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RAJPOOTS.

is similar, perhaps, to that of the feudal lords and the church of the early and middle ages in Europe.

Gradually, however, knowledge prevailed over mere power; and as the Brahmins rose by the exercise of their learning, so they reduced the Kshuttries to the condition of dependents upon them for religious exercises, for purification, and for general counsel. The ancient princes became, from their persistent ignorance, priest-ridden; so losing their independent and dominant character, and degenerating into helpless reliance on the subtle doctrines and practices of the Brahmins. As these ancient princes and their bards had become the depositaries of national warlike traditions - their especial glory - the Brahmins gradually introduced into them commentaries and fables of their own, by which means not only were the original purport of the traditions altered to suit Brahminical purposes, but perverted to set forth the glory of Brahmins, and the only secondary position of their rivals. Such alterations of original position have been too common a result of struggles between power and intellect in the history of the world to need notice here; and in the cases now alluded to, there is nothing presented to the view of the inquirer to vary the course of that result in the present condition of the two sects. They are as they became; the one uneducated, ignorant, superstitious, suspicious, haughty and yet frank, open, and faithful. The other intellectual, learned, subtle, and apparently pliant; but in respect to religious differences, unapproachable in assumed purity, and consequently dominant. The Kshuttries never pretended to the creation or possession of a national literature. The Brahmins established what is now found existent; and it is from that, under the application of modern discovery and a better acquaintance with the Sanscrit language, that the original positions of the two sects are being better understood. In one respect, however, they are inseparable. They are the Aryan conquerors of India; and while the Kshuttries fought their way eastwards and southwards, and the Vaishyas traded, the Brahmins, as befitted their vocation of priests, conducted the religious rites and ceremonials of all, and gradually developing a subtle metaphysical philosophy, and the invention and detail of a pantheon which excites modern wonder, arrogated to themselves a superiority of rank by divine institution, which though often assailed, has never been broken.

To write a history of the Rajpoots, would involve a history of India. At the period of Alexander's invasion of India, B.C. 331, they were found the dominant powers, as well as the warriors of the land. Brahmins then were only priests and philosophers. The Grecian hosts encountered the Rajpoots in the north-west, where they are now in the greatest numbers, and in the greatest purity. But they may be traced into Bengal, where several of the main tribes settled as conquerors; and as the victorious Kshuttries marched to Ceylon, they left there, and on their route, colonies of their people, who grew and multiplied. Again, when the Mahomedans
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