THE PERSIAN PRINCES IN LONDON.
ALT110110H occasionally displaying a little of the art of a prac- tised craftsman, these volumes are a very delightful publication,— vivacious, characteristic, curious, and various. They exhibit Wotan nature under a new aspect, showing the effect which civi-
lization produces upon the initial of Oriental princes, when sud- denly brought in contact with its results and customs for the first time : and in this way, as it were a double mirror is held up, in which we can see reflected both ourselves and them. They strongly and strikingly display the Persian superadded to the Oriental character, and that with a fulness and closeness which
has never yet been done, and which circumstances may never
allow again. There is no sameness, for each of the three Princes is as distinct an idiosyncracy as if he had been purposely drawn by a dramatic poet. Nor is there any want of a deeper interest than can be imparted by exhibition of character and curious surprises, reaching to the height of a real and refined comedy. A sad, rising almost to a tragic interest, is frequently excited by their great reverse of fortune ; their strange hopes, founded on their ignorance of European usages ; their utter helplessness, springing from a similar cause ; their closet admission of the wisdom of adapting their feelings to their fortunes, yet the frequent triumph of regal nature over philosophical dictates; their melancholy musings upon their misfortunes whilst feted and flattered as royal lions by the fashionable world ; and what is more touching, the domestic affections of all, and the yearnings of the elder brother after his mother, wives, and children.
All this is for those who penetrate somewhat beyond the sur- face; but there is no lack of amusement for readers of the most trilling character. The iacidents are often as novel and various as those of a book of travels; the surprises very much more so; and as for the indirect sketches of English society, they are all amongst the great and "fashionable."
The circumstances which led these Princes to England, and indirectly to the publication of this narrative, spring out of, what is fashionable now-a-days, a political revolution. The late Shah of Persia was unrivalled in tie number of his wives and children ; having mostly from 800 to 1000 ladies maintained in his harem, shilst there were born to him about 150 daughters and from 120 to 150 sons. These multiplying in their turn, lsft at his death a clan of about five thousand descendants of the blood royal ; the males, by the practice of Persia, having a good title to the crown, if they could obtain possession of it. The real struggle, however, was between four competitors; but the grandson to whom the late King had bequeathed the throne, being supported by the acknow- ledgment ef Russia and the arms of England, he was easily enabled to defeat his opponents. Of these, the father of the pre- sent visiters was the most formidable; and having been taken prisoner, whilst his sons escaped after privations and equestrian exertions that would have subdued any one but a Persian, lie ad- vised them by letter to go to England and throw themselves upon the friendship of the British Monarch. The ostensible object of Ibis (to Persians) terrific pilgrimage, was to solicit the good offices of WILLIAM the Fourth for a restoration to the government of their father's province; and M. (Mr. Moetza?) then in London, was, we conjecture, deputed by the Foreign Office to dissipate this vision; after which, Mr. FRASER was requested to act as chaperon or cicerone to the self-invited princely guests of the English Mo- narch, till his Minister for Foreign Affairs could get rid of them. This Lord Patmastow contrived to do in about three months; sending them overland to Constantinople; whence, after many neglectful or insulting delays, they started for Bagdad, whither the present Shah of Persia had permitted their families to retire. . The subject matter of these volumes is a narrative of the incidents and characteristic displays that occurred during the Sojourn of these unhappy Princes in London, and their sub- sequent journey to Constantinople. The work is thrown into the form of letters, written diary-fashion as any thing occurred worth. noting. The topics which it chiefly handles are the behaviour of the Princes at the exhibitions of London, as well as at private parties, and the military spectacles, once or twice got up for their amusement ; with narratives of their alter- nate displays of deep feeling, boyish simplicity, and childish in- dulgen.ce of appetite. Of the kind of reading the book affords,
quotations will furnish the best notion ; but before proceeding to make them, it will be as well to indicate the ages and characters of the three royal fugitives. The eldest, designated by Mr.
