IN the name of God, the merciful and commiserating, whose help we implore,

Whom we praise, whose fear we pray him to imbue us with, holding steadily by the most firm hold of his religion, and offering up our prayers for our Lord, his Elect, Mohammed, and his family, the standards of direction.

Where is our power of speech, O God! for the utterance of thy encomium?
How can we describe the perfection of thy greatness?
Poor and empty-handed, we are destitute of means:
The soul alone, which thou hast given us, can we offer in redemption of our duties.

Whereas the gain of experience is the choicest fruit and most valuable acquisition, that mankind can obtain on the stage of the creation; and a multitude hence of learned men, fully sensible of the value of their time, have consumed a por­tion of their lives in the composition of books of history, and in the accurate description of the turns both of good and bad conduct, of prosperous and adverse fortune: and whereas from the revi­sion of events and incidents, as they fall to the lot of the various orders of men in the diversity of their degrees, an infinite number of benefits may be reaped, I have been induced to think, after an attentive and true observation of a life, which I have spent in wandering and perplexity, that the chronicle of my days may not be void of interest and warning example to the diligent inspector. In the narration of other men's cir­cumstances and adventures, the historian fre­quently, from various causes, may fall into doubt and confusion: but there is no danger of either, when he confines himself to the explanation of his own affairs. I was therefore desirous, as far back as the rapidity of each event, which has passed over me, and the sudden change of the circumstances, which surrounded me, have left any impression on my memory, to describe the traces of my recollections with compendious brevity, in such manner, that neither the length of my discourse, nor any vain embellishments of style, may entail weariness or impatience on the judicious enquirer; but that in the description may be found both a memorial of my history for my existing friends, and a code of examples for successive agents. It is my hope from the kind­ness of those who shall look into it, that they will do so with tenderness and mercy, and that they will grant their aid in prayer for the forgiveness of the sins of the poor and unfortunate writer. “Lord, favour us from thy presence with mercy, and afford us thy saving guide in our affairs.”*