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and to the continuance of long-lived and uninterrupted Respect and Esteem.

When I, farther, call to mind the confidential Regard, originating perhaps in official intercourse, but strengthened by a congeniality of disposition in the promotion of public and private good, that so cordially subsists between our common and highly-respected friend Mr. DUNCAN and you, I am additionally impelled to this measure, thinking that it will not be unpleasing to either: while associating my own name so honourably, and in such a Cause, must be an object to me of laudable ambition.

Wishing that all desired good may await your arrival, and prosper your abode, in your native country, after an absence of thirty years spent most zealously and usefully in its foreign service in India, I heartily, My Dear WALKER, bid you FAREWELL.


Bealings, Suffolk,

March 1, 1811.


ALTHOUGH it may not be very interesting to the PUBLIC, it will not, I hope, be entirely otherwise, and will be satisfactory to me, if I be allowed the liberty of stating the sources whence I have derived the materials for this little Volume.

In the Dedication of my Hindu Pantheon, as well as in the body of that work, I have adverted to the general subject of the present; and noticed a manuscript on Indian Infanticide being in the best hands, hoping it would be submitted to the Public.

I had not at that time any idea that it would be so submitted in its present form. The manuscript was in the possession of Sir JOSEPH BANKS, to whom it had been transmitted by the Honourable Mr. DUNCAN, Governor of Bombay, and I was authorized to avail myself of it as I pleased in my Hindu Pantheon, then, as was known in India, in the press: but I was too far advanced to admit conveniently of my benefiting by this kind attention; and I thought, moreover, that the subject so handled, demanded a more respectful introduction to the Literary Public, than in an episode, as it were, in a larger work. Nor when Sir JOSEPH BANKS put the manuscript into my hands, had I any expectation of the subject assuming its present shape. I, however, copied and arranged it for the press; and soon after I had so done Colonel WALKER arrived in England; and on being made

acquainted with my intention, he furnished me with the original papers, among others, whence a considerable portion of Mr. DUNCAN's manuscript, in the form of a summary, or abridged memoir, had been drawn up.

Deeming the subject sufficiently curious and interesting to warrant its separate publication, and not being straitened for room or time, as was the case in respect to the Hindu Pantheon, I resolved on submitting to the Public the entire papers, part of which only were condensed in Mr. DUNCAN'S admirable summary. Several letters and reports, posterior in point of time to the termination of that summary, were among the materials with which Colonel WALKER furnished me. None of these had been written with any view to publication.

My enlarged project was now communicated to Sir JOSEPH BANKS. It is bespeaking the good opinion of the Public to say that he warmly approved it; and but repeating what is known to all, that he was, as ever, prompt in forwarding by his assistance and advice, this, like every other, effort, having in view a public good: and such, it is hoped, may, through however humble an instrumentality as the Editor of this Volume, be hereby promoted.

Thus assisted and encouraged, I recast my materials; dividing them into the convenient arrangement of Chapters; and retaining for the two first the commencement of Mr. DUNCAN'S Memoir; which, as far as those Chapters extend, comprises a portion of time anterior to Colonel WALKER'S co-operation in the holy cause of extirpating Infanticide from among the Hindus; and refers to a part of India distant from the scene of those operations. To a time and country, indeed, wherein no European but Mr. DUNCAN knew of the

existence of the crime, and when consequently no one but himself laboured to eradicate it.

An outline of this interesting discovery, and of the exertions successfully made to effectuate the abolition of the sad habit so developed, was briefly published in the Asiatic Researches: but, to render this Tract fully comprehensive of its subject, I have, from Mr. DUNCAN's memoir, detailed the rise, progress, and happy result of that discovery; as, with other points connected with this and the preceding paragraph, will more clearly appear from my occasional notices in the course of the work.

Finding that several of my papers, from having been copied in India by native writers, were inaccurate; and imagining that others on the same subject, not in my possession, might probably exist among the records at the Indiahouse, I, with the desire of making my Tract as worthy of the Public eye as was in my power, applied to Mr. ASTELL, the most worthy and enlightened Chairman of the respectable Court who so ably Direct the Affairs of our Indian Empire, for permission to correct from their records my defective materials, and eventually to extract others of which I was not possessed.

On unfolding my scheme of publication to Mr. ASTELL he was pleased to approve it; and to aid it by obligingly acceding to my wishes. For this ready and polite condescension, I thus return my grateful thanks.

In the commencement of Chapter VI. I have noticed my acquisition of materials from this source. It will, in a confined degree, be there seen, and may be thence extensively inferred, that this most respectable body, amid the multiplicity of

important objects unremittingly pressing oh their attention, do still yield the promptest cognizance to the calls of humanity; and that any point involving the happiness or welfare of any, of the many millions, of their deserving subjects in Hindustan, is viewed by them with interest and sympathy. The opportunity is grateful to me, and it has several times occurred, of making respectful mention of the liberality of the Honourable Court to me on literary occasions. It would look like ostentation to recapitulate them; and I therefore generally return my best thanks.

It is, I feel, necessary to notice, and apologize for the frequent references that I have, in the course of this work, found it expedient to make to the Hindu Pantheon. I am, indeed, almost ashamed at their frequency, although it has, in some degree, been unavoidable; for, as therein observed, Mythology is, with the Hindus, all-pervading. Their history, science, literature, arts, customs, conversation, and every thing, are replete with Mythological allusions. Now, as the greater part of my notes and interpolations scattered through the following pages are of that description; and as I have endeavoured in my former work to say something, however brief and superficial, on the attributes and character, and the legends most popularly connected with the history, of every deity comprehended within the vast range of the Pantheistic Idolatry of India, I found in my said work some notice explanatory on most points that seemed to require it, of this. And having no library, and writing where I have access to but few books, I, of course, found my own poor work easiest, and, in this case, generally sufficient, to refer to.

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On a practice so universally abhorrent to every humane

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