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Persia and the Persian Question, endnotes

by George N. Curzon

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[1] These letters, seventeen in number, appeared in intervals in the 'Times' from November 1889 to April 1890.

[2] In the minds of a great many English folk I fear that Persia awakens few other images than a recollection of the tales of Herodotus, the verses of Moore, and the diamonds of the Shah. On the whole, Herodotus more often wrote history than story; while the quality of the Shah's jewels is unimpeachable. But I regret to say that a heavy weight of responsibility lies at the door of Moore, whose descriptions of Persia are about as much like the original as the Alhambra of Leicester Square is like the exquisite palace of Boabdil. The roses of Bendemeer's stream are equally illusory with the nightingales; 'Kishma's amber vines' are in comical contrast with the treeless sterility of the real Kishm; and when Luttrell wrote—

'I am told, dear Moore, your lays are sung
(Can it be true, you lucky man?)
By moonlight in the Persia tongue
Along the streets of Ispahan,'

he must have been confiding in the ignorance, as well as humouring the egoism of the poet.

[3] I am aware that it is now asserted that the Aryans never came from Asia at all. But, for the present, I hesitate to adopt either the Sarmatian theory (Dr. Schrader, Prehistoric Antiquities of the Aryan Peoples, translated by F. B. Jevons, 1890; and Canon I. Taylor, The Origin of the Aryans, 1890) or the Scandinavian theory (Herr Penka, Die Herkunft der Arier, 1886), for fear of being presently invited to surrender them for a third and, as yet, undiscovered alternative. In the meantime, therefore, I prefer the old Asian hypothesis, to which Professor J. Schmidt has gallantly rallied in an essay published in 1890 in the Transactions of the Royal Academy of Berlin.

[4] Again a necessary qualification, seeing that so learned an authority as Professor Darmesteter has found in the personality of Zoroaster nothing more substantial than 'a product of the ubiquitous storm-myth.'

[5] I have seen a small object, such as a single hut or building, for at least twenty miles before reaching it; and every traveller in Persia will confess to the frequent exasperation of hope thus baffled and delayed.

[6] This has been translated into English, Universal Geography, vol. ix.

[7] What, for instance, can be thought of a writer who describes as 'a small salt lake at Oroomieh' an expanse of water which is three hundred miles in circumference, and as 'a lake of some size' the Hamun in Seistan, which is frequently dry; who speaks of the Elburz range as extending to Merv, and represents the tribes with whom Kaufmann fought in Central Asia as Tekke Turkomans; who makes Hasan, as well as Husein, slain at Kerbela, and, even at this date, confounds Shushter with Susa; who descants upon 'inexhaustible coal mines in the south-west, near the best ports of Persia,' when not a cubic foot of coal has ever been extracted from those regions; who antedates Nadir Shah by half a century, and post-dates the famous famine by three years; and who thinks there are twenty-five thousand grenadiers in the British Army?

[8] I am aware that grave charges have been brought, with some truth, against Tavernier, Chardin said he never understood a word of Persian. One critic declares that he could neither read nor write. His descriptions of some places are manifestly incorrect. There is no doubt that his editors experienced much difficulty in arranging his papers, which were in a state of chaos (vide Ouseley's Travels, vol. ii. Appendix, 10). Nevertheless his work retains its value, both for its independence and general freedom from exaggeration.

[9] This bar is such an obstruction that ships drawing over five feet of water cannot enter, but must lie outside. The Persian Government has often been pressed, but has never yet taken any steps, either to remove or reduce it. For an account of the Shah's small steam yacht, the 'Nasr-ed-Din,' which is generally on the Murdab, vide a later chapter on the Navy.

[10] I should prescribe as a golden rule, not to take a European servant unless travelling by caravan. In the latter case, he is merely a single addition to a large cavalcade, and may be of use, as well as a luxury.

[11] The Imperial Bank has since issued bank-notes, but as they can only be cashed, at present, in the towns where issued, I doubt whether they are accepted at the post-houses.

[12] The following modern writers have given descriptions of the journey from Enzeli to Teheran: E. B. Eastwick (1860-61), Journal of a Diplomate, vol. i. pp. 293-end; vol. ii. pp.1-14. Col. Val. Baker (1873), Clouds in the East, pp. 312-317. A. Arnold (1875) Through Persia by Caravan, vol. i. caps. viii.-x. A. H. Schindler, (1877), Zeit. d. Gesell. für Erd. z. Berlin, vol. xiv. Sir C. MacGregor (1878), Journey through Khorasan, vol. ii. pp. 176-180. E. O'Donovan (1880), The Merv Oasis, vol. i. pp. 307-337. E. Orsolle (1882), Le Caucase et la Perse, caps. xi.-xv.

[13] The total of farsakhs if multiplied by four seldom corresponds to the actual number of miles, for the reason that, the farsakh, being the unit of measurement, no fraction of a farsakh is taken into account. Thus 12½ miles will count as4 farsakhs equally with 16 miles, and be paid for accordingly. Moreover, the length of the farsakh differs in different parts of the country according to the nature of the ground, the local interpretation of the term being the distance which a laden mule will walk in the hour. Thus in mountainous country the farsakh will be apt not greatly to exceed three miles; whilst on level ground four miles may sometimes be an inadequate measurement. The name farsakh is, as well known, the Arabicised form of the old Persian parasang (transcribed by the Greeks as παρασάγγης), and is supposed to be derived from pieces of stone (sang) placed on the roadside as marks at fixed distances apart. In one of the books of the Zend Avesta there is the following not too precise definition of the term: 'A farsakh is the distance at which a long-sighted man can see a camel and discern whether it be white or black.' In Luristan, on the other hand, the standard is sound, not sight, a farsakh being the distance at which a drum beat can be heard. As a matter of fact, the original parasang was an old Babylonian measure, based on the Babylonian cubit, and was equal to 3.523 miles. But the modern parasang varies in proportion as the modem cubit varies; its mean value being 3 .915 miles, which corresponds with the Royal Babylonian cubit. Vide 'Notes on the Length of the Farsakh,' by Gen. A. H. Schindler, in Proceedings of the R.G.S. (new series), vol. x. pp. 584-688 (1888).

[14] Eastwick (vol. i. p. 212) says in 150 A.D.; but the reign of Shapur II. was 310-379 A.D. Others relate that the founder was Shapur I. (241-272 A.D.). For mention of Kazvin in early historians, vide Istakhri (Viae regnorum, p. 211); Yakut (Dictionnaire Géographique, pp. 441-445); Nasiri Khosru (Sefer Nameh). M. Ch. Schefer, in his edition of the latter work (p. 12), has given a list of the native historians of Kazvin, of whom some attained considerable eminence. Vide also B. de Meynard, Descript. Hist. de la ville de Kazvin, 1857.

[15] The Castle of Alamut (which must have been rebuilt after its capture and destruction by the Mongol Hulaku Khan) was used in later times under the Sefavi kings as a prison for disgraced persons of high rank. When their continued existence was found irksome they were pitched off the high rock upon which it stands. Chardin (edit. Langlès), vol. ix. p. 115. For a modern account of Alamut, vide Sir J. Sheil's 'Teheran to Alamut in 1837,' in the Journal of the R.G.S., vol. viii. p. 430.

[16] Vide Milton's Paradise Lost, x. 433-6.

[17] Herbert was phonetic rather than accurate in his spelling. Thus he converted Julfa into Jelphea, Teheran into Tyroan, Larijan into Larry John, and the Padishah, or title of the sovereign, into Pot Shaw. In the previous century the English factors in Gilan generally transliterated Shah Tahmasp into Shaw Thomas, which had not a very regal sound.

[18] I cannot resist quoting the quaint language of Herbert: 'And hence came those discontents, nay, that arrow of Death that arrested him; for upon the l3th of July he gave this transitory world an ultimum vale in his great climacteric'.—Some Yeares' Travel (3rd edit.), p. 212.

[19] 'Like discontents, long conflict with adverse dispositions, and fourteen days consuming of a flux (occasioned, as I thought, by eating too much fruit, or sucking in too much chill air upon Taurus), brought that Religious Gentleman, Sir Dodmore Cotton, our Ambassadour, to an immortal home. The 23rd of July he bade the world Adieu.'—Ibid., p. 213.

[20] Travels, pt. ii. pp. 378-382. Vide also a description of Kazvin in 1600 by John Cartwright, Preacher, Purchas' Pilgrims, vol. ii. lib. ix. cap. 4; and in 1671 by John Struys, Voyages, vol. iii. cap, xxiv.

[21] This was the road that was traversed by most voyagers in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, before Teheran had been made the capital—e.g. by Struys, Chardin, Le Brun, and others.

[22] It was being built when Sir Gore Ouseley and Morier marched this way, on the return of the former from his mission to Teheran in May, 1812 (Morier's Second Journey, p. 199), and is said both to have been named from and paid for out of the proceeds of a successful raid upon the Kurdish district of Suleimanieh by one of the sons of Fath Ali Shah.

[23] For a description of this road to Teheran vide Eastwick, Journal of a Diplomate, vol. i. pp. 213-217.

[24] It is described by Lieut.-Col. Stuart (1835), Journal of a Residence in N. Persia, pp. 76-138; Ch. Texier (1839), Description de l'Arménie, la Perse, &c., vols. i., ii.; M. Wagner (1843), Travels in Persia, vols. ii., iii., part iii.; Arm. Vambéry (1862), Life and Adventures, caps. iv., v., vii.; and by J. Bassett (1871), Persia, the Land of the Imams, cap. ii. The list of caravan stations between Trebizond and Tabriz, and the duration of the journey in hours between each (the Turkish hour or measurement by time being the precise counterpart of the Persian farsakh, or measurement by distance—i.e. the marching pace of a baggage animal in the hour) is as follows:—Trebizond-Djevizlik (6), Khamsikeui (5), Ardassa (8), Gumushkhaneh (5), Murad Khan (5), Kadrak (5), Baiburt (6), Kop Dagh Khan (6), Ash Kaleh (9), Ilidja (8), Erzerum (3), Hassan Kaleh (6), Amrakum (5), Deli Baba (6), Tayar (5), Mullah Suleiman (7), Kara Kilissa (7), Tashlitchai (5), Diadin (6), Kizildizeh (5), Ovadjik [Persian frontier] (5), Karaaineh (7), Zorova. (6), Pereh (6), Khoi (3), Seyid Haji (5), Tessieh (6), Diza Khalil (7), Mayana (6), Tabriz (3). Total, 172 hours, or (at the normal calculation of three miles an hour) 516 miles. Colonel Stuart, in 1835, calculated the distance as 490 miles.

[25] The journey from Tiflis to Tabriz has been described by Sir J. Chardin (1671), Travels, pp. 238-252; J. P. Morier (1814), Second Journey, pp. 301-320; Lieut.-Col. Stuart (1835), Journal of a Residence in N. Persia, pp. 145-169, E. B. Eastwick (1860), Journal of a Diplomate, vol. i. pp. 146-178; A. H. Mounsey (1865), Journey through the Caucasus, pp. 50-90; A. H. Schindler (1881), Zeit. d. Gesell. für Erd. z. Berlin, vol. xviii.; Mme. Dieulafoy (1881), La Perse, pp. 12-43; H. Binder (1884), Au Kurdistan, pp. 17-51. The last named gives an accurate account of the journey as at present accomplished, by rail to Akstafa, vehicle to Julfa, and chapar to Tabriz.

[26] Duration of journey from Tiflis to Akstafa 3½ hours by quick train, 5 hours by ordinary train; first-class fare, 5 roubles.

[27] A podorojna, or postal order, for the purpose must be procured at Tiflis, and entitles the holder to the hire of horses and use of the post-houses along the road. A carriage (either a phaeton or a springless wooden troika) can be hired for the entire distance from Akstafa to Julfa (but not beyond) for 30 to 40 roubles. The hire of post-horses is at the rate of 3 kopecks per verst (⅔ mile) per horse, plus a regulation gratuity of 20 kopecks to the driver at each stage. The stages between Akstafa and Tabriz, and the distances in versts are as follows: Akstafa-Uzuntali (22¼) Caravanserai (17½), Tarsa Chai (18½), Dilijan (14½), Semenofska 18¾), Helenofska (21½), Achti (16½), Fontanka (12), Eilyar (19¼), Erivan (15), Agha Hamdali(13), Kamarlu (15), Davalu (18¾), Sadarak (18¾), Baschnuraschin (22¼), Tartshah (10), Kivrak (19), Bejukdusi (12¼), Nakhchivan (21), Alinja Chai (25), Julfa (13). Total, 363¾ versts, or 242½ miles. Of the above stations there are telegraph offices and clerks of the Indo-European Telegraph Department at Akstafa, Dilijan (where the road to Kars branches off), Achti, Erivan, Sadarak, and Nakhchivan.

[28] I only mention a few: Sir J. Chardin (1671), Travels into Persia, pp. 370-382; M. Tancoigne (1807), Narrative of Journey into Persia, Letters xii.-xiv.; J. P. Morier (1809), First Journey, cap. xiv.; Sir W. Ouseley (1812), Travels, vol. iii. cap. xviii.; Sir R. K. Porter (1818), Travels, vol. i. pp. 251-306; J. B. Fraser (1834), Winter's Journey, vol. i. Letter viii.; Col. W. K. Stuart (1835), Journal of a Residence, caps. v., vi.; Lady Sheil, Glimpses of Life, &c., cap. vii.; A. H. Mounsey (1865), Journey through the Caucasus, &c., cap. viii.; Mme. Dieulafoy (1881), La Perse, pp. 66-119.

[29] Vide an appendix on the subject in Eastwick, vol. ii.; and Baron Walckenaer's Histoire Naturelle des Insectes.

[30] One was an English servant of the British Consulate at Tabriz, the other a Cossack servant of the Russian Envoy, Baron Wrede. Narrative of a Journey, p. 211

[31] In the early part of the present century Fath Ali Shah made Sultanieh his summer quarters, retiring there for the hot months of every year with his army, his court, and his wives, and spending the time in hunting and enjoyment. But after the Russians had, in 1828, approached so near to the 'Asylum of the Universe' as Turkomanchai, his outraged dignity could tolerate Sultanieh no more. For ground-plan, elevation, and restoration of the tomb of Khodabundeh, vide plates liv.-lviii. in vol. i. of Ch. Texier's Description de l'Arménie, &c.; also P. Coste's Monuments Modernes de la Perse.

[32] It is described by J. B. Fraser (1834), A Winter's Journey, vol. ii., Letters xv., xvi.; Capt. Hon. G. Napier (1874), Journal of the R.G.S., vol. xlvi. pp. 118-129; Mme. C. Serena (1877), Hommes et choses en Perse, caps. ii., iii., viii., ix.; E. Stack (1881), Six Months in Persia, vol. ii. caps. vii. viii.; E. Orsolle (1882), Le Caucase et la Perse, cap. xviii.

[33] This route has been described by (Sir) A. Burnes (1832), Travels into Bokhara, vol. iii. pp. 105-114; E. B. Eastwick (1862), Journal of a Diplomate, vol. ii. pp. 60-101; Col. Val. Baker (1873), Clouds in the East, pp. 70-77.

[34] For the route from Trebizond to Erzerum, vide, in addition to the authorities before quoted, 'Notes on a Journey,' by H. Suter, in 1838, Journal of the R.G.S., vol. x. p. 434; Mrs. Bishop (1890), Journeys in Persia, vol. ii., Letters xxxiv.-xxxv.; for the route from Erzerum to Diarbekir, vide Ditto by J. G. Taylor, Proceedings of the R.G.S., vol. xii. p. 302.

[35] The stages between Samsun and Baghdad are as follows, the figures in brackets being the number of hours between:—Kawak (8), Eladik (6), Chifta Khan (6), Amasia (7), Igna Bazar (6), Turkhal (7), Tokat (9), Yalduzdagh (9), Bahra (7), Sivas (7), Aolash (7), Deli Kali Dash (5), Kankar, or Kangal (4), Alayar Khan (7), Hasan Chelevi (6), Hakim Khan (4), Sermeli (9), Gumush Madan (9), Arpaghut (6), Kharput (6), Mullah Kai (6), Bakir Madan (9), Arghan (5), Baklash (6), Diarbekir (6), Komur Khaneh (6), Shikhan (6), Gallieh, or Mardin (6), Darah (6), Nisaibin (6), Aznaghur (6), Dairund (6), Jazireb (8), Takian (6), Zakho (6), Sumail (7), Tel Eskif (7), Mosul (7), Zab (10), Arbil (7), Kush Tepe (6), Altun Kupri (6), Kerkuk (9), Taugh (9), Duz Khurmati (7), Salahieh (9), Kara Tepe (7), Deli Abbas (9), Neherwan (9), Jedideh (5), Baghdad (5). The greater part of this route, between Sivas and Baghdad, is described by Sir F. Goldsmid (1864), Telegraph and Travel, pp. 412-451; and the whole of it by Viscount Pollington (1866), Half-way round the World, cap. xii.

[36] They are as follows:—Alexandretta-Khan Diarbekirlich (4 hours), Ain-el-Bedeh (7), Fermanin (7), Aleppo (8), Deir Hafir (8), Meskineh (7), Abu Hureira (8), Humam (9), Shariat Mohammed Agha (5), Sabkha (5), Hamad el Kelaib (7), Tebni (8), Deir (10), Miadin (10), Salahieh (11), Abu Kamah (6), Gaim. (6), Nahieh (8), Ana (7), Fehaimieh (7), Haditha (6), Jubba (8), Hit (8), Remadi (10), Fellahieh (8), Abu Ghraib (6), Baghdad (7). This route (with small variations) is described by Lady Anne Blunt in Bedouin Tribes of the Euphrates. Wonder may be felt that, so much of the above journey being upon the banks of or near to the Euphrates, the waterway is not used to facilitate communication. For a short time the attempt was made. During the vigorous government of Midhat Pasha at Baghdad a small paddle-steamer plied on the Euphrates between Hiilah (Babylon) and Meskineh. But the intention was rather to keep an eye upon the Bedouins than to encourage traffic; and with the departure of its founder the scheme fell through.

[37] This route is described by Tristram Ellis, On a Raft and Through the Desert, vol. i. The stages between Aleppo and Diarbekir are as follows:—Akharin (7), Begler Begi (6), Muslim (7), Mazar (7), Berajik (4), Hawah, or Dewak (9), Mishmishieh (7), Severak (6), Kainak (6), Kara Bakcha (6), Khan (6), Diarbekir (6). The route from Mosul to Baghdad is described by Thielmann (1872), Journey in the Caucasus, &c., vol. ii. cap. vi.; Binder (1884), Au Kurdistan, cap. ix.

[38] This route is described by Tristram Ellis, vol. ii. The stages between Damascus and Deir are as follows:—Jerud, Kasseir, Karyatain, Ain-el-Baida (Bedeh), Tadmor, Rakha, Sukhneh, El Bowaib, Bir Kabakib, Deir. Those between Deir and Baghdad have already been given. M. von Thielmann in 1872 rode from Kerbela viâ Palmyra to Damascus. Journey in the Caucasus, &c. vol. ii. cap. vii.

[39] The cost of this post from February 1838 to April 1843 was 89,550 rupees. For the next twenty years the cost was about 8l. a trip, after which time so many letters were sent that it paid its own way. The halting-places or wells between Damascus and Baghdad by this route are ldhmair, Aitha, Rumana, Iltinf, Zagf, Igara, Idama, Imhewar, Rajmi Sabun, Aamij, Giseir Khubaz, Kubaisa, and Hit.

