[In a very kind and appreciative review of the Third Volume of this work,* Dr. Sachau, of Vienna, has re-opened the question as to the authenticity of the Malfúzát-i Tímúrí. The old arguments for and against were noticed in the account given of the book in Vol. III.; but as it is a matter of some literary interest, Dr. Sachau's objections are here quoted in full.

“The last two works in the series of chronicles described in this volume refer to Timur. The first of them, Malfûzât-i-Tîmurî, pretends to be an autobiography of Timur. The reader will be astonished to learn how that monster—who knew so well how to sack and burn cities, to slaughter hundreds of thousands of his fellow-creatures, to lay waste almost one-half of the then civilized world in a marvellously short time—in his leisure hours received inspira­tions from Clio; that he, in short, was a Tatar Cæsar. Even admit­ting that he knew how to write, we cannot believe in his authorship of the book in question, and that for the following reasons.

“A certain 'Abû Tâlib Husainî presented to the Emperor Shâhjahân a Persian translation of an autobiography of Timur, from his 7th to his 74th year, written originally in Chagatâî. The original, he stated, had been found in the library of a Pasha of Yaman. This story sounds strongly apocryphal. First of all, it is not very likely in itself that Timur should have written his own history. But Bâbar had done so, likewise Jahângîr. Why should not also the father of the family, Timur himself, have had this ‘family predilection’? Certainly it was a very good business to produce such a work at the court of Shâhjahân. It is not necessary to suppose that this prince himself believed in the authenticity of the book, but probably he deemed it in his interest to adopt the story as it was produced, and to make people believe in it.

“Professor Dowson shows (p. 390), from the preface of the Zafar-nâma , composed by Shâraf-aldîn Yazdî, A.H. 828, only thirty years after Timur's death, that certain officers in the suite of Timur were always employed to write down everything that happened to him, in fact to compose court-chronicles both in Turkî and Persian. There is no reason to doubt this statement of Yazdî; it is from these materials that he composed his eulogy, not to say history, of Timur. But were these materials ever gathered and formed into one coherent composition, into a book? This we can hardly believe to have been the case if we remember the statement of Yazdî, that his patron Ibrahim, Timur's grandson, tried to procure for him ‘from all parts of his dominions copies of the works relating to the life of Timur’ (p. 391). But admitting that such a book existed, how then, did it happen that it remained unnoticed for centuries under the reigns of all Timur's descendants as far as Shâhjahân? If, after the death of Timur, another dynasty had come into power, it would be only natural that they should have tried to destroy every memorial of their predecessors. But that was not the case; members of his family were sitting on the thrones of Persia, Transoxiana, and India. Further, are those court-chronicles identical with the Malfûzât-i-Tîmurî , as Professor Dowson seems to believe (p. 340)? The editor states quite correctly with regard to Yazdî's Zafar-nâma and the Malfûzât, that one is a mere reproduction of the other. And from this fact we conclude that the Malfûzât are forged upon the basis of Yazdî's work. In the first instance, the Malfûzât are composed in the strict form of an autobiography (‘I said,’ ‘I ordered,’ etc.), and we can scarcely assume that this was the form of the above­mentioned court-chronicles. Secondly, if Timur had been an author himself, Yazdî would certainly have mentioned it, and would, page after page, have enlarged on his stylistic attainments. But such is not the case.”

Dr. Sachau, in the first place, deems it to be incredible that a monster like Tímúr ever wrote his memoirs, even if he were able to write at all. It has never been contended that they were actually written by Tímúr with his own hand, but that the book was pro­duced under his personal direction and superintendence, and that he intended it to pass as his autobiography. That Tímúr was “a monster” is certain, but why this should disqualify him from writing a history of his life is not manifest. Other monsters have taken a pride in the record of their iniquities and atrocities, but then their opinions of themselves and of their deeds differed widely from the verdict passed upon them by mankind.

That the story of the discovery of the book “sounds strongly apocryphal,” has been admitted from the first. It gives ground for very great suspicion, but it would not be conclusive, even if the book were entirely destitute of evidence as to its authenticity.

It would certainly have been “a very good business to produce such a work at the court of Sháh Jahán,” if the work had been written in the prevailing style. But the book in question tells a plain straightforward tale, devoid of all that varnish and tinsel which a forger, in accordance with the prevailing taste, would have lavished upon his work to make it acceptable. The reception it met with shows what was thought of it: Another writer was commis­sioned to assimilate it to the Zafar-náma.

