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a greater distance, they will first diverge, and then converge in ora der to enter it. May not this account for some of the varieties of figure seen at times in the motions of the luminous matter of the auroras : since it is poffible, that in paffing over the atmosphere, from the north in aļi directions or meridians, towards the equator, the rays of that matter may find in many places, portions of cloudy region, or moist atmosphere under them, which (being in the natural or negative state) may be fit to receive them, and towards which they may therefore converge ; and when one of those receiving bodies is more than faturated, they may again, diverge from it, towards other surrounding masses of such humid atmo sphere, and thus form the crowns, as they are called, and other figures mentioned in the histories of this meteor ?
A Specimen of the Civil and Military Institutes of Timour or Ta.
merlane : a Work written originally by that celebrated Conqueror in the Mogul Language, and since translated into Persian, Now first rendered from the Persian įnto English, from a MS. in the Polesion of William Hunter, M. D. E. R. S. Physician Extraordinary to the Queen. With other Pieces. By Jofeph White, B. D. Fellow of Wadham College, Laudian ProJeffer of Arabic, One of His Majesty's Preachers at Whitehall,
and Editor and Translator of the Syriac Philoxenian Version of the Gospels, 4to. No Pricę. P. Elmsly, This specimen, which we are told in the Preface, begins with the first page of the work, and ends at the seventh, without omission, addition, or alteration, is translated from a manuscript in the poffeffion of Dr. Hunter. Our translator further adds, that nothing is wanting to render it the olo ject of admiration to the curious and the learned, but the positive convi&tion of its authenticity ; for the defence of which he subjoins the following letter in support of the authenticity of the Institutes of Timour, “My good friend,
Gloucester, Odt. 24, 1779. " I have received your favour of the 20th inftant, and wish most heartily that my ability to comply with your request was equal to my inclination.
“ You apply to me for external evidence to establish the authenticity of Timour's Institutes : it is by no imeans an easy talk to pero form; such reasons, however, as have led me to believe them genuine, I shall freely communicate. How far they may tend to re. move the doubts of unbelieving Critics, I cannot pretend to say ; poffibly, in the opinions of such gentlemen, they may only serve ço establih my own credulity: be that as it may, I hall set out
with declaring to you, that I cannot produce any historical proofs of the authenticity of these Inftitutes.
“ The only histories of Timour, which I have read (that written by himself excepted,) are those of Shurruf u’deen Alli Yezzudi and Mirkhond ; the latter is in the Rouzit ul Suffau. True it is that neither of these authors, to the best of my remembrance, take any notice of the Institutes, or of the History (or Commentaries) of Timour, said to be written by himself. Alli Yezzudi says, that Timour was always attended by several learned and able men, whose sole employment was to keep a fort of histori. cal journals of all tranfactions as they occurred, both military and civil; that they were directed to adhere minutely to the truth in their relations of the most triling facts, and that they were still more particularly enjoined to observe the strieteit impartiality in their narratives of the conduct and actions of the Emperor him. felf. These Historical Journals, if they may be so called, were, from time to time, read in his presence, in the presence of his ministers and officers, and of the learned; they were compared with and corrected by each other, by the Emperor himself, and by such of his people as had a personal knowledge of the tranfactions therein related. It must be allowed, that this was no bad way of collecting authentic materials for the history of a mighty Emperor, governing a mighty empire ; if he took care to enforce his como mands by proving himself superior to flattery, and by an encouragement of that truth and impartiality, which he fo strictly enjoined. From these materials, some of which were in profe, fone in verse, fome in the Turki (or Mogul) language, fome in the Persian, Alli Yezzudi afterwards compiled the History of the Reign and Conquests of Timour, as he himself declares: and with the assistance of these very materials, it is concluded that Timour wrote that voluminous and valuable History of his own Life, 10 which he added his Institutes. How it came to pass that that History and those Institutes were not taken notice of either by Alli Yezzudi, or Mirkhond, it is impossible, at this distance of time to tell; but though the cause cannot with certainty be poineout, there is room for many plausible conjectures, The Historical Journals before mentioned were numerous, and they were public also ; the great and the learned had free access to them; many copies of them were taken, and, with the originals, handed down to posterity; the life of Timour, and his Institutes, on the contrary, was a private work, composed by himself, with the atsilt. ance which those materials afforded him. This work the Conqueror was led to engage in from motives to us unknown : amusement or ainbition, or both, might urge him to the arduous undertaking: Whether it was written with his own hand, or by a favourite and trusty amanuensis, is uncertain ; but which ever was the case, it is most probable, that one copy only existed during his life-time, and poslibly for many years afterwards : what became of that copy, during ihe confusions that followed his death, is equally uncertain and open to conjecture. But after all, it is no unreasonable luppo
fition, that such a work in manuscript might have existed, though Alli Yezzudi and Mirkhond knew nothing of the matter. That they were not acquainted with it, is evident: for if they had, and thought it authentic, they would have bestowed upon it all the ap. plause which is due to the intrinsic merit of the work; if they had known and thought it fpurious, they would have refuted its authen. ticity. But they have done neither; they are totally filent on the subject : from whence we may conclude, that they were strangers to the work. But it by no means follows, that such a work could not exitt, because they, or even cotemporary authors, knew nothing about it.
