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REPRINTED BY THE UNITARIAN SOCIETY, AND SOLD BY R. HUNTER,
72, ST. PAUL'S CHURCHYARD; DAVID EATON, 187, HIGH
HOLBORN ; AND C. FOX AND CO., 33, THREAD,

NEEDLE STREET.

G. SMALLVIELD, Printer, Flackney. .

PREFACE.

The works which are here presented to the British public cannot fail to excite much interest from the circumstances and character of the author. He has been for several years well known by name and reputation, both in India and in England; but he has been known only as a learned and philanthropic Brahmin, the expounder of the religion, and the reformer of the institutions of his Hindoo countrymen. He now appears as a Christian professor, advocate, and controversialist.

Rammohun Roy was born about the year 1780, at Bordouan, in the province of Bengal. The first elements of his education he received under his paternal roof, where he also acquired a knowledge of the Persian language. He was afterwards sent to Patna to learn Arabic; and here, through the medium of Arabic translations of Aristotle and Euclid, he studied logic and the mathematics. When he had completed these studies he went to Calcutta, to learn Sanscrit, the sacred language of the Hindoo Scriptures; the knowledge of

which was indispensable to his caste and profession as a Brahmin. About the year 1804 or 1805 he became possessed, by the death of his father and of an elder and

younger brother, of the whole of the family property, which is understood to have been very considerable. He now quitted Bordouan, and fixed his residence at Mourshedabad, where his ancestors had chiefly lived. Shortly after his settlement at this place he commenced his literary career by the publication of a work in the Persian language, with a preface in Arabic, which he intituled, “ Against the Idolatry of all Religions.” The freedom with which he animadverted on their respective systems, gave great umbrage both to the Mahommedans and the Hindoos, and created him so many enemies, that he found it necessary to remove to Calcutta, where he again took up his residence in the year 1814.

. Two years previously to this period, he had begun to study the English language, but he did not then apply to it with much ardour or success. Being some years subsequently appointed Dewan, or chief native officer in the collection of the revenues, and the duties of his office affording him frequent opportunities of

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