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TRAVELS

IN

GEORGIA, PERSIA, ARMENIA, ANCIENT BABYLONIA,

&c. &c.

DURING THE YEARS 1817, 1818, 1819, AND 1820.

By Sir ROBERT KER PORTER.

WITH NUMEROUS ENGRAVINGS OF PORTRAITS, COSTUMES, ANTIQUITIES, ^c.

IN TWO VOLUMES.

VOL. 11.

LONDON: PRINTED FOR LONGMAN, HURST, REES, ORME, AND BROWN,

PA TERNOSTER-RO W.

^ 1822.

^ V

v>-

,:.":"ii

TO THE READER.

The persons to whose care the publication of this work was committed when business called its author abroad again, con- ceive that they cannot more aptly introduce the second volume to the public, than by referring the reader to the author's Preface in his first volume.

Having from childhood been an ardent lover and sedulous practiser of the arts, the study of antiquity, being connected with such pursuits, could not but share his attention ; and the plains of Babylon, described in this volume, afforded him even ampler scope than those of Persepolis, depicted in the preceding. His second object was Courdistan, a picturesque country and people, hardly explored, and which he has now travelled over with much careful geographical observation, rendered particularly interesting by tracing the march of Xenophon. In several passages of both volumes, the author disclaims pretension to three branches of natural philosophy ; namely, chemistry, botany, and geology ; though he frankly brings forward his observations on some of their subjects, relying on the principle, that " one who is ig- norant of physical science may yet be serviceable to science, in relating facts for the consideration of those who are able to reason on them."

VOL. II. * A 3 a 1

vi X TO THE READER.

The precise words of this old and necessary admission for the advancement of knowledge are borrowed from some re- marks in the Quarterly Review for March, 1822, on Dobriz- hofFer's Account of the Abipones. The same Number of the Review gives a few pages to the first volume of this work also, certain animadversions on which Sir Robert Porter's Editors would have thought it proper to notice here, were it not suf- ficiently apparent to all who have read the volume, and the Review, that the Critick (who in such a work cannot be other- wise than an honourable man,) must have too lightly passed over his subject to have been aware of the mis-quotations and inter- polations presented to him by the amanuensis he had employed to select the passages from which he meant to form his opinion of the volume. To make another remark on the Review in question is unnecessary.

The author, in his Preface, intimates a plan of progressive recital, giving accounts of men and things according to successive opportunities of observation ; and the reader will find it accord- ingly executed ; subjects being elucidated in this volume, which were only glanced at in the preceding ; and military and com- mercial statements respecting Persia and its frontiers particularly brought forward. It closes with details concerning the Turkish provinces of Valachia and Moldavia ; and a route of posts from Constantinople to the Austrian lines.

May, 1822.

CONTENTS

OF

THE SECOND VOLUME.

PACK

Departure from Shiraz 1

Summer Route 3

A Sacred Village 5

Tribes of the Bactiari Mountains 9

Valeof Oujon 12

Government of Shirle}' 16

Game on the Plain of Oujon 19

Vale of Heroes 20

The Eunuch of Abyssinia 22

Pass of Koutel Nakshi Khanah 24

City of Yezdikast 25

A Miraculous Preservation 27

Attack of Banditti 33

Return to Ispahan 37

Society of Ispahan ,38

Loss of Persia to the Caliphs 44

Guebres , 46

Early Faiths in the East 50

Sooffees 54

Leaves Ispahan 59

Pilgrims 60

Wild Tribes 61

A Second Rencontre with Robbers 64

Caravansary at Dour 65

Town of Gilpaigon 67

Aspect of the Country 68

Khonsar 70

Insults at Rhabad 72

Laws of Murder 75

Beautiful Village of Amerat 77

FACE

March in a River 81

Wild Beasts 82

District of Malyar in Louristan S3

District of Chumeen 85

View of Mount Elwund, or Orontes ... 87

Approach to the Vale of Hamadan 88

Hamadan, or Ecbatana 91

Ancient People of Media, &c 94

Ecbatana 97

Alexander at Ecbatana 99

Ecbatana 102

Local traditions 105

Tomb of Esther and Mordecai 106

Architecture of Ecbatana 115

Stone Platform on Mount Orontes 116

View from the Peak of the Mount 118

Gunj Namhal, or the Enchanted Trea- sure 120

Ancient Coins 124

Sassanian Coins 125

Languages of Persia 132

Arsacidean Coins 133

Second View from Mount Orontes 138

Plain of Sahadabad 139

Kandavar 1*0

Temple of Diana 1*1

Be-Sitoon Mountain 1*6

Encampment of Pilgrims 1*7

Platform of Be-Sitoon 150

Assyrian Sculptures .•• 153

a 2

Xll

CONTENTS.

