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“ much better than he spoke it. The reason is that what he

spoke was really his own ; but his writings were generally, “ to some extent, the composition of others. We are assured,

on good authority, that during the period he was in

Europe, except for a few months, besides an amanuensis, " he had the constant assistance, in drawing up all papers or “ letters of any importance, (his remarks on the revenue and “ judicial systems of India, on the suttee question, &c.) from

an old Indian friend, connected with the press and politics “ of Bengal ; * and that he scarcely sent a line out of his “ hands without his secretary's revision, unless, as often

happened, it was actually composed by him beforehand. “ How much of his reputation, as an elegant writer, may " therefore be attributable to others, both here and in India, “ can only be conjectured. As he was exceedingly ambitious “ of literary fame, he took care, both in Europe and in India, “to obtain the best assistance he could get, both European " and native. His works, therefore, do not furnish an “ absolute criterion of his literary talents, although these were no doubt considerable."

Previously, as it appears, to the receiving of this statement, “on good authority", the Asiatic Journal had in p. 202) expressed itself as follows.

" The admiration which the writings of Ram Mohun now

began to excite in Europe as well as India, (for he and his “ works were at this time extensively known in France,) was

not limited to the justness of the reasoning, the soundness “ of the reflections, and the general good sense which “ pervaded them; his correct English style was a subject of " astonishment to those who know with what difficulty even

a native of foreign Europe acquires a critical knowledge of

* The expression is rather obscure ; but the “old Indian friend”, and the “Secretary” immediately mentioned, must mean the same person.

“ its niceties. Upon this point, however, we shall have

something to say by and bye.” The last sentence obo viously arose from subsequent information.

I observe (1), in reference to this last-cited paragraph, that an oriental scholar, familiar from his youth with the Persian and Arabic, (to say nothing of the Sanscrit,) and accustomed to all the refinements of grammar in these languages and his own, would be far more prepared to acquire the power of accurate composition in the English language than almost ány "native of foreign Europe." I have letters from our eminent Persian visitor, Jaāfar Hewsainey, who with Meerza Saulih came to Bristol in 1818, after he had been four years in England, which, though Oriental in thought, are more English in texture, than would reasonably be expected from a native of France after residing among us twice that period. And at the late Scientific Meeting at Cambridge, I heard a young Egyptian, Homer Effendi, deliver an extemporaneous speech, which was marked by the correctness of its English, far beyond what we generally observe from foreign Europeans.

But again (2), “ the justness of the reasoning, the soundness of the reflections, and the general good sense' which pervaded the writings of Rammohun Roy", are independent of the correctness of the English style ; and yet they constitute the essence of a composition. If therefore, as insinuated in the first-cited paragraph, the papers, letters, &c. of the Rajah, were ever “ actually composed by his Secretary, then the Rajah was himself the mere amanuensis. But, as will appear, the Secretary had no claim either to the composition or to the English.

(3) The Rajah, however, in my judgment, did not " write English much better than he spoke it". He manifested, in conversation, singular precision in the selection and in the arrangement of words ; and where he felt at ease, and had no apprehension of captious opposition or criticism, he-spoke

with great fluency also. Persons who did not discriminate between his style, and his pronunciation of our language, have often expressed surprise that he spoke English so ill. But they would at once have seen their error, if they could have read what they had heard, by its being taken down, without his knowledge, as it was uttered. I have already remarked (p. 43) that the last portion of the Rajah's Exposition, (in which, from the nature of the subject, he writes with the greatest freedom,)“ is so strongly characteristic of his style in conversation, that, while reading it, one seems to hear him uttering the words”. I never heard him converse with less correctness, in point of English style; though there was occasional hesitation in the selection of words.

