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HIS EXCELLENCY THE RIGHT HONORABLE
FRANCIS, EARL OF MOIRA, K. G.
COMMANDER IN CHIEF OF BRITISH INDIA,
&c. &c. &c.
My LORD, I AM highly sensible of the honor which you have done me in permitting the following work to be dedicated to your Lordship. The knowledge acquired by your Lordship in the Persian language will enable you to judge of the merits of Firdousee in the original Poem.
I wish that the translation lrad been more worthy of your Lordship's patronage; but I am confident that the indulgence which it requires will not be witheld by one so eminently gifted in literature and eloquence, and whose generosity
disposition, is only equalled by the splendor of his rank and the high endowments of his mind.
THE SHAHNAMU, from which the Poem of SoourAB is taken, comprises the history and achievements of the ancient Kings of Persia from Kuyomoors, down to the invasion and conquest of that empire by the Saracens, during the reign of YUZDJIRD, in 636. It is replete with heroic and chivalrous adventures, which are written' with great strength of genius and fervor of imagination. Of Abool Qasim Fire dousee, the author of this celebrated work, little is satisfactorily known. He was born at Toos, a city of Khorasan, about the year 950. The following circumstances respecting the origin of the Poem and the life of the Poet, are chiefly derived from the Preface to the
of the Shahnamu which was collated in the year of the Hijree 829, nearly 400 years ago, by order of BAYISUNGHUR BUHadoor Khan. It appears from that Preface that YUZDJIRD, the last King of the Sassanian race, took considerable pains in collecting all the chronicles, histories, and traditions, connected with Persia and the Sovereigns of that country, from the time of Kuyomoors to the accession of the Khoosroos, which by his direction were digested and brought into one view, and formed the book known by the name of Siyurool Moolook, or the BASTAN-NAMU. When the followers of Moohummud overturned the Persian monarchy, this work was found in the plundered library of Yuzdjird. The Preface above alluded to minutely traces its progress, through different hands in Arabia, Ethiopia, ,