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Page:Sacred Books of the East - Volume 21.djvu/30

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part of No. 134 is retained). The reader is requested not to have any suspicion about these differences.'

According to the opinion of an eminent Chinese scholar, the late Stanislas Julien, the translation of Kumlra^iva widely differs from Burnoufs. He gives utterance to that opinion in a letter dated June 12, 1866, and addressed to Professor Max Muller, to whose obliging kindness it is due that I am able to publish a specimen of Kum&ra^iva's version rendered into French by Stanislas Julien. The fragment answers to the stanzas 1-22 of chap. iii. As it is too long to be inserted here, I give it hereafter on page xl.

On comparing the fragment with the corresponding passages in Burnouf's French translation and the English version in this volume, the reader cannot fail to perceive that the discrepancies between the two European versions are fewer and of less consequence than between each of them and Kumlra^- iva's work. It is hardly to be supposed that the text used by Kumin^*iva can have differed so much from ours, and it seems far more probable that he has taken the liberty, for clearness sake, to modify the construction of the verses, a literal rendering whereof, it must be owned, is impossible in any language. It is a pity that Stanislas Julien has chosen for his specimen a fragment exclusively consisting of G&th&s. A page in prose would have been far more useful as a test of the accuracy of the Chinese version.

Proceeding to treat of the contents of our Stitra, I begin by quoting the passage where Burnouf, in his usual masterly way, describes the general character of the book and the prominent features of the central figure in it. The illustrious French scholar writes[1]:

'Là, comme dans les SQtras simples, c'est £&kya qui est le plus important, le premier des £tres ; et quoique l'imagination du compilateur Tait dou6 de toutes les perfections de science et de vertu admises chez les Buddhistes; quoique £&kya revete d6)k un caract&re mythologique, quand il

  1. Introduction, p. 119.