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ristianir, or whether, sending to another class of philosophers, amel en rit, rm wowilling to receive the whole body of English litera. weiht, intime, and permanency to the institution, and to control the ex.
It is well imn that in committees the actual work is generally done br w or three members, and the principal use of the remainder is to give penditure of the funds entrusted to its keeping. Now, in the present stage of the proceeding under discussion, activity, energy, promptness of decision, and practical nequaintance with the business in hand are the qualities which formed, and the whole machine has to be set in motion. At first the soul of a are essentially requisite. Plans have to be organized, connections have to be enough to carry on business, and there is no call for a larger committee at present. As no subscriptions are to be accounted for, there is no necessity
r controlling pecuniary matters. Where there is no trust there can be no responsibility. Neither is there any particular necessity at present for the accession of influential people, because the incipient society only professes to
habits of receivi power to com proper duti
trength and importance, the country has diminisher
absolutely rejects the absurdities of Arabic of answe itself w wri' er
wanted without any of its retarding adjuncts. There are
i Ars our latern in. Awun to liberalice, and while it
supply actually existing demands in the mofussil
. If people really want the books, they will write and get them without the additional allurement of
Moreover, it is not necessary in the present stage of the proceeding to make any particular provision with a view to permanency. The whole affair is confessedly an experiment. If the society of the provinces do not avail themselves to any considerable extent of the facilities thus presented to them for procuring books and other means of instruction, the attempt must fall to the ground; while, on the other hand, if they do avail themselves of it, the experiment may be considered to have succeeded. And it will then be time to place the institution under the protection of a regularly constituted society. When the period of probation has once expired, the efforts of the projectors will be directed to increase its influence, to extend its sphere of usefulness, and to secure its permanency; and if the existing institutions do not by that time enlarge their operations, so as to meet the improved state of the demand, subscriptions may then be raised to republish and translate books, and to accomplish other objects calculated to promote the intellectual and moral advancement of the people of India, and influential members of the community may be invited to place themselves at the head of the committee, the gentlemen above referred to retiring to give them place as proposed in the address they originally issued.
With regard to the “ agent" to be appointed, I see you have most com. pletely mistaken the view of my friends: I beg therefore to explain them. Had they merely informed their correspondents in the mofussil that at such and such places the particular books they might require were obtainable, they would have afforded some assistance, but not enough. The persons who wanted these books must apply, as your correspondent Fair Play has demonstrated, to six or eight places for the execution of one order ere it could be completed. The gentlemen alluded to, therefore, were anxious to effect more for their mofussil friends. They wished to have some central spot in Calcutta at which the whole of those books might be procured at once, and therefore determined to engage a book-seller who would pledge himself to have constantly on hand a supply of all the books in their list, or to write for them whenever ordered. The saving of correspondence and ex. pence in carriage thus effected, and the superior facility secured to the operations of a school by the receipt at an early period, and at the same time, of all the books necessary forits complete organization, you will perceive is to the friends of education in the country a most important advantage,
—an advantage which, if I mistake not, will be generally and warmly appreciated by these gentlemen.
The only object of the three whose views (after conversation with them) I have thus undertaken to explain, is the benefit of the public in persuading the proprietors of books on the one hand, if a ready and extensive sale for them can be secured, to reduce their price to the purchaser; and on the other hand, as an auxiliary to this object, to induce the book-seller whom they appoint as agent to accept of rather less than the usual commission in sales. This of course will enable the proprietors of a work to submit with justice to a corresponding reduction in the price they charge. I need not say that in all this there is no advantage secured by my friends except the exquisite satisfaction of doing good; the pecuniary advantage is entirely on the part of the public.
You have already acquiesced in the purity of the motives, and in the propriety of the end which the three gentlemen had in view, and after this explanation, I beg of you in all candour to say whether, considering the peculiar exigencies of the case, you do not approve also of the mode which they have adopted to accomplish that end.
When you gave insertion to the personal attack of the Courier, allow me to intimate that it would have been but fair if you ad also inserted the handsome apology made in the behalf of my friends by the Englishman, in rcply to that very attack.
Before we part, I may as well remark that I have been somewhat surprized to hear you allude to the “peculiar views” of Mr. Trevelyan respecting the substitution of the English " for the vernacular languages;' for although I have perused most, if not all, of the public writings of that gentleman, I never once remember this idea having been broached by him. He invariably speaks of English as the language of liberal education, and refers to it as holding the same place in relation to this country as the Greek language did to Rome and the Latin to Modern Europe ; and Sanskrit, Arabic, and Persian have hitherto done towards this country. As the wild notion which you have attributed to my friend would be likely, if the imputation were to obtain general credence, to diminish the usefulness of a person who has certainly exerted his talents and influence most laudably for the best interests of the country, I have reason to expect that you will either withdraw the charge or point out that passage in his writings which appears to you to justify it.
