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LATE SURGEON-MAJOR 1. M.'s INDIAN MEDICAL SERVICE, AND RESIDENCY SURGEON
LONDON: CAMBRIDGE WAREHOUSE, 17, PATERNOSTER Row.
THE few following remarks are all that seem necessary, by way of preface, regarding the contents of this small volume.
For the Introductory Sketch I alone am responsible. It is based upon personal observation and inquiry, during a residence of ten years in the country, and I have inserted nothing in it but what, to the best of my belief, is correct as far as it goes. It does not, of course, pretend to be a full account of the country; for such a work is hardly possible while our relations with Nepāl remain as they are at present, and would, moreover, be out of place in a book of this sort.
The translation of the History has been made by Shew Shunker Singh, the Mir Munshi attached to the British Residency, who has lived in Nepāl for nearly thirty years. He was assisted, when necessary, by Pandit Shrī Gunānand, who is a native of Nepāl, residing at Pātan, and whose ancestors, for many generations, have been the compilers of this History.
I am not myself an Oriental scholar, and have had nothing to do with the translation beyond revising it for publication, and adding a few notes regarding the customs and places mentioned. The work translated is the Vansāvali or Genealogical History of Nepāl, according to the Buddhist recension.
The original manuscript, written in Parbatiyā with an admixture of Sanskrit and Newārī, is in the possession of Professor Cowell. There is another redaction, or at all events a similar work, recognised by the Gorkhas and Hindū races of the country, copies of which are in the British Museum and the University Library of Cambridge.
At the present time the orthography of Oriental proper names is somewhat unsettled.
In general, throughout the History, the names have been written as nearly as possible in their original form, the vowels having the Italian sounds. The different sounds of the letters d, t, s and sh, in Sanskrit, have not been systematically indicated by points or otherwise. The Munshi often uses kh for sh, j for y, and b for v.
In the names of some well-known places, and in such familiar words as Durbār, Jung, etc., the usual spelling has been retained, more especially in the Introduction. Some names may be found spelled differently in different places, but this is usually not owing to any mistake, but because the words have intentionally been given as written in the original manuscript.
The Illustrations are copies of drawings made for me by a native of Nepāl. Though not of much value as works of art, they convey a very fair idea of the places and objects represented. The Portraits are from photographs taken by a friend.
The Appendix contains, among other things, a short vocabulary, Parbatiyā and Newārī; some Newārī songs, with a literal translation ; and a list of the manuscripts which I have procured for the University Library of Cambridge. These, though of slight interest to the general reader, may, I am told, prove interesting to Oriental scholars.
In conclusion, I must acknowledge my obligations to Professor Cowell of Cambridge, and Professor Eggeling of Edinburgh, both of whom have given me much assistance in the correct writing of Sanskrit words. My brother, Professor W. Wright of Cambridge, has greatly helped me in revising the proof-sheets and superintending the publishing of the work, the cost of which has been most liberally undertaken by the Syndics of the University Press at Cambridge.
12th January, 1877.