Page:Arthur N. Wollaston - English-Persian Dictionary 1882.djvu/14

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x PREFACE.

as a fact which may tend to enable the public to form an estimate of the value of the work now presented to them ——that six months were consumed in the mere revision of the fragmentary matter which I had collected, a task which Mirza Baker conducted throughout in personal communication with myself. At this stage I deemed myself justified in allowing an announcement to appear in a literary journal, intimating that the Dictionary was approaching completion. But, alas! for the vanity of human plans and schemes. A few months after the statement to this effect was published in the Athenæum, I found that the task of working up the rough notes would involve a labour, not of days or of months, but of years. In despair, I almost contemplated abandoning such a Herculean task, when one morning, to my surprise, I received an order from an unknown correspondent in this country to place at my disposal papers which were deemed of possible use in connection with the work which I was understood to have in hand.

In due course the documents arrived, and, to my amazement, they turned out to be nothing less than a miniature Dictionary, compiled some years ago by a gentleman during a residence in Persia. I examined the production most critically, and could find scarce a fault therein. Somewhat perplexed as to what course to pursue, I ultimately determined to defer the publication of my own larger work, and to revise this "Pocket Dictionary," intending to resume my own labours on the appearance of its less pretentious companion, an event which I had hoped would not be long delayed. My correspondent was Mr. R. Monro Binning, and I can only regret that it did not fall to his lot to undertake a task for which he is so eminently qualified, whether as regards practical experience gained during a residence in Persia, or critical knowledge of the minutiæ of the