86 THE INDIANV ERMPIRE [CHAP.
inscriptions, with translations of them, and with such
explanatory comments as can be appropriately given with the
texts, instead of being worked up into special articles of greater
length in the Indian Antiquary and in the journals of the
various learned societies. That journal is the E igraphia
Indica, started in i888 or 1889, and now in its eighth volume.
It is in the charge of an editor whose duty and pleasure it is
to welcome all contributions to it, to advise and encourage
novices, and generally to co-operate in the satisfactory publica-
tion of all communications sent in to him for it. And by the
size of its pages, and the freedom with which facsimiles are
issued to accompany articles in it, it is better suited than any
other journal to the preliminary exploration of the inscriptions,
as a necessary precursor of an ultimate grouping of them in the
volumes of the Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum.
The pages of that journal have been filled to good purpose
by those who have already been engaged in this line of work.
But we want more workers to join us. And we look for
recruits specially to the class of scholars who have a certain
knowledge of Sanskrit to start with; because, though most
of the records are not in Sanskrit, that tongue is more or less
the key to the languages in which they were written, and
a general knowledge of Sanskrit literature and mythology is
essential to a proper understanding of many of the allusions
in the records.
At the same time, anyone who has made himself conversant
with one of the vernaculars in its archaic form and ancient
literature, has necessarily acquired, by that process, a consider-
able acquaintance with the Sanskrit vocabulary, and can easily
master, by general reading, what else is wanted. A preliminary
knowledge of Sanskrit itself, therefore, is by no means
absolutely indispensable. As regards other leading languages,
in Kanarese at any rate we have, in the Rev. F. Kittel's
Kannada-English Dictionary (1894) and Grammar of the
Kannada Language (1903), two most scholarly and admirable
compilations, which have now placed it in the power of all
western students to understand fully, and do justice to, the
beauties of that highly polished and powerful tongue; and
in the three volumes of Dr. Hultzsch's South-Indian Inscriptions
we have a number of carefully edited versions, a study of which
would go far towards removing any difficulties in the way of
grappling with the epigraphic peculiarities of Tamil.
It is no specially difficult matter now to approach the
epigraphic records. And a very brief study of some of the