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of American reading. We are glad, however, to see that Yale College has a Professor of Sanskrit, who has given us, in the Journal of the American Oriental Society, a Memoir on Buddhism, superior to all that has ever issued from England on that subject. He shows an intimate acquaintance with the most authentic works relating to Buddhism, and considers that Budha, like Ram, Raghu, &c. was an historical character, born B. C. 543, near Oudh, a Kshetriya by race. Like Muhammad, devoted to meditation in his youth, and like him zealous to proselyte, he selected Oudh as his Mecca. The author also notices the three great Buddhist convocations, which sent Missionaries to all parts of Asia, selected from their ablest men. One of them, Mahindra, was the son of the great monarch Asoka. A daugłıter of Asoka, also, is said to have founded monastic institutions in Ceylon.
The excellent notice of Lassen's Antiquities of India, makes us regret that there are so few readers in India, who can understand or appreciate Lassen's researches; for he is doing for the Antiquities and Geography of India, what has been accomplished by Bopp for its Philology. He has done, indeed, what only German industry could effect
so nastered the 100,000 Sanskrit slokas of the Mahabharat, as to shed a flood of light on the state of India, both social and religious, previous to the days of Alexander.
The American Missionaries, of whom there are 234 scattered over the East, have nobly co-operated, both by their literary contributions, and donations of books, to the success of this Society. The papers in the Journal on Arabic Musical notes-on Arrakan-on the comparative Vocabularies of the principal Negro Dialects of Africamon the Zulu language—the translation of an imperial Barat, and the article on the present condition of the medical profession in Syria, are all written by Missionaries, and are creditable to their talents and industry. Men, who edit works in thirty-eight different languages, fourteen of which were written for the first time by them, are important auxiliaries to Orientalism.
The Society proposes submitting a series of questions on Oriental subjects to various American Residents and Missionaries in the East, , in order to elicit information, and direct enquiry to certain important points. This plan was adopted originally by the Bengal Asiatic Society in the form of desiderata. Another important object is " to promote the application of the study of classic authors to Oriental research.” At Oxford, in the classical examinations, questions are frequently proposed on the connection between the Sanskrit and Greek languages. We trust indeed, that the day is passing away, which restricted the classical studies of youth to Greek and Latin, as if they had been the only monuments of antiquity. Arabic and Sanskrit literature are now advancing their just claims to a share of attention : and the increased attention paid to Hebrew in schools and colleges, and the spirit of philosophical analysis, with which philological pursuits are conducted, will gradually lead to the study of the Eastern languages, as containing some of the noblest monuments of genius and the finest examples of acute thought. We cordially hail therefore the direction that our American friends are taking, and hope to see Oriental Societies flourishing far and wide in the land of Columbia.
Report on the Diamond Harbour Dock and Railway Company.
THIS report is of importance at the present juncture, when an electric telegraph has been constructed between Calcutta and Diamond Harbour. The report has been drawn up with great care and diligence by Mr. Simms. As it treats of a question deeply affecting the commercial interests of the great port of the Gangetic valley, and is probably in the hands of very few of our readers, we shall give a brief analysis of its contents.
The proposal to erect docks at Akra was rejected by Government : but, an English Company having brought forward the project of having docks at Diamond Harbour, Mr. Simms was ordered to report on it: and he has given his opinion decidedly in favour of selecting Diamond Harbour. Comparing it with Kidderpore, he writes :· Kidderpore has no greater accommodations than Diamond Harbour ' in the landing, storing and securing of merchandize, with a much
less saving in the Preventive and Pilot establishments of Government, and without any saving at all in either the risk, or the charge, of the river navigation. By a railroad to Diamond Harbour, a day
may be saved in the posts from Calcutta to Europe, to Madras, . and to Bombay."
