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wife and restoring her to her husband, there would be no difficulty about it, and it might be effected immediately; but iu that case he wished to know what I meant to do in respect to the Meerza himself. I replied that I should send him to Shiraz in obedience to the instructions of Her Majesty's Government. To this he replied that such a proceeding would be very painful to the Shah and to the Persian Government, after all the correspondence that bad taken place, and asked me whether there was no course which

1 could suggest by which a satisfactory arrangement might be effected. To this I replied that, in order to show that it v..is not my wish to drive matters to extremes, I was ready to restore Meerza Hashem Khan to the Persian service, provided the Persian Government, after having liberated his wife, offered to the Meerza a salary somewhat better than that attached to our Shiraz Agency, and gave me a document assuring its continuance and the safety of the Meerza's person, family, &«. The proposals made by the Prince on th*; part of the Government were reasonable, and indeed liberal, » I agreed to allow him to negotiate an amicable arrangement of the affair on this basis.

As our conversation had been of some duration, and the hour of noon fixed in my despatch to the Sedr Azim as the time at which aiy flag would be struck if the Meerza's wife were not liberated, was near at hand, he asked for 2 hours' delay iu order that the Shah's pleasure might be taken; to this I acceded. Just as the time had elapsed, and the Meerza was on his way to demand his wife, a messenger came down post haste from the Prince asking for

2 hours' more delay, on the plea that His Majesty had been out riding and had only just returned; to this I again acceded.

Whether the Persian Government considered these concessions of delay, and my listening to their proposals of a compromise, as a proof of weakness or hesitation, I know not; but certain it is that when, a little before sunset, the Meerza went to demand his wife's liberation, it was peremptorily refused, and an answer given that it could not be done without an order from the Sadr Azim. On receiving this intelligence, just as I was about to give an order for "triking the flag, Hyder Effendi, the Ottoman Charge d'Affaires, came to me on the part of Sadr Azim, with whom he had discussed toe whole affair; he acknowledged that, in his own opinion, I was entirely in the right, and the conduct of the Persian Government m seizing and imprisoning the Meerza's wife entirely indefensible; but he entreated me to defer striking my flag till the following morning, in order that he might have time to go back to the palace and persuade the Persian Government to send back the Meerza's wife, the same evening, under charge of her brother, to her husband's bouse. To this I replied that, although tho behaviour of the Sadr

[1656-57. XXT1I.] I

in this matter deserved and would obtain from me no such concession, out of ray regard for Hyder Effendi himself, and my respect for the office which he held, I agreed to his request, and he left me to return to the Sadr. About 10 P.M. I received a note from him, saying that the Sadr could do nothing in the matter, as the Shah was on a visit to his mother, aud he asked for 24 hours' more delay; I received, also, about the same hour, a private note from M. Bouree urging me in the strongest terms to give a further delay of a few days. To these 2 notes I replied by expressing my regret that it was out of my power to agree to the suggestions contained in them, as the pretexts aud subterfuges to which the Persian Government had had recourse during the preceding 3 days, proved to me that they had no intention of acceding to my just and peremptnry demand for the liberation of the Meerza's wife.

I regret very much that it has been out of my power in this instance to adopt the views and counsel of my French colleague, but in this case I held the maintenance of the rights and honour of this Mission to be a consideration of higher importance than the inconveniences which might be consequent upon the temporary suspension of relations with the Persian Government, aud accordingly this morning I have struck my flag.

Although I feel fully assured of your Lordship's support and approbation upon the grounds heretofore set forth, yet in full justification of a measure so serious and so contrary to my own wishes and those of Her Majesty's Government, I am compelled to state additional grounds which I would gladly have withheld from the pages of an official correspondence. 1 refer to the language held by the Sadr Azim, both verbally and in writing, respecting myself and other members of this Mission. His Highness Oh two several occasions has said to two European gentlemen, both holding official situations at Tehran, that the reason why Mr. Thomson first took Meerza Hashem Khan into the Mission and retained hint under protection, was that he had an intrigue with the Meerza'a wife; he has also stated more lately the same thing of myself as my reason for continuing the protection and employment of the Meerza, and he has spread this report throughout the whole of tilt? Shah'a palace. Now, my Lord, as this calumny is as gross and groundless in both cases as if it had been directed against the character of the Sadr's own mother, I respectfully ask your Lordship whether such conduct on the part of the Sadr, the unjustifiable slander of a lady so nearly related to the Shah, and the attribution of such motives for my public conduct and that of Mr. Thomson, are not most offensive, reprehensible, and hypocritical actions, when proceeding From the Prime Minister, who penned the inclosure in my despatch of the 17th instant, in which he says that he never would dare to speak. much less to write, on matters so delicate as those in which the. Harem is concerned?

I have yec to add, that only yesterday the Sadr addressed to me a despatch most offensive and unbecoming, in which allusion, or rather insinuation, respecting the same subject occurs, and a threat is held out that if I strike my flag his Highness will be compelled to make certain disclosures, &c.

I appeal to your Lordship whether, under these calumnies, these persona] affronts to myself, and these insults to the Mission, above all, under the threat above alluded to, I should have been worthy to hold the charge intrusted to me if I had hesitated to strike a flag which had been so grossly and unjustifiably insulted?

The despatch in which the offensive passage above alluded to occurs, is not inclosed in this despatch, because the Prince and another messenger from the Court have been here this morning to inquire whether there are no means of accommodating this dispute and arranging it so that the flag may be rehoisted before the departure of the courier to-morrow. I have replied that after what has passed, the dispute admits of no arrangement, unless as preliminary steps the Meerza's wife be restored to her husband, and the Sadr Azim comes to the Mission in person to withdraw his yesterday's despatch and to make me an apology for writing it. On these, conditions I have agreed to rehoist the flag and not to forward to four Lordship a copy of the aforesaid despatch.

