« PreviousContinue »
IONCEIVING myself entitled, by my
original proposals, to select for discusfion in these volumes any subject intimately connected with the ANTIQUITIES OF INDIA, and as none, I presume, can be more gratifying to the general class of my readers than. those that equally concern India and Britain, I have selected the venerable Order of Druids, their doctrines, and rites, which have such an immediate and wonderful affinity with those of the Brahmins; and the ancient commerce of the Phænicians, Carthaginians, and Greeks, carried on, prior to the Christian æra, with India on the one hand, and Britain on the other, for their confideration in this volume. It was not my intention, indeed, in these
Researches, to have descended to periods fabfequent"to that æra, but my gratitude to the Honourable Court of East-India Directors, for their liberal patronage of the History of Hindoftan, my anxious desire to make this work effentially ufeful to gentlemen going out in a commercial capacity to India, and the important circumstance of the revival, at the present day, of that particular branch of its traffic with the Fast, which rendered this island fo celebrated in antiquity, I mean the TIN of the Cornith mines-a measure which reflects such honour both on the patriotisin and wisdom of the Directors, and is of fuch material consequence, at this momentous crifis, by retaining so much bullion in the country, and giving bread to fo many thoufands of difteffed miners: these united reasons have induced me to deviate somewhat from my propofed plan, and to sketch out such a fummåry but clear view of the ancient and prefent commercial connection of Britain with India, as may prove at once gratifying to the scholar and useful to the merchant.
The Asiatic origin of the Druids has long been an acknowledged point in the world of antiquaries. Mr. Reuben Burrow, the great practical astronomer of India, was the first