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of Khelat, which stands on the most elevated part of the Brahooick range, is about eight thousand feet above the level of the sea. In so mountainous a country, one would naturally expect to meet with rivers of corresponding magnitude; no such however occur. • There is not,' says Mr. Pottinger, 'a single body of running water in the northern parts of this country, worthy of a more eminent appellation than a rivulet, unless when swollen by partial floods to a tumultuous and unfordable torrent; nor one even of that description, that can be said to flow through a regular and unbroken channel to the main. And in another place he observés, on approaching Shiraz
• Since landing at Sonmeany, I had now performed a journey of upwards of one thousand five hundred miles, of which thirteen hundred were in as direct a line as the paths would admit, from east to west ; and yet this was the first place in which I had seen a running stream sufficiently deep to have taken a horse above the knee ; a conclusive proof of the extraordinary aridity of the intermediate countries, and furnishing an example perhaps unparalleled on the face of the globe, when the diversity of soil, temperature, and appearance of the surface, that I found in them, is taken into consideration.'--(p. 239.)
The beds of these mountain torrents are the best, we might almost say the only, roads through the country; but they are dangerous to halt in at night, as the bursting of a storm on the moun. tains sometimes pours down almost instantaneously such a flood of water, as sweeps away every thing in its progress. The historian of Alexander's expedition (Arrian) notices the same fact, and says that, one night, as the army lay encamped in the bed of a river, a sudden inundation rushed upon them with such fury, that many women, children, and cattle.were swept away.
In the whole of this extensive country, there is scarcely a forest tree, at least nothing that can be called a wood or forest, though plenty of thickets or jungles are to be found in the bottoms of the valleys, or skirting the beds of periodical torrents. Mr. Pottinger is no botanist; the few arborescent plants mentioned by him are the platanus, mimosa, tamarisk, oleander, hedysarum, ficus, melia fo different species, besides tamarind, walnut, mango, and other fruits common to India, Persa, and Affghanistan, and some of those that are cultivated in Europe.
The resources of such a country can neither be numerous nor important; and the total want of roads and rivers renders its products, such as they are, available only for the support of its own population,
Of the early inhabitants, Mr. Pottinger has not been able to collect any satisfactory account. The eastern division, in which the capital stands, was, before his journey, almost as unexploped
as the interior of Africa, and the Greeks, from whom we possess the earliest knowledge of the western frontiers of India, were either so ignorant of this tract, or found it by report so inhospitable a waste, that they have been almost silent with respect to it: they saw that it was mountainous, and learned that on those mountains there was a race of natives, whose manners and occupations resembled the Scythians, and thence they denominated this country, Indo-Scythia. All the armies, that posterior to the Greek invasion, have passed from India into Persia, and the contrary, except that of Nadir Shah, have, from the appearance of the wild and rugged mountains on one side, the barren deserts on the other, and the consequent poverty of the inhabitants, studiously avoided-Beloochistan. The natives themselves affect to be descended from the Mahomedan invaders of Persia, and are desirous to be thought of Arabic extraction ; but as neither their features, their manners, nor their language bear the smallest similitude to those of Arabs, Mr. Pottinger rejects their pretensions, and thinks, with more probability, that they are of Toorkoman lineage, their institutions, habils, religion, and every thing, except language, being the same; and this anomaly he thinks may satisfactorily be explained, by supposing them to be of the Seljuke race of Tartars that settled in Persia, and were afterwards driven out by the Kharisman princes, but not until they had remained long enough to adopt the colloquial dialect of Persia, which the Belooches still speak with no more alteration than an intercourse with the bordering nations might be expected to produce.
The Belooches, however, generally so called, are probably not the aborigines of the country. There is a second great class of inhabitants, known by the name of Brahooes, who generally live in the mountains, but are equally, if not more, numerous than the former; they are divided into small tribes or societies called Kheils; are governed by their own chiefs; and are, to all appearance, the descendants of a nation of Tartar mountaineers. Neither of these two great classes have any written tradition, nor do they seem to have any notion of their history, except what is made up of the wildest and most absurd fables, anterior to the establishment of Islamism among them.
