including that of translation into foreign languages. PaGE & COMPANY All rights reserved. hy DOUBLEDAY. including the Scandinavian Bl ^ PUBLIC LIBRAlgY .MOUNT PLEASANT BRANCH ^S Copyright. 1917.

I have drunk your water and wine. — And lO CM The deaths you died J have watched beside the lives that you lived were mine." cc 0= .4 56 086 :2r 5r FOR 00 (D CLARA KHANUM AND CECIL SAH'B "I have eaten your bread and salt.


20 42 of the III. XI. XVI. 196 The Gramophone 236 243 258 XV. Jimmy & Co The Great Slaughter Old Wine in IX. The Sea of Sciences Wild Boar Vignette of a Time Gone By . The Country Sky 62 71 . 283 288 324 XVI 1 1.. New Bottles The Factory 177 188 The Satrap About Rug Books (But to Be Skipped by Those Who Neither Read nor Write Them) XIV. The Caravan vii . The Bazaar Leaf from the Book of Ser Marco Polo Persian Apparatus VI. VII.CONTENTS CHAPTER PAGE Confidential I. xi Caucasian Prologue Anabasis 3 II. Avicenna XIX. Kazvin IV. XIII. V. XII. 89 92 113 121 151 VIII... X. XVII.

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in Frontispiece PAGE Colophon: Persian prayer rug the Metropolitan Museum Headpiece Boats at Enzcli Pilgrims {See title page) 3 20 39 The Tomb of Prince Hosein . 42 Hamadan Street The Office . 243 288 324 IX .. Elvend The Fruit of the Knowledge The Tomb of Avicenna Camels 196 Good and Evil .ILLUSTRATIONS The Sublime Porte of Kazvin .. 73 77 85 A Court in the Bazaar Pot Shops 87 91 The Tomb of Esther and Mordecai Ye Laundress Ye Butler The Flagellants Zobeida's Litter 103 107 122 145 A Mourner of Kerbela Rug Weavers of 149 177 Hamadan and Mt..


It collect —and it contains not even one photoif graph of a true Persian miniature. Your book pictures. on those little sometimes gaily coloured. very decousus. this is no door. sometimes faintly sketched.'' illustrating in their his public —very small random way but one all corner of Persia. in praying me to excuse him the honour of presenting a few of them to **unsewn. And having learned by pungent experience that ye reviewer is somewhat given to jumping from a title to a conclusion. But it is a window which looketh into a great worlds dubious reader. gazelles. I would have borrowed it to reflect distinction on my pages. my masters. as that good friend of mine among their worships the editors said tle art of who best understands the sub- gilding a pill. is no treatise NO.CONFIDENTIAL *'In little good sooth. make it my duty to give warning as loudly as I may that no Orientalist need waste time in turning over these pages. and then visiting his disappointment upon ye scribbler's head. They conportrait I tain nothing but a collection of sketches in printer's ink. of tur- baned princes and flowering trees and dancing which it has become so much the fashion to to forge. though not the war had made impossible for me to get hold of a certain by the great Behzad. and designed not at xi to catch the eye .

perhaps. ing had a far more prolonged experience I of other parts of the Near East. I can admit. or by a gentleman's gentleman diplomatic whose master fell ill by the way and never reached Tehran. The rest was pure cacoethes scrihendi aggravated by the fact that I happened to be in that remote theatre of the Push to the East when the German — War I broke out. If I had been an Englishman. take a particular interest in that exten- sive literature of our language xii which interprets the East . When the East India Company was formed. than they expected. that of thought twice before suc- cumbing copy out to this incurable itch of the writer to make and hears. they were good enough to invite me to follow them. qualify them as gentlemen. and when they did they only American secured my title to share in the great Anglo-Saxon tradi- tion of the gentleman adventurer. however. I would not have ventured to add a volume even half as portly as it might sees what he have been to a bibliography so I rich as that of Persia. I fear. Yet have never been of those who look at English and literature as at two separate things. my ancestors had not emigrated to New England. or my Not own that slight I mean to and comBut hav- fortable experience of Persia as an adventure. the destiny of my friends led them to Hamadan.PERSIAN MINIATURES of the serious-minded. I did so a little more promptly. when Abbas the Great invited the British factors to help him drive the Portuguese out of the Persian Gulf. and that in the end I made next to nothing of any journalistic timeliness. I had friends. of the For my experience of the Land by a Sun was such as might have been gained instal a mechanic sent out to service force-pump for a travelled in the Khan.

must further admit that I have been unable to put away from myself an ambition of I And contributing my mite to that literature. And Strasbourg and Serayevo were as integral parts of them as Potsdam or Schonbrunn. anything that attempts to make even so shadowy a little less shadowy is perhaps worth trying. As for so remote a corner of the world as Persia. at any Still. because we knew too little what underlay it all. are many of my own fellow-countryits men. and must have been so from time. it is too much to expect that rate. It has counted for not a little. That crimson splotch was no more all than Germany. This yellow patch was literally Austria. have felt at greater liberty to do so in because our half of the race has grown up a greater Much of the the early part of the anomaly war was due If of our position during to the simple fact that many good Americans been created in seriously believe the world to have 1492. we took cognisance at all of the hypothesis that there might be a world outside our own. or to fate. we saw reality. The xiii . Too many scholars now living have written of the land a history. the geography. the literature. I As an American isolation. it from too great a distance to credit it its imagine ourselves as bound with in one And we attached to a school atlas something of the finality claimed for Holy Writ. the resources. to do so in any encyclopedic way. ist to and the politics of Persia for a mere impressioncompete with them in their own generation. I am per- suaded. of course. in the unparalleled success of Great Britain as a colonial power. It was not for me. All too slowly did what was going on in Europe come to mean anything to us.CONFIDENTIAL to the West. the antiquities. ready to believe in existence.

and of Lord Sir John Malcolm. But it please me well enough if people who have been to will Persia fmd it possible to turn over these pages with no more than the usual amount of derision. has not been solely out of anxiousness not to I must here acknowledge. as well as from Mr. and a surprisingly uncommon one: that How shall put it? That it should — I I not be too hard to read! dregs of confession. Le Strange. contains other names. to explore the the kind of book more serious literature of which is it I have spoken. however. If I have not fringed the bottoms of it my pages with notes. I have borrowed right and left from Browne. my great indebtedness to those whose ampler knowledge of Persia has so constantly come to the rescue of my own. these loose sketches will not have been stitched between covers in vain. or some of their books. if I were to turn out the is should have to admit that that would most like to write. and a sample as good as an ass-load/' And they possess a quality which has always seemed to me highly admirable in a book. however. the incommunicable tang of those ancient uplands. And if a few who have not been to Persia fmd here enough of the look. whose "Mohammedan Dynasties*' xiv . little is For they exemplify the saying of Sadi that "a a proof of much. of like those of the inimitable old Sir Curzon's enviable relative Lord Zouche.PERSIAN MINIATURES Persian bibliography. Thomas Herbert. Stanley Lane-Poole. to discover how far from simple for East and West to be just to one another. enfuriate the typesetter. and Sykes. of " Hajji Baba" Morier. while less compendious are per- haps more successful in evoking the true Iranic flavour. I In fact. Their books. the light. Curzon.

Mortimer Clapp. I how much friend information. J. and Mrs. Indeed if I were to name all those in Persia and out from whom I have received facts and kindnesses without number. spelling The question of rendering the in English is sound of Persian words and names consonants are one of quite is peculiar difficulty. But I cannot omit thanking. particularly about owe to my Mr. and Mrs. however. who if he chose could write a more competent rug book than has yet been written. while Dr." of from the French translations Yakut and Masudi. Henry Hildebrand of Hamadan was likewise good enough to give me valuable hints on the same subject. for their encouragement. help. while the letter a it is is as variable in Persian as in English. The Bookman. F. Eugene F. for permitting ters or parts of chapters me to republish four chap- which first saw the light in their magazines. Mr. and from other authorities great and small more numerous than in a book of this kind it is fitting to specify. I have also helped myself without scruple from the Hakluyt Society's "Venetian Travellers in Persia. A. and suggestions. and The Century. It would be unfitting. I would have to make a catalogue too long to print. if I did not specify rugs.CONFIDENTIAL is an indispensable compass to the wanderer through the of maze Near Eastern allusions. my collaborator Mr. Edwards of Hamadan and many other places. There remains to say a word with regard to the followed in this book. Mr. C. and Mr. Wilfred J. Saxton. Jones. The trouble XV . because at least three of the Persian unknown to us. And let me here express my obligations to the editors of Asia. Cook of Tehran have taken the trouble to clear up for me various doubtful points of orthography. W.

But why who am no Orientalist and who do not distinguishing write for Orientalists. by writing dh when ^. on the whole. mystify heart of my reader and set the the compositor against q. Eppur si muove I answered Galileo. And my ear has too long been sharpened to the sound of strange tongues for the letters e me to be frightened by Professor Browne when he ^ cries out against the barbarity of putting an or an o into a name taken out of Arabic letters. For it seems to me highly advisable to discourage the layman from adding to the chaos which I there" already reigns in his spelling of Oriental names. of it. to risk straying in two I equally false directions. being oificially described as equivalent to the vowel sound of the English word cat. or w when and by strewing my book with dark dots and mean accents? shall not. yet for the novice to take Professor Browne's word for for instance. if they lack the letters. xvi .PERSIAN MINIATURES that those variations are not quite identical. is it it that Enzeli. in Persian. bet. Let not be gathered that am so foolish as to argue against Professor Browne's It is is spelling in Professor Browne's books. really verges oificially toward the vowel sound of o exist in Persian. have the best for they transliterate according to a fixed system. The Turks quite incontrovertibly make the sounds. And neither So there you have one prolific e nor cause of an unending row between two camps of orthographers. Orientalists it the more scholarly and among should I. me by I between k and I mean I u. should be Anzali. The Persians pronounce them less distinctly. and that one of them. paying no attention to English phonetics and denying and o as the Pope did the rotation of the earth. indispensable. The Orientalists.

The vowels are pronounced as in Italian. they are at least Society. ist. or the popularised Firdowsi. for a which does not still exist our language. which you won't is unless you know e. nants are pronounced as in English. One unfortunate consequence of this system is that I add a new variation to an already too various name: that of the poet Firdeusi. that that ^ it a cattish a verg- ing on The Italian eu hits almost exactly. Persian. If say Enzeli. and the French circumflex for a unpronounceable Turkish of accents. don't! For usage seems to have taken the matter out of my hands —as in other cases have ignorance or the idiosyncrasies of the xvii . each separately and none silent. g. the in German umlaut /. for in Persian Otherwise I more make no use stress falls and Turkish the almost invariably on the last syllable. j. should also say Tebriz and Hemedan. otherwise than as the mystic consort of Cosine. k. is I But I must end by confessing that consistency for too rare a jewel me always to keep hold of it. I have made one concession to the Orientalists e. except that and s never encroach upon the sounds of or ^. for example. to an enraged Oriental- is a barbarity more shocking than Mehmed. If it has its own more familiar and more comprehensible. or the perhaps most com- mon Firdausi —unless you remember. The consoc. I out. it This. Yet comes much nearer the true sound than his Firdawsi.CONFIDENTIAL fore choose the simpler system of the Royal Geographical conventions. I will be obliged to make two ii syllables out of have further borrowed. whereas he Sineh. as I Professor Browne very aptly points Well. in retaining the h after a final will because nothing on earth make the average Anglo-Saxon pronounce Sine. for certain Turkish words.

And Tehran? As really has only if to that.PERSIAN MINIATURES English tongue. After all. they will not be so upset as had followed Professor Browne and said Tihran! xvni . it is high time English-speaking people stopped using a French spelling for a name which two I syllables.



SOME YEERES TRAVELS INTO DIVERS PARTS OF ASIA AND AFFRIQUE WE coast formed the habit. But hee alone reserves the Paines. set under a high green coast. of waking HAD up every morning off a town of low red roofs and slim white minarets. Fishes. Beasts. Thou participates his Gaines. rarest that the World affoords. Baron of Cameron. Hee went for Knowledge and hee Then thank the Author: Thanks got it. The Lord his: Fayrfax.CAUCASIAN PROLOGUE Here thou at greater Ease than hee Mayst behold what hee did see. Who The hath presented to thy Sight Seas. Hee traded not with Luker sotted. on Sir Thomas Herbert. Lands. is light. But instead of anchoring offshore and bargaining 3 . and Birds. Men. Batum also sat under a high green — if so much higher than usual as to be tipped with snow. during a week of leisurely Black Sea travel.

I known it But there are discovered while plenty of Turks left in the town. The big black policemen of I Batum dress like that.bureau. and they look enough like Geor- They all wear the same top same slack breeches. the same short jackets. was time to take my evening . and the same long-flapped hoods with a tassel at the point which serve them equally for turbans. a Laz. Those quickup to a — — tempered people are almost as common gians to be their cousins. That fact was still more apparent when I stepped into a true Russian droshky. if not a Tartar. That they are not always right I once or twice proved by asking the man himself and finding out that he was what I thought. as prowling around before train. that if I courage to scratch that coachman I would have found a Georgian. namely. — or capes. too. In the Caucasus whenever they don't know what to call a man they call him a Georgian. boots. blouses and spoke no still They wore black Russian language. the in Batum as they are in Trebizond. wondered if the house boys of the Hotel de France were. we tied quay and walked ashore with no more ado than a brief session with my lords of the customs and the passport . had had the I suspect. however. And more conspicuous than any minaret were the syringe domes of a Russian cathedral. driven by a true Russian coachman a kind of centaur so at one with his box that no human being could tell where coachman stopped and carriage began and rattled away over true Russian cobblestones.PERSIAN MINIATURES with the crews of tall-prowed Turkish boats. Whereby it appeared that something had happened in Batum since it stopped being a Turkish town in 1878. mufflers. being Georgians.

CAUCASIAN PROLOGUE They say is that a famous bridge over the Golden Horn a good place from which to admire the nations of the It earth. One men in broad-brimmed hats. were Greeks. thence to be sent for burial to the great Armenian monastery of Echmiadzin. Armen- ians were but a fraction of that polyglot company. Tartars. to do honour to the memory of a certain Armenian philanthropist who had recently died in Constantinople and whose body. people than the Armenians I had seen before. out where left no stone unturned to find was going and why. The train in which my Armenian presently deposited I German who had 5 . among whom gian. However. and an English agent of the American Licorice Company. with flowers and candles standing around a black catafalque. with an odd look of the Latin Quarter about many of them. together with tall Swede who had travelled in most of the length of the Black Sea the fat my steamer chair. when I went there in charge of an Armenian porter from the hotel. was about to be taken to Tiflis by my train. at the end of the train stood a freight car which had been group of young turned into a chapelle ardente. struck me that the railway station of Batum might be a better one. who read aloud to them out of a brand new book of How do I know? It rhymed! But they were poetry. and peg-top trousers stood tightly under an electric light around an intense young woman with a slight moustache. Turks. the inevitable Geor- such exotic specimens as the and the equally inevitable Russian. having been brought to Batum on my ship. there. A good many among the crowd that packed the waiting rooms were his own They were darker and fierier looking fellow countrymen. Sure enough. my porter told me. string ties.

was the view. however. one plumper and one more pinched. an older married daughter who had the They air of a poor relation. Then I began to be interested in my fellow travellers. she was and Turkish. finally announced that she was tired of doing all the talking and that we must take turns telling stories. gay mamma. a dumpy. thanks to the broader gauge of the Russian rails. all seemed to be as much at home in Russian as they were in Greek. or otherwise helping to pass the time. ugly. on This information was their way to a wedding in Tiflis. dressed with a diamond. and a rakish husband or two. propounding enigmas. vouchsafed to me by the bride herself. That was striking enough in the moonlight as we ran along the edge of the sea —you toward the ghostly heights of the Caucasus. The gay mamma. talkative person two magpies. Petersburg by rail — Petrograd had still to be in- must cross the Transcaucasus to Derbend and then come back to Rostov on the north side of the mountains. They turned out to be all Greeks and all of one party. There were also As for more fluent in two younger daughters.PERSIAN MINIATURES me was vented the St. What interested me first. fat. It was the usual roomy Russian train. Petersburg express. Italian creditable than my flimsy Romaic. She 6 . for to get from Batum to St. and my compartment was the roomier because the seats in it were numbered. in an English much more her short. before the night to whom if I I would have proposed was out had been quite sure that neither of the rakish husbands belonged to her. and between the odds and ends of other languages which we possessed in common we got along as exactly alike as famously. before striking up country for Moscow.

tell- ing stories is not my But strong point. As it transpired. who could not stop talking long enough for the turn to go the entire round. with her younger that end sisters and her poor After that the rest of us arranged ourselves for the night. She then proposed that we do something which lifted all could do together. To be we turned up the backs of the seats. . mimicry. about a fairy who was a fairy by night and a flower in the daytime The fairy told him. and least of in the all in strange tongues. and carry her his. he would break the enchantment and she garden. though the bride had sung in her marriage morn before she retired thither relation. The ladies all cried out that he should try them and see. The bride followed. and she told a Caucasian version of the story of Cupid and Psyche. and the others joined in it — I wondering what they would make of next door in the Damencoiipe. as 7 may . He tried to get out of his turn by declaring that none of the stories he knew could be told in such company. because of the flowers the one he picked was the only one that had no dew on its petals. . Whereupon he compromised with a string of Turkish proverbs. that if in the morning he could distinguish her in the from the other flowers in his away hand. however. for .— CAUCASIAN PROLOGUE opened I this Decameron with a Turkish folk tale which had heard before but never with so much verve and One of the rakish husbands came next. to the infinite despair of her lover. In the meantime my knees knocked together. She therefore up a far from disagreeable voice in song. end I was saved by the gay mamma. would always be So in the morning he went into all the garden and he broke the enchantment. most of us belonged in the Damencoupe.

In front of the latter ran a line of low hills. Sheepskin caps. So I had time only to be introduced to a smart Greek bridegroom. and one of the rakish husbands and I stretched out on the upper storey. and towers In the simplicity of my heart I decorated the tops of the track. fluted 8 . to eat an ex- cellent breakfast. we stopped and about This for me was I doubly an hour of doom. accordingly. The only discomfort about was that the double windows were hermetically sealed for winter. I discovered in the morning that no mountains were near us. for not only did at Tiflis but pine to look I died to accept the gay mamma's invitation and go to the wedding with my lively friends. while the at last gay mamma and her married daughter dropped into it silence below. To my great surprise and disappointment. They did. giving view of distant snow mountains on the right and more distant snow mountains on the left. had imagined that one travelled most of the way from Batum to Baku in romantic mountain passes. began more thickly to decorate the roads beside I also noticed sheets of ice. further- more. The trouble was that I had other friends to meet in Baku.PERSIAN MINIATURES done in a Russian car even when it is not a sleeper. and to admire Tiflis from the com- partment window as we rumbled away from on either lip of it. hanging a deep gorge with a cog railway climbing a mountain behind. to stare all too briefly at the astounding people in the station. where half-past eight hills. however. They had receded during the night to either side of a wide bare brown valley with water in the bottom of it. at Tiflis. After that the bare brown valley widened again. and a Caspian boat to catch. draw together a little as we went on.

Petersburg once insisted. more serious than the gay mamma whose corner she took. are largely a matter of the is luckily big enough 9 . That eye filled me with I my mingled emotions. with an eye that looked as if it might have been drawn by Mr. Perhaps because Taganrog. too upset at being torn from Greek friends to take notice of my new companChief among them were a Russian matron. and her big bold black daughter with a bang. With the unhappy result that when in time I came to the latter. and particularly the last two. I hardly know why. And I for Russian eyes. Maurice Ketten. of course. five on givnote. and with a willingness to cultivate casual masculine acquaintance. as for many other things Russian. and the world These things. I must confess. much ions. siderable asperity. ing me change for ten pounds out of a pound to the no small advantage of my depleted exchequer. Perhaps because an old lady who might have taught far me more than she did I set me reading Tolstoy and Turgeni^v long before knew anything about Hardy and Meredith. for while it alarmed me a little it was the first Russian eye into which I had gazed for more than two seconds since I had set foot in the Caucasus. I I failed to derive I quite the might have felt if had happened on them personal equation. I have always had a weakness. in spite of went to school with some boys from Perhaps because a railway clerk in St. mud vol- was not. or Howells and James. with con- my feeble protests.CAUCASIAN PROLOGUE with sharp erosions. that looked sometimes like canoes and sometimes like an old shore. at the mouth of the Don. satisfaction first. or even Jack London and Richard Harding Davis.

There I found myself . see way of putting out everybody so simple. in it. "Svidrigailov sat lost in thought. that on to sit on the same find. ' " madman. it.' thought Raskolnikov. as an Anglo-Saxon has a tendency to be. in And Do you remember "Crime and Punishment"? life. surely the most shaking of its kind in all literature. And behind it all there is a strange which somehow contrives not to be childish even Dostoievsky our green of all. when he gets her into that garret and then I lets her go. seeking the solution of eternal questions. but they are not prudish about it." the things that come into their heads Svidrigailov. They Nothing frightens them. Neither are they sentimental about trouble. They around so many corners. " And what if there are only spiders there. I were went into the corridor to think about lO it. but we in youth have to That's what settle the eternal questions first is we care about. as a Latin has a tendency to be. eye. rather puts his fmger on in "The Brothers Karama- zov" : '' It is different for other people. or cynical about it. if my shelf the Russians have are a curious. or something * like that?' he said suddenly. a perfectly unconscious." perhaps.PERSIAN MINIATURES for Tolstoy shelf. the face of an American Glad Book. with some misgiving. And only a Russian could have written that tremendous scene between Svidrigailov and Sonia. Young Russia ! talking about nothing but the eternal questions now. a He is And so. regarded the bold black eye of the young lady with a if it bang and asked myself. do you.' "'I don't believe in a future said Raskolnikov. I and Richard Harding Davis though. else's They are so human. But only a Russian would think of that.

when she saw how many marriages of her friends were unhappy. and a travel. I know what didn't know Rus- And before knew it she was telling me that she was going to Petersburg for the winter but that she lived in Batum. When one is — 1 . she took it for granted. Later. telling me how quickly everything grew there. beginning. she said. Her garden she had planted herself. however. or just outside of it. as they could save money from their pay. she discovered how fortunate she had been. She looked so much of the kind I an like New I English woman I most didn't answer. as often do under such circum- stances. who died in the flower of her age. had never caused them any unhappiness except one daughter. under the high white wall of the Caucasus. it was. too. She didn't go into particulars and 1 didn't ask for them: but she told me that they had lived in many parts of Russia. adding that she had been very fortunate. It was like her child. Her chilsomething of his own. now that her children were grown up. who presently asked like me something English or that I in Russian. At first. She and her husband had done everything by degrees.1 CAUCASIAN PROLOGUE beside another lady. even subtropical things. but is an instinct of man to have young one can Later one wishes a home. some violets from that garden and she offered me a few of them. Anarchists. Her children. and be alone. she said. She had married young a young and handsome husband. much older. Her husband was a retired civil servant of some kind. from the garden. with whom she had always been happy. preach the destrucit tion of property. where she had a house and In her hand she held a garden in sight of the Black Sea. that hadn't a match and didn't told her instead that I I time sian.

years ago. I told her that I had been in New York when Gorky went there in 1905. and whom they dared not touch. 12 . "Yes. so varied. "I love Chopin. have to leave the country. living in . without polite prelimi- naries. Russian writers. Tolstoy was the only one who stayed. enough. 191 3. although she considered Gorky the greatest of living by saying that he had deprecated the reading of Dostoievsky by the younger generation though perhaps I misunderstood her. just as she had walked out of Turgeniev. She said she said of since. There will be another uprising. "People cannot speak or think. She surprised me. And there was her garden. she missed. There is too much unhappiness. and those — him. When I told her what an impression "Evgeni Onegin" made upon me. and the plays of Ostrovsky. in Moscow.— PERSIAN MINIATURES dren. I And many other things which have often thought sad. was it and that I had not been proud of the zeal which my fellow countrymen showed in casting the first stone at large. But there had been among them none of the disasters of which one was constantly hearing. it all if quite simply." The mention of that name brought up other names. . now that they were married and homes of their own. too. Of Artsibashev's "Sanin" she cried out that it was She told me I should rather read a dreadful book." That was in November. — Korolenko. she was evidently pleased. of course. Schumann." she said. Those who do. To my surprise she rather took their part against me." she said "My country makes me — ''so and he who should govern not strong who do govern thinking only of their pockets. and what new things had been revealed to me when Safonov came to New York to conduct the Philharmonic Orchestra.

the pass from Tiflis to Vladikavkaz. hoarse voice. in her deep.'* we had been standing up in All this time the corridor. of tatingly asked thin face if I whom I hesi- did not disturb her. stroking her pale hair on her upper shelf. who 13 . stupid. and a quantity of pale hair piled loosely on top "Monsieur does not disturb me. "But now it is finished. plied. My old lady out of Turgeniev finally invited in me to sit down her compartment —which I Damencoupe. her terrific accent. If he was drunken it was largely the fault of the Government. word we groped for. not But our Russians have something they have —a sadness. was from Tiflis herself. the magnificent scenery. For the back of one of the seats was turned up." she re"He is a stranger. too. She had a strange of her head. an understanding. asking me what — without sentimentality. I go too. to die." she remarked. She " I would have liked to travel. She said it without heroics. Afterwards we shall see!'' She said it in a deep. hoarse voice. and on that upper shelf another lady was lying.CAUCASIAN PROLOGUE Beethoven. and in a French much more fluent than the old — lady's or mine. drunken. And she and the older lady presently fell afoul of each Tiflis other over the Russian peasant. I Then was up to and telling me about the barbarous Caucasus. The lady from Batum took up had spent all life his defence. first At she only listened to the two of us supplying every now and then the who sat below. the curse and her despair of the country. saying that she with the muzhik and thought the world of him. and therefore not a bore yet. insisted that he The lady from was lazy. to Petersburg." she began to talk. And there happened to be the walked into Dostoievsky. but with an extraordinary accent.

that muihih. The only thing they looked a little too arch over my violets. intense in her thin face. the muihik merely followed the example set him by his betters. and to hold something sacred. without faith. a bore. and visit in found. For the rest. without God. there. she cared nothing for pictures and confessions. and asked the Damencoupe. her eyes strangely . that there terrific was someshelf. that I would not lay me whether the lady from Batum were 14 a governess or a . And who knew what they saw? that the stranger was after all awkwardly enough.PERSIAN MINIATURES forced it. in this generation without restraint. The lady from Tiflis listened from her upper shelf. own compartment. More peasants had come than there was room for. after it my up against laid up against them was that them. So I went back. she said: only the Gospel. and soldiers.'' she finally uttered in " And she turned her face to the wall. too till her hus- — band was suddenly transferred to another province. to my matron and her big black daughter were at once any rate. vodka upon villages even when they didn't want Ignorant he certainly for the sake of the revenue. It suddenly came over me in the silence that followed. as I stared at that pile of pale hair. The at still They saw. . They made it known to me I that they were not seeking I the solution of eternal questions. that hoarse voice: "To hold something sacred "Yes. thing more than an accent on that upper Yet the eyes that looked at the wall were not terrified. was. but what chance had he had? she went on to tell And with what difficulty she had obtained permission from Petersburg to open a night school for peasants in one of the cities of Little Russia where her husband was then stationed. As for her.

little on the north side of the mountain. whose white heights wore a delicate flush. In the Was I going to Vladi- kavkaz? monde resorts of Tiflis summer it was delicious. Then the daughter began to prepare me for Vladikavkaz by giving me a Russian lesson. was a sad. I assured them that the lady from Batum was. when the beau and Moscow and Petersburg came to the In the winter. and the Russian lesson I came to an abrupt end. on the It contrary. Instead of thinking about the Greek Titan and his rock and his found myself thinking about the Russian lady lying on her upper shelf in the Also. Even the summits whose flush paled imperceptibly and took on a phos- phorescent glimmer. 1 sat in the theatre of Dionysus. they were the wife and daughter of a Colonel. I from Tiflis. giggling in spite of herself at my dreadful pronun- ciation. but it impressed them considerably. The country blanched. Damencoup^ grew rather outside The train rumbled on. Far away on the other side a row of silver peaks ran sharp against a painted sky. now stationed at Vladikavkaz. it however. of I wondered? thrill first If they were. with her wide-open eyes to the wall.CAUCASIAN PROLOGUE school teacher. the sight them gave me no such as should be felt right-minded pilgrim when goal of his desire. did not mind. By this time we had come much nearer the mountains of Prometheus. he beholds the distant of Prometheus. Were by the they Persian peaks. the wife of a Governor General. turned dimmer. may not have been true. failed to do what they should for a man who had vulture. sleepy. But presently a tall lieutenant made his ap- pearance. fantastically 15 Could . They had evidently been listening. flatter. for I caught sight through the window of a rose-coloured lake. As for them.

For all of a sudden Sea! I caught. make no attempt to scrape the sky. Baku on lower and more hills. dor. And Baku process its bustles in a way is that is quite upsetting to gives this one's theories of that part of the world. however. for like moon of Turkestan. Baku is. off at I And at last. But it had to me an almost American air as it were a Pittsburgh dipped in Asia. evening. if after — a manner of its own. through the corridor window. if you like. a great They many What is. at any rate.PERSIAN MINIATURES that be sand? Like enough. too. I furthermore. It is. al- though they look solider than those of Pittsburgh. of them. looked exactly Lake Champlain under the moon of Vermont until spied on the shore a vagrant camel. regarding a greasy gray-green sea that never again looked to it me so picturesque as in the moonlight behind a camel. latish in the said good-bye to my Russian friends and got Baku. particular colour that Baku as a matter i6 / . are astonishingly new. Those fires and that camel are the symbols and epitome of Baku. did that camel! Then ruddier and more melodramatic fires began to flare on I — the horizon. the place from which you jump off to Tehran or Samarkand. The Caspian I did the corri- Caspian Sea the honour to wake up and go into the I then discovered to all its my astonishment that the Caspian Sea. the silhouette of him dark and exotic as the East against a rippling glamour. and without the diabolic beauty with which nature and man have sits conspired to endow the barren true Pittsburgh. a jumping-off place. when first beheld The houses of Baku. He saved the day for the Caspian. to the north. That is perhaps because Baku flames and belches. the glint of wide water under a climbing moon.

adorned stretches for the with Persian lions and inscriptions. or his quaint EngHsh translator did. of *'a citie called Bachu. stynkeng horryblye. this more ancient Baku are to be seen the town. than or I know anything alike. nevertheles. piously visit in aster have burned these The remnants in of Baku a place where the fires of Zorotwo or three thousand years. where a castle stands in certain higher parts of light stone. but they less and look more of whereas still in Baku many thousands their good people dress as ancestors did before America was discovered. though they ended by giving the palm to a certain unpronounceable mollusc of Rio de Janeiro. and And for the anoynteng of their camells twies a yere. Later I came told to know one of those engineers very well. of whom I regret to confess I am not one. a fairly venerable town. rather like the tufa of Naples. They warmed my patriotic heart not a little by the favour with which they mentioned Blue Points and Lynn Havens. and he me that in spite of Giosafat Barbaro 17 and . which they. eating a Russian dinner. neere vnto which citie there is a mountaigne that casteth foorth blacke oyle. vse for furnissheng of their lightes.CAUCASIAN PROLOGUE Some twenty years was discovered a Venetian ambassador by the name of Giosafat Barbaro passed that way and wrote. I overheard a group of English engineers discussing the merits of oysters. before America all honest tourists. Beyond it a quarter which went far toward consoling me discovery that inhabited as I might after is all have stopped off in Tiflis. whereof the sea of Bachu taketh its name. it by fragments of more strange races about." of fact. The all races of Pittsburgh dress are no doubt as varied. As I sat one evening in my French Hotel d' Europe.

painted the most recondite colours. in money. too. And of that is why Baku so amusing. One day a Russian oificer took it into his head to buy some land there for a farm. bearing passengers with sleepy or with boiling black eyes as the case with all may be. together with other ingredients of the usual Caucasian pie. offering ters he him the farm for an extremely small sum. the noses of Asia. looking into. and nothing could drain it having a suspicion that that black liquid would bear That suspicion made the Armenian a millionaire. having no idea what on earth to do with around Baku jewelled. a disgusting black liquid earth. morewould ooze out of the away. however. They is couldn't help themselves. movies. They also go to the marvelling over the Europe and the New World as exhibited to manners and morals of them in the i8 . The Russian and Arthe millionaires menian millionaires go away. about thirty of Tartars Baku did not begin years ago. The Tartar and roll the Persian millionaires their don't. Of these matmade bitter complaint to an Armenian. with such headdresses as never were seen on sea or land. The Armenian kindly consented to take the place off his hands. millionaires. Having bought his farm. So they such automobiles as these mortal eyes have ne'er beheld. he presently found out that nothing would grow on it. The Tartars and Persians who owned most of the rest of Baku had suspicions of another kind when other people tried to buy their land. gilded. and for a long time In the end. Then it was a to bustle until ruinous village and Persians.PERSIAN MINIATURES the Zoroastrians. with beards that as often as not are dyed scarlet with henna. over. they became they wouldn't sell. Wherever he ploughed. like Pittsburgh.

the climbs out of Samarkand. And for them are for it the shops of heart of ten Baku stuffed with every gimcrack that the man can desire provided he wants to pay times as much as he would in Pittsburgh. it is a very agreeable park. for nothing will grow in it except in tubs of earth imported at vast expense. again at vast expense. electric lights come out with a pop. or lounge on the wooden benches a band better than ever I heard in New York plays Verdi and Wagner and Bizet and Glinka and Chaikovsky. there on more kinds of heads can begin to catalogue. over the dark Caspian. It is park. and wonderful dag- gers. a slow moon 19 . the greasy gray-green mixture of salt and oil that fills the It shallow basin of the Caspian Sea. and heaven knows what. not a very leafy park. and woolly kalpaks. and far away. laid out at length on the edge of the water.CAUCASIAN PROLOGUE films of Pathe and Charlie Chaplin. there are showy all casinoes. and more wonderful ladies. there on the edge of nowhere. together with coats of colours. attached or otherwise. but it was still warm enough for the band to play in the That park is the quintessence of Baku. and Russian caps set turbans. many and rows of cartridge cases. And at last. Neither is there anything wherewith to water those tubs except by distilling. even in midsummer. And as they move to and fro on the trim sanded paths. I — was the middle of November when arrived in Baku. There are also hats. there are boat-houses are above than I and bathing-houses. There are trim sanded paths. Nevertheless.

master. E. Flecker: the golden journey to Samarkand I FROM at the deck of the unsteady little paddlethe last wheel steamer that churned out of toward a low red moon we looked our bay on Baku —a receding crescent of lights accented hill one end by a dark and at the other by the angry glare of the oil fields.II ANABASIS We are the Pilgrims. tous Russian dinner. . sea. Across that angry or that glimmering J. . . we shall go Always a little further: it may he Beyond that last blue mountain barred with snow. Lettish captain Then we went down to a portenAt the head of the table sat a grave at once who made me conscious of all I 20 .

As a matter of fact. the Caspian as the Caspian might be expected to look. Then there were two handsome Russian officers. dinner Madame I'lnspectrice sang us some charming shall not try to pretend that I was French songs. and who now looked at me through his monocle with immense It appeared that he was going to Persia to be disdain. also bound to the same country for the first time. Opposite him sat a Belgian an customs inspector and his family. it was pleasant. officer of gendarmes. two frock-coated Persian Khans with black pill boxes on their heads. And at last a semicircle of trees son might have set 21 . and birds that should fly over no true sea fluttered about the chopping side-wheeler or even lighted on it. Then. The next morning. It came out of no yard of born ship- was such a ship as Master Anthony Jenkinsail in from the mouth of the Volga upon the disastrous affairs of the Muscovy Company. Swede who on the Black Sea had formed such a predilection for my steamer chair. and after the earth. and our three selves. stubby and black. however. really looked It was the same greasy greeny gray. But I was also able to perceive that we might just as well have been on the Black Sea or Beside him sat the tall I I the Baltic. with a square counter that wrights. was delighted. too. playing hide and seek with belted Russian soldiers who tried to catch them in their hands. the bank of gray in the south began to resolve itself into a rampart of cloud that grew taller and solider as we chugged toward it. who came from yet more distant portions of It was polyglot.ANABASIS had missed by never embarking on the Caspian before. too world-weary to be taken in by it all. about noon. We passed a full-rigged ship.

" It is Persia. "What is that?" cried the Belgian lady of the captain.PERSIAN MINIATURES pricked the edge of the sea. At I sight of it that unhappy Belgian lady burst into tears. if she had told me that she had museums. who paced back and forth near us. grave as ever and a little grim. unbe- seamed and patched with shadows of green and white. The prickly at any rate. The captain waited cryptically: a discreet moment it "Madame shall arrive in perhaps forgets that is November. trees on the horizon grew taller and darker. as if Persia were an every-day ''And when affair. I had never seen in my life. shall we smell the roses. but of certain regions contiguous thereto knew a little." and that she expected palaces of porcelain set among roses and night- knew much better than seen precious things in 22 . and I trembled for her. they somelievably high." his walk. and hear the nightbefore answering ingales?" pursued his pretty passenger. and at last we slid between two long wooden breakwaters into the still lagoon of Enzeli. was that rampart of growing grimness that towered across the south. that she had read an expurgated edition of the "Arabian Nights. leaving He pursued case of the me to consider the grim I Belgian lady. What I really found myself considering. Of Persia knew no more I than she.'' he answered — like that. We an hour or two. increasingly how tain established a connection with the stupendous moun- chain behind them. making the rampart behind it higher and more tenebrous than ever. Such a coast as that. however.

and they contrived to keep on their heads felt. with in gray sheen framed trees with its quaint. in a except the leather They drawled little or of that reminded one a Naples. Others covered their hair with a kind of sheepskin muff. sewed But the rags of most of them were dull blue or green or russet. else? a camel in the foreground. whereon they pro- ceeded to balance our trunks. and thatched roofs. or an pool of lotuses. with no doubt a palm or two in the background. The flapping clothes of these had once been white. of which the most pleasing had steep Leaving the larger town of Enzeli at the right. we sidled up to the opposite edge of Kazian. an astounding erection of black or brown rather like a boiled auk's egg with the small off. shaped end chipped lug- These picturesque individuals piloted us and our 23 . to the knee. its unpainted row-boats turned up at either end. too. and they wore dusky skull caps of the same material. Some of them looked as if they might be kin to the Tartar porters of Baku. to my immense way astonishment.ANABASIS ingales. its encircling houses of weathered wood. girdled at the waist and skirted up at one end. There we were im- mediately boarded by a swarm of bare-legged ruffians who chattered. like had may be that if Madame I'lnspectrice. been booked I might have burst into tears. As it was I found the lagoon of its Enzeli a highly pleasing place. rather scattered. with junk-like ships moored along the low shore. It ibis standing on one leg in a to live in Enzeli. in a lan- guage perfectly unintelligible to me. but there was nothing else familiar about them humps on their backs. and who knew what I Perhaps an elephant. whined. rather.

the passengers who sauntered off the Russian boat with gay saddlebags and painted wooden trunks. of stairs to Then we climbed a cosy salon full of thank the Belgian customs inspector for his courtesy. for I could see he was dying to know what on earth we had in so many bags. 24 . This gentleman also had a pretty French-speaking wife. upon whose sympathetic shoulder our own Belgian lady was drying the tears of her disillusionment. separating ourselves from all but our lightest luggage. But since we were the travelling companions of a Belgian customs inspector. also There were not seen on board. We found him in a rugs and Persian bric-a-brac and talk about aniline dyes and the export duty charged on carpets containing them. two distinguished looking English ladies whom I had One of them sat like a symbol of her empire on a stout metal box so appropriately labelled. And so. boxes. between friends? in a long coat In that archway our passports were duly examined by a superb personage and a black pillbox adorned with the lion If he had followed the dictates of his own dark heart he would doubtless have looked into our trunks.PERSIAN MINIATURES gage to a big archway opening into an interior court of the custom house. we had inadvertently thrown is our checks overboard. we hopped into a funny little victoria and drove away to Resht. we were passed through with no more than an interval for me to admire and sun of his country in brass. IRONSIDES. and other receptacles beginning with h and other letters. but on the Caspian what a little matter of receipts. that I very nearly flight smiled at her like a bounder. and since my friends were well known to his own Belgian chief. True. in big white letters. bundles.

city. track. the Russians have built a macadamised road around the lagoon. Yet because the sea has never meant anything to a and because In the caravan roads naturally take the inner side of the lagoon. Nevada. capital of the rich seaboard province of Gilan. interested my own me infinitely less than the flat country through which gray afternoon.ANABASIS II Resht is an example of the unwillingness of the East to habits. Resht grew up out of sight of the Caspian. and rowed or got themselves towed up a river to within a mile or two of Resht. sailed across the lagoon. the good old times those ship to Enzeli. Austria. just as who insisted on doing so took you do now. away across marshes of plumy Crows 25 . it Beside ran a pair of Decauville rails. change its Resht is an important Persian. But at Enzeli they embarked in one of those turned-up boats. and one or two auto-busses that But for whizzed past us. however. where —after payIn the ing all the gold of Ophir to get themselves transported into itself still the town —they really began their journey inland. at the end of a mild left grew woodier as we the sand dunes and the Caspian behind flapped A cormorant or two reeds. meantime. And Persia is bigger than Alaska. put together — New Mexico. and Italy. which at that rail- time shared with a short line running between Tehran and one of road its suburbs the honour of being the only in Persia. Germany. It we drove us. about as big as California. and Texas or France. part I was enchanted to be in a carThat Decauville riage rather than in a compartment. moreover. Now you begin your real journey at Resht.

like china. me into the most deep- rooted of the customs of Persia by stopping at a half-way Picture not to yourself. just as you see in pictures of India. under mote. as I presently had occasion to find out. russet.toward that land so hand to Turkey. On the farther side of a wooden which a turned-up boat paddled ofi" between reeds and rice fields. and perhaps a sliver of lemon. and Dresden stilts. of what might have been whiskey and a glasses. wound away among poplar trees Under them thatched leaf. no! The Sahib or the Sah'b. our driver proceeded to initiate tea house. They also contained plenty of sugar. wooden shanties stood on stilts. And he went on to narrate enlivening tales of what some- — — 26 . as the coachman and everybody else in Persia seemed to call the head of our small party told me that those black pipes were more than likely to contain opium. in the —one or two top —and a sucbrass. This was a thatched house on the others along the road. first Those cows gave that if me only the of many subsequent hints Persia reaches out one the other .PERSIAN MINIATURES flew up from bare Still rice fields crisscrossed by causeways of earth. a line of auks' eggs with a neat round indentation cession of long black pipes. however. she stretches much older and more rebridge. together with splashes of quantity of and blue. con- taining about three fingers each of nothing stronger than tea. trim waitresses. green. open in front to the world and presenting to our admiration a row of legs more often bare than not. And we passed any number of woolly little black cows with humps on their streams that had not yet lost their last shoulders. any lady- like establishment of linen-covered tables. But milk Heavens. a casual glitter.

to enter a room furnished with two beds. ap- peared that they had a good deal. such is the power upon certain innocent spirits of things first I seen for the had. and a balcony. a pathetic.— ANABASIS times happens to carriages in Persia when their drivers smoke too long at a tea house. therefore. interest time. Now an asp never reminds me of anything but Cleopatra and her monument. 27 . hanging on nothing. its Upon this post-house. and what on earth had those good It Egyptians to do with a journey into Persia? almost exactly as in English. pronounced is in Persian give a horse. a quantity of rugs. indeed. And was very heavy to-night. the deputy road master to be every post-house. for an asp. Moreover. and in front of the at nightfall we drew up chapar khaneh. to eat such meats as the naih had at his disposal. and to wait until horses were sent back from the next station up it the road. of Resht. Apparently. till the natb swore he could us none he had sent the Russian mail on to Tehran. I its immense eaves. Our driver happily did not. and inner court. seen a post-house before. its balconies archway leading into a dark gazed with an intense. the post-house. a long table. but never one that had the dignity of a national institution or of a lineage that stretched back unbroken to the time of Achsemenian kings. there was nothing for us to do but to climb the open wooden stair leading from the court to the upper gallery of the chapar khaneh. to say nothing of her woman Charmian. meantime engaged himself found in in a The Sah'b in the long and somewhat this heated colloquy with the naih. During unintelligible conversation there continually popped up the esoteric word asp.

who dreamed of Isfahan and Shiraz. And. if the first if time in your you have just set foot. for on the virgin soil of Persia? you fmd yourself in an inn at the edge of a Perwhich lies somewhere beyond the balcony in the dark. which with the it cartwheel tomans that needs ten krans to make. constitute the sole coin of the realm. which fills the night with strange sounds and smells and possibilities. toll charges of Evidently one Persia. and which you would mightily sian town. '* Then came the affair of buyfor Hamadan. One of them was the exchanging of our handy Russian money for a sack of Persian two-kran pieces. could I do? I had cheated the Sah'b and the Khanum. like to What prowl in. be something else to do. to say nothing of spending a night in and looking at by daylight? What. by a too literal reading of a friendly invitation. It cost. many more as can squeeze into one pay no more than one. or as carriage. not far from ^100. to hinder them from hurrying as fast as asps would carry them first to a brand-new house in Hamadan. would have to think twice before travelling in thought I. indeed. worth some eighteen cents each. out of a Golden Journey to Samarkand. thought even after the Sah'b assured me in my secret heart I — there was nothing to see in Resht. for the use of ing our " ticket carriage and the four horses necessary to draw it one 250 miles. True. and the tiny shahis of which there are twenty in a kran.PERSIAN MINIATURES There might. three persons. together with the incidental the Russian road. therefore. but even so it struck me 28 . however. after all. It was not for me. there were enough characteristic things to see in my chapar khaneh. if Perhaps! is But what something your theory of hfe happens to be that there to see everywhere? What life.

scratched beyond belief. that the only handful of asps he had was engaged.ANABASIS that in some other parts of the world ^33 might take one considerably farther than 250 miles. twirling And we sat our thumbs while the mail jingled away to Tehran and beyond the balcony invisible Resht filled the night with romance. as a subject of a friendly semi-allied Power. Nevertheless the Sah'b. He was of course within his rights. not suspecting back. we pro- ceeded to follow a lantern into a huge shadowy stable at the back of the court where we picked out our carriage for the It was a big rattlety-bang landau. Shuster. The horses night began to look darker than ever when the Russian consul telephoned to the naih for another team of —though handful was what he really said. as the The Russian Persia. mind you! The natb telephoned consul. M. 29 . went over to interview the Russian consulate. and as a frequent client of the road. However. mail enraged cow. replied that it did not matter: asps he must have. W. The Russian that a newly arrived fellow-countryman of Mr. In Persia! He telephoned. paramount Power saying that the in north had precedence over all travellers and that the natb had no business to sell us a ticket on Wednesday night. at the top of his voice. inter- was highly ested in this practical aspect of the Anglo-Russian Agree- ment of 1907. patched and journey. So the subject of the semi-allied friendly Power came back eating stuck to its guns. at the other end of the line. more when the Sah'b told me that the contractor who ran this particular post road for the Russians was a Parsee. that might almost have I come thought so all the down itself from Achaemenian times. as the French saying goes. consulate. for this is a Russian road.

and the Khanum. Into our herline we crammed the luggage affair between the seats. the naih suddenly produced horses. legs headed the opposite way. Ill King Louis and Queen Marie would no doubt have been highly amused had they known how thrilling to the Dauphin seemed this mild adventure. or Hamadan. through the smokily lighted arch of the post-house flight. when we got tired of twirling our thumbs and began to think we might better go to bed. over the whole we could we spread rugs and cushions so as to Sah'b and the make a species of bed. settled themselves with what ease they might in this Persian sleeping car. how strange the gray moonlight and black trees of which he caught glimpses through the window of the jingle of bells that kept herline. didn't Then the mekhter. we hastened. down the wooden stair. appeared with the long- awaited horses driver under —and when I saw them in I wonder and that they were called asps! it —an auk's egg with a sleepy vast disgust.PERSIAN MINIATURES Hard on midnight. and prepared for There was something Antoinette. the post-boy. an elderly Dauphin. mounted the box away under we began to a cloudy roll. Marie. how romantic the growing louder or fainter through the dark. dark and furtive about this hasty midnight departure that reminded me of Louis XVI and Marie all when they fled away to Varennes in that herline of Carlyle's. moon to Varennes. stuck my between them. into the mud puddle at the bottom of it. like King Louis and Queen while I. Between two and three o'clock 30 . Out of the lamplit room. first how impossible to close one's eyes upon one's journey in Persia.

and a post-boy drawled very distinctly the two syllables: "Malnistr These mysterious words elicited first such sounds of desI peration from the Sah'b that at couldn't get out of him what they meant. of a Persian auk's egg Then a kola. gharries gari is a true Persian word and there was no property for im- — — patient subjects of friendly semi-allied Powers or even for fellow-citizens of Mr. I was delighted to meet an For you are to know that a parasang is no invention of Xenophon. for for There would be no property a half. the distance at which hear the roll you can It first of an approaching drum. but a word still used in Persia to measure distances. is case six equal to sixteen miles. It finally appeared that they meant "there is no property.— ANABASIS in the morning the herline halted at the first stage of our anabasis. old friend in so unexpected a spot. Morgan Shuster. which is the true name —darkened —or any other hat. voices. of horses being unhar- There was a sound of nessed and led away. six This was at an invisible place called Kudum. however. no in five. The post had just gone on in four. Bribery was of no avail. for that matter the window. or at most an hour and it So there was nothing 31 but to snooze pleas- . term. a somewhat vague cized form oi farsakh. parasangs out of Resht. or the distance in which a loaded mule can travel farsakhs an hour. an hour.'' and that on the road propExpostulation erty and asps are interchangeable terms. was of no avail. W. In this varies accordingly from two to five miles. being according to different authorities the distance at which you can see a camel and distinguish whether it be white or black. under the ArabiIt is.

Other vague figures trudged down the road.— ! PERSIAN MINIATURES antly in the herline while carts rattled by on the Russian road. The next thing I knew it was past five in the twice the hour and a half the mekhter had promised. Sefid Rud is the name of it. or White River. on shoulder. and donkeys went by with while caravans went by. slouching dinarily broken music of them dark foolishness. out of the herline to stretch figure materialised off the my cramped A vague ground behind us and walked tool it away. and we were still standing serenely in front of the post- house at Kudum. while strings of mules much jingling of bells. In the end. figures trudged silently. secretly. of course. without property and without prospect of property. thought of that wretched Belgian lady and smiled. at my own morning. and kola on head ''Call the mekhter'' It was be- drizzled a first Events of in Persia the deepest significance for one's morning suddenly suggested the Sah'b out of Having no other means of communicating with a mekhter. crawled gingerly legs. I caravans of real camels. it was the Sah'b who got us out of Kudum. little. As the Sah'b showed no I sign of being con- scious of this intolerable situation. real dimly past to a extraorBeside different-toned bells. thinking of another I White River whose valley in Vermont I have long known. and bag or ginning to get light. — 32 . After a time the shutter was withdrawn. I proceeded to pound on the closed shutter of the post-house. we soon began to climb into a country of hills and woods that gradually narrowed to the valley of a river. a greasy kola stuck part way out and nothing more happened. Once under way. the herline. smiled again.

