Page images

When a noun ends in 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 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.

.gurkan awokues كركان

.pelenk a tyger پلنگ .pelenkan tygers پلنگان

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

addition of the fyllable, as

.bal a rwing بال

.fahil a fore ساحل

.balha awings بلها

.fahilha fores ساحلها

Both these plurals occur in the following elegant diftich.

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?



There are, however, a few exceptions to these rules: the names of animals sometimes 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 I or form their plurals in, as Lila dana a learned man, lo danayan learned men; and those that end in × are made plural by changing the last letter into, as a peché an infant, pechégan infants; and sometimes by adding

a separate fyllable; thus, &

gan angels.



ferishte an angel, ferishte

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

In fome modern Perfian books, as the Life of Nader Shah and others, the plural often ends in or in ☺ if the fingular has a final ୪.



.nawazith a favour نوازش .nüwazifhat favours نوازشات

.kalajat cafiles قلعجات

.kalat a cafile قلعة

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 fubftantives frequently have two forts of plurals, one formed according to the analogy of the Perfian nouns, and another after the irregular manner of the Arabians; as us aib a vice, Leus aibha and avaîb vices; aö kalah a castle,


↳ kalaha and ε kalaa castles; i nayib a viceroy, plur. li 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 tranflate a Persian manufcript.


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


ترین fuperlative by adding

khub fair, “ khubter fairer, jä khubterin faireft.

Our than after a comparative is expreffed by the prepofition_j| 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 Orientalists 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 دلجوتر از وست

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 sometimes ufed fubftantively, and forms its plural like

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

a noun, as

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

صاحبدلانرا fahibdilan, oblique صاحبدلان fahibdilra; plural صاحبدلا

فرو مانند پري رويان زآن عارض

خجل کشتند سمن بويان زان كاكل

fahibdilanra; as

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]
[blocks in formation]

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

ê, as اوي or و or وي is often changed into او After a prepofition

چون شاه جهاندار بنمود روي

زمینرا ببوسید و شد پیش اوي

When the king of the world showed his face, the general kiffed the

ground, and advanced before him.

Sometimes after the prepofition

vent the hiatus, as


in, the letter is inserted to prebedo for be in it; the fame may be observ

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

* In the fame 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 »