FRASER as "the Prince," was about thirty-two years of age; with much delicacy of sentiment, dignity of feeling, and propriety of conduct, coupled with good sense, and a tender or almost morbid
sensitiveness as to his fallen state. The second son, called by his title Wali,tbough short, shy, and somewhat awkward in manners, With a harsh voice to add to his other obvious disadvantages,
possessed 'more talent and learning than either of the others,* with a much harder mind than his elder brother : he was in feet the diplomate and adviser of the party, and sound upon all matters save travelling by sea. T1MOUR MEERZA, the third brother, was about twenty-six; a good-looking, good-natured, gallant, reckless young man, half soldier and half hunter, whose supreme delight was in a gunsmith's shop.
As the number of interesting points are too numerous for us to attempt to indicate their character or to furnish specimens of each, it is useless to aim at any particular method in our selections. We may therefore as well begin with the beginning. The Wall, leaving his brothers at Bath, came alone to London, to feel the way ; so for some short time he went sightseeing by himself. The first place he was taken to was the annual assembly of the Charity Children in St. Paul's,
On our way to the Cathedral, his attention was exceedingly attracted by the beauty of the shops; but be %%as suffiring samewhat too much frotn 1r:wilder- 50en1 to be susceptiltle of unmingleil plcasute. Ile was much astonished at the immense size of the dray.liantes ; and nut a little so at the crowd of cstriages, and the prodigious bustle. What, indeed, can be conceived more stunning and confounding to an utter stranger, than a delve at this seasau from Broak Street down Regent Street, and along the Strand, Fleet Street, and Ludgate Hill, with such an assembly and spectacle at the termination of it? On entering the Cathedral, vsliere the Prince was most courteously received and assisted by the authorities and officers in waiting, ue were slio■var to the pew of the Lord Mayor anti Sheriffs, next to that which had been prepared for the Hatchets of Kent and the Princess Victoria. The sight wan mast magnifi- cent. The divisions of children in their various liveries rising in regular gra- dation, row above row, under the immense ilmne, and forming as at were a lining to its contour, resembled the calyx of some prodigious II iwer ; while the floor beneath, covered with a crowd of beautifully di essed people, looked like a richly vat iegated pavetnent to this great cup. In fact, the itutueme height of the dome was lost sight of in the spectacle that filled it.
The Prince was gratified with the scene ; but still more so when, on the commencement of the service, this prodigious concourse of little ones struck up at once the simple hot most beautiful notes of the Hundredth Psalm. He said little ; but it was obvious that he was deeply impres.eil with the wholesolenutity. As the service proceeded, and the music of the choir arose in all its harmony, echoed by the full chorus of children, his attention coutiroted powerfully arrested ; but during the reading of the Lessor; and Players, I P.M that it flagged. Ile had received a gracious acknowletIgnient front the Dutchess.of Kent and the Princess; the latter of whom, as the future Queen of this country,
he had expressed a strong desire to sec. 'f he full effect of the spectacle had been produced; and at the end of the Second Lesson, I thought it more prudent to withdtaw him, while the impression chutinued deep and favourable, than to fatigue him with the remainder of a service which he could not comprehend.
This impression, however, seems to have been more over- powering than surprising. The literal, the mechanical, or the sensual in the arts, causes the greatest pleasure to the uncivilized mind. Lo the effect of BARBEP.S. BLOCKS AND BALLETS.
Proceeding homewards, his eye was caught by some wax busts in a hair- dresset's window ; and this sight, which putridity was quite novel to
entirely threw him off his guard. Surprised out of that gravity and formal decorum which men of rank in Persia pique themselves 'dim in.4intining, he started for %raid from his seat, and, !minting towairls them, cxel limed with a loud voice, "Rea cite chtcze-ust ten dm checze-ust ?—Witat are these what are these?" I explained what they were ; and he kept on the alert all the way home, eagerly looking out for others, and always exclaiming as he saw then], Alta clacze-nst !—Wonderful things these !" I do think be was more tickled by these sante wax dolls than by all lie saw at St. Paul's. After dinner, having secured a box at the Opera, 1 took him to see Lahlache in the part of Marina Falieri, and Grind in that uf Ellena. Ile was much astonished and delighted, as you may well imagine, at the first coup d'mil of the house; and he confessed Ilitnaelt to be pleased with tire singing of Grisi, although tome gratified, I suspect, by her own appearanec ; but wheu Lablache came on the stage, and I pointed him out as one of our ffist-rete vocalists, and asked him what he thought of his performance, he replied, " Ala ! ee cheeze
neesl—ee poochnst.— ! he is nothing at all—he is not worth herring :" then pointing to Grisi, be continual, " Oon /shoot, ost—She is the good one."
