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institution. On this supposition it would show the state of society as correctly as a legal code since it is evident that it incorporates existing laws and any alterations it may have introduced with a view to bring them up to its preconceived standard must still have been drawn from the opinions which prevailed when it was written] Again we have the two celebrated epic poems, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, the one celebrates the Lunar Race of Delhi, the other forms the epic history of the Solar Race of Ajodha, the ancient capital of Oudh. The two poems preserve the legends of the two most famous ancient Hindu dynasties. The compiler of the Mahabharata was Vyasa and that of the Ramayana Valmiki. Both of them are held in universal esteem and admiration for their magnificence of imagery and elegance of description. They embrace history, geography, genealogy, theology and the nucleus of many a popular myth. Both the works are more voluminous than either Homer's Iliad or Virgil's Æneid. The Mahabharata contains 22,000 and the Ramayana 48,000 lines, while the Iliad contains only 16,000 and the Eneid less than 10,coo lines.

The above enumeration and description of a vast body of Sanskrit literature, suggests the necessity of forming literary societies in India for the purpose of exploring the treasures of valuable thought embodied therein. That is to say, with the object of (1) adopting a systematic method of studying and making researches in the literature; (2) polishing and improving the languages and dialects of India most of which are descended from Sanskrit, viz., Prakrita, Pali, Singalese, Hindustani or Urdu, Bengali, Maharatti, Assamese, Sindhi, Gujrati, Nepali, Kashmiri, etc. Of these Bengali and Urdu deserve conspicuous mention. Bengali has received a

wonderful growth and development on account of the manifold literature in poetry and prose, in works of histories, epics, novels, dramas, theology, science and philosophy. Hindustani or Urdu, the language of the camp, is Hindi mixed with Arabic and Persian. It is, in fact, a lingua franca which grew up at the time of the Mahomedan invasion in the 11th century. As the science of language teaches us that with the growth of material prosperity and civilisation of a country, language tends from multiplicity to unity, it will be one of the principal objects of the Indian literary societies to reduce the manifold languages and dialects of India to two or three central ones, viz., Bengali, Urdu, and if need be, Maharatti. A nation cannot be too proud of its national literature. It is the principal distinction of the nationality of a people. We may learn English because it is the language of our rulers, because it unfolds to us ideas and thoughts of Western civilisation and because so long as the unification of Indian dialects is not brought about, it will best serve as a common medium of communication with the several Indian people. But if we rely exclusively on it, forgetting our mother tongue, we will lose our individuality as a nation, our ideas and conceptions will be anglicised or westernised and so we will lose our real independence in the best acceptation of the term.

In order to preserve the native vigour, purity and idiom of the Indian National language, it must not be adulterated with foreign mixtures so as to turn it into a sort of lingua franca. What would have been the fate of the melodious and forcible, simple and clear English language, if the Norman conquest had obliterated the Anglo-Saxon language and transformed it into Norman French? Every language has its idioms or peculiar modes of expression which cannot be accurately

translated into a foreign language. As language is the reflex of the mind, the various thoughts and ideas embodied in our idiomatic vernaculars would be forgotten or lost sight of if they were displaced by a foreign tongue. But while encouraging the study of Oriental literature English should not be disregarded, for it embodies a material civilisation which ought to supplement, or be superadded to, the purely spiritual character of the remnants of the ancient Indo-Aryan civilisation which remain to the present generation of Hindus. Now as to the methods of literary societies for accomplishing their objects. The first and most important object will be to try to improve and extend the scope of the existing methods already in operation. The late Babu Srigopal Basu Mullick created a Sanskrit Professorship on the lines of the Tagore Law Professorship delivering a certain course of lectures every year on Sanskrit literature and publishing them for distribution or sale. The institution has been recognised by the Calcutta University. By appealing to the generous instincts of patrons of learning the number of such institutions may be increased and established in different parts of India. These institutions should be affiliated to the several Universities so as to secure for the passed students attached to them some distinction like that of the University M. A. in Sanskrit. The number of tols or schools for Sanskrit Titles Examination should also be increased, In fact before the recognition and support by Government of such schools they were already of indigenous growth. The pundits actuated by a laudable desire to spread the knowledge of Sanskrit literature maintained tols at their own expense. It is gratifying to notice that their disinterested and selfsacrificing exertions have met with marks of approbation

by our generous and enlightened Government holding out reward for successful study. These tols should

correspond and act in concert with the institutions for Sanskrit Professorship and the task of both should be so divided and arranged as to finish in due time by their united efforts a complete course of lectures on Vedic and post-Vedic or classical Sanskrit literature. One characteristic of such literature is that all sorts of knowledge, theological, literary, philosophical, medical, etc., are jumbled up together in one volume. The information on anyone of these subjects is so vast and comprehensive as to form the subject-matter of one complete work. But it is scattered here and there throughout the volume and not systematically arranged in one place. The translators have followed the original plan and method of treatment and so have not helped much in the way of digesting and grasping the manifold ideas and thoughts interspersed in it. The best plan would be to collect the scattered thoughts on each subject arranging and putting them together in a methodical order and noting points of difference if any, from modern philosophy or science. Our vernacular literature, especially the Bengali, has received a wonderful growth and development. The blank verse of Michael Modhu Sudon Datta, the novels of Bankim Chandra Chatterji, the dramas of Deno Bandhu Mittra, the theological and moral essays of Akshaya Kumar Dutt, the general literary productions of Pandit Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar, the poems of Hem Chandra Banerji and Nobin Chandra Sen, the chaste and pure diction of Robindra Nath Tagore, and last, though not least, the dictionary of Jogendra Nath Bose as voluminous as that of Webster, have considerably enriched the Bengali literature and chalked out different paths of literary pursuits.

There have been a host of imitators of these eminent authors but none of them has excelled or even equalled them either in artistic excellence of style or originality of views. In some quarters the literary taste has shown a tendency to corruption. Nothing but sound criticism and the dissemination of enlightened views consequent upon the general spread of liberal education can correct such vitiated tastes and impart a healthy moral tone to our literature. It should be one of the principal objects of literary societies to expose and prevent the publication of obscene, scurrilous and seditious literature. Freedom of thought and speech should not be mistaken for unbridled license. While guarding and protecting the privilege of the former, the abuse and daring malignity of the other should not be allowed to go unchecked. A desire of catering for the humourous portion of humanity by exhibiting the ridiculous and the grotesque is no just excuse for exceeding the due bounds of decency and decorum. The subject may be concluded by summarising the practical methods which literary societies in India may adopt for accomplishing their objects.

I. To collect manuscripts, both Vernacular and Sanskrit, and publish them after careful examination and correction so that these obscure and unnoticed sources of knowledge may not be lost to the nation.

2. To publish biographies of eminent ancient literary authors fixing their chronology and describing their surroundings and environments including the influence on the race and the individual and the literary epochs in which they flourished. The style and substance of a writer are greatly influenced by the period to which he belongs, i.e.. the stage of literary and social development in which he is born, because the writer of

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