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Dr. ATH or PRof Essor LANGLES. Louis Mathieu Langlès, the celebrated orientalist, died at Paris on the 28th Jan. He was born near Montdidier, in the year 1764, of an ancient and reputable family. After finishing a liberal education at Paris, he obtained the consent of his father to study the oriental languages, in order to qualify himself for a diplomatic, or military post in India. He commenced with the Persian and Arabic languages, in which he had made considerable progress, when he was advised to study the Mantchou ; and such was his genius and his industry, that in a short time he surmounted all the difficulties which opposed him; and in 1787, he published a memoir on the writings of Mantchous, entitled Alphabet Mantchou. It was the first work in this language printed with moveable types, which were engraved and cast by the celebrated Firmin Didot. Previously to publishing the Alphabet Mantchou, M. Langlès translated the Political and Military Institutes of Tamerlane from the original Persian into French. The work had previously appeared in English, but he was never suspected of having had recourse to such aid; and we have reason to believe that, at that time, it was easier for M. Langlès to translate from the Persian than from the English. In the year 1788, he was enabled to give to the world the first volume of his Dictionnaire . Mantchou-Français. Three other volumes from his pen, in the same year, afford an astonishing proof of his industry and genius, viz. Contes, Fables et Sentences, translated from various Arabian and Persian authors; Ambassades réciproques d'un Roi des Indées, de la Perse, &c., et d'un Empereur de la Chine, translated from the Persian of Abdoul. Rizar, of Samarund, with memoirs of those two sovereigns; and Précis Historique sur les Mahrattes, translated from the original Persian, When thcrevolution broke out in France, M. Langlès relinquished all idea of going
out to India, although he did not on that account abandon his oriental studies. About the same time he published Fables et Contes Indiens, with an essay on the literature, religion, and manners of the Hindoos: the first part of the Hitopadès, or prototype of the Fables of Pilpay, appeared in this volume. In the same year the author published the second volume of his Dictionnaire Mantchou-Français. Fortunately for M. Langlès, he survived the storm of revolution, in which millions perished. In 1792 he was appointed to be the keeper of the Oriental MSS. in the National Library, and he was at the same time elected a member of the Committee of the Arts, which was so instrumental in saving the greater part of the objects of art, science, and literature, that had escaped the first burst of revolutionary frenzy. He was appointed to the section of Bibliography, and, in his official capacity, contributed powerfully to preserve the National Library from democratic fury, which was continually directed against this establishment, in order to destroy the cover of every book, if not the book itself, that bore an emblem or vestige of royalty. Some of these M. Langlès concealed from the knowledge of M. Belissent, who, from astrolling player, had become conservatorgeneral of the National Library. An innocent devise was adopted, in order to preserve such books as he could not withdraw, by pasting labels over the lettered titles, with the names of such authors as he knew the modern Vandals would respect. In 1795 he published a new edition of the works of Pallas, with numerous notes; a new edition of the Travels of Norden in Egypt and Nubia, with notes, and several original memoirs on the canal of Suez, the Pyramids, the Sphinx, Alexandria, &c.; he at the same time published the Travels from India to Mecca of Abdoul Keryen, a Mussulman pilgrim, who accompanied Thamas Kooli Khan to India: this volume formed the first part of a work he afterwards finished, in five volumes, entitled Collection Portative de Voyages, translated from different oriental and European languages. He soon afterwards published a new translation, from the Arabic, of the Travels of Sinbad the Sailor, with valuable notes on the original text. On the formation of the French Institute, M. Langlès was chosen Member of the Committee of Literary Labours, when he communicated many valuable articles, among which were, 1. Fragments of the Code of Ghengis Khan, preserved by Myrkoud. 2. A Collection of Letters written in Arabic and Turkish, by different Oriental Princes, between the years 1304 and 1517. 3. Historical Description of the Canal of Suez, taken from the grand work of Egypt, by Almacryzy. 4. Notice on the Mantchou Ritual, with ten plates, representing sixty-five instruments of Chamanic worship. 5. A Chronological Table of the Rising of the Nile, containing the most remarkable between the years 614 and 1517. All these articles are accompanied by the original texts in Arabic, Persian, Mantchou, &c., as well as his Dissertation on the Paper Moneys of the Orientals. He also attempted, in concert with Messrs. Camus and Baudin, to revive the Journal des Savans; but the continuation only existed six months. In addition to these papers, M. Langlès furnished several articles for the Magazin Encyclopédique, and published a translation of the catalogue of the Sanscrit MSS. in the then Imperial Library, and a beautiful little volume, which exhibits an exquisite specimen of oriental typography, entitled Researches on the Otto of Roses. In this work, which was originally intended as a note to the French translation of the first two volumes of the Asiatic Researches, M. Langlès proves that this celebrated perfume was discovered by accident, no further back than 