Travels In Arabia
John Lewis Burckhardt

Part 1 out of 9

Produced by William Thierens









SOME years have now elapsed since two distinct portions of Burckhardt's
works (his Travels in Nubia and Syria) were offered to the public, and
most favourably received; their success being insured not only by
instrinsic merit, but by the celebrity of their editor as a scholar and
antiquary, a traveller and a geographer. It must not however be
inferred, from any delay in publishing the present volume, that its
contents are less worthy of notice than those parts which have already
proved so interesting and instructive to a multitude of readers. It was
always intended that this Journal, and other writings of the same
lamented author, should issue successively from the press: "There still
remain," says Colonel Leake, in his Preface to the Syrian Journal (p.
ii.) "manuscripts sufficient to fill two volumes: one of these will
consist of his Travels in Arabia, which were confined to the Hedjaz or
Holy Land of the Muselmans, the part least accessible to Christians; the
fourth volume will contain very copious remarks on the Arabs of the
Desert, and particularly the Wahabys."

[] Respecting the portion now before the reader, Colonel Leake, in
another place, expresses a highly flattering opinion. "Burckhardt," says
he, "transmitted to the Association the most accurate and complete
account of the Hedjaz, including the cities of Mekka and Medina, which
has ever been received in Europe. His knowledge of the Arabic language,
and of Mohammedan manners, had enabled him to assume the Muselman
character with such success, that he resided at Mekka during the whole
time of the pilgrimage, and passed through the various ceremonies of the
occasion, without the smallest suspicion having arisen as to his real
character." (See the Life of Burckhardt prefixed to his Travels in
Nubia, p. lvii. 4to. edition, 1819).

Recommended so strongly, the work of a less eminent traveller would be
entitled to our notice: this presents itself with another claim; for the
manuscript Journal was partly corrected and prepared for publication by
the learned editor of Burckhardt's former writings. But some important
literary occupations prevented Colonel Leake from superintending the
progress of this volume through the press. His plan, however, has been
almost invariably adopted by the actual editor; particularly in
expressing with scrupulous fidelity the author's sentiments on all
occasions, and in retaining, without any regard to mere elegance of
style or selection of terms, his original language, wherever an
alteration was not absolutely necessary to reconcile with our system of
phraseology and grammatical construction certain foreign idioms which
had crept into his English writings. [It was thought expedient, from
circumstances of typographical convenience tending to facilitate and
expedite the publication of this volume, that the Arabic characters
which in the original manuscript follow immediately certain words, or
appear between the lines or in the margin, should here be placed
together at the end, as an Index, with references to the pages wherein
they occur.]

[p.vii] The map prefixed to this volume might almost appear superfluous,
since the positions of Djidda, Mekka, Medina, Tayf, and Yembo, the chief
places of Hedjaz visited by Burckhardt, are indicated with accuracy in
the excellent maps that illustrate his Nubian and Syrian Travels. But as
the reader of this volume cannot reasonably be supposed to have
constantly at hand, for immediate reference, the two former portions of
our author's works, a map is here given, in the construction and
delineation of which Mr. Sydney Hall has attended to every suggestion
offered by the editor: at whose recommendation the names of places are
spelt after Burckhardt's manner, however different from that more usual
among us. [Thus in the map as in the letter-press of this volume, Mekka
might have been spelt Mecca; and Hejaz, Jidda, Nejed, would as well
express the proper sounds of those words as Hedjaz, Djidda, Nedjed; and
at the same time approximate more closely to the original Arabic
orthography, by which our English j (as in Jar, James, &c.) is
represented without the assistance of a d; although the prefixing of
this letter to the j might prevent a Frenchman from pronouncing it as in
jour, jamais, &c.]

By the editor's advice, also, several places situate beyond the Eastern
limits of Hedjaz are included in this map; since Burckhardt, although he
did not visit them himself, has given some original itineraries, in
which they are mentioned.

That those places do not belong to the region properly denominated
Hedjaz, is evident; but how far this region extends eastward cannot
easily be determined; and the same difficulty respecting it occurs in
various directions. The editor, that he might ascertain by what
boundaries we are justified in supposing Hedjaz to be separated from
other provinces of Arabia, consulted a multiplicity of authors, both
European and Oriental. The result, however, of his inquiry has not
proved satisfactory; for to each of the neighbouring countries.

[p.viii] certain writers have assigned towns, stations, and districts,
which by others of equal authority are placed in Hedjaz.

Such confusion may partly have arisen from the different statements of
the number, extent, and names of divisions comprised within the same
space; this being occupied, according to European writers, by three
great regions, the Stony, the Desert, and the Happy Arabia; while
Oriental geographers partition it into two, five, six, seven, or more
provinces, under denominations by no means corresponding in
signification to the epithets above mentioned, which we have borrowed
from the Greeks and Romans.

That it would be a most difficult, or scarcely possible task, to fix
precisely the limits of each Arabian province, is acknowledged by that
excellent geographer, D'Anville; but he seems disposed to confound the
region comprising Mekka, Djidda, and Yembo, (places which, as we know,
are unequivocally in Hedjaz,) with Arabia Felix. [D'Anville, Geographie
Ancienne.] D'Herbelot, in one place, declares Hedjaz to be Arabia
Petraea, [See the Bibliotheque Orientale in "Hegiaz ou Higiaz"--"Nom
d'une province de l'Arabie, que nous appelons Pierreuse," &c.--
Richardson also, in his Arabic and Persian Dictionary, explains Hijaz by
"Mecca and the adjacent country, Arabia Petraea;" and Demetrias
Alexandrides, who translated some portions of Abulfeda's Geography into
Greek, (printed at Vienna, 1807, 8vo.) always renders Hedjaz by [Greek
text] and in another he identifies it with Arabia Deserta. ["Les
Provinces de Tahama et d'Iemamah sont comme au coeur du pays; celle de
Hegiaz est devenue la plus celebre a cause des villes de la Mecque et de
Medine, et fait avec les deux dernieres que nous avons nommees ce que
nous appelons l'Arabie Deserte."--Biblioth. Orient. in "Arab."]]

