Page:Supplemental Nights to the book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, volume 1.djvu/14

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viii
The Translator's Foreword.

is not only faulty, but dry and jejune, comparing badly with that of the "Thousand Nights and a Night," as it appears in the Macnaghten and the abridged Bulak Texts. Sundry of the tales are futile; the majority has little to recommend it, and not a few require a diviner rather than a translator. Yet they are valuable to students as showing the different sources and the heterogeneous materials from and of which the great Saga-book has been compounded. Some are, moreover, striking and novel, especially parts of the series entitled King Shah Bakht and his Wazir Al-Rahwan (pp. 191-355). Interesting also is the Tale of the "Ten Wazirs " (pp. 55-155), marking the transition of the Persian Bakhtiyár-Námeh into Arabic. In this text also and in this only is found Galland's popular tale "Abou-Hassan; or, the Sleeper Awakened," which I have entitled ""The Sleeper and the Waker."

In the ten volumes of "The Nights" proper, I mostly avoided parallels of folk-lore and fabliaux which, however interesting and valuable to scholars, would have over-swollen the bulk of a work especially devoted to Anthropology. In the "Supplementals," however it is otherwise; and, as Mr. W. A. Clouston, the "Storiologist," has obligingly agreed to collaborate with me, I shall pay marked attention to this subject, which will thus form another raison d'etre for the additional volumes.

RICHARD F. BURTON.

Junior Travellers' Club,

December 1, 1886.