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John Crawfurd an Wilhelm von Humboldt, 28.08.1831

Athenaeum Club. Pall Mall. London August 28 th 1831.

I am truly gratified by the receipt of your Excellency’s letter of the 5 th of August which Baron de Bulow did me the honor to transmit a few days ago. I lost no time in sending to my residence in the country for the two Dictionaries which you wish & have now the pleasure to forward them. The Javanese and English work is my own composition and was prepared between the years 1811 and 1814 when I filled seemed<some> official situations in Jawa and enjoyed tolerable opportunities of study. Your Excellency will observe some words marked in pencil with a cross. The marks were affixed by a young Javanese Chief|?| who studied the English language at Calcutta and may be considered |129v| as verifying the explanations which I have given. The Dictionary, however contains many words of Kawi with which he did not pretend to be acquainted. The Alphabetical arrangement it will be seen is preserved only as far as regards the first two letters or rather the first two consonants of each word.

The Javanese Dictionary, explained in Javanese, was prepared with my instructions by my Javanese instructors. The alphabetical order is here also in some measure preserved, but the explanations will be found in general to consist rather of a series of synonimes |sic| than definitions. I trust, notwithstanding that your Excellency will find it of some use in your pursuits. As I did in respect to the former communications, I do now with respect to these, entreat your Excellency to use every |130r| freedom with them and to keep them as long as they can be serviceable to you. – My oriental manuscripts are in a distant part of the country, but when when I have collected them in London to which I move for a permanent residence in October, I shall have the satisfaction of fulfilling my pledge by making a selection for Excellency |sic|.

Is your Excellency aware that an Italian nobleman whose name, if I remember well, is Count Vidua has lately visited, indeed resided for some years in, the Philippine islands and Java, and composed a valuable statistic work on the Eastern islands embracing as I understand the question of language? A friend of mine brought home the manuscript for him which I am told is to be published. This work I have no doubt will furnish valuable matter for your comprehensive work<undertaking>, and it is for |130v| this reason that I bring it under your notice. I beg your Excellency to command my further services, and to accept the assurance of my great respect.

I remain, your Excellencys faithful & obedient servt.
His Excellency
Baron Humboldt

Über diesen Brief

Antwort auf


  • Grundlage der Edition: Ehem. Preußische Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, gegenwärtig in der Jagiellonen-Bibliothek Krakau, Coll. ling. fol. 53, Bl.129–130
  • Mueller-Vollmer 1993, S. 221

John Crawfurd an Wilhelm von Humboldt, 28.08.1831. In: Wilhelm von Humboldt: Online-Edition der Sprachwissenschaftlichen Korrespondenz. Berlin. Version vom 15.03.2023. URL: https://wvh-briefe.bbaw.de/244


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