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which the relations are those of notions, that is to say, either excluded from each other, or contained in a higher one, but in the relation of cause and effect, and vice versa, which may certainly be expressed in a syllogism, but only in one kind of syllogism, viz. in a conditional one. That this error is not owing to the examples, but to the doctrine itself, is proved by Goutama's division of syllogisms, which are either passing from the cause to its effect, or consequent, passing from the effect to its cause, or from general notions. An inference of the first kind is, when rain is inferred from a collection of clouds, of the second, from the increase of water in a river to rain, of the third, from the notion of earth to the notion of a substance. This latter would indeed answer a rela. tion in the notions themselves, but it is of minor importance, and it has been even omitted in later treatises.
If even the nature of a syllogism be not expressed in its precise logical form by the Nyáya, we much less can expect to find here a complete enumeration of the various kinds of syllogisms. Goútama's division of syllogisms has been just adverted to, and it is hardly necessary to remark, that this division is not logical. In later treatises of the Nyáya syllogisms are divided into positive and negative ones, and from the examples given in illustration it appears, that the two-first syllogistical forms are represented by them; here, however, is their theory finished, and we find no trace of the different moods the syllogistical forms can enter into.
It is a remarkable circumstance, that the general form of a syllogism should have been found by the Hindus, and yet that they still should not have discovered the different forms and moods, the diversities of which are the result of a mere combination. This is the more remarkable, as in their philosophical arguing we almost invariably find a syllogism expressed in an enthymematical form, where the conclusion and the terminus medius are given, by which the force of an argument is not only forthwith apparent, but even a certain elegance produced, and this even without referring to an instance. We think, that this deficiency was the consequence of two causes especially—first, they were unable to disengage themselves from the grammatical forms in which human ideas are expressed, as shown by their technical logical language, which though as precise as possible, is not clear but cumbrous and not comprehensive, and secondly, from their pious regard for every thing traditional, be it in political institutions, in religion, or in science. The Sútras, in which their ancient systems are expressed, have always re. mained text-books, and any discovery that had been made in theory, did not prompt them to attempt a new exposition of science, but gave only occasion to a new interpretation of the ancient doctrines of the school.
A comparison between the logic of Aristotle and that of the Hindus would be neither interesting nor instructive, and we therefore beg to decline it. With the Hindus, logic is a first attempt, marked with the vestiges of rude workmanship and conception, while with Aristotle it springs forth perfect at once.
The Bhasha Parichéda itself is considered as a text-book in the Brahminical schools. There is no Pundit of any repute who does not know it well, and many know the whole work by-heart. And indeed it is admirably adapted for the purpose of introduction into the study of the Nyáya and Vaishéshika philosophies. It is a succinct exposition of the principal topics of the whole system, and may easily be committed to memory. It is written in the well-known Anustabh Slókas. The style, however, is not poetical at all, but that of the most sober prose, and nowhere is the attempt made to combine the graces of imagination with philosophical method. The language is as simple as possible, and vastly different from the language of the commentary, which is extremely difficult to understand, not only because it expresses the simplest ideas in the most abstruse language, but also selects terms, which either belong to the Nyáya philosophy alone, or have a different sense in other systems. The difficulties a European first experiences in understanding a work of this school, are less in the subject than in the mode, in which it is treated, so remote from European ideas, and in fact it is only by tracing the connexion of all the ideas that any one will be able thoroughly to understand it. The commentary is certainly a valuable assistant to the understanding of the work, and I have made ample use of it for the interpretation of passages, which I generally did through the very words of the commentary.
The course followed in the work, is very simple. The author gives first the leading ideas of the system, that is, the highest metaphysical notions, which are gradually to be explained in his work. These are the notions of substance, quality, action, generality, (class) particularity, (species) intimate union and negation,
He then enumerates the various substances, qualities, actions, etc., after which he explains the properties, common to all categories, and then those, common to more or less of them. After this exposition the different substances in their relations to themselves and to other substances as well as to their qualities and actions are explained.
In the same way the author discusses the qualities of the substances, and his work is finished, when he has treated on the last quality, enumerated at the commencement of his treatise. The other categories are not especially inquired into, which indeed was not necessary, as they are dependent upon substances, qualities and actions, and their applications have been fully given, whenever the relations of the categories required it.
The first edition of the Sanscrit text of the Bhásha Parichéda appeared in 1827, under the auspices of the Committee of Public Instruction. The Sanscrit text in Bengalee characters was sometime afterwards reprinted with the addition of a Bengalee translation of the text, as well as of the commentary, of this latter, however, with considerable alterations. On the merits of the Bengalee translation I am unable to express an opinion, as I saw this edition but once, and did afterwards not succeed in getting a copy of it. The translation, which I offer to the public, is made as literal as the idiom of the English language would admit, and although it was my endeavour strictly to adhere to the English idiom, I was sometimes forced slightly to deviate from it, in order to convey more precisely the meaning of the original.
