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What the Shah thinks of England.

The ‘ Daily Telegraph’ print* an account of the Shah’s impressions of his visit to London, gathered evidently from tho interpreter A most profound effect has been produced on the mind of the Shah by London as a city. After his sail up the Thames, he says that he realises for the first time the fact that London is a vast port. Ho also now looks upon it as tho capital of the world. Nasr-od-din has been greatly struck by the vast and orderly crowd*. His Majesty found, ho avers, everywhere a most kindly, good - humored, well - conducted throng, who have excelled all peoples in tie art of declaring in a dignified, becoming manner tho enthusiasm they felt for thc-ir future King and tho welcome they generously accorded to their present guest. This, His Majesty has been pleased again and again to remark, is one of the most gratifying sights he has witnessed since he has left his country, and one he is not likely soon to forget. His Majesty is not, however, without a reflective and philosophical vein of thought. When one of the Persian courtiers, pointing to the vast crowds lining the streets, observed “ Bamlagdn iAdli!”— tl O\i, chief of tho servants of the Most High ! what an ocean of people, and to think no one knows their names !” the Shah repeated with a pathetic sigh that line of Saadi Basi jin ba lab amad kib baa bar-o na giryaet. which, being interpreted, is— Many a soul to lip has lonpt (i f., died), And no man known, and no man wept. His Majesty experiences, ho says, special delight in the society of the English aristocracy. His idea of the “English gentleman ” is that he is by nature modest and retiring, dislikes display, and only with groat difficulty reveals to a stranger the best side of his character, generally, indeed, as the result of a positive effort. One is always adding, he declares, to the credit tide of tho Englishman’s social and intellectual account. What most of all, however, calls forth his enthusiastic admiration is the mysterious circumstance that the destinies of a world-wide empire like ours, with its myriads of human beings and endless conflicting interests, should be shaped and directed by a few bashful, retiring individuals attired in plain black clothes, with unlovely top hats, who, were they to transgress any of the criminal laws of their country, would be arrested by a vulgar policeman and put in prison like a common offender. Of the Princess of Wales he has no hesitation to speak of as “ JDurr-i-Yatim” —“an unparalleled Pearl;” and ho has been heard to call England Lala-zar, “ the land of tulips.” But he is so far true to Oriental habits and traditions that he does not and cannot admire their style of evening dress. Never does His Majesty cease to deplore the modes which prevail, to his perpetual surprise, in the European world of fashion, and which permit the most correct and noble dames to wear robes and evening dresses far too lavish, according to Persian thought, in what they reveal. Since he has been, in his own phrase, Ibn-us-sahU , “ a son of the road,” or a traveller, Le has grown more and more accustomed to these garments, but he will never be morally reconciled to them. No end of stories are current about the Shah. One of the most malicious recounts that his usual method of addressing English ladies was to say to them in his baa French: “ You are very beautiful, I like you.” But when he met one very distinguished lady whose personal attractions are not to be compared to her Intellectual capacity and social podtion, he said simply: “ You are so ab'otninabiy ulgy yo'u ought to be killed.”

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18890824.2.38.17

Bibliographic details

What the Shah thinks of England., Evening Star, Issue 7994, 24 August 1889, Supplement

Word Count
633

What the Shah thinks of England. Evening Star, Issue 7994, 24 August 1889, Supplement

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