Among the Eastern writers, some divide Arabia into two parts, Yemen and
Hedjaz; others into five great provinces, Yemen, Hedjaz, Nedjed, Tehama,
and Yemama. Bahrein has also been included;

[p.ix] and Aroudh is named as an Arabian province, but appears to be the
same as Yemama. Hadramaut, Mahrah, Shejr, Oman, and other subdivisions
have likewise been reckoned independent provinces by some, while many
confound them with the greater regions, Yemen and Hedjaz. To the latter,
indeed, are often assigned even the extensive countries of Nedjed,
Tehama, and Yemama.

Respecting the boundaries of all these provinces, much embarrassment has
arisen from contradictory statements made by several of the most eminent
Oriental geographers; Edrisi, Abulfeda, Al Madaieni, Ibn Haukal, Ibn el
Vardi, Bakoui, and others. Mr. Rommel, a very ingenious commentator on
Abulfeda's "Arabia," is frequently obliged to acknowledge the difficulty
of ascertaining where one division begins and another terminates. With
regard, more particularly, to the boundaries of Hedjaz, Abulfeda is
silent; but it appears that his opinion, so far as Mr. Rommel could
collect from incidental accounts of places assigned to this province and
adjoining territories, did not in all respects coincide with the
statements of other celebrated geographers. [See "Christophori Rommel
Abulfedea Arabiae Descriptio, commentario perpetuo illustrata,"
Gottingae, 1802, 4to. "Ambitum et fines hujus provinciae Abulfeda
designare supersedet.--Al Madaieni haec profert: 'Hhegiaz est provincia
complectens illum tractum montium qui inde ab Yaman expansus usque ad
Sham (Syriam) protenditur. In eo tractu sitae sunt Madinah et Amman'--
Cum hoc dissidere Abulfedam non dubium est.--Ibn al Arabi: "Quod est
inter Tehamah et Nagd illud est Hhegiaz.'--Fusius Ibn Haukal: 'Quod
protenditur a limite Serrain urbis sitae ad mare Kolzum adusque viciniam
Madian, et inde reflectendo per limitem tendentem in ortum urbis Hhegr,
ad montem Tai trunseundo juxta tergum Yamamah ad mare Persicum, hoc
totum ad Hhegiaz pertinet.' Et alio loco: 'Hhegiaz ea est provincia,
quae Maccah et Madinah et Yamamah cum earundem territoriis
comprehendit.'--Ibn al Vardi Hhegiaz appellat provinciam secus Sinum
Arabicum et a regione Habyssiniae sitam--Bakui eam inter Yaman et
Syriam posuisse satis habet, simul longitudinem ejus mensis itinere
emetiens."--(pp. 57-68.)]

[p.x] It may perhaps be asked, why our inquisitive traveller did not
learn from some intelligent native the precise extent and limits of
Hedjaz? To this question the following passage (written by Burckhardt,
near the end of his journal, and probably intended for the Appendix,)
may serve as a reply, and show that even the present inhabitants do not
agree in their application of the name Hedjaz. "This," says he, "is not
used by the Arabian Bedouins in the usual acceptation of the word. They
call Hedjaz exclusively the mountainous country, comprehending many
fertile valleys south of Tayf, and as far as the dwelling-places of the
Asyr Arabs, where the coffee-tree begins to be cultivated abundantly.
This is the general application of the term among all the Bedouins of
those countries; and the town's-people of Mekka and Djidda also use it
in that sense among themselves. But when they converse with foreigners,
whose notions they politely adopt, the name Hedjaz is bestowed on the
country between Tayf, Mekka, Medina, Yembo, and Djidda. The Bedouins
give the name of El Ghor, or the low-land, to the whole province
westward of the mountains from Mekka up to Beder and Yembo; while those
mountains themselves northward of Tayf are called by them Hedjaz-es'-
Sham, or the Northern Hedjaz." [This would confirm the derivation of
Hedjaz (mentioned by Golius) from ahhtedjezet, "quod (provincia Hhegiaz)
colligata et constricta montibus sit:" but others derive it from the
Arabic word yehedjez, because Hedjaz divides Nedjed from Tehama, or
because it connects Yemen with Syria, between which it is situate. As
even the shortest note written by Burckhardt must be considered
valuable, a few lines, that immediately follow the passage above quoted
from his Journal, are here given: "I compute the population of the
province usually called Hedjaz, comprising the whole territory of the
Sherif of Mekka, together with that of Medina and the towns situated
therein, and all the Bedouin tribes, at about two hundred and fifty
thousand souls; a number which, I am certain, is rather over than under
rated; the greater part being the Bedouin inhabitants of the mountains,
and principally the strong tribes of Beni Harb."]

