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hatred of corruption and broad phil-
anthropy were not acceptable to the
authorities and he was compelled to
leave. Returning to Persia he was at
first well received by the Shah, in
whose presence his high rank as a
Ulema and "Son of the Prophet"
gave him the privilege of remaining
seated. But it was not long before
his enthusiasm in the cause of reform
again got him into trouble. The
Shah's ministers are not of that phil-
anthropic inclination that offers self-
interest as a sacrifice to Hie welfare of
the people. On the contrary, they
are the blood-suckers that sap the
nation's vitality and murder its |
perity. Djemal ed Din was arrested,
hurried away over the frontier, loaded
with chains. Having effected his
escape to Bagdad, he made his wax-
to London, where he became the guest
of Prince Malcolm Khan, formerly
Persian minister
at the Court of St.
James. We shall
presently have oc-


casion to quote from his paper, in
which he sets forth the horrors of the
Shah's mal-administration, and gives
utterance to some home-thrusts with
regard to the connection of England's
interests with the independence and"
prosperity of Persia.

Yet Persia, that ancient land where
Jews suffered and Greeks conquered,
where the Hebrew "sat down and
wept," and triumphant Macedonian
phalanxes marched on their road to
India, is deserving of a better condi-
tion of affairs ; and even a moderate
degree of development and a few ste^s
taken on the road of progress would
convert it into one of the most pros-
perous and delightful countries in the
world. As it is, darkened with the
shadow of a jealous despotism which
for centuries has excluded the outside
Light of a progressive epoch, it is a
land of ignorance and prejudices, a
stagnant morass of inactivity and non-
progres>ion. So great is the contrast
between the Persian people and those
of the great commercial nations of the
earth, in habits, manners and mental
calibre, that it is hoped that a brief
sketch of typical life in the country
of the Shah may prove acceptable to
the readers of the Californian.

To an American the most striking
features of dissimilarity, in an anthro-
pological point of view, between the
Persians and his own
countrymen are the want
of energy, so noticeable
in the former, and the
superabundance of the
- -" ' same quality possessed
by the latter. Indolence
and apathy constitute
the Persian's main con-
ditions of life ; a cease-
less activity and enterprise
keep the American eternally
on the "go." Poco & poco is
the Spaniard's motto, his guid-
ing rule in life and life's call
for exertion, and the Persian
endorses that sentiment most
thoroughly. In public and
commercial transactions, in




the daily routine of private life ; in
government offices, in the bazars and
in the home circle the same avoidance
of exertion is observable. It is an
easy-going land wherein energy is out
of tune ; where inertness and the de-
licious idling of time away are enjoyed
by all who are not compelled to work.
Only the poor producers and working
classes display activity.

In Teheran, the capital, and all the
principal towns, the bazars are spa-
cious and curious establishments, very
interesting to the foreigner. The
largest in Persia are those in Ispahan,
where an immense trade is carried on.
All bazars are well stocked with
European goods, those at Teheran
being principally supplied with arti-
cles of Russian manufacture. At Is-
pahan, which may be regarded as the
commercial metropolis of Persia, Brit-
ish trade is paramount with its sup-
plies of Manchester and Glasgow
cottons and English crockery. Other
nations of Europe, moreover, do con-
siderable business with this distrib-
uting center of commerce. And yet
Vol. IV— 3

this former capital of Persia, in spite
of its favorable position, its splendid
climate and the advantages to be de-
rived from the rich cultivation of the
surrounding well-watered country, is
but the shadow of its former self. In
the days of its glory it had a popula-
tion of 650,000, and was one of the
most magnificent cities of the East,
with its mosques and palaces and col-
leges ; its glorious gardens, and miles
of lofty, covered bazars. But a century
ago the Afghan conqueror swept down
upon it "like a wolf on the fold,"
and devoted it to destruction, fifteen
days being spent in the perpetration
of a pitiless massacre. After this
calamity the court was removed to
Teheran ; the population of the city
dwindled down to 80, 000, and ruins
of minarets and mighty structures
cumber the ground, proclaiming the
former greatness and grandeur of the
old capital of Persia.

