There Mss. of the Jawámi‘ in Europe. are nearly thirty-four Mss.* of the Jawámi‘u’l-Ḥikáyát preserved in the various libraries of Europe. Seven are in the Bodleian Library, Oxford; an equal number in Petrograd or Leningrad: three in the Asiatsky Muzei, two in the Impera­torskaya Publichnaya Biblioteka and two in the Imperatorsky Sanktpeterburgsky Univer­sitet; six in the British Museum, London; five in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; two in the India Office Library, London; two in the collection of Prof. E. G. Browne, Cambridge; two in the Hof- und Staatsbibliothek, Munich; one in the Kaiserlich-Königliche Hofbibliothek, Vienna; another in the Núr-i-‘Uthmániyya Library, Con­stantinople and another in the John Rylands Library, Manchester*.

Very Incidental references to other Mss. in the East. little is known about the Mss. of this work in the East, beyond a few incidental references in the following works. Sir William Ouseley writes in his Travels in various Countries of the East, etc.* (published at London in 1821): “The two copies which I have used are large folio Mss.; one containing 850 pages, the other above one thousand”. Dr. Sprenger in his “Descriptive List of the Mss. of Sir Henry Miers Elliot”*, after giving a short description of the Ms. of the Jawámi‘ in possession of Sir H. M. Elliot, says that it belonged to the “Heirs of Maharajah Ratan Chand Bareilly, folio, old and splendid, near a thousand pages of 29 lines, close writing. It contains the fourth part, but there seems no third Qism in this. There is also a copy in As. Soc.”*. Then Edward Thomas of the Bengal Civil service who edited the Essays on Indian Antiquities* etc. of the late James Prinsep, F. R. S., in 1858, says: “A good Ms. in my own possession, one of the few that Ranjít Singh’s library boasted of”, and quotes from H. T. Prinsep’s Ms., both of which evidently were at his disposal. Circa 1869, Prof. John Dowson, the editor of the “History of India”, etc.* by Sir Henry Miers Elliot, writes: “Copies of the Jámi’u-l Hikáyát are not uncommon. Sir H. Elliot used in India two large folio Mss., one containing 850, and the other 1000 pages. There is a fine copy in the East India Library*. The Editor has had three large Mss. for use and reference. One fine perfect copy in Naskh characters belonging to Mr. H. T. Prinsep, size 16 × 11 inches; another in folio belonging to the late Raja Ratan Singh, of Bareilly, in which the third kism is deficient, and lastly, a Ms. which formerly belonged to Ranjít Singh and is now the property of Mr. Thomas. This last contains only the first two Kisms, but as far as it goes it is fuller and more accurate than the others. The different copies vary considerably in the number of stories”*. The above extracts suggest the probable existence of a few other Mss. of this work in India, the home of this book; but judging from the number of the Mss. of this work that are found in the Western libraries, there is very little doubt that the oldest and the best royal codexes of this work have been transported by various agencies to Europe.

Cursorily A note on the acquisitions of the Mss. of the Jawámi‘. glancing upon the history of the acquisitions of the Mss. enumerated above, we find that most of them were brought over from India, Persia, Arabia, and Turkey. Thus the “Annals of the Bodleian Library” (p. 369) under the year 1859, says of the John Bardoe Elliott collection which is now preserved at Oxford: “And the munificent gift of a very valuable collection of 422 volumes of Arabic and Persian Mss. was received from Mr. J. B. Elliott, of Patna, (not the historian). These chiefly consist of the Mss. which Sir Gore Ouseley (who died Nov. 18, 1844,) obtained during his diplomatic service in the East, commencing his collection when stationed at Lucknow, and completing it while ambassador in Persia; of which Mr. Elliott had been the purchaser. A small remaining part had previously been bought by the Library, as noted under 1858”. And again (p. 367): “Thirty-nine choice Persian and Arabic Mss., which had formed part of Sir Gore Ouseley’s collection, were bought from his son, the late Rev. Sir Fred. Gore Ouseley, Bart., for £ 500. The rest of the collection came by gift.” Out of the seven Mss. at Oxford, one is Sir Gore Ouseley’s own copy, another his brother Sir William’s, a third one is Fraser’s, and the rest were probably collected by J. B. Elliott himself. Amongst these, [Elliot 171 and 172] is a fine complete Ms. of the work in two volumes, which once belonged to a royal library. Other Mss. taken out of the royal libraries of India either went to the British Museum or to the India Office Library; and a few from Turkey which were originally transcribed in Persia went through French acquisitions to the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris. The few Petrograd Mss. must naturally have come from Turkistán. Among the various collectors, whose notices will be found under the annals of the acquisitions of individual collections, the names of Sir Gore Ouseley, Sir William Ouseley, Sir Henry Miers Elliot, the historian of India, J. B. Elliott, Sir William Jones, Sir Albert Houtum-Schindler, Fraser (?), William Yule, George William Hamilton, Claudius James Rich, Henry Gordon, H. G. Keene, Wallis Budge, [N.] Bland, John Baillie, Sir Henry Creswicke Rawlinson, and Ducurroy (?) are known.

