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ART. IV. A Tour to Shiraz, by the Route of Cazrum and Firuzabad, with various Remarks on the Manners, Customs, Laws, Language, and Literature of the Persians: To which is added, a History of Persia, from the Death of Kerim Khan, to the Subversion of the Zend dynasty. By Edward Scott Waring, Esq. of the Bengal Civil Establishment.

T° o travel in a country imperfectly known, and to publish a journey which shall neither prove amusing nor instructive, though not quite unprecedented in the history of literature, must still be allowed to require some address and management. As the ambition of authors is not limited to one mode of excellence, we venture to furnish a few canons for the benefit of those who may be desirous of excelling in this line; premising, that although we have derived some useful hints from the publication before us, our obligations are by no means limited to the lucubrations of Mr Waring. 1st, To avoid the relation of characteristic anecdotes as much as possible. Man is naturally a very inquisitive animal, and too apt to indulge an impertinent curiosity respecting matters which nowise concern him. The manners of foreign nations most evidently fall under this description; and it is extremely commendable in a traveller to disappoint him of this silly amusement. It is to the injudicious neglect of this canon, that we are to attribute the foolish interest which some authors have excited for persons who should be no more to us than we to Hecuba; thence it is that, at the courts of Gondar, of Amerapura, of Tasisudon, and even of Pekin, we had formed a little circle of acquaintances, in whose welfare we took a ridiculous interest, and have caught ourselves trembling at the danger which future revolutions might occasion to the tottering authority of the Abyssinian monarch, or the spiritual dignity of the infant Lama. There is also another reason for avoiding anecdotes illustrative of manners, and substituting short but comprehensive sentences in their stead. Veracity is an article in pretty general circulation; and those anecdotes are generally believed, either to be true, or to be supposed so, by the persons who report them. Judgment, on the other hand, is a much rarer commodity; the talent of generalizing the mass of facts, in order to deduce accurate conclusions on national character and manners, is not very generally possessed, and demands, for its exercise, a long period of observation, and an extensive range of communication amongst different ranks. The adoption of our plan, therefore, seems to be the surest method of excluding both amusement and instruction, since the reader is sure to be sceptical as to the author's ability

ability to form a correct judgment, particularly if his decisions. are given in a very decided tone, although he may have resided in the country during a period of almost three months. Besides, we really believe that most people coincide with us in adopting the Norman adage, Qu'il y a des bonnes gens partout; ' and when we find that these have been more careful than usual to keep out of the way of a particular traveller, we are not apt to appreciate highly his powers of impartial observation. 2d, The next canon we would recommend to a travelling tyro, is copiousness of reflections: the more trite the subjects, the better are they adapted to the end in view: for this purpose, we suggest despotism, insecurity of person and property, murder, assassination, and perfidy. As the same reflections must arise in every human breast on these topics, any given individual may be sure of not deviat ing into usefulness, by publishing his own. 3d, As every object in the physical and moral world may be contemplated in a point of view more or less favourable, he must be sure to seize the most unfavourable. This is an important canon; for a series of disgusting pictures, unavoidably creates some disgust at the book, besides an aversion to the subject, and all information connected with it. 4th, If recent events have raised the country through which he travels to a high degree of political importance, he should be cautious of affording information on the points which are most anxiously studied at the moment. But if he cannot altogether suppress these topics, he might at least contrive to treat them in a style so manifestly loose and inaccurate, as to destroy all hopes of obtaining correct and precise notions. We flatter ourselves, that these rules may not prove altogether useless to future travellers, and have again to disclaim exclusive obligations to Mr Waring, who has by no means sufficiently attended to them, on various occasions.

Mr Waring possessed one great requisite in a traveller, a perfect knowledge of the language of the country he was to visit. He embarked on the 10th of April 1802, (ask not from whence?) and arrived at Bushir on the 22d May. His route lay through the populous village of Birasgun, the ruins of Dires, and the city of Ĉazrun, now in a state of decline. On the 19th of June he entered Shiraz, where he remained till the 31st of July, about six weeks, and then returned by the route of Firuzabad to Bushir, where he staid till the 7th of September. The whole period of Mr Waring's stay in Persia, from the 22d of May till the 7th of September, comprizes a period of about three months and a half. But to collect information on all the topics we find mentioned in the titles of his thirty-five chapters, would, to an uninspired traveller, require years; to discover persons on whose statements


he could rely, must, according to his own account, prove no very easy task; but this cautious and deliberate mode of inquiry is by no means to the taste of our travelier, who decides as confidently on the Persian character, morality, and manners, as if he had spent his life in the country. The faults of Mr Waring, however, are the faults of youth: the abilities, of which we discover occasional traces in this work, will remain, after time has corrected the precipitate judgments and fastidious taste, which too frequently obscure its merits.

Those who have contemplated the state of society in modern Persia, through the medium of former travellers, will find little, novelty in this work; and of a portion of that little we doubt the accuracy. In the pleasing, good-humoured, and unpretending narrative of Captain Franklin, they will find much more amusement. But many of his facts are questioned. That the environs of Shiraz should have appeared delightful to Captain Franklin, as they are represented by the Persian muse, whilst to Mr War-ing they seemed disagreeable, does not surprise us; de gustibus, &c. But the singular discrepancy regarding a physical fact, which required only observation, is calculated to excite surprise., Captain Franklin, speaking of the climate of Shiraz, informs us, The mornings and evenings are cool, but the rest of the day temperate. In summer, the thermometer seldom rises higher than 73° in the day, and at night generally falls to 62°.' Mr Waring has the following note. Captain Franklin mentions that the thermometer in summer is never more than 77°. I am sorry to differ from him; my thermometer I found to be correct, and, from daily observation, I am confident it was never under 90°. We have some difficulty, however, in reconciling Mr Waring's observation with the following passage, written the day after he left Shiraz. The night was disagreeably cold; and I could not refrain from reflecting, that I had to prepare myself for the dust and heat of the Gurmsir. Thermometer 94°. This disagreeable coldness was not surely produced by an atmosphere heated to 90° of Fahrenheit.

