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iriade to the Governor of Azerbijan by chiefs of districts to co-operate with him in a war against Russia. Letters Were written to these leaders, by the head of their religion, who came from Meshed Hussein, and urged the king to arm against the insulters of his religion. The Moollahs flocked around their leader, the inhabitants of the capital listened to their inflammatory orations. The Shah was called upon to declare war, the troops were enthusiastic in the cause, and the contest commenced. The following account of the reception given to the chief priest of the holy shrine of Meshed Hussein, being from an eye-witness, may not prove devoid of interest. “ When Aon SYYUD MAHOMMED arrived, a vast number of people, and most of the infantry, without regimentals or arms, went out to meet him. The Shah sent his own
litter for the Syyud: and some princes, and many of the chief people of the court did honour to his entry. Much enthusiasm was manifested
by the populace. To the Syyud’s person they could not get access, but
they kissed the litter, kissed the ladder by which he ascended to it, and collected the dust which had the impressions of the mu1e’s feet that bore him. The people beat their breasts, and the litter was brought close to the Shah's door, that the Syyud might alight without being overwhelmed by the populace. Six or seven of the chief priests entered the court with him, and one of them insisted on going in on his mule. An othcer of my acquaintance who happened to be there on the spot prevented him. He said that the ordinary attendants on His Majesty seemed quite to have lost sight of their duty to the sovereign, and were occupied in paying their devotions to the Syyud. The Shah came to the door of the court to receive him, and the enthusiasm of the populace seemed to be communicated to the royal hearts, as the Shah and the prince royal wept bitterly in speaking of the misfortunes of the Faithful under the Russian Government. AGA SYYUD MAHOMMED, with a suite of one thousand Moollahs, had a separate encampment. Two princes had by order of the ‘king pitched near him, professedly to prevent the intrusion of the populace, but secretly to hinder too general a manifestation of public esteem and consideration. Another detachment of holy men have just reached this, covered with winding sheets, and we hear that the heads of the religion ofmost of theprincipalcities are flocking to this point. The Shah has twice visited the Syyud, and on one occasion, His Majesty said, “ I am anxious to shed the spoonful of blood that remains in my weak body in this holy cause, and it is my wish to have in my winding sheet awritten evidence from you, that the inquirflg angels may at once recognise my zeal, forgive my sins, and admit without delay my entrance into heaven.” This description is not very dissimilar to the language and conduct of European monarchs
during the age of the Crusades ; and it is not surprising that the graver considerations of policy should have been neglected under the excitement of religious enthusiasm. The Syyud, I have little doubt, found
reasons for combining motives of probable worldly advantage with the promise of heavenly favour. _ I
Tue result of the campaign is already known to every one. Persia lost more of her territories, and was obliged to make peace on any terms ; while Russia interferes with Persian affairs ad libz'tum—and England, who might have prevented the aggressive and unjust scheme of the autocrat, looks placidly on the scene, and is satisfied with her own innocence and fidelity ! A few more years, and she will bitterly reproach her blind and irreparable policy. Having considered it expedient to bring these interesting circumstances into view, ‘I shall now resume my narrative. Before however proceeding to this, I may be permitted to advert for a momentto the“ arrow that flieth by day ;" namely, the plague, which always creates so much alarm to the traveller.
It would appear that this disease is endemial to the Russians, for it is a singular fact, that previous to their occupation of Georgia, the ‘whole country was exempted from this pestilence. It made its appearance at Ganjain 1805; at Tifiis in 1806, and at Erivan, in 1825, and from that time down to the period I was in Georgia, the country had (with the exception of the mountainous districts, which are rarely Visited with it) been regularly afflicted. This scourge is generally checked by the suinmer heats and winter frosts. But I may further observe, that among the anomalies of this extraordinary disease, there is one fact, viz. that it raged unchecked in the severe winter of 1829, throughout the Caucasian villages. Its consequences were of course fatal in a country where no medical practitioners, and consequently no means to lessen the mortality of the disorder, are to be found. When I was last at Anrianour, in the recesses of Mount Caucasus, a peasant came to the commandant, and said, “ My father, mother, wife, and sister, are lying dead in the next village; I am afraid to bury them." The Russian instantly despatched a party of soldiers to set fire to all the hamlets they could meet with, and turning to me, said--“ ’Tis my vocation!” To administer relief, as far as human means could accomplish, to the suffering villager, would with us have been the primary feeling : but this barbarian could only ridicule the concern I expressed for this unfortunate creature. I afterwards mentioned this to Count Pnsxnwrrca at Tiflis, who laughed heartily, and exclaimed, “ You English are always inclined to regard with seriousness the veriesbv tnlflea."
VIII.-—On the Adaptation of the Roman Alphabet to the Orthography of Oriental Languages.
All who have devoted themselves to the scquirement of any of the languagesof India must have experienced in the irreconcil-eable difference of the alphabets of the East and West a stumbling block in the porch of their studies, and a source of constant doubt and difficulty, whenever the occasion has arisen for expressing in the letters of their mother tongue sounds and vocables belonging to any of those languages. It is the scholar’s object to write the words so that they shall be read with a correct pronunciation by the uninitiated, and at the same time show the true spelling of the original. He seeks therefore the letters of known pronunciation that come nearest, not only to the sounds he desires to represent, but likewise to the letters used in the language from which the word is taken. Unfortunately it is not always easy to find letters that will answer this double purpose, and the difliculty is much increased by the circumstance, that all the vowels and several of the consonants in use have more than one sound in the same language of Europe, and some of them half a dozen sounds at least, if the varieties of all the countries which use the Roman alphabet are taken into account. What then was to be done when India fell into European hands, and the necessity arose for continually writing Indian words in books and public correspondence P Every one at first of course had to decide for himself, and unfortunately they who commenced the work of writing Asiatic names in the alphabets of Europe were not scholars. At present we shall confine ourselves to the proceedings of our own countrymen in this respect, putting out of view all reference to the modes of writing adopted in France and Germany, and elsewhere, and those in particular which have been adopted recently, in consequence of the efforts making by the literati of Europe, to bring into vogue the Sanscrit language and its literature, at the very time that the half informed of our countrymen are seeking to discredit both here.
