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subjects, it was originally my intention to state merely the results of my researches; but, as I proceeded with my work, I found it necessary to touch upon topics connected with Assyrian history and chronology. This was almost indispensable, in order to give the reader an idea of the extent of the discoveries and of the arguments they furnish. The opinions, however, which I have ventured to offer must be considered rather in the light of suggestions. Many things that have appeared to me to be facts may require further proof before they can be generally admitted. An examination of the ruins of Assyria still unexplored, and a fuller acquaintance with the monuments and inscriptions already discovered, are required to enable us to arrive at satisfactory results in an enquiry such as I have entered into. Still it appears to me that we have already sufficient data to warrant the attempt. These words of caution are necessary, and I trust the reader will acquit me of any wish to mislead him, or to make more of my subject than it deserves.
With regard to my personal narrative, I may owe an apology to the reader for introducing subjects not included in the title of my work, for adding narratives of my visits to the Tiyari and Yezidis, and a dissertation upon the Chaldæans of Kurdistan. I have thought that it might not be uninteresting to give such slight sketches of manners and customs,
as would convey a knowledge of the condition and history of the present inhabitants of the country, particularly of those who, there is good reason to presume, are descendants of the ancient Assyrians. They are, indeed, as much the remains of Nineveh, and Assyria, as are the rude heaps and ruined palaces. A comparison between the dwellers in the land as they now are, and as the monuments of their ancestors lead us to believe they once were, will not perhaps be without useful results. It may give rise to serious reflection, and may even prove an instructive lesson.
With regard to the style of my narrative, I must prepare the reader for such inaccuracies and defects as arise from haste and inexperience. I have preferred sketches conveying a general idea of my operations and adventures to mere dry details, and a continuous relation of incidents which might have led me into frequent repetitions.
In spelling Eastern names I have followed no uniform system — having endeavoured to write them in the best way I could, to convey the mode of their pronunciation by the people of the country. This, I am aware, is contrary to the plan now generally adopted; but I have not had time to reduce the oriental words, in various languages, to one standard.
I have introduced into these volumes as many illustrations of the sculptures and monuments as I
conveniently could. More careful and elaborate engravings of the bas-reliefs, and objects discovered will be published separately in a larger work on the Monuments of Nineveh, which may, therefore, be considered illustrative of these volumes.
It is a pleasing duty to acknowledge kindness and assistance in such labours as these, and it is with gratitude that I admit the great obligation under which I am to Mr. Birch of the British Museum, for much valuable information and many important suggestions, the source of which, when used, I have not always acknowledged. To Mr. Hawkins and the other officers of the British Museum, whom I have had occasion to consult, I also have to express my thanks for uniform kindness and courtesy. From Mr. George Scharf, jun., I have received great assist
The plates and woodcuts have been chiefly executed, from my sketches, by him, or under his superintendence; and the reader will no doubt perceive how much my work is indebted to him. To others I would express my grateful obligations; although I am restricted from making any other allusion to the aid I have received from them.
To the Chairman and Honorable Court of Directors of the East India Company, through whose enlightened munificence I am mainly enabled to publish my drawings of the bas-reliefs discovered at Nineveh, I must take this opportunity of expressing that
gratitude which many, who have been engaged in similar undertakings, have had reason to feel as strongly as myself. In recording a liberality, unfortunately so rare, I become an additional witness to the noble support they have ever rendered to literature and science.
It is to be regretted that proper steps have not been taken for the transport to England of the sculptures discovered at Nineveh. Those which have already reached this country, and, it is to be feared, those which are now on their way, have consequently suffered unnecessary injury. The great winged bull and lion, which, I had hoped, would have speedily formed an important portion of the national collection, are still lying at Busrah; and there is little prospect, at present, of their being brought to this country. Surely British ingenuity and resources cannot, as is pretended, be unable to remove objects which have already with very inadequate means, been transported nearly a thousand miles. The cases containing the small objects, recently deposited in the British Museum, were not only opened without authority at Bombay, but their contents exhibited, without
proper precautions, to the public. It is remarkable that several of the most valuable indeed the most valuable) specimens are missing; and the whole collection was so carelessly repacked that it has sustained very material injury. Were these Assyrian relics, how
ever valuable, such as could be again obtained, either by ingenuity or labour, their loss might not perhaps be so seriously lamented; but if once destroyed they can never be restored; and it must be remembered that they are almost the only remains of a great city and of a great nation.
Cheltenham, October, 1848.