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"The epithet of a poor country is properly applicable to this place. The Coles or Dhángars (divided into two sects, Uráon and Mundá), are the true benighted sons of India, and that in every respect. Bhát and dál they consider as a sumptuous way of living. They are mostly undressed, if I am allowed such an expression. They live in huts the poorest of the inhabitants of Bengal would scorn to enter into; which even are not a shelter from the inclemency of the rains, here common to the four seasons. They are dirty and unclean in general; any thing would suit their palate, for any thing they would live greedily upon. As for education, they know not even so much as what that term means. Their religion is a sort of grossest idolatry; they would hardly look up to heaven at the time of distress, the natural way of signifying that we stand in need of duá; for ghosts are their gods, and trees their Olympus! These things, however, I am confident, are not unknown to you, so I shall not therefore proceed further."
MURSHIDA BA'D AND BERHAMPUR.-At the former place is a school, supported out of the Nizámat fund. In it reform has been lately introduced, and the teaching of English, as well as the native languages, made an essential part of the system of instruction. We are happy to understand that the English class is now large, and every month increasing; and we doubt not, through the zealous exertions of its present master, Mr. Jones, that from this seminary will issue many intelligent and wellinstructed native youths.
At Berhampur, various exertions in English education are also making by the Missionaries residing at that station. The following extract from a letter written by one of them refers to these operations:
"I send you an order for Roman letter and other books: many of which I require immediately for my school and the orphans, and others for my. self. If in addition to these, you would send, gratis, one copy of the English and Hindustání Moral Precepts, a skeleton Globe in English character, a sketch of the Solar System, and a small Orrery ; also two or three copies of the Synopsis of the Roman scheme, and of Mr. Trevelyan's Address in Hindustání and Bengálí, I shall feel very thankful.
"If you will put down my name as a subscriber to Mr. Rozario's Dictionary, in the Roman character, you will much oblige me. I rejoice with you on the prospects of success, already so flattering, as I believe the system will eventually prove a blessing to India."
PATNA. To this station, Mr. Clift has lately proceeded, in the service of the Education Committee. We have not received from him any particular accounts of his progress; but are persuaded, from that talent and perseverance which have made him so successful in other quarters, that if his health be spared, he will soon be at the head of a flourishing seminary at Patna.
GORAKHPUR.-At this station an English school has been for some time established by the Church Missionaries; and the following letter from one of them, when lately on a visit to Calcutta, exhibits the pleasing prospect which presents itself, of
the gradual progress of the English language in that neighbourhood, among adults as well as children.
"Would you kindly oblige me with some cards for children, and also a few maps, or any thing of the kind which you may have, and which you think would be useful to my English school at Gorakhpur.
"I should like very much to establish a small School Book Depository at Gorakhpur, if you would kindly furnish me with books on commission. My reasons are, that many of the amlas and native writers in the different katcharís are anxious to learn English, who cannot attend school, and would gladly study privately, if facilities were opened to them; others again, who are too old, or too proud to submit to the discipline of a school, would willingly avail themselves of private instruction, if they had books. I have had repeated applications from persons of both these classes. But independent of all this, the circulation of books would be the circulation of knowledge; it would spread through a larger mass, and to a greater extent; and thus hasten the completion of our great object. Should you accede to my proposal, I would wish to have the books by tomorrow evening, or early on Wednesday morning, if possible; as by this means, they will go free of expense, and can be circulated there at as low a cost as in Calcutta."
BANA'RAS.-This place may be considered as the stronghold of idolatry. Being regarded by Hindus as peculiarly holy, the more superstitious among them retire there, in order to spend the remainder of their lives; and hence it is full of gross idolators, and of those whose subsistence and emoluments depend upon the continuance of idolatry. In such a city we may expect that the progress of improvement will be but slow. Indications of such improvement, however, are not wanting. The English and Persianschool, many years ago established by Ram Nárayan Ghosál, and placed under the care of the Church Missionaries, is, we believe, in a satisfactory state. The English school lately established by Government, and placed under the care of Mr. Nicholls, already commands a good attendance of scholars, and will doubtless, have a large accession on the completion of the proposed new school-room; and the following letter from the Rev. R. C. Mather, intimates the establishment of another seminary, which, we trust, in numbers and efficiency will soon exceed the best wishes of its founders.
