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The causes which led to the publication of this work require some explanation, both because portions of Ferishta have already appeared in English and because the circumstances which gave rise tu the present translation did not originate in a desire to supersede the former versions. Several years ago Sir James Mackintosh, then President of the Literary Society of Bombay, with that zeal for the diffusion of knowledge which has ever marked his character, urged me to translate the portion of Ferishta's history which had not yet been touched upon by Europeans. I promised to do so if, on commencing the task, I found myself equal to it; and I trust when this work meets his eye he will think that I have fairly fulfilled my engagement.
My professional duties, for some time, prevented my attending to his suggestion, though it was not lost upon me; for in less than one year a considerable part of one of the minor histories was translated; and in two more the task assigned me was completed. During this interval I had com
pared several authors contemporary with Ferishita, both in the languages of Asia and of Europe, and I then first conceived the idea of writing a com. plete work on the Mahomedan Power in India, compiled from the various materials to which I might hereafter obtain access. Having resolved to take Ferishta as my basis, I found it requisite to study him very closely; but on examining Colonel Dow's translation of the History of the Kings of Dehly, I found it so difficult to follow the narrative, owing to the confusion in the proper names of persons and of places, that I had to consult the original throughout, and my notes and alterations alone made nearly a volume. In these observations, it is by no means my wish to detract from the merit justly due to Colonel Dow. It was impossible that he should correct the geographical errors which existed, perhaps, even in his original manuscript, when there were no maps of the coun. try; and it was difficult for him to attain sufficient proficiency in the language of the text to give full force to the narrative of the author at a period when no elementary works in Persian had yet been published. But to Colonel Dow the world is much indebted for bringing even a portion of Ferishta to light, and for exciting in the mind of every person who reads his translation a wish to become better acquainted with the author. l'pon the whole, therefore, great praise is due to Colonel Dow, and his name will be handed down to posterity with respect, as one of the carliest and most indefa.
tigable of our Oriental scholars. Instead of con. fining himself, however, to mere translation, he has filled his work with his own observations, which have been so embodied in the text, that Gibbon declares it impossible to distinguish the translator from the original author; and which in some cases so plainly indicated the hand of a modern European writer, that Dr. Johnson and Mr. Burke were justified in doubting it to be the work of a Mahomedan of the sixteenth century, till Mr. Orme procured part of Ferishta's history to be translated in London, and compared it with Colonel Dow's. Having proceeded thus far in my labours, I resolved to examine the translation made by Dr. Jonathan Scott of the History of the Kings of Koolburga, Beejapoor, and Ahmudnuggur. This comparison soon convinced me how much that accomplished Orientalist had surpassed all former translators; and I found little to alter, with the exception of a few proper names, which a more thorough acquaintance with the geography and language of the Deccan enabled me to correct. Dr. Scott's copy of Ferishta appears, however, to have been occasionally defective; though had he translated the whole instead of a small portion of it, the present attempt might have been unnecessary. Before the end of the year 1815 I had thus completed the translation of the whole work, with copious, notes.
I had besides collated a great part of an original manuscript in my possession, with several other copies, carefully examining it