THE ASIATIC SOCIETY
JAMES PRINSEP, F.R.S.
SECRETARY OF THE AS. SOC., AND HON. MEM. OF THE AS. SOC. OF PARIS.
JANUARY TO DECEMBER,
“It will flourish, if naturalists, chemists, antiquaries, philologers, and men of science in different parts of Asia, will commit their observations to writing, and send them to the Asiatic Society at Calcutta; it will languish, if such communications shall be long intermitted; and it will die away, if they shall entirely cease.”
Sir Wm. Jones.
PRINTED AT THE BAPTIST MISSION PRESS, CIRCULAR ROAD.
SOLD BY MESSRS. THACKER AND CO., ST. ANDREW'S LIBRARY.
Proceedings of the Asiatic Society.
[Wednesday Evening, the 2nd July, 1834]
. . .
The business of the evening being concluded, The Right Rev. the Vice- President [Daniel Wilson] rose and addressed the meeting:—
It had been suggested to him that the death of the Rev. Dr. Carey, one of the oldest and warmest supporters of the Asiatic Society, was an occasion which called for some testimonial of the sense entertained by all its members of the value of his services to the literature and science of India, and of their sincere respect for his memory.
He had himself enjoyed but two short interviews with that eminent and good man, but a note from Dr. Wallich, who was prevented himself from attending to propose the resolution, supplied his own want of information. Dr. Carey had seen 28 years a member of the Society: and (with exception of the last year or two of his life, when protracted illness forced him to relinquish his Calcutta duties), a regular attendant at its meetings, and an indefatigable and zealous member of the Committee of Papers since the year 1807.
He had enriched the Society’s publications with several contributions:— an interesting report on the agriculture of Dinajpur, appeared in the tenth volume of the Researches. An account of the funeral ceremonies of a Burman priest in the twelfth:— The catalogue of Indian medicinal plants and drugs in the 11th vol. bearing Dr. Fleming’s name, was also known to have been principally derived
Proceedings of the Asiatic Society.
from his information and research. As an ardent Botanist, indeed, he had done much for the science in India, and one of the last works upon which he had been engaged, was the publication, as Editor, of his deceased friend Dr. Roxburgh’s Flora Indica.
His Bengalee, Marhatta, Telinga, and Punjábi dictionaries and grammars, his translation of a portion of the Ramáyana, and other works, were on our shelves, to testify the extent of his learning as an oriental scholar. It was well known that he had prepared some time ago an elaborate dictionary of the Sanscrit language, the manuscripts of which, and a considerable portion of the work already printed off, the result of many years’ intense labour and study, had been destroyed by the fire which burnt down the Serampore premises. He had also been of great assistance, as the author testified, in the editing of Baboo Ram Comul Sen’s Anglo-Bengalee Dictionary.
The memory of those members, who had been longer associated with him than himself, would easily fill up this very imperfect estimate of his various services.
During 40 years of a laborious and useful life in India, dedicated to the highest objects which can engage the mind—indefatigable in his sacred vocation, active is benevolence, yet finding time to master the languages and the learning of the East, and to be the founder, as it were, of printing in these languages, he contributed by his researches, and his publications, to exalt and promote the objects, for which the Asiatic Society was instituted. The close of his venerable career should not therefore pass without a suitable record of the worth and esteem in which his memory was held; and His Lordship begged to move that the following minute be entered on the Journals of the Society:—it was seconded by Colonel Sir Jer. Bryant, and carried unanimously:
“The Asiatic Society cannot note upon their proceedings the death of the Rev. Wm. Carey, D. D., so long an active member and an ornament of this Institution, distinguished alike for his high attainments in the oriental languages, for his eminent services in opening the store of Indian literature to the knowledge of Europe, and for his extensive acquaintance with the sciences, the natural history and botany of this country, and his useful contributions in every branch towards the promotion of the objects of the Society, without placing on record this expression of their high sense of his value and merits as a scholar and a man of science; their esteem for the sterling and surpassing religious and moral excellencies of his character; and their sincere grief for his irreparable loss.”
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Created: September 3, 2013 Updated: September 5, 2013