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TO THE MOST NOBLE
RICHARD MARQUIS WELLESLEY,K.G.
ONE OF HIS MAJESTY's PRINCIPAL
SECRETARIES OF STATE.
THOUGH the inability with which the following Discourses are executed, may bring on me the charge of presumption in selecting a name of such high authority on every question connected with the history and science of the eastern world; yet the motives by which they were suggested, may, in some degree, recommend them to the approbation of Marquis Wellesley.--To no one, my Lord, could they be addressed with so much propriety; since, among the many claims, which a vigorous and splendid administration in India has entailed on public
esteem and gratitude, it is impossible to forget the obligations, which your Lordship's patronage has conferred on oriental literature.
Your Lordship needs not to be informed, of what every scholar must know, that, in a work, confessedly intended for popular usé, but on a subject so recondite and diffusive, it was impossible to avoid allusions to many points, on which a wide difference of opinion has excited much intemperance and acrimony. That the ensuing discussion of some of those points, is so temperate, as to compose all difference of opinion, it would be arrogant to hope: but no objector to the principles supported will have reason to complain, that his sentiments have been disguised by misrepresentation, or distorted by prejudice.
In the composition and publication of these discourses, the great object has been, to establish those sound principles, which, while they include the interests of religion and morality, are the basis of all true policy; principles, on which the British constitution in Church and State is founded; and to which alone we must look for domestic peace and security, and for the preservation of empire.
I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect,
Your Lordship's most obliged,
And most devoted Servant,
I. B. S. CARWITHEN.
THE AUTHOR wishes to observe, respecting the few Notes attached to the present work, that they are principally designed for readers unacquainted with Asiatic literature. They might have been advantageously extended, but the Author was unwilling to add more than were absolutely necessary, until the sense of the public on the value of his performance should be ascertained.
He cannot dismiss the volume without acknowledging his obligations to Doctor FORD, the Principal of Magdalen Hall, and Lord Almoner's Professor of Arabic, for many valuable remarks ; and also for a communication transmitted in the most condescending manner by the learned BISHOP OF GLOCESTER.