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of northero Persia all belong, their ziarets intend the affairs of this world after his or holy places are set upon the summits return to his father's kingdom. This of hills, and the probable origin of this mystery of a Trinity is a second item in sect may doubtless be found in the exist- Ansairee religion, and is universally be. ence of sun worship in Persia, and the lieved in by all the four sects; it is called attempt of the early apostles of the reli- ' the mystery of the A.M.S.,” from the gion to blend as far as possible their new initial letters of the three individuals of doctrine with that practised around them. their Trinity. An Ansairee - or a Na. Even to this day they are noted for their sari, as their sect is more commonly called skill in fire-eating; and on the sacred in the north - when taking an oath, will tombs of their departed saints they affirm always swear by his "faith in the mystery that the holy light of Ali is seen to de- of the Ain, Min, Sin; and one of the scend, much as the Zoroastrians of this most common forms of prayer amongst very district used to say of their fire tem- them is to say the words “ Ain, Min, Sin," ple in olden days.
five hundred times in succession. The second sect into which the Ansai. Concerning the third person of their ree are divided is that of the Kalazians, Trinity, Salman the Persian – or, as he or moon-worshippers; that is to say, they is more commonly abbreviated, Sin – the affirm that Ali dwells in the moon, which Ansairee have many curious legends. he created as a palace for himself. When They call him the communicator,” the they look at the moon they profess to see medium by which Ali makes his will Ali' himself in the dark parts with the known to man; he is supposed to have crown on his head and the sword of Mo. superintended the creation of the world, hammed in his band ; he is to them, in and to govern the atmospheric conditions fact, a veritable man in the moon. Whilst of our globe. we were at Mersina and Tarsus we were The mystery of the covenant of the witnesses ourselves to several disagreea- Ain, Min, Sin, may be said to be the one ble nocturnal addresses to Ali in the moon point which joins all Ansairee together, from his devoted followers the Arab fella. be they inhabitants of the Mediterranean heen. A: full moon it was hard to sleep shores or the mountains of northern Perfrom the noise they made, beating tam. sia. There is something of freemasonry bourines, and howling hideously; and to about it; and a body of nomads are said the new moon it is their custom to make to know their fellows by a certain shake low obeisance and other forms of adora- of the hands, and the oath, “I adjure thee, tion by way of welcome, spreading out the by the faith of the covenant of Ali, the baods as they pray to represent the cres- prince of believers, and by the covenant cent of the new
At Tarsus and of the Ain, Min, Sin,” after taking which Mersina the Arabs are nearly all Kala: oath an Ansairee dare not lie. It is also zians, hence we had a good opportunity of admitted by all the sects of the Ansairee studying their peculiarities.
that the old man, Nasare, born at the vil. The next sect of Ansairee say that Ali lage of Nasaria, in Arabia, was the disdwells in the air, and commence their coverer of this holy mystery; but he is prayers with the formula, “O thou who somewhat cast into the shade by another art the air.” Ali, they say, pervades divine, called Al Khusaibi, who perfected everything, is omnipresent and omnis. their religion, to whom most of the prayers cient.
they have now in use are attributed, and The fourth sect say that Ali dwells in who taught that all great men and proph. the twilight. But of these two latter sects ets, in all ages, are incarnations of Ali. we had no opportunity of forming any in his list of incarnations Al Khusaibi opinion; and I presume they are only includes Plato, Socrates, Alexander the to be found in the recesses of their own Great, Jesus Christ, and Mohammed, the mountains. To all intents and purposes founder of Islamism; in fact, all the great the Ansairee may be said to consist of the leaders of various ages; whereas celetwo former sects, and all my remarks refer brated women, and the wives of these exclusively to them.
great men, are supposed to be incarnaOne of the most curious features of the tions of Salman Al Farsi, with the curi. Ansairee faith is their belief in a Trinity : ous exception of the wives of Noah and Ali, the Father; Mohammed, the Son; Lot. and Salman el Farsi, the Holy Ghost. Many of the religious festivals and ob. Ali, the Father, became man through his servances practised by the Ansairee would veil or representative, Mohammed; and seem to be of distinctly Christian origio. Mohammed appointed Salman to super. So that some observers, including Dr.