1612. M. Langlès was afterwards employed to superintend a new edition of Chardin's Travels in Persia, to which he added upwards of two thousand notes, and prefixed a chronological history of Persia, from the earliest period to the year 1806. M. Langlès has been a liberal contributor to most of the literary journals of merit in France for many years. He also furnished the oriental articles for the Biographie Universelle of Michaud. His last work was the Ancient and Modern Monuments of Hindoostan: it is a treatise of immense labour and research, and was several years in publishing. It was not, however, to oriental languages alone that the acquirements of M. Langlès were confined: he was a perfect master of the dead, and of most of the European languages, particularly German, Italian, and English. At one of the sittings of the National Institute, M. Langlès read a memoir pro
ductive of the most important results: this was no less than the expedition of Egypt. M. Langlès demonstrated in such glowing colours the possibility of opening a passage to India through Egypt, and thereby striking a death-blow at British supremacy in the East, that General Buonaparte, who was present, immediately after the sittings, asked the academician for his memoir, pressed him with questions on different points, and from that time turned his whole attention to the conquest of Egypt. He wished M. Langlès to accompany the expedition, and, on his declining it, Buonaparte threatened him with imperative orders from the Directory: M. L. replied, “Citizen general, this threat would alone determine me to refuse. The Directory can deprive me of my place, but no power can compel me to accompany you to Egypt.” Buonaparte never forgave this, and, though he felt M. L. was too precious an acquisition to replace him, yet in the abundant showers of imperial favours, not a drop ever lighted on the head of Professor Langlès.
M. Langlès was Knight of the Imperial Order of St. Waldimir, Member of the Royal Institute of France, Honorary Member of the Asiatic Society of Calcutta, Keeper of the Oriental Manuscripts in the King's Library, Principal of the Royal School of Oriental Living Languages, Persian Professor of the same School, President of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of France, Member of the Royal Academies of Gottingen, Munich, &c., and Correspondent of the Royal Institute of the kingdom of the Low Countries.
The Rivrn EuphraTEs. On Wednesday, February 4th, a very interesting communication was read before the Royal Society of Literature; viz. Observations on the River Euphrates, by Sir Wm. Ousely. This brief paper must have been the work of much studious labour as well as active inquiry. To trace the “Mighty Euphrates” historically and geographically from its source in Armenia to its mouth in the Persian Gulf, was a task which few writers were competent to accomplish. We are sorry we can only give a rough outline of Sir William's excellent memoir, derived, as it appears to have been, from extensive reading, both of European and Asiatic modern and ancient authorities, and personal observation : connected with the last-mentioned qualification, the details were peculiarly attractive. In journeying from Persia to Constantinople, through Armenia, Sir W. O. stopped on the Euphrates at Satan's Valley (so called from abounding in scorpions and noxious creatures), a spot of verdure and beauty Here he swam across the river, and found it to be from three to six feet in depth, broad, winding, and rapid, over a stony and rugged bed." During his travel along its channel, especially during the last twenty, of seventy miles, he remarked that it flowed between steep rocky banks, finely clothed with wood, and displaying such willow trees as are described in that melancholy strain of the Hebrew captivity, where they paint their griefs in suspending their harps, and weeping while they thought on Jerusalem. In its course the river utters a loud and hollow noise; the effect of which is increased by the silence prevailing around. The Euphrates was styled “great" by ancient authors, and also emphatically, “The River,” (Hebrew Book of Joshua, Greek Apocalypse of St. John, Lucan, &c.); and several of its appellations serve to mark it as consisting of several streams, and to have been cut into artificial canals. The etymology of the word Euphrates is unknown—especially of the prefix Eu. Probably the root is the Hebrew Frat or Perath,f by some derived from farrah, to be, or to render fruitful. This, however, seems fanciful. Sir W. Ouseley took admirable means to elucidate his subject: he directed his inquiry towards the source of the river in Armenia, and endeavoured to ascertain what name it had borne and continued to bear in that region. The highest period at which he could arrive was the fifth century, when Moses of Chorene, in his history of Armenia, calls it Ephrat, or Efrat; very slightly differing from the Greek. At the present day, many Armenians and Turks upon its banks, pronounce it as written in Arabic, Frát, or Forát, sometimes softened into Forád, and sometimes with the first letter changed into a mingled sound of M and V. To this corrupt and curious pronunciation may, perhaps, be ascribed the name of Morád, bestowed by some modern geographers on a second branch, though Ptolemy has not distinguished one branch from the other by any particular name. The concluding portion of the essay excited much attention, and charmed both by its erudition and condensed information on a subject of universal interest—the site of the terrestrial paradise, of which
* Lower down towards Babylon and the Plain of Shinaar it deposits a deep alluvial soil, and its bottom is mud and slime.
