While translating the following history, I frequently reflected that whatever leisure and opportunity I possessed, for accomplishing this task, had chiefly arisen from the liberality of public measures, and the impartiality of private patronage, during your government at Bombay. To no one so appropriately as you, therefore, could I dedicate these pages; and, while I feel gratified in giving testimony to the utility of encouraging individuals, disposed to study the languages of the East, I am sen­sible that few can better judge the imperfections of my present undertaking than yourself. I fear to offend your delicacy of sentiment, by speaking of public principle in the language of eulogium; but I should ill consult the interests of the public service, or appreciate my own feelings, could I be silent, after having obtained the situation I lately held, for no other reason than having complied with the terms of your government orders, promulgated to pro­mote the study of oriental languages among the Europeans.

Though the acquirement of these, and the cultivation of oriental literature, may be of use, in enlarging our views of general history and geography, they serve a yet more important purpose, in this country, by removing the prejudices of early education, by interesting the feelings of Europeans for the welfare of Asiatics, and disposing the former to treat as equals those whom they had been taught to consider as inferiors. These advantages were duly estimated by your administration: during which to have possessed such acquirement was to obtain reward. Every good government will keep sight of such enlightened policy, if it regards the efficiency of its servants, or the happiness of its subjects; though I regret to observe an ill-judged economy, in this matter, has been of late ordered by authority from home. The love of distinction is, with some, a more powerful incitement to exertion than even the hope of emolument; and for such the establishment of the Royal Asiatic Society and Oriental Translation Fund holds out powerful inducements; but, with the majority, the last will be found to be the more influential passion, and should be turned to good account by rulers, who wish to conciliate a conquered people.

In ascribing this much to you, I must not forget what I owe to your successors, for having afforded me every facility in completing the present translation. The late Sir John Malcolm, who had himself so successfully cultivated ori­ental literature, and was ready to encourage others, placed at my command the services of the native whom I mention in the preface; and I am under similar obligations to the Right Ho nourable the Earl of Clare.

It is incumbent on us, as rulers of India, to possess an accurate knowledge of its customs, manners, religious opinions, history, and com­merce; and regarding the early state of such there is yet a wide field of interesting research. The influence of the Greek kingdom of Bactria on Sanskrit literature; the knowledge which the Romans possessed of India, and the state of their commerce with the country; the intercourse of the primitive Arabs and eastern Christians with the Hindús; the incorporation of foreign tribes with the aborigines; the institutions of their civil society; and rules of their military policy, are subjects of intense interest, that may be successfully elucidated by closely studying the Greek and Roman authors, in connexion with Sanskrit literature, and the historical and geo­graphical books in Arabic and Persian. In the introduction, prefixed to the following translation, I have endeavoured to clear up the obscurity that exists in one portion of Indian history; and, if such obtain your approbation, it will gratify,

Dear Sir,

Your obedient servant,


London, 1st September, 1834.