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THE third volume of the JOURNAL on THE Asmrrc Socmrr would not have required a preface, had not the observations made by the Editor, on publishing the second volume, implied that the subscribers and supporters of the work should be made acquainted with its progress in a financial point of view, especially after the diminution of support which the order regarding postage, taking eifect on the 1st June last, was calculated to produce. The Editor is however happy to announce that his friends and the public have not allowed this circumstance materially to afliect their support. The circulation is now nearly as great as it was, not more than 30 names having been withdrawn in consequence of the postage regulations ; while other names have been added to the subscription list, probably from a feeling of ‘interest, lest the work should succumb to circumstances of discouragement. Some reductions were liberally allowed in the printing charges by the Press which has from the first been employed in publishing the work (and in a manner highly creditable to the Baptist Missionary Establishment), so that the expences this year, notwithstanding the increase of the number of’ plates to thirtysix, have not much exceeded the income. It is unnecessary to enter into particulars, as the statement published last year will, with the aid of the list of subscribers, furnish an near as estimate as it is possible to give on the result of the year’s operations.
The Editor cannot refrain from making known to his correspondents the great interest which has been excited in Europe by many of the papers which they have done him the honor to contribute. The letters he has received from Oxford, London, and Paris would alone be sufiicient to urge him to a continuance of his Editorial labours, did he not feel, unconnected with praise or censure, that the Journal was now become a necessary adjunct
of the Asiatic Society, and that it continues to receive an unimtermitted supply of valuable papers and memoirs which there would now be a degree of culpability in withholding from immediate publication!
The tenor of the chief publications of the past year has been turned aside from the objects of natural science to which it was supposed future Indian researches would principally be confined, by a train of antiquarian discovery of an unexpected and highly interesting nature in the classical field of ancient Bactriana. Every endeavour has been made to bring to notice the novelties and facts, as they have been discovered; and this has in some cases caused confusion in the recital, imperfect investigation, and some contradiction in results too hastily announced. It is hoped, however, that these inconveniences, incident to a periodical appearing at short intervals, will be more than counterbalanced by the speedy and faithful publication of the circumstances as they have been brought to light. The Index will serve in some degree to connect the detached notices of one subject into a continuous narrative. Thus, the present volume comprises all that has been hitherto discovered in the various topes of Manikyéla. Much however remains to be brought to notice regarding the Bactrian coins, and what has been learnt from the specimens furnished by Dr. GERARD, and by SHEKH KERAMAT ALI, has been purposely kept back to be incorporated with the facts developed by the collection of General VENTURA, now on its way to France under charge of the Chevalier ALLARD.
Of inscriptions and antiquities, more purely Indian,the present volume furnishes an abundant store ; nor have they been withheld until interpretations could be furnished. Every care has been taken to render the plates accurate, and extra copies have in all cases been struck off for circulation where aid may be expected in decyphering them.
If the past year has been fortunate in antiquarian research, it has also been eminently so in fossil geology. The several notices in the Proceedings of the Society will bear out this assertion. Besides further discoveries in the N erbada valley, a new fossil field has been opened in the Sewalik range of the Himzilaya, and already museums are being filled with its gigantic spoils.
Several geographical notices in this volume will be read with interest; and none more so than the extract from an Arabic
work on the Navigation of the Indian Ocean by the illustrious Von HAMMER of Vienna, The seasons and the modes of reckoning set forth in the Zllohit are still followed by the Arab navigators who frequent the port of Calcutta; the Editor in passing the article through the press derived much information from some of the Nakodas, who recognized and pointed out almost all the places enumerated in the Arabic work.
If the existence of the Journal has in any way promoted the acquirement or the preservation of any of the knowledge Which its pages boast of containing, the Editor is fully rewarded for the labour, and for the sacrifice of time that has necessarily been demanded in more than an ordinary measure, where correspondence, arrangement, correction of the press, and publication have fallen on one individual, who has had moreover only the hours of leisure and recreation to devote to the purpose.