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The "delightful Poison."

The "delightful Poison." image
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"In the Kiugdoni of the Shah," by Dr. Treacber Collins, the author tells of the origin of winemakiug in Persia. It was dnriug the reign of King Jamsheed that the viiieyards of Shiraz, as today, were noted for the superlativo quality of the grapes they prodncod on account of the variations of teinperatnre - the intense cold of winter and extreme heat of summer - to which they were subjeoted. King Jamsheed was exceedingly fond of Shiraz grapes, and in order to enjoy them throughout the year conceived the idea of preserving them in a jar. Ferraentation, of course, took plaoe, and when the jar was opeued and found to contain a quantity of acid liquid it wa9 looked upon as poison by the kiug. He placed it in bottles and labeled it aa sneh. On a certain occasion one of nis female favoritos, who was sorely afflicted with a nervous headache, discovered the bottles marked "poison" and swallowed the conteuts of one in the hope of putting an end to her life. The effect, however, was to throw her into a deep sleep, from which she awoke tnuch befreshed. The íesult was so delightful that she froquently repeated tho dose until all the supposed poisou was con8umed. The kiug, who missed the bottles, caused inquiry to be inadc, and the seoret of thoir disappearance was revealed. This led to the manufacture of a vine I froui Shiraz grapes, which to this day is known as Zeher-e-Knoosh. or "tho delightful poison." Tho laws of the Koran against the use of spirituous liqnors are generally very rigidly observed, particularly among the poorer classes. Dr. Colliiis says thatho ueversaw anintoxicated Mohammedau, even among the chavadara, men wbo do the most laborious work. Unlike their western prototypes, who eaunotexist without beeror spirits, they refresh themselvos only with a sack at a hubble bubble pipeor a cup of very stroug, sweet, hot tea in either the swelteriug heat of summer or the intense cold of winter. Tippliug in Pexsia is couflued exclusively to the 'ioher classes aud indulged iu only in the seclnsion of the auderau. The Parsiaus make two sorta of wine, a red and a white. The latter containa au exooss of alcohol and ia in greater favor with those who indulge in secret drinking. Arrack, a crude, flery spirit, is likewise distilled. It is probable that when Persia has railroads aud the vineyards of Shiraz becomeaccessible, the superior quality of the grapes for winemaking will attract tbe attention of western ruanufacturers.


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