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The king's eldest son, Mihr Ali Khan, is an enterprising young man, much esteemed by the soldiers and military officers; and as his illegitimacy deprives him of all hope of peaceably succeeding his father, it is difficult to say what the intrigues of discontented noblemen might not excite him to attempt. He has frequently declared to the king his father, that the sword ihould either fecure or deprive him of the throne ; and that it was his determination to overcome the obstacles which were placed in his way. Such is the situation of princes in a despotism, that it is the only means they have of preserving their lives, and in the event of the king's death, Persia will again be deluged with blood : for as the princes are the governors of various districts in the empire, they have each the means of asserting their claims to the throne.
• The king of Persia has revived a taste for literature, fo scandalously neglected by his predeceffors. He is him. :lf a man of confiderable taste and erudition, and is also a tolerable poet. As it is an unusual circumftance for sovereigns to be poets, I venture to produce a specimen of his composition. · “ If thou wert to display thy beauties, my beloved, to Vamec, he would sacrifice the life of Azra at the shrine of thy perfections.
“ If Yusuf beheld thy charms, he would think no more of Zulekha.
66 Come to me, and comply with my wishes; give me no further promises of to-morrow.
“ When the mistrefs of Khacan approached him with a hundred graces, one glance captivated his heart.”
The most surprising part of this account, we think, is the extent of Fatah Ali's small family. A prince of twenty-seven years of age with fifty children ! Proh deum atque hominum fidem ! We can scarcely help suspecting a typographical error, and that our author means to assign thirty-seven or forty-seven years for the age of Fatah Ali. Even in countries where polygamy is practised, this circumstance is calculated to excite astonishment. The Persian historians frequently mention the number of sons left by a deceased monarch; and allowing an equal number of daughters, we must still acknowledge Fatah Ali to be by far the most prolific monarch of whom history makes mention. Should he attain the age of sixty, and his posterity increase in a similar proportion, his subjects will have occasion for all their arithmetic to ascertain the number of their princes.
We find the following account of the present state of the mic litary force.
· The military force of Persia confifts chiefly of cavalry ; and it is only when they are going against a fort that they make use of infantry, The troops are clothed, furnished with horses, arms, &c. at the expense of the king ; and the pay which they receive is from ten to fifteen tuman a year ; in addition to this, they are supplied with an allowance of barley and straw for their horses, and wheat, rice, and butter for themselves. They receive also something under the head of inam, a prefent, but this I believe to be very uncertain. This pay, however, is very great ; for when we confider the value of money in Persia, (which I look upon to be four or five times greater than in England), and the supplies which they receive, it will appear that their yearly pay amounts to fifty or fixty guineas.
" When the king puts himself at the head of his army, the different serkardas (chieftains) are ordered to asiemble their troops; and the king, having pledges in his hands for the fidelity of his soldiers, is certain of having an army of fifty or fixty thousand men in a few davs. Besides these troops, there is another body called Yholam Shahis (flaves of the king), and who are considered to be the choicest troops in the empire. They have charge of the king's person, receive greater pay, and are clothed in a more expensive manner than the regular cavalry.
• These may be about twenty thousand ; but the flower of this corps is formed into a body of about four thousand, who are distinguished by the excessive richness of their dress, and the infolence of their behaviour.'
We have already hinted our suspicions, that some inaccuracy might be discovered in that part of Mr Waring's work which claims more particularly the charm of novelty. Can it be wondered at, if, during so short a residence, he was unable to procure accurate information on so great a variety of topics as his work embraces? The revenue of the sovereign is stated to consist in the rents derived from an eighth part of the lands; the remaining seven eighths belong to the subject.
• One eighth of the lands in Fars and Irac is probably possessed by the king ; the remainder by his subjects. The produce of these lands are subject to two divifions, the one called Nukd, and the other Jinsi ; or, in other words, the former yielding produce for manufacture, as cotton, filk, &c.; and the latter crops of grain. Those who cultivate land belonging to the king, either Nukd or Jinsi, pay a rent of half the produce, besides the deduction which is made on account of the feed: the king, however, supplies cattle for drawing water, and digs wells at his own expense.'
On this statement, we beg leave to remark, that the lands of Hindustan, by the institutions of Acber, were in like manner divided into Nukd and Jinsi ; but that those terms had an acceptation conformable to their real meaning, and altogether different from that stated by Mr Waring, which is contrary to their signification. The Nukdi lands were those of which the rents were paid in money; the rents of the Jinsi were paid in kind. Now, the word Nukd signifies ready money; whilst Jinsi signifies the article, the commodity. It is therefore manifest, that the same Tegulations prevailed in both countries, in the same sense ; and
that no terms couid be more injudiciously selected to express the
that no termich Mr Waring, as etiabled us to the
We wish Mr Waring had enabled us to furnish a connected account of the celebrated sect, who, under the name of Wahebis, threaten the extirpation of the faith of Mohamed, in the countries where it first struck root, and whom we have, on a former occasion, introduced to the acquaintance of our readers. * He supplies us, however, with only a few insulated facts, and these without date.
Abdul Waheb was a native of Ajen, a town in the province of Al Ared.' This district skirts the desert, and lies east of the tract which extends between Mecca and Medina. He is represented as a man of erudition, having pursued his studies successively at Basora, Baghdad, and Damascus. His first converts were made in his native city; and, before his death, Abdul Waheb saw the whole of the district converted to his tenets, and subjected to his authority. The tenets which Mr Waring assigns to the Wahebis are the following.
