The Sharp Iron Part

Emin set his horse on a gentle trot, and came near another monastery on the right of a very smooth plain, within half a mile from his abode; and on the left was a flock of sheep, which the author did not conceive to be the property of Etmiatzin. The shepherds took him to be a Turk; and he took them to be Mahometans. They set a dozen large furious dogs before and behind to annoy him from going on; and attacked him so close as almost to pull him down from his horse. He bore the insult about five minutes, endeavoring, with great patience, to avoid mischief, till the poor beast could not move forward, and one of the dogs jumped up and fixed his teeth in the horse’s upper lip. This provoked him at last to shoot the dog with a pistol, the gift of his friend lord Bolinbroke; the rest ran away and cleared the passage; and the shepherds stood back threatening him in Turkish, as he had committed a murder in killing a valuable dog of the Three Churches. It happened very luckily both for Emin and for those saucy fellows, that at the time of firing the pistol, he broke the butt in two, and the sharp iron part ran almost through the palm of his right hand; by which he was so much disabled, that it entirely took away his strength, and prevented him fortunately from cutting down all six of them in a heat of passion; he not in the least imagining the stupid unchristian consequence of it.

Emin, Life and Adventures, 1792

September 15, 2014