The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-7

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

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

that literary labours, unpopular with the vulgar and the half educated, are not likely to help a man up the ladder of promotion. But common sense presently suggested to me that, professionally speaking, I was not a success, and, at the same time, that I had no cause to be ashamed of my failure. In our day, when we live under a despotism of the lower “middle class” Philister who can pardon anything but superiority, the prizes of competitive services are monopolized by certain “pets” of the M�diocratie, and prime favourites of that jealous and potent majority—the Mediocnties who know “no nonsense about merit.” It is hard for an outsider to realise how perfect is the monopoly of common place, and to comprehend how fatal a stumbling stone that man sets in the way of his own advancement who dares to think for himself, or who knows more or who does more than the mob of gentlemen employee who know very little and who do even less. Yet, however behindhand I may be, there is still ample room and verge for an English version of the “Arabian Nights’ Entertainments.” Our century of translations, popular and vernacular, from (Professor Antoine) Galland’s delightful abbreviation and adaptation (A.D. 1704), in no wise represent the eastern original. The best and latest, the Rev. Mr. Foster’s, which is diffuse and verbose, and Mr. G. Moir Bussey’s, which is a re-correction, abound in gallicisms of style and idiom; and one and all degrade a chef d’oeuvre of the highest anthropological and ethnographical interest and importance to a mere fairy book, a nice present for little boys. After nearly a century had elapsed, Dr. Jonathan Scott (LL.D. H.E.I.C.‘s S., Persian Secretary to the G. G. Bengal; Oriental Professor, etc., etc.), printed his “Tales, Anecdotes, and Letters, translated from the Arabic and Persian,” (Cadell and Davies, London, A.D. 1800); and followed in 1811 with an edition of “The Arabian Nights’ Entertainments” from the MS. of Edward