To-morrow I will not fail to send to your Lordship the latestaccounts of the progress of this affair.

Tie Earl of Clarendon. CH A. MLREAY.

So. 53.—Mr. Murray to the JSarl of Clarendon.{See. Jan. 1,185G.) ;Ertrmct.) Tehran, November 21, 1855.

I Haws the houour to inform your Lordship that yesterday, after I had finished my preceding despatch, M. Bouree dined and spent' the evening with me; before leaving, he entreated me to allow him to make a last effort to accommodate the pending dispute, so that mr flag might be rehoisted before the departure of the courier to-day it 12, and he asked me what terms I had proposed or could propose. I told him those mentioned in the conclusion of my despatch of •'Ke-rday to your Lordship. He said that the liberation of the" Mterza's wife was indeed a necessary preliminary measure, but that a* thought that the forcing the Sadr to oome here in person on such tiort notice, to withdraw and apologize for his offensive despatch) «M a humiliation somewhat hard to exact, and one to w hich the Persian Government could hardly be expected to submit; and tiled if I would not be satisGed if the Sadr Azinij in lieu of.coining, a person wrote to me officially this morning to retract and with-v draw his offensive despatch, and to apologize for having written it. I replied that I should not be satisfied, because in this city, when the British flag was lowered, the Sadr Azim coming in person with 50 attendants, to make reparation, would be a fact known to every one; whereas, his written despatch would be known to few, aud among Persians he would not scruple to deny having apologised at all.

M. Bouree entreated me to accept the written apology if it was sent. Thus appealed to, I could not refuse his request, and I promised him that if, before noon to-day, the Meerza's wife was restored to her husband, and I received a full written retractation of, aud apology for, the offensive despatch, I would not forward the latter to your Lordship, and I would resume diplomatic relations with the Persian Court.

2 P.M.—M. Bouree has just returned from a long interview with the Sadr, and has brought with him a letter of retractation and apology for the offensive despatch, which I might have accepted if the Meerza's wife had been restored to her husband, which I had insisted on as a preliminary measure. Instead of this M. Bouree was bearer of a proposal that the Government should place the lady in the house of her mother-in-law. To this I have replied that I can no more admit the transfer of the wife from one relative's house to another without her own consent, or that of her husband, than 1 can admit the right of the Persian Government to imprison her where she now is, aud that I renew my demand for her restoration to her husband in his own house as the sole basis of the resumption of negotiation. M. Bouree wished me to wait while he wrote again to the Sadr, to renew a demand on this last head. I told M. Bouree that I appreciated his well-intentioned endeavours, but as this very proposal of the Sadr's had already been made and refused twice, it proved to mo that it was a mere pretext to gain time, and that the courier must leave immediately. I would beg him simply to inform the Sadr that I had declined the proposal, and that therefore his attempt at mediation has failed.

The Earl of Clarendon. CH. A. MURRAY.

P.S.—Under the existing circumstances, it is my duty to forward to your Lordship the offensive despatch I have alluded to.

(Inclosure.)The Sadr Azim to Mr. Murray. (Translation.) November 19, 1855.

I Hate received your Excellency's letter of the 17th instant. I have been greatly surprised and puzzled to imagine why you have unjustly interfered in and pressed an affair of such delicacy and. danger that even I, the moment I perceived it had reference to the Royal harem, and had given great offence to His Majesty, immediately shunned, and avoided the matter completely. Par less, then, ought * person who represents a foreign Government and country to interfere on such a point. The question regarding Meerza Hashem Khan himself, 'which has been under discussion between us, has not yet been terminated; and the Persian Ministers have never admitted that he is a servant of the British Mission, nor will they ever admit such a thing. They still consider him as a refugee Persian officer who has taken sanctuary in the Mission, like Meerza Hassan, who is still within the precincts of the Mission, and whom your Excellency unjustly protects. How, then, can the right to protect the dependents of Meerza Hashem Khan be recognized? Moreover, no answer lias yet been received from you to my last letter of the 15th instant; and under these circumstances by what right and on what grounds has a new question been mooted, in which is involved the honour of His Majesty the Shah? All that was necessary in the ihape of explanation and just arguments was advanced by me with regard to Meerza Hashem Khan, and if you will examine them with the eyes of justice, they are not without reason.

If your Excellency, for certain reasons, has overlooked the first question, and persists in urging the second—which I have neither the power nor permission to argue or touch upon; nay, if as stated in roar letter under acknowledgment, you should endanger the friendship which has endured for so many years between Persia and England, I distinctly state to your Excellency that even this will be Car the Persian Ministers easier than, by agreeing to your unjust proceeding, to submit to the serious confusions which would arise, and »hieh would endanger the independence of Persia ; nay, even the security of all and sundry of its inhabitants.

In such an event, the Persian Ministers will have nothing for it bui to state what they have not yet considered it suitable to record u» an official note, that is, the true reason. They will then, being forced to the announcement, let the foreign community in this ?cuntry know, what they have not hitherto understood, the laws of tbe Mahomedan religion, and the chaste desires of the Persian people. Tbey will refer the case to the justice of the British Minictere, and hold your Excellency responsible for the consequences.

C. A. Murray, Etq. SADE AZIM.

PA The British Ministers, as was once intimated to us, are •iewoua that the Persian Government should adopt measures for tnsUing their subjects and dependents in accordance with the principle* of justice and equity, so that people should not be forced, l7vm injustice *nd oppression, to have recourse to the sanctuary of

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