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fairness of her complexion. It is the same river which is supposed, wità unmixed waters, and through a subterraneous channel, to rise again at Allahabad; forming a mysterious triad with the Ganges and Jumna.
Bagasira and Dagasira-A headland is termed in Arabic, Ras, synonimous with Sir. Ras al Gebał would have been the name of Dagasira in that language. The syllable Ba at any rate remains unexplained; whereas a Persic name, descriptive of a situation on the coast of Persia, seems to us to deserve a decided preference; for many reasons. Algesira, on the other hand, is a real Arabic word, and is given by Arabians to a part of their own dominions.
Gurmsir--we conceive to be the name of the sandy maritime region, because it signifies « the hot country.”
Deval.-Dr. Vincent has undoubtedly marked that Pattala and Brahminabad are the same place, (they are only contiguous,) but not that a city much celebrated under the name of Deval was no other than Brahminabad.
These observations are offered solely with a view of contributing a mite to the perfection of a valuable work, and testifying an'unfeigned respect for the author.
We have received a letter from Mr. Eton, concerning our critique on the Survey of the Turkish Empire, in our last Number. We heartily sympathise with every author whose feelings are hurt on such occasions : but Mr. E. who himself understands Reviewing, (as we see by some parts of his book,) will agree with us that, if we would do justice, these short-lived distresses may unavoidably arise.
It cannot be a matter of great consequence whether Mr. Dunant was actually in the office of the secretary to the envoy at Petersburg, exactly at the time when Mr. E. was employed in it, or whether he immediately succeeded the latter gentleman ; as we now believe to have been the case : but Mr. Eton informs us that the public business of a secretary was performed by himn alone, during the period in question.
Whatever Mr. E. may think or say, there are persons in this country who pretend to have had opportunities of knowing as much of what passed in the cabinet of Russia, and of the real character of the Empress Catharine II., as that gentleman; and by these we are informed, that it was one of the grand political maxims of that sovereign to temporize, by apparently yielding to the solicitations which she did not deem it proper directly to withstand ; and to trust to cir*cumstances for an argument afterward to comply with tliem or not :80 that neither levity nor inconsistency is imputed to her in the passage mentioned by Mr. E. in his letter. This maxim she pro. bably adopted from the first and ablest minister whom she ever had, Nikita Ivanitch Count Panin, who practised it on all occasions, and generally found it successful.
Mr. Éton says rightly that the third letter of the Rullian alphabet is Veci, and has the force of v;--and we willingly embrace this opportunity for offering a hint to him, and to persons who have to translate proper names of men and places from that language into English. This letter the German writers properly render by their ré or doppelt faou, written w, but pronounced like our v. Thus, for
example, was wollen wir is sounded by English characters vas voller vir: the German v or faou, having the power of an English f; and accordingly persons of that nations on their first arrival in England, for, what will you give me ? naturally säy vät vill you gife me? Consequently, when proper names ending in the Russian vedi are, through a German medium, to be put into English, the vé or dopo pelt faou is not to be rendered by a w, which in our language gives a sound quite different, but by forf, as tlie accent may require. Thus, not Orlow, but Orlof, not Romantzow, but Romantzoff ; not Suwarow, but Suvaroff. It is likewise to be observed of the Polish ż, that after a c it must always be rendered in English by ani h, thus : not Czartorinski, but Chariorinski'not Czernichew, but Chernicheff; not Oczakow, but Otchakoff.
Mr. E. tells us that “ he never betrayed any confidence put in him.” No charge against him of this nature, either directly or by implication, ever having reached our ears, we have nothing to say on this point.
It is affirmed by persons well acquainted with Prince Potemkin, that in the early part of his life he officiated as a chorister in the cathedral at Mosco ;. or, as the Russians write it, Moskva. This is mentioned without intending by it the slightest disparagement to that great favourite of fortune: but only in reply to a passage in the letter before us.
