What is popularly called our stage of transition has consisted more or less of a condition in which the communities, professing to be under the influence of the one or the other of these civilizations, have been startled by the near approach and close contact of the rival civilizations, and have at times received one or the other of them with curiosity, suspicion, and distrust. The part played by the ordinary Indian mind during this stage has been shown in the first three volumes of this work. The present volume is mainly taken up with the part that is being played and will be played in that drama by a class of Indians which has been directly evolved by the actual contact and growing relations of these civilizations themselves. This is the class which is composed of educated natives. By reason of these very circumstances and others connected with its genesis and development this class is expected to take upon itself special and active functions in bringing about a happy fusion of the elements which have brought it into being and which constitute the special sphere of its usefulness. It is proposed in this volume to present, on the surface of mythical allegories and doctrinal language dear to Indian hearts, a faint but visible etching of the lines along which, by the performance of these functions by this class, assimilation and harmony may be expected to issue in the country out of the temporary phantoms of that religious, social, and political unrest and conflict. which, in the course of this fusion, apparently disturb the mental peace of so many races in modern India, not excluding our English brethren. It is possible to fancy ourselves having a peep at a situation of peace, co-operation, and harmonious progress for all these; and if we can even conceive the feasibility of such a peep, we may also hope that what is only such a fiction to-day . may become a fact to-morrow.
This hope is not without its foundation so long as educated Indians are assisted in maturing the robustness of their communal body in order that they may be