[THERE is among Sir H. Elliot's MSS. an old worm-eaten MS., of small size, entitled Tabakát-i Bábarí. This is described by a Persian note upon a fly-leaf as being “an account of Bábar's fifth invasion of Hindustán, written by Shaikh Zain, one of the associates of the Pádsháh, whose name is often mentioned in the Túzak-i Bábarí.” The Nigáristán-i Gítí-numá quotes this work under the title of Futúhát-i Hind, written by Shaikh Zainu-l 'ábidín. Sir H. Elliot's MS. has no introduction, but opens abruptly with “His Majesty's fifth expedition to Hindustán;” and it ends still more abruptly in the middle of the occurrences of the 15th Jumáda-l awwal, 933 H. (page 352 of Leyden and Erskine's translation). The MS. was written in the year 998 H. (1589-90 A.D.), and the scribe tells us that he had copied to the end of his taswíd, or rough draft. So this MS. would seem to have been transcribed from the author's own copy, and we may fairly conclude that the work was never finished. It is a curious coincidence that this year 998 is the very one in which 'Abdu-r Rahím's Persian translation of Bábar's Memoirs was presented to the Emperor Akbar.

The work itself affords indirect corroboration of its having been written by Shaikh Zain. Bábar (p. 291 of Erskine) describes a party of literary men who were with him in his boat on a particular occasion, and amused themselves with making verses; and among the names of his companions he mentions Shaikh Zain. The author of the Tabakát gives an account of this party, and also records the names of the guests; but instead of Shaikh Zain, he says this “insignificant and ignorant servant,” leaving no doubt of his and Shaikh Zain's identity. Shaikh Zain was Bábar's secretary, and wrote the Farmán, which is translated by Erskine (p. 359) and by Pavet de Courteille (vol. ii., p. 287). Both translators remark upon the extreme magniloquence of this document. “Nothing,” says Erskine, “can form a more striking contrast to the simple, manly, and intelligent style of Bábar himself, than the pompous learned periods of his secretary. Yet I have never read this Farmán to any native of India who did not bestow unlimited admiration on the official bombast of Zainu-d dín, while I met with none but Turks who paid due praise to the calm simplicity of Bábar.” This description of the style of the Farmán applies equally to the present work. It is not so much a translation as a paraphrase, in the lofty style, of Bábar's own Memoirs, and those scenes and occurrences are brought into prominence which offer the most tempting opportunities for a display of the author's eloquence and ingenuity, such as a description of a beautiful garden, or the charms of a pleasant party. It omits much that Bábar himself deemed worthy of record, such as the description of the natural productions of Hindustán; and it appears neither to add any new facts, nor to throw any additional light upon the transactions of which it treats. There is sufficient difference, however, to show that the author was not wholly dependent upon Bábar's writings, but that he had also some personal knowledge of the various events. Two passages have been translated which will show the author's style, and the general agreement of his work with that of his master.]