THE following analytical account of a unique Persian MS. poem, entitled Sindibād Nāma, or the Book of Sindibād, belonging to the Library of the India Office, was published by Professor Forbes Falconer in the Asiatic Journal, vols. xxxv and xxxvi, 1841. By the courtesy of Dr Rost, I have been favoured with a loan of this manuscript, which is beauti­fully written in the ta'līq character, and adorned with numerous paintings. Unfortunately, several lacuna occur throughout the volume, and thirty leaves are misplaced. It now comprises about 170 folia, and 5000 couplets. The original numbering of the leaves seems to have been cut away when it received its present Oriental binding, as many of the full-page pictures are imperfect at the top, and the re-numbering is in a different hand from that of the text, and made consecutive, notwith­standing the displaced and missing leaves. Owing probably to the defective condition of the MS., Falconer has altogether overlooked one story (the title of which is written in faint blue ink at the foot of a page) and the remains of two others; from which it is evident that in this text, as in all others of the Eastern group of the Sindibād, each of the Seven Vazīrs had originally two stories. He states that in his analysis he has “sometimes, for the purpose of giving the reader a better idea of the work and of the author's style, freely used his own diffuse and Orientally fanciful expressions and imagery; and sometimes compressed his narrative and trimmed his exuberance (for com­pression and curtailment were necessary in analysing a work of such extent); and sometimes, especially when the tale was already familiar to readers in other works, or objectionable in its nature, satisfied himself with giving the title, or a reference to the corresponding portion of the Greek version. Those who know the difficulties of Persian poetry,” he justly adds, “and the disadvantage of possessing but a single manuscript, will not only excuse, but will even lay their account with meeting, occasional misapprehensions of the sense.”

An account of the several Eastern texts of the Book of Sindibād being given in the introductory pages of the present volume, Falconer's preliminary observations on the same subject need not be here reproduced; indeed, they are rather out of date, so many important discoveries regarding this work having been made of recent years. His plan of leaving some of the tales untranslated must be unsatisfactory to students of the genealogy of popular fictions, since it is only by comparing different versions of these stories that their original forms can be ascertained. Stories which are not objectionable are therefore now presented as fully as the state of the manuscript permits, and the additions and corrections printed within square brackets; while such of Falconer's notes as have been retained are dis­tinguished by the letter F from those for which I must be held responsible.

W. A. C.