Page:Frederic Shoberl - Persia.djvu/99

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PERSIA.

promise to this effect end kept it: for he caused him to be bricked up alive in one of the small rooms of a house at Teheran, in which he miserably perished of hunger, after having nearly eaten his own hands. The house in which this horrid scene occurred, was one of those assigned to the British embassy under Sir Gore Ouseley.

During the residence of this embassy in Persia, Mohamed Zemaun Khan, governor of Asterabad, having allied himself with the Turcomans,, threw off his allegiance to the king; but was seized and delivered up to the monarch by his own people, who dreaded the resentment of the latter. The king, on his arrival, ordered the chief of his camel-artillery to put a mock crown on the rebel's head, bazubends, or armlets on his arms, a sword by his side; to mount him upon an ass with his face towards the tail, and the tail in his hand; then to parade throughout the camp, and to exclaim: "This is he who wanted to be king!" After this was over and the people had mocked and insulted him, he was led before the king, who called for the looties, or buffoons, and ordered them to turn him into ridicule, by forcing him to dance and make antics against his will. He then ordered that whoever chose might spit in his face. He then received the bastinado on the soles of his feet, and some time afterwards had his eyes put out.

As to females, they frequently owe the preservation of their lives to the notion entertained by the Persians that their blood produces ill-luck. This notion has probably given rise to the punishment reserved for them, which consists in muffling them up closely in their veils, and precipitating them from the top of a tower.