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complish his design. He felt that a very different book of travels in the East, would be expected from one who had enjoyed so many advantages as himself, than could be claimed from the generality of travellers ; for he had spent many years in Asia ; he spoke several Asiatic languages fluently; and he was intimately acquainted with the character and manners of the people. It will be found, accordingly, that he was evidently at home in the countries which he describes; that his observations, being in his own mind the result of long experience, are not given as new discoveries, but as well ascertained facts; and many allusions are made which indicate his intimacy with the feelings and habits of the country, but which will perhaps either appear obscure, or pass unheeded by those who may not be equally well acquainted with the subject.”
The first volume is taken up with the journal of Mr. Rich's residence in Koordistan. The second volume is occupied in a description of the journey from Sulimania to Mosul; of repeated examinations of the ruins of Nineveh ; of visits to the convents of Chaldean Christians, and other interesting objects near Mosul; of a voyage down the Tigris, from Mosul to Bagdad, and Bushire; of a journey to Shiraz ; descriptions of the ruins of Persepolis, etc. An appendix contains observations made at the ancient Arbela, with notes on the battle; a list of Syrian Mss., procured by the author ; journal of bearings and distances; journal of two expeditions from Bagdad to Bussorah, in 1811 and 1812, account of an excursion from Bagdad to Ctesiphon and Seleucia in 1812, etc.
The number of families who inhabit that part of Koordistan which is under the government of the Pasha of Sulimania, amounts to 12 or 15,000. The commerce of Sulimania, the capital, is not extensive. A caravan goes generally about once a month, to Tabreez, carrying dates, coffee, etc., and bringing back raw silk, silk-stuffs, etc. Once a year, a caravan goes to Erzroom, with dates, coffee, and otber articles, for which are exchanged iron, copper and mules. A caravan proceeds once a month to Hamadan, and Sinna. There is also constant intercourse with Kerkook, Mosul and Bagdad.
There is much beautiful scenery in Koordistan. 13th, we reached,” says Mr. Rich,“ the beautiful village of Deira, embosomed in a wood of the finest walnut trees I ever saw, which had a prodigious spread. Gardens, vineyards, and cultivation surrounded the village in every available spot, on the
sides of the mountain. The vines in many places crept up the trees, and extended from one tree to the other, forming festoons and draperies. Multitudes of springs burst from the sides of the hill and dashed over the roots of the trees, in numberless little cascades. Nothing was heard but the murmuring of the waters. It was not easy to pass so beautiful a spot without a pause to enjoy its loveliness. Accordingly, Omar Aya and 1 alighted under the shade of a walnut, by the side of a little rill, and the peasants immediately spread before us a collation of honey in the comb, fresh butter, butter-milk, peaches, and grapes."
The following will illustrate the allusion in Jonah, to the “east wind,” which withered the gourd. “ All the people of Sulimania complain of the extraordinary prevalence of the Sherki, or easterly wind, this year, which renders this season intolerably hot and relaxing. They have not had three days to rether, free from this wind, since the beginning of summer. Since we have returned from the mountains, we have been greatly troubled with it, and it is still very relaxing, though divested of its extraordinary heat."
The governor of the pashalik, and several members of his family, are represented by Mr. Rich as very estimable persons. “ Malimood Pasha I shall always think of 'with affection. His very countenance is indicative of purity, of candor and simplicity: I never expected to meet with such a man in the East. I fear many such are not to be met with in better climes. There is a melancholy and a tenderness in his character, which render bim quite interesting. He is all feeling. The death of his son he will not readily get over, and I will contidently assert that no native of the East, ever loved his wife and children as he does. Yesterday evening he went into his haram for the first time, since the death of his son. A child of his brother's met him and called him father. That name, and the infantine voice with which it was pronounced, were too much for him ; he shrieked and fell senseless to the ground. It must be recollected that all grief is reprobated by the Mohammedan religion; and excess of feeling for a woman or a child, is universally despised by the followers of Islam, which preaches only apathy and sternness. The Pasha has become more really religious than any oriental I ever knew ; yet it has not made him fanatic or unfeeling. His better nature has risen above the degrading doctrines of Mohammedanism."
“Osman Bey, a brother of the Pasha's, does not lose on a
second interview. I thought him very agreeable. He asked
peasantry in Koordistan, are a totally distinct race from the tribes, which seldom, if ever, cultivate the soil ; while on the other hand, the peasants are
never soldiers. The clannish Koords call themselves Sipah, or military Koords, in contradistinction to the peasant Koords. The clans conceive the peasants to be merely created for their use; and wretched indeed is the condition of these Koordjsh cultivators.