[p.xi] On reference to pages 396 and 397, a remark will be found
concerning the different application of this name (Hedjaz) among those
who inhabit the sea-coast and those Bedouins who occupy the interior
country; and it will even appear that doubts have been entertained
whether the sacred city Medina does not belong rather to Nedjed than to

From statements so vague as those above quoted, an attempt to trace
exactly the limits of any country must be vain and fallacious: that
region, therefore, which borders on the Red Sea, and which the natives,
we know, entitle unequivocally Hedjaz, is marked in our map, as in
almost every other published hitherto, merely with that name, its first
letter being placed where the editor supposes Arabia Petraea to
terminate, and its last letter where he would separate Hedjaz from
Tehama. [Burckhardt (Syrian Travels p. 511.) quotes Makrizi, the Egyptian
historian, who says, in his chapter on Aila, (Akaba): "It is from hence
that the Hedjaz begins: in former times it was the frontier place of the
Greeks, &c."]

To those who seek the most accurate information respecting places but
little known, this work is sufficiently recommended by the name of its
author, and of the country which it describes. "The manners of the
Hejazi Arabs have continued," says Sir William Jones, "from the time of
Solomon to the present age." [Discourse on the Arabs, Asiat. Researches,
vol. ii.] "Our notions of Mecca must be drawn," says Gibbon, "from the
Arabians. As no unbeliever is permitted to enter the city, our
travellers are silent; and the short hints of Thevenot are taken from
the suspicious mouth of an African renegado." [Roman Empire, chap. 50.
note 18.]

But the reader of this preface must not be withholden from

[p.xii] perusing Burckhardt's authentic and interesting account of the
places which he visited, of the extraordinary ceremonies which he
witnessed, and of the people among whom he lived in the character of a

Some short notices, written on a detached leaf, but evidently intended
by the author as an introduction to his Journal, are given accordingly
in the next page: for, that the Arabian Travels should appear under such
a form as Burckhardt himself probably wished them to assume, has been
throughout a favourite object of the editor,


London, January, 1829.


IN the pages of this Journal I have frequently quoted some Arabian
historians, whose works are in my possession. It is now to me a subject
of regret that those manuscripts were not with me in the Hedjaz. The two
first I purchased at Cairo, after my return from Arabia.

These works are--l. The History of Mekka, entitled Akhbar Mekka, a thick
quarto volume, by Aby el Wolyd el Azraky, who flourished in the year of
the Hedjra 223, and has traced the annals of his native city down to
that period. This work is particularly interesting on account of its
topographical notices, and the author's intimate acquaintance with the
state of Arabia before Islam or Mohammedanism. The manuscript appears,
from the hand-writing, to be six, or perhaps seven hundred years old.

2. The History of Mekka, entitled Akd e' themyn, in three folio volumes,
by Taky ed' dyn el Fasy, who was himself Kadhy of Mekka. This history
comes down to the year of the Hedjra 829, and is comprised [p.xiv] in
the first volume; the other two volumes containing biographical
anecdotes of distinguished natives of Mekka.

3. The History of the Mosque of Mekka, with which the history of the
town is interwoven, called El Aalam hy aalam beled Allah el haram, in
one volume quarto. The author was Kottob ed' dyn el Mekky, who held high
offices at Mekka, and brings the history down to the year 990 of the

4. The History of the Hedjaz, and more particularly of Mekka, by Asamy.
Of this chronicle I possess only the second volume, a large folio
manuscript, comprising historical records from the time of the Beni
Omeya, to the year (of the Hedjra) 1097. I have not been able to
ascertain the title of this work, which abounds with curious and
valuable information. The author, Asamy, was a native of Mekka.

5. The History of the Temple and Town of Medina. This work is entitled
Khelaset el Wafa, its author was Nour ed' dyn Aly Ibn Ahmed e'
Samhoudy, [To this writer Burckhardt refers in p. 323, by the letters
(V.S.) "Vide Sumhoudy."] and it is comprised in one folio volume,
bringing the history down to the year 911 of the Hedjra.

[p.xv] CONTENTS.

Arrival at Djidda
Route from Djidda to Tayf
Residence at Tayf
Journey to Mekka
Arrival at Mekka
Description of Mekka
Quarters of Mekka
Description of the Beitullah (or "House of God"), the great Mosque at
Some Historical Notices concerning the Kaaba and the Temple of Mekka
Description of several other holy places visited by pilgrims at Mekka
and in its neighbourhood
Remarks on the inhabitants of Mekka and Djidda
Government of Mekka
Climate and diseases of Mekka and Djidda
The Hadj or Pilgrimage
Journey from Mekka to Medina
Description of Medina
Account of some places of Zyara, or objects of pious visitation, in the
neighbourhood of Medina
On the Inhabitants of Medina
On the Government of Medina
Climate and Diseases of Medina
Journey from Medina to Yembo
From Yembo to Cairo
Appendix, (comprising ten articles)


Page 12 for Gonfady read Gonfade.
29 Badingam Badinjan.
95 Metzem Meltezem.
109 Hareh Haret.
156 Achmed Ahhmed.
183 Moktar Mokhtar.
232 Yahyn Yahya.
446 Matsa Matfa.
462 Benezes Aenezes.

The name of Kayd Beg, which frequently occurs, is sometimes spelt in the
Ms. Kait Beg, and once erroneously Kail Beg. On reference to
Burckhardt's Nubian Travels, it appears that he entered Djidda on the
18th of July, and not on the 15th, as printed in the first page of this
volume through a mistake of the figure 8 for 5; the ink with which he
wrote having in many parts of his Journal faded considerably, and become
of a pale reddish colour. As far, also, as the faded ink in some places
of the Ms. allows the editor (and others who have seen it) to judge,
Mekkawy is used to express a person of Mekka: in many pages of the Ms.
Mekkan is distinctly written, but the Arabic derivative Mekky occurs
only in the Author's Introduction (p. xiv.) Local derivatives similar to
Mekkawy occur in the various parts of Burckhardt's works: the present
volume, and his Syrian and Nubian Travels, exhibit Djiddawy, Yembawy,
Kennawy, Dongolawy, Bornawy, Bedjawy, &c. from Djidda, Yembo, Kenne,
Dongola, Bornou, Bedja. &c.





