MOHAMMEDAN historians generally tire the patience of the reader by too minute a detail of sieges and battles, of murder and intrigue, with­out relieving the fatiguing sameness of their narratives, by the more pleasing and instructive accounts of individual character, or the policy and domestic manners of a people. The author of the “Mirát Ahmadí,” who gives us a political and statistical history of the Gujarát province, must be exempted from this general censure. He commences with the early history of the country, under the Hindú Rájás, in the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth, centuries of our era; and has briefly sketched the Mohammedan inva­sions, which, at this time, happened under the kings of Ghazní and Ghór. After narrating its subsequent conquest, in the thirteenth cen­tury, by the Patan kings of Dehlí, and the rise of native Mohammedan princes in the province, he details its political management by the Moghul emperors, from Akbar to Aurangzíb. He then minutely describes the contests and dis­turbances, which, from the death of Aurangzíb, A.D. 1707, to the defeat of the Mahrattas by Ahmad Sháh Abdalí, A.D. 1761, tended gradually to destroy the prosperity of the province; and concludes his history by an Appendix, con­taining an account of the various sects of Hin­dús and Mohammedans, the different parganahs, and the most remarkable places of religious resort. This last portion gives a connected history of the Mahratta transactions in that quarter; and ends with the settlement, at Baroda, of Dámají Gaikwár, and the death of Bálájí Bájí Ráo, after the unfortunate battle of Pánipat.

The materials of this work were collected by Mohammed Alí Khán, the Imperial Díwán, or revenue minister of Gujarát; who, in his preface, gives us a short biographical account of himself. He has there stated, that this history was brought to a conclusion in A.D. 1756; but it was not, in fact, completed until A.D. 1762, or Hij. 1175. As the author commenced collect­ing materials in A.D. 1748, he must have dedi­cated fourteen years of attention to its composi­tion. His style is more laboured and verbose than that of most Mohammedan historians; but what it wants in elegance is compensated by general accuracy of facts, and research. In his account of the Rájás, he has added little or nothing to the information which had been pre­viously communicated by the historian Abu-l-Fazl; though this is a period regarding which we could wish to have received more detailed accounts.

I shall therefore endeavour to supply this deficiency, by giving a sketch of the state of Hindú Society, at this time; and, though such be not so complete as I could wish, it can be filled up by the discoveries of future inquirers. Previous to doing so, it is necessary to say something regarding the manuscript of the work. I am not aware that a copy of the Mirát Ahmadí is to be found among any of the existing collec­tions of Persian books now in Europe. The one from which the translation is made was transcribed at Ahmadábád, A.D. 1822, by Narsain Dás, of the Kait tribe. In rendering it into English, I have had the advice and assist­ance of the very learned Persian Secretary of the Satárah Residency, Mír Khairát Alí, com­monly called Mushták; who, had he lived in other times than ours, and under a different system, would, in consideration of his knowledge of the Persian language and of Mohammedan history, have risen to offices of great rank and emolument.