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“ a book, sometimes adding the author's name, but seldom any satisfactory notice
of the contents, or any remark concerning “ the reputation, the style, the excellence, or “ defects of a work. On many occasions the “ inquisitive reader is much disappointed,
even by Háji Khalifah himself, the great Turkish bibliographer, whose notices
are sometimes extremely short and meagre; " and the same charge may be brought
against D'Herbelot, who has inserted in “ his · Bibliothèque Orientale’ a considerable “ portion of Háji KHALÍFAH's - Kashf al “ Zunún.*
* On the subject of this most valuable work (containing notices of many thousand Arabic, Persian, and Turkish books) I shall here quote a passage from Baron lenisch's " Commentatio de Fatis Linguarum Orientalium,” p. Ixxxiii., which thus mentions Háji KHALIFAH, or, as his fellow-countrymen, the Turks, generally call him, Kátis Chelebi (step ÇiB)
, Detectio cognitionum de nominibus librorum et scientiarum inscripto, quemadmodum in adjecta auctoris hujus vita ad tabulas suas chronologicas Constantinopoli typis datas Ibrahim Efendi memorat, libros omnes quotquot præfato auctori Katib inspicere licuit, ex tercentis et amplius scientiis in ordinem alphabeticum redactos recensuit." We learn from Mr. Mitchell,
کشف الظنون عن اسامی الكتب و الفنون qui in opere suo
“ It must however be allowed, that if many Catalogues are deficient in information on “ the subject of certain manuscripts, some few
may be found that, with respect to the “ works which they describe, exhibit much accuracy in dates, and afford
in dates, and afford very useful statements of the principal contents, and, “ in some instances, curious or entertaining “ extracts—as the Catalogues composed by “ Pococke, Casiri, Assemani, Stewart, Ha“ maker, and two or three others, will suffi
6 ciently prove.
in the preface to his excellent translation of Háji KHALÍFAH's
History of the Maritime Wars of the Turks,” (lately published by the Oriental Translation Fund,) that the Turkish author's name was, at length, dövl's says all w ciboo MUSTAFA BEN ABDULLAH Háji KHALÍFah, and that he died at Constantinople in the year of the hejrah 1068 (of the Christian era 1657). It will gratify the Orientalists of Europe to know, that a translation of his bibliographical work (the “ Kashf al Zunún" above mentioned) has been undertaken for the Oriental Translation Committee, as the following notice in a printed list will show :-“ Háji Khalifah's Bibliographical
Dictionary ; translated by Monsieur Gustave Flugel. This “ valuable Arabic work, which formed the groundwork of “ D'Herbelot's · Bibliothèque Orientale, contains accounts “ of upwards of thirteen thousand Arabic, Persian, and Turk“ ish works, arranged alphabetically.”
• Of this Persian work, which I now consign to you, the chief merit consists in two 6 circumstances it directs our notice to “ historical manuscripts but little known,
perhaps not existing, in Europe; of some,
indeed, the author himself informs us that “ he had never been able to procure a copy.
“ The other circumstance which particularly recommends this tract is, that it offers “ remarks on the style of different writers ; “ and, as a descriptive Catalogue, may be “ considered almost singular in not only “ praising excellencies, but censuring defects.
6 I therefore should not hesitate to am“ plify the title superscribed on its cover by “ Dr. Scott, as above mentioned, and to style “it • A Critical Essay on various Manuscript 6 Works, Arabic and Persian, illustrating “ the History of Arabia, Persia, Turkomania " and India, Syria, Egypt, Mauritania, and
Spain ;' for such is its extensive range,
comprehending, in fact, all those regions “ which are or have been subject to Muselmán “ sovereigns.
“ Your continued residence at a most in66 convenient distance from London induces
“me to renew my offer of assistance (as on a “ former occasion) in conducting this Essay through the press; and “I am, my dear Sir, yours, &c.
“ WILLIAM OUSELEY." “ London, February 10th, 1832.
In addition to the obliging offer of assistance contained in his letter above quoted, Sir William has kindly undertaken to annex a few notes, as the pages of this work pass, under his correction, through the press; and I have adopted the title recommended by him, since it expresses the author's object better than any that could be suggested by myself.
In representing by means of our letters the Arabic and Persian names which occur throughout the following pages, I have observed the system adopted in the Geographical Work of Sádik ISFAHÁNI: this is the system suggested by Sir William Jones,' and recommended by the Oriental Translation Com
1. In his “ Dissertation on the Orthography of Asiatic Words in Roman Letters," - Asiatic Researches, vol. I.
mittee, according to which “ the lettera (having an accent above) is used to express the broad or long sound of our a in fall, call, and as Ámul, Shiraz. The letter i, accented in the same manner, represents the sound of our ee in peer, feel, and as in Shíráz above mentioned: and ú, likewise accented, denotes the sound of our oo in boot, moon, &c.; thus in Kúfah. Without accents those letters (a, i, and u,) have their short sounds : a, as in man, , battle ; thus Kazvín, Tabri, Marv, &c. : i in imp, as Isfahán, Mirbát : u, as in bull, full, &c.; thus Suhrvard, Dábul; but in Persian words the u is never pronounced like our u in рип, , mutter, &c. Although the short a may be the proper symbol, the short e, as Sir William Jones remarks in his work above quoted, may “ be often very conveniently used” to express the first vocal sound; and in the word America (with which he exemplifies his remark) we find both the short a and e: thus he writes chashm (mia), raft (,), ber (7.), perveresh (Ur.), &c.
1 See the Preface to Sápik ISFAHANI'S “ Geographical Works," p. xii. It may be here remarked, that for the letter