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found in a late importation of books from Paris, the "Journal," which forms the second subject in the title to this article, and which is understood to be from the pen of M. Gardanne, secretary of legation to the mission from France to Persia, at the head of which was his relation of the same name. Neither were our expectations at all disappointed by perceiving that of the twenty persons composing the suite of the "general ministre plenipotentiaire," fourteen were officers of artillery, engineers, or "ingenieurs geographes;" who, under pretence of instructing the Persians in European tactics, are very coolly admitted to have been busily engaged during the whole mission, in drawing plans, tracing maps, and providing the necessary materials for the future use of a French army in Persia. It must be admitted, however, that these gentlemen have very sedulously concealed from the public the result of their researches; for nothing can be more jejune than this French pamphlet, as to any real and interesting information concerning the country in which its author resided, and which he traversed from one end to the other. With a few exceptions, M. Gardanne relates only the distances from post to post, and observes but little concerning the personages with whom he fell in, except to inform us with complacency that some were, or with indignation and surprise, that others were not acquainted with the name and character of the French and "the great Napoleon;" and that the mirzas and khans received with great respect the portrait of the emperor, and the bulletin of the battle of Jena translated into Persian.
It may well be supposed, that such a production was calculated rather to excite than to gratify curiosity. And for ourselves we are ready to admit, that the magnificence of the twenty satrapies founded by Cyrus, and which ministered to the grandeur of Darius Hystaspes; that the splendour of the dynasty of the Sassanides, established by Artaxerxes the father of Sapor, who commanded a Roman emperor to leave Asia, to the "great king," and to confine his dominion to Europe; that the luxurious elegance of the Sofis, the triumphs and institutions of Shah Abbas; nay even the poetry of Hafiz, and the morality of Sadi, awaken less lively sensations in our mind than the painful state of anxiety in which the French pamphlet left it, as to the power and resources which the convulsions of the last century have still left to Persia, and the disposition of its government and inhabitants towards the two great European powers, who are respectively seeking its alliance.
We burned also with impatienee to ascertain whether amidst all the degeneracy and misfortunes of Persia, its people still retain any of the great and noble qualities for which they were once distinguished, whether their detestation of falsehood, their gene
rosity, liberality, and hospitality to strangers, their bravery and devotion to their sovereign, of all which some traces were still conspicuous in the days of Chardin, are yet ingredients in the national character; whether their attention to agriculture, the care in the education of their youths, their reverence of puerile simplicity (see Juvenal, sat. 14, and Cyrop.), we mean their scrupulous care that nothing incorrect should be subjected to the ears. or eyes of boys, were still component parts of their system. Nothing that we had ever read or heard concerning them could induce us altogether to divest our minds of the idea that the Persian character, though very far from having escaped the general pollution, had suffered less than any of the orientals from the brutifying influence of the Mohammedan religion; a circumstance which we had always attributed partly to the milder tenets of their sect, and also to a supposed remnant of the effect of former institutions. Lastly, we were anxious to possess some probable grounds of computation as to the increase or decrease of the dense population, perhaps too liberally ascribed to Persia by Chardin, who calculated that it contained in his time, i. e. 554 cities, 60,000 villages, and about forty millions of souls.
Finding the French authorities so defective in all these points, it was with great pleasure that we received from our bookseller a few days ago the publication of Mr. James Morier, a gentleman whose talents and opportunities eminently fit him for the task he has undertaken, and who (if our partiality does not much deceive us) has executed it as well as the limited period of his residence in Persia would admit, and with an unaffected simplieity so much the more interesting, as it is known to his friends to be a prominent feature in his character; and therefore affords internal evidence of the truth and originality of the composition. This is the more valuable, as Mr. Morier has for some months been absent from England, as secretary of embassy to Sir Gore Ousely, our ambassador at the court of Persia, who sailed from England in June 1810, in company with the mirza Abul Hassan, so well known among the higher circles of this metropolis. Fortunately, however, the work has been far from receiving detriment from the absence of its author. Mr. Morier, before his departure, entrusted it to a gentleman whose talents, information, and industry, have done it ample justice. Conscious of the sacredness of a traveller's memoranda, Mr. Inglis seems to have undertaken the charge with a full conviction "that one line on the spot is worth half a page of recollections," and that the most perfect composition of this kind, is that where the author writes daily his own journal on the spot, and in the leisure which the completion of his expedition may afford, corrects and arranges the materials thus authenticated. The latter office Mr. Morier's professional
avocations induced him, as we are informed in the preface, to commit to the care of Mr. Inglis, who has preserved throughout the body of the work the simplicity with which things which have passed under the eye should be recorded by the pen, and which accorded so well with the author's mind. But he has also illustrated and enriched the text with an appendix of notes, replete with information, drawn from the various authors who have written accounts of Persia.
In the journal of a secretary of legation in the circumstances of Mr. Morier, it may be presumed that much personal and private observation, many political and confidential minutes, would naturally occur, that are wholly inadmissible in a publication, upon every principle of official duty, and individual prudence and propriety. Yet must these passages have been very tempting in the hands of an editor, inasmuch as they are probably the most interesting in the journal. Mr. Inglis, however, has scrupulously omitted every feature of this description, yet has contrived, as we think, to select enough to impart to the narrative a great deal of interest and entertainment. Of this our readers shall now be enabled to judge in some degree for themselves.
