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ed letter Q1 which Mr. HALHED wrote 9’ was written a by Sir WILLIAM JONES and u by Dr. GILCHRIST; the Fe and E1: of HALHED, i,‘1 of Sir W. Jonns,werc rendered i andee by Gn.cmusr ; the 50, 0'0, of Hu.aan,u, 12 of Jonas, were expressed by 00,- and the Z, ai, of the two former systems by y, corrected but not improved to ue ,- and lastly, the 07¢ of HALHBD and au of Jonas by ou corrected to am.
The more taking and popular part of this system lies evidently in the use of the short u instead of a, for the silent unexpressed inherent letter of the languages of India: people could not be brought to write but for the sound of but, tab for tub, and patee for putee. Having the choice therefore, they discarded the letter which never in any of the words of any of the languages within their knowledge had the sound it was proposed to give to it. The adoption of 00, instead of Sir W. Jonas’ u, followed as a necessary consequence of the appropriation of u to the short sound; and au for the sound of aw in how was so unnatural, that it was gladly discarded for W.
It does not appear that the Government took any part, until very recently, in promoting the use of one or other of these systems : they had each therefore a fair field and no favor for thirty years at least. During the whole of that period the knowledge of the languages was extending, and the old jargon was disappearing from all the public departments, finding only a sanctuary and stronghold that bade defiance to all reform within the precincts of the supreme Court. The issue was in a decided leaning from the first to the system of G1Lcn1us'r. This has now been that of all ofiicial correspondence for fifteen or twenty
years at least, whereas it will not be found that the orthography of Sir WILLIAM J ones has taken root in any single department, pertinacionsly as certain learned individuals of high authority have adhered to it.
In 1822, the design was conceived of forming an accurate record in the English language and character of all the land tenures of the country. It was felt to be necessary to determine upon some alphabet or system, for the conversion of names correctly, prior to the formation of these registers, and then first did the Government oflicers indicate any system under authority for preference. The inerits ‘of each method were fully Weighed and considered, prior to the determination, and the scheme of Gmcnmsr was adopted, simplified by the rejection of some of his quaint methods of expressing the nicer distinctions of sound. This alphabet was circulated, and great progress was made all over the country in producing registers, in which the names of persons, and places, and properties were so written that no one could hereafter find difliculty in writing them back, into any given character, upon bare inspection.
Contemporaneously with this measure, and as part of the same scheme,
revenue surveys were put in hand, and maps on a large scale were con-_
structed, in which the names of every place -or object were accurately entered according to the same system. Up to this time, no attempt had ever been made to make this grand improvement in the geography of
India. The maps of Bengal were copied to the letter from the sur-,
veys of RENNELL made in the era. of jargon, and though better spelt than most of the documents of that period, yet still partaking largelyof the miscellaneous mode of writing, so liable to mislead. All the surveyors subsequently employed had been left to pick up the names of places by the ear, and it had never been made an instruction to them to ascertain how they were written in any dialect or language of India, and to transfer them according to system into their maps. The surveyors too unfortunately were very seldom scholars. In order to show the consequences of this neglect, and to expose at once the absurdity of trusting to the ear in a matter of this kind, an extract is annexed* from a map of the Dooab, compiled not ten years ago, and now in our possession: it bears the ofiicial signature of the surveyor-general of the day, and professes to be from the best materials then in the archives of that department. In this extract it will be seen that the well known road from Cawnpoor (Kanhpoor) to Ukburpooris laid down double, being tak'en apparently from two routes made with compasses, or theodolites, varying in a small degree, so as to give a diiferent direction, and the copyists of the surveyor general’s department have not discovered that the routes are the same, because all the names are spelled dif
ferently. There are regularly
With sundry other names, till one road comes to Akberpoor and the other to Akbarpoor, the relative distances of all these places being the same. Like absurdities might be shown in many maps similarly constructed from materials, in which the names have been set down by the ear without the observance of any system of spelling. It is no fault of the map compilerif he hasnot recognized Chicheree to be the same place as Chichindy, and Kuttra as Gittera, when they stand intwo maps in positions not exactly corresponding. The fault was in the employment of an oflicer to survey, without instructing him specifically how he was to write the names of his map. Therevenue surveys, so far as they went,
eifectually corrected this error; and what is more, the maps, constructed by the oflicers employed in this department, are capable of being converted with confidence into any character, without each name being as at present, an object of separate inquiry and research, whenever it is desired to publish a map in the Persian, the Hindee, or in any other character of the country.
But to return to our subject: the Record Committees, wheresoever they were established, succeeded entirely in reforming the orthography of names in the zila dufturs. That they did not do more, but after involving considerable expence, failed to provide the desired land registers, was owing to many causes, which need not be discussed here. The effect of these institutions in confirming the use of the Gilchristian system is all we have now to do with: that effect will we presume not be denied. The leaning had been to this system for thirty years before, but at last the act of Government, and the specific exertions of all public oflicers throughout the country, continued for nearly eight years consecutively while the Committees lasted, fixed and established this system of Gilchrist, as the orthography of oflice and of business. Even though there were not in it any innate inherent superiority or grounds for preference, even were it the inferior system ofthe two, still this fact ought, one would think, to secure it from any hasty attempt at change. Except there be some obvious apparent defects pointed out, the undoubted ascertainment of which has been the result of actual experience, would it not be madness to think of discarding what had been so established? What then is to be thought of this new
attempt of Mr. Tanvnnnu, to set up again the rejected alphabet of Sir_
WLLIAM J ones, and by the gratuitous circulation of thousands of copies to diflhse and disseminate, as if from authority, a system fully and formally tried and found wanting?