The Order of merit of the Mss., and a plan for a standard and complete text of the Jawámi‘. order of merit of the Mss. of the Jawámi‘ almost corresponds with the chronological arrangement adopted in the accompanying Table which is based partly on the accuracy of the text and partly on the age of the Mss.. As regards the latter, the seven 14th century A. D. Mss., viz. A. to G., are the oldest we possess, and are very important. In spite of the fact that four of them, viz. A., C., D. and E., are incom­plete, that three of them, viz. C., F. and G., are undated, and that one, viz. B., is abridged in places while another, viz. F., is entirely abridged and supplemented with anecdotes of a later period, yet all of them contain archaic spellings, and permit us to judge the comparative value of the later Mss., and to determine, on the whole, the nearest possible correct and complete text of the work; moreover they are accessible to European scholars, on account of their being preserved in the great libraries of Paris and London. In general the present Introduction to the Jawámi‘ is based on the study of nearly twenty-two Mss. and in particular on a close study of the first seven Mss.. Consequently, five Mss. A., B., C., D. and G. are selected for a Comparative Index of the hundred chapters, and two dated Mss., A. and D., offering a unique opportunity of establishing a full and complete text of the four parts, are adopted as the bases of a projected text, which the present writer hopes to publish at some future date; and G., being a complete Ms., is adopted as a companion text along with A. and D. for purposes of general reference, description of the titles and standardising the anecdotes throughout the complete Table of Contents of the Jawámi‘.

Next The 15th century Mss. in order are the four 15th century A. D. Mss., viz. H., H bis, I. and I bis. The first three are dated and complete, the last one is undated, but contains archaic spellings; hence it is also included amongst the 15th century Mss. All these are also important for various reasons, although their textual value cannot be estimated very high. H. is the next complete Ms. and is very helpful for purpose of reference and collation. H bis is the earliest Ms. containing miniatures. It once formed part of the Baillie collection and was presented to the Edinburgh University Library, but is at present missing from there. It is provisionally included in this list, in order to facilitate its discovery, and given its due place in the chronological order; if perchance it were discovered anywhere or restored to the Library, it would deserve careful study and consideration. Then I. is a royal Ms. transcribed in Turkey in the flourishing period of Persian literature under the Ottoman Sultans. I bis is the oldest of the Petrograd Mss.; it offers good readings and compares favourably with C. and D., although it is incomplete.

The The 16th-19th centuries Mss. third group is that of the 16th century A. D. Mss. All the four, viz, J., K., L., L bis, are complete but undated and merit little consideration, excepting K. which is stated to have been transcribed from a 14th century Ms. and offers fairly correct readings. L bis, though not so old, probably contains some of the additional anecdotes hitherto found in A. exclusively, and also appears to be either abridged in places or marred by omissions. Then the 17th century group of ten Mss., which almost contains dated and complete ones, is a huge mass of mediocre and unreliable transcripts; here and there one might find some valuable readings as in M., but on the whole these later texts deserve very little credit. Then come those of the 18th and 19th centuries, most of which have not been personally examined by the present writer and, from the scanty descriptions collected from various sources, appear to be very modern, ordinary and unreliable texts, excepting the Núr-i-‘Uthmániyya 3272, which owing to its being deposited in that Library for ages and also being included in H. Khalfa deserves a thorough examination, in order to estimate its real textual value and establish its relative position in this list. These later texts do not materially affect the plan of standardising the text of the Jawámi‘ which is aimed at in this survey of the Mss.

It Method advocated by Mírzá Muḥam­mad. might be added in the end, as a safeguard for editing a work on a scientific basis, that, as Mírzá Muḥammad Khán Qazwíní, one of the greatest contemporary Persian scholars and exponents of textual accuracy and collation, once remarked, there is no such thing as a perfect text of a single Ms. in the Persian language, because it does not exist. The nearest approach to the original can be gained only by consulting almost all the available Mss., and using due discretion and strict precision in collation and exact reproduction of the various readings of the Mss., however modern they may be, as sometimes some of the oldest and most reliable Mss. contain incorrect readings, which may possibly be rectified in a very late Ms. If the scribes in the past, through their harmful ingenuity and failure to understand a passage or a word, have emended or distorted the text in order to make it readable and clear, let not the same mistake be repeated in editing a text on a scientific basis. In view of these valuable suggestions almost all the available Mss. have been examined, out of which we have nearly ten old and reliable Mss. from which a standard and com­plete text of the Jawámi‘ can be safely established, while others can be dispensed with, since we know their comparative merit. Unless and until a contemporary or an autograph codex luckily comes to light and reveals entirely new features, this plan will remain final.