Mr. Morier's journal contains a narrative of his proceedings from the departure of the mission from Bombay, on 12th Sept. 1808, to his arrival at Constantinople, in company with the mirza Abul Hassan on his way to England, in the autumn of 1809. It includes a voyage up the Persian gulf, and a journey over land through Bushire, Shiraz, Persepolis, Ispahan, Teheran, and Tabriz or Tauris, with occasional residence at those points, which the curiosity of the travellers, or the objects of the mission rendered most interesting. Engravings by the hand of Mr. W. Daniell, from spirited sketches of Mr. Morier's, illustrate the most singular scenes which presented themselves.
Mr. Morier modestly remarks, that his volume " is meant merely as provisional," and that he " is far from entertaining the presumption that it will class with the valuable pages of Chardin, le Brun, Hanway, Niebuhr, or Olivier." Mr. Morier's acquaintance with Persia, was acquired rather in what may be termed a passage through the country, much occupied by his official duties, than during a residence of leisure for research and investigation. He cannot, therefore, be expected to enter into details respecting the agriculture, commerce, manufactures, and national character, of the inhabitants, as those authors did whom we have just cited. But then, on the other hand, his official character gave him means of access and intercourse with persons among whom no length of residence would have afforded to a common traveller the same advantages. And it may be said that the work before us contains perhaps the best account extant in modern times,
of the higher ranks of Persians, and many detached observations that throw light on the other subject, for the full investigation of which time was wanting. We may also observe, that Mr. Morier's industry and activity have enabled him to bring before the public for the first time, a detailed account, illustrated by engravings, of some remains of antiquity, which he investigated at Shapour, a city in the great plain of Kauzeroon, near the road from Bushire to Shiraz.
That we may not interrupt the future progress of the narrative, we shall here observe, that these remains consist of rude sculptures of battles between personages in Roman and Persian costume, many of which, though referred by the ignorant Orientals to the fabulous exploits of their Rustam, or Hercules, are probably, as Mr. Inglis observes, a record of the triumphs of Sapor the son of Artaxerxes over the Romans; and one compartment, which represents a man in Roman armour kneeling at the foot of a Persian on horseback, seems evidently to refer to the emperor Valerian, who was defeated and taken prisoner by Sapor, and forced by the barbarian to bow the neck to his foot whenever he mounted his horse. It will be recollected also, that another Sapor overthrew the emperor Constantius in frequent engagements, and killed the emperor Julian in a memorable defeat, the merited consequence of that rash incursion, in celebration of which Mr. Gibbon has wasted so much eloquence, and prostituted so much good writing. Fac similes of some of these sculptures were observed by le Brun, at Nakshi Rustam, near Persepolis, and engravings of them are given in his "Voyages en Persie, &c."
In sailing up the Persian Gulf, Mr. Morier took some sketches of the singular capes and headlands which serve as a shelter to the Arab pirates, who, if we may believe their countryman, Ebn Haukal, have existed from beyond the time of Mohammed, and who have contributed with the anti-commercial habits of the Persians, to banish the intercourse of peaceful navigation from a tract of ocean peculiarly fitted for its advantageous pursuit.
The mission was received with all due honour by the sheik of Bushire, and had soon an opportunity of observing the mode of conducting state affairs in Persia. A day or two after their arrival, the chief executioner, an office from its great use and importance to the sovereign not dishonourable in Persia, arrived at the head of forty horsemen, deposed the reigning sheik, and exalted in his room a merchant from the baza; in a few days he again deposed this last, and chained him by the neck to the wall of his prison; and in a few days more reinstated him in his government, and left him at length in the enjoyment of it. All this was executed by the peremptory orders of the Prince of Shiraz,
in a town belonging to the Arabs, whose sheik thirty years before had given shelter to the fugitive Prince Looft Ali Khan, honourably supported him, and restored him, by Arabian valour, to his throne.
The following account of the mode in which this last-mentioned sheik collected his retainers, exhibits a singular coincidence of manners and customs with the highlanders of Scotland, as pourtrayed in Mr. Scott's last popular poem.
"Whenever his little domain was threatened either by the government of Persia, or by a neighbouring chief, sheik Nasr flew to arms. According to the traditional accounts of the country, his summons to his followers in these emergencies was equally characteristic and effectual. He mounted two large braziers of pillau on a camel, and sent it to parade round the country. The rough pace of the animal put the ladles in motion, so that they struck the sides of the vessels at marked intervals, and produced a most sonorous clang. As it traversed the Dashtistan, it collected the mob of every district; every one had tasted the Arab hospitality of the sheik, and every one remembered the appeal, and crowded round the ancient standard of their chief, till his camel returned to him surrounded by a force sufficient to repel the threatened encroachments. In every new emergency the camel was again sent forth, and all was again quiet." p. 17.
To make the business of recruiting poetical was beyond even the talents of Mr. Windham; but we cannot help considering this call upon Arab gratitude and patriotism more interesting than the fiery cross, or crean tarigh dipped in gore, which from the heights of Ben benne, "glanced like a meteor round," or the staff of the Scandinavians, which roused the voice of war over the heaths and vallies, till every man of the horde rose in arms.
The residence of the mission at Bushire was principally occupied by visits of form from the officers of the courts of Shiraz and Teheran, sent to welcome the envoy. A great part of the duties of the diplomacy of Persia consists in these visits, which are of a nature far from being congenial with English taste and
"Instead of the sophas and the easy pillows of Turkey, the visitor in Persia is seated on a carpet or mat without any soft support on either side, or any thing except his hands, or the accidental assistance of a wall, to relieve the galling posture of his legs. The misery of that posture in its politest form can scarcely be understood by description you are required to sit upon your heels, as they are tucked up under your hams after the fashion of a camel. To us this refinement was impossible; and we thought that we had attained much merit in sitting cross-legged as tailors. In the presence of his superiors a Persian sits upon his heels, but only cross-legged before his equals,