Imatges de pàgina

We are further indebted to Lieut. Gordon for the following valuable III.-Remarks on the Anomalies of the Manipuri Alphabet, and the best Means

of adapting it to the Roman Character. The Manipur alphabet is derived, and differs only in the form of its letters, from the Bengálí, which I believe stands in the same relation to the Sanskřit. If an accurate representation of the Manipur alphabet in the Roman character were the object in view, I would fully agree with you as to the fitness of the mode of applying that character which you recommend ; but it happens that the Manipurís, in introducing (excepting in the mere shape of the letters) a foreign alphabet, have brought with it many letters representing sounds which have no existence in their own language, and which, being either not used at all, or when used, used improperly, serve no other purpose than to clog and render difficult what would otherwise be



appears to me therefore that it would be much better to apply the Roman character directly to the sounds in their language, without any reference to those represented by an alphabet which was originally constructed to represent the sounds contained in a foreign tongue, to which the Manipuri language has scarcely any relation.

The mode by which I have for some time past been accustomed to apply the Roman character to the Manipuri language, appears to me to be so simple, and to answer the pu so effectually, that I cannot now refrain from offering it for your

consideration ; which I would not have ventured to do, without the hope I now entertain of your agreeing with me in thinking, that in making the few alterations I conceive necessary to suit the genius of the Manipuri language, which has no relation to those of India proper, I do not infringe on “ the one grand plan” for applying the Roman character to represent the sounds contained in the languages of India proper, which are, I believe, nearly all related to each other by their common connexion with the Sanskțit, Persian, Hindui or Arabic.

The plan I have adopted consists (including both single and double vowels) of no more than the following twenty-eight letters, viz. k g q, c js, t d n, p b m, yrl, wh,-a ei ooo, uai ei oe ao uoo; of these k gj, s t d n pb, myr, l w h, have all the same sounds as those given to these letters in your plan, if I may except the “t” and “d,” which both have invariable sounds, that of the former something between your “t” and “ç," and of the latter between your “d” and “d.”

As there is no sound in the Manipuri language similar to that represented by your “ q," and as with you I think it expedient to employ diacritic marks as little as possible, it appears to me that the “q” may very well stand for the sound represented by your n or the “ng" in the English words, ring, king, &c. This sound


in the Manipuri language is found both at the beginning and end of syllables, as in “qa” fish, “ qaq-ba” to be red. From "sing a

;" take away the “si” and the “song,” and you have the Manipuri word for fish ; take away the “si” and the “ so," and you have the same for red.

The wish to preserve simplicity has induced me to leave the

“c” to represent of itself the sound represented by the “ ch” in bet at the word “ church.”

There is no such sound in the Manipuri language as that represented by the “chh” in your plan, and when the Manipuris come to the corresponding letter, either in their own or in the Bengálí alphabet, they invariably pronounce it like the “s” in the English words “ so,

,” “ dusk,” &c. This is also the way in which o they pronounce the letters written by you “ sh” and “ şh,” which,

with the proper one, gives them no less than four “s's," all pronounced exactly alike, and in writing their own language used indiscriminately, although, however, the preference be generally given to the simple “s." This will serve as a specimen of the

inconveniences attending the employment of an alphabet not oriVis ginally constructed for their own language.

I use the “h” in the same way as applied in your plan, for aspirating the “k g" " t d” “p b” thus, kh, gh, &c. These are the only sounds in the Manipuri language, which receive such aspiration, if I except the w, which receives it from behind, as 66 hwi" a dog."

