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and forty-six carats, is also a splendid stone. These two | tune. About noon, the second prayer is said; after which are the principal in a pair of bracelets valued at near a the good mussulman may safely satisfy his appetite with million sterling; those in the crown are also of extraordi- more substantial fare in the shape of breakfast. Towards nary size and value.
afternoon, a third prostration and mumbling takes place, This notice of the costume of the Persians would be in- and as soon as the sun sets, the fourth commences. An complete without some
of that very important hour after that is finished, dinner is taken, the meal of ornament of their faces—the beard. The hair is completely greatest luxury and of longest duration in Persia, as in shaven from their heads, with the exception of a small tuft other countries. The fifth and last holy duty of the day is on the crown, and two locks behind the ears; but their left to the discretion of the individual, with the proviso beards are allowed to grow, and to reach a much larger that it be performed before he retires to rest for the night. size than with the Turks, as well as to spread more about It is the custom in Persia never to enter a room in boots the ears and temples. Indeed the attention with which a or slippers, but to leave them at the door; this arises chiefly Persian cultivates this cherished appendage to his chin is from the sacred character with which the carpet covering of the most anxious kind; and if he can succeed in render- the floor is invested, on account of its being used in the ing it remarkable for its length, the rich blackness of its performance of prayer. A compliance with this usage hue, or the fine glossy smoothness of its texture, the con- is always expected from foreigners, and seldom refused. sideration which it then obtains him is deemed the ample | Another point of Persian etiquette is to keep the head reward of his exertions. But this enviable distinction is covered; and our countrymen speak of being obliged to jot to be lightly purchased, for the operation of dyeing the dine in their cocked hats and feathers as a far more troublebeard black, according to the almost universal custom, is some extremity of politeness than leaving their shoes at unpleasant in itself, and must be repeated once a fortnight. the door. It is always performed in the hot bath, because the hair,
MODE OF LIVING. being well saturated with moisture, then imbibes the colour better. A thick paste of Khenna is first plastered in profu- The Persians are fond of society; and the extraordinary sion over the beard, and allowed to remain an hour; it is cheapness of provisions, together with the great plenty of then washed off, leaving the hair of a very strong orange fruit, enables even the lowest order of citizens to live well. colour, bordering upon that of brickdust. A similar paste The poorer classes subsist principally upon bread, fruits, of indigo powder is then employed in the same manner; but and water; and the repasts of the higher consist of simple this second process, to be well executed, requires two full fare, their cookery being free from all devices for stimuhours. During the whole of the operation, the patient lies lating the appetite. Sweetmeats and confections form a quietly flat upon his back; whilst the dye (especially the leading feature in their entertainments; and the consumpindigo, which is a great astringent) contracts the features of tion of these articles is immense. Indeed the shops most his face in a very mournful manner, and causes all the frequently recurring in Isfahan are those for the sale of lower part of his visage to smart and burn. When the sweetmeats, which are arranged very neatly in large China indigo is at last washed off, the beard is of a very dark vases, clean glass vessels, and bright brass platters. The bottle-green, and becomes a jet-black only after being people excel in their composition, importing their sugar exposed to the air for four-and-twenty hours.
from India, and their sugar-candy from China. As Mo
hammedans, the Persians are forbidden to eat the flesh of MANNERS AND USAGES.
the hog, and they are also interdicted from the use of The inhabitants of Isfahan, like their countrymen in wine. The latter rule is often broken; and as, to use their general, are extremely affable and polite; and they possess own phrase, “there is equal sin in a glass and a tlagon," the same liveliness of imagination and volubility of tongue they usually, when they do drink, indulge to excess. which has gained for their nation the appellation of the The best mode of illustrating a Persian entertainment Frenchmen of Asia. The higher ranks among this people will be to present our readers with the following account are most carefully instructed in all that belongs to exterior of a dinner given to Sir Robert Ker Porter, by the prime manner and deportment. “Nothing,” says Sir John Mal- minister of the late Prince Royal of Persia. The ceremony colm, “can exceed their politeness; and in their social hours, of reception being concluded, kaliouns were presented, when formality is banished, their conversation is delightful." then coffee served in very small cups, and without cream But, unfortunately, the Persian character is sullied by the or sugar.
