(Referred to in LETTER LXVII.)

I am indebted for the following explanation of the cypher, alluded to in Letter LXVII, to Mr. Stewart, the Arabic, Persian, and Hindoostany Professor at the Honorable the East-India Company’s College at Hertford. Not having received it till after that Letter had gone to press, it is inserted in this place.

The verse, containing the key to the cypher in question, is read by Mr. Stewart, as follows:—


which may be thus rendered:

The Units reach just to the line;
The Tens not quite so low are seen:
The Hundreds to the right incline;
While Thousands to the left do lean.
Thus<Arabic>Stand for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9.
<Arabic>Stand for 10, 20, 30, &c. to 90.
<Arabic>Stand for 100, 200, &c. to 900.
<Arabic>Stand for 1000, &c.

Or the Hundreds and Thousands may be thus denoted:

Hundreds <Arabic>

Thousands <Arabic> &c.

But the Ubjud notation (according to which the several letters of the alphabet are to be denoted by figures, and, vice versa, the latter to be reduced to letters) not going beyond 1000, by which number the letter <Arabic> is expressed, the foregoing scheme is applicable no farther: what follows a thousand, therefore, can be em­ployed only to denote numbers. Thus <Arabic> or <Arabic> might be used for 3000; but would not convey any other meaning.

The following example is added, for the better illustration of the cypher in question.

Ghûlâm Hyder (<Arabic>) would be thus written

<Arabic> or instead of <Arabic> this <Arabic> may be used.


And Tippoo Sultan (<Arabic>) thus,

<Arabic> or instead of <Arabic> this <Arabic> may be used.


This, I believe, was the cypher in which (as mentioned at Letter LIII) the de­scription of the works of Fort St. George was written by Tippoo’s Vakeels, during their residence at that presidency.