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Full text of "Journeys In Persia And Kurdistan ( Vol.Ii)."

128                      JOURNEYS IN PERSIA           LETTER xxi

tribute fixed by the Arnin-es-Sultan, soldiers are sent,
who drive off their mares, herds of cattle, and flocks
to the extent of three, four, and five times the sum
demanded.

These few words contain the substance of statements
almost universally made. There is probably another side,
and they may be true in part only. The tribesmen of
Silakhor state that they had protested and appealed in
vain before they decided on resistance. Every Khan
with whom I have conversed has besought me to lay
his case before the " English Vakil" at Tihran.

This widely-diffused belief in England as the redresser
of wrongs is very touching, and very palatable to one's
national pride. All these people have heard of the way
in which the cultivators in India have been treated, of
"land settlements" and English "settlement officers,"
and they say, " England could make everything right
for us/' So she could, " an she would"! As the
governors pay large sums for offices from which they
are removable at the Shah's pleasure, and as the lower
officials all pay more or less heavily for their positions,
we may reasonably infer that all, from the highest to the
lowest, put on the screw, and squeeze all they can out of
the people, over and above the tribute fixed at Tihran.
Near views of Oriental despotisms are as disenchanting
as near views of "the noble savage," for they contain
within themselves the seeds of "all villainies," which
rarely, if ever, fail of fructification.

Mirza Karim Khan, the Governor of Burujird, called
a few days ago, a young harassed-looking man, with very
fine features, but a look of serious bad health. He
complained so much that the Agha asked his attendant,
a very juvenile Hakim, speaking a little scarcely in-
telligible French, if he would object to the Governor
taking something from the famous "leather box," and