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This does not arise from any religious scruple, but merely from the decided inferiority of that meat in a country where there is so little pasturage.
"The horses of Erzeroum are stout, serviceable animals, rarely standing above fourteen hands and a half high, with heavy necks, but generally showing some blood about the head. Their price varies from five hundred to fifteen hundred piastres, viz., from five to fifteen pounds. The pilgrims, on their return from Mecca and Damascus, not unfrequently bring with them some of the Arabs of the Desert. I saw a grey colt in the stable of the head of the customs, for which I offered seven thousand piastres a long price in this country--but his master demanded twelve."
The undulating plains which form the common feature of Armenia, protected by ranges of hills, repel the ap proach of winter, and the genial and delicious climate in these nomadal regions still tempted some families of the wandering Koords to linger in their autumnal pastures, even in the month of November. Near the village of Aroos, Colonel Wilbraham fell in with some of those happy and primitive groups as they lay basking in the sun, in the midst of their vast flock, spread over the still green and fresh pastures. We can readily appreciate the pleasing picture which the scene presented.
"An "Eelyaut' encampment, in a cheerful and well-watered country, is one of the most picturesque and happiest scenes imaginable. A patriarchal simplicity stamps their manners, and seems almost to realize the sweet pictures of the poet's Arcadia. Free as the air they breathe, they shift their goat's-hair tents from stream to spring, from valley to mountain, with the changing seasons, and look down with pity and contempt upon the 'sitters in houses.' Although Mahomedans, their women are unveiled, and they not only share the toils of their husbands and brothers, but sometimes emulate them in feats of horsemanship. Though rarely pretty, the glow of health, and the goodhumoured expression of these young Koordish maidens, supply the place of beauty, and their gay costume displays to great advantage their full round forms and sunburnt features. Upon them devolve the labours of the dairy and the loom, while the young men tend the flocks, or scour the country round in search of game. The elders of the tribe enjoy the true otium cum dignitate, seated in front of
their huts, where they receive the passing stranger, and smoke with him the pipe of welcome. The black Koordish tent, supported by its many poles, is a very picturesque object; and when they are grouped together on the margin of some mountain-stream, surrounded by their flocks and herds, they form a very pretty picture."
When winter, at length, drives these nomadal tribes from their pastures, they quarter themselves in the Armenian villages, with which the plains are thickly studded. It would seem, indeed, that the Armenians have undergone surprisingly little changes in their manner of life during the lapse of many centuries; and our author assures us, that it is curious, in traversing those regions, to peruse the description which Xenophon, who passed through them more than two thousand years before, gives of the mode of living of the inhabitants of his day, and mark how much of that description is applicable at present. Speaking of them elsewhere, our author observes :
"The Armenians are a wonderful na
tion, and it is much to be regretted that their early history should be involved in so much obscurity. Like the Jews, they are scattered over the face of the earth, and have retained, in the heart of foreign nations, their religion and their language, besides many peculiarities of manner and appearance. By their industry and enterprise, they have succeeded in monopolizing almost entirely the trade and commerce of the East, and form the wealthier portion of the population both of Persia and Turkey. In the latter country more especially, they have possessed themselves of every lucrative calling, owing to the pride and indolence of the Turks, who think it derogatory to their dignity to follow any mercantile pursuit. The greatest ambition of an Armenian is to become the banker of a Pasha, which post gives him almost an unlimited control over the revenues of the pashalik. A considerable proportion of the Armenians have returned to the Catholic Church, from which their nation seceded, when, in the year 491, they rejected the authority of the Council of Chalcedon. These Catholic Armenians are generally superior in education and intelligence to their countrymen, which is in some measure owing to the circulation of knowledge occasioned by the literary labours of the Catholic Armenian convent in Venice. When we consider how often the kingdom of Armenia has been overrun by the
armies of Toghrul and Timour, of the Caliphs and of the Shahs of Persia, each of whom carried into captivity vast numbers of its inhabitants; when we consider also how many thousands have migrated to distant countries in search of wealth or safety, we cannot but wonder that so many should still be found in the homes of their fathers. The Armenian villages in these pashaliks which border upon Koordistan are not promising in their exterior, but the large herds of cows and buffaloes, and the numerous flocks of sheep which, at evening, may be seen returning from their pastures, attest the pastoral wealth of their inhabitants. These flocks furnish them with almost every article of food and raiment; and the high plains of Armenia, watered by frequent showers, yield abundant crops of wheat and barley. Fuel, the next most necessary article for the poor, is furnished plentifully by the sweeping of their stables, which is made into cakes, and dried during the summer."
