Imágenes de páginas

The following wonderful passage would seem to imply that, in our English creed, souls can never be crushed Till they have died.

• Then Albin's banners tower'd on high,
And ev'ry horror rent the sky;
Man rush'd on man till death had hush'd

Those souls, that else had ne'er been crush'd.'-p. 20. And the poem goes on to say the battle was so tremendous, that when the ghosts of the dead men came back in the night to look for their bodies, they were not able to find them.

there the spirits of the slain Might seek to find their earthly forms in vain.'--'p. 21. And this is the trash which M. Didot has the perfidy to palm on the French public as the exultation of an English gentleman on the battle of Waterloo !

In the poems which follow we suspect that M. Didot has not trusted even to his engine to make nonsense ; for these appear to be put together with a degree of ingenious malice against us, of which we cannot conceive a mere machine, however well made, to be capable. For instance, the four following French lines are very correctly given :-

" J'abandonne l'exactitude
Aux gens qui riment par métier;
D'autres font des vers par étude,

J'en fais pour me désennuyer.'-GRESSET.
Now mark the difference !-the following are subjoined as an
English translation of these lines.

Willing I yield all rhyming rules,
To hireling bards, and pedant schools ;
May fancy guide my careless lay-

And pleasure wing my hours away.'--p. 39.
This is evidently a burlesque on our supposed ignorance of the
French language, as absurd and offensive as if we were to quote
that famous passage in Shakspeare-

• I'd rather be a kitten, and cry mew,

Tban one of those same metre ballad-mongers.'
And then give the following as a Frenchman's translation of it :-

• Maudit soit l'auteur dur, dont l'âpre et rude verve
Son cerveau tenaillant, rima malgré Minerve,
Et de son lourd marteau, martellant le bon sens,

A fait de méchans vers à-peu-près onze cents.' All this is sufficiently atrocious on the part of M. Didot; but we have kept for the last the cruellest insult of all, one which we

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

have no doubt is levelled at the supposed disposition to blunder of our Irish brethren ; this outrageous libel is called The Wish, and the unfortunate Wedderburne-Webster, in his new character, is thus made to express himself :


• When hence my spirit wings its aerial flight-
And life is fled into the realms of night!
When, as some bird sits lonely on the mast,
My form may ride upon the desert blast-
Be my sole monument the moss-clad sod,
Raised on the spot where man hath never trod.
By the lone rock, upon my native hill,

Where the grey thistle holds dominion still !-p. 40.
Here then the air and the realms of night are the same thing;
and when life flies, it flies to the realms of night; and when that
comes to pass, the body rides just as a bird sits; and then there is
to be a monument--not for the soul, for it is flying, nor over the
form, for it is riding-but a monument to be raised, Jove knows
why, where, or by whom; for it is to be built in some extraordinary
desert where man has never trod; and yet this desert, which man
has never trod, is the very place where Wedderburne Webster re-
presents himself to have been born (silice in nudâ) amid a grove
of thistles !-a paltry device of M. Didot to make our pretended
countryman write himself down an ass.'

ART. III. 1. Brief View of the Baptist Missions, and Transla

tions; with specimens of various Languages in which the Scriptures are printing at the Mission Press, Serampore. London.

1815. 2. Clavis Sinica : Elements of Chinese Grammar, with a Preli

minary Dissertation on the Characters, and the Colloquial Medium of the Chinese; and an Appendix, containing the Ta-Hyok. of Confucius, with a Translation. By J. Marshman, D. D.

Serampore. i 1814. 3. A Dictionary of the Chinese Language, in three Parts. Part I.

containing Chinese and English, arranged according to the
Radicals. Part II. Chinese and English arranged alphabeti-
cally. Part III. English and Chinese. By the Rev. Robert

Morrison. Macao. 1815.
WE envy not the feelings of those who find amusement in hold-

ing up to ridicule the labours of the Baptist Missionaries; ours, we confess, have received a very different impression, which tells us that we shall not err greatly in placing the names of Marsh-,

[ocr errors]

man, Carey, Ward, and the rest of the Serampore missionaries, among the benefactors of the human race.

The Brief View of the Baptist Missions' will be considered as an interesting document. The Society was first established in 1792; but the Indian mission did not take place till seven years after this period; and they have now twenty stations in the East, the two extreme ones being 4000 miles apart. That of Serampore, their head-quarters, was established in 1799, by Thomas and Carey, and the principle on which they agreed to act was, “ that no one should engage in any private trade, but that whatever was procured by any member of the family, should be appropriated to the benefit of the mission.'-Following up this principle, Doctor Carey in the college, Doctor Marshman in the school, and Mr. Ward in the printing-office, have, each of them, for some years past contributed considerably more than 10001. a year to the general fund. The sum expended by them annually in the three departments of Missionary Stations, Translations, and Schools, amounts to about 14,000l. sterling:-From this sum, in the year 1813, were supported fiftythree missionaries of various nations, with their families; nineteen translations of the Scriptures were carried on,six thousand volumes printed, with nearly twenty thousand copies of the Gospels, and twenty-five thousand smaller books; and above a thousand children of various nations were instructed in useful knowledge. Of these fourteen thousand pounds, seven thousand arise wholly out of the personal labour of the missionaries, two thousand from Indian charities, and the rest, namely, five thousand, have been remitted from Europe and America. At Serampore extensive premises were purchased, on which have been erected dwelling-houses for the missionaries, school-rooms, a spacious hall for public worship, a printing-office, in which ten presses are constantly employed, a type foundry, in which the types are cast for the several Eastern languages; and a mill for making paper, of a quality far superior to that

of India made in the usual way, which in five or six years is generally devoured by worms and insects; whereas it is stated that the paper made by the missionaries remained untouched by worms, when placed among other paper half eaten up by them.

