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has been greater than usual, so that it will soon become necessary to increase the size of your periodicals, to meet the activity of the members of the Society. We ought annually to have three volumes of the Journal, and one volume of the Collection of Memoirs, and though the resources of the Society do not admit our doing so at present, we may hope to attain this object hereafter.
The Committee would have desired to lay before you the first pages of the Voyage of Schulz, but could not command time. You will moreover observe, from the account which is to be given to you of the state of your finances, that the printing of this work, too long time already postponed, does not admit of any further delay. The great expences we defrayed for the printing of the Chronicle of Kashmir and the Geography of Abulfeda, are covered by the kind assistance of M. Villemain, Minister of Public Instruction, and the resources of the current year will allow us to send to the press the Voyage of Schulz.
The Society has sustained severe losses during the past year, especially among the foreign members. Mr. Gilchrist died on the 8th January at Paris. Born in Scotland in the year 1759, he passed a part of his early life in India, studied afterwards medicine, embarked as shipsurgeon to Bombay, entered there the service of the East India Company, and was transferred to Calcutta. He devoted to the study of the Hindostani, which he acquired with rare perfection, living for some years in a Mahommedan family. His systematic mind suggested to him the idea of forming that dialect into a language, which in Dehli and Lucknow had gained a great elegance as the language of conversation and poetry, but which in other parts of India, like the Lingua Franca, fluctuated between the Persian and the provincial dialects of the Hindus. He fixed the Hindostani Grammar, published a very good Dictionary, and translated a number of English works into that tongue, to furnish to its students works in prose, which were entirely wanting in the Hindostani literature, by which he rendered a signal service to the East India Company, giving a common language to their army, and the means of its successful study to their officers. Lord Wellexlev made him Professor at the College of Fort William, where he had many pupils to attend upon his instructions. He afterwards retired to Edinburgh, where he established a bank, and some time later to London to resume the teaching of the Hindostani, and he lastly repaired to France, where he was occupied to his death with his favourite theory of an universal language. He was rather distinguished for the activity than for the exactness of his mind, and for an ardent character, which threw him during his whole life into endless literary and political disputes, though he had a large fund of benevolence.
Another very distinguished member, the loss of whom the Society has to complain, is, Monseigneur J. L. Taberd, Bishop of Isauropolis, Apostolic Vicar of Cochiri-China. Bora at Saint Etienne in the year 1795, he took orders in 1818, and went two years afterwards as Missionary to Cochin-Chin a, where he arrived in the year 1821, just at the moment when the position of the French missions in that country became involved in difficulties. The Archbishop of Adran, who in Cochin-China had exercised an almost royal power, expired, when the reaction on which the Anti-French and Anti-Christian party a long time since contemplated, forthwith broke out, and thence continued to rage with increasing fury until this day. Under these difficult circumstances, M. Taberd was elected in 1823, Superior of the Mission, and in 1827, Bishop of Isauropolis, and Apostolic Vicar of Cochin-China. The persecution having dispersed the Bishops of Cochin-China, he was obliged to remove to Siam to be consecrated. The king Ming-Menh, however, by fixing a price during his absence on his head, prevented him from re-entering his diocese. Then taking refuge to Pulo-Penang, be founded the Catholic College for the missions of Transgangetic India, and went from thence to Calcutta to print his Cochin-China Dictionary, the fruit of the accumulated labours of a large number of missionaries, which was completed by himself. The generosity of the Governor General of India, and of the Protestant Missionaries at Serampore furnished him the means of accomplishing his great undertaking. Some time afterwards, he was elected Apostolic Vicar of Bengal, but he could not discharge the functions of his new appointment, as he almost suddenly died on the 31st July 1841, and as he had not previously received his definitive nomination.
The year, the labours of which occupy us, has not been very favourable to Oriental studies, especially in Asia, where war has paralysed so many undertakings. These circumstances indeed will latterly turn out to the benefit of Oriental literature in Europe, because the more and more increasing political importance of Asia must naturally claim the serious attention of the European nations ; but for the present, the literary progress in the small number of places where it has been developed, has been retarded. The presses of Constantinople, Teheran, Cairo and Canton, have produced nothing worthy of remark, and those of India, though not altogether unemployed, have been less active than formerly.
The Asiatic Societies have everywhere continued in their efforts to make known the discoveries in the languages and histories of the East. The Asiatic Journal commenced by the late Mr. J. Prinsep, is now edited by Mr. (Henry) Torrens, who conducts it with great zeal and ability. The Society of Madras continued its Journal with much regularity. The German Oriental Journal commences a new series, and the excellent Journal of the Geographic Society of London, becomes more and more a powerful ally to the collections, specially designed for the East. The number of these collections has been augmented by the Orientalia, published by Messrs. Juynbull, Roorda and Weijers. The first volume of these collections has appeared in Amsterdam; its destination is to become the organ of the excellent school of I^eyden, which displays in its Asiatic studies, the same spirit of learning and of conscientious research, which has for so long a time distinguished the classic Philology of Holland. The Orientalia do not exclude any department of research concerning Asia, bat they are more especially destined for the Semitic languages and. literature. The first volume contains a Posthumous Memoir on the collectrre Nouns of the Arabs by Hamaker, and a Poem not previously published, of Montanebbi, edited and translated by Juynbull, and a continuation of the Catalogue of the Oriental Manuscripts of the Library at Leyden, by M. Weijers. I should perhaps mention also as a new Asiatic Journal, the one published by the Society of Jesu in Lyon, under the title of " Lettres du Madure," of which six numbers have appeared.1 It is composed of Letters of the Missionaries of this order in the South of India. Though its chief end is to give an account of the state of that missioD. yet it contains a mass of details on the customs of the Hindoos, and would undoubtedly find its place in the libraries of the learned, if the Society were to allow the sale of it.
