Page:Indian Medicinal Plants (Text Part 1).djvu/15

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vii
PREFACE.

other standard works on the subject. This, we submit, should not be considered in any way to lessen the importance of the work. It has been truly observed by an eminent writer:—

"Exaggerated individual energy and independence have become conceit.…

"The chief business with him (a young man) is not to work well, but to work in a different mode to others; originality is more to him than beauty. This idea which now-a-days has such a strong hold on all heads, even the most empty, reminds us of that graceful epigram of Goethe's on originals. A certain person says, 'I do not belong to any School, there exists no living master from whom I would take lessons, and as to the dead, I have never learnt any thing from them,' which, if I am not mistaken, means, 'I am a fool on my own account.' What else is this extravagant desire for originality, but, as we have said, an exaggeration of individual energy, a want of equilibrium, the sin, in fact, of pride?"[1]

Dr. Garnett writes:—

"The truly artistic production, * * * may well outlast the inferior work * * as the diamond survives the glass which it engraves."[2]

The illustrated works on Indian Botany of such well-known masters of the subject, as Rheede, Roxburgh, Royle, Burman, Brandis, Beddome, Griffith, Wallich, Wight and several others, are not easily accessible to those who are interested in the study of the subject. It is, therefore, that their illustrations have been copied and supplemented, where necessary, by further details.

I was in charge of the Indigenous Drugs Court of the United Provinces Exhibition held at Allahabad in December 1910 and January and February 1911. One of the special features of the Indigenous Drugs Court was the exhibition of herbarium specimens and of drawings of almost all the known plants used in medicine in this country. I collected drawings from the illustrated works on Indian Botany and other standard works on that subject available in the United Provinces. The late Dr. E. G. Hill lent to the exhibition the illustrated works on Botany from the Allahabad Public Library of which he was the Secretary. The President and the Imperial Forest Botanist of the Forest Research Institute of Dehra Dun were kind enough to lend illustrated books on Botany which were not to be had at Allahabad. The late Lieutenant-Colonel Kirtikar,

  1. "The Decadence of Modern Literature by Armando Palacio Valdes of Madrid in the International Library of Famous Literature, Vol. xx
  2. "The use and value of Anthologies," in the International Library of Famous Literature, Vol. I.