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timony of the proud Brahmin, the superstitious Hindoo, and the outcast Chandala, contained in a letter addressed to him by the inhabitants of Dhuboy on leaving the government of that city. And not only the Indian during the twenty years he passed in Asia, but the European during his after residence in various parts of England and the Continent, experienced the effects of his unostentatious beneficence, especially those who cannot dig, and to beg are ashamed. The fatherless and the widow were the peculiar objects of his tender solicitude: indeed all the unhappy: for his heart was ever open to soothe the sorrows of suffering humanity, as his purse to relieve its wants. I trust I shall be excused for dwelling on the portrait of an honoured, and revered, and beloved parent: its features are rare as they are beautiful.

In 1796 Mr. Forbes quitted England in company with a learned and intimate friend, and travelled through Italy, Switzerland, and Germany: but being at that period unable to enter France, he with his wife and daughter, during the short peace of 1803, embarked for Holland, whence without being aware of the commencement of hostilities between England and France, he proceeded to Paris, and arrived in that capital the day after the unjust and shameful order had been issued, which constituted all English travellers and residents in the French dominions prisoners

*See p. 345, vol. II. of this work.

viii

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF THE AUTHOR.

of war. He shared the fate of his unfortunate countrymen, was sent to Verdun, and remained there until, at the solicitation of M. Carnot, President of the National Institute at Paris, and of Sir Joseph Banks, President of the Royal Society, he obtained his liberty, and returned to England in June 1804.

Mr. Forbes first appeared as an author by the publication of" Letters in France, written in 1803 and 1804, containing a particular description of the English at Verdun," two vols. 8vo. He afterwards published "Reflections on the Character of the Hindoos, and on the Importance of converting them to Christianity," in 8vo. 1810. His most important work is the Oriental Memoirs now offered to the public.

In 1816 he accompanied his family to Paris, where he remained two years. He again quitted England in June 1819, when he was seized with the fatal illness which terminated his exemplary life: a life which had been but a preparation for eternity. He died at Aix la Chapelle, in the arms of his daughter and her children, in August 1819, at the age of seventy.

THE

AUTHOR'S PREFACE.

THESE Memoirs are founded on a series of letters, written during a long residence in India. A variety of new and interesting matter, collected from valuable and accurate resources, has induced me to alter their original form, and present them to the world in the shape of a connected narrative. I consider this explanation necessary to account for the epistolary style, occasional repetitions, and want of connexion, which will be found to pervade them.

Leaving England before I had attained my sixteenth year, and being while in India deprived of a choice of books, I lay no claim to literary merit. I am conscious of numerous defects in a work commenced at that early age, and continued for eighteen years in the India Company's service, when duty stationed me at many of their settlements, and curiosity led me to other places in the western provinces of Hindostan.

The manuscripts from which these volumes are compiled, and the drawings which illustrate them, have formed the principal recreation of my life. The pursuit beguiled the monotony of our India voyages, cheered a solitary residence at Anjengo and Dhuboy,

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and softened the long period of absence from my native country it has since mitigated the rigor of captivity, and alleviated domestic sorrow. Drawing to me had the same charm as music to the soul of harIn my mony. secluded situation in Guzerat I seemed to be blest with another sense. My friends in India were happy to enlarge my collection; the sportsman suspended his career after royal game to procure me a curiosity; the Hindoo often brought a bird or an insect for delineation, knowing it would then regain its liberty; and the Brahmin supplied specimens of fruit and flowers from his sacred enclosures.

Diffident as I am of this performance, I deem myself, in some degree, pledged to publish it, in consequence of this pledge being the immediate cause of procuring the liberation of myself and family from captivity. I also assign as another reason, that some of my letters at full length, and extracts from others, have appeared in several late publications, without being ascribed to their real author.

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