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For my part, I cannot help thinking, that a juster notion of the government, laws, and policy of the Turks, may be formed by an attentive perufal of Naîma's History, than can be acquired from all the relations of our European travellers; and that a single volume of it, accurately translated, would be more useful to us, than the vast collections of Rycaut and Knolles, to which, however, I readily allow the praise that they deserve.
It may reasonably be supposed, that having drawn my materials from these plentiful sources, I mean to present the public with a complete history of the Turks; but I reflected, that among
the numerous events which must be recorded in the general history of any nation, there are very few which seem capable of yielding either pleasure or instruction to a judicious reader, who desires to be acquainted with past transactions, not because they have happened, but because he hopes to derive from them some useful lesson, for the conduct of his life. It seemed, therefore, more respectful to the public, and it was far more agreeable to
my own inclination, to trace out, in the form of an effay, the great outlines only of the Turkish history, leaving all its minuter parts to be coloured by some abler pencil, and perhaps the most interesting of them to be filled up by my rough crayon, as fome future occasion, or
Whatever then be the fate of my performance, I have a claim in one instance to the indulgence of my reader, by having spared him the trouble of running over all the idle fables, and even the dull truths, with which my originals abound, and which I have suppressed in great number; since both of them
in my opinion, highly disgraceful to an historical piece, in which nothing should be written that is fabulous, nor any thing, how true foever it may be, but what deserves to be read*.
As to the nature of my piece, though I have intitled it an Ejay on the History of the Turks; yet, from the age of Elizabeth to the present century, the history of our Trade to the Levant
* Three pages of the original are here omitted, as it appears by a manuscript note, that it was intended to alter
is interwoven with it, and a few hints are respectfully offered for its improvement; an object of the highest importance to the whole nation. The part which relates to the Causes of the rise and decline of the Turkish Empire was written after the model of M. de Montesquieu's Confiderations on the greatness of the Romans; nor am I under any apprehension of being censured for imitating so excellent a pattern, to which I may justly apply the words of Cicero:-“ Demofthenem imitemur. . Dii boni! quid ergo nos aliud agimus, aut quid aliud optamus ? at non assequimur,”
The following pages contain some compositions of Sir William Jones, which have not been printed. The first, a litttle Effay on the Grecian Orators, was written at the University, and exhibits an elegant specimen of his carly talents in the composition of Latin; more of the famekind might be added, butthe curiosity of the reader on this subject, may tified by a reference to the sixth volume of Sir William Jones's Works. The reader will observe the connection between the Essay now presented to him, and the quotation which concludes the Preliminary Discourse in the preceding page.
The second is an Italian composition, written by Sir William Jones when he was studying that language; and I rely upon the judg
ment of a native of Italy, who has pronounced it classical and elegant. The third exhibits a curious fpecimen of the form and measure of a Persian Ode of Jami, and on this account ic is inserted. The fourth, a song from the Persian, is in the measure of the original, and will not be thought deficient in beauty. The remaining compositions require no particular observation.
For want of a fitter opportunity, I here transcribe from the writing of Sir William Jones, the following lines :
Bahman (a native of Yezd, and follower of the doctrines of Zoroaster) repeated this morning four glorious and pious verses, which ought to be engraven on every heart:
Make the worship of the Great Giver habitual.