[40] This route is in whole or in part described by J. S. Buckingham (1816), Travels in Assyria, vol. i. caps. i.-ix.; Hon. G. Keppel (1824), Personal Narrative, &c., caps. xiii.-xix; J. B. Fraser (1835), Travels in Koordistan, vol. ii. Letters viii.-xii.; Sir H. Layard (1840), Early Adventures, vol. i. pp. 201-252; E. L. Mitford (1840), Land March, vol. i. cap. x., vol. ii. cap. i.; Com. Felix Jones (1844), Narrative of a Journey to the Frontier of Turkey and Persia, Bombay Records; J. P. Ferrier (1845), Caravan Journeys, pp. 1-50; H. W. Bellew (1872), From the Indus to the Tigris, pp. 413-469; H. Binder (1884), Au Kurdistan, caps. xi. xii. An alternative route from Baghdad to Teheran viâ Kum is usually followed by caravans in winter. Diverging at Kangavar, it pursues the following line: Parispah (19 miles), Nanej (30), Dizabad (25), Saruk (19), Siahwashan(27), Jairud (21), Salian(16), Kum (21). Vide Mrs. Bishop's Journeys in Persia (1890),vol. i. Letters iii.-viii. It is worthy of mention that at Kangavar are the ruins of a temple of Anaitis, the Persian Astarte, the worship of whom was wide-spread in Media, Susiana, and Cappadocia. Vide C. Texier, L'Arménie, &c., plates 62-8, and Flandin and Coste, Perse Ancienne, vol. i. plates 20-3. The temple is attributed to the Parthian period, Vide M. Dieulafoy, L'Art Antique de la Perse, part v. pp. 7-11.

[41] Sir Thomas Herbert wrote, 270 years ago: 'They curb their horses' mettle with sharp bits, a ring of iron helping them;' and there is not a doubt that the same bit is in use now. It is shaped like the letter H, with a sharp projection upwards from the middle of the cross-bar. To this is attached a ring, which passes round the lower jaw and operates as the most effective curb that I have ever seen. If a horse has at all a tender mouth, the slightest touch will make him wince; while to rein him in tight, as the Persians are in the habit of doing in order to show off their horsemanship, must often cause the poor brute intense suffering.

[42] Putti is probably in its origin a Persian word, being contracted from pai-tua, the bandages that are worn round the leg by the inhabitants of Mazanderan.

[43] It has been reserved for an American traveller, after committing the initial indiscretion of journeying through Persia in the hot season, and consequently making his marches by night, to perpetrate the second of writing a book about what he had not seen (Midnight Marches through Persia, by H. Ballantine).

[44] This is how, 200 years ago, Sir John Chardin, the great traveller, accounted for the horrors of the Black Sea navigation: 'Now the reason why the storms are more violent and dangerous in that than in other seas is because the waters are contracted within a narrow channel and have no outlet; the Bosphorus not being to be accompted for an outlet by reason it is so very straight. And therefore, the waters being violently agitated by a storm, and not knowing where to have room, and being strongly repelled by the shoar, they mount and rowl aloft and beat against the ship on every side with an invincible swiftness and force.'—Travels into Persia, p. 156.

[45] Contrast this with what Mr. Mounsey saw when touching at Baturn in 1865 on his way to Persia: 'At present Batum contains nothing but some squalid-looking huts.'

[46] There are at Batum eighty-five iron reservoirs, with a tankage capacity of 138,000 tons.

[47] Messrs. Nobel's pipe line is forty miles long, from Michaelovo to Kvirili, has a diameter of four inches, and can convey 700 tons of oil daily.

[48] It has since been announced (November 1890) that a military railway has been authorised, connecting the fortress of Kars with the main line.

[49] The population in October 1889 was 1,650 persons.

[50] Nevertheless, at the time of going to press (winter 1891), it has not been begun.

[51] I must except two interesting papers by Captain A. C. Yate, on the Tashkent Exhibition, 1890, in the Proceedings of the R.G.S., January 1891, and 'A Journey to Tashkent' in the Journal of the Scotch Geographical Society.

[52] The companies, in addition to the Caucasus and Mercury Company, who trade with their own steamers between the Russian ports on the Caspian and Uzun Ada are as follows: The Lebed Steamship Company, the Caspian and Drujina Steamship Company, the Masis Steamship Company, Messrs. Kamenski Brothers and the Kousis and Prophylaktos Company.

[53] Vide an interesting paper by the officer in question, Col. H. L. Wells, R.E., published in vol. xv. of the Occasional Papers of the Royal Engineers, 1889.

[54] That my information, however, and my forebodings were correct was demonstrated in the autumn of 1890, when it leaked out that M. Poklefski's great dam was a failure, having been swept away, or at least seriously damaged, by a flood on the Murghab; and when the Imperial landlord, at the same time that he was banishing Englishmen from Transcaspia, was driven to request from the British Government the loan of the services of an English official, Sir Colin Moncreiff, who had attained a conspicuous success in charge of the irrigation works of the Nile. There was a delicious irony in the spectacle of an Englishman being solicited to repair the blunders of Russians at Merv. In consequence of Sir C. Moncreiff's report, M. Poklefski's plans have been in the main abandoned, and a new scheme of irrigation is to be tried.

[55] In February 1891, however, the Novoe Vremya stated the surplus at 323,610l., figures which I can hardly credit.

[56] Before the construction of the Transcaspian Railway the total annual export of cotton from Central Asia to European Russia by camel caravan, viâ Orenburg, was 9,680 tons.

[57] In order still further to encourage and develop the growth of cotton by Russian merchants in Central Asia, the Minister of Finance in 1890 ratified a project for leasing 170,000 acres in Turkestan to the 'Central Asian Commercial and Industrial Society,' the lease to run for ninety years, and no rent to be paid for the first fifteen.

[58] I am tempted to say in this context that there is small inducement to any English writer to endeavour to treat Russia with fairness or generosity in matters where the two nations happen to be political or national rivals. After issuing a work which aspired, and was, I believe, considered, to render greater justice to Russian labours and aims in Central Asia than any recent publication, the only Russian acknowledgment that I received was a sneering article from the best-known Russian writer in the English press, the blackening out of every passage of my book that was anything but complimentary to Russia by the Press Censorship of that country, and the remark, in a leading Russian newspaper, that if an Englishman could pay such a tribute to the merits of Russians in Central Asia, what fools must the latter be not to take greater advantage of our innocence!

[59] Captain A. C. Yate, the latest English traveller on the Transcaspian Railway (October 1890), informs me that there is now an idea of continuing the line from Samarkand to Khokand, so as to avoid the expense of bridging the Syr Daria.

[60] After a protracted controversy between the rival schemes of a combined rail and waterway, and a continuous railway, the latter was decided upon in March 1891. The line will run from Zlatoust, the present terminus of the Samara-Ufa line to the mining districts of Miask and Cheliabinsk (84 miles); thence viâ Tukalinsk, Kaensk, Mariensk, Krasnoiarsk, and Kansk, to Nijni Udinsk (1,736 miles), the estimated cost of this section being 11,807,500l. or 6,500l. a mile. Thence the line will run viâ, Uchtuskaia, Irkutsk, S. Baikal, Sretensk, and Habarovka, to Vladivostock, (2,965 miles.) Total length, 4,785 miles; total estimated cost, 36,765,000l., or an average of 7,680l. a mile. Work has been commenced at both extremities; and a few versts of rails were hurriedly laid at Vladivostock to enable the Czarevitch to perform the opening ceremony in the summer of 1891.

[61] This line would be 160 miles long, and would, it is estimated, cost 1,200,000l. In the Russian Financial Estimates for 1891, a sum of 100,000l. is allotted for the preliminary expenses of construction. From Petrofsk to Baku, a further extension, 220 miles in length, is also discussed.

[62] It is said that such a line, leaving the main railway at a station north of Vladikavkas, might follow the Roki Defile through the Caucasus, pierce a tunnel less than five miles in length, and emerge, at a distance of 113 miles, upon Gori, on the Tiflis Railway. But the cost would be enormous.

[63] In March 1891 it was announced that General Annenkoff would not again return to Transcaspia as Director of the Railway, which was transferred to the Control of General Kuropatkin.

[64] Announced in the Moscow Gazette, January 1891.

[65] As these sheets go to press somewhat disquieting rumours reach us of Russian advance in the Pamirs and elsewhere; and it is possible that we may be on the threshold of a more troubled era.

[66] In 1881, when the Russians invaded Transcaspia, Ashkabad was a Turkoman settlement of 500 kibitkas. Being constituted the Russian capital, it speedily changed its character and extended its dimensions. In 1884 it contained a population of 4,000; in 1886 of 10,000, exclusive of the military. Since then it has remained at a little above that figure.

[67] Printed as an Appendix to Russia in Central Asia.

[68] Their wages were about 6½d. a day.

[69] The Transcaspian Railway is very largely used by Mussulman pilgrims of both persuasions, making their way to or from the sacred shrines. For the Sunnis of Central Asia it supplies an agreeable abridgment of the long journey to Mecca, and is equally serviceable for that to Kerbela and Nejef. By the Persian Shiahs and the Mahometans of the West, it is enormously used on the pilgrimage to the shrine of Imam Reza at Meshed.

[70] That this is the main stream of the Atrek I do not think there can be any doubt. It rises in the defile of Tabarik below the Allah o-Akbar range, about twenty miles to the south of Kuchan, and is sometimes called Tabarik as far as that place. Valentine Baker claimed to have discovered the real source in a pool called Kara Kazan (Black Cauldron), close to Shirwan. But he can only have ignored the upper course of the river, because at that time it must have been dry.

[71] Istikbal is the name of the mounted escort usually sent out to meet a guest of distinction; mehmandar, that of the official who, on behalf of the prince or governor, welcomes the new arrival.

[72] A Persian grandee will frequently try to get the better of his guest in this manner, not so much with the intention of being rude as to magnify his own importance.

[73] Vide next chapter.

[74] The original plantation is referred by some writers, but I think incorrectly, to Shah Ismail, the founder of the Sefavi dynasty.

[75] Yet I have somewhere seen the number of removals stated as 100,000 families, which I think must have been a misprint for 100,000 persons.

[76] Fraser, A Winter's Journey, vol. ii. p. 226.

[77] The authorities on Kuchan are J. B. Fraser (1822), Journey into Khorasan, cap. xxii. and Appendix B; (Sir) A. Burnes (1832), Travels into Bokhara, vol. iii. pp. 74-81; Colonel Val. Baker (1873), Clouds in the East, pp. 277-278; Captain Hon. G. Napier (1874), 'Diary of a Tour in Khorasan,' Journal of the R.G.S., vol. xlvi. p. 87; (Sir) O. MacGregor (1875), Journey through Khorasan, vol. ii. pp. 83-88; E. O'Donovan (1880), The Merv Oasis, vol. i. cap. xxviii.; General Grodekoff (1880), The War in Turkomania (Russian), vol. iv. cap. xvii.

[78] It is a cardinal point of Persian etiquette when you go out visiting to take as many of your own establishment with you as possible, whether riding or walking on foot; the number of such retinue being accepted as an indication of the rank of the master.

[79] The kolah, as the national headdress of the Persians, was only introduced by the Kajar family a century ago. Up till that time the turban was universal. Even after the introduction of the kolah, a shawl was sometimes wrapped round it; but this was a distinction limited to the King, the Royal Family, and a few of the great officers of State. It is now only seen in the Court dress worn at the Shah's levées. On the other hand, the kolah itself has changed in shape; for whereas at the beginning of the century it was about a foot and a half in height, and sloped up to a peak at the top, it is now ordinarily from six to ten inches in height and is level round the top.

[80] This was an allusion to the coagulated milk, called mast or ab-i-dugh, which is a favourite drink with the Persians and Kurds; and the meaning was, 'We are not such a simple and agreeable draught as some suppose.'

[81] This answer, which is typical of the ignorance on all matters concerning geography that is universal in Persia, reminds me of the story told by Morier (First Journey, p. 215) of Fath Ali Shah, who was very curious about America, and asked Sir Harford Jones, 'What sort of a place is it? How do you get at it? Is it underground?' Similarly, a Persian envoy to London, half a century later, being told that the steamer which was carrying him had engines of 500 horse-power, exclaimed delightedly, 'Oh, show me the stables.'

[82] 'These people cannot conceive that any one should travel for pleasure or from curiosity. Who, argue they, would voluntarily undergo the fatigues and dangers, not to mention the heavy expense, of a long journey merely for the sake of collecting information? If, therefore, there be no ostensible motive for the journey, as that of business or of traffic, they at once assign the one in their opinion most likely.'—Fraser, Journey into Khorasan, p. 579.

[83] 'I love everything that's old: old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wine!'

[84] The chilau, which is a triumph of cooking, comes up in the form of 'a white pyramid of steamed rice, every grain of which is dry outside, but inside is full of juice,' and is served with a large number of entrées. For its recipe, vide Thielmann (Journey in the Caucasus, vol. ii. p. 26), copied from Polak's Persien. As for the pilau, Chardin declared that there were above twenty sorts, for which he gave the recipes, made up with mutton, lamb, pullets, &c. The results of a long experience are condensed in these words: 'It has a wonderful, sobering, filling, and nourishing effect. One eats so much that one expects to expire; but at the end of half an hour you do not know what has become of it all; you no longer feel the stomach loaded' (edit. Lloyd, vol. ii. p. 226; edit. Langlès, vol. viii. p. 187).

[85] I had no information as to the existence of any such route, the few English travellers who had previously been to Kelat having gone from Meshed.

[86] I shall have occasion so frequently to speak of kanats, and they constitute so striking, and almost invariable a feature of the Persian landscape, that, for the benefit of those who have not seen them, I will describe what they are. A kanat (identical with the Beluch and Afghan kariz) is a subterranean gallery or aqueduct conducting the water from its parent springs in hill or mountain to the village where it is required either to promote cultivation or to sustain life. The process of construction is as follows. Experimental shafts are first sunk until a spring is tapped in the higher ground. Then the labourer begins at the other end, where the water is required upon the surface, or at intervening points, and digs a trench or cutting, on a very slightly inclined plane, in the direction of the spring. As he goes further and gets deeper underground, circular pits or shafts are opened from above, at distances of twenty yards or more, by which the excavated soil is drawn up to the surface and heaped round the mouth of the shaft. In time the subterranean tunnel reaches the spring, and the water flows down the nicely calculated slope to its destination. The shafts are subsequently used to keep the gallery clear and free from obstruction. A village with any extent of cultivable soil is, therefore, as a rule, the apex from which radiate a number of kanat lines, often several miles in length, to the nearest mountain, the long succession of shafts resembling an array of portentous mole-hills thrown up one after the other across the plain. The water-way, however, is very easily blocked or choked or in other ways impaired, whereupon the whole labour is repeated ab initio, two parallel kanat lines being often encountered within a few yards of each other, the earlier of which has been totally abandoned. It will easily be understood how dangerous are the open shafts of the latter. The débris round their summits gets washed in by the rain, so that nothing remains to mark the mouth of the pit; and many are the animals that have found a premature death by falling down. Their skeletons can sometimes be seen wedged half-way down the shafts. Riders and their horses have had the most extraordinary escapes, and the case is well known at Teheran of a gentleman who, while out hawking, suddenly disappeared from view, having dropped down a disused shaft, but was hauled up along with his horse without any damage to either. The kanat shafts are the favourite abode of blue-rock pigeons, who, if the hands be clapped at one opening, will dart out of the next, providing shots that would puzzle even the professors of Hurlingham. In the account of his Persian travels, given by one of the Venetian Ambassadors, Signor Josafa Barbaro, over 400 years ago, occurs an interesting passage about the digging of kanats, which was thus rendered into English in a quaint translation of the sixteenth century: 'Neere to the ryver they make a pitt like unto a well, from whense they folowe, diggeng by lyvells towardes the place they meane to bringe it to; so that it may evermore distende chanell wise; which chanell is deeper than the botome of the foresaid pytt, and whan they have digged about XX. paces of this chanell, than digge they an other pitt like to the first, and so from pitt to pitt they convigh the water alongest these chanells whither they woll.' But the system is older yet, for it is described by Polybius (lib. x. 25).

[87] Kelata is the plural, and signifies a collection of villages or hamlets, each of which is usually distinguished by a separate title.

[88] Voyages (edit. Langlès), vol. iv, pp. 105-106.

[89] The poor fellow died a few weeks later on the march from Meshed to Teheran.

[90] The Merv Oasis, vol. ii. pp. 22-24.

[91] Proceedings of the R.G.S. (New Series), vol. iii. (1881). Colonel Stewart also says of Radkan: 'A splendid breed of camels is met with in this district. The Khorasan camel is celebrated for its size and strength. It has very long hair, and bears cold and exposure far better than the ordinary Arab or Persian camel. The best animals are a cross between the Bactrian or two-humped, and the Arab, or one-bumped, camel. The first cross is by far the best. The load of an ordinary Persian camel is generally 320 lbs., of an Indian camel 400 lbs., but one of the Khorasan breed will carry 600 and even 700 lbs.' It is worth while in this context to repeat the correction of the never sufficiently corrected error that the camel is an animal with one hump and the dromedary with two. A dromedary is merely, as the Greek derivation of the name implies, a fleet riding-camel, irrespective of hump. I think it was Palgrave who said that it stands in the same ratio to other camels as a Rotten Row hack does to a country nag.

[92] I find few of these names marked in any map that I have seen, and can only, therefore, give them as they were given to me.

[93] 'Hazar Musjid' signifies 'A Thousand Mosques,' the needle-like pinnacles and crags of the mountain range being compared by the facile imagination of the Mussulman pilgrim to the minarets of many mosques—hazar being frequently used in Persian as a round number. Others say that the Mohammedans believe in the existence of 1,000 prophets, with a mosque for each.

[94] The Englishmen who have visited and described Kelat are as follows (Fraser, who endeavoured to come here with Yalantush Khan from Meshed in 1834, having been compelled to desist from the attempt):—Colonel Val. Baker (1873), Clouds in the East, pp. 194-210; Captain Hon. G. Napier (1874), Journal of the R.G.S., vol. xlvi. pp. 75-79, 149-150; (Sir) C. MacGregor (1875), Journey through Khorasan, vol. ii. pp. 38-62; E. O'Donovan (1881), The Merv Oasis, vol. ii. p. 82; Captain A. C. Yate (1885), 'Through Khorasan' in the Daily Telegraph, August 27, 1885. It was also visited by Mr. A. Condie-Stephen (1881), when a Secretary of the British Legation at Teheran, but his report was not made public.

[95] The lower and even more rugged portions of this tremendous defile will be described upon my return journey to Meshed, where also I shall quote MacGregor's opinion as to its astonishing strength.

[96] The distinction between Dahaneh and Teng, both Persian words applied to passes, is strictly as follows: Dahaneh is the space or pass lying between the base of two hills; Teng is a narrow defile between vertical walls of rock.

[97] Vide Russia in Central Asia, p. 101.

[98] I have nowhere seen such brilliant natural colours in rock and mould except in the cañon of the Yellowstone River in North America.

[99] General Annenkoff at Uzun Ada had asked me why, instead of going to Meshed viâ Kuchan, I did not take the more interesting route by Kaahka and Kelat-i-Nadiri. 'Russian officers,' he said, 'were forbidden by their own Government to enter; but no one would stop an Englishman.'

[100] This monarch, called by the Persians Argawan Shah, but more commonly spoken of as Arghun Khan (1284-1290 A.D.), was the remarkable man to whom Marco Polo was sent by Kubla Khan from China in charge of a Tartar bride, who opened diplomatic intercourse with the sovereigns of Europe, including King Edward I., and who, like his father, Abaka Khan, was almost a Christian, and degraded the Mussulmans from all public office.

[101] The unhealthiness of Kelat is notorious, whether it be due, as is generally supposed, to the water-supply or not. When Colonel Baker was there in 1873 he found the population decimated by typhus, and the proportion of sick among the garrison is invariably exorbitant.

[102] Though my own sketch is poor enough, I cannot say that I think at all an adequate or faithful idea of Kelat is given by the drawings of Sir C. MacGregor.

[103] Nadir Shah was born in a tent near Mohammedabad, the capital of the neighbouring district of Deregez.

[104] It has been edited by M. Ch. Scherer in Nouveaux Mélanges Orientaux (one of the Publications de l'Ecole des Langues Orientales Vivantes), Paris, 1886. Basil Batatzes, or Basile Vatace, as his French editor calls him, also wrote a biography of Nadir Shah, which has disappeared.

