hanging big people; it sets a good example.

The Jirga made peace; but a thought of treason lay in the heart of each of them; "We Ghazan was a partisan will sack Ghazikot." of the Khan; he informed him of the plot. Ghazan informed him to the full of all that trust in them; the Jirga has decreed thy death. "Put not thy was going on; he told him: Slaughter them each and all, that thou mayest have no longer to weary thyself concerning them!"

I must say that public opinion amongst the natives underwent a revulsion in favor of Afzal Khan. They would have welcomed with pleasure the news that the old shúm had been stabbed by any man of his kith and kin; but it was hard to see justice done upon him by a Firangi. Besides, the murdered man had spoken The Jirga and the Khan met together. My slightingly of Afzal Khan's daughter-in-support is in the merciful God! With them law.* That murder was the only fine trait were Ghulám and Sheik Husein: may their in his life, the redeeming feature.



WHAT the Afghan honor is, we know; the ballad of Muqarrab Khan will teach us what it is not.

Muqarrab Khan is the ideal of the Afghan politician in Yaghistan. He was the chief of the Khedu Kheil, an important tribe, divided into two clans, the Bam Kheil and the Osman Kheil. He succeeded his father Fatteh Khan, in 1841, at Penjtar, and helped the English during the annexation of Penjab. He took refuge with them in 1857, as his subjects had expelled him on account of his tyranny. He lived a long time at Peshawer on an allowance of three rupees a day. Then he entered into negotiations with the Amazai tribe, and with their help retook Penjtar in 1874. His enemies submitted; the firga, composed of eighty men, came to receive him. The Coran was brought for them to take their oath upon it. Just at that moment the Amazais broke into the hall, and all the Jirga was massacred. After many vicissitudes, again an exile and a conqueror, turn by turn, he came once more, two years ago, to sit a refugee at the hearth of the English. The commissioner, Colonel Waterfield, gave him a plot of ground on free rent. "The old man is so old," said the commissioner to me, "that it will not long be a charge upon the budget of India."

Here is the tale of the massacre, as told by the poet Arsal:


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face be black before the Lord!

The Khan said: "Firoz! Thou committest

treason every day. Take me to Penjtar! I, the prince of this land, go from door to door as a beggar.'

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Firoz answered: "Thou art our Khan.

We will

Come, make no havoc amongst us. We will
bring back prosperity to thy house.
give thee Penjtar. Between us and thee here
is the Coran."

The Khan said frankly: "You take oath in my hands now, and yet you will afterwards You will betray me conspire against me.


is dispersed." my army the traitor? Thou art our Khan forever." The Jirga answered: "Why should we play

The two chiefs kissed one another, they sat down in the midst of the Jirga. The Amazais broke in, a tumult arises, all disperse. The Khan has broken his promise, belied his own word. world deaf and blind.

It has made all the

The Khedu Kheil had been taken unawares;

they did not understand what was being done;
This was written in their destiny.
they were put to the sword, O my friend.

With the help of the Amazais, the Khan slaughtered the Khedu Kheil. There was mercy for no one; no one escaped. Amongst the victims was Mairu, who was the malik of the Mada Kheil; he was cut to pieces with the Persian swords.

The night went. In the morning the news spread. Some were indignant, some were glad. It was a great sorrow with the Osman Kheil their time has passed away.


The poet does not precisely approve of Muqarrab ; but if you look coldly at things, who is the good Afghan who in his stead would not have done the same? In the struggle for life, a man's word is only a weapon, and an oath is a hunting-net as good as any other or better. The Jirga of the Khedu Kheil had forgotten that terrible maxim of their nation: "When thou hast reconciled thyself with thy foe, then beware of him.'



THE Afghans have a noble maxim, worthy of any Stoic: "If thou hast, eat;

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Once upon a time Naim Shah met "the General Sáb." The general was one of his great admirers; he said to him: "Will you enter my service? ""With pleasure," was the answer; "but you must first put to death the kotval of Naushehra." The general objected to the condition, and the negotiation was stopped; but he sent him, as a token of esteem, a gun, a sword, a pistol, two hundred rupees, and a milch cow. Naim Shah was touched with the proceedings; but this did not prevent his slaughtering an entire picket at Chahkot; he retired peacefully, carrying with him some twenty Martini guns-quite a fortune for a poor Afghan robber.

