Imatges de pàgina

the 26th instant. He is a pleasing and intelligent youth of about 14 years of age, possessing an ingenious and fertile mind. 'He has begun to learn the English language by me, and expresses a great desire to prosecute his studies. Please God, I will spare no pains on my part, as I am directed by Captain Wade to instruct him in proportion to his zeal.

“Shah Shujah ul Mulk is said encamped still at Nadirabad or old Canda. har, while the Candaharis have confined themselves to the walls of the city, making occasional incursions over his troops. It is reported that Sirdars Dost Mahammad Khan and Sultan Mahammad Khan have marched towards Candahar to assist their brethren. A rumor prevails here also that Dost Mahammad Khan has submitted to the Shah, but it appears

altos gether incredible.

“I have the pleasure to enclose herewith a list of books you kindly sent for me, together with a letter for Mohan Lal, which I hope you will deliver to him on his arrival there.

“ Considering me as bound to you with most substantial ties of gratitude I expect you will always preserve a corner for me in your memory, and allow me to subscribe myself,

“ Your most obedient and sincerely servant, Ludianah, July 2, 1834.”


I have read Trevelyan's Treatise with great attention, digested it, and I hope not unprofitably. You desired me to say what I thought of it. I content myself with saying that I who have hitherto been exceeding mad, nay, prejudiced against the measure, have by reading it been almost persuaded to come round to his way of thinking. I fear, however, it will never take with the natives. The

multitude will look upon the measure with indifference; the Maulavís, Múnshis, Kashmiris, Kaiths, &c. with abhorrence, especially the former. With the “rich, elegant, and melodious” language of Persia are associated all their recollections of the magnificence and splendor of their former Mussulman princes. In it are written the rhapsodies of Sadi, the mysteries of Hafiz, &c. which they all 80 much love to contemplate, and which are so well suited to the constitutional warmth of their imaginations. The cold in clime are cold in blood. Our simple, straight-forward language can have no charms for them. They are not the people to study it either from motives of curiosity, ambition, or research, and I much fear it will be confined to a few of the Kaiths and needy Mussulmans, who will hope to gain a livelihood by it. However strong these impediments are, they yet should not deter us from commencing. I should like very much to see the system introduced ; but by degrees. I would allow it a fair trial round about Calcutta, with an under. standing that in ten years it should be universal. In this time many of the old and most bigoted hands would be absorbed, while the younger and more ambitious would have ample time to qualify themselves. If in the mean time it was found fully to answer every hope that was formed of it in Bengal, it might be universally acted on before the prescribed time had elapsed. will rapidly bring English into general vogue throughout the country ; as when it has once been rendered fashionable amongst the higher orders, there will be no bar remaining to retard its progress. As connected with this topic, we may here mention, by the bye, that the establishment of a College of Nobility in our Mogul capital has been in contemplation for some time past, and that several of the Chiefs in the neighbourhood, who complain of the want of an institution of the kind, meditate getting up an address to Government on the subject. At present want of space prevents us from enlarging on the beneficial results that must attend the accomplishment of this project,-this truly noble project,-- which we have heard of with so much satisfaction ; but in a subsequent number we shall take an opportunity of reverting

[merged small][ocr errors]

1.-Laborers in the East ; 270 pp. 18mo. American Sunday

School Union. In placing the title of this little book at the head of the following paper, we follow the custom, rather than the appropriate duty, of reviewers, our object being chiefly to direct the attention of our readers to a class of publications, not merely to a single work. This volume would, no doubt, furnish interesting materials for a review in the strict sense of the term. It contains the biography, written in a style well suited to the end proposed, of two of the most distinguished among the good names which adorn our Indian history, Claudius Buchanan, and Henry Martyn-names associated with soundness of learning, and elevation of piety; and it would be pleasing, were it proper, to dwell on their example, that we might imbibe their spirit. But we wish to speak of this book, chiefly, as forming one of a series peculiar in their design, and in the manner of preparation.

