Page:Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal Vol 7, Part 1.djvu/527

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1838.]
457
Proceedings of the Asiatic Society,


et intellectuel de l'lnde, et sur les bases de la puissance Britanique de ee pays, on it6 penibleraent frapp^s de cette ordonnance qui a paralyse l'activite du Comity de 1' instruction publique ; et Ton a su appr^cier la resolution genereuse de la Society Asiatique de Sparer le tort que 1'ignorance et la barbarie menaeaient de faire a la cause de 1' Erudition et des lumieres. Cette Soci^te, depuis sa fondation, a rendu d'immenses services ; elle a puissamment contribu£ a 1'avancement de nos connais- sances. Nous lui devoos une infinite* d'observations et de d^couvertes, et cette abondance de mat^riaux dont nousjouissons aojourd'hui. Le d^partement auquel les orientalistes, qui vivent en Europe, doivent se vouer de preference, c'est la critique philologique, la correction la plus soigifee des textes et l'art de 1'interpretation, En Allemagne et dans le nord le zele pour 1' etude du Sanscrit se maiutient tonjours et se r£pand m£me de plus en plus. On enseigne cette langue dans plusieurs universifes Allemandes : a Bonn le professeur Lassen et moi, nous an donnons des cours concurremment tous les semestres, sans avoir £gard au petit nombre d'£co- liers qui se piesentent. L'hiver dernier j'ai euparmi mes auditeurs un jeune savant de Copenhague, et un autre n£ a. St. Petersbourg. Un orientaliste d'Upsala, qui, le premier dans son pays, s'est applique* au Sanscrit, et a fait un voyage litteraire dans ce but, me fut address^ dernierement par le professeur Wilson, et je l'ai trou-

assez avance pour pouvoir le recommender au gouvernement Suedois. 

" J'ai ete douloureusement affecte par la mort de mon immortel ami et demon grand oracle Colebrooke, quoiqu'elle ne fut que le terme d'une existence depuis longtemps bris^e par les infirmites.

" Le professeur Rosen, dans la force de l'age, a ete enleve presque subiteraent a ses amis et aux lettres, dansle moment ou il se preparait de passer an Allemagne, afin de revoir sa famille ou m'assure que l'impression de sou travail sur le Rig- veda est presque achevee. Les etudes asiatiques ont aussi fait une perte dans la personne du Baron Schilling de Cronstadt, conseiller d'etat a St. Peters- bourg. Mon savant ami avait fait un voyage en Siberie, et sejourne long temps an-dela, du lac Baical parmi les Buriites. II s'etait concilie la bienveillance de quelques pr£tres Bouddhiques, de sorte qu'il en a rapporte une immense collection de livres Tibetains. Les doubles seules, qu'il mit en depot chez moi, il y a deux ans, remplissaient six caisses. Je les ai expediees a l'institut de France, auquel il en avait don. La grande collection est restee a St. Petersbourg, et passera sans doute a la bibliotheque Impeiiale."

The Secretary communicated the following extract from Professor Wilson's last letter on the subject of the Masson collection of coins.

" I have been lately occupied ratber industriously with Masson's coins. We received those of 1833-34 in the summer;those of 1835 only about three months ago. After inspecting the first batch I proposed to the court through the chairman and several of the directors to give a lecture upon them ; but this was thought an un- advisable innovation and the measure was abandoned. I was determined however not to drop the subject, and therefore gave my lecture the form of a memoir, which I presented and which was received very graciously. I suggested at the same time the advisableness of publishing a book with plates, and offered to prepare the mate- rials if the court would bear the expense, proposing that after taking such number of copies as the court might require, to make over the rest to Mr. Masson's family for their benefit. There seems to be a disposition to accede to the arrangement, or at any rate to give to Masson or his family some further remuneration for the coins as their pecuniary value is much beyond what they cost."

By a recent letter from Capt. Burnes it would appear that a supposed reflection had been cast on Masson's labours in Professor Ritter's remarks on the topes published in a preceding journal.

  • ' Masson was not one of those who dug into the topes to get at the hidden trea-

sure without thinking of other things ; his researches were laborious, minute, and scrutinizing; height, depth, &c. were all noted. I have seen some of his MSS. in which particulars are preserved amply to satisfy the German Professor."

We may add to the above that we are sure no slur was intended on Masson's no more than on General Ventura's or Court's explorations, in which every care was taken to record the exact position of the ' trouvailles.' The information sought by the German Professor was of a specific nature.

A letter from the Society's Paris agent dated 8th January, mentioned the death of the Baron Schilling before he had heard of his election.

Major Troyer mentions that the Sanskrit text of the six first books of the Tarangini is printed, and the Fiench translation is put to press. He has now accept-