Gamana-Gamanam

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Gamana-Gamanam
by Isabel Burton
Published in The Athenaeum

Opcina, near Trieste, July 15, 1879.

I Am immensely sorry to have hurt Mr. Monier Williams's feelings so much. I have become aware of it by receiving in my secluded eyrie my Athenaeum on July 5th, and a letter of complaint against me, addressed to my publisher, Mr. Mullan, 4, Paternoster Square, on July 12th. I hasten at once to explain myself, although Mr. Williams has unkindly called me "absurd." I corrected in a great hurry, because I thought we were on the eve of an expedition. I was not at all well, and I fear that many printers' errors may have been the result. On referring to the page (216) alluded to and to my MSS. I find a whole line has been omitted. My notes show (line 22), "but not a bit better one than the other. I need not trouble you with Gamand-gamanam," &c. The omission of these few words has caused this heartburning.

The criticisms to which I alluded were that the learned professor was said to be afflicted with the craze of wishing to have an Indian college at Oxford, and that the hat was going round for subscriptions. The Anglo-Indian public, which loves its joke, converted his Gamand gamanam into our homely word "gammon." I will take care that the proper correction is made in the next edition, and I hope that the sting I have unintentionally inflicted will soon heal.

Isabel Burton.

This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.