There are, besides these two great classes, a distinct race of people called Dehwars, or villagers, whose pursuits are agricultural, and who answer precisely to the description given by Mr. Elphinstone of the Taujiks among the Affghans. They speak pure Persian, both here and in other parts of Asia where they are found; and Mr. Pottinger conceives them to be the descendants of the ancient Guebres. The rest of the population is made up of Hindoos, who are found in every part of the Eastern world from which, as is the case in China and Japan, strangers are not universally ex, cluded.
The three principal tribes of the Belooches are the Nharoees, the Rinds, and the Mughsees; and these again branch out into a great multitude of sub-divisions, each having its proper chief. The Nharoees are neither the most numerous nor the most powerful; but they are a tall, handsome, active race of men : without possessing great physical strength, they are enured to every change of climate and season, and accustomed to every species of fatigue.
• Bound by no laws, and restrained by no feelings of humanity, the Nahroés are the most savage and predatory class of Belooches; and, while they deem private theft dishonourable and disgraceful in the extreme, they contemplate the plunder and devastation of a country with such opposite sentiments, that they consider it an exploit deserving of the highest commendation ; and actuated by that feeling, they will individually recount the assistance they have rendered on such occasions, the numbers of men, women, and children they have made captives, and carried away or murdered, the villages they have burned and plundered, and the flocks they have slaughtered when unable to drive them off.'
• The lawless incursions, during which these outrages and cruelties are committed, are here called Cheepaos; and as they are almost always conducted under the immediate superintendence and orders of the chiefs, they form a very considerable source of profit to them. The depredators are usually mounted on camels, and furnished, according to the distance they have to go, with food, consisting of dates, sour cheese, and bread; they also carry water in a small lealdern bag, if requisite, which is often the case in the midst of their deserts. When all is prepared they set off, and march incessantly till within a few miles of the point whence the cheepao is to commence, and then halt in a jungle or some unfrequented spot, in order to give their camels rest. On the approach of night they mount again ; and, as soon as the inhabitants bave retired to repose, they begin their attack by burning, destroying, and carrying off whatever comes in their way. They never think of resting for one moment during the cheepao, but ride on over the territory in which it is made, at the rate of eighty or ninety miles a day, until they have loaded their camels with as much pillage as they can possibly remove ; and, as they are very expert in the management of those animals, each man, on an average, will have charge of ten or twelve : if practicable, they make a circuit, which enables them to return by a different route from the one they came; this is attended with the advantage of affording a double prospect of plunder, and also misleads those who pursue the robbers, a step generally taken, though with little effect, wben a sufficient body of men can be collected for that purpose.' (pp. 58, 59.)
We took occasion, in our last number, to draw a parallel be. tween the kheils or tribes of the Affghans and the clans of the Highlands of Scotland; to that parallel we may fairly add the cheepao of the Belooches and the foray of an Highland chief; and the similarity of manners and condition does not end here. The Belooches possess, in an eminent degree, the savage virtue of hospitality, and they consider pilfering as a despicable practice; indeed, if their protection be once promised, either voluntarily or by purchase, they will die before they fail in their trust; and this virtue is equally practised in public and private life. There is in every town a building set apart for the reception of strangers, called the Mehman Khanu, or House of Guests; before the door of which a carpet is always spread. The Sirdar, or head of the kheil, embraces the stranger, the followers of the visiter successively approach, the Sirdar gives them his hand, which they press to their foreheads and lips: they all then sit down : the Sirdar inquires four times after the health of the stranger, his friends and followers; and the ceremony concludes by the new-comer making an equal number of inquiries after the welfare of the family, kheil or society, followers, and friends of the Sindar.'