But while I knew in my heart that under these casual unfamiliarities life is after all life.ANABASIS The Persian White River first I is a much bigger stream. flow- saw it in a wide. And we passed a camp of camels. and all they often carried a child on their backs. whether in Persia or Vermont. Gayest of were the high two-wheeled carts we passed. to be sure. made in Persia. ing where ing down on the current. And the harness of their horses was bright with brass and with dangling tops. went on. the colour of the autumn foli- age. On such simplicities it hangs the happiness of man! 33 . with scarfs of cloud drifting But the lumber rafts floatacross its incredible heights. and we caught glimpses in front of us of the huge mountain wall of Elburz. hard to believe that we were really No Vermonter. gers sitting on piles of boxes tabs of brilliant wool or polished metal. with hoop and the bigger four-wheeled gharries. I somehow derived an immense inner satisfaction from the mere fact that this was Persia and not Vermont. and that a man will probably find out more about it by sticking to his own valley. sandy channel. the ferns and brooks beside the road. we met in such rags The women's rags were gayer. with passenand bales. which always travel at night except in cold weather. Their packs and pack-saddles lay scattered on the ground and the big beasts crouched in rows or as superciliously as if circles. The khans and tea houses along the way. and the talk it of my two companions. munching hay had been Nesselrode pudding. would ever walk abroad like the peasants of such faded blue. were of the now familiar peaked gray thatch. and its The sky cleared as we valley is on a more heroic scale. for the use of such travellers as do not travel post.

some of the threads steely The opposite slope of the valley was cleft by a ravine whose mouth was stopped or We amused ourselves by deflected by a flat hill spur. at a turn of the road. there was no property at Jamshidabad. They no longer had thatched or peaked roofs. trees. if all the posthouses of Persia were like Jamshidabad the fashion of driving in day and night might become less popular than it is. All the more surprising. The on rugs on the brick floor looked clean enough to real proof of that little sleep —though the would be to try it Behind the house opened a into quarters walled quadrangle.! PERSIAN MINIATURES Suddenly. was the middle of the afternoon before we succeeded away from Jamshidabad. We with had been climbing steadily through autumn woods. to say nothing of the problem of getting over when. However. cut by two transverse paths. bright. the very disappeared as if by magic. sandy valley of parted water. building castles there. woods. therein getting 34 . The road houses of the bleak country into which we now began to penetrate farther indicated the suddenness of the change from the lower valley. a strange thing happened. but flat ones of mud. autumn leaves. looking down on a wide. others strangely blue. the picture growing increasingly clear in front it. We had the better opportunity to take in this extraordinary change because. of us of the northern wall of Persia. within hearing of the river and in sight both of the green lower region of and of It woods to the north those higher and barer peaks of the south toward which we were bound. toward noon. just before we reached the post-house of Jamshidabad. with flower beds in each corner and a round brimming pool in the centre. We lunched on the porch in front. again.

too. when we stopped at midnight at a post-house appropriately named Bala Bala. with water somewhere bottom caught the pallor of that water. while the main — road presently branches off to Tehran. in the The latter was the one we followed. glad enough to get out speak. especially when we crossed never saw Greece or Sicily. another at the post-house of Menjil. to dip down in to the river again plantation of olive trees.— ANABASIS fore. And the wind blew so hard. dark. Menjil so to White River Junction. olive trees the valley narrowed to a black gorge. and a caravan trail. There at Rudbar we changed horses again and rattled away through a long village street dimly lighted by a few lamps but allowing one to catch vague moving pictures of shops. I Such tall and discover a and bushy olive trees. for three valleys come together there. was it. sn^ithies. through windy land of it. having enjoined me when I got out to stretch 35 my legs to . I of stars. and an American sewing machine which had somehow found its way into Beyond the the Greek olive grove of that Persian valley. the Sah'b told me. a high. sound of Louis and Marie Antoinette slept like reasonable beings. where the air at last began to feel like the end of November. after having begun to get used to this timber- less land. who form quite a colony at Resht and who cannot exist without the olive oil which forms no part of the Persian menu. and the delicious it. that we were is. by veritable Greeks. not carriageable as the French and Italians conveniently say follows the Sefid Rud part way to Tabriz. As a matter of fact. tea houses. just be- yond. which means High High. they were planted. and drink some scalding tea. the river on a long Russian bridge.

drinking tea and smoking those straight black pipes with enough opium in them. perhaps. that passed to a strange accompaniment of bells. without diverse. I could see our and the mekhter and half a dozen ragamufifms or might not be our new driver. so mild. But the Sah'b mumbled something sleepily out of the carriage and I. and the admire a caravan I half hour. This obbligato seemed to play in a chord of four notes. One remembers the nights of life for reasons the most shall think among remembered nights always include that particular one. The sky was so clear and the air. dallied to that jingled up out of the dark in front of us. while false friend. word and brought us asps The twenty minutes passed. the direction of till fainter there nothing to hear but the rush of the water in was the dim Near by. of which the loudest and deepest was also the rarest. could make out the shapes of curved necks. therefore. and as we lay comfortably tucked up in rugs and pillows we could open our eyes. high-piled bales. after all. The caravan rounded the curve of the chapar khaneh. The wind in our faces was deliciously fresh. jingled off up a black side ravine. that we had dropped the top of the herline. in the post-house. made such sounds to the naib that post-boy presently brought us our handful. driver tilted hair-pin in bend. but I I 36 . and marching men. brought back at last among whom might — to the realities of his life. to make them indifferent as to whether they stayed on the road or pitched over a precipice into the river. lost to all sense of duty. jingled back more softly on the upper side of the and finally made away diminuendo Menjil. I. the bells growing fainter and valley below.PERSIAN MINIATURES see to in it that the naib kept his twenty minutes. I watched and listened.

where we stood still while invisible water rushed past us and somewhere over our heads echoed a long-drawn chime of camel bells.a ANABASIS the slightest effort. Near by were the same slim poplars of a few faded leaves. But I remember waking up once. cleft by deep canyons and overlooked by soaring crags where the road looped and zigzagged in the most fantastic way. in a barren place called Molla Ali. where the dawn broke over a background of the Venetian school. the moon that suddenly peered from behind It some jagged height. of course. It was a stonier and loftier world than the valley of olive trees where the light had left us. authentic Turkish In them. even after the sun had cleared the heights of Elburz and brought the world back to its normal colour. or passing from one dream into another. only to plunge down again into new depths and narrower. however. the endless caravans moun- we met or overtook. And what is more they stayed so. They presently turned rosy. was that I was only half conscious. was amazing what a quantity little of silver contrived to tricks it drip out of that dried-up moon and what played in that wild pass Part of the magic. or pilgrims from Kerbela rather. made up entirely of ruddy rocks. while we waited for horses at the post-house of Yuz Bashi Chai a perfectly name meaning Captain's Brook — — caravan of Canterbury pilgrims. IV The second morning found us stranded again beside the road. in a hollow enchanted with moonlight. was good enough to ride under the terrace on which 37 . We gained the summit of one pass. upon the dark shapes of the tains. and in the distance were the same sharp blue peaks.

though here reaches a height of In this wild no more than ten or eleven thousand place we came upon the gravestone of gineer. who had small chilfor her to look out of." say the people of the Prophet. From the Captain's Brook we climbed lies again. which were encased in emerald green stockings that were apparently a part of some wonderful trousers she wore. you remember.— PERSIAN MINIATURES we kicked our heels. As she rode astride like the men. over- A sort of bare plateau was looking various branching valleys and overlooked in turn by loftier snow peaks is of Elburz. the Black Sea. this time to the real top of the pass. And in- must have been an unhomelike place for a son 38 of the . And the face of the poor wretch was com- by a thick white cloth which had in it only a strip of open-work embroidery in front of her eyes Other ladies. sat on little railed platforms slung on Is not such a plateither side of a mule's pack saddle. 7.000 feet above the Caspian though the Caspian. That northern ramin Asia. a sort double of which the Persians name a or kennel domed cage mounted in pairs on a pack ani- mal. it part of Persia really the most imposing range feet. not quite to I —toe in a shape- black domino which believe they call a chader. form what used to be called a cacolet. after the Himalayas. dren with them. A Persian Wife of Bath was one of the most conspicuous figures in the cortege. we had no trouble in seeing her toes. ''He who dies in a strange land deed it a Russian en- dies the death of the martyrs. a little lower than here. being en- veloped from top to less — well. before the word pletely covered and the convenience passed out of use world? in our part of the And litter still others crouched uncomfortably in a kejaveh.


since this side of the mountain is three or four thousand feet higher than the was. "This. a reported to us as having come up with the post. thinking involuntarily again of our Belgian lady.'* looked at Persia with vast interest. and walled on the north by the snowy serrations of Elburz. From we descended. of utter clearness. among the there on rocks he had who lay on that great made passable for the at feet of his countrymen. But what struck serene. There were certainly no roses or nightingales about.PERSIAN MINIATURES steppes to breathe his last in. tilted plain I looked hope- 40 . We looked darkly at him. But so many of our own race have left their bones in unlikely corners of the earth that we did not need to feel too sentimental about the engineer divide. For another brusque to be the guilty snatched our horses. They looked less formidable than before. Buinek another Russian. a country of a kind flat. till the sunlight caught a white. with a tawniness that had an underpainting of pink in it. I wide. me most was the light that lay over the land. overtaking live one. change brought us into a new country that opened front of us almost as far as in we could its I see. there were soon better things to think about than our wrongs. among those remote heights whose older associations are all of the Fire Worshippers and of the gruesome order of the Assassins." Persia. neither palaces of porcelain or so much trifle It had never seen before: toward the east. or at most sloping a other. as a camel. tawny-coloured. suspecting him man for whom the consul at Resht had However. and with good reason. ''is outer edges. upturned rim at said the Sah'b. yet not hard or cold. though. and indescribably As we rolled down the long.

Then. as sunset started to do poetic things with the tops of the mountains.— ANABASIS fully for the white cone of Demavend— that not quite ex- tinct volcano in vain.000 feet behind Tehran But the city of Kazvin soon made something darkening the tawny levels with it else to look for. we saw above jewels. its blur. and above the brown city wall two domes blue as 41 . by thickening orchards and clumps of poplar trees. The vicinity of began to be indicated by the look of the fields about us. the trees a brown city wall. irregularly scalloped. which towers 19.

wherein have been acted many Tragick scenes. . admitted to myself that more had much But the quaint and decorative effect of them the twilight should have consoled dame ITnspectrice for her porcelain palaces. in a I uncompromising seen light. Sir Thomas Herbert: SOME YEEREs TRAVELS . in their time very terrible. WE either side.Ill KAZVIN Let me give you somewhat to memorise Casbyn. as they me forget the loss of Resht. tiles. which among gateways was a sight to The frame of wall about it was gaily faced with green and yellow tiles. ENTERED Kazvin by a gateway see. . which also encrusted the stubby pinnacles rising above the wall on When better in I looked at those I tiles again. Through that Mamade gate we 42 .

The lamps had just begun to twinkle in the little shops on either side.KAZVIN and only wide enough for two carriages to pass. an upper loggia. before it. full of tea drinkers. glanders. clattered into a long street. These things and many more delighted me so much that I at once put up a petition to Allah the Merciful. between lines of plane trees leaf. not quite straight shallow porticoes into dark courts. bringing out sudden glints of metal. Hum- New York. and locust trees in the sere. shining eyes. the Compassionate. it herself to we entered At the end by which the crenellated wall gave place to a monu- mental white archway. has never been able to treat such a perspective. to the end that with heaves. spots of colour. We drove toward still it. the yellow that partly hid the low houses behind them. at any rate.street mud This wall. turning first to the right and then I left. we turned ther it the corner of And I was wondering whe- were the governor's palace or the headquarters of the Russian commandant. The . front of the palace I Arriving in poplars surrounding had time to make out between the it a lower arcade. and all other equine ills might be smitten the asps of the post-house presently spljt in two in front of a high of Kazvin. rudely crenellated like the wall of the city. which was crowded with strolling kolas. and certain fanciful decorations in coloured tiles. big arches leading and upper balconies where one caught now and then the red glow of a pipe. looking down the length of the esplanade toward an imposing palace at the opposite end. when we suddenly drove 43 . till we came out into such an esplanade as have seen only ble in certain great western capitals. we proceeded to the to skirt.

heard my cry. surmounted by an upper terrace. At Kazvin. anywhere. was highly effective. the good-natured Sah'b took pity on his passenger.PERSIAN MINIATURES through an arch into a brick court behind lain palace. one branch going east to Tehran and one south to Hamadan. upon minute search. the naih solemnly swore he had none. it What mine up lacked in these humble conveniences in its made in its palatial size. But by the time the naih got around to confessing that. glimpse of the esplanade in its floor of through outer arches and poplars. the Compassionate. be amiss after two nights in a herline. after all. He decided that a night in a bed might not. discovered to my sorrow that of Resht the bad Turkish which had proved vaguely intelligible to certain of the inhabitants of Baku and even 44 . and tiles square —turquoise and dark And while I blue. the white arcade opening upon the court. set obliquely to the lines of the room. This porce- you please. there might be found in his stables a jade or two. The Khanum's was perhaps more toilet luxuriously out with rugs and sketchy arrangements. for at this halfway house the Russian road forks. At the Sah'b's anxious inquiry with regard to asps. two spacious brick corri- dors cut through the lower floor at right angles. Within. At close quarters the porcelain palace looked a little less splendid than it first appeared at the end of its vista just returned starved in the Persian twilight. if it. An black anxious underling in a long black coat and a Sah*b*s and the fitted tall kola stepped forward to escort us to our rooms. was the chapar khaneh f Allah the Merciful. Nevertheless. Now this was a patent and easily if refutable contravention of the truth. there are always asps. and breathless from a journey of many parasangs.

But the feast itself left nothing to be desired —or so it seemed to us. meal since we our Caspian steamer two days before. At our end of it a quantity of fruit and vegetable stalls were set up under the plane trees. and agricultural machinery. at the farther end of the esplanade returned to our in inn. who had not indulged in what might be called one square left I. transparent and as big as a small Olive. or even of thirdware. Dinner was somewhat provisionally served brick a big room ornamented with Russian advertisements of beer. So we treated ourselves to a long yellow melon. The latter did not look quite like the ones which Sir John Chardin describes as "the fairest Grape in Persia being of a Gold Colour." of which he further avers that "they also make the strongest Wine in the World. was good for nothing but bed. I did contrive at last to wash off some of the dust of the Russian road into a tin basin set on a chair. . and grapes. we took a stroll in the now dark esplanade. and the most luscious. vodka. For roused by an extraordinary uproar in the esplanade. And after it in spite of my propensity to prowl in strange towns at night. and after a look at the ghostly gateway . and it was now November.'' But it is a long time since the French jeweller of Isfahan saw them. and brought a little colour out of pyramids of apples. Yet even that night was not without twice before morning was I its impressions. It made itself vaguely known 45 . melons. Lanterns lighted the overhanging branches and obscurely made visible the tiny panes of certain high windows behind them. class hotels in other parts of the world.KAZVIN produced nothing but blank looks upon the countenances of Kazvin. The tablemoreover. was not quite of palaces. . Having ordered dinner.

dreams of camel bells by a wild clamour of pipes, trumpets, and drums, blaring out something that The first time jumped neither was nor was not a tune. up to look out of the window, seeing nothing but a smoky


flare of torches in

the distance.

The second time



turned over in bed, saying luxuriously to myself: ''This


Strange what

will exhilarate or console the

heart of




have no idea what



wedding procession, perhaps?
rising of the Persian

Or one

of those wonderful

orchestral performances, a nakara, that used to greet the











Or could

have been a dream of that

picturesque orgy which honest George
scribes in his account of the



meeting between Abbas the
in 1600?

Great and Sir Anthony Sherley
in the palace of

After a banquet

Kazvin and a

festivity in the Bazaar,

one feature of which were twenty dancing girls 'Very richly apparelled,'' the Persian king took the English
adventurer on his arm and walked "in every street
the city, the twenty


going before, singing and

dancing, and his noblemen coming after, with each of

them one
ing there

of our

company by the hand, and
of music,

at every turn-

was variety

and lamps hanging on

either side of their streets, of seven heights one

another, which


a glorious shew."


next morning was a heavenly one,

throwing such a light on Kazvin that the Sah'b

shadow never grow
to be ignorant of


warm and clear, may his who had known me too long


simple curiosity about the outward

appearances of




incurable habit of carrying a


camera over


shoulder, postponed his


view of

new house


long enough to




a Httle in the fallen capital of the Sophies.


the cities of Persia, Kazvin


by no means one
Still, It is

of the oldest or of the

most famous.

able to

boast a reasonable antiquity, having been founded, as
the story goes, by the Sasanian king Shapur the Great,


reigned from the day he was born in 309 to the day
in 379.

he died

Kazvin entered upon a more authentic

period of

history in the time of the Caliph

Rashid, himself half a Persian,



Harun al a mosque there

786 and otherwise beautified the town.

had the

honour to be captured some three hundred years
the Old



of the Mountain, chief of the order of the

whose modern successor is that loyal Indian personage the Aga Khan. Kazvin was captured again



but destroyed by the Mongols in 1220.




however, for Hulagu





headquarters there in 1256 when he set about sweeping
the Assassins out of their mountain eyrie of Alamut, in the Elburz, thirty miles away.

Toward the end

of the

next century the place was again captured and destroyed

by Timur and

his Tartars.




Tahmasp Shah,

second of the Safevi dynasty, finding Tabriz a near the Turks for comfort,



his capital to
so, until



during the next half century or

Abbas the

Great decided that Isfahan suited
enjoyed the period of


better, the city

greatest prosperity.

A number of celebrated Persians were born in Kazvin, among them being that half-fabulous fabulist Lokman,
the Oriental Aesop, the historian Musteufi,

the poet

Kazvini, and the painter

Mir Imad,

whom Abbas

Great caused to be put to death for a too witty poem.


they say that when the Indian Mogul Jahangir

heard about

he burst into tears, crying out against the

cruelty of the Persian Shah,


he would gladly have

paid for poor Mir





in pearls!



renowned people have lived or died in Kazvin, and famous Europeans not a few have described it in their travels.

Whether Marco Polo actually passed that way in 1280 I do not quite make out from his entrancing book. But the Spaniard Don Ruy Gonzalez di Clavijo, who went to Samarkand on an embassy to Timur in 1404, passed


Pietro della Valle stopped

there in

6 18.





Dodmore Cotton

died and was buried there in 1628, as his companion Sir

Thomas Herbert

so inimitably relates. Sir John Chardin months there in 1674. Master Anthony Jenkinson took up the affairs of the Muscovy Company with Tahmasp Shah in his new capital in 1562, followed by Arthur Edwards in 566. And during the eighteenth century Elton, Hanway, and several other Englishmen

connected with the British Russia

Company might have

been seen on that handsome esplanade.

Englishmen have always been great travellers and

and so many of them have walked the esplanade of Kazvin that I cannot begin to catalogue the associations it has with men of our race. Whereat
great writers of travels,

no American prick up patriotic ears. For when Sir Dodmore Cotton, for instance, died in the city of Tahmasp Shah my own ancestors had not quite made up their minds to move from Old England to New England; so that for Sir Dodmore Cotton and his contemporaries

have quite as

close a fellow feeling as

any Briton born.


And among those contemporaries, among all the Englishmen indeed who have visited Kazvin, none makes a more
picturesque figure than that Sir

Anthony Sherley



just spoke



be his brother Sir Robert Sherley.

This Sir Anthony was,

fear, a

sad dog, and one

might serve to point the moral and adorn the

tale of a








him, however, to adorn

my own


take pains to

point out at once that he was discredited in his

which was much


squeamish than ours.

own And


add that even in his follies he illustrates the difference between the gentleman adventurer, that most typical of and the equally characteristic German type of the secret agent. Sir Anthony was the scion of a country gentleman of Sussex, of whom the most that
British products,

can be said


that he lived to see his three sons celebrated,

Shakespeare's lifetime, in a play called "Travailes of

the Three English Brothers,'' and two of
flowers in the breasts




supposed to

them "worn like and bosoms of foreign princes." have suggested to King James I
For the

the idea of creating the order of baronets.

he was most successful in getting himself into debt.


was inherited in a conspicuous degree by the young Anthony. The latter went to Oxford long enough to acquire "the ornaments of a gentleman," and then opened the chapter of his adventures by accompanying the Earl of Leicester to the Low Countries, in that campaign of In 1591, going 1586 which cost Sir Philip Sidney his life.
with Essex to the wars

France, Sherley got himself

decorated for bravery by Henri IV

—to the fury of Queen
sheep marked
to follow the pipe of a


cried: "I will not


by a strange brand, nor



foreign shepherd!"

This scrape and his marriage got


into so


trouble that in 1596 he sought peace on
fleet of six vessels

the high seas, setting forth with a small

to capture from the Portuguese the island of Sao
in the Gulf of Guinea.
tiago, in the


Having raided the town of SanCape Verde Islands, he decided that the West Indies offered a more promising field for his worthy endeavours than the Gulf of Guinea, and he descended in turn on Dominica, Margarita, Santa Marta, and Jamaica with little profit to the inhabitants and not much more to himself. Being deserted at Havana by


companions, he returned to England and engaged
privateering cruise with

in a





latter then sent


to Italy to help of

Don Cesare

gain the




matter had
sights of

been settled by the Pope before Sherley arrived on the

consoled himself

Our disappointed gentleman adventurer for a time by seeing the

was there that his thoughts were first turned toward Persia, by the merchants and travellers whom he met on the Rialto. Their accounts of the magnificence and liberality of Shah Abbas the Great so excited Sherley's sixteenth-century imagination that nothing would do but he must go there himself. To that end he gave out that Essex had sent him to make an alliance with the Shah against the Turks. And in 1599 he embarked at Venice with his younger brother Robert and some twentyIt

five English

companions, together with an interpreter he

had picked up in Venice, *'a great traveller newly come from the Sophy's court, whose name was Angelo, born in Turkey, but a good Christian, who had travelled sixteen


and did speak twenty-four kinds of languages/' those good Christians Of the many strange things which befell this selfappointed embassy I cannot begin to speak. They were shipwrecked and shanghaied. They were robbed and



They made

the acquaintance of
call coffee: it is
it is

"a cerof an

tain kind of drink

which they


Itahan seed; they drink

extreme hot;

nothing tooth-

some, nor hath any good smell, but

it is

very wholesome.''

They borrowed goodly sums from the factors of the Levant



Constantinople and Aleppo and from a

Florentine in

Babylon," as our forefathers called Baghthievish

Then passing through "Curdia, a very

and. brutish countrie," they at last arrived in Kazvin.

Abbas happened to be away on some military expedition, but Sherley was handsomely received by ''the Lord Steward" and offered, in the manner of the time, £20 a day for his maintenance. When this sum was first brought
him, Sherley magnificently pushed
saying: "

aside with his foot,



brave Persian,

come not a-begging
and worthi-

to the King, but hearing of his great favour


could not spend
kiss his


time better than come

and my body to second him in his princely wars." Which did not prevent brave Anthony from later accepting from the Shah all manner of splendid gifts, including "very faire
to see him,

hand, with the adventure of

crewel carpets."

When Abbas

returned to Kazvin, Sherley and his com-

pany went out to meet him, as the Persian custom is: "First, Sir Anthony himself in rich cloth of gold, his gown and his undercoat; his sword hanging on a rich
scarf to the

worth of a thousand pounds, being




and diamonds; and on



— turban "to


head a tulipant accord-

the worth of two hundred

pounds, his boots embroidered with pearl and rubies;
his brother

Mr. Robert Sherley, likewise
his undercoat,

in cloth of gold,


gown and

with a rich tulipant on his

head; his interpreter, Angelo, in cloth of

gown and

undercoat; four in cloth of silver gowns, with undercoats
of silk

damask; four


crimson velvet gowns, with damask

undercoats; four in blue

damask gowns, with


undercoats; four in yellow damask, with their undercoats
of a Persian stuff; his page in cloth of gold; his four foot-



carnation taffety/'


not that a sight to see?

There was likewise something to see when Abbas made
state entry, preceded

by twelve hundred men bearing

human heads on
wore necklaces of

the points of their pikes.
ears, while others



played on trumpets

two and a

half yards long.


the Shah lost no time in

his English visitors their first


of Polo


on the esplanade.

Sir Stanley



lost as little

time after their triumphal
out there by the

entry into Baghdad in playing a Polo match; but a ground
for this old Persian

game was
well born,

first laid

Caliph Harun



in the eighth century.

Anthony was

and he must have been well

made and

well spoken, to have induced so


of the

great of the earth to lend

wild goose chases.


him money and send him on Abbas was apparently enchanted with He gave him a written charter granting all Chrisin perpetuity the right to trade in Persia,


together with freedom from customs and religious liberty.


months after his arrival Sherley got himself back to Europe on an embassy from the Shah, ap52

pointed to treat concerning that famous alliance against
the Turks.

badly received by Boris Godunov.

Moscow, where Sherley went first, he was But this is not the

place to recount the long story of his other adventures.



regret to state that he never returned to Persia or

sent the

Shah any report

of his embassy.

This was per-

haps because he had been disavowed at home, where he
never returned either.


continued to wander around

he died

in pursuit of

patrons and grandiose schemes against

the Turks until, poor, garrulous, conceited, and discredited,


in 1635.



Anthony went away on
left his

his mission for


the Great, he
as a hostage.

younger brother Robert behind him

Abbas promising "that he would use him as his own son, and that he should never want, so long When two years had passed as he was king of Persia.'' by, and no word had come from the faithless Sir Anthony, the Shah began to look askance at Robert. But the young Englishman, then no more than twenty-two or three, proved his own fidelity by fighting for the Persians For this service he was given a high against the Turks. command, and seems to have undertaken to reorganise the army, especially in the matter of artillery. Abbas further showed him his favour by renewing the charter of religious liberty first given Sir Anthony, by issuing an edict of a more substantial kind, declaring that "this man's bread is baked for sixty years," and by presenting
Sherley with a Circassian wife, a relative of one of his own.


Shah sent young Sherley in turn on an embassy to Europe, which was so much more successful than the other that Sir Robert turned up again in 161 5. The Circassian lady accompanied him on this expedition
in 1608 the


and both of them attracted the greatest attention wherever they went, as Sherley, in his character of Persian

envoy, always dressed in the Persian manner and only

consented to remove his turban in the presence of his


rightful sovereign

King James


But he does not

seem to have accomplished anything very definite, even England, where the Levant merchants objected to a

mercantile treaty with Persia, on the ground that
spoil their profitable


Turkish trade.

At the end

of 1615


sent Sherley abroad again.

The most apparent

results of this second

embassy were

that Sherley and his wife got themselves painted in Rome by Van Dyck. Those portraits were long visible at Petworth, and perhaps are yet. The mission was brought to an end in 1625 by the appearance in England of another ambassador from Abbas Shah, a Persian, who pronounced Sherley an impostar and struck him in the face when first they met. What in this cloudy affair militated most actively against Sherley, in the minds of his countrymen, was that he did not strike back! As there was no one in England competent to pass on the authenticity of Sherley's credentials, and as he insisted on his own good faith, King Charles I appointed Sir Dodmore Cotton as envoy to Abbas Shah and sent the three ambassadors packing Sherley and the Persian refusing to travel in to Persia the same ship. And when they arrived in India in 1627 the latter committed suicide, thereby proving to his English companions that he dared not face the Shah in their company. The Shah, for that matter, when they finally found him

in his


palace of Ashraf, north of the Elburz, con-

firmed Cotton in this opinion by the friendliness of his

reception of Sherley.

But Abbas was now an old man,
of Sher-

near his



and during the thirteen years

ley's absence the government had fallen into the hands






to be


Cotton requested an


statement with

regard to Sherley's credentials, and gave

them up

examined, the vizier of the


again accused Sir

Robert of being an impostor and refused to return the

fmally saying that the Shah had destroyed



a rage.

This second affront was too


for the







and was

buried under the doorstep of his house, in that same city

Kazvin where he had been received with so much

honour twenty-eight years before.
ton himself died ten days later.
the Circassian



more. Cot-

whom Van Dyck


Lady Sherley, and whom an-

other painter, ''one John, a Dutch man,'' robbed with
the connivance of the jealous vizier, she retired to Rome.

Thither she caused her husband's remains to be transferred

1658 and buried in the church of Santa Maria della


Of these matters and many others
ton, has inimitably written in his

the associate and charge d'affaires of Sir

Thomas Herbert, Dodmore Cot"Some Yeeres Travels

and Affrique" a book which so competent an authority as Lord Curzon calls "by far the most amusing work that has ever been published on Persia." I suspect that Chardin thought so, too, and
into Divers Parts of Asia

borrowed more than one
ready given a






had not





space to this Sherleyan inter-


like to follow

Chardin's example.


it is,

can only quote what Herbert says about Sir Robert:

''Hee was the greatest traveller in his time, and no


had eaten more


then he, none had more relisht the

mutabilities of Fortune.

He had

a heart as free as any
his In-


his patience

was more Philosophicall than


having small acquaintance with the Muses:

Cities he saw,


climb'd over, and tasted

many of many

severall waters; yet Athens, Parnassus,

Hippocrene were
to other

strangers to him, his Notion

prompted him

ployments: by Rodulph the Second hee was created a
Palatine of the Empire; and by Pope Paul

an Earle of

the sacred Pallace of Lateran; from
to legitimate the Indians;


he had power

and from the Persian


arch had enricht himselfe by


meriting services:

but obtained least




when he

best deserved

and most expected

Ranck me

with those that honour him/'

saw the esplanade again, the Meidan-i-Shah as the Persians call it, by sunlight, I at once made up my mind as I have similarly done a hundred times before that nothing would please me more than to spend the

As soon

rest of





Other esplanades, to be



be carried out with a more grandiose perfection of

had never before been given me to behold an esplanade where strings of camels marched, perfectly at home, between yellowing plane trees, or under loggias



with quite such an accent of slenderness and height.





white gateway at the farther This Ali

end was

really perfect of its kind.



Sublime Porte of Kazvin


that remains of the old

palace of the Safevis, which Chardin says was built



Tahmasp Shah on
the plans of a Turkish architect, and

enlarged by Abbas the Great.

The doorway stands

in a

square white frame, taller than the wings on either side,
recessed in a pointed arch


with a



No wonder

George Manwaring, one of



thony Sherley's company, thought those
bright, the like


cious than they are, and described them as "rich stones very

think the world cannot aflfoord!"







the stalactite groining

and a pointed window over the door, filled with an intricate grille of plaster. And on either side of it are two smaller arches, set one above the other, the lower a plain white ogive, the upper a larger ogive of stalactites, forming a railed balcony or loggia, in the back of which a
of the recess,

door corresponds to the great window of the central arch.
in its perspective of

plane trees, with the standard

of the Lion

and the Sun




the gateway pro-

duces an indescribable effect of strangeness and dignity.

Over the door, according to Chardin, is written: "May this triumphant gate be always open to good fortune, by virtue of the confession we make, that there is no god It opens, now, upon the headquarters of the but God."
Swedish gendarmerie!

There were other doorways to be seen
behind the

in the esplanade,

decorated with bricks and






was struck by a stone head

stuck in the upper cornice of a house, set off by a pair of

But what presently began to intrigue

me beyond

endurance was a green dome
tops, while farther

could see above the house
tops of two blue min-

away were the

therefore set out in the southwesterly direction



saw them, and very soon


myself in a maze


of silent



too close together for
tantalising green

mud me to

walls were too high


catch sight again of that


did discover, however, any






arches of brick and set about with coloured


very bad ones, truth compels


to add.

The doors

themselves were low and heavy, adorned with a fantastic variety of knobs, clamps, locks,

and knockers.

also passed several

dark arches from which steps or



planes led


into the bowels of the earth;

and out of them men staggered with dripping goatskins of water. Some of these arches were very decorative
indeed with




an inscription of

or cut in

and perhaps pale stone, set above
blue minarets.
turrets with a

And did come at last upon those two They were not true minarets, being little

covered loggia at the top; for the Persian muezzins, unlike their

Turkish cousins,

call to

prayer from the roofs

of their mosques.

This mosque lay so successfully hidden

behind ruinous
glimpse of





could catch only a

from the

But that was where


dome was
set like

best to be seen, crowned

by a second tiny


a closed bud on the stalk of a high drum.

This must have been one of the domes that caught


eye from the plain. What I had not distinguished then was that among its turquoise tiles were set smaller green and yellow ones, making a spiral pattern that waved up from a richly decorated base. I would have liked to think that this was the masjid-i-juma which Harun al Rashid None of the books left Baghdad long enough to build. Kazvin, however, give me much enI have read about

or know enough language. judged low. to be satisfactory The other blue dome I finally found fronting a great It space of sun on the south side of the town. mausoleum. by five deep white most sacred place I — 59 . as structures with pointed brick domes too small for them. their facades brilliantly tiled and containing ogival windows darkly screened by grilles in a wheel design of weathered wood. is That this building was a tomb rather than a mosque seemed further to be indicated by the circumstance that the open space in front of it was a cemetery. was another tiled gateway. finished was the by TahFat'h masp. with no rail or On the side facing the great mausotree to guard them. Whereas a passerby of whom I stammered inquiry in the matter made some reply about Prince Hosein. The ground was all strewn with flat and faintly sculptured stones. founders of the reigning Kajar dynasty. to a structure which for so recent belonged. as I make out. the tomb of a two-year-old son of the Imam Riza whose mausoleum in Meshed in Persia. thority as M.! KAZVIN couragement for thinking so masjtd-t-shah begun by —or even that it Ismail Shah. the dome. I found. And in fact there is in Kazvin the an Imamzadeh Hosein. but their writers rarely stay long enough in one place. in the crenellated mud wall of the city. Henri Rene d'AUemagne identifies it. all These of the very well. with the masjid-i-shah. And besides the mausoleum. like the one by which we had entered the night I went out of it for a glance at the rear of the before. flat-roofed leum were two lesser ones. like that. It was broken. I do not too confidently and magnificently published an auname. and restored by Agha books of travel are Mohammed and AH Shah.

each looking at a angle across the plain. the ogival recess in the centre being higher than the other two. They by which — even allowed to loiter in that inviting street we had nuts. that And behind them rose the pointed dome. which consisted of three great tiled arches. might have been those tiles were like some fabulous and forbidden efflorescence of that lion-coloured land. it daytime. blue as a turquoise and lightly decorated of green. diflPerent But I have not spoken of the facade. that street its took on a semi-European- ized aspect from Russian and Armenian signs. too. being a man of tongues.PERSIAN MINIATURES pointed recesses of stalactites. The Sah'b and grow less! the —chided me Khanum may their shadows never me not for my long absence. is true. together which are one of the with other things good to sits in munch out of a bag while one In the a herline and post-houses are far away. dome of my nameless mosque with waving spirals had been What lay between do not know. entered Kazvin while they acquired pistachio specialties of the town. who first nearly died of joy at the unaccus- 60 . The Persians. warned not to pass the portal. dours of Cairo and Isfahan I had known the splen- moved. in their untempered light. of form made familiar to all the world by the pictures of the Taj Mahal. that Pisa has something to show in the way of a sunlit place by a city wall. I remembered. But in their dusty place without trees. are more strict like the I I in not allowing Christians to defile their holy places. in their tawny setting. I stood outside in the sun and thought If I I So had never seen less anything quite so jewel-like. while less strict than the Turks in many respects. surmounted by six tiled pinnacles. The Sah'b. even encountered a cast- away Greek.

as I I saw for myself in the pot-shops looked into. carried on between two in a galleried court. armed with bayonet and sabre. Howto die of despair because the Sah'b ever. we locked wheels with a gharry and had to be extricated by a Cossack as polite as he was tall. who was a little less polite to the driver of the gharry than he was I to us. tiled mediate darkness. in a bigger court of trees. in the herline again. city gate. the smithies full of the acrid smell of a forge. There were also big Cossacks doing police duty. All too soon the Cossack. took away our last excuse for remaining in Kazvin. the sweet the glittering copper I shops of unimaginable dainties.KAZVIN tomed sound of his own language and then was ready had no time to gossip over a glass of mastic. way. and the ultimate pointed window whose grille let a little dusty light into the interliked best about that discovery. there is an end to all things. coming once upon a cud of bitterness novel process of too. was not the one to complain when. wheeled contraptions What I was the great doorway at the farther end. Kazvin will still take a deal of Russianising. shops. poked my inquisitive nose. though. into circle of more than one archcamels chewing the and again upon a rope-making. However. and we clattered out of the porcelain 6i .

it The road divides after the caravans gets through the Elburz passes. The mule trains we met were another reminder. diddle. for every pack animal carried a snow shovel or two.IV THE COUNTRY OF THE SKY A journey is a portion of hell. away from slanted the two turquoise domes glittering behind them. As we made for them a shrewish wind that is a specialty of this plateau caught the empty It us in the back. across trees not yet a dry gully like a Sicilian fiumara. —ARABIC PROVERB ! I Hey One diddle. that winter was at hand. no great fear of enemies. my son John shoe of and one shoe on —MOTHER GOOSE oflf ^ ROM the Resht road we branched fruit through a F as if suburb of adobe walls and bare. past the scalloped in mud battlements that looked Kazvin lay plain. nipping the Indian of the air Summer softness out and reminding us. For the the first rest. there was much less to see traffic of than during the Russian half of our journey. for and bound Hamadan 62 or Baghdad often find . like those sharp snowpeaks. into up a little toward a company of hillocks that huddled under a far white semicircle of mountains to the southwest.

alas. As heard that it for us we bore southward. with the more respect when was the outer rampart of Kurdistan. tolls. The sight of those Arabic. prickly brown balls of bushes that the Elburz wind would uproot and send spinning off across the table of the plain. and sun. changing horses the second time toward dusk. besides being free of to ourselves. lumbered on to the end of the plateau. came out into another solitary space of Upon the white western wall thereof I gazed. like a true tourist. each one was posted over the door in Persian. were farther apart than they had They were also more uniform and a little more of ornate. or a shorter cut. though I fear to no more definite end. being solidly built of yellow brick. for its part. and Latin letters keeping each other loneliness let loose in one's tions. too. one after another. and no blue domes to catch an expectant eye. So we had the country pretty much a flat Once or twice we passed mud village crouching like Kazvin behind buttressed and crenellated adobe walls. that company in this Persian head all manner of rumina- went spinning even farther than the camelthorn. on this less- frequented road. No trouble about asps now. as if in some mysterious game.THE COUNTRY OF THE SKY the open plains easier going. at Nehavend. but with no porcelain gates. without We much I threaded a perceptible corner of this archipelago climbing. post-houses. The name Slavic. Our chief distraction the camel-thorn consisted in watching — small. and French. The been. Russian. solitude Otherwise the was unbroken save by the paler streak of the road scarring the tawny wastes. where huddled the bald brown hills for which we had been steering throughout an entire watch. The berline. with the post safely out of the way! 63 .

cosy. After that we seriously began to climb again. There even began to be a pallor of snow beside us. as us and the south. too. had so reprehensible in a no hot water at naib living at lighted a fire Which was Ab-i-Germ that we refused to wait till he him to telephone ahead to the next station to have a samovar ready for us. disgraced myself by falling 64 . graciously. with its and gay But the naib. retire slowly. telling spectral heights. and who had never who might not have been in the best condition after three days of almost continuous jouncing in an antique berline. having once or twice stuck there in a drift. that pass is For the top of soared so not far from 10. He abruptly disappeared. They knew it of old. very cold and sleepy. up and up between and put his kettle on. from one moif slamming the door of the west behind him upon a land as bleak and barren as the dark o' the moon. I. He did not with the lingering farewell smile of yesterday.PERSIAN MINIATURES But the sun made us no ceremonies to-night. But what happened was that near the other world. And in the cheerless twilight we seesawed up and down toward a ghostlike barrier that towered between ment to another. all. About nine o'clock we reached a forting chilly place of the comcer- name of Ab-i-Germ. So it was midnight before we tumbled out at Aveh. or Hot Water —from tain mineral springs that are a place of resort for rheumatic Persians. And they told me that the post is some- times held up there for weeks at a time.000 feet above the Caspian. so that my companions speculated a little as to what might happen at the top of Sultan Bulagh pass. for a belated tea. in the hearing of invisible water. to- ward snapping stars. deceitful man. lights The post-house looked very rugs.

But this land was much nearer heaven than the one we had left. It was like the solution problem by an intellectual mind. uncon- scious of the wild shapes and astounding stars of that country of the sky. certainly — for the first time the sun of the Fire Worshippers I rise over the rim of the Persian desert. The sky brightened. as I took phenomenon could make out that it was related to the brusque sunset of the even- ing before. rather than any inspiration of romance or despair. the edge of the desert suddenly flashed into incandescence. which It was upon a I I what subject to mirages myself. And the look of the country contributed "to this land of trees. deepened the blue of the fleckless sky. palpitated. new heaven and a new earth that opened my eyes next morning. of a beauty entirely different from that of a 65 . snow beside the the rest of the all road with the Sah'b's pocket night I And with ignoble snores. in this not altogether objective However. effect. no glamlight in none of that self-conscious inflammation of nature which attends the breaking or the fading of the of a more temperamental climates. abstract lines. till : a bubble of intol- no moods. Being somepost-house. it may have been my imagination that added a purity to the air. believe means Mirage. and considerably farther south about as far as Gibraltar And it is not every day that one sees or Cape Hatteras.THE COUNTRY OF THE SKY faint and having to be filled the herline laid out in the flask. in front of us warmed the long-broken slope with a secret gold. the in- candescence boiled and grew tumid erable gold surged clear of the plain ours. when we drew up at the second Sirab was the name of that station south of the pass. simple. with its long.

in spite of the telephone wires sagging between them. and curly about the toes. each one standing of the next in sight and somehow giving. my 1 could fmd no more than one of else. nevertheless. I soon forgot my sorrows in another aspect of Persia that presented itself to our view we rattled merrily southward under the mounting sun.'' asked the Sah'b. even bright green." "The devil!" I burst out. I ''Look here. Out of a loop-hole would be sticking a wool cap or a Russian-looking lamb'sto a Persian —belonging. square mud towers with loop-holed roofs. the distinctest of impressions that we had contrived rifle to drop back from the twen- tieth century into the thirteenth. that the other must have fallen out during my humiliating performances on top of the pass. "O there was no dying 66 in the case. you those new arctics bought in Baku. Nor could anybody Whereat the dread truth burst upon me by the wayside. very inappropriately for the holy Sabbath. and to that end hunted for them." I "I'll lend Such as is Persia! However.'' answered the they don't get stuck pleasantly the snow. ''When shall I see my trunks again?" in — about two months. how . "I've got nothing with me but a pair of patent leather pumps!" "Never mind." "if "Oh. yellow. who knew how many parasangs back. Allah. replied Hamadan?" pursued I darkly. if gendarme who does his best to discredit Morier's famous quotation Allah. purple. Sah'b in "Can one buy "Very shoes in nice ones. this spectacle more fully than was possible inside a closed landau." the Khanum consoled me.: PERSIAN MINIATURES When I set about assisting at shoes." he — "red. This was a succession of block-houses.

loop-holes. thing to do the Sah'b And that he might fmd somemade the clearer to me by pointing our right and telling out a line of low hills at me about a Robin Hood of the region.000 tomans. a tree. it I ought to have been the more willing to lend his going to him because my fellow-countryman Mr. Nor was there any till after we had passed. there was as yet no sign. with more did in interest than ever.THE COUNTRY OF THE SKY the Persians would fight!" It was to assist in this worthy endeavour that my monocled Swedish friend had travelled in down the Black Sea my steamer chair. toothed silver mountain. And that. the that last post station of Ag Bulagh. and the trim blue gendarmes we met patrolling the road. Abbas. or a stream to see. astonished to was not a little fmd out that the peasant was harrowing a Although 67 . visible in front of us What began to grow more and more tall. Indeed the country was no better than a dessalt desert without a house. harnessed to a minute ox. relieving upon a messenger of the Imhim of the tidy sum of 17. But nothing more startling we see than certain great patches of blinding white the ruddy dun colour of the plains. After that I regarded block-houses. Of Hamadan itself. however. at noon. was Mt. Then I I discovered a peasant or two driving across the desert on a log of wood. which gave one an excellent idea of what a the greater part of ert. must look like. named after the uncle of the Prophet. I was a learned. Elvend. to say nothing of the barren landscape around them. Shuster had been the occasion of out to Persia. guardian of Hamadan and neighbour of new house toward which we had been hurrying. who not so hills many months before had pounced out of those perial Bank of Persia.

he replied magnificently: "It is yours" —and galloped off again. or followed I the land where the citron it seen so popular. but never have ate. not far away. cubical ones of pinkyyellow mud.! PERSIAN MINIATURES field. began to encounter tea houses once more. his legs thrust into a couple of saddlebags. too much the colour of the country prickly planta- to be very conspicuous. A village or two from which these huntsmen came were visible in the distance. more astonished to note that the ox had Those Indian-looking cattle all belong to the north side of Elburz —unless there be more of them We also in the extreme east and south of Persia. dart off across the fields. whose clients seemed not so busy sipping the glass that cheers as pursuing that more intimate occu- pation which the Khanum dignified with the let title of I The Chase. But such saddle- bags. I was still no hump. until discouraged by the gendarmes. marked by And two huntsmen of a more pictur- esque sort kept us company for part of the town. so passion- with so little false modesty. as in Persia. His older companion rode a sorrier steed. used to make a handsome living by standing on a certain bridge of the Russian road and turning out Every now and then he would the pockets of travellers. but tions of poplars. the inhabitants whereof. standing in his stirrups and if aiming his gun behind him as is to prove that the tradition of the Parthian shot not yet dead in Persia. Upon the Sah'b asking him what he would take for his horse. who he might very well be a native of that village the Sah'b told me about. He that hath ears to hear. woven in the manner of fine rugs 68 . in him hear! have witnessed The Chase blooms. way into One of them was a swarthy young man on a looked as if fiery stallion.

not unsuggestive indeed of a wild honeycomb. though nearly thirteen thousand feet in the Persian blue. 69 Then a . to that rare enough experience. it itself in such an amphitheatre as that. nakeder than those of Kazvin. for one. And between them looked out tier on tier of the St. The toothed range that wore the snow was of a ruddy purple in the brilliant afternoon light. For the farther slope of the broad hollow into in the which we began to coast ended seven thousand feet snow of Elvend. to remember that Persians let had passed through that corner of the world. thought can very well do without turquoise domes. Traific multiplied as we trotted on. tilted plateau some of them so was much broken by small and so regular in shape that they had rather the air of the tumuli of Thrace. Presently four demure young long black coats and short black caps waylaid the herline and profferred the Sah'b and the Khanum an eloquent Oriental welcome in a French of surprising fluency. Mud men in walls and orchards. honey-coloured in sun. savage things spoken of Hamadan. too. Martin's flat adobe roofs. and Greeks through this — until they suddenly parted. of this forest were prevalently poplars. Nor was there any But if a town is capable of sign of turquoise domes. curving nobly south and east in I a great amphitheatre about more of a forest than seen since turning the corner of Jamshidabad. to us down was into a wide dip beyond. a sensation. But what they really did to treat me. Or it might be a wasps' nest. began to border the road. above our heads. perching I. They rather tempted one.THE COUNTRY OF THE SKY This part of the hillocks. slim had trees The and bare as masts. plastered on the lower butWho knew? I had heard many tresses of Elvend.

an Englishman. followed by three No: I made up my mind nest! then and there that Hamadan was not a wasps' Thus attended we splashed through a shallow stream. At last. to the top of the town. did I make my entrance into the hospitable Swiss bungalow where with one foot in I And my own spent my first night in Hamadan. 70 . we drove down high adobe wall and a willow-bordered passed a few tall brick gateways. lurched uphill into tipsy alleys of mud hovels where I noticed one or two built-in bits of Saracenic- looking sculpture. cantered up to meet us.— PERSIAN MINIATURES cavalcade of three nice-looking young Persian grooms. having mounted a half moon a lane between a field. and stopped at one more. and a Swiss. so. a Frenchman. Europeans. American shoe and one in a Russian snow-boot of the Khanum's.

wonder! can see for myself that there are neither blue domes nor porcelain I gates. It therefore be- comes my painful duty. for we live on 71 lower edge of a suburb of gardens that slants from the . BEDI-AL-ZAMAN AL HAMADANI THEY I tell me there I is nothing to see in Hamadan. and old men have the judgment of children. Williams Jackson's "Persia Past and Present" a Scollard. Yet of private walls it has so many. Sah'b. Clinton the last line to have read in Prof. as a spinner of literal prose. courts. It is I have also made another discovery. That its its children have as many vices as its old men. to point out that Hamadan has no walls — at least on our side of the town. It is is nothing to see in Hamthe the it amuses truly going me to go down town with down town. A. hiding houses. the more disconcerting because by Mr. of poem in which every stanza returns the walls of Hamadan. V. Nevertheless. that I ask myself if they can be right when they say there adan.V THE BAZAAR Hamadan for ugliness is it my native place: and I will say to its honour that that surpasses every other city of the world. and gardens from the indiscreet curiosity of the passerby.

yielding their place to two blank mud walls. streets are too narrow to drive a carriage. And so do most If of the fifty or sixty thousand other Hamadanis. choose mount a however. Presently the trees give it up. ferrying dead leaves. trains. I can also imagine a celebrated 72 citi- . and more equivocal relics to the unknown wall. trams. it decides to take the middle of lane. Bazaar. It amuses is me the more because down town associated in my mind with boats. tunnels. The The Sah'b and I. might note with- out disfavour the none too geometric line in which that dirty water flashes the street. the inequalities of tone and surface in the irregular mud walls on either side. down for example. enlivened trees by the street. accordingly. As for the brook. thinking about? Mr. walk. destination to which it it finally vanishes under a And does not take me long to make out I that the charms of Hamadan this are not for the nostril. the results of this whole- some exercise be not very favourable to the shine of our it shoes or the crease of our trousers. full and other devices of the Whereas in Hamadan time or to go to the claims his due. call in. the contrast of their tawniness with the brilliant strip of blue overhead. Clinton Scollard might think it my Belgian lady. here. Was that what the more initiated poet whose or distich have put at the head of Yet occurs to chapter was so.PERSIAN MINIATURES mountains to the the rite of going city. West for cheating time. The road outside our gate is at first a muddy country and a miniature brook that can never make up their minds which side to run. onion peels. we say You may To go down town. you may if you not. Cezanne. as horse. better chance to see at least gives us a how little there is to see. me that such a per- son as the late M.

^i»-.^.ijr^^ HAMADAN STREET 73 .

propped up on leaning poplar poles. but all of them make a welcome break in the monotony of the endless mud walls and most of them are more imposing than the common run of street doors in Europe or tells America. the bulls' eyes of greenish glass in the mud domes of the roof. At any rate. in- deed. or the rare filled windows vilifying. bar the street itself. And the humility of his own. the Sah'b me. with an infinity of little panes. Some of them. Beside one low. that pierce high above the ground. Massachusetts. it seems that Persian baths. is what Hamadan finds not least astonishing about our new house. Other signs are the striped towels hanging out to dry the little in square where three streets come together. overshadowing canopies of dried mud. But who. in the flimsy balconies that give an accent all their own it. open upon darkness. quaint life-sized figures are frescoed: the sign of a public bath. in the rough black arches through which an alley will suddenly plunge out of sight. heavy door. to a blind mud wall. is the index man's importance in the world. without glossing or could evoke the true mud and cobblestones underfoot.PERSIAN MINIATURES zen of Lowell. the complicated variation of smells about one strong acrid theme of burn- ing camel dung? The most of sun architectural feature of these twisting cracks and shade are the doorways. of a A gateway. None of them can compare with the Sublime Porte of Kazvin. and a new smell. shutting off quarter from quarter at night or in times of disturbance. the exact key of clear colour overhead. finding subjects to etch in these crooked perspectives. in the shops that occasionally break them with broad. together with the lack of ling especially deputed to any yawning underguard it. 74 .

and a museum. His saddle is covered with a lattice-work of magenta broall cade on white. The people we meet ple of little all look more alike than the peo- any place I have seen for a long time. pink cheek-bones not too upsetting! In fact. with a jewelled clasp at the back. — I am afraid. Yet one youngster patters after us stark less sorry for naked.000 feet above the sea around Thankshimself than he would giving time. But notice that they like to their throw near. im- one from another when their thick white are down. their veils back when none of is own men are The consequent revelation of long black eyes and high. being fastened around the crown of their heads. contain a central pool. the women swathed It is from top to toe possible to veils tell in a black or dark blue chader. the men strike me as handsomer than the women. at 6. These have an odd triangular effect. by a fan- tastic individual in a tunic of peacock green velvet. to pollute the interior of a bath with my presence. as I have been in Stambul. and disappearing I in front under the dark domino. and that the water of this treasury is changed as seldom as shall may be! This news enables me to I bear with better equanimity the further news that never be allowed here. He belongs to the great army of beggars in wait at strategic corners or follow one with 75 .THE BAZAAR unlike Turkish ones. apparently have us that lie believe. There are many bare legs and feet too many to be comfortable. appropriately named the treasury. I There is of the colour had expected — save when a company led of mosstroopers clatters by on horseback. the of them rattle with weapons out of Otherwise everybody dresses very soberly. men oftener than not in a loose felt brown cloak called an aha and a brown auk's egg.

emaciated babies. I would be less willing to accept the picture of it which Prof.'* how Kipling I says: "each Shall in his separate star it draw the thing as he sees for the God of things as they are. in the year even have to confess that do not see the white placed with respect to the bridge below that the river and its peak of Elvend quite so acute or so aptly it. But I do see bridges are a notable feature of Hamadan. you learn the more off will- how to put them with a pharisaic ''God be your keeper!" when you catch one laughing gaily with her neighbour and then bursting into dolorous sobs at sight of you. am it willing to take is Prof. their tacle. what perhaps in 76 . Wil- liams Jackson's word for I that this river the Alusjird. their hideous deformities. They are a distressing specwith their thin rags. see And 1841 what M. Williams Jackson and Col- onel Sykes have borrowed from an old French traveller did not happen to by the name of Eugene Flandin if remember the Envoi of ''The Seven Seas. I M. never came across any one else who had so definite a name for it. Flandin did not. Finally we reach the true boundary of the Bazaar. Flandin.PERSIAN MINIATURES full of hand outstretched. making piteous outcries which are the word khoda. God." For myself. of grace I see that pointed bridge of brick and cobbleI stones less romantically than did 1841. ingly However. I which though is the river. I falling away between boulders and poplars into a winding cleft through the clay-coloured town.

