The History of British India, Vol. 1 of 3 (Classic Reprint)

The History of British India, Vol. 1 of 3 (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from The History of British India, Vol. 1 of 3

In the course of reading and investigation, necessary for acquiring that measure of knowledge which I was anxious to posses, respecting my country, its people, its government, its interests, its policy, and its laws, I was met, and in some degree surprised, by extraordinary difficulties, when I arrived at that part of my inquiries which related to India. On other subjects, of any magnitude and importance, I generally found, that there was some one book, or small number of books, containing the material part of the requisite information; and in which direction was obtained, by reference, to other books, if, in any part, the reader found it necessary to extend his researches. In regard to India, the case was exceedingly different. The knowledge requisite for attaining an adequate conception of that great scene of British action, was collected no where. It was scattered in a great variety of repositories, sometimes in considerable portions, often in very minute ones; sometimes by itself, often mixed up with subjects of a very different nature: but even where information relating to India stood disjoined from other subjects, a small portion of what was useful lay commonly imbedded in a large mass of what was trifling and insignificant; and of a body of statements, given indiscriminately as matters of fact, ascertained by the senses, the far greater part was in general only matter of opinion, borrowed, in succession, by one set of Indian gentlemen from another.

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