Archæology

The assorted finds of Artefact Publishing

The books, the books!

In my continuing attempts to reduce the number of books I own, yesterday I bought a few more. Particular highlights include :

In case you think I showed no restraint, I did not purchase a coloured, large edition of the Ramāyāna, nor a grammar of the Dravidian languages.

Posted by jamie on January 24, 2004 10:41+13:00

Comments

Thanks for sharing, always good to see some gratuitous Sanskrit on the Internet! One typo: बालविनोदार्शं should surely be बालविनोदार्थं. Also, बालकमुखनिरोक्षणं करोति sounds a bit weird, though I’m not very familiar with the rules of Victorian bopeep. How do you understand that? S.

Posted by: Stefan on January 29, 2004 09:47+13:00

Thanks for spotting the typo, which I have now fixed. As for why he uses the verb निरुक्ष्, I have no idea — of course, my Sanskrit is so poor that I may not have identified that correctly. I am also having trouble with सन्त्रस्त.

Maybe next year I will take the time to relearn what I once knew and learn too the vast quantities I never learned of the language. I suspect I shall be preoccupied with Germanic languages this year.

Posted by: Jamie on January 31, 2004 13:08+13:00

Yes, it seems to be nir‐ukṣ‐ ‘to sprinkle down’. Ni‐ruh‐ plus a desiderative ‐s‐ suffix would also give an action noun nirokṣaṇa, but that makes even less sense. Saṃtrasta is the past participle of saṃ‐tras‐ meaning ‘frightened’. Adding that up, the passage could be translated:

“About a father and his son: A kind of game where the father in order to entertain the child hides his face as though scared, and then, in order to scare (the child), all of a sudden throws water(?) at the child’s face.”

Not entirely clear what’s going on. Assuming that you copied everything correctly, the problem may lie in my unfamiliarity with the actual game played in Britain a hundred and something years ago.

Posted by: Stefan on January 31, 2004 22:13+13:00

Thanks for the help, Stefan! I had saṃ‐tras as the only word which would fit, but didn’t know under what circumstances the ṃ turns into an n.

From my understanding of the game as it exists today (known as peek‐a‐boo), it is simply an uncovering of the face that occurs. The OED gives the following definition, with attestations back to 1528:

A nursery play with a young child, who is kept in excitement by the nurse or play-mate alternately concealing herself (or her face), and peeping out for a moment at an unexpected place, to withdraw again with equal suddenness. Johnson says ‘The act of looking out and then drawing back as if frighted, or with the purpose to fright some other’. Hence to play (at) bo-peep (with); also fig., in many obvious applications.

Perhaps the sprinkling is simply a reference to the motions of the hands in the unveiling? That seems though something of a stretch, but the only thing I’ve come up with since yesterday.

Posted by: Jamie on February 1, 2004 10:11+13:00

This reads like some bizarre joke. Why, I frequently mistake ????? for ???'?? ?????? indeed. (Yes, I have a broken Netscape install).

Posted by: stephen on February 2, 2004 11:25+13:00

I consulted a more knowledgeable friend who recommended checking the source. So I did, and it turns that that is where the problem lies. The entry actually reads:

Bopeep, s. पितृपुत्रकयोः क्रीडाविशेषो यत्र पिता बालविनोदार्थं सन्त्रस्त इव स्वमुखगोपनं कृत्वा पश्चात् सन्त्रासनार्थम् अकस्माद् बालकमुखनिरीक्षणं करोति./p>

Bopeep, s. A kind of play between father and son where the father in order to entertain the child hides his face as though scared, and then in order to scare (the child) all of a sudden looks at the child’s face.

You misread री rī as रो ro.

Posted by: Stefan on February 2, 2004 16:27+13:00

What is particularly sad is that I noticed that it might not be an o, but on slightly closer examination decided that it really was, and then didn’t bother to check whether the alternative made more sense. Need glasses, need brain.

I’ve corrected the text once more — thanks again!

Stephen, is your installation broken, or are you simply lacking appropriate fonts?

Posted by: Jamie on February 2, 2004 16:52+13:00

I'm not sure - someone else had put NS7 on my laptop - and to tell the truth, I can't be bothered investigating. I can report that everything looks peachy on this browser (Galeon) at home.

Posted by: stephen on February 6, 2004 11:01+13:00