Edmund Woodhouse an Hugo Schuchardt (01-12892)

von Edmund Woodhouse

an Hugo Schuchardt


23. 10. 1885

language Englisch

Schlagwörter: Literaturbeschaffung Literaturhinweise / bibliographische Angaben Sprachkontakt (allgemein) Publikationsversand Sprachen auf Sri Lanka/Ceylonlanguage Portugiesischlanguage Französisch

Zitiervorschlag: Edmund Woodhouse an Hugo Schuchardt (01-12892). Pundaluoya, 23. 10. 1885. Hrsg. von Shihan De Silva Jayasuriya (2015). In: Bernhard Hurch (Hrsg.): Hugo Schuchardt Archiv. Online unter https://gams.uni-graz.at/o:hsa.letter.1939, abgerufen am 05. 10. 2023. Handle: hdl.handle.net/11471/518.10.1.1939.


Palleakelly, Pundaluoya
23rd October 1885
Dr Hugo Schuchardt
Graz, Austria

Dear Sir

I have much pleasure in acknowledging receipt of your letter of 9 th September last, which has been much delayed in delivery. The above is my address, without addition of any kind. I shall be happy to be of service to you if possible in trying to obtain the works you refer to. The “Orientalist” had ceased to issue from commencement of this year and has only just reappeared in double numbers, and an early number will contain another article on the influence of the Portuguese language on that of the Singhalese which I believe will prove more interesting than that of Sept 1884. It was written a year ago and I have not looked at the subject since. The descendants of the Dutch and Portuguese in Ceylon, mixed as they are with all the native races, as well as with Europeans, are termed “Burghers”.

The Portuguese Burghers in Ceylon have deteriorated to a great extent, mostly |2|are known as mechanics, Bootmakers, Carriagemakers, etc; some are more respectable as clerks and as subordinates on the different Estates in the island. In India as far as I have seen and heard they hold a similar position. There are no doubt in Ceylon (as also at Goa and Cochin) many old Indo Portuguese works scattered amongst the burgher community, and occasionally collections are brought to public sale. But I think in order to collect any such books it would be necessary to make known your wants by advertising in the papers – Europeans and native as well. I do not think there is now any Portuguese newspaper in the island. I could make private inquiry  [sic]for you in certain quarters where might possibly hear of such, and I can see what there is in the Colombo Museum Library, which is now amalgamated with the library of the Ceylon branch of the Royal Asiatic Society.

In the meantime I will send you the number of the Orientalist you require, and beg you will remember that I have only one copy and its loss would entail the spoiling of the volume. |3|Here I must make an explanation with which I would not otherwise trouble you – being a stranger. The fact is this, a few years ago I was in a good position in Ceylon as a coffee planter, and could have retired to Europe with a considerable fortune. But disaster has swept over the coffee industry, and ruined alike the planter and the merchant. I have lost everything, all my land and my fortune of £70000 Sterling. At this moment I find myself, after nearly 26 years absence from Europe, in poverty and impaired health. Truly just now my income is not sufficient for my daily bread, and my health is impaired for want of what, after so long an absence in the tropics from my native country, are in reality the necessaries of life.

My time Sir is at your disposal, and any advice I can give, but when we come to pecuniary matters I frankly confess I have nothing to advance on any ones account. Any outlay of money |4|then must be provided beforehand and should you wish to retain the copy of the Orientalist now sent, and to get the other one containing the article in continuation (on the influence of the Portuguese on the Singalese language) I shall have to ask you to be good enough to remit me its value, or if you choose to have the whole series of the Orientalist to pay for it. I must plead actual poverty in putting this before you; a few years ago I should have been delighted to have made you a present of my services.

In the same way if you wish for advertisements they must be paid for, and I would if you think fit pay a visit to Goa or Cochin, and see whether I can obtain anything of interest.

Perhaps the University would supply funds for the purposes. I trust you will accept this explanation in the same spirit as I write it, and be assured.

I remain

Yours faithfully

Edmund Woodhouse

I can read French though unable to write it.

Faksimiles: Universitätsbibliothek Graz Abteilung für Sondersammlungen, Creative commons CC BY-NC https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (Sig. 12892)