In the United States, as many of our readers are aware, amongst other good institutions there is a society for the promotion of Sunday-school instruction. It is conducted on the same plan with similar associations in other Christian countries, except that a greater prominence is given to the preparation of books for the use of children in their schools. About 15,000 Sunday-schools are in connection with this society, taught gratuitously and on Christian principles, by upwards of 100,000 teachers, and including nearly 1,000,000 of scholars, of from 4 to 16 or 18 years of age. With nearly every one of these schools a small library is connected, from which on every Lord's day each scholar receives a book adapted to his age, which, when read, is returned to the library in exchange for another. Thus each school provides a circulating library, where the books are read by the most interesting class in the community, and exert an influence by no means limited to the scholars in the school ; and where also the only term of admission is good behaviour.

Of course an object of immense importance is to have books of the proper character, as to sentiment and style, put in the hands of the young readers. A philosopher could say with truth, “ Allow me to compose the ballads of a nation, and whoever will may legislate.” The sentiment deserves to be paraphrased by the Christian, “ Allow me to compose the first books read by the rising race of a nation, and whoever will may enact the laws to govern their maturer years.” First impressions are usually fast impressions too; and hence when the minds of children were taught to admire “ Tom Thumb," “ Jack the Giant Killer," and other famous personages of that class, it is not strange that their subsequent days should not

commonly be consecrated to higher purposes than were inspired by such examples ; or if they were, that their ambition should assume a selfish or destructive character, rather than clothe itself with the benign and lovely virtues of the Saviour. Forty years ago, scarcely any other books could be procured for children's reading; they were quite unfit for perusal in any plan of instruction, but especially in a system of religious education.

Subsequent to their era, were the entertaining but fictitious narratives of Mrs. Sherwood, and other writers; preferrible, certainly, to the former, but still too exciting, and too much out of the range of every-day life and matter of fact, for the American Christians. It is true many of these, revised, were and are retained among the books published by the Sunday-School Union; but it was deemed necessary to prepare many additional works, some of which are compiled, others abridged, and many original. Thus they have“ prepared and published two hundred and fifteen library-books, the largest of which contains three hundred and twenty three pages, and the smallest thirty-six: average size, one hundred and fourteen pages;" with also “one hundred varieties of children's books, unbound, containing in all two thousand pages. The largest of these has twenty-four pages, and the smallest eight:” besides a set of large cards, nearly 100 in number, to teach the elementary branches of reading, arithmetic, and music; and several fine cards of natural history. These cards are very attractive and useful in infant schools, and in every form of early instruction.

Concerning these publications, we may briefly notice several things :-1. The amount and variety of knowledge they contain. The former can be ascertained from the extracts given above from the last report of the Society; and as to the varied character of these books, an inspection of their catalogue would give the best proof. There are various works illustrative of sacred Scripture, as * Biblical Antiquities,” “Sacred Geography,” “Map of Palestine, executed on steel, and mounted on rollers," " Biblical Dictionary, containing nearly all that is in Brown, &c. Others are of a historical nature, as • Destruction of Jerusalem,” “ Sketch of Ecclesiastical History, “ Tahiti,” &c. Many are Biographies, and among them, Lives of David, Paul, Luther, Richmond, Pearce, Brainerd, Mrs. Newell, Mrs. Judson, &c. Their life of Washington receives praise from every reader, and is worthy of that truly great and good man. II.

This knowledge is correct, and elevating in its tendency. III. The style is simple, adapted to the youthful mind, yet in many instances of great chasteness and beauty. IV. The expense is comparatively little. Works of the size of Laborers in the East,” often illustrated with one or more wood cuts, or steel engravings, and neatly half bound, are charged on their catalogue at a price equal to 12 annas of our money. All their publications, in plain half binding, would not probably exced 150 sicca rupees.