Wolff, have been induced to believe that | Entombment, and hoping thereby to de. the religion represents a species of de rive the same benefit that the Greeks at. cayed Christianity, and that the name of tach to this ceremony. Their idea about their founder, Nasari, is really derived Christmas is very curious. They observe from Nazarene. This may possibly be the day as a holiday at the same time as the case, and that the early incentive to the Greeks, and call it the Feast of Mee. mystery and secrecy was to avoid perse- lad, and offer up to Ali on Christmas eve cution; and that in the lapse of ages cor. the following prayer : " Thou didst mani. rupt practices crept in, possibly through fest in that night thy name, which is tby the instrumentality of Al Khusaibi, the soul, thy veil, thy throne, to all creatures so-called perfector of their religion. This, as a child, and under human form." But however, is pure speculation; and, as we at the same time they do not believe in find amongst the observances many strong the Crucifixion. There is something retraces of Judaism and pure Mohamme- pellent to them in the idea of a portion of danism, I personally feel inclined to think the Godhead being offered up as a sacrifice that the original founders of the Ansairee for men. But they say that Ali took up faith borrowed the points which pleased Eesa, as they call Jesus, to himself. Ali them best from the religions of the peo. always, they believe, has an incarnation ple with whom they were in immediate of the Deity on earth on occasions when contact.
it is necessary.
This incarnation is a At all their secret religious feasts the great man, a leader of men; but this is cup of wine forms an important feature. not the invariable rule, and oftentimes the It is called by them “ The image of Ali.” incarnation of Ali upon earth may pass This cup is first tasted by the sheikh in unnoticed by those with whom he mixes. the south, or the seid in the north, who Some of their prayers are couched in presides at the feast, and then handed really very beautiful and sublime lanround to those assembled, each recipient guage, full of the rich redundancy of the kissing the hand of the one who passes Arab tongue; and at prayer-time great him the cup.
Women are never admitted solemnity is observed, when “it is forbidinto this communion, though the Moham- den either to take or to give, to sell or to medans circulate stories concerning the buy, to report the news, to whisper, to be scenes of gross immorality which occur at noisy, to be restless, or to tell stories over these festivities; but they say the same the myrtle; but let there be silence, lis. thing of the Baabis and other religious teping, attention, and saying of Amen." sects which do not conform to their rit. The expression “over the myrtle ual; and, from our personal observation, quires some explanation. It is the comI should not think there is any truth in mon expression amongst the Ansairee of these calumnies. In Persia a sheep with-Tarsus for their religious services, from out blemish is roasted at the feasts of the the fact that the floor is strewed with Ali-ullah-hi, the horos and the hoofs be myrtle-branches for the occasion. This ing first removed; this is then brought may arise from the prevalence of myrtle into the assembly.room and placed before in those parts, and I do not know if it is the seid, who distributes portions of it to used elsewhere. The town of Mersina, all who are present. But of this ceremony close to Tarsus, is called after the myrtle, I could find no trace among the Kalazians which grows there in abundance, as it of the south.
does all over the littoral of the Cilician The Ansairee have many feast-days in plain. their year. With the Mohammedans, they From a Greek, a native of Tarsus, who observe the feasts of Ramazan and Bairam, professed to have seen an Ansairee reli. and with the Christians they observe New gious service when hidden in a lemon-tree Year's day, the feast of St. John the in a garden, I had an account of one of Baptist, Epiphany, St. Mary Magdalene, their secret ineetings. Not that one can Good Friday, and Christmas. On the feast attach much faith to the words of a Greek of Epiphany, which they call “ Yetas," of that place ; but, curiously enough, he the Ansairee of Tarsus may be seen in represented the place as all strewn with crowds on the banks of the river Cydnus, myrtles, and I do not imagine that he washing themselves and their clothes and could have invented this without it really making general holiday. Similarly, on came before his notice. Good Friday, it is not uncommon to see At Tarsus, as I have already stated, the an Ansairee attending a midnight service Ansairee are all gardeners, and the love in the Greek Church; passing, with the of flowers amongst the Ansairee women, Christians, under the representation of the Iwbo go about unveiled, is very marked.
