Bernier, François, Travels in the Mogul Empire A.D. 1656-1668

(Westminster, Eng. :  Constable,  1891.)



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  Page xvi  

xvi                                  PREFACE

In the matter of type, ornament, and printing generally,
I have endeavoured to retain the old-time flavour of the
early French and English editions, but I have never aimed
at a facsimile reprint; and I need hardly add that in
the text I have preserved the transliterations, admirably
phonetic as they all are, to be found in the first French
editions, and have avoided attempting any work that
might be open to the charge of ' restoration' in the
manner too often practised in the art of Architecture at
the present day.

In accordance with these general principles I have given
a translation of Bernier's Dedication to the French King,
and of his Address to the Reader, both of which have been
hitherto omitted from every edition except the first. They
contain, as was generally the case at the period, a great
deal of valuable personal history not to be found elsewhere,
and all worthy of preservation.

The letter from M. de Monceaux the younger, to Mr.
H. 0., given in the first English translation, and omitted
in most of the subsequent reprints or new editions, has also
been included, and containing as it does very pleasant tes¬
timony to the high esteem ('the most knowing Company
on Earth') in which our own Royal Society was held by
Foreign savants- thus early in its history, I trust that it
will prove of general interest, taken in connection with
the identification of Mr. H. 0. with the first indefatigable
secretary of that illustrious body, which it has been my
privilege to establish.

As will be seen from Appendix I., it is to the first
English edition of Bernier that we are indebted for
Dryden's masterpiece of Atireng-Zebe, a tragedy (first
acted, it is believed, in the Spring of the year l675, and
printed in l676) of which Dr. Johnson was moved to say
that, founded on the actions of a great Prince then reign¬
ing, it was fortunate that his dominion was over nations
not likely to employ their critics upon the transactions of
the English stage; otherwise,  ' if he had known and dis-
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