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most accommodating kind; among whatever people they reside, they find no difficulty in professing the same faith ; but they are in reality of Epicurus' stye,' and live for mere sensual gratification, affirming that man was born to live, to clie, to rot and
be forgotten. A gang of these detestable ruffians had some time before made application to the Sirdar of Mughsee, for permission to cultivate a piece of ground in his jurisdiction. Not liking such neighbours, he refused them with threats; but they, exasperated by this rejection, watched their opportunity, and seizing him by surprise, murdered him with his whole household.
· Although I had long accustomed myself to regard the people of this part of Mukran as hardened in every species of inhumanity, I must confess I was confounded by the cool depravity evinced by an old man who was the head of the murderous gang; and who, after having minutely detailed to Khodadad and my camel drivers the par. ticulars of the assassination, pointed with great apparent exultation to a very high house in the village, and said, that the son of the unfortunate Sirdar had taken refuge there at the moment of the massacre of his father's family; and that they were momentarily expecting him to descend to be put to death : the hoary sinner (for he was really such) added, with the same merciless composure, that the youth might as well come down quickly, and relieve them from the tedious task of starving him out, which was the only mode of expulsion they meant to pursue, lest they should damage the building and the property in it. 1 ventured to ask, what Shah Mirab Khan had thought of this outrage towards a man who had held the village in fief from him ; and to increase my astonishment, I was informed, that subsequent to the commission of the nefarious act, the Loorees had simply offered to acknowledge his authority, and pay the customary fines, on which their proffered allegiance had been adopted, and their King, as they called him, formally invested in the Sirdaree or chiefship of Mughsee.'
Mr. P. was so extremely negligent in bis ritual observances, as to expose himself to the animadversions of Khodadad, and of a Faqueer, a sort of priest, who had joined their company. The latter, in particular, was very troublesome, and even went the length of proving from the Koran, that it was lawful to put such irreverent dissentients from the Mussulmani establishment to death ; but to this hint Lieutenant P. made a very prompt and effectual reply, by shewing the zealous ecclesiastic his pistols, and warning him that he had better not make the attempt.' At length they reached Huftur, where the Khan expressed his suspicions that Mr. P. was à prince in disguise ; it was not, how. ever, till the next stage, Puhra, that the secret was fairly discovered. The astonishment and rage of Meer Khodadad, at this exposure, proved clearly that the message, supposed as coming from him to Mr. Pottinger, which we have already mentioned, was a mere fabrication of Moorad Khan's. Khodadad
seems to have been not only completely deceived, but quite reluctant to credit the detection.
• (He) viewed it as a complete paradox, and addressing himself alternately to Shah Mihrab Khan and the villagers, rehearsed the various polemical rencounters he had had since leaving Kulugan, the manner I had refuted his lectures, and taken him to task, the testi. mony of his son-in-law Moorad Khan, with some instances he had related of my sanctity, all forming, in his opinion, a concatenation of proofs sufficicnt to falsify the avowal I had made. The Khan laughed heartily at the tale, but told the indignant speaker to recollect that he was not the only person who had been imposed upon ....... to which Khodadad peevishly replied, that he was aware of that, though he believed that no other person had been so long and intimate with me without finding me out. "I have,” vociferated a by-stander, in a voice which I soon distinguished to be one of my camel drivers. or I have been with him two months, and notwithstanding I knew he was neither Syyud or Peerzaduh, yet as I hope good may betide me, I had as little conception as yourself, that he was a Firingee, (or European.")
