Page:Frederic Shoberl - Persia.djvu/197

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PERSIA.
168

worn in Persia are the very worst I ever saw. We have seen people there admire shawls which no lady in our country would think of wearing; and I am therefore not surprised that the Persian ambassador at the court of Petersburg, who took a fancy to make a present of one to the Countess Orloff, should soon afterwards have the mortification to see it worn by her maid, while the countess herself had on a shawl of such value as absolutely astonished his excellency. The Persians cannot afford to pay the prices that are given for them at Constantinople and in Russia.

The cloths of Ispahan, Yezd, and Kashan, are exported to Russia by way of Astrachan, and exchanged for broad cloths, velvets, satins, and hardware. At Meragah and Shiraz, there are glass manufactories; and guns and piistols are made in almost all the large towns. The lances of Khorasan are in the highest estimation; they are made by descendants of those skilful cutlers whom Tamerlane transplanted from Damascus into that province. Yezd, a frontier city of Fars, is at present, from its advantageous position, the centre of the whole commerce of Persia.

Persia produces many species of gem and drugs, and among other assafœtida, great quantifies of which are exported to India: it receives in exchange sugar, indigo, spices, and several European commodities.


CHAPTER III.

MEDICINE AND SURGERY.

The science of medicine among the Persians, not being founded either on anatomy or physiology, has nothing but conjecture for its guide. This profession, which is despised by the Turks, is considered honourable in Persia. It is not taught in academical institutions as in Europe, but each of its professors takes a number of pupils, to whom he communicates the results of his experience.

Their system of practice is derived from the Greeks, and has descended to them with very little alteration. According to their theory, things are either hot or cold in certain degrees; and the only question they have to resolve is, whether the disease proceeds from too much heat or too much cold. Heat must be repelled by cold, and cold by heat. China-root with them is almost a sovereign remedy against all complaints.