sick by the way, could guarantee certainty tance. The English route from Bagdad is of date and increased speed for delivery. the only one which is at present fairly This appears to me the first practical and practicable for wheeled vehicles, and by useful step, and this, by assisting traffic, which merchandise in heavy pieces can would so develop it that it would not be now be comparatively easily delivered long before the financial difficulties in the from the Persian Gulf. way of road-making would disappear, while “ In addition to the above-named at once, and without any concession or rontes, a very profitable channel for forprivilege, a carrying company would find warding English and Indian goods into its profit in expending a few pounds of Khorassan would be by the Indian frondynamite at some rocky mountain corners, tier railway, and from Kala Abdullah Khan and probably also in constructing a few through Herat. This route is, however, light bridges.

unfortunately, at present, completely Before quitting this subject I may, per- blocked to any through trade by the exhaps, quote from my own published" Re- orbitant exactions of the Afghan local auport on Trade in North Persia.” *

thorities at Herat and other places. "There are five greater arteries for trade "Most of the Persian roads are suscepin Persia :

tible of considerable improvement at small 1“ 1. From Tabriz and Resht through cost, and it is to be hoped that something Kasvin, eastward and southeast.

may soon be done at least to ameliorate “2. From the Caspian through Shab- and renderless dangerous the ordinary rad into Khorassan.

pack-routes. As regards larger schemes "3. From Bagdad northward to the for facilitating communications, the most provinces of Hamadan and Kermanshah, important for English interests would be and on to Tehran.

the making of a railroad from Bagdad to 4. From Bushire northward to Ispa. Tehran, the making of a rail or even orhan.

dinary road from Shuster to Burujird, so “5. From Bender Abbas northward to that British trade might derive full advanKhorassan.

tage from the opening of the Karun River, “ The routes from Resht through Bas- and finally, the removal of artificial obvin, and from the Caspian through Shah-structions to through traffic by the Afrud, are the main channels for Russian ghan route. commerce, as those from the Persian Gulf "Provided that navigation on the Tigris and Bagdad are the main channels for were freed from obstructive restrictions, British and Indian trade.

the most profitable undertaking in itself “ Tabriz is the point of junction of would probably be the railway from Bag. three routes : the one from Trebizond, by dad to Hamadan and Tehran. Tbe line which alone European goods can be profit- of country is comparatively free from seably delivered into north-west Persia ; rious engineering obstacles, it passes and two from Tiflis and Astara on the Cas- through important provinces, it is a wellpian, by which, and especially by the established and much-frequented trade latter, Russian goods are delivered into the route, and in addition it is the well-worn same provinces.

path of thousands and thousands of pilAs regards advantages of transport, grims who pass along eren from AfghanKashan appears to be the present meeting. istan and Central Asia to visit the holy ground of British and Russian goods com shrines at Mecca and Kerbelai.” ing respectively from the Persian Gulf and So much for the possibilities offered by the Caspian. The English have a slight the soil, climate, and physical geography advantage in cost of carriage to Ispahan, of Persia for the increase of trade and the and Russian goods have a considerable ad- general development of wealth and prosvantage to Tehran.

perity. But history shows us that in spite “ The Russian routes from Askhabad of the possession of natural advantages, a through Meshed into Bhorassan, and from country may for centuries remain in a Meshed-i-Sar viâ Amol and Demavend to backward condition, as compared with its Tehrun, are at present of minor impor- neighbors, if its inhabitants are wanting in

those qualities of industry, energy, meth* Foreign Office, 1889. Miscellaneous Series, No. 119 : Reports on Subjects of General and od, and independence which make a nation Commercial Interest. Persia.

prosperous at home and respected abroad. NEW SERIES. – VOL. LI., No. 2.



To follow out our subject we must there- such pleasure in Persia, and which he
fore now turn to the consideration of the greatly misses when travelling in the
qualities of the Persian nation, and the West.
resulting government under which they The agricultural class and the lower or.

ders generally in Persia are wonderfully I have been much surprised to hear even industrious and patient. Mention has alwell-educated Englishmen, in recent dis- ready been made of the labors bestowed cussions on Persia, speak of the Persian on irrigation in tapping underground nation as if it were completely wanting in water-sources. These irrigation works, civilization, and were ages behind Europe constructed by the peasants without any in manners, customs, and ideas. Such a

other appliances than rude shovels and false impression of the characteristics and baskets for removing the earth, are one of social condition of our good friends, the the striking features of the country. From neighbors of our Indian Empire, is, I every village, lying, as nearly all do, near think, due to ignorance and I fear also to the foot of a hill or mountain, long lines insular prejudice. Persia has not pro. of small mounds of earth, at intervals of gressed as Europe has done, but Persian some thirty yards, are to be seen radiating civilization and Persian art had reached a away to the high ground. These lines of high degree of development when England earth-heaps, often a mile and sometimes was covered with tangled forests and its five or six miles Jong, mark the underinhabitants half-clothed savages, ground tunnels which, coming to the surwhose highest skill was shown in the face in the fields round a village, penetrate slaughter of wild animals with the rudest to a great depth in the hill-side where the of weapons.