"I observe in general,” remarks Mr. Rich,“ the Koords are much after information, much more diffident of themselves, and much easier to instruct than the Turks, and, I believe, than the Persians either; for there are certain things which a Persian will readily adopt, but others in literature and science, in which he conceives himself to be highly superior to other nations. A Turk has a comfortable idea of his own superiority in every thing, and has a thorough contempt for whatever he does not understand. The Mohammedan religion is a bar to all improvement. A nation could not be civilized and remain Mohammedan. Islamism is, without exception, the religion which is the most exclusive of all improvement, and the most favorable to the permanence of falsehood and error. Mohammed has meddled with every thing, and poisoned every thing he touched. A Turk blasphemes who believes any point of ancient history, concerning which Mohammed has pronounced his opinion.”
“No women can conduct themselves with more real propriety than the Koordish ladies; and their morality far exceeds that of the Turkish females. They are treated as equals by their husbands, and they laugh at, and despise the slavish subjection of the Turkish women.
There is something approaching to domestic comfort in Koordistan ; in Turkey the idea is quite unknown.” “ Adela Khanum,” remarks Mrs. Rich, in a brief journal of hers, in an appendix, “ the wife of the Pasha, has a very mild and touching expression of countenance. She looked as if she had known sorrow, there was a dignified resignation
and stillness in her deportment, that quite affected me. She is the only wife of the Pasha, and they are much attached to each other; and have been endeared to one another by their common sorrow for the death of many children by the smallpox. She seemed almost afraid to speak of her little boy as likely to remain with them. Her eyes filled with tears as she most tenderly looked at him, and added, “he is not mine, but God's. His will be done.'"
Our limits will not allow us to proceed further in quotations from these volumes. We have written this short account of them, partly from the very interesting nature of their contents, and partly from the fact that the principal foreign missionary association of this country is directing its attention to the regions of western and central Asia as an inviting field for christian and philanthropic effort. No benevolent man can read Mr. Rich's journals without earnestly desiring that pure Christianity may soon take the place of that bloody fatalism which now spreads gloom and wo over some of the finest countries of the globe. What political changes will occur before that day arrives, we know not. All the governments of central Asia are feeble and ready to vanish away. England or Russia could easily subdue the vast territories between the Caucasus and the Indus. Whether such an event, in the case of Russia, would be for the advantage of the people, or for the spread of Christianity, there is room for serious doubt. An infusion of European mind is, however, clearly wanted. The death-like torpor which now prevails, needs to be broken up. In this view we cannot but be gratified with the efforts of the British government to open a steam-navigation on the Euphrates. Whether this particular measure shall meet with success, or the reverse, we may still be allowed to hope that it is the beginning of a series of efforts to introduce the arts of civilization where a semi-barbarism has long reigned.
The HistoriCAL Books OF THE NEW TESTAMENT.
B; Hermann Olshausen, professor ordinarius of Theology in the University of Koenigsborg.
Translated from the German, by David Fosdick, Jr. Boston.
(The following essay is taken from a little volume lately published by Olshausen, entitled “Nachweis der Aechtheit sämtlicher Schriften des N. Test.” For information in respect to the character of Olshausen, our readers are referred to Bib. Repos. III. 151, 161, 757. VIII. 88 seq. His candid and very valuable essay on the authenticity of the second epistle of Peter was inserted in the last volume of this work. His commentary on the Acts of the Apostles is now in the process of translation by Mr. Fosdick. Editor.]
Preliminary Remarks on the New Testament gencrally. The oldest traces of the existence of the whole New Testament as a settled collection occur so late as three centuries after the times of the apostles. The particular reason why so long a period elapsed before this body of writings became definitely determined was, that its individual books, which of course existed before the whole collection, were at first circulated in part singly, and in part in smaller collections. For, so long as the apostles were upon earth, and the power of the Spirit from on high was in lively action in every member of the church, so long there was no sensible necessity of a book serve as the norm or rule of faith and practice. Whenever any uncertainty arose in regard to either, application was made to one of the apostles, and his advice was taken. The Epistles of the apostle Paul owe their origin in part to such inquiries. Now some of the apostles lived to a great age. Peter and Paul
, it is true, died under the emperor Nero (67 A. D.), suffering martyrdom at Rome; but the evangelist John, who outlived all the rest, was upwards of 90 years of age at his death, which did not happen till the time of the emperor Domitian, at the close of the first century. Hence, in the lifetime of the