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been generally confined to bordering kingdoms under feudatory princes; and the first Persian Emperor, whose life and character they seem to have known with tolerable accuracy, was the great Cyrus, whom I call, without fear of contradiction, CaikHOSRAU; for I shall then only doubt that the KHOSRAU of FIRDAUSI was the Cyrus of the first Greek historian, and the Hero of the oldest political and moral romance, when I doubt that Louis Quatorze and Lewis the Fourteenth were one and the same French King: it is utterly incredible, that two different princes of Persia should each have been born in a foreign and hostile territory ; should each have been doomed to death in his infancy by his maternal grandfather in consequence of portentous dreams, real or invented ; should each have been saved by the remorse of his destined murderer, and fhould each, after a similar education among herdsmen, as the son of a herdsman, have found means to revisit his paternal kingdom, and having delivered it, after a long and triumphant war, from the tyrant, who had invaded it, thould have restored it to the summit of power and magnificence. Whether so romantick a story, which is the subject of an Epick Poem, as majestick and entire as the Iliad, be 'hiftorically 'true, we may feel perhaps an inclination to doubt; but it cannot with reason be denied,

that the outline of it related to a single Hero, whom the Asiaticks, conversing with the father of European history, described according to their popular traditions by his true name, which the Greek alphabet could not express: nor will a difference of names affect the question; since the Greeks had little regard for truth, which they sacrificed willingly to the Graces of their language, and the nicety of their ears ; and, if they could render foreign words melodious, they were never folicitous to make them exact; hence they probably formed CAMBYSEs from CA'MBAKHSH, or Granting desires, a title rather than a name, and Xerxes from SHI'RU'YI, a Prince and warriour in the Shábnámab, or from Shi'RSHA'H, which might also have been a title ; for the Asiatick Princes have constantly assumed new titles or epithets at different periods of their lives, or on different occasions; a custom, which we have seen prevalent in our own times both in Iràn and Hindustán, and which has been a source of

great confusion even in the feriptural accounts of Baa bylonian occurrences: both Greeks and Jews have in fact accommodated Persian names to their own articulation; and both seem to have disregarded the native literature of Iràn, without which they could at most attain a general and imperfect knowledge of the country. As to the Persians themselves, who were contemporary

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with the Jews and Greeks, they must have beer acquainted with the history of their own times, and with the traditional accounts of past ages; but for a reason, which will presently appear, they chose to consider CAYU'MERS as the founder of the empire; and, in the numerous distractions, which followed the overthrow of Da'RA, especially in the great revolution on the defeat of YEZDEGIRD, their civil histories were loft, as those of India have unhappily been, from the folicitude of the priests, the only depositaries of their learning, to preserve their books of law and religion at the expense of all others : hence it has happened, that nothing remains of genuine Persian history before the dynasty of SA'sa'n, except a few ruftick traditions and fables, which furnished materials for the Shábnámah, and which are still supposed to exist in the Pablavi language. The annals of the Pishdádi, or Asyrian, race must be considered as dark and fabulous ; and those of the Cayání family, or the Medes and Persians, as heroick and poetical ; though the hunar eclipses, said to be mentioned by PTOLEMY, fix the time of GUSHTASP, the prince, by whom ZERA'TUSHT was protected: of the Partbian kings descended from Arshác or ARSACES, we know little more than the names; but the Sáfáni's had so long an intercourse with the Emperors of Rome and Byzantium, that the period

of their dominion may be called an historical age. In attempting to ascertain the beginning of the Assyrian empire, we are deluded, as in a thoufand instances, by names arbitrarily impofed: it had been settled by chronologers, that the first monarchy established in Perfia was the Allyrian; and Newton, finding some of opinion, that it rose in the first century after the Flood, but unable by his own calculations to extend it farther back than seven hundred and ninety years before CHRIST, rejected part of the old fystem and adopted the rest of it; concluding, that the Alya rian Monarchs began to reign about two hundred years after SOLOMON, and that, in all preceding ages, the government of Iràn had been divided into several petty states and principalities. : Of this opinion I confess myself to have been; when, disregarding the wild chronology of the Mufelmàns and Gabrs, I had allowed the utmost natural duration to the reigns of eleven Pisbdádi kings, without being able to add more than a hundred years to Newton's computation. It seemed, indeed, unaccountably strange, that, although ABRAHAM had found a regular monarchy in Egypt, although the kingdom of Yemen had just pretensions to very high antiquity, although the Chinese, in the twelfth century before our era, had made approaches at least to the present form of their extensive dominion, and although we can hardly suppose the first Indian monarchs to have reigned less than three thousand years ago, yet Persia, the most delightful, the most compact, the most desirable country of them all, fhould have remained for so many ages unsettled and disunited. A fortunate discovery, for which I was firft indebted to Mir MUHAMMED HUSAIN, one of the most intelligent Muselmàns in India, has at once diffipated the cloud, and caft a gleam of light on the primeval history of Iràn and of the human race, of which I had long despaired, and which could hardly have dawned from any other

quarter. The rare and interesting tract on twelve different religions, entitled the Dabistàn, and composed by a Mohammedan traveller, a native of Cashmir, named Mohsan, but distinguished by the assumed surname of Fa'ni, or Perishable; begins with a wonderfully curious chapter on the religion of Hu'sHANG, which was long anterior to that of ZERA'TUSHT, but had continued to be secretly professed by many learned Persians even to the author's time; and several of the most eminent of them, dissenting in many points from the Gabrs, and persecuted by the ruling powers of their country, had retired to India; where they compiled a number of books, now extremely scarce, which Mohsan had perused, and with the writers of which, or with many of

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