The opera went on heavily enough with hini. Ile gut interested a little, it is true, in the scene where the Duke is brought before the Council and taken off to be executed. " What are they going to do with him?" said he, " Ah, poor wretch I don't let them kill him." And he was somewhat interested in the parting scene between the Duke and Ellena, although it was not easy to make hint comprehend the full gist of the drama. In fact, spite of an ice which was brought him to quench his thirst, and which he pronounced to be an sifsib eheee—a wonderful (that it, excellent) thing, it was no easy matter to iodate him to stay for the ballet, which was Benyousky ; anti which, being brilliant and showy, I was desirous he should see. But the dancing, when it came, Was a reward for all. 111y friend was perfectly ravished ; and at last, after gloating over the glittering crowd, he broke out, t‘ Well, I have been accustomed to Bee the Shah's dancing-w° nen awl all the harem let loose into the gardens in their richest dressee, so that I am used to a show of beauti- ful women ; and it is well for me that I aria so, for Wallah Billah! were any one not so trained to see such a sight as this, it would drive him mad."
But the Persians are not insensible to sweet sounds, or at least what habit induces theta to consider such. See the effect subse- quently produced upon the Prince, though as indifferent as the Wali to our music.
White sitting here, the bagpipes again struck up some pibrach; on wh!ch the Prince, pricking up his ears, with a start, exclaimed, "What is that? that is Persian music ! Wullah! that is any own country music. Hush ! let me listen." And he leaned his head on one side as one does to catch a delicious strain. In fact, to unaccustomed ears, the sounds were not unlike the clangour of the nokands khanch, or band that plays at stated intervals above the gates of Eastern princes; although an enthusiastic Highlander might not be altogether pleased with the comparison. As the pibrach continued, end the measure quickened, the Prince became quite agitated. "Ai-wohi, ai.wufii 1" said be, shaking his head slowly from side to side; "that is true trance; it brings my own country quite to my view. That is just the strain they play whet' we go to fight. Al•scahe, ai•wahi !" And his eyes, half filled with tears, were ac- tually dancing in his head. It was well that the music ceased before his agita- tion became quite ungovernable, as seemed likely soon to be the case.
EFFECTS OF A REVIEW.
Ores of the first acts of attention on the part of Sir G. 0. was to introduce them to Hrs. W. L., a lady of the world of fashion, who, on the anniversary of the battle of Waterloo, gave at her house near Grosvenor Gate an elegant di-
jeune, and who was kind enough to invite the Princes to view the grand review given on that day in Hyde Park, front that commanding situation. Nothing could have been more happily arranged. From the top of Mrs. W. L.'s house the whole field was viaible, and every evolution of the troops might be seen ; while, after the review was over, we had a brilliant show of the officers in their gay costumes, who came in succession to pay their compliments to the nume- rous assemblage of ladies who filled the rooms above.
There were, as I understood, nearly five thousand men of the Guards and Household Troops on the field; such men, in point of figure, dress, and appoint- ments, horses included, as probably Europe could not equal, certainly not sur- pass; and the rapid precision with which every movement and manceuvre was performed was admirably calculated to strike and astonish the Persians, who, though accustomed to military displays of a very different description, could yet appreciate the perfection Which they witnessed here. "What sungers!" (fortified stockades or bulwarks), said they, when the infantry formed their im- pregnable squares, and stood prepared to receive cavalry. "One would say that each stinger was a solid mass; not a foot nor an arm is out of place. See! it is a white line and a red line, with the steel glittering above. Ali, look ! they kneel, they fire—barihilluh, ! admirable!' As for Timour, he was quite unable to contain himself. He stood with flushed cheek, flashing eye, and outstretched neck, like a bird on the wing, fol- lowing every movement as if be would have precipitated himself down among the performers. " Ah, well done, well done!" exclaimed he, as the Horse Guards made a splendid charge: "these fellows will do the business. But what do they stop for?" continued he, looking blank, as the whole drew up at the proper place, quite forgetting that it was not a charge in earnest. " Ah ! look at these horses," said he again, as two or three horses, with empty saddles, ran aerials the plain in a very bush:cm-like style; "their riders have got shot now ! (gola khourdund.)" -But when the light cavalry took to skirmishing with the retreating artillery, and harassing them, scion lea without clos- ing, he lost all patience. "Ai na-merdha !—Ah, coward's!" exclaimed he; "why don't you charge at once like men? Charge ye—and the guns are taken !"
