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Kay's Originals Vol. 2


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 307 Blackwall, where the Circassian was conducted into a private room, whilst some necessav arrangements were made ; and about ten o’clock the travellers, attended by the three English gentlemen, went on board a boat provided for the occasion, and suitably fitted up for privacy and comfort, by Mr. Barber, of the house of Messrs. Mathias, P. Lucas, and Co., the lightermen to his Excellency, The distressing situation of the Circassian on taking leave of the Ambassador, and the native sensibility of the males on taking leave of their old friends and relatives, unavoidably delayed the arrival of the party at the waterside considerably beyond the time agreed upon, which occasioned a loss of the 6rst hour‘s ebb tide ; and although this detention added considerably to the labours of the boatmen, who were all chosen men in the employ of Messrs. Lucas and Co.l(their foreman acting as captain of the boat’s crew), and whose occupations did not generally lead them to this sort of duty ; yet with such alacrity did they proceed, stimulated, no doubt, by the honour of conveying a female of such distinguished notoriety, that they reached the vessel in Gravesend Roads about three o’clock, where they were received on board with every mark of attention by Captain Milh and his ship’s crew.” A vast crowd had assembled at Gravesend, in the hope of obtaining a sight of the ‘‘ Fair Circassian ;” and although orders had been issued by Government to the various officers of customs, not to interfere with the luggage of the party, every official contrivance was resorted to by some of them in order to obtain a glimpse of the stranger. “ Such was the anxiety of the Ambassador respecting his Dill Awm,” continues the account from wpich we have quoted so largely, “that although he had given ample directions that everything possible should be provided for her private use, beyond the supplies of the ship, and which he could not doubt would be strictly attended to ; yet after she had proceeded on her way to the ship, he despatched the Persian medical student, Mirza Jiafer Tabeeb, to attend her on board, that nothing might be wanted as far as his professional knowledge could suggest, that could in a remote degree contribute to her comfort and the preservation of her health. “On her passage to the ship, she was attired in English costume, wearing a black velvet pelisse, and buff sandals, with an Anglo-Cashmere shawl placed over her head, which nearly covered her figure ; and on leaving the Ambassador’s house it veiled her face, with the exception of her beautiful jet eyes, which lost none of their lustre, although she was evidently labouring under a depression of spirits, bordering on dejection, but from which she appeared to have considerably recovered in the course of the day. “When she arrives at Constantinople she will have to perform a tedious journey of about fifteen hundred miles overland to Tehran, the present capital of Persia, where the principal residence of the Ambassador is situated. The mode of conveyance from Constantinople, for females of her rank, is in a TmMr awm, which, in the Persian language, signifies a moving throne or seat. It may be compared to an English sedan chair, only considerably more spacious ; two poles are similarly fastened to each side, which project fore and aft ; but instead of being supported by men, two mules are substituted, one in front, and the other on the principle of a propelling power, and a strap or cord being fastened behind from one pole to the other, which rests on a kind of saddle placed on the back of the mule, the T t ~ hatw~an is supported by the mules at a proper distance from the ground, to preserve a due equilibrium ; and in this way they travel at an easy rate in perfect safety through a dangerous tract of countrg.” After the departure of his Dill Awm, the Ambassador remained in England about a month, a portion of which he spent at Cheltenham for his health. In the prosecution of his design of visiting Scotland and Ireland, his Excellency arrived at Dumbreck’a Hotel, Edinburgh, on Saturday the 30th of October, and shortly afterwards took up his residence at the Royal HoteL He was waited upon by the Lord Provost (Manderston), and about three o’clock, accompanied by his lordship, Bailie Manners, and an interpreter. The Ambassador proceeded in his carriage to the Parliament House, and viewed with much interest the Courts of law, the Library of the Faculty of Advocates, and the
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308 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. Signet Hall. He then drove to the’palace of Holyrood House; and after being conducted through the public apartments, returned to the hotel. Next day (Sabbath) during the interval of public service, escorted by the Lord Provost, several of the Magistrates, and Sir Thomas Bradford, K.B., and his Staff, his Excellency visited the Castle, went into the Crown-Room, and saw the Regalia of Scotland. He inspected, different parts of the garrison, and appeared to be much pleased with the martial appearance of a small body of Highlanders then stationed in the Castle. In the course of the afternoon he repaired to Leith, viewed the new docks, pier, etc. Being slightly indisposed on Monday, his Excellency remained in the hotel ; but, on the following day, he visited the Register House, Heriot’s Hospital, and rode through several of the streets on horseback, attended by an officer of the Staff, and another gentleman. The same evening, after dining with the Lord Provost and a select party, he went to the Pantheon, accompanied by the then Lord Advocate (Sir William Rae, Bart.), the late Sir John Sinclair, and other gentlemen. The house was filled to overflowing with the rank and fashion of the city, and he was received with every mark of respect. On Wednesday the Ambassador was waited upon by the Earl of Glasgow, Sir William Elliot, and various persons of distinction, His Excellency afterwards proceeded to the Calton Hill, the hazy weather the day previous having induced him to postpone his visit. With the promenade round the hill, and the wide expanse of prospect afforded at every point, the Ambassador was highly gratified, and frequently stopping short to admire the scene before him, gave vent to his feelings of admiration by repeatedly exclaiming-“ grand,” “ very grand,” “the finest city in Europe,” etc. No prominent object escaped him ; and his minute inquiries sufficiently indicated the deep interest taken in what he witnessed. Requesting to be informed the meaning of the round tower erected on the grave of Hume, he expressed peculiar satisfaction on learning that the memorial marked where the ashes of the Historian of England were deposited. From the Calton Hill his Excellency rode down to Leith; and proceeding westward, by the Fort, returned to the hotel. On Thursday morning his Excellency departed for Hamilton Palace, on a visit to the Duke. On his way he breakfasted with the Earl of Morton at Dalmahoy. During his short stay in Edinburgh the attention he experienced from the public authorities, and others who attended him in his perambulations, called forth the most lively expressions of satisfaction. In the Print by Kay, the Mirza is represented in his riding-dress. When here, he might be in his forty-fourth or forty-fifth year. His manners were dignified, and courteous in his intercourse with the authorities and other gentlemen ; but his demeanour in the hotel did not accord so well with the refinement and amiableness of feeling attributed to him in the reminiscences of Lord Radstock and the other writer. Several females of respectability were insulted by him ;’ and it was necessary His Excellency entertained the idea that, on meeting, it was the custom here for gentlemen to One He salute the fair sex. moruing, when coming clown stairs, the youngest of them was encountered by the Amhassador. Two ladieu on a visit from London resided in the same hotel with him.
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