[105] For instance, Malcolm, using Kinneir as his authority, thus describes the place: 'The fort of Killaat is situated about thirty miles north-east of Meshed. It is upon a very high hill, only accessible by two narrow paths. An ascent of six or seven miles terminates in a plain about twelve miles in circumference, watered by several fine streams, and covered with verdure and cultivation. A second ascent by a route of ten or eleven miles leads to another plain of greater elevation but of equal richness.'—History of Persia, vol. i. cap. iii., vol. ii. cap. xv.

[106] Vide Journey into Khorasan, Appendix B (1).

[107] There is an illustration of it in MacGregor's Journey through Khorasan, vol. ii. p. 50.

[108] Journey through Khorasan, vol. ii. pp. 44, 49.

[109] This river, (Keshef, old Persian Kash = Tortoise) called also Ab-i-Meshed (Water of Meshed) and sometimes Kara Su (Black Water), rises in the Chashmeh-i-Gilas, a marsh between Chinaran and Radkan, and, collecting the drainage of the Meshed Valley, passes by the gorge of Ak Derbend (White Defile) to Pul-i-Khatun (Lady's Bridge), on the Russian frontier, where it joins the Heri Rud, and in conjunction with the latter forms the Tejend.

[110] J. B. Fraser (1822), Journey into Khorasan, cap. xvii.; Lieut. A. Conolly (1830), Overland Journey to India, vol. i. cap. x.; Dr. J. Wolff (1831 and 1844), Travels and Adventures and Narrative of a Mission to Bokhara; (Sir) A. Burnes (1832), Travels into Bokhara, vol. iii. cap. xiv.; J. P. Ferrier (1845), Caravan Journeys, cap. ix.; N. de Khanikoff (1858), Mémoire sur la Partie méridionale de l'Asie Centrale, pp. 97-108; Meshid, la Città santa e il suo Territorio; E. B. Eastwick (1862), Journal of a Diplomate, vol. ii. pp. 200-233; A. Vambéry (1863), Life and Adventures, cap. xxvii.; Meine Wanderungen und Erlebnisse in Persien; Captain H. C. Marsh (1872), Ride through Islam, pp. 98-112; Seistan Boundary Commission (1872)—(i.) Col. Euan Smith, Eastern Persia, vol. i. pp. 357-366; (ii.) Dr. H. W. Bellew, From the Indus to the Tigris, pp. 360-368; Colonel V. Baker (1873), Clouds in the East, cap. x.; (Sir) C. MacGregor (1875), Journey through Khorasan, vol. i. pp. 277-end, with a plan of the city, p. 284; J. Bassett (1878), Persia, the Land of the Imams, pp. 221-235; E. O'Donovan (1880-1881), The Merv Oasis, vol. i. cap. xxviii.-xix., vol. ii. cap. xxx.; P. Lessar ( 1882), Petermann's Mittheilungen, 1884, viii.; Lieut. A. C. Yate (1885), Travels with the Afghan Boundary Commission, cap. x. Prior to this century the descriptions of Meshed are short and scattered. But an interesting account of the city in 1741 is to be found in Voyage de l'Inde à Mekke, by Abdul Kerim, pp. 48, 70-74, translated into French by M. Langlès.

[111] Mashhad is the locative noun of the root shahad, to witness.

[112] He says that 'the Meshed of El Reza is a large and well-peopled city, abounding in fruits. Over the Meshed is a large dome adorned with a covering of silk and golden candlesticks. Under the dome, and opposite to the tomb of El Reza, is the grave of the Calif Harun-el-Rashid. Over this they constantly place candlesticks with lights. But when the followers of Ali enter as pilgrims they kick the grave of El Rashid, but pour out their benedictions over that of El Reza.' It is clear from the above that in the fourteenth century Meshed was as much a place of Sunni as of Shiah pilgrimage.

[113] 'Imam Reza lies buried in a great mosque in a large tomb, which is covered with silver gilt. On account of this tomb the city is crowded with pilgrims, who come here in great numbers every year. When the pilgrims arrive, they dismount and kiss the ground, saying that they have reached a holy place' (Hakluty Society edition).

[114] Abbas the Great is said, upon one occasion, as a proof of his piety, to have walked with his court the entire distance from Isfahan to Meshed, while the Astronomer Royal measured the distance with a string, and returned the total as 199 farsakhs and a fraction.

[115] I asked a Shiah seyid of Kerbela the order in which the Holy-Places of the Moslem faith are esteemed by his persuasion, and his answer was as follows:—(1) Mecca, (2) Medina, (3) Nejef, (4) Kerbela, (5) Kasimein, near Baghdad, (6) Meshed, (7) Samara, on the Tigris, (8) Kum. But a Persian Shiah would rank Meshed after Kerbela. The pilgrimage to Mecca confers the title Haji, that to Kerbela Kerbelai, and to Meshed Meshedi.

[116] The attempted restoration of the Sunni creed by Nadir Shah was an act of policy, intended to reunite the Mussulman world from Tabriz to Delhi under the sceptre of a single monarch.

[117] MacGregor's plan (vol. i. p. 284), which was made by Col. Dolmage, is the only one that I know, but is not thoroughly accurate. Eastwick, in riding round the walls and describing the plan of the city, seems, by some strange error, to have reversed the points of the compass, turning north into south and east into west.

[118] For the geographical position of Meshed, vide a paper by Major T. H. Holdich in the Proceedings of the R.G.S. (New Series), vol. vii. (1885) pp. 735-738.

[119] One writer says that the Khiaban was originally planted with palms; but this I see no reason to believe. O'Donovan is strangely mistaken when he estimates the width of the street as 200 feet.

[120] In Persia the idea of bast seems, it is difficult to say why, to have a threefold localisation: (1) In sacred buildings or mosques (compare the 'horns of the altar' in the Jewish tabernacle); (2) in the stables or at the tails of the horses belonging to the sovereign or members of the royal family; (3) in the neighbourhood of artillery—e.g. in the Meidan-i-Tupkhaneh, or Gun Square, in Teheran, and particularly in contact with the big gun which stands outside the palace. Chardin (edit. Langlès, vol. vii. p. 369) says, two centuries ago, that it applied to the tombs of great saints, to the gateway of the Royal Palace at Isfahan, and to the kitchen as well as the stables of the King. The selection of the royal stables and horses as an especial sanctuary would appear to be due to the extravagant attention that has always been paid, in a country where there are superb breeds of horses, and where every man is a horseman, to this part of the establishment of the sovereign. There is a Persian saying that 'a horse will never bear him to victory by whom its sanctity has been infringed;' and Malcolm (vol., ii. cap. xxiii.) quotes a Persian MS., which attributed all the misfortunes of Nadir Mirza, the grandson of Nadir Shah, to his having put to death a fugitive who had taken sanctuary in the royal stables. The MS. adds these interesting particulars: 'The monarch or chief in whose stable a criminal takes refuge must feed him as long as he stays there; he may be slain the moment before he reaches it or when he leaves it; but while there, a slave who has murdered his master cannot be touched. The place of safety is at the horse's head, and if that is tied up in the open air the person who takes refuge is to touch the head-stall.' In later times, the tail, though perhaps more venturesome, appears to have been as much fraught with protection as the head.

[121] Chardin says that the reason why these cages were constructed for the muezzins in Persia was the fear lest from the summit of the minarets they should see too much of female life in the courts of the neighbouring houses.

[122] This is no new thing, for, 200 years ago, the French missionary, Father Sanson, narrates and mercilessly analyses the same phenomena. 'Shah Abbas has made this tomb famous by a great many false miracles he caused to be practised there; for, placing people there on purpose who should counterfeit themselves blind, they suddenly received their sight at this sepulchre, and immediately cry'd out, "A miracle;" he procur'd so great a veneration for this tomb of Imam Reza that most of the greatest lords in Persia have desir'd to be bury'd in this mosque; and to which they give great legacies.' Nadir Shah, on the other hand, had a most intense contempt for these manufactured miracles. Vide a story related by Malcolm, History, vol. ii. p. 51.

[123] A very interesting passage occurs in the narrative of Chardin (edit. Langlès, vol. iii. p. 228), who, being in Isfahan in the reign of Shah Suleiman in 1672, went to the house of the King's goldsmith to see these very gilt plates being made as tiles for the dome of Imam Reza, which had just been destroyed by an earthquake. In the English translation of Lloyd (vol. i. p. 237) it appears as follows: 'These plates were of brass (no—cuivre, i.e. copper) and square, 10 inches in breadth and 16 in length, and of the thickness of two crown pieces. Underneath were two Barrs 3 inches broad, solder'd on crosswise, to sink into the Parget (i.e. plaster) and to serve as cramp irons to fasten the tiles. The upper part was gilt so thick that one would have taken the tile to be of massif gold. Each tile took up the weight of 3 Ducates and a quarter of gilding, and came to about 10 crowns value. They were ordered to make 3,000 at first, as I was told by the Chief Goldsmith, who was overseer of the work.'

[124] By none more than those who should have been responsible for its safety. The two sons of the blind Shah Rukh and grandsons of Nadir Shah in particular could not keep their avaricious hands from the shrine which their grandfather had honoured and embellished. Nasrullah Mirza pulled down part of the gold railing round the saint's tomb, and Nadir Mirza took down the great golden ball, weighing 420 lbs., from the top of the dome; while both brothers freely plundered the lamps, carpets &c., inside.

[125] Journal of a Diplomate, vol. ii, p. 229.

[126] Journey into Khorasan, pp. 472, 511.

[127] Overland Journey to India, vol. i. p. 288.

[128] Travels into Bokhara, vol. iii. p. 70.

[129] Caravan Journeys, p. 126.

[130] A Winter's Journey, vol. ii. p. 211.

[131] Journal of a Diplomate, vol. ii. pp. 224-229.

[132] Colonel, originally Doctor, Dolmage was an Englishman who, after serving as a veterinary surgeon in the Crimean War, came out to Persia and entered the service of the Shah. He subsequently died at Teheran. It was his plan of Meshed that appeared in MacGregor's book, having been purchased by the latter officer for a few krans.

[133] The Merv Oasis, vol, i, cap. xxix.

[134] kharvar = 649 lbs.; 3½ kharvars = (approximately) 1 ton.

[135] A sigheh or temporary wife may be married for any period from one day to 99 years. Women often prefer being sighehs for the full period to being akdis or real wives. The akdi can be divorced at any time, the sigheh not before the end of her contract, except for misconduct. Short-period sighehs in the big cities are quasi-prostitutes.

[136] Narrative of Mission to Bokhara in 1843-1845, vol. i. p. 239, and vol. ii. p. 72.

[137] The Aid-i-Kurban is held in commemoration of Abraham's intention, according to the Mussulman tradition, to offer up Ismail (Ishmael), not Ishak (Isaac). The animals sacrificed on this occasion are supposed also to act as a propitiatory offering, which will stand the believer in good stead when he comes to the razor-like bridge of Sirat, that spans the gulf to Paradise.

[138] Mémoire sur 1a Partie Méridionale de l'Asie Centrale, p. 107.

[139] No. 753 of the Diplomatic and Consular Reports on Trade and Finance. 1890.

[140] The Rukn-ed-Dowleh has in the spring of the present year (1891) again been ejected, (it is said because of his Russophil tendencies), and has been replaced by Fathullah Khan, the Sahib Diwan, formerly Governor of Fars under the Zil-es-Sultan.

[141] The article is as follows: 'With a view to the observance and fulfilment of the stipulations of the present Convention, and in order to regulate the proceedings of the Turkomans residing on the Persian frontier, the Government of His Majesty the Emperor of All the Russias shall have the right to nominate agents to the frontier-posts of Persia. In all questions concerning the observance of order and tranquillity in the districts contiguous to the possessions of the High Contracting Parties, the appointed agents will act as intermediaries in the relations between the Russian and Persian authorities.'

[142] General Maclean has since retired (1891), and has been succeeded at Meshed by Mr. Ney Elias, one of the most distinguished members of the Indian Civil Service.

[143] I have since heard that the Afghans have been allowed by the British Government to accept Russian passports through the medium of the Persian officials, a concession which I am unable either to justify or to explain.

[144] Firdusi, born about 940 A.D., died 1021, was employed by Mahmud of Ghuzni to write the history of Persia in verse. The result was the Shah Nameh, or Book of Kings, in which the poet discharged his duty in 60,000 Pehlevi verses, containing only two Arabic words, although two out of every three words in ordinary usage at the time were of Arabic—i.e. non-Iranian—origin.

[145] The Merv Oasis, vol. ii. pp. 14-16. Compare Khanikoff, pp. 31, 109-110.

[146] For writings relative to Khorasan, other than those which have been mentioned or quoted in caps. v., vi., vii., vide Sir J. Macdonald Kinneir (1810) Geographical Memoir of the Persian Empire; J. B. Fraser (1822), Journal of the R.G.S., vol. viii. p. 308 (1838); Sergeant Gibbons (1831-1832), ibid., vol. xi. p. 136 (1841); Captain Claude Clerk (1857), ibid., vol. xxxi. p. 37 (1861); R. Lentz, Eastern Persia and the Herat Territory (Russian), St. Petersburg, 1868; Lieut. W. J. Gill (1873), Geographical Magazine, October 1, 1874; Hon. G. Napier (1874), Journal of the R.G.S., vol. xlvi. pp. 62, 145 (1876); Proceedings of the R.G.S., vol. xx. p. 166 (18T6); Lieut.-Col. C. E. Stewart (1880), Proceedings of the R.G.S. (New Series), vol. iii. (1881), vol. viii. pp. 137-150 (1886); General Petrusevitch, The Turkomans between the Old Bed of the Oxus and the N. Persian Frontier (Trans. of Caucasus Branch of Imp. Russ. Geogr. Soc., No. xi.), Tiflis, 1880; A. H. Schindler on the Nomenclature and Legends of Khorasan in the Academy, 1885.

[147] Rising on the south slopes of the Ala Dagh range, the Kal Mura receives the drainage of the Jagatai or Juwain plain, through which it flows in an easterly direction, is then joined by the Kara Su (Black Water), after which it turns south, cuts the main route from Meshed to Teheran at the Pul-i-Abrishum (Bridge of Silk), and after a further course of fifty miles is lost in the Salt Desert.

[148] Descriptions of both these deserts will more properly be given in a chapter upon the Eastern Provinces. Vide vol. ii. cap. xxiii.

[149] Of Malek Shah, the son of Alp Arslan, it was even said that 'prayers were every day offered up for his health in Jerusalem, Mecca, Medina, Baghdad, Isfahan, Rhe, Bokhara, Samarcand, Ourgunje, and Kashgar.'—Malcolm, History, vol. i. p. 217.

[150] Journal of a Diplomate, vol. ii. p. 216.

[151] 1 kharvar = 649 lbs.; 3½ kharvars = (approximately) 1 ton.

[152] These figures correspond very fairly with those in the table, procured from an independent source, which will be printed further on. There the revenue of Khorasan is given as 508,268 tomans in cash, 60,123 kharvars in wheat and barley, and 12,424 kharvars in straw and rice.

[153] Something more will be said of the Astrabad province, its character, resources, climate, and capital, in a chapter on the Northern Provinces of Persia, to which I refer my readers. Here it is only treated in its bearing upon the political or frontier problem.

[154] The dates are given as follows by Sir H. Rawlinson, England and Russia in the East, p. 137:—

1837-1838. Russians first set foot on Ashurada.
1842. Their presence first reported to the Foreign Office by Sir J. McNeill.
1846. Buildings erected on the island, and negotiation opened with the Turkomans. Persia applies to England to aid in obtaining the withdrawal of Russia.
1849. England makes the attempt, but without success.
1854. Persia demands officially evacuation by Russia, but receives the answer that it is impossible, although Russia admits that Ashurada is Persian territory.
1856. Russian position on the island strengthened, and naval force augmented.
1866. The Shah visits Ashurada, and confirms the police powers of Russia against the Turkomans.
1866. Russia prepares to garrison Gez, but is forestalled by Persia.
1869. Russian occupation of Krasnovodsk.
1870. Russia claims the coast down to the Atrek.
1871. Russian occupation of Chikishliar.

For an interesting incident that occurred in 1851, but is not mentioned by Rawlinson, vide Lady Sheil's Glimpses of Life in Persia, pp. 215-242. The Turkomans descended upon the island one night, and, catching the Russians drunk or napping, slew some of their number. The Russian Government insisted on the recall of the Prince Governor of Mazanderan, the Shah's own brother, although he could not be credited with the most remote responsibility in the matter. Otherwise, the Czar threatened to withdraw the Russian Legation.

[155] These were reported by a visitor in 1890 to have shrunk into two despatch boats and two or three hulks.

[156] Journal of a Diplomate, vol. ii. pp. 26-43.

[157] Bunder-i-Gez, sometimes also called Kinara, is a miserable collection of huts and sheds on the shore, with a large caravanserai, a Persian Custom House, a few shops kept by Russian Armenians, and the residences of a Russian Consular Agent and a representative of the Caucasus and Mercury Steamship Company. It is about three miles from the village of Gez, which is an ordinary Persian forest-village with over 1,000 inhabitants.

[158] Coronation of King Solyman III. (printed as a supplement to his Travels) pp. 152-154.

[159] The treaty was dated September 3, 1723. Its terms are given by Hanway, Historical Account of British Trade over the Caspian, vol. iii. p. 181. For a more minute account of the Russian occupation, vide a later chapter of this volume, pp. 373-5.

[160] The most complete account of this incident is to be found in Sir J. M'Neill's Progress and Present Position of Russia in the East, pp. 33-4. He says that the Russian officers were thrown into chains and subsequently whipped down to their ships. Compare B. Dorn's Caspia (Russian).

[161] The two roads between Shahrud and Astrabad (one by the Kuzluk Pass, the other by Ziarat) are described by Lieut. A. Conolly (1830), Overland Journey to India, vol. i. pp. 182-184; Captain Claude Clerk (1872), Proceedings of the R.G.S., vol. xvii. pp. 193-194; Colonel B. Lovett (1881), Ditto (New Series), vol. v. pp. 75-84 (1883). The road from Astrabad to Gez (27 miles) is described by E. B. Eastwick (1862), Journal of a Diplomate, vol. ii. pp. 45-49; Captain Hon. G. Napier (1874), Journal of the R.G.S., vol. xlvi. pp. 114, 115; (Sir) C. MacGregor (1875), Journey through Khorasan, vol. ii. pp. 163-166.

[162] Colonel Val. Baker (Clouds in the East, p. 142) said that the plain of Bostam (which is the district surrounding Shahrud, Bostam, three miles distant, being the residence of the Governor) could maintain an army of 60,000 men.

[163] The weakness of the Astrabad Government is shown by the fact that, although the Goklan Turkomans reside within the nominal borders of the Astrabad province, their tribute is collected and their levies are commanded by the Ilkhani of Bujnurd.

[164] For information about the Yomut Turkomans, vide Aucher Eloy (1836), Relations de Voyages, pp. 331-36, and notes by Kazi Syud Ahmed, printed in the Journal of the R.G.S., vol. xlvi. p. 142 (1876).

[165] This is confirmed by the latest news (1891), according to which several hundred Russian Yomuts have crossed into Persian territory, and have voluntarily become the subjects of the Shah.

[166] For descriptions of Bujnurd and its district, vide Colonel Val. Baker (1873), Clouds in the East, p. 284, et seq.; (Sir) C. MacGregor (1875), Journey through Khorasan., vol. ii. pp. 93-107; General Grodekoff (1880), The War in Turkomania, vol. iv. cap. xvii.

[167] The first Englishman to visit and describe Deregez was J. B. Fraser, in 1831 (A Winter's Journey, vol. ii. letters ix., x., xi.). For later descriptions, vide Colonel Val. Baker (1873), Clouds in the East, pp. 229-274; (Sir) C. MacGregor (1875), Journey Through Khorasan, vol. ii. pp. 70-76; E. O'Donovan (1880), The Merv Oasis, vol. ii. pp. 30-65.

