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tribe, sallied out of the town on horseback, for the purpose of making Tshapow. All these are in understanding with the great Mohammed Ishak Khan Kerahe of Torbad Hydarea.
Here I had again a specimen, such as I had frequently remarked before in those countries, that liberty of speaking consists with excess of slavery and tyranny.
The first question our robbers made openly to the people of Torbad, in the presence of the Turkomauns and flazarah, was expressed in the following manner, "How is the tyrant Mohammed Ishak Khan going on? is he not yet dead?" They replied, "No, but one of his sons is dead." Robbers. "A pity that he died not himself, then we should be free from that tyrant, and not be obliged to plunder people in the high road, and eat the bread of blood! When will God save us from the hands of that tyrant? No wonder that the just Al-Nakee Khan of Tabas, his brother-in-law, does not eat bread with him, for his bread is the bread of blood!" We saw hundreds of blind men and women in the road near the gate of Torbad; the robbers turned to me, and said, "Do you see these blind men and women? Their eyes were taken out by that eye cutting tyrant, Mohammed Ishak Khan of Torbad Hydarea! God curse him, and curse his house; curse him in his getting up, curse him in his lying down! God curse his wife, and the fruit of her womb! And may he, that has made many widows, may he die, that the dogs should drink his blood, that his wives may be widows, and his children orphans!"
I asked Hassan Khan, whether they were not afraid of the day of judgment. He replied, "We neither enjoy this world, nor shall we enjoy the happiness of the other world!" Though naked, they examined us narrowly, believing we might have money concealed about us. Suddenly Jews came out of Torbad; I exclaimed, fw Smi!" Hear Israel! (a common exclamation among the Jews throughout the world.) I was soon surrounded by all of them. Hassan Khan had delivered over to them for sale, my journals, beside the Bibles, not knowing what they were. They pledged themselves that I would not run away, and took me to their houses; and thus the first evening, though in a most wretched state, I had them all around me, and I proclaimed to them the Gospel of Jesus, of whose history, sufferings and death, they were quite ignorant.
HISTORY OF THE JEWS AT TORBAD.
The Jews of Torbad divide themselves into Meshedee and Yazdee, i. e. into those of Meshed, and those of Yazd. Those of Meshed are only here for trade, their families are at Meshed; but those of Yazd, are those, who sixty years ago had left Yazd, for the purpose of settling themselves at Meshed; but on passing through this place, they were detained by Ishak Khan, the father of the present man, and he gave them every encouragement in finding their subsistence; they are weavers; but the Jews of Meshed who are here, have traded to Meshed since the time of Nadir Shah, and their history is identified with that of Meshed. I went with
them to their synagogues, prayed in the synagogue the Lord's prayer, and read to them the sermon on the mount.
Nov. 18.—I was desired to go back to the robbers, when suddenly I was put in irons, and chained together with the rest of the slaves. One of the slave-sellers, a Curd, maliciously came, and squeezed with the irons my feet still more together crossway. The slaves with whom I was chained together, cursed me continually. Once more I experienced the goodness of the Lord, and his loving kindness, which is new every day. I was brought first with the rest of the slaves to a large house, where there were hundreds of slaves. The Director of the Police came out and said, "To this Infidel (meaning me) you must give neither water to drink, nor a galyoon to smoke, for he is najas, i. e. unclean: if he is thirsty, he may go to the well and drink like any other dog." Suddenly a man appeared, exclaiming, "Is no Englishman here?" "Yes, yes," I exclaimed. The chains were taken off: a soldier of Abbas Mirza had arrived with a letter for Mohammed Ishak Khan, ordering him to release me.
Mohammed Ishak Khan gave instantly orders to set me at liberty, which were executed, and the robbers were put in prison; for the tyrant wanted to make it appear, that this had been done without his consent. When I was examined with the rest before the judge, as to the sum of money the robbers had taken from us, and after I had stated the sum, the judge said, "All these are Mussulmans, they lie: for our moral is in a bad condition, but Mullah Youssuf Wolff is a Kafer, he speaks the truth."
I was brought before Mohammed Ishak Khan; he is a tall stout man, with very large eyes, of black complexion, never looking into one's eyes, but always downwards—a deep thundering voice. His sword is continually girt around him, and he does not even lay it aside in the bath: nobody knows where he sleeps. He was seated upon a high throne, all others standing at a distance from him; awe was expressed in the countenance of every one. He asked me how much money they had taken from me? I replied, "Eighty Tomauns." He got it from the robbers,~but kept it for himself. He said, "You came here with books, in order to shew us the right way: well go on."