All of them wear an extravagant number | go to make pretence of prayers; but the of flowers about their person, and their whole sect is an abomination to the Turks, reed huts are often gaily decorated with who cannot say enough that is bad against the produce of their gardens. During my them. stay at Tarsus I was lucky enough to be During my stay at Tarsus I paid a visit present at an Ansairee wedding. The to Sheikh Hassan, the chief of the Kalafestivity took place at one of the reed zians and one of the most influential men houses buried in the gardens, and the peo- in Tarsus. There is also another sheikh, ple were assembled in a courtyard walled the chief of the few Sheinali who reside in by reeds ; in one corner stood the takht, in the place; but his followers are few or throne, a sort of balcony raised on and his influence is in no way to be compoles, where the inhabitants sleep in sum- pared to that of Sheikh Hassan. He is a mer to obtain the greatest amount of cool. very wealthy man, for the Ansairee pay ness and the least possible number of tithes to their chief priest, and he lives in insects; in another corner of the yard one of the best houses in the outskirts of stood the mud oven, where on most days the town. Hassan Effendi is a dignified of the week you may see the Arab women Arab, with a handsome, benign face, and baking their flabby oat-cake. The green a long, white beard. He met us at the top trees of the adjoining garden shaded this of his wooden staircase and conducted us courtyard. The orange-blossom was just to his divan; he was dressed in a long, then a little past its best, and the Japa- mustard-colored robe, and wore a white nese medlars, the yeni dunyah of the turban bound round his head. Several Arabs - the first fruits of the earth other influential Ansairee were in the were just beginning to assume consistency. room at the time, and consequently our
Every woman assembled for the wed- conversation never for a moment turned ding was decorated with an
on the subject of religion ; but we dis. quantity of the gay spring flowers, and the cussed the chances of a good harvest, and effect of the whole was brilliant, though he told us about his fields of sesame and the costumes were not particularly gay. the mill in which he grinds his grain. He The women danced by themselves whilst told us that he, when a boy, about fifty the men looked on; and hired musicians years ago, came to Tarsus with a large played the flute and the drum to accom number of other Ansairee from the Leb pady them. The chief woman dancer, an anon in search of work; by reason of elderly woman for so frivolous an amuse- their diligence they have prospered and ment, led the circle of women, waved her multiplied exceedingly, and are now quite handkerchief in the air, and occasionally the most influential body of men in the performed a pas seul; then the circle town, and the Turkish governor does moved round and round with a sort of pretty nearly what they wish. Sheikh mazurka step, sometimes singing, some- Hassan has the reputation of being very times silent; and all this was done openly charitable ; every Friday one hundred and with unveiled faces — a great cootrast to fifty poor fellaheen assemble at his house, their Turkish sisters, who would think it and he gives them alms and food ; during the height of immodesty to perform such the recent famine his liberality was most gyrations before men. The bride sat on marked, and in every way he appeared to a stool in front of the cottage door, dressed be a most estimable old gentleman. His in a rich satin dress, and with her eye- room was plain but comfortable, with the brows deeply blackened. She looked usual divan all round it, whitewashed particularly self-conscious, but not in the walls, and two texts out of the Koran least shy, and the bridegroom bustled framed on the walls, to prove to the world about, giving glasses of mastic to the as. what a good Mohammedan he would have sembled guests. Such ceremonies as them believe he is. On one point, and on these the Turks look upon with undis- one only, did he in the least commit himguised horror, more especially as the self. Seeing several women about, and Aosairee outwardly profess to be Moham- children, I asked him if he was married medans. The result is that they hate and if he had any children. He appeared these double-faced people even more than somewhat annoyed at the question, and the Christians, and if an Ansairee slaugh- replied that he was neither married nor ters an animal no pious Mussulman would had he any children; and then I recol. purchase it in the market. The head lected that the sheikhs or chief priests of sheikh of the Ansairee always goes to the the Ansairee are not supposed to be marmosque every Friday as a sort of scape. ried or given in marriage, but that the goat for his people, and sometimes others women around them become mothers
from time to time by some supernatural | sheikh or seid hands round the “cup." of agency.
