페이지 이미지
PDF

dia, too well know, the frailty of Banking Houses—private persons may have inducements to resort to them, but the trustees of a public fund, can never be defended in such a measure. If it has been found necessary to remove Mr Rundall from this administration, why was not a brother officer, a subscriber also, a man with a wife and large family, who had been obliged to quit India, for his health, who had canvassed and obtained the votes of the whole army for the succession, why, I say, was not this officer appointed? Being a strictly honourable, deserving man, and in every way competent; surely, the objects of the institution would have been better met, whilst

acting under the control of the Court of Directors, his appointment would not have created alarm and apprehension in the minds of the subscribers at large. The Hon. Company with its accustomed liberality cherishes this fund, by an annual donation of two thousand pounds; should however, that munificent and important patron signify displeasure at this unaccountable act of the managers by withdrawing such assistance, however much it would be felt and regretted, still, if it tend to teach the managers how far they have forgotten their duty to their constituents, it may prove an eventual benefit.

A Madras Officer,

To the Editor of the Asiatic Journal.

Sir,—The Missionary Intelligence in your last number, cannot fail to be particularly acceptable to the generality of your readers, as containing authentic intelligence from the highly respectable MrCorrie, on whose established zeal and abilities, strict veracity, and local knowledge, every reliance may be placed; as also in the very intelligent report from the Abb6 Dubois to the Archdeacon of Bombay, in the second report of the Bombay Auxiliary Bible Society, as illustrative of the manners, customs, and state of society among the native Christians on the western side of British India.

If I am not greatly mistaken, the territorial revenue received by the East India Company from British India, exceeds pwelve millions sterling per annum, from which sum a few hundred pounds might apparently be spared annually, to raise the Christian character in the eyes of the natives ; for I can hardly be brought to believe, that gentlemen of such elevated Christian character as the late Chair

man, and many others, now in the Direction, can be desirous of suffering eight hundred thousand native Christians to continue the vilest of all other classes, by their horrid debaucheries, when a few respectable missionaries might lead them into the way of truth, righteousness, morality, and chearful industry, in their respective callings.

The Abbe Dubois states, that the native Christiansare ingreatwantof European missionaries, as from the long unsettled state of Europe, few had arriyed for many years; and the zeal of the Neophites (converts in the language of the Romish church) was consequently much slackened for want of that pastoral care and attention requisite in every country, but more particularly in British India, where precept, as well as example, is so necessary to check the propensity to vice among this race, who have hitherto been considered as the refuse of society.

Surely, therefore, the East-India Company, with their usual liberality, as rulers of sixty millions of British Asiatic subjects, ought not to object to pay one respectable missionary for every district, where a Collector of Revenue resides. The good man (having previously studied the peculiar language of the couutry) might be placed under the immediate superintendence of this civil servant, to prevent any improper interference with the established customs of the other natives, when, by a modest and appropriate conduct in the management of a school for the instruction of youth, he might gradually effect a reform in their morals, and thereby lay the foundation for the pure doctrines of Christianity, of which the Neophites are equally ignorant at present, as the inhabitants of New Zealand, before the arrival of missionaries in that distant land.

Bibles in every Asiatic language have certainly been distributed at an enormous expence throughout British India; but for want of that information which the respectable Mr. Corrie could have granted, and which he is so well calculated to give, the sums hitherto expended have been of little avail; for we cannot expect a child to understand Horace, without being initiated in the rudiments of the Latin grammar.

A missionary in British India must expect nearly the same difficulties as St. Paul experienced with the Jews and Gentiles, the Musalmans being desirous of retaining the ceremonies of the Muhammadan law, and have an aversion to the Hindus, while the latter are particularly attached to the superstitious rites of their idolatrous worship.

The learned Orientalist, Mr. Colebrooke, being in London, might possibly be induced to favour the well-wishers to the missionary cause in this country, with his sentiments as to the establishment of a particular cast of Protestant Christians, (as Gura Govind did for the Sikhs), with a few primary rules for their good government, founded in the Levitical law, as analogous to Asiatic customs, wherein expulsion from the cast should be awarded against the drinkers of spirituous liquors and eaters of swine's flesh, for reasons which are obvious to every person who has ever resided in British India.

When a solid foundation is thus laid, under the auspices of those who are thoroughly acquainted with the subject, the missionary cause will prosper, and that it may do bO, is the hearty prayer and wish of Moderation.

SHORT ACCOUNT

OF THE

PRESENT MODE OF TEACHING ARITHMETIC
IN HINDU SCHOOLS.

(From Taylor's translation of the Lilavati, a work which however desirable such an

occurrence must be to the literati and mathematicians, we have not yet learned

is likely to be reprinted in Europe.)