MY arrival in the Hedjaz was attended with some unfavourable
circumstances. On entering the town of Djidda, in the morning of the
15th of July, 1814, I went to the house of a person on whom I had a
letter of credit, delivered to me, at my departure from Cairo, in
January, 1813, when I had not yet fully resolved to extend my travels
into Arabia. From this person I met with a very cold reception; the
letter was thought to be of too old a date to deserve notice: indeed, my
ragged appearance might have rendered any one cautious how he committed
himself with his correspondents, in paying me a large sum of money on
their account; bills and letters of credit are, besides, often trifled
with in the mutual dealings of Eastern merchants; and I thus experienced
a flat refusal, accompanied, however, with an offer of lodgings in the
man's house. This I accepted for the first two days, thinking that, by a
more intimate acquaintance I might convince him that I was neither an
adventurer nor impostor; but finding him inflexible, I removed to one of
the numerous public

[p.2] Khans in the town, my whole stock of money being two dollars and a
few sequins, sewed up in an amulet which I wore on my arm. I had little
time to make melancholy reflections upon my situation; for on the fourth
day after my arrival, I was attacked by a violent fever, occasioned,
probably, by indulging too freely in the fine fruits which were then in
the Djidda market; an imprudence, which my abstemious diet, for the last
twelve months, rendered, perhaps, less inexcusable, but certainly of
worse consequence. I was for several days delirious; and nature would
probably have been exhausted, had it not been for the aid of a Greek
captain, my fellow passenger from Souakin. He attended me in one of my
lucid intervals, and, at my request, procured a barber, or country
physician, who bled me copiously, though with much reluctance, as he
insisted that a potion, made up of ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon, was the
only remedy adapted to my case. In a fortnight after, I had sufficiently
recovered to be able to walk about; but the weakness and languor which
the fever had occasioned, would not yield to the damp heat of the
atmosphere of the town; and I owed my complete recovery to the temperate
climate of Tayf, situated in the mountains behind Mekka, where I
afterwards proceeded.

The Djidda market little resembled those Negro markets, where a single
dollar would purchase two or three weeks' provision of dhourra and
butter. The price of every thing had risen here to an unusual height,
the imports from the interior of Arabia having entirely ceased, while
the whole population of the Hedjaz, now increased by a Turkish army and
its numerous followers, and a host of pilgrims who were daily coming in,
wholly depended for its supply upon the imports from Egypt. My little
stock of money was therefore spent during my illness, and before I was
sufficiently recovered to walk out. The Greek captain, though he had
shown himself ready to afford me the common services of humanity, was
not disposed to trust to the

[p.3] honour or respectability of a man whom he knew to be entirely
destitute of money. I was in immediate want of a sum sufficient to
defray my daily expenses, and, no other means being left to procure it,
I was compelled to sell my slave: I regretted much the necessity for
parting with him, as I knew he had some affection for me, and he was
very desirous to remain with me. During my preceding journey he had
proved himself a faithful and useful companion; and although I have
since had several other slaves in my possession, I never found one equal
to him. The Greek captain sold him for me, in the slave-market of
Djidda, for forty-eight dollars. [This slave cost me sixteen dollars at
Shendy; thus, the profits of sale on one slave defrayed almost the whole
expense of the four months' journey through Nubia, which I had performed
in the spring.]

The present state of the Hedjaz rendered travelling through it, in the
disguise of a beggar, or at least for a person of my outward appearance,
impracticable; and the slow progress of my recovery made me desirous of
obtaining comforts: I therefore equipped myself anew, in the dress of a
reduced Egyptian gentleman, and immediately wrote to Cairo for a supply
of money; but this I could hardly receive in less than three or four
months. Being determined, however, to remain in the Hedjaz until the
time of the pilgrimage in the following November, it became necessary
for me to find the means of procuring subsistence until my funds should
arrive. Had I been disappointed in all my hopes, I should then have
followed the example of numbers of the poor Hadjis, even those of
respectable families, who earn a daily subsistence, during their stay in
the Hedjaz, by manual labour; but before I resorted to this last
expedient, I thought I might try another. I had indeed brought with me a
letter of introduction from Seyd Mohammed el Mahrouky, [The original
characters of these and other names, both of persons and places, are
given in the Index of Arabic words at the end of this volume.] the first

[p.4] in Cairo, to Araby Djeylany, the richest merchant of Djidda; but
this I knew could be of no use, as it was not a letter of credit; and I
did not present it. [I afterwards became acquainted with Djeylany, at
Mekka; and what I saw of him, convinced me that I was not mistaken in
the estimation I had formed of his readiness to assist a stranger.] I
determined therefore, at last, to address the Pasha, Mohammed Aly, in
person. He had arrived in the Hedjaz at the close of the spring of 1813,
and was now resident at Tayf, where he had established the head-quarters
of the army, with which he intended to attack the strongholds of the
Wahabis. I had seen the Pasha several times at Cairo, before my
departure for Upper Egypt; and had informed him in general terms of my
travelling madness (as he afterwards jocularly termed it himself at
Tayf). I should here observe that, as the merchants of Upper Egypt are
in general poor, and none of them strictly honour a bill or obligation
by immediate payment, I had found it necessary, during my stay there, in
order to obtain a supply of money, to request my correspondent at Cairo
to pay the sum which I wanted into the Pasha's treasury, and to take an
order from him upon his son, Ibrahim Pasha, then governor of Upper
Egypt, to repay me the amount. Having therefore already had some money
dealings with the Pasha, I thought that, without being guilty of too
much effrontery, I might now endeavour to renew them in the Hedjaz, and
the more so, as I knew that he had formerly expressed rather a
favourable opinion of my person and pursuits. As soon, therefore, as the
violence of my fever had subsided, I wrote to his physician, an Armenian
of the name of Bosari, whom I had also known at Cairo, where I had heard
much in his favour, and who was then with his master at Tayf. I begged
him to represent my unfortunate situation to the Pasha, to inform him
that my letter of credit upon Djidda had not been honoured, and to ask
him whether he would accept a bill upon

[p.5] my correspondent at Cairo, and order his treasurer at Djidda to
pay the amount of it.

