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MAHOMET

AND

HIS SUCCESSORS.

BY

WASHINGTON IRVING.

IN TWO VOLUMES.

VOL. I.

PHILADELPHIA:

J. B. LIPPINCOTT & CO.

1873.

AL 1968.117

MARVARD COLLEGE LICK

REQUEST OF

(T. STUART WALS JUNE 1, 1923

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1868, by

G. P. PUTNAM AND SON,

a the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of

New York.

PREFACE.

OME apology may seem necessary for presenting a life of Mahomet at the present

day, when no new fact can be added to those already known concerning him. Many years since, during a residence in Madrid, the author projected a series of writings illustrative of the domination of the Arabs in Spain. These were to be introduced by a sketch of the life of the founder of the Islam faith, and the first mover of Arabian conquest. Most of the particulars for this were drawn from Spanish sources, and from Gagnier's translation of the Arabian historian Abulfeda, a copy of which the author found in the Jesuit's Library of the Convent of St. Isidro, at Madrid.

Not having followed out in its extent the literary plan devised, the manuscript life lay neglected among the author's papers until the year 1831, when he revised and enlarged it for the Family Library of Mr. John Murray. Circumstances prevented its publication at the time. and it again was thrown aside for years.

During his last residence in Spain, the author be

guiled the tediousness of a lingering indisposition, by again revising the manuscript, profiting in so doing by recent lights thrown on the subject by dif ferent writers, and particularly by Dr. Gustav Weil, the very intelligent and learned librarian of the University of Heidelberg, to whose industrious researches and able disquisitions, he acknowledges himself greatly indebted.1

Such is the origin of the work now given to the public; on which the author lays no claim to novelty of fact, nor profundity of research. It still bears the type of a work intended for a Family Library; in constructing which the whole aim of the writer has been to digest into an easy, perspicuous and flowing narrative, the admitted facts concerning Mahomet, together with such legends and traditions as have been wrought into the whole system of oriental literature; and at the same time to give such a summary of his faith as might be sufficient for the general reader. Under such circumstances, he has not thought it worth while to encumber his pages with a scaffolding of references and citations, nor depart from the old English nomenclature of oriental

names.

W. I.

SUNNYSIDE, 1849.

1 Mohammed der Prophet, sein Leben und seine Lehere. Stuttgart. 1843.

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