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NOTES.

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NOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS.

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** In the Preface to his translation and text of the Bakhtyar Nama, Sir William Ouseley states, that "as this work is chiefly designed for the use of those who begin to study the Persian language," he selected for translation, from among three manuscripts in his own possession and five or six others in the collections of several friends, "that which seemed written in the most pure and simple style; for several copies, in passing through the hands of ignorant or conceited transcribers, have suffered a considerable depravation of the original text, and one, in particular, is so disguised by the alterations and augmented by the additions of some Indian Munshi, that it appears almost a different work. These additions, however, are only turgid amplifications and florid exuberancies, according to the modern corrupt style of Hindūstān, which distinguishes the compositions of that country from the chaste and classical productions of Īrān." Regarding his own translation, he says that, while it will be found sufficiently literal, he has "not retained those idioms which would not only be uncouth, but perhaps unintelligible, in English: some repetitions I have taken the liberty of omitting; and as

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most of the stories begin and end nearly in the same manner, I have on such occasions compressed into a few lines the subject of a page." But since the translation was mainly designed to aid learners of Persian, it seems strange that he should have deemed it advisable to take any "liberties" such as he mentions; and an examination of the text appended to his translation shows that he has occasionally done something more than omit mere "repetitions" in several instances he has omitted whole passages, of which many are requisite to the proper connection of the incidents related in the stories; and this, too, in dealing with a text which is itself evidently abridged from "the original "—if indeed an original Persian text now exists.

The more important deficiencies of Sir William Ouseley's translation-arising, as has been already explained, from his imperfect text as well as from his own omissions-which will be found included in the following Notes, have been supplied by my obliging friend Mr. William Platt, the veteran scholar, who has taken the trouble of comparing the translation with the carefully edited lithographed text of the Bakhtyār Nāma, published, at Paris, in 1839; and has, besides these notes of omissions, &c., kindly furnished me with other valuable materials, of which I have gladly availed myself, with the view of rendering this curious and in many respects unique work more complete and interesting to general English readers.

W. A. C.

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