l'l\GE

Sculpture ascribed to Semiraniis 153

Sculptured Train of Captives 156

Attributed to Salnianeser 159

Approach to Kermanshah 163

Mountain of Tackt-i-Bostan 165

Khosroo and the Fair Shirene 167

Arches of Tackt-i-Bostan 169

Statue near the River 170

The Great Arch 171

Bas-relief of three crowned figures 173

Equestrian figure 174'

Bas-relief of the Boar Hunt 175

Bas-relief of the Deer Hunt 176

Visitor from Kermanshah 178

Repast under the Shade 182

Conjectures on the Great Arch 183

Ferhaud and the Fair Shirene 185

Inauguration of the King 186

The Lesser Arc?i 187

Bas-relief of Two Kings 188

Four Calendars 192

Valley of Kermanshah IQ't

Courds of Kermanshah 196

City of Kermanshah 199

Mahmoud Ali Mirza, Prince of Ker- manshah 202

Vale of Mahadesht 204

Vale of Haroun-abad 205

Ancient Nissiean pastures 206

Pass from Persia into Ancient Assyria 207

Change of Climate 211

Ruins of Kesra-Shirene 213

Ancient Dustajerd 215

March with Pilgrims 219

Attack on the Pilgrims 221

Enters Irak Arabi 225

Sooneh or Sunni Sect 226

Banks of the Diala 227

Detention at Kizzil llobat 228

Pestilential winds 229

Generous Khaun-keeper 231

Turkish Physician 232

Wild Animals of the Desert 235

Hamreen Hills 236

PAGE

Palms and Water Springs 238

Optical illusion in the Desert 24'1

Bagdad 243

Mr. Rich, the British Resident 245

Pashalick of Bagdad 247

The Pasha of Bagdad 248

Revolt of the Arabs 252

Old Bagdad 255

Tomb of Zobiede 256

The Tigris 258

The Euphrates 259

Climate of Bagdad 261

Bagdad on the East of the Tigris 263

Situation of Bagdad for Commerce 265

Customs in the City 267

Ladies of Bagdad 268

Asiatic Dancers , 273

Ruin of Akarkouff" in the Chaldasan

Plain 275

Kerbelite Pilgrims 281

Sets forth to View the Ruins of Babylon 283

Babylon and Babylonia 284

Alexander's March to Babylon 286

Nahar Malcha, or Ancient Royal Canal 289

Entrance on the Ruins of Babylon 294

View of the Euphrates 297

Turkish Camp 298

Courdish Camp 301

Arab Camp 302

West Bank of the Euphrates 305

Plain of Shinar 306

Birs Nimrood, the Tower of Babel 308

Tower of Babel, the Temple of Belus... 317

Ruins in its Neighbourhood 327

Composition of the Bricks 329

Hillah on the Euphrates 332

Ruins of Babylon on the East Bank 337

The Mujelibe 340

Great Embankment, or Rampart 349

Embankment of the River 353

Kasr, or Palace 355

Tree on the Kasr 369

Amram Hill 371

Urns in the Einhanknient 373

CONTENTS.

