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A rich and rare book is out, No. II. of Muir's “ Original Sanskrit Texts.” His object is to convince the Hindûs that their fathers came from beyond the Indus and are connected with Persians, Greeks, &c. The argument is no new one to us, but in his rigid discussion of it, he marshals a host of facts on the dialects of North India, the course which the Arians took in entering India, and their relation to their kindred and to the aboriginal tribes. His first part meets the Hindû on his own ground and shows from the contradictions in his own books that caste is a modern invention ; that the Brahmans are not divine, and so forth. Two more volumes are promised: one, historical proof of origin of caste; the other, illustrations of earliest life and religion. Hurrah!
This evening I propose to visit the Public Library. In the " Journal de Savants" is a review by M. Barthelemy St. Hilaire of Max Müller's “ History of Sanskrit Literature.” St. Hilaire is a sort of general Hindû scholar, who has distinguished himself by his memoirs on the Sankya Philosophy, the very sight of which is enough to make one vow never to be a philosopher, if so much paper is to be spent in his dissection. But I want to see what the Frenchman has to say upon Müller. You know I presume that Müller and Monier Williams are rival candidates for the vacant Boden Professorship. The contest will soon be decided, and most likely in favor of Müller.* He surely is the more learned man of the two. I have however a high respect for Williams. I have just bought and begun his Sanskrit grammar. I want to get hold of the grammar, not expecting to do any more. I like his
* It was so decided.
far better than the French grammar of Oppert which Professor
suggested to me. Oppert is too brief and condensed: Williams does not presume upon any previous familiarity. He is fond also of tracing evident analogies between Sanskrit and western languages.
Do you know what you are asking for when you request me to buy Bopp? Have you ever seen it ? if not, you are an innocent child. The sight of its learning is to me appalling ; if you have, I wonder at your self-confidence at presuming to wish you had it now. However I shall get it on the strength of your word, and because I should have got it without that too, a book of reference at some future day. I presume one can with dainty fingers pick out a morsel here and there, Jack-Horner-like. You speak of works on Comparative Philology in general. The best book undoubtedly, of such a cast, is Müller's “ Languages of the Seat of War."
Have you it? I forget. Its comparison of Turkish and Tamil is very striking and pleasing. You speak of Bunsen.* I have hesitated long about that book. I have read and reread it. Müller you know contributes the portion on the Turanian Researches. That includes Tamil, but M. M. does n't know boo about Tamil. Professor
told me that he would n't give a snap for the essay, but even he is inclined to derive Dravidian languages from Sanskrit ! Yet he and any one could see that Müller's theorizing was upon a very rickety foundation, and some of his erroneous results Caldwell points out. What I think the
essay most valuable for is the history of researches in this direction, and his original and valuable remarks upon the Sanskrit portion of his theme. Perhaps for this object the essay is worth having, but the book is costly. The other essays in the volume (always excepting Brother Bunsen's vagaries) are valuable. I wish we could get the one volume of linguistics separate, and leave off the baseless applications to the Philosophy of History by the doughty chevalier.
* Philosophy of Universal History.
The discoveries which he had begun to make for himself in this field served to stimulate search and to make him desirous of more thorough inquiry into many questions which his work suggested. He looked with a half-regret to the departure which was to bring to a close this extended study; he felt that his scholarly instincts were growing keener, and that if permitted to follow their lead he might achieve worthy results. It was but a half-regret, nor would he have been easily content, if circumstances had required him to remain longer in America, even though the stay were to give him unbounded opportunity of study. It was work of another sort which lay nearer his heart, and to this he looked with more ardent desire.
[TO A CLASSMATE IN GERMANY.]
Boston, once more, Feb. 4, 1861. Your letter has long lain on my table, pressed down by many another and sighing for relief. The time has come at last, — the time of doing the last things, of winding up affairs, of putting one's house in order. I have kept you waiting purposely, determined to write you when I knew somewhat certainly when I should leave this semi-barbarous land for the professedly savage country of my choice. Answering letters is my job for a week to come and yours comes first, first in time and first in worth. Let me thank you for it most heartily. I enjoyed it hugely, and so has many another, D. included, and W. shall. How these names link together the wide world! You toasting your mental limbs by German hearths, G. W. cooling himself off by copious draughts of Brahmanic philosophy, D. lazily drinking in Chitty and Coke in Cambridge, and your penman absorbed in saucepans, boxes, bedsteads, and all the appurtenances of tropical housekeeping.
Oh, how I should like to sit by you in your snuggery, and have a wholesome chat over men and things. I rarely have such nowadays; and to think of sending you such a scribble as this. Well, I shall soon, please God, be in my place in the breach and trying to do my part. I dread it of course, and the more, as so novel to me. In my better hours I rejoice, and I daily pray for a long life for me and mine. I love India with all my heart, and long to do somewhat for her regeneration. . . I think often of you in Germany, and wish I might be with you, though I fear I should desert Tholuck and Müller for Bopp, Weber, Lassur, and Roth, and dive into philology and Indian archæology rather than theology and church history. How delightful it is to study. I have begun Sanskrit, and shall work hard at Tamil on shipboard.
ENTERPRISES - LAST MONTHS IN AMERICA.
DURING the last year of the seminary course David had occasionally preached, after the custom of theological students, and while at home awaiting his departure, he took what opportunities offered for practice in this labor. He did not regard sermonizing as of much importance in his case, since work abroad would admit so little of the sort of preaching employed at home; the half dozen sermons which he wrote are characterized by the philosophical element, so frequent in students' discourses, and pervaded with his spirit of moral earnestness; he added to the force of his sermons by his impressive delivery, which borrowed little from the rules of oratory, but was instinct with his personality, tender, solemn, whole-hearted. One sermon received unusual attention from him as embodying his views respecting the missionary work, and containing the grounds of his own confident belief that it was the highest form of Christian activity. The character of the sermon is indicated in the following letter :
[TO REV. J. M. STURTEVANT, JR.]
FALMOUTH, Mass., Feb. 23, 1860. I have just written up to the conclusion of a missionary sermon, my first one. It is a missionary sermon, but not exclusively a foreign missionary one.