Mr. Eton concludes by averring that the depth of his colouring, in delineating the Turks and their government, is not attributable to disappointments in commerce ; for that, though he lost a sum of money which he put into a house of trade, yet the managers were not
Turks, nor did Turks contribute to the loss; and that, though he may have sometimes mistaken, he is not conscious of having written one falsity, nor even of having exaggerated the truth. We should be very sorry to convey to the public any unfounded imputation of this nature, and desire to protest against it.
· A work has lately been announced at Venice, which must be well received by the literary world; particularly by chronologists. The Armenian Monks of the Convent of St. Lazarus have discovered a very antient Armenian version of the whole Chronicon of Eusebius ; which they propose to print, with a Latin translation. Every scholar knows how lame and faulty the Greek copies have come down to us; and what pains have been taken by Scaliger and others to restore and amend the mutilated and defective passages. A Prospectus of the work is daily expected in London.
A letter from the Rev. Mr. Fawcett informs us that, in our account of his life of the Rev. Oliver Heywood, (Review, Oct. p. 236-7,) when mentioning Mr. Abraham Sharp, we mistook in styling him Reverend, that Gentleman not having been of the clerical order.
The inquiries of the writer of a letter dated from Newcastle op Tyne should be addressed to the Editor of some Magazine ;-they are out of our province.
For DECEMBER, 1798.
Art. I. A Journey from Bengal to England, through the Northern
Part of India, Kashmire, Afghanistan, and Persia, and into Russia, by the Caspian Sea. By George Forster *, in the Civil Service of the Honorable the East India Company. 2 Vols. 4to. il. 16s. Boards. Faulder. 1798. The late Mr. Forster was endowed with an inquisitive mind,
and a good, though not a highly cultivated, understanding: he was one of the few servants of the Company on the Madras establishment, who studied the Asiatic languages : he spoke Hinduvi with uncommon correctness and fluency; Persic was familiar to him; in Sanscrit he had made some progress; and in that dialect of it which is spoken by the Mahrattas, he was much more conversant. The necessity of these acquirements is evident in the prosecution of a journey, in most parts of which a discovery of his real character would have incurred the forfeiture of his life. His information was derived less from books than from conversation ; and when he relates what he has seen, his veracity may be implicitly trusted : but his historical disquisitions are less remarkable for accuracy. The learned reader will look in vain for profound researches in morals or physics, on the origin of nations, or on the antiquity of science : but he will find a faithful narrative of the inci. dents attending a journey never before performed by any European, and will thence be able to form a tolerably correct idea of the state of society in the countries through which he is led : he will find such objects as presented themselves to ocular inspection accurately described: he will meet with such inform
* He was son of the late well-known naturalist, Dr. John Rein. hold Forster ; who (accompanied by his son) made the circumnavi. gation of the globe with Capt. Cook, in the first voyage of that great navigator. Mr. George Forster wrote a philosophical narrative of chat voyage: See M. Rev. vol. lvi. for the year 1777. VOL. XXVII.
that Foto Mr. George Capt. Cook, in ther)
ation, as could be collected without exciting suspicion, distinctly stated; he will find no circumstance perverted by a spirit of system, and none amplified by a wish for applause ;-and to a traveller through a tract almost unknown, the generality of scaders will attend with peculiar eagerness :
" Mente vigenti Avia Pieridum peragro loca, nullius ante Trita solo : juvat integros accedere fontes,
Atque haurire ; juvatque novos decerpere flores.” LUCR. The journey is detailed in a series of letters, the contents of which we shall notice in their natural order.
