« PreviousContinue »
COMPARED, THROUGHOUT, WITH THE
UPON A COMPREHENSIVE SCALE.
and the ANCIENT COMMERCE of HINDOSTAN.
CONCEIVING myself entitled, by my
U original proposals, to select for discussion in these volumes any subject intimately connected with the ANTIQUITIES OF INDIA; and às 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 consideration in this volume. It was not my intention, indeed, in these A 2
Researches, to have descended to periodssubsequent to that æra, but my gratitude to the Honourable Court of East-India Directors, for their liberal patronage of the History of Hindostan, my anxious desire to make this work essentially useful 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 East, which rendered this island so celebrated in antiquity, I mean the TIN of the Cornish mines—a measure which reflects such honour both on the patriotism and wisdom of the Directors, and is of such material consequence, at this momentous crisis, by retaining so much bullion in the country, and giving bread to so many thousands of distressed miners : these united reasons have induced me to deviate somewhat from my proposed plan, and to sketch out such a summary but clear view of the ancient and present commercial connection of Britain with India, as may prove at once gratifyingto the scholarạnd usefulto 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