The Company propose to have a capital of one million sterling. Their plan is to make a railway to Diamond Harbour from Calcutta, with docks near the Hajipur creek, which has a depth of fifteen feet water-the rail to be made along the line of the present road. On this plan, Mr. Simms observes :
“ The ships are exposed to great danger in the river from stornis, • and the bore. The freshes are so strong at times, as to prevent the
tide reaching Calcutta ; and, in former days, before steam was employed, ships were frequently detained ten days off Garden Reach,
without being able to get up to the city.” The expense of a vessel of 400 tons, towed by steam from Diamond Harbour to Calcutta, amounts, for, steaming and pilotage to more than 900 rupees-a higher expense than even the conveyance of the freight of such a ship by the proposed railway. By a railway, the dangerous shoals of the James and Mary also would be avoided, which cannot bo removed, as long as there is a confluence of three rivers, unless the stream of the Damúda be turned into the Rúpnarayan, near Tamluk, as is suggested by Mr. Simms.
Diamond Harbour had a bad name for unhealthiness; but that arose, perhaps, more from the reckless and intemperate habits of the sailors, than from the climate ; for, during the last seven years, only one native has died out of eighty, that were connected with the Harbour Master's department there. The locality may therefore improve in salubrity, as Calcutta has done. Diamond Harbour has the advantage of being sheltered from the S. E. and N. W. mon
The profits on the railway are calculated on 13,575 tons of merchandize at 2d. per ton, 10,000 passengers at 3 rupees each, 20,000 at 1} rupees, and on one thousand ships, averaging 300 tons, at three rupees a ton, which are likely to avail themselves of Diamond Harbour.
Appended to the report are valuable tables, which elicit the following facts. The distance from Calcutta to Diamond Harbour, in a straight line, is twenty-seven miles; along the centre of the river, forty-five; and, along the navigable channels, fifty. When a ship is not towed by steam, she takes on an average 3 days between Diamond Harbour and Calcutta, and, from April to June, five or six days. Only a small number of the vessels, which come to Calcutta, avail themselves of steam tugs; between 1832 and 1845, of 7,235 arrivals of vessels in the Calcutta port, only 1,082, or th, availed themselves of steam. Out of the number of 885 vessels,* grounded between Calcutta and the Sand Heads, from 1835 to 1844, 327 were wrecked above Diamond Harbour, or gth of the whole number.
The late Mr. Greenlaw, a man of long experience in nautical matters, from a firm conviction that ultimately large ships would not be able to come to Calcutta, proposed to Government to select Tarda as the port, instead of Calcutta. A surveying vessel was sent there, but it was found in one particular place to be too shoaly. Tarda lies to the east of Calcutta, and was famous for its trade in the Portuguese times. The history of Bengal shows clearly, that the tendency of all its rivers is to become shallow, and to open out new channels in other directions. The Damuda flowed down by Nya Serai formerly. The Hugli, which now passes by Chandernagore, Serampur, and Calcutta, in former days flowed four or five miles to the west of these places, and, making a detour through Sankral Reach, passed into Tolly's Nullah, and so down by Barripur. The natives call the channel of the Hugli below Calcutta, the Khata Ganga, and attribute no sanctity to it, as, they say, it was not the original channel of the river. This changing of the channel, with the fact that the Hugli, like the Damúda, Bhairab, and other rivers, is filling up its bed-as is seen by the history of Chandernagore, which was battered in 1757 by a 60. gun ship, though no such vessel could now pass up-calls for serious attention on the part of the mercantile community, and affords an additional argument in favour of the plan of fixing the docks at Dia
• There is surely some mistake in these numbers. They would give a wreck in tbe Hooghly for every three days!--Ed.
mond Harbour, with a railway communication to Calcutta ; for, as Mr. Simms remarks, had the London Dock Companies the advantage of railways, when they began their excavations, they would never have made them so near London, but would have placed them at the distance of twenty or thirty miles. This proposed plan respecting Diamond Harbour therefore agrees with experience. We have an illustration of the benefits, that may result from it, in the case of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Company, whose seat of business and mercantile agency is in London, while their docks are at the distance of sixty miles from it. In fact railroads alter the state of matters altogether ; they have sent London “out of town,” by enabling a great number of those connected with trade in it, to live at the distance of ten or twenty miles.