Although Tayf is only five days distant from Djidda, yet the state of
the country was such, that private travellers seldom ventured to cross
the mountains between Mekka and Tayf; and caravans, which carried the
letters of the people of the country, departed only at intervals of from
eight to ten days; I could not, therefore, expect an answer to my letter
in less than twenty days. During this period I passed my leisure hours
at Djidda, in transcribing the journal of my travels in Nubia; but I
felt the heat at this season so oppressive, especially in my weak state,
that, except during a few hours early in the morning, I found no ease
but in the cool shade of the great gateway of the Khan in which I
lodged; where I passed the greater part of the day, stretched upon a
stone bench. Bosari's correspondent at Djidda, through whom I had sent
my letter to Tayf, had meanwhile mentioned my name to Yahya Effendi, the
physician of Tousoun Pasha, son of Mohammed Aly, now governor of Djidda,
who had been in Upper Egypt while I was there, but I had not seen him.
This physician, when at Cairo, had heard my name mentioned as that of a
traveller; and understanding now, that I came from the Black countries,
he was curious to see me, and desired Bosari's friend to introduce me to
him. He received me politely, invited me repeatedly to his house, and,
in the course of further explanation, became acquainted with my wants,
and the steps I had taken to relieve them. He happened at this time to
be preparing for a journey to Medina with Tousoun Pasha, and was sending
back all his unnecessary baggage to Cairo; with this he was also
desirous to transmit to his family his last year's savings, amounting to
three thousand piastres (about 100l.), and he was so kind as to offer me
the money for a bill upon Cairo, payable at sight; an advantage which,
he well knew, the merchants of Djidda never insure to those who take
their bills. Such an offer would not be considered as conferring

[p.6] any obligation in the commercial towns of Europe; but in the East,
and under the circumstances in which I was placed, it was extraordinary.
Yahya Effendi added, that some of his friends had given me a flattering
character while at Cairo, and that he could not, therefore, entertain
the slightest doubt of my solvency and respectability, in which opinion
he had been confirmed on reading the letter of credit I had brought with
me. As the issue of my application to the Pasha at Tayf was uncertain, I
readily and gratefully accepted Yahya's proposal; the money was
immediately paid to me, the bills drawn, and a few days after, my
obliging friend departed with Tousoun Pasha for Medina, where I had the
pleasure of seeing him again early in the following year.

I was now in possession of a sum sufficient to banish all apprehension
of suffering from poverty before the arrival of fresh supplies from
Egypt, whatever might be the consequence of my application to the Pasha;
but Yahya Effendi was no sooner gone, than I received a somewhat
favourable answer to the letter I had written to Tayf. Bosari, it
appeared, had been rather unwilling to urge my request to the Pasha,
afraid, perhaps, that he might himself become a sufferer, should I
forfeit my word. The Pasha, however, had heard of my being at Djidda,
through another person in his suite, whom I had seen there, and who had
arrived at Tayf; and hearing that I was walking about in rags, he
immediately despatched a messenger, with two dromedaries, to the
collector of customs at Djidda, Seyd Aly Odjakly, in whose hands was the
management of all the affairs of the town, with an order to furnish me a
suit of clothes, and a purse of five hundred piastres as travelling
money; accompanied with a request that I should repair immediately to
Tayf, with the same messenger who had brought the letter. In a
postscript, Seyd Aly Odjakly was enjoined to order the messenger to take
me by the upper road to Tayf, which leaves Mekka to the south, the lower
and more usual road passing through the middle of that town.

[p.7] The invitation of a Turkish Pasha is a polite command; whatever,
therefore, might be my reluctance to go at this time to Tayf, I could
not avoid, under the present circumstances, complying with the Pasha's
wishes; and, notwithstanding the secret aversion I had to receive a
present at his hands instead of a loan, I could not refuse to accept the
clothes and money, without hurting the pride and exciting the resentment
of a chief, whose good graces it was now my principal aim to
conciliate. [Some persons, perhaps, consider it an honour to receive
presents from Pashas; but I think differently. I know that the real
motive of a Turk in making presents, is either to get double the value
in return, (which could not be the case with me,) or to gratify his own
pride in showing to his courtiers that he deigns to be liberal towards a
person whom he holds infinitely below him in station or worth. I have
often witnessed the sneers of the donor and his people on making such
presents; and their sentiments are sometimes expressed by the saying,
"Look, he has thrown a morsel to this dog!" Few Europeans may, perhaps,
agree with me in this respect, but my knowledge authorises me to form
this opinion; and the only advice which I can give to travellers who
would not lower themselves in the estimation of Turkish grandees, is to
be always ready, on similar occasions, to return the supposed favour
two-fold. As for myself, I had but seldom occasion to make presents
during my travels; and this was the only one that I was ever obliged to
accept.] I likewise understood the meaning of the postscript, although
Seyd Aly was not aware of it; but, on this point, I flattered myself I
should be a match for the Pasha and his people.