In the bazars of any populous city
of Persia, you can gain an insight into
the indolent character of the Persian
tradesman. There you will see the




retail vender sitting smoking his
kalian, or waterpipe, with perfect con-
tentment, and displaying a lofty indif-
ference with regard to purchasers,
which may be regarded as a mode of
procedure the reverse of that employed
by the tradesmen in European marts,
and the owners of cheap goods in our
own cities. The Persian bazar-man
never solicits ; all that his dignity
and ease admit of his doing is to wait
upon his customer when the latter
has discovered in what particular
shop he can obtain the article of he


is in quest. Bargaining is a matter
of time and talent, and the haggling
and higgling required to conclude a
trade with a Teheran shopkeeper,
points to the fact that the Persian is
not deeply impressed with the prin-
ciple of the maxim that "time is
money." In fact, he is never in a
hurry, and is quite willing to consume
a day in chaffering over the sale of an
article of the more expensive kind.
With regard to their honesty, Mr.
C. J. Wills remarks: "So high are
their ideas of the wealth of Europeans
that it would be hopeless to attempt to
deal with them personally. Honesty
cannot be expected in the Ispahani or
Teherani,buttheShirazimay be pretty
fairly relied upon."

Class distinction in Persia is very
marked, and the etiquette observed on
occasions of entertainment is hedged in
with formalities. Mrs. Bishop, in her
"Journeys in Persia and Kurdistan,"
truthfully describes the ceremonious
punctiliousness of the race. "Every-
thing," she says, " is regulated by an
elaborate code of etiquette; even the
compliments are meted out by rule,
and to give a man more than he is
entitled to is understood to be intended
as a sarcasm. The number of bows
made by the entertainer, the distance
he advances to meet his guest, and the
position in which he seats himself, are
matters of careful calculation, and the
slightest mistake in any particular is



liable to be great-
ly resented by a
superior. The
Persian is a most
ceremonious be-
ing. L/ike the
Japanese he is
trained from in-
fancy to the
etiquette of his
class; and besides
the etiquette of
class, there is
here the etiquette
of religion.

A Moslem will
not accept re-
freshmen ts
from a Chris-
tian, even if he
is his guest
and of equal or
higher rank."
The etiquette
to be observed
in pipe-smok-
ing occupies
an important
place in the
catalogue of
Persons of
high rank
take their own pipes and pipe-bearer
with them on the occasion of pay-
ing a visit, but such visitors are not
provided with a kalian of their own,
are offered one by their host ; for
every visitor is regaled with refresh-
ments and pipes, the third cup of cof-
fee or tea and the third kalian being
the signal for departure. When a
visitor is offered a pipe, it is etiquette
to refuse to use it before his host has
smoked first, if the latter is of higher
rank. To smoke before a superior
has taken a few whiffs is a breach of
etiquette, the perpetrator of which
receives unpleasant correction, the
host invariably sending the pipe away
to be cleaned before he will touch it.
When there are many visitors and
only one pipe, they smoke in order of
rank, each having the politeness to


suggest that some one else smoke
before him. The etiquette of smoking
is most rigid, and violations of it ex-
pose the infringers to humiliating
snubs and mortifying rebukes. A
well-bred Persian knows the place he
ought to occupy when he enters the
room as a guest or visitor, and rare is
the occasion when he is asked to give
another man place and "begin with
shame to take the lowest room."

The number of servants in the house-
hold of a well-to-do Persian is aston-
ishing, and reminds one of the retinues
of mediaeval days and the old-time
aristocrats of the Southern States.
There is, of course, the steward, sec-
ond only to the master in authority.
Under this supreme official are the
head cook and his assistants, waiters
at table and personal attendants,
sweepers, messengers, pipe-bearers,
coffee and ice makers, dishwashers
and washmeu, lamp-cleaners, grooms,
and under grooms, besides other
hangers-on whose positions and duties
are somewhat indefinite. It is not an
unusual thing for the number of serv-
ants in such a household to amount to
from forty to fifty. The wages paid
to the individuals which compose this
retinue of attendants vary, according
to each one's position and importance,
from about ten dollars to four dollars
per month. Perquisites, however,
increase this amount, especially those




derived from commissions on things
bought or sold by the master. This
curious custom is universal, applying
to all kinds of bargains, and is
regarded as a legitimate right of the
servant, if he confines his commission
to ten per centum. It is useless to
contend against this institution. Per-
sians have to submit to it, and
Europeans are victimized by it ; but
when Mrs. Bishop's servant endeav-
ored to extract from fifty to eighty
per centum on purchases made by
him for her, it was regarded as an
outrage on his part.

