoter of it, and « either to the slow or sprightly excellent practical scholar, Francis melody of the lyre of gladness; Gladwin, Esq. about the best fa“ they can never assemble but to miliar form of a Persian dialect, pleasure, and retire but to peace!" I then recommended his collating Again, in No. 117, speaking of and printing the Anwari Soheilī, the disposition of vulgar minds to as an admirable system of ethics ridicule and vilify what they can and jurisprudence carried on not comprehend, which is too of- throughout fourteen books, in a ten the case of our small wits in re- style of question and answer, and ference to oriental writers, he says: all its valuable maxims exempll.

-" The student, who brings with fied by familiar stories, in a supe“ him into a clamorous multitude rior manner to what we have in " the timidity of recluse specula- any language, antient or modern. tion, and has never hardened A few years afterwards, a more “ his front in public life, or ac- energetic government carried the " customed his passions to the vic orders of the Directors into effect 66 cissitudes and accidents, the tri on rather an expensive scale, which umphs and defects of mixt con Lord Minto's good sense econoversation, will blush at the stare mised, by retaining the useful and " of petulant incredulity, and suffer more appropriate parts, and transhimself to be driven, by a can- ferring the Greek and Latin back nonade of laughter, from the to Europe ; which, in imitation of "fortresses of demonstration." Oxford, have since flourished at Thus might two or three examples their academies of Haileybury and be copied from any number of his Addiscombe, not only to the alRamblers, which would well nigh most total exclusion of philosophy persuade me he had imitated them and mathematics, but also of the from the Anwari Soheilī, were I Persian, Arabic, and Hindustani not aware that with writers of dis- languages. Among other oriental tant climes and wide-removed classics, Mr. Gladwin had actimes, a similarity of genius and cordingly a correct copy of the circumstances naturally leads to Anwari Soheilī printed for the use a similarity of sentiment and dic. of the Calcutta academy; and a tion. Latterly, Johnson seemed respectable reprint of that has aware of the vicious tendency of since issued from the Company's this style of writing ; and in his press at Hertford. composition of the lives of the The Persians pride themselves British poets, having occasion to on three most antient and national study the English classics of Queen inventions; that of ciphering ; the Anne's reign, after in some parts game of chess; and what we call a rather surly critique on Addison Pilpay's fables. The history of this and his writings, he has taste last is shortly, that this work formenough to make the amende ho- ed the basis of the Will of Honorable, by declaring: “ whoever shang, the second of the Peshda“ wishes to attain an English style, dian dynasty of Persian kings, a

of a

copy of which Dabishlīm, a king persede the Anwari Soheili, which of Hindustan, discovered hid under is, notwithstanding, likely to en. the earth, in consequence dure as long as the Persian landream, and, curious enough, was guage lasts, and making a liberal obliged to get a Hebrew doctor to allowance for that hyperbolic strain, interpret it into Hindi.

About the peculiar privilege of oriental the year A.D. 560, Nushirowan apologue, is, taking it altogether, procured a copy of this from In

one of the most elegant and valuadia, and had it translated into ble works in it. Pahlovi; and, by practising its maxims of jurisprudence, got the to find fault with a Demosthenes

Accordingly, it is not so much title of the Just King. After the and Cicero, a Doctor Johnson overthrow of his dynasty, and the and a Hussain Waez Kashifī, that establishment of the Khalifat at I notice this peculiarity in their Baghdad, Abū Jafier Mansūr, of styles ; for I consider them to the house of Abbas, had the have been respectively masters of Pablovi copy, A. H. 140, translat- the elegancies of their mother ed into Arabic: and on the de- tongues, as to guard the young cline of the Khalifat, Nasir, the student against the meretricious third king of the Samani dynasty, ornaments and bold innovations got Rodaki, the poet, to turn it, of a set of humble imitators of Å. H. 313, into modern Persian each, who, in their lofty periods, verse ; as also did Bahram Shah, splendid passages, and tinsel imaof the Ghaznovi dynasty, into

gery, seem more ambitious of prose, by Abu'l Maani, the son of sound than of sense, of admiraAbd-ul-Majid, A. H. 512, and tion than of comprehension, and this is the copy generally known of being quoted for manner rather by the name of Kalilah and Dum

than of being useful for matter. nah, or the Two Jackals, that act In the course of these essays, I as chief characters in the early have had frequent occasion to reparts of its dialect.

This copy, mark on, and have quoted several continued in vogue till the time of

examples in proof of the characSultan Hussain, fourth in descent teristic simplicity and genuine hufrom Omar Shaikh, the second

mour with which Sadi tells a son of Timūr, when his prime mi- story; yet the introduction of his nister got Hussain Waez Kashifi Gulistan, particularly the first part to modernize it, A.D. 1505, un- of it, is a string of sö Fikrat, der the name of the Anwari Soheilī, or the Emanations of the

or this sort of rhythmical periods, Star Canopus. Abu'l Fazil, the which are so similar in cadence, able prime minister of Acbar, to

and even rhyme, to verses of wards the end of our sixteenth poetry, that Gentius was not so century, compressed this work, and much to blame for mistaking and giving it the title of Ayiāri Dā- arranging some of them, in his nish, or the Touch-stone of Know. Latin translation of that elegant ledge, endeavoured vainly to su- work, as couplets of verse.

فراش باد صبارا گفت تا فرش زمردین بگسترد * و دایه ابر بهاري را فرمود تا بنات نبات را در مهد زمین بپرورد * و درختان را بخلعت نوروزي

كلام قباي سبز ورق در بر گرفته * و اطفال شاخرا بقدوم موسم ربيع شگوفه بر سر نهاده * عصاره تاكي بقدرتش شهد فایق گشته * خرما بتربیتش نخل باسق شده م

[ocr errors]

Asiatic Journ,-No. 26.



« 이전계속 »