depended upon. First, the style: wild and rhapsodical in the early period, prosaic and narrative in the second, official and authoritative in the last. Then there is the development of doctrine and precept; the bearing of the argument, whether addressed to the idolater of Mecca, to the Jew or Christian, or to the disaffected citizen of Medina; to the believer oppressed and persecuted, or to the same believer militant and triumphant. And, lastly, there are distinct references to historical landmarks, which, within certain limits, fix the period of composition. On the other hand, a great portion of the Suras—certainly all the longer ones—being formed of fragments belonging to various periods of the Prophet's life, it often happens that a Sura of such composite character cannot be assigned wholly to any one particular period; thus, even in a chapter which is rightly classed as a Medina Sura, we not unfrequently meet with passages evidently given forth long before at Mecca, and vice versâ. It will also be understood that there are great portions of the Corân which, having nothing very characteristic about them, it is hardly possible on sufficient grounds to assign to any specific period, and the arrangement of which must therefore rest on purely arbitrary assumption.

In the following pages the Suras, 114 in number, have been arranged to the best of my judgment; and while the general order may be accepted as based on sufficient grounds, it will be gathered from the preceding remarks that, with certain exceptions of determinate epochs, a considerable latitude must be allowed, in fixing the place of individual Suras.

Approximate Chronological Order of the Suras.

FIRST PERIOD.—Eighteen Suras: CIII. C., XCIX., XCI., CVI., I., CI., XCV., CII., CIV., LXXXII., XCII., CV., LXXXIX., XC., XCIII., XCIV., CVIII. These are all short rhapsodies, some of only one or two lines. They may have been composed before Mahomet had conceived the idea of a Divine mission, or of a Revelation communicated to him direct from heaven. None of them are in the form of a message from the Deity.

SECOND PERIOD.—The Opening of Mahomet's Ministry.

Sura XCVI. contains the command to "recite in the name of the Lord." According to tradition, it was the first revelation received by him, after which an interval (the Fatrah) elapsed during which inspiration was suspended.

Sura CXIII. Five short verses on the unity and eternity of the Deity. There is nothing to mark its exact period; but it opens with the word "Say," and must therefore be subsequent to the time when Mahomet assumed that he was directly inspired of God. He is said to have been in the habit of repeating this Sura before retiring to rest.

Sura LXXIV. opens with the command to preach, and proceeds with a scathing denunciation of one of the chiefs of Mecca who scoffed at the Resurrection. Unbelievers are threatened with hell.

Sura CXI. A short Sura, in which the uncle of the Prophet, Abu Lahab, and his wife are cursed in wild and bitter terms.

THIRD PERIOD.—From the Commencement of Mahomet's public Ministry, to the Abyssinian Emigration.

Suras LXXXVII., XCVII., LXXXVIII., LXXX., LXXXI., LXXXIV., LXXXVI., CX., LXXXV., LXXXIII., LXXVIII., LXXVII., LXXVI., LXXV., LXX., CIX., CVII., LV., LVI. These are, chiefly composed of descriptions of the Resurrection, Paradise, and Hell, with references to the growing opposition of the Coreish.

FOURTH PERIOD.—From the Sixth to the Tenth year of Mahomet's ministry.