A Persian palace, and indeed all the
houses of the upper classes, are struc-
tures of artistic beauty, displaying
wonderful architectural design and a
gorgeousness of ornamental work and
coloring that testifies to the richness
of the Persian artist's taste. The
great halls and broad staircases, the
wide galleries and spacious rooms all
richly furnished, some of them with
European lounges, chairs and tables,
and carpeted with the most beautiful
productions of the Persian looms ; the
ceilings of finest stucco-work, the
mirrored walls and fretwork windows
glazed with blue and amber-colored
glass, glorifying the apartments with

soft rainbow hues, present to visitors
from foreign lands, spectacles of Orien-
tal splendor and magnificence. This
richness of design and aesthetic taste
is observable in the dwelling houses
of all classes above the workman and
the peasant, the mud hovels of these
being in sad contrast with even the
least pretentious residences of the
poorer trades-people. In the country
villages the houses are all built of
mud, farmhouses and laborers' cot-
tages alike. The former contain sev-
eral dwelling rooms according to the
size of the family. They are one-
storied and windowless ; the roofs are
flat and like the walls are constructed
of mud, which rests upon a bedding
of poplar rods, rush matting and.
brushwood laid upon rough rafters.
During the hot weather the peasantry
occupy the roofs of their huts as
sleeping floors. Mrs. Bishop thus
describes a typical room of a Persian
homestead, one which she occupied
herself. "It is a cellar of mud, not
brick, either sun or kiln dried. Its
sides are cracked and let in air. Its
roof is mud, under which is some
brushwood lying over the rafters. It
has no light-holes, but as the door
shrunk considerably from the




door posts, it is not absolutely dark.
It may be about twelve feet square.
Every part of it is blackened by years
of smoke. The best of it is that it is
raised two feet from the ground to
admit of a fowl-house below, and opens
on a rough platform which runs in

with clay, has a flue leading from the
bottom to the outside of the building,
and is the receptacle of the fire-pot.
Over this ta7idur } as it is called, a
skeleton framework of wood three or
four feet square is placed ; on this is
spread a large blanket or cotton quilt


front of all the dwelling rooms. With
the misfitting door and cracked sides
it is much like a sieve. 5 '

The fire-hole is a curious institu-
tion in these lowly dwellings. It is
an arrangement by which the inmates
keep themselves warm by night and
day during the rigors of a Persian
winter. A circular hole is excavated
in the middle of the floor of one of the
rooms, about three feet deep and two
feet in diameter, but narrowing at the
top and bottom. It is smoothl}' lined

under which "the women huddle all
day and the whole family at night."
All the fuel necessary for this heating
contrivance is a few handfuls of desic-
cated dung, and Mrs. Bishop states
that a ta?idur, in which the fire has
not been replenished for eighteen
hours, still emits a genial heat.

With regard to Persian winters just
alluded to, it must be acknowledged
that, considering the latitude of the
country, they are very severe in the
regions of the high plateaux, which

4 o


vary in altitude from 5,000 to 8,000
feet. Traveling during the winter
time is attended with much suffering,
and it is not an infrequent occurrence
for the drivers of caravans to be frozen
to death, the thermometer sinking all
the way from 2 to 16 below zero.
The snow-falls are very heavy, and
that meteorological phenomenon, the
' ' blizzard, ' ' is not peculiar to portions
of our own country, but exhibits
itself in Persia in terrific tempests of
ice-laden squalls, and storms of frozen
snow swept from the hills by the furi-
ous blasts. The anguish experienced
by both man and beast when exposed
to the violence of one of these ice-
crystal-driving gales is indescribable.
Nor are the hardships that have to be
endured by the traveler much miti-
gated by the breaking up of winter
and the melting of the snow. He
has then to contend with mud, and
struggle through seas of slush. The
roads, or rather tracks,* are practi-
cally impassable at this transition
period, and the wayfarer has to find
a path as best he can, plunging and
scrambling through hills and oyer

plains, his animal knee deep in mud.
Persian costumes vary according to
the class and occupation of the wearer.
The men all wear an unstarched,
collarless cotton shirt with loose
sleeves, and often beautifully em-
broidered about the neck. The lower
orders and peasantry are in the habit
of dyeing it blue, but servants and the
upper classes invariably wear white
shirts. Among the higher orders the
zerejumah, or trousers, are of cloth ;
ordinarily the material of which they
are made is white cotton, sometimes
dyed blue and occasionally red. They
are very loose, and are held in place
by a cord of red or green silk fastened
round the waist. A closely fitting
garment called the alkatuk is worn
over these two articles of dress. It is

