ABDULKURREEM, the son of Khojeh Akebut Mahmood, and grand­son of Mohammed Bolaky, was born in the land of Cashmeer, the semblance of the celestial Paradise*, the inheritance of our great ancestor; and like him was banished from his native soil; but with this difference, that Adam had first tasted the fruit of his sin.

Befriend me, for I am the Adam of this age;

None but the accursed Satan, will be my enemy.

I now humbly address myself to the truly learned, who although they be per­fect in knowledge and wisdom, are ready to excuse the defects of others.

At the time Nadir Shah invaded Hin­dostan, I dwelt in the city of Shahje­hanabad*. I had long wished to have an opportunity of making a pilgrimage to Mecca, as well as to visit the holy shrines, and to kiss the feet of the true believers. Now since every one who heartily perseveres, will surely obtain the object of his wishes, it so happened, that I was introduced to Mirza Aly Akber, who although nominally only keeper of the records, yet from there not being any prime minister, performed all the functions of that office. “Whatever God resolves shall come to pass, he also produces the means of its accom­plishment.” Summarily, Mirza Aly Akber presented me to Nadir Shah, who engaging his word, that I should be per­mitted to perform the pilgrimage of Mecca, I entered into his service.

After my return from my travels, which proved longer than I had at first intended, some of my dearest friends, of whose love and affection I had expe­rienced most substantial proofs, advised me to draw up a summary relation of my journey, and some account of the court of Persia; together with a narra­tive of the most interesting events in the History of Hindostan, since my arrival at Hooghly, which I have accordingly attempted in a plain and unaffected style.

It is irksome to be teased with old tales;

You had better tell only what you have yourself seen.

The story of Ferhad and Shireen* is become uninteresting;

Like past Love, or an old Almanack.

I relate what I have beheld with mine eyes;

Not mere hearsay, or antiquated fables.

No man in his senses would travel an unknown road;

Whatever the Pilgrim tells you, is from his own observation.

As I have entitled this little work a true Relation, so I have kept the con­tents free from flattery and exaggeration, which too often stain the historic page. I have also avoided prolixity, as well as studied cadences, and flowing periods, which only serve to perplex the sense.

Hafiz exclaims, that, nevertheless, they are not all absurdities;

There being actually strange stories, as well as wonderful traditions.