XUl

PAGE

Old and New Palace , 375

Turkish Treachery 377

Explores the Western Bank of the

Euphrates 379

Lions on tlie Tower of Babel 387

Distant View from the Tower 389

Alarmed by the Arabs 390

Al Hymer, on the Eastern Shore 391

Babylon dilapidated for other Cities 401

Climate of Babylon 403

The Euphrates 404

Mesched AH 406

Returns to Bagdad 407

Three Cities on the Tigris 408

Tackt-i-Kesra, &c 409

Susa, or Shushan 411

Tomb of Daniel 413

Relics at Susa 415

Cuneiform Characters 418

Quits Bagdad 426

Route to Courdistan 427

Plain North-East of the Tigris 428

Re-crosses the Hamreen Hills 430

Kangavar 432

Hill of the Twelve Imauns 433

Ruins of the Golden City 435

The Sulphur Desert 436

Kirkook 438

Naphtha Springs 440

Burning Hill 441

Route of the Red Hills 443

Pass, or Gate of Courdistan 445

Mountainous Ti'acts of Courdistan 446

Sulimania, or Suliemania 448

Gourds 450

Kunamassi 454

Courdistan, ancient Carduchia 456

Tahite and Daroo Mountains 462

Xenophon's Retreat 466

Courdish Manners 467

Courdish Tribes 469

Peak of Daroo 4,73

Execution of a Freebooter 476

Waterfalls 477

PAGE

A Winter March 4,79

The Chief of Soak Bonlak 487

A petrified City 4S9

Frontiers of Azerbijan 492

Vale of Maraga 493

Caves of Maraga 495

Lake of Ouroomia 498

Hill of the Transparent Marble 499

Earthquakes at Tabreez 501

Public Revenue 504

Plans of NationalLnprovement 506

Subjects of Commerce 510

Russian Territory on the Caspian, &c... 512

Eastern Commerce 518

Alexander Prince of Georgia 520

I-esghees .' 521

Death of Mirza ShefFy 524

Journey to Eastern Courdistan 527

Second Visit to the Transparent Marble 528

Kara Shee, or Gipseys 529

Agricultural Machines 533

Pass into Eastern Courdistan 535

Courdish Stud 536

Mountain of Kerefto 540

Caves of Kerefto 641

Courdish Villages 555

Fathomless Gulf 557

Ruins of Tackt-i-Solomon 559

Petrifying Lake 560

Dr. Cormick's Journal 563

Route to Senna 564

The Wally or Governor 567

Circuit of Lake Ouroomia 571

Artillery Barracks 572

Ouroomia or Shahy 574

Its Borders 576

Persian Camp 581

Persian Army 582

Leaves the Persian Camp 591

Goorchin Kala 594

Plain of Sahnos 597

Zingir Kala 600

North border of the Lake 603

Gaur Teppa 6O7

XIV

CONTENTS.

PAGE

Return to Tabreez 608

Quits it finally 610

Ruins of Eski-Julfa 611

Araratina Storm 616

Asdashir, or Artaxata 619

Basaltic Valley 624-

Castle of Tiridates 625

Ruins of Gurney 629

The Seven Churches 631

Caves of St. Gregory 633

Revisits Eitch-mai-adzen 634

Ararat and the Ark 636

Ruins of Arniavra 640

Passes the Persian Frontier 642

Chappows 644

Kars , 647

The Arpatchia 649

Pass of Saganloo 652

Fortress of Mazengutt 655

Hill of Blood ^. 660

Xenophon in Armenia 663

Arzeroom 667

Source of the Euphrates 673

Passes from Armenia 675

Kara-Koulak 678

Continuation of the Passes 681

Ancient Cappadocia 686

Kara Hissar 688

Ancient Thermodon 690

Ancient Mines 697

Ancient Nea-CsEsaria 700

Tokat 702

Ancient Iris 704

Two Derbends or Gates 705

A massia 707

The Natives 712

Ancient Halys 717

Angora Goats 720

Ancient Parthenius 722

Forests on Fire 725

Boli Forests 727

Ancient Nicomedia 732

Scutari 736

Constantinople 738

PAGE

The Bosphorus 744

The Sultan 747

The Sublime Porte 750

Hippodrome 752

Obelisks and Inscription 753

Ancient Pillars 754.

Turkish Chimneys 755

Dresses in Constantinople 757

Dancing and Bawling Dervises 758

Vale of Cydaris , 751

Aqueducts and Reservoirs 762

Bendt of White Marble 765

Belgrade 766

Ravages of the Plague 767

Pera 768

Chorion Turkish Executions 770

Mr. Wood 771

lloumili 772

Balcan Mountains 773

Bulgaria 774

Murder of Sultan Selim , 776

Valachia 777

Boucharest 779

Situation of the Hospodars 784

Valachian Ball 737

Valachians, their Habits 788

Galatz 792

Moldavia Yassy 795

Prince Sutzo, the Hospodar 798

Russia and these Principalities 800

Yassy SOI

Route from Constantinople to Yassi 802

Austrian Frontier ,.... 804

Galicia 806

Lemberg 807

Return to Russia 808

James Claudius Rich, Esq 809

Mr. Beliiio 811

APPENDIX.

Route from Busliire, &c 815

List of Antiquities 818

Medical Memoianda 820

LIST OF PLATES.

