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p. 305


Page xiii. Srî-wardhana-pura. It should have been pointed out that this city is not (as stated by Emerson Tennant at vol. i, p. 414 of his 'Ceylon') the same as the modern town of Kandy, but was in the Kurunægalla district, and (as pointed out by Yr. K. James Pohath in the 'Ceylon Orientalist,' vol. iii, p. 2 18) about three and a half miles distant from the modern Damba-deniya.

P. 2, note 2. Mr. Trenckner in his 'Pâli Miscellany' (London, 1879) has translated and annotated the whole of Book I, that is, to the end of p. 39 of this translation.

P. 6, line 1, read 'to Tissa the Elder, the son of Moggali.'

P. 10, note 1. It is strange that when it occurred to me that §§ 10-14 are an early interpolation I failed to notice the most important, and indeed almost conclusive argument for my suggestion. It is this, that the closing words of § 14 are really in complete contradiction to the opening words, and that they look very much as if they had been inserted, after the interpolation, to meet the objection to it which would at once arise from the expression in § 16, that the venerable Assagutta 'heard those words of King Milinda.' As it originally stood the words he heard were those of § 10. After the interpolation these words had to be reinserted at the end of § 14, in spite of their being in contradiction to the context.

Pp. 14 foll., for 'Rohana' read 'Rohana.'

Pp. 15, 16. This whole episode as to the charge of lying is repeated by Buddhaghosa (in the Introduction to his Samanta. Pâsâdikâ, p. 296 of vol. iii of Oldenberg's Vinaya), but as having happened to Siggava in connection with the birth of Moggali-putta Tissa. A modern author would be expected to mention his source, but Buddhaghosa, makes no reference whatever to the Milinda. Perhaps the episode is common stock of Buddhist legend, and we shall find it elsewhere.

P. 32, line 1, add after 'Quietism' 'and the discourse on losses (Parâbhava Suttanta).' [See p. xxix, where the reference is supplied.]

p. 306

P. 53. 'Virtue's the base.' It should have been pointed out that this is the celebrated verse given by the Ceylon scholars to Buddhaghosa as the theme of the test essay he was to write as a proof of his fitness. If he succeeded in the essay they would then entrust him with all their traditions for him to recast in Pâli. The 'Path of Purity,' which opens with this verse, was the result.

P. 185, § 49. On the question discussed in this section the curious may compare what is said by Sir Thomas Brown in his 'Enquiries into Vulgar and Common Errors,' Book VII, Chapter xvi (p. 304 of the London edition of 1686). He gives several instances of supposed cases of conception without sexual connection mentioned in western writers, and comes to the conclusion, apropos of the supposed generation of the magician Merlin by Satan, that 'generations by the devil are very improbable.'


I had desired to dedicate this translation of the Milinda to Mr. Trenckner, to whose self-denying labours, spread over many years, we owe the edition of the Pâli text on which the translation is based, and without which the translation would not have been attempted. But I am now informed that any dedication of a single volume in the series of the 'Sacred Books of the East' is not allowable, as it would conflict with the dedication of the entire series. Had I known this when the Introduction was being written, a more suitable acknowledgment of the debt due to Mr. Trenckner than the few words on page xv, would have been made at the close of the Introductory remarks. I am permitted therefore to add here what was intended to appear in the dedication as an expression of the gratitude which all interested in historical research must feel to a scholar who has devoted years of labour, and of labour rendered valuable by the highest training and critical scholarship, to a field of enquiry in which the only fruit to be gathered is knowledge.