TO THOSE THOUGHTFUL PERSIANS WHO CAN READ A WARNING IN THE SUDDEN RISE AND SWIFT EXTINCTION OF A FOOLISH PEOPLE THIS VOLUME IS DEDICATED A FEW WORDS BY HEDFUL SURNAMED "THE AXIS OF WISDOM" _Curator of the Imperial Museum at Shiraz._ _Author of "The Celestial Conquest of Kaly-phorn-ya," and of_ _"Northern Mehrika under the Hy-Bernyan Rulers"_
The astounding discoveries of Khan-li of Dimph-yoo-chur have thrown floods of light upon the domestic life of the Mehrikan people. He little realized when he landed upon that sleeping continent what a service he was about to render history, or what enthusiasm his discoveries would arouse among Persian archaeologists.
Every student of antiquity is familiar with these facts.
But for the benefit of those who have yet to acquire a knowledge of this extraordinary people, I advise, first, a visit to the Museum at Teheran in order to excite their interest in the subject, and second, the reading of such books as Nofuhl's "What we Found in the West," and Noz-yt-ahl's "History of the Mehrikans." The last-named is a complete and reliable history of these people from the birth of the Republic under George-wash-yn-tun to the year 1990, when they ceased to exist as a nation. I must say, however, that Noz-yt-ahl leaves the reader much confused concerning the period between the massacre of the Protestants in 1927, and the overflow of the Murfey dynasty in 1940.
He holds the opinion with many other historians that the Mehrikans were a mongrel race, with little or no patriotism, and were purely imitative; simply an enlarged copy of other nationalities extant at the time. He pronounces them a shallow, nervous, extravagant people, and accords them but few redeeming virtues. This, of course, is just; but nevertheless they will always be an interesting study by reason of their rapid growth, their vast numbers, their marvellous mechanical ingenuity and their sudden and almost unaccountable disappearance.
The wealth, luxury, and gradual decline of the native population; the frightful climatic changes which swept the country like a mower's scythe; the rapid conversion of a vast continent, alive with millions of pleasure-loving people, into a silent wilderness, where the sun and moon look down in turn upon hundreds of weed-grown cities,--all this is told by Noz-yt-ahl with force and accuracy.
"Here's Truth. 'T is a bitter pill but good physic."
ABOARD THE ZLOTUHB IN THE YEAR 2951 _10th May_
There is land ahead! Grip-til-lah was first to see it, and when he shouted the tidings my heart beat fast with joy. The famished crew have forgotten their disconsolate stomachs and are dancing about the deck. 'T is not I, forsooth, who shall restrain them! A month of emptiness upon a heavy sea is preparation for any folly. Nofuhl alone is without enthusiasm. The old man's heart seems dead.
We can see the land plainly, a dim strip along the western horizon. A fair wind blows from the northeast, but we get on with cruel hindrance, for the _Zlotuhb_ is a heavy ship, her bluff bow and voluminous bottom ill fitting her for speed. The land, as we near it, seems covered with trees, and the white breakers along the yellow beach are a welcome sight.
Read The Last American: A Fragment from The Journal of Khan-Li, Prince of Dimph-Yoo-Chur and Admiral in the Persian Navy in its entirety