As the invitation was very pressing, I left Djidda in the evening of the
same day on which the messenger arrived, after supping with Seyd Aly, in
company with a great number of Hadjis from all parts of the world; for
the fast of Ramadhan had already commenced, and during this month
everybody displays as much hospitality and splendour as he possibly can,
particularly in the supper after sun-set. Distrusting in some measure
the Pasha's intentions, I thought it necessary to carry a full purse to
Tayf; I therefore changed the whole of the three thousand piastres which
I had received from Yahya Effendi into gold, and put it in my girdle. A
person who has money has little to fear among Osmanlis,

[p.8] except the loss of it; but I thought that I might stand in need of
what I had, either as a bribe, or to facilitate my departure from Tayf.
I was, however, fortunately mistaken in both these conjectures.

I shall add here some remarks on Djidda and its inhabitants. The town is
built upon a slightly rising ground, the lowest side of which is washed
by the sea. Along the shore it extends in its greatest length for about
fifteen hundred paces, while the breadth is no where more than half that
space. It is surrounded on the land-side by a wall, in a tolerable state
of repair, but of no strength. It had been constructed only a few years
since by the joint labours of the inhabitants themselves, who were
sensible that they possessed no protection against the Wahabis in the
ancient half-ruined wall, built, A.H. 917, by Kansoue el Ghoury, Sultan
of Egypt. [See Kotobeddin, History of Mekka.] The present structure is a
sufficient barrier against Arabs, who have no artillery. At every
interval of forty or fifty paces, the wall is strengthened by watch-
towers, with a few rusty guns. A narrow ditch was also carried along its
whole extent, to increase the means of defence; and thus Djidda enjoys,
in Arabia, the reputation of being an impregnable fortress. On the sea-
shore, in front of the town, the ancient wall remains, but in a state of
decay. At the northern extremity, near the spot where the new wall is
washed by the sea, stands the Governor's residence; and at the southern
extremity is a small castle, mounting eight or ten guns. There is,
besides, a battery, to guard the entrance from the side of the sea, and
command the whole harbour. Here is mounted an immense old piece of
ordnance, which carries a ball of five hundred pounds, and is so
celebrated all over the Red Sea, that the very fame of it is a
protection to Djidda. The approach into the town from the sea is by two
quays, where small boats discharge the cargoes of the large ships, these
being obliged to

[p.9] anchor in the roadstead, about two miles from shore; none but the
vessels called say, (the smallest that navigate the Red Sea,)
approaching close to the shore. The quays are shut every evening about
sunset; thus all communication is prevented, at night, between the town
and the shipping.

On the land side Djidda has two gates; the Bab Mekka on the east side,
and Bab el Medina on the north. A small gate in the south wall has
lately been filled up. The area inclosed by the new wall (about three
thousand paces in circuit) and the sea, is not entirely covered with
buildings. A broad piece of open ground extends the whole length of the
interior of the wall; and there is, besides, a good deal of waste ground
near the Bab el Medina, and on the southern extremity. Having traversed
this open space in coming from the gate, you enter the suburbs,
comprising only huts formed of reeds, rushes, and brushwood, and
encircling the inner town, which consists of stone buildings. The huts
are chiefly inhabited by Bedouins, or poor peasants and labourers, who
live here completely after the Bedouin fashion. Similar quarters for
people of this description may be found in every town of Arabia. The
interior of Djidda is divided into different districts. The people of
Sowakin, who frequent this place, reside near the Bab el Medina; their
quarters are called Haret e Sowakiny. Here they live in a few poor
houses, but principally under huts, to which the lowest class of people
frequently resort, as many public women reside here, and those who sell
the intoxicating beverage called Boosa. The most respectable inhabitants
have their quarters near the sea, where a long street, running parallel
to the shore, appears lined with shops, and affords many khans
constantly and exclusively frequented by the merchants. Djidda is well
built; indeed, better than any Turkish town of equal size that I had
hitherto seen. The streets are unpaved, but spacious and airy; the
houses high, constructed wholly of stone, brought for the greater part
from the sea-shore, and consisting of madrepores and other marine

[p.10] fossils. Almost every house has two stories, with many small
windows and wooden shutters. Some have bow-windows, which exhibit a
great display of joiners' or carpenters' work. There is, generally, a
spacious hall at the entrance, where strangers are received, and which,
during the heat of the day, is cooler than any other part of the house,
as its floor is kept almost constantly wet. The distribution of rooms is
nearly the same as in the houses of Egypt and Syria; with this
difference, however, that in Djidda there are not so many large and
lofty apartments as in those countries, where but few houses, at least
of the natives, have two stories, whilst the rooms on the ground-floor
are sometimes of a considerable height. It thus happens that, in many
houses of the Hedjaz, the only cool spot is the entrance-hall; and here,
at noon, the master, with all his male attendants, hired servants or
slaves, may be seen enjoying, the siesta. [Although the cool breeze comes
only from the north, yet the Arabians do not seem to take so much
advantage of it in their houses as the Egyptians, whose principal rooms
are generally so contrived as to open towards the north. The large
ventilators constructed on the terraces of houses in Egypt, and which
diffuse a current of air through all the lower apartments, are unknown
in the Hedjaz.] As building is very expensive in this country, little is
adapted for outward show beyond the lattice-work of the bow-windows;
this frequently is painted with most gaudy colours, both on the outside
and inside. In many houses the lawful wife of a man occupies one part,
and his female Abyssinian slaves are lodged in their own distinct
apartments; convenience, therefore, in the building, is more studied
than size or beauty; yet, in Egypt, many ordinary houses have spacious
and handsome rooms.

