Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub
[graphic]

and its effect was heightened by the stillness and solitude of the streets, at the early hour at which we used to set out. A little before sunrise, people began to assemble at the mosques to their morning devotions. After the hour of prayer, some few appeared sweeping the streets before their doors, and some great men were to be seen going to their early attendance at court. They were always on horseback, preceded by from ten to twelve servants on foot, who,walked pretty fast, but in perfect order, and silence : nothing was heard, but the sound of their feet. But, when we returned, the streets were crowded with men of all nations and languages, in every variety of dress and appearance. The shops were all open. Dried fruits, and nuts, bread, meat, boots, shoes, saddlery, bales of cloth, hardware, ready-made cloaths, and posteens, books, &c. were either displayed in tiers in front of the shops, or hung up on hooks from the roof. Amongst the hand. somest shops were the fruiterers, (where apples, melons, plums, and even oranges, though these are rare at Peshawer, were mixed in piles with some of the Indian fruits); and the cook-shops, where every thing was served in earthen dishes, painted and glazed, so as to look like china. In the streets were people crying greens, curds, &c., and men, carrying water in leathern bags at their backs, and announcing their commodity by beating on a brazen cup, in which they give a draught to a passenger for a trifling piece of money. With these were mixed people of the town in white turbans, some in large white or dark blue frocks, and others in sheep-skin cloaks; Persians, and Afghauns, in brown woollen tunics, or flowing mantles, and caps of black sheep-skin or coloured silk; Khyberees, with the straw sandals, and the wild dress, and air of their mountains; Hindoos, uniting the peculiar features and manners of their own nation, to the long beard, and the dress of the country; and Hazaurehs, not more remarkable for their conical caps of skin, with the wool, appearing like a fringe round the edge, and for their broad faces, and little eyes, than for their want of the beard, which is the ornament of every other face in the city. Among these might be discovered a few women with long white veils, that reached their feet, and some of the King's retinue, in the grotesque caps, and fantastic habits, which mark the class to which each belongs. Sometimes a troop of armed horsemen passed, and their appearance was announced by the clatter of their horses' hoofs on the pavement, and by the jingling of their bridles. Sometimes, when the King was going out, the streets were choaked with horse and foot, and dromedaries bearing swivels, and large waving red and green flags; and, at all times, loaded dromedaries, or heavy Bactrian camels, covered with shaggy hair, made their way slowly through the streets; and mules, fastened together in circles of eight or ten, were seen off the road, going round and round to cool them after their labour, while their keepers were indulging at an eating-house, or enjoying a smoke of a hired culleeaun in the street. Amidst all this throng, we generally passed without any notice, except a salaum alaikum from a passenger, accompanied by a bow, with the hands crossed in front, or an

• application

[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[graphic]
[graphic]
[graphic]
« ForrigeFortsæt »