You also speak of Mr. Duff's “peculiar views respecting the substitution of the Roman for the oriental characters,” upon which subject I shall only reply, that these “ peculiar views” are entertained at present by numbers of the best informed and most influential people in the country; and before many months pass over our heads, if I mistake not, some thousands of the rising generation will be actively employed acquiring and propagating their native literature through the medium of these same letters.
Although, in consequence of your editorial remarks, my friend FAIR Play and myself have addressed our correspondence to you, I trust notwithstanding that the Editors of the Hurkaru and Englishman, with their usual liberality, will insert our letters in their columns also. They will, I apprehend, conceive them to contain matter of sufficient interest, in connection with the subject of the Address, to form a proper exception to their general rule of not admitting letters addressed to another paper. As for the Courier, justice of course demands, that having given currency to a personal attack upon Mr. Trevelyan, he should give similar publicity to the explanation of his friends.
I am, Sir, your obedient servant, June 17, 1834.
JUSTICE*. On the above paper the Editor in a note, merely remarked, that though his opinion 'was not altered, yet that the question being “ very much a matter of taste," he had * nothing to object”—a concession as unqualified as could be expected.
On a review of the whole of the preceding papers, it must appear that the gentlemen who signed the “ Address” are under special obligations to the Courier for having been the unintentional cause of setting their intentions, plans, and claims on public support in brighter array than ever. By the Courier's opposition, much new and important information has been elicited-much inquiry has been excited-and much fresh zeal inspired. The country will reap a rich harvest of benefits, and the names of those who spare no trouble and relax no effort in order to befriend it, though assailed by the ignorant or ufcandid, will only be the more endeared to the people of this land.
IX.-Progress of Opinion with regard to the Cultivation of the
English Language, and the Introduction of the Roman Cha.
racter into India. [Being impressed with the fullest conviction of the incalculable advantages which In. dia will derive from the cultivation of the English language, and the expression of the native dialects in the Roman character, we cannot but regard with the deepest interest the views which are taken of these subjects by those who are the most competent to form a correct opinion. It is with pleasure that we inform our readers, (many of whom, we are aware, enter fully into our views,) that on both these subjects we continue to receive from all parts of the country the most cheering and
satisfactory statements. One intelligent correspondent, it is true, has stated an objection to the latter plan,
which is well worthy the attention of all its friends, not to prevent or paralyze their efforts in its favour, but to give them a right direction. It is urged, that if the Roman character be introduced, the native languages must be taught by European teachers, and then will be introduced all that inaccuracy which it is allowed on all hands generally attaches to the pronunciation of foreigners. Did we grant the premises, we must partly allow the conclusion :-we say partly, because however much the native youth would be taught a false pronunciation of their own language before they were acquainted with the character, the moment they made this acquisition (an acquisition surely requiring no very long period) they would of course read it among themselves, and immediately revert to the natural sound of each letter, as conversation with their families, or reading in the native character had taught them. Like a bow no longer confined by the string, each tongue would naturally revert to its
accustomed expression, and thus no permanent injury could be sustained. But we go further and ask, why should any number of boys be taught the character
by a European ? Let a native, previously acquainted with the Roman character, (and where may not one such be found or soon instructed,) receive a little aid to comprehend the scheme, and then be employed to teach his countrymen ; and the difficulty vanishes. In Calcutta alone we kdow of at least ten well-informed natives actively employed in transferring works in the native character, into the Roman, and the only aid they have received from a European (an aid surely not sufficient to vitiate their pronunciation) has been an hour or two's instruction in the power of the Roman letters, as exhibited in the tabular scheme of the alphabet, and its anomalies, and a revision of the first few pages of the Romanized version they have prepared, in order to correct the few mistakes or oversights which are sure to occur in any first attempt of the kind. It will be evident to all our readers that such persons are in no danger from the source referred to. Having from their childhood spoken and written Bengáll, Hindustání, or Hinduí, and returning after the lessons received from their European friend to the bosom of their families again to speak as elements of their vernacular language the very words they have written, what danger exists of their either acquiring or propagating a vitiated pronunciation through the use of the new character recommended? Let
then all the friends of this noble
improvement employ natives as far as possible to teach both Natives and Europeans the languages thus expressed, and the danger referred to by our corre. spondent will be effectually prevented. We are happy to add, that with regard to the more general study of English as the
language of superior education and the conversational medium of the more intelligent and wealthy among the natives, and as it respects the use of the Roman Alphabet, as fully explained and defended in the three last numbers of our work, tho
progress of public opinion in Calcutta is decidedly in their favour. Every day brings us fresh auxiliaries, and justifies more solid hopes. But it is not in Calcutta only that this impression is created. Aided by the Calcutta Press, through whose kind assis. tance a knowledge of the design has been widely circulated, it has rapidly extended to the most distant parts of our empire. In illustration of this we have thought it desirable to place on record the three following extracts from letters lately re. ceived. It may be interesting to add, that they were all written since the beginning of the present month, and are dated at places so distant from the Presidency and
from each other, as Dilhi, Naipál, and Assam. .
