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torted members, are always accompanied with loathing. Thus it is, too, in description. Scenes which human nature would shrink from beholding, should not be obtruded on the imagination. Mind is the proper object of sympathy with mind. True, bodily anguish may occasionally be thrown in to heighten the effect, and deepen the colouring, of the picture of mental agony, but it must never be suffered to become the chief object in the group. Least of all, can we tolerate a picture, in which the mere horrors of corporeal suffering engross the whole powers of the artist's pencil. We are not quite sure, that in these remarks we have expressed ourselves very clearly, but we trust to our author's intelligence to seize the precise extent and bearing of our objections, and to his candour to give them such weight as they may appear to merit.
Passing over, therefore, this portion of the story, we come to a long episode, which is somewhat clumsily introduced, in the story of a young merchant, with whom Ismael becomes acquainted in the course of his adventures in Mushed. By this digression we think an unpleasant break is occasioned in the continuity of the story, though considered as an isolated story it is altogether unexceptionable. The merchant is a great traveller, and carries us through many lands, giving pleasant sketches of the manners of the different nations, among whom his erratic calling had made him a sojourner. We then return to the adventures of Ismael, in whose society we continue to travel on, both plea santly and profitably, till the end of the work. Nader goes on from conquest to conquest; Sultan Mahmoud is vanquished and slain; and the glory of the feeble Shah is completely over shadowed by that of his victorious commander. All this portion of the Iarrative is full of descriptions of nartial exploits, which are executed by a masterly hand. Whether the auther belongs to the military profession weknow not, but his knowledge, not onl of the general character of Eastern warfare, but of all minute circumstances connected with its tactic andstrategy, is evidently very extensive His military sketches are complet in all their particulars, and he neve falls into the error of fighting mert European battles on Persian
ground. In matters of this sort he is a complete Bourgognoni, vivid, vigorous, and spirit-stirring, in all his delineations of broil and battle. Our readers shall not take all this praise upon trust. Let them read the fol lowing extract, and charge us with exaggeration if they dare:
"It was a gallant and spirit-stirring sight to see them bearing down upon us, more than thirty thousand strong, all admirably armed and equipped. Hundreds of the small flags of companies, so much in use among the Affghauns, waved over their heads; and the points of their spears, and their drawn swords, gleamed with a flick ering above the dark and compact masses. Two of these bodies were entirely composed of cavalry, while that which occupied the centre consisted both of cavalry and infantry, accompanied by the greater part and in good order to the brink of the riof their artillery. They moved on gently
ver's bed below them: it was an object with their leaders, no doubt, to pass this obstacle without the confusion which might attend a more rapid course. But scarcely had they formed upon the nearer bank, than uttering a fearful yell, the greater part of their cavalry dashed forward at full speed to the charge.
"The space between the water-course and our position might be something less than half a mile, but we were quite pre
pared for this onset; the word was rapidly passed along to keep steady till the signal should be given, and then to pour upon the advancing enemy the full discharge of our matchlocks and arrows. On they came;
the thunder of their innumerable hoofs increasing every moment till it shook the very earth; their spears in rest and their naked scymetars gleaming over their heads, filling the air with their war-cries. It was a moment of breathless suspense; not a sound was to be heard throughout our host until the foremost of the Affghauns had reached within eighty yards. Human nature could have endured no longer, when the report of three cannon parting in quick succession rose above the uproar. Instantly they were answered by a volley from forty or fifty other pieces, and by the quick dropping fire of muskets, which soon in
creased to a continued roar. The whole
line was enveloped in smoke, which for a few moments hid the enemy from our view; but when the light breeze of morning wafted it in part away, a striking change was seen in their condition. From the close order of the enemy, who had charged in a dense body, every shot we fired must have taken effect, and the front ranks were therefore almost totally destroyed: the plain was now strewed with men and horses, and those behind, who were spur.
ring up at full speed, increased the confusion by stumbling over the bodies of their fallen friends. The deadly fire of matchlocks and of arrows still continued ; and ever and anon the cannon scattered havoc among the amazed Affghauns, who, confounded at a resistance so determined, wavered, 'drew up, and then turned and fled beyond reach of our shot.
"A strong body of cavalry from each wing was immediately dispatched to take advantage of their disorder, and for a while the fugitives were slaughtered almost unresistingly; but as they fell back upon their reserve, and our firé ceased, they recovered somewhat from their panic, and drawing off on either hand, left our horsemen exposed to a heavy fire from the cannon and musketry of their centre divi sion. This checked us in our turn; but instead of forming and making an orderly retreat, as they should have done, our men, flushed with success, thought only of carrying all before them of galloping on, and cutting down the topechees of the Affghauns at their guns. This unlucky mistake was observed simultaneously by Nader and the enemy: the latter de tached a farther force of horsemen to complete the confusion which their fire was fast effecting among our men, while his Highness pushed forward a strong body of cavalry, including the remainder of his own guards, to support and bring them off; and moved on himself in good order, with the matchlockmen and infantry, to act as circumstances should determine.