In conclusion, I cannot omit gratefully to acknowledge the liberality of the Asiatic Society, which enabled me to add the Sanscrit original to the translation. This text is a mere reprint from the Calcutta edition, free, however, from the few errata found there. There is no manuscript of this work in the Library of the Asiatic Society with which I could have compared the Calcutta edition. I believe, however, that such a comparison would have been quite unnecessary, as an incorrectness of the text must disclose itself in a philosophical work like this by the want of connexion, and can therefore be easily rectified.
(To be continued)
Memoranda on Explosive Cotton, by W. B. O'SHAUGHNESSY, M. D.,
F. R. S., Co-Secretary, Asiatic Society of Bengal. Having been permitted to publish the results of some experiments which I have recently conducted by order of Government, with the object of testing the value of explosive cotton for Military purposes, I trust the details I proceed to submit may not be altogether devoid of interest.
Soon after the first accounts arrived from home regarding Schoenbein's discovery of the new explosive, a small portion of his preparation was received in Calcutta, of which from two sources I obtained altogether about a grain in weight. There was at the same time received from Professor Schoenbein a kind of paper, perfectly transparent and colourless, the preparation of which was believed to be in some manner connected with that of the explosive cotton.
Minute as was the quantity of the cotton I received, it was still sufficient to afford a clue to the nature of the preparation. A particle exploded over mercury in a glass tube, disappeared without residuum --and gave a transparent and colourless gas, but slightly soluble in water and giving red fumes by mixture with common air, and a whitish precipitate when agitated with lime water. The microscope further showed that the structure of the cotton was unaltered by the preparation it underwent. This was sufficient to prove that the explosive cotton contained nitrogen-and rendered it probable that it might be prepared by the action of nitric acid on the vegetable fibre. It recalled to mind too the experiments made by Pelouze in 1833, who found that paper immersed for a moment in the strongest nitric acid, then thoroughly washed with distilled water and dried, became exceedingly inflammable, being transformed into a substance which he named Xyloidine.
Working upon these data, I succeeded late in December, in preparing an explosive cotton, and about the same time my friend Mr. Siddons, by independent experiments, arrived at the same result.
That the explosive cotton we prepared is identical with Schoenbein's, seems to be proved by the following circumstances. 1. On microscopic examination there is no perceptible difference of structure. 2. On explosion they yield the same gaseons mixture-and lastly, by immersing the best kind of the Calcutta cotton, in pure sulphuric ether, it is dissolved and the solution evaporated spontaneously on a flat surface, affords a transparent, colourless, glass-like paper, exactly the same in appearance and properties as that which accompanied the specimen of Schoenbein's cotton sent to Calcutta.
Reserving for a moment the description of the process followed by Mr. Siddons and myself, as soon as a sufficient supply was obtained for analytical experiments, I ascertained that the cotton which in its natural state is a compound of carbon, and the elements of water, had by immersion in a mixture of equal measures of strongest nitric and sulphuric acids, parted with its constituent water, and that in the place of this had been substituted one of the series of Nitrogen and Oxygen compounds. The use of the sulphuric acid is simply by its powerful affinity for water to withdraw this from the carbon of the cotton; no portion of this acid or its constituents enters into the composition of the new explosive compound. Ultimately the explosive cotton was found to be a compound of Nitrogen, Carbon, and Oxygen, isomeric with (or of being the same ingredients and proportions as) the old and well known fulminic or cyanic acid, the active principle of the fulminating silver, mercury, &c. But here as in many other isomeric compounds, numerous differences in properties became manifest, depending chiefly on the mechanical structure of the different forms of the preparation. I have not as yet completed to my own satisfaction a sufficient number of exact analyses to warrant my expressing the results in figures, but the numerous facts which I have observed, tend to the conclusion that all the isomeric varieties of cyanic acid are represented in the explosive cotton, passing into each other under the influence of slight and often inappreciable circumstances, the general event being the formation of a substance bearing a close resemblance to Cyamelide (C. 2.0.2 + N. II.) being white, neutral, insoluble in water and acids, dissolved in aqua Potassii ammonia being set free, yielding sulphate of ammonia when heated with strong sulphuric acid while carbonic acid escapes. This description applies equally to Cyamelide and to the best explosive cotton. (See Gregory's Organic Chemistry,
Without entering upon elaborate chemical details unsuited to the object of this paper, it will suffice to say that we found the prepared cotton to be increased in weight by 20 per 100, insoluble in water, unchang