Page:An Essay on the Age and Antiquity of the Book of Nabathaean Agriculture.djvu/32

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16
BABYLONIAN LITERATURE.

There is reason to regret, however, that this eminent Oriental scholar, instead of giving us a treatise on the text, which he alone has consulted, should not have rather first published the text itself. The position of a critic is extremely painful when he is obliged to combat the opinions which a conscientious scholar has formed on a work which he alone has read in its entirety, and from which he only gives extracts which bear out his own theory. Until “The Book of Nabathæan Agriculture” is published in its full integrity, the judgment brought to bear on the subject must be received with great allowance. Nevertheless, so great is the interest of the question, that thanks are due to Dr. Chwolson for having forestalled the tedious delay inseparable from a publication so voluminous as that of “The Book of Nabathæan

Arabischen Uebersetzungen” (1859), extracted from vol. VIII. of “Memoires des Savants etrangers,” of the Academy of St. Petersburg. Dr. Chwolson has already announced these results in his “Ssabier” (1856), vol. I., p. 705, and vol. II., pp. 910 and 911; and in the “Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländen Gesellschaft,” 1857, pp. 583 ff.