Uniformity in architecture is not observed at Djidda. Some houses are
built with small, others with large square stones, the smooth side
outwards, and the interior filled up with mud. Sometimes the walls are
entirely of stone; many have, at intervals of about three feet, thin
layers of planks placed in the wall, and these, the

[p.11] Arabs imagine, tend to increase its strength. When the walls are
plastered, the wood is left of its natural colour, which gives to the
whole a gay and pleasing appearance, as if the building had been
ornamented with so many bands; but the dazzling white of the walls
during sun-shine is extremely distressing to the eyes. Most of the
gateways have pointed arches; some few round; and the latter are seen,
though less frequently, over the gates of private houses in every part
of Egypt. No buildings of ancient date are observed in Djidda, the
madrepore being of such a nature that it rapidly decays when exposed to
the rain and moist atmosphere prevalent here. [In general, it may be said
that Djidda is a modern town; for its importance as a market of Indian
goods can only be traced to the beginning of the fifteenth century,
although it had been known in the most ancient times of Arabian history
as the harbour of Mekka.] Besides many small mosques, there are two of
considerable size: one of these was built by Sherif Serour, predecessor
of the last reigning Sherif Ghaleb. The Governor's habitation, in which
the Sherif himself frequently resided, is a paltry building; such,
likewise, is that in which dwells the collector of the customs. There
are some well-built public khans in the town, with good accommodation,
where the foreign merchants reside during their short stay here. In
these khans are large open squares with arched passages, which afford a
cool shade to the merchants for the greater part of the day. Except
during the monsoon, when Djidda is extremely crowded with people,
private lodgings may easily be procured in the most distant quarters of
the town. The best private dwellings of Djidda belong to the great
mercantile establishment of Djeylani, who, with his family, occupies a
small square behind the principal street. This square is composed of
three large buildings, the most commodious and costly private houses in
all the Hedjaz. Every house of moderate size has its cistern; but as the
rains are not sufficiently regular or abundant to fill the cisterns from
the tops of the houses, (as

[p.12] throughout Syria,) they are often supplied with water from pools
formed outside of the town in rainy seasons.

Of these cisterns, the water is very inadequate to the consumption of
Djidda, and is reckoned a delicacy. Much of the drinking water is drawn
from some wells a mile and a half distant on the southern side; water,
indeed, may be found every where at a depth of fifteen feet, but it is
generally of a bad taste, and in some places scarcely drinkable. Two
only of the wells afford water that can be called sweet; but even this
is considered heavy, [Heavy and light, applied to water, are expressions
common in most languages of the East, where both natives and foreigners,
from the vast quantity which they consume, become more refined in their
taste regarding it than the people of our northern climates.] and, if
suffered to stand twenty-four hours in a vessel, it becomes full of
insects. The good water of these two wells being scarce and dear, cannot
always be procured without the assistance of powerful friends; in fact,
not more than from two to three hundred persons are ever able to obtain
it, while the rest of the inhabitants must content themselves with the
water supplied by other wells; and to this the constant ill-health of
the people may chiefly be ascribed. As Djidda has the name of a Turkish
fortress, we might suppose that the wells would have been protected by a
fort; but the Turks have neglected this precaution, and when, in
December, 1814, the people apprehended that the Wahabis were advancing
on the side of Gonfady, the Governor of Djidda, in great haste, filled
the few cisterns belonging to the government houses with water from the
wells, and for several days withheld that necessary of life from all the
inhabitants, as every water-camel was employed by him. Several of the
wells are private property, and yield to their owners a considerable

The town of Djidda is without gardens, or vegetation of any kind except
a few date-trees adjoining one of the mosques; even outside the town the
whole country is a barren desert, covered

[p.13] on the sea-shore with a saline earth, and higher up with sand:
here are found some shrubs and a few low acacia trees. The number of
wells around the town might be considerably augmented, and water
obtained for the purposes of irrigation; but the inhabitants of Djidda
consider their residence as merely temporary, and, like all the other
people of the Hedjaz, devote their whole attention to commerce and the
acquisition of riches: on this account they are much less inclined to
rural enjoyments or occupations than any other race of Moslems that I
ever saw.

Beyond the Bab Mekka, and close to the town, are several huts, through
the midst of which lies the road to Mekka. These huts are inhabited by
the camel-drivers who traffic between that city and Djidda; by poor
Bedouins, who earn a livelihood by cutting wood at a considerable
distance in the mountains; and by Negro Hadjis, who adopt the same means
of supporting themselves during their stay at Djidda. Here is held the
market for live cattle, wood and charcoal, fruits and vegetables in
wholesale. Coffee also is sold in many booths in this place, frequented
for a short time, at an early hour, by the inferior class of merchants,
who resort hither to learn the news from Mekka, whence the post arrives
every morning soon after sunrise. About a mile beyond these huts,
eastward of the town, is the principal burial-ground, containing the
tombs of several sheikhs; but there are smaller cemeteries within the
walls. About two miles northward of the town, is shown the tomb of Howa
(Eve), the mother of mankind; it is, as I was informed, a rude structure
of stone, about four feet in length, two or three feet in height, and as
many in breadth; thus resembling the tomb of Noah, seen in the valley of
Bekaa, in Syria.