Mehrob Khan, of Bujnurd, the brother of Nujuf Ali Khan, was obliged to fly from his brother, and seek an asylum at Torbad. He desired me to tell him from the Bible, whether Abbas Mirza would restore him to his former dignity. I replied that I knew from the Bible the way of Salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. His brother desired me to tell him a secret, how he could make himself invisible.
They desired me to read to them several parts of the Gospel: I read to them the fifth chapter of Matthew.
An officer in the service of Mohammed Ishak Khan Kerahe, entered the room of the Jews, and said to me, "Old Benjamin!" I observed that he was of the sect of Ali Ullahe. He told me, that several months ago a Dervish had arrived from Teheraun, who had said to him, "An English Dervish shall arrive prisoner at Torbad, consult with him." I gave him an Arabic Bible. His wife was ill; I laid hands on her, prayed over her, and she recovered. Kasem Sultan came to me daily, and I opened to him the meaning of the Scriptures. A Dervish from Delhi, or Shahe-Jehaan-Abad, as the Mussulmans call it, called on me; he pretended to be 124 years of age. "Thy old man, (Peeree Too*) has saved thee from slavery: forget not to give what you vowed to give to an old and blind Dervish, 124 years of age, from the city of Shahe-Jehaan-Abad, in the land of Hindoostaun.
To-day I learnt that Mohammed Ishak Khan Kerahe had sold Hassan Khan's wife and child for 15 Tomauns. It is remarkable, that this great tyrant is kind to the Jews, protects them, and gives them every support.
TURKOMAUNS AT TORBAD HYDAREA.
Sayd Neas of Sarahks, Teere (i. e. tribe) Yatshee, called on me. As I had got back my Bibles and Testaments from the robbers, as soon as I was set at liberty, I had begun to circulate the books among the Mohammedans. Sayd Neas desired me therefore to give him a Bible for his Mullah at Sarakhs, which I did. I ate bread and salt with him, and then he said to me, "Now you may safely travel to Bokhara, for if you ever are taken as a slave, I will come twenty days distance to ransom you." He then told me, in the presence of some Persians, "We Turkomauns never take Jews as slaves; for the Jews have a book, but the Guzl-Bash, (i. e. Persians,) are apostates (Keshte) from the book, and therefore they are taken by us as slaves." That this should be said in a place entirely inhabited by Sheah,and governed by a Khan, who is himself a Sheah, is extraordinary.
JEWS OF TORBAD.
I must now return to my brethren, the Jews of Torbad. Those of Meshed give the same account of themselves, which I heard afterwards confirmed at Meshed: viz. that during the captivity of Babylon, they went to Casween, where they remained, until Nadir Shah brought them to Meshed. These Meshed Jews are rich, clean and respectable looking; whilst those of Yazd are poor, mean, thievish, slovenly, and dirty in the extreme, immoral, and addicted to sorcery.
* Peer, old, is the title of an old Sheikh, or.spiritual guide, and holy man. The Dervishes use it likewise for the name of God: as in Daniel ii. "Ancient of days."
NAMES OF JEWS AT TORBAD.
The Jews of Europe are desirous of knowing the names of Jews in distant countries; I therefore insert here the names of some of their most respectable Mullahs. Soleiman Ben Sinun; Daud Ben Eliahu; Aba Ben Bakhtshe; Ishak Ben Moshe; Hezkiel Ben Yekotiel; Isaschar Ben Jabar; Ishak Ben Eliahu; Nathan Ben Rahame; Nathanael Ben Rahmeen; Benjamin Ben fiahmeen; Abraham Ben Mullah Daniel; Mathatia Ben Moshe; Yakoob Ben Hamoomee; Zachariah Ben Eliahu; Daniel Ben Mullah Haym; Moshe Ben Aga Shemaan.
Notwithstanding they knew my belief in the New Testament, they called me up on Saturday to read in the Torah (i. e. the Law of Moses) like the rest. They have a small room as a synagogue.
Mullah Aba Ben Bakhtshe from Yzad is their Rabbi; he permitted me to preach about Isaiah liii. I heard then the following exposition given by him upon Genesis xxxviii. 18. "I demand 'thy signet,' i. e. the King Messiah; I demand 'thy bracelets,' i. e. the emblem of Judges; I demand 'thy staff,' i. e. the emblem of officers. This is the reason for which Judah said, 'Tamar is more righteous than I,' for she hoped in the promised Messiah."
