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>>   Books Pilgrims' notes
Abstract:
Considered first travel book on Persia by a woman. Of particular interest to Baha'is are her accounts on Babism (Babeeism) and the Bab.
Notes:
For Bahá'i references, see pages 175-81, 272-82. Her views are colored by rumors and misunderstandings of the time, but she believes the Faith will grow.

Mirrored with permission from digital.library.upenn.edu/women/sheil/persia/persia.html, proofread and reformatted in 2010.


Glimpses of Life and Manners in Persia:
With Notes on Russia, Koords, Toorkomans, Nestorians, Khiva, and Persia

by Lady Mary (Leonora Woulfe) Sheil

London: John Murray, 1856
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Glimpses of Life and Manners in Persia. by Lady Mary Leonora Woulfe Sheil (fl. 1860). With Additional Notes by Sir Justin Sheil, Knight General and Diplomat (1803-1871). London: John Murray, Albemarle Street, 1856.

[Frontispiece]


Kurds charging, with Kettle-drummers leading.      FRONTISPIECE.


[see Title Page]

GLIMPSES OF LIFE AND MANNERS IN PERSIA

By LADY SHEIL.

WITH NOTES ON RUSSIA, KOORDS, TOORKOMANS, NESTORIANS, KHIVA, AND PERSIA.

With Illustrations.

LONDON: JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET, 1856.

LONDON: PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, STAMFORD STREET, AND CHARING CROSS.


PREFACE.

SIR JOHN MALCOLM, Sir John M'Donald, Sir Robert Porter, Mr. Morier, and Mr. Fraser, have nearly exhausted the subject of Persia. The histories, the travels, and the novels of these distinguished writers have made the world acquainted with the literature, the geography, the commerce, and the antiquities of that country. The present volume is simply an attempt to describe the manners and the tone of feeling and society at the present day. There seemed at one moment a prospect that Persia, would hold, as friend or foe, a prominent position before the English public. This anticipation led first to the production of these pages. Even now the altered aspect of political affairs may not perchance have deprived them of all interest.

The Notes attached to this volume are written by my husband. There are in Persia many subjects not accessible to female inquiry; yet the absence of all allusion to them, even in a trifling production like this, would render these pages more incomplete than, it may be feared, they actually are.


CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.
Motive for writing this book – Our party – Progress to Berlin – Encounter with the police – Russian railroads – Arrival in Warsaw – General Lamoricière – Death of the Grand Duke Michael – Etiquette in the Emperor's Park – Theatre at Warsaw – Masourka – Audience with the Emperor Nicholas – Jews in Warsaw Page 1
CHAPTER II.
Departure from Warsaw – Feldt Yäger – Russian post-houses – Gytomir – Kief – St. Sophia – Baptism in the Dnieper – Suspension-bridge over the Dnieper – Progress to Odessa – Appearance of the people – Jewish Synagogue – Odessa – Prince Woronzow Page 15
CHAPTER III.
Russian steamboat – Our fellow-passengers – Russian resources for passing the time – 'Mes Mémoires' – Sebastopol – Balaclava – Crimean scenery – Yalta – Aloupka – Wine-making in the Crimea – Russian ladies in distress – Tartar bandit – Jews in the Crimea – Simpheropol – Kaffa – Kertch – Museum – Passage to Taman Page 25
CHAPTER IV.
Passage to Taman – Russian hospitals – Line of the Kuban – Russian sentinels perched on platforms – Cossacks of the line – Ekaterinodar – Stavropol – Our Armenian hostess – Novel mode of ablution – Giorgesk – Caucasian watering-place – Vladikafkaz, the key of the Caucasus – Curious mode of conversion to Christianity among the Ossets – Shamil – Across the Caucasus to Tiflis Page 40
CHAPTER V.
Tiflis sacked by the Persians – Prince Woronzow's improvements – Georgian drinking parties – Armenian Patriarch – Gookcha Lake – Supper at Erivan – Etchmiatzin – Nakhshewan – Our host and hostess – Night at the Aras – Crossing the frontier – Farewell to Russia Page 61
CHAPTER VI.
Arrival in Persia – Aspect of the country – Want of population – Warlike costume – The unfortunate cow – Marand – The Azan – Our entrance to Tabreez – First impression of a Persian city – Frequent earthquakes – The Ark – Kajar's coffee – Climate of Tabreez – The angel Gabriel's address to Adam in Turkish – Languages in use in Persia Page 75
CHAPTER VII.
Mode of travelling – Village houses – Economical fires – Mephitic springs – Savalandagh – Shrine of a prophet – Toorkomanchaee – Snow drift – Journeys of the couriers – Struggles through the snow – the "Leopard's Pass" – Tribe of Shaheesevens migrating – Sagacious donkeys and hideous old women – Sultaneeya and its dome – Iljaëtoo Khan – Mode of irrigation in Persia – Kasveen – Our host – The Old Man of the Mountain – Alamoot – Hunting seat of Fetteh Ali Shah – Innumerable family of that monarch – Hall of Audience – Agha Mahommed Khan Kajjar – Plucking out of 70,000 pairs of eyes – Waiting for good luck – My entry into Tehran – Entry of Colonel Sheil Page 98
CHAPTER VIII.
Dulness of the life in Tehran – Gardening – The Persian language – The Moharrem – Dramatic representation – Fighting among the women – Extraordinary overflow of grief at the representation – Visit to the Shah's mother and wives – Interior of the haram – Thin costume Page 122
CHAPTER IX.
Gebr fire-worshippers – Curious mode of interment – Mission garden taken possession of by the Persian ladies – Persian music – Musical masons – The anniversary of Omar's assassination – How celebrated – Difference between Turks and Persians – Persian tolerance – Debts – Marriage – Condition of Persian women Page 135
CHAPTER X.
Approach of Nowrooz – Dunning derveeshes – Ceremonial of the Nowrooz – Her Majesty's birthday – Entertainment to Persians – Wines of Sheeraz and Ispahan – Dinner on a large scale – Migration to the hills – Value of water – Our encampment – The mission village – Sanctuary – Miraculous cow – Refugees in the missions – Civil and criminal law Page 151
CHAPTER XI.
Intense heat – Excursion up the mountains – Frightful torrent – Welcome new moon – Rigorous Mussulman fast – Rebellion – Bābeeism or socialism – Curious incident at the execution of Bāb – A socialist king – Bābee executions – Insurrection at Zenjan Page 171
CHAPTER XII.
Ruins of Rei – Massacre of Russian mission – The camel artillery – Excursion to Verameen – Extraordinary ruin – Rages – The Salt Desert – Wild asses – Tame asses Page 182
CHAPTER XIII.
New Year's Day – Wool! Wool! – Various kinds of derveeshes, and their ceremonies – Freedom of religious opinions – Custom of sending corpses to Kerbella – Disagreeable companions – Ali-Illāhism – Visit to the Shah's palace – Conjugal present – The Shah's sister – The deserted camel Page 192
CHAPTER XIV.
Toorkoman hostages – The banks of the Goorgan – Toorkoman horses – Easter – Chaldæan bishop – Mistaken ideas of seclusion among Persian women – Dosing of Persian doctors – Ashoorada – Successful foray of Toorkomans against the Russians – Journey to Ispahan – Dreadful heat – Kouderood – Persian beggar – The unlawful lamb – Persian pigs Page 207
CHAPTER XV.
Plain of Gilpaëgan – Melon-fields – Various travellers in Looristan – The manners of the Loors – Derveesh Ali – Khousar – Ispahan – Former splendour and general decay – Shah Abbas's Hall of Audience – Persian frescoes – Felicity of the pigeons – The Armenians of Julfa Page 222
