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LONDON CORRESPONDENCE.

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FOREIGN AND COLONIAL.

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WILLS AND BEQUESTS.

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THE TURCOMANS.

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THE TURCOMANS. The limes contains an interesting article on the Turcomans, and their alliance with Persia, from which we make the following extract: The Turcoman ie naturally of an indolent position, and considers any domestic labour as derogatory to his character as a warrior. All the household work is consequently per- formed by the women, while their lords and masters recline in their kibitkas listening to the songs of their great bard Makhdnmkuli, as recited and sung by the wandering Bakhshi. But the moment there appears a prospect of looting a Persian caravan, or of under. taking some more extended raid into Khorasan, all his apathy disappears, and he becomes energy per- sonified. Carrying a few days' provison at his saddle bow, armed with a long siugle- barrelled gun of antique manufacture, and mounted on a horse which for endurance and stamina is unsurpassed, the Turcoman is the beau ideal of an irregular cavalry soldier. He does not rely on brute force alone, but with the craft of a Red Indian con- ceals all his movements, and attains his object as much by cunning as by courage. Pitted in the field against these nomads the Persians have never stood any chance of victory, and may be considered to have beon fortunate in not having suffered greater loss. The one real break in the relations between these neigh- bours was caused by the triuifiphs of Nadir Shah, him- self a Turcoman, when his numerous wars affordedall his kinsmen an opportunity,for indulging in their natural bent for excitement and adventure. During his reign the Turcoman territory formed an invaluable recruit- ing ground for his armies but with the death of the mighty conqueror, the necessity for such services ceased, and the old hostility revived with greater force than before. For more than a hundred years the Turcomans, and the Tekos (the chief tribe) prin- cipally, have preyed upon the weaker Persians with impunity, and now we are informed that suddenly, and without any perceptible cause for such a. change, the two peoples have struck up the warmest of friendships. The conditions which have been agreed upon between the Tekes and the Persian Government, and which are to secure this most desirable object, are as follow: In the first place the Texes acknowledge their allegiance to Persia, and give a promise to make no more raids on Persian ter- ritory and, as manifestation of this supremacy, the Shah may station a resident at Merv. One hundred Turcomans are to be sent to Meabed, as guarantee for the good faith of their clans and a 1000 horsemen are also to be contributed to the military service of Persia. The only concession the Shah makes is to grant p3rmission for 1000 Teke families to settle at Sarakhs, which is at the present moment outside the actual Persian frontier. The single advantage secured by the Texes, is, therefore, a doubtful one, and it is purchased by the sacrifice of many valuable privi- leges. It can scarcely be from a desire to live peace- ably with the Persians—for their hate is the hate of Sunni to Shiah-that the Tekes have tied their hands in the future, nor will the possession of Sarakhs ex- plain the moderation they have so suddenly exhibited. To arrive at a reasonable explanation of this circum- stance we must go down a little deeper into the ques- tion. We may feel sure that the Turcomans have not made promise of and given guarantees for better behaviour without seeing either the necessity or the advantage fer doing so. We de not possess the neces- sary data for performing any decided opinion on the ad- vantage they might hope to derive from a reconciliation with the Persian Government, although we may say that, on the face of it, they have got rather the worst of the bargain. But it is more easy to explain the necessity which convinced them that their wisest policy would be to become reconciled to Persia. The advance of Rassia on their camping grounds from Krasnovodsk, and the proposed fortification of Kizil Arvat, for a time postponed by the defeat of General Lomakine, may well have convinced them that they had better arrange all their other disputes without delay., More recent preparations on the Oxus, at- Oharjui and Karkhi, have made that necessity all the stronger, as Merv could alone be menaced by such movements. Viewed as a matter of necessity, therefore, it is not so difficult to explain the recent arrangement; for, with a hostile and aggressive Russia on the north, it became incumbent on the Turcomans to appease by every means in their power the wrath of the indignant and much-wronged Persians. To place the value of submission to Persia at the lowest, the Turcomans had, at all events, secured another retreat in case of a great disaster. It would be mockery to assert that they had been made any safer from attack by the Persian sagis having been thrown on them. The motive which has im- pelled the Turcomans to gravitate towards Persia is the law of self-preservation, which compelled them to recognise the fact that their choice sooner or later would have to be made between Tashkent and Teheran.

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