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and the contests with Russia, which have been carrying on for some years on this frontier, have imparted to the natives of this part of Persia, qualities more cheering than those which we have hitherto contemplated; and the character of Abbas Mirza, the Prince of Tabriz, their governor and the heir apparent of the Persian crown, is highly calculated to foster and improve dispositions so favourable. Both M. Gardanne and Mr. Morier agree in ascribing to this prince mental and personal accomplishments, far above the age and nation in which he lives.

M. Gardanne says of him, "Il veut relever sa nation, et il a l'ambition de la gloire militaire. S'il perd un general où un guerrier, il déchire ses habits, et donne les marques de la plus vive douleur. Il à perdu dernièrement des enfans, et n'a temoigné aucun chagrin." (p. 36.) Mr. Morier's account is a little more particular.

"The prince is said, by the Persians, to possess every quality that can grace a mortal; and (as there are many circumstances in his character, which his countrymen would never think of inventing) I am inclined to believe them. They were related to me by the hakim or governor of the city, at whose house I lodged during my residence at Tabriz. Some time ago, three of the prince's children died: his vizir appeared before him with a mournful face; the prince observed him, and inquired the reason: the vizir hesitated: 'Speak,' said the prince,

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is there any public disaster? Have the Russians been successful? Have they taken any more country from us?' 'No,' answered the minister, it is not that; your children are sick:'What of that?' asked the prince; But very sick indeed,' continued the vizir: 'Perhaps then they are dead! interrupted the father. His minister confessed the truth. Dead;' said the prince, 'why should I grieve? the state has lost nothing by them; had I lost three of my good servants, had three useful officers died, then indeed I should have grieved: but my children were babes, and God knows whether, if they had grown up to man's estate, they would have proved good servants to their country.

"The prince is remarkable also for the plainness of his dress; he never wears any thing more than a coat of common kerbas (a strong cotton cloth) and a plain shawl round his waist. Whenever he sees any officers of his court in fine laced or brocade clothes, he asks them, 'What is the use of all this finery? Instead of this gold and tinsel, why not buy yourself a good horse, a good sword, a good gun; this flippery belongs to women, not to one who calls himself a man and a soldier.' He inspects, himself, all the detail of his troops, their arms, horses, and accoutrements, adopting those that appear to him fit for use, and rejecting those that are below his standard. The governor of the city, who related these traits to me, had in his house at the time two hundred muskets, which the prince refused out of two thousand that had been sent to him from Teheran, having himself examined every single gun, and tried every lock. He is said also to be extremely liberal to his troops, and to give all his money among them.

VOL. VII.

20

"When I asked the governor if Messrs. Jouannin and Nerciat, af the French embassy (who had arrived a few days before us, and whom I overtook at Tabriz), had as yet departed, he replied that they were gone. When he came back to me in the evening he told me that they were not. He added, that on appearing before the prince in the morning, he had related my question and his own answer; on which the prince exclaimed, You told him that they were gone! How could you tell him such a falsehood? I will not allow any of my servants to speak an untruth.-Go and tell him that they are not gone.' It appeared that the governor had been really mistaken in his first report.

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"The governor talked also of his prince's horsemanship, and skill in the chase, which were unequalled. He told me, that at full gallop the prince could shoot a deer with a single ball, or with the arrow from his bow hit a bird on the wing. He combines, indeed, the three great qualities of the ancient Persians, which Zenophon enumerates, riding, shooting with the bow, and speaking truth. His countrymen, however, are, in general, less severe in their estimate of the requisites of a great character, and are content to omit the last trait of excellence; but they never praise any one without placing in the foremost of his virtues his horsemanship, in which alone, perhaps, they possess any national pride. I once, in fact, was in some danger of a serious dispute, by hazarding a doubt, that the Turks rode better than the Persians. It is quite ridiculous to hear them boast of their own feats on horseback, and despise the cavalry of every other nation. They always said, perhaps your infantry may surpass ours; but our horsemen are the first in the world; nothing can stand before their activity and impetuosity.' In fact, they have courage-one of the first qualities of a horseman; they ride, without the least apprehension, over any country, climb the most dangerous steeps over rock and shrub; and keep their way in defiance of every obstacle of ground. They have also a firm seat, and that on a saddle which, among an hundred different sorts would be called the least commodious. But that is all; they understand nothing of a fine hand, nor indeed with their bridles can they learn; for they use only a strong snaffle, fastened to the rein by an immense ring on each side, which they place indifferently in the strongest or weakest mouths; nor do they know how to spare their horses and save them unnecessary fatigue; for their pace is either a gallop on the full stretch, or a walk. As a nation, as fit stuff for soldiers, I know of no better materials. The Persian possesses the true qualities of the soldier; active, inured to labour, careless of life, admiring bravery, and indeed (as the chief object of their ambition) aspiring to the appellation of resheed or courageous." p. 279.

We learn from good authority, that the prince of Tabriz has directed his agents in this country to send to him the writings of our best authors, who treat upon the constitution and polity of the British empire. And the two Persian youths now in this metropolis, upon whom some of the newpapers have conferred princely honours, are in fact of Plebeian origin, and were selected

by the prince for their promise of superior ability, and sent hither under proper protection to learn the English language, for the purpose of facilitating his acquisition of English knowledge; and also to be educated, the one as a painter, the other as a surgeon-the one to cure the body, the other to record the exploits of their sovereign.