[168] Sarakhs was visited by the Arab traveller, El Istakhri (miscalled by Ouseley Ibn Haukal), in the tenth century. He describes it as distant six menzil (stages) from Nishapur, and adds: 'Sarkhes is a city between Meru (Merv) and Nishapour, situated on a level, without any running water but that which comes from Pousheng (which river comes from Heri and runs on to Sarkhes, but in a season of excessive heat the water does not run so far). It is computed that Sarkhes is as large as Meru-al-rud. It is a populous and thriving city; the air is wholesome; the inhabitants drink well-water, and they employ horses or asses in their mills.—The Oriental Geography of Ibn Haukal, translated by Sir W. Ouseley, pp. 219-221. This description of the Tejend tallies exactly with that of modem travellers. When M. Lessar first came to Sarakhs, in 1882, he reported the riverbed to be commonly dry, and from 300 yards to half a mile in width. The Moorish pilgrim, Ibn Batutah, also came to 'Sarakhas' from Meshed circ. 1330 A.D.Travels, translated by Rev. S. Lee, p. 96. For other references to Sarakhs by early writers, vide Nasiri Khosru (Sefer Nameh, p. 6), Mukadessi (Descriptio Imperii Moslemici, pp. 312, 313), and Yakut (Dictionnaire de la Perse, pp. 307, 308).

[169] Travels into Bokhara, vol. iii. pp. 42-56.

[170] 'After the fall of Cochoon (Kuchan), Abbas Mirza made for Serrakhs, which be found totally off its guard, and at once invested it. Despising and rejecting an offer of 150,000 and then of 200,000 tomauns of ransom which was offered by the inhabitants, he resolved, cost what it might, to root out this nest of man-stealers. The place was invested, breached, stormed, and taken in little more than a day. The town was given up to plunder, and afterwards reduced to ashes. Many of its inhabitants were slaughtered, and 3,000 of the remainder were carried off prisoners. The booty was enormous—incalculable—perhaps greater than in any capture of recent times. There were literally whole sacks of gold, and piles of rich goods of every sort and kind. It was a true robbers' den upon an immense scale: the amount of specie alone has been vaguely estimated at from 300,000l. to 400,000l., and the greater part of this fell into the hands of the soldiery.'—J. B. Fraser, A Winter's Journey, &c., vol. ii. p. 29. The above, though a no doubt exaggerated version, is interesting as being almost contemporaneous (1834).

[171] Tour du Monde, April, 1866.

[172] Journey through Khorasan, vol. ii. pp. 30-33.

[173] Excursion en Turkestan, pp. 80-82.

[174] Russia in Central Asia, p. 121.

[175] The Chehar Aimak were originally, as their name implies, four tribes, viz. the Jamshidi, Firuzkuhi, Timuri, and Taimuni. Later on two other tribes, the Hazara and Kipchak, were included in the designation. The Firuzkuhis, Taimunis and Kipchaks, the two first of whom are said to be of Persian origin, are now not found in Persia. Members of the other four branches are. Dr Bellew's classification is different. He gives the original Chehar Aimak as the Timuri, Taimuni, Dahi, and Suri; the Jamshidi and Firuzkuhi as subdivisions of Timuri, and the Hazaras as synonymous with the Dahi.

[176] Vide a most interesting paper by Colonel C. E. Stewart, entitled 'The Herat Valley and the Persian Border from the Heri Rud to Sistan,' Proceedings of the R.G.S. (New Series), vol. viii. pp. 137-156 (1886). Kain has been described by the Seistan Boundary Commission, 1872 (i. Col. Euan Smith, Eastern Persia, vol. i. pp. 336-343; ii. H. W. Bellew, From the Indus to the Tigris, pp. 320-322), and by (Sir) C. MacGregor, Journey through Khorasan, pp. 161, 162. For Birjand, vide the same writers on adjoining pages.

[177] In 1882 the Governor of the newly-constituted Transcaspian province actually issued a proclamation at Ashkabad to the effect that all the Sunni villages in the Atek belonged to Russia, and should no longer pay tribute to Persia—an exemption from their financial burdens which was eagerly grasped by many. The same policy is now being tentatively pushed southwards.

[178] Vide vol. ii. cap. xxx.

[179] History of Persia, vol. ii. pp. 143, 144. Mir Husein Khan was then the chief of the powerful ruling Arab family, and, with a population of only 30,000, sustained an army of 2,000 horse and 6,000 foot.

[180] Malcolm (History, vol. ii. p. 148) says 100,000 tomans, or 200,000l. But as he frequently speaks of a toman elsewhere as equivalent to 1l., I think that the latter total must be halved. Even this estimate is probably exaggerated.

[181] Historical Account of British Trade over the Caspian, by Jonas Hanway, vol. i. pp. 37-39.

[182] Ibid., vol. i. p. 358; vol. ii. p. 24.

[183] Compare Colonel Val. Baker, Clouds in the East, p. 305, 'The whole trade of Central Asia is slowly drifting into Russian hands;' and E. O'Donovan, The Merv Oasis, vol. i. p. 480, 'Russia completely controls the trade of Meshed in European goods, except perhaps in sugar, a little of which comes from Marseilles. Cloths, linen and cotton goods, porcelain, glass trays, lamps, and other manufactured European articles are Russian.'

[184] Conolly mentions that in 1830 the customs dues of Meshed were farmed for 15,000 tomans.—Overland Journey to India, vol. i. p. 291.

[185] Annual Series, 1890, No. 753.

[186] The freight-charge of each camel-load from Trebizond to Meshed is 27½ tomans, i.e. 7l. 17s.; from Bunder Abbas (viâ Kerman) to Meshed, 9 tomans, i.e. 2l. 11s. 6d.

[187] The Amir levies 2l. 2s. upon every cwt., and the cost of each camel-load is further 2l. 7s. On the Kabul road he is reported to levy 80 rupees (5l. 13s. 4d.) on every camel-load of Indian goods in transit to Bokhara. This is not Protection, but Prohibition.

[188] I have since heard (May 1891) that heavy, springless carts, drawn by two, three, or four horses, have superseded mule and horse traffic on the Kuchan-Meshed section of the road.

[189] I think this word is a misnomer, for I am convinced that were the original MacAdam to be raised from the dead and dropped down on the Ashkabad-Meshed road he would stand aghast at such a prostitution of his respectable name.

[190] Indigo is largely used everywhere in Central Asia to dye silk and cotton garments, to stain glass, and to give the colour to those blue and white enamelled tiles which are so familiar a feature in secular as well as religious ornamentation.

[191] One rouble (2s.) per poud (36 lbs.) excise duty is refunded on Russian sugar exported abroad. In the case, however, of Central Asia and Persia, the rebate, having served its purpose by completely driving out all other competitors from the market, was discontinued from May 1, 1891.

[192] That these designs are not the offspring of imagination, but are seriously entertained by Russia, evidence will be forthcoming, in a later chapter upon Russian Policy in Persia as a whole, to prove.

[193] Journey into Khorasan, cap. xxii. 'During the course of our journey from Meshed, there was nothing that struck me more forcibly than the violent hatred borne by all ranks of people to the reigning family of Persia. They were never spoken of without detestation, and their name appears to be identified with all that is cruel, tyrannical, and unjust.' This was in 1822.

[194] Journey through Khorasan, vol. i. p. 253. 'In Khorasan there is another opinion, which is as prevalent as belief in the Russians, and that is contempt of the Kajar. This I have heard expressed over and over again, coupled with epithets the reverse of complimentary.' This was in 1875.

[195] I never heard this doubted until I came across a Russian book, entitled Sketches of Persia, by P. Ogorodnikof, published in St. Petersburg in 1878. The author was a Russian who had been deputed by the Imperial Geographical Society to join a commercial caravan, conducted by General Glukhofski, to Meshed in 1874; and his utterances were mainly an epitome of the views of a Russian merchant, named Baumgarten, who resided for many years in Shahrud and was seen there by Baker, Napier, MacGregor, and other English travellers. Baumgarten, who presumably knew what he was saying and could not be regarded as a Russophobe, denied that the Khivan release of prisoners had brought any popularity to Russia, and declared that the Persians held the Russians in contempt while cringing to them, and seeking to propitiate them as possible informers to the Shah against their misdeeds and rapacities.

[196] Some English writers, however, have derived it from sayhes, a wood that is grown locally and is used as fuel by the Persians.

[197] For further information on the Helmund River, vide a Paper by C. R. Markham on 'The Basin of the Helmund,' in the Proceedings of the R.G.S. (New Series), vol. i. p. 191.

[198] The Kuh-i-Khwajah, known also as Kuh-i-Rustam, is an isolated bluff composed of a crystalline black rock resembling basalt, and rising to a height of about 400 feet above the level of the Hamun, in which it constitutes a famous landmark for many miles. It was a stronghold of the old Kaianian dynasty who ruled Seistan, and is said to have been held for seven years by one of their number against the troops of Nadir Shah. It is also a place of popular resort among the Seistanis, for at No Ruz (March 21) a fair is held there, and the flattened summit is used as a race-course. For further information, vide 'Visit to the Kuh-i-Khwajab,' by Major B. Lovett, in the Journal of the R.G.S., vol. xliv. p. 145 (1874).

[199] When Sir C. MacGregor was exploring Beluchistan in 1877, he skirted the Zirreh Desert on the south for two days and a half without finding a solitary pool of brackish water. 'Nowhere was there the slightest sign of dampness. Everywhere it was the same—nothing but sand, and all the vegetation as dry as bones, crumbling into dust at the least touch.' At length, and with great difficulty, he did manage in one spot to extract a little fluid from the soil; and this was how, in his inimitable unvarnished way, he described it: 'If any should wish to save themselves the trouble of going to Zirreh to fetch Zirreh water, I think I could give a recipe, which would taste something like it. Take, then, the first nasty-looking water you can find, mix salt with it till you make it taste as nasty as it looks, then impregnate it with gas from a London street-lamp, and add a little bilge-water. Shake vigorously, and it is ready for use.'—Wanderings in Balochistan, p. 183.

[200] The great authority on the early history and inhabitants of Seistan is Sir H. Rawlinson's essay, entitled 'Notes on Seistan,' published in the Journal of the R.G.S., vol. xliii. pp. 272-294 (1873). Compare also the excellent and accurate summary of Dr. Bellew, From the Indus to the Tigris, pp. 248-262, and Inquiry into the Ethnography of Afghanistan, 1891. The chief modern inhabitants of Persian Seistan are the Seistanis, who occupy a servile position among other and dominant tribes; the Kaianis claiming descent from the Kai dynasty of Cyrus; the Kurd Galis, a branch of the Kurds of Kurdistan, who emigrated and established the Malik Kurd dynasty of Ghor, 1245-1383, A.D.; Iranian elements known as Tajik; and Beluchis, of whom the principal tribes in Seistan are the Sarbandi, who were transported by Timur to Hamadan, but brought back by Nadir Shah, and the Shahreki.

[201] For an account of them, and particularly of Peshawaran, vide Bellew, pp. 241, 246-247.

[202] Vide an article entitled 'The Kings of the Saffariun Dynasty of Nimroz, or Sijistan,' by Major H. G. Raverty, Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, vol. liv. (1885) p. 139

[203] Vide Malcolm's History, vol. i. pp. 148-152.

[204] Oriental Geography, pp. 203-209.

[205] An anonymous History of Seistan has been written in the course of the last half century in Persian by Reza Kuli Rhan, the most accomplished and voluminous of recent Persian authors.

[206] Both clauses occur in Article VI. of the Treaty. The first was as follows:—'His Majesty the Shah of Persia engages to abstain hereafter from all interference with the internal affairs of Afghanistan. His Majesty promises to recognise the independence of Herat and of the whole of Afghanistan, and never to attempt to interfere with the independence of those States.' The second clause ran thus: 'In case of differences arising between the Government of Persia and the countries of Herat and Afghanistan, the Persian Government engages to refer them for adjustment to the friendly offices of the British Government, and not to take up arms unless those friendly offices fail of effect.'

[207] Eastern Persia, Introduction and pp. 225-295.

[208] Record of the Seistan Mission, 1872 (Official Publication), and From the Indus to the Tigris.

[209] Vide his own account in a paper, entitled 'Journey from Bunder-Abbas to Meshed by Seistan,' published in the Journal of the R.G.S., vol. xliii. pp. 65-83 (1873).

[210] Sir H. Rawlinson says: 'The true Seistanis are Persians of the purest Arian type. In fact, the only true representatives of the old Arian race to be found in Persia are the Seistanis and the Jamshidis of Herat; the language, physical appearance, and general characteristics of the Persians of the Achaemenian period being better preserved in this outlying corner of the Empire than in any other locality.'

[211] This dam, known indifferently as the Amir's, the Seistan, and the Kohak Bund, is a great dyke built across the river with tamarisk branches, stakes, and rammed clay, in order to divert its principal volume into the Sekuba Canal.

[212] These figures, which date from 1886, do not correspond with the general pay of the Persian infantry. Vide a later chapter on the Persian Army. But payment is no doubt as haphazard as the system.

[213] Travels in Baloochistan and Sinde. By (Sir) H. Pottinger. 1816.

[214] Appendix, pp. 406-411.

[215] He published two papers in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengalthe first entitled 'Sketch of the Physical Geography of Seistan,' with a map, in vol. ix. (1840), pp. 710-726; the second, entitled 'Journal kept while Travelling in Seistan,' in vol. x. (1841), pp. 319-340.

[216] A Description of the Country of Seisthan, vol. xiii. (1844), pp. 115-121.

[217] Vol. xiv.

[218] From the Indus to the Tigris, pp. 217-219. Compare Eastern Persia, p. 317.

[219] Caravan Journeys, caps. xxvii., xxviii.

[220] Mémoire de la Partie méridionale de l'Asie Centrale, pp. 153-164.

[221] For a modern account of Seistan, other than that contained in the Reports of the Goldsmid Commission, vide Globus, vol. xxxii. pp. 170, 186, 200 (1877); and Petermann's Mittheilungen (1873), pp. 149-150; (1874), pp. 59-63; (1877), pp. 66-72; (1878), pp. 25-29.

[222] I have already published a brief but very condensed statement of the case in Russia in Central Asia, pp, 379-381.

[223] From the Indus to the Tigris, pp. 205-206.

[224] For a description and illustration, vide Bellew's From the Indus to the Tigris, p. 227.

[225] This is true; but supposing it is thought desirable by an invader for political reasons to leave Herat alone, or supposing Seistan be added as a base to the already acquired base of Herat, what then?

[226] England and Russia in the East, p. 116.

[227] Persia consists of two parts: a desert with salt, and a desert without salt.

[228] Caravan Journeys, p. 426.

[229] Journal of the R.G.S., vol. xliii. pp. 71, 73.

[230] 'What a long farsakh is that of Khorasan!' says a traveller who has toiled from sunrise nearly to sunset, and who can no longer cling to his jaded horse but by the prong in front of his saddle. 'By the beard of the Prophet,' said one of the party as we neared our halting-ground, 'the road is longer than the entrails of Omar, for my back and my knees have lost their feeling.' There is also a local proverb, worthy of being quoted (Burnes' Travels into Bokhara, vol. iii. p. 89), which says that the Khorasani farsakh is as endless as the chatter of women, and that he who measured them must have done so with a broken chain.

[231] And yet I find a French officer (Notes de Voyage d'un Hussard, par le Comte de Sabran, p. 225) who, having accomplished the journey in the same leisurely time in 1888, writes a book to say that General Maclean expressed himself as stupefied with his astonishing performance, and told him that an English officer, who had done the journey in ten days, had fallen seriously ill in consequence! Sir H. Rawlinson once rode it in six.

[232] Persia as It Is, p. 296.

[233] History of Persia, vol. i. p. 345

[234] A Winter's Journey, vol. ii. p. 319.

[235] Quite recently there were 172 Government chapar-khanehs, and the Treasury allowance was 20 tomans (5l. 14s.) a year for each, as well as 10 kharvars (nearly 3 tons) of barley, and the same amount of straw, for the horses.

[236] This road has been followed and, in part or wholly, described by a long series of travellers, of whom I select only the most eminent or learned:—El Istakhri (900-1000 A.D.), Oriental Geography, p. 181; Ruy di Clavijo (1404), Narrative of Embassy; Von Mierop (1744), J. Hanway's Historical Account of British Trade, vol. i. pp. 357-359; Captain Truilhier (1807), Daussy's Mémoire Descriptif; J. B. Fraser (1821-1822), Journey into Khorasan, cap. xiii-xvii.; Captain A. Conolly (1830), Overland Journey, vol. i. pp. 194-220; E. L. Mitford (1840), Land March, vol. ii. pp. 13-34; Dr. J. Wolff (1831, 1844), Travels, and Narrative of Mission; J. P. Ferrier (1845), Caravan Journeys, pp. 54-115; Captain C. Clerk (1857), Journal of the R.G.S., vol. xxxi, pp. 37-45; N. de Khanikoff (1858), Mémoire, &c., pp. 72-97; E. B. Eastwick (1862), Journal of a Diplomate, vol. ii. pp. 134-191, 271-295; A. Vambéry (1863), Life and Adventures, cap. xxviii.; H.M. the Shah of Persia (1867 and 1883), Diaries (in Persian); H. W. Bellew (1872), From the Indus to the Tigris, pp. 368-411; Colonel Euan Smith (1872), Eastern Persia, vol. i. pp. 366-388; Colonel Val. Baker (1873), Clouds in the East, pp. 142-176; E. O'Donovan (1880), The Merv Oasis, vol. i. cap. xxii.-xxviii.

[237] It was followed and described by J. B. Fraser (1821), E. B. Eastwick (1862), H. W. Bellew and Colonel Euan Smith (1872), and Colonel Val. Baker (1873).

[238] There is another Kadamgah near Persepolis, in the province of Fars, so called from the alleged footprint of Ali's horse on a slab of rock. Captain Wells, Proceedings of the R.G.S. (New Series), vol. v. (1883). Some Sassanian sculptures near Shiraz were also called Kadamgah by the seventeenth century writers.

[239] The seeds or cones from which these pines sprang are said to have been brought by a pilgrim from the Himalayas nearly four hundred years ago.

[240] The others were Merv, Balkh, and Herat.

[241] Described by Colonel Val. Baker (1873), Clouds in the East, pp. 166-171.

[242] The other turquoise mines of which I have heard or read in Persia are:—(1) Near Turshiz, leased by the Government (1889) for 500 tomans a year, but not worked; they are mentioned by Bellew. (2) Near Tabbas, mentioned by MacGregor and Herbert. (3) Near Kerman, mentioned by Marco Polo, Langlès, and Herbert. (4) At Taft, in the district of Yezd, mentioned by Khanikoff, Napier, and Herbert. (5) At Kaleh Zeri, near Basiran, between Birjand and Neh, mentioned by Khanikoff. The mines in the Kerman district are several in number: (α) Those of Pariz at God-i-Ahmer; (β) near Masbiz; (γ) near Shebr-i-Babek. But the stones of all these mines are very pale in colour and of no great value.

[243] Benjamin (Persia and the Persians, p. 408), with his usual inaccuracy, says 80,000 dollars, or 16,000l.

[244] By far the best account of the mines is to be found in a report written by him (and published in Diplomatic and Consular Reports, part ii., 1884). The remaining travellers who have visited and described the turquoise mines of Madan are J. B. Fraser (1822), Journey into Khorasan, cap. xvi., and Appendix to Travels South of the Caspian, pp. 344-346; Alex. Chodzko (circ. 1838), Revue d'Orient; N. de Khanikoff (1868), Mémoire, &c., pp. 90-93; Colonel Val. Baker (1873), Clouds in the East, pp. 166-71.

[245] Travels, book v. cap. xii.

[246] Different versions of this legend are related by Fraser, pp. 385-386; Ferrier, pp, 102-103; and Eastwick, vol. ii. p. 180.

[247] This route is now being superseded by the new Ashkabad-Kuchan line of entry into Khorasan, which I have previously described, and which is brought into easy connection with Sebzewar.

[248] It is astonishing that so intelligent an observer as Colonel Val. Baker should have been seduced thereby to speak of this 'curious old minaret of burnt brick of the time of Khosro' (Clouds in the East, p. 166.). He might just as reasonably have attributed it to Edward the Confessor or to Confucius. O'Donovan, too, regards this tall shaft as an unusual feature in Persian architecture, where the call to prayer is commonly given from a balcony; quite ignoring the fact that it was raised in Sunni, and not in Shiah, times. Khosrugird was the chief place of the district of Beihak, identical with the modern Sebzewar.

