A descriptive catalogue of Sanskrit, Pali, and Sinhalese literary works of Ceylon

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Page 200 - Milton seems ambitious of letting us know, by his excursions on free-will and predestination, and his many glances upon history, astronomy, geography, and the like, as well as by the terms and phrases he sometimes makes use of, that he was acquainted with the whole circle of arts and sciences.
Page 209 - in the city," not " before, in front." Note 168, page 53, verse 554. And tells the tuneful Sdricd her grief. The Sdricd (gracula religiosa) is a small bird, better known by the name of Maina. It is represented as a female, while the Parrot is described as a male bird ; and as these two have, in all Hindu tales, the faculty of human speech, they are constantly introduced, the one inveighing against the faults of the male sex, and the other exposing the defects of the female. They are thus represented...
Page 122 - The profoundly wise priests had heretofore orally perpetuated the Pali Pitakattaya and its ArthakathS (commentaries). At this period these priests, foreseeing the perdition of the people (from the perversions of the true doctrines) assembled ; and in order that the religion might endure for ages, recorded the same in books.
Page 199 - Whatever be the faults of his diction, he cannot want the praise of copiousness and variety: he was master of his language in its full extent; and has selected the melodious words with such diligence, that from his book alone the Art of English Poetry might be learned. After his diction, something must be said of his versification. The measure, he says, is the English heroic verse without rhyme.
Page 110 - The fabulous tone of the narrative in which the account of Wijayo's landing in Lanka is conveyed in the seventh chapter bears, even in its details, so close a resemblance to the landing of Ulysses at the island of Circe", that it would have been difficult to defend Mahanamo from the imputation of plagiarism, had he lived in a country in which the works of Homer could, by possibility, be accessible to him. The seizure and imprisonment of Ulysses...
Page 105 - Magadhi language, which is thoroughly purified from all imperfections. I will brilliantly illustrate, then, the Mahawanso, replete with information on every subject, and comprehending the amplest detail of all important events, like unto a splendid and dazzling garland, strung with every variety of flowers, rich in colour, taste, and scent. " The former historians also used an analogous simile. They said, ' I will celebrate the dynasties [wanso] perpetuated from generation to generation; illustrious...
Page 94 - Singhalese became a nation, have no historical records, and their scanty " fragmentary historical recollections," which have been embodied with their religious works, such as the Puranas, present themselves in the language of a prophecy, and upon their bases no trustworthy chronological calculations can be made.
Page 99 - ... his labours at the thirtyseventh chapter. Buddhaghoso [a Brahman convert} continued the record until between AD 410 and AD 432, Mahanamo until AD 477, and it was carried on by successive authorized chroniclers until AD 1798, to the date of our own possession of the Island of Ceylon. The Mahawanso, in its details, manifests the same love of the marvellous, the same credulity and superstition, the same exaggeration in description, and the same adulation of kings and princes, which is met with in...
Page 96 - The interest which our sovereigns took in this part of the national literature was so great indeed, that many a traveller and geographer of the middle ages was peculiarly struck, as " a trait of the native rulers of Ceylon," with the fact of the employment by them of persons to compile the national annals.
Page 97 - When, for instance, the capacious mind of Sir William Jones seized with avidity the identity of Chandragupta and Sandracottus, and thence discovered the only key for unlocking the history and chronology of Asia, the Annals of Ceylon were not without their use in removing the doubts which were conjured up in the imagination of antiquarians.

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