"The History of Timour, written by himself, carries with it the firongest proofs that he wrote for posterity only; and that he could not, in prudence, or in policy, make his work public during his life : for it contains not only the same accurate detail of the Facts and Occurrences of his reign, as are found in other authors, but it goes much farther. He gives you that which he only had the power to give, the secret springs and motives which influenced his conduct in the various political and military transactions of his life, the arts by which he governed, as well as the power by which he conquered. He acknowledges his weaknesses, honestly owns his errors, describes the difficulties in which he was occafionally involved by those errors, and the policy by which he sur. mounted and overcame those difficulties. In a word, it is a complete Index to his head and his heart; and though, take it all in all, it redounds to the honour of both the one and the other, yet it was a work by no means calculated for the perufal of his enemies, or even his subjects during his life; since it would have enabled those who chose it, to combat him with his own weapons, or, in other words, to have turned his arts and his policy againit himself. Hence it is reasonable to fuppofe, that the work in ques. tion was entirely unknown during his life; and its subsequent temporary obfcurity may, I think, be plausibly accounted for, by the probability of one copy only existing at the time of his death, by the uncertainty into whose hands that copy fell, and by the divi. Gons which followed in his family after the death of Shaahroch.
" Abu Taulib ul Husseini, in the Dedication of his Transla. rion to Sultan ul Audil, says, that in the Library of Jafir, Haukim of Yemmun, he met with a manuscript in the Turki or Mogul language, which, on inspection, proved to be the History of Ti. mour, written by himself; containing an account of his life and Actions from the seventh to the seventy-fourth year of his age, &c. &c. He then proceeds to give the Translation of the said History, in which are included the Institutes.
It may appear remarkable that the Translator (hould say so little, or in fact nothing, to prove the authenticity of the valuable work, which he was about to translate. It has an extraordinary ap. pearance, I allow; but, I think, the following inferences only can be drawn from it : either that he thought the work itself contained fufficient proofs of its own authenticity, or that at the period
when he translated it, it was so well known, as not to admit of doubt, or dispute. For my part, I think his inattention to this point is a very strong, if not the strongest possible proof, that the History and Institutes of Timour are genuine.
" An European Critic may say, that this famc Abu Taulib might have wrote the work himself in the Perfian language, and have imposed it upon the world as a Tranflation froin the Royal Mo. gul author. This I take to be impoffible. Authors in the East neither fold their works to booksellers, nor publifhed by subscription, nor depended for support on the applause, the generosity, or the credulity of the public, they were patronized by Princes, who rewarded their labours in proportion to the value of their works. And therefore, if Abu Taulib had been capable of writing such a work, he never would have been guilty of so dangerous and fooTith an artifice, which could tend only to diminîh both his fame and his profit. The applause and the reward due to the Translator of an excellent work, muft, whatever his merit, be inferior to those which are due to the author of such a work; if therefore he had been master of abilities to write the Life and inftitutes of Timour, as there written, he would have spoke in the third person instead of the first (no other alteration being neceffary,) and have stood forth as the author of the first and best History of the Life of Timour, that ever was wrote ; for which he must have obtained both applause and profit tenfold. The fame mode of reasoning will hold good to prove that the Turki copy could not be wrote by any Mogul author, but him to whom it is ascribed, Timour himself.
