DURING the period I was engaged in translating the Memoirs of the Emperor Timûr, I received, from my friend Major William Yule, a Persian manuscript, containing Private Memoirs of the Emperor Humayun, son of the celebrated Baber, and father of the no less famous Akber, sixth in descent from Timur, and contemporary with our King Henry VIII. with a recommendation that I should translate it. In compliance with my friend’s recommendation, and at the request of the Oriental Translation Committee, I have under­taken the task.

As the Author of this Work was not a learned person, it has no claims to erudition; I have there­fore not thought it requisite to give any part of the original text; and although, in conformity to the practice of the times, he has ornamented his book with various quotations from the Koran, with many passages from Persian poets, and historical anecdotes, I have not taken the trouble of following him in these his prolix digressions.

This book being written with the greatest sincerity and naïvetè, sometimes to the disparagement of his hero, I have no doubt of its authenticity. The manuscript was purchased at Lucknow, the capital of Oude, and is, I believe, the only copy now in England: it is a large octavo volume, written in the common hand, and is about a century old.

The Anglo-orthography of this work is nearly the same as that of the Memoirs of Timûr, viz. a free use of the Persian letters; and the short e, representing the vowel zubber of that language.

I take this opportunity of declaring that I have scarcely ever met with an idea in any European poet, of a passage in any historian, that I have not found a parallel to it in Oriental writers. I must also request the readers who are inclined to criticise the style of this work, or my other Trans­lations, that they will previously compare them with English books of the same period, not with those of the present day.


P. S. I beg leave to add, that the book men­tioned in my Preface to the Memoirs of Timûr should have been Ajaib al Mukdur, “Wonders of Destiny,” instead of Ajaib al Mukhlukat.