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Elevation of Timour, or Tamerlane, to the throne of Samarcand.—His conquests in Persia, Georgia, Tartary, Russia, India, Syria, and Anatolia.His Turkish nar.—Defeat and captivity of Bajazet.—Death of Timour.—Civil war of the sons of Bajazet.—Restoration of the Turkish monarchy by Mahomet the First.—Siege of Constantinople by Amurath the Second.

THE conquest and monarchy of the world was the first object of the ambition of Timour. To live in the memory and esteem of future ages was the second wish of his magnanimous spirit. All the civil and military transactions of his reign were diligently recorded in the journals of his secretaries * :

* These journals were communicated to Sherefeddin, or Cherefeddin Ali, a native of Yezd, who composed in the Persian language a history of Timour Beg, which has been translated into French by M. Petit de la Croix (Paris, 1722, in 4 vols. 12mo.), and has always been my faithful guide. His geography and chromology are wonderfully accurate; and he may be trusted for public facts, though he servilely praises the virtue and fortune of the hero. Timour's attention to procure intelligence from his own and foreign countries may be seen in the Institutions, pp. 215, 217, 349, 351.


the authentic narrative was revised by the persons best informed of each particular transaction; and it is believed in the empire and family of Timour, that the monarch himself composed the commentaries * of his life, and the institutions f of his government . But these cares were ineffectual for the preservation of his fame, and these precious memorials in the Mogul or Persian language were concealed from the world, or at least from the knowledge of Europe. The nations which he vanquished exercised a base and impotent revenge; and ignorance has long repeated the tale of calumny & which

* These commentaries are yet unknown in Europe; but Mr. White gives some hope that they may be imported and translated by his friend Major Davy, who had read in the East this “minute and faithful marrative of an interesting and eventful period.” + I am ignorant whether the original institution, in the Turkish or Mogul language, be still extant. The Persic version, with an English translation and a most valuable index, was published (Oxford, 1783, in 4to), by the joint labours of Major Davy, and Mr. White, the Arabic professor. This work has been since translated from the Persic into French (Paris, 1787), by M. Langles, a learned Orientalist, who has added the life of Timour, and many curious notes. : Shaw Allum, the present Mogul, reads, values, but cannot imitate, the institutions of his great ancestor. The English translator relies on their internal evidence; but if any suspicion should arise of fraud and fiction, they will not be dispelled by Major Davy's letter. The Orientals have never cultivated the art of criticism; the patronage of a prince, less honourable perhaps, is not less lucrative, than that of a bookseller; nor can it be deemed incredible, that a Persian, the real author, should renounce the credit, to raise the value and price of the work. § The original of the tale is found in the following work, which is much esteemed for its florid elegance of style: Ahmedis Arabsiada (Ahmed Ebn Arabshah) Vitae et Rerum gestarum Timuri. Arabice et Latine Edidit Samuel Henricus Manger. Franequera, 1767, 2 tom. in quarto. This Syrian author is ever a malicious, and often an ignorant, enemy: the very titles of his chapters are injurious: as how the wicked, as how the impious, as how the viper, &c. The copious article of Timur, in Bibliotheque Orientale, is of a mixed mature, as d’Herbelot indifferently draws

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