Page:Frederic Shoberl - Persia.djvu/135

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

and trims it. A mirror and a comb, which he always carries about him, enable him to adjust it at any moment of the day, when it has been deranged by the wind or by the accidental brushing of something against it.

The beard is fresh dyed every fortnight. The operation is as follows. A paste is first made with henna, and copiously rubbed over the beard. It is removed in an hour, by which time it has communicated a deep orange colour to the hair. Another paste, made of indigo leaves reduced to powder, is then applied, and left on two hours. During this time, the person lies at full length on his back. When this indigo paste is removed, the beard appears of a dark green colour, which turns to black after twenty-four hours' exposure to the air.

The Persians shave the head twice or three times a week. Some have a lock of hair growing on the crown, after the fashion of the Turks; others retain only a border above the ears. It is also customary, as a piece of finery, to dye the nails of the hands. and feet with the henna just mentioned, which is nothing but the pulverized leaves of the cyperus. Sometimes, the whole of the hands up to the wrist, the soles of the feet, and the toes, are stained with the same orange-coloured tincture.

To convey a more complete idea of the general appearance of a Persian of distinction, we annex a portrait of Mr Daoud Zadour, a native of Persian Armenia, who, a few years since, filled the post of envoy from the king of Persia to the court of France. His conduct in this situation was highly creditable to himself, and to the master whom he served; and to his pen we are indebted for a small tract with the title of Particulars respecting the present State of Persia, published at Paris, in 1818, in the Persian, Armenian, and French languages, of which we have not failed to avail ourselves, in the compilation of these volumes.





The women of Persia, like those of all Mahometan countries, receive no moral education whatever. When they have learned reading, writing, and embroidery, their education is finished; and those things they are taught either by females hired for the