♦Persia is lamentably wanting in roads, there
being only two worthy of the name in the whole
country, one leading from Kum and the other from
Kasvin to the capital, both under one hundred miles
in length. Goods are everywhere carried on the
harks of animals. Mrs. Bishop, Jon >>/ 1\ vs in JYrsia,
Vol. I, p. 196.

of quilted chintz or print, is collarless
and has tight sleeves down to the el-
bow. Over the alkatuk is the tunic,
a coat made of a variety of materials
according to the wealth or position of
the wearer, gold embroidered silk,
satin or velvet being the richest. The
length of this tunic denotes the class
of the wearer, and the lower the class
the longer the garment. Govern-
ment officials and military men wear
them down to the knee, while the
Persian dude wears his kemmercheeu
still shorter ; merchants, villagers,
professional men, and indeed, all
members of the middle class, wear
this article of dress nearly down to
their heels. The ko/aja, or overcoat,
is not used in summer, but, neverthe-
less plays its part in the ceremonious
formalities of which the extravagance
of Persian etiquette demands observ-
ance. On formal occasions when per-
functory duties have to be performed,
or a visit made, the well-bred Persian
causes it to be borne by a servant, or
even carries it over his shoulder him-
self. This coat is made of cloth,
shawl, or camel's hair fabric, and is
lined with silk or cloth, flannel or fur.
It is often richly trimmed with gold
lace, shawl or fur. Mention must be
made of thejuba, or cloth cloak. ' ' This
ample and majestic garment," says
Dr. Wills in his "Land of the Lion
and the Sun," " is affected by Mirzas
(secretaries), government employees
of high rank, as ministers, farmers of
taxes, courtiers, physicians, priests.
The wearers carry a staff as a rule.
The Judas are made of the finest cloth,
very amply cut. They have a stand-
ing collar and long sleeves. These
sleeves are from one to two feet longer
than the arm, and are often allowed
to hang down empty when the gar-
ment is worn out of doors ; but when
in the actual presence of guests or a
grandee, they are used to keep the
hands hidden (a token of respect to
those present), and the many wrinkles
formed by the excessive length cf
these sleeves are supposed to be their




Then there are the outer garment
worn by travelers known as the Af-
ghan skin-cloak, a marvel of warmth
and convenience, in turn being used
as garment and bed and bedding ; the
Kurdish woolen cloak, shaggy and
heavy, worn by shepherds, a water-
proof protection against wind or snow ;
and the felt coat of the villager, from
half an inch to an inch in thickness,
enabling the wearer to defy the storms
and icy blasts of the severest winter.

The Persian headgear is equally
distinctive. Priests and merchants
wear the turban, the former using
white muslin, the latter the same
material embroidered in colors. The
" Synds, " or descendants of the
prophet, wear green turbans. People
of the lower orders wear lambskin
hats or even sheepskin with the wool

With regard to the costume of
women, the same writer says that it is
highly indecent when carried to the ex-
treme of the fashion, and Mrs. Bishop,
who visited Persia in 1890, nearly
ten years after Dr. Wills had left the
country, found no reason to disagree
with him in opinion on this subject.
Though she knew what to expect in
the costume of a woman of the upper
classes, she admits that she was
astonished on the occasion of a visit
to a high-toned Persian's house, and
would have been scandalized even had
women only been present. "The
undergarment," she writes, "very
much en evidence, is a short, tinselled
silk gauze, or gold-embroidered mus-
lin, so transparent as to leave nothing
to the imagination. This lady (the
w r ife of the host) wore a skirt of flow-
ered silver brocade, enormously full,





