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AM now ready to present to the Public the History of Egypt; and in approaching so respectable a tribunal, I am impressed with awe, and filled with uneasy apprehensions. But while thus I stand amid those fearful anxieties, which are inseparable from my situation, I am not without hope, that what I have written may amuse, and perhaps instruct. It would be insulting the world to solicit its attention to a performance, which the author did not consider, as in some degree worthy of notice.


The objects of this history are highly deserving of regard; but I am not without fear, that I have been unable to place such interesting events in a point of view, sufficiently conspicuous and impressive. The reader, however, will easily conceive what difficulties I had to encounter, in traversing that wide extent of inquiry, over which I was unavoidably compelled to travel.

It was no easy task to separate fable from the early part of this work, and vet endeavour to preserve what was valuable and true. The direct track of history was lost and obliterated when Egypt became a province of Rome; and for a space of more than seventeen hundred years, its records are chiefly to be found in scattered fragments, among the annals of the caliphs, and the less direct

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memorials of those proud states, under whose tyranny it groaned.

Great have been my obligations to those acquaintance and friends, who rendered such essential services in furnishing me with a valuable supply of books. Besides the usual resource of private collections, I had access to the library belonging to the Faculty of Advocates, to those in the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, and to the very extensive one of William Morehead, Esquire, of Herbertshire, in the county of Stirling.

With these observations, I commit my

labours to the decision of the world; and wait with patience for that sentence which is to be pronounced.

If it be unfavourable, 1 shall give way in silence to the feelings of disappointment; but if encouraged by a generous approbation, I will cheerfully endeavour to render a future edition still more worthy of general acceptance and public esteem,


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