"Since my coming here, I have succeeded in establishing a small English school, on the new principle of giving no pice to the boys, and expecting them also to buy their own books. There are on the lists 30 names, and some of them tolerably respectable Pandit's sons and Rájputs, most of whom did nobly in buying their own books for some time but the prevailing influence has swamped the rising desire, and many have left ; and now I think only ten or eleven are in attendance, and of these, a few only continue their independance in this respect. However, I sincerely hope that a change will soon take place, in both the Government schools here, that under the care of the Church Mission, and that under the care of Mr. Nicholls. I believe, I speak the opinions of both my brethren, Messrs, Leopold and Nicholls, that if an order were to be issued for compelling
the independence of all boys, except the poorest of the poor, a great advantage would in the end be found to accrue, both to the boys and the teachers. I think this an important subject, and if the Education Committee were to call for the frank opinions of those engaged in the work of education in their own seminaries, in respect to it, it might tend to a satisfactory resolution of it.
"The cause of the Roman character has made some progress here. One of our Missionaries has Romanized the Acts and the Epistle to the Romans, from Martyn's translation, and is, I believe, now only waiting to know how he can advantage it, in order to render further service. All my people, my pandit, school-munshí, and the teachers of the school, and all the boys, are engaged in acquiring a knowledge of it; and at the late melá of the Rath Játrá, which was held at Banaras a few days ago, and which I attended for the purpose of distributing tracts, I was surprised to meet with a respectable native, who asked me, if I had any tracts in the Roman character, to which on my replying, "No," he would not receive a Persian or Nagarí character one.'
LAKHNAU.-At this station reside many active friends of Native Education, among whom we cannot refrain from mentioning the name of Capt. Paton, though we are aware that he will scarcely forgive us for so doing. By him, Education both in the English and native languages, has been placed under the deepest obligations. By the permission of His Majesty the King of Audh, he has, with the exercise of much ingenuity and perseverance, made the Royal Lithographic Press a most useful agent in the work of improvement. At it he has prepared small solid, and large skeleton globes and orreries, both in English and Hindustání; and from it have been issued two volumes of excellent Moral Precepts, in both languages; and a copy of each has been made available, without charge, to teachers of schools. His Majesty has also directed to be printed, at his expence, a second edition of the Moral Precepts, in the Persian character only; and a treatise on Astronomy, translated by Captain Paton, in English and Hindustání, the latter in both the Roman and Persian characters.
At this station, a Free-School has been established, at which Natives and others are instructed. Mr. McLeod, the active master, is in the habit of teaching the pupils, as well as adults, who attend for that purpose, to read and write the Hindustání in the Roman character. The progress of both is very satisfactory, as the following extract from one of Mr. Macleod's letters will abundantly testify.
"You would, I am sure, be delighted to see the progress the school altogether has made in Romanized Hindustání. On Thursday last, I took about a hundred lads to the quarters of Capt. Paton, to be examined in Roman Hindustání, and it is probable you may hear from himself how much he was delighted with the progress they had made. Capt. Paton requested me to try an experiment upon a little fellow* who could not read
* Seven years of age.
a word, either in English or Hindustání, in order to see if he would read fluently any book in the new character in a month; the experiment has not only succeeded with regard to Hindustání, but he can read almost any book in English. The friends of the Romanized system are accused of viewing the arguments of their opponents as weak and untenable. We must certainly consider them so, when they are in direct opposition to our experience.
"I receive hundreds of letters in Romanized Hindustání, to your address, from my scholars; they all seem anxious to inform you how much they are pleased with the system."