The Journal of the Asiatic Society, being a work of science, conducted under the special countenance and support of that Society, will always be respected for the matter it contains; and it signifies_ little in what garb it may choose to present its Asiatic names. Allowance will be made for the consistency of the Society's adherence to the system of its venerable founder, and all that read its proceedings know well what they have to expect, and are prepared to encounter familiar letters applied to strange uses after the manner practised by this Society for half a century. But now that the Gilchristian method of writing has been so long established for record, for surveys, and for making familiar to the uninitiated public, the sounds and names of Hindoostan, every official man and every man of sense must protest against the present attempt to introduce once more the discarded system, one
too that from its use of the a for the short it would change the spelling of every word and name from one end of India to the other.
Let the Sir WILLIAM J orzns’ system, his a and his i, 1', and his long and short u be reserved, like the Devanagree, for recondite science : there his alphabet has its footing, and no one desires to eject it from its strong_ hold : but for business let us have our current Nagree, the short it and the ee, and the 00, which have grown into use from their ready adaptation to the ear, and from the preference secured for them by all the associations of sound to letters, which we have been accustomed to from our infancy.
In the pages of the Journal there has appeared a notice laudatory of Mr. TREvELYAN’s attempt to effect by a coup de min a change in all the established methods of writing mofussil names. As this Journal has won for itself so wide a circulation in the interior, it is necessary thatits pages shouldnotbe made to servethe party views of the advocates of any one exclusive system, but that the merits of each inits particular line should be fairly stated. The Sanscrit scholar will perhaps find his advantage in following the alphabet of Sir WILLIAM J ouns, which is that of the grammars and dictionaries, and of most of the translations from that language; but he that is content with the Persic, Oordoo, or the familiar literature of Hindoostan, the man of business and of the world, will find all the books, the dictionaries, and grammars, and vocabularies, to which he is in the habit of referring, and all the records‘ and public documents that fall under his observation, written uniformly in the character of Gucnmsr. There is little fear that even the weight of the Journal’s recommendation will be successful in superseding what is so established. If the world were not wide enough to hold both systems—-if the order had gone forth from CESAR, that one only should stand, and the issue were, a bellum ad internecionem between the two_. then might the Journal fitly advocate the cause of its scientific mode of writing to save it from destruction and the sponge : but so long as there is no attempt to encroach on the ground it occupies, or to inter. fere with its peculiar ‘province in literature ; while it is suffered to luxuriate in the paradise of Sanscrit, without any attempt to foist in its rival, even as an humble companion of its pleasures in that Eden of joy; Why should the votaries of this learned system strive to gain for it an universal dominion, for which it has been found unfitted, and assume the olfensive against the system in use for business P _Let each retain its own, and both abide together in peace and good will and harmony, holding forth in the facilities they jointly offer an invitation to people to adopt either one or the other, accordingly as they find either ‘most convenient for their purpose, and under the assurance that the Object, -which is to obtain such a method of ‘ writing as shall alforda ready means of transferring the word back into its native character, wfll equally be accomplished, whichever may be the character adopted. Both systems represent perfectly to the scholar the letters used in the original languages, but it is contended that the Grnouarsr alphabet, now generally introduced and used in the public ofiices of this presidency, conveys to the uninitiated a more correct and true notion of the proper pronunciation, than the antiquated and rejected system of Sir WILLIAM J ouss, and therefore is the best adapted to business. Through the pages of the Journal let the European public of India he undece1ved on this point. The attempt to dislodge the system of Grncumsr is entirely a matter of individual speculation, and is certainly not the result of any inconvenience felt, or dissatisfaction -expressed with if, by the
Government, or by any class of public officers or persons whatsoever. H; Pr
[We hadno intention of conveying an impression, in our brief notice of the Alphabetical Scheme to which the above alludes, that it was circulated by authority ,- nor, though we hailed with pleasure the promise of increased uniformity in the spelling of Oriental words, did we express any very sanguine hopes of success ;—for our own opinion on the subject, and the rules which we shall continue to follow in the
pages of this work, we beg leave to refer to the Preface of the second volume of the Jourual.—En.] ::
The construction of reflecting microscopes having of recent years greatly occupied the attention of philosophers and artists, and arrived at a high degree of perfection in their hahds ; one can scarcely, without incurring the censure of presumption, advance any suggestion for its further improvement. Even in the detail of mere mechanical arrangement, ingenuity appears exhausted in contrivances to gratify the taste or anticipate the Wents of the most fastidious observer; while the optical principle has been so matured, as to lead competent judges to declare, that the instrument in its present state would pass down unchanged to posterity. Narrowed however, as the field undoubtedly is, there appears still some room for the exertions of subsequent inventors, and I‘incline to think that the modification about to be described will be found for many purposes to improve, aslit most certainly simplifies, the construction of these beautiful and delicate instruments ' I i
To enable the general reader the more easily. to comprehend the alteration I propose, it is requisite in the first instance to place before him the principle of former constructions, which it is the object of my