Read: My Wanderings in Persia

(p. vii) PREFACE

The routes throughout Persia have also received some attention in their description, etc.

My roughly written notes may prove of some interest to those students of Eastern affairs who acknowledge the position in which Persia is placed. Should it afford such service to them, or a source of interest to any portion of the English community who may in some degree be concerned in Eastern affairs they will have more than accomplished the writer's desire.

SHEFFIELD, August, 1879.

(p. 106)

which tends to ennoble the mind, or to raise the faculties and elevate the senses, which places man near the eminence for which he is intended. In Persia it is exactly the reverse.

Speaking of them as a nation, they are the most immoral, degraded, and brutal beings the world can own. An inferior is held simply as an inanimate body or machine; hence the prevalence of slavery and despotism. From the king down to the wandering mendicant their conversation is of the most indecent and obscene character it is possible to imagine; the presence of women and young children does not in the least deter them from its use.

(p. 107

During my absence from Sevund,. the local governor had received orders from the Provincial Governor of Fars (Farhad Mirza, the King's uncle) to effect the capture of a noted band of robbers, whose chief was called Fazir Ali Shah (the kingship being self-constituted), who had been outlawed eight or ten years. His fortress, which was reported impregnable, was situated (p.108) in a mountainous part of Farsistan and was accessible by one road only, known but to the band. He was betrayed by one of his companions, who was bribed by promises of liberty and a, commission in the army, but upon his arrival in Shiraz was beheaded.

Fazir Ali Shah and his band, after a desperate

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(p. 109)

they were dubious as to whether a further payment would be of any use), Fazir Ali was tied to a horse to be strangled. This, however, was too slow a death, and he with four others was beheaded, their gory heads being piked and. placed on the gate leading to the Governor's palace and there they remained for

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(p. 110)

Some few years ago, on his attempted assassination by two Bawbees (of which religion there are still many adherents), the would-be assassins were sentenced to have thirty holes cut in their bodies, into which lighted candles were to be placed and allowed to burn out, The men were lacerated to a fearful extent, death mercifully ending their sufferings before the candles were put in.

It is a common practice in Persia to put out the eyes or cut out the tongues of all those who may in any way incur their monarch's displeasure.
A few days previous to the Shah leaving for Europe (on his second tour), in April of last year, a most horrifying massacre was perpetrated at the King's order in Teheran.

It is customary on any Mussulman starting on a journey, to pay a farewell visit to the mosque. The King was leaving Teheran for this purpose, en route for the shrine of Shah Abdul-Azim, distant about six miles from the (p. 111) city, when, nearing the gate leading in the direction of the shrine, he was met by some fifteen or twenty soldiers, belonging to an Ispahan regiment, who, in the customary manner, held up a petition, which they were desirous of presenting to his majesty; they were told to await his return, when he would. condescend to hear them.

Soon afterwards, the trumpet announcing the King's return was heard, and the soldiers pressed forward with their petition, which asked for pay, they having received none for over fifteen months, and unless it could be obtained previous to the Shah's departure there would be but small possibility of their receiving a fraction of it. The regiment would have been despatched to some southern station, their officers changed, and anything in the shape of a petition would have been treated with summary punishment. On their asking to see the King, an aide-de-camp, from personal motives (he was colonel of the regiment), ordered them to v2.7 (213613) © 2005 - 2015 Emanuel V. Towfigh & Peter Hoerster | Imprint | Change Interface Language: DE EN