The Khan treated Mr. Pottinger with the utmost kindness and hospitality, and though he was an uneducated man, he displayed an enlightened curiosity worthy of a less restricted sphere. ' In person he is remarkably handsome, and his ad• dress' is refined and commanding. He had recommended our countryman to go straight across the desert to Basman, but unfortunately the circuitous route by Bunpoor was preferred, in expectation of a larger supply of provision. Instead of this, he found himself in the grasp of a rapacious barbarian, who treated him with extreme roughness, and as he had nothing else left worth taking, he extorted from him the very pistols carried by his Hindoo servant. This chief is described as
A corpulent old gentleman, 60 years of age......meanly apparelled in a common white shirt, a pair of blue cotton trowsers, and a small skull cap on the crown of his head. But what first and principally attracted my ears and eyes, 'was a polished steel staff that he carried in his hand, about four feet long, and as many inches thick, covered with large rings of the same metal, with which he kept an incessant and loud jingle. As he approached, I perceived that being lame, he used the staff as a support, exclusive of the pleasure he apparently felt in making a noise with it, for even whilst chattering, he never de. sisted from shaking the rings from one end to the other, where there were large knobs to prevent their slipping off entirely.'
The fort of this place is built on a very high and apparently artificial mound, and is strong enough to bid defiance to any pative force. The power and revenues of the chief, are some what considerable, and he adds pretty largely to the latter by plundering expeditions into the Persian territory. At Basman
of this placis strong rerent
Mr. P. found a different reception, and though the people were compelled to boil and eat mulberry leaves and camel-grass, to eke out their scanty crops, the behaviour of the Sirdar was nobly hospitable. His visiter seems to have been deeply affected by his kindness, and even the two wild camel drivers
' exclaimed, when he was leaving the place we had been sitting at in the evening, “ We shall not forget you Moorad Khan. May your noble desires be accomplished and your store increase! You have not much, but what you do possess, you bestow with a willing hand and good grace.”
The village of Basman was the last · fixed inhabited place in this quarter of Beloochistan, and as we have hitherto attended this enterprising traveller somewhat more closely than we are authorized by the limits of our publication, we shall now move with a more rapid pace. Regan, which Mr. P. reached on the 23d April, is a fortified village in the Persian province of Nurmansheer; his reception here was courteous and hospitable, but at the next place Boorja, he was obliged to assume a very high tone, before he could silence an ill-looking dirty scrub' the commandant, who had threatened to send him as a prisoner to the governor of the province. At Bumm he presented himself before the Khan, a Persian of the most refined address, in most miserable plight, his dress worn to “tatters' and discoloured with dirt. Having fortunately succeeded in evading a formidable attack made upon him by a bigoted Moslem, le resumed his journey, and, on the 3rd of May, reached the city of Kirman, having then completed all that part of his journey which he
considered hazardous. The city and province of Kirman are under the government of a Shahzaduh, or Prince of the blood royal, to whom Lieutenant P. was presented; the ceremonies which attended the introduction, were such as are usual in Persia, and have been repeatedly described. He had subsequently an interview with the minister, but afterwards had reason to complain of jealousies and discourteous treatment, which he retorted with somewhat more of contempt than we should have thought quite prudent in his situation. His character of the Persians comprehends nearly all that is detestable in vice, without a single redeeming virtue. I feel inclined,' he says, ' to look upon Persia at the present day, to be the very
fountain head of every'species of tyranny, cruelty, meanness, ' injustice, extortion, and infamy, that can disgrace or pollute "human nature,' The city of Kirman was remarkable for opulence and magnificence, until it stood a siege against the ferocious eunuch Aga Mohammed, in the cause of the brave but unfortunate Lootf Ali Khan, He took it by treachery, and gave it up for three months to the excesses of his licentious soldiery.
