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tions. The former was communicated by Col. Popham, and the latter by the Right Hon. Charles Greville.
Mr. Dalrymple, to whom I made my acknowledgments for the assistance afforded me, in the course of my former work, has, on the present occasion, not only procured for me every new material that fell under his notice, but instructed me how to procure others, and to draw information from various sources, that I was before ignorant of. To his valuable, and perhaps unequalled, collection of MS. charts, and of voyages and travels, I have also had access, on all occasions; and I wish to be understood to speak with the utmost sincerity, when I say, that without this assistance, my performance must have been extremely imperfect: or in other words, that Mr. Dalrymple is entitled to the thanks of the public, in a positive degree; although my share of those thanks, may be only comparative.
Although the new translation of the AYIN ACBAREE may have in part superseded the value of the extracts furnished me on the foriner occasion by Sir Charles Boughton Rouse ; as the translation contains the whole subject in a connected form ; and was also a task which none but a person who devoted his whole time to it, could effect; yet I ain by no means unmindful of my former obligations to this Gentleman.
I have borrowed, largely, from M. D'Apres' New Neptune Orientale, for the sea coasts and islands: and also, though in a
smaller degree, from M. D'Anville's maps of Asia and India published in 1751 and 1752.
When it is considered that this excellent Geographer had scarcely any materials to work on for the inland parts of India, but some vague itineraries, and books of travels, one is really astonished to find them so well described as they are. It is with regret that I find myself obliged to differ in opinion from him concerning some positions in ancient Geogra phy: I mean, that of Palibothra, in particular ; and some few others. I have generally avoided all disquisitions of this kind, from a conviction of the general obscurity of the subject; and which even an intimate knowledge of the Indian languages would not enable me to clear up: for the similitude between ancient and modern names, is very fallacious, unless strongly corroborated by situation. But we cannot well refuse our assent to the opinion that Ptolemy meant the Suttuluz, or Setlege by the Zaradrus; the Rauvee by the Rhuadis, or Adaris; and the Chunaub by the Sandabalis: because not only the names, but the positions have an affinity to each other. And yet this is a part of Ptolemy, which M. D'Anville discredits the most: but the reason was, that M. D'Anville himself was unacquainted with the true names of those rivers.
M. Bussy's marches in the Deccan afford data for fixing the positions of many capital places there ; particularly Hydrabad, Aurungabad, Bisnagur and Sanore. But still there are plans of some of his marches wanting, which, could they be procured, would throw much light on the geography of the peninsula,
and the Deccan : such as that from Pondicherry to Cuddapah, Adoni, and Hydrabad ; that from Aurungabad to Nagpour ; and the campaign towards Poonah. There are also existing, itineraries kept by very intelligent people, who have travelled from Pondicherry, direct to Delhi; but I know not how to set about
procuring them. The public records at Goa, I am informed, contain a vast fund of geographical knowledge; and yet we are more in the dark, concerning the country on that side of the peninsula, than we are with respect to the centre of the Deccan.
Could the whole mass of geographical matter that respects India (much of which, is probably in the hands of people who are ignorant of its value) be collected, I make no doubt but that very complete maps of the several provinces of it, might be constructed, on scales large enough for any ordinary purpose.
It is intended by this Memoir to particularize the several authorities from whence the positions in the Map are drawn; together with the manner of comparing them, in cases where they disagreed ; as also the manner of combining them, when more than one circumstance was required to establish a position. By this means, the authority for each particular, may be known to those who have curiosity enough to inquire after it: and the defective parts being thus pointed out, some future Geographer may be stimulated to seek for better materials: It
also who are already in possession of such materials, when they are apprised of their use, to contribute them to the public stock. Any
communications of the kind will be thankfully received ; and a
proper use made of them.
There will be found, at the end of the work, distinct Indexes, referring to the matter of the Memoir, and to the naines of countries and places in the Map. The great waste of time occasioned by searching after particular situations, in maps of any extent,
, renders an index as necessary an appendage to a large map, as to a large book. For an index will, in the first instance, inform the reader whether the place sought after, be in the map, or not. If in the map,
he is directed to it with as much facility, as to a passage in a book, from an ordinary index. And if it be not there, although he may, indeed, blame the map for its deficiency, he must allow that it does not rob him of his time, by encouraging fruitless researches. There are also added, Tables of Distances between the principal cities and towns of Hindoostan; and a small map, which brings into one view the respective positions of all the places mentioned in the Tables.
As there does not exist at present, under any form whatsoever, a connected abstract of Indian history, it is a very difficuli task for any reader, although possessed of inclination and leisure, to make himself acquainted with the principal events that form the ground-work of the history of that country: and particularly those which laid the foundation of the British power there. The many valuable tracts on this subject, that have appeared at different times, are so disjointed in point of chronology,
that no idea of general history can be obtained from them: nor can the chasms be readily filled up. I have therefore been tempted to compile a sort of chronological table of events, from the æra of the first Mahomedan conquests, to the final dissolution of the Mogul empire: and wish the reader to understand, that what is offered to his perusal under that form, is intended as a mere sketch ; and that, chiefly with a view to render so dry and so unentertaining a subject as the geography of a country, somewhat more interesting, by accompanying it with an account of the principal events and revolutions, to which the country has given birth. I am but too conscious of the deficiency of this part of my performance. Besides, many of the events are related so differently by different people, who pretend to an equal knowledge of the circumstances of them, that it will be no matter of surprise if I am found (by those whose knowledge of eastern languages has gained them access to authentic records) to be often mistaken. In whatsoever case this may happen, I make no doubt but that I shall experience the exercise of their candour, as to the motives by which I was actuated, when I adopted any particular opinion, or mode of relation. The present disputes concerning some recent historical facts in this and the neighbouring countries, shew how extremely difficult it is to come at the truth, even when the researches after it, are made under every favourable circumstance that can possibly attend them.
MARCH ist, 1788.