"The engagement now became general and furious: what the Affghauns lacked in discipline, they possessed in personal strength and courage. They charged the most compact bodies of our cavalry in parties of ten or twenty, and often broke them with great loss, by dint of determi ned bravery; and though their desultory devotion generally proved fatal to them in the end, it was not without a serious expense of lives to ourselves. So bloody was the struggle, that even the portion of his Highness's guards which had accompanied the first detachment in pursuit, thinned by discharges of cannon in front, and furiously assailed on either flank by the heavy battle-axes and long spears of the horsemen, began to fall into confusion and give back. I had hastily collected a small number of men to rally another corps of cavalry, which was shrinking under its heavy loss, when, casting my eyes towards my own companions, I saw them strug gling with a fresh and powerful troop of Cadanharaes, who were led by some of the Sultaun's gholaums. The crisis was urgent in the extreme calling out to my followers, and shouting aloud the wellknown cry of the Shurtee Naderee!' we charged the new assailants, who, thinking VOL. XXIV.
that a fresh reinforcement had come up, were checked in their career.
"At this moment, I observed Caleb Allee Beg, who was actively cheering on his men, hurled with great violence from his horse to the earth. A cannon-shot had struck him on the shoulder, and carried off his arm, with half the muscles of his side. I flew to him as he lay gasping on the ground, when, gazing wildly at me for a moment, he recognised me, and said with a ghastly smile, Ah, my friend, you will not laugh at me now! But go-you are required; take my place and do your duty; mine is over! There was, truly, no time for delay; consigning him to the care of two trusty men, I flew to the front, where the ground was still hotly contested, though the superiority of the enemy became every moment more decided. My presence and my voice, calling on them to remember who they were, exhorting them to fight for Nader, who was even now at hand with assistance, restored their sink. ing spirits; and by a strenuous effort, we once more gained ground upon our adversaries, and placed them between us and their own cannon. The junction of a party of our comrades, who succeeded in cutting their way through to where we stood, enabled us to support the struggle with better advantage; but by this time I discovered that the body of the guards, of which I was now the leader, had been completely separated from the rest of the army in the fluctuations of the fight, and was opposed, unassisted, to a large force of cavalry, with the infantry and artillery still threatening in front. There was nothing for it but to fight while we could; so, shouting out once more to those around me, that Nader was driving them before him on our left, and that we must open ourselves a path to join him, I called on them to close their ranks, and charge in that direc tion.
"The name of Nader, echoed from hun dreds of tongues in reply, startled the enemy, and aided the force of our charge. Their horsemen were borne down and fled before it, and we found ourselves fast clo sing with the line of artillery and musketeers. But from them we did not meet the reception I expected;-they seemed to have their attention divided. 6 Charge them also,' cried I; charge them, in the name of God, and they are ours!' The spirits of my companions were elevated by the suc cess of our first effort, and the effect of this order was electrifying; scarcely was there time for the guns to be fired, when the gunners were cut and trampled down, and their infantry were flying in all directions. At this moment an unlucky shot struck our banner-man, and the colours, as they fell, were seized upon by one among the enemy more bold than the rest; fortu
nately I saw the accident, and, clapping stirrups to my horse's side, reached and cut down the Affghaun, whose sacrilegious hand had dared to touch the sacred ensign, catching it in my left hand, so that it never touched the ground. Barning with enthusiasm, I cleared a path to the right and left with the sweep of my scymetar. Onward! onward!' cried I; who will abandon his colours ?—who fears to follow his leader?' and, gallantly followed by the whole of my remaining band, I plunged into the thickest of the enemy.
"But though surprised and confounded, the Affghauns by no means gave way to their first panic. They turned upon us, and hemmed in our greatly diminished troop on all sides, depriving us of the power to charge them, as, with their long sharp swords, they rushed upon our horses, and dealt them ghastly and disabling wounds, while their riders were engaged with other assailants. And now did I suffer a loss which cost me a keener pang than many a graver misfortune in life ;my faithful Boorrauk had been severely wounded during our first successful charge, by a spear which broke in his chest: yet still he bore me gallantly through the fight, and trampled down many a one who at tempted to assail his master. But the sword of an Affghaun reached his side at last, and inflicted another fearful wound. I saw the deed and revenged it dearly; for, with a blow of my sword, I clove the vil lain from shoulder to chest; but my un fortunate horse, staggering forward a pace or two, sank on his knees with a convulsive shudder; and scarcely had I time to disengage myself, when he fell on his side, and giving me one look with his bright in. telligent eye, stretched out his quivering limbs, and breathed his last. Had my dearest friend been murdered at my feet, the pang I felt could not have been more keen, nor my indignation greater, than that which I experienced at the loss of this most faithful and invaluable companion of my toils.