wine, and before tasting it the novice has I paid Sheikh Hassan a visit on two to swear five hundred times by the mys. occasions, and was quite charmed with teries of the Ain, Min, Sin never to reveal his dignified bearing and kindly manners. anything he hears. The sheikh's sandal After death they say he will become a star is put on his head, bound on by a white at once, without having to submit to any rag, as he swears, and the greatest solemof those unpleasant corporal transmigra- nity is maintained. There have to be tions which form so integral a part of their twelve sponsors, who also take an oath religious belief.
that they will pursue the youth to death if This belief in metempsychosis is very be reveals their secrets, and will cut him curious amongst the Ansairee. Ordinary in pieces. It is commonly reported, Mussulmans, they say, pass into jackals though with what truth I cannot say, that after death ; and it is a common saying the tongues of two renegade Ansairee are amongst them, when the jackals howl at kept in pickle at Tarsus, and shown to night, “ Listen to the Mussulmans calling the youths at their initiation as an awful to prayer.” Bad men after death have to warning ; certain it is that they have kept " walk in low envelopes," as their express their secret very well
, and that the danger sion goes, making use of the Arabic word of apostasy must be very considerable. kamees for the envelope of the body, After a probationary period of forty days, which exists amongst us in the word further mysteries are revealed to the chemise. For what reason I know not, youth under the same solemn circumChristian doctors are supposed to go into stances, and he then has to repeat several very low envelopes indeed, and become of the Ansairee prayers which the sponswine when this life is over. Jewish sors have taught him during the interval. rabbis become apes, and so forth.
Two sponsors, generally taken from The stars, they say, are envelopes of amongst the leading men, have to become light,” the destination of the great and responsible for the good conduct and vigigood Assairee who have, like Sheikh lance of the other twelve, and then at a Hassan, distinguished themselves in this third meeting the youth has to repeat sixlife by their charity and integrity; and teen prayers to Ali and is admitted into there are fifty thousand of them who form full communion. There are certain higher the great “light world," or the inhabitants grades to be attained to only by mea of of the seventh heaven who surround Ali, influence and undoubted character ; but and are perpetually illuminated by his to these the rank and file of the Ansairee presence. Most Ansairee pretend to a do not aspire. The ordinary or third deknowledge of what they did in a former gree is the one into which every male is existence, whether as animals or men; admitted, and the secrets of this degree and at Tarsus it is a common theory and its passes are known to them all; thus amongst them that Frankish travellers, it is possible for an Ansairee of Tarsus or intent on archæological research, come to the Lebanon to enter into fellowship with look for treasures which they remember to a co-religionist of the north of Persia, be have seen in these spots during a former he Shemali, or Kalazian, or a member of existence.
the other two sects. As most of the nomad A man, they say, who has not acted tribes belong to this religion, it gives them rightly in this life may be punished in the a wonderful bond of union, and must act next existence by being born a woman, amongst them much as freemasonry or and a woman who does her duty in this the secrets of other orders used to act in life may be rewarded in the next by being the disturbed days of western Europe. born a man. Womanhood is considered by them a sort of probationary step between the animal world and the lords of creation, and their women are treated by them with great contempt and never per
From Macmillan's Magazine, mitted to participate in the sacred mys
TWO TREATISES ON THE SUBLIME. teries of religion.