[249] The kajaveh, which is very small and rocks disagreeably, is a most uncomfortable and almost impossible vehicle for Europeans, whose nether limbs are not inured to the telescopic contractions common in the East. Adam Olearius, the Secretary of the Embassy from the Duke of Holstein in 1637, graphically described his woes as follows: 'The Physician and myself were set in ketzanveha upon the same camel, whereby we were put to great inconveniences—one proceeding from the violent motion caused by the going of that great Beast, which at every step gave us a furious jolt; and the other from the insupportable stink of the camels, the infectious smell of whom came full into our noses.

[250] It was said that the Turkomans had at first priced the luckless photographer at 3l. 10s. But as soon as they found out that he was a European, and of some value, their demands rose in a steady crescendo. Meanwhile the Khan of Khiva, hearing that the captive had instruments, and thinking he must be a military engineer, was very anxious to get hold of him to fortify his capital. Colonel Val. Baker gratuitously doubles the ultimate ransom. M. de Blocqueville wrote the history of his adventures in the Tour du Monde, April 1866.

[251] Conolly called it Meergundusht; Von Mierop, more correctly, nearly a hundred years before, Meondasht.

[252] This is the kabk, or ordinary red-legged partridge. There are also in Persia the kabk-i-darah (variously explained as 'royal partridge,' or 'partridge of the defiles'); the durraj, the black partridge of India, commonly called the francolin; the tihu, or sand partridge, which, as Fraser said, 'runs like the very devil;' the jirufti, or bush partridge; the kabk-i-chil, or grey partridge; and the bakhri-kara, or bakir-ghirreh, the sand-grouse.

[253] Fraser climbed this mountain in 1834, and found two very ancient ruined forts on the highest peaks.—A Winter's Journey, vol. ii, pp. 154-164.

[254] The opening-up of the new trade-route from Ashkabad, viâ Kuchan, to Sebzewar is reported to have already caused a considerable falling-off, or, perhaps, I should rather say, transference, in the Russian trade with Shahrud.

[255] Proceedings of the R.G.S. (new series), vol. v. p. 79 (1883). The best account of the buildings at Bostam. is that of Khanikoff, Mémoire, &c. p. 79.

[256] Fraser (Journey into Khorasan, pp. 612-614) describes a very similar tower, with polygonal surface, near Jorjan, on the banks of the Gurgan River, This tower was 150 feet high, 10 yards interior diameter, 52 yards exterior circumference, and terminated in a lofty pointed cone, in which was a single window. Two belts of Arabic inscriptions demonstrated a kindred origin to the tower of Bostam.

[257] Mémoire, &c., pp. 74-75. Bassett (Land of the Imams, p, 197) commits the absurd mistake of saying that the minars are called Chelih Sutune and Maschide Jam. The former name—i.e. 'forty pillars'—is a common descriptive epithet in Persia for large and fine buildings, and would apply to the mosque, not to the minaret. Similarly, Maschide Jam is, of course, the Musjid-i-Jama (or 'Town Mosque'), like the 'University Church' at Oxford or Cambridge.

[258] J. B. Fraser, A Winter's Journey, vol. ii. p. 400; E. B. Eastwick, vol. ii. p. 157; Colonel Val. Baker, p. 138.

[259] Caravan Journeys, pp. 69-74.

[260] For early notices of Damghan, vide Isfakhri, Via Regnorum, p. 211; Mukadessi, Descriptio Imperii Moslemici, p. 256; Yakut, Dictionnaire Géographique, p. 233.

[261] Journal of the R.G.S., vol. xi. p. 136 (1841).

[262] Fraser spelt it, Aheaiyoon; Ferrier, Aheeiyon; O'Donovan, Aghivan. Similarly, Ghushah has been rendered Gosbek, Goocheh, Kushak, and Koshaw.

[263] Ahu = an antelope or gazelle. Hence ahubara, (little antelope) is the name for the elegant Persian bustard.

[264] Vide 'Grammatical Note on the Simnuni Dialect,' by Rev. J. Bassett, in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, vol. xvi. p. 120 (1884); and 'Bericht über Semnan Dialect,' by A. H. Schindler, in Zeit. d. M. Gesell. vol. xxxii. 3.

[265] Fraser calls this place Heratoo.

[266] The Geographical System of Herodotus, p. 174.

[267] Travels in the East, vol. iii. appendix iii.

[268] Second Journey (1814), pp. 364, 365.

[269] Journey into Khorasan (1821), pp. 291-293.

[270] Caravan Journeys (1845), pp. 59, 60.

[271] Journal of a Diplomate (1862), vol. ii. p. 140.

[272] Journal of the R.G.S., vol. xliv. p. 167 (1874).

[273] Nat. Hist., lib. vi. cap. xiv.

[274] De Exped. Alex., lib. iii. cap. xx. I say 'rapid,' because Arrian, when he describes the distance as οδον ημέρας μιας ελαύνοντι ως Άλέξανδρος ηγε i.e. 'one day's journey to a man marching as Alexander did,' clearly predicates exceptional speed.

[275] Travels into Bokkara, vol. iii. p. 111.

[276] Morier's Second Journey, p. 365.

[277] The extent to which miscalculation of distance is possible when the writer has ridden on horseback, and has perhaps composed his description from memory afterwards, may be judged from the varying estimates of the length of this pass. Ferrier says 2½ miles, Eastwick 4, and O'Donovan 12.

[278] This difficulty may, perhaps, be met by supposing that the pass, like the Caspian Sea itself, took its name from the tribe of the Caspii, of whom Strabo constantly speaks, and who resided in the neighbourhood. Their name is conceivably preserved in the district of Jasp, west of Kashan

[279] Annales des Voyages, 1850, Part Ill.

[280] This view is sustained by the German writers Spiegel, Eranische Alterthumskunde, vol. ii. p. 532; Droysen, Geschichte Alexanders, p. 257; Tomaschek, Zur hist. Topographie von Persien, p. 79; and by Schindler, in the publication mentioned at the end of this chapter. The last-named authority has supplied me with the following conjectural identification of Alexander's march: first day, from Rhages to the, present Aiwan-i-Kaif, 383 stadia or 44 miles; second day, through the Caspian Gates (Sirdara Pass) and Choara (Khar) to the present Aradan, 297 stadia or 34 miles; third day to Lasgird, 331 stadia or 38 miles; fourth day to Alah, or Germab, 370 stadia or 42 miles; fifth day to Frat, near Hekatompylos or Damghan, 417 stadia or 48 miles; sixth day, 400 stadia or 46 miles to Shahrud, where he found the corpse of Darius.

[281] According to the local legends, Demavend, or Divband, i.e. "Dwelling of the Divs or Genii," has been the scene of all the events veiled under the form of myths. Here, say the Persian Mohammedans, Noah's Ark was stranded; here dwelt Jemshid and Rustem, heroes of the national epics; here was kindled the bonfire of Feridun, vanquisher of the giant Zohak; here the monster himself is entombed, and the smoke of the mountain is the breath of his nostrils; here, also, is chained down the Persian Prometheus, Yasid ben Jigad, whose liver is eternally devoured by a gigantic bird. The caverns of the volcanoes are full of treasures guarded by snakes.'—Elisée Reclus, Universal Geography (English edition), vol. ix. p. 84.

[282] Ferrier calls it Haivanak or Eiwanee-Keij.

[283] Described by Eastwick, vol. ii. pp. 137, 138.

[284] He pays the sum of 12,000 tomans (or 3,430l.) a year for the monopoly, and regulates the price of bricks to suit his own pocket. In 1887 there were made two qualities of bricks, good and bad—the good costing, according to season, from 35 to 40 krans, the bad 25 to 30 krans, per 1,000. There has now been added a third, and worse, quality, and the prices for the three qualities are 45 to 52 krans, 35 to 42 krans, and 20 to 25 krans, per 1,000.

[285] I shall not attempt to give, as I have done in the case of previous chapters, any bibliography of Teheran, for the reason that very nearly every foreign visitor to Persia has stayed in the capital and has described his stay. Any reader, therefore, desirous of more ample instruction may be referred to the large bibliography, which I propose to publish. Teheran, however, has been much less rich in historians than any other Persian capital; and the information contained in this chapter will, in the main, not be found elsewhere. I may add that the popular etymology which explains Teheran or Tihran as 'the pure' is false. It is an old Persian word which was formerly written with the two-dotted t, and sometimes also Tirun and Tiran.

[286] For a list of them, vide a note by M. Langlès, in vol. viii. p. 164 of his edition of Chardin.

[287] Narrative of Embassy (Hakluyt Society), p. 98. Watson (History of Persia, p. 62) must have been unaware of Clavijo when he wrote that Della Valle was the first European to visit Teheran.

[288] Some Yeares' Travel, &c. (3rd edit.), p. 206.

[289] Historical Account, &c., vol. i. pp. 357-359. 'Toehiran is a city enclosed with a wall of earth, which has many round turrets. But the whole is much decayed. Here we found provisions in plenty, and the bread exceedingly good.'

[290] G. A. Olivier, Voyage, &c., vol. v. p. 418; vol. vi. p. 47.

[291] They are still standing or traceable in parts, particularly along the south-west face of the old town.

[292] This version has already been given by Mme. Serena (Hommes et Choses en Perse, p. 54), although she proceeds, quite gratuitously, to make Ormuz 'a port in the island of Muscat in the Persian Gulf'; Muscat being neither in the Persian Gulf, nor an island, nor the site of Ormuz.

[293] These open throne-rooms are, however, far older than either Darius or Xerxes, and are one of the most ancient accompaniments of Eastern royalty. We read of Solomon in I Kings, vii. 6, 7, that 'He made a porch of pillars, and the porch was before them; and the other pillars and the thick beam were before them. Then he made a porch for the throne where he might judge, even the porch of judgment!'

[294] There is an illustration of it, from a photograph, in Benjamin's Persia and the Persians, p. 222, and a superb engraving of the whole Talar in P. Coste's Monuments Modernes de la Perse. Some writers have supposed this also to be an Indian throne, and to have belonged to Nadir's spoil. Others have declared that it was wrought of Maragha marble. In Kerim Khan's day it stood in the talar of the palace, that is now the office of the Indo-European Telegraph in Shiraz, from whence, along with the fluted columns, it was removed by Agha Mohammed Shah to Teheran.

[295] The symbolism of this custom is variously interpreted either as signifying light, and being, therefore, of good omen, or as typifying the main source of wealth in a thirsty land, and being consequently a mark of luxury.

[296] Those of Kerim Khan were said to have been afterwards restored to their original resting-place.

[297] Of the remaining gems, M. Orsolle (Le Caucase et la Perse) says that the ruby which marks Demavend was the last jewel torn from the miserable Shah Rukh by the myrmidons of Agha Mohammed Khan; and that the diamond which marks Teheran was found upon the body of Ashraf, the last Afghan king, by a Beluchi, who presented it to Shah Tahmasp II.

[298] I have read in different works that the stone was valued at 200,000l., and also that its value was depreciated to the extent of 1,000,000l. by the act of Fath Ali Shah; statements from which it is difficult to strike out a mean of truth. It weighs 186 carats.

[299] Sir H. Jones, in 1810, estimated the value of the Persian Crown Jewels at 15,000,000l. (Mission to Persia, vol. i. p. 384); Lord Pollington, in 1865, at 40,000,000l-50,000,000l.! (Half Round the World, pp. 229-232).

[300] Travels in India (edit. 1678), book ii. cap. viii, p. 122. Hanway (vol. ii. cap. x.) says that the Peacock Throne and nine other thrones, as well as several jewelled weapons and utensils, were valued at nine crores of rupees, or 11,250,000l. The Nadir-Nameh (History of Nadir) valued the Peacock Throne at 2,000,000l. Scott at 1,000,000l.

[301] Morier, who saw Fath Ali Shah seated in audience upon this throne in 1809, described it with no great accuracy. He said, 'On each side of the back are two square pillars, on which are perched birds—probably intended for peacocks—studded with precious stories of every description, and holding each a ruby in their beaks' (First Journey, p. 191). Now, no one who really inspected them could possibly mistake the birds for peacocks; nor are there (now at any rate) rubies in their beaks.

[302] History of Persia, vol. ii. p. 37.

[303] I understand, however, that it is now valued at nearly 200,000l.

[304] When I was in Teheran I had in vain asked the same questions of the custodian of the treasury, and of every Persian official whom I met, but without eliciting any satisfactory response.

[305] He was the son of the wife of Haji Mirza Aghassi, the eccentric dervish prime-minister of Mohammed Shah, and, as an especial favourite of his step-father, lived in princely style. Upon one occasion the present Shah, then Heir Apparent, was going in pilgrimage to Shah Abdul Azim, when he saw an immense and gorgeous cavalcade approaching, which he took to be that of his royal father. Respectfully dismounting, he awaited the arrival of the cortège on foot. Great was his disgust when he discovered that the central figure was only the Ilkhani of the Kajars. In deference to his complaints, the too sumptuous nobleman was banished to Baghdad.

[306] There stands in the court of the Royal anderun a great plane-tree, called the Chenar of Abbas Ali (origin of name unknown), which is held in great veneration as an object of pilgrimage.

[307] I was not in Persia during the month of Moharrem, when, in every great city, if not in every town throughout the country, this famous religious tragedy—which reproduces and commemorates the martyrdoms of Hasan and Husein and their devoted followers—is performed. I shall therefore say nothing of that which I did not see. Admirable accounts of the Tazieh, however, have been left by most visitors to Persia; notably J. P. Morier (1811), Second Journey, pp. 175-184; A. Vambéry (1863), Life and Adventures, cap. viii.; A. H. Mounsey (1865), Journey through the Caucasus, pp. 311-315; C. J. Wills (1866-1881), In the Land of the Lion and Sun, cap. xxvi., and Persia as it is, cap. xxiv.; S. G. Benjamin (1883-1885), Persia and the Persians, cap. xiii. For more particular information, vide A. Chodzko, Le Théátre en Perse (Revue Indépendante), Paris, 1814; Théátre Persan, Choix de Teaziés, Paris, 1878; Comte A. de Gobineau, Les Religions et les Philosophies de l'Asie Centrale, cap. xiii.-xvi., 1865; Sir L. Pelly, The Miracle Play of Hasan and Husain, 1879; Ed. Moutet, La Religion et le Théátre en Perse (Revue de l'histoire des Religions), Paris, 1887; Le Théátre en Perse, Geneva, 1888; Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, April, 1890; Matthew Arnold, A Persian Passion Play (in Essays in Criticism); Ethé, Persische Passionspiel (Morgenländ. Stud., p. 174); and E. Renan, Nouvelles études d'Histoire Religieuse, Paris, 1884.

[308] So great is the demand for these boxes that the Crown revenues are swollen by the annual sum of 420l., paid as rent for the yearly performance by the leading courtiers and noblemen.

[309] The best description of the Palace that I have seen is by Orsolle, Le Caucase et la Perse, cap. xvi.

[310] In 1887 an entire set of instruments for a band of sixty persons was presented by the British Government to the Shah; but the Persian bands having been taught to play French instruments, which are in a different key or pitch, they were relegated to the Museum.

[311] For an interesting illustration of this uniform as worn by the shatirs in the days of Fath Ali Shah, vide an admirable engraving from a drawing by J. P. Morier (Second Journey, p. 387), representing the entry of the Shah into Teheran in 1815. Dr. Fryer, in 1676, described their costume thus: 'The Shotters are the only men who wear Plumes of Feathers in their Turbats, small Bells about their Wastes, Truncheons in their Hands, Horse-Cloaths over their Shoulders, richly Embroidered on Scarlet, Packthread Shoes on their Feet, and close Jerkins with Breeches below their Knees' (Travels in Persia, p. 232). In the Sefavean days, however, the shatirs were much more than ornamental royal lacqueys. They were members of a guild in which no one could graduate as a master shatir without a test that would startle even a modem University sprinter. The aspirant to the honour was required to run on foot and fetch twelve arrows, one by one, from a pillar at the distance of one league and a half from the palace gate of Isfahan, the entire distance to be covered between sunrise and sunset being, therefore, 36 leagues, or 108 miles. The day fixed for the ceremony was a great public holiday. Everyone, from the sovereign downwards, was interested in the success of the candidate. Ministers and grandees galloped at his side to encourage him; every variety of fruit and provision was eagerly offered to him by the sympathetic crowd. Chardin witnessed and described one such ceremony on May 26, 1667, when the successful shatir took nearly fourteen hours to cover the distance. But he mentions another runner who, in the reign of Shah Sefi, did it in twelve hours.—Travels (edit. Langlès, vol. iv. p. 35; edit. Lloyd, vol.ii.p.153). Vide also Tavernier, book iv. cap. v. The shatirs, as a class, were an institution of much earlier origin. They are mentioned by the Venetian Josafa Barbaro at Tabriz, 200 years before Chardin, in 1474; and are undoubtedly a legacy from far older times. In 1st Kings i. 5, we read: 'Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king: and he prepared himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.'

[312] Guebre, which means 'infidel,' and is the same as Giaour, is, of course, not their own name, but only a term of opprobrium applied to them by the Mussulmans. Until 1882 they paid a special jezieh or poll-tax to the Persian Government; but, through the intervention of the British Legation, this invidious tax was repealed.

[313] This attempt was made by Haji Mirza Aghassi, the eccentric minister of Mohammed Shah, who had a passion for public works, and it was successfully executed. Upon his commencing a similar experiment with the Jajrud on the Eastern side, the complaints of the villagers of Veramin at the loss of their water supply caused the works to be abandoned; as also were those of the Karij, after the fall of the Haji.

[314] Journal of a Diplomate, vol. i. pp. 263-270.

[315] Tancoigne says that the original building was built for Abbas Mirza by his minister Mirza Buzurg.

[316] He was the son of Mirza Buzurg, also known as the Kaimakam, who was the great Minister of Abbas Mirza, the Prince Royal at Tabriz. When Mirza Buzurg died, his son succeeded to his position and title with Abbas Mirza, and, upon the latter's death in 1833, with Mohammed Shah. But his haughty and imperious demeanour rendered his fall certain.

[317] Binning (Two Years' Travel, vol. ii. cap. xxix.) made the discovery that this slide was sheeted with zinc; but no one else has ratified the discovery, or will.

[318] Persia and the Persians, p. 78.

[319] Illustrations of the Kasr-i-Kajar appear in the works of Malcolm, Morier, Ouseley, etc.; but by far the best are a number of plates in P. Coste's sumptuous work, Monuments Modernes de la Perse, P1. lviii., lix., lx.

[320] Excellent descriptions of this palace are given by Stack (Six Months in Persia, vol. ii, pp. 155-157), and Orsolle, (Le Caucase et la Perse, pp. 283-5).

[321] The popular etymology—Shem-i-Iran, i.e. Light of Iran—is again absurd. Shimran is an old Persian word, the origin and meaning of which are unknown.

[322] 'Notes on Demavend,' from Proceedings of the R.G.S. (new series), vol. x. pp. 85-89 (1888); vide also 'Accounts of Ascent,' by W. T. Thomson, in 1836, Journal of the R.G.S. vol. viii. p. 109; by R. T. Thomson and Lord S. Kerr, in 1858, in Proceedings of the R.G.S. vol. iii. p. 2: by R. G. Watson, in ibid. vol. vi. p. 103; and by E. Stack, Six Months in Persia, vol. ii. cap. vii. For further information, vide a learned lecture by Dr. Tietze, 'Vulcan Demavend,' in the Verhandlungen der Gesellschaft für Erdkunde zu Berlin, 1878; and Frh. v. Carl Rosenburg, 'The Lar Valley and Demavend' in Mittheil. der K. und K. Geogr. Gesell. Wien, 1876, pp. 113-112. Compare Sir W. Ouseley, Travels, vol. iii. pp. 328-334; and De Filippi, Viaggio in Persia, p. 267.

