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regular watches for the night. We had two Afghans, two Indians, and two natives of Cashmeer. A Cashmeerian paired with an Indian, and the trustworthy with the most lazy ; while we ourselves were to superintend the posting of the sentries. Our people laughed heartily at this military disposition ; but it was ever after enforced in all our travels.”
Our travellers followed in a great measure the route which had been taken by Mr. Mountstuart Elphinstone, and as they drew near to the city of Peskawur (the capital of one of the four chiefships of the Afghan country), they were met by the son of Sooltan Mahomed Khan, with a powerful escort, who conducted them to the palace of his father. The kindness and affability with which they were here received far surpassed their most sanguine expectations; and, after enjoying for more than three weeks all the pleasures which a splendid climate and hospitable entertainment could give, our travellers took their departure for Cabool, another of the chiefships into which the old monarchy of the Afghans is now divided. They crossed the river of Cabool upon rafts, supported by inflated skins, a system of navigation which derives its origin from the earliest antiquity, and, without encountering any difficulty whatever, arrived at Cabool, the capital of the province of the same name.
“Cabool is a compactly built city, but its houses have no pretensions to elegance. They are constructed of sun-dried bricks and wood, and few of them are more than two stories high. It is thickly peopled, and has a population of about 60,000 souls. The river of Cabool passes through the city; and tradition says that it has three times carried it away, or inundated it. In rain there is not a dirtier place than Cabool. It is in the mouth of every one that Cahool is a very ancient city; they call it 6000 years old. It formed once, with Ghuzni, the tributary cities of Bameean. Strange has been the reverse of circumstances: Ghuzni, under Mahmood, in the eleventh century, became a great capital; and Cabool is now the metropolis both over it and Bameean. It is said that Cabool was formerly named Zabool, from a kaffir, or infidel king, who founded it; hence the name of Zaboolistan. Some authors have stated that the remains of the tomb of Cabool, or Cain, the son of Adam, are pointed out in the city; but the people have no such traditions. It is, however, a popular belief, that when the devil was cast out of heaven he fell in Cabool. In Cabool itself there are not exactly traditions of Alexander; but both Herat and Lahore are said to have been founded by slaves of that conqueror, whom they call a prophet. Their names were Heri (the old name of Herat) and Lahore.',
Lieut. Burnes, who seems deeply versed in the traditional lore of the East, has revived the old supposition that the Afghans are the descendants of the lost tribes of Israel, and, in support of this opinion, brings forward the account which they give themselves of their origin.
“ The Afghans call themselves, ‘Bin i Israeel,' or children of Israel ; but consider the term of ‘Yahodee,' or Jew, to be one of reproach. They say that Nebuchadnezzar, after the overthrow of the temple of Jerusalem, transplanted them to the town of Ghore, near Bameean; and that they are called Afghans, from their chief Afhgana, who was the son of the uncle of Asof (the vizier of Solomon), who was the son of Berkia. The genealogy of this person is traced from a collateral branch on account of the obscurity of his own parent, which is by no means uncommon in the east. They say that they lived as Jews, till Khaleed (called by the title of caliph) summoned them, in the first century of Mahommedanism, to assist in the wars with the infidels. For their services on that occasian, Kyse, their leader, got the title of Abdoolrusheed, which means the son of the mighty. He was also told to consider himself the butan' (an Arabic word), or mast of his tribe, on which its prosperity would hinge, and by which the vessel of their state was verned. Since that time the Afghans are sometimes called Putan, by which name they are familiarly known in India. I never before heard this explanation of the term. After the campaign with Khaleed, the Afghans returned to their native
to be go
country, and were governed by a King of the line of Kyanee, or Cyrus, fill the eleventh century, when they were subdued by Mahmood of Ghuzni. A race of kings sprung from Ghore subverted the house of Ghuzni, and conquered India. As is well known, this dynasty was divided, at the death of its founder, into the divisions east and west of the Indus; a state of things which lasted till the posterity of Timourlane reduced both to a new yoke. The Afghans look like Jews; they say they are descended from Jews; and the younger brother marries the widow of the elder, according to the law of Moses. The Afghans entertain strong prejudices against the Jewish nation; which would at least show that they had no desire to claim, without a just cause, a descent from them. Since some of the tribes of Israel came to the east, why should we not admit that the Afghans are their descendants, converted to Mahommedanism ?
Lieutenant Burnes seems to place considerable confidence in these traditional stories; contrary, as he himself owns, to some of the highest authorities. For our own parts, we are very much disposed to lean towards the opinion entertained by our author, not only from the circumstance of their being other tribes not far removed from that of which we are now speaking, whose features bear the stamp of Israel, * but, from the very denomination of which the Afghans are themselves so tenacious; when they call themselves Bin i Israel, not Yahoodee ; an expression which, without any great degree of credulity, may be interpreted as signifying Sons of Israel, but not now Jews, referring to their conversion to Mahommedanism. Our travellers left Cabool on the 18th of May, and set forward upon their journey towards the Hindoo Koosh or Snowy Mountains. After passing through the country of the Huzaras, “a simple nation,” (who resemble in physiognomy the Chinese), the party arrived at length at the village of Bameean, celebrated for the colossal idols, and extraordinary excavations, with which the neighbouring vallies are filled; the latter forming the residence of a considerable portion of the population. We cannot do better than transcribe the Author's description of the place.