THE treatise of Longinus “ On the The initiation of males into the mys- Sublime," and the modern performance teries generally takes place between the of Burke “On the Sublime and Beautiages of sixteen and eighteen. It is done ful,” have shared a common fate. Once in solemn conclave, and by several pro- highly famous, they have now fallen into bationary steps. The youth is brought by almost general neglect. It is proposed his father or nearest male relative, the lin the present paper to offer some
count of their contents, and to try to de- / works, and bow far the literary aspirant termine how far this indifference is may himself hope to attain it by study justified. Adopting the natural order, I and labor. He begins by correcting the shall first take the ancient treatise, once error of those who would leave all to na. universally known under the name of ture, and who deny that genius can owe Longinus on the Sublime.”
anything to conscious method. The The question of the age of Longinus is question is the same in art as that which one which must ultimately depend on lin- filled so large a space in the ancient specguistic considerations, and would require ulations on ethics. How far, in conduct, a very minute and elaborate disquisition. or in literature, are we to depend on the Possessing neither the taste nor the qual inspirations of nature ? And, as Aristotle ifications for such a discussion, I must ask allows the original impulse to virtue to leave to assume that the author of this depend on natural disposition, claiming, essay is 'the Longinus known to history, however, at least as important a part for the friend of Zenobia and the victim of discipline and education, so Longinus, Aurelian, Whether this is the case or while he recognizes that the possession not, whether the work belongs to the first of genius is indispensable to success in century or the third, whether Longinus writing, maintains that this genius must be is the Longinus of Gibbon, or a mere controlled, chastened, and corrected by pseudonym thinly concealing the person. art. ality of Plutarch, is after all of litile mo- The loss of two sheets in the Parisian ment to our presentinquiry. The thoughts manuscript has robbed us of what immeof a retired student, who lives among his diately follows. When Longinus appears
a contemporaries as one who has neither again, we find him emerging from a part nor lot with them, breathing, as it plunge into the bathos, and bearing with were, the ideal air of an heroic past, are him the spoils which he has won “in that but little influenced by his surroundings. obscure sojourn.” We are regaled by an I shall pass at once to the consideration excursion on the Art of Sinking in writ. of what Longious bas bequeathed to us. ing, after which the critic applies himself
What strikes us at first sight on looking to the serious task of finding some valid into the work “On the Sublime” is its criterion of the true sublime. And first tentative, unscientific character. He does he warns us against being deceived by not attempt any precise definition of the outward pomp and glitter. We do not sublime in literature. He contents him. admire a man for the possession of wealth self with describing it in general terms as and power, but for moral and intellectual ακρότης και εξοχή τις λόγων, a kind of worth. Similarly we should not allow loftiness and excellence of language.” ourselves to mistake tinsel for pure gold, Elsewhere he speaks of it figuratively, as in estimating the value of a book. We "jeyalogpooúmns åtúxqua, the echo," or should suspect our first impressions. A as we should rather say, “the image, of great work rarely attracts us on a first greatness of soul.” For this vagueness he perusal. Frequently it repels us. It is has been censured by Macaulay. But is only after earnest thought and repeated it not rather true that in declining any study that it will yield its riches. We closer definition he has shown a wise ret- have here a protest, which can never be icence? Is it not a fact that the higher unneeded, against what is flashy, sensaprinciples in art, as in ethics, elude defini- tional, and overstimulating in literature. tion? They belong to a sphere which is We are recalled by the earnest voice of above reason, a region of ethical and æs- Longinus to the grandeur, the repose, and thetic faith. We read of lives of utter the majestic beauty of the old masters. devotion and self.sacrifice, and we ap. It would take too long, and it would be prove because they appeal in the very alien from our present purpose, to give a bighest degree to our moral sense. We complete account of this memorable frag. feel them to be right, but we should be ment of ancient criticism. My object is puzzled to give a reason for our convic- to try and point out how far the words of tion. And what is true of a grand or Longinus appeal to us, and what lessons beautiful life is true also of the grand or they may teach us. And full indeed are beautiful in art. It moves us, it stirs us his pages of noble thoughts, rich in pregto the very depths of our nature. It is nant texts on the ethics of literature and vain to ask why.
of life. Whence is derived, he asks in one The question, then, which Longinus place, that elevation of sentiment which proposes to himself is not why, but how characterizes the great masters of poetry the sublime affects us, by what ineans it and prose ? His answer is that grandeur