if thou hast not, die."* Unfortunately | a man of the mountain, and was already they do not live up to it, and in practice it safe in his Khatak den, while they were becomes: "If thou hast, eat; if thou hast still hunting him down the river. not, take." The ideal of a man is to live upon his neighbor. The Afridis of the Khaiber Pass lived for centuries upon the plunder of the caravans, till the British government enlisted these hereditary robbers as regular gendarmes, and compounded for their right of plunder by a regular annuity. The Ghilzais, who are just now making life rather uneasy to the emir, proudly interpret their name as "son of robber," and live according to the etymology. When a child is born, his mother bores a hole through the mud wall of the hut, and makes it pass through, saying: "Ghal zai-be a good robber, my child." The Kashmiris, who were for seventy years under the Afghan yoke, have described in one line the morals of those strictest among Musulmans, and the worst amongst plunderers: "To pray is piety (qarz), to prey is duty (fars)."

In the British territory, though the idea of law and order has made remarkable progress and people who formerly were wont to settle their quarrels according to the prescriptions of the nangi Pukhtana, are not seldom willing to have them brought to Kachehri, yet the klepht is still a national hero, and a favorite subject with popular poets. One died three or four years ago, whose name is still on the lips of all. This is his story as it was told

to me.

Naim Shah was born near Cherat, a military station in the Khatak Mountains. His brother was insulted by the Sikh Phul Singh, who was kotval, or chief of the police-station, at Naushehra, an important cantonment on the Kabul River, with two regiments. He lodged a complaint with the British commandant; the complaint was discarded; then he applied for justice to his brother. Naim Shah wrote to the kotval, saying: "You have harmed my brother, I will harm you." The kotval and the general laughed; but on the same night Naim Shah broke into the town with a hundred men, looted it, entered the kotvali, sat as a judge, had time enough to have one of his enemies sentenced and shot. The noise awakens the commandant, who arrives from the distant cantonment just in time to see him fleeing down the river. He pursues him there for hours in vain. "Naim Shah was not a fish to hide himself in the river; "he was

*Thorburn, Bannu,

The government at last had recourse to the unfailing method; they put a prize of three thousand rupees on his head. Naim Shah, taken by surprise while asleep, at Kohi, was wounded to death before he could defend himself. All the poets mourned his death; here is one of their songs, equal to any of the klepht songs in Fauriel:

They fell down upon him unawares, he was
Náim Shah was the falcon of the black moun-
tains, he was the man of the great heart.
The report of the guns burst unexpectedly
upon him.

It was the hand of God that fired the guns,
for he was stronger than a Nawab. He
opened his eyes from his sleep, and this
time the Tiger's shot missed.
"O that the
The Tiger spoke in this manner:
fight were in the open field! This is the
regret left in my heart." Death had taken

him to Kohi: who could help him?
Death said: "Go not further: here is the place,
under this vine." The foes came upon him
from above, from below; they were men
without the fear of God. He gave up the

What Fate has written cannot be altered:
they were men without the fear of God.
As he had still breath left in his body, the
May curses rain upon them!
Thánadár † came by.

The Thánadár said to him: "Tell me, why

did you sleep untimely? So did the guns devour thee from afar.'

He expounded the matter to the Thánadár,
and breathed his last.

He expounded all the matter as it stood.
They took him to the kotit at Peshawer.
All people heard the news: they looked at

Sáb, the popular pronunciation for Sahib.
† The chief of the police-station.



the face of Náim Sháh: * all the people of | brothers in Europe. You will hardly find the town were there.

All the people met at the koti: O hero, thy
house is empty! No hero ever will appear
who is like unto Náim Sháh. The Engriz
Government was sorry for his death.†
His mother came out of the house, she stood
before the Engriz, bareheaded." I am sor-
rowful for it; black, black is my grief!
YASIN says: they heaped the earth above him.



LOVE-SONGS are plentiful with the Afghans, though whether they are acquainted with love is rather doubtful. Woman with the Afghans is a purchasable commodity; she is not wooed and won with her own consent, she is bought from her father. The average price of a young and good-looking girl is from about three to five hundred rupees. To reform the ideas of an Afghan upon that matter would be a desperate task. When Seid Ahmed, the great Wahabi leader, the prophet, leader, and king of the Yusufzai Afghans, tried to abolish the marriage by sale, his power fell at once, he had to flee for his life, and died an outlaw. There is no song in the world so sad and dismal as that which is sung to the bride by her friends. They come to congratulate — no, to console her, like Jephthah's daughter; they go to her, sitting in a corner, and sing:

You remain sitting in a corner and cry to us. What can we do for you?

