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is by no me the Persian chatountry. Thejties, of w
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-huinoured, 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 Waring 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 62o.' Mr Waring has the following note. • Captain Franklin mentions that the thermometer in summer is never more than 77o. 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 suc. cession to the empire, the eunuch Aga Mohamed Khan, whom Kerim held in confinement in Shiraz, contrived to escape'; and Aving to the north of Persia, where his relations held elevated
Mohamed he been hja,
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 Jaffier 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, son of Jaffier Khan, found means to gain por sellion of Shiraz, after various vicissitudes of fortune, and to ellablish his authority over the province of Fars. The rest of Persia, exclusive of the Abdalli poffeffions, had for some time been subjected to the controul of the aunuch Aga Mohamed Khan, who carried his arms into the only remaining poffeffion of the house of Kerim. His campaign of 1789, was distinguifhed by a signal victory and an unsuccessful fiege ; and, disappointed in his design of making himself master of Shiraz, Aga Mohamed retraced his steps to Tahiran, now the capital of Persia. Latif Ali availed himself of his retreat to attempt the reduction of Kerman; but the defection of his confidential minister, who poffeffed himself of Shiraz, in his master's absence, 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, procrastinated his fate till the year 1794. Now a solitary fugitive, and now at the head of a considerable force, his activity and resolution spread 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 person terminated the short-lived dynasty 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 (way. He died in the following year 1795, and his nephew, Fatah Ali Shah, quietly ascended the vacant throne. This prince, like his predecessor, holds his court in the city of Tahiran, a city of considerable size,' says Mr Waring, and now the capital of VOL. X. NO. 19.
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Persia. It is situate' (situated) in a plain, and experiences equal severity of heat and cold; it is about twelve marches to the Caspian, and little more to Ispahan.' Our readers will find the modern capital of Persia, in the maps of the accurate D'Anville, nearly equidistant from the city of Cazvin, and the ruins of the farfamed Raï. Its position, according to the geographer, is much nearer to the Caspian than to the city of Ispahan. As a specimen of our author's style, we insert his account of the present king of Persia.
• The present king of Persia ascended the throne under a variety of advantages, which rarely occur in a country where the only claim to sovereignty depends upon the sword. At the time of his uncle's decease he was at Shiraz ; upon this event he advanced towards Tahiran, and was fortunate enough to gain poffeffion of this important place. It was at this place where all the treasure of the empire was deposited, and the families of all the principal officers of the realm. He, by this means, secured the affections of the soldiery, and the fidelity of all the principal officers of fate. Haji Ibrahim, the moft considerable and respectable person in the empire, declared himself in his favour; and it was chiefly owing to his exertion and influence, that the king met with so little refiftance in the accomplishment of his wishes.
• Fatah Ali Shah, the present king, is about seven-and-twenty years of age; he is a Kejer, an inconsiderable tribe in the neighbourhood of Tahiran, and of no repute before the acceffion of Aga Mohamed Khan to the throne of Persia. * Indeed, during the reign of Kerim Khan, they were in general disrepute, nothing being more common than the people of the bazar refusing to sell them any article, on the plea that they had nothing fit for a Kejer sufficiently bad and vile. + But now, owing to the very great partiality the king evinces for his tribe, they have become the most considerable people in the kingdom ; and the name of Ktjer is detested and feared in every part of the empire of Pertia. All the refpondible trusts are conferred upon them : and the prefent governor of lípaban, and of the district of Irac, was elevated from his former situation of a seller of greens, to his present station, merely because he was a Kejer.
• The manners of the king are said to be very dignified, though at the same time very affable and prepossessing; and lie is allowed to possess all the exterior accomplishments of a Persian. In his person he is superior
* All great men have an illuftrious pedigree. It is said the prime minister, whom Nadir Shah seduced the unfortunate Tahmasp Shah to murder, was an anceftor of the present royal family. He was a name. fake, and a Kejer.
t Aga Mohamed Khan was a state prisoner during the reign of the Vakil Kerim Khan. Upon his accession to the throne, he dug up his body, and destroyed the grave of his illustrious and lamented predeceffor. . I saw the tablet in one of the gardens.
to most men; and the immense length of his beard (a gift highly valued hy the Persians) is a perpetual theme of discourse and admiration. He has been engaged in no military enterprise, and, in consequence of this, the public opinion denies him the only Persian virtue, courage. $ His andual expeditions towards Khorasan are made with the view of engaging the attention of his subjects, and accaftoming his troops to the fatigues of actual service, but without the smallest design of attempting the reduction of that province. The greatest blemish in his character, is the murder of Haji Ibrahim, who had regarded him as a fon, and who had evinced for him the affection of a father. It is said that the minister used to take greater liberties than the extent of his services allowed ; but I know of no excuse which can palliate such barbarous ina humanity.
The court of Tahiran is said (by those who have had many opportunities of judging) to be very magnificent and splendid, and in every respect becoming the sovereign of an extensive and flourishing empire. When the king receives any one in state, his sons, who are very numer. ous, ftand in a line from the throne ; * his ministers and officers of state behind them; and in the avenues are perhaps more than two thou. fand golami Shahis sumptuously clothed. The master of the ceremonies introduces the stranger; and every thing is conducted with the greatest decency and solemnity. Permiffion of being feated in the presence of the king is only granted to embassadors, and envoys of foreign states, and to, I believe, the Shaikh al Inam, as the chief priest of the Moslem religion. The king sometimes wears his regalia ; and by allowing the rays of the sun to fall upon him, I have heard it was impossible to behold him with any degree of steadiness. His jewels are supposed to be superior to any potentate's in the world ; indeed it would be surprising were it otherwise, as he has possessed himself of all the valuable jewels in his empire.
• The king has now reigned above seven years; and were it possible to form an opinion on the duration of a defpotic government, he has every prospect of reigning for a much longer period. His brother, Hufsun Culi Khan, who twice threw off his allegiance, is now in a place of sanctuary, which, I believe, the king respects more on account of the entreaties of his mother, than from any reverence he entertains for the place itself. t. He is, however, guarded with the strictest vigilance, and it is almost impoflible for him to effect his escape. E 2
.I I have frequently heard the Persians say, that the king did noc de. serve.che throne, because he had not won it by the sword.
* His family amounts to above fifty, several of whom were born on the same day.
t I learnt, on my last visit to Bushir, that his mother was dead. She was mother to both the brothers, and was exeessively fond of her youngest son. By all accounts fhe was a woman of confiderable ability, and was highly respected by all classes of people.