It would appear that they who first had occasion to write in Eng-'lish the names or words of the East, bethought themselves of the sounds in that language which came nearest to those they desired to represent, and spelled the words accordingly: thus sipahee wap very generally spelt seapoy, doubtless from the similarity of its sound to the well known word teapoy, and in the jargon of the day, Surajood-doula was corrupted into Sir Roger Dowler, and Allahabad became known as the Isle of Bats. Many absurdities of this description might be pointed out were it our object to seek them: even Governor HOLWELL, though himself a Bengalee scholar, has in his printed tracts, M 01'llU07‘I—-'-SIIWI)
- This method of writing from the ear didvery well so long as it was the half-informed addressing the absolutely ignorant. The transmutations were precisely of the same description as those of which we find examples, not only in the Greek and Roman methods of writing Teutonic and Asiatic names, but in the Leghorn and Cales of the old English writers of the past century, the Naples and Venice of the present day, and the Ecosse and Galles and Espagne, into which the less pronounceable native names of those countries have been softened in France.
But as the ‘knowledge of the languages of the East extended, and they who had to write became themselves well acquainted with the true pronunciation and orthography of the words and names they were using, and felt likewise that they were addressing others as well informed upon the subject as themselves, they began to seek the means of spelling true—that is, of using in English corresponding letters for those used in the language from which the word or name might be taken. The Persian and Arabic are languages that have long been known in Europe, and the force and power of each of the letters of those alphabets have accordingly been attempted to be expressed in various ways, according to the native conntry of the interpreter; but the first we believe who accurately gave to the public the Nagree, Devanagree, and Bengalee alphabets was Mr. HALHED in the Preface to his version of the Code of Hindoo Law, compiled under the orders of WARREN HasTINGS in 1775. His consonants correspond very nearly with those of Sir WILLIAM J oNEs’s alphabet, except that he makes no distinction between the hard and soft d, t, db, and th. The short vowel "1 he writes with a short 6, the letter K with a double é'e, bearing similarly the short mark: E, is expressed by a"e ,- 3, he writes i and QT, 5'u. Every vowel according to this system had its long or short mark above it, which was very inconvenient either for printing or writing.
When the Asiatic Society was established. Sir WILLIAN J omss saw the necessity of introducing a consistent mode of writing all Indian words.‘ Not satisfied with this system of Mr. HALHED, be devised the alphabet that bears his name, and is still used by that learned body in its proceedings; but neither the influence nor the reputation of this greatlinguist was suificient toprocure for his alphabet the general adoption so desirable, and indeed so essential, to the purposes he had in view. It continued as a sort of Devanagree for the learned par
‘excellence; a style of writing to be reverenced and respected, but not imitated. In spite of every endeavour to recommend the Society's alphabet for universal use, the business of the country continued to be conducted either in the jargon spelling first adopted from similarity of sound, or with the ad libitum improvements of those, who, knowing the correct spelling of the original, adopted the letters they thought best calculated to express the true sound of the words properly pronounced. It is now near fifty years since the attempt was first made to introduce this obvious benefit of a consistent and correct alphabet, and yet Sir WILLIAM J oNns’s mode of writing has gained no ground in India, whatever may have been its fate elsewhere. What can have been the reason for this ? Does not the fact itself afford irrefragable evidence that there must be some inherent defect in the system that induced its rejection, and led to others being preferred. There it was, recommended by the Asiatic Society, composed of the principal civil servants, and of all in the military, clerical, and medical professions, who were entitled by knowledge of the subject, or by situation, to take the lead in such a matter. There was this Society, periodically putting forth its volumes, and all its principal members publishing their works according to the orthography of the illustrious founder ; yet no one out of the pale, and not all of those within it, could be brought to spell names, in their correspondence, as the Society spelt them. For fifty years this tree of Sir WILLIAM JoNEs’s planting has been stationary or has grown like the aloe repulsive. and disagreeable, living still, but putting forth no branches and yielding no fruit. Who after this can say that there must not be something in this system repugnant to the ideas and preconceived notions of those whose language is English 3' The powers and pronunciations given to the difl’erent letters are manifestly not such as have been -recognized and adopted as just and appropriate by those who read and write that language. Another system has gained groundin its stead, and to its prejudice, and this in spite of the great names of J mums and Connanooxn and Wrnsou, whose adherence to the antiquated style has prevented its sinking into absolute disuse and oblivion. Let us inquire then what is this other system, and what the claims it possesses to the preference of the unlearned. Towards the close of Lord Coawwnnus’s government, Dr. JOHN BORTHWICK GILCHRIST produced his Dictionary and Grammar of the Hindoostanee language, and as matter of necessity, prefaced bothby explaining the force of all the letters in use in that language, and the corresponding vowels and consonants of the Roman alphabet, by which he proposed to express them. The difference between his system and thatof Sir WILLIAMJONES lies entirely in the vowels :the short unexpress