Is it not remarkable, that at Burjund, as well as at Torbad, where I was in difficulties, I should have had more opportunity of preaching, than any where else in Khorossaun, except at Meshed.
DEPARTURE FROM TORBAD.
The road from Torbad Hydarea to Meshed was closed up for two years; but as Abbas Mirza had entered Khorossaun, Mohammed Khan made arrangements for facilitating the caravans proceeding to Meshed; and a large caravan set out for Meshed. On December 1, we arrived at Pygoda-Bedar, 16 miles from Torbad.
Dec. 2 We arrived at Rabat Safeed, 24 miles from PygodaBedar.
Dec. 3.—At Sheereef-Abad, 24 miles from the last place.
We had scarcely entered the fort Shereef-Abad, when a stream of men, women and children, was heard exclaiming continually "Tshapow! Tshapow! Tshapow!" For the Hazara from ShahrNow, whose chief had been killed in a most treacherous manner, with a great number of his people, by Mohammed Ishak Khan Kerahe, had sworn death and destruction to all his subjects.* They made some prisoners, and killed 80 sheep; this determined us to stop longer at Shereef-Abad. One of the poor women of Shereef-Abad called on me, and said that one of her sons had been made a slave, and asked if I could do something to procure his
* Mohammed Ishak Khan married the daughter of the Chief of Shahr-Now, and during the celebration of the wedding, he gave orders to massacre the Chief of Shahr-Now and all his relations and attendants; and after this, Mohammed Ishak Khan took possession of the town. But many left the town, and continue plundering the caravans, and murdering every man belonging to Torbad.
Ransom: she promised if I would, to perform a pilgrimage to Kerbelay, for the benefit of both herself and me. On leaving ShereefAbad, one of the caravan beat me, and said, "Say, God is God, and Mohammed the Prophet of God." I replied with the greatest calmness, but without reflecting, "I cannot tell a lie." These fanatics, instead of being enraged at this, burst into a fit of laughter, and said, "Let the fool alone."
Approaching Meshed, we observed the golden and splendid cupola upon the mosque of Imam Resa. All the Mussulmans stopt and offered up a prayer, and exclaimed, "Oh Imam Resa, thou bestower of gifts, give to thy dogs abundance of gifts, for we come from a distant country; and we curse Omar, Osman and AbuBekr!"
Hezkiel, the Jew from Torbad, who was my fellow traveller, said, "We shall soon thus salute the temple of Jerusalem." Twenty thousand pilgrims of the Sheah persuasion perform every year their pilgrimage to Meshed, to the tomb of Imam Resa.
ARRIVAL AT meshed.
Dec. 5.—We arrived safely at Meshed. I went immediately to His Royal Highness Ahmed Ali Mirza, who is one of the King's sons by a Jewess. I was with him two hours, but he offered me nothing, and merely sent me to the house of the Jew Meshiakh Ajoon, called Mullah Mohde by the Mussulmans; he has the title of Nassi among the Jews. He calls himself a descendant of Bezaleel of the tribe of Judah; he is Fl man of very amiable character, but of a singular turn of mind. I told him that I was a Jew from England, but that I believed in Jesus of Nazareth. He told me, that he was in possession of the New Testament in Hebrew, brought here by the Jew Nisan Azariah Kohen, when he returned from Wilna. He opened his mind to me almost immediately, and asked me, whether I had any knowledge of the Sooffees; I replied in the affirmative, and observed, that I had been at Sheeras, where I had seen the son of Mirza Abool Kasem, who had been the head of the Sooffees. Mullah Meshiakh, called Aga Mohde by the Mohammedans, was quite overjoyed, and told me, that I should find many Sooffees among the Jews of Meshed.
He gave me to understand, that the Jewish Sooffees of Meshed have as their Moorsheed* Mohammed Ali. They acknowledge Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, and 124000 Prophets, without feeling themselves bound to act under the control of any one of these Prophets; and those re considered as crimes in a revealed book, are not crimes with Sooffees: as drunkenness, adultery and other worse crimes: they think that to one that is perfect, none of these things can do any harm. They smoke (as the Sooffees among the Mohammedans, and as the Dervishes do) a kind of intoxicating plant, in order to withdraw their mind from the world; each sings
* I have already observed, that Mussulmans have particular spiritual guides, to whom they give the name of Moorsheed.