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their superstitions and foibles with a quiet humour which is sometimes not a little amusing. It lifts the curtain of female life in that country, and betrays the secrets of the zenana with an unsparing candour. Many persons in England have an idea that women in the east are but slightly removed from the state of slavery, and that the harem is but another name for a prison. Sir John Malcolm, in his characteristic and entertaining Sketches of Persia, has related some anecdotes, which pretty well demonstrate that the ladies of that region know how to maintain their rights and vindicate their authority whenever it happens to be outraged. The reader probably remembers the story of Merdek's cat. A poor but well-born retainer of a nabob, named Sâdik Beg, had the good fortune to attract the favour of a lady of great wealth and high rank, who was an awful termagant. On the day they were married, a favourite cat belonging to the bride approached Sadik, purring for attention from her new master; but he, drawing his scimitar, cut the cat's head off, and flung it with the body out of the window. From that moment his wife

altered her temper, and became one of the most docile of her sex. Sâdik related the occurrence and its happy consequences to his friend Merdek, a little fellow who was completely hen-pecked. Merdek went home determined on making a similar experiment. As soon as the devoted victim made her appearance, Merdek drew his scimitar and decapitated the poor animal; upon which his wife gave him a blow upon the side of his head which laid him on the floor. • Take that,' said she—for she had also heard of Sadik's doings* take that, you paltry wretch ; you should have killed the cat on the wedding-day?

Indeed, Sir John Malcolm, who enters at large into the subject, shows that, as to matters of property and the management of their families, the Persian ladies have, at least, quite as much power and as many privileges as the ladies of Europe ; and the little work before us will be sufficient to convince any person who takes the trouble of reading it, that however novel the costume and manners of Persian women may appear to a stranger, the same fund of affection, the same amiability of disposition, the same desire for finery, the same active ambition of being noticed and esteemed by the lordly sex, and the same rage for gossip are found in their hearts, which characterize the fair in all other quarters of the globe. As to happiness, Providence has placed the means of obtaining it within the reach of every community:-

• I have travelled much,' says Sir John Malcolm, (in the delightful work already quoted,) but have found little difference in the aggregate of human felicity. My pride and patriotism have often been flattered by the complaints and comparisons of the discontented; but I have

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never met any considerable number of a tribe or nation who would have exchanged their condition for that of any other people upon the earth. When I have succeeded, as I often did, in raising admiration and envy, by dwelling upon the advantages of the British government, I have invariably found that these feelings vanished, when I explained more specifically the sacrifices of personal liberty, the restraints of the law, and the burden of taxation, by which these advantages are purchased. It was the old story of the Arab nurse, who could not endure England because there were no date-trees; and the King of Persia, who, though feeling all the insecurity of his own crown, could not for a moment tolerate the thoughts of wearing that of England, which would have reduced him to only one wife.'

Among the principal rules inculcated in the code before us, it is laid down that on the last Friday of the Ramazan the women ought to dress superbly and perfume themselves, and put on their best ornaments, and go to the porticoes of the mosques, because the young men of cypress forms and tulip cheeks'assemble there. In sitting down in the porticoes they are to take special care to stretch out their feet, so as to display their crimson-tinted toes; and while holding up their lighted tapers it will be no harm if they gently raise their veils at the same time,-but this is to be quite an accidental affair. Nor is it commendable that on such occasions they should be particularly silent,

• For there is nothing in the world more pleasing
Than hearing strains of melody

From lips that shame the ruby.'
It is perfectly proper for females, while engaged with their friends
in pleasant conversation and the mutual communication of secrets,
not to interrupt their happiness by paying attention to the hours
of prayer. At such interesting moments prayer may be left to
the imagination. But if a woman, whilst occupied in prayer,
should happen to discover her husband speaking to a strange
damsel, it is expedient for her to pause and listen attentively to
what passes between them, and, if necessary, to put an end to
their conversation. No house should be without musical instru-
ments, especially the tambourine. In the absence of more har-
monious cymbals, a brass dish and a mallet will do. Music
should be at hand on all occasions. Every family that can boast
of it is blessed. No woman of any pretensions to beauty should
be indifferent to sweet sounds. However she may be engaged
when these strike her ear, she should devote her whole soul to the
melody; if she does otherwise she is guilty of improper conduct,
and unworthy of either respect or consideration.
The possession of more than one wife is not, according to this



learned code, held in Persia, any more than it would be held elsewhere, as a pledge of happiness. On the contrary, we are told that he who takes two spouses is sure to repent of his folly :

• Be that man's life immersed in gloom,

Who weds more wives than one;
With one his cheeks retain their bloom,

His voice a cheerful tone;
These speak his honest heart at rest,
And he and she are always blest ;
But when with two he seeks for joy,
Together they his soul annoy.
With two no sunbeam of delight

Can make his day of misery bright.'—p. 54. Mirza Abu Taleb Khan, a man of considerable experience, who visited England several years ago, says,– From what I know myself, it is easier to live with two tigresses than with two wives !! It is a rule never to be dispensed with, that the husband shall allow his better half plenty of cash, that she may enjoy feasts, and excursions, and the bath, and every other kind of recreation. If he stint her in these matters, he will assuredly be punished for all his sins and omissions on the day of resurrection. The woman should invariably assume that her husband's mother, and other relations, are at heart her enemies. She will therefore find it necessary at once to establish her authority over them, by at least once a-day giving thein physical proof of her resolution. The husband is to be conquered in a different manner.