ten or twelve yards wide, made to
stand nearly straight out by some
frills or skirts of very stiffly starched
cotton underneath, the whole not even
on a waist-band round the waist, but
drawn by strings and suspended over
the hips, the skirts coming down to
within a few inches of the knee, leaving
the white, rounded limbs uncovered.
The effect of this exaggerated boujfantc
skirt was most singular. White socks
were worn . Over the transparent/z>«-
han, or chemise, she wore a short velvet
jacket beautifully embroidered in gold,
with its fronts about ten inches apart,
so as to .show the flowered chemise.
Her eyebrows w r ere artificially curved
and lengthened till they appeared to
meet above her nose; her eyelashes
were marked round with kohl (an eye
paint made of black antimony) and a
band of blue-black paint curving
downwards above the nose crossed her

forehead, but was all
but concealed by a
small square of silk
crepe on the head and
brow and fastened un-
der the chin by a
brooch. * * * *
Under the crepe
square, there was a
small skullcap of gold
embroidered velvet,
matching her little
zouave jacket, with an
aigrette of gems at the
side. Her arms were
covered with bracelets,
and a number of valu-
able necklaces set off
the beauty of her daz-
zling white neck.
Persian ladies paint,
or rather smear, but
her young, pure com-
plexion needed no such
aids. Her front hair,
cut to the level of her
mouth, hung down
rather straight, and
the remainder, which
Was long, was plaited
into many small, glos-
sy plaits. Contrary to custom, it was
undyed, and retained its jet-black
color. Most Persian ladies turn it
blue-black with indigo, or auburn
with lie una, and with the latter,
the finger nails and palms of the
hands are always stained. Her jew-
elry was all of solid gold ; hollow
gold and silver ornaments being
only worn by the poor. She wore
a chain with four scent-caskets to
it exhaling attar of roses and other
choice perfumes. She was a graceful
and attractive creature in spite of her
costume. w

Such is a picture of a Persian lady
in full dress, the description being
well worth quoting verbatim on ac-
count of the fact that Mrs. Bishop had
exceptional opportunities, on account
of her sex, of making observations
with regard to the inner life of Persian
households. The lovelv woman thus



described by her would, however,
' ' avert her eyes in horror by no means
feigned, from an English lady in a
Court or evening dress of to-day."

The women of the upper classes
pass much of their time in visiting,
and entertaining each other with
amusements consisting of singing to
an accompaniment played on a sort of
tambourine, dancing, and the perform-
ance of short scenes from some popu-
lar Persian play. When a Persian
lady pays a visit to a friend, her
hostess receives her in the andarun,
or women's quarters, and a number
of servants having been summoned,
the doors of the apartment are fast-
ened. The attendants then proceed
to entertain their mistresses in the
manner above mentioned, the per-
formances, be it remarked, being of a
kind that the unaccustomed eye of a
higher civilization cannot look upon
without a psychical blush.

But it is time to consider the con-
dition of the people. The picture
presented is not an agreeable one to
contemplate. We find an industrious
peasantry, oppressed and down-trod-
den, grossly ignorant and bigoted; a
merchant class enterprising and saga-
cious, but cautious and timid as
regards display of wealth for fear of
attracting the attention of rapacious
officials; and we find a wealthy class
whose riches are derived from official
corruption and the plunder of those
under them, legitimatized by long
usage and the system of a despotic
government. But to gain a correct
insight into the political condition of
the Persian people, we must refer to
the article of Djemal-ed-Din previous-
ly mentioned. The Sheikh thus
describes the present condition of the

" Persia is decimated. Her irriga-
lion works are ruined. Her soil
implanted. Her industries undevel-
oped. Her people scattered. Her
noblest sons in prison, tortured, bas-
tinadoed, robbed without pity, mur-
dered without trial, by the Shah and
his Vizier. This man, lately the son

of his cook, is now the absolute
disposer of the life and property of
those who remain alive and have
anything left. * * * No
accounts of the horrors now going on
in Persia can be overstated, not a
tenth part will ever leak out — under-
ground dungeons, torture - rooms,
devils in human shape, greed, avarice,
unbridled lust, unscrupulous violence,
and the Shah himself the careless
spectator or interested perpetrator of
the worst crimes that sully human
nature, and defile the page of Eastern

He then goes on to remark that in
former times the Grand Vizier stood
between the Shah and his people,
representing and justly respecting the
interests of both. Being a high noble,

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