Two new Asiatic Societies have been established during the past year, one in Paris, " La Soctete' Orientale," whose principal object is I. Lettres des nouvelles Missions du Madure. Lyon, 1840, in 8vo. Vols. I. and II.
to publish the monuments of art of the Asiatic nations, the other in London, under the name of "Society for the Publication of Oriental Texts." It is now constituted and has commenced its labours. It forms the necessary complement to the Committee of Translations, and we sincerely hope, that it may be favoured with the support of the learned men and of public institutions ; which is so necessary for the execution of its great and difficult enterprise, as there is no chance of its becoming popular. It cannot be too often repeated, that the publication of the most important Oriental manuscripts is the greatest and most urgent want of our studies. Only when the critical labours of the learned have passed over the master-pieces of every literature; when the press has facilitated the material use of books, and obviated the immense Iobs of time, occasioned by the reading of manuscripts; when it has diffused to all corners of Europe the materials which must now be searched for in some collections of manuscripts, only then can European intelligence really penetrate the East, and by disengaging the historic truth from the thick layer of fables and contradictions involving it, reconstrue the history of mankind. The accomplishment of this object is indeed far distant, yet the way to attain it is distinctly pointed out, and every year we advance a step to it.
The number of catalogues of oriental manuscripts in the European libraries which are being published or prepared, may be considered as a very good idea for this purpose. The Bodleian Library at Oxford has a short time since finished the publication of its catalogue, fifty years ago commenced by Uri, and finished by Nicoll; it has been published by Purey* It is a great and beautiful enterprise, worthy of this celebrated library. Mr. Prinsep, a short time before his death, edited in two volumes, the Catalogue of the Manuscripts of the Asiatic Library of Calcutta. Mr. Fleischer, to whom we already owe the Catalogue of the Oriental Manuscripts at Dresden, has also published that of the Library at Leipzig.' Mr. Brooset has edited in Petersburg the Catalogue of the Armenian Library of Edchmiadzin.4 For a long time it was the regret of
2. Bibliothecae Bodlianee Codicum Manuscriptorum Catalogin, confecit Nicoll edidit Purey, in fol. Oxford, 1835.
3. Catalogus Librorum Manuscriptorum Bibliothecae Senatorial Lipsionsis, ed. Neumann. Codices Orientalium Linguarum Descripserunt; Fleischer et Delitib, If®, in 4to.
4. Catalogue de la Bibliotheque d'Edchmiadzin, publie par M. Brooset. Saint Petersburg, 1840, 121 pages.
those who took an interest in the Armenian literature, that the treasures contained in the Library of the principal place of the Armenian hierarchy, were inacessible to Europeans. At last the influence of M. de Flahn, Imperial Commissioner of the Caucasian provinces, has obtained from Catholicus the catalogue of his library, and the Academy of St. Petersburg hastened to communicate it to the public. We there may observe, that the disasters which during so many centuries oppressed the Armenian nation, equally retarded the progress of their literature; for the library of Edchmiadzin contains only 181 manuscripts, among which there are a hundred, which treat about history or geography, while the others are works on theology or scholastic philosophy. M. Schott has printed the catalogue of the Chinese books of the Library in Berlin, which is a continuation of the catalogue presented by M. Klaproth.8 M. De Hammer edited the catalogue of his splendid collection of Arabian, Persian and Turkish manuscripts, and also that of the manuscripts of the Ambrosian Library.6 M. Fluegel has likewise inserted in the annals of Vienna, a list of new acquisitions of Arabic manuscripts, which the Royal Library of Paris has made during the last years. The catalogue of the oriental manuscripts of Tubingen is published by M. Ewald,7 and M. Dulaunier has inserted in your Journal the list of the Malayan manuscripts of the Asiatic Society of London. Lady Chambers has given to the press the catalogue of the magnificent collection of Sanscrit manuscripts, which her husband had made in India.8 This catalogue is one of the last works of Rosen, whom death has so untimely taken from the prosecution of his oriental studies. The Academy of Lisbon has been sometime occupied with the preparation of a complete catalogue of all the oriental manuscripts in the Libraries of Portugal, which is of an incalculable value to literature, as the long dominion of the Portuguese in various parts of the East must have enabled them to collect a great many manuscripts. The Academy of Portugal will honour your Society with the charge of publishing the
5. Verzeichnsis der Chinesischen und Mandschu, Tungusischen Biicber der Bibliotkek in Berlin, von Ed. Schott, 1840, in 8vo.
6. In the Wiener Jahrbuchera, and separately printed in a small number of copiw.
7. Verzeichniss der Orientalischen Handschriften der Bibliotkek zu Tubingen, von Kvald, 1839, in 4to.
8. Catalogue of the Manuscripts of the late Sir R. Chambers, with a Memoir t>T Lady Chambers. London, 1838, in fol.