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some notion of the terminations and inflections of the words. Thus where we perceive an instance, (and many such occur,) of five or six consecutive words ending in the same letters, we may fairly presume them to be connected in case and gender, like the long compound epithet of the second inscription described by Dr. MILL, (p. 260.)
6. The characters most often forming the termination of words in the Delhi text, are I and 1, , of both of which upwards of 40 instances occur. Next to them in frequency, come 1, B , and J; , about 20 of each: then a and 3, l,- and 1-, about a dozen each: the other letters are comparatively rare as finals. It may be remarked, that the vowel inflection, which has been set down as é, is aflixed to most of the final consonants, affording another argument in favor of the language being Sanscrit.
7. The order in which the inscription should be read is wrongly given in Captain Honarfs plates, where he makes the east portion follow that of the north. That the north is the proper commencement is proved by its being the uppermost of the Allahabad column ; then follow the west, the south, and the east respectively.
For convenience of reference, I may here remark, that the first eight lines of the Allahabad Lzith inscription include to the third letter 19th line, Plate X., Asiatic Researches, vol. vii. They are here cut off by the Persian inscription. The following half line, partially clipped on the upper surface of the letters, begins with the eleventh letter of the fourteenth line, Plate XIII. of Delhi. The next three lines finish the same plate; but three letters are missing from the beginning of each line (owing probably to the peeling of the stone).
The three following lines (13, 14, 15,) correspond with the commencement of Plate XII., and also with the uppermost part of the Bettiah inscription in the present plate ; the three or four initial letters of each line are here also cut off by some accident.
Line 20 of Allahabad begins with the sixth letter of Plate XI. of Delhi, and the detached portions of the neighbouring lines may easily be found in their respective places.
In the second half of the Bettiah inscription (which should come first in the order of reading), one circumstance tends very much to perplex the comparison with that of Delhi, which is, that from the last letter of the 20th line onwards, the native copyist (at least I imagine the fault must be his) has transposed every half line of the text, placing first what by the Delhi column should be the last half of each line. This defectl have attempted to correct by placing intermediate figures over _the first letterof each transposed passage : thus, the
order of the figures being now in the engraving 12, l3l, 13, 14-.§-, 14, &c., the order in which the text should be read to make it agree with the Delhi text is, 12, 13, 123i, l4, l4%, and so on in the natural progression of the figures.
These circumstances prove how very important has been the discovery of the identity of the three inscriptions; for when to the numerous errors of copying, is superadded the perplexing transposition in a complicated manner of one half of the inscription now before us, we may readily imagine the almost insnperable ditficulties it would have presented to a translator, even had he a perfect acquaintance with the alphabet and language! The case is now very much altered, and those who have the desire to signalize their learning and ingenuity by decyphering the purport of the document, may go to work with perfect confidence, that by collation of the three manuscripts, he can provide himself with a faithful copy of the original type. Whoever also undertakes to make a facsimile of the other inscriptions stated by Mr. Honoson to exist in Behzir and Nepal, should have a copy of the corrected version before him, that he may note the variations as he proceeds.
Of the origin and nature of these singular columns erected at places so distant from each other as Delhi, Allahabad, Bettiah and Patna, all bearing precisely the same inscription (as far as the unknown character is concerned), I will not venture to oifer any speculations. Whether they mark the conquests of some victorious riijé. ;——whether they are as it were the boundary pillars of his dominions ;—or whether they are of a religious nature, bearing some important text from the sacred volumes of the Bauddhists or Brahmins, can only be satisfactorily solved by the discovery of the language, and consequently the import these curious monuments are intended to convey. The new facts now brought to light, will I hope tend to facilitate this object, especially the discovery of the double letters which, added to the mode of forming the vowels, leaves little doubt that the alphabet is a modification of Deva Nzigari, and the language Sanscrit*, as suggested by Mr. Honosmv.
‘* After sending the above to the press, I was favored with an interesting communication from the Rev. Mr. Srnvanson, a distinguished Orientalist,well known as the author of the Maharastra Grammar, on the Ancient Inscriptions in the Caves of Carli, which is inserted as Art. IV. of the present number. Although I am not prepared to confirm in toto the scheme of Mr. Srnvnnsorfls alphabet, since when applied to the Allahabad inscription, it does not convert the context into intelligible Sanscrit,—-it is most satisfactory to find that many of-his equivalents for the ancient letters are the same as those to which the discovery of the double letters above described has led myself; afl‘ording thus, a stronger argument in favor of their being correctly interpreted. Of these it is only necessary to mention the s and the y, of which we may now be quite certain. One more effort by a competent Pandit, with the aid of Mr. Srsvnnsorfls labours, will
III.__—-Second Note on the Bhilsd Inscription. By .-the same.
An original facsimile of the inscription in the neighbourhood of Bhilefi, to which the foregoing note of Mr. I-Ionesou also alludes, was fortunately in his own keeping, and was transmitted to me for the purpose of having an accurate copy transferred to copper-plate. This has been done in Plate XXVIII. with the greatest care and fidelity, but still with little success as to useful result, further than the certainty now acquired that its character is the same, as that of the Allahabad column No. ‘2, which from the circumstance of its occurrence on all the gold Kanouj coins, we may properly distinguish by the title of “ Kanouj Négari.” There is however a considerable admixture of the more ancient character, so much so that the period of its sculpture might seem to form an intervening linkin the history of the two alphabets.
None of our orientalists have yet been able to make any thing of the Bhilsti or Sainchi inscription, although they are far from abandoning their attempts to decypher it. I am perhaps to blame in exhibiting it prematurely to the world before it has been read, but I justify myself in the reflection, that the more it becomes known the better chance have we of a solution of the enigma. We may find duplicate and triplicate versions of part or the whole in other places, as in the remarkable example ' just brought to notice, and may thus correct dubious forms and render eifaced ones legible. As the present inscription was a facsimile taken by compressing the paper on the surface of the stone, there can be no doubt of its exhibiting every impression precisely as it exists there ; but every slight chip or flaw is also made
manifest, and in a few cases the true letters may thus be rendered im
perfect. On the whole, however, it appears very authentic, and only
diflicult to read from the rude execution of the stone-cutter's chisel. This inscription, it is known, belongs to a Bauddha edifice. A few
months since Dr. Srmsnunv sent us a native drawing of the sculpture
. on one of the compartments of the same monument, which puts the
matter beyond doubt ; for it represents the consecration'of the chaitya or dehgope by a procession of nobles, priests, and votaries. This curious drawing is engraved in Fig. 1, Plate XXVII. It is much to he wished that some amateur artist would pay a visit to the spot, and bring away accu__rate drawings of the whole details of this highly interesting object
doubtless unravel the whole mystery of the pillar inscription. It might, perhaps, be deemed by some more prudent to make this attempt before publishing the present notice; but, it is precisely because I have not the necessary acquaintance with Sanscrit myself, that I desire to make known generally the progress and results of fortu
itous discoveries, which may be of service to others in their investigation of the inscription. J. P.