Page images
PDF
EPUB

It is from a famous Persian book called the Gulistan or “ Rose Garden."

A wrestler had brought his art to such a degree of perfection that he knew three hundred and sixty different methods of attacking his adversaries, of which he employed a new one every day to overcome them. He had a particular esteem for one of his pupils, and taught him three hundred and fifty nine of those feats, abstaining, from private motives, from instructing him in the last. The young man soon became so expert in wrestling, that none dared to oppose him, and he had the boldness to say one day before the king, that his master had no longer any superiority over him, except that of age and experience, but that he was himself inferior to no one in strength. The king, incensed at this language, issued orders that they should oppose each other before him. An extensive ground was made ready for the occasion, and the principal persons of the kingdom came to witness the match. The pupil, like a furious elephant, darted into the area with such impetuosity, that he would have overturned a mountain of steel if it had been in his way. As to his master, as he knew the young man to be the stronger of the two, he thought it proper, in throwing him, to make use of the only trick of his art which he had reserved to himself. He seized him in such a manner that he could not disengage himself, and then, raising him up in his arms, threw him over his head to a great distance. On this, a great shout was raised by all the assembly. The king gave a dress of honour to the master, and sent away the pupil in disgrace, after severely rebuking him for his presumption and his ingratitude towards the man to whose instruction he was indebted for the skill he possessed. “My lord,' replied the young man,'my master has not gained this victory by his strength, but merely by means of this single trick which he always refused to teach me.' 'I reserved it for a day like this !' exclaimed the master."

Now that we have ended this talk about bazaars, I should be glad if among my many pictures, I had one of a Persian bazaar to shew you. But I can only find this (shewing it), which represents a Turkish one: and though a Turkish bazaar differs in some respects from one of Persia, the picture will serve well enough to give you some notion of the general appearance which eastern bazaars make. The flat roof, supported by pillars, makes the principal difference, the bazaars of Persia being vaulted.

[graphic][subsumed][merged small]

155

CHAPTER VIII.

FOOD AND MANNER OF EATING.

Uncle Oliver. This evening we will take into our consideration the important subject of the food which the Persians like, and the manner in which they eat it.

Henry. Do you call that an important subject, Sir ?

U. O. Yes, I do. That which is the chief want of our animal nature, and the chief care of the great body of the people in all countries, is a subject of real importance. The food which people use in foreign countries, the manner in which they prepare it, and their peculiar customs in eating, form a very valuable part of our knowledge of such people, from the light which it throws upon their condition and habits of life. It is useful also to compare what people find best for themselves in countries with different climates and productions.

Mr. Dillon. Do you mean to say, Mr. Oldcastle, that people in all countries find out what food is best for themselves?

« PreviousContinue »