Our readers are probably not unacquainted with the importance attached to the alliance of the court of Persia, by the present ruler of France. The repeated secret missions of the most intelligent and active agents in his employ, since the commencement of the present contests, sufficiently evince his anxiety on this point. The present object may probably be to incite the Persian monarch to attack the Russian possessions between the Euxine and Caspian; but there is reason to think, that, at one period, a design of a different nature actuated his ambition. This momentary interest, added to that laudable curiosity which



is at all times attracted to the fate of great and once powerful nations, induces us to insert a succinct account, collected from the publication before us, and other documents, of the most important events which have occurred in that country since the death of Nadir Shah in 1747.

On the death of that illustrious warrior, his descendants disputed the succession for a moment in the heart of the empire, whilst on its skirts arose two powerful monarchies which extinguished their contention, by extending their own boundaries till they met in the centre. The grandsons of Nadir returned to the obscurity of his father; and the descendants of that great monarch, whose name, only half a century ago, scattered dismay from the banks of the Euphrates to the shores of the Ganges, now earn a laborious subsistence in the humble occupation of grooms. Ahmed Khan, the Abdali, into whose hands fell the treasures of his master, founded at Cabul a dominion which he has transmitted to his descendants; at this day, his successor governs, in that city, the fair and fertile regions of Cabul, Multan, Casmir, and Sind in Hindustan; whilst, in Persia, his jurisdiction extends over the provinces of Candahar and Khorasan. The empire, founded in the west by Kerim Khan, was not destined to be of so long duration. This officer was governor of Shiraz; and, on the death of his master, rendered himself independent in the province of Fars. A long and prosperous reign of thirty years established his power, and extended his authority over the whole of Persia, excepting that portion still possessed by the Abdallis. When M. Gmelin travelled in Persia by order of the Czarina, the empire of Kerim extended over Aserbijan, Masenderan, Asterabad, the cities of Tabriz, Hamdan, Tigrat, Shiraz, Ispahan, and Kerman, with all their dependencies; in short, it comprehended all the countries from the Gulph of Persia to the frontiers of Turkey. His administration was marked by the severity of military discipline, and the exercise of a rigorous justice. Shiraz, his capital, contains monuments of princely munificence erected by Kerim; amongst others, a bason half a mile in length, covered over like Exeter 'Change; and a mosque, of which the architecture is highly praised. He never assumed the title of king, contenting himself with the appellation of Vakil, or deputy. His death, in 1779, was the signal of new disturbances, of which we shall particularize those only which led to important consequences.

Whilst in the south the family of Kerim disputed the succession to the empire, the eunuch Aga Mohamed Khan, whom Kerim held in confinement in Shiraz, contrived to escape; and flying to the north of Persia, where his relations held elevated


stations, subjected to his dominion the provinces bordering on the Caspian. The son of Kerim, his brother, and another relation, paid successively the forfeit of their ambition. Ali Morad, also related to the Vakeel, succeeded to their authority, and enjoyed for near five years the dominion of the southern provinces. His death, in 1784, paved the way for Jaffer Khan, a nephew of Kerim.

Jaffier Khan reigned four years, a period filled with disorders, and marked by several rebellions. Notwithstanding his personal courage, success rarely attended his arms. Aga Mohamed, his most formidable rival, extended his power to the centre of Persia, and established the seat of his empire in Tahiran, where his successor still continues to reside. It was during this period that Captain Franklin visited Persia, who has furnished an account of his interview with Jaffier Khan: in the following year, 1788, that prince was assassinated by two of his officers.

Latif Ali Khan, fon of Jaffier Khan, found means to gain poffession of Shiraz, after various viciffitudes of fortune, and to establifh his authority over the province of Fars. The reft of Perfia, exclufive of the Abdalli poffeffions, had for fome time been subjected to the controul of the eunuch Aga Mohamed Khan, who carried his arms into the only remaining poffeffion of the house of Kerim. His campaign of 1789, was diftinguished by a fignal victory and an unfuccefsful fiege; and, difappointed in his defign of making himself mafter of Shiraz, Aga Mohamed retraced his fteps to Tahiran, now the capital of Perfia. Latif Ali availed himself of his retreat to attempt the reduction of Kerman; but the defection of his confidential minifter, who poffeffed himfelf of Shiraz, in his master's abfence, and called in the aid of Aga Mohamed, completed the ruin of this young prince, worthy of a happier destiny. This event occurred in the year 1790; but the heroic, though unhappy efforts of Latif Ali, procraftinated his fate till the year 1794. Now a folitary fugitive, and now at the head of a confiderable force, his activity and refolution fpread alarm over the whole extent of the empire, till, taken prisoner on the capture of the city of Kerman, he was put to death by order of Aga Mohamed, in the 25th year of his age. In his perfon terminated the fhort-lived dynafty established by Kerim Khan in Shiraz, in the year 1748.

Aga Mohamed now beheld all the provinces, which we have enumerated as conftituting the empire of Kerim, united under his fway. He died in the following year 1795, and his nephew, Fatah Ali Shah, quietly afcended the vacant throne. This prince, like his predeceffor, holds his court in the city of Tahiran, a city of confiderable fize,' fays Mr Waring, and now the capital of

VOL. X. NO. 19.



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