The Persian language is rich, melodious, and elegant ; it has been spoken for many ages by the greatest princes in the politest courts of Asia ; and a number of admirable works have been written in it by historians, philosophers, and poets, who found it capable of expressing with equal advantage the most beautiful and the most elevated of sentiments.
It must seem strange, therefore, that the study of this language should be so little cultivated at a time when a taste for general and diffusive learning seems universally to prevail.
William Jones, A Grammar of the Persian Language, 1771, p. i.
His Lordship-in-Council is of the opinion that the great object of the British Government ought to be the promotion of European literature and science among the natives of India ; and that all funds appropriated for the purpose of education would be best employed on English education alone.
Resolution by Lord Bentinck, March 7, 1835.
Persian, as a language of influence in South Asia, dev...