Kaliouns succeeded; then tea in large cups; debasing vices of falsehood and duplicity, the practice of and after a conversation of ten minutes, the minister gave which they even attempt to defend, as the natural conse a signal for dinner to be brought. Several servants imquence of the state of society in which they live. Their mediately entered bearing a long narrow roll of flowered assertions are therefore always suspected, and the oaths cotton in their arms, which they spread on the carpet before which they use, to attest their veracity, are only proofs of the whole company, who were ranged on both sides of the their want of it. They swear by the head of the king, by room. This table-cloth, if we may venture to use such an that of the person they address, by their own, by that of expression, is called sofra, and Mr. Morier says it is used their son, that they are not saying what is false; and if all so long unchanged, that the accumulated fragments of these fail to convince, they sometimes exclaim, “ Believe former meals collect into a musty paste, emitting no very me; for though a Persian, I am speaking the truth.” savoury smell; but the Persians are content, for they say that
The Persians are less luxurious in their habits than the changing the sofra brings ill luck. The next service was Turks; instead of reclining on cushions, they sit erect on a to set a piece of thin bread or cake before each guest, to be thick felt, called nummud, their feet being drawn up under used as a plate and napkin. Then came a tray between them, and their bodies thus resting on their heels. This is a every two persons containing the following articles of food : posture very difficult for Europeans to place themselves in, two bowls of sherbet, each provided with a wooden spoon of with any regard to comfort; indeed, until long practice has delicate and elegant workmanship,—two dishes of pillau, rendered it familiar to them, their limbs get cramped if they composed of rice soaked in oil or butter, boiled fowls, retain it for half an hour. Like other Mohammedan nations, raisins, and a little saffron,-two plates with melons sliced, the Persians rise with the dawn; for according to the ordi- .-two others containing a dozen kabobs, or morsels of dry nances of the Korán, the first of the mussulman's five daily broiled meat,--and a dish presenting a fowl roasted to a prayers must be said before the appearance of the sun. cinder. The whole party being thus supplied, "the host," They begin by performing, with their right hands, the ab- says Sir R. Porter, gave the signal for falling to; a comlutions which their religion enjoins, the left hand never mand that seemed to be understood literally, for every back being used by this people, except in the humblest offices. became bent, every face was brought close to the point of They then unroll their carpets, and kneel down, placing attack, and every jaw in an instant was in motion.' The their hands, with closed palms, on their breasts, and turning Persians advanced their chins close to the dishes, and verv the face, as nearly as they can guess, in the direction of the dexterously scooped off the contents into their mouths, holy city of Mecca, which constitutes their kebla, or point with three fingers and the thumb of their right hand; and of adoration. In this attitude they repeat their prayers, the good things passed in rapid succession from the board, generally in a mumbling tone, at intervals touching the to the mouths of the grave and distinguished assembly. “I ground, or rather carpet, with the forehead. Their fast is must say,” continues this gentleman, “ that I never saw a then broken with a cup of coffee, a few sweatmeats, and a more silent repast in my life, nor one where the sounds of Kalioun, or water pipe, for the Persians are passionately mastication were so audible; and I could only think of a fond of tobacco, smoking it almost incessantly, from the similar range of respectable quadrupeds, with their heads not moment they rise, till they retire to rest; it constitutes further from their troughs than ours were from the trays. indeed the principal source of amusement to a man of for- For my part, whenever I wished to avail myself of the
heaps of good provender on mine, at every attempt to throw their bills depends, not, as with us, upon the signature, a little rice into my mouth, it disappeared up my sleeve; so but upon the seal, which has engraven on it the name of that after several unsuccessful essays, I gave up the enjoy the person to whom it belongs, and the date at which it was ment of this most savoury dish of the feast, and contented cut. The seal-cutter keeps a register of every seal he myself with a dry kabob or two."
