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ASIATIC SOCIETY OF BENGAL,
Lieut.-Col. FORBEs, in the Chair.
The accounts and vouchers of the previous month were submitted as usual.
The following gentlemen were then duly elected members of the Society :
The Rev. S. Slater.
The Senior Secretary communicated the desire of Capt. Jas. Abbott, Boundary Commissioner, Punjab, to rejoin the Society from 1st January, 1847.
The following gentlemen were named as candidates for admission :
Capt. J. C. Hanyngton, 24th N. I. Dep. Com. Chota Nagpore, proposed by Lieut.-Col. Ousely, seconded by Capt. Kittoe.
Rev. James Thomson, proposed by Dr. O'Shaughnessy, seconded by Col. Forbes.
Geo. Udny, Esq. C. S., proposed by Lieut.-Col. Forbes, seconded by Dr. O'Shaughnessy.
R. Thwaites, Esq. Professor Hoogly College, proposed by Mr. Jones, seconded by Mr. Kerr.
M. E. Gibelin, Procureur du Roi a Pondicherry, proposed by Mr. Piddington, seconded by Mr. Laidlay.
J. R. Logan, Esq. Singapore, proposed by Dr. O'Shaughnessy, seconded by Mr. Laidlay.
James Stewart Blakie Scott, Esq.
Robt. Thomas, Esq. proposed by Mr. R. W. G. Frith, seconded by Mr. Laidlay.
(Mr. E. Ryan's name was withdrawn from the list of members at his own request.)
Read letters from Capt. Kittoe, forwarding specimens as follows.
To W. B. O'SHAUGHNESSY, Esq.
MY DEAR SIR,- I have the pleasure to send a few specimens as per list 4 Specimens sandstone. in the margin. They are trifling but may be useful I of Iron ore.
till better are supplied. 1 of yellow ochre. I Garnets ?
The black sand is that in which the gold is found 2 Rock at Ranchee. 1 Black sand of the Gold. wherever washed for in the south-western districts. 1 Plumbago?
The minute specimen resembling plumbago was found together with the sand by Major Armstrong in Singhboom.
The yellow oxide (or ochre) appears to be of a superior kind, and would probably fetch a good price in the English market for yellow paint.
Your's faithfully, 1st April, 1847.
From Capt. Jas. Abbott, giving a description of the process of manufacturing the Damask sword blades of Goojerat.
From Sec. to Sup. of Marine forwarding Meteorological Register for February, from Kyook Phyoo.
From B. Hodgson, Esq. forwarding a paper on the Tibetan Badger, Taxidea Leucurus, with plates.
Ditto on the Hispid Ilare of Bootan, (with plates.)
From Capt. James Abbott, enclosing a drawing of Sculptures dug from the site of the Indo-greek city of Bucephalia on the Hydaspes.
The above papers were directed to be published in the Journal.
From Syed Yar Ali, requesting patronage for a work entitled “The Ookburee” a commentary on Arabic poetry. (Referred to the Oriental Section.)
From Mr. Hodgson, applying for copies of the Tibetan Grammar and Dictionary of the late Csoma de Koros, for the use of a Native traveller and scholar ; offering payment for the same.
Resolved that the books be presented to Mr. Hodgson, with the Suciety's acknowledgments for the valuable contributions received from him this evening.
From Capt. Kittoe, forwarding volcanic specimens from mount Merope, on part of Col. Garstin, Bengal Engineers.
To W. B. O'SHAUGHNESSY, Esq. MY DEAR SIR,—I beg to forward herewith on the part of Col. Garstiu, Engineers, some specimens of substances ejected during the late eruption of Mount Merope in Java, also a piece of Lava from Vesuvius, in which a copper coin is embedded, having been thrown into it whilst in its heated state.
The three specimens from Merope are curious ; they are said to be different from what this volcano has hitherto been known to discharge.
The eruption took place on the 20 September last, (1846) commencing at 5 A. M. when it belched forth flames and smoke accompanied with a loud noise-at 6 a shower of ashes commenced falling and continued till midnight; the following day the eruption ceased and the mountain again became at rest.
Col. Garstin begs the Society's acceptance of the specimens. 28th March, 1847.
From Capt. Kittoe, forwarding notes on the Temples and Ruins of Domga.
Ditto on the Viharas of Behar.
Ditto on the caves of Barabar, and presenting various Budhist sculptures and inscriptions from Barabar—and on the part of Col. Ouseley an inscription from Mynpat.
It was further proposed by Capt. Kittoe, duly seconded and resolved,
That it should be observed as a rule henceforth that all inscriptious should be rendered in the vernacular, and together with a transcript of them in their original language be printed and a few copies presented on the part of the Society, through the contributors or other channel, to the zemindars, rajas, and priesthood at and near the locality whence obtained.
The following letter from Capt. Kittoe, having been mislaid by that gentleman was recorded for publication,
To W. B. O'SHAUGHNESSY Esq.
Senr. Secy. Asiatic Society, MY DEAR SIR,-Having now seen the supplementary number of the Journal of our Society, I beg to answer the call of members assembled at the May meeting, therein recorded, and offer my opinion on the suggestions of Mr. J. Muir, touching the subject of adopting Hindu and Jain Architecture in designing and building the new Colleges.
I am of opinion that the Hindu or the Budhist styles, could well be adopted; of the Jain, I can say nothing, not having met with any specimens, except what are given in Tod's work, and too indistinct to copy from; however I would offer a few remarks applicable to any order of architecture, Classic, Gothic, Saracenic, or Indian, &c.
It has ever appeared to me that those races who were sufficiently advanced in civilization to practise architecture and sculpture, had no doubt fixed rules for guidance in their designs; that each had marked pecularities, and striking dissimilarities, whlch had only been deviated from in later times, through various causes. The chief of these would seem to have been the result of international intercourse from conquest. The conquerors wishing to establish their own, but with imperfect means of instructing the conquered, who on their side were disinclined to part with their favorite forms.
The blending of one style with another, however skilfully performed and pleasing the effect to the eye of the multitude, is not to be lauded ;
something ever remains wanting, and offends that of men of taste, of many even who feeling defect to exist, could not point out in what particular ; hence I must differ from Mr. Muir, as to his proposal to collect and put together fragments such as those displayed in Tod's Rajastan ; indeed, the extreme richness of detail would alone render the copying them impracticable in these times of rigid economy and utilitarianism; we must then look to the most simple forms, of which we have an abundance close to Benares itself, (where one College is about to be built) without borrowing from Rajpootana. I allude to sundry fragments in the city and the vast ruins at Jounpoor appropriated by the Mahomedans in early times.
For “ Indo-Mahomedan” details my publication on that subject affords ample data ; a judicious application of them alone is all that is necessary. I however must here lament my past inability to complete what I began ; I intended to have classed each style or stage of this clever compound under a separate head to prevent the architect and builder making those displeasing jumbles of ornamental parts and of other features which are ever and anon perpetrated in the present day, in the works of native architects in particular, such as Saracenic arches springing from lean Corinthian shafts and capitals,