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148                     JOURNEYS IN PERSIA          LETTER xxm


HAMADAN, Sept. 12.

I CAME for four days, and have been here nearly three
weeks, which I would willingly prolong into as many
months if the winter were not impending. Illness,
the non-arrival of luggage containing winter clothing
from Tihran, and the exceeding difficulty of finding a
charvadar willing to go to Urrni by the route I wish to
take, have all detained me. For some time I was unable
to leave the house, and indeed have been out very little,
and not outside the city at all.

I am disappointed both with Hamadan and its autumn
climate. It stands at an elevation of 6156 feet
[Schindler], and on the final slope of the Kuh-i-Hamadan,
an offshoot of Mount Elwend, overlooking a plain about
fifteen miles long by nine broad, populous and cultivated,
bounded on the other side by low gravelly hills. At
this altitude, and with autumn fairly begun, coolness
might be expected, but the heat, which a fortnight ago
seemed moderating, has returned in fury, with that
peculiar faintness about it- which only autumn gives.
Mount Elwend attracts masses of clouds, and these tend
to hang over the town and increase the stagnation of the
air,, about which there is a remarkable closeness, even in
this high situation overlooking the plain. Intermittent
fever and diphtheria are prevailing both in the city and
the adjacent villages. Not only is the air close and still,