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wound are obviated.' It is odd, by the way, that this supersti. tion should not be incompatible with their often calling this same structure " the court of the devil.” It is a large parallelogram, constructed of massy blocks of marble, and diminishing, like a pyramid, to the summit. Our author is extremely desirous of finding in it a resemblance of the description of the tomb of Cyrus, which we hear of so very late as the time of Alexander the Great, who searched it for treasure. The point of correspondence he is by far the most diffident about, is exactly that one which is prerequisitely essential to give the smallest value to the rest, namely, the identity of the site of these ruins and of the ancient Pasargada, where the sepulcbral monument of Cyrus was raised.
They reached Ispahan at the end of January, after traversing a high and most cheerless and barren tract of country, attacked at this time with storms, and, though in little more than thirty degrees of latitude, with snow and severe cold; and marked not so often with a wretched inhabited village, as with the ruins that record the devastations of the Affghan invasion and of civil war. . They were still more struck with the signs of a prodigious depopulation on passing numerous uninhabited and ruined villages on the plain immediately adjacent to? Ispahan. The entrance here also, as at Shiraz, was in the style of ceremonial hostility and conquest, the resolute haughtiness of the envoy reducing the arrogance of the governor, a great khan, to a capitulation. This well-judged pertinacity of rank, was maintained expressly on the ground of conveying the King of England's letter, than which was never personage or paper more reverently attended.
• It was always placed in a takht-e-ravan, or litter, which was escorted by ten Indian troopers and an officer, and was never taken out or replaced without the trumpet of the guard sounding a blast. Whenever we stopped, it was deposited in the tent of ceremony under a cloth of gold; a Sentry with a drawn sword was placed over it, and no one was permitted to sit with his back to it. The correspondence of princes is a general subject of reverence in the East; and the dignity which by these observances we attached to the letter of our Sovereign, raised among the people a corresponding respect towards his representative.' This address to the imaginations of the people was of course in somme degree to reach, in its effect, the temper of the government. It should therefore seem to be the opinion, that even ju Persia the government caunot maintain itself, and pursue its measures, in unqualified and unlimited independence and contempt of the dispositions and notions of its subjects.
The stay at Ispahan was extremely short; and the description is confined to the general state and appearance of the city, and a very few of the distinguished buildings, especially the
palaces of the King, which are enclosed,' he says, in a fort of lofty walls, which may have a circumference of three miles.' A sentence or two from the account of that called the Chehel Sitoon, or “ Forty Pillars,” may give a faint gleam of that brilliant and magical effect, which would prevail in the apartments, when they were animated by the residence of princes and princesses, in the prouder periods of the monarchy.
• The first saloon is open towards the garden, and is supported by eighteen pillars, all inlaid with mirrors, and (as the glass is in much greater proportion than the wood) appearing indeed at a distance to be glass only. Each pillar has a marble base, which is carved into the figures of four lions, placed in such attitudes, that the shaft seems to rest on their four united backs. The walls, which form its termination, behind are also covered with mirrors, placed in such a variety of symmetrical positions, that the mass of the structure appears to be of glass, and when new inust have glittered with most magnificent splendour. The ceiling is painted in gold flowers, which are still fresh and brilliant.
* Almost all the splendour acquired by Ispahan in what we shall call, after our author, the better times of the kingdom, that is, the times of the savage and magnificent tyrant Abbas, and of a number of his successors, has vanished : the sumptuous and adorned edifices are in a rapid progress of decay, in which there appears to be no effort and no power to arrest them. Compared with what it was even in Chardin's time, the city now presents a melancholy aspect,-if any epithet so much partaking of dignity, and so much claiming a pensive feeling, can properly be applied to the extinction of a gaudy magnificence which displayed very little taste, and contributed nothing to the national welfare. Nor, when we read Mr. Morier's conjecture that not more than half the houses in Ispahan are now inhabited, do we know why we should regret that Ma. homet and the Persian despot have so much fewer slaves, in that city, or in existence.—The place appeared of very great extent; but our author suspects a considerable excess in the computation given him by a nableman who had formerly been governor of the city, and who had estimated the inhabitants at four hundred thousand.
In the hasty march toward Teheran, the present capital of Persia, they passed a place called Kashan, without the sligbtest suspicion of what they missed seeing there. .
* At Kashan, according to the second minister of the kingdoin, who seemed devoutly to credit his own story, is a well, which we did not see. There is a descent of six months to the bottom, and in the different stages . of the journey the traveller comes to plains and rivers. Some have gone down and never appeared again. These are tales which to a Persian are not incredible, though they will not believe that the streets of London an . lighted, or that there are in Europe houses seven stories high.'
It was not far from Kashan, however, that they did first see (as a compensation for the display of all the barbarian mosques, cupolas, and minarets they had been obliged to look, at) the finely-shaped snow-clad summit of the mountain Demawend, then distant from them a hundred and fifty miles, and which the Persians assured them might be descried from one of the high buildings of Ispahan, a distance of at least two hundred and forty miles. Having crossed part of a plain so impregnated with salt, that the ground after rain or snow be. comes a yielding and dangerous mud, they arrived at Teheran, the end of a journey deemed by the Persians of wonderful and unexampled celerity for an embassy, though scarcely averaging twenty miles a day, and wbich had fretted and disappointed some of the gentry concerned in conducting it, by giving them but little time to levy contributions on the country.