[323] This is the account given by the Persian Kitab-i-Majlisi, quoting Sheikh Najashi, quoting Barki.

[324] Tobit, i. 14, ix. 5.

[325] Judith, i. 5, 'King Nabuchodonosor made way with King Arphaxad in the great plain, which is the plain in the borders of Ragan;' and ibid. v. 15, 'He took also Arphaxad in the mountains of Ragan.' It has been conjectured, if the book of Judith is to be regarded as historical, that this refers to the campaign of Darius against Phraortes.

[326] Rhey was one of the places whose surrender was coolly demanded of Alp Arslan by the Roman Emperor Romanus Diogenes before he would consent to parley with the Seljuk sovereign. The latter's reply was the vigorous campaign which resulted in the capture of the vainglorious Caesar.

[327] Oriental Geography, p. 176.

[328] Narrative of Embassy (Hakluyt Soc.), p. 99.

[329] Travels, vol. i. pp. 358-364. Compare also Sir W. Ouseley, Travels, vol. iii. . pp. 174-199.

[330] Vide E. Flandin, Perse Moderne, plate 30. Illustrations of the original are given by Ouseley, Travels, vol. iii. plate 65, and W. Price, Journal of Embassy p. 37 and the fact of the mutilation is mentioned by Fraser in 1834, Winter's Journey, vol. ii. p. 49. Nevertheless Stuart, who wrote in 1835, Lady Sheil circ. 1850, Binning in 1851, and Ussher in 1861, all mention and describe the Sassanian bas-relief, which it is therefore clear that not one of them had ever so much as seen.

[331] Eastwick's is the best account of these ruins, vol. i. p. 282. For Veramin proper I recommend A. Chodzko's narrative in Annales des Voyages, 1850, Part III., and Mme. Dieulafoy's La Perse, pp. 140-154.

[332] Marco Polo (cap. iv.) called the Caspian 'Mer de Gheluchelan' (i.e. Ghel ou Ghelan), and the silk 'Ghelle.'

[333] As the provinces of Mazanderan and Gilan stand apart from the rest of Persia in their physical features, so they do in the literature to which they have given birth. I append here, therefore, for the benefit of such travellers or students as wish to make a special study of this part of the country, a small chronological bibliography of the principal works which I have found relating thereto. General mention of the two provinces is of course frequent in larger works upon the whole of Persia. For journeys through the country irrespective of more general observation, vide the routes printed at the end of the chapter. Pietro della Valle (1618), Viaggi (Let. iv.), or Les Fameux Voyages, &c.; Sir Thomas Herbert (1627), Some Yeares' Travels, p. 170, et seq. (3rd edit.); Captain P. H. Bruce (1722-3), Memoires; Two English Gentlemen (1739), Journey through Russia, into Persia; Jonas Hanway (1743-1744), Historical Account of British Trade over the Caspian, vols. i. and ii.; S. G. Gmélin (1771-1772), Histoire des Découvertes, vols. ii. and iii.; R. Hablizt (1773-1774), Bemerkungen gemacht in der persischen Landschaft Ghilan (St. Petersburg, 1783); G. Forster (1784), A Journey from Bengal to England, vol. ii.; Colonel Trézel (1805-1806), Voyage en Arménie, &c. d'Amédée Jaubert; Sir W. Ouseley (1812), Travels in the East, vol. iii. cap. xvii.; J. B. Fraser (1822), Travels on the South Banks of the Caspian (passim); (1834), A Winter's Journey, vol. ii, Letters xv., xvi., xvii.; Colonel W. Monteith (1831), Journal of the R.G.S., vol. iii.; Colonel W. K. Stuart (1836), Journal of a Residence in Persia, cap. x. xi.; Major D'Arcy Todd (1836), Journal of the R.G.S., vol. viii. pp. 102-108; A. Eloy (1836), Relations de Voyages, pp. 416-451; Sir H. Rawlinson (1838), ibid., vol. x. p. 1; A. Chodzko (1839), Nouvelles Annales des Voyages, 5me série, vols. xx., xxi.; W. R. Holmes (1843), Sketches on the Caspian Shores; F. A. Bubsé (1848), Annales des Voyages, 1851, part iv.; N. de Khanikoff (1859), Journal Asiatique (1862); Keith Abbott (1859), Proceedings of the R.G.S., vol. iii, p. 390; E. B. Eastwick (1860), Journal of a Diplomate, vol. ii.; M. Guilliny (1866), Essai sur le Ghilan (Bull. de la Soc. de Géogr.); G. Melgunof (1868), Das Südliche Ufer des Kaspischen Meeres, oder die Nordprovinzen Persiens; Colonel Val. Baker (1873), Clouds in the East; Dr. Tietze (1875), Zeitschrift der Ges. für Erdkunde, Vienna, 1875; B. Dorn, Caspia (Russian), 1875; Captain Puschin (1877), The Caspian Sea (Russian); Colonel B. Lovett (1881-1882), Proceedings of the R.G.S. (new series), vol. v. (1883) and Consular Report, No. 36, 1882.

[334] For accounts of Astrabad city vide Jonas Hanway (1743-1744), Historical Account, vol. i. p. 165, &c.; J. B. Fraser (1822), Travels on the South of the Caspian, cap. i.; W. R. Holmes (1844), Sketches on the Caspian Shores, caps. xiv., xv.; E. B. Eastwick (1860), Journal of a Diplomate, vol. ii. pp. 50-59; (Sir) C. MacGregor (1875), Journey through Khorasan, vol. ii. pp. 161-163; E. O'Donovan (1880), The Merv Oasis, vol. i. cap. x.; Colonel B. Lovett (1881), Consular Report, No. 36, 1882.

[335] The Encyclopaedia Britannica antedates the reign of Suleiman by one hundred years, and turns his general's name into Yezzen-ibn-Messlub.

[336] It was from the Gurgan that the ancient Hyrcania was named; the roots hyrc and gurg being identical in old Aryan. Hyrcania comprised the Gurgan plain as far as the Atrek, Astrabad, and the greater part of Mazanderan.

[337] Hanway, however, 150 years ago, says that 'in some parts it was over twenty yards broad,'—vol. i. p. 291.

[338] A Winter's Journey, vol. ii. p. 464.

[339] Purehas' Pilgrims, vol. ii. lib. ix. cap. 2.

[340] As long ago as the tenth century El Istakhri said: 'In Taberistan they have a peculiar dialect, neither Arabick nor Persian; and in many parts of Deilman (Dilem) their language is not understood.

[341] Mémoire, etc., p. 71.

[342] These figures are copied from the British Consular Reports of Mr. Churchill, but the authors append the just observation (Petermann's Mittheilungen, 1885, p. 21) that they cannot be accepted as absolutely reliable, and are sometimes totally at variance with the contemporaneous estimates to be found in the Consular reports from Tabriz. 1 kilogramme = approximately 21/5 lbs.

[343] Note H. to Lady Sheil's Glimpses of Life and Manners in Persia.

[344] In addition to information contained in Consular Reports, let me recommend for a study of the Persian silk trade an essay by A. Chodzko, De l'élève des vers à soie en Perse (Paris, 1843); W. R. Holmes, Sketches on the Caspian Shores, pp. 96-101; S. G. Benjamin's Persia, pp. 414-422; and a paper on 'Silk Production in Persia' in the Journal of the Society of Arts, Nov. 19, 1886. For the figures of production in 1889, vide a later chapter on the 'Resources of Persia.'

[345] In 1886 the monopoly of wood-cutting in Gilan was purchased by a Russian for two years for 50,000 tomans (16,000l.). In 1890 it stood at 17,000 tomans.

[346] Travels (edit. Lloyd), vol. ii. pp. 8-11.

[347] Hanway, Historical Account, vol. iii. p. 181

[348] Nouveaux Mélanges Orientaux (Paris, 1886), lines 933-950.

[349] Historical Account, vol. i. p. 12.

[350] Some Yeares' Travels (3rd edit.), p. 185.

[351] For the palaces of Ashraf, vide Gen. J. von Blaramberg, Erinnerungen aus dem Leben.

[352] Coronation of King Solyman III., pp. 152-154.

[353] Historical Account, vol. i. p. 292.

[354] Travels South of the Caspian, cap. vii.

[355] Journey through the Caucasus, pp. 273-282.

[356] Stack, Six Months in Persia, vol. ii. p. 202.

[357] Compare Travels South of the Caspian, cap. viii., with A Winter's Journey, vol. ii. p. 453.

[358] The most exhaustive account of Amol is to be found in Sir W. Ouseley, Travels, vol. iii. pp. 295-316.

[359] For Resht in 1717 vide John Bell's Travels, vol. i. pp. 134-136; in 1744, Hanway's Historical Account, vol. i. pp. 279-281; in 1771, Gmélin, Histoire des Decouvertes, vol. ii. p. 426, etc.; in 1822, Fraser's Travels South of the Caspian, pp, 148-155; in 1843, Holmes's Sketches on the Caspian Shores, cap. vi.; in 1861, Eastwick's Journal of a Diplomate, vol. ii. p. 1; in 1881, E. O'Donovan's Merv Oasis, vol. i. p. 317.

[360] Note H to Lady Sheil's Glimpses of Life in Persia.

[361] A Winter's Journey, vol. ii. p. 468.

[362] This was what actually happened in 1804 in the early stages of the first Russo-Persian war, when Zizianoff, the Russian Commander-in-Chief, planned a descent upon Gilan, with a view of threatening the capital. He landed his troops at Enzeli, but, not finding boats enough to convey them across the lagoon to Resht, was compelled to march round the shore through the swamps and jungle. From these secure recesses the natives harassed the Russian column with musketry fire, and threw it into such confusion that the order was given to retreat, and the attempt was ignominiously abandoned.

[363] The Dynasty of the Kajars, translated from an Oriental Persian MS. by Sir Harford Jones Brydges, 1833. Compare Morier, Journal of the R.G.S., vol. vii. p. 231.

[364] So says Mr. Watson in his History of Persia; but I have always understood that the mother of Shah Ismail was Martha, the daughter of Uzun Hasan, chieftain of the White Sheep, and his Christian wife Despoina, who was a daughter of Kalo Johannes Emperor of Trebizond.

[365] He was buried in the Mausoleum of Khojah Rabi outside Meshed: vide Chapter VII.

[366] Journal of a Residence in N. Persia, p. 136.

[367] Journal of Two Years' Travel in Persia, vol. ii. p. 236.

[368] I need scarcely explain that when Mirza succeeds a proper name it signifies Prince (being a contraction of Amir-zadeh—descendant of an Amir), but that when it precedes it means a person in civil employment or a secretary.

[369] Yet on one occasion, according to a well-known story, Fath Ali Shah found an honest critic in his own Poet Laureate. 'What do you think of my verses?' said the king. 'May I be your sacrifice, I think they are great rubbish,' was the frank rejoinder. 'Take the donkey to the stables,' shouted the indignant Shah; and the order was obeyed. A little while later the King sent for the poet again, and read out to him some more of his own compositions. The poet, without a word, began to walk away. 'Where are you going?' cried the Shah. 'Back to the stables,' answered the fearless Laureate. It is to the credit of the King that he was so pleased with the repartee that he released the poet, and ordered his mouth to be stuffed with sugar-candy as a mark of his extreme approbation.

[370] In addition to the diaries of his tours in Europe, which have been translated into English and French, the Shah has published diaries in the Persian tongue, with illustrations, of his two journeys to Meshed, and of his pilgrimage to Kerbela. The bulk of their contents, no doubt, emanate from the royal pen. When in England, His Majesty was in the habit of dictating his diary to the Head Chamberlain before retiring to rest.

[371] For the administration and murder of the Amir-i-Nizam I may refer my readers to the pages of Markham, Watson, Lady Sheil, and Binning.

[372] It was on this occasion that Mirza Agha Khan, the Grand Vizier, in order to distribute the responsibility of punishment and to lesson the chances of blood revenge, conceived the extraordinary idea of assigning the several criminals for execution to the principal ministers, generals, and officers of the court, as well as to representatives of the priestly and merchant classes. The Foreign Secretary killed one, the Home Secretary another, the Master of the Horse a third, and so on.

[373] It is related among others by Mme. Carla Serena, Hommes et Choses en Perse, p. 319, and by S. G. Benjamin, Persia and the Persians, pp. 178-180. With it may be compared the incident of the execution of the Kalantar or Mayor of Teheran, on the occasion of a riot arising out of a corner in grain which had been effected by some rich speculator in 1861. It is related by Ussher, Journey from London to Persepolis, p. 625.

[374] Sir H. Rawlinson, England and Russia in the East, p. 75.

[375] Vide Land of the Lion and the Sun, p. 18; and Persia as it is, p. 65.

[376] Vide Mrs. Bishop's Journeys in Persia, vol. i, pp. 216, 264.

[377] None of these figures can be compared with those of Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, who left a child for every day in the year. Either of these monarchs might well have spoken in the language of our own Charles II. who, when addressed by an effusive courtier as the Father of his People, replied, 'Well, say of a considerable proportion of them!'

[378] Psalm xlv. 16. Compare what is said of Rehoboam, in 2 Chron. xi. 23.

[379] A Winter's Journey, vol. i. p. 400.

[380] In the Land, etc., p. 366; Persia as it is, p. 176. Other books about Persia have contained similarly unflattering portraits of the Vali-Ahd, but I cannot ascertain that they amount in any case to more than repetitions of second-hand or third-hand gossip.

[381] The Sheikhi sect are so called from a celebrated Sheikh of Kerman, Haji Mohammed Kerim Khan, who in the early part of the century was a disciple of Sheikh Ahmed Ahsai, the doctrinal parent of Babism. A split occurred between the followers of the Bab and the pupils of the Sheikh, who called themselves by his name. He preached a superior rationalism, reconciling dogma with reason, and had many admirers, including Fath Ali Shah. The three chief points of his creed were, extreme veneration for the Imams, as divine incarnations, belief in his own spiritual communion with them, and denial of a material resurrection. Vide E. G Browne, Journal of the R.A.S., 1889, art. xii.

[382] The Province, as I shall presently show, has been for long administered by the Prince's Vizier—the Amir-i-Nizam. Several years ago, in the absence of a strong hand at the helm, the mis-government was so great that the Vali-Ahd was temporarily deprived of his governorship, which was conferred upon one of the Shah's uncles, an adept in the proper use of the bastinado, the bowstring, and the executioner's knife. The Amir-i-Nizam having been recalled (1891), the Vali-Ahd has now once more a chance.

[383] The provinces or districts of which he was actually the governor in 1886 were Gulpaigan and Khonsar, Joshagan, Irak, Isfahan, Fars, Yezd, Arabistan, Luristan, Kurdistan, Kangavar, Nihavend. Kamareh, Burujird, Kermanshah, Asadabad, Kezzaz. Their revenue amounted in the same year (reckoning three tomans as 1l., according to the then rate of exchange) to 599,400l. in cash, and 73,800l. in grain, or a total of 673,200l.

[384] In the Land of the Lion and the Sun, p. 366.

[385] Persia as it is, p. 176.

[386] Vide p. 500.

[387] For this tragedy vide Wills, In the Land, &c., p. 262; Persia as it is, p. 192. The victim was Husein Kuli Khan, the Ilkhani or Chieftain of the Bakhtiari tribes, a man of enlightened character, a vigorous and beneficent ruler, and a loyal subject. He was invited to Isfahan, where it was given out that he died of apoplexy. It subsequently transpired that, having refused to drink a cup of poisoned coffee, he was strangled. For further mention of this great chief, and for the unfortunate policy pursued by the Persian Government towards the Bakhtiari tribes and their rulers, vide vol. ii. cap. xxiv.

[388] Six Months in Persia, vol. ii, p. 27.

[389] History of Persia, vol. ii. cap. xxiv.

[390] Upon the Shah's accession he made Mirza Taki Khan his First Minister; but the latter is said to have declined the title of Sadr Azem, and to have been content with that of Amir-i-Nizam, or Commander-in-Chief. After his murder in 1852, Mirza Agha Khan was appointed Sadr Azem, a title and position which he held till 1858. The Shah did not again confer the rank until 1871, when the recipient was Mirza Husein Khan, the author of the Reuter concession. An official intrigue caused his fall in 1873, but he was afterwards made Minister of Foreign Affairs, and received the title of Sipah Salar, another synonym for Commander-in-Chief. Since 1873 there has been but one Sadr Azem, Mirza Yusuf Ashtiani, who was raised from the high office of Mustofi-el-Mamalek to the higher one of Sadr Azem, and died while in occupation of that post.

[391] Contradictory and incorrect accounts of the incidents of his early career have been given by Mme. Carla Serena (Hommes et Choses en Perse, cap. xx.), and Benjamin, p. 225.

[392] This lady, who is the Shah's sister by the same mother, has had a somewhat checkered matrimonial career. She was first wedded to Mirza Taki Khan, the great minister who was murdered by the Shah in 1852. She was then given to the son of his successor in that post. Upon his disgrace and exile several years later she was again set free, and on this occasion married her uncle, who soon died of cholera. Her fourth and final destiny was as wife of Yahia Khan.

[393] He was recalled by the Shah (Sept. 1891) on account of the disturbances in Tabriz arising out of the Tobacco Concession, which he is alleged to have fomented; but has since been appointed Governor of Kermanshah and Persian Kurdistan. I have before alluded to his unconcealed Russian proclivities.

[394] Vide Fowler's Three Years in Persia, vol. ii. p. 12, for an enumeration of the Shah's titles. The name Shah is the Khshayathiya, or Khshatya, of the Cuneiform Inscriptions. From the same root, indicating pre-eminence, come Khshatrapa, i.e. Satrap, Khshayarsba, i.e. Xerxes, Arthkhshatra, i.e. Artaxerxes, and Khshathraputhra = Shaputra = Sapor.

[395] Die Handelsverhaltnisse Persiens, by F. Stolze and F. C. Andreas.

[396] 'The word mudahil, for which there is no exact English term, has for Persian ears a charm which few Europeans can comprehend. Mudahil signifies all that one can acquire by receiving bribes, by swindling and extortion, and by all other irregular means. It is mudahil and not salary which every Persian official is anxious to secure. A salary regularly paid affords no scope for the display of the talents in which Persians most excel—for dissimulating and over-reaching, oppressing and cringing—and therefore a post which has only a good salary attached to it, and which affords no good opportunities of making mudahil, is looked upon by Persians as being but a poor possession.'—History of Persia, p. 372.

[397] Report on the Tribes around the Shores of the Persian Gulf. 1874.

[398] Hommes et Choses en Perse, p. 240.

[399] Thus the function of transmitting the khelat is intrusted to some minister or member of the household whom it is intended to favour, and who not uncommonly himself sells the honour to another party. The khelat-beha of Khorasan is not less than 1,000 tomans, in addition to other perquisites.

[400] Petermann's Mittheilungen (Andreas and Stolze), 1885.

[401] M. Orsolle (Le Caucase et la Perse, p. 314) says he was dismissed because he refused to pay to the Naib-es-Sultaneh a pishkesh of 4,000l. as sadir, or extra revenue, in addition to the greatly increased maliat, or ordinary revenue, which he had already paid in. But this does not appear to be true.

[402] In Malcolm's time there were only five mujtaheds in all Persia; but the number is now much less restricted. A mujtahed, must be the possessor of an ijazeh or diploma from another mujtahed, who enumerates therein his own credentials, and states that the recipient is learned in the laws of Islám, and competent to expound and practise the same. Most of the mujtaheds of Persia have received their diplomas from the most eminent jurists of Kerbela and Nejef.

[403] Persia as it is, caps. v. vi.

[404] This is a very ancient mode of execution; for it was the punishment inflicted by Alexander on Bessus, the murderer of Darius.

[405] In 1841 the Motemed-ed-Dowleh, Manucheher Khan, regarded as one of the severest of Persian governors, built a tower of 300 living men packed in layers of mortar, near Shiraz.—Layard's Early Adventures, vol. 1. p. 312.

[406] Glimpses of Life and Manners in Persia, p. 169.