PLATE PAGE

Abbas Mirza, (Frontispiece)

LIX, The Mountain Be-Sitoon ISO

LX. At Be-Sitoon, Sculptured Captives IS*

LXI. Rock of Tackt-i-Bostan 169

LXII. At Tackt-i-Bostan, the Great Arch 171

LXIII. At Tackt-i-Bostan, the Boar Hunt.. 175

LXIV. At Tackt-i-Bostan, the Deer Hunt 177

LXV. At Tackt-i-Bostan, two Bas-relief figures 188

LXVI. At Tackt-i-Bostan, four Bas-relief figures 191

LXVIL Tomb of Zobiede at Bagdad 2S6

LXVIII. Views of AkarkoufF. 277

LXIX. West and South View of Birs Nimrood, the Tower of Babel 310

LXX. East and North Views of ditto 313

LXXI. Plan of Birs of Nimrood 323

LXXII. View of Hillah on the Euphrates 334

LXXIII. Plan ofthe Ruins of Babylon, including the Kasr, &c 349

LXXIV. General Plan ofthe Ruins of Babylon, including Birs Nimrood, &c.... 379 LXXV. View of Babylon, from one of the Mounds, and looking towards the

Mujelibe 407

LXXVI. Views of the Mujelibe 340

LXXVII. Inscriptions found at Babylon on Bricks and Marbles 394

LXXVIII. Inscription found at Babylon on a Clay Cylinder 395

LXXIX. Found at Babylon, Coins, &c 424

LXXX. Found at Babylon, Cylinders, &c 424

LXXXI. A Soldier in the Service of Abbas Mirza 581

LXXXII. Bas-relief at Salmos 597

LXXXIII. The Map, Borders of the Black Sea, &c.

LXXXIV. View ofthe Fortress of Erivan and Ararat 623

LXXXV. View of a Basaltic Valley, and Tackt-i-Tiridates 624

LXXXVI. View of Tokat 702

LXXXVII. Viewof Aroassia 713

Plans and Costumes in Wood-cuts throughout the Work.

ERRATA.

VOL. I.

Preface, page i. last line, for Olinen read D'Olenine. Page 26. line \5.for police-oflficer read police-master. 151. ... 16. /or Badku read Bakou. 304. ... 5. from bottom, for brother read nephew. 395. ... 7. for Pehliva read Pehlivan. 486. ... 10. after some read might.

611. ... 2, &c. instead of " The succeeding four figures carry articles of horse-furniture, one holding a sort of saddle-cloth and stirrup attached to it," read " The succeeding four figures carr) articles of apparel, some probably with parts of horse-furniture or housings." 622. ... 9. (and wherever it occurs) for Sir William Malcolm read Sir John Malcolm. 712. ... 7. from bottom, /or Russian read other European. 7 16. ... 14. for the king read the prince.

1 6. /or the son read the brother.

719. ... 19. for gurmseer read garmseer.

VOL. IL

Page 46, line 2. from bottom, for naptha-pits of Badku read naphtha-pits of Bakou.

51. ... 7. from bottom, /or Chorasan reod Khorasan.

95. ... 2. /or Ashur read Ninus.

3. /»• them read the latter.

4. defethat of.

142. ... 2. from bottom, o/ler back, a comma for the senoicolon.

143. ... 18. ie/bre When read But. 226. ... 9. for Omar or read Omar and.

10. for successor read successors.

253. ... 10. (and wherever it occurs) /or Kerkook rend Kirkook.

259. ... 14. for 14,000, read 1400.

339. ... 6. from bottom (and wherever it occurs), for Maclouba read Mukallib^-

437. ... 21. for Kufri read Kifri.

596. ... 12. for intercharged read interchanged.

ERRATA OF THE PRINTS.

Page 334. /or Plate LXXXH. read Plate LXXII., A view of HUlah.

349. /or Plate LXXV. reod Plate LXXIII., A plan of Babylon, with the liasr. 350. for Plate LXXV. read Plate LXXIII. j and the same in pages 374. and 380.

I.-ii.l-ii , hit'li^'-l '■! /rtnv"""'. B-irtt.Hiij. I'niif t- ttn-iri. t.iun<.-jlrr K,

TRAVELS

IK

PERSIA, BABYLONIA,

My retrograde movement from Shiraz to Ispahan, which I undertook so unwillingly, was not without the interest of passing over some new ground. I had travelled from the once splendid capital of Irak, to that of Fars, by what is called the eastern or winter road ; which leads through Mourg-Aub, the ancient Pasar- gadae. The route by which I was to return, is the most direct to Ispahan, and lies rather west of Persepolis; being impracticable in winter, it has the name of the summer road. The summer was indeed with us in all its consuming splendour ; and to gain a cooler climate on the north of the mountains, we thought so desirable a change, that as soon as Dr. Sharpe pronounced myself and the convalescents of my party in strength sufficient to move, we lost no time in remarshalling our ranks ; the heads of which were, the Mehmandar, Sedak Beg, my worthy physician, and his most grateful patient.