It is some relief to a mind long engaged in contemplating the fairest scenes of nature, the advantages of which the inhabitants waste and abuse, to reflect upon the reformation which the example and authority of such a prince may at length introduce among his countrymen. We are half disposed to indulge in so illusory a hope, by concealing the difficulties with which he has to contend. But truth compels us to admit that the case, for the present generation at least, is nearly desperate. Besides the renewed commotions which will probably ensue on the death of the reigning king, there is a corruption of heart and of taste, and an unprincipled levity of manners displayed in the following passage, which is more disheartening than many grosser vices that might at first sight appear less remediable.

"I dined with mirza Hassan, son of the first minister, mirza Bozurk. There were a number of young and pleasant men, who would have enlivened any company; but they seemed to vie with each other in the marvellous. As a specimen; a derveish had told one, that he was in his room when a shock of an earthquake threw him on the floor, where he lay for a long time in a trance; and on recovering, found himself to his great surprise, extended in the court-yard, close under his apartment: a second shock having projected him senseless out of the window. Of sleight-of-hand they recounted the most wonderful feats; and to all this, they swear by each other's head, eyes, sons, and fathers. The surest prognostic, indeed, of a falsehood is the number of emphatic oaths by which it is preceded. The Persians are called, with sufficient propriety, the Frenchmen of the east; they are indeed a talkative, complimentary, and insincere people, yet in manners agreeable and enlivening." p. 285.

Soon after quitting Tabriz, Mr. Morier passed the frontiers of Persia, and though his journey through Armenia and Asia Minor is by no means uninteresting, we shall here take leave of his work for the present, in order to close this article with a few reflections arising out of the political system, and the picture of national manners, which have been presented to us.

And first we may observe, that as no king of Persia, for the last century, has ever obtained quiet possession of his throne, without wading to it through the blood of many competitors of his own family; and, as we think, that we have enumerated three or four warlike brothers now possessing governments in different

parts of the kingdom, and all accustomed to the exercise of power little short of absolute sovereignty; it requires no great reach of judgment to foresee, that Abbas Mirza, prince of Tabriz, will not quietly take possession of the government, without some years of confusion, destruction, and desolation, to already exhausted Persia. Combining, therefore, this prospect, with what we have observed of the natural poverty and difficulties of the country; and considering that there is an Afgan monarch in Cabul and Candahar, between the frontiers of Persia and those of India, almost necessarily hostile to the Persian government; we think ourselves entitled to conclude, that any serious inconvenience to our Indian possessions from the passage of a French force through Persia is for the present altogether imaginary. We are far, however, from wishing that the British government should on this account relax in the attention which it has lately given to the court of Persia. There are many moral, many political objects, which may be promoted by the connexion. And generally speaking, we think it becoming in a great nation professing to act on liberal and enlarged principles of policy, to cultivate intimacies with those who can reap moral and political improvement from the intercourse. We do from our hearts detest that truly pedler principle of diplomacy adopted by France and the continental states, that calculates what people can be kidnapped, what territory seized from its lawful owner, at such a consumption of human life, or at such an expense of military spies and official falsehoods. M. Gardanne's work, scanty and unsatisfactory as it is, proves clearly enough, that Persia has been long entered in the Gallic ledger as an article of debit against England, or to be purchased at the abovementioned rate. But as making good the delivery would entail upon Persia an aggravation of all her evils, it behoves England to enter her protest against the demands of France, and to support it by every measure which can extenuate the evils under which the Persians labour. We should then be instrumental in extricating the fairest of the Asiatic nations from the same state of moral and political degradation from which we are now labouring to preserve the fairest of those of Europe; nay, we think that we may add the whole European continent. To be convinced that Spain and Great Britain are the only impediments to such a consummation of evil, it is only necessary to contemplate the abject state of Persia, and to reflect upon the causes that have produced it, and then to trace the progress and consider the plans of Napoleon. Called to the possession of supreme power under circumstances, than which none were ever more favourable to its establishment on the broad basis of the people's happiness; with a littleness of mind truly despicable, he has chosen to rest his fame on the personal aggrandizement of his family and depen

dents, on military glory, and the oppression, not to say the absolute annihilation of the people. With his "twenty satrapies" fast rising on every side around the parent tyrant, what but the moral force instilled by the exertions of England, and the example of successful resistance so gloriously exhibited in the peninsula, prevents him from sending in a fit of caprice his chief executioner with the bowstring to the king of Prussia, or to bring to the imperial footstool the eyes and the tongue of the king of Wirtemberg, or to chain her majesty of Sicily by her neck to the wall, or to bastinado to death their new-made majesties of Bavaria or Saxony? Nor is this all; the evils would accumulate not upon the higher ranks only, but upon every class of the people. Protected as they may be by the energy of a first establisher of tyranny from all oppressions but his own; what shall save them from the horrors of the domestic contests, the rebellions, the sackings of cities, and the laying waste of countries, that have universally ensued among the degenerate descendants of the first great tyrant, who adds the prejudices of a princely education to the orthodox vices of their established system of politics? The line of the Buonapartes, should Providence be pleased to afflict and chastise the world with a royal race from the stock, must from the nature of things surpass the Sofis themselves in luxury and cruelty; and a succession of unprincipled and warlike satraps will perpetuate civil discord and eternal bloodshed by never-ending contests for the possession of the "roi faineant," or for the substitution of a less fortunate brother or cousin as the instrument of their power.

We have reason to believe that this splendid and well edited volume is the first of a succession of works upon Persia that will gradually come before the public. A new work from M. de Sacy is shortly expected from Paris; and the present embassy under Sir Gore Ousely contains (besides Mr. Morier) the ambassador's brother, Sir William Ousely, a gentleman whose perfect acquaintance with oriental literature and languages, must afford a peculiar interest to any account of his researches.

The three maps, which illustrate the work before us, will be found to contain original matter useful to geographers.

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