37 I.-CENTRAL OR STANDARD BENGALI, The Central Dialect of Bengali, as spoken by the educated classes, is that usnally taken as the standard of polite conversation. It is the one illustrated in the foregoing grammatical sketch, and further account of it is unnecessary* It is the language of the town of Calcutta and of the Districts of the Twenty-four- Parganas, Naclia, Murshidabad, Hooghly, and Howrah. It is also spoken in the east of the District of Burdwanby about, in round numbers, 320,000 people, and in the eastern and northern portions of Midnapore, by another 1,506,100. These last two figures are only approximate. In Burdwan, especially, it is impossible to fix a dividing line, and to say definitely, or even approximately, that on one side of it Central, and on the other Western Bengali is spoken. All that can be said is that probably a million people in Burdwan speak Western Bengali, and, in that case, as the total number of Bengali speakers in the district is 1,319,586, the remainder should be shown as speating the standard form of the language. Regarding the boundary between Central and South-. Western Bengali, in the Midnapore District, vide the remarks on p. 96 post, together with the accompanying map. "With these limitations, we may say that the Central or Standard dialect of Bengali is spoken by the folio wing number of persons:— Name of District. Number of speakers. Hooglily . 1,013,477 Uowrah ••*«•• 708,092 24-Parganas • *. 1,768,960 Calcutta. * » . % 3?5,528 Nadia ....«« 1,631,413 Murshidabad ,,..** 1,120,841 furdw&n • * * * * 319,586 Midnapore * - » » 1,506,099 ' TOTAL 8,443,996 The first specimen comes from Calcutta, and is a good example of the high-flown, Sartskriti&ed, style used in modern literature. In order to illustrate Bengali hand- writing, a facsimile is given of the manuscript, which may be compared with the printed copies in the Bengali and Roman characters. Besiies the strict letter for letter transliteration of the original, an attempt has been made to illustrate the sounds of the words in this and subsequent specimens by an interlinear phonetic transcription, which is printed in italic type. As such high-flown language is rarely used in conversation, it must be understood that the phpnetic transcription, which represents (in the present instance), so far as is possible, the colloquial pronunciation of an educated man speaking with some care, haxdly represents the pronunciation which he would adopt in reading it. Such highly Sanskritized Bengali would probably be read ore rotunda, and would sound more nearly like the written words, than would Ibc usual in the conversation of eyen the most educated.