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orchards of Persia produce all the fruits of the temperate zone; and its wilds abound with flowers that can only be reared in the gardens of Europe by care and cultivation. The climate is very various. It is not more affected by the difference of latitude than by the remarkable inequalities of surface in almost all the provinces. The greater part or the country is a succession of plains, at the base of these ridges of hills by which it is intersected, and of table-lands nearly on a level with their tops. To pass from the lower valleys to the higher is to change the temperature of summer for that of winter. But the climate, though various, is healthy; and few countries can boast a more robust, active, and wellformed race of men. Its animals (particularly the horses and dogs) are of uncommon size, strength, and beauty. In the mountains, most valuable minerals are found, but none in abundance; and Persia has consequently always been indebted to foreign countries for lead, iron, silver, and gold."
Since this was written, rich mines of copper and iron have been opened in Azerbijân. Coal has also been found, to a limited extent, in that province, and in the neighbourhood of
Teheran: and it doubtless only needs that science and enterprise, which, along with the blessings of the gospel, that land must yet receive, to relieve Persia from her present dependence upon her neighbours for the most useful minerals, and enable her to develop large resources of future industry and peaceful wealth. It may also be remarked, that the statement as to the lack of trees, although correct as to the central, does not apply to the Caspian provinces of Mazanderân and Ghilân, which are clothed with vast and beautiful forests.
DWELLINGS AND DOMESTIC HABITS.
THE general aspect of the towns and villages in Persia is very sombre and uninviting, and contrast disadvantageously with those of Turkey, or indeed with almost every other Asiatic region, except, perhaps, the subterraneous villages of Armenia. The streets are crooked, narrow, irregular, and but partially if at all paved. They are inconvenient from dust in summer, and in winter are almost impassable on foot from mud. There is nothing in them to interest the eye or to engage the attention, as they rarely present anything to the street but dreary mud walls, from eight to fifteen feet high, with here and there low doors, at irregular intervals, and sometimes over them one small latticed window, being the only indication of human habitation. The doors or gates have a signi
ficance with respect to the standing or the prudence of the inhabitants; the high, large gate is a token of wealth, which provokes the envy of equals, who will not be slow to find accusations; or excites the cupidity of superiors, who can readily discover pretexts sufficient to relieve the ostentatious owner of his surplus revenue, if not to strip him of something more. This was also anciently true in Israel; for among the sayings of Solomon is this— "He that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction."
The doors by which the mud walls are thus pierced, lead by a narrow, blind passage, to open courts or squares, on the further side of which, and sometimes on all sides, is the dwelling. If the buildings occupy but part of the square, the remaining portions are inclosed by high mud walls, forming a kind of fort, for security against robbers and the intrusion of curiosity. In many towns, the entrance passage slopes downward, and the court to which it leads is several feet below the level of the street, the earth on the spot having been used to construct the edifices and the walls which inclose them; for, as the Persians have no wheeled vehicles, the transport of building
materials, on the backs of horses or mules, would be expensive and inconvenient.
The houses in Persia are of three general orders, corresponding in appearance and expense to the higher, middle, and lower classes of the people. The two former are built of sun-dried bricks. The palaces of princes and of rich nobles are sometimes built of burned brick and lime; but these are of rare occurrence. The houses are low, making up for the lack of height by the extent of the ground they cover. We scarcely know whether to describe them as of two stories or of one. They are both, or neither; or rather, partly one, and partly the other. A house consists of a range of rooms, with alternately high and low ceilings; and over the lower ones, which are usually the halls through which the others are entered, low upper rooms are built, whose roofs rise but little, if at all, above those of the high ones of the lower story. The windows completely fill the whole front of the rooms, except the spaces occupied by two pillars in large rooms; and they open from a few inches above the floor, to a height of five or six feet. A room thus thrown open is delightfully cool in summer, especially when