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The delay which has occurred in the appearance of the present volume has been due to several causes, and principally to the difficulty of collecting the Oriental types required for the work. Some it has been necessary to gather from various and friendly sources, and others, being beyond the capabilities of English founts, it has been necessary to cut. Then, again, the Congress has been compelled to pay the penalty of the cosmopolitan character of its Session. To it came Oriental scholars from all parts of Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, many of whom gave us the valuable results of their studies and learning; and to such, in the majority of cases, it was found necessary to forward proofs of their dissertations. Under these circumstances it will be readily understood by those to whose lot it has fallen to see through the press works of a similar kind with the present, how rapidly days, weeks, and even months have slipped away, and that the sixteen months which have elapsed since the materials were first put into my hands for publication is no unprecedented interval.
I am fully aware that much anxiety and some im