The aspect of this metropolis, at the entrance, was miserable. The house of the second minister, which was assigned for the residence of the embassy, was far less respectable than those of the great officers at Shiraz and Ispahan. 'All the riches,' says Mr. M. are collected on the throne, and all around is poverty, either real or affected. Relative to points of rank and ceremony, it was thought worth while to make one more little experiment on the ambassador, from a doubt, perhaps, whether it was possible that mortal man, however stubbornly he might have carried himself when at a distance, could really be made of materials capable of maintaining an unalterable consistence at the very centre and utmost heat of the royal effulgence. This exotic composition proved, however, of a substance to defy the most powerful test in Persia. Not the smallest angle flattened--not a shade of colour changed—not a hair contorted. The disputed point was conceded to this obstinate representative of the unbelievers : and the first visit of state ceremony made to the most invincible hero that had for a long time been seen in Persia, had the appro. priate and very extraordinary accompaniment of a person of that class which has the power of conferring immortal fame.
The minister came, and with him the king's Chief Poet, and some other officers of state. We went through the common routine of compliments and presentations. . When the poet was introduced to the envoy, the conversation turned on poetry and the works of the bard himself. He was extolled above the skies; all exclaimed that in this age he had not an equal on earth, and some declared that he was superior to Ferdousi, the Homer of their country. To all this he listened with very complacent credulity, and at length recited some of his admired effusions. His genius, however, is paid by something more substantial than praise ; for he is a great favourite at court, and, according to my Persian informers, receives from the king a gold tomaun for every couplet ; and once indeed secured the remission of a large debt due to the king by writing a poem in his praise. Yet the people, from whom the supplies of this munificence are drawn, groan whenever they hear that the poet's muse has been produce tive.'
The Moharrem, or season of mourning for Hossein, the son of Ali, (the Persians being of that division of the Mahometans denominated Sheyahs, or followers of Ali) had suspended all matters of ceremony and business at court before the arrival of the embassy, notwithstanding their diligent haste to reach Teheran before this solemnity. It was therefore received as a mark of signal respect to his Britannic Majesty, and a good omen, that a very early day was appointed for the introduction of the English commoners to the successor of Cyrus and Da: rius, and Abbas and Nadir Shah. Had they not previously evinced an almost republican fortitude in sustaining the sight of magnificent things and personages, (if we should not rather say, irreverence in gazing at them) we should have deemed it extremely fortunate for our countrymen, (as preventive of a too great oppression on their spirits) that the proprieties of this mourning season bad drawn a softening shade, a partial eclipse, over the ardent lustre which they were now, in the very zenith of their high destiny, approaching to behold.-It is fair to observe here, that this is not the kind of diction in which Mr. Morier celebrated this great day : and we can only wonder at the unimpassioned tone in which he relates how the morning--as if it had been any ordinary şun-rising-came on in due course : how they equipped themselves in green slippers with high heels, and red cloth stockings, the court dress always worn before the king :' how, in cavalcade they proceeded through miserable streets which were crowded by the curious,'- entered the first court of the palace between two thick lines of soldiers, who were disciplined and dressed with some resemblance to the English manner-dismounted at the imperial gate-and, as something a little in the nature of paying toll, produced to full view the royal letter, and the presents intended for his majesty: how they proceeded through dark passages till they came to a small room, where some of the high nobility were in waiting to entertain.them a little while, till the king should be ready, and wbere they took, very composedly, their coffee and pipes: and how they then went forward through sundry courts filled with guards, and finally arrived, through a dark and intricate passage, at ' a wretched door, worse than that of any English stable. This preliminary darkness and meanness reminded us (sie parvis componere, &c.) of the contrivance which some traveller mentions as practised by the guides in the grotto of Antiparos, who, having conducted the expectants through long subterraneous passages, where they
had managed to send forward, unobserved, some of their torches into the grand scene of magnificence, suddenly extinguished, when they had approached near it, those which they carried, and led the visitants groping and wandering in the dark, till the almost insufferable splendour opened on them, instantaneously.-At this door they were marshalled, by their conductor; and they paused, waiting the fated moment, and rallying within their minds those powers of philosophy, whose strongest aid we cannot help suspecting was by this time urgently demanded : for the party were going to behold-perhaps finer clothes than they had ever seen put on ordinary shaped human figures before. The fated point of time was at hand.
• The door was opened, and we were ushered into a court laid out in canals and playing fountains, and at intervals lined with men richly dressed, who were all the grandees of the kingdom. At the extremity of a room, open in front by large windows, was the king in person. When we were opposite to him the master of the ceremonies stopped, and we all made low bows; we approached most slowly again, and at another angle stopped and bowed again. Then we were taken immediately fronting the king, where again we bowed most profoundly. Our conductor then said aloud,
“ Most Mighty Monarch, Director of the World, “ Sir Harford Jones, Baronet, Embassador from your Majesty's Bro“ ther, the King of England, having brought a letter and some presents, “ requests to approach the dust of your Majesty's feet.”
• The king from the room said in a loud voice, “ Khosh Amedeed, you are welcome.” We then took off our slippers and went into the royal presence. When we entered, the Envoy walked up towards the throne with the letter; Mirza Sheffeea, the Prime Minister, met him half way, and taking it from him, went up and placed it before the King ; he then came back and received the presents from my hands, and laid them in the same place. The Envoy then commenced a written speech to the King in English, which at first startled his Majesty, but seemed to please him much as soon as Jaffier Ali Khan, the English Resident, at Shiraz came forward and read it in Persian.
His Majesty has therefore a taste in rhetoric rather more versa. tile than could have been expected in a person of his education and calling: for this speech, though conceived in very respectful terms, has nothing of the nature of homage to the
dust of his feet.' He answered it in a handsome manner, extemporaneously, with wishes for the continued alliance and increasing friendship of the two states, with inquiries respecting the English monarch's health, and with compliments on his choice of an envoy. He asked whether his brother,' the present king of England were the son of the former king, with wlose subjects he had had communications;' and when he was told that the same king was still reiguing, he exclaimed, “the French haye told me lies in that also!" (For they