BY THE REV. F. J. LEEPER, TRANQUEBAR.
The Naladiyar is one of the few original works we have in Tamil. It contains altogether forty chapters, of ten stanzas each, on moral subjects. The origin of the name is thus told in the introduction of Father Beschi's Shen Tamil Grammar:--"Eight thousand poets visited the p. 219 court of a certain prince, who, being a lover of the Muses, treated them with kindness and received them into favour; this excited the envy of the bards who already enjoyed the royal patronage, and in a short time they succeeded so completely in their attempt to prejudice their master against the new comers that the latter found it necessary to consult their safety by flight, and, without taking leave of their host, decamped in the dead of night. Previous to their departure each poet wrote a venba on a scroll, which he deposited under his pillow. When this was made known, the king, who still listened to the counsels of the envious poets, ordered the scrolls to be collected and thrown into a river, when four hundred of them were observed to ascend, for the space of four feet, naladi, against the stream. The king, moved by this miraculous ocourrence, directed that these scrolls should be preserved, and they were accordingly formed into a work, which from the foregoing circumstance received the name of Naladiyar." I append a few chapters as specimens of the work.