Your father has received the money.

one in which you do not meet the clinking of the pezvan (the ring in the nose of the Afghan beauty), the blinking of the gold muhurs dangling from her hair, the radi ance of the green mole in her cheek; and the flames of separation, and the begging of the beggar, the dervish at her door, come as pilgrim of love; and the sickness of the sick waiting for health at her hand; and the warbling of the tuti,* sighing by night for his beloved kharo bird. Yet, in the long run, one finds a charm in these rather affected strains, though not the direct, straightforward, all-possessing rapture of simple and sincere emotion. It is difficult to give in a translation an idea of that charm, as it can hardly be separated from the simple, monotonous tune ever recurring, as well as from the rich and high-sounding rhyme for which the Afghan poet has the instinct of a modern Parnassian. The most popular love-songs are those of Mira of Peshawer, Tavakkul of Jelalabad, and Mohammed Taila, of Naushehra. Here is the world-known "Zakhmé" of Mira: 1. I am sitting in sorrow, wounded with the stab of separation, low low!


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She carried back my heart in her talons, when she came to-day, my bird kharo, low


I am ever struggling, I am red with my
blood, I am your dervish.

My life is a pang. My love is my doctor;
I am waiting for the remedy, low low!

3. She has a pomegranate on her breast, she has sugar on her lips, she has pearls for her teeth:

All of love that the Afghan knows is jealousy. All crimes are said to have their cause in one of the three z's: zar, 4. zamin, or zan- money, earth, or woman; the third z is in fact the most frequent of the three causes.

The Afghan love-song is artificial; the Afghan poet seems to have been at the school of the Minnesinger or the troubadours. It is the same mièvrerie which

seems almost to amuse itself with its love more witty than passionate, a play of imagination more than a cry of the heart. They would have felt with Petrarch or Heine, si parva licet componere magnis. There is much of the convenu and of the poetical commonplace in their songs, as there is in those of their elder

"Nequeunt expleri corda tuende,

Os hominis," etc.

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All this she has, my beloved one; I am wounded in my heart, and therefore I am It is due that I should be your servant; a beggar that cries, low low! have a thought for me, my soul, ever and


Evening and morning I lie at thy door; I
am the first of thy lovers, low low!
Mira is thy slave, his salâm is on thee; thy
tresses are his net, thy place is Paradise;
He who says a ghazal and says it on the
put in thy cage thy slanderer.

tune of another man, he can call himself
a thief at every ghazal he says.· This
word of mine is truth.

I shall give only one other ghazal, which derives a particular interest from the personality of its author, as well as from a touch of reverie and quaint lunacy, rarely met in Afghan poetry. As I visited the prison of Abbottabad, in company with

The tuti is the Indian parrot; he is supposed to be in love with the maina bird, which the Afghans called kharo.

the assistant commissioner Mr. P., I saw | there a man who had been sentenced to several months' imprisonment for breaking a Hindu's leg in a drunken brawl. The man was not quite sane; he told Mr. P. that he was not what he was supposed to be; that he was a king, and ought to be put on the gadi. His name was Mohammadji. Next day I was surprised to hear from a native that Mohammadji was a poet, an itinerant poet from Pakli, who more than once had been in trouble with justice, for he was rather a disorderly sort of poet. Here is a ballad, written by the prisoner, which is quite a little masterpiece, "in a sensuous, elementary way half Baudelaire, half Song of Solomon:"Last night I strolled through the bazar of the black locks; I foraged, like a bee, in the bazar of the black locks.*

Last night I strolled through the grove of the black locks; I foraged, like a bee, through the sweetness of the pomegranate. I bit my teeth into the virgin chin of my love; then I breathed up the smell of the garland from the neck of my Queen, from her black


Last night I strolled in the bazar of the black locks; I foraged

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He rules his kingdom, he governs it with the black locks.

Last night I strolled through the bazar of the black locks; I foraged, like a bee, through the bazar of the black locks.

