Convocation address delivered on the 16th March, 1912. These are His Excellency’s words:—
"Mr. Sen is about to supplement his History of Bengali Language and Literature by another contribution to the history of one of the most important vernaculars in this country. May I express the hope that this example will be followed elsewhere, and that critical schools may be established for the vernacular languages of India, which have not as yet received the attention that they deserve."
4. The intrinsic worth of our past literature and its high claims admitted by European scholars.
An opinion still seems to prevail in some quarters that after all there may not be anything worth preserving in the old Bengali literature. Fortunately such a view is restricted only to a few anglicised Bengalis, who seem to be ashamed of the soil of their birth and would, if they could, drown it for ever in the Ganges. They have caught the echo of the remarks of the contemporaries of Eben Betuta that the country is a "blissful hell" from the European scholars of the old school who did not know anything of the past history of our race. It is a matter of some gratification that modern European scholars have just began to realise the importance of our language. Men like Dr. Kern, Sir George Grierson, and M. Sylvain Lévi have recognised the high claims of the Indian Vernaculars and especially of Bengali which heads the list in the width of its scope and in the wealth of its literary productions. As far back as 1801 William Carey had made the pronouncement in the preface to his Bengali Grammar that the Bengali language "current through an extent of country nearly equal to Great Britain, when properly cultivated, will be inferior to none in elegance and perspicuity". Mr. F. H. Skrine, late of the Indian Civil Service, says in one of his letters that "Bengali unites the mellifluousness of Italian with the power possessed by German of rendering complex ideas". Mr. J. D. Anderson remarks that, "The really interesting thing about Bengali is its extraordinary resemblance to French. I have a strong feeling that the extraordinary and most expressive richness of Bengali in the compound verb (a clumsy term) is due to the fact that the indigenous castes once used agglutinative verbs”. In the year 1850 P. S. Dorazario and Co., Tank Square, Calcutta, published "An introduction to the Bengali Language, adapted to students who know English". In the preface to this work we find the following remark (on p. v). "Bengali is truly a noble language even in its present state, able to convey almost any idea with precision, force and elegance. Words may be compounded with such