FATTIHPUR.-At this station has been lately established an English school, which is peculiarly interesting, as containing a number of Bundelkhand youth, rescued from destruction by famine last year, through the generosity of individuals of that station. Our readers will notice with pleasure that an increasing number of inhabitants of Fattihpur, are anxious to avail themselves of the advantages of the institution.
"Will you do what you can to assist me in procuring some pecuniary assistance to our city school? Our orphans we are quite able to sustain; but we find that the numbers of the sons of the inhabitants of Fattihpur have greatly increased, and we require additional funds. Several of the civilians have recommended me to bring the school to the notice of Government. The desire to learn English is daily increasing; and as Government support English schools in other stations, I am in hopes they will extend their favors to this place, where I pledge myself the money will be faithfully disposed of. Our boys, particularly the Bundelkhand orphans, 40 in number, have made very great progress. Little fellows of from 5 to 12 years, who 12 months since were little removed from brute beasts, can now read the wonderful works of God, both in their own tongue and that of their guardians. I never saw English boys learn so fast. The greater part of these children were made over to me by the magistrates of the surrounding districts. This may certainly be pleaded with the Government.
"I am in great hopes, we shall have some clever, and through God's grace, pious school-masters and mistresses from among our orphans. Bábu Gopinath goes on very well."
Our readers will not of course imagine, that the seminaries alluded to above are all those which fall under the designation adopted at the head of our article. We rejoice to say, that this is far, very far from being the case. Many of the largest and best seminaries, even in Calcutta, have not been noticed. We leave it to their Annual Reports, or Examinations, to prevent their being forgotten. We have only now given notices supplied by the correspondence of ourselves and friends, of schools less known, and leave it to other publications to supply information of the same kind regarding efforts in other quarters. We are happy to find, that the Supreme Government have determined to print, in a separate form, Mr. Adam's first report, which we understand contains a digest of all that is already on record regarding the state of education in Bengal, and which, we doubt not, will be found a very able production; and if
our contemporaries will supply, as before proposed, notices of all the efforts now making in this department, in their particular circle, the friends of Native Education will in future be able, from all combined, to form a pretty correct estimate of its progress or decay*.
In concluding our notice of the Roman character, we may state, that like the English language, it is making steady progress. As evidence of this, we may mention, that several new books in Anglo-Bengálí and Anglo-Hindustání have been published by Mr. Trevelyan; that the sale of the books in this character, already published by that gentleman, has been greater the last quarter than during any preceding ones; and that the enterprising publisher, who projected the English, Hindustání, and Bengálí Dictionary we mentioned in May, is so encouraged by the subscriptions for this work already received, that he has determined to print in the same character, without delay, the Bagh-o-Bahar in Hindustání, Rámmohan Rai's Anglo-Bengálí Grammar, and the Prem Ságar, with Vocabulary, in Hinduí.
All the elder pupils in our large Mission Schools are familiar with the system, and competent, when employed as teachers, (as many of them doubtless will be,) to instruct in it the youth they may have under their charge. In several new schools, lately established by the Education Committee, the Roman, as well as the native character, has been introduced by the teachers who have proceeded from Calcutta to superintend them; and as soon as the Dictionaries now preparing, which are needed to render the system generally useful, are published, there can remain little doubt, if a regular supply of reading books in the character be kept up, but that it will take root and flourish extensively in all parts of India.
With regard to the utility of introducing the Roman character into the offices of Government, we have been favoured with a copy of the following sensible letter, addressed by an officer in Hindústán, some time ago, to another in the lower provinces. Our readers, be they ever so indifferent to, or prejudiced against, the plan, cannot surely be unwilling to acknowledge, that as it regards the Government accounts, the introduction of the system, as proposed below, would be a most valuable improvement.
* We are anxious to obtain notices of schools in which the native languages only are taught, and invite from all engaged in efforts of the kind such information regarding them as they may please to afford us. We have already received one most interesting communication from Sihor, which will appear in the next number, and hope that others will reach us in time to accompany it.