[407] For information upon this subject, vide articles by J. E. Polak in Oesterreichische Monatsschrift für den Orient, 1876, pp. 186-8; by G. Riederer in ibid. 1878, pp. 17-22; by Herr von Gödel Lannoy in ibid. 1881, pp. 176-9; and by Andreas and Stolze in Petermann's Mittheilungen, 1885, pp. 30-2.

[408] Vide R. B. Binning, Two Years' Travel, vol. ii. p. 162.

[409] This entire article is reproduced by M. Orsolle, Le Caucase et la Perse, p. 256.

[410] The old krans remain the basis of the coinage in Persia; and the Imperial Bank has been compelled to make its notes payable in the old currency, since the new krans have been at a constant premium.

[411] In December 1889, however, he procured a renewal of the right to coin copper money for an experimental period of six months, and the farm price was increased to the rate of 25,000 tomans per annum.

[412] Vide a most valuable paper on 'Banking in Persia,' by J. Rabino, with notes by A. H. Schindler, read before the Institute of Bankers in December 1891. An extract from it is quoted at the end of this chapter.

[413] By far the best account of the Reuter Concession is to be found in his England and Russia in the East, pp. 122-8.

[414] For an abstract of the Reuter Concession, vide Appendix to Rawlinson's work.

[415] This article said, 'Should the works not be begun within fifteen months of the date of the Concession, the caution money will be forfeited to the Persian Government.' Baron de Reuter contended that he had fulfilled these conditions by commencing the earthwork for the railway from Resht, the permanent way of which was completed for a short distance. The Persian Government, on their side, contended that the terms were broken because no rails had been laid and no mines opened.

[416] Later on, the capital having been raised, business commenced, but was greatly impeded by native hostility, directed and aggravated by the mullahs, who even placed an interdict on the use of the pipe. The agitation at length became so serious that the Shah was forced to give way, and in January 1892, cancelled the entire concession, promising pecuniary compensation for the rupture of contract.

[417] Sketches of Persia, vol. ii. p. 231.

[418] The caravanserais, five upon the road and one at Kum, are rented by the Amin-es-Sultan for the sum of 600 tomans or 170l. a year.

[419] Hence, in the dry season, it is possible for wheeled vehicles to travel upon them in many parts, though, as soon as a mountain pass is reached, the situation becomes critical. The Shah journeyed almost all the way to Baghdad, on his way to Kerbela in 1870, in a carriage; but the road was in the hands of workmen for months beforehand. In the whole of my chapar rides I did not encounter half a dozen vehicles.

[420] For a more elaborate discussion of the advantages claimed by the new road, I may be permitted to refer my readers to Colonel Bell's article in Blackwood's Magazine, April 1889, and to a paper by myself on 'The Karun River and Commercial Geography of South-West Persia,' in the Proceedings of the R.G.S., Sept. 1890.

[421] Petermann's Mittheihlungen, 1885, pp. 54-6.

[422] One of the teachers informed me, with a sigh, that the salaries frequently remained for a long time unpaid.

[423] I have compiled the following bibliography of Babism. Lady Sheil, Glimpses of Life &c., caps. xi., xviii.; Comte de Gobineau, Religions et Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale; R. G. Watson, History of Persia, caps. xi., xiii.; Mme. C. Serena, Hommes et Choses en Perse, caps. iv., v., vi., vii.; Mirza Kazim Beg, Journal Asiatique, 1866; C. Huart, ibid. 1887; Dorn, Bull. de l'Acad. Imp. de St.-Pét., 1864-5; F. Pillon, L'Année Philosophique, 1869; Ethé, Essays und Studien, 1872; Baron V. Rosen, Coll. de l'Inst. Or. de St.-Pét. (Les Manuscrits Arabes, 1877; Les Manuscrits Persans, 1886); A. von Kremer, Herrschenden Ideen des Islams; E. G. Browne, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, art. vi. and xii., 1889; and the works of Benjamin (cap. xii.), Dieulafoy (pp. 77-84), and Binder.

[424] Mirza Ali Mahommed, the Bab, was the son of a grocer of Shiraz, and was born in the year 1819 or 1820. From early years he was addicted to metaphysics and theology, and, being sent by his father to manage his business at Bushire, soon started upon the pilgrimage to Mecca, on his return from which he became a pupil of Haji Seyid Kazim at Kerbela. Upon the death of the latter, he returned to Bushire, where he presently announced his pretensions to the leadership of the sect formed by his master, and was accepted as a prophet by Mullah Husein of Bushrawieh, who became one of his most zealous disciples. The date of his Zuhur or manifestation was May 23, 1844. At Bushire he continued to preach in the mosques and public places, attacking the mullahs, and, in defence of his claims to miraculous powers, exposing himself bareheaded to the rays of the noontide sun. He now assumed the title of the Bab, or gate, through whom knowledge of the Twelfth Imam Mahdi could alone be attained. His pretensions undoubtedly became more extravagant as time proceeded, and he successively announced himself as the Mahdi, as a re-incarnation of the Prophet, and as a Revelation or Incarnation of God himself. His disciples now carried his faith, with a missionary energy that scorned persecution, far and wide through Iran. They were imprisoned, proscribed, tortured, hunted, and slain. Foremost among their number were Mullah Husein, before mentioned, and Mullah Mohammed Ali of Barfurush, who, at the head of a band of devoted followers, sustained a protracted siege against the Shah's troops in Mazanderan, until they were at length exterminated in 1849. Beauty and the female sex also lent their consecration to the new creed, and the heroism of the lovely but ill-fated poetess of Kazvin, Zerin Taj (Crown of Gold), or Kurrat-el-Ain (Solace of the Eyes), who, throwing off the veil, carried the missionary torch far and wide, is one of the most affecting episodes in modern history. Meanwhile the Bab had himself been arrested, examined, and thrown into prison at Shiraz in 1845. He escaped to Isfahan, where he was at first well received by the Motemed-ed-Dowleh, Manucheher Khan, in 1846, but soon found himself again in prison, from which he never again emerged. Of the remaining three years of his life, the greater part was spent in confinement at Maku and Cherik in Azerbaijan; and on July 9, 1860, he was led out with a disciple, and shot in the citadel of Tabriz. How at the first volley he escaped unhurt, and disappeared, but, taking the wrong direction, was recaptured and killed, is well known. Had he evaded recapture on this occasion, there can be little doubt but that Nasr-ed-Din Shah would not now be upon the throne of Persia, and that Babism would be the religion of the land. While in prison, the Bab composed the voluminous works, the principal of which was the Beyan, that embody his doctrines and beliefs. In the same year occurred the terrific siege and slaughter of Babis at Zinjan, where women and children fought in the streets like fiends against the Royal troops, and the execution of seven leading sectaries, since known as the Seven Martyrs, at Teheran. Babi rebellions occurred at Yezd and elsewhere, and were put down with horrible cruelty, and an attempt was made upon the life of the Amir-i-Nizam. Finally, in August 1852, an attempt was made by four Babis to assassinate the Shah while out riding near Teheran. The inquisition and appalling tortures that succeeded have been alluded to elsewhere. Since that time there has been no formal outbreak of Babi hostility or revenge, and the persecution of the ruling powers has been only intermittently revived. But sanguis martyrum semen Ecclesiae, and the massacres of those five years have given Babism a vitality which no other impulse could have secured.

[425] The messenger, however, who bore a letter from Beha, to the Shah in 1869—one of a series addressed by the prophet to the crowned heads of Europe and Asia—received the penalty of his rash presumption by being branded to death with red-hot bricks.

[426] Vide E. Stack, Six Months in Persia, vol. ii. p. 29; and C. J. Wills, In the Land, etc. pp. 154-156.

[427] Vide his Early Sassanian Inscriptions, pp. 73-101, where he reads the name of Jesus in the epigraph. So great a scholar, however, as Dr. Martin Haug finds no such reference at all, and interprets the inscription as referring to an unsuccessful bowshot on the part of the King (Essays on the Sacred Language etc. of the Parsees)

[428] This was first printed in the London Polyglot by Bishop Walton.

[429] Vide Journals and Letters of the Rev. Henry Martyn, edited by Rev. S. Wilberforce (London, 1821, 1839); and a Memoir of the same, by Rev. J. Sargent (1828, 1837).

[430] In May of last year, another of these firebrands, Haji Seyid Ali Akbar, raised a disturbance by preaching against the Christians in Shiraz, and was forcibly expelled from that city, several lives being lost in the riot that ensued, but the Government behaving with commendable firmness.

[431] Canon Isaac Taylor, in his well-known article, entitled 'The Great Missionary Failure,' in the Fortnightly Review of 1888, said of Persia: 'In Persia, we are told that "a great and wondrous door has been opened for the Gospel"; but no converts are mentioned, and the door seems to consist of a Persian who reads the Bible, which is one of his own sacred books. I have several correspondents among the Persian Moslems, and they continually quote the Bible, with which they seem to be almost as familiar as with the Koran.'

[432] For information relating specially to Azerbaijan, vide John Bell (1716), Travels from St. Petersburg, vol. i.; P. Tancoigne (1807-1808), Lettres sur la Perse, vol. i.; A. Dupré (1807-1809), Voyage en Perse, vol. i.; Sir J. M. Kinneir (circ. 1810), Geographical Memoir; J. P. Morier (1809), First Journey, caps. xiv., xv.; J. P. Morier (1812), Second Journey, caps. xv., xvi., xviii., xix., xx., xxii.; St. Martin (1818), Mémoires sur l'Arménie, 2 vols.; Colonel W. Monteith (1826), Journal of the R.G.S., vol. iii. p. 1; General F. R. Chesney (1835-1837), Expedition for the Survey of the Euphrates, vol. ii. cap. x.; Colonel W. K. Stuart (1835), Journal of a Residence in Northern Persia; Ch. Texier (1839), L'Arménie, la Perse, et la Mésopotamie; M. von Thielmann (1872), Journey in the Caucasus, vol. ii.; Dr. G. Radde (1879-80), Petermann's Mittheil. 1881, pp. 47-55, 169-176, 261-270; M. Orsolle (1882), Le Caucase et la Perse; Mme. Dieulafoy (1881); La Perse, caps. ii.-v.

[433] If this be correct, Azerbaijan must be by far the most thickly populated province of Persia.

[434] Diplomatic and Consular Reports, No. 789, 1890.

[435] In 1320 there is evidence of a Venetian settlement at Tabriz, and in 1341 the Genoese had a factory there, presided over by a Consul with a council of 24 merchants.

[436] Narrative of Embassy (Hakluyt Soc.), pp. 87-89.

[437] Travels into Tana and Persia (Hakluyt Soc.).

[438] Travels, book i. cap. iii

[439] Travels, pp. 352-370.

[440] It is scarcely credible that M. Binder, at other times an intelligent traveller, should have confused this monarch with the Mogul Emperor Shah Jehan. 'The Blue Mosque,' he says, 'was built by Shah Jehan in 1670, and it is to him that we owe the Mausoleum of Agra, of Secundra, and the palace of Delhi, which struck me so much on my voyage to India.' (Au Kurdistan, p. 63.) Here is quite a neat collection of errors, apart from the crowning mistake of identity and of two centuries. For Shah Jehan could hardly have built a mosque anywhere in 1670, having been deposed in 1658 and having died in 1665; nor did he build the Mausoleum of Secundra, which was raised by Jehangir in honour of his father Akbar. As regards the Blue Mosque, I have followed the account given by most historians. At Tabriz, however, local tradition ascribes the foundation to Ghazan Khan, the third Mongol sovereign.

[441] Ch. Texier, Description de l'Arménie, &c., vol. i. This work contains a series of superb plates, Nos. 42-52 of which are devoted to plans, designs, restorations, and coloured sections of the Blue Mosque.

[442] A Winter's Journey, p. 401.

[443] Note D to Lady Sheil's Glimpses of Life and Manners in Persia.

[444] The great fall in the exports for 1870 was due to the lamentable famine of that year. The growth and export of cotton all but collapsed.

[445] The figures here quoted of Russian imports and exports are taken from the British Consular Reports, and do not exactly tally with those given in the official Reports published at St. Petersburg, where the total of Russian imports is returned as 74,624l., and of Persian exports to Russia as 318,751l.

[446] This regiment costs the Government 4,000 tomans a year, but only consists of 100 men.

[447] The fort of Khoi, which was designed by European engineers, is reported on good authority to be the only fortress worth speaking of in Persia.

[448] Vide a description of them by T. Alcock (1828), Travels in Russia, Persia, &c. In his day also Maku was 'the residence of an independent chief, who is so jealous of Russia and all his neighbours, that no European, except Colonel Monteith, had ever been received by him.'

[449] In the early part of the century local tradition asserted that at the top of this mountain existed the miraculously preserved body of a great prophet (Morier's, Second Journey, p. 238). In 1825 Captain Shee climbed to the summit and found a tomb in which lay a skeleton, half exposed, and half buried in soil and ice (Journal of the R.G.S., vol. iii. p. 28).

[450] I am driven, therefore, to hope that when Thielmann (Journey, vol. ii. p. 29) somewhat vaguely describes him as 'a great saint who died in 1834,' he has been made the victim of a printer's error for 1384.

[451] For descriptions of Ardebil, vide Olearius (1637), Ambassador's Travels, p. 38, &c.; C. Le Brun (1703), Travels, p. 170; Morier's Second Journey (1812), p. 253; Sir J. Sheil (1834), Note C to Lady Sheil's Glimpses of Life, &c.; W. R. Holmes (1843), Sketches on the Caspian Shores, cap, iv. Popular legend derives the name from two Divs or Genii, named Ard and Bil, who are said to have assisted King Solomon in clearing a passage through the mountains here, in order to drain off the waters of Central Iran into the Caspian.

[452] Of the contrary opinion was Wagner, who said: 'I can affirm from personal experience that ten baths in the German Ocean do not create so much stimulus in the skin, or so much exhilaration in the nerves as the water of this lake. It is five times as salt as the sea at the Equator. You come out of its waters as red as a crab (lobster?) and, moreover, greatly invigorated and refreshed.'

[453] Russia in Central Asia, pp. 218-20.

[454] Since writing the above, I have come across the statement, as a matter of fact, that Timur took back with him to Samarkand a large supply of the marble of Azerbaijan.

[455] His so-called grave at Maragha is probably the tomb of one of his wives. His mother was also buried there.

[456] Vide a paper on the topography of the Urmi district by H. Kiepert, Zeit-schrift d. Gesellsch. f. Erdk. z. Berlin, 1878, pp. 166-70; and Mrs. Bishop's description of Urmi city and plain (Journeys in Persia, vol. ii. pp. 218-45).

[457] As a brief bibliography of the Nestorian Question, I have compiled the following: E. Smith and H. G. Dwight, Missionary Researches, including a Journey into Persia, 1834; Bishop H. Southgate, Tour through Armenia, Kurdistan, &c., 2 vols. 1840; Eug. Boré (1839-40), four reports in Correspondance et Mémoires, vol. ii.; Dr. A. Grant (1840), Account of the -Nestorian Christians settled in Ooroomia; W. F. Ainsworth (1840), Travels and Researches in Asia Minor, Mesopotamia, Chaldaea. and Armenia, 2 vols. 1842; Rev. J. Perkins, Eight Years' Residence in Persia among the Nestorians, 1843; Rev. G. P. Badger (1842), Nestorians and their Ritual, 2 vols. 1852; Sir J. Sheil (circ. 1850), Note E to Lady Sheil's Glimpse of Life, &c.; D. T. Stoddard, Mission to Nestorians, 1858; Rev. J. Bassett (1871-85), The Land of the Imams; Rev. E. L. Cutts (1876), Christians under the Crescent in Asia; W. G. Abbott (1880), Report on the Nestorian Christians of Urmia, No. 55 in Parliamentary Papers, Turkey, No. 5, 1881; Publications of the Archbishop of Canterbury's Assyrian Mission, particularly reports by A. Riley and Rev. Canon Maclean (1884-90); Mrs. Bishop (1890), Journeys in Persia, vol. ii. p. 221 et seq.

[458] The churches may also be mentioned, which are mostly very plain, unpretentious buildings, in order not to excite Mussulman hostility; and the entrances to which—it is said so as to inculcate reverence, but in reality to escape defilement by cattle—often consist only of small apertures in the wall not three feet high, reached by a ladder from the ground.

[459] At Dilman, in the Salmas district, to the north-east of Lake Urumiah, there is a colossal Sassanian bas-relief sculped on a rock, which has been conjectured to represent Ardeshir and Shapur I. receiving the submission of the Armenians. (Texier's L'Arménie, &c., vol. i. pl. 40, and Flandin and Coste, Perse Ancienne, vol. iv. p1s. 204-5.) Colonel Stewart also tells me of a rock-tomb 30 feet above the ground, at a distance of 1½ hour from Suj Bulak on the road to Miandoab, where a pillar carved in the cliff-face separates two doorways conducting into the sepulchral chamber.

[460] Travels and Researches in Asia Minor, &c., 2 vols. 1842.

[461] The Nestorians and their Ritual, 2 vols. 1852.

[462] Christians under the Crescent in Asia, S.P.C.K.

[463] The Archbishop's letter to the Patriarch of Antioch, announcing the Mission, contained these words: 'Our object in sending out these priests is not to bring over these Christians to the communion of the Church of England, nor to alter their ecclesiastical customs and traditions, nor to change any doctrines held by them which are not contrary to that faith which the Holy Spirit, speaking through the oecumenical Councils of the undivided Church of Christ, has taught as necessary to be believed by all Christians; but to encourage them in bettering their religious condition, and to strengthen an ancient Church, which, through ignorance from within and persecution from without, cannot any longer stand alone, but without some assistance must eventually succumb, though unwillingly, to the external organisations at work in its midst.'

[464] Mr. Riley in his first report says: 'To proceed on a begging tour to England or America is the highest ambition of an Assyrian; for many have returned to their native land to pass their days in comparative wealth owing to the misplaced zeal of honest and charitable people in England, who are no match for the subtle Oriental. The appeal is usually on behalf of a school; in rare cases there is some establishment of this kind in existence, and if the applicant be more than ordinarily honest he may spend a third or even half of the sum he has raised in England on his school when he returns. The mixture of honesty and dishonesty in the Chaldaean character—a combination entirely strange to the English mind—is calculated to deceive even the most astute, and I can only say that of all the Assyrians or Nestorians who have visited England during the last few years, I cannot call to mind one whose word I would believe when his interests were concerned, or to whom I would entrust with confidence the smallest sum of money.'

[465] Again let me quote Mr. Riley: 'Out of the whole nation there is not a single person of any kind whom we can absolutely and entirely trust. All, from the highest to the boys in the school, are only relatively trustworthy; the boys, indeed, are the best, but as they grow up it is no wonder if they develop this untrustworthy character, when they find their fathers and mothers, pastors, and all whom they are bound to revere, habitually and shamelessly departing from the truth whenever it is to their interest to do so. No amount of education will remove this terrible evil. There is no sign of improvement amongst that part of the nation which has been under the education of the American Presbyterian Mission for over half a century—this education is, in some respects, an advanced one, but it seems rather to sharpen the wits of the recipients and make them clever rogues than to improve their morality;—those of them that come under the ordinary education of the French Mission are the same, the only difference being that the Americans endeavour to trust their people, and get deceived, and the French are very chary of their confidence, and so escape.'

[466] In the recent summer (1891), the papers have been full of a case which I suspect of belonging to this category. A young girl named Greenfield, the daughter of an English subject and an Armenian mother, the former of whom had acquired property near Suj Bulak was forcibly abducted by a Kurd, whose fellow countrymen took up arms and declined to surrender her. Upon examination she declared her conversion to Islam.

