Page images

When a noun ends in

୪ the idea of unity is expreffed by the mark


Hamza, as a cheshmeï a single fountain.


From the two examples in a preceding fection it appears that the Persian plural is formed by adding or to the fingular: but these l terminations are not, as in many languages, wholly arbitrary; on the contrary they are regulated with the utmost precifion. The names of animals form their plural in, as

gurk a wolf. i pelenk a tyger.

Jų bal a wing.

but words which fignify things without life make their plurals by the

addition of the fyllable, as

.gurkan wolves كركان .pelenkan tygers پلکان

.fahil a pore ساحل

.balha wings بلہا .fahilha Jhores ساحلها

Both these plurals occur in the following elegant distich.

شب تاریک و بیم موج وكردابي چنين هايل کجا دانند حال ما سبكباران ساحلها

The night is dark; the fear of the waves opprefs us, and the whirlpool

is dreadful! How fhould thofe, who bear light burdens on the fhores, know the mifery of our fituation?


[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

There are, however, a few exceptions to these rules: the names of animals fometimes make their plurals in as well as in, as shütür a camel, shütürha and

shütüran camels; and on the other fide the names of things fometimes have plurals in, as leb a lip, leban lips.

Names of perfons ending in or " dana a learned man, lʊ danayan learned men; and those that end in × are made plural by changing the last letter into ¿Ứ, as a! peché an infant, pechégan infants; and sometimes by adding

دانا as یان form their plurals in

شته شان ,ferifhte an angel فرشته ,a feparate fyllable ; thus فرشته





gan angels.

If the name of a thing ends in x, the final letter is absorbed in the plural before the fyllable, as ali khané a house, khanha houses.

In some modern Perfian books, as the Life of Nader Shah and others, the plural often ends in or in ☺ if the fingular has a final 8.


.nawaziih a favour نوازش .nawazifhat favours نوازشات .kalat a cafile قلعة .kalajat calles قلعجات

But these must be confidered as barbarous, and are a proof that the late dreadful commotions which have ruined the empire of the Perfians, have begun to destroy even the beautiful fimplicity of their language.

It must not be omitted, that the Arabick substantives frequently have two sorts of plurals, one formed according to the analogy of the Perfian nouns, and another after the irregular manner of the Arabians; as us

,kalah a caftle قلعه ; avaib_vices وایب aibha and عيبها,aib a vice


[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

نواب .nayib a viceroy, plur نایب ; kalaa cafiles قلاع kalaha and قلعها

naváb, which our countrymen have mistaken for the fingular number, and say very improperly a nabob. This is one argument out of a great number to prove the impoffibility of learning the Perfian language accurately without a moderate knowledge of the Arabick; and if the learner will follow my advice, he will perufe with attention the Arabick grammar of Erpenius* before he attempts to translate a Perfian manufcript.


The Persian adjectives admit of no variation, but in the degrees of comparison. The pofitive is made comparative by adding to it,


ترین fuperlative by adding


خوبترین ,khubter fairer خوبتر ,khub fair خوب

khubterin fairest.

Our than after a comparative is expreffed by the prepofition_jꞌ az, as

بياض روي تو روشنتر از رخ روز سواد زلف تو تاریکتر از ظلمت داج

The brightness of thy face is more fplendid than the cheek of day; the blackness of thy locks is darker than the hue of night.

* There are two fine editions of this grammar, the first published by the very learned Golius, and the second by the late Albert Schultens; both these Orientalifts have added a number of Arabick odes and elegies, which they have explained in excellent notes: but these editions are scarce, and Meninski has inserted in his grammar the substance of Erpenius, with many new remarks.





ماه نیکوست و لي روي تو زیباتر از وست سرو دلجوست ولي قد تو دلجوتی از وست قل

The moon is bright, but thy face is brighter than it; the cypress is
graceful, but thy shape is more graceful than the cypress.

An adjective is fometimes ufed fubftantively, and forms its plural like

a noun, as

the fyllables and I denoting the plural number and the oblique case,
are placed at the end of it, as Joo fahibdil an honest man; oblique

,hakiman the wife ; if it be a compounded adjective حکیمان

fahibdilanra; as

صاحبدلانا fahibdilan, oblique صاحبدلان fahibdilra; plural صاحبدلا

فرو مانند پري رويان زآن عارض خجل كشتند سمن بویان زان كاكل

The damsels with faces like angels are dejected at the fight of that
cheek; the nymphs with the fragrance of jeffamine are filled with
envy when they view thofe curls.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

I went, and bruised their helmets; I disfigured their beautiful faces.

After a prepofition is often changed into Soror oë, as

چون شاہ جہاندار بنود روي شد پیش اوي زمینرا ببوسید و

When the king of the world showed his face, the general kiffed the ground, and advanced before him.


Sometimes after the prepofition in, the letter is inferted to prebedo for beö in it; the fame may be observ

vent the hiatus, as

* .in this بين bedeen for بدین ,ban in that بان bedan for بدان ed of

* In the same manner and from the fame motive the old Romans added a d to many words followed by a vowel; thus Horace, if we adopt the reading of Muretus, uses tibid for tibi.

Omne crede diem tibid illuxiffe fupremum.


« PreviousContinue »