"The colours were still safe, and, entrenched behind my slaughtered horse, I kept all assailants at bay; but how long we could have held out against the odds opposed to us, I cannot say, for the unequal struggle was brought to a sudden close. Loud cries were heard on the left; and even through the infernal din which surrounded us, I could distinguish the loud and terrible voice of Nader shouting out his orders, and encouraging his men. All now was over; the shout was returned by every one of us that remained alive; the enemy, assailed in rear, broke, and melted from before us like snow in the April sun; and we, who but a moment before had been gasping and struggling for our lives, were left undisputed possessors of the ground, now covered with the flying foc.
"Too much exhausted to pursue them, we were resting, panting on our arms, when his Highness, accompanied by a strong party of gholaums, rode up to us at speed. Checking his horse, he threw a single keen glance at us, and then gave rapid orders to several of his attendants to go and stop the pursuit, which had already led some of the troops too far. place of encampment for this night is yonder, on the ground deserted by the enemy;
go! Let the several corps be mustered. there, and let me have immediate returns of our loss in killed and wounded; leave only Muhabut Allee and half-a-dozen gholaums with me-I shall find guards enough here, and trusty ones too. What news?-how fares it, Ismael? No chil dren's play this-you have found enough to do, it seems?-these fellows have fought like devils as they are.-Come, muster the men now; you must be my guard to camp. But how is this? on foot ? Your Highness sees my horse,' replied I, pointing to poor Boorrauk. What! my old acquaintance ?-your friend of the Desert? This is in truth a loss; but we must try to re pair it; meantime, some of you give him a horse.' Your Highness has sustained a greater loss-Caleb Allee Beg.'-' Punahbe-khodah! killed ?' demanded Nader, in a voice of great emotion. Struck by a cannon-shot, while bravely leading your Highness's guards; he cannot survive, if not already dead.' Where is he? let me once more see my old and faithful servant,' said Nader, stifling a groan; and motioned immediately to lead the way. The spot where I had left Caleb Alee was not far in our rear, for every inch of ground had been hotly contested, and we had advanced but little. We found him attended but by one aged soldier, for many years under his command, who bent over his mangled officer with a look of fixed sorrow, while his tears, mingling with the blood that trickled from a large wound in his head, dropped heavily on the breast of the dying man. A party of Affghauns, who swept this part of the plain after we had quitted it, had cut down the other attendant, and wounded this old man; but when they observed his white beard, and saw how he was occupied, the blow was not repeated ;-they left hin to himself, and, wounded as he was, he had propped up the body of the unfortunate Caleb Allee, supporting his head in his lap, and, covering his ghastly wounds with his garments, thus awaited the painful struggle of expiring nature."
We now approach the conclusion of the story, which may be briefly told. Ismael fights like a tiger, and is raised by Nader to the dignity of a Khan. He encounters his old friend Selim, and through his means is restored to, the young and beautiful Shireen, who
is suffering all manner of affliction. Her story is given at full length. Many misfortunes had befallen her since they parted; but through all the vicissitudes of her fate, she had remained true to the man by whom her virgin heart had been subdued. There is some pathos in the meeting with Shireen, but more in that with Selim. Selim is a prisoner, and condemned by Nader to death. Ismael exerts all his influence to procure his pardon, but in vain. Stung to madness by this, he determines to share the fate of his friend-beards Nader to his face, and bares his neck to the executioner. The heart of the great chieftain, albeit unused to the melting mood, softens at the sight of so much disin terested friendship. Selim is pardon ed, and Ismael made happy by the hand of his first love.
Such is the termination of the third volume, but we rejoice to say, that should his first attempt be successful of which we entertain no doubt the author intimates his intention of continuing his labours, and presenting us with a continuation of the life of the Kuzzilbash. In this we trust he will not disappoint us. We trust he will go on as he has begun, and introduce us to the hearths and homes of Khorasan; picturing, with the skill of which he has already given abundant specimens, all interesting particulars of the habits, modes of thought, and domestic life, of the various tribes which own the dominion of the Shah.