The sound in the Manipuri language represented by my “a," does not appear to me to be either so broad as that represented by your“ á,“ nor so much shut as that represented by your "a ;" as for instance, the “a” in the Manipuri word, which you would write chak, and I write cak, (boiled rice,) is neither pronounced so broad as in the English word chalk, nor is it so much shut as the "a" in the word America. It appears to me that the a or alpha has in the English language three different sounds, as 1st, in “ America, palatable.” 2nd, as in “ alms, balm, psalm, charming, calm, &c.” and 3rd, as in “ father, call, ball, chalk, &c.," and the sound of the Manipur “a” appears to me exactly to resemble that of the same letter in the words of the second class, alms, balm, &c. My e and i have the same sounds as your é and í. My o may also be said to resemble your ó, although it does not appear to me to be in the Manipuri language sounded quite so roundly, if I may so express myself, as in the English word “note.” The sound in the Manipuri language represented by my oo, appears to me more to resemble your ú than your u, being more like the sound of that letter in “ rule” than in “ bull.” Although this letter be double in form, yet as it is single in sound, I have placed it among the single vowels.

The same u'as that in the English word cut, is not in the Manipuri alphabet represented by any letter, but has, when pro

nounced, exactly the same sound. The Manipuri word signifying to present, is written in their alphabet kt-ba, but pronounced kutba, the first syllable exactly in the same way as in the English word cut.

The double vowels ai, ei and oe, represent sounds perfectly distinct in the Manipuri language. That represented by ai is the same as the sound (at least in the Scotch way of pronouncing it), of the ai, in the Greek word xal. The ei has the same sound as the Greek el, and the English i in the word ice; oe has very much the same sound as the oe in the English word poetry. Lai in the Manipuri means a god, lei, a flower, and loe, a tributary.

The sounds represented by ao and uoo, are also in the Manipurí perfectly distinct: in the former the alpha much predominates, as in the Manipuri word tao-ba to float, whereas in the sound represented by uoo, the alpha is not sounded at all, the uoo being pronounced like the ow in the English word cow, as in the Manipuri word kuoo-ba to be terrified; kao-ba, means to kick :Uoo is the nearest approach, which by any combination of vowels I can make to the sound in the Manipuri language so represented; which sound can, I think, be more nearly than by any other means approximated by running the sound of the “ u” as pronounced, for instance, in the word luck, as rapidly as possible, into that of the “ 00," in the word oozy ; thus, luckoozy, which gives us something like the sound of the English word written “ lousy." The defective nature of the compounds used in English orthography to represent this sound, such as the “ou” in “our,” the “ow” in “ owl,"? to say nothing of the “ough” in plough, may I think be made manifest thus, “s [o u] tterly," “s (o w) antonly."

In common with the Burmese, Siamese, and other Indo-Chinese languages, words in the Manipuri acquire different meanings according to the tone or key of voice in which they are pronounced, although these words be in other respects exactly similar. In Manipuri there are two tones, one which they call “ the high, and the other “ the low ;” and as the former appears to be the more predominant, I shall only distinguish the latter by a mark placed under it. Lai (a god) is pronounced in the high tone, while lai (it is easy) is pronounced in the low. Again lei (a flower or the tongue) is high, and lei the first syllable of the word lei-ba (to buy) is low. Farther, loe (a tributary) is high, and loe, (the small posts placed in the wattle and dab walls of Manipuri houses,) is pronounced in the low tone or key.

I shall here give a short sketch of the letters as applied by me in combination. Ka ke ki ko koo ku, kai kei koe kao kuoo, ga ge, &c. and so on through all the consonants as initial, and the vowels, single and double, as finals. Again kak, kek, &c. and so on through all the consonants as initials, all the single vowels as medials, and through all the consonants, that are ever used as such, as

finals*. Again ak ek, &c. through all the single vowels as initials, and final consonants, as finals. Then we may do as above with kha, khe, &c. kya, kye, and kra, kre, &c. and kwa, kwe, &c. h yr and w being the only consonants ever combined with other consonants in the Manipuri language. The h is never combined with any other letters than those I before pointed out, and I do not at this moment recollect ever having heard the (* ý, r' and ' w) combined with other consonants than k, t, s, and p.

If it be considered necessary to distinguish the tones, it may be effected thus, ka ka ke ke ki ki, and so on throughout.

In teaching the alphabet, I agree with you as to its being the best plan to read off the consonants ka ga, &c. Some of the English names of the letters being so very much at variance with their sounds, as for instance, double yoo for w, ech for h, kyoo for the English q, which is pronounced kw, and woi for y. This, however, I imagine to be a Scotticism, the proper English pronunciation of the name of this letter (y) being, I believe, wei.

