The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-15

The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

observation, and I am confident that they will form a repertory of Eastern knowledge in its esoteric phase. The student who adds the notes of Lane (“Arabian Society,” etc., before quoted) to mine will know as much of the Moslem East and more than many Europeans who have spent half their lives in Orient lands. For facility of reference an index of anthropological notes is appended to each volume. The reader will kindly bear with the following technical details. Steinhaeuser and I began and ended our work with the first Bulak (“Bul.”) Edition printed at the port of Cairo in A.H. 1251 = A.D. 1835. But when preparing my MSS. for print I found the text incomplete, many of the stories being given in epitome and not a few ruthlessly mutilated with head or feet wanting. Like most Eastern scribes the Editor could not refrain from “improvements,” which only debased the book; and his sole title to excuse is that the second Bulak Edition (4 vols. A.H. 1279 = A.D. 1863), despite its being “revised and corrected by Sheik Mahommed Qotch Al-Adewi,” is even worse; and the same may be said of the Cairo Edit. (4 vols. A.H. 1297 = A. D. 1881). The Calcutta (“Calc.”) Edition, with ten lines of Persian preface by the Editor, Ahmed al￾Shirwani (A.D. 1814), was cut short at the end of the first two hundred Nights, and thus made room for Sir William Hay Macnaghten’s Edition (4 vols. royal 4to) of 1839-42. This (“Mac.”), as by far the least corrupt and the most complete, has been assumed for my basis with occasional reference to the Breslau Edition (“Bres.”) wretchedly edited from a hideous Egyptian MS. by Dr. Maximilian Habicht (1825-43). The Bayrut Text “Alif-Leila we Leila” (4 vols. at. 8vo, Beirut, 1881-83) is a melancholy specimen of The Nights taken entirely from the Bulak Edition by one Khalil Sarkis and converted to Christianity; beginning without Bismillah, continued with scrupulous castration and ending in ennui and disappointment. I have not used this missionary production. As regards the transliteration of Arabic words I deliberately reject the artful and complicated system, ugly and clumsy withal, affected by scientific modern Orientalists. Nor is my sympathy with their prime object, namely to fit the