Their progress in the various oriental languages is really wonderful; but so are their exertions, and their contempt of bodily suffering and personal danger. No sooner is a country opened for the exercise of their zeal, than they set about learning the language. The Kassai mountains, to the N. W. of the Burman empire, recently penetrated by them, have been found to be inhabited by a simple and honest people,

whose language is monosyllabic,and evidently of Chinese derivation. Young Carey has succeeded in conyeying a printing-press to Ava. In his passage to this place, he was visited with an affliction of the severest kind ;-the boat upset-his beloved wife, his daughter, and his only son, perished before his eyes, and he himself had nearly shared the same fate in swimming with his son till completely exhausted. Should the Lord be pleased,' say the missionaries, 'to sanctify the affliction fully to him, this providence, awful as it appears, may be made the precursor of much future usefulness.'

We may form some idea of the exertions of these pious men, when it is stated that they have translated the Scriptures wholly or in part into twenty-seven different languages; and their · Brief View' contains beautiful specimens of the characters employed in printing the Sanscrit, Mahratta, Bengalee, Oriza, Telinga, Pushtoo, Sikh or Punjab, Cashmere, Hindostanee, Assam, Burman, Persian, Tamul, and Cingalese languages. Many thousand copies of the Gospels have been distributed in these languages, and it is said that the distributions of the Scriptures and of religious tracts in the vernacular tongue has had the effect of exciting a lively interest in the knowledge of the Gospel; and that of late many instances have occurred of conversion, by means of these translations alone, without the intervention of any missionary; that many Brahmins and others of high cast have recently been baptized, and that a great number of native preachers have met with the greatest success in various parts of India. Doctor Carey, in a letter from Calcutta, says, "the increasing and pressing demand for the Holy Scriptures is so great, that though we have ten presses constantly at work, the demands cannot be supplied ;:-so repeated and urgent are the applications from all parts of the country, that we are forced to give away the Gospels of the New Edition, before the other parts can be printed off;--and yet, we are sneeringly told that these missionaries make only rice-Christians in India. Whether this taunt be true or not, the observation comes with a bad grace from a beneficed clergyman of the Established Church; at all events, the Baptist missionaries have at least this consolation, that, by their exertions, to use their own expression, the greater part of the heathen world will have the word of God in their own tongue, wherein they were born.'

This, however, is not the extent of their merit. Doctor Marshman not only keeps a boarding-school for the education of young gentlemen, and Mrs. Marshman another for young ladies, out of the profits of which they contribute to the general fund, but they also conduct a charity school on the British System, for the children of the poor. On this system? they were establishing schools at the several stations, in which there were, in 1814, upwards of one thousand children, taught by native schoolmasters to read the Scriptures. No difficulty is found in obtaining proper persons, who, for the sake of the small salary, engage themselves without hesitation; and thus become the instruments of instructing heathen children in the principles of the Christian religion. The number of these native teachers, at the close of 1813, amounted to thirty-two. At Calcutta they have erected a school-house, capable of containing 800 children, divided into two departments, one for boys and the other for girls, where they are taught to read the Scriptures in the Bengalee and English languages; also writing and accounts, on what is now termed the • British system,'-it ought to be called by its proper name—the “Madras system.'-Five hundred were on the books of this school, which we doubt not has long since been full. The objects of this · Benevolent Institution are the poor children of all nations, including the children of Europeans by native women, a neglected and destitute class of society; and of Portuguese catholics, thousands of whom wander about the streets in all manner of vice and wretchedness.'

This hasty sketch of their proceedings is quite enough to prove the active benevolence of the Serampore missionaries, and more than enough to entitle them to the gratitude of mankind. But they have also a claim to the thanks of the literary part of the world on another score. In the midst of their more serious duties of religion, and the exercise of Christian charities, they have considerably extended the progress of Oriental literature. Doctor Carey has for many years acted as Professor of Sanscrit, Bengalee, and Mahratta, in the college of Fort William, and has published no less than eight grammars of as many different languages, anda Mahratta dictionary, besides assisting Doctor Marshman in the translation of the Ramayuna. Mr. Ward has given to the world, in four quarto volumes, • An Account of the Writings, Religion, and Manners of the Hindoos, including translations from their principal Works:'-and Doctor Marshman has translated the Lun-ye of Confucius, with a preliminary dissertation on the Chinese language, both of which have passed under our review in Nos. X, and XXII.

The · Clavis Sinica, or Elements of Chinese Grammar, with a Preliminary Dissertation on the Characters and the Colloquial Medium of the Chinese, is an extension of the former Work, of which we now intend to give some account. We shall here just observe, that the mechanical part of this book is such as ought not to be passed over without particular notice. As a specimen of beautiful typography, it yields to nothing we have seen even from the Chinese press; and it adds one to the many remarkable and splendid instances which India has afforded, how much may be accomplished by human ingenuity, when man is thrown entirely upon the resources of his own mind. Dr. Marshman has in fact effected, what had hitherto been considered as nearly impracticable, a method of printing the Chinese characters with moveable metal

« AnteriorContinuar »