THE BAZAAR was not there to see. From It the vesti- bule an inner door opens at right angles into a court which no one would ever have expected. flat-roofed house. I. a quaint low mosque at one end the bridge. is whose most engaging feature 77 the talar in the centre. being used to reach offices by way of a lift. This And is at the farther end of it lies the Office proper. with windows of heavy wooden lattice-work which panes of white paper are pasted against the II of in cold. flower beds. find this Office a highly characteristic place. The gateway giving entrance thereto is by no means so august as some others in far Not Hamadan. low. leading into a dark vaulted vestibule. faced with light buff brick. and brick walks. it is a handsome enough brick arch. Still. beyond the bridge lies the Office. . like a is laid out garden with trees. a long.

the upper part being an ogival lattice of weathered like those wood talar their saw in Kazvin. A miria. though they dress like Persians and speak French true touch of the country is much better than But the w^hich at a woolly a villager brown lamb the psychological moment known is to the Sah'b produces from the folds of an aha and presents to him for pishkesh: which means that the Sah'b gift of expected in rather return to gratify the donor with a money more than equal to the value of the lamb. . is The square lower part window I cut up into innumerable tiny panes. the outer edge of which means of two tall carved capitals. are. And on either side of the is one more such cusped lattice. might add. title is either a prince or a according as the follows or precedes his given princes. 78 Theoretically. raised four or five feet above itself the ground but rising through the second story to it the roof. not quite so large. They I. scribe. The entered not through the talar but it. Next the Office. as a matter of nearly all Jews. through a vestibule on either side of After such an approach. intricate dark brown wheels relieving the yellowish Oifice itself is facade in the pleasantest possible way. up by and extremely slim pillars with slender The two inner corners of the talar are helps to hold decorated at the top with pendentives of stalactites and painted flowers in pale yellow. all but. from which doors surprising to dis- open both into the loggia and into the adjoining rooms. The sit chief dif- ference in the black-capped mir^as I who at many of the desks. however. while a good part of the rear wall of the is one immense window. it is cover how is like other offices is this one.PERSIAN MINIATURES The talar is a great loggia. name. is the Bank. These mirias are not fact.

little watered by the most unbanklike of rivers. They tell me that the Persian is quick as a Westerner to learn those secrets of commercial paper which to a Turk. being a dependency of the Russian Ministry of Finance. and the Russian Banque d'Escompte et de Prets de la Perse. tions And there are two foreign institu- which have branches in all the chief Persian towns: Bank of Persia. the Bank is the English one. As for the the Imperial court inside the gate. as to myself. are dark as the ways of Providence. They me amusing and its stories of the amenities which under the old regime used to be exchanged between this British institution first in it is Russian rival. albeit it is smaller and paved with stone. The English. of exchange is one that Persians pick up is in no and the consequence that the is Hamadan branch more important. The Russians.THE BAZAAR you know. however. For us. on the other hand. than also tell its central office in Tehran. describe the latter as a pawnshop. who were the field. flowing symmetrically in shallow stone channels which you by miniature arched bridges. do not look kindly upon the fact that the English have a monopoly 79 . there is who needs money. There is also a And beyond the talar I find occasion to be contalar. since not run like their own bank on a strictly commercial basis. Its gate is rather more imposing than that of the Office. a British corporation. since the forbidden by the Koran. The game time. banks do not taking of interest is exist in the Near East. Practically. no part of the world where such exorbitant rates of interest are extorted from the wretch however. of the Imperial Bank of Persia rather commercially. firmed anew in my idea that Hamadan is not a wasps' cross nest.

to my simple mind. show a certain type of lean. distinguished face. unless they long noses between the bars of the cashier's cage. the And on one Hamadan branch redeemed so large a number own notes in so huge a quantity of the minutest coins of the realm that the Russians never repeated the experi- ment. being elsewhere subject to discount. one customer would make his fortune at a I costume His loose clothes are of so pale a blue that can't imagine how he keeps them Around his waist is so immaculate.PERSIAN MINIATURES of banknotes in Persia for trouble with these notes is 99 years or until 1988. Natives of Baghdad. Which is the reason why travellers in Persia are obliged to load themselves down with sacks of krans. is it to watch I who come and go through tell the court. am too green to whether they be Persians or not. any time unable to redeem its the Bank would forfeit its monopoly. But they occasion of its never quite caught the English out. 80 and . suddenly presenting them for payment at a moment when they had was short reason to believe that the branch they chose of cash. But if notes. The that they are good only for — the town where they are issued. which protrude suggestive handles of ivory. bring in Semi-European Armenians stick the news of the Tigris. New light on the workings of the Anglo-Russian Agreement the people still of 1907! Quite as amusing. So the Rusat any branch were sians used to collect as many of the English notes as they could fey hands on. out of silver. Portly Hebrews enter with bags of shekels such as we carried up-country. He wears top boots with a curious design cut into the upper edge of them. And ball. a bulging figured silk girdle. known by their tight silk robes and their drooping fezzes.

something at all events not Turkish. officer. he has features to go with these striking accoutre- ments lie —proud. black. A mir:[a guides the way. and the manner in which they swerve this way or that. and more pontifical than have yet seen. That is how the steps of greatness are smoothed is in Persia." The Bazaar proper lies a short distance down hill from the Bank and the Office. "That? Oh. unbroken bar of eyebrow above two profound eyes that seem to meditate anything but finance. on a reduced taller binds about his forehead a black kola. and the gay chatter of which they are full. his cheek-bones. yet of with one broad. only a Kurd. A I replica of that girdle. the dome catch sight of through a of the Masjid-i-Juma. no great smoothness pleases perceptible to my What me most about the streets is their narrowness. rest. which 8i dark and damp . gold." he Ill replies. ''Who on earth is that magnificent creature?'* I de- mand of the Sah'b. There is something Neapolitan about it. the me which After all mosque —and — is to say the around the base of ! dome of the Friday that dome a few turis quoise tiles? We turn into a small square. so spare that deep hollows underan enviable swarthy ruddiness. and they. What is more. like Prussians on the same sidewalk with an make nothing of being shoved. walking He makes nothing of in front of me to clear shoving people aside. me there. gateway but a mir:[a tells And what do I dome. on the same side of the river.THE BAZAAR steel damascened with scale. aquiline. "Come on. For the steps.

pile the Bunches of big white grapes. in front of him. amid his wares. He catches the squawking fowl by the wings. the blood spurting out over the muddy cobblestones. sheep with their and sheep without their fleeces. though they are probably tinned copper. and then. Under his left he sets the creature's legs. have counters flush with the counter at all. Among wares that catch my eye are hanging metal pots which look like pewter. quinces. In one corner an old man squats in the mud with a quantity of goats' heads lying on the ground Every now and then a customer picks one up by a horn. Beyond are butcher shops in with live sheep and dead sheep fleeces them. he cuts the chicken's throat. Here is a vegetable and meat market. fruits. sheep in every stage of dismemberment. in the manner prescribed by the canon. stretched on wooden beams. other old skull man and carrying a chicken. fresh apples. Dried stands.PERSIAN MINIATURES by reason of the matting roofing it over. which he folds back and lays in the mud under his right foot. whose stalls leave but a narrow aisle around the edges. oranges. The biggest and best ones 82 . beard is dyed with henna. fresh. which no one would ever think of keeping away by means any kind of screen. all and some of them Others have no of them the proprietor sits on a rug street. They In are open in front. looking none too hang from rafters. and Out of another stall comes anlays it back in the mud. very deliberately. lined on both sides by shops. We little pass on into a crooked alley. his He wears scarlet a leather cap. examines it attentively. Even of at this late season flies not a few buzz around them. hanging from hooks or laid out on stained slabs of wood for the admiration of the public.

but have never hap- pened to see horses.THE BAZAAR have Arabic inscriptions on them other decorations notice shops that in relief. with the interesting information that the people of ''the Orient*' used it for portieres and sofa pillows. and These are a great specialty of is it Hamadan. on the Russian road. the alley narrows in front of us into a dark archthe heart of the Bazaar. camels even. together with of arabesques and flowers. My confused picture of the Bazaar. which than is likely to comfortable for the sit One common use of them have more wood about toughest hide. like it have seen something I Stambul and other cities. a place of twilight I Here in roofed in from sun. mules. They are them with sim- also popular to floor. a plain white and I don't last we throw away. I also would contain enlightenment for the textile curator of a certain American museum. spread out are saddlebags. There of the kind that belonged to the cavafelts galore. They jingle to fro through the dusky maze. lier on counters. or snow. only profits thereby. And what canvas sack blu^ flowers would you say to a of the sort flour bag. hanging on walls. decorated with know what? is At way. too. donkeys. or to carpet a humble therefore an art to decorate 83 . It is on or sleep on. however. Rugs are what I see first. There are also white saddlebags elaborately embroidered in colours. I held my by tongue: but in this alley are just such stuffs for saddlecloths and saddlebags of the humbler in sort. so much and aside at home between shops and men. carried mules and donkeys pack trains. piled in corners. is under a saddle. who once showed me a piece of homespun striped in soft colours. rain. shoving pedestrians more unceremoniously than does the mir^ia in front of me.

by cross bars of light. am treated. tentacle vals down hill. But long before I have seen all I want to the mir:(a leads me around to a part of the Bazaar handsomer than any other. though their boundaries arq nQt very clear. blue. The way in which some obscure architect handled their groined vaulting thing to see. too. and having strangely watered blades. as are is a the pointed lunettes of dark wooden latticework which he set in the upper gloom of the octa- 84 . No two streets of the Bazaar are of the same length or Here one dark corridor ends sudThere another reaches a long the dim perspective being cut at interI roofed quite alike. you must know. bigger pendants. and odds and ends of coins such as are always being dug up in the fields of East. perhaps. or green. and see crescent-shaped and engraved with fine lines or set with uneven stones. is another great specialty of Hamadan. Every now of cutlery. with camels in them.PERSIAN MINIATURES pie designs in dull red. In general the various trades tend to stick together. to sudden glimpses of courts. denly in a blaze of sun. or a confusion of bales. piled helter skelter with cartridges and all manner of European abominations. This is where the leather merchants foregather. with bowls of seed pearls. with the happiest results for the eye. You the gold beads. or tall-capped people drinking tea in the sun. there is any number often of jewellers' shops. marquetried with gold. and the leather men ply their trade not under rafters or matting but high brick domes. big filigree gold earrings. too. Leather. at and then I come across a new department where are queer curved knives such as might be most home Then in the girdle of my magnificent Kurd.

I fmd here such footwear as the Sah'b promised me. run American sewing machines as nonchalantly as if they had invented them. The ones I admire most are of an emerald green. I alas.THE BAZAAR gons where two streets meet. Their 85 . is And there a pointed arch more than likely to in the be very pleasant for a sojourner in a caravanserai to centre. shaped like a hand. having no more than an inch or two of hummingbird splendour wherein to slip a humming- bird's toes. The saddlers and the harness makers are the natural allies of this gentry. also admire an instrument of brass. Other workmen. are not of the gender worthy of such shoon. of the most wonderful shapes and colours. Mine. with which a workman beats a strip of vivid morocco. or a trellised brick open into a quadrangle with a pool platform where it must smoke admire porches his water-pipe and the of deep cusped the close and their interior stalactites. however.

with a bit of brocade or old embroidery. if one dreams. for bowls of every imaginfluted. the bilious calicoes. having plain edges or for flowerpots whose two or three handles give them an inimitable fmish. are not forgers or sentimentalists. The biggest jars are double-deckers. quite accidentally. enough ones to hold a man. potters of Lalein. or covered. pot- bellied ones. and devise out of polished metal and slivers of mirror quaint ornaments that are meant to glitter and jingle about a horse. you prefer. slim ones. all. whose upper storey is conveniently provided like the flowerMost of this earthenware is yellower pots with handles. for jars to hold water though they rarely do! — Then Baba there are all kinds of other jars. he shows something after For on our way back to the Office we pass the crowded booths where the potters of Lalein display their wares. He points out to me the glass show-windows. 86 . of leaving that wood as It can be carved with little arabesques. They inlay leather of one colour into leather of another colour. the believe my eyes? —cheap me —can I American shoes. every-day de- They supply an cook in. They you understand. What streets the mtr:(a saves for the last is a quarter of open where prosperous Russian and Armenian shops do their wickedest to introduce a false air of modernity with pride into ancient Ecbatana. tall jars. of course. those honest. Yet. mand able for pipkins to size.PERSIAN MINIATURES craft is the more interesting to watch because of the deft things they do in the way of decorating. true Ali which are used for the storing of wheat and other provisions. it wood set into each end for stiffen- No comes to him. Nor must I forget those leather glass cradles with a piece of ing.

87 .

And they tell me there is nothing to see in Hamadan! 88 . the blue-green of the domes of Kazvin. turquoise colour.PERSIAN MINIATURES than we usually be. see. glazed or unglazed as the case it is may But a good deal of unevenly enamelled in pea- cock colour.

of Judaea. I went to the pains to write out by hand and to copy on the typewriter shall further confess that in a a long chapter about that tall-domed mausoleum. or more than the outside of the things I was one the glanced reader. never saw regret to confess. the pages of Holy Writ and of the Apocrypha. however. very diligently. because so it many -people know about we will not put in our description. some time afterward. sitting window above New York harbour. To that end I turned. not to mention those of secular volumes not a few. for I then set about sugaring you such pills as the history of Media. Yet. my mind. first day visited Bazaar. bringing 89 . of I Assyria. And so I will tell you about the Tartars of the Ponent and the lords who have reigned over them. whose squat porch and solid stone door open upon a species of lumberyard neighbourly to the potters of Lalein. of Persia. hill called the a so Faro. Colonel Henry Yule: the book of ser marco polo ASA l\ / -^ at I MATTER of fact. —But on the west side. treated of the Babylonish Captivity and adventured so far afield as Lydia and Greece.VI LEAF FROM THE BOOK OF SER MARCO POLO At is the straits leading into the Great Sea. \ -^ the that of it —^which I I it. there since beginning on this matter I all have changed it. but go on to something else. I there is something to see in Hamadan.

years later. never set foot Why. however. its who in 171 3. or because I find no interest in the origin of the tradition of Hebrew Feast of Purim. seems to be the work of two pious Jews of Kashan. seems to me too unlikely a place for Queen Esther to have died in. was that? Certainly not because Hamadan. destroyed again in it And the his- Von Hammer says then lay within the precincts mosque of a thousand and one columns. But nothing about present appearance is so picturesque as a piece of 90 . at any rate. monu- ment. mentions our high dome as being a remnant of a magni- ornamented with restored it tiles. and their tomb in Hamadan. The Turk Khosrev Pasha. reader. the famous Jewish traveller Benjamin of Tudela saw our mausoleum. or because the the tomb is too recent. do you suppose. Hamadan about The existing 1683. the summer capital of King Ahasuerus. As early as the twelfth century. while the French father Sanson. around The personage whom Kit Marlowe wrote it his ''Tragedy of Tam- burlaine the Great*' destroyed two or three hundred general of Sultan 1630. even made an excursion into the Higher Criticism. so much oftener. who visited ficent temple. has been I to cut that chapter out of your book. For when I I began to turn over the tales of earlier travellers found that every one of them had something to say about Esther and Mordecai. steering in a subtle manner between the sensibilities of the godly and of the profane.PERSIAN MINIATURES you back to the campaigns of Sir Archibald Murray and Sir Stanley Maude. And most of those conscientious Whereas there. who passed it men had been into that tomb. I. But the outcome of the Higher Criticism. it Murad torian of a IV. or Ecbatana.

that I by rather gaunt exterior. that I judged the unseen interior its of that whited sepulchre fear. too. made her the heroine of an uncommonly good like. to the effect that the comforta certain Hebrew doctor of the town was in founded upon a jar of gold he accidentally unearthed the tomb. a longtime ago. : not quite so short as mod- ern editors but well enough put together to be true.LEAF FROM THE BOOK OF SER MARCO POLO gossip I heard in able fortune of Hamadan. I wonder. But why. Whether Queen Esther actuinteresting than the circum- ally existed or not is to me less story stance that some one. did no Sunday School teacher of my youth ever think of telling me that King Ahasuerus was really Xerxes the Great? And that between his divorce from Queen Vashti and he his marriage with Queen Esther made an irrelevant journey Book of Esther thing about — which the author of the was far too perfect an artist to say anyto Thermopylae and Salamis and Plataea? 91 . I am not of those who fmd it essential to read the Bible literally. I fear. The fact is.

affair into a sieve of thumbs the dog-eared and one promptly drops the a memory — in order to pick up. I as the Persians do. SUCH to vague and illusory purposes does one go school! One scans incomprehensible lines. years later.VII PERSIAN APPARATUS Persicos odi. Quintus Horatius FIaccus\ carmina TO whole sieve. . in Persia who —does he not?—about doing rate. the it. I can nevej* too positively declare that passed in that house one of the most agreeable winters of a misspent Yet fell I could not help thinking. . . I But if I steal the phrase I it is not because is agree with the poet. out of a title to some clogged corner of that same one's hand! It came to me. optimists. apparatus. one desperately lexicon of youth. first time my eye upon that Horace had something in common 92 . with an amused grin. and other dangerous classes of citizens a dis- position to be too easily pleased by things as I find them. share with pacifists. puer. I And life. says something The poet At any agree with our own. when I beheld that new house for which we had foregone the unseen enchantments of Resht and had fallen into conflict with the paramount Power in north Persia.

being thorn and poplar trunks. broad-eaved timber one. He it has only one possible building material. you pour it into little rectangular moulds which you afterward set out to dry in the never-failing Persian sun. all But Per- elemental earth and water are the foundation of sian 'architecture. and an object of so great curiosity to the good people of Hamadan. to say nothing of an arcaded than of veranda more reminiscent of a Spanish a Persian ialar. You may even. much of as he The very roofs are of mud.PERSIAN APPARATUS with villas little my Belgian lady. The Persian architect therefore need waste no time hollow tile. Adobe is perhaps the more graceful name. and the lot on which he builds. to the . -patio Most contrary 93 of all. provided with admirable window seats in the four-foot wall. nevertheless. Baku. if so you be minded. And. reinforced concrete. stone. brick. and that the poet of white different song Roman if he had had a pomp. however humble. lumiere of this And that was only one reason why our house was a worthy goal of so. bake might have sung a actual experience of Persian — some of it in quicker furnaces and produce yellowish bricks for the enrichment of a gateway or a facade. contains as needs. was not that kind ville a low-pitched. in hesitating between timber. overlaid by some kind of tar paper imported from that quarter of Asia. as fast as asps could carry us. unlike the beaver. Our roof. For it also had Craftsman windows wider than they were long. was made of nothing more splendid than mud. These reflections were inspired by the simple but perfectly obvious fact that the mansion toward which we had been hastening day and night.rapid a journey. spread thick on camelof roof. and what not. however.

however. thanks to a builder who had never cannot resist before set a fireplace on anything but a few precautions. race that of the earth. life Still. I mud underpinning and had taken too adding that this gentle- man. wherein we burned those piteous faggots which in Persia pass for wood. For light we depended on the ''blacke oyle. But we belonged to a par excellence the picknicker and camper-out and between us we could scrape up humour at our experience of Persian pomp. eked out by Russian candles. an Armenian carpenter. shall who how they wash is their hands or read their evening paper. With gas or electricity.PERSIAN MINIATURES laws of the Medes and the Persians. Williams Jackson takes pains to quote. We were further able to boast nothing less recondite than a furnace. fancy. —upon we lived had a fantastic habit it. rather more habitable above our struggles with in spirit ground. we had fireplaces. or wherewithal shall they be warmed. than below. of course. an oil stove in the end proved most effective. In most of the rooms. We likewise enough to be amused made a good start at burning the dining-room floor. was the "intelligent Persian" whose topographical information Prof. heard-of rarity of wooden floors to learn. the primitive problems of brought us nearer take no thought to the inhabitants of trenches than to dwellers in onyx- hailed apartment houses. stynkeng horryblye. rugs it contained the unwhich. of billowing in a gale. We fore lived to learn several other unexpected things be- we got through with For a new house has ship or a idio- syncrasies as distinct as a new is new baby —and As most so when for a it departs from accepted traditions. the invention 94 .'' of Baku. we had nothing to do. Of our various stratagems to keep warm. it new mud I house.

what a bathroom It possessed. Thence to distribute through- out the house was a matter of fetching and carrying.PERSIAN APPARATUS and the pride of the heart of the master of the house. That. for one thing. my brethren. we were able to obtain from in a small hand pump. a water oozed into the bottom of that well. it We found a too penetrating. my favourite view. forgetting such excesses of luxury as hot and cold taps. Baku thank God. lest we them and break our necks. We also found the problem of the conservation of energy more insoluble than ever. Water. looking out of two big windows across the flat roofs and sharp poplar tops of the town to that concave ! 95 . dried camel dung. it which was generally good enough order to send a hope- ful drip into the kitchen. What is more. ful you can dug a get You very enough to make soon learn to be thanka cup of tea. when we make some sort of equation between the un- appeasable appetite of the furnace for poplar the infinitesimal registers wood and from the the floor. even when so far removed from tried to sight. in Hamadan. And among land I the many and little vivid smells of that treeless shall always remember the odour of burning tapeh. But. tapeh. is a commodity even more therefore closed if step pre- cious than heat or light. Under the circumstances it was too much to dream of maintaining more than one bathroom. For the nourishment of furnace we origi- nally proposed to use the commonest is fuel of Persia. who devised it out of the mud of his cellar and who caused mud tunnels to conduct its affluvia into three or four this rooms. lingly We tremblittle well in our cellar —and. amount of heat that rose in —which were merely round holes We into them and the incident. if you insist on knowing.

further possessed a monstrous copper samovar. Not only had it to be washed off after one had taken one's bath. As a matter arrived on the scene too late to admire the invention of most of them. con- trived by the ingenuity of the Sah'b.PERSIAN MINIATURES plain of such It inimitable chameleon changes of colour. with the square. howbroad sills of the windows. What I was happy enough not to miss was the moving In. II I may airily seem to imply that I had a personal hand of fact I In these various arrangements. of the But the glory structure was. I fear the Sah'b and the Khanum were less happy In entertaining a guest-friend who had known them too long to feel any scruple in combating 96 . lacking anything better from was not a success. And this in spite the water from the bathtub was supposed of the fact that We therefore had to give to run away into the garden! Baku. to drip. into two mouths of which uncomplaining underlings fed countless gallons of water and numberless bundles of faggots. with bitter lamentations. blue-green tiles of Lalein. The cement it that held the tiles together. The foundation of this mud. The mud was faced. of course. but the ceiling of the room below was observed to darken. though. up. was home-made. substi- tuting such receptacles of metal or rubber as could be improvised out of the resources of the country. and most threateningly to sag. like the room was the bathtub. alas. our peacock tiles. and. Have I said that Lalein is a village in the region of Hamadan where still the lost art of glazing earthenware is humbly practised? Never have I bathed in anything quite so pretty as that tank of turquoise water. ever.

ungarnished with plaster. In a place like Hamadan. you must first get your goods to Enzeli or to Baghdad. The sojourner in Persia is not like his happy cousin of Italy. whence sit mats to they are transported 250 or 315 miles by caravan. however. had mud walls. the people of the East use almost no furniture. rugs.PERSIAN APPARATUS their views and exposing of three. for Persian miniatures. Our two rooms of literally state. So the stranger who dwells among them has to transport from oversea everything he needs for his own more complicated housekeeping. all or colour of any kind. but smoothed past to their parental earth. and other Oriental objects of art which my wise host and hostess spent much of their leisure in collecting. But others. had performed such an Odyssey that it was a wonder we had a dish to good of these objects many eat out of or a chair to sit in. no open rupture or secret coolness resulted from our lively arguments on interior decoration. for brasses. we desired no better background for Persian plates. for Persian mirror frames. we were a family was perhaps fortunate that and therefore sometimes able to as not. intended more strictly for use. able to go forth wherever he fmds himself and pick up delectable furniture. sizing. to the vast scandal of Hamadan. accordingly. one. And 97 . secure a casting vote. resemblance For ourselves. require merely a few rugs or For They and sleep on and a few plates and bowls for their cookery. his It own with regard to the fur- nishing of their rooms. embroideries. A had made no great journey. As often we mainNeverfor tained three perfectly theless irreconcilable opinions. highly amusing to open and to dispose of the contents of the cases which strange-looking ruffians brought to the house on their backs. found it And I.

Hakluyt. being smaller than the others and having only one big window. too. you ported. find traces of those surprised me more in to hungry Persian rodents certain among them the poet of my text. and Henry James. of our will not wonder that a neighbour of ours had the unhappiness to lose an entire dinner set she had im- We were delighted to fmd that only about half own china was smashed. Bourget's ''Sensations d'ltalie'' had been devoured from cover to cover. who had somehow found their way into that Parthian galere. I cannot explain this unaccountable vagary. Our library was on those days when a terrific winter wind howled out of the gorges of Elvend the one comfortable room in the house. For breakage and theft we were prepared. or you have noticed how mules and camels drop their packs when they make camp. I merely state. together with our books on Persia and such works as we possessed of the American Red Blood school. They Latin authors. its tinted 98 . This was also the room that had least in it to remind us where we were. O subtle mice of Ecbatana! French in general they exhibited a also remarkable They had found nourishment It in Jane Austen. Since the books were not mine. its wicker chairs. with its rows of Latin-lettered books. had whiled away some of their hours happily in the not irreplaceable Everyman edition. not to say moth and rust. What gave us something of a shock at our books was to discover that mice in Persia as chairs or had been in —as precious soup plates. had passed by our rug books. Joseph Conrad. however.— PERSIAN MINIATURES if you have seen the sprlngless gharries that climb the if passes of the Russian road. I found it me to smile upon noting that For the taste.

in their day? sat in that When we fire room at tea time. always seemed to Saxon me extraordinarily characteristic of the Anglo- race. multiplied by a trick they did not know. but which so stoutly takes with it it its own language of St. of Rhodes. and the romantic Knight of Malta! must add in passing that I cannot believe him really to have Lucrezia Crivelli. who had to wife the daughter of a world unknown. But if you might at least call Knight. but that adorable minx bound about her brow. and filling me with obstinate questions about western taste and the vicissitudes of Did Lucrezia and the nameless western wandering. there he hung in remote Ecbatana. I wonder. should in centuries to come adorn the house of an Englishman in Persia. with a it wood crackling behind a pair of English andirons. However. and customs. reminding me of Paul Bourget and the Persian mice. ever in life find themselves so close it together? And what would they have thought had been told them that their portraits. and its pictures of other lands. because I do not believe there were any Knights of Malta when Giorgione painted him — if Giorgione did paint him. him a Knight of St. in which familiarity with the sea has so long wherever goes bred familiarity with lands beyond the sea. Two of the latter were for me an unquenchable wellspring of whimsical philosophy.PERSIAN APPARATUS walls. with her jewelled fillet I been a Knight of Malta. For who should gaze inscrutably at each other from either side of the door. There were only Knights you object to that point of quibbling. looking no more surprised than his lovely companion to fmd himself so far away from Florence. George. or barely discovered. One of us was a true son 99 . John.

I sometimes used to wonder. which has brought forth such miracles as Athens and Venice and Oxford. of the unconquerable vitality of a race. glory. seven thousand miles away. of us were descended from those contemporaries of Robert Sherley who three hundred years ago sailed out of Old England to found a we sat in Persia. out And when next we met it was of that little room. more about the land in which we sat than you who It was a symbol. of the pride of a man own house and his own acre. when the world was already deep in the greatest of wars. one after the other. the literature of Elisabeth. After all. which flowered once into the painting of the Renaissance. speaking think about little it ! —no tongue but — England. New and knowing very read these words. Yet there owning none but English whatever Cockney or Cantabrian might English. been no ghost of a Lucrezia Crivelli to smile across a Persian doorway at the shadow of a Knight all of — St. But a better symbol was the bare slope of poplars outside the window. what business had we there? And how about this modern fashion of borrowing our neighbour's art? Florentines If the and Venetians had followed it as persistently had contented themselves with collecting pseudoGreek marbles and Byzantine mosaics. and disaster. Looking at it from a high 100 .PERSIAN MINIATURES Two Sir though accidentally born outside the fold of his race. blood. still Persia after three thousand years of conquest. there would have as we. John! Where daries shall we end with this transporting of one country to another? Are we going to wipe out boun- and become cosmopolites all? There was no time to answer these long questions before our destinies drew us. that cosy little liin his brary. the three of us.

one happy let result much unhappiness should be to the sun shine again on overshadowed lands. but each one much less. than occidental ones. That formidable outburst against it the ambitions a-prowl in the earth. another might be to check the standardising of mankind. And if emigrations. even gentleman adventurings fall for a time out of fashion. The only one lOI of ours who made us feel that he earned every shahi of his somewhat sketchy . one of his favourite diversions being to ask the she had taken on. does the dream of the Internatiohale. Persia Khanum how many more of fact follows the rest of Asia in this regard. I have sometimes as the beginning of an answer to those questions not touch too of our Persian library. was to be seen below not take that technical phrase too — if you literally. though as a matter we were not so dreadfully attended as most of our neighbours. and the worthiest to be considered stairs Horatian sense. ment of so of men to differ. with fewer outings.! PERSIAN APPARATUS window above seen it New York harbour. The most permanent agreeThe thing is to recognise and If to respect each other's differences. and isolate without a country? house and his For the pride of a is man anew the man in his own own is acre rooted very deeply —nor need it imperil another man's peace. con- cession huntings. what matter? turing to There is still adven- do in a country which has not yet achieved a its Lucrezia Crivelli of own Ill The most in characteristic piece of Persian apparatus in the will our house. The Sah'b servants used to complain that he never knew how many we had. does Oriental servants work for longer hours.

children. Frank. or both. not? and subtly complimentary to a great race. our backwardness I conforming to A Firengi. None of them. —because our house stood by human ties. valets. To us of sterner EcbaI permitted no such Sybarism. a Strange. though I fear we in Hamadan by custom. quick-witted. it IS not good form for a person of such consequence all as a Firengi to leave his door at without a servant rather scandalised this is or two at his heels. how since the time of the crusades that all name The has stuck in western Asia as descriptive of Europeans seas. fast they picked up our ways. is it should explain in parenthesis. would occasionally go.— PERSIAN MINIATURES stipend was a laborious. a youngster whose voice just began to crack. I often wished I knew what their comments were. for that matter. to help in the kitchen or the dining fact. even Germans! society apart. employ- ments. through confidences made to the masters of other servants. And it surprised me to see how many of which to them must have seemed inexplicable and capricious beyond reason. that the Sah'b of the Desert came to our ears was known I to an inner few as the Chief itself I. were far out of infancy. When we went room. We sometimes caught rumours. and picturesque godson of the great Shah Abbas. outside the town! And was enchanted to learn that having come to Persia without wives. however. You tana is of the effete West are lapped in the soft ministra- tions of the Eternal Feminine. or other visible had been decorated with the picturesque title of Prince All Alone. In out to dinner our cook. 102 may note. our butler. —and their cousins beyond the servants of the Firengi s in Hamadan formed a sort of and you may be sure that among them no Thus it news was allowed to escape. how- . too.

'' And Sister did! The milking a cow is one more exceptional case. they were generically as Sister. Parrot. them who tute. of come next week. They always in carried operations big blue-glazed preferably set on the ground near the clothes line. of make her less meticulous. beside which they would I squat on their heels. will Custom. These aesthetic to most answered names: Deer. known on their bowls. Peacock. She does so bare-footed. in a length of in figured red trousers of a fulness. covering her head and held for decency's sake in front of her mouth.PERSIAN APPARATUS ever. sent us one into remember one of week a substithe 5\c» *- Inquiring matter the \1 Khanum was will told ''Sister makes a But she petition: she will have a child. Angel. since such duties 103 . To us. the exceptional case of Firengis with young children. however. but present and her duties it when a stranger is require the use of both her hands. There are is another exceptional case to likely to be noted of a country where laundresses more than the have smallpox ladies in their houses. is astonishing how ingenious she is in hold- ing her veil in her teeth and in keeping her back on the quarter of peril. course. Sugar. then risk her reputation by entering the presence of corrupt Christian A lady of the land may men. loosely swathed white or printed cotton.

because a Firengi eats meats too strange for the palate of a Persian. that at least in our house the Persians ity! were not too fastidious about our menu or our pur- They had quarters at one end of the stable. in their quarters. might add that for the complete success of it the operation is considered necessary for the calf to be tied in sight of the cow. green felt was brought for us to admire. We then had the choice of walking Their way through the snow to bang on the stable door. whose food and dishes are defilement to those of the faith. The time the stork visited our stable a small animal in wrapped up against the cold blinking into the dining room learned that the calf spent servants. A kursi is . I use. Here again a blue-glazed bowl being held between the knees of the man. with a fireplace to keep them warm and 104 a more eificacious inven- tion of their own which they called a hursi. While there are. kill why the Persians are so unwilling to or to a calf. sell I of milking is when no calf in sight. and their other meals. especially in Persia. to We was had the greatest trouble try induce our personnel even the experiment This. all own breakfast. Otherwise the sacred to fount infallibly goes dry. We had reason to believe. secondarily.PERSIAN MINIATURES are too ignoble for comes into operator. there are also disadvantages —as will appear most plainly on a winter morning a long after a party. And we its first few nights with the These. and why they are first so tender of the little creatures. however. suppose. the servants were supposed to pro- vide for themselves: primarily because a Firengi is an impure being. were not in the house. I hasten to add. very solid advantages in having servants out of the house at night. or of waiting for breakfast.

too.! — PERSIAN APPARATUS the counterpart of a Turkish tandur. brimless hat of Greek I monks and Rusdid not live long It was an experience which enough gave in Persia to take as a matter of course. and being new it was leaky. not unlike the sian priests. shinier 105 . always me the sense of assisting at a rite celebrated by the It flamen of an unknown creed. To be served at dinner by a butler bare or stockinged feet. being a fixed or portable brasier covered by a a quilt or a big rug is wooden frame. why we That is didn't have kursis. we would hire the youth of the neighbourhood to play tag on it. one. tucking themselves up to the waist or the neck as the case stand may be. I fear that the dreams of our dependents were sometimes interrupted. therefore. The boys never could underThe rest of their furniture consisted of rugs. and under that asphyxiating rug or quilt a considerable household can spend the day or the night. made no difference that I myself was perfectly capable of balancing upon my brow an even more fantastic erection. eaved like a house. a two-yard. For the roof over their heads was a mud After a rain or a thaw. mud the mud floors. in the way and if their bare feet What tainers in to my alien eye was most striking about our re- was their dress. many of them are long. wherewith to cover the floor. why there are so many rugs in Persia And there is another good reason why so a little more or a little less than six feet is all your Persian needs you have such a rug that is not brand new. according to the season. in order to pack the mud the harder with For a do-^ar. you may be sure that some very picturesquelooking customer has dreamed upon it the dreams of Asia. over which spread. bearing his upon head a pontifical mitre of brown or black tall felt. of a bed.

less amply kilted. he wears a shorter and thinner one. being could cherish a headdress different from Tall hats. our plates. is to him Under his outer garment. From there hangs to the knee. or below. being technically known as the Chief of the Service. however. The men The dress as indecently as Firengi women. He was the official head of our establishment. he was sometimes good enough to and eke to break. The there pass. in permitting our clothes to follow so closely the lines of our bodies. of it sometimes reveals successive layers of inner integubrightest virtue of Habib. Between their kola and their unshod country feet flapped a trouser not so full as that of the Turk but Firengi giving no hint of the leg it contained. a pleated skirt which even a travelled Persian unwillingly exchanges for a Prince Albert. when was no company. and account himself disgraced ever to be seen withall that distinguished our serving men. What caught my eye was the extraordinary fact that any than satin. our butler.PERSIAN MINIATURES and garnished with a coquettish ribbon. the tight sleeves of which and dangle decoratively if inconveniently enough. while a morning or evening coat a thing of shame. ments. He would always receive an order with the words *'0n to answer us he make?'* my eye!" and when he knew not how would say: "What petition shall I He was a youth of twenty or thereabouts. And the open throat are slit to the elbow. human out it. was that he possessed a beautiful emerald undercoat in which. of contrasting colours. 1 06 . when not buttoned up or turned back. and a sucPersians think that cession of tailed or kilted coats. This tunic is also more gaily hued. were not my own. with which he usually dispenses indoors. fit of their own coats stops at the waist.

and it seemed a pity to risk spoiling a new lace doily! I discovered. but it took a great deal to ruffle his temper. Without any orders he once picked to pieces a lot of hyacinths and traced with the single flowers so pretty a pattern on the tablecloth that I hadn't the heart to affront him by disapproving of it. And when the time came to work in the garden was he most in his element. when 1 supple- that mentary refreshments were served. ladies seemed to interest who The society of neither of these him too intensely. he afterward explained. observed Habib had covered a tray with one of It the discarded napkins of the dinner table.PERSIAN APPARATUS espoused to a young person of twelve or thirteen stayed with his mother. was who. and the later we kept him up it at night the better pleased he apparently was. quick-witted race. We finally had to hide from him a pruning knife we had obtained from Baku. during a period of interregnum of which shall have more to I He say. sheets in —and not one of the Later the evening. to live in the stable with the other boys He also loved to harden the mouth of the Sah'b's horse. 107 . He preferred and the calf. was not really dirty. though. so vastly did he prefer that toy to a dishrag or a duster. that he was an excellent hand at decorating a table. I can't say that I blamed He was much slower and stupider than is common of his him. spread the table for the Sah'b's first bachelor dinner party with one of the Khanum's best.

if you will pronounce it Consequently there were times when in the Italian way. we were moved to call Mehm'd Ali out of his kitchen and say to him. though the afflicted Mehm'd himself." or ceremoniously one aside in consultation. he would hide his blushes in a low bow. and by telling us. stam- io8 . with due ceremony: '* Mehm'd Ali. that he had burned candles for recovery. And being no more than nineteen.'' or on state occasions serve tea on his knees. Ali. I learned more from him than he did from me as when he would greet us in the morning with " Peace be with you/' or politely take the Khanum's keys in both though it was a little chosen for bachelors' hall. though already old enough to have been married plicated as well as he did sauces and divorced. The true head of the service was Mahmad the cook Ali —or Mehm'd Ali as the others called him. whole. hands.— PERSIAN MINIATURES more finicky than I would have So did the genius of his race On the for design come out even in his humble fmgers. But a domeshad driven him into the kitchen. And he gave one strange glimpses of the world he lived in by speaking darkly of jinn. bring your honour here. in connection with a friend's illness. saying ''Without trouble. had been brought up as a butler one he was. where he quickly learned to make pancakes and cakes much more comtic crisis and curries for pilau which really sounds more like pileu. when a lost watch was found its in the house." Your white-capped chef or darkey Dinah might not know how to take so cryptic a pronouncement. or use instead of the first personal pronoun the call phrase "your slave. and an excellent with a slight disfigurement of mouth and a stammering of the tongue. But the mitred Mehm'd Ali knew it for the highest possible compliment. may your hand feel no pain.

dan. not been for the crumbs from our Going to the Bazaar was evidently the great affair of It was amazing how long it took Mehm'd the day. though I suspect that his face would have it been neither so round nor so rosy had table. as a delivery cart in Hamadan. And he for the served us with a credit that only seldom lapsed sum of six tomans a month —which Ali is a little less than I six dollars." The was to possess a wrist watch. The thing to do was to go to the Bazaar in person every after breakfast. baker. he did the I was astounded to fmd telephones in Hamathat a convenience at time strange to imperial Hamadanis had one. For. There is no such thing. Which is to say that Mehm'd Ali engaged and theoretically maintained him. for instance. or apprentice. either. a round-faced. Neither did any butcher. 109 . and ate Mehm'd Ali's bread. We did not. But very few degree as do the people of the Mediterranean. Nor did people from the Bazaar peddle their wares about the streets to any such Constantinople. more than that. or candlestick-maker with whom we dealt. bright-eyed. russet-coloured raga- who toted Mehm'd Ali's flexible market basket. morning do that thing — and Mehm'd Ali was the person to Mehm'd Ali and his shagerd. So there was no sitting comfortably at home and ordering what we wanted from the Bazaar. scoured Mehm'd Ali's earthenware pots.PERSIAN APPARATUS mering in reply: "May desire of Mehm'd All's heart honey be to your soul. am bound to add that Mehm'd if would have been of us con- less clever than he was he had not made out siderably marketing. This was the youngest mufifm member of our juvenile establish- ment. being cook. peeled Mehm'd Ali's potatoes.

The Chief of the Desert. from a river near real fish.PERSIAN MINIATURES Ali to bargain for the toasted wafers of bread or the scarcely thicker flaps of sangak which filled in the chinks between Mehm'd Ali's own white loaves. for the white mast which sion of Dr. to be sure. however. but as the Persians catch them by the simple expedient of poisoning the water. strict toll of his He accordingly purchases. Once in a while a runner would bring some member of our colony. vegetables were neither varied nor good unless they came out of our fish own garden. affairs. being a man of handed over the housekeeping to the very incompetent hands of the Prince All Alone. leaving the hapless Chief of the Desert and the Prince All Alone to shift for themselves. the art of letters. for the frequent hare is and partridge. Beef was far rarer than game. or francolin. a once became the foundation of a state dinner party. while such rarities as or strawberries were precious as pounded pearls and nightingales' tongues. Certain minute fish. we thought twice before indulging in them. a day of despair when the Khanum temporarily shook off from her feet the dust of Hamadan. Mehm'd kept Ali was so happy as to possess in addition to his other attainments. for the eternal mutton of the country. the Persian ver- Mechnikov's Elixir of Youth. were indigenous to our neighbourhood. The beauty of this arrangement was that the Prince All therefore I lO . and sometimes to die afterward. rendering an account of them every day to the Khanum. for the dubious bunches of grapes that looked only /or the scavenger but that had merely begun to turn into raisins and really were very good. There came. Kermanwhich at shah or from the faraway Caspian. for the famous like a flatter melons of Isfahan that tasted to us kind of fit squash.

but he named Mehm'd Ali the son of a burnt father.I PERSIAN APPARATUS Alone knew scarcely a word of Persian flattering —despite it Habib's comment that his progress in was I so rapid as to crack the air! Nevertheless. samovars lighted. Mehm'd would draw pictures in my I account book to illustrate his expenditures. through my thick Firengi head Ali And when couldn't get what Mehm'd Ali was little driving at. not even a is if single servant. much It No cook The which Mehm'd Ali took very in Hamadan. bought more cheaply than he. chanced that there was to be football that afternoon again the Anglo-Saxon in foreign parts —behold —and When after football the neighbouring Ftrengts were to come to us for tea. were to be made. or a hen and a partridge. Mehm'd Ali over. He also docked Mehm'd Ali a toman of his pay. The Ftrengts had their tea. and lo the price of that of the Sah'b's partridges. not a loaf. however. Even then sometimes hesitated between an egg and a turnip. The Sah'b one day brought home some happened that Mehm'd Ali also It so bought partridges that day. you have no zeal!" to heart. Cakes. I hurried home at the end of the game to receive the I hungry easily host. stumped. It was that latter fowl of calamity which at last ruffled our relations. china and silver set forth. partridges. I don't the washers of the dead to know whether he carry Mehm'd Ali upon out. therefore. II not so a little . I gravely pretended to take it Mehm'd Ali's accounts. Your Anglo-Saxon. not a cake did find. loaves baked. them was twice the Sah'b took called My vocabulary being too limited to do justice to the occasion. he stammered in wrath. and he cast in Mehm'd Ali's teeth that last of all insults " Mehm'd : Ali.

and each of us knew the other knew." said the Sah'b in all gravity. after made his point. that another cook capable of making both pilau and pancakes was not to be picked up in Hamadan outside of some one else's kitchen. we that day learned the lesson And the next day Mehm'd of not insisting upon a lesser. and we knew. But Mehm'd Ali." "Sah'b. "Mehm'd Ali. "may your feel hand soul. For the sake of the greater good. He knew." no pain." replied Mehm'd Ali.— PERSIAN MINIATURES late the subtle and not quite so plenteous as we had planned. although he had not blackened all our faces to the degree he hoped. therefore. Ali treated us to quite the most magnificent chocolate cake in his repertory. watered. When we looked at it our mouths When we tasted it we sent for Mehm'd Ali. "may honey little be to your cheaper And do you know? after that! Partridges grew a 112 .

something.'' I jump And about the water of that treasury or insinuated to you. human is For there be a creature which a Persian more unwilling creature is to touch than a pig or a Christian. that a dog. and to go straight to the bath. and gentlemen. is necessary to sketch our household is not only because our dog so imis portant a member if of our family. I have the honour to present to you Mr.! VIII JIMMY & His the CO. the ladies and the gentlemen if any have succeeded in wading so far into our long-winded — — This introduction in its true colours. in 113 . Jimmy. if do anything to avoid But as the Jimmy chances to touch so is much hem of his garment. to star is a strange one ! ! one that leadeth him fortune by ! the path of frowns to greatness by the aid of thwackings Truly ways of Allah are wonderful George Meredith: the shaving of shagpat LADIES -^ book. especially will if he be elderly and turbaned. but because he so admirable a proof of the saving inconsistency of nature. An orthodox Persian. James not Henry. Yet mark the subtle- orthodoxy when I also tell you that Jimmy. shaking hands with us or drinking our impure tea. the only remedy take off his turban. into the ''treasury. ties of have already told you.

devoted as he is to us. sympathetic. like every eye of Erin.PERSIAN MINIATURES spite of the double disadvantage under which he in the suffers by being in all literalness a Christian dog. in the more home- spun qualities of gratitude and respect for authority. ever he goes out with us to I And whenlikely notice that he is far draw admiring than disgusted glances. Although prime of life he falsely passes. ladies. is He a handsome little visedly —with a white coat which he — I used the word adfinds none too easy to keep unspotted from the world. inquiring and We are domestic and sedentary while he is debonair. o' To dis- be out nights ill is what he adores. lively. But. I Where he was born all was never Jimmy's strong point. a in Persia and the affability of his manners. with a humorous eye. fear. a bit of a boulevardier. does that eye. Now a puppy is justly exempted from the full-grown depravity of a sag. affectionate. more however indis- creetly he may I sniff about the feet of the faithful. tressing and destroying who went about I fear Jimmy is not 114 . do not know. he finds our house too small field for his and our garden too narrow a democratic spirit. finds favour in many an Iranian eye. all While I will not liken him to the knight in Malory. Jimmy is the best of companions. Discretion. So our house-boys pet Jimmy outrageously. or dog. puppy. by reason of his diminutive stature. enduring misadventure without a whimper. irresponsible. like the all who are irresistible to the softer sex and who most savour the relish of adventure. eyes of It twinkles. the curliness of his hair. always ready for the unexpected. He is not deficient. with a black patch on one quizzically uplifted ear. but his character is gentleman of the quixotic island from which Irish terriers spring. for a tuleh. either.

What is most in affecting. In short. with a comprehending and heroic resignation. reminded me I so strongly of a well-known portrait of the authoress of "Aurora Leigh" only call at the time of her marriage. to the immense disapproval of the house-boys. I most of the brown- others saw a in Persia. silky brown hair. sardonically named him Ferda. the droop of the newcomer's of his locks. for a country gentleman to maintain a course hare and gazelle like kennel of greyhounds. ears. was as a matter of fact a hound. And is in the pursuit of them he has a way of disappearing for hours. occupies the same privileged position as a puppy. For that word of hope occupies as large a ears. with a slight crimp like Russian wolfhound. One of these mysterious disappearances lasted that we suspected abduction. very much per-: chastened in will spirit. being too faithful to the lost dog of our 115 . Nothing is commoner than withal. we all looked coldly upon him. place in the Persian vocabulary as it does in the Spanish. in it He had The long. the colour As for me. that could him Mrs. which means To-morrow. so long as two days after Jimmy's departure the servants tried to con- by producing a greyhound somebody wanted to Wherein is exemplified anew the Persian inconsist- ency with regard to dogs. chance our heartless chastisements. to see the prodigal come home from illusion these absences with the darkness of dis- that normally twinkling eye. and his hysterical manner. knowing perfectly well what reproaches be heaped upon him.JIMMY & above forming unhallowed ties. for days. yet taking our hard words. CO. and absurdly flapping Sah'b. a greyhound. A ta:ii. that he may This particular greyhound. however. Browning. And the more so sole us sell.

Moreover. Mrs. But when Mrs. though We coursed with him once or twice. How he could run. where hunting Khans keep their hawks and their falconers quite like any baron of the thirteenth century. while he consumed chunks of raw meat with the utmost greediness. ! so poor a creature. with two immense yellow eyes that blinked blindly at us as he stumbled about the brick floor of the veranda! infinite And to the disappointment of Habib we refused to add him these to our already large Among enough list of pensioners.PERSIAN MINIATURES hearts. Many ii6 dark word threw they out as well about wolves that ravened down from the . He regarded the most indifferent gesture and was forever cringing and yelping. Jimmy. boys kept hinting that dwellers in the desert required a some sort of watchman. Browning's excessive sensibility disgusted us. Incidentally the generally in the vicinity of the stable. So Habib made one day a second attempt at consolation by proudly bringing in a bird which he named a hawk. the more as Nor did we take meat bill so as the took a turn for the worse about that time. was an obscurer member whom I have not yet mentioned. Browning finally made use of his unique gift to run away. failed to come back. very kindly to him at first. His one virtue was that he could run. happened to be an owl. in the meantime. But as often we ordered him away he infallibly turned up again. Where he came from nobody knew. belonging to the pariah caste of sag. Falconry is by no means a lost art in this part of the world. But this hawk. and that crimped bundle of nerves actually caught us the makings of a jugged hare. all we regretted about him was the toman or two we had paid for as a personal menace.

clipped ears that gave him a vague distinc- But I noticed that far Mehm'd in the Ali's rosy-cheeked ap- prentice was not too gone canons of the orthodox treat to take the interloper into his surreptitious kisses. without side. rifying animal. bigger and yellower. or whether. to say nothing of their own. and was the cause of his woe. were due to the fact that an enemy. He received. At any rate. and another reigned in his stead. and most dolorously would he howl in season and out. admitted surrender or triumph on either and before we knew it the sag was on terms of familiarity with us all. the implacable robber shot him. Habib explained. too. avail us to kick against the pricks? We So what did it gave in. new watch-dog proceeded to He would twitch spas- modically at inopportune moments. he. The needle. being nothing but a plain yaller dog. He never came into the house. or protect our slumbers. These symptoms. probably a who had set apart our house for some midnight foray. as the servants vowed. guished ears. for the were against develop a mysterious malady. Whether the needle was finally fatal to him. better than this humble citizen of the country. had fed the unfortunate creature with a piece of bread or thief meat containing an insidious needle. had stuck in the dog's throat. of course.JIMMY & CO. none of Jimmy's honours. we never knew. mountains on winter nights. without the distina lump of of course. disapThis was a terpeared. plainly giving us to understand that nobody could keep the wolf from the door. rather bigger with a pair of tion. that he at who at once made himself so much at home first resisted all our attempts to get into or out 117 . arms or even to him to At air last it began to be whispered that the powers of the us. and redder than the ordinary.