Our friends will notice, that elementary books of all descriptions in the Roman character will be immediately available.-Ed.]
“ The enclosed is from Buddar Uddin, on the subject of what you
sent for delivery to him. English will soon become quite the ga ki here, and so (I 'expect) will the new orthography also. I have shown
the Alphabet scheme to several intelligent natives, and the idea appears to take with them all, as regards the colloquial or Urdu
language, which as it has no peculiar character of its own, may ne (they say) be written just as well in the English as either Persian or
Hindi letters, and whenever we have set the thing agoing thus partially, it will of its own accord extend itself to all the other languages. T ***, I believe, is now at work, writing off a part of the “ Bagh o Bahár," and as soon as he has got it ready, and we get up the diacritical points, we shall print off some hundred copies of it to make a commencement with. As to the success of the project, I have not myself the slightest misgivings on the subject. Europeans and Natives will all approve of the plan ; the former because it will enable them to write and read the language, which they now can only speak, and the latter because it will enable them to communicate with their Rulers in a language in which they will be sure of being understood, and which they can themselves write without having recourse to múnshis, in whom they can have no confidence.
regards the business of onr courts, what a grand thing gained this will be. Persian will instantly go to the wall, and the common bolí of the country, to which it will give way, will in the course of a few years become so interlarded with English phrases, that the difficulty of learning our language, will be reduced to nothing, and all will become desirous of picking it up: it will, in fact, be spoken by the lower orders just in the same broken way that it is at present spoken in many parts of Ireland, where a few years ago it was altogether unknown, as I have myself had opportunities of observing. This fact you may throw in the teeth of the cavillers and objectors, who would fain keep every thing in statu quo, and who will not be brought to believe in the possibility of any innovation taking place until it has actually come into operation.
“There is no fear whatever of the plan, not succeeding as far as the colloquial language of the country or the common Hindustání is concerned. I am less sanguine as regards the other languages, for the present that is to say, but by and bye we shall be able to alter their dress also. In the meantime any body will learn to write the Hindustani in Roman letters. Why should not the Government direct the several functionaries throughout the country, to make their Umlahs learn the new orthography? An isharah on the subject would do the thing. Persian should be discontinued in the courts altogether.”
"Are there any Bengalee books printed in the English character ? if so, I should be thankful for some. Nothing in my opinion would advance us so much as the introduction of our character, for it would make the acquisition either of English by the natives, or of the native languages by us, a work of infinite less difficulty. It is only by giving the natives some tolerably general knowledge of English that we can ever pretend to do them any justice. My experience of our courts is not great, but I am persuaded that much more substantial justice would be done through a sworn Interpreter and
with English proceedings, than with the present mode of blocking up our courts with cart loads of Persian and Bengáli papers. The judge would be all the better able to do justice for having a competent knowledge of the vernacular languages, but now an intimate knowledge of Persian or Bengáli availeth little, for the native proceedings extend to such length that no one could possibly either read or hear one half of what is submit. ted to any court. The voluminous nature of our proceedings is not, I suppose, a consequence of the use of the native languages, but of our general ignorance of them, and the advantage taken thereof by those about the courts to interpose this inass of rubbish between the people and their judges.”
“I agree fully in your opinions, regarding the mode in which English ought to be introduced into India—from the day that sees English pleading introduced into our courts, the Persian language will sink into disrepute, and will soon be almost forgotten in India.” (Since writing the above remarks, we have received from an anonymous correspon
dent in a distant part of India, an interesting letter on the subject of the substitu. tion of the Roman for the Native characters, from which we cannot but present an extract to our readers. It will be evident that the writer has duly considered the subject-is well qualified to pronounce on its merits—and is perfectly independent in his testimony to its advantages. We leave it therefore to make its just impres. sion.—Ed.]
I am a sincere well-wisher to the whole project, from the thorough con. viction, that if once brought into force, it will do more service to oriental nations, than any other device that can be conceived. For mark you, it will open at once to those who are masters of it, the accumulated stores of European geography and analysis, and that too to those possessing but a superficial knowledge of the language, in which those stores are locked up: and when we consider through how many changes, the analytical system in modern use, has gone through, before it arrived at its present beautiful simplicity ; how much the grasp of the human mind is enlarged by the removal of trifling obstacles, and classifying and reducing to formulæ much of what employed the attention of mathematicians of the middle ages ; it must, I believe, be acknowledged that your system will partake greatly, in as far as oriental nations are concerned, of the long sought royal road to science.'
Who left the country of the good and free,
Or mid the slave isles of the Carib sea,
Star in the East of this benighted land,
The rising of the Sun of Galilee ?
And eye that knew the Book of Life so well,
Amidst thy flowers, like Adam ere he fell!
In God's eternal paradise to dwell,