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The acting Secretaries have this day the honour to submit to the Asiatic Society, and to the Subscribers to the Journal so long connected with that Institution, the first number of a new series.
On the sudden departure of the late inestimable Secretary, Mr. JAMES PRINSEP, much difficulty arose as to the continuation of the Journal, he so long and so admirably managed. While no member of our Society could lay claim to Mr. Prinsep's universality of attainments, or presume to enter, without self-distrust, on even a portion of his pursuits, almost all were already over-burthened by official or professional duties. Some were deterred, moreover, by the considerable pecuniary risk which the management of the Journal involved. Under such circumstances it was arranged that the Rev. Professor MALAN, of Bishop's College, in association with Dr. O'SHAUGHNESSY, should continue the Journal at the risk of the latter. But this plan was defeated in limine by the illness of Mr. Malan, and the necessity of his proceeding to the Cape.
Mr. J. C. C. SUTHERLAND having been appointed to act as Joint-Secretary with Dr. O'Shaughnessy, during Mr. Malan's absence, has consented, however, to under
take the management of the part of the Journal devoted to Oriental literature and antiquities. On his colleague will devolve the supervision and arrangement of matters relative to Natural History and General Science. The Editors propose no alteration in the plan of the work. It will be their constant aim to imitate Mr. Prinsep in the discharge of their editorial duties. It will be their indescribable pride, should they succeed in sustaining the high rank to which he elevated his Journal among the most distinguished periodicals of the day.
But the Editors have no desire to conceal their apprehensions of the possible failure of this attempt. Both may without affectation describe themselves as men having a full share of responsible occupation. The hours of a scanty leisure are all they can assign to this new care, nor have they in themselves the inexhaustible resources which enabled Mr. Prinsep to fill up so perfectly, whatever deficiency any department of the Journal might experience. Thus circumstanced, they would fain call on the Members of the Asiatic Society, for the good name of that respected body, as well as for the public utility, to exert themselves to support, nay to preserve, this Journal. Such exertion will be the best token of respect and gratitude to Mr. Prinsep-a feeling in itself enough to induce all to contribute their contingents, however trifling, in furtherance of the pursuits, which under the constant patronage of the Asiatic Society, he cultivated with such extraordinary success.
The Editors have pleasure in stating, that in the important departments of Oriental Geography, Modern
Dialects, Statistics, and Natural History, they are already amply supplied with most valuable materials. To Colonel STACY and his gallant companions with the Army of the Indus, they look with confidence for numerous contributions in the History and Numismatology of the interesting countries on the route of the Candahar expedition. In fine, the Editors entertain sanguine hopes of still preserving the "Journal" for the Society, and the Public, provided the old contributors participate in some degree in their anxiety to accomplish this object. As a claim on the co-operation of those who have hitherto been so instrumental in maintaining the character of this Periodical, the responsible Editor assures the Subscribers that any pecuniary returns which may exceed the expenses, will be devoted to increasing its bulk, improving its quality, and adding to the number of its illustrations. The Work is thus the property and benefit of a " Joint Stock Company," of which the Editors are but the honorary, though anxious servants.
Contributors are deemed entitled to 50 copies of their papers, which will be forwarded, bearing postage, by letter or banghy dâk wherever they direct. Copies of the Journal are dispatched by each Overland Mail to the leading Periodicals in Europe and America.
THE ASIATIC SOCIETY.
No. 85.-JANUARY, 1839.
ART. L-A Grammar of the Pashtoo, or Afghánee Language. By LIEUT. R. LEACH, Bombay Engineers, Assistant on a Mission.
To the Secretary to the Asiatic Society.
SIR,-I am directed by the Honorable the President in Council to forward to you the accompanying Grammar of the Pashtoo or Afghán Language, compiled by Lieutenant Leach, for such notice as the Society may deem it to merit.
2. I am further directed to request that the Grammar in question may be returned when no longer required.
I have the honor to be,
Your most obedient humble servant,
H. T. PRINSEP,
Secy. to the Govt. of India.
Fort William, 20th Feb. 1839.
This language is called Afghánee or Avghánee by Persians and other foreigners, and Pashtoo, Pukhtoo, and Pastoo, severally, by the Afgháns of Candhar, Peshawar, Teerai, and by the Afreedees, Khybeerees, &c. &c.
The language is decidedly of Sanscrit complexion, from the frequent occurrence of the jh and kgh; indeed these two letters with the Devnagary compose the peculiarity of the language.