But more notorious malefactors of the general people fmd it simpler and more selves satisfactory to attend to a private enemy them- instance. had seen in the garden of her Obscure as this clew was. Jimmy stayed away —as we convinced. that every- body administers it to suit himself. wherein in chains the in province. until their friends —when produce the ii8 . We still stuck to the point. and was held in the stable at our disposal as a hostage! There is this beauty about justice in Persia. the house-boys confided to us tenure of office had —we suspected because become a insecure — that little his his mother. and no doubt more richly than they are used. son of the lady in whose garden a white puppy had been seen had been captured by our retinue. we could And it led to a deed of high-handedness which enlightened me not a little on some of the ways of Persia. and Black Holes of Calcutta lie in the Governor's palace. for wool and dyes. There exist in Hamadan municipal dungeons. Then one of state of captivity. No great Khan. Even in a certain Firengi office known to me have I seen an upper chamber reserved for the entertainment of recalcitrant rug weavers who eat up the money advanced them There they sit.PERSIAN MINIATURES of the garden. For before we knew it we were told that the not but follow it up. they can catch him. nourished at the expense of the Firengi. felt ended by grudgingly recognising our But. sometimes he shuts up another Khan's villagers. however. while paying a hostess a white puppy. in a Yet when two or three months had gone by we gave him up as gone for good. not too uncomfortably. gendarmerie prisons. and he rights. call. for would dream of carrying on his affairs without And shutting up his villagers whenever he chooses.

a puppy. We merely threatened and let our helpless victim go back to the stable with his 119 . one can always hire the police to do it. three miles out of town. It was a puppy with no spots at all. or if one dislikes the commotion which that treatment usually brings forth. In that respect. And no amount of subtle suggestion could make him endow that puppy with curls or give any account of its origin. What the bastinado might have brought forth I do not know. or habits. And the better you tip the policeman the more stripes will he yellow administer. history. first the counterfeit presentment of Lucrezia Being put through the third degree. an extremely ragged and dejected looking urchin. CO. far away from his mother's garden. however. and nobody objects to —unless weaver. the customs of the country. Into the library the prisoner was accord- ingly dragged. If one happens to lack the proper appliances for beating a man on the soles of his bare feet.JIMMY & money pleted according to contract. we did not follow to. The Sah'b was ready for him at one of the after dinner. the prisoner declared that he - knew nothing about any puppy what- soever. who was of not too dejected to cast a curious eye upon the strange contrivances whereon we perched. it was not a white puppy with black spots. or give satisfactory bond that the rug will be comIt it is the custom of the possibly the country. to say nothing Crivelli. And he always has the recourse of taking bast mosques or sacred tombs which in every town are an asylum not to be violated even by the Shah. So the boy whom the servants suspected of knowing too much about Jimmy was locked up with the cow until the Sah'b was ready for him. Under pressure he then admitted that he had But chanced to catch sight at Sheverin.

out of jealousy. But did that escapade cure him of running away? course not! Of Can Jimmy change his spots. and the unutterable dirtiSo we killed well. by the common or garden sag who had taken the Alas. poor Jimmy! — place of his old friend the yellow cur with a needle in his throat. We saw it in his half-averted eye. the wounds on his head. though. He could not have forgotten us. since that would have transgressed the laws of the Medes and the Persians. fatted calf for him. not a ness of his once white coat. We had quite given up hope of ever seeing Jimmy again a policeman when he was brought back one day by flatly refused to who say where he had found him. Never have I seen a humbler little dog. Of course he knew us. however. were the marks of chafmg around his neck. was not long before Jimmy became handsome and humorous as ever. captors.PERSIAN MINIATURES There they all spent the night sociably under the same kursi. We let him gobble up more chops and chicken bones than were good for him. and he was nearly gobbled up in turn. But we also saw that he entertained no hope of forgiveness. What was most pitiful. and the next morning the victim departed in peace about his own unholy affairs. and a firm friend it And as of the hard-hearted watch-dog. or the Ethio- pian his skin? I20 .

or the next as And that night we came home from a dinner party we lighted passed arches several filled mosque windows. the passionate emotion of its spectators. justly give from which. was a toy flagstaff they were playing with. brought to my mind something of which I had read an ac- count lately. something produced. of some sort or other. hut far away in that wonderful East. Hamadan barely a week when. not in Bavaria or Christendom at all. Matthew Arnold: essays in criticism WE to hoot at us. wide-pointed 121 with white paper and crisscrossed by heavy . one afternoon as we went about on a round of calls.IX THE GREAT SLAUGHTER The Passion Play at Ammergau. Of all been in that of disseminating pasteboards HAD human employments. we met a file of small boys who did not conceal their disposition One could hardly blame them. seriously. airs of superiority Europe may all our religion still has come. and where religion. flying a three-cornered green rag and tipped with a piece of tin cut into the silhouette of an open hand. however. has an empire over men s feelings such as it has nowhere else. with its immense audiences. whatever itself. has always seemed to me the most impossible to take What further attracted me to the small boys. the seriousness of its actors.


the year until 1946 date. for of Moharrem means I far more to the people little it does to their co-religionists in other counshall reasons which have to take a time to explain. behind which we could hear sounds of chanting. "Hello!'' exclaimed one of my companions. it not return to that part of —and then will probably hit another However. if the will first of Moharrem on November 30th of our it continue with the monotony own calendar it to fall on November 30th. and the Persians and most of the Moham- medan Indians. interrupted by curious single volleys of clapping. On the contrary. race. which as month everybody knows is is first a lunar year and therefore walks backward through the seasons.THE GREAT SLAUGHTER wooden bars. the *'Is it Moharrem already?'* It was Moharrem already. the Turks. We have heard a good deal of late of Pansay Islamism. as turns up eleven days or so earlier will every twelvemonth. of the Moharrem Mohammedan year. the Mohammedan world is divided against on a religious question which the 123 . Holy Wars. and the Afghans on one side. language. love each other about as the Pope used to. even outside of Persia had seen enough of what Persians do in Moharrem to look forward with vast interest to what they might do here. and what not. but those who most about these things say very little about the fact that the Arabs. the Turkomans. on the other. much as Queen Elisabeth and Spaniards and the Dutch. I II The month of Iran than tries. or the For aside from questions of and so itself forth. fell So don't imagine that in 191 3.

to be sure. or of Mohammed's youngest wife Aishah was succeeded in 634 by Omar. who — — had hitherto been accorded merely a vague spiritual primacy. instructing him to proclaim Ali as his legal successor. his vicar. were the sole surviving male descendants of the Prophet. the new Mohammedan state had grown so rapidly 124 . It had. When the Prophet died in 632. and after him came Osman or Othman. Hasan and Hosein. Be that as it regard to his may. Mother of the be peace!). inherit the temporal power as fourth Caliph. This Abu Bekr otherwise Father of the Full Moon.is would fall upon his Ali. In the twenty-four years since the Prophet's death. his father-in-law Abu Bekr. assassinated in turn in 6^6. been more or less vaguely understood that his mantle cousin and son-in-law Ali. These two. the Prophet's first wife. he left no explicit direc- tions as to his successor in the leadership of the new theocratic state he had founded. And the Persians claim that during Mohammed's fare- Mecca the archangel Gabriel appeared to him. however. had been after Moslems (on whom Ali had also married the Prophet's daughter Fatma. who ten years later met a violent end. gloriously known God. there was enough indefiniteness with intentions for the Arabs to elect as the first successor of Caliph or temporal Mohammed another member of his family. the Prophet's first convert. Then only did Ali.PERSIAN MINIATURES Persians take much more to heart than any of their neighbours. no longer a young man. and his delegate. who had pronounced their father his son. by whom he had two sons. as the Lion of Tl. and that on his way back to Medina the Prophet well pilgrimage to did so.

gover- nor of Syria and founder of the Ommayad dynasty of Damascus. Persia. a town of that of Ali. Dissensions accordingly arose between him and the warlike governors of Egypt and by stabBut bing the three of them and holding a new election. Mesopotamian region known in the Near East as Irak which certain fanatics undertook to settle 1 Arabi. instead that they would recognise of Moavia's son Yezid. Syria. and he vastly superior force under the was surrounded by a of command Amr ibn Saad. this praiseworthy project was successful only in the case He was killed in 66 at Kufa. wives. who also lived in Medina. It was a state of im- and the Lion of God proved not to be of the temper of an emperor. Hasan retired to the holy city of his where about 669 he was poisoned by one of Medina. 125 or resign his . Seeing himself betrayed and hopelessly outnumbered. numerous When Moavia word died in 680. or even to proceed at to Yezid's court Damascus. Hosein refused to surrender. Hosein asked permission of Amr to return in safety to Medina. the people of Kufa sent to Ali's second son Hosein. insist who sent his lieutenant Shimr to Amr demand Hosein's unconditional surrender command. the conqueror of Egypt.THE GREAT SLAUGHTER that to the parent province of Arabia had already been added Syria. however. When Hosein arrived at Kufa with his family and a small retinue the gates were closed against him. and perial size. Egypt. lost no time in taking steps to secure his own succession. who soon abdicated in favour of Moavia. This parley was cut of short by Obeidullah ibn Ziad. the governor that Kufa just appointed by Yezid. him as the new Caliph Yezid. The Caliphate then passed to Ali's elder son Hasan.

ing out from her tent. brother. For I have killed the Seid of the veiled face. rushget water from the Euphrates. who had intimated to Hosein that the gates of Kufa would now went over to the latter with his and one of his slaves. His head was then cut off by Shimr who. his son." The governor of Kufa sent the head. while those of the Syrian cavalry amounted to four or five thousand. carried the bloody not open to him. But their answer was to set the camp on fire and to strike down Hosein under thirty-three swords and lances. trophy to his chief Obeidullah. in the year of the Hegira 6i. I have slain the most noble of men by his father and his mother. during which the beleaguered Arabs had also to fight against sun and thirst. above the Euphrates. After a heroic resistance of two days. was shot in the mouth by an arrow. adjured the Syrians to spare the grandson of the Prophet. while attempting to His sister Zeineb. The most noble when they produce titles of nobility. horse and foot. History and legend are so intertwined in the story that the forces of the Arabs from Medina are variously reported to have been from seventy to six hundred men. he took up his position on the hillock of Kerbela. This was on the ninth day of Moharrem. however. chanting exultingly: ''Cover me with gold and with silver to my stirrups. or 68i of our era. to Yezid at 126 . So small a reinforcement. according to the historian Masudi. together with the of women and children Hosein's family. naturally had no effect on the final outcome. first The chief Al Hurr. and prepared for battle.PERSIAN MINIATURES In spite of the odds against him. Hosein alone remained alive of the men At nightfall of the loth of Mohanem he of his party.

however. God. by whom they were con- quered during the Caliphate of Omar. and neither weddings nor other festivities take place in those thirty days. the last of the Sasanian kings was finally defeated and the greater part of Persia fell into their hands. hanem. And Masudi adds staff that the cruel Caliph further mutilated with his the head of his rival. for that matter—but they execrate them. For the Persians. Their history is it is not only a religious matter. Not only do they refuse to recognise the first three Caliphs —or any of the others. is with a zeal which to the ''O Arabs and the Turks the height of blasphemy. Mesopotamia was a Persian province until the second Caliph captured Ctesiphon in 637. longer and more glorious than that of the Arabs. This blow to the national pride is perhaps the chief reason why the Persians deny the validity of the Caliphate. The Persians also celebrate the anniversary of the assassination of Omar (may 127 his name be . during which they wear black or otherwise display signs of grief. until ''Often have I rebuked by an old lips of man who said: seen the the Prophet joined to those lips in a kiss/' Shiites. It is for commemorate during the month of Mothem a month of mourning. and Omar in particular. These events are what the Persians and other or schismatics.THE GREAT SLAUGHTER Damascus. Four years later his army swept through the very passes which the Turks and the Russians have lately brought back to the notice of the world. curse Omar! imprecation often to the horror of Osman and Omar! Then Abu Bekr and Omar! Then Then Omar! Then Omar!" is an and solemnly repeated by the Shii'tes true Sunnite or orthodox all Mohamcursed!) medans. some fifty miles south of Hamadan. and by the battle of Nehavend.

are them places of pilgrimage almost if not quite as sacred Mecca and Medina. the last of the Sasanians. in the tified by with the Achaemenians of the heroic period. The tombs of Ali and Hosein at Nejef and Kerbela. Other members of the holy family are buried at Kazimein and Samarra. while in their own country the Persians venerate at Meshed the tomb of the eighth of the descendants of the Prophet. whose natures were without sin and whose bodies cast no shadow. Harar or 0mm Leila. north of Baghdad. this second national dynasty was descended from the earlier mythical dynasty which has partially been idenFirdeusi. to as in Mesopotamia.PERSIAN MINIATURES with the greater zest because he was stabbed by a Persian slave. and although a tomb of him exists at Samarra the Persians believe that he never died. but will reappear in the great mosque of Meshed at the Judgment Day as the Mahdi or Guide. last one disappeared in 873. In all there were twelve of these peras the who are known Imams. sonages. Riza. The case all is the more curious because the conquest of Omar but put an end to Zoroastrianism. is story that the Persian princess was carried The away to 128 . They The are re- garded as more than mortals. to have been the daughter of YezAccording to Per- digird III. Another element of nationality enters into the legend of Hosein in that the Persians devoutly believe his wife. sian history as set forth Shah Nameh. And one rejoicing of the is ways by which they still mark that day of to burn the hated Caliph in eifigy. But the Persians contend that Ali and descendants alone were the true successors of the Prophet. Only in southeastern Persia and in Bombay do his there remain a few adherents of fiercely this ancient faith.

otherwise the would be obliged to do as was the day of the Little seventh of Moharrem. they it is are so intricately entangled lie with others of the sentiments that of deepest in the heart the unity of man. seemed no new resolution 129 in those pictur- . This. it Thus the ceremonies which ancient one. a rite of the religion took the place of their are at the own more But they same time an assertion of national pride against the Arab conqueror and against those Turkish and Afghan neighbours who have so often encroached on Persian soil. which restored the independence of Persia the seventh of 1499. the Persians trace the ancestry of the Safevi dynasty.THE GREAT SLAUGHTER Medina as a prisoner of war. they little work as possible. Musa Kazim. who had unaccount- ably been going about with their clothes unbuttoned at the throat. When. the Persians still piously chant in Moharrem: 'The black-hearted people who slew the offspring of the Prophet with malice: 'They claim to belong to the religion. Moharrem is true. similarly. has a way of softening religious dissensions. not safe to count too much on the Moslem world. but they murder the lord of the religion. however. announced that as Slaughter. to Imam. Then the servants. Time. where Omar (may And. I it must confess. are." Ill Although our it thing was in the had for several days been patent that someair. the first positive sign of it we had in own house. of course. in his name inter- be cursed !) ordered her to be sold as a slave but AH vened and gave her to his son Hosein. At any rate.

as in the dramatic representations of Oberammergau and other In parts of the Tehran and elsewhere theatres exist. 130 . ear could not help being caught Slaughter — which I believe is But an inquisitive by that name of Little the anniversary of the day when the Imam Hosein and his party were turned aside from Kufa by the chief Al Hurr. presume some such thing might have been found in I Hamadan. no one of whom ever gave us the im- pression that he would die of overwork. This greatest anniversary of the Persian year is known as the Great Slaughter. or if I afterward realised that if I had been an older resident of Hamadan. And it is commemorated throughout the country by a species of Passion Play which has a more familiar counterpart in the Easter celebrations of the Greek Church. in which the tragedy of the Family of the Tent. as the Persians name the heroic campers at Kerbela. see something. One of our number. however. And in its way I it was something stranger and more picturesque than had ever seen before. thing even for the most ignorant newcomer to see on the I tenth of Moharrem. We saw it from the roof of a building that had been erected for a "movie" theatre! The inner workings of that theatre remained immovable during the whole of my sojourn in Hamadan but no film that has since been exhibited there can have come up to the setting and the . heathenish. was highly scandalised that Christians should betray any interest in proceedings so Catholic world. is acted out with more than historical detail. indeed. I might have But there was someseen a great deal more than I did. We did. or are improvised.PERSIAN MINIATURES esque underlings. though no one of our colony had ever seen it. had known Persian.

And there were plenty of white turbans above dark robes to carry the impression a little I farther. in company with not a few down. or salmon.^orizontal street. The mud walls of the Bazaar Behind it. opening in front of of the peo- ple of the country. The prevailing black and brown of the men's costumes was varied by dull blues and greens. There was snow. buff. on every projecting bit of roof or masonry. some one told me. all the nearer roofs and the outer edges of the This note of black and white was decoratively repeated by groups of women who mounds of it. was bounded by a series of broken vaults and arches which go by the name of Masjid-i-Shah being. looked Immediately below us our high gallery it ran a. we could see in the northwest the white glitter of the plain. facing the square and at the white triangles of their stood together on two two points on either side veils and the white fillets encircling their crowns cut out against the black or dark blue of their loose domino. But what was most striking about the look of the crowd was There were none of the and yellows which the Turks love. rose a few tiers of fiat adobe roofs. enclosed the rest of the uneven amphitheatre. right side of The — made a hollow in the clay-coloured town. All the 131 more conspicuous. where the river into an irregular square. brilliant reds russet. there- . too. while farther away toward the right. with only an occasional touch of its general soberness of tone. bearing rather toward the left. do not mean to pretend that there was any lack of colour on this open-air stage roofed with so intense a blue. contrasting vividly with the dark masses of spectators that lined square.THE GREAT SLAUGHTER scene on which we. all that is left of a mosque begun there about a hundred years ago by Fat'h Ali Shah.

slen- der lances. others carrying long. on foot. furled.PERSIAN MINIATURES fore. standard. for the camp of Kerbela. others were fringed and inscribed with Arabic letters. this picturesque furled standard. of the stage were pitched two smaller white tents. being merely a sort of circular gonfalon. but that they were bare-headed. in the clear Persian sunlight. Hasan. and Hosein. presently It reached the end of the street below us. And after them marched a company of men What was most unusual about the latter was in public is the last thing for a not that they wore black. At any rate. All this made enough to look at. was a fantastic little spangled green pavillion that stood at the rear of the rising stage. was surmounted by an upright According to Habib this hand commemo- rated the mutilated one of the Imam Abu of Fazl. to represent less This was supposed therein. till a strange object suddenly advanced into sight behind the ruins of the mosque. And I of hand is a common symbol of the Holy Family whose five chief members are Mohammed. Behind the banners clattered a cavalcade of men at arms. which is not meant to be unbelieve a Islam. Ali. For to uncover the hair 132 . was followed by a quantity of decorative banners on shorter staves. some in scarlet. Fatma. It looked like a furled horizontally striped with brilliant bands of and its tall staff hand of brass. colour. or Yezid's palace villains A ornamental red tent downstage at the right was at once Kufa and the camp of the In the centre and toward the left Amr and Shimr. Some of them were black. Damascus. though Masudi says off in ''The Meadows Gold" that Shimr cut the right hand of Hosein as well as his head. while two triangular oriflammes were made to stand straight out by being fastened together at the point.

and the flagellants hopped in time to it. as to do. each with a goatskin slung across his back and swinging in his hand a hollow gourd or an oblong brass bowl. beating their breasts and chanting ''Hosein ah!'' This commotion so alarmed one of the mules of the caravan that he upset his unlucky rider. Their leader. facing They took below the square.THE GREAT SLAUGHTER Mohammedan unison. is The patron of this guild the standard bearer Abbas. who was killed in a desperate attempt to bring to the beleaguered little women and Euphrates. con- painted trunks and the most enviable their places immediately after saddlebags. These beat their bare breasts in they marched. Which instantly made me hands on I recognise. children at Kerbela a water from the Behind the water carriers trotted a car- avan of sisting of travellers from Medina. the curious sound of clapping had heard behind the lighted paper windows of the mosques. on mule back. into a sea of together with his boxes and mud. saddlebags. And them came more banners and flagellants. This procession passed under us and took Kerbela. who bore the tall furled and banded gonfalon. its There was quite an interval before a larger and more picturesque procession made left. the Imam's uncle. Next there ap- peared a band of water carriers. This touch had a special savour for some of us. on the left side of its place at the square. The most notable thing about them was funny little their luggage. in that those gendarmes were 133 from the party of Hosein. appearance. in the irregular left measured thud of right shoulder blades. and for greater pomp . jerked it up and down in a sort of rhythm. It emerged from the Bazaar at the tion as if to emphasize its distincit was preceded by two lines of gendarmes. us.

its point nodding forward as if by its own weight. of They marched sideways each in in two long his lines. But there it was in an enclosed courtyard. that were streaked scarlet with their in white smocks. own compatriot Mr. They were followed by the cavaliers and lancers of Amr ibn Saad.PERSIAN MINIATURES the creation of our . A few of those had seen before. M. pressed by their friends and neighbours. no one could tell me. while between them stood upright. among an unfriendly people. W. latter were dressed in the Syrian cloak bare-headed like the breast-beaters. The riders of the and scarf. But I forgot to wonder about it when I saw who edged next into sight. Shuster. but dressed Kerbela. and by a caravan of camels. What this signified. if anything. Here in the brilliant sunlight of their own country. in Constantinople. the hand the belt of his neighbour. And next appeared a most mysterious ornament or emblem that advanced glittering above the heads of the crowd. what might have been a sword of slenderest steel. while the trappings of their beasts were far more gorgeous than anything displayed by the humble mules from Medina. and at either end of the cross bar some little domed and pinnacled edifice of brass. commemorating the shroud worn by Hosein at own left blood. chanting so hoarsely after that mysterious thing of brass and steel that glittered above the dark caps of the crowd. ex-Treasurer-General of Persia. and more Many of them . holding in his right a sword with which he slashed extraordinary flagellants I own head. and many more banners and oriflammes. This more magnificent Syrian procession flaunted several furled gonfalons of the brass hand. they frenetic made an 134 effect wilder than anything I have ever seen. at dusk. On top of the pole that carried it was a cross bar.

Presently. we were. 135 I suddenly discovered . they disappointed out of sight me by curveting behind the ruined vaults. I must confess that my eye was not sharp enough to detect any casualties. however. all. babies in their arms. Another was that spite of policemen armed with whips and walking barricades made up of two men and a long pole. The camels from Damascus ranged As in front of the mules from Medina. Such wounds. those white smocks were gruesomely reddened. And I fear that many which escaped our eyes. The flagellants made forming a great ring in front of Hosein's tent at the left. and what looked like a friendly conversation between two citizens of Hamadan might really be a proud parley between Hosein and Amr of Egypt. however. when the hosts of Syria charged those of Arabia. after rather far One reason was that away^as it were among the in gallery gods. there took place an unmistakable piece of action. are not as other I one or two places to expiate the blood of the martyred Hosein. near the red tent of Kufa. must add that swords. how far they swung their Even so. for the lancers of the conqueror of Egypt. whose in And little a few of them carried heads they had scratched say. the Prophet miraculously heals them. the spectators incessantly encroached upon the stage. So the arena was now completely upon it set. But they soon things passed reappeared upstage through an arch. and for days afterward bandaged heads walked about Hamadan. in a mass of colour below us at the right. the Persians for wounds. The banners gathered for Kerbela. several of the while others seemed to take care men wore white skull caps. But when the two armies had withdrawn to their respective sides of the field.THE GREAT SLAUGHTER were no more than boys.

made more spectacular by a quantity of straw concealed in the burning tent. Whereupon they set on fire the central tent. But the matter was finally settled by the dis- covery of a letter or will of his father. the Caliph Hasan. the young widow Zobeida.PERSIAN MINIATURES a lifeless body lying on the ground not far from the central tent. the Imam's son. during those two burning days under He was only sixteen years old. prophesying for him the glory of martyrdom and directing that he was first to marry his cousin Zobeida. An Arab hurried out of the tent of Hosein and knelt woman who burst into loud sobs. who also lost his life in an attempt to get water from the Euphrates? Was he the young Kasim. his sister Zelneb. There had been tears and sobs before. the Mesopotamian sun. the widow of Hasan. estook place at Masjid-i-Shah 1 — 136 . The wedBut if ding accordingly took place on the battlefield. followed by a nephew. was the signal for a passionate outburst of weeping from the crowd. the fifth to volunteer for the perilous adventure of bringing water from the river. which was supposed to shelter the Imam's Persian princess. whose story is one of the most affecting incidents in the Persian legend? Kasim was. At the close of this melee the Syrians held the field. This sudden blaze in the centre of the square. Hosein's beside the corpse. I believe. and other women and children. Who could the dead man be? Was he the standard bearer Abbas? Was he Ali Akbar. it saw nothing of it unless a second encounter between the two troops of cavaliers was the attack which broke up the marriage festivities and cost the life of the young bridegroom. and both his mother and his uncle did their best to dis- suade him.

THE GREAT SLAUGHTER pecially when the corpse was first left on the ground at the But now there end of the brush between the lancers. I must admit. tore her hair. But it opportunely came back to me that this was at 137 . why she didn't cry. onions in any of the innumerable handkerchiefs I saw. were real tears. saw them splash I must add. This evidently orthodox person was one of the first to shed tears over the perils of the Family of the Tent. arose so general a sound of grief that one could not help being impressed. but what she lifted her thick veil in order to see what was going And now not only did her tears shower anew. that. Near us sat a Persian lady who had first been extremely scandalised by the loose way men and women filed of our party sat together. because I They down her cheeks. demanded of another lady in a black domino. and very nearly jerked Even so impure an unbeliever as her veil off altogether. remembered that at the theatre of the Passion Play I in Tehran there is a functionary known as the Auxiliary of I went so far as to ask myself if there could be Tears. myself could not help feeling touched at such evidence that a tragedy over twelve hundred years old could still work so powerfully upon the hearts of those who beheld Then the weeping lady suddenly dried her tears and it. rather And having received what crossly. but on. who am naturally of a suspicious nature. lest in which the and who then had shown every sign of uneasiness as a wet Christian is her skirts be de- by those of the missionary next her far —the more so more impure than a dry one. She was not so orthodox. began to dart sceptical glances about me. I. she beat her breast. the tears began to At rain again out of her own better disciplined eyes. was no doubt a satisfactory answer.

led by the mysterious brass emblem. water of the companions had so bitflagellants in black meantime the made a circle about the place of the tent. of course. that had more than once nearly drowned in the tears of my own compatriots. Then the scarlet lancers —one about of them. and others bearing aloft the captive women and children from Medina. than "The Music Master. splendidly caparisoned. flames of the tent were put out by the water car- who drew from In the their goatskins the his Euphrates which Hosein and terly lacked. and the Syrian camels mounted by a personage in green. striking their heads and showering on their heads what remained of the half-burnt straw of the tent. other dramatic performances do not in a land I where myself exist. as well as fresh-chopped straw from a supply they had — representing the sands filling of Mesopotamia.PERSIAN MINIATURES once a religious and dramatic performance. beating their breasts in despair. By the time the last scene was ready to take place the all crowd had burst bounds. the red tent of Amr ibn Saad. The flagellants in white followed them. there never would have been such . The riers. with their flying guard of pointed ori- flammes. shed over no greater a matter. for instance. to the standards massed near with an uneasy mass of dark felt caps. At Ober- ammergau.'' and that if I chose that moment I to probe the dark subject of female lamenin the tations would miss what was going forward square of Masjid-i-Shah. the amphitheatre Through it the flagellants in black slowly made their way. with wooden triangles their necks —performed 138 a serpentine progress through the crowd from Kufa to Damascus. more vehemently than ever.

I quarter. it Perhaps nothing. in preference to others. sion of the Passion Play I — — case. the players made their circuitous way into the press of the Bazaar. the blood anew. Every quarter of the town corresponding to the mediaeval parishes has its own pageant of Moharrem. or the quarter nearest our extramural is named Kolapa. I did not happen to go back to Masjid-i-Shah until Moharrem was over. since neither will yield the right of way. rate. farther accordingly. don't know. faithful. got up by public subscription. I cannot say. with all its precision be a spectacle so picturesque. necessary for What that name may mean. amid the sobs and outcries of the gau. of the faithful is more than likely to flow Our suburb. IV How many times this confused and fragmentary ver- was repeated. But at Oberammer- and solemnity. by the generosity of one well-to-do citizen. And so. in surroundings perhaps not quite so theatrical as the square of Masjid-i-Shah. yet characteristic enough. But the next day saw in the street another procession that was a thing to remember. this time with white biers borne on men's shoulders between the horsemen and the camels. 139 . At any Habib saw it. These surroundings were those of a cemetery. and their routes have to be mapped out with In that unhappy care lest two of them chance to meet. or even by that of citizens no more of this world. there never could Back from Damascus to Kufa the slow pageant wound. I Kolapa. thought me to inspect the cortege of afield.THE GREAT SLAUGHTER disorder or properties so primitive. There is consequently great rivalry between the different processions.

No house Hamadan is a skyscraper. ran merrily along its side. without shrub or tree for beauty. but the waters of a lower an irrigation channel. of in we found who looked a in the possession of a little company doubtful at my appearance their midst. However.PERSIAN MINIATURES lying on uneven ground and encircled by the mud walls and houses of the town. I discovered no such arrange- ments jub. that cemeteries may For also be recognised by other senses than that exist as to the of sight. in Persia no regulations is depth of graves. 140 . On highest point. A Persian cemetery is always to be recognised by its flat. who coveted for me the most characteristic impressions of stood a gallows. At that moment no highwayman happened to be swinging from it to the regret of Habib. to reach. and storing it in some convenient dugout between them for the sherbets of summer. haphazard stones. Which does not prevent him from collecting the frozen snow of winter in hollows among the graves. — his native town. and endow him with the some two cents. alas. in suggestive proximity to the graves. out of which no one ever its hesitates to drink. And in the face of so evident a ruling of public opinion what could do but scramble up in their stead. They say. accept a basket which a ridic- youth handed me to sit ulously excessive tip of on. but as baths like to burrow difficult underground. To in that end he escorted me to the roof of a public bath encroaching upon one edge of the cemetery. in this particular cemetery. and your Iranian no man to dig deeper than he need. those of them who occupied the it highest point of vantage at once recognised that their was I duty to retire in my favour. their roofs are not too This roof ladles.

One such dainty looked like a mess wrapped in the grandfather of all filthy Another was a species of macaroon.THE GREAT SLAUGHTER From the fact that this youth wore nothing but one striped towel. which he seemed to fmd entirely adequate took him protection against the eager and the nipping air of a winter climate of Colorado or the Engadine. Out of it escaped a lazy cloud of steam into the clear air. These gentlemen sat comfortably on their heels in the sun. engaged in the pleasures of The Chase or smoking thick straight pipes. by means of its the handles conveniently encircling neck. was a collection of poisonous looking candies. Other youths appeared from time to time. they up and arms and legs. which the ladies fed incessantly to babies in funny little round spangled caps. through a hole in a bull's dome where eye had once been. toward whom their eager to taste than of boiled beets. His business among the ladies on the roof was to turn over with his bare feet a quantity of manure spread out there in the sun to dry. As for the babies. and tried to jump off the roof of the bath in order to join their papas on the opposite side of the street. mothers otherwise exhibited undisguised did not curl die. they crowed doubt exchanging scandalous opinions with regard to 141 . affection. quite like the most scientifically brought up babies in the world. The favourite rags. and to regulate the unfathomable operations of a chimney covered with an Ali Baba jar of blue glaze. and no and waved their On the contrary. Between a glass times he held impassioned conversations with his colleagues below. offering for sale mysterious condiments which the ladies were more I. Every so often he would remove this jar. for I an attendant of the bath beneath us.

I had heard terrible stories of the in fanaticism of the Persians during fact Moharrem. nearer at hand. was very much like the processions of Masjid-i-Shah. The procession. Shuster's gendarmes and thirty-two pairs of Some were mounted. staves of a few were tipped by the symbolic hand of the Holy Family. those of most ending in a spherical gilt There fol- lowed the more enigmatic metal the flagellants. intermingled with a barbaric blare of brass. sign of it and the high saddles of the latter were covered with handsome stuffs and embroideries. if in a less picturesque perspective. for that matter. being the charger of Hosein. And The it contained several new and interesting features. enjoyed the advantage of seeing it very much however.PERSIAN MINIATURES the not too rigorously veiled beauties perched on the roof of the bath. and had been rather struck by their unwillingness to allow to see the inside of a bath or a mosque. Behind them rose a sound of deeper voices. Next came the three kinds — — of banners we had seen the day before. One fine stallion a mare. The cone. This time. others were led by grooms. emblem of at the head of this dis- As borne by the men 142 Kolapa . and a gelding almost never was caparisoned in black. both me and my camera into and so disposed to what had the air of being a large family party. is rarely seen on the streets in Persia. Then from the narrow street debouching upon the cemetery emerged two long lines of Mr. it me Conse- quently pleased so me not a little to discover these good Hamadanis let human and friendly. horses. I first was one of those files of small boys carrying a little banner and a hand. beating their breasts and chanting shrilly the names of the martyred Imams. when at last it appeared.

but two thin steel blades all lower than the one in the centre. And they gave me an ex- cellent opportunity to study the secrets of a Persian coif- had noticed how seldom any hair was visible on a forehead that wore a kola. followed two companies of flagellants. beating their breasts and throw- ing handfuls of chopped straw over their bare heads. three of them being which were mounted on flat pear-shaped bases of steel chased with Arabic lettering. I now discovered that most of them had shaved a wide strip all the way their foreheads to their necks. saying something also famous sword of Zulabout Mohammed and HoAli's of letters. next was an object I had not seen before. whose points were weighted sein. and from the bar supporting them hung a quantity of shawls and embroideries of price. Then names time. on top of which were three curved metal prongs sustaining three small winged and crowned cherubs. were stripped to the waist. After them marched an assembly of Seids. leaving only the long 143 .THE GREAT SLAUGHTER played no little brass temples. my lack of tongues and Habib's lack do not pretend to explain the true symbolism of those nodding swords. despite the keen December air. fure. and how often the wearers of that tall felt cap affected the shaven neck which is not I unknown from in our own part of the world. chanting a I wild antiphone out of which of the All could distinguish only the in Imams. There were no men white this were in black. But between 1 with tassels. With regard to this wonderful emblem Habib gave me to understand something about fikar. however. rhythmically striking their green turbans. Many of them. was a staff swathed in white gauze and white wax flowers. descendants It What came of the Prophet.

" And what sounds lancers. The Imam's daughter was impersonated by sight of several other litters. In me. Others exhibited a wide half moon of naked skin. whose copper trumpets were I ever saw in the triumphal march of ''Aida. according to and a small boy in green on a horse with black trappings. The second buglers part of the procession was led by a band of longer than any trombone and trumpeters. perched on a white which was supposed to contain the young widow Zobeida. who was taken captive to Damascus. So many features of the rest of this part of the pageant were new to me that I cannot be quite sure of their order. burst from them! There followed a squadron of impersonated. sweeping around the temples and the crown.PERSIAN MINIATURES which are the pride of a Persian dandy. women and however. while the heads of a few were shorn completely bare. bearing a small boy whose sobs excited the liveliest sympathy. which seemed to be made of wax or papier mache. So did the slavery in away to Damascus the unhappy Zeineb and other children of the Family of the Tent. And behind him were borne. This small boy my companion. surmounted by an image of the dove that flew from Kerbela to Medina to tell the Prophet in his live tomb of his grandson's tragic end. At sight of these amazingly cadaverous relics. the head and the headless trunk of the martyred Hosein. But I saw a white box of some kind. the emotion they chiefly excited was the baser 144 . the spectators fell into their wildest tears and sobs. or a great cowl that side locks left nothing of their hair but a fringe like a Japanese doll's. There was also a litter white dove. on two ornamental biers. the young Imam Ali Asghar.


Behind the palanquins of the Holy Family appeared a series of quaint floats. Among the floats. being the mutilated members of the lesser martyrs. cradle. at the spectacle of the shawls. One of the first them supported a rocking lion. which were generally no more than slabs of wood carried on the heads of one or of two men. A pair of legs would be represented by a leonine a pair of big Russian boots. held a small spyglass with which he would intently search the — 146 .— PERSIAN MINIATURES one of covetousness. two youths dressed as Europeans. And in front of many of the dismembered trunks a head was — I borne on a pike —too small to look very lifelike. lying heel to heel. if you please. but from the necks of which drops of some sanguine liquid dripped on the heads and hands of those carrying the pikes. rugs. and figured stuffs that protected the travellers from the sun. One of them. On anof german to the friend defenders of who befriended the Kerbela. discovered. killed in Hosein's arms. to the as you watched them But once in a while the movejerking of a secret string. Other more realistic human parts would miraculously twitch in response. The greater number of the objects thus borne past were more gruesome. one that interested me not least though perhaps of the kind it was intended to represent an open litter you see on Persian journeys contained. He bent over a wounded Arab and attempted in none too manner to pull an arrow out of his breast. cousin. in a helmet and a Norfolk jacket which must once have come out of some cupboard in our colony. ment of an eyelid or of a lip betrayed the fact that the corpse was a boy with part of his body concealed. per- haps that of the child other stood a small Androcles.

. at This the Shiites. the Europeans are dressed after their conversion in Oriental robes and borne off in high splendour. over the prepares to plains of manner of Firengi Irak Arabi. is further which doves are cration guarded from dese- by a company consisting 147 of Christ. Another version has to it that the Firengi ambassador tried obtain terms for the Family of the Tent. The legend of these heard in The one I Hamadan was Damascus. in that the wicked Caliph Yezid ordered the at his court Dutch ambassador 68 1! —to cut — a Dutch ambassador. Mohammed. and arriving at Kerbela the night after the fatal battle. The other. and she finally goes to bed in Damascus.THE GREAT SLAUGHTER horizon. The tomb. every in a far now and then clapping his hand to his head from European manner. declaring from tomb that there is no God but God. and he held a brass barber's bowl. over fluttering. Europeans has many variations. telling her the tragic story of the hillock on which she tried to pitch prowling. in the notorious young women. When she camp on the sacred ground. ambassador refused to do. her tent and revealing to her a vision of the battlefield. and failing in his pious mission renounced his own faith. deeply nicked on one side. blood oozes out of the sand at every attempt of her servants to drive in a tent peg . and thereupon embraced the true faith as professed is by the When this scene acted out at Masjid-i-Shah. in whom it woman. off Hosein's head. was spectacled required some imagination to see a Hke a missionary of the old school. where a Beduin robber frightened his is The marauder is away by the voice of Hosein. in which lay one of those small bleeding heads. Still another represents a Firengi young wo- man as travelling. During the night Christ appears to her in a dream.

fact A counterpart of this the old proclamation of the conquering Sultans of of one Shiite Stambul that the death to was more agreeable God than that of seventy Christians. whose pallor and faintness were so well simulated that a louder chorus of sobs accompanied them up the street. their bodies in the Some of them were on mule back. Once in a while a flick of the lash would be too much of the like the real thing. More moving to the spectators was the train of captives near the end of the procession. prophets. and other holy persons. Which are matters to remember in discussing Holy Wars and the spread of Pan-Islamism. The arch-villain of the I piece. with wooden yokes of slavery around their necks. and mounted lancers in helmets and scarlet coats drove them from behind with whips. surveyed riding in bondmen haughtily from Syrian robes between two greeted the rear. Others marched afoot. And last of all. I have not mentioned the grave diggers who followed the corpses of the slain. his though whether Amr or Shimr cannot say. angels. files gorgeous of liveried attendants derision and by the groans and of the populace. carrying on their shoulders their pointed spades with a crossbar for the foot of the digger. the fair infidel is And stories so moved in that on waking up she at once Islam.PERSIAN MINIATURES Moses. announces her belief But all these agree in the essential fact that even a dog of a Christian is more humane and is accessible to the claims of the truth than the hated Syrian Caliph. and bloody knives pierced their heads and most startling fashion. drawing from the victim a yell most unfeigned. Several of these wounded prisoners were urchins of no more than eight or ten. loaded with saddlebags and those funny 148 .

149 .

One of the horses in the procession wore on his bridle a fantastic ruff of white peacocks' feathers. because a custom reminiscent of Pilate and Barabbas permits these passionplayers to demand of him the release of any prisoner they choose to name? 150 . ambled the mules of the humbler travellers. with the same strangeness of gonfalon and oriflamme and nodding emblematic blades. rising above the head of the rider. fill the streets with clamour and colour and I saw as I strolled about the town was what I had already seen to bear retelling. of lances and copper trumpets. I wondered. on one of the floats And somewhere behind him a boy two men were carrying. who were name be not too overcome by the prospect of the miseries that awaited them to at the hands of Yezid liveliest (may his cursed!) exchange the salutations with their friends along the way. and swaying palanquins. of black and scarOne such picture comes let. For three days the pageants of the Great Slaughter continued to weeping. back to me the most vividly because it was set on the pointed stone arch of a bridge across the river.PERSIAN MINIATURES little painted boxes. too The same picture was repeated innumerable times in What much like every conceivable setting —though always against the same background of tawny walls. Was it. his like the kneeled uplifted hands silhouetted against the sky nation's faith and pride. The Governor had forbidden them. symbol of a That night the servants told us that there would be no more pageants in the streets.

. Only by good What." and they told me. IN NEW BOTTLES oil salon de huit ou onie personnes aimahles.OLD WINE Un sation est gate. happen to think of a dinner jacket. " You will find them . was my stupefaction in I Hamadan to find myself upon a torrent of tea. This phenomenon is perhaps to be interpreted in the launched before it knew light of strange tales a member 151 of a certain Arctic expedi- . nibbling through mountains of dinners. Jean Kenyon Mackenzie: black sheep A ND i\ / do you fancy that because we lodge in mud houses and live four hundred. five hundred. was a supply of visiting cards. and trotting about from door to door with as much zeal as would have done credit to the most sedulous man about town. Henri Beyle: armance / saidy " I am out hunting friends. the it I last thing it occurred to me to put into luck did then. est Vendroit du monde ou je me trouve le mieux. with a /' kind of eager gravity. et la conver- ou Von prend un punch leger a minuit et demi. I packed M % Jl my trunk for Persia. I don't know how many hundred miles from a railroad. from one moment to another. we have neither forms nor refinements? O la! la! But I came so near making the same mistake myself that when. anecdotique.

how an old matter will renew will self in an unfamiliar a live long setting. for instance. after all a little barer of resources than is agreeable as some capitals. about the relations that existed be- tween different explorers after they had glared at each other a year or two across the same igloo. it is. to visit museums and libraries. The most hardened diner out. Our unbelieving own 152 . There a post. but it it arrives only twice a week —when doesn't happen to be held up by storms in the Caspian or snow in the passes and our mail is anywhere from two weeks to two months old by the time we get it. beaten our servants. That is one charm of our dinner parties. to listen to music. Hamadan sets its own watch by the variable hour of For while sunset —which also marks the boundary between date clocks therefore go their and date. could hardly fail amused by a dinner party whose exact time could not be set. is and to read newspapers. besides exercising our legs and our horses and playing at bowls with our Swiss friends. Hamadan recognises the existence of noon. though. Ecbatana. Still. and there are enough of air. to be sure. I Our igloos. them to afford us an occasional change of for people brought up to go to the theatre. simply because he cannot to be enough to exhaust its possibilities. to lounge in clubs. So when we have answered our letters. are rather more commodious. hasten to add. but to entertain or be entertained by each other? And how it should we do it otherwise than as we it- used to do It is at home? curious. balanced our accounts. and otherwise dealt with the estate to which it — hath pleased God to call us.PERSIAN MINIATURES tion used to tell me. and how a man never tire of game he has played all his life. what else have we to do.

At one end of this not by Benvenuto two. lily —or laleh. clamps. a Loggia dei Lanii. being with a small glass globe at the top to protect the flame By the light of it we make our way through dark and muddy streets to a sublime porte from the winds of Elvend. with while Habib Hajji low wooden door to open.OLD WINE gait IN NEW BOTTLES with the most refreshing independence. which means the same thing pitfalls of — guides our patent-leathered feet past the a candle stuck in. Gilbert's pure young his man in mediaeval hand. spikes. is given a flavour of own. tenanted Cellinis but who do not fail to profit by a dozing beggar or by the time it takes that studded. In front of us marches Habib. we shall never know. recessed in a semicircle recess of is decorative plaster panels. Hamadan. save for rare corrections dial. bearing a A lily? A lily —though This not the same kind as the immortal one borne by Mr. shouting "Mesh'di Hasan! Ker' Hasan! Hasan!" in a climax of honorific effect. and hinges of lily brass which answer the flicker of the pounds. while those of the more moral sort make in a practice of comparing time-pieces late! beforehand. however. too. It is bosses. for he suddenly disappears. 153 . locks. by a not too accessible missionary sun- And a guest who arrives at dinner in time for the coffee can always invoke the slowness of his watch.o a tin tube. order not to appear on the scene of action an hour too early or too There are other ways in which going out to dinner its in Hamadan lily. with a door or a niche in each face of it. the door. knockers. titles that are long in lets producing their At last Hasan us into a vaulted brick octagon. Whether Hasan be Meshedi or Kerbelai or Hajji. and perhaps Mehm'd Ali.

pool. with stalactite capitals. the biggest court of with a high talar at each end and another enormous pool between them. "It is We. without a pool but with Wrong and shouting. and gossip therewith. a harem. encircled as it is by pillars of the inimitable Percourt. therefore. Our candles past a swimming star or two. a dinner of herbs. set between a narflicker row ambulatory and a black the length of it. across a talar. we learn. and. being discovered. after sian slimness. 154. into a cloister that is worth travelling five hundred miles from a railroad to see. stumble circle of black hats sticking out from under in a front hall? Why this unusual ornament Because a few nights ago a thief either let into broke in or was the place. or as you might understand better. on leaving which you over a kursi with a it.PERSIAN MINIATURES knowing which way to turn.'' in the hall But best is a dinner of pilau. not — better to dwell in a corner of the housetop than with a brawling in woman in a wide house!" We flee precipitately the opposite direction. through a huge room as cold as an iceberg. is. naturally turn to the right and come out into a court with a pool in the middle and a house at the farther end. to another crooked little passage of mystery that finally emerges into all. and we are led out of the octagon by a third door. blundering this time into another two more houses at either more knocking this time Hasan has found the houseboy he went to look for. . By end of it. in and on into a cosy little one where faggots snap ''Better stalled is a stucco fireplace. of brick steps Up a steep flight we climb. where a woman clutching her veil in one hand and a lakh in the Heavens! An anderun other waves us wildly away. again. through a low brick tunnel. where love than a ox and hatred therewith.

it and didn't happen to know the password of the might be a thing to land us at the Governor's. If when Madam Moon alas. And when we reached our own away without a stivver could one of us produce to tip our protector withaL He. in such company and amid such surroundings of 155 my own . took place on Thanksgiving Day. But one watchman detached himself from his squad. stalked a word. Few bidden. though perhaps not without his opinion of beings so strange as to have neither dignity nor money. thing to cause shakings of the head. the in our watchmen we meet say Most nothing. gurgling gaily in the moonlight. The on miniature brooks in the silent streets say more. we are more than is likely to have no protecting black hats about us on our journey home —especially This. to lose his other The poor wretch hand as well. whose account night a it is well to carry a stout stick. tak- ing pity on our defenceless condition. we were Persians. and saw us courgate. night. where he is alternately cross-questioned and bastinadoed. of all say the dogs. of the dinners to which we go can boast quite this I setting of romance. designed for such as he. is a a-sail in her Persian sky. and therefore irresponsible acts. asleep around a kursi in the hall. now in a fair way For he sits in a certain apartment at the Governor's. Being merely Firengis. He turned out to be a one-handed man. Whence As the protecting black hats. too. for us. which means that he was an old offender: the penalty of being light-fingered in Persia is to be relieved of the is unruly member. One of the first to which was indeed. still courteous.OLD WINE IN NEW maze BOTTLES of courts got lost like ourselves in the and passages and so was caught. not teously home.

icans to set foot in Persia. and behind.— PERSIAN MINIATURES country that had it not been for the person who passed the turkey and the cranberry sauce. The house to which we go are. and otherwise comports himsel in a manner which no Persian and no German can understand. being built on the lines of an Indian bungalow. who rides. So do not expect me to make copy out of them beyond saying that they taught me how friendly and human a missionary my grandfather. to be sure. a stocking-footed individual tailed magnificent in white trousers and a longif it brass-buttoned coat which looked as might fellow have been cut out of shawl. remind us of the cousinship between Persia and India. I my grandmother's "Cashmere" never would have known that some of they treated my diners counted their absence from America not by years but by decades. and But once they are gone the drawing room is a piece of England. with wide verandas it running the whole length of in front black hats bring in the tea or serve the dinner. cleared the who was one of way for — may be. because If me the more kindly the first Amerthem nearly a hundred years ago. any more than they — 156 . plays tennis and tent-pegging. likes a bit of a lark and the sight of strange suns. they did not cast me off when they discovered me to be a wolf in sheep's clothing. shoots. are sure to find there the And we who modern descendant of that fam- ous old British type of the gentleman adventurer. oftenest of It all has least in it to remind us where we does. down to the very coals on the hearth and the carpet on in the floor — in this It is country whose rugs are demand the world over! a perfect example of the steadfastness with which the Englishman sticks to his own.

or as that visitor from afar who entranced us one night with gay. things the Firengis can be up to. leisure living in For we are neither people of Persia for the enrichment of aesthetic souls or the easing of depleted pocket books.OLD WINE will ever IN NEW BOTTLES men have come to inherit understand how such cause the so goodly a portion of the earth. And afterward we dance on that English carpet! And as the is society of gentleman adventurers inevitably has a strong masculine tinge. accompanying himself on his lute. men can often get no better partners Nor do we fox-trot and don't know I We dance the good old-fashioned waltz— not. And not many of to. Do you sing or play? drawing room you have body had to try their Never mind: in that hospitable Mr. I happen to have seen a few foreign colonies in my day. his esiudiantina songs of Smyrna. we caper. as one of the lady missionaries. while black hats peer in from the veranda if and ask themselves what extraordinary. it is it dance. What might up his German in particular to throw hands is the music to be heard there after dinner. that hybrid two-step in waltz time which in my generation was the thing in America. to is another and more essential savour of our soin the be tasted houses of us all. it is homey. what. on that magic carpet flown from England to Persia. and I have seen there a hesitating one-step and a perfectly unhesitating Highland Fling. the than each other. in the till unheard of hours not immoral. Britling's everyhand at hockey. We But human. morning. At any rate. just as at us can acquit ourselves so creditably as the master of the house. There ciety. An occasional concession to America is a true two-step. nor are we 157 . but Hamadan is another pair of sleeves. mind you.

What. rather give ourselves the airs of a ruling caste. the social primacy to all Upon the Bank. the To make up Customs. Israelite we have the of Gendarmerie. an two bachelor Englishman and a Russian.PERSIAN MINIATURES hewers of wood and drawers of water for a plutocratic ruling caste. Among us alphabet! —are — I take pains to follow Americans. a Swede. a Ger- man or two. the Chief. 158 as they say in . hyphenate Armenians. enough to suffice to itself. can be a more touching example of the lion lying down with the lamb than to behold an elderly missionary from rural America pour a cup of tea for a handsome young Frenchman —very much awake. the Teleline of graph. What draws pie is Greeks. however. the the Road. we it. a Turk. These. and vice consuls. the manager is of it being known mankind main it Rets. and Turks. Frenchmen. which more anon. Swiss. Englishmen. out. and Alliance —the Alliance Universelle. albeit most of us are merchants or missionaries. foreign to us. Russians. of a sufficient diver- And this diversity is further variegated by the number the of flags we fly. Belgians. the true flavour of this peacock is that no one element large I. On the contrary. I take are the most populous though the Service and the Bank take In precedence of them at dinner. see every day some such contrast of race or of worldly estate as delights secret heart better my than all else in life. falls among as the us. estates in Persia. therefore. So whether I will or no. a Bulgarian. for ex- ample. is Hamadan the Service very thinly represented by one consul. since we are off the for the Anglo-Indian wire. who am in theory an enraged enemy of cosmopolitanism. Now you have here the ingredients sity. That other Persian estate.

ing hither to inspect his ancestral estates. my masters? and situa- and settings. she was confidante of the missionary ladies. too. therefore. for the rest. young Frenchwoman. Then there is company with a the mysterious being who I keeps house for the Russian roadmaster. no more than a few weeks before But characters. must be permitted to walk their romantic ways at large. Can it be that seem to include certain is a we are snobbish about Mile. by some reported by others a cook: why do never meet her at dinner? And I shall always bitterly regret that inopportune flight of a fellow-countrywoman of at once a my own. and ready-made plots! Some of and Henry James. for she deserted us Greek rug man. and so.— OLD WINE his IN NEW BOTTLES the hand of a Jewess country —or a Russian to officer kiss who came Quartier Ecbatana from Babylon by way of the Yet collect I Latin ? notice that our gatherings and some of them almost all of us under one roof distaff side. alas. Not for these chaste pages are they. Celestine? in I did not have time to find out. And. them are Jane Austen Kipling or Conrad. whose mots are in constant circulation amongst us but not her visiting cards. so cruel as to vanish arrival. most of them concern people whose bread one has eaten. governess in the family of the Turkish consul. A 159 . she became a moment the bright particular star of our society and the But. however they may provoke the itching hand to clap them between covers. to be a countess. deficient as they incline to be on the do not One fairer members of our circle. whose fantastic legend made her out queen of Venturfor the music hall and consort of a Persian Khan. my Gossip. Others are few are Arabian Nights. tions.

do not fit Then mysterious coun- scheme of things. But what Again British half of the Agree- ment of 1907.PERSIAN MINIATURES II Where is three people live within thirty-three miles of each other. My first impulse is to we see so make friends Distance with a Russian. is None of guage another is ment of 1907 and Russians tess-cooks them happen to live very near us. And the vice-consul. Celestine. is Half a dozen buts. they look to term if I to do — — —to use a gross profes- and am dying to am the guest of the I call on them. two of them are sure to form a clique. together contrive to 1. which together it make I a something! Nevertheless. which added a something. one. Nothings. LanThat blessed Anglo-Russian Agreea third. whose face added I cannot blacken? nothings. Celestine. Celestine somehow casts an unfortunate air around the Russian vice-consulate. nothings. but that the Russian vice-consulate And 160 O dear how contrived . I This and I shall not be foolish enough to cry out against little it. the law of life. in a muzhik's smock. am But rather sorry. or even by a banker who has been a muzhik. or vice-consul by a countess-cook. that of the Russians. by virtue of which Englishmen Persia are generally at swords' points in —or were. make of course. am not frightened by Mile. On the me like uncommonly good copy sional contrary. That Mile. accident brought I about not only that should dine at I should meet Mile. into the Anglo-Saxon And he studies French with Mile. though. under the old regime. who is also official head of the bank: it is remembered of him that he was once porter of the Russian bank in Meshed. Celestine.

that I had to be careful what I did with them. and he kept filling up the glasses around my plate so fast and so indiscriminately. not that of came about Russian in this wise. and had so streets. my God!" he cried. He further upset my calculations by drinking only wine. had told me at that no matter at what hour you were invited to dine dinner was the vice-consulate.OLD WINE to blacken It IN if NEW The BOTTLES my entire race! initiated my own face. But he was simple and friendly. never served before eleven. as a Russian knows how to be to a stranger. And I found my host at his dessert. Now it happened that on the appointed of her rarest miracles. and very quizzically did he look at the two of At first he had very little to say. clapping his He must. what with his vice-consulate and his bank and his French lessons. He told me that his superiors had not quite made up their minds whether to choose Hamadan or Kermanshah for a post of Cossacks. informing me that as it was neither Wednesday nor Saturday he was free of the courrier de Petersbourg. saying it in a French us. with vodka. What troubled me most about this accident was that another guest was the new commander of the Persian Cossacks a grave and handsome officer who quite evidently had never been a muzhik. which filled me with envy. I attempted lame way. rained so furiously. He — i6i . "I have so much to do. poor hands. and liqueurs. I evening It Hamadan produced one It rained. champagne. "I have so much to do!" wretch. beer. apologies by saying that had lost my My host was good enough to apologise in turn for his promptness. and next to none of that. far to walk through swimming and unfamiliar thought myself perfectly safe in that I starting about I nine.

lived in other places than is Hamadan. the Colonel reminded me. and perfectly lawful whereby in addition to the four legal consorts approved by the Koran. I had heard about him because he owned one of the few automobiles in the country. I have often thought about them since. a man may have temporary wives to any number! seems there a highly popular institution in this country Among other interesting things the Colonel told us that there had been a good deal of talk in the Russian papers of late about a certain mysterious traveller in Persia. having a French name and a Brazilian passport.— PERSIAN MINIATURES hoped Hamadan. was a man of the mountains himself. he had been looking for a house to live in. and had taken on trial the roomy mansion of a Hamadani with twenty wives eight He And — of It whom. In the meantime. he was supposed to be a German and a secret agent. had an interview about that matter at Potsdam in 19 lo. At any rate. in the region of Isfahan ''interests" for the Germans day when the question of the Persian branch The Czar of the Baghdad railway should come up. in which to build a line from the north to Khanikin. he said. from Tiflis. and the Kaiser. or lending money to landowners. and the Russian papers reported that he had been buying land. of whom I had already heard. In pursuance of the understanding at which they arrived the Rus- presumably to establish against the sians were to have according to one account five years. according to another ten. he seemed to make most of his journeys in that part of Persia which adjoins the Baghdad trail. And if they didn't do it within the 162 . to be sure. What I had not heard about him was that. he said his wife was German. because it is higher and cooler.

of more or less. He spent two or three months in our midst. is He his at all events suave. them might have been the hero of He was a son of papa from Petersburg. who came to inspect the bank. during which time he put his nose into his bank for two half hours. One of a famous Russian story. and more worldly wise than chief. the power behind the throne sometimes being stronger than the throne itself. and they say he German extraction. in a whom a fantastic destiny had landed Russian bank in Persia! life in of the visitors who help to keep Hamadan from becoming monotonous are Russians. he speaks excellent English. IN NEW BOTTLES time agreed upon. used to wonder if this was another example of the case of which Mr. did the wife of the latter has a banker vice-consuFs assistant. at twenty- 163 . German She. fitted into the Anglo-Saxon So. scheme of things! name. Shuster had a taste.OLD WINE mans. I Even in those simple days. the coast was to be clear for the Ger- We afterward saw a good deal of the Colonel and his wife. Who knows? In those simple days one didn't pay much attention to such things. over whom he seems to exert a subtle authority. however. interest in another I took quite as much member of the Russian colony I whom him in if encountered behind a samovar. at least. whereby under the old regime there was so often a double authority in Russian affairs. he tried it first tried English and French. The French is too. In like manner did he pass a year and a half in Persia. But being myself nothing but a humble noter of I the appearances of this world. And through that dark medium Some least came out that he was a Bulgarian. you me in Turkish. and not the amusing. please. and nothing happened Then.

