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them. How affectionate they are, the following
anecdote will show. In a foray made by
Kerïtli Oglie Mohammed Pasha against
them, he seized, as he believed, Sheikh Nasr,
the Yezid high-priest. But Nasr escaped,
and his second in spiritual command took his
placethe substitution undiscovered by the
Turks. This brave fellow bore patiently his
tortures and imprisonment; and was at
length bought off by Mr. Rassam, who
advanced a considerable sum of money, which
the inhabitants of a certain district were to
refund out of the produce of their fields. Not
many English congregations would so mulct
themselves, and not many bishops' chaplains
would sacrifice their own life and liberty to the
release or salvation of their clerical superiors.
Yet the Mohammedans hold the Yezidis as
worse than all other infidels, because they are
not "masters of a book," as the Jews,
Christians, Hindoos, and even the Chinese. Their
oaths are disbelieved, for, without a Book,
who can have a right idea of truth? And, as
the "extinguishers of lights," they are said to
hold midnight orgies of unparalleled excess.
Yet we have seen that, even without that
religious necessity, the poor Yezid knows a little
of morality and self-sacrifice, nevertheless.

In this journey homeward, Cawal Yusuf
was joined by our enterprising countryman,
Mr. Layard; who seems to have been
received with equal honours to the preacher
himself. Among other marks of attention,
they wished him to stand godfather to a child
born the night of his arrival in the harem of
the young chief, Hassein Bey. Mr. Layard,
not quite relishing the notion of being
god-father to a devil-worshipping baby,
compromised the matter, and gave him his
name without standing sponsor for his creed. This
young Hassien Beyone of the handsomest
youths to be seen in a long summer's dayis
a very ideal of an Eastern chief, in his way as
fascinating as Sathem the Bedouin. His
mother had preserved him among the
mountains, after the slaughter of his father by the
Koords. He, Hassein Bey, or the chief, and
the priests, never shave, nor marry out of
their own order.

By the way, a Yezidi marriage is no
trifling matter: at least for the unhappy
bride, who, half-smothered beneath a thick
veil that envelopes her from head to foot, is
kept behind a dark curtain for three long
mortal days. In the court-yard below are
dancers, story-tellers, musicians, men playing
at their games, women shouting the tahlehl
and clapping their hands; the bright sunshine
over all in the day, and at night the masheals
large bundles of flaming rags, saturated
with bitumen, crammed into iron baskets
raised on long polescasting floods of rich red
light on the scene. Arabs, stripped to the
waist, shout their war-cries; girls in gay silk
robes, and matrons all in white, add their
share to the excitement; but the veiled bride
must sit out her three days in darkness and in
stifling heat. On the third day, the bridegroom
is sought for early in the morning, and led
from house to house to receive the presents
of his friends. Then, placed in a circle of
dancers, the guests and bystanders wet small
coins and stick them on his forehead as they
pass. The money is caught in a handkerchief
which two of his groomsmen hold
under his chin. And thus ends the bride's
purgatory of darkness and suffocation; and
the guests disperse to their own homes, the
songs all sung, the masheals all burnt out;
and the money all spent.

The Yezid girls dress with great elegance;
generally in a white shirt and drawers, over
which they wear coloured zabouns, or long
silk dresses, open in the front and confined
round the waist with a girdle, embroidered,
so to speak, with silver pins. Over this a
kind of apron, of grey or yellow check, is tied
to one shoulder, and falls in front of the gay
silk robe. They wear flowers in their hair;
and black turbans, wreathed with a single
sprig of myrtle, or skull-caps, covered with
gold and silver money; and strings of coins,
and beads, and old Assyrian relics round their
throats. The married women wear only
white; their heads and necks covered with
white kerchiefs. The girls keep their necks
bare.

From marriage to death, though a long, is
a natural step; only there is not so much
excitement at the last as at the first. When
a Yezid dies, his wife comes out to meet the
mourners, surrounded by her female friends,
and carrying the sword or shield of her
husband in one hand, and in the other long locks
of her own hair. Her head is smeared with
clay, and dust is thrown upon it, just as was
done in old Egypt and Assyria many thousand
years ago. The corpse is washed in running
water, and buried in the presence of a cawal,
or priestthe face turned to the north star:
for there are strange snatches of an extinct
faith in this peculiar sect; and mystic
reverences betray a far-off time, when worship
for the heavenly bodies and for fire formed
the religion of the then wisest of the
world.

As Yusuf and his party, bearing the imperial
firman, passed from village to village,
their way became like a triumphal procession.
Youths dressed in their gayest robes, all with
flowers or leaves in their turbans; fakirs, in
dark coarse dresses and red and black
turbansone with a chain round his neck, in
token that he had renounced the world and
all its pomps and vanities; women and children
carrying green boughs, and holding jars
of fresh water and bowls of sour milk; a
bishop and priests; a chief, armed to
the teeth, and wearing a figured Indian
silk robe, with a cloak of precious furhis
Arab mare beautifully decorated; a Persian
dervish, clothed in the fawn-coloured gazelle
skin, and wearing a conical red cap edged
with fur, and braided black with sentences

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