IN my article on The Sources of Dawlatsháh, which appeared in the January number of the Journal, I have already spoken of the excellent work which I now have the pleasure to present in English dress. For my translation I have used the Tihrán lithographed edition of A.H. 1305, which I have carefully collated throughout with the older of the two British Museum MSS. (Or. 3,507, dated A.H. 1017), and, in all doubtful passages, with the second MS. (Or. 2,955, dated A.H. 1274) also. These MSS. are fully described in Rieu's Persian Supplement, pp. 244-245 and 265, Nos. 390 and 418. It remains only to say a few words con­cerning the author and the book.

The Chahár Maqála contains, as its name implies, four discourses, each of which treats of a class of men deemed by the author indispensable for the service of kings, to wit, (1) scribes (dabírán) or secretaries; (2) poets; (3) astrologers; and (4) physicians. Each discourse begins with certain general considerations on the class in question, which are afterwards illustrated by anecdotes, drawn, in large measure, from the personal reminiscences of the author, who was himself a court-poet and a frequenter of royal assemblies. The total number of these anecdotes, which constitute at once the most entertaining and the most valuable portion of the book, is about forty, an average of ten to each “discourse.” So far as I know, only two of them, one concerning Firdawsí and the other about 'Umar Khayyám, have hitherto been cited from this work. Of these the first (translated by Ethé in vol. xlviii of the Z.D.M.G., pp. 89-94) was taken, not from the Chahár Maqála itself, but from Ibn Isfandiyár's History of Ṭabaristán, where it is quoted in extenso; while the second seems to have been known only in abridged citations, the misunderstanding of which gave rise to the Rose-tree cult of the 'Umar Khayyám Society, referred to at p. 414 of the April number of the Journal.

Of the excellent style of the Chahár Maqála, a style at once strong, concise, and pregnant with meaning, though not always easy or simple, I have already spoken at pp. 40, 53, 56-57, and 61-69 of the January number of the Journal, so that there is no occasion to insist upon it further. As, however, my translation will occupy two numbers of the Journal, it may be convenient that I should here give a brief table of its contents.