makes, and if one is stolen or lost, his life would answer the But if our countrymen were awkward in their attempts crime of making another exactly resembling it. to accommodate themselves to the customs of their Persian Soñe merchants make a display of their wealth; but, hosts, the latter displayed an equal degree of clumsiness, generally speaking, their habits are frugal, and even when, in the excess of their politeness, they endeavoured to. penurious. The lower class are often very avaricious and conform to the fashions of Europe. During the stay of sordid; and some of them, from indulging in the habit of Sir Gore Ouseley's embassy at Isfahan, the king's lord acquiring money, become perfect misers by the time they high treasurer, or second minister, invited that gentleman reach old age. When the British mission was at Isfahan and his suite to a dinner, which, out of compliment to the the popular mind was strongly impressed with this belief; guests, was laid out in imitation of an English entertain- and the following story was related as a fact, exhibiting, ment. The following is Mr. Morier's account of it. certainly, a wonderful refinement in the art of combining
"On a number of rude unpainted tables, some high, economy with enjoyment. A merchant who had lately some low, arranged in the horse-shoe fashion, were heaped died at Isfahan, and left a large sum of money, was so all the various dishes which compose a Persian entertain- great a niggard, that for many years he deprived himself ment, not in symmetrical order, for their number made and his son, a young boy, of every support except a crust of that impossible, but positively piled one upon the other, so coarse bread. He was however one day tempted by the that stewed fowl lay under roasted lamb, omelet under description which a friend gave him of the flavour of cheese, stewed fowl, eggs under omelet, and rice under all, and so to buy a small piece; but before he got home, he began to on. Every European was provided with a knife, fork, reproach himself with extravagance, and instead of eating napkin and plate; but the poor Persians, alas ! made but the cheese, he put it into a bottle, and contented himself, rueful work of it. Some were seated upon chairs so high and obliged his child to be so also, with rubbing the that they towered far above the alpine scenery of meats and crust against the bottle, enjoying the cheese in imaginastews; others again were seated so low that they were lost tion. One day that he returned home later than usual, he in the valleys. There was much amusement in observing found his son eating his crust and rubbing it against the how awkwardly they went to work, and how great was the door. “What are you about, you fool ?" was his exclamaindignation which broke out upon the faces of some of the tion. “It is dinner-time, father; you have the key, so I most ravenous of them who, out of compliment to us, could not open the door ;— I was rubbing my bread against were deprived of their full range over such a scene of it, because I could not get to the bottle. Cannot
you go good cheer."
without cheese one day, you luxurious little rascal ? You'll COMMERCE AND MANUFACTURES.
never be rich," added the angry miser, as he kicked the poor
boy for not being able to deny himself the ideal gratification. Isfahan is the first commercial city in the empire, being The manufactures of Isfahan are various; the richest of the emporium of the foreign trade between India and them is that of brocade, which is carried to considerable Persia, Turkey and Cabul. Its merchants resemble, in perfection. This article is worn by the Persians for their their general character, those of Bushire and Shiraz, and outer garments on gala days; and the kalaats, or dresses of form a distinct class among the inhabitants of the city. honour, which the king and his sons confer, are made of it. They avoid all political connexions, and thus they are Silks and satins are also manufactured; and the cotton enabled to enjoy considerable security; for the plunder of a which grows in the neighbourhood of the city is wrought merchant without the pretext of some such interference on into cloths of different qualities, the principal of which his part, would shake all confidence and be productive of resembles nankeen, and is worn by all ranks of the people, much injury to the state. They are nevertheless extremely from the king to the peasant. It is also exported to Russia by circumspect; and all their mercantile correspondence is the Caspian Sea, being used for the undress of the Russian carried on in cipher, every person having a different one, soldiery. Paper, gunpowder, sword-blades, glass, and earthknown only to himself and his agents. The authenticity of enware, are also manufactured, but not in great quantities.
LONDON: Published bv JOHN WILLIAM PARKER, WEST STRAND; and sold by all Booksellers
UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE COMMITTEE OF GENERAL LITERATURE AND EDUCATION,
APPOINTED BY THE SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEI)GE.