Persian civilization has not underground water source is found. They retrograded, though Persian art is certainly are sometimes constructed fruitlessly, water stified by the introduction of cheap but not being found, but generally the small inartistic articles from the commercial stream of beautiful, cool, clear water, West. In Persia a polite etiquette is as which issues from them, is the handsome strictly observed as in any country in the reward of the immense labor which has world, and though, in some trifles,' the been expended on their construction. manners of a Persian gentleman may ap- They are just large enough for a man to pear strange and even amusing when ob- work inside in a cramped position, and served in the West, it is safe to say that the earth-heaps denote the air-holes where nothing which a Persian gentleman would the excavated earth has been drawn up in be likely to do when mixing in Western baskets by a rude windlass. But it is not society would, in any way, shock the deli. only in irrigating and tilling the fields that cate feelings of that society. In this re- such patient labor is shown. The mapuspect it is fortunate that the recent jour- facture of carpets and shawls by hand is neyings of the Shah and his suite were an industry which specially calls for steady sufficiently extended to give a practical patient toiling ; and again the production and widespread contradiction to the nu- of finished copper, brass, and iron work is merous absurd stories which had been very remarkable, when it is remembered current concerning the disagreeable pe- that few of the ordinary tools used in Euculiarities of Persian manners and cus- rope have been introduced into Persia, and toms.

that such bammers, saws, and files as are As regards habits of personal cleanli- to be found are of the rudest and most inness on which Englishmen so greatly pride ferior description. There are streets of themselves, it may astonish many of my metal-workers in the bazaar of Ispahan, and readers to learn that the Persians, with their methods for producing really highly considerable reason, consider themselves finished ancient armor and matchlocks are far superior to any Westerns in this re- most curious to observe, and are a wonspect.

I will only mention, as an in- derful testimony to the ingenuity, handistance, that the Persian considers that to ness, and industry of the workmen. I remain sitting in a small bath and to com- should say that there is no intention of mence and complete ablutions in the same fraud on the part of the metal-workers of water is far from a cleanly habit, and it is Ispahan. They sell their armor and one which is never practised in the heated matchlocks as new, they become baths which the native frequents with tique" in the hands of the dealers at Con

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stantinople and Tiflis, to satisfy the de- of character and purpose appears to me to mands of European tourists.

be a marked national defect. Persia's In the matter of general education, it neighbors–Afghans, Turcomans, Rusmust be at once admitted that Persia is sians, and Kurds-have seldom left her far behindhand as regards any widespread long in tranquillity, and have continually diffusion of anything approaching a higher profited by her internal dissensions. It education, but, on the other hand, it is was only as the sequel of long struggles, probable that as large a percentage of the disastrous to the country, between different male population can now read in the diffi- claimants to the throne, that the present cult Arabic character of the East as, fifty Kajar dynasty succeeded in firmly estabyears ago, were in the West masters of the lishing its authority; and during all those much simpler Latin alphabet. Good years of turmoil Persia was subject to the schools for rudimentary education are ur- invasions of foreign enemies, who ravaged gently required, and, did they exist, there her provinces and persecuted and dispirited would be no lack of pupils with ability to her people. Such circumstances not only profit by them. The Persian generally is stop the progress of a country, but they quick, intelligent, and has great powers of throw it back, crushing all spirit of enterperception, imitation, and imagination ; prise, and disheartening the patriot, who, he is industrious where he recognizes the finding his country's cause apparently hopevalue of work, but he does not work un- less, begins to consider, in preference, der the influence of the restless energy his personal welfare. There is too much which often produces a craving for active self-seeking in Persia ; and the spirit of occupation among the inhabitants of north- intrigue, which is so strong a feature at ern countries. Among the Shah's suite Eastern courts, frequently manifests itself during his recent visit to England were in a manner most disastrous to the intermany gentlemen of education and intelli- ests of the country. There is a not ungence. One gentleman had been a stu- natural feeling of suspicion with regard to dent at Balliol College, and another bad foreigners in the minds of the Persians, finished his studies at the French “Ecole for so far there certainly has been little Polytechnique" and had been the first profit from acquaintance with them; and mathematical scholar of his year. The this prejudice against Europeans is, of Shah's first minister, the Amin-es-Sultan, course, increased-particularly among the who owes his high position to his excep- lower orders—by the marked religious tional talents, has not had the advantage differences


