Excerpt from Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, Vol. 13
The importance of the Abbe Dubois' book consists chieﬂy in this, that the scene of his labours was the part of the peninsula, which is inhabited chieﬂy by Dravidian races. These have been far less affected than the portions of India lying North of the Vindhyan range, by Aryan inﬂuences, and much less has been written about them than about their Northern neighbours, if neighbours be the fitting term to use when we are speaking of people who dwell so far apart.
When I was in Madras I did my best to incite the more educated portion of the people of Southern India to try to do more for the investigation of their own history and antiquities, not entirely without result; but as yet we can only point to beginnings.
The Abbe' Dubois' book is of little value in so far as it deals with matters of scholarly research. As Professor Max Muller points out, in an introduction to the work of Mr. Beauchamp, the Abbe belonged, not in point of time but in point of mental equipment, to the period before Sir William Jones. The crowning merit of his work consists in this, that it is a first-hand book written straight out of his personal experience. I would compare it in some respects to a work, which some of my hearers have probably met with, by a Mr. Thompson an American Missionary who spent a long time in Palestine and wrote an account of that country under the name of The Land and the Book.' Wherever that gentleman deals with history, philosophy, biblical criticism or religious thought, he is unfortunate; but wherever he deals with the manners and customs of the people, with things amidst which he had lived and moved, he is quite excellent.
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