Before I enter on the history of the prophet, it is incumbent on me to produce my evidence. The Latin, French, and English versions of the Koran are preceded by historical discourses, and the three translators, Maracci, (tom. i. p. 10 - 32), Savary (tom. i. p. 1 - 248), and Sale (Preliminary Discourse, p. 33 - 56), had accurately studied the language and character of their author. Two professed lives of Mahomet have been composed by Dr. Prideaux (Life of Mahomet, seventh edition, London, 1718, in octavo) and the count de Boulainvilliers, (Vie de Mahomed, Londres, 1730, in octavo): but the adverse wish of finding an impostor or a hero, has too often corrupted the learning of the doctor and the ingenuity of the count. The article in D'Herbelot (Bibliot. Orient. p. 598 - 603) is chiefly drawn from Novairi and Mirkond; but the best and most authentic of our guides is M. Gagnier, a Frenchman by birth, and professor at Oxford of the Oriental tongues. In two elaborate works, (Ismael Abulfeda de Vita et Rebus gestis Mohammedis, etc. Latine vertit, Praefatione et Notis illustravit Johannes Gagnier, Oxon. 1723, in folio. La Vie de Mahomet traduite et compilee de l'Alcoran, des Traditions Authentiques de la Sonna et des meilleurs Auteurs Arabes; Amsterdam, 1748, 3 vols. in 12mo) he has interpreted, illustrated, and supplied the Arabic text of Abulfeda and Al Jannabi; the first, an enlightened prince who reigned at Hamah, in Syria, A.D. 1310 - 1332(see Gagnier Praefat. ad Abulfed.); the second, a credulous doctor, who visited Mecca A.D. 1556 (D'Herbelot, p. 397. Gagnier, tom. iii. p. 209, 210). These are my general vouchers, and the inquisitive reader may follow the order of time, and the division of chapters. Yet I must observe that both Abulfeda and Al Jannabi are modern historians, and that they cannot appeal to any writers of the first century of the Hegira.