Page:Arthur N. Wollaston - English-Persian Dictionary 1882.djvu/11

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PREFACE.

The need of a modern English-Persian Dictionary can scarcely be questioned, the massive volumes edited many years ago by Richardson and Wilkins respectively being out of print and well-nigh unprocurable; in any case, also, for various reasons, they are by no means suited to the requirements of the present day, while the few other works which have appeared are, for the most part, compilations by natives of India, unacqainted with the spirit of the English language, and at best they rise but little beyond the level of vocabularies. In these circumstances, as I know from personal experience, a student is beset with difficulties, and from this point of view no apology is needed for an attempt to till a void so serious and perplexing. There is, however, another aspect of the case, respecting which an explanation is due to the public. Reference has been made to the attempts of foreigners to cope with the difficulties of a strange tongue; the failure of an Englishman to grasp the endless shades of meaning of so ornate and mellifluous a language as Persian would scarcely be less conspicuous. Indeed, for my part, I am quite prepared to admit that a Dictionary should be the joint work of two individuals, responsible each in his own sphere for the accuracy of the work. Why, then, it may be asked, have I attempted single-handed a task for which I avow that a coadjutor is incumbent? The question is reasonable, and, considering that, by the inherent nature of things, a Dictionary must of necessity,