As the overland route to England is only a revival of a former route, so this plan of concentrating a large amount of traffic in connection with docks at Diamond Harbour is likely to be followed by the restora. tion of fertility and populousness to the Sunderbund districts, which, six centuries ago, according to Portuguese testimony, formed a portion of the garden of Bengal. Even the now desolate and wild island of Sagur contained, two centuries ago, a population of 80,000 people : but they were all swept away in one day by a mighty inundation : and this has been the fate of many Sunderbund districts. Tamluk, on the Rupnarayan, was a famous port in the days of the Romans : but that process, by which the rivers of Bengal are gradually silting up, was one of the causes that led to its ruin, the same as it did to that of the once proud and palmy Satgan, whose port could once float the largest ships, but can now give accommodation only to a Bengali boat. The first railway, ever projected in India, was one to Diamond Harbour; though the plan was abandoned, yet it evidently indicated, that the importance of Diamond Harbour was felt ;--and we trust, therefore, that this proposal of Mr. Simms will meet with all due con: sideration.
A Treatise on Problems of Maxima and Minima, solved by Al
gebra. By Ramchundra, Teacher of Science, Delhi College. Calcutta. 1850.
It is with sincere regret that we are compelled to speak with very limited approval of the merits of this work, both as regards its ob. ject and its execution. The very nature of the problems of Maxima and Minima involves the idea, which is the fundamental one of the Differential Calculus; and, however it may be disguised, that idea must pervade all investigations of the problems. What then is the use of a cumbrous, and often inelegant, process of doing that without the Calculus, which, in reality, it is the proper duty of the Calculus to do, and which it does so much more simply and elegantly? We can see no advantage, in an educational point of view, in teaching this cumbrous method of dispensing with the acquisition of that, which is at once so easy of acquisition and so worthy of it, as Taylor's Theorem. In any other point of view, the thing is equally useless. In actual practice, problems of Maxima and Minima never occur, except in investigations which, we may safely state, are never carried on by persons ignorant of the principles of the Calculus. Moreover, the author is in error, in supposing that he has succeeded in inventing a method applicable to the solution of all problems of the kind in question. His method may be applicable to all problems involving only algebraical functions; but these are in reality only a small portion of the problems that continu. ally occur. Those that involve logarithmic and trigonometrical functions are left untouched.
While we are thus compelled to express our doubts, as to the utility of the object of the book, we cannot be much more complimen. tary as to the mode of its execution, which is, in general, clumsy and school-boy-like. We very gladly, however, exempt from this censure the “new method” of finding the value of a variable, which gives a maximum or minimum value to an algebraic function of it of the third, or any higher, degree. This is an original and neat application of a familiar principle; and had there been any utility in the application, and had the details of the application been as well executed. as the conception itself is ingenious, we should have been spared the task of expressing our disapproval of the work, and should have had, instead, the far more gratifying one of chronicling an ingenious device of one of a class of Mathematicians, in whose success we feel the liveliest interest. As it is, we state with much pleasure our conviction, that the mind, which formed this conception, is capable of far better things than are achieved in the work before us.
Our author gives two solutions of each problem; but the second is in every case no solution at all. It is merely a proof of the accuracy of the result; inasmuch, as it consists in assuming the unknown quantity as equal to the result obtained by the former method, with the addition of some indeterminate quantity, and then showing that that indeterminate quantity is equal to nothing.
Our author has laboured under a disadvantage, resulting from his distance from the press. A list of errata corrects ninety-two blunders; but a careful perusal of a considerable portion of the book warrants our saying that there are four or five times as many left uncorrected : and these not of trifling moment, but such as make absolute nonsense of the passages, in which they occur.
If these remarks should fall under the notice of Ramchundra, or any of the class to which he belongs, we trust that they will receive them as a token of the interest, that we take in their progress. have spoken our sentiments freely, as becomes those who are en: gaged in researches on abstract truth. We have cheerfully accorded commendation, when we conscientiously could; and we have expressed our disapprobation as tenderly as our conviction would permit.