In a little while the whole body of thing artillery swept by at speed, a splendid sight. "What do you think of that ?" said some of the bystanders. 4, Ali, Piderish be suzund!" returned he with a shake of the head; "may their fathers be roasted ! we know too much of these concerns, to our cost. These were the things that Lindsay (Sir Henry Bethune Lindsay) had when lie met us near Komaishah; and when we were galloping up with our horse- men, and thought we were carrying every thing before us, he stopped short all at once and blew us to the devil."
The elder prince was more collected, and confined himself, for the most part, to moderate exclamations of praise; or, if questioned as to his opinion of the beauty of such or such an evolution, he would say, "it was perfection; could not be better." But when at length, after some heavy firing both of artillery and infantry, with a beautifully-sustained display of file-firing from the latter, the smoke blew away, disclosing one long and perfect line of troops, as steady as a rock, flanked by the terrible batteries thnt had just been thundering, he was quite surprised out of all his moderation; and, after a few most expressive ejacu- lations, he turned to rue and said, " Wullah! Saheb Fraser, the horsemen of Iran are the best in the world, as you know well ; but if there were a hundred thousand of them here on the spot, they could not touch that line—that line! what could touch it ?" The review was over, the show at an en!; yet still be stood gazing, till at length the movement of those around him woke him from a sort of trance, which no doubt had as much to do with the past as the present. He heaved a deep sigh, and said, as we passed on to descend, "What are a hun- dred balls or operas to this?"
They went in succession to those exhibitions which dipslay the literal or deceptive qualities of art, with some ail from n the higher and imaginative powers : the Colosseum first, then the Diorama, last the Waxwork ; and the last and lowest produced the greatest impression. Bat skipring these let us accompany them to a fish- dinner at Lovegrove's.
The dinner was perfect both in substance and style. Among the good things of the first course was turtle-soup, a delicacy of which they had heard before;
but having a prejudice against the animal—which they call cassiposa, or dish. covered, in allusion to its shell—the Wall, next whom I sat, would not begin upon hie portion until he should ascertain whether it were the offensive article or not. Timour had not been so cautious, and was already at work upon it with a relish that proved it was agreeable, when he became informed of the fact; on which he observed that it was not good, and gent it away. The elder Prince alone kept his plate without remark, except in answer to an inquiry of bow be liked it, when be declared it to be excellent. Lobsters were another of our deli- cacies which they could not bring themselves to taste; and when, on the first course of fish being put down, the Wall saw himself surrounded by turtle and lobsters, it was ludicrous enough to listen to his half-smothered ejaculations of disappointment. But the good things that succeeded made him ample amends for his first alarm, and the champagne with which he washed it down had its full effect in raising his spirits: indeed they all took wine so freely, that I was seriously alarmed for the consequences. I might have known Sheerauzees better : it was not men accustomed to the Kajers' drinking bouts in that country who were likely to be upset by a few glasses of champagne; they were seasoned vessels. It only made them more ready with their replies to the questions that were invariably poured upon them, and which it requires some ingenuity to frame fresh answers to every day. On being asked why they persisted in the abominable custom of locking up and veiling their women, the Wall, with a knowing look at me, replied, " Tell her we only veil those who are not worth looking at ; but who would ever think of veiling such fair creatures as we see here?" " Ah ! but in Persia you veil every one; and so would you do here if you could," "Arid if we did," replied he "the resplendence of their beauty, like the brightness of the sun, would ahine he, through all veils. We have a Persian proverb which says, there are two things which cannot be bid—tran- scendant beauty and true love. Tell her that," said he, giving me a push in the side, as much as to say that will surely please her.
We must pass on, leaving behind us many displays of humour, sentiment, feeling, and character, as well as some very pleasing sketches of foreign scenes and incidents of the road, both by land and water, and some troubles springing out of their servants, seduced by the European temptations which surrounded them. We will close with their feelings and condition whilst the guests of the Porte, and their farewell English dinner at the Ambassa- dor's. (bee.