The Belooches pass their time in lounging about from one tent to another, in gambling, smoking, chewing opium and bhang; but the vice of drunkenness is unknown among
them. Their food consists chiefly of wheaten or barley cakes, rice, dates, cheese, sweet and sour milk; soup made of dholl or peas, seasoned with capsicum and other heating herbs ; onions, garlic, the leaves and stalks of the assafætida plant, stewed in butter, with the addition of flesh meat, whenever they can procure it. They are fond of field sports of all kinds, shooting, hunting, and coursing; their greyhounds are trained with great care, and a good one is valued at two or three camels, or even more. Firing at marks, cudgelling, wrestling, practising with swords, and throwing the spear, are also favourite diversions with them; and neighbouring kheils cope with each other at these exercises. The last four they understand scientifically; and Mr. Pottinger was assured they were so expert at firing at a mark, that many of them could invariably hit a target not more than six inches square, at full gallop; and he adds, 'I can positively affirm, that the different guides I had during my journey killed, at the distance of fifty or sixty yards, many small birds, such as hawks, sparrows, &c. with a single ball.” (p. 66.)
Like other Mahomedans, they take as many wives as suit their circumstances or their desires, some in the lowest station having no fewer than seven or eight, and the khans of course twice, or three times that number; the women are treated with attention and respect, but are not allowed to ramble about in public. They have numbers of slaves of both sexes, the fruits of their cheepaos, whom they treat with a degree of kindness that would almost re
concile one to the endurance of that state of supposed misery, which seems to have existed in all
among the most polished nations of antiquity.
• When first taken, they look upon themselves as the most unfortunate beings in existence, and, to say the truth, the treatment they then experience is of the harsheșt and most discouraging description; they are blindfolded and tied on camels, and, in that inanner, transported to prevent the possibility of their knowing how to return; the women's hair and men's beards are also sbaved off, and the roots entirely destroyed by a preparation of quick lime, to deter them from any wish to re-visit their native soil; but they shortly get reconciled to their fate, and become very faithful servants. I shall relate an anecdote, which will best exemplify the footing on which they live with their masters. Captain Christie, speaking on this subject, expressed his surprise to Eidel Khan Rukhshanee, the Sirdar of Nooshky, that the numerous slaves which he had, should work so diligently, without any person to look after them. Why not?” said he's they are clothed, fed, and treated like the other members of my family, and if they do not labour, they are well aware, that bread will be scarce, and they must then suffer as well as ourselves; it is their interest to have plenty, because they know that whatever may fall to my lot, they get a share of it." Captain Christie assented to the justice of these observations, but added, he should have thought them likely to run away. “ Nothing of the kind,” replied the old Sirdar, " they are too wise to attempt it: in the first place, they don't know the way to their own country; but even admitting they did, why should they wish to return? They are much happier bere, and have less worldly cares; were they at home, they must toil full as hard as they now do; beside which, they would have to think of their clothes, their houses, and their food ; situated as they now are, they look to me for all those necessaries; and, in short, that you may judge yourself of their feelings, I need only inform you, that the severest punishment we can inflict on one of them, is, to send him about bis business.” (p. 64.)
The Belooche soldier is an animal of a formidable appearance. He carries a matchlock, sword, spear, dagger, and shield, besides a multiplicity of powder-flasks, priming-horns, and pouches, the last of which are crammed to the top with balls, slugs, flints, and all the deadly apparatus of war. It would seem, indeed, that the warrior's prowess is estimated entirely by the number and weight of his accoutrements. The common dress is a course white or blue calico shirt reaching down to the knees, buttoned behind the neck, and open in front: trowsers of the same, puckered round the ankles; a small silk quilted cap, to which, when full dressed, they add a turban of checked or blue cotton, and a sash of the same colour round their waist. The women's shifts are of the same materials, reaching down to their heels ; being open in front, the bosom is considerably exposed: they wear trowsers of silk