“They (the excavations) are called 'Soomuch' by the people. A detached hill in the middle of the valley is quite honeycombed by them, and brings to our recollection the Troglodites of Alexander's historians. It is called the Ghoolghoola, and consists of a continued succession of caves in every direction, which are said to have been the work of a king named Julal. The hills at Bameean are formed of indurated clay and pebbles, which renders their excavation a matter of little difficulty; but the great extent to which it has been carried, excites attention. Caves are dug on both sides of the valley, but the greater number lie on the northern face, where we found the idols; altogether they form an immense city. Labourers are frequently hired to dig in them; and their trouble is rewarded by rings, relics, coins, &c. They generally bear Cufic inscriptions, and are of a later date than the age of Mahommed. These excavated caves, or houses, have no pretensions to architectural ornament, being no more than squared holes in the hill. Some of them are finished in the shape of a dome, and have a carved frieze below the point, from which the cupola springs. The inhabitants tell many remarkable tales of the caves of Bameean; one in particular—that a mother had lost her child among them, and recovered it after a lapse of twelve years! The tale need not be believed; but it will convey an idea of the extent of the works. There are excavations on all sides of the idols; and below the larger one, half a regiment might find quarters. Bameean is subject to Cabool; it would appear to be a place of high antiquity; and is, perhaps, the city which Alexander founded at the base of Paropamisus, before entering Bactria. The country, indeed, from Cabool to Balkh, is yet styled 'Bakhtur Žumeen,' or Bakhtur country. The name of Bameean is said to be derived from its elevation,— bam’ signifying balcony, and the affix “eean' country. It may be so called from the caves rising
* See what our author says with regard to the Seiks in the earlier part of the volume,
one over another in the rock. There are no relics of Asiatic antiquity which have roused the curiosity of the learned more than the gigantic idols of Bameean. They consist of two figures, a male and a female ; the one named Silsal, the other Shahmana. The figures are cut in alto relievo on the face of the hill, and represent two colossal images. The male is the larger of the two, and about 120 feet high. It occupies a front of 70 feet; and the niche in which it is excavated, extends about that depth into the bill. This idol is mutilated; both legs having been fractured by cannon; and the countenance above the mouth is destroyed. The lips are very large; the ears long and pendant; and there appears to have been a tiara on the head. The figure is covered by a mantle, which hangs over it in all parts, and has been formed of a kind of plaister; the image having been studded with wooden pins in various places, to assist in fixing it. The figure itself is without symmetry, nor is there much elegance in the drapery. The hands, which held out the mantle, have been both broken. The female figure is more perfect than the male, and has been dressed in the same manner. It is cut in the same hill, at a distance of 200 yards, and is about half the size.”
Here ends the territory of the king of Cabool; but our travellers had still a long journey to perform before they could consider themselves entirely clear of the mountains. At the last pass, they were threatened by a band of robbers, and, but for the escort which they had hired, our countrymen would most probably be at this day tending herds and flocks amongst the mountains. The day's progress averaged about 20 miles, their meals were all taken on horseback, and the ground furnished them with a bed, while the sky was their only canopy: yet with all these dangers and difficulties, our life,” says Mr. Burnes, was far more agreeable than a detail of its circumstances would lead one to believe.”
The last day's march brought them to Khooloom, whence they obtained a fine view of the country sloping downwards towards the Oxus. Their intention was to proceed hence in a northerly direction towards Balkh, in the dominions of the sovereign of Bokhara; but an order from the chief of Koondooz obliged them to direct their steps considerably to the eastward, and to present themselves before Meer Moorad Beg, the leader of the Usbeks. They arrived at his court in all haste, where they were received with much less hostility than they had been led to expect, and, by dint of passing themselves off as poor Armenians, succeeded at length in obtaining permission to pass the frontier.
The town of Koondooz is situated in a sort of hole amongst the mountains, with the Oxus, now called the Jihon or Amoo, flowing at a distance of about 40 miles. The unhealthiness is grown into a proverb, “if you want to die, go to Koondooz.”'
“ The greater part of the valley is so marshy, that the roads are constructed on piles of wood, and run through the rankest weeds; yet wheat and barley are produced, as also rice, in the places which are not entirely inundated. The heat is described as intolerable, yet snow lies for three months in the year. Koondooz has at one time been a large town, but its population does not now exceed 1500 souls ; and no person makes it a residence, who can live in any other place, though it be yet the market-town of the neighbourhood. The chief never visits it but in winter. It has a fort, surrounded by a ditch, which is a place of strength: the walls are constructed of sun-dried brick; and such is the heat, that they crumble under the sun's rays, and require constant repair."
