Persia Revisited eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 143 pages of information about Persia Revisited.
to maintain certain communication the Red Sea cable was laid.  But new land lines were erected which worked equally well as the cable, and the firm insistence by the Persian Government on heavy damages for all malicious injury gradually developed the perfect security which comes from local interests demanding the fullest protection.  The service by this line is now as certain and quick as that of the ocean cable; in fact, I think the average speed of messages between London and Calcutta is greater via Tehran than via Suez.  There was an interesting race last year between the companies to communicate to India the result of the Derby, and it was won in a way by the cable line.  The messages were simultaneously despatched from Epsom, that by Tehran reaching Bombay five seconds before the other, but as the name of the winning horse only was given correctly, Karachi, six hundred miles distant, had to be asked for a repetition of the names of the second and third horses.  The cable telegram gave the three names accurately.  Had Karachi been agreed upon as the point of arrival for India, instead of Bombay, the Indo-European would have won this telegraph race.


—­Kasvin grapes —­Persian wine —­Vineyards in Persia —­Wine manufacture —­Mount Demavend —­Afshar volcanic region —­Quicksilver and gold —­Tehran water-supply —­Village quarrels —­Vendetta —­Tehran tramways —­Bread riots —­Mint and copper coin.

The grape harvest was being gathered at Kasvin as we passed through.  The place is well known for its extensive vineyards and fine fruit-gardens.  Its golden grapes have a wide reputation, and these, with the white species, also grown there, are in steady demand for wine manufacture, which is carried on in the town, notwithstanding the greatly disproportionate number of Moullas among the inhabitants.  Large quantities of the grapes are also sent to Tehran for wine purposes there.  Persia keeps up the character for strong wine which it had 600 B.C., when the Scythian invaders took to it so eagerly as to establish the saying, ‘As drunk as a Scythian.’  It was said that these hard-headed, deep-drinking, wild warriors were always thirsting for ‘another skinful,’ and were ever ready to declare that the last was always the best.  Eighteen hundred years later, Hafiz, the merry poet, sang aloud the praises of Shiraz wine, which to this day bears a high reputation in Persia, a reputation which was royally good in the traditional bygone time long before Cyrus, when it appears to have been highly appreciated in the festivities of Glorious Jamshed, the founder of Persepolis.  The poet Omar Khayyam, in moralizing over the ruins of the fallen splendour of that famous place, speaks in Fitzgerald’s ‘Rubaiyat’: 

  ’They say the lion and the lizard keep
   The Court where Jamshed gloried and drank deep.’

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Persia Revisited from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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