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naming the price, when he at length tells you, that since you will not take the article without paying him for it, you may set your own price, for he can sell nothing to you. Name a reasonable sum, and he will flatly reply that you shall not have it for that; and by this time his interest has got so much the better alike of his modesty and generosity, that he will demand twice or thrice its known value, which you must pay or take the trouble of bating him down. This is done by simply leaving him, as he will quickly call after you to take the article at the price you have offered. I know not how often I have in imagination stood by the side of Abraham, negotiating with the sons of Heth for a place to bury his dead, when I have been purchasing the most trifling article in Persia.

"As illustrating eastern manners, and these in turn throwing light upon Scripture, I may quote a part of the passage which records that celebrated transaction: 'And Abraham stood up from before his dead, and spake unto the sons of Heth, saying, I am a stranger and a sojourner with you give me a possession of a buryingplace with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight. And the children of Heth answered

Abraham, saying unto him, Hear us, my lord: thou art a mighty prince among us: in the CHOICE of our sepulchres bury thy dead; none of us shall withhold from thee his sepulchre, but that thou mayest bury thy dead.-And Ephron, the Hittite, answered Abraham in the audience of the children of Heth, even of all that went in at the gate of his city, saying, Nay, my lord, hear me: the field GIVE I thee, and the cave that is therein, I GIVE it thee; in the presence of the sons of my people give I it thee: bury thy dead. And Abraham bowed himself before the people of the land. And he spake unto Ephron in the audience of the people of the land, saying, But if thou wilt give it me, I pray thee, hear me : I will give thee money for the field; take it of me, and I will bury my dead there. And Ephron said unto Abraham, My lord, hearken unto me, the land is worth four hundred shekels of silver; what is that betwixt me and thee? bury therefore thy dead. And Abraham hearkened to Ephron; and Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver, which he had named in the audience of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver current money with the merchant.' This contract exhibits less formality than business transactions com

monly possess in Persia at the present time. The bereaved patriarch was little disposed to be particular, in relation to the price he should pay for a place to bury his deceased Sarah; and his neighbours would not probably be apt, in these mournful circumstances, to do what was common in trade, or fully to develop their avaricious propensities. The general resemblance to Persian transactions, however, is very striking."

In fact, the Persians, in their conversation, use such extravagant and hyperbolical compliments on the most trifling occasions, that it would at first lead a stranger to suppose that every inhabitant of the place is willing to lay down his life, shed his blood, or spend his money in his service; and this mode of address, which in fact has no more real meaning than "your obedient humble servant" at the end of a letter, is observed not only by persons of the higher rank, but even among the humblest artificers, the lowest of which will make no scruple, on your arrival, of offering you the city of Shiraz, with all its appurtenances, as a peishkush or present. "On our journey, as well as at home," says Mr. Perkins, whose information on this point we can fully corrobo

rate, "we frequently received presents, for which an extravagant sum is always expected in return. When the bearer approaches you, he will almost deluge you with a flood of fulsome compliments and expressions of devoted attachment, as a token of which he brings you the present, though he had never seen you before; and if you meet his wishes from your purse, he will leave you with the mellifluous stream still flowing, though a little checked, because, as he tells you, you have so mortified him by paying him anything that he can no longer look you in the face, and can scarcely utter a word; whereas, if you tender him only a fair price for the article, he will manifest the deepest displeasure, reject with disdain the proffered remuneration, and carry away his present, loading you with a copious measure of at least secret maledictions."

It often happens, however, that if the stranger be a person of wealth or influence, the man is really anxious to force upon his acceptance an article which he happens to admire or expresses a wish to purchase. But if he should be inconsiderate enough to accept it, he will not be long in discovering that by so doing he has given the person a claim either upon his good

offices or favour, or for a present of more than equal value in return.

Some travellers draw a distinction in this respect between the inhabitants of towns and villages, much to the advantage of the latter. Of this we hear, indeed, in all countries; but so far as our experience goes in different countries, (including our own,) this superiority of village character is not easily substantiated. It must be admitted, however, that in Persia the villagers are exempt from many of the influences which tend to produce much of the peculiar evils which have been noticed in the character of the townspeople, as well as from other influences which tend to call forth the brilliant qualities by which the latter are distinguished.

On this point it would be unjust to withhold the testimony of sir Harford Jones, whose opportunities of forming a correct judgment are undeniable. After an interval of many years, he passed, in high state as ambassador from the British crown, through a part of the country in which he had previously been known as an invalid in pursuit of health, as a merchant seeking to mix profit with pleasure, or as a fugitive from Shiraz: his impressions on the

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