OUR book opens,* as it ought, with the name of that glorious Power, who, marshalling by his man­date, issued before time began, the “thronging squadrons”* of conceivable objects from remotest inexistence to the very capital of being, assigned in his bounty their vice-regence to Adam the earthy,* invested him with a title to his friendship and approbation, and ennobled him by admission to his presence and his regard; — that gracious Creator, who made human nature as a page whereon the names of all things were recorded, and gave it to be worn* for an amulet by the capacities of the reason­able soul; to the end that the intent of his own divine appellations and eternal attributes, together with all the minutiæ of scientific and practical wisdom, might thus be mastered (according to the text,* God taught Adam the names, even all of them;) that in the gradual developement of its energies the heights of lofty acquirements and splendid faculties might one by one be climbed, and the elevated fruition of paramount exaltation in the school of spirits (according to the text, God said, O Adam, distinguish them by their names,) be merited as well as enjoyed.

Hail, too, to that perfect one, who, in the divine lucubrations, is as an opening to the volume of production and design, or, in the chapter of humanity, is as an exordium to teach the commendable in disposition and the becoming in act; — that per­fecting one, by whom, from the guidance of propriety in the shape of “institutory distinctions”* and less explicable* observances of ritual, all who were seek­ing after the paths of divine direction were brought out of the perils of bewilderment to that perfection which they wished to reach, — all who were fainting with thirst in the moral deserts they had rashly entered were supported by means of right instruc­tion, as it were by the beasts of a friendly caravan, to the limpid waters of reconciliation with God.

Hail, also, to his family and his companions:* champions are they of our pure faith; guides are they of our bright path; chevaliers in the religious arena, and sentinels of our transcendent institute.

Next to the praises of that king whose bounty surpasses all others, and to our prayers and bene­dictions to the Prince of all mankind, (ever-blessed be he!) it is but right to adorn the ruggedness of our discourse with a few commemorations of an earthly potentate,* the light of whose extended equity lends new lustre to the luminaries of heaven, and banishes all the obscurities of earth. * * * * * * * * * * And that is the greatest of sultans and highest of khācāns,* in whose hands are the keys of the age, in whose grasp the reins that guide the interests of the human race, the protector of the land of God from assault and disaffection, the extirpator to their last remnants of oppression and aggression, sultan in the right of three generations, the glory of temporal and of spiritual dominion, alike of the world and of the faith; Hasán* Bēg Bahādar Khān, the shelter of whose caliphat* and the lustre of whose clemency may the Almighty make eternal, and never may the exalted standards be lowered which now float over the earth’s fairest portion, or his enemies cease to be raised — above all connexion with terrestrial affairs.* * * * * * * * * * * * * * Among other marks of divine favour the greatest is, that this Lord of the conjunction* has been favoured by the bounty of Providence with a virtuous son,* who (according to the text, a good son takes pattern by his father, and not by others,) appears in justice and equity, and the other rules of government and administration, to take his father’s glorious character for his own model; like him, leaving no one of the minutest principles of church and state without its due observance. * * * * * * * * * * * * * Of his highness’s exalted nature and destiny a remarkable sign is this; that in spite of the freshness of youth, and the demands of youth and royalty, unlike those headstrong wassailers in arrogance who pass their leisure time in animal enjoyments and the encouragement of their passions, the greatest part of his auspicious moments (after the discharge of his religious duties, and attention to the claims and interests of his subjects,) he condescends to devote to the principles of science, the wonders of art, the exhortations and parables of the masters in wisdom and virtue, the histories of kings who were guided by justice, and of fathers who were pillars of the faith. This is sufficiently demonstrated by the book of choice precepts and rare apophthegms culled from the discourses of famous kings, pious fathers, and eminent philosophers, which (agreeably to the text, well is it for the assiduous in study,) he so constantly makes the companion of his enlight­ened mind.

Doubtless it is a book of valuable uses and lofty truths; and, as such, was deservedly kept by his highness’s great predecessors in the rich repository* of their choicest jewels. Yet, as it was compiled by some ancient writer,* and contains terms no longer known, and curious metres such as are now not current, his highness was pleased to direct even the unprovided author* of the present to correct and complete it. On examining it for the purpose, it proved to be complicated and diffuse, as touching the unity of parts in the composition; and deficient, as touching its material, in not embodying the entire authorities on the science of morals and politics. Hence it was that the writer’s mind became impressed with a different plan; which was to form a fresh compilation, such, as while it contained the radices of the active science, might be illustrated as to evidence and proof from the shining light of Scripture passages, from the loop-hole where the lamp of prophetical tradition is preserved, from the torches gleaming amidst the language of the Prophet’s companions and followers, the elders and leaders of the faith, and from the rays of expla­nation scattered in the writings of the foremost divines of nature;* adhering as far as possible in appropriate places to the scope of the former trea­tise,* and, where congenial sentiments occurred, giving prelibations from the striking passages of those who look beneath the veil, in order that the whole may be supported by the conspicuous authority of the age’s chiefs. Such a work, with the Almighty’s assistance, and under the countenance of our glorious prince, I hope it may be rendered, that neither the principles of science, nor the ways of practical wisdom,* may be inadequately or unworthily supplied to their respective votaries.

Now since it is the object of this work to ascer­tain the principles of the active wisdom, (which implies a knowledge of the nature of the human mind; because it is from this, through the medium of the will, that actions, whether praiseworthy or culpable, proceed,) in order that by means of such knowledge it may be cleared of vice and graced with virtue, and so arrive at the due perfection of which it is in search; and since these actions are divided into two classes,* one that which relates to every person in the individual, (which we call the science of morals or propriety,) and the other that which relates to domestic society, or that which leads to the arrangement of domestic affairs and the unity of families, (which we call the science of housekeeping and management of home,) and a third, that which relates to the society of city and country, or empire and dominion, (which we call the science of govern­ment or political control,) such objects of such a work (which is named ‘Glances of a Speculation on the Commendable in Morals’*) are necessarily comprised in three divisions: and since the cour­tesy of composition requires the prefixing of a preface embracing sundry matters connected with the science, such as may enlighten the reader and assist him in mastering the subject, the whole has been distributed into an Introduction treating of the said matters, and three Books* on the three subjects of inquiry, with sections and explanatory divisions at the writer’s pleasure. — Grace is from God; we serve not, we turn not, to any but to him.