Germans chose to. are so unenterprising! They were it enterprising enough. And then she had found it in her "But what a carelessness!" he "They perish!" Ill It is a sample of those curious strata of ignorance that darken the mind of man that 164 I could have lived so many . was a dazzling young man who came to make I remember hearing him say one night after dinner that his people had decided reports on Russian commerce. in his fluent but not perfectly idiomatic English. he added. Very the clever of them. with that disconI. not to build that railway to Khanikin.PERSIAN MINIATURES five roubles a day. to have suggested a revision of the Agreement of 1907. He was delightful. about a lady who had been a window. though. something else happened to the third. let th^m. No less delightful. unfortunate in husbands. but very disagreeable for Baku. but he went home woefully in debt. being of an incurable light-mindedness. was even more enchanted by his vignettes of the characters a traveller will encounter. and an indefatigable bridge player. But those English. he had been astounded to fmd out that their famous oil concession extended right up to the frontier of the Caucasus. He thought might be a good All this idea. however. where there is plenty of oil as yet untapped. He told us. It If Why should they? would only favour competition against themselves. to marry an aviator. luckily. certing frankness of which a Russian has the secret. was said in an English house. cried. though rather more responsible as an inspector. As for the English. One fell out of another got himself shot in the Caucasus.

speaking infinitely better in French than we. quicker-witted. And gave myself the pleasure of going with the Sah'b and the call Khanum on it. The gateway let us into a big trim court. in The chillier. though never became in a northwestern quarter of it with which very familiar. 165 Madame is a . Monsieur was born Constantinople. Having done so. set about with buildings quite the most imposing and the most European-looking in Hamadan. Universelle ? — to without hearing anything about ever. that maintains excellent schools for the Jews in many parts of Asia and Africa. The school is carried on entirely in that language. though rather They evidently of the Chosen People.OLD WINE Israelite IN NEW BOTTLES years in the same world with the Alliance Universelle —or is it the Alliance Israelite it. director and are his wife received us a drawing room not so different from one of ours. I cannot boast that All I I made that the most the late of my opportunities. and enjoys more than a bowing acquaintance with Egypt and Algiers. one for girls and one for boys. They stand in the same enclosure in the heart of the city. Whence it is that mir^as may be picked up here who speak a very fair French. has lived long in Paris. really. I In Hamadan. longer-nosed. with its long pillared porch. howI heard about it very soon. Over the portico of one were emblazoned in Latin letters the names of Baron Hirsch and other philanthropists of his race. There are two schools. And the one where the resident teachers live has more of a I Latin than a Persian look. and that it has maintained one in humble Hamadan since 1900. that it its headquarters are in Paris. can say is Baron Hirsch of Vienna had something to do with founding the Alliance.

there. very coy. the other. he tells us. is a little dis- illusioned to hear that for all that his fellow countrymen are not absolutely adored by the natives of the Nile! There are four foreign assistants in the school two young men and two young women. us that in Algiers the French have effaced the Arab. when upon much of the responsibility of representing Hamadan? But there is no shadow of doubt so show us all their heels in arithmetic. unfathomably eyed. One of them. or any other branch of human science. Some one that puts the case upon the plane of the humour by saying Khanum has become a rival of the ladies of the Alli- ance. no He a confesses that Persia makes him regret northern Africa tells little. In good there is ''You do rivalry.PERSIAN MINIATURES small.'' good and we do good. At least there There are carriages i66 in the streets. whereas in Egypt one still feels The Sah'b. The latter. who her. he him. he says. prolific person. the lost glories of Cairo. wear sunbonnets and black aprons. yet of a vivacity that reminds that they could me of Salonica quay. *'But no!" objects Monsieur amiably. he sings is life Even after Cairo did not disenchant him. dark. administers advice and rebuke to her numerous progeny while allowing none of the conversation to escape We have the more in common because the Khanum has been good enough to help out the missionary school during an absence of a member of the staff. The young men are more Oriental in appearance. geography. Pursuing comparisons. them devolves the sex in Why not. As for the praises of Baghdad. disconcertingly cross-eyed. who hail from Syria. plump. very given to the sidelong glance — and to the confidential whisper. being slight. They are very gay. nevertheless. mourns Paris. . who is a native of Tangier.

also seem to make out. Once or twice. its tea — to houses that are not cafes.! — OLD WINE it? IN NEW BOTTLES there are boats on the Tigris. —distance. its evening silence as of the O God And I Nevertheless. too? I I did not until I heard it at the Alliance. and that Tobias was buried here. But — I don't —we these intelligent and amusing somehow see very members of the little of Alliance. an astounding proportion of whom know speak French nearly as well as they do Persian. There are not many more than a tenth of that number now. I was on the edge of telling one of them why we are all a little afraid of them. there are —cinematographs its Hamadan. where in the twelfth into effect the decree of century the famous traveller Benjamin of Tudela found fifty thousand of his own people. that our hosts have a sense of and a pride in the antiquity of their race. though. Madame. They do not take Esther and Mordecai too seriously. For when they pay calls they do it in a solid phalanx Monsieur. or Tobias and the Angel. the two young ladies in sunbonnets. work. king of Assyria. had always been simple enough to suppose that missionaries were a Christian invention! Yet I seem to make out that these doers of good might not be regarded as among the most orthodox of Israel. lan- Nothings again that make a something guage. Whereas movies that do not move. with grave will you believe amuse one at night. Did you know that Hamadan is the scene of a good part of that story. though. they are willing to bury themselves alive in a hole like this. where Darius the Great discovered and put Cyrus with regard to the rebuilding of the temple at Jerusalem. 167 . living here where Jews have lived since the time of Sargon.

lowed up by what we too intimately explore. the more does he usually amount to in this unintelligible world. regret it." A thing not altogether shameful. but most of us degenerate into nothing better than spies Or in the end we get swalor tramps if we attempt it. somethat instinct which "foreigner. say. the tops of their voices. really. like or dislike I Jews and Japanese other people. on the same grounds that like or dislike and not so. IV And they all shout at The saints and the poets lament or boast of being it. admiring time how East is East and West In theory West and how seldom the twain do meet. speculate. a I do not I dislike a man because he is Jew or a Japanese. or the relations between Japan and America. In the Hamadan gives me And meanis I know I not whether to lament or to boast. That is all there is. is it with nearly everybody But many people feel their hearts drawn out toward men who look too different from themselves. In practise I incline on the whole to approve makes us distrust or even dislike a man. to antisemitism or to the question of the Japanese in California. 1 Why should 68 . or are steeped in too different associations. an Arminius Vambery. generally. a Lafcadio Hearn.PERSIAN MINIATURES the two dark young gentlemen. and the more clearly he is one thing or the other. So I believe that there is something human and natural. else. the same sensation. at the root of such delicate matters as antisemitism. A Richard Burton. I. I fancy. in the world but not of find that I being neither poet nor saint. must be one thing or another. can contrive to be one thing and another. or have too dif- ferent manners.

the perfectly honest which has formed so many personalities and civiliand brought them to a flower of their own. 19 14. in a European overcoat. like pickpockets. That Khan. appreciate each other best from a distance! It is not a thing to cases than — wrangle about. I am rather sorry see we meet them is so few Persians! all Yet what we do of perhaps the more interesting to a stranger newly come into a strange land. Nor is it incompatible with excellent relations between countries. of course. whom we passed in the street one snowy moonlight night what a picture he made of customs difi'erent from our own We. but it is just as intolerable to fmd our neighbours perpetually This is sitting in our own chairs. being myself of those whose tendency is it to degenerate into tramps or spies.OLD WINE we not sides of IN NEW BOTTLES It recognise so simple a fact? operates on both any given case and on both sides of many more I have named. very slowly. It is of the essence of all human ties. Piracy and purse-cutting are of course intolerable. nothing terrifies me so much as the possibility that mankind may be run into one mould. On either side — ! 169 . for instance. were hurrying home unattended. at any rate. The truth of the matter is that two races. and that on all the six continents we shall one day eat and wear And from the papers I have and read the same things seen since August i. as befits one who is no slave of time. or so he seemed to be by his cap. For my part. I gather that a similar terror instinct sations burns in worthier bosoms. Next stalked the Khan. like two persons. A world motley enough for the flags which now fly in it is a richer world than any dreamed of by the flag-melters. And he? In front of him went a mir^a in an aha. Nevertheless.

the Sah'b and the Khanum new came in for a share of this attention. another aha. or Armenian. Notice must be sent beforehand and an appointment duly made. as if unable to sit still another instant. At least this had always been the case until the Christmas I was in Hamadan. Rather to their surprise. while two ac- hours. There followed another mir^a in And with rifles on their marched a couple of bravoes shoulders or matchlocks.PERSIAN MINIATURES of him walked a servant swinging an enormous lantern of white linen —the size of the lanterns testifying to the con- sequence of the Khan. last of all — Another call detail of social procedure in Persia in is that a can never be the nature of a surprise. who the local custom of calling on their friends. one of our missionary friends told us that she received over three hundred New Year visitors. Any Hamadani who had seen the outside of that extraordinary 170 . for a formal call. friends acknowledge this courtesy sionaries And their by calling on the mis- on Christmas Day. Persian. No chance there for a hostess to be out —or for a caller to empty a cardcase in an afternoon. Yet even so. An hour is none too long six. by this lapse of precedent that they refused to call at all. He- brew. of these visitations We have less experience follow than the missionaries. on the local holidays. or four. I suspect the house may have had something to do with it. or are not uncommon between quaintances of some standing. after consultation among ourselves. Your Persian is not so destitute of manners as to rush away after fifteen or thirty minutes. most likely. the notice was sent out that callers would be received instead on New Year's Day —which corresponds more exactly to the But certain old stagers were so offended Persian custom. Then.

which helped to fill in the gaps between none too much my spasmodic attempts to make small talk in strange tongues with twenty-one unknown beings. As they were of both sexes. It then transpired that several among I. This exaggeration of courtesy. And we were colour also fortunate of shirini —small.OLD WINE structure IN NEW BOTTLES was consumed by a desire to inspect the inside. by half-past nine in the morning. I therefore shook twenty-one hands. what they lack The twenty-one were Sah'b returned to nearer forty-two by the time the my in a aid. or knocking at the gate. Mehm'd Ali had baked a couple of his famous cakes. A little later a batch of ninety youths appeared body —to pay their respects to the Sah'b as a patron of the American boys* school! Not many of them spoke any perceptible English. I imagine. And as the Sah'b happened to be out. in —thanks to that blessed Alliance But most of them contented themselves ease. must be a tradition of houses where everybody sits on the floor. In the meantime the house-boys passed innumerable cups of tea. made twenty-one bows. As luck would have it. with examining furtively the chairs on which they sat and the various other strange objects about them. they of course had to be received in different parts of the house. 171 for the . At any rate. and whispered the same mystic number to Habib. not one of which I had ever before set eyes on and to not one of which did I suppose I would be able to say boo. was finally sent for in despair to go downstairs and I confront twenty-one kolas. enough to have on hand a quantity hard Persian candies which make up in in taste. the owners of the kolas spoke English as well as while several more —spoke French. they began ringing the bell. serving them on their knees.

his lanhis future? ! — The mother's. they bravely swallowed their scruples with their and perhaps went to the bath afterward. unlike their colleagues of the Alliance. had desired me to know more of Persia. That. entered by the back door and were received in the dining room. Her visitors. would not on the made no difference to the ladies. They sat • floor. no doubt. where young Abbas and the cook's If infantile apprentice handed them their share of what the older boys were serving the men. He had Mohammedan and married a Persian. although born in England. The Khanum told us she had answered innumerable questions with regard to her Hat civil. tea. they objected to our im- purity. of what happens when East meets West. And his mind? And therefore turned with a jewel in costume. make it a point to carry on their affairs in the language of the country. that English boy in a Persian kola. I know we aired the house for a good hour! But I must add that most of our callers were of the humbler sort. of course. which after was simple enough. one Yet he knew English no better than the of a Persian being attired. too. as was proper. his looks. furthermore. What surprised of the ninety pointed out to me more was to have me as an Englishman. how long she had been 172 . from which the chairs had been removed to our part of the house. But — life The Khanum in the meantime was having experiences of her own. All the ladies wanted to know how old she was.PERSIAN MINIATURES missionaries. like His father. rest. in the short black kola and long pleated coat Khan. I could hardly wait to hear the exall planation of these mysteries. As for us. her nose from whom the son takes his guage. He was merely an example. who have known what to do with them.

interest efforts She reciprocated my my Her dia- to the degree of trying to talk to me. it were not very successful until transpired that she came from Azerbaijan and spoke the Turkish 173 . Now it happens that am consumed by The person an unappeasable history passion for emeralds. daughter of the tenth century Caliph Al Muizz of Cairo.OLD WINE married. over their hair. The greatest lady of them all. My own regret at having been cut off from half of so interesting a social event was tempered for me by an acciI dent which later befell me in a missionary house. They found too. bride to be nine years old. unfortunate. be long in coming. in the year as For a wedding should take place in will the spring. etc. I could not keep eyes off that astounding old lady. chanced to open the door upon a gathering of ladies. who left at her death no less than five bushels of those most secret of gems. dazzled me by the stupendous emerald she bore in the middle of her fillet. while an unmarried girl of fifteen it no better than an old maid. for a Persian woman. who were Armenians and who therefore countenanced my They all wore black lace scarves ill-timed intrusion. whom I most envy is Abdaz. were scandalised to hear that her parents had not found a husband unheard she was twenty. or will is Otherwise children all. a banker's wife. till children she had. never come at And that. but what reminded me more of the Jewesses of Salonica was a certain outstanding black fillet bound about their brows. IN NEW BOTTLES They how many for her of. etc. which gave them rather a Spanish look. that the Khanum had married late well as late in life. the disaster of disasters. I like an elderly Lucrezia in Crivelli. for a Persian It is by no means or sixteen is you know..

Half of this is Persian.PERSIAN MINIATURES lect of that province. lived. to true Persian house. given first met him. Nevertheless a jewel. knowing a little of the Turkish of Stambul. where my father living. of course. at the gate. left in my memory quite the in most admirable among several pictures of society Hamadan. I. and because the speech of this Turk was music to my ears after the accent. what I did for a how much money I made at it. looking very trim and European com- parison. to be sure. was able to carry on a broken conversation with the happy proprietor of so magnificent and the rest is gargling. of the old lady of the emerald. did the lady of the emerald. say. ception of this long after I But a remore honey-tongued old gentleman. — showed me my place. — more than one I But no true Persian house entered seemed to consul. at last. But we had not been encompassed by so great a cloud of witnesses I would have blurted out to that frank old if Lucrezia Crivelli that I was ready to reform and run enter away with her and her emerald. because I have more common with a Turk than with a Persian. who escorted us through the garden to the tent 174 . And her umbrage at hearing that I had taken none was nothing to her outcries over my admission that although quite old enough to know better I had found no more respectable business In short. She inquired without forms how old I was. and what steps I had taken against race-suicide. in offer me quite so concentrated a flavour of Oriental hospitality as the one occupied by the Turkish This was partly. why I had left him. It was permitted me. Two slouchy local policemen stood guard Inside we were met by a fair-haired Turkish in soldier in a fez. she than writing stories and not godly ones.

where His Excellency
received his guests.




—as he did not mind being called

was really two tents, the inner one being a square red canopy without flaps, the outer one having flaps of embroidery in panels, and hanging rugs and Persian prints for further decoration. In front, however, the flaps were reefed up, so as to give us the view of the garden. And not the least ornamental
part of this setting was a long table in front of the tent,

on which stood symmetrically spaced pyramids of grapes, cucumbers. For in Persia a cherries, apricots, and



regarded as a


and as one of the most



thing was to shake His Excellency's hand and

to devise for His Excellency's ear remarks as gracious as


flow from an ill-trained Anglo-Saxon tongue.


next thing was to go the round, not too perfunctorily, of

and hatted That done chairs were sitters about His Excellency. produced. These conveniences, in fact, were the one false note of the occasion. We were then served with tea and with a most comforting ice of the morello cherry. By this time there was so little snow left on Elvend that the essential ingredient of that ice, I suppose, must have come from the graveyard of the gallows! We were likewise invited to deface the beautiful pyramids on the table, but nobody had the courage to do so. Nobody said anything, either, unless a newcomer joined the company under the tent. The most imposing person whose arrival we witnessed was the prince commandant of the
a large
of fezzed, turbaned, kolaed,





slim, soldierly looking Persian


exchanged with His Excellency salutes more magnificent
than you can conceive.

There followed, however, the


most elegant young man in the world. He wore white duck trousers, a black broadcloth coat, yellow shoes, a Panama hat turned up in front, a glistening black moustache, and a gold-headed cane. And when I saw that he carried in his other hand a red red rose, he reminded me so irresistibly of the gentleman in "Patience" is it? with his affection a la Plato for a bashful young potato

or a not too French French bean, that


nearly burst out

the fezzes and turbans and kolas and hats with

"If he's content with a vegetable love, which

would certainly

not suit me,

Why, what a most particularly pure young man young man must be!"
But that no doubt was jealousy.
Judaea, educated in


And they




he was also a clever young man, having been born

and chosen as head

of the

Behai school



before he


to the Turkish

consul's reception.




heaven knows.


tried to

be as

polite as possible.

At any

we were

late to lunch.



To grapple
effectually with even purely material problems


more serenity of mind and more

courage than people

generally imagine,

Joseph Conrad: an outpost of progress


an object of vast curiosity



ITto theofgreatest cause




the windmill that pokes


no doubt, bebald Amera story, too:

ican head above the wall.


the Odyssey of that windmill by train, ship, and camel,

from young Chicago to New York, Port Said, Basra, Baghdad, Kermanshah, and old Ecbatana, where an exiled French chauffeur set it a-spinning in the Persian

People come from miles around to admire that

handiwork of the Firengi, which pumps up the unwilling water of the East for the dyeing of rugs to be laid on

its tail


After that far-flown bird had wagged
in the gusts of Elvend,


some months


thought advisable to deepen the well out of which the

water a


too unwillingly rose.

Well-diggers were

accordingly called, their craft being a

common one


country of hidden streams.
in a



came a day
will be-

when one well-digger,

of spite, kicked another

well-digger into the seventy-foot shaft.

nothing untoward happened to him

who tumbled

feet. But he who did the kicking was taken by the police and bastinadoed on his too impulsive soles. As for me so doth the world move by contraries!


almost anything else in the factory compound interests

me more

than the windmill.


well-diggers, for inI

through whose dusty rags


learned that


a pure Persian word, meaning earth-coloured.

be pedantic enough to add that the h

there for a




and that the Persians accent the last syllable? up of mud pies into the new dye house chimney
me, too, to say nothing of the beautiful groined


vaulting of that house, in light brick.


Persian can do

anything with earth, water, and

his ten fingers, so sure in



the inheritance of those


devised the secret

of the



old dye house


something to
of poplar


where huge copper

bubble over



Nor are the dyes aniline that bubble in those They are alizarin, if you must know, against

which no
there be


can complain that they run or fade.


room for complaint, it is that the colours concocted by the ingenious Firengi out of coaltar and heaven

knows what are not always the same
and barks of

as the colours


the Persians of the old time extracted from the herbs




of them, that


are not simple colours, such as the Orientals instinctively

know how

to put together, but complicated colours, veiled
colours, subtly calculated

shadows and ashes of

to soothe the neurasthenic souls of the West.

But these

are matters of which



not competent to speak.

can only



the dripping hanks of wool are carried


to dry in a sun without veil or shadow.

Then they

are piled in a storehouse according to their kinds


the care of an Armenian mtr:[a


has been to America,

and who has brought back a hat and a twang.




most, however,


the long low


up and artfully knotted into patterns. The room where those patterns are plotted out is at the lighter and more public end of the house. Here black-capped mirias sit around a long table, busy over water-colours and sheets of squared paper and samples of dyed wool and pieces wickedly cut out of old rugs. The head of the designing room is a man of forty, perhaps, with a singular face, both dark and pale, distinguished and ravaged. He smokes a miskal of opium a day. But he can take one look at a carpet and reproduce it for you in water colour, with all the In fact, brightness and delicacy of the old miniatures. he paints miniatures himself, after that charming old Persian tradition which is not yet dead, mounting them on mats of cunningly contrasted colours, spattered with gold. So I am the more willing to take Mr. F. R. Martin's word for it that Behzad and the other miniaturists of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries may have designed
building where the wool goes
to be snipped


PERSIAN miniatures;
the magnificent carpets of the early Safevi period.


other mirias are younger, some of them no more than

twelve or



big mirias paint entire designs,

in the exact colours

which the weavers are to use


designs as Persians have always painted, save

Firengi desolates

when some them by ordering a vast carpet which
flowerless as a billiard board.

nothing but a border around a central desert of pink

or blue,

empty and

mirias paint the actual working patterns, copying en-

larged sections of the design on paper of which each square

stands for a knot or a fixed


of knots.




lean, dark, intelligent-looking faces,

long, intelligent-looking fingers.

and such thin, After seeing the hands
it is

which so many Persians have


can understand how

many beautiful and how neither time
that so
quite to

things have

come out

of Persia,

nor misfortune has been able
of them.

do away with the tradition
it is

The They tell me
in Persia.

greater part of the building

the factory proper.



establishment of


People have always made rugs there, of course,

but they have not always

homes; and

least of


do so strange a thing.

made them outside of their own have women been accustomed to The thing was so strange, for a

Firengi to think of building a great house and hiring wo-



weave for him, and Persians are so sensitive about women, that the affair had to be gone about very


The Sheikh

ul Islam,



the chief
to be

religious functionary of a Persian

town, had


approached with

possible deference

and ceremony.


then had to


together his associates in the cult,

and deliberate whether there were anything
divinity to forbid the proposed innovation.

law or





decided that the ladies of

Hamadan might work


the Firengi without losing their reputations, in case the Firengi took due steps to insure their privacy.





communication between the wool room and the


of the looms

was limited to a hole

in the wall,

rather like a post-office slot.

Furthermore, since the

master weaver was a man, and

was necessary


the Firengi or his deputies occasionally to

make inspections, a chaperon was appointed from among the elders of Hamadan. This chaperon is a man of God, of canonical age, who receives a stipend from the Firengi and whose duty it is to circulate among the looms for the maintenance of decorum and good manners and for the safeguarding of the honour of the husbands of

greater peace of


of the latter

Hamadan. For the it is known that the

master weaver


also a



God, wearing the green no Hamadani, but

turban of the seed of the Prophet and being addressed

He, as




from Tabriz.

For you


be surprised to learn that

been; but


not a city of weavers.


once have be due to

becomes so again, thanks

the Firengi.

am happy

to report that under these conditions


scandal has arisen to trouble the relations of East and

There was, to be sure, the affair of a certain Mrs. Potiphar, who complained that an Armenian or Jewish miria had insulted her while handing out wool through
the hole in the wall.

This news caused an immediate
felt it

exodus from the factory, and the Governor


make an




however, was

evidently too deep for words.

While Mrs. Potiphar was

unable to utter


she did specify the day and the hour on

as mechanisms of had of half led certain pessimistic writers on rugs me to expect. by means of pegs. to be sure. she knew! But. running in and out between the threads and separating them enough for the insertion of a hand shuttle which carries the thread of the woof between each row of knots. on which the rug is wound up as it grows in length. I the sacred precinct of the found there no whirring belts or clattering steel. Joseph was able fell to prove so good an alibi that the charge ground and the disquieted husbands allowed turn. works most efficiently and only such motor power as on tea and pilau. I. as it happened. as their work grows up the loom. The threads of this warp hang perpendicularly from a fixed transverse beam at the top to a movable transverse beam at the bottom. on which the weavers squat and which if they like can climb the uprights. their wives to re- friend Having been duly advised of these matters. In this factory. There is also a smaller transverse stick. iron-handled comb for beating down the knots and the cross threads. and you have all that is mechanical in the making of a There remains only the narrow wooden platform rug. there are no other belts than those encircling Persian waists. somehow or to the other. 182 . That. was permitted by the whitevisit turbaned chaperon to looms. as well name of the offending mirza.PERSIAN MINIATURES which as the it passed through the slit of the wool room. of which the most imposing are the pairs of big poplar posts that contain the warp of a loom. as in all others its kind in Persia. rows of imposing looking appliances. There are. as a of the manager. Add to this a pair of shears for cutting wool and a sort of heavy.

according to the size of the rug. So are the bare tucked up on the appertaining in the platforms — gay green slippers I thereto. — seemed not too greatly distressed sons of the designing sex. being neatly set out in rows on the mud floor below. between two stately flowerpots of flowers. These ladies of the weavers are no . little rest is a matter of clever Persian fingers. ustad was for making her ravel it out but the wise manager let it stay. of course. ing between loom And from it the chatter shrill- and loom was evident that no one 183 . telling her crew in She ties the bound- how many is knots of such and likely to such a colour to add. I remember one pickaninny of eight or nine who giggled as the manager went by and pointed out a yellow chicken she had put into the blue border of a great The carpet. but each one has about a yard to. but there would also be craned necks and visions of a high olive cheek-bone or of a blistering black eye. those humming-bird slippers saw Bazaar. Such irregularities are one of the charms of an Oriental rug all too rare when measurements are taken and wool dyed evenly as it is here. at the approach of per- There would be a great twitch- ing up over the head of those loose white or coloured sheets which are the less formal shield of virtue. even if Hamadan is not a city of weavers. and a half to Every loom is in charge of an ustad. fly! And how fast they I can They the are all plentifully reddened with feet notice. who has the design ary knots. a forehand.THE FACTORY The henna. Many more than babies themselves. And a pickaninny capable of inventing a chicken has weaving in her blood. The number attend of weavers varies. for that matter. or on the among the slippers. woman. She more than have a baby crowing —on occasion read bawling—on the platform mud floor beside her.

The weavers have. too. There conse- quently came a day when the decree went forth that each loom was to be provided with a box. They have also been known it. a great way of borrowing wool from each other. It is a very human trait. to cut the knots of uniform length. to take the line that the company the is rich and can afford to stretch a point. in order to save a journey to the hole in the wall. but in this factory unhappy manager is often put beside himself with the whims of the daughters of Iran. All this wastes a good deal of wool. of which the ustad was to keep the key or compelled to terrible and to be allowed to take home the excess make up any deficiency. containing wool enough for the carpet in hand. which the most serious item of rug making. when two ends are cut again.PERSIAN MINIATURES stood in too great als. is To make the knot a is cut off. cut off no But can you induce the women to Nor could more than they need to tie their knot? Never! the manager persuade them to use a pair of clip- pers he invented. knot of a required colour a tied the bit The different colours naturally have to be dyed in different hanks. and when the rug leaves the loom the rough surface has to be clipped smooth by an experienced hand. awe of the turbaned censor of mor- The sex is always temperamental. Therefore no is weaver ever takes the trouble to save wool. to borrow wool from it the factory and not to return loose clothes carrying off under their when they go home at night. in all parts of the world. being not only a reflection on a lady's honour but a reason to make her suspect that the factory 184 . This caused a upheaval. and of not being too careful to get the colour they need. already dyed and which is practically useless because it is too short to use again.

a certain Mrs. The consequence was that certain carpets were almost ruined before they were finished. for The manager stood however 185 — until pay withheld. of the factory leaked villainously. Great pieces had to be cut out and knotted in again. will have a bad name!" On the morrow. The working of the feminine mind is past finding out. but when the painful fact became plain that he meant what he said. Tears and outcries followed. Parrot having been witness thereof. and loud general demands firm. On interrogation. The weavers regarded it as so much a matter of course that they would not take the trouble to report the presence of a pool under a loom or of the mildew which would gather on the rug above it. knew how much wool went see that they got into a carpet of a given size and would is What is less comprehensible that they will not take care of the carpet they are weaving. At first nobody believed him. ac- cordingly. Angel and Mrs. out of three And it hundred women. Angel . twenty came to took both time and argument to convince really them that the manager enough. Another time a long slash was discovered in the middle The of a carpet that had been months on the loom. as a The new mud new mud roof roof will. don't I ustad foresaw more labour and more pay for herself.THE FACTORY intended to cheat her of her due amount of wool. Angel had done the wicked therefore know whether the deed. manager at once caused it to be announced that no one would be paid until he found out who had cut that carpet. Mrs. both Mrs. information was taken him that a certain Mrs. At the to- end of that day some one wailed: ''Whoever comes morrow work. Parrot denied knowledge of any carpet cutting.

she sobbing out at each If blow: "I was at fault!" the Firengi had wielded the switch. there might have been a massacre in Hamadan. carpet slashing. first class who gave her a wigging of the five stripes to her and applied twenty- peccant hands. More and more lamentations! And at last the force of public opinion compelled Mrs. Parrot indignantly repudiated tears to slash the carpet. can induce them six six to work days a week.PERSIAN MINIATURES went so far as to admit that she had incited Mrs. bonuses. Parrot Mrs. she had thought to settle it by defacing the latter's carpet. Parrot. is fill the heart of the Firengi their capriciousness about turning up at He has room for seven hundred of them. on Friday. but a toman hand is worth ten in the cashier's safe. or a husband pinches their carpet their cheek. Mr. "But what can the Firengi do to me?" she boastfully demanded of her companions. the most glittering picture of the advantageous 1 Threats. call. or princi- not even the censor of morals. Not rest angels. idle and they stay at home —while in hangs on the loom and dealers as in Firengi- stan telegraph angrily about delays in filling contracts. if but he is happy he can find half that number at the looms on any given day. They- like money as much any one. and then come back for A religious anniversary falls due. He then called in the elderly chaperon. days more. Angel to confess herself the Having a grudge against Mrs. What the Firengi did to her was to dock her of ten tomans of her pay. the insinuation. As it was. And after that there was no more Wherein the weavers most with tdespair the factory. Angel saw to it that Mrs. Angel worked out her ten tomans. powers. palities. position 86 . a visitor comes to they are invited to a picnic. culprit.

all In my secret heart I fear I am on the Governor One day the compound was came to inspect agog. to admire the dye house. And just as he admired was going away an old forewoman burst out in front of him. was to fly for his 187 . everything. the store house. Potiphar's Angel's loom. the wool room. Most of all. are nothing to them. for His Highness the factory. But do you know? the side of the weavers. he the windmill from Chicago. did for them. He deigned Mrs. of course. think. It is. Mrs." — — she cried out inconveniently. a thing to turn the hair gray. slit I in the wall. poor wretch.THE FACTORY of the capitalist. "What cheaper?" are you going to do for us? Will you make it What he life. the designing room. "The Firengi what God does will! gives us bread.

that we needed no protecting retinue at our heels. we had been simple enough to think. we indisputably wore hats. However. lounged about it. which proved us to be persons of a certain degree of consequence. we made Accordingly a gentleman in a dirty red coat. More 188 slouchy-looking having rather the aspect of masters . which generally full of drying towels from a public bath. wished us peace and led us into a courtyard with a big oblong pool in the centre of it. for The was at the bottom of a blind alley. carrying a silver-headed mace. For although we had conformed to the etiquette of the country in making an appointment for our audience. sure. through a high talary and to the persons door of an anteroom. whence an inner lane bounded by high mud walls led to a second gateway. Christopher Marlowe: the tragedy of tamburlaine the great THE entrance Governor's palace is outwardly indistinof is it. up a steep flight of stone steps at the farther end of the court. being three men sound of wind and limb.XII THE SATRAP Noble and mild this Persian seems to he. Here lounged a company of rather slouchy-looking individuals who regarded us with some uncertainty. If outward habit judge the inward man. guishable as such. One entrance to be opens on a small square.

the white walls of were broken by niches suc- ceeding each other at regular intervals. his shoulder into a second anteroom. less on the floor but on a chair. to be divested of our hats. in the period of our own revolution. where everybody takes off his shoes before going into the We were then passed by a sentry with a fixed house. albeit on another chair. coats. I did not know until he 189 . The L-shaped room was carpeted with it big rugs. But this benevolent personage did not disdain to follow the example of His Highness and shake our polluting hands. and galoshes most indispensable article of attire in Persia. 1 struck me most was His Highness's excellent Eng- and a knew he was not a very distant cousin of the Shah member of the same Kajar tribe that seized the throne of Persia after the death of Nadir Shah. in the person of a Seid. the windows that looked out on the court and the big pool were multitudi- nously glazed with those little Persian panes. diamondwise. More affairs —some mirias. One of the mirias knocked softly at an inner and we were admitted into the presence of the Satrap himself. In their hands Silverstick abandoned us. behind nothing exotic than a desk of new Persia. of the — bayonet over loungers of state. What lish. however. with a round gray beard and a green turban. Old Persia sat beside him. a descendant €)f the Prophet. while younger than a Satrap should be and official brass buttons. some interviewing them on door.THE SATRAP pen than of the sword. East and West were curiously mingled in the sanctum of His Highness. dressed in a tight Persian coat with sat not The Satrap. Above them were smaller windows of stained glass whose larger square panes stood on their corners.

On His Highness's table my wandering I eye was not Shall I slow to detect a copy of the London Times. But it is a perpetual mystery what be- of so many copies of the Times. manager of the Bank and regarded by the Pertold us so that this sians as the official chief of our colony. to say nothing of so many more copies of the Graphic and other illustrated papers. the Russians might have something to say about that. confess that it might be our own All post? was rude enough to wonder if. He said he might think about it if the games were played behind a wall instead of in an open field. that the Postmaster has a fair knowledge of the Roman comes — alphabet. he acquired that of football! But he was highly amused by the Sah'b's suggestion that he take part in the matches got up by the Englishmen of Hamadan. Be- they come from Baku and travel up country over the Russian road. That the Reis himself. pass under His — Highness's eye before reaching their destination. either. finding it the worst city in Persia.PERSIAN MINIATURES Perso-Turkoman prince had been Harrow and Sandhurst. at any rate. could so far forget his dignity as to muddy himself in these ignoble scrim- mages. as Letters numerous and too strangely written. which had failed to arrive by the last our telegrams. And whenever they fail to turn up we somehow think of the Governor though we do not forget. among educated at other sciences. And there. As the old gentleman in the green turban lacked the Satrap's gift of tongues. by any chance. are rather too sides. His Highness was perfectly safe in confiding to us that he detested Hamadan. He suspected 190 me of trying to pro- . was no doubt an inexplicable mystery to the black hats who used to crowd the side lines.

namely an edict to the effect that every citizen should thereafter hang a lantern But we later had occasion to outside his house at night. or even Irving Berlin for know. us one innovation he had in mind. had the pleasure of hearing about this musically inclined old gentleman.THE SATRAP duce some belated good manners when liked liked I told him that I Hamadan very much. however. and every manner of obscure deed. for all we did to illummost about — inate its darkness. two places where the thing can be done with any . and that one of the things it I was the lack of trams and carriages. certain of the principal streets In the meantime he announced to I hear to my regret. and own who not only has widened the streets of his and embellished them with public buildings. notice that the Hamadanis were not too prompt in responding to this recommendation. a greater one. capital all I capable of executing Bizet. is I never took in before went there that Persia west of propped up so high above the world which lies is rest of the world. responsible for illus- Harrow and Sandhurst may be partly these enlightened notions. though. trious I fancy. himself a Satrap. I have. Sousa. He answered that he had hopes of widening and paving and he has since done so. On 191 the west there are only ease. or that part of the it. but who maintains one of the best brass bands in Asia. that the example of His Highnesses Papa entered into the This powerful personage is matter. of the many stories who is warden I Mesopotamian marches. as they know best who have travelled from the Persian Gulf to Shiraz. wolves. to the To climb into this country of the sky never a simple matter. I never had the pleasure of listening to it. Indeed I blush to add that our own lane might have been full of thieves.

000 notwithstanding the fact that they are said to pay Satrap Senior — 30. Picturesque as these operations are. route is But the Baghdad-Kermanshah still the one —or was before the war—by which back and English and Indian cottons and teas. The other is the older and steeper caravan trail which threads the passes of the Zagros range between Baghdad. On the other hand.000 tomans a year to keep the passes open. The trans-Caucasian railway has taken away the glory of the Trebizond-Tabriz route. however. and which Marco Polo travelled in his day. and that he is capable of taking from the tribesmen his fifty to ninety per cent.PERSIAN MINIATURES One of them is in the north. or Khanikin. the Kurds and the Lurs. It is whispered. The current rate before the war ran from six to twelve krans stony defiles. they are looked at somewhat coldly by the English. Now those passes are not only the borderland between Mesopotamia and Persia. near Lake Urumia. an animal. of the proceeds of their enterprise. as they wend their toilsome way through the and of either pillaging them to the quick or extorting frorri them a ransom of so much a camel.000. where the old caravan trail went from Trebizond to Tabriz. after sailing up the Tigris to Baghdad. whose Persian trade in the four years before the war fell off $1. about which Xenophon knew something. These good people have a habit of pouncing down on caravans. that the musical warden of the marches is not altogether a stranger to these operations. and Kermanshah. transship themselves to camel climb the ladders of Persia. but they are also the borderland between two of the most redoubtable tribes in Persia.000 tomans a year to keep the passes closed 192 ! When things get . the Russians are said to pay him 60.

and a town in the region of Kermanshah called Khorremabad. of the Anglo. the only navigable river in Persia. And whenever he takes the field with his army at his heels it is miraculous how As quickly the passes open —not to mention how generunder the double disad- ous the mountain chiefs become of their flocks and herds. under the old regime. however. Whereupon some one else paid the Lurs more to keep the surveyors out. for Satrap Junior. never- becomes a prince of the blood and a warden of marches. as He maintains. he suffers vantage of being a Gozlu grandees of much younger man than the KaraHamadan and of having no profitable At any rate. out of which he could not possibly defray his personal expenses. Lurs a matter of £400 to let alone a party of engineers who wanted to survey a possible route for a railway between the Karun.THE SATRAP too difficult for him he resigns. Russians have kindly relieved him of the Bulagh. they broke their agreement with the English. a standing army of his own. the passes under his jurisdiction. Another highly interesting example of the working. as he was for the eighth time while was During the same year the English paid the in Hamadan. for love or money. He is thereI upon reappointed. who 193 . At any rate. And then no one gets through the passes at all. do not pretend to know whether these things be true. fying the town. responsibilities of Sultan He complained bitterly to us that he had a alone beautitold us the budget of only 500 tomans a month.Russian Agreement of 1907 —and perhaps of the Potsdam Agree- ment I I of 19 10. theless. It let was not he. am merely quoting current gossip which further re- — ports that Satrap Senior is an exceedingly well-to-do and exceedingly thrifty old gentleman.

asked first to see a review of the troop. These. I had yet to learn that rugs are as much a matter of Everybody has them. the two professed conversation turned to that topic. Emulous no doubt of ment. the local representative of the Treasury Depart- pay and upkeep of fifty cavaliers. who had so forwarded the manufacture of rugs in Kermanshah. if I had asked the Mayor of Brockton if he collected boots. and nobody sentimentalises over For them. mounted. The Reis-i-Malieh. in some old technical language which is no longer understood outside the profession. from the course in Persia as kolas. richest to the poorest.PERSIAN MINIATURES tale of his bodyguard of twenty horsemen. Shuster's old lieutenants and an honest man. The bill for the Reis-i-Malieh therefore refused to honour the requisition of His Highness —who thought best not to press The Satrap his claim. So who shall say that As my Mr. and among its members the Reis-i-Malieh and his friends recognised various rowdies and idlers of the Bazaar. And I also had yet to learn why the Sah'b looked 194 . a his celebrated parent. At this the Sah'b and his friend looked so flabbergasted that I rushed in where they feared to tread and asked His Highness if he My question diverted him as much as collected rugs. being privately questioned. He added that the weavers there are not women but men and boys. The troop was accordingly reviewed. he sent in to the Reis- i-Malieh. in order to swell the Satrap's train. a desire to follow in the footsteps of his illustrious father. who instead of working from a painted pattern follow instructions that are sung to them by a foreman. replied without any hesitation that they had been offered five krans apiece to appear on that place and day. Shuster went to Persia in vain! companions were interested in rugs. who is one of Mr.

without asking permission to do so ceremonious Persian way —and without being had forgotten. clearing a of moss-troopers at the gate the square. ills There followed an awful moment in the anteroom. on parting from Firengis way with who were for the too poor to be accompanied by so much as one servant or to find in their pockets so much as one kran re- Governor's gate-keeper. his fortune increased. distracted by no doubt as to whether his second glass had been defiled by Christian lips. As for the Satrap. but without the European horror of cream. who stalked majestically in front of us. coats. was something to member. nevertheless. He no doubt heard the report of Silverstick. who drank his tea out of a glass in the proper way. and took the Sah'b for one of his own clerks. Those cups. chapter. in consequence. In the But that you shall not learn the next meantime we were served two rounds of tea. we bestowed upon the attendant underlings with an air of immense generosity. he never returned our call. 195 . or his assured. These. I suppose. his mace through a crowd and escorting us as far as His expression. Then we took in the leave. we discovered that we could scrape up between us no more than seventeen krans for tips. when and galoshes. nothing left for Silverstick.THE SATRAP so flabbergasted when His Highness spoke of the rugs of till Kermanshah. were instituted for the peace of mind of the old Setd. in European cups. But the worst was that we had after being inducted into our hats. that His Highness's house been purified by our presence.

) A judge at common law may he a genius. I sure to happen once a twelve-month. and when a new book about them appears. since Alexander went away we we have turn over our rug books. For the Sah'b is man as at is of rugs. the good people bought one on home send him out a copy.— XIII ABOUT RUG BOOKS (BUT TO BE SKIPPED BY THOSE WHO NEITHER READ NOR WRITE THEM. Of these himself a quite a collection. a good judge of a carpet must Edgar Allan Poe: philosophy of furniture WHENEVERmay — ment as we are hard up for amuseroyal happen even in Ecbatana. he an ordinary man. But they . his own account 196 don't think he ever — in English.

at nomad to mock at the famous Bode. than their . Mumford down. in made some sort of order inquired. he He and his book remains the most informing that If has hitherto been published in America. Martin. so does he deserve the glory. I mation which he is As for the flock of which he the spiritual father. J. There Austrian at are. Having acquitted one's conscience of this debt of honour one is bound to add that if we take Mr. of the pioneer. But his limitations have been those of oppor- tunity.ABOUT RUG BOOKS him for the fact that only one copy in three What can we do? Our of Life or Punch reaches us. wherever they got 197 it. destiny has given us to know from our youth up a quantity of simple matters which to this day remain dark to most And man must laugh. on those dark days when Life and Punch fail to turn up. the credit of having out of a picturesque chaos. I And hereby offer him a humble tribute of respect for having blazed out a way which many followers have done almost nothing to widen. rather than of good our country. must confess that we fmd it impossible to take these volumes very seriously: not even the fattest and most expensive of them. Mumford faith. grant that they generally give more practical information. At any rate. writers of rug books. travelled. is by no means infallible. he pays the penalty. of course. he studied. and our own side of the world. To him alone is due. of what Persians say about It is rug books and rug books. K. it is chiefly for certain inessential items of inforlets drop. whose authors' names are pronounced help to console I in whispers by all ladies in America. Mr. Mumford. not for a light-minded folios. or Strzygowski. or even Mr. They remind us too much of Babu English.

Mumford in the 'Omer down the road." and never to fail to say of it a border stripe that ''carries" such I and such a design? At all events. phrase. who love to bring forth sumptuous tomes more enlightening with regard to the myth of the Golden Fleece or the tomb of louiya and Touiyou than to the knots and knottinesses of rugs. as the print. tal rugs in is the great popularity of Orien- our country. their These authors have. Mumford. Mr. of But a own regroupings and emendations. saying so expressively goes. But it is hard to escape the conviction that without Mr. to Owen Jones. course. or one recognises again and again Mr. and Mr. MumMum- ford's mistakes. Mr. Mumford's textile tables. Mumford the names of few of these ladies and gentlemen would ever have seen What enables them to get away with it. and the greater ignorance of the countries from which they come^. or to Sir George Birdwood at the top of a learned —he who had the courage to write sheaf of paper Identity of "The Termless Antiquity Manufacture if of Integral the Oriental 1 of Sumptuary Carpets!" — can't help asking myself the author knows any more of the works in question than he gleaned from the pages"of Mr.'" 198 ." says Mr. " at 'winked back. whenever come across a reference to Pro- fessor Goodyear. trade to down to his very quotations and turns of Or was it already an established jargon of the abound in "conceits.' I have persistently 'winked and "Omer' has never once preface to his fourth edition. either the literature to which they contribute is new proof of an old saying about great minds. Mumford's general plan. them ever so much as breathe the name of their ghostly "For fifteen years. ford's facts.PERSIAN MINIATURES cousins oversea. But it is not because any of parent.

see the last introduction. have never heard of it outside of a rug book or a rug shop. Mumford explains a kis kilim as being a winter covering. and their spellings suffer accordingly. Whereas the real word is Yiiriik. variety which they call kts kilim. But Mr. is no such word in Persian Mr.. for one.ABOUT RUG BOOKS To make a complete catalogue of the misinformation which the rug fraternity hand on from one to another would need *'a painful man with his pen.* ties as applied to a certain class of Turkish rugs and translated with astonishing unanimity by our authorimeaning mountaineer. to which they attach not. however. For the name literally signifies a man who walks is : i. taking a a little further inform us that a kis kilim girl rug. all Yiiriiks are by no means mountaineers. a I. that there or Turkish as kis. Kish kilimi should be the true term — is if it actually exits. but not with tongues that are able to pronounce the Turkish language. a nomad. e. an affecting history of dowries and what *For the spelling followed in this book. And they of the two paragraphs 199 . A more in complicated case Persia as gilim that of the napless carpets known and in Turkey as kilim. God has gifted the Levantine merchants of Polycarp's city with eloquent and with ingenious tongues. Mumford's followers. counsel. perhaps. is One reason. None of the rug books seem to be aware of this simple fact. They all mention. thereby leading one to suspect that his informant was a Smyrniote. and while some mountaineers are Yiirtiks. and as much patience as he had.'* A characteristic mild example is the name Yuruk. who wrote the Lives and Deaths of if the Martyrs.

consisting of one large carpet. I have no doubt that Mr. and its purpose furnishing tents or rooms of different sizes with the rugs. The origin of the runner tent. and of two more runners whose length is equal either to that of the carpet or to that of the carpet plus the width of the first runner.PERSIAN MINIATURES are equally wrong. a dasteh. but I doubt very much whether he ever saw any- thing of the sort in Persia or other parts of the East that are farther from Western influences. like a team is of for horses. literally a handful. with a vowel sound that neither a Greek nor an American can pronounce. You pays your money and you takes your choice. perhaps. when necessary with the acMr. Such a set is called. of one runner as long as that carpet is wide. piecing out the carpet same companying runners. Nor can the allu- sion to the triclinium be otherwise than imaginative when real the habit of the Near East six is to eat on the floor. makatlik. the long rugs technically known as runners were originally quite a story intended for divan covers. dragging in the classic triclinium and fixing the places of greater and of lesser honour on rugs of different sorts. and divans covered with runners. Not so incorrect. of the same pattern and colour. and they of the arrangement of make an Oriental interior. is a whole family of words which our authors quote in classifyThus they tell us that ing rugs according to their uses. has justly been discarded 200 . but more misleading. since the word to which they refer should be kt:^. Mumford has seen Turkish rooms sur- rounded on three sides by divans. squatting about little round tables or eight inches high. was probably in the tradition of the In Persia particularly sets of rugs are quite com- mon. Mumford's name for those by his suc- runners.

among other things. being a suffix -ing. the last thing a guest his place thereon. something stance. however. is rarer in an Oriental house than a is The cooking done when possible outside. At night. — edge. the material out of which saddle bags are made. many descant on its place in Oriental hospitality. though no one attempts to fix its as sofa covering. they are all taken from the Ottoman Turkish language.— ABOUT RUG BOOKS cessors. for indiscretion because must be accepted with double heihelik should be heihelik and because heiheh alone means saddle bag meaning. So most of your hearth rugs. in the open or in a detached kitchen. to Persian and Turkish alike. called in Persian a kurst. and to therefore do not apply weaves from other countries. the vowel sound of that suffix undergoes varia- 201 . And. that must be accepted with like discretion. good people. were used in connection with it. it our own suffix Hehhelik. may roughly be translated and kenari as bordering from kenar. lik In the second place. for the simple reason that nothing hearth. who give them their true name of kenart. In the place. while for heating. which is common place with relation to those doubtful divans. But I question if many of them can have been made for that purpose. As for the so-called odjalik or odjaklik. places are fire- much less popular than a device which If I have a rug already mentioned. are nothing more or less than beds. he would be given such a rug to sleep and perhaps another for a quilt. in the third place. Ma- katlik. if It means. a hearth rug. you insist. which I would correct and simplify as ojakUk. would be invited to do would be to take on. Mum- ford was the first to introduce are not first much more trust- worthy. as the word should be. The various other words ending in lik which Mr.

is The most lating to the serious of this family of errors the one re- word sedjadeh or sejjadeh. they are never of any one affirm. is the term turhehlik. It may. grave rug. nor are they ever used. For sejjadeh is derived from the Arabic root meaning worship. in class. Mumford's disciples have improved upon him in certain minor details. where they come in contact with soap and water. Still more misleadIt does not mean a ing. be a carpet of medium size. which are much commoner than with us and which go in Turkish by the name of tiirheh. however. What they very frequently do is to leave rugs as votive offerings in mausoleums. as I would prefer to spell it. ally term a namailik are both one and the same a prayer rug. however. as the rug books any part of a Turkish bath.PERSIAN MINIATURES tions which this is not the place to explain but which the rug books never indicate. Misleading in another the so-called hammamlik. at any rate. Many Turkish mosques contain huge Ushak carpets whose design consists of a multitude of pointed panels. Mr. or bath rug. for while way is rugs may be found in the dressing rooms of baths. Such a carpet is as much But to say of the a sejjadeh as a small rug of one panel. but no one of them has ever yet discovered that a sejjadeh and what they unidiomaticnamely. latter that every Mohammedan carries one around with 202 . nor do the people of the Near East leave rugs in cemeteries. Thus the so-called grave rug is really identical with the so-called Mecca rug. and by no means signifies a carpet of medium size. which nise as forming is often a prayer rug but which the more discerning of our authors recog- no distinct species. This is a case where a little knowledge of Oriental languages is good for writing about matters — — Oriental. or of the largest possible size.

God in the most abject humility. or so as ** much about every Mohammedan : possessing his '' own prayer rug. the author goes on to say By means of a small compass he spreads his rug so that the mihrab or niche points toward Mecca. Far rarer is that precious cake of dried 203 . 321). prayer rugs would be commoner than any other kind of a rug. If that were true. it would be hard to fmd more crowded into one page than may be read in Dr. These he places just under the niche and then. Now hardly one of these statements is Com- passes are sometimes carried by pilgrims and travellers. G. next to godliness" (p." And elsewhere Dr. Lewis's Practical Book of Oriental Rugs" (2d ed. Lewis ''is propounds the alternative theory that the mihrab supposed to imitate the form of the Mihrab at in the temple Mecca" (p. he combs his beard. Then removing all in order to appear before money and jewellery from his person. but so rarely that the different directions in which they pray is one of the stock matters of pleasantry among Mohammedans.ABOUT RUG BOOKS owns one. 108). Which is far from being the case. The mihrab his or niche on which the worshipper places sacred mosque at head represents the door of a mosque and reminds those who use it of the Mecca. produces a rosary of ninety-nine beads and a dried cake of earth which came from Mecca. and that the is so-called comb designed of the on some Turkish prayer rugs ''an emblem Mohamis medan faith to remind the devout that cleanliness true. where Mohammed's body after lies.. Of all the gibberish that has been written on this subject. p. G. his his hands outstretched on either he performs his devotions. After the usual remark him. resting head on the earth with side. 121). is absurd.

if What panel of a prayer rug represents. And the pointed panel of the prayer tug neither represents the door of a mosque nor the mihrab of the temple at Mecca. set in first That silver. The temple at Mecca contains no mihrah. buried in Medina. Mothe hammed. which at no moment — of his devotions does he stretch out from his side. which most decidedly is not an emblem of the Mohammedan faith. un- they happen to be gold and he happens to be extremely orthodox. and the preparations for prayer have more to do with running water than with a comb. coats. Neither are you ever likely to see a rosary of ninety-nine beads though you might see one of sixty-six beads. then drops to his knees. Lewis is our favourrug books. But the rosary plays no part in the rite of the prayer rug. and when used its place is in the owner's hand. rugs were made to put into such a niche. The common number is thirty-three. then. the devotee stands. Nor does he remove less money and is jewellery from his person. of as it happens. Most devotees content themselves with any kind of carpet or matting to pray on —or even their own On the whole. anything. As why so many fme Oriental stones are for the procedure of prayer. of Do you wonder. if I affording us a kind of pleasure that their authors never think Dr. is the mihrab an ordinary mosque —a niche roughly corresponding to and the finest of single-panelled the altar of a church.PERSIAN MINIATURES earth from Mecca. that rug books are capable intended? ite. being itself the centre of the axes of the Mohammedan is world. if other con venienceslack. repeating these three positions a different number of times according to circumstances. He is one may also the favourite of those who buy judge from the fact that he went in two years 204 . Moreover. and finally prostrates himself.

And it is applied not only to Bijar but to any smallish carpets which are too heavy to be folded when out of use. able to learn.' meaning 'jewel'" 163). which another place Dr. 222). of cf. or emits such samples of Turkish as she is spoke as ubrech (rat's and sechrudisih is —for ihrik (pitcher) and stchan dishi all is or mouse's tooth)? his The pearl of this collection. though he is on the right track. as Mr. And As his book would have deserved its title if he had only taken the trouble to it is. and are therefore rolled. a less common word for pearl. Some Armenian rug dealer must have stuck a fluent tongue in a capacious cheek when he achieved that etymology that as I —for I would gladly entertain the hypothesis So far is it did not burst from the brain of Dr. "a corruption (p. there am no word is in Persian which remotely resembles roulei. 79). and But no corruption of it nor. Luleh is a word which both in Persian and in Turkish luleh is Lewis provides the form roules with that meaning. make it accurate and consistent. when he talks about Greek Mohammedans or reveals to us that a talismanic triangle often tattooed on a Turk's body (p. I am willing to is touch the more knowing how 205 far the East from . On matters of geography and spelling lightly. Lewis. — means pipe or tube. 1 37). is considered in the Near East a sacred animal no). 349. of words the most mystifying to his brothers of the craft. statement that lule. how can we keep is straight faces (p. is There a in word lulu.ABOUT RUG BOOKS into two editions. of the French roulei. of Persian rug makers or announces that a dog (p. however. the Persian word 'roulez. or luleh. Mumford avers. or says that green is a favourite colour (p.

semi- independent tribes living partly under Persian and partly under Turkish suzerainty. And Anatolia is usually spoken of as if it existed in some fourth a surprised reader . then the Armenian rug dealer around the corner. Ellwanger of the most accessible region of "the Orient'' that "most of the rugs commerce Is in this country come from Persia. or haply some traveller turned alive from what they invariably term "the Orient. prefer to consult.. Asia Minor. with its loosely related. W." Kurdistan." dimension entirely outside the peninsula in question. for instance. the Mediterranean and Red Seas" (p. But after phia. Lewis informs us that it is bounded "on the south by Arabia. all libraries do containing fairly reliable books of reference. D. if Yet our authors seem to re- not one another. who might have information to impart. who do not readily take in the conception to of that Asiatic — Poland. and producing within a few miles of each other such totally different weaves as the 206 . Turkestan p. is him a constant stumbling block as indeed it is to most westerners.PERSIAN MINIATURES the West and how its recalcitrant the English alphabet to let render own sounds.'* Thus we of learn from Mr. perhaps not unnatural that the rug-geographer becomes more involved in obscurity as he penetrates farther into "the Orient. And even in New York and Philadelconceivably whence emanate most of these instructive works. 13." wrong in drawing the inference that Turkey and Asia Minor are supposed to have no connection with each other? Of the latter Dr.. 342). Whereas the name It is is merely the Greek one for Asia Minor —from which the Turks derive their Anadol. exist.) ("The Oriental Rug. there dwell orientalists of repute. Turkey. alone those of other languages.

