« AnteriorContinuar »
(Foray) in the field, are called Al-Aman, i. e. people, to whom the prisoner entrusts his safety." The prisoner who is taken by the Al-Aman, and who is called Bandah, i. e. Bound, exclaims, the moment he is taken, Safety!
RULES OF PLUNDER.
The Turkomauns get every year a Fetwa, i. e. a decree, or Bull, from the Mullahs of Bokhara, encouraging them to make slaves of the Guzl-Bash, or Persians, in order that their children may be brought up as "Four Friends," i. e. as followers of the four friends of Mohammed, Omar, Aboo-Bekr, Osman, and Ali; but they are exhorted not to make slaves of the Moosaee, i. e. Jews, and Ysaae, i. e. Christians; for both are considered to be. Possessors of the Book: but they have a proverb: an "Al-Aman on horseback does not know his own father," and therefore it happens that they frequently take Jews, who are afterwards released; but the Russians are never set at liberty, in spite of their being Christians; it even happens sometimes, that they take hold of the Sunnee, the followers of their own sect. They are now much afraid of Abbas Mirza: they dig wells in hidden places and conceal the snow, that they may have an asylum in case of his coming to Sarakhs.
Bailee, an Aga Sakal, called upon me, and made me acquainted with some of his sins. It cannot escape one's observation, that barbarians are never displeased at being reproved for their vices; but it is not from a regard for the preacher: they are in fact so accustomed to dishonourable actions, that they are not shocked at hearing themselves styled dishonourable: a thief will never be displeased at hearing himself called a thief; besides this, their religious notions are so feeble, that they do not so soon perceive, that one, preaching to them Christ crucified, speaks against their Koran. I heard several of the Turkomauns call Jesus the son of God, from his having had no human father. A Missionary may therefore easily be deceived by believing, that he has gained ground by convincing a Turkomaun that Jesus is the Son of God; but when the Turkomaun finds out that the expression is against the Koran, he will turn against him. However, a straight forward conduct, reading of one's book, i. e. the Bible, performance of prayer, demonstrations of pity and compassion, will effect a great deal, by God's grace, among barbarians. Be not a stiff gentleman, if you wish to gain them over.
Feb. 3.—I was visited by a good many Turkomauns, Hazarah, and Teemoree. I preached to them the Gospel, and exhorted them to desist from their practice of making slaves. The Teemoree promised to follow my advice, and so they did; for they set off for Meshed, to take service in the army of Abbas Mirza; but some of the Turkomauns replied, that if Tshapow was sin, the sin would not be upon their necks, but upon the necks of the Mullahs of
* May not this tend to shew that the Germans came from this country, and are thence called Allemanl
Bokhara, who encouraged them every year by their Fetwa. Others remarked, that if it was sin, God would not permit it; and as long as they were capable of making Foray, it was an indication of its being the will of God.
One of the Hazarah besought me to make him a present of my Guzl-Bash servant; for he had bought a horse from a Turkomaun for two slaves; one slave he had already given, so that he is still in debt for one more.
The Turkomauns of Sarakhs and Mowr excavate from the ground a great many coins, which they call Poole Guebre, i. e. Money of Guebres; but before they sell it, they melt it. I however got a few by means of the Jews, and found that they were coins from the time of Sultan Sanjaar. •*
MARRIAGES AMONG THE TURKOMAUNS.
As the 'f'urkomaun women go about unveiled, the men marry by choice. This is carried on in the following manner; the lover and the beloved make an appointment to escape together to the house of an Aga Sakal, where they send for a Mullah, who marries them. The parents of the girl look about for their daughter, and after having found her, they demand her of the Aga Sakal; the Aga Sakal protests against betraying his Mehmoon, i. e. Guest; the seducer is obliged to pay a sum of money, and the girl remains his wife.
MODE OF WORSHIP AMONG THE TURKOMAUNS.
The Turkomauns of Sarakhs have no mosque; every one of them prays alone, either in the field or in his tent; they assemble twice every year in the desert, and perform their prayer; once on the first day of Ramasaun, and again on the first day of Bayraum.
