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presence with his head, like that of Horace, knocking against every star in the zodiac.
Before laying aside these two volumes, we cannot resist the temptation to turn back for a moment to the travels of Abou Taleb (reviewed in our VIIIth number), which are the production of a bona fide Mussulman. The advantage, of course, remains infinitely on the side of the work written to amuse, over that which was composed for the purpose of instruction. Such ludicrous errors as Hajji cherishes and records, his real prototype, when he fell into any of them, took especial care to conceal; giving us only the result of what he learned from matured consideration and experience. Abou Taleb deals, therefore, in matter of fact, and is most prosaic exactly where the secretary of the Persian embassy is most lively, imaginative, and absurd. It is odd that, though both works bear the marked impress of oriental composition, they hardly evince an idea in common with each other, excepting that the authors show the same holy scruple at employing a brush composed of hogg's bristles for the purposes of the bath. There is one political plan for the settlement of our national debt, which Abou Taleb does us the favour to suggest, and which in the Hajji's hands could not have failed to make a grand figure. Nothing could be more easy, he imagines, than to assemble the creditors of government in the presence of parliament, and inform them in plain language that they must instantly enter into a compromise, and agree to be contented with receiving a certain proportion of their debt. have only to observe, that the remedy seems to us to stop halfway; and that if the Light of the Universe,' or any other oriental monarch had a parcel of troublesome creditors assembled in the Atmeidan, before the refuge of the world,' or whatsoever his palace might be called, he would probably make them glad to compound, not for half only, but for all their claims, merely by drawing up a few nasakchies around the congregation. How the remedy would work in Europe-under favour of the learned oriental physician-the wise may make some drachm of a scruple.
Another work of considerable merit, belonging to the same class of composition, has attracted our favourable notice, though we are at present compelled to introduce it only in a very summary way. It is called the Kuzzilbash,' that is, the Redcap,' by which is meant the Persian Soldier, so named from the distinguishing part of his attire. This oriental romance, for such it must be termed, displays an accurate and intimate acquaintance with the manners and customs, as well as the history of Persia. The power of description displayed in it, so far at least as external circumstances are concerned, is of a most rich and picturesque character.
character. The author's pictures of natural scenery in the East show an eye familiar with its beauties and its terrors; and indicate, we are tempted to think, no ordinary acquaintance with the art of the draughtsman. The following description of what had once been an ornamented garden, but was become a place of rendezvous for a marauding tribe of Turcomans, might be easily transferred to canvass as a counterpart to Goldsmith's Auburn :
'Just upon the edge of the bank, the little stream, after filling a canal, had been trained to fall over an artificial cascade of stone, the sides of which had been adorned with ornaments of the same; but the canal was almost obliterated, and the stone over which the water rushed was broken, and had fallen in such a manner as to confine the stream still more. A rude spout of stone had been placed so as to collect it in the basin below, and to enable the women to fill their water-vessels more easily. A huge old sycamore tree, once the chief ornament of the garden, grew on one side and overshadowed the basin; and a vine, which had rooted itself among the broken stones, formed a still closer covering, protecting the water from the rays of the sun, so as to render it always cool and refreshing. It was a delicious spot, and had become the favourite rendezvous of the whole aoul: the women came morning and evening to fill their water-skins; the elders of the men met to smoke their calleeoons under the shade, and the youths to talk over their exploits performed or anticipated, to play at games of chance, and listen to the tales of a Kissago, or to gossip with the women; the children sported below upon the green bank, or threw themselves into the sparkling waters of the little lake at its foot.'-vol. i., pp. 59, 60.
The following sketch of a Persian cavalier has the richness and freshness of one of Heber's, or Morier's, or Sir John Malcolm's pages:
'He was a man of goodly stature, and powerful frame; his counte nance, hard, strongly marked, and furnished with a thick black beard, bore testimony of exposure to many a blast, but it still preserved a prepossessing expression of good humour and benevolence. ban, which was formed of a cashmere shawl, sorely tached and torn, and twisted here and there with small steel chains, according to the fashion of the time, was wound around a red cloth cap, that rose in four peaks high above the head. His oemah, or riding coat, of crimson cloth much stained and faded, opening at the bosom, showed the links of a coat of mail which he wore below; a yellow shawl formed his girdle; his huge shulwars, or riding trowsers, of thick, fawn-coloured Kerman woollen-stuff, fell in folds over the large red leather boots in which his legs were cased: by his side hung a crooked scymetar in a black leather scabbard, and from the holsters of his saddle peeped out the butt ends of a pair of pistols; weapons of which I then knew not the use, any more than of the matchlock which was slung at his back. He was mounted on a powerful but jaded horse, and appeared to have already travelled far.'
VOL. XXXIX. NO. LXXVII.
Scenes of active life are painted by the author of the Kuzzilbash with the same truth, accuracy, and picturesque effect, which he displays in landscapes or single figures. In war, especially, he is at home; and gives the attack, the retreat, the rally, the bloody and desperate close combat, the flight, pursuit, and massacre, with all the current of a heady fight, as one who must have witnessed such terrors. We regret we have not space to give a further extract; and still more that we cannot add to these just praises any compliment to the art with which the author has conducted the incidents of his story-which are, to say the least, very slightly put together, and frequently place out of perspective the hero and his affairs. The historical events are dwelt on so often, and at such length, that we lose interest for the Kuzzilbash, in tracing the career of Nader and the revolutions of Persia. This is a sin which, we hope, the author will not cleave to, on further experience. We must also hint, that the moral characters of the agents whom he introduces are not sufficiently discriminated to maintain much interest with the reader they too much resemble the fortem Gyan fortemque Cloanthum. It may be answered, with plausibility, that people, trammelled by the dogmatic rules of a false religion, and the general pressure of an arbitrary government, are not apt to run into the individual varieties of character to be found in a free and Christian community. But a more close inspection of that great mass which preserves, at the first view, one dull appearance of universal resemblance, gives a great many differences both of a national, a professional, and an individual kind. While, then, we sincerely hope the author of the Kuzzilbash will resume the pen, we would venture to recommend that he commence on a more restricted canvass, and lend considerably more attention to the discrimination of his characters, and the combination of his story. In this case, with his stores of information and powers of language, we cannot help thinking he will secure public favour.