Mahomedan and of a European education, but I consider Christian. Time alone can modify such him one of the most capable men I ever feelings, and time and political tranquillity met, possessing intelligence of a high or- must be trusted to restore a national spirit der, coupled with sound judgment and of self-reliance, and to foster the individgreat earnestness of character. He is still ual spirit of enterprise and ambition which quite a young man, and has that valuable is the mainspring of commercial activity gift of being able, the moment he has fin

and success. Time will also doubtless ished serious work, to turn all his energy give opportunities for introducing such of disposition to the thorough enjoyment reforms in the system of government as of the most trifling amusements. His in- will be consonant with that spirit of prog. terest and pleasure in studying some of regs which is now showing itself. Measthe complicated processes in our cotton ures of reform are urgently required, but mills and other industrial establishments inconsiderate haste would certainly fail in were very remarkable, and the only hin- its object, for Persians would never subdrance to his enjoyment was the continual mit to sudden and enforced changes in pressure for time to thoroughly see or do their ancient institutions and customs in anything.

the same patient manner in which the Such are the good qualities and char- Russians accepted the reforms of Peter acteristics of the Persians ; but, like other the Great. nations, they have also their faults. Cir

Considering the difficulties of commucomstances during the last few centuries nication, and the wide extent of the counhave not been favorable to the develop- try, the universal respect for the authority ment among them of a strong and self- of the Shah is a remarkable feature in reliant character, and consequent weakness Persia. This is the more remarkable be

cause His Majesty is noted for his hu- with the necessary legal training could be manity, and the execution of criminals for found, and if arrangements were made to offences against the State is practically un- secure the prompt execution of decrees. known, though the punishment of death is It is not likely that any thoroughly satisalways held in reserve, and, in the early factory provision for the adjudication of part of the present reign, was considered mercantile disputes will be made for some necessary in a few exceptional cases. time to come, but to secure some good Travelling in Persia, except in some very working arrangement is a matter of grave wild mountainous districts, is safer than importance, and with the good-will of the i in Asia Minor and as safe as in large dis- Persian Government, it will, no doubt, be tricts of the Caucasus. Security of life arrived at. and property in travelling is, of course, In all these considerations as to future one of the first necessities for the encour- progress and development, the personal agement of trade, but of equal impor- character and disposition of the Shah, the tance is the security of property from un- impersonation of government in Persia, certain official exactions, and the certainty are important factors.

The Shah is not a of being able to force a fraudulent debtor young man, he is some sixty years old ; to pay his just debts. In these two latter but he has always led a temperate and respects there is much room for improve- healthy life, delighting in outdoor exerment in Persia, Improvement will, no cise, a great hunter and a good shot, and doubt, be made, and the Sbah has recently he consequently to-day enjoys excellent by special proclamation notified his will health, and is active alike in mind and that private rights of property should be body. His bumanity has already been fully respected; but the general system of mentioned in connection with the cessation government is crude, and solid improve- of arbitrary executions, and bis natural ments are difficult to introduce. At pres- kindness of heart is constantly manifested, ent there is no definite system of taxation and was notably so on several occasions by which the people, as individuals, are during his visit to England, and particutaxed for the necessities of the State ; larly in his expressions of regret at the money, however, must be found, and death of a poor woman who was killed in consequently the incidence of irregular the crush on his arrival at Bradford, and taxation which takes the form of forced in his anxiety to make soine suitable contributions from both provinces and in- provision for her bereaved family. Notdividuals is often severely felt, and that withstanding a certain severity of countefeeling of security in the enjoyment of nance and manner, the Shah is of a very property which is the great stimulus to cheerful disposition, and is quick to note activity in acquiring it, is unfortunately any amusing incident and laughs heartily still absent.

