THIS “Marrow of History” is a general Asiatic Chronicle of considerable repute in Europe and Asia. It has been translated into Latin by MM. Gaulmin and Galland; and Pietro de la Valle declared his intention of translating it into Italian. Whether he ever executed his task I know not, but in one of his letters, dated 1621, he expresses his intention “Di tradur da Persiano in Toscano un libro che chiamano Midolla delle Historie, et e un breve compendio della historia di tutti i Re della Persia da Adam infin' a Sciah Tahmasp.” It is also frequently quoted by the authors of the “Universal History,” as Lobb ul Tawáríkh and Lebb Táríkh, and by D'Herbelot, as Leb Tarik.

The author of this work was Yahya bin 'Abdu-l Latíf al Husainí of Kazwín, who composed it in A.D. 1541. Hájí Khalfa gives his name as Isma'íl bin 'Abdu-l Latíf; and in the Ma-ásiru-l Umará he is called Mír Yahyá Husainí Saifí. The author of that excellent work describes him as a well­known theologian and philosopher, who had acquired such extraordinary proficiency in the knowledge of history, that he was fully acquainted with the date of every event which had occurred from the establishment of the Muhammadan religion to his own time.

In the opening of his career he was patronized by Sháh Tahmásp Saffaví, by whom he was called Yahyá Ma'súm, and was treated by the king with such distinction, that his enemies, envious of his good fortune, endeavoured to poison his patron's mind against him, by representing that he and his son, Mír 'Abdu-l Latíf, were the leading men among the Sunnís of Kazwín. They at last prevailed so far as to induce the king, when he was on the borders of Ázarbáíján, to order Mír Yahyá and his son, together with thir families, to be imprisoned at Ispahán. At that time his second son, 'Aláu-d daula, known by the name of Kámí, the author of the work called Nafáisu-l Ma-ásir, was in Ázarbáíján, and sent off a special messenger to convey this intelligence to his father. Mír Yahyá, being too old and infirm to fly, accompanied the king's messenger to Ispahán, and died after one year and nine months, in A.H. 962,* at the age of seventy-seven years.

Mír 'Abdu-l Latíf, however, immediately on receipt of his brother's communication, fled to Gílán; and afterwards, at the invitation of the Emperor Humáyún, went to Hindustán; but, intermediately, that Emperor had departed this life, so that he arrived at Court with his family after Akbar had ascended the throne. By him he was received with great kindness and consideration, and was appointed, in the second year of the reign, as his preceptor. At that time the prince knew not how to read and write, but shortly afterwards he was able to repeat some odes of Háfiz. The Mír, says his biographer, was a man of great eloquence and of excellent disposition, and so moderate in his religious sentiments, that each party used to revile him for his indifference. When Bairam Khán had incurred the displeasure of the Emperor, and had left Ágra, and proceeded to Alwar, with the intention, as it was supposed, of exciting a rebellion in the Panjáb, the Emperor sent the Mír to him, in order to dissuade him from such an open breach of fidelity to his sovereign.

The Mír died at Síkrí in A.H. 971. As he bore the same name as his grandfather, another source of confusion has arisen respecting the name of our author.

His eldest son, Mír Ghiyásu-d dín 'Alí, was also endowed with an excellent disposition, and served Akbar for a long period. In the nineteenth year of the reign, he accompanied the Emperor to Patna, and in the twenty-first, was appointed to command an expedition against the zamíndár of Ídar. In the same year, 'Abdu-l Kádir recounts a sad accident which befell Ghiyásu-d dín at a game of chaugán, in which he and his brother Mír Sharífu-d dín, when opposed, charged each other with such force, that the latter was killed by the concussion. When Akbar dismounted to ascertain what had occurred, and it was observed that his saddle was empty, several disaffected persons spread abroad a report that he had met with a severe accident; and so rapidly did the intelligence gain ground, that he was compelled to write circular letters to his nobles, informing them of the real circumstances, and calling upon them to frustrate the designs of his enemies. In the twenty-sixth* year of the reign, he was honoured with the title of Nakíb Khán, by which he is now best known. In the fortieth year, he attained the mansab of 1000, and two of his cousins married into the royal family, the king himself espousing one of them. In the time of Jahángír he attained still further honours, and in the ninth year of the reign, A.H. 1023, died at Ájmír, and was buried in a marble tomb within the area of Muínu-d dín Chishtí's mausoleum, where his wife lies buried by his side.

Nakíb Khán inherited his grandfather's devotion to the study of history, and it is said that he knew the entire contents of the seven volumes of the Rauzatu-s Safá. He was one of the com­pilers of the first portion of the Táríkh-i Alfí, and was the trans­lator of the Mahá-bhárata.* He was also expert in geomancy and mental arithmetic. The royal autobiographer, Jahángír, records an instance of it in his Memoirs, where he relates that Nakíb Khán, on being asked how many pigeons there were in a particular flock then flying, responded instantly, without making a mistake of even one.

The Mír attained a good old age, and left a son, who bore the name of Mír 'Abdu-l Latíf, in the same way as his grand­father had done before him. He was a person of great worth and ability, and attained high honours, but died insane.