In the meantime, and with our recollection of the remarkable circumstance, that English literature has found an interest even in Persia, we feel disposed to nourish hopes that the taste may increase. Why may not European productions become, in time, as indispensable to the moral habits of a Persian, as a Chinese leaf to an European breakfast? Such expectations may appear extravagant to that sect of dampers who may be termed the Cuibonists. What would be the good consequence, they may ask, should Britain be able to introduce into Persia the whole trash which loads her own circulating libraries? We reply that these volumes of inanity, as Johnson would have termed them, are yet not more inane than the romances of the middle ages, which spread
wide over Europe the system of chivalry, and thereby wrought a more powerful change on human manners than ever was produced by any one cause, the Christian religion alone excepted. Let any one who lists,' says a lively French author, 'make laws for a people, so I have liberty to compose their songs :' a similarity of books paves the way for a similarity of manners; and the veil of separation once rent, there is no saying how soon it may be altogether removed.
The possibility of a great change being introduced by very slight beginnings may be illustrated by the tale which Lockman tells of a vizier who, having offended his master, was demned to perpetual captivity in a lofty tower. At night his wife came to weep below his window. Cease your grief,' said the sage,' go home for the present, and return hither when you have procured a live black beetle, together with a little ghee, (or buffalo's butter,) three clews, one of the finest silk, another of stout packthread, and another of whipcord; finally a stout coil of rope.' When she again came to the foot of the tower, provided according to her husband's commands, he directed her to touch the head of the insect with a little of the ghee, to tie one end of the silk thread around him, and to place the reptile on the wall of the tower. Seduced by the smell of the butter, which he conceived to be in store somewhere above him, the beetle continued to ascend till he reached the top, and thus put the vizier in possession of the end of the silk thread, who drew up the packthread by means of the silk, the small cord by means of the packthread, and, by means of the cord, a stout rope capable of sustaining his own weight, and so at last escaped from the place of his duresse.
ART. IV.-1. Principles of Elementary Teaching, chiefly in reference to the Parochial Schools of Scotland; in two Letters to T. F. Kennedy, Esq., M.P. By James Pillans, F.R.S.E., late Rector of the High School, and now Professor of Humanity in the University of Edinburgh. Edinburgh. 1828. 2. Elements of Tuition. Part III. Ludus Literarius: The Classical and Grammar School; or, an Exposition of an Experiment in Education, made at Madras in the years 17891796; with a view to its introduction into Schools for the higher orders of Children, and with particular Suggestions for its Application to a Grammar School. By the Rev. Andrew Bell, D.D., LL.D., &c., Master of Sherburn Hospital, Durham.
3. A Letter to John Hughes, Esq., M. A., on the Systems of Education proposed by the Popular Parties. By the Rev. John Phillips Potter, M.A., Oriel College, Oxford. 4. A Letter to the Right Honourable Robert Peel, on the subject of the University of London. By Christianus. 1828. 5. Some Account of the System of Fagging at Winchester School; with Remarks, and a Correspondence with Dr. Williams, Head Master of that Public School, on the late expulsions thence for resistance to the authority of the Præfects. By Sir Alexander Malet, Bart. London. 1828.
URSED, say the Rabbies, be he who keepeth a pig, or who teacheth his son Greek! If Latin had been included in the anathema, many a poor boy in Christian countries might have wished himself a Jew, that so he might have come under the benefit of the saving malediction. The cruelty by which barbarous times are characterized, and which reaches far into more civilized ages, is not more strongly marked in the laws of every European people, than in the history of scholastic education.
It began in cloisters, and this alone might explain wherefore it was originally conducted upon a principle of severity. The children who were there brought up were devoted to a religious life; and whether this were to be secular or monastic, the first thing which the preceptors deemed necessary was to subdue the will, and break the spirit to the yoke of a rigorous discipline.
We continually read in our hagiologists of children running to the shrines of the saints, in the hope of there obtaining protection against the cruelty of their masters. A boy in that hope clung to the tomb of St. Adrian, at Canterbury; and the master, disregarding in his anger the sanctity of the spot, chastised him as he clung there: the first and second strokes were allowed to be given with impunity; but the offended saint stiffened the arm which was raised to inflict a third; and it was not until the master had implored forgiveness of the boy, and the boy had become his mediator with the defunct and beatified bishop, that the use of the limb was restored. Another miracle, which it would require a very different degree of credulity to believe, but which undoubtedly exemplifies the temper in which scholastic punishment was administered, is also related by Capgrave, in the legend of the same saint. The culprit ran to his shrine, calling upon him for help, and the master is represented as declaring in reply to these appeals, that even if Christ himself were to interfere in his behalf, the boy should not escape unpunished. A dove, beautifully white, is said instantly to have alighted upon the tomb, and by bending its head and fluttering its wings, as if in the attitude of supplication, to have disarmed the