Bernier, François, Travels in the Mogul Empire A.D. 1656-1668

(Westminster, Eng. :  Constable,  1891.)



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  Page xvii  

PREFACE                                 xvii

liked his own character, our trade was not in those times
secure from his resentment. His country is at such a dis¬
tance, that the manners might be safely falsified, and the
incidents feigned : for the remoteness of the place is re¬
marked, by Racine, to afford the same conveniencies to a
poet as length of time.' However, as may be gathered
from Appendix I., the poetic licence allowed to himself
by Dry den has enabled him to portray the character of
Aurangzeb in a much more favourable light than the
stern facts of history would warrant, and strange to say
this seems to have been generally overlooked by those
writers who have hitherto quoted Dr. Johnson's criticism.

An implicit believer in Professor J. R. Seeley's dictum—
to be found in his work. The Expansion of England—that
' history, while it should be scientific in its method, should
pursue a practical object; that is, it should not merely
gratify the reader's curiosity about the past, but modify
his view of the present and his forecast of the future,'
I have endeavoured to illustrate several passages,—such
as the Emperor Aurangzeb's distrust of a merely mechani¬
cal classical education, and Bernier's letter to Colbert
concerning the absorption of gold in India,—by some
comments applicable to them, as they are still ' burning
questions' of the present hour; and I have thus, I hope,
shown how I trust to be able at all times to justify my
adoption of a recent utterance by Professor Max Miiller as
the leit motiv of my Oriental Miscellany Series. I venture
to draw the attention of all students of the origin of por¬
trait-painting among the Moslem artists of India in the
Mogul period, to the composition of the portraits I have
reproduced as illustrations to Bernier's text. This is a
subject I hope to treat of elsewhere, and thus endeavour to
utilise the extensive collections I made in India during a
series of years, with this object in view.

To my friend of bygone days in Lucknow,—and of the
present too, I rejoice to think,—General Sir Martin Dillon,
K.C.B., C.S.I., I am indebted for invaluable encouragement
  Page xvii