THE SONAH WALLAH.
dostan, but in still more distant lands, that.“ the THE occupations of the Hindoos depend upon their earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord caste, which is one of the most powerful instruments
as the waters cover the sea." ever employed in regulating the social condition of a So degraded is the domestic condition of the community of nearly a hundred millions of souls. Soodras that, in the institutes of Menu, in which are All trades in India are confined to the Soodras, who comprised the civil and religious codes of Hindoo comprehend the lowest, and by far the most numer- law, the Brahmins are forbidden even to give them ous, of the four great integral divisions of the people. spiritual counsel, or to inform them of the legal The Shastra prohibits the exercise of all mechanical expiation for their sins. These low-caste Hindoos arts by the three superior castes; they are, therefore, are so universally despised by the Brahmins, that the undertaken by Soodras, who are not prohibited the only way they can obtain from them the benefits of exercise of such employments, and pursued from religious communion is by consenting to perform the father to son in succession. A Hindoo would think it most menial and debasing offices. They sweep the not only morally unjust, but an act of spiritual dere houses of those spiritual despots, wash their feet, liction, to engage in an occupation which had not been anoint their bodies with oil, fetch water, wood, and first followed by his father; and so strictly does the clay, for the temple sacrifices, and attend the funcwhole body of the people adhere to this conventional tionaries during the tedious ceremonies of their daily custom, that a deviation from it is seldom to be worship;—these arrogant priests thinking all the while detected. They have a great idea of hereditary that their menials are highly favoured by their conclaims, and imagine that a man dishonours his race descending to appoint them to duties, which, in the by adopting any mode of life or profession which had opinion of every rational judgment, would be much not been pursued by his forefathers through a remote
more “ honoured in the breach than the observance.' succession of generations.
A Soodra who is constantly employed in doing serThe Hindoo population is divided into four castes, vice to a Brahmin is declared in the Shastra to have Brahmins, Cshatryas, Vaisyas, and Soodras. The acted meritoriously; but he who withholds these serfirst are said, in their sacred scriptures, to have issued, vices, and despises the priesthood, is declared to be at the creation, from Brahma's mouth, the second doomed to everlasting torment. “ Some of the from his arms, the third from his thighs, and the Soodras,” says Mr. Ward *, " reverence Brahmins as fourth from his feet. The latter are looked upon by gods, and the whole of the swinish multitude' pay the three superior classes as .comparatively ignoble, them exterior honours. In bowing to a Brahmin, and consequently degraded. The Brahmins are ex- the Soodra raises his joined hands to his forehead, clusively set apart for the priesthood and the legis- and gently bows his head. The Brahmin never relative department of the state, as being the most turns the compliment, but gives the Soodra a blessimportant and influential vocations, as well as the ing, extending the right hand a little, as a person most dignified. To the Cshatryas is committed the would do when carrying water in it. In bowing to a executive ; from these, therefore, the armies of their Brahmin, the sins of the Soodra enter the fire which, governments are drawn. The Vaisyas have the by an eastern figure, is said to lodge in the Brahmin's direction of commerce, so that among this caste are hand, and are consumed. If a Brahmin stretch out some of the most wealthy persons in Hindostan. | his hand before a Soodra have bowed to him, he will To the Soodras are left, as beneath the dignity of sink into a state of misery; and if a Soodra meet a their superiors, all mechanical and servile employ- Brahmin and do not bow to him, he will meet wịth a ments.