CHAPTER XVI.
Mussulman nurses – Three various modes of counting time in Persia – Retribution for the Russian festivities on Easter Sunday at Ashoorada – Partial abolition of the importation of slaves – Negroes in Persia – Condition of slaves in Persia – Return to Tehran – Bastinado – Punishment of a general for being defeated Page 238
CHAPTER XVII.
A night alarm – The new Vezeer – The old Vezeer – His wife – Manner of his execution – Return and marriage of his widow – Armenian wedding – The Elchees from Arabia, Khiva, and Afghanistan – Refugee Afghan Khans – Excursion to Demawend – The "Sublime Well" – Defile and Eelyats – Town of Ask – Hot springs – Mountain chiefs – Ill-advised change of residence – Lareejanee women – Lareejanee lady governor – Persian breakfast – Jonas Hanway's account of Mazenderan – Return to the "Sublime Well " Page 248
CHAPTER XVIII.
Return to Goolahek – Attempt to murder the Shah – General flight into town – Fate of the conspirators – Strange punishments – Arrival of the Turkish ambassador – Farewell breakfast with the Grand Vezeer's wife Page 273
CHAPTER XIX.
Quit Tehran – Journey to Tabreez – Lake of Ooroomeeya – Farewell to Persia – Oppression of the Armenians by the Koords – Our lodgings in Turkish Armenia – Erzeroom – Road and journey from Erzeroom to Trebizond – Pass of Kara Kappan – Jevezlik – Trebizond – Quarantine – Lazes – Constantinople Page 286
ADDITIONAL NOTES.
Note (A). Page 39. RUSSIAN MILITARY INFLUENCE IN THE EAST.
General Macintosh's plan for conducting the siege of Sebastopol – Our share in its fall – Suggestion for making military service compulsory – Our next battle-field against Russia: prospects if in Georgia – Inactivity of Shamil and the mountain tribes during the late war – The Russian army in Georgia, its pay and mortality – Caucasian tribes – Power of Russia south of the Caucasus Page 301
Note (B). Page 67. THE RUINED CITY OF ANI.
Ancient history of Armenia – Excursion to, and description of, Ani – Account of the fortress of Gumri – Advantage of the war to the Turks – Oppression of Armenians by Mahommedans Page 307
Note (C). Page 101. THE KOORDS AND KOORDISTAN.
"Eels" – Sheghaghee battalion – Estimation of English officers – Inhospitality – Misconduct and punishment of native officers – Faction fights – Niametees and Hyderees – Mode of fighting – An odd petition – Ardebil: the governor's son – Drunkenness – Shrine of Shah Ismaël – Marble-pits – Maragha – A Persian gentleman – Quail-hawking – The Koords – Koordistan mountains – The Afshars – March in pursuit of plunderers – Koordish cavalry – Death of a colonel – Character of Persians – Drinking-bouts – Anecdotes illustrative of Persian character and manners Page 317
Note (D). Page 103. TOORKOMANS.
Treaty of Toorkoman Chaee – Encroachments of Russia – Russian "protection" – Occupation of Ashoorada – Repression of Toorkoman incursions – Russian naval strength in the Caspian Page 344
Note (E). Page 212. THE NESTORIANS.
Nestorian khaleefa, or bishop – Church service – Religious opinions – Preparation of a khaleefa – Their sufferings from the Afshars – American mission – French Lazarists – Sectarian disputes – Interference of Russia – Question of descent Page 348
Note (F). Page 256. KHIVA.
Journey to Khiva – Moozderan – Serrekhs – Toorkoman horses – Merve – The desert – Services of crows – The oasis – Uzbek customs – Mode of extorting confession – Night visit to the Khan of Khiva – Statistics – Designs of Russia Page 358
Note (G). Page 258. AFGHANISTAN.
Our conquest and defeat – Practicability of invasion of India – Necessary precautions – Importance of Candahar as a military position – Russian preparations for another war Page 370
Note (H). Page 270. SILK MANUFACTURE OF PERSIA.
Importance to Persia of her silk manufacture – Silk-trade of Geelan – Importations from England – Province of Geelan – Gipsies Page 375
NOTE ON THE PERSIAN ARMY.
Origin of the Persian regular army – English influence – Attempted reform – Character of the soldier – The officers – The artillery – The infantry – The cavalry Page 380
NOTE ON THE PERSIAN REVENUE.
Low state of the revenue of Persia – System of the late Shah – Taxes – Expenditure – Revenue from the principal provinces – Cultivation of land – Causes of the decline of Persia Page 386
NOTE ON TRIBES.
Tribes and races – Leks and Koords – Arabs – Decline of the tribe system – Enumeration of tribes Page 393

ILLUSTRATIONS.

GLIMPSES OF LIFE AND MANNERS IN PERSIA Title page.
KURDS CHARGING, WITH KETTLE DRUMMERS LEADING Frontispiece.
PERSIAN LADY RECEIVING A EUROPEAN LADY. to face page 131
PERSIAN LADY IN WALKING COSTUME to face page 145
CAMEL ARTILLERY to face page 185
CARAVAN OF PILGRIMS, WITH CORPSES, GOING TO KERBELLA to face page 197
NASR OOD-DEEN, THE SHAH OF PERSIA to face page 203
PERSIAN WOMEN SEATED ON A CARPET GOSSIPING OUTSIDE THE DOCTOR'S DOOR to face page 213
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