I was chagrined to find, on Sir William Jones’s authority, that reference to addi­tional Mahomedan authority is yet neces­sary to decide whether any species of property was compatible with the Koran; and to read the result of nine years observations of British management, comprised in a few ethical sentences, which all modern disputants will adopt, for they all profess ethics, though every practical experiment has produced injustice and extortion.

When I saw this extract at once con­founded with Mr. Francis’s system, I felt that I might be confounded with the advo­cates of lawless rapine; and I determined, after a part of the Mysorean Regulations were printed off, to distinguish the principles of different periods; this late decision increased the defects to a careless arrange­ment; if it shall be intelligible, my object will be, perhaps, better answered than if I had gone out of my own room to seek information, or to advise even with a single person. What I state is from recollection of past measures, and from materials which I had collected for my private information; and what I communicate from my private correspondence will not be biassed by par­tiality to private friends, nor to particular administrations. A degree of amour propre inclined me not to affix my name to so imperfect a publication; if it shall be known, it will be very unimportant. Having never entered into covenants with the Com­pany, nor at any time shared its interests as a proprietor of India stock, and having never been in India, it may be enquired why I take this trouble. My answer is short; I have followed the progress of friends through every part of India; my mind often hangs over the honourable graves of much-lamented friends in India; I enjoy the society of others, who have returned with honour to Great Britain; and others yet remain in India whom I respect and value. I do not publish for them; I have reckoned life well spent, when it founded the bare hope of deserving friendship; and I do not reckon it a sacri­fice to devote a few hours in the hope of contributing to the protection of millions of fellow subjects, who will never be con­scious of my existence. My motive in all event must be my apology; and without farther preface, I shall examine the act cursorily as to its general principles of connecting Great Britain with British India in the Introduction, and then proceed to consider the internal management of British India, under Mahomedan and British conquerors, and to deduce a plan for British India, connected with the principles of the act of the last session of Parliament.