In attempting to present to the public in a readable form this English version of one of the most popular and widely cir­culated works of the “last classic poet” of Persia, I have met with considerable difficulty on account of the very terse and idiomatic style of the author and the diversity of the subjects treated therein. I have, however, done my best to adhere faithfully to the original text and to be as closely literal as I could be consistently with the propriety of English idiom and lucidity of style; and for the better comprehension of the book, I have written a short introduction, containing a rough sketch of the rise and growth of Persian poetry, an ac­count of the life and writings of the author, together with pre­fatory remarks on each chapter. Explanatory notes are also appended, wherever necessary, to facilitate the work of the reader.

In order that the book may have that wide circulation which it deserves, I have exercised due precaution in expur­gating all those passages and stories, which might in any way be offensive to the taste of the modern reader; and I fully trust that the value of the work is not impaired by such an eli­minating process, as the passages or stories so expurgated are in no way necessary for a clear understanding of the text nor for any study of the poet's character.

No apology is needed to recommend the book to the reading public. It is a small store-house of oriental lore, and may well serve as a landmark in the history of oriental culture and civilization, pointing out as it does what progress the Persians had made in the arts of civilization, and how far they had advanced in government, temporal and spiritual, in science, philosophy and belles lettres.

S. F. M.


Bombay, 2nd November, 1899.