Of the characters delineated in these volumes, we have said little; yet not because little deserved to be said. In truth, many of them are excellent. Nader, Ibrahim, Omer Khan, Foujce Allee, and several others whose names we cannot at this moment recall,
though their lineaments are imprinted on our memory, are drawn with skill, vigour, and effect. The besetting danger into which the author of a work like the present is most apt to be be trayed, is that of representing his characters as influenced by motives altogether alien to the whole habits of their mind. Orientals drawn by an European are always likely to have an unnatural tinge of Europeanism in their modes of thought and action. The poles are not more opposite thau a Hindoo or Persian is, in the whole cast and structure of his mind, to an Englishman. They acknowledge no common principles of right and wrong. Their motives, their tone of sentiment, and consequently their actions, are altogether at variance, and must be judged of by a different standard. In work of Eastern fiction, a writer cannot look into his own heart, to learn what feelings any given circumstances would excite in those whom he delineates. If he does, he will draw Europeans, not Asiatics.
In this respect, however, the vigilance of the author has been uncea sing; and though in one or two instances we think he has not been eminently successful in avoiding the error we have mentioned, we do not hesitate to assert that his failures have both been fewer and more venial than those which are abundantly discernible both in Anastasius and Hajji Baba. We now bid farewell to the Kuzzilbash, a book we have read with greater interest than any which has recently issued from the press. We anticipate for it a wide popularity; but should we be deceived in this, we shall not hesitate to attribute our error rather to the obtuseness of the public, than to any want of merit in the work itself.
THE USURY LAWS.
THE Conviction is very generally entertained, and loudly uttered, that the House of Commons-speaking of it as it is for the time composed in respect of persons-has, in so far as knowledge and wisdom are concerned, greatly lost the confidence of the country. Never did any House of Com mons exist, since this generation came into being, which was so much ridi. culed on the score of ignorance and imbecility, and so much feared on that of pernicious principle and measure, as the present one. The conduct which this House has displayed touching the projected change of the Usury Laws, proves, that the character it has ac quired is by no means an undeserved one. Mr P. Thompson, the worthy parent of the change, feels, as he frankly owns, an intense longing for the total repeal of the laws in question; but being seized with a paroxysm of "conciliation" and "liberality," he throws out the weather-beaten flag of compromise, and proposes a measure which is to satisfy all sides. He will content himself with taking a part to satisfy himself and his friends; and he will generously leave a part to sa tisfy his opponents. How does the munificent man make his division? He actually seizes the lion's share he monopolizes the operation of the Usury Laws, and leaves to his opponents a name and mutilated form ut terly worthless! He will abolish the laws in so far only as they vitiate contracts and impose penalties; that is, he will abolish them in so far only as they have material effect. In making the division, Mr Thompson commits absurdities truly indescribable. He will not punish usurers, whatever may be their extortions, but he will not suffer them to recover by law more than five per cent. He places a law in the Statute Book, the violation of which he not only exempts from all punishment, but declares to be highly meritorious. He states it to be an infallible principle, that all men have a clear and undoubted right to obtain as much interest for their money as possible, and yet he prohibits them from asserting this right by law. He, how ever, is careful that his absurdities shall do no injury to his object; while he refuses to usurers the aid of the
law, he gives them ample power to extort whatever they may wish without it. His measure annuls the Usury Laws in the most material parts of their operation. Well, separating his absurdities from what he seeks to ac complish, no individual has been found amidst his senatorial brethren to make an effort for protecting the reputation of the House from the disgrace and ridicule they must bring upon it. His opponents are gained. One has his objections wholly removed, another finds his scruples greatly weakened, and a third will say nothing. All seem to be delighted that a pretext is afford ed them for ranging themselves with the "liberal and enlightened."
We are well aware, that a defence of the Usury Laws made by an angel from Heaven, would not have the smallest weight with the House of Commons, or certain of the Ministers; and we are not undertaking to write such a defence, in the hope that we can make any impression on either. We are free from all such folly. Mr Thompson's Bill, we imagine, will pass the House we have named, supported by Ministers, and without encountering anything worthy of being called opposition. A few Members will make long speeches in favour of it, consisting of assertions and assump tions, and evading the merits of the question-a few more will, following the example just set by Mr Goulburn, laud these speeches very extravagantly
a few more will renounce the errors and heresies they have so long cherished, and dilate on the transcendent wisdom they and their brethren are displaying-a few more will grumble a little-and then it will be sent in triumph to the Lords. We know not that it will have worse success with the latter. But we find nothing in this to scare us from our undertaking. A vast portion of the community knows, alas! from bitter experience, that in these days the sanction of both Ministry and Parliament is no evidence that a change of law is wise in principle, and will be salutary in operation; and it will listen impartially to both sides. If we can prove that the enemies of the Usury Laws are completely in error in their leading principles, and are in utter ignorance touch