Starting on the 29tli of July, 1818, soon after sun-set, we retrod my former path through the village of Zergoon to the

vol-. II. B

2 DEPARTURE FROM SHIRAZ.

bridge of Poohl-khan ; where crossing the foaming Araxes of the south (otherwise called the Bund-emir), we took our new direction northward to the east of the river, and across the valley of Merdasht. On the second evening of our journey we travelled a distance of five farsangs, and by eleven o'clock arrived at the village of Fatabad. Here we bivouacked on the extensive roof of the Mehman Khaneh, for the night was fine, with an air so bland and refreshing, that no hesitation could re- main with half-breathless invalids, which to prefer, the sky-cano- pied platform above, or the close, smothering stone-work below. We left our quarters at five o'clock next morning, taking a course west-north-west ; and after a march of six miles reached the entrance of a narrow valley, bounded on the right by a mountain, which our guide promptly named to be that of Istaker. But being a naked, perpendicular mass- of rock, situated and formed in a manner that precluded fortress or town from finding a place on or beneath it, we felt no ceremony in assuring our informant he must be mistaken. The line of the valley carried us for a couple of miles more, in a direction nearly west ; where, after an almost overpowering hot ride, we gladly found our- selves close to the green bank of the Bund-emir. At this point the river is crossed by a noble stone bridge of several arches. We left both it and the genial stream, to which we now bade farewell, to our left ; pursuing our way between the scorching rocks and caverned defiles of the mountains. Near the western extremity of the valley rises a very lofty and insulated mountain, perfectly flat at the summit, and singularly precipitous on eveiy side. The natives call it the Kala-Gul-Aub, or fortress of rose- water ; seemingly, a not very appropriate name for one of the roughest heaps of earth and stone imagination can conceive.

VALLEY OF KALA-GUL-AUB. 3

I had first seen it from the ruins of Persepohs, rearing its scarred head pre-eminent in rugged wildness, amongst the varied and less savage aspects of the different hills which form a natural bulwark behind those still beautiful remains. The passes of the mountains, which, in the hands of the brave Ariobarzanes and his Uxians, proved such impregnable holds against the Macae- donian legions, are yet formidable ; but their possessors are changed. Bands of fierce barbarians descend from their interior fastnesses, and, when opportunity occurs, seldom fail to lay a heavy tribute on the lightly-defended passenger ; often, indeed, to the loss of life as well as property. A vernal little valley extending northward, presents itself at the base of the Kala-Gul- Aub. It is traversed by two beautiful streams whose waters, if not claiming the actual fragrance of the rose, are quite as refreshing from their sweetness and exhilarating coolness. It is only in a land like this, of intemperate changes of season, that we can appreciate the Persian's idea of paradise, " Warmth without heat, and coolness without cold !" In riding up the little valley, we crossed these charming streams, and soon arrived at Mayan ; a considerable village, situated in a circus of rocky steeps, with the delightful addition of being abundantly shaded with trees. Here we took up our quarters in a cara- vansary, and first became sensible to a comfortable change in the climate, the thermometer standing at 80° even in mid-day. This place is estimated at seven farsangs from Fatabad. Chardin calls it a large city, and honours it with the reputation of having been the residence of Job. If so, its present shrunk state bears no small resemblance to the dilapidated substance of its ancient inhabitant ; but whether, like him, it will ever rise from decay, is a question only future times can answer. The grateful

B 2

4 IMAN ZADA ISMAEL.

shades of Mayan are the first signals, after quitting the plain of Merdasht, that mark a traveller's entrance on the summer route to Ispahan.