It is quite in accordance with the catholic principles on which the Observer is conducted thus to bring these publications to the notice of our readers. The society referred to, is supported by five or six Evangelical denominations, and nothing of a sectarian tendency is admitted into its publications. Its holy aim is to occupy the common ground of Christianity, leaving the peculiarities of each sect undisturbed, but combining on principles of united action, perhaps more generally recognised and exemplified in that country than elsewhere, the friends of the Saviour in one common effort for the welfare of the Young. In conclusion, we wish to suggest to schools and families the propriety of procuring these books. One Gentleman has ordered several sets, under a full conviction that they furnish the best system of juvenile instruction with which he is acquainted. We concur entirely with his opinion; and we know not where an equally valuable mass of interesting and useful knowledge can be obtained for so small a sum. And while we know from observation and all testimony, that these books are exerting an influence no less benign than extensive in the United States, we think they might be introduced with advantage into other countries. They are admirably suited for the reading of children in Christian families everywhere ; and they seem well adapted also for the use of those native schools in this country, where the English language is taught, and where the system of lending might be attended with the most happy consequences *.


2-A Collection of Moral Precepts and Reflections, gathered

from various sources, in English and Hindustání, for the instruction of Youth. Printed at His Majesty the King of Oudh's Lithographic Press. Lucknow, 1833.

This work consists of two volumes, of nearly 200 pages each, in the form of royal octavo. The English original and Hindustání translation appear on opposite pages. Appended to each volume is a vocabulary of all the difficult words ; so that no time will be lost in tedious reference to a dictionary, and the learner may instruct himself by reading without a teacher.

The origin of these volumes is thus briefly explained :- An English school having been established at Lakhnau, by the liberality of his Majesty the King of Audh, the scholars, both Natives

* We are happy to inform our readers, that in accordance with this suggestion, Messrs. Duff

, Trevelyan and Pearce, as part of their plan to provide suitable books for Native Schools, (which was fully detailed in our last No.) have applied to the Committee of the American Sunday School Union for a supply of its most useful publications. As soon as received, they will be * advertised in the Monthly List of School Publications issued by the above named gentlemen, and copies of which will be supplied for such of our Subscribers as may express the desire to have it forwarded with their number of the Observer.

[ocr errors]

and Portuguese Christians, were found to read without comprehending the meaning of even the most simple words. The assistance of the teacher was necessary at every step. It was evident that simple English sentences, with the Hindustání translation opposite to them, would tend much to remove the difficulty. No such translations were at hand, and in the emergency a number of short maxims were collected and translated : additions grad'lally suggested themselves, until the collection arrived at its present size.

The object of the book is stated to be twofold :--1st, to facilitate the acquirement of the English and Hindustání languages2nd, whilst instructing, to improve the mind, by impressing upon the

memory a code of morals taken from the purest sources. Such is the origin and object of a work which bids fair to become a standard book in the education of Indian youth. The author asserts no claims, puts forth no pretensions. He indeed thinks and writes most humbly of his own labours.

But we are much mistaken, if in this, as in most other cases, humility be not found closely allied with solid worth.

There is greater excellence in the work than is indicated by the title page. When, on first opening it, our eyes were arrested by the words “ Moral Precepts and Reflections,” our imagination was instantly transported to Plato and Socrates, to Seneca and Cicero, and the whole school of moderns that divorce morality from pure religion-exalt the former at the expence of the latter and thus fill the mind with the rude image of a crippled goddess, instead of the radiant presence of an all-perfect divinity: In this work, we found no such unnatural separation. While it abounds with the choicest maxims and precepts, for the controulment of every passion that harbours in the human breast, and the regulation of man's conduct in every possible diversity of situation and circumstances, it does not wholly withhold that higher knowledge that links mortality with immortality, connects time with eternity,—and converts earth into a nursery for the heavenly paradise. Here Solomon and Matthew and Paul, are found along side of Adams and Johnson and Paley. Here, the wisdom that cometh from above is found happily blended with the highest moral wisdom of earth. And sentiments which fell from the lips of inspiration, shed their hallowing influence over the noblest sayings of uninspired man.

Many of the maxims are preceded or followed by illustrative similes. For the natives of this country, on whose minds one felicitous illustration often produces a more powerful effect than a thousand arguments, these are invaluable. And from the apposite"ness of those now interspersed throughout the work, we only wish that a greater number had been supplied. We quote one or two examples,

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinua »