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a jumble of rich frieze ornaments and cornices in the place of simple brackets, and the elegant “ Chujja” (projecting eaves) and many other absurdities. In fact, Indian architecture in our day, is what ancient English, commonly called “ Gothic," was at the period of its decline in the reigns of Elizabeth, and Henry the eighth, nor has any great improvement in this respect taken place in our own time. Much may be attributed to want of knowledge and taste in design ; architects, thinking to make up for these defects, by loading the surface with minute ornamental detail ; also to false economy in stinting the extent and solidity of the structure ; indeed this is the first error, profuse ornament to cover the defect; the next, one which of itself defeats the great object, nay, acts in a reverse ratio. Minute ornament is highly expensive to execute, difficult to protect and to keep in repair, consequently not lasting ; therefore to be avoided.
The proportions of Indian buildings differ so greatly from those in European countries, that there is no one style, which would not to some degree require modification, and I see no reasonable objection, provided it be judiciously done.
To give effect to the exterior elevation of a building, domes and cupolas are essential, but these belong rather to Mahomedan works. The pyramidal roofs of Hindu, Jain and Budhist edifices are heavy, unless made of a costly description, and it must be remembered that we have no pure examples of early domestic buildings to guide us, therefore I entertain the opinion that the Puthan or early Mahomedan would be the best suited, not only from its near approach to the Hindu, but from its simplicity and consequent cheapness of execution, besides its admitting of wider latitude of design.
Were sufficient funds available in any instance, a magnificent edifice in purely Hindu form, could be designed with slight modification of the size of the doors and windows.
Of the Badshahi or later Mogul works, we have so many fine examples, that were funds available there would be nothing to prevent the carrying out of designs which for grandeur would even exceed them, provided good ones be forthcoming. I need hardly add that for this, a thorough knowledge of the subject is essential, which can only be attained by a patient examination of the proportions of the buildings themselves and of their component parts.
In conclusion I would dwell on the fact of their having been regular rules, by which the architects and masons were guided ; every part and moulding had its particular name and proportion one towards the other, and the fine combinations we observe were not the result chance as too often advanced, but of careful design and excellent taste. 30th March, 1847.
From the Rev. J. Long forwarding an account of the Temple of Triveni near Hooghly, by David Money, Esq. C. S.
The Secretaries submitted on the part of the Committee of Papers
A report by Dr. Roer on the proposed publication of the Vedas, favorably supported by the Oriental Section. The Committee propose that the report be adopted—the publication of the Vedas forthwith commenced, on the responsibility of the Oriental Section—that Dr. Roer be appointed Editor, subject to the condition of his submitting proofs of the work, both text and commentary, to the Oriental Section, without whose “imprimatur” no portion should be finally sent to press,-further, that the Oriental Section be solicited to favour the Society from time to time with their opinion as to the progress of the work with the view to the subsequent remuneration of Dr. Roer's labours as editor thereof.
It was agreed, that the Report and illustrative documents be printed and circulated to resident members, and the subject discussed at the next meeting
The Committee submit two propositions by Capt. Kittoe.
Military Members, (Subalterns.)— There are many young officers in the service who would be proud to be considered members of our Society, but can by no means afford the expense. I propose that Subalterns should be admitted upon a reduced (half) monthly subscription, and that they should be excused the entrance donation, binding themselves however to pay the same upon promotion or upon their succeeding to staff employ, general or regimental, after which they will pay the full subscription or retire.
I am confident that by such an arrangement lights would be drawn from under their bushels, and that many would be induced to exertion, for which there is at present no encouragement.
MOHUNT or Bodh GYAH.
In return for the civility and attention shown to me in my labours at Bodh Gyah, and with a view to encourage him and his monks to give further aid I propose that through me the Society should present the Mohunt with a copy of the Mahabharut neatly bound.
The first proposition the Committee are not prepared to recommend under the present circumstances in which the financial affairs of the Society are placed.--(Decided accordingly).
The second proposal they submit for the sanction of the Society.-(Agreed unanimously).
The Committee have received an application from Mr. Hendrie for the payment of Co.'s Rs. 100, for sundry lithographs stated to have been executed by order of Mr. Blyth. The sketches are good, the charge moderate, and the artist cannot afford to suffer loss by his labour ; on these grounds the Committee recommend that the bill be paid, but they desire to record their opinion of the inexpediency of any officer of the Society incurring such expenses without due sanction.(Agreed accordingly).
The Rev. Dr. Hæberlin, a member of the Committee of Papers, being frequently absent from Calcutta, the Committee recommend that Baboo Debendernath Tagore, be appointed a member of the Committee in Mr. Hæberlin's place.
This proposition gave rise to some discussion, Major Marshall insisting that it amounted to the expulsion of Dr. Hæberlin, while the VicePresident and Secretaries declared the sole object of the proposition was as stated, to obtain an efficient colleague constantly at the Presidency and competent to advise the Society on questions connected with Sanscrit literature. The Rev. Mr. Long being referred to, as Dr. Hæberlin's most intimate friend present, said that he was likely to be very often absent. The question having been put to the vote was negatived, the majority of the members present not voting. *
Copies were submitted of 4 coloured plates executed for the Journal, by Mr. Bennet, in illustration of Mr. Hodgson's papers on the Ovis Ammonoides, and Procapra Picticaudata, at the cost of Rs. 226 for 4 sets, each of 550 copies : payment of the amount was sanctioned accordingly.