At three o'clock in the morning of August 1st, we left the cara- vansary, and turned our cavalcade into a north-western direction through another narrow valley ; bounded on each side by craggy mountains, which were traversed by the most opposite and varied strata I had ever seen. A stream, equally clear and inviting with those of the Kala-Gul-Aub, flowed by our path, which lay under groves of wild almond, hawthorn, and mulberry-trees, intermixed with large bushes bearing a flower resembling lavender both in appearance and smell. Notwithstanding the vernal luxuriance of such a scene, the road itself was extremely desert and bad, being a continuation of rough, loose stones the whole way from Mayan to Iman Zada Ismael, a journey of three farsangs. This latter village is considered holy ground, and not only shows a general aspect of comfortable means, but an air of civilization seldom met with on this side of Ispahan. Every individual in the place claims his descent from Mahommed; hence they are all called Saieds, or sons of the prophet. A pic- turesque old caravansary nearly in ruins, and a high-domed building, are its most conspicuous objects. The hospitality of the natives seems to have rendered the former useless ; and the latter, which gives its name to the village, covers the holy relics of the Iman Zada Ismael. Of his particular history nothing is now remembered, but that this is his tomb ; the sanc- tity of which would of itself hallow the ground in its vicinity ; therefore this spot has a double claim to reverence, being an abode of the living descendants of the prophet as well as of the dead.

We were lodged in the house of one of the ten thousand

'"^S^^ A SACRED VILLAGE. 5

branches of the great holy stock, where the most unexampled attention was shown to our convenience A principal division of the mansion was cleared entirely of its usual inhabitants, and the vacated apartments, above and below, appropriated to the sole use of ourselves, our people, and our quadrupeds. Every sort of provision that the village afforded was at our command, and due attendance to prepare and serve it. We were surprised by finding the women of the place not only walking about in ireedom, but completely unveiled, and mixing promiscuously in discourse or occupation with the male inhabitants ; neither did they retreat from their various domestic employments on our near approach. Their features are regular, with dark com- plexions, and large fine eyes ; and their figures are good, with a general appearance of cleanliness, a grace not very common amongst the lower classes in Persia. The chief cause of such humble affluence and manifest content, lies in the sacred village being exempted from tribute of any kind. Neither does it furnish the customary quota of armed men, demanded on the part of government from all less holy districts, to attend the king- in his wars or annual encampments; and, in addition to these privileges, the prince-governor of Shiraz pays a yearly sum of forty tomauns towards the repair and decoration of the Iman's tomb. The village is well constructed, clean, and at every point shows a flourishing condition. A large tract of garden-ground, abundantly stocked, and a corresponding space for corn in as favourable cultivation, stretch before the walls. The whole southern face of the mountain, wherever practicable, is clothed with quantities of grapes ; and every little sheltered spot ren- dered some way profitable by these industrious people. They have not the advantage of even a single stream to assist their

Q MANNERS OF THE HOLY RACE.

labours, but are obliged to transport all t^e water they use, Ironi wells ; which increases the toil, and lamentably circumscribes the extent of their cultivation.

The day after our arrival in the village, Dr. Sharpe was at- tacked with a bilious fever ; and became too seriously ill to allow of further travelling, till some flivourable change should take place in the disorder. Hence, in spite of our mutual eagerness to proceed, I was obliged to supply the place of a more able prac- titioner in the application of calomel and tartar emetic, during twelve days' delay ; and so made a more intimate acquaintance with the manners, public and domestic, of the holy race, than he or I had meditated on our entrance within the hallowed bound- ary. I found our landlord an active and intelligent man, with whom I went out almost every day before sun-rise, on shooting parties. The principal game were red-legged partridges, which abound in these valleys. There are bears also, of considerable size, which destroy the vines and bee-hives, the two great sources of this people's wealth ; but amongst these spoilers of the field, our host was a very Antar. He was also as good-humoured a son of Mahommed as any who enjoys the privileges of his line- age ; and in no way grudged himself the latitude the Koran al- lows. Amongst other indulgencies, he gifted himself with wives to the full complement ; and added as many supernumerary handmaids, as his conscience could make room for. Conse- quently, where so numerous a collection of the livelier sex, with their several offspring, were together, we might expect any thing else for a sick man's comfort, than silence for his repose. In- deed, from the hour of rising, to that of going to rest, the house sounded with one continued chatter of female voices, mingling with the prattle of children, and the bustling clamour of varied

