Hakim Firdausi, the Homer of Persia, who wrote the history of that country, in his celebrated epic entitled the “Shah-nama," or Book of Kings.
 I have translated into plain prose all the verses occurring in the original. I have not the vanity to think myself a poet; and I have a horror of seeing mere doggrel rhymes—such as the following—
“Mighty toil I’ve
borne for years thirty,
I have revived Persia by this Pursi.”
These elegant effusions are of the “Non hominies, non Di, &c.” description.
 That is to say, he has introduced the elegance and correctness of the Urdu language, or that of the Upper Provinces, into Bengal. In fact, the Bengalis who speak a wretched jargon of what they are pleased to call Hindustani, (in addition to their native tongue,) would scarcely be understood at Agra or Dilli; and those two cities are the best sites to acquire the real Urdu in perfection; there the inhabitants speak it not only correctly but elegantly.
 The Muhammadans believe that the body of their prophet cast no shadow. Mustafa means “The Chosen,” “The Elected,” one of Muhammad’s titles.
 As a general rule, all Muhammadan books begin with a few sentences devoted to the praise of God and the eulogy of the prophet Muhammad; to which some add a blessing on the twelve Imams.
 The twelve Imams are the descendants of the prophet, by his daughter Fatima, who was married to her cousin-german ’Ali, who is considered as the first Imam; the other eleven were the following, viz., Hasan, the son of ’Ali; Husain, the son of ’Ali; ’Ali, surnamed Zainu-l-’Abidin, son of Husain; Muhammad, son of the last mentioned; Ja’far Sadik, son of Muhammad; Musa-l-Kazim, son of Ja’far; ’Al-i Raza, son of Musa; Muhammad, son of ’Ali Raza; ’Ali ’Askari, son of Muhammad; Hasan ’Askari: and lastly Muhammad Mahdi. With regard to this last and twelfth Imam, some say, very erroneously, that he is yet to appear. Now the fact is, the twelfth Imam has appeared. He lived and died like the rest of the sainthood; otherwise what would be the use of praying for him? The Muhammadans offer up prayers for the dead, but I never heard of their praying for the unborn.
 Much nonsense has been written about this Fasli aera. We are told that “it dates from the Christian year 592 3/4”! but the fact is that it was established no further back than the reign of Akbar. It was engrafted on the Hijri aera in the first year of that monarch’s reign, with this proviso, that the Fasli years should thenceforth go on increasing by solar calculation, and not by lunar; hence, every century the Hijri aera gains three years on the Fasli, and in Mir Amman’s time the difference had amounted to nearly eight years.