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chooses to stay on horseback, he can hardly help falling forward or sliding backward. At last he gets high up the mountains, and then finds he has to pass along a narrow ledge, about two or three feet wide, all rough, broken, and uneven, and from whence it makes him giddy to look down over cliffs much higher than the highest steeple you ever saw. There is nothing at all to prevent him falling over and being dashed to pieces if his horse slips.
F. But can't he get off and walk ? · U. O. If he likes; but it is often safer to trust to the horse or mule; they are used to these passes, and seldom make a false step, so that an accident does not often happen. I never had a slip on a mountain-ledge more than once, and then it was winter, and the paths were slippery with ice.
J. But were you dashed in pieces then, dear Uncle ?
U. O. (laughing.) No. Here I am, my darling. It was not a cliff, but a steep slope that I had to fall over, and I slid down very comfortably upon the snow, until I was able to catch hold of a bush, when the men who were above let down a rope and pulled me up.
H. But what became of your horse, Sir ?
U. O. Why, my horse being heavier went down faster and farther than I, but was at last stopped by a projecting ledge, where he had the sense to lie perfectly still. As he was too heavy to be pulled up, a man went down to him at a convenient place, and turned him off, so that he rolled further down
J. What a barbarous man!
U. 0.-Rolled further down to a mountainpath below, from which he could be led, a good way about, to that from which we fell. I was glad to find that he was not much hurt; but he looked very much ashamed. In some places, where the descent is very steep and dangerous, the muleteers who drive the animals that have heavy loads on their backs, seize them by the tail, and pull away with all their might, until the beasts have firmly fixed their fore-feet-repeating this until the dangerous place has been passed. In general, however, they may very well be left to themselves. Their care and sagacity in descending a difficult place is very interesting. They make a pause, and drawing their hind legs under them, slide down the smooth ledges of rock, leaping also occasionally from
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one ridge to another. The Mountain of Tigers (Kouflun Koh), which separates one large province of Persia from another (Azerbijan, from Irak Ajemi), and which must, therefore, be often crossed, has almost the only made road in Persia, over a mountain ; and even this was not made by the Persians, but by the Turks when they possessed this part of the country. It has, of late years, been mended by the Persians, chiefly that they might be able to carry cannon across the mountain; and it must have been made with much expense and labour. It is still very rude, and might be much improved; but more of such roads would be a great benefit to the country. I was one hour riding up the south side, and nearly twice as long in going down the other; if it had not been for the road, I should have been much longer.
Among the most difficult and dangerous passes of the country, are those that cross the mountains which lie between the principal port of the kingdom, Bushire, and the interior. One of these passes, called the Kothul-e-Dokhter, or “the Pass of the Daughter,” is so very steep that it would be impossible to ascend it in a direct line; a zigzag direction has therefore been given to the path, and a low wall has in some places been built at the edge of the more tremendous precipices. This was done at the expense of a rich merchant whose caravans were continually passing this way, and who had lost much property, in cattle and merchandize, by the dangers of the road. This, however, is only where it was quite indispensable, and is now again falling into a bad state from neglect. These imperfect attempts at improvement at the Kouflan - Koh and the Kothul-e-Dokhter, or two of the greatest Persian roads, are the only bits of made road, such as they are, that I could find in the country.
Mr. Dillon. Yet I have somewhere read of a great high road constructed by order of Shah Abbas.
U. O. Well remembered! This Shah Abbas, who was king of the country in the time of Queen Elizabeth, did more in the way of public improvement than any modern sovereign of Persia. So much so, indeed, that the Persians are in the habit of giving him the credit of every useful work of the origin of which they are ignorant. The honour of the great work you mention does, however, certainly belong to him.); The soil of the provinces near the Caspian Sea is generally
so soft and heavy that when soaked by the heavy rains of that part of the country, they become quite impassable. Therefore Shah Abbas caused a trench to be dug through the soft soil, and to be filled up with small stones and gravel, over which was laid a regular and firmly-built cause way of large stones. This causeway seems to have been about sixteen feet wide in some parts, and in others not more than ten feet. It went through the low plains between the southern shore of the Caspian Sea and the mountains, and stretched from Kesker to several miles beyond Astrabad, a distance of more than three hundred miles. It must have been a great benefit to caravans while it was in good order; but though it may be still traced all the way I have mentioned, it is generally in so bad and broken a condition that caravans prefer to go along the beach or even through the soft soil. Now, you see, this state of the roads is the reason why I could not have a carriage, and why the people do not make use of wheel-carriages at all.
F. But why don't they make roads?
U. O. One reason is, that the great men in that country do not like to spend money for the benefit of the people. But they also say, that