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His Tort, Religion, And.mannæus,

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PRELIMINARY DISSERTATION.

I

N the extensive plan which is carried on undet the direction of the great Governor of the Universe, an attentive observer will frequently perceive the most unexpected ends, accomplished by means the most improbable, and events branch out into effects which were neither foreseen, nor intended by the agents which produced them. A flight view of the consequences which have hitherto resulted from our intercourse with the East-Indies, will sufficiently evince the truth of this assertion.

The thirst of conquest and the desire of gain, which first drew the attention of the most powerful, and enlightened nations of Europe toward the fruitful regions of flindpostan, have been the means of opening sources of knowledge and information to the learned, and the curious, and have added to the stock of the literary world, treasures, which if not so substantial, are of a nature more permanent than those which have enriched the commercial.

The many elegant translations from the different Oriental languages with which the world has been favoured within these last few years, have not failed to attract merited.attention; and the curiosity awakened by these productions, concerning the people with whom they originated, has been gratified by the labours of men, who hjve enjoyed the first rank in literary fame. Vol. I. a

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