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Page:Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal Vol 19.djvu/17

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JANUARY, 1850.

Some conjectures on the progress of the Brdhminical Conquerors of India. By Henry Torrens, B. A., V. P. and late Secy. As. Soc. of Bengal.

In the grave pages of a scientific journal, so often honoured by the successes of positive antiquarian discovery, it may seem at first sight, somewhat idle to obtrude conjectural speculation, or something nigh akin to it. Where, however, he who dares to conjecture, does not go the length of insistance upon the verity of his suggestions; but is willing to incur the discredit of failure in his position, for the chance of having been able to open a new road to enquiry, the boldness of the attempt may perhaps justify its publication, however faint the hope of any ultimate solid advantage.

But in truth it will be I think, found, that the progress of discovery up to this time in that anomalous field of Indian antiquity in which neither legible monument, nor written record lend their assistance to the student, has hitherto depended a good deal upon happy supposition, directing the course of subsequent enquiry, leading to a definite consequence: as in the Indo-arian researches, we see the suggestion and first discovery with Prinsep, the investigation with Lassen, the result deduced by Wilson. I think, and have for some years thought, that we stand on the margin of a still broader field of historic knowledge, such as shall carry us from studying the mere despotic successions of princes, to an accurate acquaintance with the progress of peoples, and an approximation in due course to the solution of that great mystery, the dispersion and subdivision of the races of mankind. TheNo. XXXVIL— New Series.