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This book has grown out of a pamphlet written years ago and put aside at the time. The object of the book is, by presenting a bird’s eye view of the achievements of the ancient Hindus, to invite the attention of thoughtful people to the leading features of the civilization which enabled the inhabitants of this country to contribute so much to the material and moral well-being of mankind.
If this attempt succeeds in any way in stimulating interest in the study of the leading institutions of Hinduism and a proper appreciation of their merits I shall be amply repaid for my labour.
“India is the source from which not only the rest of Asia but the whole Western World derived their knowledge and their religion.” - Professor Heeren
“The Hindu is the most ancient nation of which we have valuable remains, and has been surpassed by none in refinement and civilization;....” - Edinburgh Review for October 1872
“The Hindus had the widest range of mind of which man is capable.” - Mrs. Manning
“The ancient state of India,” says Mr. Thornton, “must have been one of extraordinary magnificence.” “...there was a time when the Hindu race was splendid in arts and arms, happy in government, wise in legislation and eminent in knowledge.” - Calcutta Review for December 1861
“If I were to look over the whole world to find out the country most richly endowed with all the wealth, power, and beauty that nature can bestow - in some parts a very paradise on earth - I should point to India.” - Max. Muller