Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

familiar conversations with the mo. him its perfection ; and, notwithstandnarch. He shewed a peculiar curio- ing he afterwards discovered how litsity about every thing connected with tle his first levies had learnt, yet still, the politics, manners, and national eco- in recollection of the pleasure which nomy of the European states. The their appearance had given him, he cleverest and most active member of ever after entertained a greater par. the royal family, however, was Abbas tiality for them than for his other Mirza, the Prince Royal, who had troops. made very uncommon efforts to in- “ The English mission which suc. troduce European discipline among ceeded the French, also supplied him his

troops, as the only means of ena- with officers, and his first wish was to bling them to contend effectually raise a corps of artillery, which was ageinst the Russians. “ His first es- done by Lieutenant Lindsay, an of. says in discipline were attended with ficer of the Madras army, in a man. little success, because he had, in the ner truly astonishing. The zeal of outset, to combat the prejudices of this officer was only to be equalled by the Persian recruits themselves, who the encouragement of the prince, who, rejected the idea of being assimilated putting himself above all prejudices, 10 any manner to Firengees, and par- resisting the jealousy of his officers, ticularly to Russians, whom their na. and the cabal of courtiers, liberally tional hatred made them despise, or adopted every method proposed, and perhaps their fear caused them to bate, supported Lieutenant Lindsay against more than all other Europeans. To every difficulty that was thrown in his efface such impressions, the prince way. He gave him full power to pusaid that he himself was obliged to nish his recruits in any manner he adopt a soldier's dress, and to submit chose, and gave him unlimited control to learn the military exercise from a over his troop. It was only upon the Russian ; that he commenced with article of shaving off beards that the twenty or thirty men at a time, whom prince was inexorable ; nor would the he caused to be drilled in a separate sacrifice of them have ever taken place court by themselves, in order that they if it had not happened that, on firing might not be exposed to the ridicule the guns before the prince, a powder of the populace; and that it was not horn exploded in the hand of a gununtil he had ordered his nobles to fol- ner, who by good luck had been giftlow his example, and handle a musket, ed with a long beard, which, in one that he found his scheme making any instant, was blown away from his chin. progress. So far he had succeeded in Lieutenant Lindsay, who did not lose teaching a few of his men the platoon this opportunity to prove his arguexercise, to march abreast, to turn ment on the encumbrance of beards to about at the word of command, and to soldiers, immediately produced the beat a drum ; but he wanted officers, scorched and mutilated gunner before and he very probably would have got the prince, who was so struck with no further, if the French embassy from his woful appearance, that the aboliBonaparte had not arrived in Persia tion of military beards was instantly at that time, when the officers at. decided upon. tached to it were put into commands “The serbaz or infantry were placed of large bodies, and they advanced under the command of Major Christie his views to the utmost

of his expec. of the Bombay army, an officer of the tations. What were but the rudi- greatest merit, who inspired his troops ments of military science appeared to with an esprit de corps, that manifested itself on many occasions." The Mr Brown to a remoter spot; and prince had made a considerable collec. some remains of his clothes, afterwards tion of English books, which he often found near the banks of the river, left and earnestly contemplated, though no doubt of his having been murderwithout being able to understand a ed. The embassy were seconded by word, or to find any one who could the government in the most strenuous translate them. He had also made ef. efforts to discover and punish the criforts to remedy the abuses of orien- minals; but though strong suspicion tal government. “ The first step,” fell upon certain individuals, it was said he, “ towards the establishment impossible to obtain such proof as of a good government, is to give pro- would obviate entirely the danger of tection to the peasant; and to that ef. punishing the innocent. fect I have abolished the custom of The mission, on its return to Engselling governments to the highest land, was accompanied by a Persian bidder, which is the common mode ambassador; and we shall conclude by throughout the rest of Persia. You a short notice of the impressions made would scarcely believe the difficulty I upon this stranger by this country; have had in doing this. As, for in. which are not ill calculated to illusstance, I give a man ten and twelve trate the train of oriental ideas. thousand tomauns a-year, and appoint “His first surprise on reaching Enghim the governor of

(we

will say) the land, was at the caravanserais, for so, district of Maragha. I define what though no contrast can be greater, he each peasant is to pay to the govern- called our hotels. We were lodged ment, and fix the sum of the annual in a gay apartment at Plymouth, rich. tribute which my officer is to levy, ly ornamented with looking-glasses, and beyond which he is ordered not which are so esteemed in Persia that to exact a dinar. Such is the Persian they are held to be fitting for royal character, that he would rather be apartments only; and our dinners were permitted to beat and tyrannise over served up with such quantities of plate, the Rayat, and get his salary in the and of glass ware, as brought forth rebest manner he was able, than to re- peated expressions of surprise every ceive the sure and regular stipend time he was told that they were the which I would give him, without the common appendages of our caravantrouble attendant on extortion and

pu

serais. The good folks of the inn, nishment. He is surrounded by sy- who, like most people in England, cophants, who taunt him and say, look upon it as a matter of course • What sort of a governor are you, who that nothing can be too hot for Asiacannot beat these animals of Rayats? tics, so loaded the ambassador's bed Nobody cares for you ; you are the with warm covering, that he had Mastofi's(the civil officer's governor."" scarcely been in bed an hour, before