“ The noble fimplicity of di&tion, the plain and unadorned egotism that runs through the whole of the Institutes and Hiftory of Timour, are peculiarities which mark their originality and their antiquity also. The Orientals, for some centuries paft, have adopted a very different mode of writing; the best of their hittorical works are filled with poetical and hyperbolical flowers and flourishes, which are so numerous, and occur so frequently, that many a folio volume, weeded and pruned of these super fuities, would be reduced to a very moderate octavo.
" The only work bearing the least resemblance to the Life and Institutes of Timour, which has fallen under my observas tion, is the History (or Commentaries) of Sultaun Babour, written by himself. Babour was descended from Timour in the fifth degree; he was the son of Omer, the son of Abu Saeed, the son of Mahummed, the son of Meraun Shaah, the son of Timour. About eighty years elapsed between the death of Timour and the birth of Babour.. Babour in the twelfth year of his age, and the 899th year of the Hejra, fat upon the throne of his father, in the kingdon of Furgaunch. The earlier part of his life very much resembled that of his great predecessor, Timour: and his abili. ties in the field and in the cabinet, his fortitude in distress, his astivity and courage when surrounded with difficulties and danger, and the glory and luccess with which his enterprizes were finally
Crowned, make the resemblance between these two Princes Rift more striking. Like Timour, Babour wrote an accurate History of his own Life and Actions in the Turki language ; which , though by no means equal to the admirable composition of his renowned ancestor, is a work of infinite merit. Yet this hilto: uy, great as the Royal author was, remained in obscurity till the middle of the reign of his grandion Acbar,' when it was translated into the Persian language by one of his Oinrahs, Khaun a Khaus
It is more difficult to account for the temporary obscurity of this valuable work, than for that of Timour: for at the death of Babour it must have fallen into the hands of his son Humaioon, and on his death, into those of Acbur.- Yet till the iniddle of his reign it remained unknown and untranslated : and if Acbur had, in the early part of his life, been driven from his throne, if dic vifions had taken place in his family, and his pofterity had been scattered abroad, this valuable manuscript might have fallen into private hands, and have remained unknown for a century longer; possibly, have been totally lost. No critic, either Oriental or European, pretends to difpute the authenticity of Babour's Hiftory; and, as far as I have been able to discover, the learned of the East consider the Institutes and History of Timour as equally genuine.
“ I was acquainted with several great and learned men in India, both natives and Persians; on perusing the works of Timour, I was led to make the fame enquiry which you have made, Whether they were, or were not authentic? The anfwers I received were always in the affirmative, and attended with some tokens and expreffions of surprise that I Mould, or could, doubt their being genuine. Shaah Aulum, the present Mogul has a beautiful copy of the History and Institutes of Timour; which he holds in such efteem, and of which he is so exceedingly careful, that though he granted me the use of any other book in his poffefsion, this he pohuively excepted by name, as a work fo rare and valuable, that he could not trust it to the care of any person whatever.
- Upon the whole, if the learned of the Ealt, for several generations, have been induced to give implicit credit to the Institutes and History of Timour, which is certainly the case, I do not fee how Europeans can, with any degree of propriety, doubt their authenticity. The Oriental Critics have the very best inaterials on which to form their opinions; our small flock of knowledge in the language, and still smaller stock of Asiatic Historians, render us very incompetent judges of the point in question. There are a great number of Oriental Manuscrips in the libraries of the learn. ed; but I am convinced, that there are still many, very many, which never have found, and pofsibly never will find their way into Europe ; and therefore, though no hiftorical evidence can be produced to prove the authenticity of the Works of Timour, yet no one can pretend to fay, that such historical Proofs do not exist. The learned of the East must be the best judges whether they do, or do not merit their belief and veneration; and they