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ram Mirza to translate it for him. Then it was that the lad, still nursing his resentment to keep it warm, seized the occasion as his own.
"May I be your sacrifice, your Highness," he said, reaching out for the newspaper. "This article I will give to Feridun Mirza, whose French accent will enable him to put it into Persian with an accuracy that I cannot hope to achieve."
Then, leaving the prince to ponder over the retort courteous, he entered the class-room and told me what had taken place. I need not say that I insisted both upon his translating the article and upon his begging the prince's pardon for his show of temper. Feridun Mirza, whose pensive countenance had worn an expression of blank dismay at sight of the leading article, brightened up more than a little when Bahram, knitting a meditative brow, snatched it from him and set to work.
One more story about Bahram Mirza will complete my portrait of a remarkable lad. I think the incident deserves a memory. It occurred when the war between Spain and the United States was only a week old. Bahram's intelligent interest in the unequal struggle was kindled at my keeping him posted up in the daily telegraphic news. Then, our interest growing, we took sides. His sympathy, all for the success of Spain, was a break in the continuity of my teaching that the welfare of the English-speaking races is the welfare of the world, making
for self-government and progress; that the territorial integrity of Persia and of China was closely knit in the triumph of the Anglo-Saxon principle. Where British aims and British successes were concerned, I could carry him along with me to the crest of my desire; but the hope that his sympathy for these aims would inevitably lead him to espouse the cause of the United States saw me crestfallen and despondent.
"Where would your Americans be now if Columbus had not discovered America?" he cried, cocking his head on the left shoulder and closing the right eye. I positively gasped for breath at the outrageous question. Then, taking my courage in both hands, I “went for" the past history of Spain. He listened very attentively. When I had finished speaking, he craved permission to say a few words.
sir," he mused,
"Please, "didn't you tell me, when you came first, that the Latin races were inclined to retaliate upon their kings if their arms suffered a defeat? If the Spaniards should be defeated, might they not depose their little king? And do you expect me to have sympathy with Republicans? Vivent les rois!"
"How about France?" I asked. "Do you mean to say that you have no sympathy with the French?"
"I love France," he replied in French. "But do you think that the French are true Republicans, sir? I think that they are not. They remind me of the New Women you were
telling me about the other day. They think they can rule themselves, but in their hearts they know that they are only waiting for the man who shall rule them."
These words, spoken as they were before the Fashoda affair and the home-coming of Captain Dreyfus, showed a remarkable insight into the malcontent spirit of latter-day France. Evidently Bahram Mirza had read his French papers to good purpose. There is nothing that this boy could not learn, given the means and the opportunity. Never had tutor a more promising pupil. He is now close upon sixteen years old—an age when the Persian takes to himself a wife-yet he is still in the schoolroom, "Il hem dillah!" ("Praise be to God!") Being endowed by nature with many of the special gifts which go to the making of a diplomatist of the first rank, he might rise to play a leading part in the future of Persian politics, were he not a prince of the blood and the son of the Zillu's-Sultan. For "tis true, 'tis pity, and pity 'tis 'tis true," that a muleteer or a cameldriver stands a better chance of forcing his way to the front in political life in Persia than does a child of the House of Kajar. Hence the probability is that Bahram Mirza's career will be a long agony of thwarted ambition and hopes deferred. The downfall of his eldest brother, the Jelal-ed-Dowlet, in July 1897, set him pondering over his own future.
"What should I like to be!" he cried in answer to my ques
"I should like to have an open field and fair play when I am a man. But there is no chance for me. Am I not a prince? Take the case of my brother, the Jelal-edDowlet. In the days of my father's power he ruled as deputy at Shiraz from the age of thirteen to his twentieth year. In 1890 he was sent to Yezd as my father's representative in that city. And now, after seven years of successful rule at Yezd, he has been recalled to Teheran by my uncle the Shah and put in command of his Majesty's body-guard. Oui, monsieur,
mon frère ainé commande à quelques cavaliers à l'âge de vingt-huit ans : c'est le comble de distinction, parole d'honneur!"
The first time I saw the Jelaled-Dowlet was at the reading of my monthly report in the month of August 1897. my suggestion this little function, which was held in the flowery courtyard of the Divan Khanah, had been made the occasion of some show and ceremony, the Zillu's - Sultan himself presiding, and his chief ministers and officers being present. When my pupils and I arrived at the meeting-place we were received by Dr Mirza Huseyn Khan, who introduced me to his companion, the Jelaled - Dowlet, in whose goodhumoured, handsome, albeit fleshy, face there shone an expression of ineffable complacency, despite his recent fall from the ranks of the powers that be. In the course of conversation, while we were
awaiting the prince's arrival, he asked me how it came that scarce an Englishman in the country had taken the trouble to learn Persian thoroughly; and I asked him what evil my nation had wrought that he, so long a ruler in the British sphere of influence, should have the reputation of being bitterly Anglophobe. The question, taking him at unawares, met with a reply at once humorous and inconsequent.
"Who told you that, sahib?" he cried in French. "Why, I assure you, sahib, I have the warmest feelings of friendship for Dr Carr of the C.M.S."
The end of my smile saw the Zillu's Sultan, entering the courtyard through the curtained doorway of the haram, walk through the lines of salaaming courtiers, and sit down on one of the chairs around the tank wherein goldfish were at play. To Dr Mirza Huseyn Khan, the Jelaled - Dowlet, Père Pascal, and myself was granted the privilege of sitting down in the presence of the senior brother of the Shah, my pupils remaining standing in a line on the left, the same position being assumed by the rest of the assembly in other parts of the courtyard.