Leaving Koondooz, our party passed Muzar, a small independent state, the scene of the death of Mr. Trebuk, the last surviving member of poor Moorcroft's expedition. Here also is his tomb, at the foot of a mulberry tree. The amiable temper and kind disposition of this unfortunate young man had so endeared him to the natives, that his memory is even now cherished with gratitude and affection in every country through which he passed.
March, 1835.-VOL. II. NO. VIII.
A few more days brought our travellers to Balkh, the once celebrated “mother of cities,” where we shall bid them adieu.
Poems, by Louisa Anne Twamley. With original Illustrations, drawn
and etched by the authoress. Tilt, Fleet-street, London, 1835. If we were to pronounce judgment on this volume, as a miscellaneous collection of poems only, we should give them the meed of admirationbut when accompanied with illustrations, drawn and etched by the authoress, of so artist-like, and we could almost say, of so perfect a description, we should indeed be wanting in penetration and judgment, as well as in truth and justice, if we withheld from this charming production the tribute of our unfeigned approbation.
The preface assures us that this is the first literary venture of a very young authoress, composed for her own amusement, principally in the long winter evenings, when, for want of light, she was unable to continue her usual occupation of miniature portrait painting. To contem. plate youth and talent labouring up the steep and thorny hill of science, unassisted by other than her own mental impulse, is a picture on which the imagination delights to repose, and teaches us the useful lesson of what can be accomplished and endured by the well-directed energies of steady perseverance.
Of the various Poems which form this collection, we are bound to speak most favourably-many of them are written in the true spirit of poetic inspiration, and are confessedly most creditable to the genius and fancy of the authoress. Unqualified praise, however, is particularly hurtful to a young and inexperienced author. Writers of the most popular celebrity occasionally fall into error, and of this failing they are so well persuaded, that even the asperities of criticism, when dictated by literary acumen, in the soundness of their judgment, lose half their poignancy. The errors in this work, however, which we shall point out, are the errors of all unpractised writers, and only time and experience can eradicate them. No author ever yet came perfectly armed at all points on the fertile plains of literature. Without the aid of experience, perfectability can never be attained in any human undertaking, least of all in the difficult science of authorship. The errors of which we speak are the want of metrical exactness in many of the lines, and in some cases the insertion of unmeaning expletives to lengthen out a couplet and perfect the closing rhyme. Inflated prose holds no affinity with poetic inspiration-true poetry must strike on the mind as the fervid ebullition of a brilliant imagination, not as the result of laborious art ;—when the latter is predominant, it is no longer poetry, it is the semblance only of an inspiration of which art is the basis. These observations are not made in the austerity of critical reproof—the fair authoress, on due consideration when she launches another bark on the tide of public opinion, we are thoroughly persuaded, will not consider our present hints uncalled for or misplaced. After all, these are but specks in the bright luminary of genius—but as criticism is a chief part of our calling, we have penned this article according to the prescribed rules of the craft.
We extract at random the following brief poem, as a specimen of the talent of the young authoress on whose muse we have been so freely indulging :
“ INNOCENCE. Among the illustrations to "
Friendship’s Offering” for 1834, is an engraving entitled “Innocence," on seeing which the following lines were written.
The picture of Innocence alluded to, as being so beautiful, was painted by Mrs.
“ Her face is fair-yet not the pure, the bright,
The face of Innocence.” The slight blemishes observable in some parts of the versification, at which we have hinted, are more than redeemed by the spirited and beautiful etchings which adorn this volume, a first attempt, it appears, of the authoress in etching upon copper, from drawings, too, of her own design and execution. The title-page has a view of the entrance to the Great Hall at Kenilworth, which can vie with the similar productions of the most finished artist. There is a circular vignette of singular taste, in the centre of which is enclosed the name of the author of the Pleasures of Memory, to whom the volume is dedicated—the north transept of Tintern Abbey, most chastely executed—a vase of flowers, tastefully grouped, and charmingly etched—and a S. W. view of Kenil. worth Castle, accurately drawn, and finished with admirable correctness and skill.
We recommend this volume to all the patrons of genius, and all the lovers of unsophisticated verse, with the indisputable opinion that it only need to be seen to attract unmingled admiration. A History and Description of the late Houses of Parliament and ancient
Palatial Edifices of Westminster : including a particular account of those Buildings, with their official appendages, from the AngloSaxon Dynasty to the final arrangement of the National Parliamentary and Legal Courts, at the same place. By John Britton and Edward W. Brayley. Nos. 1 and 2. John Weale (Taylor's Architectural
Library), 59, High Holborn, London. The names of Britton and Brayley are a sufficient guarantee of the utility and interest of any publication which they may send forth to the world. Had these well-known authors not already established their fame as writers on Antiquarian and Topographical subjects to a wide extent, this “History of the late Houses of Parliament and Palatial Edifices of Westminster,” would have been amply sufficient to establish their claim to eminence in this engaging branch of literature.
To develope the genuine history of these buildings, by a diligent in