"That there is one just and wife God; that all those persons called prophets, are only to be considered as just and virtuous men ; and that there never existed an inspired work, nor an inspired writer. The use of tobacco, opium, and coffee was interdicted. Among a number of the civil ordinances of the Wahebis are the following. Illegal to levy duties on goods the property of a Moslem ; on fpecie, two and a half per cent. ; land watered naturally, to pay ten per cent. ; artificially, five per cent. The revenues of conquered countries to belong to the community : the revenues to be divided into five parts ; one to be given to the general treasury, the rest to be kept where collected, to be allotted for the good of the community, for travellers, and charitable purposes : a Mollem, who deviates from the precepts of the Coran, to be treated as an infidel ; the destruction of magnificent tombs, a necessary act of . devotion. ?
It may be presumed, that, at the commencement, the new sectary did not venture to reject entirely the doctrine of Mohamed ; or perhaps the term ' Moslem' does not here apply to the followers of Mohamed, but to those oriental illuminati. The word in its original sense, signifies saved, one who obtains salvation, and may be transferred by these sectaries to themselves. The injunction respecting the Coran may possibly be limited to the observances it enjoins ; for the faith it inculcates is incompatible with the doctrines we have detailed.
Abdul Aziz succeeded to the spiritual authority, and to the temporal power of Abdul Waheb, and carried both to a much greater extent. Two armies, sent against him by the Pacha of Baghdad, were weakened by his address, and discomfited by his
* See Vol. VIII. p. 41-43.
valour. An expedition, led by the sheriff of Mecca in 1794, was not more successful. The Atubis, the most powerful of the tribes who inhabit the coast, have adopted the tenets of the Wahebis, and controul the navigation of the Persian Gulph. The holy shrine at Carbela, where the pious Moslems annually wept the untimely death of the sons of Ali, was attacked by the Wahebis in 1802, the tombs destroyed, and the town ransacked.
• The force of the Wahebis is very considerable, probably eighty or ninety thousand. Whenever an expedition is undertaken, the chiefs are directed to be at a certain place by such a time: and it is so contrived, that a large body shall meet at a particular spot, without knowing the designs of their leader. This force is generally mounted on caniels, and their arms are chiefly a sword and a spear. They have few guns or matchlocks ; those which they have are very bad.
. Since finishing this, intelligence has been received, of their having attacked and plundered Taif, Mecca, and Medina. They have, in consequence, violated the sacred law, which forbids armed men ap- . proaching within a certain distance of the temple.
• They have thus destroyed the foundation stone of Mohamedanism : and this mighty fabric, which at one period bade defiance to all Eu. rope, falls, on the first attack, at the feet of an Arab reformer. The event may make a great change in the Mohamedan world; for it appears to me almost certain, that the pilgrimages to Mecca have had nearly as great an effect in supporting this religion, as the first victories and conquests of Mohamed.
• At my last visit to Bushir (1804), I heard the intelligence of Abdul Aziz having been assassinated.'
Nearly a third part of this publication is occupied in criticisms and specimens of Persian poetry, with parallel passages sometimes subjoined from Virgil and Horace. But the European reader can judge of the merit of Ferdusi and Hafiz, only through the medium of Mr Champion's verse, or Mr Waring's prose ; whilst the Italian muse appears in the mellifluous harmony of her native numbers. To render the comparison at all just, Mr Waring should have translated the passages he quotes from the Roman poets, into English prose. The inferiority of the former would certainly prove less striking.
We by no means feel disposed, on this occasion, to discuss the comparative merits of the poets of the East and West. Whatever may be the charms of Persian poetry, the language is not likely ever to be studied by the literati of Europe ; and their poets will, consequently, never be properly appreciated. To translate poetry, the translator must be himself a poet. There is, certainly, no Persian work of considerable length, which can command admiration as a whole ; but we will venture to affirm, that numerous passages may be selected from the best writers, which will stand a comparison with those of any other nation. E 4
But whence comes it that their beauties vanish the moment they are transfused into a different language? Do they consist less in the thought than in a singular felicity of expression, which unquestionably constitutes the charm of poetry, as much as the idea it conveys ? May it not be asked, whether we should be very ardent admirers of Virgil or Horace, if we knew those writers only through the translations of Trapp or Creech? It is probable the Persian poets may not have been even so fortunate.
Though we have not been able to bestow high commendations on this publication, it has left us a favourable impression of the talents of its author. Should he ever happen to suspect that knowledge is not to be acquired by intụition, nor nations judged of as individuals, and that to doubt and to inquire, is at least as philosophic as to decide and dogmatise, his future productions will certainly be deserving of attention, from persons whom the subject may happen to interest.
Art. V. The Substance of the Speech delivered in the Committee of · Finance, 29. January 1807, by the Right Honourable Lord Henry
Petty. With the necessary Tables, and an Appendix, containing the Plans of Lord Castlereagh and Mr Johnston. 8vo.
pp. 116. London, 1807. As the wants of the State, whatever may be their extent, must I be fully supplied ; and as they can only be supplied by contributions levied on the internal resources of the country, our readers will readily conceive, that the skill of the financier must be displayed, not in removing, but in palliating the evils of taxation,---not in really lightening a load, which must be borne in its full extent, but in rendering it more tolerable, by a more equal distribution of its pressure. There is no way but one, either of borpowing money, or of paying debt. It is quite chimerical, therefore, to expect that any real saving can accrue to the public from those arrangements of finance, which consist merely in blending, or in combining, those very simple operations. Their object, indeed, is not to save, but to modify and regulate,meither to relieve the existing generation, by drawing on the more ample resources of a future age, or to relieve posterity at the expense of the existing generation. If the expenditure of a state is at any time increased much beyond its usual rate, from the frequent occurrence of war, or from any other unforeseen emergence, it would be obviously most unjust to load one generation beyond its strength, and entirely to relieve posterity from burdens, which are imposed as much for their benefit and security, as for that of