When I had read aloud the report and made a speech in French, which was put into Persian by Dr Mirza Huseyn Khan, the Zillu's-Sultan showed his appreciation of the progress his sons had made in their studies by bestowing upon each one of them a present of ten tumans in gold and an audible kiss on the mouth. Nor did VOL. CLXVII.—NO. MXVI,
his paternal pride content himself with this purely personal show of feeling. Bear with me yet a little longer while I tell you of the sacrifice which he exacted from his humble servants. Singling out Bahram Mirza as the top of the class, he sent him round to be kissed on the mouth by the miserable mortals who happened to be seated. While the act of osculation was being performed by Dr Mirza Huseyn Khan, I breathed a terrified whisper in the ear of the Jelal-ed-Dowlet, who was next to me.
"Altesse," I said under the breath, "you don't mean to say that I shall have to kiss the lad on the mouth?"
The Jelal-ed-Dowlet, bursting out laughing, shared the humour of the situation with the Zillu'sSultan, who made me a mock ceremonious bow, and cried, "Bismillah!" in a voice toned to the words, "kiss him and be thankful!
But I protested, both hands up, against this breach in the customs of my country. vain. His Highness was inexorable. Being driven to desperation, I was about to plead a cold in the head and call Dr Mirza Huseyn Khan to witness that the malady was contagious, when, remembering that I had an appointment at sunset, I wavered between to be or not to be, Bahram Mirza holding up his face to mine.
"In the name of God the Merciful and Clement!" cried the Zillu's-Sultan.
"Mosie mon ami!" he cried, in an ecstasy of high spirits, "faites-moi faire de gymnastique devant son Altesse; si non, mon force il va! Oui, mon ami, faites-moi faire petit soldat! Par la tête de son Altesse, faites-moi courir contre mes frères!"
The request being interpreted, the Zillu's-Sultan was sore put to it to forego the pleasure of witnessing the athletic sports, but he made the sacrifice demanded by the dignity of the occasion, holding that the contest should be a contest of intellect, not of animal strength and spirits. Turning to the Jelal-ed-Dowlet, whose favourite brother and inseparable companion was present, he laid him odds that my pupil, Bahram Mirza, was a better French scholar than this same favourite brother of his, the Jelal's. The test was to be a piece of French dictation from a daily paper. The Jelal-ed-Dowlet accepted the
challenge in the name of his brother, Homus Mirza, who was a frank gentlemanly lad of fifteen, and hence two years older than his competitor. Carpets being spread, the two lads sat down on their heels and fell to writing at a table one foot above the ground. The examination ended in another triumph for Bahram Mirza, who made six errors, while his brother made twice the number. The winner's reward was fifteen tumáns in gold, and a string of kisses on the mouth. The loser's punishment was a flow of unpublishable abuse fresh from the paternal lips. My heart went out to Homus Mirza in his undeserved discomfiture. All the lad needed to look the picture of an English publicschool boy was an Eton suit. I was sorry that he was not one of my pupils. Among the Jelal-ed-Dowlet's good works, this of the upbringing of his brother won the first place in my regard. That it should be mentioned only at the end of this article is an unpardonable oversight on my part.
One word more a word of advice to Bahram Mirza—and I will wipe my pen. Let him fear God, honour his king, serve his country, "greet the unseen with a cheer, holding that we fall to rise, are baffled to fight better, sleep to wake." That the spirit of patriotism will inform his actions in the coming days of his country's need, is the hearty prayer of his sometime tutor, who now bids him and his brothers Godspeed and good-bye.
CONCERNING OUR CAVALRY.
IT is a foregone conclusion that when we have passed through the present Sturm und Drang of war, our country's whole military system will necessarily be revised, and, in many important details, placed on a new footing. We have had large opportunities of gathering lessons from from the operations that we have been carrying out, and though we cannot at once say what are the conclusions at which we shall arrive, we may at least usefully employ ourselves in studying the premisses that are before us, so that when the final issues come before the country we may be able to give an intelligent opinion, and possibly, each in his own sphere, exert some influence in their settlement.
Undoubtedly in our country there has been for many years a tendency among the highest military authorities to depreciate cavalry. The service has been snubbed, and has lacked not only encouragement but also many of the necessaries which go to produce efficiency. Only in India has the English cavalry found itself in a really effective condition as regards men and horses; only in India has it had such opportunities of practising its real duties, that when it has been called upon to take the field it has proved itself altogether equal to the situation. It is not necessary to recur to what
our cavalry regiments have accomplished in Eastern wars; but to illustrate what we mean it may well be pointed out how very admirable was the work done in South Africa by the 9th Lancers, the only regiment belonging to the Indian contingent which has been able to show its real value, for unfortunately the other corps were condemned to suffer the long trials of besieged Ladysmith. All our cavalry have probably now learned a good deal by experience; but from the first the 9th were at the level of the situation, and in scouting practised ruses quite as "slim " as those of the enemy. One may be told as an example. It is well known that the Boers have been in the habit of lying close on the side of a kopje, reserving their fire until some unwary rooineks came within easy range. The 9th patrols frequently forced them to disclose themselves by riding up to the neighbourhood of a possible hiding-place, then halting and apparently eagerly scanning it, shading their eyes with their hands. They saw nothing, they never expected to be able to detect anything; but they pretended to have seen the hidden foe, and suddenly turning, galloped away back as if to give information. The Boers thought that they had been discovered and opened fire, thus really betraying themselves and showing that the position was occupied.