Notorious for its misfortunes and those of its inhabitants in many decades of years, it had in the past almost lost its existence in the political world; and the names even of St, Domingo and Hayti were held by many intelligent people to be those of two separate countries, until the efforts of the Republic ot St Domingo to find a place of safety and protection among the United States of America has attracted attention to this almost forgotten yet historic isle. Probably no spot on earth, take it all together, and looking at it in its natural aspects, can be found more lovely: Many circumstances serve to render the history of this island peculiarly interesting to every intelligent mind, for here we have realised, in almost every part, the actual existence and daily life of Columbus; here we have the place first colonised in the New World by Europeans-the starting point of that civilisation which, spreading itself out in the New World, is now penetrating to those Indies of which the " Grand Admiral" thought this very island was a portion; here we have also the spot where was first inaugurated the beginning of African slavery in the Western World, as well as the real movement that has served to end it.
TII1Il present edition of the Gulistin iathe result of a careful comparison of the texts of Gentios, Gladwin, Semelet, Sprenger, and Johnson, as well as a large number of old and valuable manuscripts-partly my own property, partly that of the publishers of this work-and some chQice lithographed copies which I brought with me from India.
Two of the MSS. Sprenger; and hence, whenever these three conC1lJ"1'8 l in a reading from which that or those, for the readings of the others were in some instances as various as possible, of the other imts and.
Moreover, the readings of all the texts and MSS. Sprenger; in such cases I have unhesitatingly preferred the reading of Dr.
To the preparation of the Vocabulary I have devoted very considerable time and pains. On the contrary, I have admitted into the Vocabulary all Persian phrases and idioms of which the sense is not quite obvious, and all the Arabic phrases and sentences ooourring in the text.
The meanings given in preceding vocabularies I have, in not a few cases, felt it necessary to modify or completely change. A notable instance of this will be found in the word IAir,ai, to which the vocabularies and dictionaries give the meaning of "The game of leap-frog" or " Blind-man's buff," to neither of which it bas the slightest relation.
Of several words I have attempted to fix the etymology; with what success I cannot presume to determine. I have spared no pains in ascertaining the correct vowels of every word; in dis-tinguishing purely Persian from purely Arabic words; in noting such Persian words as, though derived from the Arabic, have changed their form or signifiaation, or both; and lastly, in noting Arabic words coined from the Persian, Sanskrit, and Greek 1angnages.
In the preparation of the Vocabulary I have made free use of the com-mentaries-some of which are remarkably good-on the margin of my manuscripts. I must also acknowledge my obligations to M.
The writings of Sa'di are held in high esteem wherever Persian is studied. His" Pand-nima," "Gulistin," and "Bostin," especially, al"8 commonly read, quoted and admired; and the two former are the first put into the hands of the youthful student.
This, however, is not to be attri-buted to their being more highly prized, generally, than the writings of others for the Persian scholar by no means places Sa'di in the foremost rank of authorsbut to their greater simplicity of style and suitableness of subject-matter. It would, perhaps, be difficult to find in the language another author whose works combine at once such simplicity of style with PREFA.
Hence the works of Sa'di are rightly the first that are taken up by an English student. But for an exten-sive and sound knowledge of Persian the works of Sa'di alone, or of Sa'di with the addition of the " Anviri Suhaili," will not suffice. Portions, at least, of all the old authors of mark, as also of the moderns, should be studied as well It is to be feared, however, that as long as so little encouragement is given to Oriental scholarship in England, the student of Persian will not step beyond the beaten path of the " Gulistin" and the " Anviri Suhaili;" and that the study of the works indicaUd above will be regarded as a luxury, to be enjoyed by those alone who are fortunate in the possession of a natural love for the study, and leisure at.
It was my intention to have prefixed a Life of Sa'di, compiled from reliable sources, to this edition of the Gulistin; but as this would have delayed the appearance of the work for some months, it was deemed advisable to put forth the work without it, and to proceed with the biography with the view to its appearance in another work, which it is expeeted will be shortly ready for the press.
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