(p. the Iranian. the it vast majority of Persians neither under- stand nor are transplanted Turks. of which not the least astounding is that no one but Mr. But while the reigning dynasty is of Turkoman origin. 165) he says "that the Persian of a transplanted Turk. And even Mr. Mumford opens edition the preface of his fourth with the strange information that in Persia the itself. 350). and while a Turkish dialect is spoken in Azerbaijan and to a lesser extent in the neighbourhood — — of Hamadan. that the language used is over the greater part of the empire a peculiar form of is Turkish. Whence will appear the true beauty of giving that name. 349. as dealers and rug books love to do. and of twice repeating. As for Turkestan and the Caucasus. "the past decade has witnessed downfall of a dynasty.'* The pure Persian no doubt as rare a bird as the pure Italian. usually of a particular fact. Lewis. I cannot deny that the Caucasus is politically a part of Russia though I would — 207 . has been for a space the newest of republics.ABOUT RUG BOOKS So does Dr. and that the pure Persian. however. Lewis find it in him to say that "the southern part of Armenia is called have read asKurdistan'' (p. . and indeed of the throne While elsewhere to-day is The oldest of empires '* . avis in the land is a rara whose name he bears. they might as well be Mars and the moon. Of Persia proper Bijar and the "Sehna/' I tounding things. say. Mumford's mistakes. a too broad application He would be incapable of announc- ing like Dr. 202. 218). lie in Mr. that Laristan and Luristan are identical (pp. Mumford seems to recognise Iran as the name by which the Persians at this moment designate their own country. to a certain class of rugs from the province of Irak Ajemi. or the pure Christian.

. Englishmen and Americans have always been notorious so. But no Russian ever made a least of all a Yuriik rug." who ways when is it is Mark that it "translated''! true that the Arabic alphabet short of vowels. You would think. Kazak a corruption of Cossack. Khiva. but represent combinations of sounds as in short-hand. In the finer points of orthography the rug book people are not wholly to blame for the fantastic things they do. so that the IS same word translated It is spelled in a great variety of into English . Merv. To call any rate.. it the different races use twist as variously as and that do the people of Europe the long-suffering Roman alphabet. 63). Nor. Samarkand. And if the Caucasus be Russia. their general failure to give a key to their own pronunciation.PERSIAN MINIATURES not stake my head on the certainty of its so remaining to rug. and the importance they attribute to variant forms. so are the trans-Caspian provinces. Lewis perhaps ex- mind when he confides to us (p. presses their general state of Dr. at them for the liberties they take with foreign is names. as Mr. and that it is all the same whether you say Bokhara. or Turkestan. Ellwanger seems to mate (p. to read their classifications. would save the rug-scriveners from the No Man's Land they make of that vast and littlevisited region. or inti- the end of time. that east of the Caspian one name is good as another. note) that "in the Turkish and Persian languages the vowels are frequently silent and the characters do not stand for single consonants. But neither in Persian nor in Turkish are there short-hand 208 . the case being exactly the contrary. 341. as the rug books inform us with is wonderful unanimity. But there more than a suspicion of unscholarliness in the unsys- tematic spelling of these books.

who wrote the epics of "Khosrev and Shirin" and "Majnun and Leila". Some say the that the proper name should be Guenja. He would also have found out that the elusive 209 . and to choose a consistent method of rendering that English. Lewis had thought of fit to consult other authorities than his predliterature of rugs. and Guenjes. and famous as the birthplace of the Persian poet Nizami. living in the vicinity If Others is that they should be called Genghis. The bottom is of the matter that neither Dr.ABOUT RUG BOOKS combinations of consonants —unless the same thing may is be said of Greek and Russian. giving as "synonyms" Guenja. Dr. in the Transcaucasus. which the name of the tribe of Nomads them*' of Elizabethpol who weave American (p. Lewis or Genjeh has caused fountains of ink to flow. which he directs us to pronounce Jen'-gis. it name in is that the author of "The Practical Book of Oriental Rugs'' encumbers his pages with a quantity of so called synonyms. calls the rugs of this district Genghis. Lewis nor any one else will take the trouble to fmd out how a name Thus pronounced in its own country. A case in point is the town vetpol. which was ancient name insist of Elizabethpol. ecessors in the one or two a whom relate "Genghis'' to the conqueror Chingiz Khan. Sasanian king of Persia. that "author- Guendja. in the fifth or sixth century of our era. from whence they came. whose older name of Ganja Dr. founded by Kobad I. is he would very easily have found out that Ganja perfectly well-known town. 267). which are nothing but variant —and usually very incorrect — spellings he has of Elisa- chanced to pick up. ities differ He goes on to state greatly as to the origin of the name. which are richer than English in having single letters to represent such sounds as th or sh.

so. I am happy to recognise that Dr. is — termed Hamadani. but Hamidieh is a Turkish adjective made out of the name Hamid. and with so or proof-reading. Lewis does not direct us get to sound the g. They are disagreeable . would save him from such horrors Of the last as Af-ghan'-is-tan. Diverting as his "synonyms'' are. pains at verification lions? throw themselves to the easier for a One reason is that it is camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for an Anglo-Saxon to it into his head that the h in Bokhara and Daghestan means something. the correct form. And. equivalent to the Ottoman Turkish li by which Mr. ble And as can be arrived at in English. about as nearly. or Fer'-a-ghan. — — and that a final / is a Persian and Azeri Turkish suffix of origin. it is useless to attempt to reform the Anglo-Saxon world in the matter of pronouncing those two gutturals gh and 210 kh. Where in the world he fished up Hamadie I can't imagine. it is when we come to the glossary at the end of his book that should the rafters of Ecbatana Well. Ganji or Genji. Lewis gives the baroque "synonyms" Hamadie and Hamidieh. having no more to do with Hamadan then our own adjective Augustan.PERSIAN MINIATURES vowel sounds of that Persian name which is used to this day by thousands of Caucasians vary between a and e. because they are neatly encased in mud. the rug book people And how little know any better. poor dears? Yet why should they voluntarily. contraction. A man or a thing from Hamadan is locally by a perfectly comprehensiWhich. they can hardly ring. Mumford not too correctly designates a man of Hamadan. however. at all events. Of Hamadan itself Dr. To do so. and that practically every word in his Oriental vocabulary must be accented on the last syllable. An-go'-ra. after all.

All this. but I 130).ABOUT RUG BOOKS sounds. One expert. used in describing the so-called Princess Bokharas. however. authoress of "Rugs in Their Native Land. it lacking such a word of their own. offered ample oppor- tunity to continue the study of Oriental rugs begun in America. . we know it isn't fair to chuckle too loudly about people who haven't been as lucky as we. The first is the noise you make in your throat when you gargle. The Armenian name for a cross is khach. has little to rug books. is theArmenian name for cross. I do not like could hardly help asking myself which of the various languages of the country this lady meant saw how she spelled names. while the second is the worse noise you make when you have a cold and set about clearing your will But it if you are ever so impolite as to hawk. and one must use disagreeable terms in describing them. which rugs. part of the time in the far interior. alias hatchli and hardjUe. and that letters throat — exist to express them in the eastern as in some western languages. and when I read that khatchlt. which might better be simplified for Anglo-Saxon readers when I as hach. do you no harm to remember that those sounds are perfectly distinct from a simple g or k. of course." And elsewhere she alludes to her familiarity (p. borrow from the Armenians the Greeks —and on occasion add 211 —to say nothing here of their own suffix of origin. is do with the serious part of the description and classification of And even if we in Ecbatana can't help an occasional chuckle." confesses that "a residence of many years in Turkey. with the language of the country to seem rude to a lady. The Turks.

I of the stock misnomers which the Thus she classes am told. She misses her chance of writing something really first-hand and personal about rugs. even in that limited is part of their native land with which she acquainted. The sole connection that — a Mosul rug has with Mosul is that a certain class of small in that city Kurdish rugs were once collected dealers. cross. oftener from Persian Kurand from the region around Hamadan extending even as far south as Malayir. high-piled rugs of the poorer qualities. meaning crossed. and she repeats many rug books bid fair to make permanent. is a Turkish form. and practically none are now shipped from there or were before the war." They are small. loo).— PERSIAN MINIATURES ^ description. loosely woven. 86. the Mosul — Musul. Dunn having availed herself of the ample opportunity she menfail tions. As a matter of fact. 102). therefore. or possession. partly from Turkish. and states that more rugs are made in and shipped from that district than from any other except Smyrna (pp. distan. — lets slip a brilliant opportunity to tell her fellow connois- 212 . or having a Truth further obliges me to confide in the reader that I to find any particular evidence of Miss or Mrs. Hachli. //. is the local pronunciation among Turkish products. 1900 this trade has passed to the other side of the tains. by Jewish Since on behalf of their principals in Baghdad. There are other things about the obscure subject of Kurdistan that a lady who has lived in the far interior of Turkey might have told us. But she leaves us to gather what is far from the fact that the inhabitants are all of And she the one Dersim tribe she mentions (p. comparatively few rugs are made in the neighbourhood of Mosul. moun- and Hamadan is now the market for "Mosuls.

ABOUT RUG BOOKS seurs what none suspect. however. The Tabrizis. What the Satrap told us to the contrary was either the exception that proves the rule or a quotation from his reminiscences of another province. of Kermanshah. but that she shows other evidences of having gone outside the pages of her colleagues for her information. and that "Sehna" rugs are travels in Kurdish and not Persian. Mumford seems to that the town they oftenest name "Sehna" is of purely Kurdish. 78). all *' Kirmanshas. them except Mr. Mumford was the to give it. voice to that the serious student will hardly learn from Mrs. in turn. that she by no means alone first this astonishing belief. Kirmans. in hasten to add. have influenced the modern output one and the same. which does happen to be an important wool and trading centre. except that the modern industry in Tabriz was started by weavers from Kerman. Langton how to know Oriental rugs. Mr. it is hardly an exaggeration to aifirm that no rugs are or ever were made there. As 213 . being —as Sauj Bulagh used to be —the capital of Persian Kurdistan. in her little book on ''How I might add in passing to Know Oriental Rugs'' (p. and bearing the latter I name that they are is made in Tabriz. mans. included Persia But we can hardly assume that they when she makes a distinction between asserts of carpets "Kirmansha" and Kermanshah. who imported their own designs and methods of work. The name grew out of for Meshed. and it has been followed more or less faithfully by every one of his successors whom I have consulted except Mary Beach Langton.'* The truth is that Kerand "Kermanshahs" are They have nothing whatever to do with either Kermanshah or Tabriz. With regard to her remoter regions of "the Orient" our authoress maintains a discreet reticence.

or Mushkabad. when 117). A " Kermanshah" is merely a better example And when the rug is unusually of a modern Kerman.PERSIAN MINIATURES the ignorance or perverted ingenuity of dealers. very nearly as far as the East from the West. who were confused by its similarity to the name of Kermanshah. is For Meshed is Meshed. as I always am in museums to fmd a certain kind of mediaeval pottery labelled Sultanabad. Eliza — which. out of the magniloquence of his own exuberant heart. and one that I recollect having encountered elsewhere. he pronounces it. so remote a knew nothing about town as big. a "royal Kermanshah. and it is time . in is "Meshed Persia. might be surprised to hear that most modern Saruks are Kum woven in the latter place. do not come from Dunn makes do not a less pardonable confusion. 103. and Sultanabad is its modern successor. and the dealer wishes to be unusually impressive. and whose romantic eyes were attracted by the termination of the latter. I am delighted to give this lady the credit of recognising that the so-called Bokhara rugs are really Turkoman. Meshed and Muskabad. she speaks of or Muskabad" (pp." A precisely similar case is that of the so-called royal or princess it "Bokharas" Bokhara. as happens." A about as much as a Boston New York 214 Khiva Bokhara means just one. who Kerman. Sultanabad —of the better town between Mushkabad was the name of a and Sultanabad which the longbearded Fat'h Ali Shah destroyed about a hundred years Eliza Dunn ago. But otherwise she does nothing to dispel the haze of ignorance that makes possible so preposterous a misnomer as "Khiva Bokhara. while Mushkabad classes. are.

and Turbat-i-Haidari. if tend myself to whether rugs know anything about ^re made in any part of Beluchistan. The other two syllables are added by logical-minded westerners jumping at conclusions. all. Merv Tekkeh. I do not predo know. II I have already intimated. that most of the Beluch rugs of commerce. the of capital of that region and an important centre of rug weaving. I however. for pitch their black tents in The two chief markets them are Birjand. They woven by nomad Beluchis who the lower part of that province. she veers a point nearer the truth than most of her fellowscribes. or it.ABOUT RUG BOOKS the rug people had the courage to say so. from Kerman. and heaven only knows how many other kinds of Tekkeh Turkomans. that it is I am ready to repeat in so many possible to go too far in making merry over books which never intended to say the last word on an extremely complicated subject. Our authoress little runs the gauntlet of a certain proverb about a knowledge when she asserts that the Turkoman "prayer rugs are called Tekke from their use in Tekkes or places of worship*' (p. but from Khorasan. some ninety miles south Meshed —not to be confused In the with another Turbat nearer the Afghan border. In the matter of Beluchistan. 132). apparently oblivious to the fact that there are in Transcaspia tribes of Akhal Tekkeh. as Eliza Dunn are states. If the reader will grant me that it is one of the 215 first impulses of man to . Asiatic trade these rugs are rightly called Beluch. who outdo each other in moving descriptions of the hot and arid homeland of Beluch rugs. and words. again. not come neither from Beluchistan nor.

like marbles or canvases or other products more aristocratic arts. will also alike in that they are the common property of all man- of the and not. an authoritative literature on the subject. expensive picture water. or of the standards of criticism accepted among us. The fact is that not one of their authors possesses the equip- 216 . say. The field is still open to whom- ever will take But it will never be taken in any such way as the one flattering hitherto followed by American writers. It is no proof of what we know of the East and less its arts. surely they deserve a study no less special- than etchings. as indeed more than one writer of rug books has pointed out. for his own part. certain other departments of creative activity. improvised out of as Mr. Consequently the bounds between art and industry in these two forms of weaving are vaguer than in kind. the guarded possession of a chosen few. it. I will grant the reader that it is something for an inhabitant of New York or Philadelphia to have found out his floor where so many of the rugs on that the present less critic. or The simplest hand- book of any other art or industry presupposes a background of knowledge entirely foreign to these books. And the owner of ten or twenty-five or sixty Asiatic rugs needs less courage to make a book about them than the possessor of a similar ings. came from and knows very much — about I it than the most unreliable of the writers he critigrant that rugs and words are something cises. number of old Chinese porcelains or Italian paintis Moreover. that publishers can go on issuing these more or books. there not yet. art or as household conveniences.PERSIAN MINIATURES laugh at the misnaming of things and places familiar to him. Mumford and Whether we regard rugs ised works of textiles.

for one. declare that Arabic Near East (p. Ellwanger. It naturally makes one distrust everything they have to say. is to sit down with Mr. And I. It is true enough that our knowledge and enjoyment of 217 . Constantinople. however. dictating until the need of on some obscure point —when they seek enlightenment from an Armenian rug pedlar or from the buyer of a department store who any has been three times to Smyrna. Their condiffer ception of "the Orient. rate. Tiflis. Lewis air his views of the Arabic all alphabet." "hehbelik/' rugs. for the lingua franca of the instance." at seems not to very materially from the Persian idea of Firengtstan. which for the common run of Iranians lumps America all with Europe and presupposes for us a common history and language.ABOUT RUG BOOKS ment to write a satisfactory rug book. and Tabriz. Mumford raphy illumination in one hand and a school geogthey feel in the other. Otherwise how is could Mr. must repeat that he deserves work in an empty field. or Dr. I If I include Mr. as applicable to prayer and so forth? They are not to blame for not knowing Arabic and all the other languages and dialects of Asia. But they are scarcely to be commended for volunteering information about matters of which they know little or nothing. one gathers from their books. or their colleagues one and trot out their all ''namaiUk. am unable to comprehend their childlike faith in the gentlemen of the trade. saddlebags. 122). great credit for his pioneer Mumford Their method. have done practically nothing to clarify and add to the data which he made available to them. His followers. For they persist in following a method by which it is hopeless to arrive at any solid result. etc. in this assertion..

And the professional rug buyer is first and foremost a business man. it does not follow that he is infallible rest. Few American buyers. orthography. or ever troubled themselves about little matters like geography. Is it necessary to point out that because a man happens to buy or sell rugs." But it is as easy for him as for any one else to give a particular fact a general application. and knows how to distinguish many varieties of them. authorities. for Few of them. our best But while some dealers are educated men.PERSIAN MINIATURES Oriental rugs has been gained chiefly in the way of trade. or ethnology. constitutionally more willing '' to utter the simple phrase I don't know. and that dealers were long. ever in their lives hesitated an answer. they do not appear to be the ones to whom the rug book people apply. philology. the actual truth of the reply being quite a secondary matter. with regard to every phase of the subject? For the few Armenian rug dealers in America ever set their foot in any centre of rug weaving. or to think that "Iran** and "Kermanshah" and " Khiva Bokhara'' are good enough names for certain recognised kinds of rugs. I like to any one else questions about commerce in which he is enthink. I have perhaps gone too far about to intimate what might have been said in a sentence: that the writer of a 218 . For the Oriental point of view is that courtesy requires an answer to a question. either. perhaps still are. or even to speak one or two of the languages of their makers. not much more likely than his Armenian colleague to ask himself or the broader aspects of the gaged. He is. remain in the countries they visit long enough to acquire much first-hand information. and have enjoyed wide experience in centres both of rug selling and rug weaving. furthermore.

Consider. the places they come He should know something about and their art. book should be a connoisseur doubled He should possess exact and detailed of rugs. the languages of those places. Orientalist. their history. the Mr." Meshed.— ABOUT RUG BOOKS satisfactory rug by an knowledge from. Herat. Most of our authors classify carpets on geographical lines. they further confuse the reader by jumping from their geographical similarities of classification other systems based on weave or design. And Dr. enumerating the different countries of Asia where rugs are woven and taking some account of those countries of the different provinces —especially in Persia. for instance. which justly fills so large a part of every rug book. the chief city of that province —while maintaining a mysterious other weaves of Khorasan. this industry if you prefer. based on however false a geography. their customs. How else can he avoid such or hope to write a pitfalls as I have already pointed out. book worthy of ranking with serious For this art. their manufacture. And he should have in him enough of a critical method to be capable of putting his material into workmanlike form. is too complex and set in too unfamiliar a background to be adequately treated by a foreigner without a studies of other arts? lifetime of research. a distinction between a Thus most of them make Meshed rug and a Khorasan silence with regard to Meshed being. Mumford. of course. invents name Kirmanieh. the important detail of classification. further 219 . to say nothing of their geography. under which he includes not only Kerman but " Khorasan. And besides taking these and other to liberties with the map. and Shiraz. again. But they also cling to trade names. Lewis transfers Kashan to Azerbaijan.

partly accounts for such absurd trade names as ''Iran" and " Kermanshah. for example. Yet over it Kum reigns in the rug books a twilight of darkest Africa. the Fera'han-Saruk-Serabend country. But there are undreamt of subtleties even behind the most straightforward name.'' names Such trade Mushkabad. composed Dr. then. are more legitimate. How. admit. can they possibly classify I with accuracy or perspective? The problem. is far from simple. us that there are over (p. If he had said five hundred he would have fallen short of the truth. until the writers of the books talking about. ern manufacturers to designate different grades of their own Sultanabads. fifty varieties of commercial rugs that there are i6i). which stretched to include may be tively small area produces Persia.PERSIAN MINIATURES making great distinctions between Ardelan and Eastern Kur- distan which do not square with the facts. The fact is many more Which kinds of rugs than any one seems to suspect. dan. it originally extending from the Elburzrange to Isfahan. and Savalan. while on a midsummer holiday. library But it will never be solved in a New York —or even magnum in the I saloon of an excursion boat on the Great Lakes. trade is know what they are and what perhaps no one in the American competent to tell them. on the other hand. or a camel ground diapered 220 . now means to the Persians the country around Sultana- bad. This comparamore rugs than any other in by no means inaccessible. where. is A Hamain a universally described in the books as having a camel border. one of the most popular of our authors. having been invented by modas Mahal. As Irak for the north-central Persian province of Ajemi. and it is and Kashan. am informed. Lewis tells his opus.

then. name a pole medallion.ABOUT RUG BOOKS Jighter shade. This is particularly true of a country like whose interior provinces and exterior frontiers 221 . abouts. and geography. not one of And until 1912. because they are woven in the region of Hamadan and marketed expert by its here. while none of the places they mention. Famenin. A that primary it essential. of a satisfactory rug book is should include reliable maps. And every other rug centre has similar local subdivisions. For no contemporary atlas can shifted even in the lifetime of show how boundaries have existing rugs. or there- them came from the town The plain shotori (camel-coloured) Hamadan. In this respect the existing books are woefully deficient. Hamadan is made in of the adjoining district of Mehraban. — all as truly Hamadans as the camel rugs. etc. them show the whereabouts of all Much less do any of them give This detailed charts of the principal centres of weaving. Others are from Borchalu. Kabutraheng. Only on geographical lines can any clear idea be gained of the different schools of rugs. Few of tain even approximately accurate plans of them conany Asiatic country. Injelas. to follow a But it is not enough contemporary atlas. is the less excusable because the whole background of this art whose masterpieces bear the names of cities is tribes. Erzamfud. ornamented with what our authors elegantly Whereas the majority of Hama- dans are of quite other types. yet each distinctly recognisable to the own local characteristics. while the diapered or shtreh-shekeri (syrupy!) is from a place called Dargezin. however exact —as these are at times to teach us. provinces. the vast majority of which remain unknown to the books. or any foundation be laid for their history and an under- standing of their mutual relations. Persia.

developed so early and so widely? We whose know. is intimately asso- ciated with the historical. And small matters like colour and design are often intimately connected with those variations. would be extremely interesting to find out who discovered civilisation this secret. whereas we are well aware that the secret of knotting strands of coloured wool on a foundation of taut strings And it is of far more antique invention. again. As for Khorasan. The geographical background. with more informa- Jews and the Egyptians than about the people of the colder regions which are the true habitat of the rug. origins As yet we know next affiliations of to nothing about the and our art. The latter has hitherto been treated in far too tion about the summary a manner.PERSIAN MINIATURES have varied enormously throughout the long period during which weavers have sat at looms. of that empire. indeed. to have been the birthplace of the Iranian race. Yet writers of rug books apologise for relating Herat to Meshed when it is not a hundred years since an imaginary line was drawn between them. The 222 Chinese. Northern Armenia and Mosul have frequently been subject to Mesopotamia has oftener than not been a part Persia. to for centuries as remember that Transoxiana was a part of Persia as Ears: is much supposed. it is now scarcely a quarter of the immense Province of the Sun which formerly ran out to the Oxus and included much of modern Afghanistan. . Thus the eastern half of the Transcaucasus was Persian far longer than it has been Russian. too. It is extremely important. perhaps. and scarcely two hundred since the Afghans made their official — entrance into history. The oldest existing samples of rug weaving are fragments of the thirteenth or fourteenth centuries.

who passed through Asia Minor toward the end of the thirteenth century. that long before the Christian era caravans were passing to and fro between Mongolia and Khorasan. least dabbled by the neighbouring Turks of inner Asia.'' ''the finest and handsomest carpets excessively difficult to This is. Pars. but innumerable other European chroniclers 223 . caused carpets for his palace to be woven at Shiraz. in the shape of old Persian and Arabic geographies or histories. at Tabriz. and Anatolian like weaves which look landmarks of an old migration. A pretty point waits to be established. Under the Mongols of the thirteenth century a school of up in what is now the province of Mazanderan. blances between There are resem- Turkoman. the Mongolian Khan of Persia to whom Marco Polo brought a princess out of China. a subject approach. and that this Persian manufacture was at in Birjand. by reason of a lack of documents. the Turks took with them into how much Asia Minor. Caucasian. too.ABOUT RUG BOOKS at all events. Samarkand. Marco Polo does not specifically mention the carpets of Kerman." while have noted in Howorth's "History of the Mongols'' that Ghazan. looms were busy rugs grew At the same period and even Mesopotamia. found Greeks and Armenians weaving in the world. Certain documents do exist. Yet Marco Polo. in and Tashkent were centres of carpet weaving. And not only did the Venetians who two hundred years later I visited the court of the Turkoman king Uzun Hasan. however. of course. Thus we know that as long ago as the tenth century Bokhara. but he speaks of "hangings for the use of noblemen. have a great deal to say in passing about his beautiful carpets. and how much as to they found there when they arrived.

or describing the enormous jewelled carpet which the Arab conquerors found and cut up at Ctesiphon in 637. A detail of less namely spelling. and the And more to the point than quoting Scripture Odyssey. books to be made out of the museums. at is least ("Oriental Rugs. as said a few pages back. Antique and Modern "). between them a little light which should shed no on the history of our art. because the Roman alphabet was not invented to on how to convey plicated spell the English language. if he has not found time to go so thoroughly into the subject as Bode and Lessing. which with the exception of the Ardebil of South Kensington and a few other celebrated carpets remain strangely There are entire unknown to most of our experts. for the inaccuracies and inconsistencies in which our authors abound. occasionally dip. but one of which a scholarly is rug book would take cognisance. as well as geographers and Hence that d in writers of travel. Hawley. These are the old masters of the art. " sedjadeh'' and that / in "khatchli/' which are necessary 224 ^ . importance. would be a chapter graph —on —there is room for a fat the rugs of pictures. The old monoDutch and priceless Italian painters could furnish collection. aware. W. and be- cause the users of that language have not yet fully agreed its sounds. I There is the more excuse. Other documents that wait to be deciphered are the historic rugs in public and private collections. A. The case is further com- by the fact that other sharers of the Roman alphabet have sounds and systems of their own. Of this Mr.PERSIAN MINIATURES • • and travellers of the Middle Ages mention that famous product of Persia. into which the rug book people. one already touched on.

Nor. The of ancient city of Gordium. happily editors coming into vogue among our own 225 . we seldom agree how to convey the sound of that form to the Anglo-Saxon eye and tongue. or even of Persian Kurdistan the name of their capital. enjoys a no is less wonderful variety of which the Turkish Gyor- dez and the modern Greek Yorthes —with the th hard. again.ABOUT RUG BOOKS to the fluous ally Frenchman but superfluous is for us. like family. There are too many phonetic systems. / suppose. Mumford and his of purely English combinations. titles. final te. for instance. is Senenduch. is it easy to settle on the form of a name. a of the by dwellers in different parts same country. known in carpet literature. I This spelling takes for granted. usually refer to a well-known Persian province as Azerbijan. or a Turk. A case in point is the habit of the Arabs of using a / where the Persians use a g. Then the same name may be pronounced or written differently by an Arab. oo.' Moreover they are rarely consistent or complete. known to us as Sehna or Senna. Another German dsch which complication that Oriental languages contain sounds for which we have no exact equivalent. Mr. like in a way which does not come natural to is Our only hope to adopt some system and map- that of the Royal Geographical Society. that the reader will pronounce the as in kite. while Persians and Turks speak equally well of it as Sineh. but neglects to consider the fact that the other vowels must be uttered Anglo-Saxons. and too few people understand each others. To the people Persian. so by means I think it quite hopeless to attempt to do any phonetic system relying on the more ee. and all the rest. I More super- the unwieldy across in is come have occasionplace of a simple English /. But even when we agree on a form.

that put the student to the greatest possible inconvenience in comparing them with the text. Mumford had been allowed to make his later editions more than rein this respect does more for his reader than any one satisfactory than prints he would have improved them in this as in other particulars. Hawley and Dr. And it is the less negligible because so many of for favour on the score of their coloured plates. setting forth an essential point at the psychological moment. As a mature reader of rug books continue for to be offended —by pictures that seem to be chosen airy reasons of decoration or availability. A small black-and-white. or that fail to do all they can for him IS in the thorny matter of classification. is worth more than the most elaborate coloured plate stuck 226 . Lewis Mr. to comprehend I is not to pardon. and place. have come to understand how they take 1 But with me. so do you with any other system English being the patchwork language it is. Mr. Mumford more though I have reason to suspect that if Mr. else. has the great A lesser but by no means negligible detail in which makers. If — the existing rug books fall short is that of illustration.— PERSIAN MINIATURES you have to learn its conventions in order to be able to use it. But no rug book that I have come across at illustrates all the stock designs. or inserts the illustrations the right place. And this system merit of being both simple and logical. or was portrayed by the the death of the fore when villain was depicted a dozen pages beIn or after the event. I them bid As a youthful reader of romance was always deeply offended when a heroine expressly described by the author as blonde illustrator as a brunette. the course of years my destiny led me into the retreats where these crimes are I committed. fear.

dry the last climate of the Asiatic plateaux is commonly averred to be responsible for the sheen and softness of the best rugs. and that the said about the materials used. rugs And it is a fact that perhaps made in Persia to-day are woven wool. They mourn the growing rarity and they do well. Whereas aniline dyes fade unevenly. as the rug books contend. one shade toning into another.ABOUT RUG BOOKS in where it is most convenient for the folder of the sheets for the publisher of the book. and most economical Among other matters worth consideration. of vegetable dyes is Nor are the former so fast On the contrary. however. the rug book people beat their breasts a little more vehemently than they need. A greater fault they tend to harden the wool. They omit of the old vege- to add. while certain is other that colours eventually disappear. that of the technical processes of rug weaving will bear more study than has yet been given them. I am I told by those who know more about such the foundation is things than do that the variety of knots and their spacing between strands of greater than lead us to believe. that as garish horrors have been perpetrated with vegetable dyes as with mineral. table dyes. none have a greater softness or sheen than the old Anatolians." As for dyes. rug books would word has not been Although the high. the beauty that they will fade. But in Persia and Tur- 227 . whose wool was produced not far from sea level. The reds have a tendency to retain their vigour. the most perfect at Australian which is fmer and silkier Kashan out of than any grown in ''the Orient. The point is that they fade evenly. thereby dulling the sheen which is the honour of old age. ancient and modern.

and against the exportation of rugs used. awaits a profounder scholarship than has yet dealt with 228 . A subject of the utmost complexity. according to colour outline. is the mythic virtue ascribed to the vegetable dyes: they will neither fade nor wash out. A wider knowledge of such and one which it. 78.PERSIAN MINIATURES by no means Not only so generally as the rug book people imagine. but it in which they are is quite incorrect to say as Dr. therefore. Lewis does (pp. Yet this inconspicuous outline has an extraordinary effect on the field of colour it encloses. like the Bijar. 218) that two-thirds or three-quarters of mod- ern Turkish rugs are aniline dyed. aniline dyes are employed are there in Persia penalties against their importation. But their greatest fault though remains for a later century to determine the ultimate effect of this process. it These also tend to harden the wool. would of course be a help in identification. What neither he nor any one alizarin else mentions is the growing employment of dyes. A you point in this connection which is has never been taken up into a Persian rug that of outline. and their schemes of There is colour combination. more to be learned than we yet know about the colour scale of different weaves. or shade into different directions of the spec- trum. have been found to follow invariable rules for outlining. sometimes so fme as be almost imperceptible. The same the tint will have an entirely of its dif- ferent look. If you look is will discover that each figure bounded by a to line of another colour. Some schools of rugs. in an attempt to anticipate the tone of age so prized by western buyers. at all events. key. laws. incline to soft who use them Whence is it shades unknown that those to the old weavers.

How dan? else should Persian miniatures and portraits of Lucrezia Crivelli be hanging in an English house in Hamais The period of chinoiserie in European ornament this tendency. about palms. whose treatment of this —perhaps in vast subject. marks and symbols. the mi- —of the caravans. he devotes a grand total of As our authors study the map and read Mr. it is again more worthy than that the conquests. and S's of the Fire Worshippers. to excite rather than to satisfy our curiosity.ABOUT RUG BOOKS is that of design. to say nothing of knots of destiny. Nor can any one deny that the transfusion of decorative ideas as old as the swastika. myself might I write another on the unexpected places where I have found have seen on an old Resht embroidery. It all tends. however inadequate. 147) that he has devoted more conhe sideration to this topic than forces the critic to any of if his predecessors. Mumford. however. stars of the Medes. while to the subject of China six pages. and above a dado of very Chinese-looking 229 . which have swept back and forth across Asia. add that one removed from Dr. lotuses. about Greece. Lewis announces (p. of his followers grations. And the value of his claim in the rest of his may be judged from the fact that tion book he omits any men- whatever of Indian rugs. shields of David and Solomon. Egypt. and Central America. tribal There is much easy talk in the rug books about further Asia. and Trees of Life. no doubt seems highly plausible to them that a motive originating in Egypt or India should is find lodgment in a Persian or Caucasian rug. When Dr. I one fanciful chapter of familiar details of rugs. Lewis's chapter on design everything relating to China and India there would be little left besides hearsay or guesswork.

the identical pattern of reciprocal trefoils so characteristic of Caucasian borders. sixteenth century. in embroideries. And in New York. before cold climates. as in the marble arch of more than one Turkish door. tooled on the covers of innumerable Arabic. to call And although some mystic law of associa- tion Invariably causes that ample phrase Orient" up in western minds a picture of the tropics. and Turkish books. illuminated scripts of the fourteenth in miniatures or in manu- and fifteenth centuries. bear the bent of the 7nahi (fish) or Herat design. therefore. in the painted panels of rooms. suspicion of anything foreign. wrought in iron for the enrichment of an Egyptian door. on the tiled walls of tombs and palaces Con- stantinople. to say nothing of Kurdish and Persian ones. in the twentieth century. as of the Turkish the and serrated lance-leaf And I as for that lozenge or spindle which the rug books call a pole medallion.PERSIAN MINIATURES tiles in a fifteenth century mosque at Adrianople. an American publisher repro- again for the cover of this book —from the back of a Persian mirror. the oldest of which I have noted was bound in Baghdad duced it in the eleventh century. At the same can realise time. no one who has not been in the East the immense conservatism of Oriental peoples. or the their instinctive extreme difficulty they still have in communicating with ''the one another. Persian. Then many tiles of of the so-called Rhodian plates. there is no end to the repetitions of it have come across in — in rugs. the fact remains that wool rugs are primarily the product of twice. in textiles. One should think 230 adopting the theory that so characteristic a Persian design . 1 have also seen Bulgarian towels decorated after the fashion of Anatolian rugs.

moreover. by which name they silks. or poppinjays —or a Mamelukes of Egypt.'' the cypress with the Tree of Life. the ''sacred Cocos of Life. of course an authentic specimen of the botany of design. As for the so-called pear pattern. whether is safe to identify tree. Hawley's naturalisation in Persia of Chinese symbols of connubial happiness. which were imported from Baghdad in the ninth century. And am still more 1 sceptical of Mr. or the tuba as and other mythic vegetables. I know no more about call it it than they. I doubt. 231 . And I have seen the same design on old Indian foliated as in photographs of a Egyptian damask of the thirteenth or fourteenth and mosque of Sidi Okba in Kairuan. do know that the Persians a buteh. while the Turks used to employ a similar motive in the of the tiles of the century. His pair of ducks on a famous rug in the Metropolitan heraldic device of the Museum might perfectly be hens. Even the cypress man who too much a it never set friend of the sun to be very familiar to the highlanders of western Asia. that leaf-shaped or flame-shaped figure for which the rug books evolve so many But I fanciful origins. further designate the camel-thorn of their bare plains. Mumford correctly names it in is a note. Neither to a is is it a palm could suggest very much eyes on one. pigeons. of a Rhages jar of the thirteenth century. The Mohammedan Tree Mr.ABOUT RUG BOOKS as the spindle is derived from so exotic a plant as the lotus so competent —especially of when an authority as Mr. But I question whether the weavers of ever thought about the tuba drew their delightful pots of Kerman of the other world when they flowers. meaning twig or bush. likely that Stanley Lane-Poole attributes the medallion as a system ornament to the Sasanians.

with regard to the future of Oriental rugs.! PERSIAN MINIATURES guise of a cypress with a bent top. I say no more I will say one word more. and then having pursued my investigations no farther than the railway station. among them who were not averse to a novelty. Having been there. case. therefore. I am less agitated about the aniline peril than about the other. and far more ancient than the regalia In any of so modern a dynasty as that of the Kajars. whose weavers appear to have found an irresistible attraction in the European treatment of the rose. justly anathematising the use of aniline dyes and a suspicious tendency of this Asiatic craft to take on a European colour. and what not. so different from the usual Persian conventionalisation of 232 . ignore. these are questions not to be answered by rug pedlars or by gentlemen who have been three times to Tiflis. the buteh represents anything at all reason to insist — —on which there is no it is probably a conventionalisation of some plant form. Hindu rivers. myself. Thus the so-called Isfahan carpets of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries seem to betray that European influence which was so strong at the court of Abbas Shah. is one about which is have already said a Oriental weavers to Strong as the instinct of there have always been individuals goon repeating themselves indefinitely. This is a topic on which the rug books make most lugubrious prophecies. For myself. nevertheless. only twice. should Only under the most one countenance any If legend of crown jewels. The same thing sporadically occurs in places so far away from each other as Karabagh and Kerman. But I recognise one or two points which I the ladies and gentlemen of the rug books apparently The first of those points little. serious reserves.

however. One of the most unusual examples I ever saw was a rug which hung in our own house. considered by the — Sah'b to be a Hamadan. The Mongol and Turkoman kings of Persia may have had since visited something to do with the former case. letters. is an extreme type. tend to refine themselves into the pastel shades of the Smyrna. and successful rug books For the seigneurs who keep busy the interesting live chiefly in the looms of the East now is West. by many a European who brought presents from his own land. Such a piece. which any had an inimitable Persian or Turkish child secret of combining. distinguishably enough. And that why the simple old colours. Karabagh was for them a favourite summer resort. St. This Hamadan. why the 233 complicated old designs run more and more to open grounds of a single tint why . and Sultanabad factories . into which amazingly managed to dissolve symphony in of delicate blues. Mark's basin and San Giorgio Maggiore. the very why so many are being written. And freaks of design turn up every now and then from the most unexpected source no doubt the whim of some Persian seigneur who happened to take a fancy to a European gimcrack. Yet it looked as if it might have been designed after a picture by Francesco Guardi. But it is a type of a thing which has happened every art and every time. . It represented. of course. with of gondolas and figures and suggestions of rococo drapery! The beauty a it. Hamadan. was the lovely Aubusson red of the ground. Now reason the reason why this thing is happening is in Persia to-day. although prop- and bearing a name and a date in Arabic had the effect of a bit of French tapestry. erly knotted. happily on a far less subversive scale.ABOUT RUG BOOKS that flower.

— The true danger lies in quite another quarter. The truth that most Americans do not like the rugs which most Persians prefer to weave. with an incurable mania for what they are pleased to call antiques. While Persia has for centuries exported her carpets. the narrow- modern world has made it easy to exploit this commerce on so large a scale that the weavers can no longer sit for months and years over such carpets as they wove a hundred. Yet it is only fair then. and they are more afraid of their interior decorator. high-minded person puts into his house anything which does not match or complement everything They are afflicted. and craftsmanship. sign. which add charm to many a nomad rug. work requiring so much time and labour could ing of the not possibly be produced in western countries. who tells them that no else. five hundred years ago. different that Our standards of life are so an American workman of the is satisfied. They are afraid of primary colours. everybody in Persia and Turkey would now be using aniline dyes and imitating staring European patterns. dealers are driven to so why many doubtful expedients for is bleaching and toning. save in excessively small quantities. at a time when in the Near East taste and patronage in keeping up standards of deare at their lowest ebb If it were not colour. for us. two hundred. skill required to weave a fme rug would require twenty or in Persia thirty times It the wage with which a Persian therefore pays to make rugs and export them to Europe of and America —and will pay so long as the standards 234 .PERSIAN MINIATURES we see fewer of those irregularities. furthermore. both in colour and execution. As it is. Is it surprising. material. that they get what they want? to acknowledge what the West has done for this Oriental art.

encourage inde- pendence and individuality and simple habits. lost. Turkish. will hands of buyers for department In a for hundred years. yes —save for connoisseurs of is the largest means. that "the Orient'' ''robbed of its being fabrics and the Persian rug will have be- come a thing of the past" is pure nonsense. what prices people pay them —crying out on the degeneracy of their day. empty rooms. and the 235 exquisite art of ours! . into the woven carpets quite as good as came from the Nor do many of them get stores. in millions of Persian I fingers.ABOUT RUG BOOKS life remain in Persia what they are. to say nothing of Kurdish. There is no more danger of the Persian rug becoming a thing of The old masters will the past than the oil painting." in spite of the jeremiads of the rug books. and It lives don't that know how many other ones. thank heaven. Then very few will of us could afford to It buy may be. at any rate. under leisurely are being mud roofs. that the war of mankind will check the standardising of the world. And. Lewis. his simple pleasures? his rugs. there looms of Abbas the Great. Tartar. So this most fifmly rooted of Oriental habits may for a long time yet run no great danger of being changed. to settle themselves. But the secret of the Persian rug by no means It still lives. in spite of the craze for ''an- tiques. we can venture to wait for even I so energetically questions of taste. however. disappear. hope for questions of economics. though. here and there. for questions of chemistry. To prophesy is with Dr. But what if the the standardising of the world should continue until Persian no longer remained content with his his mud house.

that creative interlinking of sound and silence which the hand of genius is can charm out of dead wood and metal. or the phonograph. without of imitation. And 236 . time troubles The one thing which from time for Lahore. wot. cheapness And the seriousness with which an echo. has done so much for the study of art and for a dozen different kinds of comparative research. is a thing of hor- The scrape of its needle would be detestits able enough to the ear. me is my longing M asud-i-Sad-i-Salman millions of honest citizens listen to that screeching echo of A in GRAMOPHONE. For absolute music. so the gramophone. to since I know she under compulsion. I remember a spring day long ago on which I rowed from one to another of the gray monasteries which look out from immortality! as the camera. it is And yet ! And yet what a thing that a living voice or an immortal violin can count on even so poor an whose unaided miracles are in themselves too literal to be engaging.XIV THE GRAMOPHONE / have not acts made one complaint against Fortune. what the wretched engine evokes least successfully. is a thing to stagger one's faith mankind. might be an invaluable note-book. calling it music. God ror.

is the form of art which upsets me more than any other unless it be a of the Great Slaughter. I lolled in the stern. so new to me and wild. most unmonastic stories enchanted now by him and now by a young Greek who sang in the bottom The latter was a stone-cutter from Salonica who had been carving the marble gate of a monastery for his uncle the abbot. so quaint. of his people —so long.THE GRAMOPHONE Mt. I cannot deny it: I like an opera! It isn't because I prefer a living voice to a violin. singing a love-song of the boat. mad music — string quartette. telling cap for all the world like a Persian as he rowed. I that I thought never should forget I it. myself did not row. as I have forgotten the strange march Kazvin. in a rusty To be strictly accurate. I might have decorated this page with an outlandish enough array of minor notes. I A monkish-looking person did that. But I did. it is true. and the heard in the night at and many a melancholy air that has made me walk more slowly past a tea garden. between the boatman's feet and mine. A symphony. I must make one or two confessions. felt black robe and a rusty black kola. And having pocketed a pound or two for his handiwork. hear Strauss's to The kind couple who once took me to "Tod und Erklarung'' would have smiled know what a new heaven and a new earth they opened for the most youthful of their guests. Nevertheless. except when it is too dark for any distracting 237 . that I would like to see myself a collector of folk songs. For me an Amati rather than an Amato. however. Having pretended. Whereas if I had only possessed one of those horns of mystery into which favourite opera singers bellow their favourite airs. he lay on his back in the sun. Athos to the /^gean Sea.

to colour. And what did Kipling say about Messrs. if you prefer. might be be- cause any strong rhythm —a cook beating eggs. Broadwood up the Nile? Somebody rafted a Steinway up the Tigris safely enough for a missionary rafting a 238 . or ordering a super in liquid I may have heard roulades to shut the door? " Aida. Otherwise who could keep from snickis ering at the absurdity of an overfed tenor bawling " 1 love you!" at the top of his voice." say. it need not be beIt like the scratch or the screech. something more complex. though. a pretty gesture of despair. are not the opera. and drama. Goldberg.— ! PERSIAN MINIATURES image of a costume or of a self-consciousness or of a for applause. —dare admit —which coffee my time has been more potent than black to keep me awake o' But the worst is that no man has thrown away more gramophone needles or used up more records than I Why. It is I warm it? the intertwining of sound a shameless polygamy in of arts at best. Not that the latter counts for anything by itself. a human and is all an opera should suggest. do you cause I suppose. A mere poetic flash of the face. That colour. but one nights. is that? Well. and to this day I haven't an idea what on earth it is about. a train bumping over rail-ends. It might be because sometimes fmd quite as much profit in the artistic works I — I of and Fontaine Fox as in the exhibitions of the Academy. In Hamadan it might be because we have precious few ways of amusing ourselves. Maurice Ketten. thirst The singers. interwoven of music. It might be because can read both Dostoievsky and Jack London or John Kendrick Bangs. a Persian pounding a drum makes something in me twitch. forty times.

and 1 have a dinner jacket in my cupboard. can only say that that abomina wall and renew able needle will scratch me away me a youth as uncannily as any sudden scent. was then living on lettuce and sour milk at a mad-house a little way up the river. time for the dancer. I alas. That poor old tottering sawhorse. in that winter after the resurrection of of the the "Tales of Hoffmann" from the archives at Vienna. he had For first it waits on no plucker of strings to provide aid for the caller. A gramophone. but the last lap over the mountains from Khanikin landed at the unhappy recipient's door nothing but a wreck of matchwood and twisted wire. and "Nearer sibilities. the "Barcarolle" to opera goers and gramophone fiends there is only one But why should it always make so much "Barcarolle"! more vivid to me than flat-roofed Hamadan and white Elvend the gables of Dresden and the half-frozen Elbe? Do they still call the Cafe de Paris the Cafe de Paris. Harry Lauder. followed by a dance Perhaps they tasted so because I 239 . now. I wonder —where. Then a pile of records containing Caruso. burned Opera House an admirable little orchestra used to play the "Barcarolle"? Though it give comfort to the I enemy I must swear that never have eaten such cakes or drunk such coffee as in the Cafe de Paris in Dresden.: THE GRAMOPHONE friend of ours. and lightness for the leaden hour." is potent with ironic pos- they And are they Memory and Torment? Are Town? Are they all that ever went with evening As to that I dress? am no poet. if less portable than a banjo. however. my God to thee. Each Tuesday night we used to have a concert in that most enlivening of mad-houses. if might have made the poet sing a different song been born a decade or two skilled later.

There were two Konversaiionsdamen one blonde. It it only sounds more like those Italian fiddles. waltzed with the widow from Lodz. I fear. and extremely poor. even —or was it nine? Im- from a Konversaiionsdame. 240 . when the orchestra played ''Night of stars! O night of love!" As for me. and one brunette. and mind it a bit. and it never fails to take me back to that dirty old Teatro Rossini where I first heard it. who sat at the Korpulententisch. so that if you danced with one you would be refused by the other. So I used to go to the opera as I often as gallery. that but one glimpse of somebody's rufrle falling long white hand. if could afford ten or twelve cents for the top where the seats were not reserved and where late I you arrived you saw nothing. who sat at the Magerntisch. But when the gramophone scratches out '' Kennst Du das Land. I ''Mignon'' also has hostile affiliations. arrived late." with an extra over it scratch every second because the record is cracked. of course. man's hand. full of even broad-brimmed black hats and fringed black shawls folded cornerwise. smells like that stuffy Italian gallery. — Their business was to converse with the maniacs and to introduce them one to another. therefore saw noth- Nothing. And you should have seen how beauti- fully the brunette Konversaiionsdame waltzed with the Count from the Korpulententisch. with a and a magniIt was a ficent stage jewel sparkling on one finger. Poor dears! I wonder what has become of them all now. a bitter enmity between these ladies. of course.PERSIAN MINIATURES that ended at ten o'clock sharp possible to find out now. is. There subsisted. I didn't was very young then. too. but a Frenchman wrote the score. I The night I first heard "Mignon" ing.

and it ravished my innocent However. I I am of such an antiquity that his first I hapdon't pened to be on hand during to. and of oars dipping between the dark was better than any opera. from "II Trovatore.THE GRAMOPHONE Then Caruso: when he came think one. And so was the disembodied voice that sang one night. as I never heard his or anybody else's voice crack on the stage. with a passion no tenor could pump out of a canvas dungeon. I saw. to the strum of a distant guitar. of it. when he sang when in almost his Lucia'' if remember and final solo his voice cracked worse than any record. soul to the seventh heaven. And how we clapped him after it! And how in Hamadan we can listen to those thread-bare old Italian songs. or rather a long succession of nights. and conquered his first night. *' New I went to But I did go to his last correctly. York. too. to. hide in the bottom of of my heart a guilty love for compounded out which I amusement in at the senseless plot of the opera." ignoble confession 1 have to make is that it. in when I used to lie bed and hear the Grand Canal lap under my window. hearing not them but all manner of queer things behind them from which time and distance shut us away! Of all Italian songs none can be more threadbare Yet the most I than the Miserere. there came a day. but chiefly out of the fact that it it was the first opera I ever heard. have never fathomed and never want out of the killing kiss his way which the tenor rushes out of prison to hand to the audience when the pack-thread duet is done. American season. The sound palaces. and out of some theory I used to have about its being more typically Italian than anything else. "Non ti scordar! Non 241 ti scordar di me!'* . I heard in English. in Boston.

shall count myself not so badly to do with Persia. though. or little. And if the day after that I find myself in a place half so heavenly as Venice on a summer night. to my dying day. caro mio. and of the quality of things lies outside themselves. pectedly a leaden hour may be lightened. and the angels sing anything that begins to be so perfect a pattern of a I lyric. reader. 242 .PERSIAN MINIATURES No. and the golden harps sound in the least like a guitar on the lagoon. I never shall. off after all. And what how unexhow much has all this gramophones either? Very is little. very It odd.

chiefly with the common Such people. no family names and no heredEvery gentleman is a Khan. how- and the pedigrees of most of them are so much more obscure than in Turkey or Arabia. sure. prove the titles. a species of nobility. that a landowner. to be a wise PERSIAN PROVERB PERSIA there are. Some of them. These people form. with certain rule. XV THE SEA OF SCIENCES Whomever thou Suppose him seest in the saintly garb. exceptions that INitary is. land. But no great personage and few small ones are without a title of a sort. turbans and be called Seid. and having divorced his first them were in their teens."1 ^^^ ''4m aife^^^ 1 man and a saint. own very little Our cook had pretensions to being wife while both of a Khan. in truth. to be They are so numerous. titles carry no distinctions of degree 243 . he took to his bosom an elderly His sons will wear green descendant of the Prophet. that their credit is ever.

and they thereafter take the place of the bearer's true name. or Adorner of the Monarchy. town I quoted at the top of an means Miracle of the Age. have the honour to take lessons 244 in Persian from the . Full Moon of the Dominion. The majority of them have in their flowery flavour way a governmental —as I Sabre of the Dynasty. is A may certain Captain Massakroff of announced at court as great lady Tehran Unique One of the Kingdom. These resonant bestowed by the are glorified nicknames. In a few princely houses they have a hereditary colour from the fact that the son is granted the titles title worn by his father. A citizen who made an address of welcome to the Shah was instantly dubbed Tongue of the Presence. A palace eunuch signs himself Magnificence of the Royal Intimacy! A professional man may earn the right to be knovv^n as Illustrious or among the Physicians. Sun of the Learned. Two of famous artists of the Timurid period were the Pillar of the Painters and the Choicest of the Penmen. Gaiety of the Dynasty.PERSIAN MINIATURES and they are not hereditary. or Stability of the Realm. The last. This is the tradition out of which sprang the nicknames Chief of the Desert and Prince All Alone. chieftain. is a painter of miniatures. really. have read of a small boy. if you please. by which the Sah'b and are known I I below I stairs. or simply Solace of the Eyes. A be Chastity of the State. And have heard of a character in a comedy who was satirically honoured with the style of Uncleanness of Commerce. in Shah reward for personal merit or services. whose panegyric earlier chapter. The name the poet Bedi-al-Zaman of of his native Hamadan. son of a provincial decorated with a patent as Tiger of the who was Sovereignty.

as an Oriental should. are marks of the take that he cult. in order to preserve the house from to divine in the defilements of the street. with his quick wit. a The Sea in years. first with red henna and then with blue be forty. and his clipped round beard. his tongue. in order to hide the all too evident ravages im- printed upon me by and the cares of this world and the deceitI fulness of riches. He always comes up to my study in his stocking feet. His among the mirias and not among those who — I are princes. He of should make a good one. He prefers to enter the house by the kitchen door. I do not gather that he belongs to the hierarchy of the church or the law. I make a feint of putting an awkward hand on the place where a heart should 245 . and the belief I seem him of the end justifying the means. think he likes to get the news from the cook very —and perhaps a cooky. suppose. however. Arrived at my door. his sense humour. you may He might At any rate. I it is the natural product of a land in which learning has always true place is worn the colours of divinity. But I must not give the impression that he has no manners. likewise bow. as man He might be thirty. indigo. and he knocks is his his enters into the most complicated inquiries about state of health. he —which more than the servants can be counted hand to on to do— he bows. notice that he relishes a risque story. Still. He has much the air of being engaged in making his fortune.THE SEA OF SCIENCES Sea of Sciences. the taste of life is still sharp on Nothing astonishes him more than that I do not take his advice and let a skilled barber of his race treat my hair. he puts heart. his white turban. His dark robe. of Sciences is not. his varied informiation. I my exact be. the Sea of Sciences strikes me as being not quite a gentleman. In fact.

doubtfully at Jimmy. The beauty knows not a of this operation is that the Sea of Sciences any other European language. necessity is the mother of comprehension. and even more darkly than is usual of human intercourse. is of Turkish origin. or Turkishspeaking people. although he does not like to admit descent from a race considered by the Persians to be that is all gross lived in say. that Turki. and I have —or as the Sea of Sciences prefers me to — They belong There are many Turks. The Sea of Sciences then lays off his aba. For the learning of letters a book is not necessary. Hence we succeed. a reader. in and around Hamadan more than Islambol. Neither of us. Turkoman tribe of the Kara-Gozlu. painfully. But the Sea of syllable of English or Sciences.PERSIAN MINIATURES I emit grotesque concatenations of plural nouns and singu- lar verbs. in communicating one with the other. furthermore. dialect. the Black Eyed. if very little Persian. So long ago was calls it. or a dictionary. though understood better when I considered that the Turks had to cross Persia before they could get into Turkey. are about as much and Italian. and that they must have begun doing so a long time ago. Still. which are written and printed in I pick up a certain amount of 246 . anywhere to the else in Persia except Azerbaijan. they say. however. as the Sea of Sciences alike as Spanish his and Stambuli. which has pretensions to equal rank with that of the reigning Kajar. and least of all Arabic letters. And the result is that TurM. as he calls mine. and Stambul stupid. owns such a thing as a grammar. partially. while I am acquainted with no word of Persian or Arabic. It surprised me I not a little it to fmd these people in Ecbatana. looks fire. pokes the ing and sets about teach- me Persian.