I have on two different occasions in one day taught Manipurís, who before knew no other character than their own and the Bengali

, to read (though not quickly) their own language in the Roman character, following almost exactly the plan above detailed. This I consider to be a strong proof of its simplicity, and of the consequent ease with which it may be acquired.

II.-Striking Prayer of the celebrated Richard Baxter. MY DEAR MR. EDITOR,

I send you inclosed, a copy of a prayer by the celebrated Richard Baxter, to be found in his piece entitled, “ Reasons for the Christian Religion,” and which was uttered by him in the person of a sceptical unbeliever, who after having threaded the mazes and labyrinths of interminable doubts and reasonings, and after having drank largely of every spring of pleasure, and found each to be unsatisfactory, at length comes to the resolution of embracing the sublime simplicity of the Gospel, and casting his cares, and placing his affections only on God." In my view, it is one of the most wonderful pieces of precatory composition that can be met with in any language, and that not merely from the extended range

amazing variety of thoughts and petitions which characterize it, but for that higher quality of a form of prayer, the secret power of insinuating itself into the soul of him who uses it, and of moving its affections, in a kindred degree, to that of the original utterer. That it has had this effect on the soul of the writer, he

* The double vowels are never used as medials, and k q s tnpm and 1 are the only consonants used as finals.


considers it to be his happiness now to be permitted to testify; and in order that it may produce the same on the readers of your periodical, he is desirous of urging on each individual, who has an interest at a throne of grace, not merely to read this form, but to adopt it before God as his own, and that not once only, but again and again. In asking this favour of your readers, I do not for a moment wish them to imagine that I am from principle attached to liturgical worship, as the general form best adapted for addressing God, our heavenly Father, and promoting the ends of prayer in the soul of the worshipper; but yet I must declare, that in my humble opinion some of our brethren do go too far, when they so wed themselves to mere extemporaneous effusions, as never to study, and occasionally to use the great models of petition, which our excellent forefathers have left us as our inheritance. I am not going to persuade any to such a blind veneration of these departed worthies, as would lead to saint worship, nor yet to inculcate a reverence to mere antiquity, in order to induce any to study the rich specimens of devotional exercise, which may be found in the works of some of our old divines ; but I will urge, that placed, as many of them were, in circumstances where they had more trials, and therefore more means for acquiring skill and eloquence in this holy art, than we have in our day, it is our duty to study and to prize them in no ordinary degree ; and I may urge, that in so doing, we are only seeking an enjoyment of which heaven itself is not too rich to do without its possession ; since it is said, that " vials full of odours” are placed before God, and these are “ the prayers of the saints." Praying that the Lord would make this form, a refreshing odour to many a weary pilgrim,

I remain, your's most sincerely,

Q. Q. Q. “Wherefore, my God, I look to thee, I come to thee, to thee alone: no man, no worldly creature made me ; none of them did redeem me: none of them did renew my soul, none of them will justify me at thy bar, nor forgive my sin, nor save me from thy penal justice; none of them will be a full or a perpetual felicity or portion for my soul. I am not a stranger to their promises and performances: I have trusted them too far, and followed them too long : 0 that it had been less (though I must thankfully acknowledge, that mercy did early shew me their deceit, and turn my inquiring thoughts to thee): to thee I resign myself, for I am thine own: to thee I subject all the powers of my soul and body, for thou art my rightful sovereign governor: from thee I thankfully accept of all the benefits and comforts of my life; in thee I expect my true felicity and content: to know thee, and love thee, and delight in thee, must be my blessedness, or ! must have none. The little tastes of this sweetness, which my thirsty soul hath had, do tell me that there is no other real joy. I feel that thou hast made my mind to know thee, and I feel that thou hast made my heart to love thee, my tongue to praise thee, and all that I am and have, to serve thee. And even in the panting languishing desires and motions of my soul, I find that thou, and thou only art its resting place. And though love do now but search and pray, and cry and weep, and is reach

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