t. The famous Persian poet. Firdausi, in his Sháhrámeh, where he relates the history of Queen Humai, calls it “dh i Porát :” this was nearly 800 wears ago. By-the-bye, this listory strongly resembles that of Moses. Queen Hundai, the mother of Darab, and grandmother of the Darius vanquished by Alexander, to avoid a prophecy, that her son would deprive her of the crown, caused the child to be put in a wooden box, or ark, with fire linen, gold, and jewels, and, while he slept, her servants (Firdausi re. lates) '' took away the ark at midnight, not one of them opening his lips to the other,-they took it hastily from the presence of Hunai, and cast it into thcriver Euphrases—ao i Furut.”
the four rivers were, the Pison, Gihon, Hiddekel, and Phrath, of Moses. There are a multitude of hypotheses on this point, of which we instance a few : 1st. The Garden of Eden existed between that place where the Euphrates and Tigris unite their streams, and the spot where now stands the city of Basrah.— [Huet, Bishop of Avranches; Dr. Wells; &c. &c.] 2. In Armenia, among the fountains of the four rivers, Phasis, Araxis, Tigris, and Euphrates.—[Reland's Dissert. de Parad. Terrest. &c.) 3. Near a town called Edneissar (in lat 41, and between 72 and 73 long.), at the foot of the mountain on which has been erected the city of Mardin.—[Father Angelo, who travelled in Asia between the years 1664 and 1678, and describes this situation, as being called in Turkish “the thousand fountains;” whence, says he, issue the four rivers, Tigris, Euphrates, Kouksou, or Bluewater, and Nahar-gilics, or Sword-river; which two latter, equivalent to the Gihon and Pison, fall respectively into the two ‘.... } 4. In the territory of Canaan, Palestine, or the Holy-Land. 5. Near Damascus in Syria. 6. On the tract now covered by the Caspian Sea. 7. In Egypt. 8. In the Island of Ceylon, or Scrandib. Besides these various conjectures, each of which has had its advocates, it has been maintained by others, that the terrestrial paradise was on the banks of the Ganges, under the Equator in Africa, in Europe, and even in America. And even beyond this, Huet tells us, “ There have been some who would place Paradise in the third or fourth heaven; in the heaven of the moon; in the moon itself; in a mountain adjoining the lunar heaven; in the middle region of the air,” &c. &c. The Mohammedans confound it with their bowers of bliss; and the Jewish Rabbis have held that it reached to the seventh heaven, where the four rivers were of milk, wine, balsam, and honey. Sir W. Ouseley, with all his intelligence, does not presume to determine which is rightLiterary Gazette.