Is the Cadi of the Turkomauns at Sarakhs; a very good Arabic scholar, who has made his studies at Bokhara. On the day of my arrival at Sarakhs, he sent for me, letting me know, that the Turkomaun Sayd Neyas, of the Teere (or tribe) Yatshe, one of the Aga Sakals at Sarakhs, to whom I, on meeting him at Torbad Hydarea, had given an Arabic Testament, had sent it here; and that he, Mullah Tatsh, had read it with great delight and pleasure. I called on him immediately, and he shewed me the New Testament. He asked me the meaning of many passages, and the object of my travels; many Turkomauns were just then with him, I stated openly that I was travelling about to find the lost Ten Tribes of Israel, to preach the Gospel to the Jews, and to tell the Turkomauns that plunder and making slaves of free people was sin. He turned to the Turkomauns, and said, "In our Hadees is a prophecy, that shortly before the arrival of Mohde, a man shall appear, who shall exhort the nations to repentance: Joseph Wolff is the forerunner of Mohde."
At the moment I was with him, his wife died at the birth of a child.
Saher Beyk, And Beyk Nasar,
Both Aga Sakals of the Turkomauns, called on me. I shewed them my firmaun from the Sultan of Constantinople; both of them kissed the seal of it, saying, "This is our Khaleefa, of the same religion as we are; whosoever can shew such a paper, has nothing to fear among the Turkomauns."
One of the Turkomauns called on me immediately after, and told me that he had dreamt last night, that I had arrived safely at Bokhara, and was sitting upon a throne near the King of Bokhara, and the throne was adorned with burning candles; and that he saw me walking in the streets of Bokhara, accompanied by four of the King's servants. Many Turkomauns came to me, and desired me to pray over their sick relations and their barren wives, which I did in the Persian tongue.
I called again on Mullah Tatsh, Cadi of the Turkomauns, and read with him Matthew xxiv. and Revelations xiv. andAs his wife had died, I prayed according to the custom of the Comm which prayer they call in Arabic Fatha, i. e. opening of the Koran; but I prayed the Lord's prayer.
Feb. 7.—Mullah Tatsh called on me, in company with another Mullah from Bokhara; after taking his beard between his teeth, and pondering over something very gravely, he addressed me in the following manner: "Youssuf Wolff, you are a Mullah, and I am a Mullah; and every one likes to be with his equal. I know that you have experience in every science: I want therefore a great favour of you; that is, to make by witchcraft, that some woman may fall in love with me, and be disposed to become my wife; for you know, that my wife died at the moment you were with me." I replied, "I cannot procure you a wife by witchcraft; for in the first instance, I do not understand that art; and secondly, my religion does not permit me to practise it; but you will do well to marry the woman who was seduced by Bailee, that you may become a protector to her child." He said that he would do so. Such advice will sound awkward in the ear of an English reader; but he must take into consideration the difference between a civilized nation, and the barbarians in the desert; then he will find such advice not only excusable, but proper.
Many Turkomauns called again, and desired me to pray over them; which I did. They even go sometimes to the Jew, Joseph of Talkhtoon, and desire him to pray over them; for, as there are Protestants who sometimes have more confidence in the prayer of some Roman Catholic Priest, or Capuchin Friar, in the same manner the Turkomauns confide more in the prayer of a devout Jew or Christian; especially as I had been declared to be the forerunner of Mohde by their Mullahs.
I met to-day several Osbeks from Bokhara; they have very small eyes, and are the proper inhabitants of Bokhara and Khiva. They say, that the meaning of Osbekis is this: Os, self, and Bek, a Lord; for they were the Lords of the kingdoms of Khiva and Bokhara.
In order to give my readers a complete idea of my operations during my journey through Toorkestaun, and to substantiate my assertion, that I always professed myself to be a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, I insert herewith a letter which I wrote to Mirza Baba, when at Sarakhs. Mirza Baba is well known in England; he is Chief Physician (Hakeem Bashee) of Abbas Mirza, and writes and reads English.
Sarakhs, February 3, 1832. My dear Mirza Baba,
Though I have already written to you a letter by Bailee, I write to you another by the Jew Murad, mentioning to you, that I am well treated in the houses of the Jews at Sarakhs, and have preached to them the Gospel whole nights. They wish me to recommend them to the protection of Abbas Mirza. The Turkomauns and Hazarah visit me frequently; and I exhort them to repentance for having carried on slavery; I had a long conversation with the chief Mullah about the Gospel.
