The first Sanskrit-Chinese dictionary for Europeans
Hand-book for the student of Chinese Buddhism.
Hong Kong & Shanghai Lane Crawford & Co 1870
First edition. 8vo (22 x 15 cm), pp.[x], 218, , [3, errata], [1,blank]. Printed Chinese characters in text. A very good copy sturdily bound in later buckram. The original wrappers, rather worn and stained, have been repaired and bound in. Front wrapper with the author's presentation inscription to Reverend John Chalmers.
Cordier BS 746; Morrison I, p.253
A Sanskrit-Chinese dictionary of Buddhist terms, compiled by the missionary Ernst Eitel, who notes in his preface: "No apology is needed for the appearance of this little book, though it is the first attempt of its kind. The student of Chinese religious literature finds himself on almost every step hampered by the continued recurrence of Sanskrit and other foreign terms embedded in the text generally without a word of explanation." The first 173 pages provide Sanskrit words with English definitions and their Chinese equivalents; the final 47 pages provide indexes of Chinese (arranged by radical), Pali, Sinhalese, Tibetan, Mongolian, Burmese, and Thai terms in the dictionary. Ernst John Eitel (1838-1908) arrived in Hong Kong in 1862 as a Basel missionary and transferred to the London Missionary Society in Canton three years later. He moved back to Hong Kong in 1870 and published A Chinese dictionary in the Cantonese dialect in 1877. He served variously as Inspector of Schools, and Private Secretary to the Governor Pope Hennessy. John Chalmers was a missionary in Hong Kong from 1852, and from 1859 in Canton. He wrote a Chinese phonetic vocabulary and published several papers on Buddhism in Chinese.