MANNERS OF THE HOLY RACE. 7

occupation. These women do all the laborious part of the household establishment, each having her own especial depart- ment, such as baking the bread, cooking the meat, drawing the water, &c. And, notwithstanding the latest espoused is usually spared in these labours, and the best drest, still the whole party seem to remain in good humour ; no appearance of jealousy dis- turbing the amicable routine of their proceedings. Indeed I believe this representation to be the fact ; for when their lord shews himself amongst them, it is like a master coming into a herd of favourite animals ; they all rush forward, frisking about him, pleased with a caress ; or frisking still, if they meet with a pat instead. Such is the power of education, in fitting all human beings for a general happy acquiescence in whatever state it is their lot to be born. Were it not for this beneficent law of Providence, operating on the human character in like manner with cultivation on the soil of a country, human misery would be augmented to an incalculable degree. The four wives of my worthy host, with their female auxiliaries, retire at sun-set from their domestic toils ; and each taking her infant and its cradle to the roof of her division of the house, not forgetting the skin of water she has brought from the spring or well, she deposits the babe in safety ; and suspends the water-case near her bed on a tripod of sticks, in order that the evaporation may cool it for the night or next day's use. To preserve the amity between these ladies, which had so excited my admiration, our communi- cative host told me, that himself, in common with all husbands who preferred peace to passion, adhered to a certain rule of each wife claiming in regular rotation the connubial attentions of her spouse. Something of this kind is intimated in the domestic history of the ancient Jewish patriarchs, as a prevailing usage in

g THE SAIED.

the East, after men fell from the order of nature and of God into the vice of polygamy. Wherever this monopoly of many women to the passions of one man exists, there we find the softer sex, (originally formed to be his solace and his " better part,") regarded with a contempt which gives the loveliest bride, or the most respectable mother of his children, hardly a higher rank in his esteem than the best mare in his stud, or the dog that is his favourite to-day and totally neglected to-morrow. In proof of this Mahomedan disparagement of women in a general point of view, it would be deemed the height of impropriety, while addressing a person of noble quality here, to hint at the female part of his family ; and were even the most beloved wife of his bosom at the extremity of some dangerous illness, did a male friend make the slightest enquiry after her health, it would be received as the grossest insult. There are private exceptions to these opinions and feelings with regard to wives ; but then the more tender and respectful sentiment is confined to the par- ticular women who awakened it, and not extended in the smallest degree to the sex in general. Hence the husband's outward conduct must remain the same, and the name of the most revered wife continue as much a blank in the community at large, as that of the lowest female slave in her establishment. But my honest Saied had less of his country's prejudices on this matter, and therefore even volunteered his information. These occult subjects, with the more privileged ones of the chase ; and lonjj stories of the hordes which at times hovered in clouds on the summit of the hills, or stole down their fissured sides, like creep- ing and malignant mists, to their acts of mischief below ; be- guiled the heavy hours, which the sad confinement of my friend cast on our host and his society.

TRIBES OF THE MOUNTAINS. 9

At Iman Zada Ismael we had more than passed the threshold of the labyrinth of countless ravines, and formidable gorges, which intersect, in every direction, the vast chain of mountains extending from Ararat to the shore of the Persian Gulf. From the numerously diverging defiles near us, the widening valleys spread themselves over the whole surface of the country north- west, expanding, as they run, into vast and fertile plains, to the very confines of Courdistan. In the most inaccessible parts of this stupendous range, live the Bactiari, Feilly, and Mamazany tribes, or rather nations ; the exhaustless bed of whose population stretches from the mountains above Kazaroon, to the immense piles in the vicinity of the Kou-i-zerd, whence they pour their streams on errands of peace or war. I have already given a general account of the milder groupes of these mountain wan- derers, who descend from their heights in the summer months, and, under the name of Eelauts, take up a quiet residence for the season on the more fertile plains of the empire. (See Vol. I. page 474.) Conducting themselves blamelessly, and engaged in various manufactures, they live unmolested ; and when winter recalls them to their more appropriate homes, they carry back with them a considerable profit from the sale of their wares. But the greater multitude of these sons of the mountain show themselves true brethren of Ishmael, and leaguing together by families and tribes, exist wholly by plunder. The great roads between Bushire and Shiraz, and those leading from the latter city to the very gates of Ispahan, offer a succession of prizes, whether in caravans or small parties of travellers, too tempting to be left unsought by the strong arm and stronger rapacity of these hereditary spoilers. The village of Iman Zada Ismael, by its visible prosperity and reputed wealth, holds out this fatal