It will be perceived, that Colonel Wilbraham had now crossed the Euphrates, or Mourad, as it is called in Armenia; from thence he proceeded to the town of Bitlis, situated on the east of the lake of Van, and built upon the steep banks of two mountain streams, and having experienced here the hospitality of the Beg, he visited the shores of the lake. It is a fine sheet of water, about forty miles in length, and half that in breadth, bounded on the northern extremity by a noble range of mountains; and, to the eye accustomed to the painful monotony of the vast and arid plains of Asia, must be inexpressibly refreshing. On the southern shores of the lake, resides a powerful Koordish chief, nominally a subject of the Pasha of Van, but, in reality, an independent freebooter. Our author did not fail to visit the old Koord, with whom, notwithstanding his most unequivocal admiration of the watch of his guest, the latter was much pleased, as with his fine manly retainers, armed with spears and pistols, and arrayed in the picturesque garb of their country. Between the lake of Van and that of Urumiah, to the southeast of the former, lies a fertile and well cultivated district. The waters of Urumiah are so salt, that no fish will live in them; but the lake is extensive and beautiful. Our traveller was now, it will be remembered, within a small distance of Tabreez, which, having soon reached, he retraced his former route, and arrived before Christmas at
"It does not appear to me that any thing can be done, at the present time, towards the diffusion of Christianity among the Persians, although it is evident that many of their religious prejudices are giving way, and that the doctrines of the Prophet have loosened their hold upon the minds of all classes. In my opinion, it is not the bigotry of the Mahomedans which raises the chief obstacle to the introduction of Christianity among them; but the deep and universal corruption of morals which must be overcome before they can receive a religion which enjoins so much purity and selfdenial. The Persians are very fond of entering into religious discussions with Europeans, and conduct them not only with great quickness of argument, but, not unfrequently, with much apparent candour. A missionary should be thorough master of their language, and of his own subject, before he ventures to engage in a controversy in which, if foiled, his want of success will be attributed to the weakness of his cause, and not to his deficiency in advocating that cause. have frequently heard Persians boast of having worsted in argument the wellknown missionary Wolff.
"The safest argument to be used in such a discussion, at least that which I have always found the most unanswerable, is to call their attention to the sutruth which characterize the Christian, perior morality, integrity, and love of qualities which they not only observe, but the absence of all public worship (for the involuntary respect. On the other hand, service which is performed on Sunday at the Embassy comes under the observation of but few) naturally enough leads many to doubt our possessing any religion. It is now generally acknowledged, among missionaries, that the improvement of the Christian population of these countries must be a preparatory step to the conversion of the Mahomedans."
In the early part of the subsequent year, Colonel Wilbraham made an excursion through the forests of Hyrcania, towards the southern shores of the Caspian Sea. The enterprise of the great Shah Abbas, the contemporary of our own Elizabeth, and to whom Persia is indebted for almost all her vast and magnificent works of architecture, formerly constructed a
massive causeway through these forests; but our author informs us that it is now in a ruinous and almost impassible condition. The region, however, is one of no common interest associated with the memory of the luxurious Sefavean monarch, which, though romance and fable have conspired to invest with an undeserved splendour, yet history has handed down as that of a capricious and blood-stained tyrant. Throughout the province of Mazanderan are still to be seen the ruins of the numerous palaces of that noble dynasty; hall and bower, silent and tenantless; the fountains choked and dried up; the gardens wild and neglected; and the whole presenting a desolation tenfold more affecting than the desert that human hand never had redeemed from its barrenness.
And now, having accompanied our author through his tour, we feel confident that we have fairly redeemed our pledge, and proved to our readers, that however Colonel Wilbraham may have fallen short of our expectations in some respects, he has nevertheless
afforded us no small pleasure upon the whole. For the author himself, we can assure him, that our discontent, which, we confess, we felt strongly, and expressed freely, arose not from any positive demerits in the work, but from the conviction that, while he possessed unusual opportunities, and great facilities of informing himself on subjects of the deepest interest, he has suffered them to pass without availing himself of them for the benefit of the public. Had we a less high opinion of his talents or intelligence than a perusal of this volume leads us to entertain, we should be disposed to judge him less severely, and we now take our leave of him, with the hope that his long residence in Persia has enabled him to collect information of greater importance than that which he has in this volume given to the public. We trust, some future occasion may bring Colonel Wilbraham again before us, when we shall confidently expect him to occupy higher ground, and command more unqualified approbation.
