Imatges de pàgina
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that the two Companies should lay aside all separate BOOK I.

| CHAP. 5. views, and cordially join their endeavours to avert. the common danger.

1708. It was at last agreed, that all differences subsisting between them should be submitted to the arbitration of the Earl of Godolphin, then Lord High Treasurer of England; and that the union should be rendered complete and final upon the award which he should pronounce. On this foundation, the act, 6th Anne, ch. 17, was passed; enacting that a sum of 1,200,0001, without interest should be advanced by the United Company to government, which, being added to the former advance of 2,000,0001. at 8 per cent. interest, constituted a loan of 3,200,0001. yielding interest at the rate of 5 per cent. upon the whole; that to raise this sum of 1,200,0001. the Company should be empowered to borrow to the extent of 1,500,0001. on their common seal, or to call in moneys to that extent from the Proprietors; that this sum of 1,200,0001. should be added to their capital stock; that instead of terminating on three years' notice after the 29th of September, 1711, their privileges should be continued till three years' notice after the 25th of March, 1726, and till repayment of their capital: that the stock of the separate adventures of the General Society, amounting to 7,2001., which had never been incorporated into the joint-stock of the English Company, might be paid off, on three years' notice after the 29th of September, 1711, and merged in the joint-stock of the United Company, and that the award of the Earl of Godolphin, settling the terms of the

BOOK I. Union, should be binding and conclusive on both | CHAP. 5.

- parties. 1708.

The award of Godolphin was dated and published on the 29th of September, 1708. It referred solely to the winding up of the concerns of the two Companies; and the blending of their separate properties into one stock, on terms equitable to both. As the assets or effects of the London Company in India fell short of the debts of that concern, they were required to pay by instalments to the United Company the sum of 96,6151. 4s. 9d. : and as the effects of the English Company in India exceeded their debts, they were directed to receive from the United Company the sum of 66,0051. 4s. 2d.; a debt due by Sir Edward Littleton in Bengal, of 80,437 rupees and 8 anas, remaining to be discharged by the English Company on their own account. On these terms the whole of the property and debts of both Companies abroad became the property and debts of the United Company. With regard to the debts of both Companies in Britain, it was in general ordained that they should all be discharged before the 1st of March, 1709; and as those of the London Company amounted to the sum of 399,7951. 9s. ld. they were empowered to call upon their Proprietors, by three several instalments, for the means of liquidation.

As the intercourse of the English nation with the people of India was now destined to become, by a

" Bruce, iii. 635 to 639; Stat. 6. A. c. 17.
? lb. 667 to 679. Macpherson, iii. 1, 2.

BOOK I.
CHAP. 5.

rapid progress, both very intimate, and very exten- BO sive, a full account of the character and circumstances of that people is required for the understanding of the 1708. subsequent proceedings and events.

The population of those great countries consisted chiefly of two Races: one, who may here be called the Hindu; another, the Mahomedan Race. The first were the aboriginal inhabitants of the country. The latter were subsequent invaders; and insignificant, in point of number, compared with the first.

The next two Books will be devoted to the purpose of laying before the reader all that appears to be useful in what is known concerning both these classes of the Indian people. To those who delight in tracing the phenomena of human nature; and to those who desire to know completely the foundation upon which the actions of the British people in India have been laid, this will not appear the least interesting department of the work.

I This, as far as probabilities authorize an inference, is an error; the aborigines of India are apparently represented by the various barbarous tribes still inhabiting the mountains and forests, and following rude religious practices, that are no parts of the primitive Hindu system.-W.

BOOK II.

OF THE HINDUS.

CHAPTER I.

Chronology and Ancient History of the Hindus.

BOOK 11. RUDE nations seem to derive a peculiar gratification CHAP. I.

from pretensions to a remote antiquity. As a boastful and turgid vanity distinguishes remarkably the oriental nations, they have in most instances carried their claims extravagantly high. We are informed, in a fragment of Chaldaic history, that there were written accounts, preserved at Babylon,

Mr. Gibbon remarks (Hist. Decl. and Fall of the Roman Empire, i. p. 350), that the wild Irishman, as well as the wild Tartar, can point out the individual son of Japhet from whose loins his ancestors were lineally descended.-- According to Dr. Keating (History of Ireland, 13), the giant Partholanus, who was the son of Seara, the son of Esra, the son of Sru, the son of Framant, the son of Fathacian, the son of Magog, the son of Japhet, the son of Noah, landed on the coast of Munster, the 14th day of May, in the year of the world 1978. The legends of England are not less instructive. A fourth or sixth son of Japhet, named Samothes, having first colonized Gaul, passed over into this island, which was thence named Samothia, about 200 years after the flood; but the Samothians being some ages afterwards subdued by Albion, a giant son of Neptune, he called the island after his own name, and ruled it forty-four years. See the story, with some judicious reflections, in Milton's History of England (Prose Works of Milton, iv. 3. Ed. 1806). “The Athenians boasted that they were as ancient as the sun. The Arcadians pretended they were older than the moon. The Lacedemonians called themselves the sons of the earth, &c., such, in general, was the madness of the ancients on this subject! They loved to lose themselves in an abyss of ages which seemed to approach eternity." Goguet, Origin of Laws, v. i. b. 1, ch. 1, art. 5. See the authorities there quoted.

with the greatest care, comprehending a term of BOOK II.

chap. I. fifteen myriads of years. The pretended duration of the Chinese monarchy is still more extraordinary. A single king of Egypt was believed to have reigned three myriads of years.”

The present age of the world, according to the system of the Hindus, is distinguished into four grand periods, denominated yugs. The first is the Satya yug, comprehending 1,728,000 years; the second the Treta yug, comprehending 1,296,000 years; the third the Dwapar yug, including 864,000 years; and the fourth the Cali yug, which will extend to 432,000 years. Of these periods the first three are expired, and, in the year 1817, of the Christian era, 4911 years of the last. From the commencement, therefore, of the Satya yug, to the year 1817, is comprehended a space of 3,892,911 years, the antiquity to which this people lay claim.

· Eusebii Chronicon, p. 5. Syncelli Chronograph. p. 28. Bryant's Ancient Mythology, iv. 127, 8vo. edit.

? Syncelli Chronicon, p. 51. Herodotus informs us (lib. ii. c. 2), that the Egyptians considered themselves as the most ancient of mankind, till an experiment made by Psammetichus convinced them that the Phrygians alone preceded them. But the inhabitants of the further Peninsula of India make the boldest incursions into the regions of past times. The Burmans, we are informed by Dr. Buchanan (As. Res. vi. 181), believe that the lives of the first inhabitants of their country lasted one assenchii, a period of time of which they thus communicate an idea : “ If for three years it should rain incessantly over the whole surface of this earth, which is 1,203,400 juzana in diameter, the number of drops of rain falling in such a space and time, although far exceeding human conception, would only equal the number of years contained in one assenchii.”

3 Sir William Jones's Discourse on the Chronology of the Hindus, (As. Res. ii. 111, 8vo. Ed.) also that on the Gods of Greece, Italy, and India, (Ibid. i. 221.)-See too Mr. Bentley's Remarks on the principal Eras and Dates of the ancient Hindus, (Ibid. v. 315); and the Discourse of Captain F. Wilford on the Chronology of the Hindus, in the same volume, p. 24,

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