Page images

for a week together. The Persians generally go to the bath once a week, and then of course undress; but, after having bathed, they often put on again the same linen that they took off. A person of consideration makes nothing of wearing the same shirt for a month, and the same pair of drawers for half a year; and as for the poor, they hardly ever change either, putting them on new, and only leaving them off when they are worn out. In this, and some other respects, the Persians are certainly less cleanly than we are ; but we will forbear to call them a filthy people, until we see whether there are not some points in which they are more cleanly than ourselves. If so, we may set their greater cleanliness in some respects against our greater cleanliness in others, and thus make the balance between us more equal than it seems at present.

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][merged small]




Uncle Oliver. I always used to think, that to know a people well, we should go to their markets, and observe the people who buy and sell, and the things that are bought and sold. This is true every where, even in England; and when I was younger, I used to like to go, on Saturday evenings, into the markets and streets where common shops abound, to observe the proceedings of the people in the disposal of their weekly earnings. But the knowledge we may gain in this way in England, is not comparable to that which we obtain in the bazaars of the East.

Henry. Bazaars ?

U. O. Bazaars are the markets of the East, and form almost the only part of the town where there seems any thing like activity and life. After traversing streets, such streets as I formerly described to you, — in which there are so few people, that you may suppose the town has been nearly forsaken by its inhabitants, you come to the bazaar, and find it swarming with people; for almost every person has occasion to go there at some time of the day or other, either to buy, to sell, to lounge about, to hear the news, to talk with the shop-keepers, or to see friends. I almost despair of giving you a good notion of a Persian bazaar, for there is nothing in England to which I can compare it.

H. Not to our markets?

U. O. No: for our markets only show part of that which is seen in the bazaars of Persia. We there see, all in one place, the doings and dealings which are only seen dispersedly in our own towns; and then all that we do see is managed and conducted in a way quite different from ours.

Frank. But are these bazaars built like our markets?

0, U. There is very little resemblance: when a person views a Persian town from a distance, he observes the tops of some low domes, stretching along in one or more lines, like so many mole-hills. If he is a stranger, he will be puzzled to know what to think of them ; but if he knows the country, he will be aware that these

« PreviousContinue »