'HE QUEEN, THE PARLIAMENT, AND THE PEOPLE.*
THE session which is just about to close may be called the do-nothing, or the lock-jawed session of parliament. Parties have been so evenly balanced, that the wretched ministerial faction have not been able to accomplish the evil which they meditated; nor have the saving measures which would, no doubt, have resulted from the ascendancy of better men, been carried into effect by the Conservatives; because, although the Lords are with them, and the country is with them, they are still in a minority in the House of Commons, and the first personage in the realm has manifested partialities and prejudices, which have, for a season, deferred a consummation most devoutly to be desired by all to whom the wellbeing of the empire is a primary object.
We believe we may assert, without contradiction, that every succeeding day is adding to the numbers of those who range under the banners of the Conservative leaders; and that the
faction by whom the institutions of the country are menaced, are experiencing daily disappointment and humiliation; and that, notwithstanding the smiles of the court, and a profligate abuse of patronage, in the worst periods of any former reigns unexampled. That we here but speak the convictions of ministers themselves, is manifest from the dread with which they shrink from the experiment of a dissolution. Could they hope to better their condition by an appeal to the people, such an appeal, no doubt, would, ere this, have been made; for we cannot suppose that their present ignominious position, in which the very "abjects shoot out their lips against them unawares," can be to them a source of enjoyment. No; they feel, poignantly, the scorn, the contumely, the grief, the indignation, of which, in their blundering helplessness, for one cause or another, they are continually the objects. Even salary and patronage are not sufficient to sweeten the bitter messes which they are condemned
* An Address and Remonstrance to her Majesty, the Queen, on the imminent danger and perilous consequences of her Majesty's late measures, particularly that of having committed and continuing to confide the Government of the Empire to a Ministry who avow they have lost the confidence of the public. By a Loyal Protestant Subject. Dublin: Milliken and Son.
continually to eat, so as to enable them to swallow their food without making wry faces. And it is our belief that some of them, at least, were perfectly sincere in their desire to sacrifice the advantages and escape from the responsibilities of office, when the bedchamber manoeuvres frustrated at the same time their intentions and the wishes of the nation; and that England is this moment doomed to feel the curse of profligate incapacity in the administration of her affairs, only because a court intrigue has baffled the honesty and made sport of the feelings of the truly able and experienced counsellors who were willing to do what in them lay to succour a labouring empire.
Well, it is something, at least, that the people of England are beginning to know and to understand the real position of the country, and the men and the measures by which it has been reduced from its once proud pre-eminence to the condition of a second or third-rate power amongst the nations of Europe. The Brummagem folk will soon be able to form an accurate estimate of the value of the reform bill. The men by whose contrivance the revolution of '32 was effected, knew, well, the probable result of that capsizing of the constitution. Some of them there were whose judgments were deceived; who did not anticipate all the consequences of opening wide the flood-gates of democracy, and swamping the intelligence and the wisdom, by the ignorance, the presumption, and the rashness of the people. We can well make allowance for the blockheadism of Lord Althorp, and for the sanguine temperament of some of the younger members of Lord Grey's cabinet, whose ardent imaginations were dazzled by the prospect which so unexpectedly opened upon them, of realising, to their fullest extent, those theories of liberal constitutional government, which, from their earliest years, they had entertained. But the older members, the more veteran politicians, those whose experience must have made them wide awake to the dangers of revolutionary violence, and who had previously made it their boast, that they could never be betrayed into the folly of exchanging their" old lamps for new ones," "'* were,we believe, seduced by the bait of office, to lend themselves to a project, respecting which nothing, appeared to them certain but a temporary triumph over
their political opponents. The Whigs were now sure of getting the whip-hand of the Duke and Sir Robert Peel. As emancipation had compelled them to relinquish office, so the reform bill, it was thought, must perpetuate their exclusion, and render it altogether impossible for them to form an administration.