The Committee submitted without comment a further claim by Mrs. Ballin, for Co.'s Rs. 563, 4, for printing 14 sets of the “ Burnes” draw;ngs, work stated to have been executed many months since and which was it appears duly authorized by the regular officers of the Society. Bill directed to be paid. The Committee further submitted the cash vouchers and accounts of the total expenditure on the Burnes’ and Cantor drawings.
• Dr. Hæberlin has since written from Dacca confirming Mr. Long's statement in every respect and requesting to have has name removed from the Committee.-Sers.
Read the annexed extracts from a letter from M. E. Gibelin, Procureur du Roi a Pondicherry, communicated by Mr. Piddington.
Pondichéry, 24 Février, 1847. Monsieur,—Quoique je n'aie pas l'avantage d'être connu de vous, vous avez mis tant d'obligeance à me rendre un service qui vous était demandé pour moi, que je ne puis tarder davantage à vous en adresser tous mes remerci
Pour que vous puissiez juger de l'application que je fais de mes recherches sur la législation hindoue, recherches que vous avez aidées si gracieusement de votre concours, j'ai l'honneur de vous adresser, par le paquebot à vapeur de Madras, un éxemplaire d'un premier volume d'Etudes sur le droit hindou, volume dont l'impression vient à peine d'être terminée. Je vous prie de l'accepter comme un témoignage de ma gratitude.
Dans une introduction que j'ai cru devoir placer en tête, j'ai cherché à réunir les principales traditions historiques qui constataient la filiation des peuples chez lesquels se rencontraient aussi les concordances les plus nombreuses et les plus frappantes entre les lois qui les gouvernent et les lois des Hindous.
Dans les Etudes qui suivent, j'ai cherché a établir, par la comparaison des textes, ces mêmes concordances législatives. Mon but a été, par ces rapprochements, de faire mieux apprécier la loi primitive que nous avons à appliquer ici chiaque jour, de mieux pénétrer son esprit, et de pouvoir la discuter alors, avec cette connaissance plus intime, comme nous discutons les lois de notre Europe, qui ne sont, ainsi que je crois avoir commencé à le démontrer, que les traditions de cette même loi.
Il y a donc dans mon travail, ou du moins c'est-ce que je me suis proposé, deux objets distincts, l'un d'études historiques, l'autre d'études pratiques ou d'application journalière. Suis-je parvenu, de prés ou de loin, à m'approcher du but que je désirais atteindre ? C'est-ce que je vous prierais de vouloir bien examiner, Je m'estimerais heureux si vous aviez la complaisance de vous en expliquer franchement avec moi. J'ai encore une route assez longue à parcourir : je puis rectifier des erreurs, modifier des méthodes défectuenses. Aidé de l'expérience, des lumières d'hommes plus versés que moi dans la connaissance des lois du pays, je puis améliorer mon quvre en la terminant.
Il aurait été bien avantageux pour moi, si j'avais pu m'étayer de tout ce que vos grands Jurisconsultes, les William Jones, les Colebrooke, ont laissé consigné dans les intéressants recueils de vos Recherches Asiatiques. Peutêtre me sera-t-il permis quelque jour, d'aller consulter, à Calcutta méme, et leurs écrits et leurs dignes successeurs, dépositoires et continuateurs de leur
science. En attendant, .... veuillez agréer l'expression des sentiments de haute considération, avec lesquels je suis,
(Signed) E. GIBELIN, Procureur géneral, Chef de l'administration de la Justice à Pondichéry. Mr. Piddington stated in reference to the highly interesting work of Mr. Gibelin noticed in the presentation, that while Sub-Secretary he had furnished that gentleman at his request and expense with copies of some rare Sanscrit works.
Zoological Department. Mr. Piddington read the subjoined note, giving An account of a Volcanic Island off the Coast of Coromandel, from the
Annual Register, Vol. Ist, 1758. I find the following highly curious paper in the Annual Register, and it has undoubtedly escaped the notice of all the writers on Indian and on general Geology, though clearly allied to the phenomena of the same kind which have appeared in the western hemisphere as Sabrina off the Azores, and Graham's Island in the Mediterranean, in our own days. The time at which it occurred is also remarkable as being the epoch which from the great earthquake at Lisbon in 1755, to 1767, may be called an earthquake epoch all over the world.
As connected also with the Volcanic action on the opposite shores and islands of the Bay and within the Andaman sea, this last recorded eruption on the Indian shore is highly interesting. Capt. Halsted's account (in Vol. X. of the Journal) of the upheavment of Cheduba, would place that event in 1749 but we may not improbably surpose that his aged informant might have mistaken his age, as natives of the east usually do. There is no shoal now near enough to Pondicherry to allow us to suppose it the remains of this remarkable Island, and at three leagues distant from the coast there 40 or 50 fathoms are found, so that it may have easily subsided into deep water. The shoal scen by H. M. S. Melville (Goris Bank) was in a line joining Pondicherry and Chittagong, and a shoal noted on a chart in my possession which belonged to the late Mr. Greenlaw, as having been seen by an American ship, is close on the line joining Pondicherry and Cheduba. Both these may have been a partial upheavment in this line.