[467] I have compiled the following list of authorities for Kurdistan, and more especially the Persian Kurds: Sir J. M. Kinneir (1813), Journey through Kurdistan; J. S. Buckingham (1816), Travels in Assyria, etc., caps. vi.-ix.; C. J. Rich (1820), Narrative of a Residence in Koordistan, vol. i. caps. ii.-xi.; Hon. G. Keppel (1824), Personal Narrative of a Journey, etc., caps. xii., xiv.; Sir H. Willock (1829), Assassination of Professor Shultz in Kurdistan, (Journal of the R. As. Soc., vol. i.); G. Fowler (1831, 1836), Three Years' Residence in Persia, vol. i. p. 134, vol. ii. cap. ii.; Capt. R. Mignan (1830), Winter Journey through Russia to Koordistaun, 2 vols.; (Sir) J. Sheil (1836), Journal of the R.G.S., vol. viii. p. 54; J. B. Fraser (1834), Travels in Koordistan, etc., vol. i. letters iii., iv., v.; vol. ii. letters viii., ix., x.; (Sir) H. Rawlinson (1838), Journal of the R.G.S., vol. x. p. 1; J. Brant (1838), Journal of the R.G.S., vol. x. p. 341; Com. J. F. Jones (1844), Narrative of a Journey through part of Kurdistan (No. 43 of Bombay Records, 1857); M. Wagner (1843), Travels in...Koordistan; Scheref Nameh, Prince de Bitlis, Histoire des Kourdes, 2 vols. 1860-1862; D. W. Marsh (1864), The Tennesseean in Persian Kurdistan; J. G. Taylor (1864), Journal of the R.G.S., vol. xxxv. p, 21; F. Millingen (1868), Wild Life among the Koords; J. C. McCoan (1879), Our New Protectorate, Turkey in Asia, 2 vols.; Colonel R. E. Carr (1879), 'The Kurdistan Mountain Ranges' (Journal of the R. U. S. I., vol. xxii. pp. 135-184); J. Creagh, Armenians, Koords, and Turks, 2 vols., 1880; Major H. Trotter (1881), 'Report on the Kurds' (No. 134 of Parliamentary Papers, Turkey, No. 6, 1881); H. Binder (1886), Au Kurdistan, cap. v.; Mrs. Bishop (1890), Journeys in Persia and Kurdistan, vol. ii.

[468] Sir H. Rawlinson wrote of the Ali Illahis in vol. ix. of the Journal of the R.G.S. (1839): 'They believe in a series of successive incarnations of the Godhead, amounting to 1001. Benjamin, Moses, Elias, David, Jesus Christ, Ali, and his tutor Salman, a joint development; the Imam Husein and the Haft Tun (Seven Bodies) are considered the chief of these incarnations. The Haft Tun were seven Pirs or spiritual guides, who lived in the early ages of Islam, and each, worshipped as the Deity, is an object of adoration in some particular part of Kurdistan. Baba Yadgar was one of these. The whole of the incarnations are thus regarded as one and the same person, the bodily form of the divine manifestation being alone changed; but the most perfect development is supposed to have taken place in the person of Benjamin, David, and Ali.' Ali is, indeed, frequently invoked by them under the name of Daud or David; and there are evident marks of Judaism in their creed. In the twelfth century Rabbi Benjamin of Tudela appears to have regarded them as Jews. Their sacred place is at Zardah on Mount Dalaku (near Zohab), and there their chief priest resides.' Vide also note by Sir H. R. to Rawlinson's Herodotus, vol. i. p. 258; W. F. Ainsworth, Personal Recollections, vol. i, p. 381; and J. T. Bent, Scotch Geogr. Mag. Feb. 1890.

[469] Their chief, Ali Khan, is in prison at Tabriz.

[470] Nomads, migrating in winter into Turkish territory.

[471] Nomads, migrating in winter into Turkish territory.

[472] Nomads, migrating in winter into Turkish territory

[473] Locally, Kermanshah is the name given to the province, Kermanshahan to its capital. By Europeans both are commonly called Kermanshah.

[474] Sir H. Rawlinson fancied from the marked Jewish cast of their countenances that they might be descendants of the Samaritan captives who were placed in the Assyrian city of Kalhur Halah (Sarpul-i-Zohab?). Their present chief is Reza Kuli Khan, of the Shahbazi clan, who is both civil governor of the Kalhur district and sertip, or colonel of the military contingent—one regiment of infantry and some cavalry—furnished by the tribe.

[475] I doubt if the Hululan ought to be included in this table, for they belong to the Lur tribes of Luristan, who disavow any blood-connection with the Kurds.

[476] For an account of the life of the Persian Kurds vide H. Binder, Au Kurdistan, pp. 350-353.

[477] Mounsey in 1867 (Journey, p. 297) said: 'Near lies a torso, so mutilated as hardly to be recognisable.' On the other hand, Kiach in 1878 (Ancient Persian Sculptures) gives an illustration of the statue, which he describes as that of 'a man wearing a turban and a rich garment, and grasping with both hands a long stick,' and which he says was dug up and placed in its present position.

[478] With the name of Shirin and the rock of Behistun the Persians have associated one of those poetic romances so dear to the national genius. Ferhad, the most famous sculptor of his time, who was very likely employed by Chosroes II. to execute these bas-reliefs, is said in the legend to have fallen madly in love with Shirin, and to have received a promise of her from the king, if he would cut through the rock of Behistun, and divert a stream to the Kermanshah plain. The lover set to work and had all but completed his gigantic enterprise (of which the remains, however interpreted, are still to be seen), when he was falsely informed by an emissary from the king of his lady's death. In despair he leaped from the rock and was dashed to pieces. The legend of the unhappy lover is familiar throughout the East, and is used to explain many traces of rock-cutting or excavation as far east as Beluchistan.

[479] Vide E. Thomas, Early Sassanian Inscriptions, p. 104. I had originally quoted the three last paragraphs in inverted commas from W. S. Vaux, Persia (Ancient History from the Monuments) 1884; but a closer examination revealed that he had incorrectly copied them from R. K. Porter, who had also himself made many mistakes; and accordingly I have been obliged to recast the whole description. For other accounts of Tak-i-Bostan vide Sir R. K. Porter (1818), Travels, vol. ii. pp. 147-163; Sir H. Rawlinson (1836), Journal of the R.G.S., vol. ix. p. 116; E, Flandin and P. Coste (1841), Perse Ancienne, vol. i. p1s. 1-14, and Voyage en Perse, vol. i. caps. xxvi.-vii.; Com. F. Jones (1844), Records of Bombay Government (1857); Silvestre de Sacy, Mém. sur div. Antiq. de la Perse, 1793, pp. 211-270; M. Dieulafoy, L'Art Antique de la Perse, 1890, Part V. pp. 95-108.

[480] I should prefer simply to translate Baghestan as the 'place of gardens,' and to regard Bisitun and Bostan as versions, or contractions, of the same name.

[481] Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, vols. x. xi. (1847), and xiv. (1853); vide also Journal of the R.G.S., vol. ix. pp. 112-116; Com. F. Jones, Records of the Bombay Government (1857); E. Flandin and P. Coste, Perse Ancienne, vol. i. p1s. 16, 18, 19, and Voyage en Perse, vol. i. cap. xxviii.; and for the inscriptions, C. Kossowicz, Inscriptiones Palaeo-Persicae Achaemenidarum; and F. Spiegel, Die altpersischen Keilinschriften; E. Ménant, Les Achéménides et les Inscriptions de la Perse; N. L. Westergaard, Die altpers. Keilinschr.; and Bézold, Achaemen-Keilinschr.

[482] Vide Texier, L'Arménie, &c., vol. i. pls. 60-1; and Flandin and Coste, vol. i. pls. 24, 26. All Pehlevi or cuneiform inscriptions are supposed by the peasants and nomads in Persia to signify the whereabouts of buried treasure. Hence the suspicion with which they regard the scientific visitor with his photographic camera or squeezes or spade.

[483] Vide an Account of Exped. to Karaghan and Elvend, by J. E. Polak (1882), in Mitth. d. Geogr. Gesellsch. in Wien, 1883.

[484] This is supposed to be the Achmetha where 'in the palace that is in the province of the Medes,' the decree of Cyrus was found, ordering the rebuilding of the Temple at Jerusalem, Ezra, vi. 2. According to Polybius, the columns and beams of the palace were of cedar and cypress, and were entirely covered with plates of silver and gold.

[485] Journal of the R.G.S., vol. x. p. 1.

[486] For accounts of Hamadan vide A, Dupré (1807), Voyage en Perse, vol. i. cap. xxiii; J. P. Morier (1812), Second Journey, pp. 264-270; Sir H. Layard (1840), Early Adventures, vol. i. pp. 252-254, 269-273; J. P. Ferrier (1845), Caravan Journeys, pp. 35-42; Mrs. Bishop (1890), Journeys in Persia, vol. ii, letter xxiii. The only Achaemenian remains found near Hamadan have been five or six bases of columns, one of which, presenting in inscription with the name of Artaxerxes II. or Mnemon, was on view in the Paris Exhibition in 1889 (vide Ker Porter, Travels, vol. ii. p. 115; and Perrot and Chipiez, Histoire de l'Art, vol. v. pp. 501, 755-6); and, on another spot, two other bases of columns (Flandin and Coste, vol. i. pl. 25).

[487] Major Millingen, author of Wild Life among the Koords, was in command of the Turkish garrison of Kotur in 1868, and describes the place in cap. xiii.

[488] In this table ibid. signifies the work by the same writer before mentioned.

[489] Herodotus, ix. 62.

[490] Cedrenus says of Chosroes I. (Nushirwan), that he invented an engine which 'guttas demitteret tanquam pluviam et tonitrus sonitus resonaret.' But what was the exact nature of this early anticipation of Greek fire we cannot determine.

[491] For the best accounts of the Persian Army at different epochs of the last two centuries, vide the following:—

J. Hanway (1744), Historical Account, &c., vol. i. pp. 251-4; Sir J. Malcolm (1800-10), History of Persia, vol. ii. cap. xxi.; A. Dupré (1808), Voyage en Perse, vol. ii. cap. liv.; J. P. Morier (1811), Second Journey, cap. xiv.; Col. G. Drouville (1813), Voyage en Perse, vol. ii. caps. xxxii.-xxxvi.; Sir R. K. Porter (1819), Travels, vol. ii. pp. 580-591; J. B. Fraser (1821), Journey into Khorasan, pp. 223-30; J. H. Stocqueler (1831), Fifteen Months' Pilgrimage, vol. i. pp. 164-75; Lt.-Col. W. K. Stuart (1835), Journal of a Residence, pp. 186-91; Sir J. Sheil (circ. 1850), Note C to Lady Sheil's Glimpses of Life, &c.; Sir H. Rawlinson (1858), Journal of the R. U. S. I., vol. i. pp. 23-7; A. H. Mounsey (1865), Journey in the Caucasus, &c., pp. 141-4; Cte. J. de Rochechouart (1865), Souvenirs, cap. v.; Sir F. Goldsmid (1879), Journal of the R. U. S. I., March 17, 1879; L. M. H. (1885), La Russie et l'Angleterre dans l'Asie Centrale; Capt. A. C. Yate (1886), National Review, January, 1886; C. J. Wills (1886), Persia as it is, cap. xx.

[492] Some Yeares' Travels, &c. (3rd. edit.), p. 298.

[493] Purchas' Pilgrims, vol. ii. p. 1806.

[494] Edward Monoxe, the agent of the East India Company at Ormuz, wrote as follows (Purchas' Pilgrims, vol. ii. lib. x. cap. 9): 'The Persians are ignorant of the art of warre, for they entred without feare or wit, and lost with shame what they might have maintayned with honour. Other defects I observed in the very sinewes of warre, such that I cannot but wonder that one of the Wonders of our Age, Sha Abas, should send over an Armie so weakly provided of money, armes, munition, ships, and all necessary furniture.'

[495] The character of Persian cavalry engagements in those days, and, indeed (where they occur) down to the present time, is well expressed by Sir J. Sheil, when he compares the fighting of Persian horsemen to that of Persian dogs, alternately advancing and retiring, snarling, growling and yelling, but rarely coming to close quarters. (Lady Sheil's Glimpses of Life, &c., p. 325.)

[496] He died on the same day in June, 1830, as the British Minister, Sir John Macdonald Kinneir. Having expired outside the city, and the Persians having a prejudice against the conveyance of corpses through city gates, his body was dressed in full uniform, and brought in, sitting upright, as if alive, in a takht-i-ravan, or litter, for interment in the Armenian Church.

[497] Sir J. Sheil spoke very favourably of the foundry and arsenal of Tabriz; but Fraser, in 1821, delivered the following uncomplimentary verdict: 'The arsenal of Abbas Mirza is on a scale more suited to the shooting closet of a private gentleman than the magazine of a state.'—Journey into Khorasan, pp. 223-30.

[498] History of Persia, vol. ii. cap. xxi. fin.

[499] England and Russia in the East, pp. 30-1.

[500] Vide his work, Voyage en Perse (1812-13), 2 vols., 1819.

[501] Stocqueler (Fifteen Months Pilgrimage, &c., vol. i., p. 170) says that in 1831 the only European commissioned officers still in the service of Abbas Mirza were Captains Shee, Burgess, Littlejohn, and Borowski (a Pole). Captain Mignan in 1830 (Winter's Journey) had mentioned Colonel Shee, Lieutenants Burgess and Christian, and eight sergeants.

[502] Journal of a Residence, &c., p. 187.

[503] He wrote an account of this march, and of the country traversed, entitled 'Notes on a March from Zohab to Khuzistan,' in the Journal of the R.G.S., vol. ix. (1839).

[504] Journal of a Residence, &c., pp. 186-94.

[505] Note C to Lady Sheil's Glimpses of Life, &c.

[506] Sir H. Rawlinson, in a lecture delivered before the Royal United Service Institution in 1858, mentioned as an illustration of the resourcefulness developed in the Persian artillery under Sir H. Bethune, the fact that, at the siege of Herat in 1837-8, when the Persian army was lacking in heavy guns, the artillerymen collected all the copper trays belonging to the chiefs in the camp, and the bells off the mules, improvised a foundry, made moulds, and cast three large 64-pounders on the spot. It was true that two of these guns burst immediately, and the third before long. But still it was a great achievement in a desert. It was, indeed, the Persian artillery who responded to European tuition more quickly than any other branch of the service, and who longest retained the efficiency thus acquired. Fraser, who saw them in 1834 in Khorasan, described them as 'light-hearted, willing, active men, who cheerfully put up with privations and hardships. In the performance of duty they were alert and ready; and no European troops could have handled their heavy field-pieces better in difficult ground. In fact, the passes over which they dragged them with little aid from pioneers or tools would have made a European artillery officer stare' (A Winter's Journey, vol. ii. p. 293). De Bode bore exactly analogous testimony to the artillery in the army of the Motemed-ed-Dowleh, when operating in the difficult Bakhtiari mountains in 1841 (Travels in Luristan, vol. ii. pp. 18, 19).

[507] Early Adventures, vol. i. pp. 255, 265

[508] Land March from England to Ceylon. vol. ii. p. 6.

[509] Journal of Two Years' Travel, vol. ii. p. 294.

[510] Even at this late period the names of one or two Englishmen still figured in the Persian Army List. About the year 1860, Colonel Dolmage, formerly a surgeon, was superintendent of the arsenal and powder-mill at Meshed, and a Major Young was also in the Persian service.

[511] 10 officers and 70 men.

[512] 540 officers and 3,460 men.

[513] With 164 guns.

[514] The information which I have since received renders a fifth column necessary, depicting the still smaller total under arms in the spring of 1891. This total relates, except where otherwise specified, to infantry. Teheran, six battalions, nominally of 800 men each; Khorasan, Meshed, one battalion; Kelat-i-Nadiri and Sarakhs, one battalion; Kerman and Persian Beluchistan, one battalion; Fars, one battalion; Luristan and Burujird, one battalion and four guns; Isfahan and Yezd, one battalion and 400 cavalry; Astrabad and Gurgan, one battalion; Kermanshah and Kurdistan, one battalion; Azerbaijan, Tabriz, 1½ battalion and 100 cavalry; Moghan (on Russian frontier), one battalion and two guns; Urumiah, half company and two guns; Suj Bulak half company. Total under arms: seventeen battalions, or, at the most, 13,000 men, and 1,800 artillery. Nevertheless the Official Army List for 1890-1 continues to report 44 regiments under arms, or 35,200 men (and 35 regiments, or 28,000, on leave), as well as artillery 2,900 under arms, and 2,990 on leave!

[515] Herod., lib. i. cap. 136.

[516] Persian barracks are built on the model of caravanserais, and consist of a number of empty rooms, without windows, but with an extra allowance of door, on the four sides of large open courtyards. The soldiers have no beds, but sleep on the floor or on carpets.

[517] The parti-coloured diversity of Persian uniforms is no new thing. Two and a half centuries ago the Factors of the East India Company at Isfahan wrote as follows to the Directors: 'The King (Shah Abbas) has determined to distribute 2,000 cloths (pieces) to his soldiers, who are to the number of 35,000, in yearly pay. The colour should be hare colour, deer colour, popinjay, peach, brimstone, red, green, and such-like light colours.'—Calendar of State Papers (East Indies), vol. iii. No. 577.

[518] The arsenal of Teheran was started by Haji Mirza Aghassi, the Dervish minister of Mohammed Shah, who had all the love of the ancient Athenians for something new.

[519] There is a picture of them in Lady Sheil's book, p. 185; and also as a frontispiece to M. von Kotzebue's Narrative of a Journey.

[520] I can see neither honesty nor wisdom in repaying the courtesy of the Naib-es-Sultaneh, which I have acknowledged, by a conversation such as the following, that took place between a French officer, the compagnon de voyage of M. Orsolle, and H.R.H. (Le Caucase et la Perse, p. 277):—

N.-e.-S. 'What do you think of the Persian army?

F. O. 'I have been astonished at the regularity and precision of the Infantry manoeuvres. Under your Highness' direction, the army has made surprising progress.'

N.-e.-S. 'What do you think of Teheran?

F. O. 'It is a magnificent city.'

[521] Early Adventures, pp. 218, 275.

[522] Historical Account, &c., vol. i. p. 236.

[523] But it is unfortunately not true. Sheil said of the Afshar regiments in Azerbaijan, that 'both officers and men were the most drunken set of fellows that I ever encountered. Drinking is not an uncommon vice in the Persian army; but at Urumiah, where wine is abundant, and tolerably good, it passed all bounds.' (Note C, p. 335.)

[524] Sir F. Roberts' famous march from Kabul to Kandahar, a distance of 314 miles, in August 1880, only averaged 15¾ miles on the marching days.

[525] Note C to Lady Sheil's book, p. 334. Compare also p. 382, where is an estimate of the Persian soldier almost identical with Rawlinson's.

[526] Journey through Khorasan, vol. i. pp. 287, 294-298; vol. ii. pp. 2, 3, 13-19.

[527] I must guard myself from being supposed to agree with this dictum.

[528] Sir H. Rawlinson said of the Falckenhagen Concession, which, however, he did not name, 'There can be no question that the interference of the Russian Government in this matter has far transcended the limits of advice or even solicitation tendered by a friendly power, and has given a rude shook to the Shah's independent authority.'—England and Russia in the East, p. 340.

[529] A concession for the extension to Kum was actually granted in 1888, but had no results.

[530] Vide an article on 'Roads and Railways in Persia,' in the Asiatic Quarterly Review for January 1891, the second of a series on the Regeneration of Persia. Their too sanguine author makes the mistake of habitually confusing the future with the present tense.

[531] Surveys for a line from Adji-Kabul to Astara are reported to have been ordered in December 1891.

[532] Vide a Lecture entitled On Communications with British India under Possible Contingencies, read before the R. U. S. I. on June 14, 1878; and a paper on A Railway through Southern Persia, read at the British Association in September 1890, and printed in the Scottish Geographical Magazine for December, 1890.

[533] Explored by Mr. J. R. Preece in 1885. Vide Supplementary Proceedings of the R.G.S., vol. i. 1886, Part III.

[534] A more material impulse may be communicated by the high price of grain in the big cities, and elsewhere by the waste of crops, both arising from the lamentable dearth of transport. At Damghan barley was recently selling at 8 krans per kharvar, while in Teheran the current price is 50 krans. Meanwhile at Kuin and Kazvin the price is 20 and 24 krans, but there are no means of transporting it. In 1890 it was actually found profitable to export corn from Sultanabad by camel to Baghdad, and thence to London.

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