The condition of the Princes themselves during this long and painful nego- tiation, WU truly deplorable. Unaccustomed to bear up against misfortune, they were weighed down by the idea that fate was utterly adverse to them, that they should never more see their families ; and they even conceived the existence of some plot to deliver them up to the Persian authorities, in order that they might be sent to the Shah. This, of course, I treated as a mere wild chimera, unworthy of a moment's entertainment ; but with regard to the inhumanity of the proceeding as it stood, I had no defence to make for that. " Ay," said the whom a word of his mouth now could make happy, and ahem he keeps bee, in misery, cursing his very name. He goes every night to his harem, and be his women to comfort him and tend upon him: he little thinks of those vaa pine to meet wives whom for two years they have not seen. For two yest,, Saheb Fraser, no woman has smoothed amy pillow, or shown me tender, and they, ah ! where are they? God knows whether they are vet alive! bow
they exist ! how they get bread to eat !" • • • a,
At this time their Royal Highnesses were subjected to another and to theta very serious inconvenience. The interpreter, Asset) Khayit, who, to his male be It spoken, had attended them alike as servant and companion, in comfort and distress, in weal and wo, with a patience and zeal which nothing could either weary or exceed, had been obliged by dgmestie events, after waiting six teeth in vain for their departure, to take his leave of them and return to his own home. This left them more than ever dependent on their remaining servants, During the distress attendant on the Prince's illness at Galata, where all the attendance possible was required, the man of whom I have made dishonoinable mention as a convicted thief, was perforce taken into favour and employment, and he had continued to attend upon them ever since. What new ground ot quarrel had arisen, I know not ; but en going to Yenikewy one day, the Prince informed me, with a sort of affected indifference, that Assad Oolla Khan bad from his own good pleasure tendered his resignation, and had accordingly left the place. I inquired whether any cause had been assigned for this unezpeeed desertion. " What cause could such a Kumbucht—such an ungrateful wret6 —have for leaving us when he knows we need him, but that he is a Ktanbuchi? He said to Timour Meerza there, that he knew very well we could never for. give him the faults he had been guilty of; that we only kept him on while we wanted his services, and would send him to the Devil when we should hive reached Baghdad : but he was resolved we should not play him this trick; art therefore he would leave us now, when lie might make his way home easily: so be is gone. And now, Saheb Fraser," continued he, his lip quivering with emotion, "we are, thanks be to God, alone ! Not a man have Ito send upos an errand if I were dying. Well, God is great! it has been otherwise with me. But there, you see the Wali has turned pipe-cleaner for me; not a soul have we to give us a caleoon ; for I would rather want it than to be always be holden to these ghorumsaugs of Turks, who seem as if they would spit in my face while they are serving me. Khaneh abadeh Wall, zehmut Keskeedeall- prosperity to you, Wall; you have my thanks. God knows I needed it,' added he, taking from the Wali's hand the caleoon, which he had actually cleaned and made ready for his brother with his own hands. Next day I fauna the Wall and Timour Meerza hard at work peeling walnuts, picking raisineoul preparing other ingredients for making a Persian stew of one or two of dui old friends the " ames damnees," which they bad plucked and cut up witk their own princely hands for the purpose: they had no one to do it for them.
THE MAN OF SENT13IENT AND THE MAN OF SENSE.
When the departure of their Royal Highnesses was supposed to be closed hand, and they were invited to dine at the Palace with a sort of leave.takiag party, the poor Prince bewailed himself grievously at the sight of all the him rice and comforts of European life, which they were about to quit for ever, " Alas!" said he, "this is the last of English dinners that I shall see. Henn. forth I must eat like a beast, with my fingers, or with one villanous wooden spoon among us three; and these (turning to Lady Ponsonby and the other ladies,) these are the last of such ladies I shall behold. Wo's me, wo's me! Tell her Ladyship that my very heart turns to water at thinking I shall new see her more." "Ala! " said the Wali, "Saheb Fraser, no more champagne: come, let us have one more glass now at least." Prince, "the Sultan eats, and drinks, ant makes merry : he thinks not of thow