I AM so conscious that my general equipment was insufficient to warrant my having undertaken an introduction to this treatise (in addition to the translation), that my utmost hope is this,--that what I have written may be regarded by lenient Orientalists as something to elicit--provoke, if you will--the necessary supplementing and formative criticism; or as useful materials to be built into some more authoritative and better informed work: and that they may from this point of view be inclined to pardon what otherwise might seem an unwarrantable piece of rashness and indiscretion.
A still greater presumption remains to be forgiven, but this time on the ground of the great human simplicities, when I venture to inscribe this work, in spite of everything, to the beloved memory of
--that golden-hearted man--who in 1911 introduced me to the Mishkât; and to join with his
name that of
DUNCAN BLACK MACDONALD
who first introduced me to the Mishkât's author. Of these twain, the latter may perhaps forgive the lapses of a pupil because of the filial joy with which, I know well, he will see the two names joined together, howsoever or by whomsoever it was done. As for the former, . . . in Abraham's bosom all things are forgiven.