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anointed according to the ancient use, derived, as it should seem by Virgil, from the Trojans. They rather fall by consent than by slight or violence." In Turkey, the contest in wrestling is not, however, decided by a fall: the victory is determined by one of the parties being thrown on his back, and held in that posture, while his adversary recovers his feet. When the wrestlers have finished the combats, or exhausted their strength, they give each other the kiss of peace.
To ride on horseback, and to throw the djerid, a sort of light javelin, are considered as the necessary accomplishments of a Turkish gentleman. They are excellent horsemen, and throw the djerid with admirable dexterity and force. I know of no exercises fitter to give grace, strength, and agility to the body.The young men contend with each other for superiority in exercises of force or address. A common amusement is to lift a weighty stone on the palm of the hand, and after running with it a few paces, to throw it to the greatest possible distance.
Mourning, or any external expression of grief, is considered as a murmuring against the dispensations of Providence, and reprobated by law and custom. The mother, however, is allowed to lament the death of her son, and to mourn for three days; and though all restrain their feelings, and at most indulge in melancholy, yet they decorate the tombstones of their parents, their children, or their friends, with epitaphs expressive of their fondness and affection, of regret for their loss, and their hopelessness of finding any further enjoyment in this world. They divert their melancholy by prayers, and other acts of devotion, for the relief of the departed soul; and are frequently seen kneeling by the side of a new made grave, and performing their pious supererogations.
They hasten to relieve the sufferings of the soul on its quitting the body, by almost immediate interment, and never willingly defer the burial till the morrow of the decease. Such precipitation must sometimes be productive of the most dreadful consequences; and the evil is further extended by the practice being imitated by the Jews, and Armenian Christians.
The Turks conceal the body, during its passage to the burying ground, under a shell or coffin, called tabut, at the head of which is the turban, or muslin, denoting the rank, or sex, of the person. It is carried to the grave by the friends of the deceased; a duty enjoined by the prophet, who has declared that he who carries a dead body the space of forty paces, procures for himself the expiation of a great sin. The graves are shallow, and the body is protected from the immediate pressure of the earth, by thin boards placed over it obliquely. The Greeks and Armenians carry the body through the streets dressed up in its
greatest finery, and on the burying ground enfold it in a winding sheet. I have myself met a procession, returning with the body of a Greek exposed on a bier, which, on the brink of the grave, had given signs of life; and I have heard of bodies being interred, notwithstanding unequivocal symptoms of animation. De Tott, with his usual levity and exaggeration, says, that “in the Turkish burying grounds the voices of some unhappy people have been heard from beneath; and they were left to perish for want of immediate relief, which was withheld, that the fees of interment might not be restored.
The tombstone at the head of a man's grave is erect, and decorated with a turban carved in stone, which distinguishes it from that of a woman. The cemetery is a wood of cypresses, as a tree is planted near every new grave. All persons, except the sultan's families, and some few of high rank, are buried without the cities and as a grave is never again opened, a vast tract of the country is occupied by the burying fields, among which one at the head of the harbour, supposed to contain the remains of Ayub, a companion of Mahomet, who fell in the first siege of Constantinople by the Arabs, and was esteemed a saint and martyr, is distinguished by a great number of elegant mausolea. Those on the Asiatic side of the Bosphorus are preferred by many persons, because the holy cities of Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem, and Demascus, are situated in that quarter of the world.
The epitaphs contain the name and quality of the deceased, the day of his death, and an exhortation to the passenger to repeat the introductory chapter of the Koran, fatihha: they represent death as the term of human misery, congratulate the deceased on his happiness, and compare his soul to a nightingale of paradise. May the Eternal deign to envelope his soul in a cloud of mercy and gladness, and cover his tomb with the brightness of divine light." On the tombstones of their children, the parents bewail their affliction, and complain that death has plucked the rose from the garden of beauty, has torn the tender branch from the parent stock, and left a father and a mother to consume the remainder of their lives in grief and bitterness.
Oct. 16th, 1811, Vienna.-Yesterday about six o'clock in the evening, the Watchmaker, Degen, took a flight in the Prater. He reached an extraordinary height, and night coming on he was soon out of sight. As no account has yet been received of him, it is feared that some misfortune may have befallen him.
Oct. 19th. The Watchmaker, Degen, came down safely the day of his ascent, near Trautmansdorf, in the District of Burk, on the Leysha.
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A Journey through Persia, Armenia, and Asia Minor, to Constantinople, in the years 1808 and 1809; in which is included some account of the proceedings of his Majesty's Mission under Sir Harford Jones, Bart. K. C. to the Court of the King of Persia. By James Morier, Esq. his Majesty's Secreta ry of embassy to the Court of Persia. With twenty-five engravings from the designs of the author, a plate of Inscriptions, and three maps; one from the Observations of Captain James Sutherland, and two drawn and corrected by Major Rennel, F. R. S. London: Longman. 1811. Quarto.
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THE conquests of the British, and the consequent expulsion of the French from every quarter of Indostan, have had a considerable influence in awakening the dormant interest of the public concerning the condition and capabilities of the ancient kingdom of Persia. The shores of India being now hermetically sealed against the entrance of French emissaries and diplomatists by sea, it has become as obvious to the ruler of France, as to the British government, that the only chance of giving us any disturbance in possessions, whose value and importance are depreciated more by our domestic than by our foreign enemies, must be through the channel of the Persian and Afgan territories. And it is natural to conclude, that the example of Alexander, no less than that of Charlemagne, should be an object of interesting contemplation to Buonaparte, so far as it may be made consistent with his unprincipled thirst of conquest, and the sanguinary nature of his ambition. It was, therefore, with no surprise that we