thereat. He is very reserved and distant The difficulty in collecting just debts is in his intercourse with officials, either bis frequently complained of by foreign mer. own or foreigners, but such incidents as chants trading in Persia, and yet these his shaking hands indiscriminately with often profit by assistance from the repre- the crowd who suddenly surrounded his

sentatives of their governments. Native carriage when his special train unexpected· traders are in a still worse position, and it ly stopped in Rugby station, sufficiently

is difficult to find an immediate remedy in prove his bonhomie and good nature. No a country where there are neither courts doubt he is somewhat suspicious, but he nor codes of law to correspond with our has seldom known a disinterested friend, European institutions, and where there is and he is a good judge of character, a a religious prejudice against the taking of shrewd observer of men and things. His an oath except in the most serious cases. remarks and questions during this inspecTo meet these difficulties for Europeans, tion of our indus.rial establishments were mixed tribunals have been suggested, but thoroughly practical, and showed a just these have not proved an unmixed benefit appreciation of what were the important elsewhere. The Russian Commercial points for his observation. When, after Courts with their lay assessors give very some troublesome interpreting, he was fair satisfaction to litigants who come be made to understand that the operation fore them, and something of that sort about to be performed by a highly scienmight be tried if satisfactory presidents tific testing machine was the breaking of a


steel bolt, he turned on his heel with the As there are signs of an awakening to observation that it was unnecessary to progress in Persia, so equally there are break it ; but in the same establishment signs of an awakening of foreign interest he was eager in his questions as to the in the affairs of that country. The energy quantities of arms and different military of Prince Dolgorouky, the Russian Minappliances produced, what were the prices, ister at Tehran, is continually employed in and to whom were the manufactures de- urging advance and progress in the north livered. These were practical points, but as likely to be beneficial both to Russia the mathematical testing of the breaking and Persia. The opening of the Karun strain of a steel bolt was clearly purely should give an impetus to trade from the technical, and of no practical interest to a south, and the proposed establishinent of Persian monarch.

an Imperial Persian Bank should provide The Shah's visit to Europe, and the un- capital to assist industrial and mercantile tiring energy be displayed in visiting every- enterprise in all parts of the country. thing which he was advised would prove Opportunities exist for those who know interesting, are sufficient proofs.of his how to profit by them, but undoubtedly, genuipe desire to see his country advance from causes pointed out in this article, in material prosperity. But he has a there will be difficulties to contend with. difficult task, for he is rightly determined Perseverance, patience, and tact must be to maintain his independence and not to shown, and indeed all those qualities which allow his government to fall under the enabled Englishmen to establish their trade tutelage of any foreign power ; and he elsewhere in the East, in the face of greathas, at the same time, to avoid the ap- er obstacles than any which will confront pearance of showing more favor to any them in Persia. The tendency to rely for one nation than is extended to others, and business success too much on government also to bear in mind the prejudices of his help must be checked. Individual enterpeople. It is a most difficult position, and prise and deterinination have always won only a man of tact, prudence, and firm- the day for Englishmen of the old school, ness could avoid serious mistakes ; but while concessions and government proteethe Shah possesses the necessary qualities, tion are the only ideas which occur to the and he is ably and loyally aided by his mind of the modern bourse speculator. I first minister, whose impartiality and pa- would not appear to despise, on all occatriotism have, however, often been the sions, the value of a concession, nor to incause of unjust enmity toward him. If fer that a business man may never legitithe Shah's life, as may well be hoped, be mately seek the protection of his governspared sufficiently long, and if the country ment in his business difficulties, but I am be undisturbed by foreign aggression, the anxious to strongly express my opinion next ten years will surely see great and that there is good employment for indussolid progress in Persia ; but no sudden try and capital in Persia without concesrevolution is possible, or would lead to sion ; and that, under present circumgood results. The Shah himself gave a stances, there are many difficulties in the very happy indication of his appreciation way of either obtaining or working any of the position. When replying to a civic concessions. I would not recomaddress, he observed that roads and com- mend any one to start with the expectation munications were greatly needed in Persia, of rapidly developing a large business, but but that the communications which he ad. I would recommend careful preliminary mired so much in England were not es- investigation and subsequent perseverance. tablished before trade had obtained a great As an example of unnecessary discourdevelopment; in Persia trade was still in agement in business, I may mention the its infancy, but it must grow, and the case of a foreigner who arrived in Tehran communications should grow with it. to sell sewing machines, and who, I was Steady growth, and no basty revolution or informed, after twelve months' residence speculation-this is wbat is required, and left the country, utterly disgusted at his this is what Englishmen must assist equally failure to dispose of his machines. This in their own interests and in that of the was not long ago, and yet there are now nation to which, in the person of its mon hundreds of sewing machines at work in arch, they have recently made such strong the large towns, and doubtless their use is professions of friendship.

rapidly spreading thronghout the country.


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