VOL. II. c

10 BANDITTI OF THE MOUNTAINS.

species of attraction, and consequently has sustained some ter- rible attacks. Most have been made at the hours of rest ; by which surprises, mine host told me, he had more than once occa- sion to defend the doors of his Anderoon. He also narrated, that about fourteen months ago, while in pursuit of a bear in the environs, two of these brigands in ambush fell upon him ; but being always on the alert against such accidents, his toofan (matchlock) and knife soon freed him from their grasp, and the neighbourhood from their depredations. This extraordinary ex- ploit may indeed be a Persian tale, and accordingly only half of it should be deemed the fact ; however, the frequent necessities which do occur of trying a man's bodily prowess, may encourage some belief in the victorious valour of this well-armed son of Mecca. During the twelve days of Di'. Sharpe's illness, several travelling caravans were pillaged on the roads near us, and num- bers of the people killed or wounded. After one of these frays, I saw, at only a few yards from the walls of the village, eight un- fortunate travellers, covered with blood, lying under the shelter of a large tree, and begging piteously for water to slake their burnino- drouth. There was no want of hospitable compassion in the brethren of Iman Ismael, to their less holy countrymen ; and even the Frangy's surgical bandages and balms were as frankly accepted as applied. The most desperate conflicts between the marauding tribes and travellers, usually take place a short way from the sacred village, in the dark and rocky gorge of a pass which conducts into a gloomy valley, along whose rugged depths lies the main road. Out of this valley, branch innumerable in- tricate defiles ; through the overshadowed avenues of which, the loaded mules are speedily conveyed from the sight of their dis- abled and wounded masters ; left, most probably, to perish with

PASS NEAR IMAN 2ADA ISMAEL. J J

loss of blood and inextinguishable thirst, before chance brings any better-armed passengers on the same dangerous route. These merciless depredators are careful how they attack horse- men, and especially when they are Europeans, being well aware that such sort of travellers are likely to defend themselves with skill as well as courage. The horde rarely attempts them, with- out a superior force, and taking positions to render victory almost certain. The situation of most public roads near their haunts, commands all they want, being full of places for ambush, and opportunities for instant retreat. Hence they commonly plant themselves under cover of the loose rocks which fill the sides of the narrow path, and taking aim like riflemen, bring down every man against whom they point their arms. Death does not always ensue, but few, when so marked, escape without a wound. From this system of attack, it is obvious that march- ing in divisions through these passes, is a safer plan than jogging on in one unbroken line.

August 15. Tolerably recovered health enabled Dr. Sharpe to pronounce himself capable of resuming our journey ; and this day, at a little before sun-set, we took leave of our friendly enter- tainers ; and found ourselves once more on the road ; which ex- tended along the valley of Iman Zada Ismael, for about three miles, where it terminated, and then, taking a direction due north, mounted the dreaded pass. We tugged up its rough acclivities for upwards of two hours ; and for steepness, ruggedness, and savage desolation, I had hardly seen them exceeded, even by the stoney horrors of the Good Gara. When neai'ly at the summit, we reached a solitary tower, the station of a few officers of the custom, in waiting there to collect the toll or tax from pass- ing merchandise. A certain number of musqueteers give the

c2

J 2 THE VALLEY OF OUJON.

little establishment something the appearance of power ; but I am told the wild inhabitants of the mountains set the whole array, civil and military, at nought. The time occupied in descending the northern-side of the pass, was short in comparison with that consumed in reaching the rhaddary, or place of toll, from the southern base ; but we found the steep and narrow road we were then literally clambering down, particularly acute and zig-zag, and perilously interrupted by huge loose fragments of rock en- cumbering the path. This is considered the most dangerous side of the pass, both on account of its hazardous natural con- struction, and the frequent sallies of its brigands ; but neither on one side nor on the other did we meet the slightest molest- ation, or even see the shadow of an hostile arm. We were, however, on the alert ; having our mehmandar, and another horseman, in advance about two or three hundred yards, all the way. After descending, and travelling a couple of farsangs along another banditti-like glen, we reached a cheerful little plain, where the nervous in our troop might begin to breathe freely ; and following a gentle slope, opened into a fine and widely-ex- tended vale, which soon brought us in front of a village and its caravansary, both nearly in ruins, but bearing the long-celebrated name of Oujon. The country, once the magnificent royal chase of the greatest monarchs of Persia, and studded with their pa- vilions, was now a neglected, though luxuriant plain, and spotted over with the black tents of the Nomade peaceable tribes. Having, before our approach, despatched a horseman to their chief, we were met by his son, who, welcoming us with the usual courtesies of his people, conducted our whole party to good quarters, where myself and friend were lodged in an excellent marquee, and then served with every attention their simple means

THE VALE OF HEROES. 13

could bestow. We had reached the encampment at half-past eleven at night, having marched that evening about three far- sangs. Our invalids were much tired ; and when we lay down to rest, most of us felt the air exceedingly