like fate." Such is the state of civil degradation in These absurd distinctions have produced a para- which a population amounting nearly to a hundred lysing effect upon the moral energies of the people, millions is involved, in this era of progressing civiby enslaving, and thus enervating, their minds, and lization. deadening the natural impulses of their ambition. I have dwelt the longer upon the condition of the Their sphere of action being, therefore, circumscribed, Soodras, with reference to that vast community of the mass feel that they are nationally degraded which they constitute so large a proportion, because by being kept in those fetters which prevent them it is almost exclusively from this caste that the mefrom rising to a high moral elevation. The Brah-chanical arts are exercised in India. mins, under the influence of this baneful system, are,
The Sonah Wallah is a worker in the precious for the most part, a haughty, ignorant, and sensual metals, Sonah signifying gold, and Wallah, a fellow, race, arrogant on account of their prodigious influ- a word used in Hindoostanee as an affix to a number ence, tyrannical from excess of power, and sensual of designations implying the character or occupation from unrestraint, the indulgence of every animal of different persons. It is, in fact, applied to all tendency being so readily within their reach. They classes of people. For instance," an English geneare, in fact, encouraged by their social position to ral,” says Captain Luard, “is called a burrah topee gratify their carnal propensities, rather than to culti- wallah, great hat fellow; the king's infantry are always vate their mental powers, while the Soodras, who designated loll coatee wallahs, red-coated fellows; there form the great majority of the people-except here are many bhote acha wallahs, very good fellows, but and there a few, who, under any condition of things, many more burrah charab wallahs, very bad fellows." will rise above the ordinary level of common minds- The Sonah Wallah comes to your house for half a are involved in a degree of barbarism scarcely infe- rupee, or about a shilling a day, though he generally rior to the herds of the forest. The traces of a very contrives to defraud you of at least treble the amount. nigh order of mind so conspicuous in every part of He brings with him all his implements, which are few India before the Mohammedan conquest, render it a
and simple in the extreme. They consist of a small matter deeply to be deplored that the moral aspect sigharee, or forge, to which are attached several in this fine country should be now so dark and un- iron rings, turned up over the charcoal to receive his promising; Let us, however, confidingly hope, as we crucibles,-a tin tube, a pair of slight iron tongs, appear to be on the eve of vast civil changes in the a pair of small pliers, a hammer, a couple of earthen whole social fabric, that the time is fast approaching saucers, and a rude anvil, consisting of a piece of when the words of prophecy shall be realized, not only throughout the extensive peninsula of Hin- thology of the Hindoos.-vol. i., p. 32,
See his valuable work on the History, Literature, and My
flint secured in a rough iron frame. With these | As pleasant and as much desired as fair weather is wont to few and very imperfect instruments, he contrives to be, and as much as we use to be discontented at a lowering perform all the nice and various operations of his
and dropping sky, yet the one is no less necessary nor useful
in its season than the other. For too interrupted a course craft.
of heat and sunshine would make the season fruitful in After having arranged his forge, and lighted the nothing but in caterpillars, or such kind of vermin, and in charcoal, he takes the gold with which you furnish diseases; and is far more proper to fill graves than barns. him, puts it into one of the receptacles, and throws Whereas seasonable vicissitudes of clouds, and cloudy in a small quantity of borax in order to flux it the weather, make both the ground fruitful, and the season more readily. He then places the crucible upon his healthful. Thus in our outward condition, too long and sigharee in a bed of kindled charcoal, applies the but such wantonness as 'tis ill to be fruitful of; and the
constant a prosperity is wont to make the soul barren of all end of the tin tube under the earthen saucer, con- interposition of seasonable afflictions, is as necessary and taining the precious deposit, and blowing at the other advantageous, as it can be unwelcome. But the consideraextremity, raises an ardent flame directly round it. tion that chiefly entertained me was this; that as here to The gold usually employed on these occasions is the make the earth fruitful, the face of heaven must be now gold mohur, which is the current gold coin of the and then obscured and overcast
, and we must be deprived country, and worth about 328. sterling. Here a man is benefit of the rain; so such is our condition here below,
of the welcome pleasure of the sun, to receive the fertilizing not amenable before a judicial tribunal for defacing that our perverseness makes it necessary that God should the king's image. As soon as the gold is in a state of oftentimes appear to frown upon us, to make us fruitful in fusion, the Sonah Wallah generally contrives to secure those works, to which he is pleased to vouchsafe his smiles. some of the metal for his own private purposes by But oh ! how happy shall we be in that glorious and everthrowing into the flux a small quantity of nitro-mu- lasting day, when our condition shall be as blessed in not riatic acid. This causes an immediate effervescence, the sunshine alone shall perform all that is wont to be done
