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By By M. Winternitz.Translated by Mrs. S. Ketkar (and Miss H. Kohn), and revised by the author.

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For the manuscripts, from which we obtain most of our texts, reach but seldom to a great age. The oldest writing­materials on which the Indians wrote are palm­leaves and strips of birch bark ; and it is significant of the conservative mind of the Indians that even to­day, in spite of their acquaintance with the much more convenient paper, and in spite of the general use of print, manuscripts are still written on palm leaves. Both materials are very fragile, and in the Indian climate quickly perishable.

Jones died in 1794 Colebrooke had just learnt Sanskrit and had undertaken to translate from the Sanskrit into English, under Jones' guidance, a composition, prepared by native scholars, on the law of succession and contract, from the Indian law books. This translation appeared in 1797 and 17 98 under the title " A Digest of Hindu Law on Contracts and Successions" in four folio volumes. From that time he devoted himself with untiring zeal to the investigation of Indian literature. His interest, contrary to that of Jones, lay not so much in the poetic as in the scientific literature.

Next one should glance at Friedrich Adelung’s book, which appeared in the year 1830 in St. Petersburg, " Versuch einer Literatur der Sanskrit-Sprache " (A Study on the literature of the Sanskrit language *) in –vvhich already the titles of over 350 Sanskrit books are mentioned. One should then compare with it Weber's " Indische Literaturgeschichte " which in the year 1852 (according to an approximate estimate), discusses close on 500 works of Indian literature. Then one should look at the " C a t a l o g u s C a t a l o g o r u m " published by Theodor Aufrecht in the years 1891, 1896 and l£03, which contains an alphabetical list of all Sanskrit works and authors, based on the investigation of all the available catalogues of manuscripts.

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