Page:A Brief History of the Indian Peoples.djvu/9

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PREFACE In this book I try to exhibit the growth of the Indian peoples, to show what part they have played in the world's progress, and what sufferings they have endured from other nations. Short Indian histories, as written by Englishmen, usually dismiss the first two thousand years of their narrative in a few pages, and start by disclosing India as a conquered country. This plan is not good, either for Europeans in India or for the Indians themselves ; nor does it accord with the facts. As long as Indian history is presented to the Indian youth as nothing but a dreary record of disunion and subjection, our Anglo-Indian Schools can scarcely become the nurseries of a self-respecting nation. I have there- fore tried to put together, from original sources, a brief narrative of what I believe to be the true history of the peoples of India. These sources have been carefully examined in my larger works. This little book merely states, without discussing, the results arrived at by the labour of thirty years. I have tried to show how an early gifted race, ethnically akin to our own, welded the primitive forest tribes into settled communities. How the nobler stock, set free from the severer struggle for life by the bounty of the Indian soil, created a language, a literature and a religion, of rare stateliness and beauty. How the very absence of that strenuous striving with nature, which* is so necessary a discipline for nations, unfitted them for the great conflicts which await all races. How,