sterile, that this city is the capiteat part of th
During the present reign it has been partly restored, and its commerce, to a certain extent, revived ; but the extensive ruins by which its fortifications are surrounded, shew its comparative insignificance, and attest how effectual was the vena geance of its remorseless enemy. A great part of the large province, of which this city is the capital, is a desert so absolutely sterile, that the Affghan army, on its march through it to invade Persia in 1719, lost one third of its numbers, and the whole of its baggage. In the midst of this horrible waste, on an Oasis verdant throughout the year, stands the town of Khubees, in 320, 20' N. lat. It is embellished by pleasant gardens, and was once flourishing and wealthy ;, but it is now
a miserable decayed place, the residence of robbers and outcasts. On the the 25th of May, Mr. P. lest Kirman on his route to Sheeraz. On his way, he visited Meenan, a town consisting of three or four hundred caverns along the face of a mountain, and inhabited by a race of Mahommedan heretics, who bold out that Ali was an incarnation of the deity. During the halt at the village of Robat, a quarrel took place between a Muleteer, and one of the party, which termipated in a wrestling match; the latter, seizing his antagonist, threw him ' several yards up into the air, and he fell senseless on the hard floor of the mosque in which they were lodged. The other drivers assailed the victor with a volley of abuse, and three at once rushed upon him; he instantly grappled with them, and pitched them in succession into different corners of the place. This man's ame was Allee Uskur, and it appeared that having formerly killed, in a public contest, the king's principal wrestler, the relatives of the deceased had sworn i vengeance against him,' and at this time he was flying from Kirman, to which city they had ? traced him.' June 5th, Lieutenant Pottinger reached Shee. raz, and on the 27th Ispahan, and here be met his old companion Captain Christie.
It seldom falls to the lot of man to experience sensations of such perfect gratification as this meeting afforded us both, and, if possible, those sensations were augmented by its being quite unexpected. Captain Christie arrived in the city about dusk, unknowing and unknown, and went to the governor's palace to request a lodging, which was ordered, when, by accident, one of the attendants observed that there were two Firingees in the Chihul Setoon: and that he would possibly like to join their party; he accordingly came to the palace, and sent up a man to say that he wished to speak to one of us. I went down, and as it was then quite dark, I could not recognize his features ; and he fancying me a Persian, from my dress, we conversed for several minutes ere we discovered each other. The moment we did so, was one of the happiest of my life.'
The Report, inserted in the Appendix, drawn up by Captain Christie, of his journey and adventures, is necessarily brief, and tending rather to awaken than to satisfy curiosity. He was fixed upon as one of the officers to be attached to the Persian army, for the purpose of giving it a European organization, and he was compelled to make out his statement in the short interval of a halt made by General Malcolm for that purpose. He had quitted Nooshsky somewhat earlier than Lieutenant Pottinger, and with difficulty avoided a most formidable ambuscade of some Affghans, planned most probably for the purpose of robbery and murder. After some other escapes, he reached Ilumdar, where he assumed the title of Hadjee, or pilgrim, and in that character introduced himself to Khan Juhan Khan, the chief; a very prince of robbers, subsisting almost wholly by plundering his neighbours. His own territories, however, it should seem, are well-governed and highly cultivated. Difficulties and dangers again awaited our traveller on his road, but at length he reached Heerat, from which large and commercial city his route was easy until he joined his friend at Ispahan. Of their movements in Persia very little is recorded, as they were then connected with the embassy of General Malcolm, and of course formed part of his military escort, and acted only under his orders. A very slight sketch of the History and Geography of Beloochistan, and a brief notice of the Mission to Sinde, shall close this article.
We have before stated generally, the geographical position of this country, and it would answer little purpose to trace a more accurate outline, or to crowd our pages with the names of its numerous provinces. A large portion of the surface is. mountainous, much of it irrecoverably desert, and of the remainder the greater part is unproductive, from the deficiency of careful cultivation.
The early history of this country is beyond reach. The retreating columns of Alexander's army defiled to the northward and to the southward of its alpine region. No assistance is to be derived from the Greek historians, who range it under the vague name of Indo-Scythia. Mr. Pottinger is disposed to assign, on plausible but disputable grounds, a Tatar origin to the larger class of the inhabitants. Kelat was, for meny
centuries, subject to a Hindoo dynasty, of which the last Khan · was driven out by Kumbur, the head of a tribe of mountain shepherds, in whose line the supreme power still remains. Nusseer, the father of the present Khan, was an able governor and a valiant soldier. He had, it is true, slain his brother, and assumed his power; but that brother was a detestable tyrant, and the accession of Nusseer was hailed with universal joy. He made
Vol. VII. N.S.