During their stay at the Persian he was obliged to get out of it. court, the embassy heard of the death “ One of the public coaches was hiof Mr Brown, the celebrated tra- red to convey his servants to London; veller. After having passed the river and when four of them had got inside, Kizil Ozen, near the northern fron- having seated themselves cross-legged, tier of Persia, he was seized, along they would not allow that there could with his servants, by ten predatory be room for more, although the coach horsemen, who carried them into a was calculated to take six. They lonely valley. After a few hours, armed themselves from head to foot they released the servants, but carried with pistols, swords, and each a muse

ket in his land, as if they were about seen our King seated on a throne at a to make a journey in their own coun. distance, and that he could not have try; and thus encumbered, notwith. approached within many paces of standing every assurance that nothing him: his surprise then may be conceicould happen to them, they got into ved, when, on entering a small room, the coach. His excellency himself he was taken to a person whom he greatly enjoyed the novelty of a car. took to be a capijee or porter, and

riage, and was delighted at the speed was informed that this was the King Ćwith which we travelled, particularly of England.”

at night, when he perceived no dimi- At another extremity, or rather nution of it, although he was surprised vast appendage of Asia, the continent that all this was done without a guide. of New Holland, extraordinary efforts He who had witnessed the manner in were made to penetrate into the ima which our ambassador had been re- mense unknown tract, which consticeived in Persia, particularly the levee tutes its interior. In our last, we no. en masse of the inhabitants who were ticed Mr Evan's expedition, and his sent out to meet him at every place discovery of the river Lachlan. In where he stopt, was surprised to see

the course of the present year were the little notice that he himself in the received the accounts of a more exsame situation in England had attract. tended journey by Mr Oxley, to trace ed, and the total independence of all the further course of a river, from ranks of people

which important expectations were “ Although he found a fine house formed. As his official dispatch to and a splendid establishment ready to the governor gives a full view of the receive him in London, and although the general result, we shall here insert a fine collation was laid out upon the it. morning of his arrival, nothing could revive his spirit ; so much had he been “ Bathurst, 30th August, 1817. disappointed at the mode of his re- “ SIR,_I have the honour to acception.

quaint your Excellency with my arri“ He had forved his ideas of our val at this place last evening, with the court from what he recollected of his persons comprising the expedition to own, where the king's person is held the westward, which your Excellency 80 sacred, that few have the privilege was pleased to put under my diręca of approaching it. He had a private tion. audience at the Queen's house, and, “ Your Excellency is already infrom the manner in which he express- formed of my proceedings up to 30th ed himself after it was over, it appear. April. The limits of a letter will not ed that the respect which he had hi- permit me to enter at large into the therto felt towards our monarch was occurrences of nineteen weeks, and I diminished. There are many ceremo. shall have the honour of waiting on niies exactec! upon approaching the your Excellency in a few days. I Shah of Persia. Here the Persian en. trust you will have the goodness to tered at once into the suine room excuse the summary account I now where his Majesty was standing. He offer to your Excellency. made no inclination of the body, he “ I proceeded down the Lachlan, did not even take his shoes off ; and, in company with the boats, until the what is more, he put his credentials 12th May, the country rapidly deinto his Majesty's own hands. He scending until the waters of the river said, that he had expected to have rose to a level with it, and, dividing

and swamps.

into numerous branches, inundated pursue this course, not that the nature the country to the west and north-west, of the country, or its own appearance, and prevented any further progress in any manner indicated that it would in that direction, the river itself being become navigable, or was even permalost among marshes. Up to this point nent, but I was unwilling that the it had received no accession of waters smallest doubt should remain of any from either side, but, on the contrary, navigable waters falling westward inwas constantly dissipating in lagoons to the sea between the limits pointed

out in my instructions. “ The impossibility of proceeding “ I continued along the banks of further in conjunction with the boats the stream until the Sth July, it habeing evident, I determined, upon ving taken during this period a westermature deliberation, to haul them ly direction, and passing through a up, and, divesting ourselves of every perfectly level country, barren in the thing that could possibly be spared, extreme, and being evidently at pe. proceed with the horses, loaded with riods entirely under water. To this the additional provisions from the point it had been gradually diminishboats, on such a course towards the ing, and spreading its waters over coast as would intersect any stream stagnated lagoons and morasses, with. that might arise from the divided wa- out receiving any stream that we knew ters of the Lachlan.

