THE attainment of the Persian language being, in my opinion, attended with greater difficulty than seems to be generally imagined; and considering this no improper occasion for pointing out wherein that difficulty consists; and consequently what still remains to be done in order to facili­tate the study, I have dedicated a few paragraphs to this intention.

THE Manuscripts that are presented to the learner are by no means the most accurate. The distinguishing points of letters are often superfluous, omitted, or misplaced, and the letters themselves contracted and deformed by a multiplicity of shapes. No distinct interval is ever left between their words. Two or three are crowded together so as to appear but one; and the parts of one are disunited in such a manner as to be readily mistaken for several. In short, the different forms of letters and words, and the several modes of uniting and separating them, although readily known at one place, are so arbitrary and various as not to be recognized at another.

THE construction of substantives with substantives signify­ing different things; of substantives with substantives denot­ing the same thing; of substantives agreeing with adjectives and participles, and of adjectives, participles and prepositions governing substantives, which constitute the greatest part of Syntax, and are precisely distinguished and marked in other languages, in Persian books and writings, are left entirely to the conjecture of the reader: occasioning, of itself alone, a difficulty in reading, not to be surmounted, but by great prac­tice united with a perfect knowledge of the language.

AFTER words are clearly expressed in writing or printing, and the modes of construction precisely marked, there is nothing so essential to the perspicuity of language, as a proper division and notation of the sense by points, colons, semicolons &c. But in Persian books there is no such thing known: and the various members of a sentence, sentences themselves, and and even paragraphs, are left equally undivided and undistin­guished.

THE person employed to remove these intricacies, and to correct these errors of the Manuscript, is a Moonshy; for the most part unacquainted with the Arabic language, poorly instructed in the principles of grammar, and not sufficiently qualified for the task he undertakes.

ON the other hand, the scholar being ignorant of Oriental language, or at least of the terms that are subservient to the rules of Grammar, is destitute of every medium of com­munication; and totally incapable of receiving the instruction of his Moonshy, however well qualified he may be in his profession.

Mr. Richardson, indeed, has arranged in a most judicious manner all that is requisite for attaining a compleat knowledge of the Arabic Grammar; but leaving us uninstructed with regard to the particular parts of the language that are borrowed and introduced into the Persian; as well as with respect to the rules to which this is subject; and having also avoided the use, and omitted the explanation of the terms of Arabic Gram­mar, the Scholar is neither capable of asking, nor of receiv­ing from his Moonshy the instruction he may require; and cannot, in short, make use of the grammatical knowledge he may really possess.

WITH regard to the observations collected by Mr. Jones, in his Persian Grammar, they are valluable rudiments to the beginner; but when he applies to Moonshies and Manuscripts for farther improvement, all the difficulties I have described are united to oppose him.

THE Insha-i Herkern, which I have chosen for my subject, is put into the hands of almost every beginner; it contains the common forms of business and correspondence; and being more immediately useful to a stranger, altho’ it cannot boast of introducing to his acquaintance any portion of the Genius, or of the Learning of Asia, may be still more acceptable.

THE copy of this book, which I present to the public, has been corrected from many others with considerable attention; the various forms of construction (which, I have already observed, are left in Persian books, to the great embarrassment of the reader, totally undetermined) are all distinguished by their proper marks; and every intricacy of Manuscript is removed by exhibiting it printed in the Taleek character. Opposite to the Persian there is placed an English translation; literal as far as consistant with the preservation of the sense. And to the whole is added an INDEX containing the Explanation, and the Derivation of every Arabic word from its proper Root. I have endeavoured in short, to supply, in some measure, the defects of Moonshies and Manuscripts; and the want of a proper medium of communication between the Instructor and the Student, at a period when he is unable to converse; and when he ought not to meet with any cause of discouragement.

IN these respects, I have flattered myself that the INSHA-I HERKEREN may be useful: but no further. The terms of Grammar, or I should rather say, a grammatical language, for obtaining from the Instructor an immediate resolution of every doubt that may occur, is still wanting. The manner in which the Arabic is, in every instance, introduced into the Persian, remains unexplained. The rule for affixing the Izafit to all the varieties of the different species of construction I have already enumerated, is as yet arbitrary, and undetermined by any system. And a sufficient number of books, on vari­ous subjects, correctly translated and printed, are still unpro­vided. These are obstacles to the attainment of the Persian language which still subsist; and which I hope will engage the attention of those who have leisure and ability to remove them.

THESE observations I have judged necessary for the infor­mation of the reader. It is now my duty to call his attention to the labours of Mr. Wilkins; without whose assistance the the Insha-i Herkern could never have appeared in its present form.

THE only printed Persian character that has hitherto been in use, except in exhibiting fair copies of Dictionaries and Gram­mars, has been subservient to no public purpose; and is but ill calculated for becoming the Channel of authority, or the Medium of business, over an extensive empire, where it is almost unknown, and scarcely understood; whereas the Types which Mr. Wilkins has invented, being a perfect imitation of the Taleek, the character in which all Persian books are written and consequently familiar and universally read, are not only well calculated for promulgating the Edicts of Government; but for every Transaction in business, where the Persian character is required.

BY this invention, (which is perfectly new and peculiar to Mr. Wilkins; and at the same time the labor of his own hand, from the metal in its crudest state, through all the different stages of engraving and founding) the Persian language may now receive all the assistance of the Press. The most valuable books may be brought into print; the language may be more easily and perfectly acquired; and the improvements of the learned and industrious conveniently communicated to the Public, and preserved to Posterity.