; (4) As to his power of speaking English, we may go back fifteen years, and take the declaration of Lieut. Col. Fitzclarence, who was well acquainted with him”, that his

eloquence in our language” was even then“ very great", and that he had “ gained a thorough acquaintance with the English language and literature". In 1818, “says Mr. Buckingham ” (Month. Rep. for 1823) “ I was introduced to “ Rammohun Roy at the house of Mr. Eneas Mackintosh

(now in London) and was surprised at the unparalleled

accuracy of his language, never having before heard any foreigner of Asiatic birth speak so well, and esteeming his “ fine choice of words as worthy the imitation even of English

men”. Mr. Buckingham had first conversed with him in Arabic; but accident changing the conversation to English, he was (he says) “ delighted and surprised at his perfection in this tongue". After mentioning his great acquirements in other languages, he says, “ In English he is competent to converse freely on the most abstruse subjects”.

(5) As to his power of composition in writing, there is clear internal evidence that his works are essentially, and even formally, his own. No sound and experienced judge of style, could read any part of his writings without perceiving characteristics which decide the source. A unity and identity of style runs through them. There is a peculiar simplicity in the mode of expression which forms one of the striking characteristics of his writings, and which identifies the Author. -In Constable's Edinburgh Magazine for Sept. 1823, is an interesting and ably written letter respecting him, (copied into the Monthly Repository of the same year,) obviously from the pen of some one personally well acquainted with him. The writer gives a note from Rammohun Roy, “ written without the slightest aid or preparation ” the neat correctness of which proves that he needed no aid when he had time for preparation. “ His proficiency in English (says the writer) is best shown by the style of his composition, as the powers of his mind are by the force of his reasonings which have been declared, by one of the ablest judges living, to be stronger and clearer than any thing yet produced on the side of question which he has espoused"-referring to the controversy with the Missionaries. And he afterwards says, “ For the recent commencement of the Bengalee and Persian newspapers in Calcutta, much, if not all, is due to Rammohun Roy's patronage and exertions ; and many of the best articles published in them are ascribed to his pen. His argumentative talents are of the first order; and are aided by a remarkable memory, exceeding patience, and the gentlest temper."-Every thing conspires to prove, that even ten years ago, there was a general impression in Calcutta, that he had attained a singular proficiency in English composition; and most certainly, he did not in England require the aid of a native pen to compose his memorials and letters. The fact is, he was remarkably tenacious of his own modes of expression; and may be said to have piqued himself on his grammatical knowledge of our language, and his proper selection and arrangement of words. When dictating, he rarely departed from his own judgment in either; and when revising, it was he who made the corrections. The original of the admirable replies on the revenue and judicial systems of India still exists, as he dictated them, with the corrections in his own hand-writing; and considering the nature of the information given, and the sentiments expressed, together with the characteristic expression of them, it is not too much to say that none but himself could have written them.

His “infirmities", (says the Asiatic Journal, in introducing the paragraph which has led to these statements,) “though not obvious to the world, could not be concealed from those who lived in close intercourse with him". Certainly he made no effort to conceal them, whatever they were. Ingenuousness and candour marked his friendly intimacies. Little is added to the views I have already given of his character, when I say that his chief infirmity, (to use the words of Mr. Arnot, in his well-written memoir in the Athenæum,) was a want of firmness to say that which would be unpleasant to individuals or bodies of men"; and of the “ courage to say NO". This infirmity, united with the unsuspecting candour of his disposition, led him sometimes to yield his confidence, where greater caution, or firmness, or knowledge of mankind, would have made him withhold it. But the observation which I cited at the beginning of this paragraph, is employed to introduce a charge of a far different nature, affecting not merely his literary attainments, but his uprightness of character, and representing him as always in a mask. I am happy in having the power to refute the charge, by the testimony of those who lived in the closest and most constant intercourse with him.

(6) Mr.Joseph Hare-his brother fully agreeing with him assures me, that the Rajah was constantly in the habit of dictating, to those who were for the time acting as amanuenses, in phraseology requiring no improvement, whether for the press or for the formation of official documents—such verbal amendments only excepted, as his own careful revision supplied before the final completion of the manuscript : that he


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