I beg you to petition His Royal Highness in my name, to order Goolitsh Mohammed Khan to send me on soon to Bokhara, and to recommend me to Mirza Husseyn Khan Sabzaware. The chief Mullah of the Turkomauns gives me letters for Bokhara, and he advised me to request Abbas Mirza to give me letters for the King of Bokhara. If Abbas Mirza does not order Goolitsh Mohammed Khan to send me on soon, he will keep me a long time to obtain a large present: I^rave him six ducats, and he was not satisfied. I beg that you will get me recommended to the merchants of Meshed, who trade to Bokhara, in order that they may recommend me to the caravans which go to Bokhara. Mirza Askeree can arrange this. The Turkomauns pay great attention to my preaching. Salam* to Mirza Baker and Ali Beyk. You will do me a great favour to give notice of my operations in my letters to Tabreez, and write to Lady Georgiana Wolff, Malta, about me. I learn that Goolitsh Mohammed Khan will take money from the Jews of Sarakhs, which would render not only him, but likewise the Prince unpopular with the Jews and Turkomauns of Sarakhs. Write to me soon. Yours truly,
P. S. Get a Rakum for the Jews at Sarakhs; for the Jews at Sarakhs have no houses there, but have their wives and children at Meshed. J. W.
CARAVANS AT SARAKHS.
Caravans, consisting mostly of Turkomauns with slaves, travel to Khiva through an immense tract of desert for 12 days, finding water only every four days, till they arrived at Orgauntsh. In the
* This word signifies 'Salutations.'
day time, the wind is their guide, by night they are guided by the stars of heaven. It is quite a mistake, that the way to Khiva, and the staying either there or at Orgauntsh is dangerous: as soon as one is upon the territory of Allah Kolle Khan, the pious King of Orgauntsh, nothing is to be feared. The Russians perhaps may now be in danger; for the rumour is current in Khiva, that the Russians would have taken that place long ago, had the English permitted it.
Caravans also travel from Sarakhs to Maimona and Heraut; to both which places they go in five days.
Feb. 8 The Turkomauns assembled in the Bazaar, and had the
following conversation. One began: "We ought to be watchful, for Abbas Mirza at Meshed does not sleep; Youssuf Wolff, who is now here, does not sleep; many say, that he is the son of the King of England; others say, that he is the foreruner of Mohde: whoever he is, he does not sleep; therefore we ought to be watchful." My Jewish servant, whom I had taken at Sarakhs, reported to me this conversation.
CHARACTER OF ALLAH KOLLE KHAN, KING OF KHIVA.
Allah Kolle Khan, King of Khiva, is a warrior and a divine, (Mullah.) When he is marching towards the enemy, 14 Dervishes accompany him, who exclaim continually, "Be not neglectful of the remembrance of God!" He marched several times against the King of Bokhara, whose great enemy he is, and had always the advantage over him.
The Turkomauns of Mowr, Tekka and Tajan, who had paid tribute to the King of Bokhara, pay it now to the King of Khiva; for the people of Khiva, or, as they are called, the Orgauntshi, are a warlike people; but the man of Bokhara is effeminate. The people of Mowr had been obliged to receive a Governor from Khiva: but one day, when the Governor sent from Khiva, ordered one of the Turkomauns to be flogged, he was instantly killed: after this they sent an Elje, i. e. Ambassador to Khiva, begged pardon, and sent double tribute, swearing strict obedience in future, under condition that no other Governor should be sent; to which Allah Kolle Khan consented.
An Orgauntshi, i. e. Turkomaun from Khiva, called on me, and said that Allah Kolle Khan of Orgauntsh. would be delighted to have a letter from me, stating my views on religion. I wrote to him a letter in Persian, informing His Majesty, that I was a Jew from England, who believes that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, that he died for our sins, rose again, and went to heaven, whence he will come again and establish his throne at Jerusalem; that I was now going to Bokhara, to see whether the Jews there are of the Ten Tribes of Israel, and to preach to them the tidings of salvation; and that I hoped to come to Khiva, and to argue with His Majesty. I sent the letter by a Turkomaun from Orgauntsh.
DEPARTURE FROM SARAKHS.
Having taken a Jew from Sarakhs in my service, I desired him U