Poor Mohammadji, as you may see from the last stanza, was already seized with the mania of grandeurs before he entered the prison at Abbottabad, though he dreamed as yet only of poetical royalty. If these lines ever reach Penjab, and find there any friend of poetry amongst the powers that be, may I be allowed to recommend to their merciful aid the poor poet of Pakli, a being doubly sacred, a poet and a divana,† and one who thus doubly needs both mercy for his faults and help through life.

There is a poetical genre peculiar to Afghan poetry: it is the misra. The misra is a distique, that expresses one idea, one feeling, and is a complete poem by itself. Poets, in poetical assauts, vie with one another in quoting or improvis and love affairs, and some are exquisitely ing misras. They refer generally to love simple :—

My love does not accept the flower from my hand; I will send her the stars of Heaven in a firga.

Thy image appears to me in my dreams, I awake in the night and cry till the morning.

I told him, There is such a thing as separation, and my friend burst into laughter till he grew green.

When the perfume of thy locks comes to me, it is the morning that comes to me, and I blossom like the rose.

O letter, blessed be thy fate! Thou art going to see my beloved.

Her husband.

↑ A lunatic.

A friend points to the remarkable similarity of the Afghan misra with the stornello in the popular poetry of Italy.

My honor and my name, my life and my | Yusufzai girl, and took her to Lahore. wealth-I will give everything for the eyes of my beloved. Strike my head, plunder my goods, but let me see the eyes of the one I love, and I will give my blood.

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O my soul at last thou wilt become dust; for I have seen the eyes of my friend, and they were friendly no more.

Were there a narrow passage to the dark niche in the grave, I should go and offer flowers to my love.

O master builder! his grave was too well made; and my friend will stay as long as time lasts.

Of the inner family life popular song is rather reticent. Of the brutality of man, the slavery of woman, the harsh voice, the insult, the strokes, the whipping at the post, the fits of mad jealousy without love, it has nothing to say. Women, however, have also their poetry and their poets, the duman; but that poetry goes hardly out of the walls of the harem. I was fortunate enough to gather some fragments of it, though less than I should have liked. A child is a child even to an Afghan


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Her brothers went in search of her, and found at last, after a year, the place where she lived. She had a child by the Sikh. She recognized them from the window, put the child in the cradle, and while her husband was drunk asleep, she rocked the child with a lullaby in which she informed her brothers of all they had to do. The Sikhs are gone, but the lullaby is still sung:

Swing, swing, zangutai!* Come not, ye robbers. Come not by the lower, side: come by the upper side, sweet and low. Swing, swing, zangutai! There are two dogs

inside; I have tied them with rims. Swing, swing, sangutai! There is a little basket inside, full with sovereigns. Swing, swing, zangutai! There is a bear† asleep; come quickly therefore. Swing, swing, zangutai! If he becomes aware of you, there will be no salvation in your distress.

Swing, swing, zangutai! The infidel is a drunkard, he does not perceive the noise. Swing, swing, zangutai !

But every life must end with voceros.

During the agony all the family surround the dying, and repeat the sacred formula, Ashhadu: "I bear witness that Allah is God, and there is no other God. I bear witness that Mohammed is his servant and apostle." Thus the dying soul is kept in the remembrance of God, and brought to repeat the Ashhadu, and dies in confessing God, and is saved. In the moment when his soul goes, an angel comes, and converses with him, questions him, and, recognizing a good Mussulman, says: "Thy faith is perfect." Then the men leave the room; the women sit around the dying bed; the daughter, sister, or wife of the deceased, standing before the dead, repeats the vocero for an hour, and

at each time the chorus of women answer with a long, piercing lamentation, that thrills through the hearts of the men in

O Lord! give me a son who says, "Papa! the courtyard, and creates the due sorrow.


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Let his mother wash him in milk!
Let her rub him with butter!

They will call him to the mosque.
The Molla will teach him reading,
And the students will kiss him.

Dear, dear child! a flower in your hat!
It shines like a sprig of gold!

The following is a nursery rhyme which I believe is unparalleled in the whole of the nursery literature; it is history as well as a lullaby.

In the time of the Sikh domination, I am told, a Sikh carried away by force a

Here are some of the voceros; a mere translation cannot of course render the effect of those simple plaints, which derive most of their power from the accent and the mere physical display of emotion. For a father:

Alas! alas! my father!

I shall see you no more on the road.
The world has become desolate to you for-


For a mother:

Zangutai: berceaunette in English. † Her husband.

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