Imatges de pÓgina

them; and unless the other three lines of the stanza bave the same ending; i. e. if the first line ends in siya @c, the three following must be siya; if in wan Dof the three following must be wan.

Note-p. cclxxxiii.


In the course of my Singhalese studies, and in my intercourse with Europeans on the subject of them, the question has frequently been proposed to me,—“What course of study would you recommend to a European, desirous of acquiring a knowledge of the Singhalese?”– to which I could not return a ready reply.

The vital importance of the subject to the European settler, has, how.ever, induced me to give it due consideration, and to collect information from others who were likely to assist me in the inquiry. The result of my investigations I beg to lay before the public in connection with the Singhalese Grammar, which I now publish. Before entering into the subject directly, it may not be useless to consider the method of learning the Singhalese pursued by the natives.

1. The Singhalese are taught in the first place the vowels and consonants, including those of a Sanscrit and Pali origin; vide Introduction. When the learner has committed these to memory, he is taught the second part of the Alphabet which is a sort of spelling, confined to the combination of vowel sounds with consonants. This acquired by rote, the pupil is made to distinguish the characters by repeating each letter with its proper sign or signs. In the same manner he goes through the second part of the Alphabet, repeating the sound together with the name of the sign. This is called pillan or spelling, from & E “signs.” Thus; quozas owodoo. q is called ayanna ; opaco owocologiqueSÉEEWOO stocsodood; os called ayanna is written with a sign called 9 elapilla; Oas we heata stoms zooloelécole das?? alast; so called koyanna, is written with a combuwa and ? elapilla; &c. &c. After the pupil has thus acquired the Alphabet by heart, ( by which time he must have pretty well learned the sounds, and has also been able to some extent to retain in his mind the symbols of those sounds), he is taught to write the alphabct. The teacher writes letter after letter on a plank covered with a thin layer of white sand, over which the pupil traces his finger nearly in the same way in which European children write copies set to them in pencil. While going through this process, the pupil repeats the sounds of the letters and the names of their signs, as before. This continued for some length of time, the pupil reaps from bis labours the three-fold advantage resulting from "reading,conversation,” and “writing,to which reference is made by Lord Bacon. The pupil's acquaintance with the alphabet having been thus perfectedand his knowledge of the various symbols of sounds being full and completeready and quick in pointing out the letters—and exact, and accurate in the conception he has formed of their different shapes and powers;

II. He is taught to read a little work called Nampotha, which contains a number of names of different cities, villages, temples, &c. e. g. eo, od os@, ooo, &c. &c.*

2. The pupil next commits to memory Ganadewihèllaa story regarding Ganisa. This is an easy book; but the pupil is scarcely taught to understand it—the object of his tuition being at this period to enable him to read the Singhalese characters.

* I have observed that many children in the Southern Province were at this stage required to commit to memory Namawalia (See Introduction); a book rather difficult to be mastered, considering the length of the rhymes. And I am informed that in the Kandian Province, Magullakuna forms the second of a course of reading. It is a small work which enumerates the signs and beauties of Budha.

3. Wadankavipota, “a book on terms in rhyme,” con

a taining a few excellent rules of Orthography, follows the last in quick succession. It is in Singhalese, and was probably written at a very distant date; see a specimen from it at p. cxx.

4. Budhagadja, Hymns to Budha,” in Sanscrit, is the fifth in order. It is not a little remarkable that the course of reading to which we now direct the attention of the reader, has been so arranged by the Singhalese, as to embrace, like their Alphabet, which we have seen elsewhere, Singhalese, Sanscrit, and Pali-a course of reading, which prepares the pupil upon its completion, either for the cultivation of the Singhalese, his own native language, or for the more weighty studies of the sciences in the Sanscrit, or for researches in his national religion, taught by means of the Pali language.

5. Sakaskada, treats of Budha's entering the Priesthood. It is in Sanscrit prose; and a little more difficult than the last.

6. Nàmùshtashataka *—one hundred stanzas in Sanscrit, with a paraphrase attached to the same, written in praise of Budha by one of his votaries.

7. Nawaratna, “ The nine precious gems in the world,” a Sanscrit work, containing eleven stanzas, of which two are introductory, and the remaining nine complimentary to Wikkrama, a Hindu Sovereign, and sung by his courtiers, of whom the famous Kàlidàsha was one.

8. Wiesakàra, A number of stanzas by Wiasana, in Sanscrit. It contains a paraphrase into the Singhalese. For a specimen of these stanzas, see The Friend.

9. Anurudhashataka, is a Sanscrit work enumerating the last twenty-four Budhas, and a few particulars connected with them.


* Shataka means a hundred.

10. Bawudhashataka, a Sanscrit work by Chandrabhàrati, translated into the Singhalese by a priest of the name of Mangala, from whose translation we selected a specimen at p. lxvii.

11. Suriyashataka, in Sanscrit, in honour of the regent of the Sun.

12. Wortamala, a work in different tunes written with the professed object of teaching how to modulate the voice in reciting poetry.

13. Wortamàlàkkiyàwa, in Sanscrit by Chandrabhàrati; rather a difficult book.

14. Amarasingha, is the well known Amaracòsha, the Sanscrit Dictionary.

III. The pupil has now gone through a course of reading in the Singhalese, Sanscrit, and Pali literature. He has not only committed to memory the text, but has also gone through the commentaries in the Singhalese; and, it is hardly necessary to add, that he is now prepared to enter into any one of the three departments of literature in whose elements he has been already initiated. It would be foreign to our present inquiry to trace his progress in the two learned languages last mentioned. Suffice it to follow the student in his researches into the Singhalese.

In the study of the Singhalese classics, there is no regular course prescribed for the student, as we have already seen in the first section; but it is ascertained that the best Singhalese teachers recommend the following method:

1. The Sidath' Sangarawa ; and its Commentary—the former being committed to memory. Whilst studying this, the student reads with his teacher the Poets in the following order; viz.

2. Kusajàtake. 3. Guttille. 4. Kaviasèkare.

Having gone through the above, the student may read by himself with ease and without the aid of living teachers, a host of other modern pocts; and may also, accordingly as he is inclined, devote a portion of his time to versification—the best authors being his guide. The Elu Prosody, the Lakunusera, the Swabhasa alankàra, and various Sanscrit works on the same subject will furnish him with all the necessary information.

If desirous of a more extensive knowledge of Singhalese, the student may with advantage read some of the ancient poets; e. g.

5. Sasadàwa.
6. Kaw-Silumina.
7. Muwadew' dawatha.

8. The ancient Inscriptions, &c. &c. I have now gone through, and pointed out the course of study pursued by the Singhalese student, and the different stages at which he arrives in his progress. It will be perceived that what is good for the Native, is but illadapted to the European. The latter has neither the time to go through the long list of school books to which I have adverted; nor would he derive much real profit by doing so merely for the purpose of reading. And it would be little less than ridiculous to trace out a mode of study, with reference to non-existing materials; in which case, however, I would be prepared to throw out other and more useful hints than are to be found in these few observations. With these views before us, I shall briefly lay down what in my opinion may prove to be a successful course of study for the European.

IV. I need scarcely say that the student should begin with the alphabet ; but since the Singhalese Hòdia contains other than Singhalese characters, and is also deficient in some important respects, * it is considered necessary that he should in the first place learn only the 10+2 vowels, and


• The Singhalese Hòdia is deficient in ed and .

Perhaps they are left out for the reason stated by us at p. p. 15, 25; but their omission can hardly be deemed correct.

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