Arithmetical science, Hs taught in the Lilavati, is confined exclusively to the Jyoiisis or astronomers. At school children arc taught little beyond the four

elementary rules of addition, substruction; multiplication, and division, together with one or two examples of the rule of three, and of interest. In the method of teaching these rules, however, there is something peculiar, an account of which may be not altogether uninteresting to those who are fond of observing the various modes of calculation practised in different countries.

As the instruction received at Hindu Schools is almost entirely confined to arithmetic, a few additional remarks will be sufficient to convey a general and pretty accurate idea of the education afforded to Hindu children. The following account being founded chiefly upon information received from natives of the Maliratta country and of Guzerat, and on observations made during visits to schools kept by inhabitants of those countries, must be regarded in some measure as local. At the same time, the conversations which 1 have had with people from different and remote parts both of Hindustan, and the Peninsula, leave little doubt that, in the general features, it will be found to correspond with the plan adopted throughout the whole of India.

On joining the school the young pupil performs the pati puja, or worship of the writing board, in the following manner. The board which is ahouttwelveinhceslong and eight broad, is first covered with gulal,* on which is drawn the figure of Saraswati the goddess of learning; it is then covered with perfume, rice, flowers, sugar, beetle-nut and leaf, cocoa-nut, &c. and near it are placed a lighted taper of incense, and also a burning lamp scented with camphor, all of which are presented to the master along with a small sum of money and turband, or some similar present, suitable to the condition of the parent or relation of the child. The rice, flowers, betel-nut, &c. are distributed by the master among the children of the school. Trifling presents are also made to such brahmans as may attend upon the occasion. The scholar then prostrates himself before the writing board, which is supposed to represent the goddess Saraswati, and the master writes the words " Sri Ganesayanama"—' reverence to Gan«sa, the god of wisdom;'— "Om"—the mystic name of god; after

* Gulal is flour dyed of purple colour. The forms of the figures or letters are traced with a wooden style which displacing the sand or coloured flour leaves exposed the white ground which bad previously been formed with a kind of pipe clay.

which he puts a reed pen into the scholar's hand, and directs it a few times over the forms of the letters.

Having performed these preliminary ceremonies, which are supposed to have a mighty influence over his future progress, the scholar proceeds to learn first the vowels, then the consonants, and finally the combinations of the vowels and consonants. Five or six vowels being written down on the board, he retraces their forms by drawing his pen over the characters which have been written in the sand, until the forms of the letters given in the lesson have become so familiar that he can write them without a copy, and pronounce their names. In the next lesson five or six letters more are put down, which the scholar learns to write in the same manner as before ; and thus he proceeds until he have learned to write and read the whole number of vowels and consonants, and the combinations of these letters, in the Dcvanagari alphabet, which, in this part of India, is called Balbedh.

After learning the letters of the alphabet, the scholar proceeds to the numeral figures. A copy of these being written down on the board, together with their names, he retraces their forms, and at the same time pronounces audibly the name of each figure, according as was done in learning the letters of the alphabet. The lesson is thus put down on the board :—

1 ok one

2 don two

3 tin three

4 char four

5 panch five

6 saha sis

7 sath seven

8 ath eight

9 now nine

10 daha ten.

After writing these figures, and repeating their names, until he is able to write them even when no written lesson is placed in his view, the scholar is then taught to put down and read the figures as far as one hundred, in the following manner:—

11 before one is eleven

12 one before two is twelve, and so on.

This species of enumeration being acquired, the scholar proceeds to the multiplication table called Pare. In the Wahrata schools, this table consists in multiplying ten numbers as far as thirty, and iii Guzerati schools in multiplying ten numbers as far as one hundred.

After this, the scholar is taught three tables, in which fractional parts are multiplied by whole numbers.

After learning to multiply in this manner, the scholar proceeds to the tables of weights and measures.

Haring committed to memory the multiplication tables, and also the tables of weights and measures, which are the ground work of his future arithmetical practice, the scholar next proceeds to what is termed mi/oune, which signifies adding.

It has been already remarked, that in going through all these operations the scholar speaks in a loud singing tone. An European would naturally suppose that this practice must produce great confusion, and distract the mind of each scholar. In the Hindu schools, however, it does not seem to have this effect ; but, on the contrary, this audible repetition appears to keep up the scholar's attention, and to fix his mind firmly ou the subject about which he is employed. It also affords the teacher means of observing when any one is idle and inattentive to his lesson; and by connecting the sound with the thing signified, the calculator may perform the operation by a kind of mechanical process. Besides, it takes away the idea of mental exertion, and converts the exercises at school into a kind of play and amusement.

Before the scholars are dismissed in the evening,' it is usual to repeat the different multiplication tables in the following manner:—

All the scholars stand up, when one of them, by directions of the master, takes his station in front, and goes through the different tables with a loud voice, all the other scholars repeating after him at once. The boy who is the greatest proficient is generally chosen to take the lead; but at other times the master selects one of the younger boys, in order to ascertain whether he be able to go through the tables with accuracy. This proves no small incentive to each boy to make himself master of these tables, as any failure in this conspicuous situation is accompanied with great disgrace.

The multiplication tables being thus daily repeated are fixed indelibly on the

mind of the scholar; and in this way he acquires a facility in performing arithme. tical operations off hand, which frequently astonishes an European observer. For instance, I have often heard a series of pretty intricate questions, involving fractious and the Rule of Three, put to half a dozen of boys, one question being put to the first boy, another to the second, and so on in succession; and by the time that a question had been given to the last boy, the first boy would answer the one which had been put to him, immediately after which the second boy would answer his question; and thus it went through the whole; so that in the course of two minutes, six different questions would be put to as many boys, and answered by them with the utmost correctness.

The children learn to write and cipher on a board covered with sand or brick dust, and the letters or figures are traced with a reed, or small wooden style, which the scholar is permitted to hold in whatever manner he finds most convenient. In the more advanced stages, however, and when the arithmetical operations extend to some length, I have observed in the schools here, that they paint the board with a black ground, and then write upon it with a mixture of chalk and water. This occupies much less room than in writing upon sand, is less liable to obliteration, and at the same time shews the figures in a plain and distinct form.

In the system of education thus briefly detailed, several very judicious arrangements will be noticed, both in regard to economy, and as to saving of time.

First, by writing upon a board covered with sand, there is saved tHe expense of paper, ink, and pens.

Secondly, writing and reading are taught together, instead of being made different branches of instruction. While tracing the forms of the letters or figures, the scholar at the same time repeats their names, a practice which is followed also when he proceeds to ciphering.

Thirdly, the scholar is taught the effect of placing one or more figures before another, and thus learns to distinguish between the nature of this position and the result of adding numbers together, a distinction which often puzzles beginners to whom it has not been carefully pointed out.

But what chiefly distinguishes the Hindu schools is the plan of instruction by the scholars themselves. When a hoy joins the school, he is immediately put under the tuition and care of one who is more advanced in knowledge, and whose duty it is to give lessons to his young pupil, to assist him in learning, and to report his behaviour and progress to the master. The scholars are not classed as with us, but are generally paired off, each pair consisting of an instructor and a pupil. These pairs are so arranged that a boy less advanced may sit next to oue who has made greater progress, and from whom he receives assistance and instruction. When, however, several of the elder boys have made considerable and nearly equal progress, they are seated together in one line, and receive their instructions directly from the master.

This plan of getting the older boys, and those who are more advanced, to assist those who are less advanced and younger, greatly lessens the burden imposed upon the master, whose duty, according to this system, is not to furnish instruction to each individual scholar, bat to superintend the whole, and see that every one does his duty. If the younger boy does

not learn his lessons with sufficient promptitude and exactness, his instructor reports him to the master, who enquires into the case, orders the pupil to repeat before him what he has learnt, and punishes him if he has been idle or negligent. As the master usually gives lessons to the older scholars only, he has sufficient leisure to exercise a vigilant superintendance over the whole school, and by casting his eyes about continually, or walking up and down, and enquiring into the progress made by each pupil under his instructor, he maintains strict discipline, and keeps every one upon the alert through expectation of being called upon to repeat his lesson.

The arithmetical lessons are written down at full length. Tims in giving a case of addition, substraction, multiplication, division, or the rule of three, the whole process is set down in figures, and the scholar goes over it on another part of the board, repeating the differeut' steps in a loud voice as has been already noticed. After each lesson has been gone over till it be committed to memory, it is nibbed out, and then written down by the scholar himself without any assistance.

HISTORY

OF

THE COCCUS LACCCE, OR LAC INSECT.

By the late Dr. Kerr.

The head and trunk of this insect form one uniform, oval, compressed, red body, of the shape and magnitude of a very small louse, consisting of twelve transverse rings; the back is carinate, the sides are sharp and alate; the belly is flat; antennae, two filiform, truncated, diverging half the length of the body, each sending off two, often three delicate diverging hairs, longer than the antenna;; the mouth and eyes could not be seen with a common watch-maker's magnifier.

The tail is a little white point, sending ~»ff two horizontal hairs as long as the body.

Progression is performed by three pair of limbs, half the length of the animal,

forming rectangles at the edge of the trunk; the transverse rings of thc'bodjr are capable of a little motion.

I have often observed the birth of those insects, but could never sec any with wings, nor could I find any distinction of sexes, unless that trivial difference of the antennae. Their connubial rites they also kept a secret from "ibc: nature and" analogy seem to point out a deficiency in my observations, possibly owing to the minuteness of the object, and want of proper glasses.

The insect is produced by the parent in the months of November and December; they traverse the branches of the trees upon which they were produced for some time,' and then fix themselves upon

« 이전계속 »