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EDUCATION OF THE NATIVES OF INDIA.
TO THE EDITOR.
SIR :—The relation wbich I have the honour to bear to the literature of India, and the warm interest I feel in the promotion of the education of the natives of that country, as well as the active part borne by me in the measures adopted for its advancement during the last years of my residence in Bengal, will, I trust, be considered as a sufficient apology for my expressing, personally, the sentiments which the disposition recently manifested by the Government of Bengal, to withdraw their patronage from native colleges and native literature, has inspired. The measures publicly announced,* in conformity with that disposition, appear to me to involve the most mischievous consequences : impressing upon the minds of the natives the conviction that they and their rulers have conflicting feelings and incompatible interests,-contributing to destroy their respect for the British character, which, it appears from recent melancholy events, has lost already much of its weight in native estimation, and tending to defeat the very purpose in view,—to retard indefinitely, if not altogether to prevent, the intellectual, moral, and religious improvement of the people of India.
1 bave noticed for some time past repeated effusions in the Calcutta newspapers, advocating a departure from principles hitherto considered sound and just, and recommending the exclusive encouragement of English as the first stage of a very feasible project for the annihilation of all the languages of India, vernacular or classical, and the universal use of our native tongue throughout the East. As long as these reveries were confined to the columps of a newspaper, they were inoffensive or even amusing ; they assumed more importance when, in order to prepare for the extermination of the languages, the supersession of the alphabets was seriously undertaken, and Oriental works were printed in characters which the natives could not read, to the extravagant waste of time and money expended upon so sage a device; and they have grown into portentous consideration, if they have dictated to the Government of Bengal the dream of making English the sole language of its subjects, and therefore inducing it not only
See the Asiatic Journal for last month, and the Proceedings of the Asiati: Society of Bengal of the 6th of May and 3d of June las . Asiat.Jour.N.S.VOL.19.No.73.