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TRAVELS IN INDIA,
SINDE AND THE PUNJAB.
CAPTAIN LEOPOLD VON ORLICH.
TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN,
H. EVANS LLOYD, ESQ.
IN TWO VOLUMES.
LONGMAN, BROWN, GREEN, AND LONGMANS,
o 83 Vis
NOTWITHSTANDING the numerous works of every description which treat of India, notwithstanding the marvellous phenomenon presented by the rise, progress, and colossal magnitude of our Indian empire, it was, on the whole, too long before the English nation took an interest in the subject in any degree commensurate with its importance. The affairs of that country were regarded as the concern of the East India Company rather than as involving any national interest:India, in fact, was looked upon as an El Dorado, where persons, enjoying the patronage of the Company, might acquire immense fortunes; and when public attention was drawn to abuses, real or supposed, it was, as in the case of Warren Hastings, rather to forward the views of a party than to vindicate the honour or to promote the interests of the mother-country.
Meantime the labours and indefatigable researches of many men of eminent learning and
ability were gradually revealing to Europe, not only its natural wonders, its surpassing fertility, its richness in every production that can contribute to the support, the comfort, and the happiness of man, but likewise the treasures of its learning, the condition of its people, and, alas ! independently of its absurd general idolatry, the Tantra and Sakta worship, which necessarily brutalised and enslaved a part of its people.
A decided change for the better has undoubtedly taken place within a comparatively short period; and in proportion as the English nation has been more thoroughly informed of the state of India, it has manifested a more lively sympathy in the affairs of that empire; hence public opinion has had no little influence in producing a marked improvement in the government of that remote country, which will unquestionably be still further promoted by the rapid communication now obtained by means of steam navigation.
Under these circumstances the public are now eager for the most recent and authentic inform
and the work of an intelligent and impartial foreigner like Captain Von Orlich cannot, therefore, fail to be highly acceptable. The circumstance that his letters are addressed to two such eminently distinguished characters as Alexander Von Humboldt and Carl Ritter would of itself be sufficient to guarantee their inherent importance; in fact, the