Letter ist. Benares, 31st August 1782. It comprises an account of the voyage from Calcutta to this city, through the provinces of Bengal and Bahar. Murshedabad, lately the capital of the former, now bears various marks of poverty and decay, the evident result of the removal of the seat of government.' We perceive some incorrect statements here. Serajeddowla is called the nephew of Aliverdi Khan: but the latter was the grandfather of that guilty and unfortunate youth; and the late Nuab Mobaricad-dowla is said to be a son of Mirun, but was his brother. Leaving Murshedabad, we are brought to Rajmal, • a former residence of some of the Bengal Subadars. Aliverdi Khan, in the beginning of his administration, which commenced in 1742, removed tbe seat of government from this place to Murshedabad.' Here again our traveller has been mis. informed. The city of Murshedabad was founded long before Aliverdi, by Jaffier Khan, then called Murshed Culi, who removed the seat of government thither from Dacca, and gave his own name to the new metropolis. Rajmal wears at this day an impoverished aspect, and its former importance is marked only by heaps of ruins.
• Patna (the capital of Bahar) is spacious and populous, thougla much fallen from the importance it held, during the residence of the Subadar of Bahar. The great quantity of poppies cultivated in the contiguous districts, from which an opium of an excellent quality is produced, together with extensive saltpetre works, have rendered Patna opulent, and the center of an extensive commerce. The dif. ferent manufactures of silver, iron, and wood, are little inferior in this city to those of Europe ; and when the rudeness of the tools, with the simplicity of the process, is examined, the degree of delicacy which the artisans have acquired in their several professions must challenge a ligh admiration.'
It is to be lamented that the typography of this work is so incorrect as we find it. Who would imagine that a monument near Buxar, “sacred to the memory of the Gold Ram,' was consecrated to the god Rama ?
Letter 2d. Benares, 30th September 1782. This city may be viewed in its utmost extent from the tops of the Minarets erected by Aurungzeb on the foundation of an antient Hindu temple. It abounds in costly structures, but the irregular and compressed manner which has been invariably adopted in forming the streets, destroys the effect which symmetry and arrangement would have bestowed on a city, entitled, from its valuable buildings, to a preference of any capital which I have seen in India. We are now presented with a dissertation on the mythology of the Hindus, which had been published previously, in 1785:-but into this labyrinth we will not, at present, conduct our readers. The popular fables of the Hindus, like those of the Greeks, form the creed of the populace, and are despised or interpreted by the intelligent.-- The cypher is still a desideratum to Europeans. We consider it as a vene. rable edifice which has survived the shock of ages; an edifice of which detached portions only have been exhibited to our inspection, and these possibly the least important; an edifice of which time may perhaps discover the proportions, the design, and the symmetry, but which now presents to the eye of an European only a few mutilated columns, and statues fallen from their pedestals. The manners of the Hindus, their casts, their Jugas, and their sectaries, are here slightly discussed. • The Shaster,' says our author, is a voluminous commentary on the Veds. This is altogether a mistake. Shaster signifies in Sanscrit a scientific treatise, whether on theology or otherwise. The Nya Shaster is a treatise on logic; the Donu Shaster prescribes rules for archery. - The following picture of the antient Hindu empire, we insert on account of its conformity with the tenor of the Puranas :
• The empire, when ultimately governed by one prince, extended from the southern limits of Tartary to the island of Ceylon, and frona the confines of Assam and Aracan to the river Indus. This extensive space was inhabited by a people divided into four tribes, each exercising different functions, but all uniting in their various branches to promote the general good. It abounded in fair and opulent cities, which were decorated with magnificent temples for the worship of the gods; and with sumptuous mansions, gardens, and fountains, for the pleasure and accommodation of the inhabitants. Useful and ele. gant artisans, skilled in raising stupendous buildings, in fabricating gold, silver, and the most delicate cotton cloths, and in the curious workmanship of precious stones and metals, all found encourage. ment in the exertion of their professions. Salutary ordinances directed the Hindus in the punishment of crimes, and the security of property; and when some glaring indulgencies in favour of the sacred tribe are excepted, we must yield an unreserved approbation to the justice and wisdom of their laws. The traveller was enabled to journey through this extensive empire, with an ease and safety un. CC 2