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254 JOURNEYS IN PERSIA FAREWELL
School discipline is severe, and the rope and pulley and
bastinado are used as instruments of punishment.
A few young men in the cities, who are destined to
be mollahs, hakims, or lawyers, proceed to the Medressehs
or Colleges, where they acquire a thorough knowledge of
Arabic, do some desultory reading, and " hang on" to
their teachers, at whose feet they literally sit on all
occasions, and after a few years have been spent in rather
a profitless way they usually find employment.
Government employes, courtiers, the higher officers in
the army, diplomats, and sons of wealthy Khans receive
the rudiments of a liberal education in the College at
Tihran, where they frequently acquire a very creditable
knowledge of French.
The admirable schools established by the American
and English missionaries at TJrmi, Tihran, Tabriz, Hama-
dan, and Julfa affect only the Armenians and Syrians
and a few Jews and Zoroastrians. Outside of these there
is neither intellectual nor moral training, and even the
simplest duties of life, such as honesty, truthfulness, and
regard for contract, are never inculcated.
It may be supposed that in conformity with the Moslem
axiom, " not 'to open the eyes of a woman too wide," the
bulk of Persian women are not thought worthy of any
education at all. A few of the daughters of rich men
can read the Koran, but without comprehending it, and
can both read and recite poetry.
Throughout the country, law, that is the Urf or un-
written law, a mass of precedents and traditions orally
handed down and administered by secular judges—is not
held in any respect at all, and while the rich can over-
ride it by bribery, the poor regard it only as a commodity
which is bought and sold, and which they are too poor to
The other department of Persian law, the Shdhr,