BLTC Press Titles

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Shakti and Shakta

John Woodroffe

Paradoxes of the Highest Science

Eliphas Levi

Mortal Coils

Aldous Huxley

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll

Linguistic and oriental essays

by Robert Needham Cust


Modern Languages of Oceania 1887

Modern Languages of the Caucasus-Region. . . . 1887

Languages of the Turki Branch of the Ural-Altaic Family . 1889

Linguistic and Oriental Essays. Series I. ... 1880

„ „ Series II. . . . 1887

Pictures of Indian Life 1881

The Shrines of Lourdes and Saragossa, Loretto, ete. . . 1885

Poems of many Years and Places ..... 1887

Sorrows of an Anglo-Indian Life ..... 1889

Notes on Missionary Subjects ...... 1889

Three Lists of Bible-Translations 1890

Bible-Languages 1890

Clouds on the Horizon 1890


The first words that flow from my pen are those of my dear

Horatius Flaccus :

" Quorsum haec tam putida ? "
" What is the use of all this rubbish ? "

It certainly is not from a desire to see my name in print, or the weakness of a first effort, for I have got beyond that stage, and I received a letter from an entire stranger yesterday, from which I quote the following passage: " Many a happy hour have I spent in company with your book."

But there is one motive certainly. Much of the contents of this volume is the result of weeks of study, and years of practical experience, and those, who are mounting the ladder, up which I have taken fifty years to climb, may possibly profit by my accumulated and digested knowledge, and start at once on an onward course. I feel indebted to the books of many authors, which I read in my youth or middle life, though I feel at the same time, that I have now got far beyond them, and with the usual gratitude of students kicked down the footstool, which helped my early efforts, and have even forgotten their names.

The very variety, and quaintness, of some of the papers may attract. I wrote some years ago under a different environment in a far-off land, and I could not write them again, if I tried. I was only sure of the parentage of some by recognizing my handwriting, and the private mark, which I attached to all original work since I left Eton in 1840: they had entirely passed from my recollection : they were written

" Quand era in parte altr'uom di quel, che sono."

I was discouraged by a Review of my honoured friend Francis Newman's Miscellanies: the reviewer said, that they had better not have been reprinted, and that the book was a confused medley. I do not think so: in his case at least a reprint of Essays is most interesting and instructive: the entirely disconnected way, in which one topic followed the other, has a charm all its own, when each subject is thoroughly and fearlessly threshed out: the reader, if he is convinced, can go on from this firm foundation: it is hopeless to hunt through the periodicals of four decades for one particular Essay, and yet that Essay perhaps clenches a subject, exposes an error, or indicates a way: if the subject therefore is of a permanent character, it is worth while to leave the labours of a life in a collective form.

I had a friend at the Royal Asiatic Society, who through a considerable period of years had published in different periodicals Essays on Numismatics, and Palaeographical subjects, of the highest importance: all Scholars felt indebted to him, and his contemporaries knew where to find his Essays. I often suggested to him to reprint them in a collective form, but he delayed and died: his generation has passed away, and his labours have not received their full appreciation, because they are not accessible.

A great many subjects pass under review in these Essays: the intricacy of a language, the dogma of a Religious Belief, the details of administration of an Indian Province, the high duty, and the erroneous practice, of Christian Missionaries, in Europe, Asia, Africa, America and Oceania. In the treatment of all subjects it is hoped, that the same underlying characteristics will be found : a desirr to pather information, an orderly arrangement of it when gathered, the use of it in a liberal and sympathetic spirit, a fearlessness of assertion free from all prejudice or predilection, a profound and intelligent helief in the Divine Revelation, and a humble readiness for corrections of errors, the reception of new ideas, and the elucidation of obscurities, or doubts. Life is but a School of Instruction, and each one of us up to the last hour should be a student with eyes and ears, and intellect, open to the consideration of new phenomena.

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