“The Malfúzát are composed in the strict form of an autobiography (‘I said,’ ‘I ordered,’ etc.), and we can scarcely assume that this was the form of the above-mentioned court-chronicles;” but why not? and in what form should an autobiography be written? The Memoirs of Bábar, Tímúr's descendant, are written in the very form objected to, as the pages of the present volume show. It may even be that these very memoirs were the incentive and the model of Bábar's. Both are written in a similar style; plain, out-spoken, and free from reticence or apology. Bábar's character is plainly im­pressed upon his memoirs. Is not Tímúr's equally manifest in the Malfúzát?

“Lastly, Dr. Sachau thinks that if Tímúr had been an author, Yazdí would certainly have mentioned it, and would, page after page, have enlarged on his stylistic attainments.” Perhaps so. But, “if Tímúr had been an author,” Yazdí employed himself in reproducing his work in an improved style. He could not very well have lavished praises on the style of a work which he so laboriously endeavoured to supersede. On the other hand, it would have been somewhat dangerous, at the court of Tímúr's grandson, to boast of having im­proved the writings of such a redoubtable character. Yazdí, how­ever, distinctly tells us that Memoirs of Tímúr's life were written under the direction of Tímúr himself, that they were read in his presence, and received “the impress of his approval.”* Under such circumstances the autobiographical form is very likely to have been employed, even though Tímúr never wrote a line himself.

Dr. Sachau agrees that the Memoirs and the Zafar-náma are re­productions the one of the other; but his view is, that the Memoirs are derived from the Zafar-náma. Against this it may be urged, first, that Yazdí confesses that he used writings which had “received the impress of Tímúr's approval,” and so acknowledges the pre­existence of something in the shape of Memoirs. Secondly, the Zafar-náma comprises neither “the Institutes of Tímúr” nor his “Testament,” which form one part of the Memoirs; so, these at least were not taken from the Zafar-náma. Lastly, the Memoirs contain many little matters of detail which are not to be found in the Zafar-náma. So, if the one work “is a mere reproduction of the other,” the larger work full of minor details cannot have been reproduced from the lesser work, in which those details do not appear. The Zafar-náma may have been entirely derived from the Memoirs, but it is scarcely possible that the Memoirs were wholly drawn from the Zafar-náma.

The Tabakát-i Bábarí noticed in this volume reproduces Bábar's Memoirs with all the graces of Persian rhetoric, and stands in the same relation to Bábar's Memoirs as the Zafar-náma does to the Malfúzát-i Tímúrí. There is no question as to the priority of Bábar's writings. In this case at least, the natural course prevailed, and the simple narrative preceded the highly elaborate and polished com­position. Are not the two cases of Tímúr's and Bábar's Memoirs more likely to be similar than contrary?

In the present volume there are two or three short extracts of the History of Tímúr, as given by 'Abdu-r Razzák in his Matla'u-s Sa'dain. Sir H. Elliot's Library contains only some portions of this part of the work, and no perfect copy of the MS. is accessible, so at present it cannot be ascertained whether 'Abdu-r Razzák acknowledges the source from which he derived the History of Tímúr. That he borrowed it or translated it from a previous writer is apparent—for nothing can be more dissimilar in style than the two volumes of the Matla'u-s Sa'dain. The History of Tímúr is as simple and plain as Tímúr's own Memoirs: the Embassy to India is narrated in the high style, in language almost as florid and ornate as that of the Zafar-náma. It is easy to see which style the author preferred. Where then did he get his History of Tímúr? If he translated or adapted Tímúr's Memoirs as given in the Malfúzát, the simplicity of style will be accounted for. It can never be believed that he drew his history from the Zafar-náma, transferring it from a style which he himself cultivated and must have admired, into a plain narrative, uncongenial to his taste and unsatisfactory to him as an ambitious writer. If 'Abdu-r Razzák did not use the Malfúzát, he must have used some work remarkably similar to it. No such work is known.

Tímúr's Memoirs profess to have been written in Turkí, and the translation into Persian was not made until long after the date of the Matla'u-s Sa'dain. A careful collation of several pages of the Persian version of the Memoirs and of the Matla'u-s Sa'dain shows no identity of language. So the latter work may have been derived from the original Turkí version of the Memoirs, but the Persian version of the Memoirs was not stolen from the Matla'u-s Sa'dain.

The chief and only tenable arguments against the authenticity of the work are the time and place of its discovery, and the fact of the original Turkí version never having come to light. The force of these objections is fully acknowledged; but they are not and cannot be decisive. The considerations above urged must have some weight in countervailing them, but a more forcible argument than all may be drawn from the Memoirs themselves. These seem to bear the impress of originality and authenticity. The style of the work is such as no forger would have been likely to adopt; while the personal and family matters, the petty details, the unreserved expression of the ferocious thoughts and designs of the conqueror, and the whole tenor of the work, seem to point to Tímúr himself as the man by whom or under whose immediate direction and superintendence the Memoirs were written.—J.D.]