And I discovered that be- cause the Sea of Sciences regarded the Gospel of St. St..THE SEA OF SCIENCES the same way. a perverse latent inclination to stray events. given to searching the Scriptures. . so firmly Perhaps because the feet of on the strait my youth were set and narrow path as to arouse in me all among byways. the Persian sentence: "In the beginning was if I the Word . if not its impassioned advocate. So far did is I go to learn that though a man free may be what called a free thinker. the middle. the words of also to confess to a curious psychological reaction that took place in me when I began to spell out. . the heart of Perhaps it is because man is naturally depraved and desperately wicked. at least unwilling to take part against it. a product of the tradition that accepts the Gospel of John. And for the first time in my life I began to look with an eye of sympathy upon that Hellenised Hebrew dreamer who was capable of writing: "In the beginning was the Word . ing When it came to the point of accustom- my eye to the look of letters in combination —and Arabic letters have a mystifying habit of changing their shape according as they or the end of a fall at the beginning. as had never read that high word before. I somehow became." 247 . the consequences of his birth! saw myself. under the keen black eye of the Sea of Sciences. you know. She lent us a Gospel of St. At Holy Writ were too early familiar But I have to me to wear any glamour of the unknown. literature word —our lack of was supplied by a good missionary.. haltingly as a kindergartener. John with a good deal of irony. no man can be after of the things that make him think I as he does or escape all. John. Now I must confess that I am not greatly in Persian." It was.

plants. It seems that what really was in the beginning was water. the seventh and highest a firmament of burning fire. upon which floated the throne of the Creator. the formation of the seven-fold earth and seven seas. in order to increase is it its stability. On the Tuesday mountains were added to the newly — created earth. the angel stood on a rock. in which hover unscorched a myriad of angels singing the praise of God. And this firmament is so the angels stand with one foot immense that although enough higher than the 248 . He began rise the work of creation by causing a in dense vapour to from the water and subjecting the This resulted its liquid remainder to a process of drying. and all vegetable On the next two days did the Lord perfect his first trees. and the rock was upheld by the wind. the fish and encir- cling element were supported by blocks of stone. its The earth rested on the fm of a fish. He was good enough to me some account of his own ideas. those reposed on the back of an angel. the first and second of April in so much detail is it known to the Sea of Sciences what happened in the beginning. it rude sky of vapour. Whence in that earthquakes are rarer than they were the beginning. the fourth pearl. the fifth pure gold. These operations took place on Sunday and Monday. dividing into seven heavens of which the first was green emerald second silver. of Sciences —the — I quote from the Sea the third red ruby. the sixth topaz. The work of Wed- nesday was the invention of life. and I found them not quite identical with those so poetically put forward in the Book of Genesis.PERSIAN MINIATURES The Sea to of Sciences entertains quite different ideas as give what was in the beginning. when the movements of the fish bearing our world caused terrible commotions.

Iblis of the seventh heaven. there is let down from the seventh heaven to the first such a quantity of water as is meted out to man for the irrigation of fields. From time to time. because on that day the was united to that of the earth: whence also do the faithful make that day the one on which they unite in mosques for particular prayer. God then gives orders to the winds to carry the water to the clouds above the earth. their heads are yet far below the uppermost throne of the Most High. out of which sifted in the it is form of rain. begged to be separated from the other jinn. named Iblis. But what the Sea of Sciences failed to make quite clear to me day is called creation of the skies is how fire the creation of man fitted into this calendar. like the dispersed jinn. Fri- Juma. his former companions being scattered into space by the angels nence of to me. that one of their number. created out of upon the earth to guard it. He was of the seventh heaven. The angels. hearing that the in descendants of this new being would 249 turn cover the earth with blood and disorder. or union. however. who should be his vicar there. because pride had invaded his heart. set who were accordingly named guardian of the first or emerald heaven. Beneath throne God fixed a sea containing sustenance for all living beings. . April sixth. the Sea of Sciences assures me. They behaved in so unbecoming a manner. as the Sea of Sciences pointed out his God meantime imparted to the angels intention of creating another guardian of the earth. And this preemi- was the cause in the of his downfall. It seems that before the Adam there were jinn. This work was completed on Friday.THE SEA OF SCIENCES other for a man to need five hundred years to make his the journey between them.

silenced the earth by replying: *'God preserve me from ascending again to heaven without carrying out his command!'' The clay which Azrael took back thou do hurt. is why the races of men lie are of different colours. before commanded the his new creation. breath of God entered every part of And Adam's first act of life was to sneeze. The Sea of Sciences did not attempt to harmonise account with his statement that the creation of this Adam was 250 . and God wrought with his fmgers and then let to heaven years. in his emerald heaven disgrace until the Judgment Day. began to blow into the flexible as the Then the Lord which became limp and it. the earth crying out: "I invoke thee God against So Azrael. after kneading it In to the meantime he bow down obeyed.'* me was of three kinds.PERSIAN MINIATURES permitted themselves to express surprise that they should not rather be chosen. angels and Iblis of forty years did the Creator allow the clay of the earth to inanimate. which lie for forty This. the Sea of Sciences tells me. mis- The same if thing happened with the archangel Michael. the dark angel of death. who spent their days in praising Whereupon the Most High resaying: ''I know what is unknown to you/' buked them. blessing him. God and but the earth protested in such alarm that Gabriel fulfilling his re- turned to the seventh heaven without sion. black. even contemptuously kicking the fire —he who was formed out of the Wherefore was he cast out of clay. For two more periods with his hands. in turn. red. white. The angels at once As for Iblis. he clay refused. He then sent the archangel Gabriel to bring him from the earth a lump of clay out of which to mould the new being. whose heart was filled with pride and envy. of the seventh heaven.

in aloes. the Place of Recognition. These soon dried in the hot sun of Ceylon. and the wind dispersed them in dust throughout India. Which is another reason keep that day holy. and every kind of spice and aromatic plant. He went on heard it to tell me the story of Eve. were equivalent to 250 years. adding that our first parents were put into Paradise on the third hour of that day. the sixth of April. that these facts had And first the Sea of Sciences assured why Mohammedans me direct revelation. Whence is it that that country abounds cloves. musk. But those three hours. each of whom became the wife of the other's twin and so ensured the continuation of the race. when he was 930 years old. he died at last on another Friday. the Sea of Sciences was not quite certain. while to Ceylon. pelled like Yet he was able to inform me that the Serpent was exAdam and Eve from the Garden. As for Adam. however. Eve was removed to Jiddeh Upon arriving there the latter and had Adam in the way of garments nothing but the leaves of Paradise. being sent to Isfahan. come down by 251 and had then been handed on from generation to genera- . the Sea of re- Sciences did not specify. How long Adam and Eve were separated. much as I had before. and that they stayed there no more than three hours.THE SEA OF SCIENCES completed on the same day as that of the seven heavens. near Mecca. I Iblis were one. Abel. What was new to me was to hear that Cain and Abel had twin sisters. desired to know if the Serpent and When. Sacrifice. The story of the Serpent was also like that of Genesis. and Seth were born. he explained to me. where great ceremonies are celebrated during the Feast of It was after this meeting that Cain. But they were presently united at Arafat.

ity. formed me that that The Sea of Sciences further inname is derived according to some from the name of a great-grandson of Noah. that Hamadan the fourth climate. he flatters two Arabic words meaning All Knowing. tion by men of the He did admit.— : PERSIAN MINIATURES most unimpeachable authority. though. pity. however. to say nothing of the seven heavens. and what? Experience? Common sense? I couldn't quite make lies in out! I did make out. He frank to say that out of our hundred thousand inhabitants at —foreigners put the figure twenty-five to seventy thousand — no more than forty Mohammedans. unlocked by mystic polygonal keys of which the first is a The seven doors triangle and the seventh a nonagon. and according to others from For the rest. that different authorities gave different versions of several of the details. tell that leads the Sea of Sciences to me many more you would have to say about things about his beliefs and customs than patience to hear." know not whether it is the I evident interest I in these matters. wealth. making their ablutions with due regularand then causing the water to run from the elbow to the fingers and not from the fingers to the elbow like those 252 . will. adding piously betray "God better knows the truth. each having a door by which one may penetrate into life. or a desire to implant sound doctrine. wisdom. reading the Koran. are science. power. so that there could be no manner of doubt about them. Hamadan no more than did old is Bedi-al-Zaman. I did not close them when he mentioned seven planets and the seven climates of earth subject to the same. in the library If a certain book of poetry downstairs opened my ears to what he had the seven seas. shav- or fifty are true ing their heads.

who pricks up that quizzical ear! Dim and divided as our councils are. and some griefs. who caused the murder of the Imam Hosein. I desire to ask you some questions. really tells Moreover. was a mathematician. many in of those him are he by I master Avicenna." translated by H. quatrains. This with a glance over the shoulder at Jimmy. other forms. Nothing amuses him more than is supposed by the Firengis some consequence. : ' said O fulness of all knowledge.' said: He 253 .' I said: 'What is the result of it?' 'Headache. or some dreams. to hear that to be a poet of me to perceive that much as the Koran and the Traditions count for in true education. he wrote a few to be considered a poet. but not enough of True. What is this life in the world?' He said: 'A sleep. Omar Khayyam. or others. it is enough for the Sea of Sciences to tell me that he drank wine and habitually petted dogs. an astronomer. Beveridge? " Yesterday I jested with Reason. experimented give an example came the "Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. a Omar Khayyam philosopher. he assures me. The heretical Turks.' I said to him: 'What is marriage?' He said: 'Pleasure for an hour and irritation for years. they do not by any means run chiefly in channels of propaganda. them his Any one can ascribed to write quatrains. Shall in I me. Sea of Sciences allows they are not enough. My I heart wanted some explanations. across not long afterward And even Omar. a lesser Avicenna. snoozing in front of the fire.THE SEA OF SCIENCES Of that other arch heretic the Caliph Yezid of Damascus.

This Jamshid seems to else have been the originator of pretty nearly everything in Persia. Jew and one a Greek. and not the great-grandson of Noah. to point all morals and As for Firdeusi. said: I That. true and only historian of his country. you please. should prove to a misguided world that Fitzgerald had something to do with his poet's fame. and the pearl fisheries of the Persian Gulf. He reigned seven hundred years and he had two famous ministers. The sayings of the former are forever in his mouth. I myself named to me by the Sea of Sciences. the Sea of Sciences reminded a tolerant smile that me with Jamshid himself was an unbeliever. he evidently thinks most highly of Sadi and Firdeusi. I learn that he is the to adorn all tales. one of whom was if a name of the latter. None the less did Jamshid hesitate to authorise the use of wine. was the actual founder of Hama! dan.PERSIAN MINIATURES I said: 'What is the troop of oppressors?' He I and some jackals/ 'What will tame this sensual soul?' He said: 'When it has got some buffets/ said to him: 'What are Khayyam's writings?' He said: 'Wrong calculations and some frenzies/'* said: 'Wolves. even in those irreligious days. The was Pythagoras. as the Shah said anent this very matter to Sir Of the greater poets Mortimer Durand. until one of his wives was cured of a fever by a sip of Shiraz. including plaster. pleased But what me as much as anything was a wonderful tur- 254 . dogs. at any rate. To him When do the Persians owe the sciences of music and astronomy. tents. as of Persepolis and Tus. On the authority of the Shah Nameh do I hear that Jamshid. baths. seal rings. New Year's Day. I expressed surprise that a Persian king should have unbelieving viziers. Why.

Pythagoras. Shall add William II? of Sciences seems to be aware of the existence of some such personage. and even so clever a one as Hafiz. and certain others called Englishmen. own I country. But that vague region without the pale of the faith means very little to him beyond the fact that certain dwellers in it called Russians. of spend much my time in front of a mysterious clicking rings mechanism But why do that periodically a bell. In that he quite like a fellow-citizen of Sophocles or Pindar. But. Nothing pleases the Sea of Sciences I more than to hear that bell ring. as do most Firengis. found long ago at Persepolis. I Several of them concern his pupil. hundred years before fear he the Sea of Sciences would be ready to take cognisance of If I were not a Persian I would never is take cognisance of me at all. The only Europeans I he has heard anything about are Alexander the Great. containing a liquor capable of too many magic things for me I to name. are more redoubtable than the rest of us. there. is Yet the Sea of Sciences not without his curiosities. as I make learning with him stops Being myself a if I persistent spoiler of paper I am the quicker to note that were a Persian. and Aristotle. Plato. He was stupefied to learn that an ocean wider than Persia rolled between my corner of Firengistan and the Sah'b's.THE SEA OF SCIENCES quoise cup of Jamshid's. I neither teach nor trade. and that disclaimed any relationship what- The Sea — I soever with the mythical William. five might have to wait four or me. I ring it? Why 255 do take photographs? . too ignorant to am know how widely read the Sea of in it Sciences may be in the sacred book of the Arabs and the classic poets of his out. who seem to be the Kurds and the Lurs of Firengistan.

or is he like a sailor. as well as the Russians. are up to a trick or two beyond the Kurds and the Lurs. John! But nothing to get out of the Sea of Sciences for each one of the three pilgrimages has been performed at the expense of Sciences is and on the account of another. and an English ship Conrad's Patna has he. spend long months Nevertheless. Maps are to him unknown. the Sea of Sciences I is I a travit And what ears I pricked up when heard And how sharply saw made of East and West Gospel of St. Meshedi only. like Sindbad the Sailor he has like sailed out of Basra. and others in Hamadan? do I ask so many questions? There is evidently something queer about a man who leaves his own country and wanders in those of other men. He has been there. however. cooling the unholy desires of to shrivel men and stopping the neighing of horses. Yet he does not wear the coveted title of Hajji. The points of the compass are useful only in finding the direction of Mecca. But his adventures have not kindled in him 256 . no less than three times. it seems. I found out. Is he very discreet. that little to tell me about his travels? By mere accident do learn that the waters of the Tigris are a powerful anaphrodisiac. What For in seems to have made the profoundest impression upon the Sea of Sciences are the electric lights of Bombay. he has so I The Sea I wonder. they cause the skin up and the drinker to fall into a decline. He is ready to admit that the English.! PERSIAN MINIATURES Why Why do I separate myself from my family? Why do I in Stambul. again the fantastic picture sitting together we over a Persian is more impossible than any exact details of his voyages. crossed the Indian Ocean. with other pilgrims of an exacting faith. Unless used in moderation. eller himself.

THE SEA OF SCIENCES any sympathy toward those enterprising neighbours Persia. he assured me. who would raise Persia to her old place as mistress of And then all the Christians. the war had broken out. again. England and But the builders of the Baghdad railway might have been surprised to hear him add the prophecy that a man would come out of the Russia would both be destroyed. East the world. Nothing could that have delighted him more. I He solemnly warned me would now see what would happen. He. start. An old lady had died and for left in her will a provision that her body was to be buried in the holy soil of Kerbela. — for the credit of the old lady. Before he got ready to however. being known traveller. had been chosen to take it and having done so he was to perform his fourth pilgrimage to Mecca this time. of The Sea of Sciences one day broke to me the news that he would have to discontinue our lessons. can you blame him? But do you know? I would give the eyes of my head to find out whether the Sea of Sciences really went to Mecca perhaps took lessons in German! —or whether he 257 . Mohammedan or to leave the After all. would be forced to turn country. in the name and an experienced there.

who had found came from the region of Erzamfud. secrets government of kingdoms are hidden in Colonel P. at sight of this chapspoil for my part. my chapter by far end at the beginning. M. that from being the we came home with an empty Sah'b. et lui dit: saint preire. Sykes: the glory of the shia world THE eye of some honest Nimrod. or hint what was so case. et Claude se le fit ne t'aequiers-iu tes pas noire amitie en adorant nos dieux superstitions ?" en renonfant a vaines Teodor de Wyzewa: la legende doree / have heard it stated that ''hunting is a business for the idle'. who it seduce the out that up a party the who on appointed morning routed two members of the squad out 258 . should brighten But why should telling the I. Valentin. with bore- nothing better than this book to beguile a some hour. hut those for the who really understand are aware that hundreds of this art. stranded on a island or in IFdesert ter a snoring country house. who made for a three-day expedition to that village. bag? The head and front of that boar hunt was the had seen a boar hanging up in the Bazaar to eye of some corrupt Christian.XVI WILD BOAR Valentin eiaii un amener. L'Empereur " Pourquoi done.

the best thing he did was to catch a groom in a corner of a stable yard and squash him against a wall. So it was that the commissariat. how lightly I say it. There is no other off the two or three highways in that fit whole huge country which are for wheels. in Persia you either ride or way to get about — you stay at home. but he was quite used 259 . failed to get under way before lunch. Lo. to engage a it charvadar and his mules. In his salad days Bobby was a manI Next to running away. like many another hard character. having turned into quite the most exemplary horse in the eater. and is quite another for a charvadar and his mules to turn up at the promised time. The Sah'b's horse. I But truth compels me to whisper in your ear that never expected to come back alive from that I boar hunt: not because expected to I fall like Adonis fall under the tusk of a boar. reader! I say it with a dis- engaged lier air. for instance. So. but because off expected to my horse and break twenty-five miles in my neck. under the delighted com- mand of Habib. was a beast. who engaged It is a charvadar and his mules one thing. world. which is practically the thing. Bobby had reformed in his old age. however. And not only did his sleek sides give evidence of in what nourishment must be man. rode Bobby. as I would rather have broken my neck than stay at home. my life —or same For I had never ridden I not since was fifteen. as if to make you believe your scribe a cava- born. with a strain of Arab in more debonair little him. . And it was three o'clock of a short February afternoon before the rest of us started on our twenty-five-mile ride. and to carry our kit.WILD BOAR of sick-beds. However. but he was his in more than one way the most dependable of companions. But.

which runs from Hamvillage of Fakhireh —otherwise Boast or 260 .PERSIAN MINIATURES up by the time we got to Erzamfud. We started southward into the easterly foot- of Elvend. who divided with Beau Brummel too well. the And there groom. of which he was inordinately vain. He was an Irishman. Another big horse was the gray ridden by the Soldier. lined by bare poplars and willows and well broken out. Then I was —Adonis was call him. An even handsomer horse was the one ridden by the Beau Brummel of our party —a big black brute with a magnificent flying tail trick of and a nasty least throwing his head up where you could manage him. we veered not little out of our Yet I. did not mind. the youngest of our crew. which is a range as well as a single peak. if I not mind always there am simple enough to wear for me a different colour many soldiers shall fell And perhaps you will add that the Somme will because its out of the who I lie upon knew one banks. A boar I hunt was an adventure entirely new to me. whose horse under him so many times that afternoon but who came home ungored by any boar? also Askar. neither of them knew a it A it country looks very different under snow from what does at other times. the honour of knowing the way. and nothing would have surprised him more than to be told that a year from that day he would be hunting not boar in Persia but Boches in France. an impressive- looking person with a purple moustache and with a brass plaque. He was not a soldier then. The road was adan to the first the familiar one. being part of the time an accountant. As it turned out. set in front of his black kola. and Persia too short a time for the strangeness of had been in it to have worn hills off. for one. and course.

and the slim so pleasantly with the heavier of the garden walls. riding up and up long slopes of snow hill. and every that for no particular reason reminded sight of the Persian highlands.WILD BOAR Glory! After that we found ourselves in a wilder and more treeless region. in those wide white spaces. in that the houses gray stone. going to be one of those days. The largest of those streams was quite a river. over which the faithful pass into Paradise —unless single they plunge into the Bottomless Pit. The trees stood so closely around the houses. first There were. This looked as were now and then a snow came down out of the windless gray sky. that I at once made up my mind to go back to that village in the spring and rent a gray stone house for a cent a day and write the Great American Novel. lines of them contrasted and more irregular lines and behind the walls were so many snow humps which mean a vineyard. I had not seen before. gurgling in and out of the ice that sheathed their borders with that sound which is so different from the gay splash of summer. at any rate. I to another flat-roofed village. The village sprawling among them was were flat of a kind built of roofs. There were any number of streams there. and around a big pool in the centre of a small square. too. on top of a think I could count on my fmgers the days I spent in Persia if it when no sun was flurry of to be seen. Children were playing on the not so far above our heads. which of those we by followed for a little time. views to be looked at from the top of that white We dropped down the farther side into another valley of bare poplars. It was a narrow 261 . me of my hill. Presently we crossed it a viaduct rather like the knife-edged bridge of Al Sirat. There was something about it.

valleys. except Adonis. we all who dashed down the luckily. which of trying to navigate I I never would have dreamed on it foot. was not sounds.PERSIAN MINIATURES plank. were all but lost in 262 . As was gave Bobby and if over my ex-man-eater marched as unconcernedly as Such is and to have wormed your way out of many a tight corner. the vertical lines of poplars. precipice on safely the other. much I less on horseback. Nevertheless. and being an eater of us like the side of a house. and that strip of glare ice slanted from the rocky wall on one side of it toward the small it that slippery lath had been Brooklyn Bridge. A real tight corner was a ledge to which we next came. to have had a past. perilously icy. if had been alone. got over precipice so mortal with his nag. The dark masses of houses in the valleys through which Mediterranean. From Bobby's back it looked about three inches wide. touched here and there by the stray gold of a sun that was invisible to us. Bobby took it like a bird. neither of them got anything worse than a jolt. had to climb a gully that stood up in front of The deep snow of the trail had been so little broken by other travellers that the I can't quite say that horses had double work. but being a Persian horse he had been badly brought up to gallop up hill. and as Adonis had the quick wit to step out of his stirrups as he went down. as it But the drop. while he gave There gave him time to get me time to admire the magnificent view. companions. his rein. it The most striking thing about was that the white we had come were bluer than the Even the plain of Hamadan that opened out beyond them was less silver than violet. hills We now as well as of men he I got to the top long before his his breath.

mounted down a villainous river road that was continually crosscut by gullies of varying depth. lonelier. It was now six o'clock and nobody knew just how far we still had to go. we thought it might very well be five So we induced one of the inhabitants of rest of the Simin to guide our guides for the a woolly pony. was very different from the warmth lines of the —there —and one can see very far in that clear Per- of the plain of Kazvin as 1 first looked down on it from a break of the Elburz mountains. and barer than we slid down into a second valley. Some people said one farsakh. as might well enough have happened. as far as we could sian air see was nothing to break the long. and colour. The sudden descent upon them of five Firengis caused an immense commotion in Simin. the absence of them makes for an effect of simplicity. that second hill. 263 . From the first. He forthwith put on a sleeveless sheepskin jacket. of nobility. containing a gray stone village of its own. whose ragged inhabitants crowded around to stare at us in the dusk. but the elements were really the same. Above them. Beautiful as trees are. on that gray day of snow. There wasn't a sign of a trail to us who didn't know it. and made up of pure much as we always missed them. and what I shall always remember as most characteristic of the look of line Persia. The accent of it all. flowing snowy landscape. and led us way. called Simin. Other people said two farsakhs.WILD BOAR the intensity of blue shadow. not to be found in the romantic confusion of a wooded country. higher. hasten to add and as usual — I — neither horse nor rider broke a leg. In our hearts farsakhs. The unhappy Adonis came another cropper in one of them on top of his horse.

am about to treat you to a tale of the kind that came into I my head upon the interpretation to if me of this interesting news. our hams. Where- upon the dogs barked more savagely than answering shouts faintly replied to the out of the dark hill Then Simin. from that same village! To that end he began bawling at the top of his voice. The man from Simin advised to go than wolves. ever. as we were seven and well armed.PERSIAN MINIATURES Nevertheless. where not a light was to be seen. And having been bred up to tell the truth on all occasions save when it will degrade or incriminate me. but We just made out its cubic shadow on a us not dim hill above us. or haply the least popular of their suing pack? Alas. he proposed to engage another guide. were with charvadar. or drivers in Russian forests. tran- spired that the shouter in the village had no mind to guide the man from Simin at so late and chill an hour. But he gave copious instructions as to the whereabouts of Erzamfud. any nearer to it. of whom we had seen no sign more thrilling happened than a all sudden outburst of barking from the dogs of an invisible village. to delay the purif we had any. as village dogs at night are worse But as he felt the need of a little counsel with regard to the route he should follow. After a long interchange of stentorian which it I bitterly regretted not being able to understand. I am obliged to confess that nothing own number. man from civilities town. hams. how skaters on frozen rivers. to which the man from 264 Simin listened with . the that man from Simin presently informed us we were not to mind the wolf tracks we saw in the Do you fancy snow. would throw back coats. by some admired describing anonymous author of my youth. Habib and the and who were perhaps already eaten up themselves.

and Los Angeles. suppose that flash must have been from some stray Aurora Borealis in a latitude of Biskra. But as there could not possibly have been a lighthouse or a search light nearer than Baku or Baghdad. and as it was not the time around of year. too As for me. as Sandy Hook. It was bitterly cold. Charleston. and as we rode single file after the man from Simin. which the former somewhat too quickly given to construe as a difference As a matter of fact. through a country as ghostly and strange as the North in Pole." The rest of the way was a kind of arctic dream. when it comes to the point. who can endure more. As we stumbled on we struck into what was evidently a better travelled road than the one we had been follow265 — . ical The thing looked exactly like the perioditself is flare of visible. we somehow seemed to have exhausted those founts of conversation which had been so lively earlier the day. to be sure. give them voice. Beau Brummel and Adonis. Then he led us into a dark and devious valley will with the reassuring remark: "It be a good thing if we don't get lost. are were certain strange flashes that occasionally illuminated the gray clouds. with a thermometer somewhere I zero. before Sandy Hook you come in from the ocean at night. having been born on the shores of the Mediterranean. gave utterance to their emotions. whereas we perhaps embitter the sorrows of our hearts by considering it bad form to What interested me more. than a vineyard tiller of the Mediterranean? But he never loses his power of saying what he thinks about it. I was not numb to note anew that interesting difference between the races of the north and of the south. in endurance.WILD BOAR attention. for thunder-storms. however.

Habib. into an inner and up some it steep. How we found the I slit of an alley below that house I don't know. through a tunnel so low that we had to stoop to get through court. I can assure you we lost no time in getting off leg- gings and boots as fast as numbed fingers could undo them and kursi. to 266 . the filled sound of ice-bound water the white night. field of deep snow for the house of a person known to the Sah'b. sticking our legs under the quilt of that blessed And no sooner had the grateful warmth begun thaw us out than Habib arrived with the wherewithal for a magnificent dinner. do know that we had some trouble in attracting the However. and at last the dogs of Erzamfud barked in front of little to do with them as possible. on the lower edge of the village. it. too. To have as we made across a us. Our room was. followed the lantern into the arch. a shutter presently opened above a black arch. rooms opening out of three considered And we no longer good form to keep our sorrows to ourselves that neither Habib nor our provisions had when we heard yet turned up. Nor can I truthfully report that the lest most poignant part of our sorrow was any fear charvadar. though attention of our hosts. a woman looked out. In the middle of the room set apart for our entertainment stood a big kursi which did not a little to console us. to darken the snow. a man came down with a and we discovered that we were not too frozen to tumble off our horses. Patches of trees began.PERSIAN MINIATURES ing. 1 suppose. While he was getting it ready we had time to look about. the horses instinctively quickened their pace. slippery stairs to a loggia with sides of it. Then we lantern. the and the mules had been eaten up by the wolves who had been good enough to spare the impure Firengi.

we ate off the top of the kursi. suspect the ktcrsi had something to do with rate. it had the special savour of picnic fare. Window there was none. it. and others of us rolled up in -our blankets. and on top of the camel-thorn. And good as that dinner was. But we reckoned without our rugs for us to place where host. whose rafters of poplar trunks were black with soot. Our dinner. two holes in the roof. But besides the kursi and the fireHabib squatted at his sauce pans. out of which the family had turned in our favour. there was not a stick of furniture. as the saying goes I —or without the cat of our host. At any our dormitory was the family living room. filled in with twigs and camel-thorn. and we could scarcely keep our eyes open. of course. The walls and the were also of mud.WILD BOAR the best in the house. the family cat was not reconciled to the 267 . There were two other doors. By the time we had finished dinner and emptied the samovar it was ten o'clock. Above the rafters I could make out smaller transverse beams. expecting to fall instantly into a stupor which nothing on earth could break till it was time to start out on the serious business of our expedition. There were. however. when it was ready. which I would not have exchanged for any Ritz restaurant in Christendom. too. and however politely they concealed their feelings with regard to our invasion. lay two or three floor feet of good thick mud. for it was of good size and it over- looked the sHt of an alley —by a shuttered door that hadn't a sign of a rail or a bar to keep an unwarned newcomer from stepping off into space. So some of us went to bed under the kursi. one leading into the loggia and one into an inner store-room. in that smoky mud room of a Persian village. though there were sit on.

They admired us while we performed a somewhat sketchy toilet and consumed the far from sketchy breakfast improvised by the accomplished Habib. and they fitted so badly that by pressing against the bottom of one leaf that wretched cat could wriggle through. and all it constituted the force of beaters with v/hich we. Then poor Beau Brummel. who was one of the two to be dragged from their beds of pain upon this pleasure party. At half-past two. And the pleasantest thing about it was to look out of the holes in the roof and see a star or two give promise of a pleasant day for the boar hunt. of course. however. though not quite so pretty as the painted ones from a palace in Isfahan which you may see in the Metropolitan Museum. to track the wild boar to his snowy 268 . we all sat up and had a general confab. which generally hit somebody else's head.PERSIAN MINIATURES presence of strangers. they were double. Having affairs of her own in the inner room. to say nothing of another round of refreshments. she kept going back and forth all night beof this tween that room and the loggia. Being Persian doors. under the most Persian suns. Every time she squeezed in or out somebody woke up and threw a boot at random. Brummel. had a turn and required succour. making an immense clatter as she did so. or of us but the unhappy Beau brilliant of lair. II After that fantastic night I don't know whether we would have got up at all if half the village hadn't followed the example of the cat and broken in upon us. at last set forth. The beauty operation was that both doors were closed and locked. accordingly. This was the worse half of Erzamfud.

the villagers swore. squatting half naked in the sun. dropped after out of the hunt. I found Erzamfud. and everybody was more or less decollete. But though this is supposed to most part In Hamadan be the coldest part of Persia. With them I tramped into the mouth of a ravine of unbroken snow. whose crust was just thick enough to let you in to your knee at the instant the ball of your foot was bent for the But I blush to confess that before we had next step. Here. there were no exceptions whatever to that simple rule of life. and which in Erzamfud. reader. brought upon me the faintness that had lost me a shoe of the beaters in amazement preferring to in the pass of Sultan Bulagh. and they warned us against carry home. and ploughed shamefacedly back like a faineant through the snow to Erzamfud. a thousand feet or two above Hamadan. set forth with the others. do syllables trippingly from 1 my tongue. a river on a succession of tree trunks coated with the vast to hop from boulder to icy boulder of the stream. which causes him to puflt at the least exertion. engaged for the more intimate pleasures of The Chase. which makes the newcomer's legs lag beneath him. I caved because I had not yet got acclimated to the air of those high places. gone up that ravine a mile I caved. Like them I jibbed at crossing ice. I So. killing more than we should be able to fall Again. against which you are to be warned. it is true. however. in order not to hold all the others up.WILD BOAR The hills were full of them. had grown more or less used to seeing bare legs in snow. such of in the I it as had not gone boar hunting. which gives him cracking headaches when he least wants them. it was surprising to find how 269 .

beside its ice-choked stream. I. He informed me that the ladies of the loom would be highly insulted if we did not respond to so complimentary an overture by returning the scissors and making them a present or at least patI in the dark politics of the sex. Whereupon some ladies who were weaving at the loom promptly threw a pair of scissors at us. shaky and more than a bit conscious of As I still feeling a bit my unworthiness I as a representative of the huntsmen of Firengistan. read the omens otherwise. adept than Beau Brummel. after patting certain warm muzzles and feeling of sundry Then. Certainly much more so than Araby the Blest. Under it Erzamfud sat in its silver valley. more and an older Persian though a much younger habitue of this curious planet.PERSIAN MINIATURES comforting the sun could be. an open door on the opposite side of the street. as dark and as hot as Ethiopia and as aromatic as I don't know what. We found Bobby and his friends stowed away in such a stable as they had no doubt put up in many times before. interpreted the scissors as a hostile demonstration. who have long been imbued with a sense of the disran into Beau to tress caused to feminine sensibilities in Mohammedan lands by the intrusion of man. very picturesquely against the snow. however. At any rate. way Brummel and Askar. so I went along. And I believe Askar had breathed that air all night. with poplars pricking up darkly here and there mooned about with my camera. catching sight of a loom through pairs of tired legs. we were indiscreet enough to poke our heads through the door. Beau Brummel and I left him there. too. 270 . It was a sort of cellar without a crack of a window in it. They were on their pay the horses a visit.

It me with despair that I had no tongue to ask him a thousand things I wanted to know: story 271 . minded me that it was St. Brummel in days far gone by had ordered of him and had partly paid for three rugs. was that Beau way in the world if Beau Brummel were angry with him. a blue beard. Valentine's day! But I.WILD BOAR And he forthwith proceeded to conform to the etiquette of the country after the latter of the two methods he had outlined to me. being no Beau Brummel. If our host had his it episode of the scissors. I '' Now we are in for it ! " thought to myself. was a quaint mixture of the and of the filled sonnet. and he kept asking Beau Brummel in the most affable perhaps. which on completing our host had sold to some one else. Having expressed our appreciation of the handiwork of these coquettish weavers by several hawkings. and blue hands —into both of which he took He fairy ours upon greeting us and upon bidding us adieu. own view of the One reason. he kept to himself. He wore a blue turban. He was a middle-aged gentleman with whom blue was evidently the favourite colour. molto con espressione as musicians say. and having a little change in my pocket. was a seat under a and several glasses of not very inviting looking tea. seeing more vividly than ever the contrast in for between our course of dalliance and that of our hardier companions. which mean "very good. bright sweets which are an inseparable part of Persian hospitality. Incidentally he reting their cheeks. But what we were kursi in another part of the house." we withdrew into the arms of — the master of the house. concluded that that might be more acceptable as a tribute from an elderly intruder. to say nothing of those hard. of the words khaili khuh.

sugthe smudge of tapeh that gested a move to the roof. Perhaps he wanted to be sure where we were. muddy The cat who had destroyed our night dozed near height of her infamy was all. Erzamfud left us to our own devices. short- who might have been born anywhere. I had seen. a few them was Blue Beard. and the windowless room was so stuffy and dismal on so sunny a morning. warmed it. of course. But when it finally became apparent that no amount of shouting could make us understand more than half a dozen Persian words. pillows.PERSIAN MINIATURES how he dyed the wool for his and whether his hands were always blue or whether they and his beard and his turban were sometimes as. yellow or green. and occasionally were shooed squawking across the narrow Ladies who were not too particular about concealing their charms eyed us in rows. we car- and books. I remember it as a part of that Persian picture that to talk to us. There. passing from house to house ried rugs. for instance. out of his greater experience. exactly wives' rugs. with one eye open for an indiscreet neigh- bour of a watch-dog. of men came One 272 . chasm of the street. accordingly. children played tag from roof to roof. an entirely new phase of Persian without the inconvenience of descending into the street. Hens picked busily about. but I had not taken in the fact that people live on them and even use them as thoroughfares. so But we thanks to much than last night. that Beau Brummel. When found it at last we succeeded less tolerable in getting out from under Blue Beard's kursi we went back to our own. haired tabby The that she wasn't a Persian cat at but a plain. and there was revealed to me life. that most of the roofs in Persia are flat. us in the sun.

and how he once spent certain early spring days on top of it. is it and the peril of its low stana low standard of life to be^ 273 . it. After all. but a stone one with arms sweeping just clear of the ground.volume novel. off the roof for And I nearly fell laughing over a story Beau Brummel told me about a duel he had tried to fight with an elderly I scientist. on our Persian roof. about that blue strait. need not betray to that unsuccessful duel. — much of a stranger as I.WILD BOAR Beau Brummel uncle of his. made me Who knows? I might some day in that valley of stone houses and poplars and vineyards and running water. too. and the mystic words attendre pour atteindre. At any rate. Have duels ever cause? Out of the cause of this you the cause of more than one one Beau Brummel. when one liked want^ to get away from one's own Persia because of its and that he simplicity. Beau Brummel showed me. I still think of when hear people rail at the ignorance of the East dard of life. that there are times life. build- warm. And he said what few Anglo-Saxons of his years would have said. who had write it yet to see his twenty-fifth birthday. told me about a windmill belonging to an not a windmill like the one at the factory. looking out on the blue strait between the mainland of Asia Minor and the island of Mytilene. books He told me. So will even the modern Greek poetise ing fires of driftwood to keep himself I had never associated with a the phosphorescence of his native seas. a gold charm with initials on it not his own. in which he had often sailed and of which the Greek fishermen say the crosswinds and crosscurrents clash so fiercely that they strike sparks. and reading Beau Brummel. at least to so copy for a three. I often thought of that I afterward.

those egregious villagers announced there was too much snow back this winter for in April or hunting and they would better come November. lies not in things? However. As for the hunters. )Mine host was vastly surprised at this fresh manifesta274 . for consolation to in three me And it was at least some having made a fool of myself twice so months that they had neither shot a boar nor much as seen the track of one. was Habib who finally got us the roof. and then. not thinking how much left till the hunting party When I went on better they were than we deserved.. and know that happiness. though wolf tracks they . They it was up to their waists.PERSIAN MINIATURES content with a to little. came back more dead than alive. saying that the boar he had expected to roast for lunch was not yet arrived and that he had consequently things ready for us. thought then people there are in the how many different kinds of world. them the snow was up to our knees. I exists. and how good it is. powdering us all over as snow began to we made up a little off of the sleep It we had lost in the night. filmed over with an impalpable gray. having — floundered this way and that as the villagers guided them. had crossed in plenty. though fits how disgusting to be of a kind subject to instead of the kind that can start out on a boar hunt seven or eight thousand feet above the sea and go through with last it. they were at first past consolation. Then the fall intense blue of the sky gradually paled. to be able to endure if it much. But after lunch on top of the kursi. and at again. they revived enough to make up their minds that we would all be happier without the kursi. and after changing into dry clothes. made other While we were eating them.

while an old lady came and went in a red-and-yellow-figured chader. very careful to hold the edges of it between her teeth legs. some women were in front of working at a big carpet another kursi. To that end he proposed that the looms of in Erzamfud be inspected. his head tied up a dirty white cloth. and was perfectly willing to sell us all the poplar wood we wanted to burn in the fireplace. What heat didn't go up the chimney. They knotted busily away. from under our noses. we all felt better for having the aroma of Persia removed its madness moved the quilt and tion of the of the Firengi. There were looms in nearly every house of this village and outrageous looms most If — 275 . They had been kicked in the jaw by a horse. but not at all solicitous about her bare in A poor wretch of a told us he man hovered in the outskirts of the com- pany. another room of which. you will see something by lying on a roof. of course. disappeared through the two chinks in the roof and through the cracks of those famous doors. A baby or two howled in a corner.WILD BOAR wooden frame from over the carted away every vestige of tapeh smouldering therein. escorted by the master of the house and by a mtr^a of the Sah'b's tunely turned up from Simin. And we began in our own house. downstairs. who had oppor- you want to know what a Persian village is like. Still. but you will see more by inspecting looms. he re- fire-hole in the mud floor. alarmed by the visitors in who kept crowding to stare at the strangers. However. We soon retired in their favour. safely facing their loom. By off his this time the indefatigable Sah'b was ready to put character of Nimrod and put on that of connoisseur of rugs.

One reason these shortcomings might be that in and from a for Erzamfud they had not long been weaving rugs of any such size as those many of we saw. counting her time and her maintenance in her own house as things hardly to be paid for. as they do in other provinces. the wooden uprights being made of such crooked tree trunks. stiffer Some rest. the Persians call is a do-iar. because he had agreed to buy all the rugs woven in Erzamfud during a term of years. and the thread for the foundation would cost not less than twelve. wool was much duller and than the when the Sah'b taxed them with having shorn it dead sheep. And in one house he 1 don't pointed out to me the difference between two kinds of wool the women were using. and the cross-pieces of such crooked branches. costs in the Bazaar of it Hamadan when is new and not of too good a quality perhaps sixteen It tomans. as is I made what said. A two-yard. would take a woman it. who had more to say about it than you might think.— PERSIAN MINIATURES of them were. I The weavers were all women of and this girls. 276 . have already a two-yard though a ^ar really thirty-nine inches. might add: never a man in this region stoops to so soft a craft. made feet the weavers rip out of know how many square what they had woven. of which the wool. Once or twice the Sah'b. they could not deny him. the Sah'b told me. if she kept strictly at satisfied to get for and for her four months' work she would be back a pittance more than what she spent the materials. that we did not wonder at the crookedness of some of the rugs. What was more surprising was to fmd how much straighter certain of the rugs on such looms were than others on the straightest looms of all. having always This. the dye. about four months to weave.

the buteh. though they confidently name — him a ruler of western Persia. that decorative figure with a bent point. is The specialty of Erzamfud. the husbands that went with the looms. which Erzamfud is is famous. named after one Mina Khan. and not from the painted patterns they use in the factory at Hamadan. who happened would have tools. in to What the weavers might better have killed us thrown at like us. To an ignoramus like myself. for its a sort of Aubusson red on a not quite so successful. and of a prettier pattern of open blossoms in a loose white lattice that it was one of the oldest designs in Persia. after little all. how common rugs are in Persia. This vandalism scandalised but it taught me. what with the inspectors. party. was quite a lesson in design to be told of the figure on one half-fmished rug that it went by the name of the lily or of the henna flower. so common on the shawls of Kerman. and odd relatives inspect the Firengi. beautiful red dye. which Europeans call the pear pattern. But who that Mina Khan may have been nobody knows and least of all the gentlemen who write rug books. These heavy iron which weavers 277 . too. I saw more necessary to sentimental- of them it lying on the mud floors of hovels that afternoon than hanging on looms. I was pained to hear that the blue of the dyer is with the scissors-throwing wives But I am happy to add that nobody threw any more We were now much too formidable a scissors at us. me in the highest degree. were the combs with which they beat down their rows of knots. and a thousand other things.WILD BOAR d Wherever we went we found the weavers working from vagireh. lower key. it and how ise anybody thinks about them. a piece cut out of an old rug. and what in that case a shot. the pine pattern. too. little however.

in front of a door so low that pet. is under the kursi. So remember it the next time your right-angled Ango-Saxon eye is offended by some inequality of design or colour in a Perlighted a It lamp —and such a lamp! 278 . it is sometimes because the poor little wretches remain lost to sight too long under the quilt. and rugs to sit was highly on. like me. up. you are more interested in terested in rugs. or without missing a knot. on we saw many more lamps of the same kind. with a nick at one end to keep the wick As the afternoon drew in place. Nobody of could afford such a thing as a big caralso provided with a hursiy and were redolent of that penetrating odour of tapeh. for the sake of the light. some nothing but a tin pot. When they do. some of coloured earthenware. They all had mud floors. and get smothered in the Stench of the tapeh. of course. reached through two others. but babies have a shifty way of not staying put. One loom we inspected was in a pitch-dark back room. The best of them gave out no more than a spark. are much bigger and clumsier than the ones used in Hamadan like most of the other — appliances All this we saw. was a blue earthenware bowl of oil. there were things to see in the rooms containing the looms. interesting if you happen to be inIf. of course. for that matter.PERSIAN MINIATURES often represent on their rugs and which westerners explain in the most fantastic ways. The true place for a baby. And once inside you had to walk softly lest you step on a baby. Most them were you had to stoop to get through it. people. Many The loom would be set of them had no windows at all. set in a handled tray. There two women were weaving away without seeing a sign of what they were For our benefit they doing.

pit at the light end of the room where his ladies were weaving. and one huddled as close to the next as land were as precious on Manhattan Island. is however. kneading their dough by beating it against the cobblestones that And somewhere else a man sat in a lined the fire-hole. no doubt waiting to I make his contribution to the masterpiece of the house. manufacturing himself a narrow strip of brown homespun for an aba. contained a watch-dog. By pressing a pedal with his foot he worked the alternate threads of his warp back and forth. Tethered to another loom we found a woolly lamb. They seemed to be as on the roofs as on the ground. don't remember whether this house was the one where they had taken off the top of the kursi and two women were making barley bread over the tapeh fire. furthermore. made like everything else of clay and full of the prettiest cooing Almost every yard. however. Blue all Beard has something to do.WILD BOAR sian rug. while between them he threw from one hand to the other the shuttle carrying the woof. inhabitants. as he not likely to dye the wool needed for one rug in one water. snarling much down at at home us from the tops of the houses in the most inhospitable manner or barking after us for the length of a street and showing 279 . They were all plain sags —and all perfectly ready to tear us limb from limb. barnyards we saw a dovecote. Outside the houses looked more substantial than most village houses. Few them were more than one storey if high. In one Most of them had like interior open spaces. which were more than city courts. because a good deal of stone was set of in their mud. His apparatus was more like what we understand by a loom. With the matter of colour. There wasn't a tuleh or a ta:[i among them.

19 14. an Irishman. saved us from monotony by the heights to which he rose in the dinner. it way of dinner. passing through a tilted square with a big pool in and children came and went about the pool with earthenware amphorae on their shoulders. am happy I to report. it is true. They stood out the more darkly because of the pale slope beyond. Nor is there much to say of our return the next morning Erzamfud gathered as one man. Below us we could just distinguish the glimmer of the river. which we recognised only when a small boy mounted to one corner of the roof and chanted the call to sunset prayer. a Frenchman. Ill On our second night in Erzamfud it is not necessary to enlarge. star. Yet Habib. quite in the most approved classic manner. though in the end they began to be reconciled to our presence among their friends. For be known I that on St. to see us off down the long white valley 280 . minus the kursi. its Erzamfud saw what first confidently believe to have been by an Englishman. winding away it. after all. Valentine's Day. down and nip off somebody's They got none. was ignominiously routed by the of bridge. It was a replica of the first. according to his wont. And the was followed by a sufficiently historic event. Even the cat did not fail us with her devilish performances. played game — forces of the Entente. and an American wherein the last.PERSIAN MINIATURES every disposition to reach ear if they got half a chance. not to to Hamadan. So we went home at last. Women under the afterglow between topped by a diamond its bare poplars. A less classic mosque stood at one side of the square. say as one dog.

never saw again the nameI stone houses where meant to write the was perfectly willing not Other bridges to have to pass again the bridge of Al Sirat. and he jumped about more skittishly than became his years. As it was. see the plain of Below the farther edge of it we could Hamadan. rocking down to Isfahan by daylight in this cold weather. The sky was covered hills again. though more often than not we forded the It gave me a pang to hear that if we half-frozen streams. and gulches gouged out of it which nothing but a " tank" Mere horses could no could possibly have coped with. You would have thought 281 . Bobby pretended to be alarmed by that exGreat American Novel! But I — traordinary ophidian air of theirs. more than follow a trail at one side until they met a Most of the caravans were mule or donkey caravan. having seen a million or them during his checkered career. and so much From the colour of the tops of the that we could barely detect where one stopped and the other began. camels. in one of which some boys were playing on the roofs a game more of of ball I had no time to look into. After passing through one or two big mud villages. we passed in plenty. had only started in the opposite direction we might have ended in Isfahan. uncannily blue under the gray the horses recognised it sky. the highway gave me a new comprehension of the stories I had heard about motoring There were boulders strewing the middle of it in Persia. the country flattened out in front of us. the village trail we presently struck into a well- travelled road that led us home by I the way we ought to have taken before less village of — and alas.WILD BOAR of muffled water. But several times we encountered long strings of trains. several of them brick ones with pointed arches.

for crossed we soon took to the fields. But what would you? Life is like that. I shall not be the one to complain. very hot. and pitted by the yawning mouths of holes that end in subterranean streams.PERSIAN MINIATURES we and very likely they did better. Each went his own gait in a thick snow that soon began to fall again. there — neck. 282 . At any was no keeping them together after that. if ever. Who ever came home with that in his bag which he set out to get? And if you choose to spell my title in a different way. crossin country riding the land of the Sun furnishes the elesport. Bobby leaped brooks like a grasshopper and by the grace of God he landed me now because the flurrying snow in no bottomless pit but at the Khanum's lunch table. However. out of breath after that long gallop. I am sorry. not a little and highly exhilarated by the pleasures of boar hunting. was my best chance to break my as well as rate. to have told you after all not very — much about the wild boar of northwestern Iran. It ments of an exciting was the more exciting made it impossible to see where one was going. And with fields criss- by irrigation ditches. Nimrod. Then.

For him there was nothing to do. I remember another whom. drilling gendarmes. His Viking fathers might mount a beaked galley and steer for England or Normandy or Sicily. I entertain you for one of my hundred. sir. and for other young Swedish officers who wanted trouble. fell generally found what they wanted. unable to closet. Persia. spending a night in a supposedly friendly victim to a feud between one of his own Persian lieutenants and his host. but to go out to ing brigands. William Shakespeare: the tragedy of king lear HE disguise WAS born in Italy: I never asked him why. I remember vil- one who. track- and otherwise bearing strange testimony to that in man which even before Europe took to living in trenches would revolt against delicate days and a Christian bed. his fair hair and blue eyes of the north under any tall white lamb's wool cap.XVII VIGNETTE OF A TIME GONE BY You. having skeletons in my own And here he is in Hamadan. only I do not fashion of your garments: you will say. a Kashgai shot from an upper 283 . like the attire. they are Persian hut let them he changed. I never asked He was brought up in France: him why either. They lage. as he set about dynamiting the door of a mud castle be- tween Shiraz and the Gulf.

For after he is a I human Major. Do not remember a party discreet questions? It when we came out. did for the Major to come late to dinner. who owned villages here and there and wives in every one. letting rifles. started asking at last. being perched on a crag fell 284 . saying he was tired of talking Persian all the time. you may remember. He but was caught and courtmartialled. subject to like passions as we. He was a young gentleman of twentyfour. which ran like a continued story through my year in Hamadan.PERSIAN MINIATURES loophole. he gave my lords of the hills one more chance all to square accounts by organising a farewell drive against them before going home to wed. His favourite residence was not unlike that of the Old Man of the Mountain. the Major was generally out of it. and supplying them with serted. collecting copy for successive chapters of the tale of Abbas the Highwayman. was the individual who robbed a messenger of the Bank of 17. Of the house where he lived by himself I knew only that there was nothing in it but rugs and a couple of orderlies who knew how to boil rice and grease rifles. reputed to be of most agreeable manners and appearance. That Abbas. it whom This was had been discovered that he was brigands. And the Major: having served his time un- scathed. that he him inhad just been shooting one of a gendarme of his precious cut-throats. to eat next to nothing. with a funny look in his gay blue eyes. betraying information to imprisoned then de- ones go. and to stay longer than the other guests. And it upon the unhappy Major to cast the deciding vote as to what should be done with him. For the rest. to refuse to dance afterward. not all But enough of them the firing-squad pulled their triggers. At the word.000 tomans.

the doughty Abbas began to shoot. On one of them he unearthed 1. quite by accident. through neutral channels. too. simple. a jar of pretty blue earthenware.500. without losing To get him out of it was not men than the Major liked to While the secret service of the Young Man of the Mountain was much too good for him to get his neck into any such sling. he surprised in an AH Baba of flour. did that amusing villain meet his end. and rase every one of its mud houses to the ground. surrounded on three sides by precipices. turn it inside out to see if Abbas happened to be there. For. in the pockets of certain personages were to be looked for in Hamadan too lofty for me to name. apparently full powdery person who knew something about the remaining 15. On another. But every now and then the Major would pounce on one of his more accessible villages. But it did not prevent him from 285 .VIGNETTE OF A TIME GONE BY of Sultan Bulagh. the Major made many a fruitful haul on these little raids. The three gendarmes replied in kind and got killed for their pains. A good many of them. more spare. after confiscating valuables and making a selection of wives and confederates for prison or the firing-squad. and transferred his activities to another part of the country. he drew a bullet. it appeared. encountering a carriage in which another Swedish officer happened to be making a peaceful journey.500 of the missing tomans. As for the Swede. The resourceful Abbas accordingly proposed. So. not having read his "Arabian Nights" for nothing. followed by no more than three gendarmes. that he be made a gendarme himself and be put in charge But he of his favourite section of the Russian road! failed to keep the midnight tryst which the Major agreed upon for the discussion of this ticklish subject.

fact. and there are new tests of courage and endurance since that popular legend of him was put together which left so strangely out of account the very human man behind it. who can read to-day the stories of sabre and spur he fathered? Or those desolating American novels. subterfuges. through the simple fact that after a long period of mere existence the world suddenly began to lords of live! — And who but the high will romance like Kipling and Conrad be saved from the scrap-heap of conventions. and Even timidities piling up around us in these epic days? how will he come off". about the office boy who made Stevenson: ture has 286 . Can you not see. 19 14. how somebody else.PERSIAN MINIATURES whipping out his revolver in time to lay low the Young of his band. Such. in those quaint old times. eh? Yet more in that curious is it to consider that out of such stuff as this were concocted half the books we used to read prehistoric age self which ended in August. I believe one called them. never will the Major forgive him for that undeserved piece of luck. might have cooked up a pretty enough novel of the Zenda school? And can you imagine anybody reading it now? How pale and impossible most of them have automatically become. though. I wonder? For advengrown poignant since his time. for their super- Curious to look back on. but a sober recorder of have at- tempted to make no copy out of the Major and his Persian brigand. putting in a petticoat or two and deflecting one of those numerous bullets into the Major's hide or dogging him to his wedding day. were the ways in which active young men found outlet fluous energy. Man of the Mountain and two And never. Being myI no romancer. At any rate.