She must, on all occasions, ring in his ears the threat of a divorce:

• If he still resists, she must redouble all the vexations which she knows from experience irritate his mind, and day and night add to the bitterness and misery of his condition. She must never, whether by day or by night, for a moment relax. For instance, if he condescends to hand her the loaf, she must throw it from her, or at him, with indignation and contempt. She must make his shoe too tight for him, and his pillow a pillow of stone ; so that at last he becomes weary of life, and is glad to acknowledge her authority. On the other hand, should these resources fail, the wife may privately convey from her husband's house everything valuable that she can lay her hands upon, and then go to the kázi and complain that her husband has beaten her with his shoe, and pretend to show the bruises on her skin. She must state such facts in favour of her case as she knows cannot be refuted by evidence, and pursue every possible plan to escape from the thraldom she endures. For that purpose, every effort of every description is perfectly justifiable and according to law.'-pp. 59, 60.

We shall add a few others of the sage precepts laid down, by our authority, as altogether sacred and inviolable :

. Among • Among the things forbidden to women is that of allowing their features to be seen by men not wearing turbans-unless indeed they are handsome, and have soft and captivating manners ; in that case their veils may be drawn aside without the apprehension of incurring blame, or in any degree exceeding the discretionary power with which they are traditionally invested. But they must scrupulously and religiously abstain from all such liberties with Mullahs and Jews; since, respecting them, the prohibition is imperative. It is not necessary, however, to be very particular in the presence of common people: there is nothing criminal in being seen by singers, musicians, servants of the bath, and such persons as go about the streets to sell their wares and trinkets.'-p. 61.

* On the very day a woman goes to the house of her husband, upon being married, it is necessary that everything of importance relating to her own interest and advantage should be first settled; all arrangements made to secure her own comfort, and the uninterrupted exercise of her own will ; so that she may be exonerated from the responsibility which might otherwise attach to her; for it is right that all blame should be invariably laid upon the back of her husband. It is not to be conceived that a woman can live all her life with one hus. band, in one house. Why should he deprive her of the full enjoyment of this world's comforts ? Days and years roll on and are renewed, whilst a woman continues the same melancholy inmate, in the same melancholy house of her husband. She has no renewal of happiness-none.

i“ The seasons change, and spring

Renews the bloom of fruit and flower;
And birds, with fluttering wing,

Give life again to dell and bower.
But what is woman's lot?

No change her anxious heart to cheer;
Confined to one dull spot

And one dull husband all the year!" —pp. 65, 66. • For a woman to be without familiar friends of her own sex is reckoned a heavy misfortune ; and there is no one so poor who does not struggle hard to avoid so great a curse. A woman dying without friends or gossips has no chance of going to beaven; whereas happy is that woman whose whole life is passed in constant intercourse with kind associates, for she will assuredly go to heaven. What can equal the felicity of that woman whose daily employment is sauntering hand in hand with friends, amidst rose-bowers and aromatic groves, and visiting every place calculated to expand and exhilarate the heart ? That woman, at the day of resurrection, will be seen dancing with her old companions on earth, in the regions of bliss. The very circum. stance of living in such a state of social freedom and harmony always produces a forgiveness of sins. If a damsel dies before she has established a circle of intimates, to whom she can communicate her most secret thoughts and actions, the other world can never be to her a scene of happiness and joy. But if she is more favourably circumstanced, every supplication for pardon will have the effect of angelprayers; and this is the reward of those who in this life cultivate social connexions, and are bound in the endearing ties of friendship.


pp. 74, 75.

Trilling as this little work may appear in itself, yet it is impossible to glance over it without feeling that such gossiping pages as these are calculated to make us better acquainted with Persian female manners than a more grave and learned treatise. Life is composed of really little things – especially domestic life, in which the routine of one day scarcely differs from that which follows or precedes it. Foreigners can seldom penetrate the privacy of oriental families; and native writers too rarely think of describing habits which are of every hour's use, and have therefore no novelty to recommend them.

Art. IX.-Poems by Hartley Coleridge. Vol. I. 8vo. pp. 157.

Leeds, 1833. TWO

10 sons of Dryden were clever versifiers; but we are not

aware of any instance in our literary history of the son of a great poet achieving for himself the name of poet. Here, however, is such a claim advanced by the son of Coleridge ; and, weak and merely imitational as many of the pieces included in this volume are, we are bound to say that we consider its author as having already placed himself on high vantage-ground, as compared with any of the rhymers of these latter years. From the locality of the publication, Leeds, taken together with various melancholy allusions in the verses themselves, we are compelled to believe that the fate of this gentleman has not been such as bis birth, education, and talents, with the well-won celebrity of several of his immediate connexions, might have been expected to lead him to. What his actual situation may be we know not; but we are grieved to hear the language not only of despondency, but of self-reproach bordering almost on remorse, from one who must be young, and who certainly possesses feelings the most amiable, together with accomplishments rich and manifold, and no trivial inheritance of his father's genius. It is impossible to read the two following sonnets without deep and painful interest :

• Too true it is, my time of power was spent
In idly watering weeds of casual growth,-
That wasted energy to desperate sloth
Declined, and fond self-seeking discontent,
That the huge debt for all that nature lent
I sought to cancel, -and was nothing loath
To deem myself an outlaw, sever'd both


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