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have already alluded. The Shah Kamran
had a prime minister, who was a still more
repulsive monster than himself, "a stout,
square-built man," says our historian, "of
middle height, with a heavy stern countenance,
thick negro-like lips, bad straggling
teeth, an overhanging brow, and an abruptly
receding forehead." The human demon,
whose portrait stands out so sharply in this
minute description, was the late sovereign of
Herat, Yar Mahomed Khan. He rebelled
against his master, and had the honor of
turning out the last of the Suddozyes. He
appears to have been on intimate terms with
Dost Mahomed, and when he died was on his
return from a visit to him.

We have now before us a map of political
genealogies, from which it is evident that, so
far as legitimacy, in the European sense of
the term, is concerned, the true claim must
rest in some one of the sons of Shah Kamran;
although in which of them history will,
probably, never trouble itself to inquire.

But in this map of royalties, true and
false, where shall we find the Candahar
line? We shall find it in that misty
region in which horses are placed that have
been out-distanced in a race, and which is
well known in sporting phraseology under
the designation of Nowhere. The Candahar
candidate, who, even in Candahar, subsists
solely on Dost Mahomed's protection, has no
more intelligible right to the throne of Herat,
than the fact that he happens to be Dost
Mahomed's brother. His claim has much
about the same validity as any similar claim
would have had in the person of Jerome or
Lucian Buonaparte, if either of them had
imagined himself entitled to a stray government
in virtue of his being Napoleon's
brother; and the parallel will be quite
complete, if we can imagine such a claim set
up and asserted in opposition to Napoleon

We have endeavoured in a short compass to
give a clear account of the present state of
affairs in Central Asia, and to show how
deeply our interests are implicated in the
issue. If we have succeeded in awakening
attention to the subject, and in supplying just
enough of information to enable our readers
to enter satisfactorily into the details of future
operations in that quarter, we shall have
accomplished the end we had in view. The
importance of the movements converging
upon Herat from so many different points,
cannot be exaggerated; and as the growing
war resembles so exactly, in all its aspects
and in its ulterior aims, the circumstances
which led to Lord Auckland's unfortunate
manifesto in 1838, we commend to earnest
consideration the history of the Afghan
expedition which has made its appearance so
opportunely. Equally remarkable for the
fulness and authenticity of its statements and
the integrity of its criticisms, it possesses
much of the charm of an Oriental romance,
from the breadth and picturesqueness of its
treatment, and the striking character of its



IN a previous number, [No. 85.] we
presented our readers with a Zoological Problem
the substance of which was the curious fact
that a Serpent in the Zoological Gardens of
the Regent's Park had thought fit to swallow
his bed,—to wit, a large railway blanket
wrapper, instead of two rabbits which had
been left him for supper. The problem
propounded was the life or death of the Serpent,
according to his ability or inability to dispose
of so extraordinary a mass of unnatural food.
He swallowed the blanket on the 3rd of
October; he was still persevering in his efforts
to digest it, when we last wrote, on the 28th
of October.

We have now to announce that the Serpent,
acting upon the old proverb that "discretion
is the better part of valour," has finally
abandoned the attempt, having neither
digested the blanket nor died of it; but has
wisely evaded the dangerous solution of the
problem, by disgorging it, after persevering
in retaining it during a period of thirty-six
days. The change which had taken place
in his mind was discovered by the watchman
on the 8th instant, on going his nightly
rounds. It was in the middle of the night,
but he presently called another watchman to
his side, and entering the Serpent's case,
assisted the reptileboth the watchmen
giving a slow careful pull at one endin
disgorging the blanket.

We have since seen the blanket. It is, as
we stated, the usual rough railway wrapper.
It is about five feet wide, and six feet long.
The wrapper is entire, with the exception
of a few small holes and rents, and an
appearance of rottenness in two or three
places. The colours, also, are nearly all
discharged, the fabric being now of a dingy
slaty grey.

The Serpent, though rather "delicate"
since this affair, seems likely to do well. He
ate nothing after disgorging the blanket,
during a whole week; but has just taken a
small rabbit. He continues to drink much
water. The blanket has, no doubt, absorbed
more moisture than he could conveniently
spare, during the five weeks it has lain in his

One of the keepers informed us, that this
was not the first time such a feat had been
attempted in the Gardens; and added that
on the previous occasion the Serpent had
persevered to the last, and remained the victor
of his blanket. But the record of this
performance has not been very carefully
preserved, and we cannot say that we feel
perfectly satisfied on the point.