Exploded — too little to inspire. Perhaps it was not their fault. by men who don't know how to write. mind Did those you. man who went lassoing steers or conceivable that those creaking inven- and pasteboard. those imitations of imita- swords and back-drop piled tions of imitations. if people? other they were born too soon. and the pure young and the naughty young digging gold? tions of string Is it man who went into politics. those hasards of wooden castles. tion will have to write about But what things the next generaif only it fmds out how! — 287 . weep for my race. Any daily paper.VIGNETTE OF A TIME GONE BY good. contains stories ten times more thrilling and most of them written. after all. and had too little to humble them. not only found breathless readers but up fortunes ! for their writers? I Done! Finished! Or if not. any number of the Atlantic Monthly.

and one that demands more of its to the traveller from afar — possessor. if they ever existed. And beauty is beauty. the sum of individual progress. Well. and to the accident of a young girl's beauty. if a rarer one. perhaps genius is an acciWhereas Avicenna dent. as a nation. they converted National progress is that mass into a living force. the greater famous people who have lived there. merely shake off that dead weight which clogs the movement of a people — its inert mass of common people.^^l^^mm XVIII AVICENNA It IVar makes a people run through its phases of existence fast. Draper: history of the intellectual develop- ment OF EUROPE IS perhaps fitting that ITnumber ness of of SO ancient a city of is as are tombs But it among the few '"sights" Hamadan. would have taken the Arabs many thousand years to have ad- vanced intellectually as Jar as they did in a single century. a sample of the capricious- fame that the tomb most frequently pointed out is that of Queen Esther and her cousin Mordecai who. too. while philosophy is 288 . remained in profound peace. W. J. owe the memory of them that lingers in a forgetful world to one unknown pen. national immobility the result of individual quiescence. had They did not they.

over other books." they had no more to say about it. inquired in vain for the grave that now adds it most honour to the name of Ecbatana. that of the Prince of Sages. Nor was very much wiser when I turned over the odds and ends of books at my Only after had gone away and disposal in Hamadan. then.AVICENNA merely philosophy. that this Avicenna Know. as he apparently can. It is much air more man named it. can no more than make belated amends this for my ignorance by weaving to his ragged wreath. when they said to me "That is Avicenna's tomb. was a Pico della Mir- andola of the tenth century. has marked his his burial. indeed. house. in a world unknown to had turned 1 I Avicenna. did he who once I filled the world with the rumour of his name So begin to become for me anything more memory than a name. So it is that Layard. So is that Williams Jackson places it in quite a different I quarter of the town from the one where look for it. but something like once breathed the thin of Elvend than that the beautiful Jewess Esther ever did. to be sure. in a wall of which I am told on very good authority But that some treatises of his were once uncovered. Prof. and tradition seems always to have marked the place of Another tradition. was told to And so it is that I. ever set foot in the mausoleum This facing a as I is not because I never saw that low mud dome because little walled garden on the right bank of the river. you go from Kolapa to the Bazaar. the excavator of Nineveh. named Abu Ali al-Hosein 289 . — not Avicenna. had any reason to doubt certain that a wise its Nor is it authenticity. who warn you against Jackson's honestly named "rough I draft/' cannot say.

and Vienna were humble frontier towns of which no stranger had heard. Incredible as it and one of the most imself-satisfied seems to us of the West. The Caliph Mamun. there containing books and the society of were very few those cities who read or wrote them. you remember. the Europeans who first translated him wrote in His father was a native of Balkh or Belkh. The day of Baghdad. as it hap- pened. then a part of Persia. Alexandria. Ibn Sina himself. Bokhara. and when Cordova was not quite at the pitch of its preeminence. in the West —he was really a Persian. Bokhara was worthy to be compared with Baghdad and Petrograd did not yet exist. He wrote Arabic because just as Latin. thanks to the invention of printing and the an in- ease with which finity of places we get about the world. indeed. Paris. on the contrary.a PERSIAN MINIATURES Abdallah ibn Sina. in was the learned language of the time. there is of his scholarship. and the lad passed the greater part of his boyhood In our time. too. and Constantinople as a focus of intellectual activity. now it Afghanistan but then one of the four chief cities of the great province of Khorasan. where a scholar may lay the foundations At that time. however. But Bokhara. was in that city. had already begun to wane. was one of those portant. was a hundred and fifty years dead. cities. when London. was born is in said to 980 in a village near Bokhara where his father have been a tax collector. Although accounted the last and the greatest of the Arab philosophers of the East— in century or two after him there were others. Rome. The centre of gravity of the Abbasid caliphand Constantinople in that age when Berlin 290 . under whom and under whose father Harun al Rashid Baghdad had rivalled Athens.

was one of the last of his line and not quite so munificent Nevertheless. And. Of his early life the Persians tell the most fanciful things —which probably have a substratum of truth. that the Emir of Bokhara treated him magnificently enough for him never to go out of the house without a train of two hundred servants and four hundred camels! Nuh or Noah II. loving to have about them I who wrote have read who lived a little earlier than Ibn Sina.AVICENNA ate had already shifted to Khorasan. So it cumstances. whose family was presumably not in the most exalted cirtime. those Samanids. he lived in one of those periods which quicken maturity. not only books but those of a poet They were books. whose grandsons had established a kingdom of their own under the nominal suzerainty of the distant Caliphs. the Samanid under whom Ibn Sina was born. of Suffice it to any one but the say that the Samanids Bokhara were descended from another Persian of Balkh. become the seat of one of those local dynasties and Bokhara had which make Persian history from the ninth to the sixteenth centuries a kaleidoscope impossible for fanatic to follow. Bokhara was still such a a friend of poets. place as a boy like Ibn Sina would have chosen to be brought up in. the schoolboy of his age schoolboy of ours. great patrons of letters. He belonged to a race which matures quickly. considerable as was the enlightenment of the had less to learn than the was that the future philosopher. began at the age of five to take lessons in 291 . and whose power was now threatened by the constantly increasing pressure from the East of the Turks. whose sons had served Harun al Rashid. if he had had anything to say about it. and he was gifted with unusual after all. powers of mind and memory.

and lets it go at that. At ten he knew all there was to know about the Indian calculus. evolvBut luckily there ing certain new methods of treatment. the Isagoge of of Porphyry. he had begun to practise medicine on his own account. and the Almagest Claudius Ptolemy. he was not content to investigate life He investigated enthusiasm. way of keeping awake at his with equal work. experimented with by The strong waters. About this time he fell into the hands of a wandering physician. little And by the time he was seventeen there was very left in his world for him to learn. as arithmetic was then called. if you please. A French biographer whom I have consulted says that he was of mceurs deplorables. was in him a strong streak of the human. At sixteen. and Aristotle without which it is not necessary to specify! An English biographer lets us into a few details. apparently a Nestorian. and that tincture of no man could then or for long afterward count himself educated. being thoroughly grounded as well in Persian and Arabic literature and the Koran. I suppose deplorable habits are deplorable habits the world over. dwelling more on the taste of this remarkable young man for strong waters than on his penchant for he first fair persons. who laid the foundation of Ibn Sina's medical career.PERSIAN MINIATURES arithmetic from a grocer of Bokhara the help of an abacus such as you —no doubt with may see in any Persian bazaar or Chinese laundry. besides teaching him logic. At any rate. it seems. —otherwise the astronomy Add to this the mysticism which he picked up from one Ismail the Sufi. and you will see that the young Ibn Sina must have been an infant prodigy of the most pernicious sort. Euclid. He was also well started in algebra and theology. books. 292 .

learned Arabic. until in the king's library he found the Aristotelian commentaries of another great man named This to Farabi was a Turk of the ninth century who went Baghdad. performed his ablutions.AVICENNA At this early age Ibn Sina made the beginning of his immense reputation. Ibn Sina Bokhara and returned to his father's village. gave thanks upon his prayer rug you may be perfectly sure that it was not a ''Bokhara"! and made their careers. after this. when he was eighteen. found a princely patron who took him to Mosul. where he prepared to become a tax collector himself. He had of course read Aristotle long before that. of this great The discovery real man was accounted by Ibn Sina as the life. beginning of his intellectual other great just as the discovery of was Ibn Sina by his discovery that he went at once to a mosque. or Vienna. men has And started other browsers in libraries on so enchanted — — an alms to the poor. he had read Aristotle through. And in it he discovered that there was. and before he died in Damascus acquired such fame as a philosopher that he became known among the Arabs as the Second Master. forty times —without getting much Farabi. in In fact. Whether Not long left it was at this time that the king's library caught fire I 293 . Everybody did in those days. something left for him to learn. Aristotle being the First and Ibn Sina himself the Third. Nuh II was not the sick king in Bokhara about whom Matthew Arnold has told us. him. who was thereupon given the run of the king's famous library. and no one was able to cure him save master Ibn Sina. after all. out of Paris. Arabic. but Nuh II fell ill. except in uncivilised places like London. called by some Afshena and by others Harmaitin.

who passed there for a Khahrezm held a court less lordly than — the Samanids but one at which letters were equally welcome. or in Arabic Urjensh. first Nuh life II. native. peculiar estimation in men of learning and And it is proof of the which such men were held at that new protector received a per- time in that part of the world that Ibn Sina had not been long in Urganj before his emptory demand from another and more potent sovereign to the effect that the five most learned members of Mamun's at court be forthwith despatched to his in Afghanistan. perforce. first became a true peripatetic. His step in the long series of wanderings that ended nearly forty years later by the river in Hamadan took him local to a place called Urganj. in spite of the famous cure. Then in any one else having been able Bokhara began to grow exjust beginning to trouble tremely uncomfortable by reason of certain rude neighbours called Turks. And about I002 Ibn Sina's father died. neither Ibn Sina nor to save him. place his protector. But he had barely begun to make use of that knowledge. 294 . Here spells another prince. That. Mamun —of Khwarasm? that of Khuarizm? it Vambery. when both he and In the his enemies found other things to think about.PERSIAN MINIATURES cannot say. perhaps not unhappily. who were that polite Persian country of the Oxus which the Arabs had first troubled three hundred years before. died. So. by starting the literary work which he had gained from filled so much of the rest of his life. ancestor of the modern Khiva. own court Ghazna. setting it Ibn Sina's enemies accused Ibn Sina of fire in on order to keep to himself the knowledge it. he put an end to tax collecting and threw our young Aristotelian upon his own resources.

We must remember. named Mahmud and appropriately nicknamed the Idol Smasher.000 dirhems. He was of Sultan.000. consented to make the best of a bad business and go to Ghazna. that in those days one edition of a book consisted of one copy. that the writing of this long poem had taken the best part of twenty-five years. he was at that moment engaged in smashing more than idols.AVICENNA This truculent individual was one of the most notable the first. left Firdeusi finished his poem it about the time Ibn Sina to Bokhara. or some ^2. When he took Mahmud at Ghazna. Perhaps they had heard about their great contemporary the poet Firdeusi. 20. By race a Turk. This historical epic occupies in modern Persian literature the place which the Divina Commedia does in Italian. to wear means power or authority. the title In letters he was less adept than in arms and in the use of elephants to which much of his success in battle was attributed by the more polished Persians of the time. which — carving a short-lived empire out of the borders of Persia and India. being intent on figures of that age. who dedicated to Mahmud of Ghazna his masterpiece the Shah Nameh. to which his demand for the wise men of Prince Mamun was a preliminary. among whom was the historian Al-Biruni. and that poets 295 in . being the first serious piece of literature in composed of Persia in the spoken instead of the learned language under the Caliphs. As for Ibn Sina and his fellow-philosopher Masihi. however. Three of the wise men. they say. namely. the Turkish Idol Smasher paid him what might seem to many poets a fair price. they took not kindly to the notion of being driven into the service of an Idol Smasher and a Turk. In 1017 he annexed the territories of Kha- rezm.

The Sipahbud accepted the honour.000 dirhems. if It would appear that Ibn Sina was the father of Janet and the Freudian family of psycho-analysts. nephew himself of the discreet Sipahhud who treated profitable cure for the Firdeusi so handsomely. fled from Urganj with his who died in the desert before reaching Merv. there were not in this case some echo of an earlier one 296 . whence he Tabaristan. From there Ibn Sina his proceeded to Tus and Nishapur. as the funeral procession of of Tus. divided the seller At any rate.PERSIAN MINIATURES general were treated very much more handsomely than Firdeusi they are now. The story goes that his success in curing a fellow-traveller at an inn was the means of his performing a more nephew of still another petty monarch. at the rate of a thousand dir- hems a couplet. was passing out of one gate entered by another a caravan from the Firdeusi there Idol Smasher. of that Ziarid house which in the tenth and eleventh centuries reigned over Tabaristan and Irak Ajemi. and discreetly suppressed the dedication. in a hundred couplets of satire on Sultan Mahmud. one Kabus. But to return to Ibn Sina: he associate Masihi. There he dedicated his book anew to the local potentate. made way into the low country at the southeastern corner of the Caspian then called There he found another patron. bringing the dead poet a belated recompense of 1. And several years later.500. was so disgusted by the Idol Smasher's appreciation of poetry that he money between a bath-man and a sherbetand ran away to his native town of Tus. in the town called by the Persians Gurgan and by the Arabs Jurjan^ And there he began the Canon of Medicine on which chiefly rested his mediaeval fame.

Deuleh. sian of Rei. The fame of that hospital was largely due to an earlier philosopher-physician. that after a thousand years any of those East. I fear. There is no hope. But time was a great known as the birth- place of Harun al Rashid. For by keeping his finger young prince. Ibn Sina discovered that the name of a certain young woman pro- duced so marked a perfect cure. himself a poet 1 miniatures will turn up in some one's album! caused our hero to take the road again. not long after Ibn Sina had settled down under his And the rumoured approach of the terrible Turk roof.AVICENNA involving Erosistratus of Alexandria and one of the Seleucids. Biruni. after a career very nearly as checkered as that of his young physician. There Ibn Sina found his next royal patient and patron in the person of Majd ed who was 297 of the Buyids of Irak . while talking of this on the pulse of the and of that. and by some accounts a greater. flutter of the patient's heart that the physician was able to diagnose the case and prescribe a His fortune. or Rhages. in that to say nothing of forgers of the same. this time in the direction of Rei. city. The name from Tehran. with the order that At any and a former patron of AlBut. is whose ruins lie not far now most it familiar to collectors of Per- pottery. therefore. seemed to be made — in spite of the fact that the Idol Smasher had caused Ibn Sina's portrait to be sent to the four quarters of the whoever discovered the original should arrest him and carry him to Ghazna. he died or was assassinated somewhere about 10 2. paid no attention to his rival's demand. the local ruler. rate Kabus. containing one of the most famous hospitals of the East. whose name the Europeans have twisted into Rhazes.

He must by this time have been in his thirties. was that his talents as an administrator were I not equal to his ability as a writer and a leech. and more ments of particularly the continued encroach- his old bete noir the Turk of Ghazna. or near them. in the course of which they pillaged the house and went so far as to demand the head of the ad= venturer from Bokhara. And under the protection of this personage Ibn Sina of Bokhara now became Vizier of Ecbatana. when a quarrel between Majd ed Deuleh and his brother Shams ed Deuleh of Hamadan. and who at that time was the prince in his leaving of Hamadan. The latter hid for forty days in sian prince presently the house of a friendly sheikh until the prince. I take it to have been somewhere between 1015 and 1020.Rei to some thirty of his treatises. The high- born lady. have more copious records of if We accordingly than this period of his life he had been a mere philosopher or it man of letters. So he went on to Kazvin. And his next abiding place was the one which was destined to be his last the pleasant town of Hamadan. Whether say. yet not too old to interest a patron whom the chronicles all too obscurely describe as a highborn lady. caused such minute search to be made for his Vizier- 298 . where he remained but a short time. Exactly in what year Ibn Sina arrived in the city where — he now sleeps I have not been able to learn. soon passed him over to the very Shams ed Deuleh who had been concerned Rei. however. caused the unhappy philosopher to exercise his philosophy and pack up anew. Ibn Sina had stayed long enough in.PERSIAN MINIATURES write and Pars. falling ill. a row. cannot But the Kurdish and Turkish soldiers of the Permade what we call in Hamadan a shulukh.

. I By suppose.AVICENNA physician that Ibn Sina court to cure him. By day he discharged his public duties as Vizier. wine openers. Ibn from power or resigned. Ibn Sina continued to be court physician and Vizier. dancers. During this time he completed the famous Canon though I give the critic leave to differ from me and he that time. chief of the 299. him for finding life Precisely is what happened when Shams ed Deuleh died I not very clear from the accounts fell have read. with the intention Perhaps he had of giving himself up to his literary work. if he did not finish the almost equally famous in its Latin translation as Sanatio. and enjoyed a brief season of prosperity which ended with the death of his master in 02 1. and other persons of a sort we do shall not habitually associate with philosophy. and arch philosopher These ap- of the eleventh century. pear to have brought him into contact with singers. none of which prevented him life from leading a much livelier than I would ever sus- pected possible in staid Hamadan. 1 — — conceived Shifa. Yet who say that friends of many kinds. and experiences of all sorts. against do not find it in my heart to cry out very bitterly quite as interesting as books. do not conduce to philosophy?. otherwise styled as Ala ed Deuleh. physician. while I do not go so I far as to set up Ibn Sina as a pattern for youth. was found and brought back to if any heads disappeared they At any rate. The night he seems to have di- vided between his v/riting and his pleasures. were those of the soldiers. known He also wrote many other treatises. Sina either by this find star was invariably his lot to a patron whose star was on the wane. For my own part. and one whose was in the ascendant seemed to be Abu Jafar Motime discovered that it hammed.

— Ibn Sina was released. now in middle life. Mahmud of Ghazna." to Isfahan. scale. And after writing another well-known treatise he decamped. continued to throw the dust of perturbation into the cup of his security. he was allowed a pension. in what must have been Ibn Sina was the effective disguise of a Sufi ascetic. his reputation was al- ready spread far and wide throughout the extremely telligent in- world in which he lived. Isfahan received him with all the honours which in that faraway day and in that remote country were paid to a talent like his. as Firdeusi same personage. when Ala ed Deuleh captured Hamadan in 1023 or 1024. A more curious example of the constancy of fate was that his life-long enemy. he either made overtures to this prince or was suspected of doing so by the successor of Shams ed Deuleh from whom he hid in the house of an apothecary but who found him and shut him up in a fortress somewhere outside of Hamadan. for this most successful period of his was if anything the most disordered. on a larger the functions he had performed for his Shams ed Deuleh. and a person somewhat vaguely sketched as "a favourite pupil. he had written most of the works on which his fame rests. exhilarat- But he did not cease to take career interest in the more life. and once very nearly succeeded in capturing both Ibn Sina and his master. and philology. And when the terrible Turk died said of the 300 . with two slaves.PERSIAN MINIATURES At all events. handsome and he fulfilled for Ala ed Deuleh. The Idol Smasher did capture and carry off to Ghazna a quantity of Ibn Sina's books. however. his brother. to little He now turned mind to literature which he had been ing things of criticised for paying too attention. A palace was put at his disposal. Buyids reigning in Isfahan.

hearing the it every three days. I learned from Prof. son. undermined by his careless habit of burning the candle at both ends. advanced in years. Ibn Sina. was tered but shatto poison by an attempt which one of his slaves made him. and some of my readers will no doubt be happy to hear that he paid all penalties. a mystic poet by the name of Abu 301 Professor . Nevertheless. the princess Nigar Khanum.AVICENNA in 1030 his son Masud zealously took all up his policy of harrying Ibn Sina and with him western Persia — until a quietus was put upon him by those more terrible Turks. the Seljuks. Turkoman house of the Kajars. he distributed his goods among the poor. who overran Persia and Asia Minor in the middle of the eleventh century. he re- bed repentance of stored his sins. in the It y^r is 1037. and she reared or restored that humble dome in the year of grace 1877. Under it lies. life But it is one of the ironies of tomb which now covers his grave was built by a member of that Turkish race from which he spent that the the better part of his days in attempting to flee. He — give ear. and he caused the whole of Koran to be read continuously aloud to him. he suffered a relapse into a mortal illness. trait of the another human in him that he made a deathfreed his slaves. So he breathed his last in the pleasant month of June. he recovered sufficiently to accompany his royal patron back to Hamadan. This of the was another high-born lady. His constitution. too. O followers of /Esculapius! —moneys which might have been considered dishonestly gained. in the meantime. and was buried by that capricious river whose waters flow from the snows of Elvend. Williams JackSaid. Ibn Sina died just in time to escape the onrush of the Seljuks. But there.

Professor Browne quotes a quaint story to the effect that after the first meeting of these two great men Ibn Sina said: "What I know. was a contemporary and friend of Ibn Sina. however. 302 on the . put our vices and our virtues by. nor was the Sea of Sciences able to tell me anything very definite. The first. he sees. Browne that a certain Abu Said ibn Abul Khair. G." while Abu ''What I see. dost try To save thyself. or neglect made good? Vainly on grace divine dost thou rely!" Professor Khorasan say where. till better proof be forth- coming. he knows/' Browne Said's remark was: also translates a couple of quatrains exchanged by the famous pair. which is now a greater magazine of books than was ever Bokhara or Alexandria. and the done undone thereby. upon reaching faraway New York. E. the undone done Is reckoned.: PERSIAN MINIATURES Jackson says no more about him." Tis we who on God's To which "O the Sufi made response: steeped in sin and void of good. which was Ibn Sina's. For where thy grace exists. that those two forgotten great great age are really the ones men of a forgotten who lie together under the raised humble dome which the Turkoman princess river bank of Hamadan. the father of Sufi verse. in Browne says that Abu Said was born in 968 and that he died in 1049 he does not — Let us have it then. to learn from Prof. and thy misdeeds deny? Can sins be cancelled. follows " ' What was my Who grace do most rely. runs as pleasure then.

zoology. botany. mysticism. theology. but was an encyclopedia of Another was entitled "On the Utility and Advantage of Science. but others very They covered almost every branch of science as it was then known logic. after all. composing several of his shorter works in rhyme. alchemy. is The fruit some of his philological studies embodied in his treatise "On the Arabic Language and Its Properties. philosophy. Among his imaginative writings is an allegory of the called " Hai ibn Yakzan. Amid all the varied distractions of his he found time to write over a hunshort. ber of his works are there lost. not too vivid or complete. who difficult of living left wrote in one of the least known and most tongues and who never went its out of Persia. medicine. Observations. fact that the Yet is a occupant of that obscure mausoleum. music. chemistry. He found leis- ure to catalogue the medicinal plants that grow on the He was familiar with the surgical pro- cedure of known as the intubation of the larynx. — some very : is true. slopes of Elvend.'* The greater numamong them we know that human knowledge in twenty He correctly described the formation of mountains and the process of petrifaction. the Pico della Mirandola of traits.'' and a third "On Astronomical volumes. with his so humanly contradictory piques it our curiosity more than what we do know. metaphysics. psychology. What we do not know about Persia.AVICENNA II This is a story. it dred books long. a name as the Prince of Sages that for six hundred years after his death filled the world with life rumour." He was withal a poet. mathematics." less And 303 to him are ascribed on no than three contemporary authorities many .

of mine. Nor should I fail to 304 . I should warn you against a certain pseudo-Aristotelian Theology which the Arabs accepted as genuine but which was really a collection of the Enneads of Plotinus. One of them is very familiar to us in Fitzgerald's translation: " from Earth's Centre through the Seventh Gate and on the Throne of Saturn sate. Incidentally." rose. to della Mirandola attempted four of hundred years harmonise not only Plato with Greek philosophy as it came to him through the garbled translations of Baghdad Aristotle but the general body with the dogmas of Islam. I And many a knot unravelled by the road: But not the Master-Knot of Human Fate. which were the basis of mediaeval medicine. so characteristic of the thought of his like time and so what Pico later. really this were to do time either to and by my duty by you. Up Fitzgerald also translated J ami's narrative poem of ''Salaman and Absal.PERSIAN MINIATURES quatrains of his follower Omar Khayyam. I should now proceed to expound to you in detail the philosophical system of him Galen." the story of which was first written by Ibn If I Sina. pointing out you exactly what he took from Hippocrates through modified by Aristotle and the Neo-Platonists. and what he added out of his own curious desire. I should then explain the Oriental theory of Emanation. of the third or fourth century. dwelling on Ibn Sina's favourite idea that the body is the tool of the soul. To this exposition I should add an abstract of the Canon and the Sanatio. whom you know as Avicenna. reader my friend or my enemy. what from the Sufis whose tenets his friend Abu Said first crystallised into verse.

This is no doubt a debasing confession to make. but do? 1 am made like that. however. and never There was a time. after does not explain would like to know about this cruel one and comforting world —neither my religion nor the other religions of which I vaguely took cognisance. you will not read this kind of a book. I began to all discover that religion." in unravelling I "the master-knot of human all But by the time found out that clearly they could do was to formulate rather more and elaborately than myself what we can know and what we cannot know. And having done so it would behoove me to assign him his true place in the hierarchy of philosophy. And I shall not be so foolish as I to attempt to disguise from you the fact that have never shall. and that was quite enough in the appearances of life to keep one honest and busy without waiting to solve the origin or the end of life. read Avicenna or his master Aristotle. And I was young enough to imagine that the philosophers had been more successful than the priests fate. for me That was the time when all. or to state that aim was not to teach truth but to preserve from error.— AVICENNA analyse Ibn Sina's division of learning into the speculative and practical his sciences. indeed. And nothing inwhat can terests or imposes me less than a formal system of any I 305 . I began to recognise that the tendency of I my own mind — if may so dignify that chaos of instincts ran to the concrete rather than to there and impulses the abstract. followed in all the European uni- versities until the seventeenth century. as well as to estimate the literary qualities of this author of over a hundred books. If you are that kind of a reader. when such literature had a fantastic interest.

town of Turks. as a mystics. friend of princes. the eternal struggle of men to under- stand. For I cannot make myself believe that the system ever has been or ever will be devised which will not sooner or later be upset.— PERSIAN MINIATURES kind. an accident that lifts one And who knows? man into fame above him It is often another an accident of birth. to perfect. A case in point is that of the now a ruinous provincial or men of Turkish origin. city of Bokhara. of place. One is of the strongest incentives to the reading of history that curious and pulls another rhythm of history which sets one race up down. as a personality and so curious of life that he filled his life to the brim with toil and play. of something so little a part of as the friends he hap- Yet however Avicenna acquired so immense a fame. so vital As a man. of method. indeed. therefore. They say. that in medicine he was passed by Rhazes of Rei. And that humble tomb of his in Hamadan is a monument to pened to make. whereby a Persian of human Bokhara absorbed so much in the history of of the learning of Greece that he was able to pass it on to Europe at the moment when Europe began to stir out of the ignorance and degradation into which our ancestors had sunk. and dancers. and made for himself one of the greatest names in a time not one of the least. What does interest me is the human and personal in it all. to attempt to visit which is an 306 . one of the strangest incidents thought. of style. that he does not deserve his immense reputation: that as an Aristotelian he is inferior to his predecessor Farabi and sur- to his successor Averroes. the repeated shifting of the centre of gravity of civilisation. the fact remains that he acquired it. Avicenna interests me extraordinarily. to learn. of time.

who is supposed to have lived anywhere from i. and religion shut us off from the period in which our own civilisation was in the making." we find it so hard to take seriously the and so many barriers of time. however. and how through Spain they communicated it to the barbarous civilisations of the East.. countries of the West. centuries.ioo to 800 B. Athens.AVICENNA adventure comparable to exploring the forests of Africa. The capital of the Hellenic world then shifted to the continent from which Greece derived 307 its earliest . of course. the poets. but we those who handed it down to With the single exception of Homer. are so accustomed to saying ''We are the people. how the Arabs had a part in saving it from destruction. We who are of European origin. These are times when we see more vividly than in times of peace how such things may come about. the dramatists. we may never know. Yet Bokhara was a notable centre of learning when London and Paris were unknown villages. race. space. How many centuries it cost the Greeks to store up their treasure of Hellenism do know that the work of us was done in the short two hundred years between the Persian Wars and the wars of Alexander the Great. and wisdom shall die with us. language. the great missionary to the dark continent behind it. that the case of Avicenna seems all the more extraordinary. and in it Avicenna was able to study Greek philosophy when Greece itself was lost in darkness.C. the philoso- and the sculptors of the Golden Age flourished between the sixth and the fourth phers. was the first capital of civilisation in Europe. And we incline too much to forget how it was that the Hellenism which was the foundation alike of modern culture and of kuUur was driven into the East.

toward the beginning of our era. however. measure a meridian of the Nor did the hostility of the seventh Ptolemy to- ward men Alexandria of learning suifice to destroy the leadership of among rise of the Greek cities. Mediterranean. The school of the Neo- Platonists carried on the tradition of the Greek philosophers. together with all the other manuSo zealous indeed were scripts that could be collected. is derived from their own. and when Attains of Pergamum set about assembling a library of his own in 241 B. were not that Alexandria could boast.PERSIAN MINIATURES and under the Ptolemies Alexandria became the centre of learning and art in the West. upon which all the books of the time were written. Alexandria and Athens continued to be frequented by scholars and lovers of the 308 But . With the in the Rome into an imperial power. the Alexandrians in the accumulation of books that no visitor was allowed to go away from the city without leaving a copy of any manuscript which he might possess. section of the There the dis- human body was first first practised. with prohibited the export of Egyptian papyrus. while the Museum of Ptolemy Philadelphus became a pioneer centre of scientific research. This did not prevent the Pergamenes from inventing that substitute for papyrus whose name of parchment all. But their library of 200.C. Julius Caesar. legionaries of Brouchion and Papyri. and there did western astronomers earth.000 volumes was thanks to the all destined to enrich the Alexandrians after who its presented it to the latter in partial his reparation for the burning by books.. Thither were transported from the archives of Athens the originals of the great dramatists. Ptolemy Epiphanes forthinspiration. a capital of a new kind grew up arts.

No man born free of his circumstances 309 . cut off our tion that own ancestors from the benefits of the civilisain eastern grew up Europe. namely. the inroads of the barbarians. Of this fact recent events in Russia are the best possible witness. and the transfer of the seat of government to the East. Constantinople foreseen circumstances. And Constantinople enjoyed a far longer period of preeminence. to cry out against say that between democracy and is lies a hair line which not easy to draw. had it not been for certain un- These were the spread of Christianity. spirit of The other element democracy. nor democracy! autocracy am may I of the race. that intellectual quickness. that desire of definition. accordingly became in turn the true capital of Greco- Roman civilisation.AVICENNA the political hegemony of Rome naturally attracted so much wealth and become the founder sense than wit that the Italian city might have intellectual capital of the it empire in a pro- did. For a literal democracy is is of course an impossible state of society. At the same time there is no denying that between the old order and the new antagonisms arose which were little less formidable than the Goths and the Huns. lay in the Greek spirit itself. together with differences of language and difficulties of communication. which out of a simple and humane creed brought forth an infinity of warring sects and ended in an irreconcilable breach between the churches of East and West. This of peril is was the new Christian But I not the time. And this. Two elements in early Christianity were particularly fatal to the achievements of the older time. indeed. One of these. thus not only preserving on Greek ground a remnant of the precious heritage of Athens but developing potent arts of its own.

in general. not because he the master of the mass. to give democracy is to him his chance. naturally produces a confusion of aims and personalities which does not subside until events give them their proper level. but above him — if that prince or that philosopher did not chance to be of And it happens to be a trait of the most minds that they do not. were wilfully destroyed with the best intentions the world. show the educated most enthusiasm for movements of an emotional rather the new religion. In outward form. In any concerted Otherwise the moreover. And there grew up that dreary So did it erase a play of /Eschylus. in order to have room to inscribe his views of the nature of the Trinity. and to prevent him from abusing it. than of an intellectual kind. Any new state of freedom. leader is The difference is is that the democratic obeyed because he is the delegate of the mass. old The consequences for the Greek learning were therefore of the most disastrous. in ability and opportunity. We shall never know how many priceless works of art. democracy and autocracy must necessarily resemble each other. a 310 .PERSIAN MINIATURES or of obligations to his fellowmen. in come about that a pious monk would poem of Pindar. effort is bound to fail. The attempt of find the man best fitted to lead. For so general a zeal for the new religion able thing to do made it a credit- away with the symbols of the old. therefore. or a treatise of Plato. some one must lead. What was unfortunate for the world in the coming of Christianity was that the new freedom put the most ignorant and bigotted peasant not on a par with the greatest prince or the most enlightened philosopher. how many manuscripts for which we would now pay untold sums. nor can all men be born equal effort. however.

stripped. More pitiless enemies of the old learning I were the emperors Theodosius zeal of the and II. no such people among the Under Cyril. since the descendants of Adam. was mobbed. in much temples which the tradition of Hippocrates had been preserved. . under whom the church reached such a pitch that Theophilus. and which now undisturbed in dust. Museum and of the Serapeion to be The appliances Hero and Archimedes were regarded as the tools of some dark magic by the very men who practise tradition believed relics to possess supernatural power. successor of Theo- philus in the see of Alexandria. himself of humble origin.AVICENNA patristic literature which was the one rests literary achievement its of the time. Constantine himself set an unfortunate example when he abolished the Greek Asclepieia. — the Byzantines and the Saracens alike as the filthiest and most barbarous of men. the gifted Hypatia. caused the books and the instruments of the destroyed. scientific Bishop of Alexandria. first among the four great fathers of the church. having been born in Bulgaria of been Albanian stock. and stabbed to the Ptolemies. in the finally closed the schools of what may have Athens and Alexandria and drove their inmates to take refuge more tolerant East. pronounced Bible mentioned it impossible that the opposite side of the earth could be inhabited. death in the city of And even so enlight- ened a sovereign as Justinian the Great. a propos of the correct Alexandrian theory of the globe. who represented in the fifth century the culture and elegance of the older time. not so as hospitals. Clement of Alexandria fulminated against the horrible of it maintaining private baths out of which grew that the Crusaders were looked upon by Augustine. St.

But the Hellenisation of the East word which must be applied with discretion no means the work of Justinian alone. that the battle where Caesar came. and beyond. with their Hellenised neighbours of Syria and Asia Minor or with the emperors. which is reflected in the architecture of Persepolis. hostile in the seventh century A. need not repeat here the history of this confused period. in the region of Bokhara. And from the third century B. But it is interesting to recall that at the battle of Carrhae. The greater wars of Cyrus. C. and conquered took place at the modern Turkish town of Zilleh. saw. in Mesopotamia. the Parthian and Sasanian kings of Persia were constantly in or otherwise. founding appearance of the Arabs relation. Greece and Persia had come into contact through the wars between Media and Lydia. C. Greek cities all the way from Antioch in Syria and Seleucia on the Tigris to Merv in Khorasan.000 Roman soldiers were captured by the Parthians and deported to Merv. in 53 B. Roman Persians During this thousand years the several times extended their borders to the Black Sea or the Mediterranean. C. near Sivas and not so far from the upper Euphrates. while the sian Gulf Romans reached the Pertheir and long maintained the Euphrates as I eastern frontier.— PERSIAN MINIATURES happened that this took place shortly before another abrupt change in the Mediterranean world the it Now — rise of the Arabs. D. and Xerxes in the following century had renewed and broadened this contact. until the and India. Darius. And the wars of Alexander and his successors carried the Helto use a lenic influence as far as Bactria. that an older brother of Shapur the Great was disinherited because of his Hellenistic leanings and took 312 . As early was by as the sixth century B.. 10.

that in 489 when Zeno closed the schools of Edessa. Antioch seacoast of Asia in particular rose into The prominence as another centre of learning. founded or enlarged the school of Gand-i-Shapur Junda529. was there. and there did pillar. naturally enough brought about a distinction between the Christians of Asia and 313 .AVICENNA refuge with Constantine the Great. Nestorians. that when van Justinian in turn closed the schools of Athens in Greek philosophers found asylum with Nushirand at his request translated Plato and This was the Sasanian king who Aristotle into Persian. under Jewish and Nestorian teachers. in its Arabicised form. that Urfa. at a time when such studies were despised in Europe. St. which contributed both to the Neo-Platonic and It to the patristic literature. — The gotten. became a celebrated centre of philosophical and medical study. in fact. however. But after the conquests of Alexander and the disruption of the Jewish kingdoms Syria was not slow to feel the Greek influence. they were immediately reopened at Nisibis. indeed. identified by Le Strange with the modern village of Shahabad between Shuster and Dizful which was perhaps the one provided with Greek physicians by the emperor Aurelian and which. the modern tians in Persia. and relative proximity to Persia. — i-Sabur. who afterward wrote to the Sasanian king with regard to the status of Chris- JuHan the Apostate lost his Hfe while fighting against the Persians on the Tigris in 363. that the name of Christian first Stylites stand came his into use. five in Persia. played a part in bringing to- gether the East and the West which has almost been for- Minor had been Hellenised from great antiquity. Simeon on uncomfortable The its isolation of Antioch from the West.

PERSIAN MINIATURES their European brothers. Syrian Bishop of Constantinople. showed how far the East was ian king of Persia. nevertheless. This became a schism in 431. were converted by Nestorians before falling under the influence of the Arabs. about whom Marco 314 . capital of the T'ang dynasty. In 845 they. recording their presence there in 781. The fact that they were accounted heretics perhaps encouraged them late into Syriac the philosophers of to trans- Athens and Alexandria. and his followers for their heretical views of separation the supernatural birth of Christ. I. officially churches as far East as Tus and The Syrian Merv Christians in 334. And in East they ultimately became merged with the followers of other sects. cut off as they were from their own country by the triumph of Islam and the disturbances caused in Central Asia by the Turks. bishopric. Prester John. Nevertheless the latter continued to be the representatives in the East of the Hellenic culture. Many Turks. a At the same time their missionaries By the year 500 first Samarkand was a Nestorian first and the Nestorians arrived in China few in years after the Mohammedans. had In 409 they were recognised by Yezdigird the Sasan- 410 the Council of Seleucia. like the Mohammedans. twin city of Ctesiphon. were affected by a decree the farther closing the Buddhist monasteries. held almost a hundred years earlier. schools of Edessa And the closing of the by the emperor Zeno prepared the final break between the Greeks and the Nestorians. when the Council of Ephesus condemned Nestorius. pushed on into Asia. in and from the West by approving the famous Council of Nicaea. in 635. There exists China to-day a monument which in 1907 was still standing in Hsi-ang-fu or Chang-an.

overrun decay. In Transoxiana. Everywhere was discord or antique rest of The and superstition. while of the great cities that nurtured the civilisation of which we are the heirs. and Syria the Nestorians long continued to flourand to keep alive a remnant of Greek civilisation. was fought in 732. Europe was sunk in ignorance by the barbarians whose descendants were to burn the library of Louvain and destroy the cathedral of Rheims. he. Constantinople alone did there remain a spark of the light. out of deference to his Christian wife. 315 . Persia was long past in its heroic time. the empire of Alexander. faith In quick succession the champions of the new conquered Syria. Persia. Saracen renaissance of which Avicennawas one of the most When the all Arabs emerged in the seventh century from their but unknown peninsula.— AVICENNA Polo and the Crusaders spread so many legends. removing under the Abbasid Caliphs to Baghdad. they broke into a very different world from the one which had seen the Persian Wars. the Atlantic. Their patriarchs reigned at Seleucia-Ctesiphon from 496 to 762. spared the life same tribe as the mythical of the Nestorian Patriarch flock whose successors and whose in the fourteenth were only dispersed for that century by the conquests of Timur. which marked the limit of their advance into Europe. ish And when that city was destroyed in 1258 by the Mon- golian Hulagu. the Augustan age. the founding of Constantinople. only a hundred years after the death of the Prophet. thence marching east and west to the centre of Asia and to the shores of The battle of Tours. Persia. astonishing Thus was the ground prepared important figures. was a Nestorian Turkish chief of Central Asia. Egypt. a Kerait Turkish princess of the Prester John.

that sudden maturing of the Arab genius. as 316 . capable of dictating what is said to be the masterpiece of Arabic literature. it from me is to deplore the victory of Charles But there western no shadow of doubt that have been if the Caliphs of Spain had not been held back behind the Pyrenees. an epic example of the liberation. of such creative when the Arab and the Greek met on the borders of Persia to perform their miracle. was incapable of writing his own poetry or of reading the chapters of the Koran which others transcribed. while one of the Om- come from Constantinople to decorate the church he turned into a mosque and his successors invited to Damascus both Jews and Christians of learning. six hundred years mosaicists to And Omar built a magnificent mosque in Jerusalem. far Yet so far as contemporary records go it is more certain that the Greek Bishop Theophilus destroyed the books of Alexandria than that Abu Bekr did. heat. And the most astonishing thing is that the country from which the conquerors of greatness. of tolerance so rare. mayads caused And the civilisation of Greece. brought into spirit contact with the simple and ardent flowered once more in a miraculous way. Europe would civilised much more about it rapidly. of Arabia. Only three or four times period of so in history has there been a much intellectual eagerness. It was. at any rate. For the heart of the aided by the Syrian and the Jew.PERSIAN MINIATURES Far be Martel. the legend of his burning them vented till in the public baths not having been inlater. As for his first three suc- they were preeminently men of the sword. cessors. of the exaltation. which may be produced by a widening of horizons. came had not even the memory et The Proph- himself.

he patron of lators was a builder of libraries and hospitals. The was the Saracenic school whose works strew the track of the Arab from Transoxiana to Spain. save as a sleepy Persian hamlet on the Nestorian monks. famous throughout the world for his love of the humanities. born of a Persian mother and brought up among Persian and Greek philosopilgrims phers. And the policy of Mansur was followed by his immediate successors. Avicenna is but one example. and scholars of the different races of the land. for art. in his ambition to rival the legendary splendour of Constantinople. and set in all its complicated machinery was motion in in the brief capital seventy years between the laying out of his new by the second Abbasid Caliph. Baghdad meaning God-given had none.AVICENNA miracle was not Damascus but Baghdad. Of the result for learning. built a hospice in Jerusalem for Christian and granted Charlemagne the custody of the keys of the Holy Sepulchre. Damascus and traditions when the Ommayads settled there. a splendid letters. result. and the founder of that school of transwhich brought Greek philosophy into the ken of the all East. Mansur. Balkh. death of already his 762 and the — Mamun in 833. This association was typical of the spirit in Mansur gathered around himself craftsmen. As for Mamun. This great work was the more remarkable because Greek learning had at that time almost died out in its 317 . Tigris inhabited chiefly by In one of their monasteries Mansur took up his residence while he built his "Abode of Peace" he and his great-grandson a had history — — Persian vizier the Barmecide. His grandson Harun al Rashid. otherwise Aaron the Orthodox. son of a Mage from which artists.

And those institutions inspired a scholarship far worthier of the name than anything known 3. the earlier and hastier translations were systematically revised and new ones made. As it was. The political authority of Baghdad soon ceased to be acknowledged east of the Zagros Mountains or west of the Euphrates. and to a lesser degree that of Gand-i-Shapur. Then the Ommayads. The schools of Antioch. to be sure. followed by Mansur. had translated many of the Greek writers into Syriac and Persian. however. The enHghtened Caliph even attempted. schools. Under Mamun. and Nisibis. had caused not a few of these versions to be turned into Arabic. had already been begun by the Syrians. often unhappily edited by the Neo-Platonists. Porphyry. in his Europe began to take an interest in learning. it was found was more complete in Arabic than own tongue. had Homer translated into Syriac. from Pythagoras down. and the Almagest.8 in Europe outside of . to buy or to borrow Greek manuscripts For the Syrians had worked chiefly in Constantinople. as I have said. Harun al Rashid. from the editions of Alexandria. upon the impressionable Arabs of this glimpse into a new world was prodigious. The task. but in every country of Islam libraries. tion of the Greeks. remained unknown to them. Edessa. And when at last that Galen.PERSIAN MINIATURES own land. for instance. without too great success. while the poets and dramatists. alas. became available to the Arabs in their own tongue. their preference for the latter and for Aristotle brought it about that Plato became less familiar to the Arabs than Plotinus. though not into But all the philosophical and scientific speculaArabic. and hospitinfluence als The sprang up to perpetuate the work ot the Abbasids.

gases. caused geography to be The Saracens adopted the simple Indian numerals which we call Arabic. developed the science of navigation. made taught from a globe. out of the search for the Philoso- pher's Stone and the Elixir of Life. was born a true chemis- A ninth-century alchemist of Baghdad. much his time. rectified the calendar. Mansur. They 319 . Yet that in- terest led interrupted back to the study of astronomy which had been in Alexandria by the zeal of Theophilus. was contributions to chemistry. and the metaphysical spirits of things.AVICENNA Constantinople. It was. or Ibn Zakarya. a scholarship less critical. mapped the heavens. The Spanish Moors. of course. Rhazes. less Mamun once more caused a meridian of the earth to be bigoted measured. and. experiments in optics and refraction. every one else took a deep interest in astrology. perfected and named the study of algebra. experimenting in precipitates. too. His follower. they so little understood the use of the astronomical instruments they found there that they piously consecrated the Giralda as a bell tower. Before his time first no acid stronger than vinegar was known. long before the time of Copernicus or Tycho Brahe. built the Giralda Tower in Seville for an observatory. much in more confused. And when the Spaniards reentered the city in 1248. bears the same relation to chemistry that Hippocrates does to medicine. Augustine with regard to the form of the earth. Out try. of alchemy. of Rei. pro- duced absolute alcohol and sulphuric another of their acid. than European scholarlike ship ultimately became. than St. he was the to discover nitric acid and aqua regia. somewhat vaguely known as Jafar. devised telescopes. Phosphorus. described by the Saracens as an artificial carbuncle.

and wrote a surgical treatise in which is found the first known descripto medicine. amulets. Among the 237 treatises of Rhazes. we must remember that the only advance in medicine from the time of Erosistratus and Hierophilus of Alexandria down to the seventeenth century was made by the Arabs. and exorcisms. and if their contributions now seem slight. who flourished from about 850 to about 932.PERSIAN MINIATURES made pioneer calculations in specific gravity. or Abul Kasim. and history were of surprisingly early date. though Saracenic architecture. In other directions the Saracens marked. eventually carried out not by himself but by one of his pupils. while our ancestors were treating disease by means of charms. geography. nearer those other Englishmen Darwin and Wallace in their view of the development of I life than their Christian contemporaries. superiority in art shall not claim for the former the and letters. and comfort the Arabs had an unquestioned su320 . was one giving the earliest description of measles and small pox." and the important Mohammedan literature of travel. and adumbrating the germ theory. practised surgery little less scientifically than he would have done to-day. As concerns breeding. Averroes later conceived the idea of studies of the different diseases making individual and their treatment. though remained for the great Englishman to make much a universal application of the principle. Of Avicenna and the place he held in mediaeval medicine I have already spoken. And they. Abulcasis. began to apply chemistry was but a beginning. They anticipated it made progress no less Newton in the study of They were gravity. the "Thousand and One Nights. habits. a Spanish contemporary of his. If it tion of the syringe.

cotton. that caused the Saracen and die out? Was it the constant Turks and Christians. were paved and clean London was seven hundred years later than Cordova in lighting her streets at night. and several and flowers previously unknown to them. whose work it was to render into Latin. the hopeless disintegration of that empire which had stretched from the Oxus to the Pillars of Hercules? At any rate. And there no end to the European words derived from Arabic or Persian. And it is strange how in there seems to be something potent and immortal in that old Greek learning. which the miracle it finally in wrought again Europe Yet had wrought Asia so long before. generally from Arabic. the penduinspiration to flicker hammering of lum of history swung again. sometimes from Syriac or Hebrew. in the end. waking Europe up from its thousand years of reaction. rice. A little of it had been spared in Constantinople. Only after the Crusaders captured Constantinople in 1204 did there appear theWestafeworiginal Greek manuscripts. it could anything be stranger than the journey made. The first clock seen magne from Harun paper.AVICENNA periority. Was it weariness. but Constantinople was too far away and too in hostile to be of any help. The Saracen cities long before those of France. in al Europe was a present to CharleRashid. Through the Moors fruits is of Spain were introduced to our fathers such novelties as sugar. till it through Spain to Europe. from tongue to tongue. what was left of Greek literature. around the whole circuit of the Mediterranean. from land to land. 321 Inthemean- . to the farther shore of Ionian Sea? came back its own in During the twelfth century there arose Spain and Sicily schools of translators like those of Edessa and Baghdad.

as befitted a race not converted the by English Benedictines! This scholastic period occupied the thirteenth and much of the fourteenth centuries. were great friends of learning. in spite of the natural will between Europe and Asia. the Persian of Bokhara and of the great names of mediaeval Europe. exercising an empire over men's minds such as was exercised scarcely by Aristotle himself. of Montpellier feel the impulse of the Renais- was Avicenna's Canon dropped from the curricula and Louvain. earliest of their kind in the West. became one pulse. when medicine finally began to sance. The book had then. Yet in spite of the continued ill hostility of the church. and here worse heathen than Aristotle were concerned. to say nothing of anathematising. was that Avicenna. The German universities till came a little later. among whom. inaugurating the so-called scholastic period. and particularly among the Dominicans. since 322 . Then in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries were founded in turn the universities of Bologna. and was a time of busy translating. The Greek refugees who fled to Italy took with them precious manuscripts. the last of the Greek manuscripts to those which had been three or Arab philosophers of the East acquired so great credit that not until 1650. In 1453 Constantinople fell into the hands of the Turks. revising. comparing. in spite of the just preference of scholars for original four times translated. and Oxford. For the church was slow to give up its old antipathy to the Greeks. and the Renaissance received its final imSo it Hamadan. and theologising. philosophising. Paris. under whose wing Arab and Jewish doctors not a few made their appearance in eighth century Christendom.PERSIAN MINIATURES time there grew up the mendicant orders.

O Eternal Irony of Life. O Justice. Rome. passed through thirty or more Latin editions. O Virtue. and wisdom on the dancers! lips of ?23 . or to understand culture. to study the history of philos- ophy European Such. of time And to the end no one who wishes to acquaint himself with the learning of the Near East. the evolution of of can escape knowing the name Avicenna. are the accidents which may befall a plumber of infinity.AVICENNA its first printings in Naples. and Venice. who sought truth not only in wells. or medicine.

and the plain that dips and north. not the vaster and more desolate Beyond our own. darkly walled by a semicircle of tains. it. man the Sadi: the flower garden ONE It is of my study windows. faces a narrow tilted country of gardens.XIX THE CARAVAN IVith my own eyes I saw in the desert him who had hurried on. no garden wall ventures into 324 Neither house . however. the kind of desert which the Persians call hiaban. While the camel-driver jogs on with his beast to the end of That the deliberate outstripped journey. into the desert. The wind-footed steed is broken down in his course. catching all the sun of the south. and the clay-coloured town. moun- One of my bedroom windows rises delicately gives me a glimpse of sparser gardens. lut. But both rooms look against the east.

that barren bluff which archaeologists like Not quite to fancy the site of seven-walled Ecbatana. At night the stars see make me wonder what riders of camels. and because the Persian sun rarely disappoints me there of his morning miracle. The empty land droops away toward the left. mine I like it. opposite my windows a smaller hill. because he from Tibet and Kashmir and Afghanistan. Of the this sights to be seen offers least. and most of the secret of the earth that journey which no man of West could make alone. bare and pointed Beyond it lies an inlike a cone. the farther edge of which marks the limit of my visible world. in — what prowlers How many salt times have made imagination that journey eastward from my window. Beyond the Afghanistan. I them what what sitters by red embers. And am new enough from 1 the West never to forget that those windows look into Asia. across wastes of sand and into valleys the wildest and poisoned water. and because at night stars hang there of a brilliancy have never seen. and come alive into the uplands of all China! And if he did. that great desert which has small reason to be less lut are renowned than Gobi or the Sahara. visible hollow. intercepted only by the Musalla. In the is fresh morning the sun looks strange to me. Be- yond that uneven rim of the East lies Kum. other watchers of the dark.THE CARAVAN nor poplar breaks the simplicity of its flowing lines. and Kashmir. Beyond Kum is the lut. view Yet because and because faithful is so open and solitary. and so low that I can watch I them from my bed. or undisguised. pricks the horizon. it from the four it sides of is our house. no man he met could understand the 325 . and Tibet. through forests and glaciers that prop the sky.

less rare. known Who own and the sound knows but there might be in some vague ancestral question of our stirring of nostalgia. In the spring oxen tickle the earth with the of Asia. so But silence is much I was astonished one winter afternoon 326 new sound. . And what then? I could never tell all I I see in the desert at night. or a secret unrest? What if. the lands we live in. his dark Mules and donkeys are the note of the place that to hear a from nowhere to nowhere. tinkling horseman gallops afar. they of the East see the end from the beginning. In the daytime am more concerned with what passes between our garden wall and the crumpled rim of the horizon. ants occasionally pass. a melancholy singing. There is no great passing on that tawny slope all save of light and shadow. That also the time may Peas- hear. in the march in Runnels of water flash sun at their seasons. for the highways other directions out of the town. little autumn and in the wooden plough when T There is a time when is I watch the rippling of wheat like a lake. with russet rags flapping about bare knees. heightened by distance. whistle or see a railroad track? jealous seclusion? the lure of their Of their cloudy antiquity? Or is it a simple astonishment that little men can be content with so of it —fmd the voices? sight of the sun enough. and live a life more intense than we? But even there whistles begin to sound. A rare mantle eddying behind him. Nearer and nearer creep the rails that thread the ends of the world.PERSIAN MINIATURES reason of his coming. after all. Why have we them? Is it that in those places we would not once hear a factory Is it They have no the things we live curiosity about us. so continuing a curiosity about distant and silent for.

the dark obliquely across the of them lengthening snow I till reached the corner of I the garden above ours. made one think of way he this But was something deeper and wilder. winand passers had been fewer than ever.'' and the suggests the sound of mule bells. of The pommel one saddle spindled up into a flat staff gay with coloured I wool. Camels! Out of the crack between Musalla and the line it town they came. But the snow brought out the houettes of these the more fantastically because of the loads lashed on either side of their humps. for creatures so large. A few beasts. It is never see enough of them. however. not only their strangeness. shall am a child about camels. ending in a of hand of brass. 327 . had one great copper It bell slung from the saddle. which rang out a slow ding-dong amid the general jingle-jangle. They are immensely decora- —though they are so much of the lands they live in that they have a curious power of invisibility. the more astonished because went to the. was snow was deep on the ground. Some carried them around their necks in strings. with much blue in them to ward off the Evil Eye. or dangling plaques of beads. bigger than the rest. caught glimpses like saddle-cloths and big saddlebags. Necklaces of bright beads made another touch of colour.THE CARAVAN listened. unless you catch them sil- against the sky. And the camels wore almost as many bells as beads. I a jingle-jangle that grew louder as I I dow to look. evoking the endless marches of the desert. woven the precious rugs of the country. Charpentier's "Impressions d'ltalie. which for us of the West makes the colour them the symbol tive in themselves of Asia.

complicated music. punctuated by the deep notes of the big copper thin winter air that I sounded so long in the it could not be quite sure when I ceased to sound. Then I counted until many of them were out of sight. when I look at the low stars of the desert and think of Afghanistan. Indeed often hear it now at night. each group roped together like barges Many of the men had an in a tow and led by a man. the bare gardens. with the fur or lamb's wool inside. But that strange. The eyes of almost all of them were inflamed from the glare of the sun on the snow. They disappeared at last among bells.PERSIAN MINIATURES had It did not occur to me to count them ever seen before. and Kashmir. and Tibet. 328 . odd Mongolian look in their tight skin caps. nor could I have understood if they told me. nearly three hundred. They marched single file in groups in that I There were more camels caravan than of six or seven. Where had they come from? Where were they going? I had no tongue to ask.




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