requiring vicissitudes, as not being subject to them; when by which a portion of the fused ore escapes, and is here, both by it and the rain; and the soul, like Egypt, secured among the charcoal, from which the wily being fruitful without the assistance of clouds, we shall rogue separates it at his leisure when he returns to not need to have our joys eclipsed, to have our graces kept his own home. In order to supply the deficiency, he from being so, or to make our light shine the brighter; stirs the contents of his crucible with a copper rod, when we shall not need to have our love weaned from a portion of which melts, so that the mass, when inferior or undue objects, by any experience of their imperweighed after fluxing, appears to have sustained little fections, since the clear discovery that God will vouchsafe
us of his own excellencies, will abundantly suffice to confine or no loss. This is a very common practice, 'and so our affections to them. And as the works wherein we dexterous are these fellows at this sort of knavery, are to be fruitful in heaven, will be but to admire and thank as invariably to escape detection, though I be- him that is infinite in beauty, and in goodness, the per lieve an instance seldom or never occurs that they fecter sight and fruition we shall have of his astonishing, do not defraud their employers of a portion of the
as well as ravishing attributes, will but proportionably
increase our wonder and our praises, and will naturally gold put into their hands. Their skill is so admi
make us as grateful for such a state, as hupppy in it.rable, that few think of questioning their honesty, Boyle. for with a hammer, anvil, and pliers alone, they contrive to make the most beautiful trinkets, such as
I am persuaded that the more we inquire and search into bangles, or ankle-rings, bracelets, armlets, finger- the economy of Nature, so far from finding any defects, we rings, and chains ; their fingers being so small, taper, shall have more and more reason to be convinced that not and flexible, that they supply the place of a variety only every bird, but every animal, from the highest to the of tools which are indispensable to European arti- lowest in the scale of creation, is equally weh adapted for ficers. I have seen, made by these itinerant gold- of a naturalist should be always to “look through Nature
for which it was intended. The chief object smiths, chains apparently of the most complicated up to Nature's God,” and if we do so with a sincere desire structure, which I do not think could have been pro- to be benefited by the survey, we shall have fresh cause duced with equal nicety in Europe. It is true they for wonder and admiration, and find our minds more fitted do not use very great despatch, but this is more than to receive the good impressions which such a study must counterbalanced by the exquisite neatness of their produce.-——JESSE. workmanship.
The Sonah Wallah, in Captain Luard's drawing, is That which the French proverb hath of sickness, is true a Mohammedan, a circumstance of rare occurrence,
of all evils, that they come on horseback, and go away on
foot: we have often seen a sudden fall, or one meal's surfeit except in the north of India, and here it is most pro- hath stuck by many to their graves; whereas pleasures bable that they are among those who have proselyted come like oxen, slow and heavily, and go away like postfrom the creed of Brahma to that of Islam. Many of horses, upon the spur. Sorrows, because they are lingering the lower orders in the province of Bengal, disgusted guests, I will entertain but moderately; knowing that the with the severe restrictions imposed upon them by the more they are made of, the longer they will continue: rigid prejudices of caste, have relinquished the gor- drink at my door, I will use them
as passengers with slight
and for pleasures, because they stay not, and do but call to geous mummeries of a complicated and unintelligible polytheism, for the less barbarous, though not much respect. He is his own best friend, that makes least of both
. purer, worship of the Arabian impostor. The converts have naturally retained the trades to which they were
ALL sublimities should be short; the mind cannot be bred, and thus we find the Mohammedan apparently transported long, and it is glad to recover its natural and assuming the especial occupation of a Hindoo. In ordinary train; a passive sort of content is the best state. the picture which heads this article, the Sonah Wallah H. MORE. is represented at work in the virandah of a large house, and the two women are probably ayahs or dry- Truth considered in itself, and in the effects natural to it, nurses belonging to the domestic establishment, may be conceived as a gentle spring or water-source, warm amusing themselves by watching the progress of his from the genial earth, and breathing up into the snowdrift dexterous labours.
It turns the C.
that is piled over and around its outlet.
obstacie into its own form and character, and as it makes [Our engraving is copied from one of Captain Luard's beautiful its way increases its stream. And should it be arrested
prints, illustrative of the scenery, manners, and customs, in its course by a chilling season, it suffers delay, not loss, of various parts of India ; a work that only requires to and waits only for a change in the wind to awaken and be better known, to be generally admired. }
again roll onwards.-COLERIDGE.