of during the whole extent of its course. “ In pursuance of this plan, I quit. The banks were not more than three ted the river on the 17th May, taking feet high, and the marks of flood on a south-west course towards Cape the shrubs and bushes, shewed, that Northumberland, as the best one to at times it rose two or three feet answer my intended purpose. I will higher, causing the whole country to not here detail the difficulties and become a marsh, and altogether uninprivations we experienced in passing habitable. through a barren and desolate country “ Further progress westward, had without any water but such rain wa- it been possible, was now useless, as ter as was found remaining in holes there was neither hill nor rising ground and the crevices of rocks.

of any kind within the compass of our “ I continued this course until the view, which was only bounded by the 9th June, when, having lost two horizon in every quarter,-entirely de horses through fatigue and want, and void of timber, except a few diminuthe others being in a deplorable con- tive gums on the very edge of the dition, I changed our course to north, stream might be so termed. along a range of lofty hills running in “ The water in the bed of the lathat direction, as they afforded the goon, as it might now properly be de. only means of procuring water, until nominated, was stagnant, its breadth we should fall in with some running about 20 feet, and the heads of grass stream.

growing in it shewed it to be about “ On this course I continued until three feet deep. the 230 June, when we again fell in “ This originally unlooked for and with a stream, which we had at first truly singular state of a river, which some difficulty to recognize as the we had anxiously hoped, and reasonLachlan, it being little larger than one ably expected, would have led to a far of the marshes of it where it was quit. different conclusion, filled us with the ted on the 17th May.

most painful sensations. We were full “ I did not hesitate a moment to 300 miles west of Sydney, and nearly in its latitude ; and it had taken us ten “ In the space passed over within weeks of unremitted exertion to pro- that period, the river had divided into ceed so far. The nearest part of the various branches, and formed three coast about Cape Bernouilli, had it fine lakes, which, with one near the been accessible, was distant about 150 termination of our journey westward, miles. We had demonstrated, beyond were the only considerable pieces of the shadow of a doubt, that no river water we had yet seen ; and I now eswhatever could fall into the sea be- timated, that the river, from the place tween Cape Otway and Spencer's where first made by Mr Evans, had Gulf

, at least none deriving their wa- run a course, taking all its windings, ters from the eastern coast ; and that of upwards of 1200 miles, a length of the country south of the parallel of course altogether unprecedented, when 34°, and west of the meridian of 147° the single nature of the river is con30 E. was uninhabitable, and useless sidered, and that its original is its for all the purposes of civilized man. only supply of water during that dis

" It now became my duty to make tance. our remaining resources as extensive- “ Crossing at this point, it was my ly useful to the colony as our circum- intention to take a north-east course stances would allow. These were much to intersect the country, and, if posdiminished. An accident to one of sible, ascertain what had become of the boats, in the outset of the expedi- the Macquarrie River, wbich it was tion, had deprived us of one-third of clear had never joined the Lachlao. our dry provisions, of which we had This course led us through a country originally but 18 weeks ; and we had to the full as bad as any we had yet been, in consequence, for some time on seen, and equally devoid of water,— a reduced ration of two quarts of flour the want of which again much distressper man per week. To return to the ed us. On the 7th August, the scene depot by the route we had come, began to change, and the country to would have been as useless as impos- assume a very different aspect; we sible ; and, seriously considering the were now quitting the neighbourhood spirit of your Excellency's instruc- of the Lachlan, and had passed to the tions, I determined, upon the most ma- N. E. of the high range of hills which ture deliberation, to take such a route, on this parallel bounds the low counon our return, as would, I hoped, best try to the north of the river. To the comport with your Excellency's views, NW. and N. the country was high had our present situation even been and open, with good forest-land; and contemplated.

on the 10th we had the satisfaction " Returning to the Lachlan, I re- to fall in with the first stream running commenced the survey of it from the northerly. This renewed our hopes point in which it was made, 230 June, of soon falling in with the Macquarrie, intending to continue up its banks and we continued upon the same until its connexion with the marshes, course, occasionally inclining to the where we quitted it on the 17th May, eastward, until the 10th, passing was satisfactorily established; as also through a fine luxuriant country, well to ascertain if any streams might have watered, crossing in that space of time escaped our research. The connex- nine streams, having a northerly course ion with all the points of the survey through rich valleys, the country in previously ascertained, was completed every direction being moderately high between the 19th July and 38 Au. and open, and generally as fine as can gust.

be imagined. No doubt remained on VOL. XI. PART I.

« AnteriorContinuar »