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O F THE
BY WILLIAM JONES, ESQUIRE,
FELLOW OF UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, OXFORD,
عندليب فصاحت فروشد اي حافظ
PRINTED BY W. AND J. RICHARDSON, SALISBURY COUrt,
HE Perfian language is rich, melodious, and elegant; it has been spoken for many ages by the greatest princes in the politeft courts of Afia; and a number of admirable works have been written in it by historians, philofophers, and poets, who found it capable of expreffing with equal advantage the moft beautiful and the most elevated fentiments.
It must seem strange, therefore, that the study of this language fhould be fo little cultivated at a time when a tafte for general and diffufive learning feems univerfally to prevail; and that the fine productions of a celebrated nation should remain in manuscript upon the shelves of our publick libraries, without a fingle admirer who
might open their treasures to his countrymen, and difplay their beauties to the light. But if we confider the fubject with a proper attention, we shall discover a variety of caufes which have concurred to obftruct the progress of Eastern literature.
Some men never heard of the Afiatick writings, and others will not be convinced that there is any thing valuable in them; fome pretend to be busy, and others are really idle; fome deteft the Perfians, because they believe in Mahomet, and others defpife their language, because they do not understand it: we all love to excuse, or to conceal our ignorance, and are feldom willing to allow any excellence beyond the limits of ourown attainments; like the favages who thought that the fun rose and set for them alone, and could not imagine that the waves, which furrounded their ifland, left coral and pearls upon any other fhore.