Igombay Litersary society. A Meeting of the Literary Society of Bombay was held at their rooms on Wedmesday last, which was attended by the following gentlemen: President, the Hon. M. Elphinstone. Vice-President, the Ven. the Archdeacon. Mr. Wedderbury, Mr. Gordon, Mr. Henderson, Lt. Col. H. Blair, Mr. Farish, Mr. Kemball, Mr. Norris, Mr. McLeod, Capt. Bruce, Dr. Sproule,
Mr. J. R. Stuart, Dr. Brydon, Mr. Ritchie, Mr. G. Noton, Mr. Bruce, Mr. Arbuthnot, Secretary, Major Kennedy. After the usual business of the Meeting had been gone through, the Honourable the President adverted to the very important benefits which the Society had derived from the well known qualifications and abilities of Mr. Erskine, one of the Vice-Presidents lately returned to England, and from his unwearied attention to promote its prosperity; and proposed that the following letter of thanks should, in consequence, be addressed to Mr. Erskine. The motion having been seconded by the Wenerable the Archdeacon, in a short, but impressive speech, it was unanimously resolved that the proposed letter shall be ould by the Secretary to Mr. ErsIlle. To W. Erskine, Esq., Vice-President of the Bombay Literary Society. SIR: Your unexpected return to your native country has prevented the Literary Society of Bombay from expressing to you, previous to your departure, the high sense that it entertains of the important benefits which you have conferred on it. One of the original members by whom it was instituted in 1804, you became the secretary; and it is to your unremitting and judicious exertions in that situation, to which the formation and prosperity of the Society must be principally ascribed. The kindness, also, with which you have assistcd in preparing its Transactions for the press, and in contributing to them papers so distinguished by their learning, research, and elegance of style, have given to that work an interest and a value which it would not otherwise have possessed : but not in these respects alone has your influence proved beneficial to literature. For your intimate acquaintance with classical, modern, and oriental literature, your sound judgment, and your correct and cultivated taste, have enabled you to afford to others that information which is so often requisite in this country, and to point out to them the studies and pursuits to which their attention might be most advantageously directed. The readiness, at the same time, and indulgence with which such assistance has always been given, can only be equalled by the unassuming manner and the urbanity with which opinions, the most instructive, were invariably communicated. That the loss of a person distinguished by such eminent qualifications and abilities can ever be replaced is scarcely to be expected. But the regret which the So
ciety experiences on this occasion, is diminished by the hope that the interests of literature will be materially promoted by your now being relieved from the interruptions of official business. That, then, your constitution may be re-invigorated by your return to your native country, and that you may enjoy undisturbed happiness for many years in the bosom of your family, and in the solace of literary pursuits, are the sincere wishes of a society, by whom you will ever be remembered, with sentiments of the truest respect and esteein. I have the honour to be, &c. VAN's KENNEDY.
July 30th 1823. Sec. Bombay Lit. Soc.
It was further unanimously resolved, on the motion of the Venerable the Archdeacon, seconded by Mr. J. R. Steuart, that Mr. Erskine shall be requested to sit for his picture on his arrival in England, at the expense of the society, for the purpose of its being placed in the rooms of the society.—[Bombay Gaz. Aug. 6.
sie RRA LEONE. An Agricultural Society has been established at Sierra Leone, and an extensive tract of land, in the province of Hastings, is devoted to experiments, with cotton, ginger, pepper, and indigo, which grow wild. The roads opened into the interior have conducted native traders to Freetown; and, instead of cofilahs of slaves, caravans of gold merchants now visit that place. One of the richest ever known in the colony lately arrived from Melicouri, and the trade with the interior increases daily. The number of stone houses in I’reetown is 107, and twelve more are in progress.-[British and Colonial Weekly Register. LINNEAN society. A meeting of this society was held on the 4th November. Among the presents then on the table, were specimens of eighty-five species of birds sent from India, by Maj. Gen. Hardwicke, F.R.S. and F.L.S., comprising many rare and several new species; and with them was a curious species of musk rat; and also the head of Antilope Quadricornis, the Chikara of Bengal, a notice of Gen. Hardwicke's description of which was read before the society on the 17th of June last. At a meeting also held on the 3d December, the following communication was read:—“Descriptions of nine new species of the Genus Caver, natives of the Himalaya Alps in Upper Nepaul;” by Mr. David Don, librarian to the Linnean Society. These Cavices were sent to A. B. Lambert, Esq., W. P. L.S., by Dr. Wallich; they bear a greater resemblance to the European than to the American species. Mr. Don, in describing them, has taken for his model the Bishop of Carlisle's Monograph of the British Species in Vol. XI. of the Linnean Transactions.
crological society. At a meeting of this society, held on the 7th November, a notice was read, containing, “An Analysis of the Alumi
nate of St. Helena,” by Dr. Wilkinson, of Bath; communicated by Colonel Wilks, M.G.S.
At a meeting also held on the 5th December, a paper was read, entitled “Remarks on the Geology of Siam and Cochin-China, and certain Islands in the Indian Archipelago, and Ports of the adjacent Continent,” by John Crawford, Esq. M.G.S.
The Hindoostanee Interpreter; containing the Rudiments of Hindoostanee Grammar, an extensive Vocabulary, &c. By W. C. Smyth, Esq. 8vo. 10s. 6d.
A Treatise on the Circular Zodiac of Tentyra in Egypt. By Mr. John Cole, Purser in the Royal Navy.
New P'ocal Music.—“The East-Indian,” a Ballad, by Thos. Moore, price 2s.; and “Ah! would I were in Araby,” a Song, composed by Charles Smith, price ls. 6d.
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A Letter to the Right Hon. C. W. W. Wynn, President of the Board of Control, &c. &c. on the Latest Resources of India. By John Wheatley, Esq., of the Calcutta Bar.
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