Abbildungen der Seite

Excerpts from the Universal History of
Abu'l Feda, compendiously displaying the
fame Actions, and the rest of the History
of that Time. As also a Specimen of the
larger History of Salâh'addîn, in a lof-

tier Stile, by Omâdo'ddîn of Ispahan,

from the Arabian Manuscripts in the

University of Leyden; now published

with a Latin Version; by Albert Schul.

tens. Together with a Geographical

Index and Commentary, compiled from

the Manuscripts of the same Library, in


Part I. T HIS very curious and valuable Hi-

· story has never been translated into

any European Language before. Our
learned Editor observes, that it has appeared un-
der some variation of Title and Author's Name
in the printed Catalogue of the Leyden Library.
In the Edition of 1674, the Title runs thus,
The History of Ebn Abbâs the Gazite, concerning
the Life and AEtions of Salâh'addîn, who reco
vered the Land of Palestine from the hands of the
European Christians; which appears to be a
first-rate Blunder. In the last Edition of the
fame Catalogue in the year 1716, there is this
Title; The History of Ebn Abbâs Abu Mod-
haffer Yûsof Ebn Shâd of the Aets of the Emperor
Salâh'addin, and bow be regained the Land of Pa-
lettine from the Chriftians. This Title is not

* That the Reader may not wonder that we differ pretty

widely from the Latin Transator in spelling the Names ; it may

be proper to acquaint him, that therein we act according to the

Genius of the Arabic Orthography, and the Power of our own



more juft and accurate than the first, and proceeds from an inattention to, or ignorance of, what is found in the Frontispiece of the Origi· nal; which has Words to this effect: The Life and Actions of Soltân Al-Malec Al-Naser the

Refor mér of the World and of Religion; the Ina· mite Soleãn of the Moslems; the Rescuer of the

House of God, at Jerusalem, from the Hands of the Idolaters ; Servant of the two Hoty Cities, Mecca and Medina Abu Modhaffer Yusof the Son of Shâd, whose Sepulchre God sprinkle with the Shower of bis Favour, and grant unto him to taste, in the seat of his Compassion, tha sweet Fruits of Faith, as unto our Brethren, who are gone before us in the fame. The Blessing of God reft alsó upon our Lord Mohammed the Prince of the Sons of Adnân, and all Health. All the foregoing Names' belong to the Soltán himself, and none of them to the Historian, as is mistaken in' the Title of this Work as it is found in the last Edition of the Leyden Catalogue, and as we häve just now transcribed it. .

The Historian's Name is some how or other omitted in the Original; a defect which our Editor supplies by this means: Omâdoddin of Ispahan relates, that Babão'ddin' the Kadi and himself were sent on an Embassy to the Soltân from his Brother, to know his thoughts upon an offer the King of England had made towards a Peace, by agreeing to give him his Sister, in Marriage; which very Fact is found in our Historian, (p. 209. 6. 127.) where he professes to have had this business in charge ; and from hence and other corroborating Evidence our Editor ventures to call him Babão'ddin the Son of Sbedad ; and he seems to be very right. He was in high esteem with the Soltán, as appears

in almost every Page of his History, scarce ever stirring from his side. But tho he doubtless had very full instruction in all points relating to his Master, he has chiefly insisted on the Holy WAR against the Franks or Christians at Feryfalem, where they had for a considerable time erected themselves into a Kingdom. This may be attributed to an over-fond Zeal, which blinded him so much, as to make him fancy that the glory of thacWar absorbed all that his Hero had acquired in all the rest of his Life; or else to an unwillingness to mention any thing which might reflect dishonour on him. In the Holy WAR his Master fills up, as it were, the whole Scene, equally admired on both sides; in that great Affair, he deems all to be glorious, great, and irréprehensible; whereas if he had acted the faithful Recorder of his Deeds in general, he, among other Particulars, must have mentioned his Ingratitude to the Family of Núroʻddin in Syria, and his Severity towards the Race of the Fatemite Khalifs in Egypt; neither of which could have been excused by the most specious Glosses he could have resorted to for that, purpose. ...i

Babão'ddin is an Arabic Compound, signifying the Beauty of Religion, whence our Editor concludes him to have been the Mufty. This he gathers also from his constant Form of Blessing and Cursing: as for example, when he mentions Salábaddin, it is always with a God be merciful unto bimThe Mercy of God rest upon him: but when the Franks are to be named, they are con-stantly attended with a Curse of God be on them; herein, acting the Dispenser of Benediction and Malediction, and the Mouth of the supreme Being bere on Earth, as the Turks at this day speak of,


[ocr errors]

their. Mufty. Besides, his Stile and Manner of treating some Points, and insisting upon others, betray him to have been a Churchman. However, to resume his Stile again, it is like that of the great Abu'l Feda, simple, copious, and unaffected.

. From fo masterly and so well-instructed a Pen, what can we expect less than a very good History? Wherefore as there are few who would not be glad to know how the Mobammedans speak of the downfal of the Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem, and to be acquainted with the Character, Genius, and Exploits of the Prince who was able to effect fo terrible a disaster upon the Christian Name in Asia and Afric; we will, in the most compendious and conspicuous manner we are able, gratify the Curiosity of our Rea-, ders, by giving them a succinct Abridgement of the whole History, and particularly for the satisfaction of such as are as ignorant in Latin as in Arabic.

Salabaddîn was born in the five hundred and Year of the thirty-second Year of the Mohammedan Hejra, Mohamand even in his Childhood gave early and well- Heirator grounded Hopes that he was destined to Empire Hegira and high Command. His Piety was pure, sub-532. lime and perfect, accoraing to the five traditionary Precepts of Mohammed.' I. His . one God, was not a blind Affent to he knew not what; he dived deep into the Arguments whereon it was built, and having made himfelf a perfect Master of the Controversy, would decide with wonderful perfpicuity upon any Branch of it ; and being convinced he was right, resolved to inculcate hisOpinion into every body else. 2. In Prayer he was constant and ferventi, and almost without an equal ; therein would he

[blocks in formation]


pour out his Soul with the most melting Devotion, and tho’ in private, with all the troubles fome and folemnCeremonies observed in the pube lic Worship, from which he would not wholly, excuse himself when even upon his Death-bed. 3. Alms-giving and Generosity together had so thoroughly drained him of his Wealth and Substance, that he had nothing to bequeath to his Heir when he died. 4. The Fast of Ramadan he kept with a strictness and rigour quite extraordinary, altho' he was of a Constitution which could but very indifferently admit of Abstinence, 5: The Pilgrimage to Mecca he had folemnly vowed, but when he happened to have leisure to undertake that important Act of Religion, it fell out that his Treasure was at a very low ebb; wherefore, as he could not at that time go like himself, he deferred it till the next Year; but e'er that came about, he died.

The Koran was his principal delight, in that - it may be faid of him, that he exercised himself · Day and Night, rewarding the fame laudable

Practice in others, with a munificence and favour altogether princely. He never heard or read certain Passages of that Holy Volume, but; being of a soft and tender Heart, he dissolved into Tears. Nor was he less mindful of Tradis tion,eagerly seeking after all such as possessed it ; among whom,, if at any time there were any, who, wrapped in Contemplation, shunned the Thresholds of the Great ; such he would frequently visit, with great Humility, and listen to them with a most religious Attention. Moreover, he was a rigid Affertor of his Creed, and cherefore hated Philosophy and all inquisitive Learning. To doubt or dispute upon any Ar. židle of his Beļief, was Death, if it came to his

: cars

« ZurückWeiter »