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Our Indian Empire :

ITS BEGINNING AND END.

A LECTURE

BY

LT.-COL. SIR HERBERT B. EDWARDES, K.C.B.

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OUR INDIAN EMPIRE :

ITS BEGINNING AND END.

The unchangeableness of the East bas passed into a proverb; but the proverb is only applicable to its social state. Politically, the East is the native land of revolution. Its vast plains have invited and absorbed race after race of the human family, and its wealth has been the magnet of enterprise in every age. The Hindoos of to-day may be something like the Hindoos whom the Greeks found 2,000 years ago ; and Alexander's Hindoos might have had some lineaments in common with the first readers of the Vedas, though I think not much; but the history of their country is a long march of successive dynasties—conqueror trampling upon conqueror, race overrunning race. It has been said of the Russian Government, that it used to be a despotism tempered by assassination. It might be said of India that its constitution has been conquest aggravated by change. The Hindoos themselves are not the aborigines of Hindostan. In times of which we have no record now, but certainly upwards of 1,000 years B.C., a tall, slight, handsome, olivecoloured race, grandsons of Japheth, swarmed down from Central Asia into India, occupied its plains, and drove into the depths of the forest or the mountain, the small and

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