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The Persian work, of which a translation is here offered, was, with other Eastern manuscripts, brought from India many years ago by an English gentleman, and presented to Sir William Ouseley, through whose kindness it has been communicated to me. Having lately availed myself of Sir William's permission to publish an extract from his letter as a Preface to the Translation of SADIK ISFAHÁNI's 66 Geographical Works,” I shall here, by the same authority, quote his words, containing a short account of the manuscript which has afforded materials for this publication :
6 The little work which I have now much
“ pleasure in transmitting to you, was brought “ from Calcutta almost forty years ago, by “ my ingenious and worthy friend the late “ Dr. Jonathan Scott, who gave it to me a “ 6 short time before his death as a very “ curious and useful tract, probably unique even in India. He understood that the
author, a learned Bengáli, had composed it “ for the use of his son, or some pupil, whose
taste in historical researches he wished to direct, by indicating the Tarikhs or Chro“ nicles most worthy of his perusal.
“ Notwithstanding the recommendation of “ Dr. Scott, (than whom there could not be a more competent judge,) this manuscript lay, during some years, neglected, upon
my shelf; for, being described on the out“ side cover as 'A list of Arabic and Persian “ books chiefly on Indian history,' I did not
expect that it would furnish much matter
very interesting to one who already pos“ sessed, and had attentively examined, nearly
fifty Catalogues of Oriental Manuscripts preserved in public and private libraries. “ But having resolved last year to compile “ an account of my own collection, I found
“ it necessary to seek in this little tract some “ information respecting certain books and “ authors not particularly noticed, or not
mentioned, in any of those other catalogues, even the most extensive.
“ I am now induced, by the successful 66 result of my search, to recommend this “ little Essay, as one which in a peculiar
manner seems adapted to the objects of our Oriental Translation Committee; and
if any circumstances had prevented you “ from undertaking such a task, I should,
myself, have immediately translated the manuscript.
“ Of the author it is not in my power to give you a more full account than that al
ready stated : his name does not appear, nor “ has he decorated his little work with any
pompous or flowery title, (like so many of “ those which he enumerates,) but simply “ concludes by informing us that his tract or essay (dated in 1748) is finished (öll ).
Although some European libraries con“ tain several of the manuscripts mentioned “ in this tract, yet the printed Catalogues in
general afford little more than the title of