Such were the objects which were uppermost in their minds, and respecting which they may be said to have gained their purpose. Lord Grey glutted himself and his followers with official spoils to an extent almost unexampled, or for which, if we would find any.example, we must go back to the administration of Sir Robert Walpole. Other hungry and unprincipled place-hunters also had their reward. But England, what has she gained by the changes which have insured the ascendancy of profligate incapacity in her councils? Let our domestic turmoils, our colonial distractions, our humbled position amongst European governments answer the question. Let the flagrant admission implied in that infamous minute of privy council, for which the present abandoned ministers should be impeached, namely, that the personal comfort of the sovereign is to be set above the safety of the empire, answer the question. Let the triumph of a bedchamber intrigue, which has made this once favoured and honoured country the scorn of the world, answer the question. Let the nefarious education project, by which the church has been outraged, and the almost universal wishes of the British people set at nought, answer the question. And these are but the first-fruits of that measure which so many honest but inexperienced persons regarded as the forerunner of halcyon times of civil and social regeneration. Why do we allude to this? Is it because we now entertain the mad project of reversing what was then done? No. The deed is irrevocable. Well we know that it is now impossible to retrace our steps. If there were no safety but in such a course, our condition were indeed deplorable. Sir Robert Peel and the senators who in concert with him struggled in vain against the democratic madness which forced on the perilous innovations, were amongst the first and the most sincere in declaring their determination to abide by the constitution in its altered condition, and rally
• Lord John Russell.
whatever of support could be gathered from the ranks of their political opponents, in order to make a resolute stand against any further deterioration. And success almost beyond what could be expected has already attended their efforts to preserve whatever remains of the institutions of our ancestors which have made England the envy and the admiration of surrounding nations. Every man of sense and of honour, who has either property to preserve or character to lose, now feels that unless a stand be made against the anarchists and the republicans, who only regarded the reform bill as the first instalment of their revolutionary demands, there will soon remain no security for either constitutional liberty or personal safety. And the profligates and levellers are themselves constrained to admit, that unless they can effect more sweeping changes than have as yet been accomplished, they must fail of attaining the end for which fraud and lying, as well as intimidation and violence have been hitherto so shamelessly practised. The ballot, universal suffrage, a swamping of the House of Lords, an exclusion of the spiritual peers from parliament, a repeal of the law of primogeniture these constitute a few of the heads of those ulterior measures which lie in the vista through which they look for that political millennium which is the object of their hopes. And those by whom those wild projects are renounced, and who feel the necessity of abiding by those landmarks of law and of order, beyond which popular violence may not safely be permitted to pass, are stigmatised by the name of "finality men," or men who are guilty of the absurdity of supposing that there is either a "settled habitation" or a "quiet restingplace" under a predominantly democratic constitution.
The contest now, therefore, is between the finalists and the anti-finalists. Under the former denomination are ranged all the Conservative party, and all those of the reformers who are satisfied, that for all purposes of good government, the constitution is, at present, democratic enough. Under the latter are to be found the discontented, the malevolent, the ignorant, and the unprincipled of every class, who hate the monarchy, detest the church, abhor the aristocracy; and who are resolved to consider nothing gained, until the swinish multitude have trodden to the dust the proudest distinc
tions of society, and the most sacred and venerable of our institutions.
Undoubtedly, the most ominous of the signs of the times at the present conjuncture is, that this last-mentioned faction enjoys the favour and the protection of the sovereign. Our youthful Queen has been deceived into the belief that they are her best friends. By dexterous flattery, they have contrived to impose upon her unsuspecting credulity; and even to persuade her that the men by whom alone her throne can be preserved, are enemies to her crown and dignity, and that they cannot be admitted to her councils without a sacrifice on her part, which she is not called upon to bear. No one now denies, that the present wretched ministers, by whom the empire has been brought into so great peril, hold their office by the tenure of court favour alone, and in defiance of the indignantly expressed opinion of the people. This is, indeed, a new order of things. crown is in a false position. whole weight of the monarchy is thrown into the scale of revolution. Let no one, therefore, suppose that infinite mischief may not at present be done by even the most contemptible of men; or that those who are powerless for good, may not be most powerful for evil. The truth is, that the vantageground which the present wretched ministers and their profligate partizans occupy, is more than a compensation for the almost universal execration with which they are regarded. They have now had considerable experience in public affairs, and they know well how the immense machinery of patronage and influence which is at their disposal, both at home and abroad, may be cmployed for effectuating, by little and little, all their nefarious objects. That they are resolved to stick at nothing in the accomplishment of their designs, is clear, from the mad pertinacity with which they have adhered to their education project, in defiance of public opinion, most loudly and indignantly expressed, to which, it may be truly said, the resolution of the House of Lords did no more than give a constitutional utterance. Let no man, therefore, deceive himself by supposing that, in their contempt and their infamy, they may be regarded as harmless. No such thing. They are as formidable from their position as they are personally insignificant. Yea, the very scorn and loathing of which they are con