During the predominance of the Wahabis, Djidda had been in a declining
state; many of its buildings had gone to ruin; no one constructed a new
house; trade was much depressed, in consequence of the pilgrimage from
Turkey having been discontinued, and the unwillingness of the merchants
to bring their goods hither

[p.14] for sale. Since the recovery of the holy cities, however, and the
re-establishment of the pilgrimage, together with the daily arrival of
soldiers, and a number of merchants and followers of the army, the town
has quickly recovered its former condition, and is now as flourishing as
at any former period. The number of its inhabitants may be estimated,
generally, at from twelve to fifteen thousand; but in the months
preceding the pilgrimage, and again during the summer months
corresponding with the monsoon winds, there is a great influx of
strangers, which increases the above number perhaps one-half.

The inhabitants of Djidda, like those of Mekka and Medina, are almost
exclusively foreigners. The descendants of the ancient Arabs who once
peopled the town, have perished by the hands of the governors, or have
retired to other countries. Those who can be truly called natives are
only a few families of sherifs, who are all learned men, and attached to
the mosques or the courts of justice; all the other Djiddawys (people of
Ddjidda) are foreigners or their descendants. Of the latter, those from
Hadramaut and Yemen are the most numerous: colonies from every town and
province of those countries are settled in Djidda, and keep up an active
commerce with their native places. Upwards of a hundred Indian families
(chiefly from Surat, and a few from Bombay,) have also established
themselves here; and to these may be added some Malays and people of
Maskat. The settlers from Egypt, Syria, Barbary, European Turkey, and
Anatolia, may be still recognised in the features of their descendants,
who are all mixed in one general mass, and live and dress in the same
Arab manner. The Indians alone remain a distinct race in manners, dress,
and employment. There are no Christians settled in Djidda; but a few
Greeks from the islands of the Archipelago occasionally bring
merchandize to this market from Egypt. In the time of the sherifs they
were much molested, compelled to wear a particular dress, and prohibited
from approaching the Mekka gate; but the Turks having become

[p.15] masters of the Hedjaz, abolished these restrictions, and a
Christian now enjoys complete liberty here: if he dies, he is not buried
on shore, (this being sanctified ground, belonging to the holy city,)
but upon some one of the small islands in the bay of Djidda. Jews were
formerly the brokers of this town; but they were driven out, about
thirty or forty years since, by Serour, the predecessor of Ghaleb, some
of them having offended by their misconduct. They all retired to Yemen
or to Sanaa. During the monsoons some Banians visit Djidda in the Indian
ships; but they always return with them, and none are settled here.

The mixture of races in Djidda is an effect of the pilgrimage, during
which rich merchants visit the Hedjaz with large adventures of goods:
some of these not being able immediately to settle their accounts, wait
till another year; during this period, they cohabit, according to the
custom of the country, with some Abyssinian slaves, whom they soon
marry; finding themselves at last with a family, they are induced to
settle in the country. Thus every pilgrimage adds fresh numbers to the
population not only of Djidda, but of Mekka also, which is indeed very
necessary, as in both towns the number of deaths is far greater than
that of births.

The people of Djidda are almost entirely engaged in commerce, and pursue
no manufactures or trades but those of immediate necessity. They are all
either sea-faring people, traders by sea, or engaged in the traffic with
Arabia. Djidda derives its opulence not only from being the port of
Mekka, but it may be considered as that of Egypt, of India, and of
Arabia; all the exports of those countries destined for Egypt first
passing through the hands of the Djidda merchants. Hence, it is probably
richer than any town of the same size in the Turkish dominions. Its
Arabian name, which means "rich," is therefore perfectly well bestowed.
The two greatest merchants in the place, Djeylany and Sakkat, both of
Maggrebin [Maggrebin, "inhabitants of the West," is the name given by all
the Eastern Arabs to the natives of the Barbary States.]

[p.16] origin, and whose grandfathers first settled here, are known to
possess from one hundred and fifty to two hundred thousand pounds
sterling. Several Indians have acquired capitals nearly equal, and there
are upwards of a dozen houses possessing from forty to fifty thousand
pounds sterling. Wholesale trade is carried on here with greater
facility and profit, and with less intrigue and fraud, than any where I
have seen in the Levant; the principal reason of which is, that almost
all the bargains are made for ready money, very little or no credit
being given. This, however, is not to be understood as implying any
thing favourable to the character of the merchants, who are as notorious
for their bad faith as they are for their large fortunes; but the nature
of the trade, and the established usage, render it a less troublesome
and intriguing business here than in any other country of the East.

The commerce of Djidda may be divided into two principal branches--the
coffee trade, and the Indian trade; with both of which that of Egypt is
connected. Ships laden with coffee arrive from Yemen all the year round,
without being restricted to any particular season. During the voyage,
they sail constantly near the coast, and are thus enabled to take
advantage of the land breezes during the season when no[r]therly winds
prevail, and render the voyage difficult in mid-channel. They dispose of
their cargoes for dollars, which are almost the only article that the
merchants of Yemen take in return. The coffee trade is liable to great
fluctuations, and may be considered a species of lottery, in which those
only embark who have large capitals at their command, and who can bear
occasionally great losses. The price of coffee at Djidda, being
regulated by the advices from Cairo, varies almost with the arrival of
every ship from Suez. The price at the latter place depending upon the
demand for Mocha coffee in Turkey, is thus equally fluctuating. When I
arrived at Djidda, coffee-beans were at thirty-five dollars a hundred-
weight; three weeks after they fell to twenty-four dollars, in
consequence of the

[p.17] peace between England and America, and the expectation that West-
India coffee would be again imported in large quantities at Smyrna and
Constantinople. From the hazardous nature of this trade, there are many
merchants who will not engage in it, except as agents; others send the
coffee on their own account to Cairo, where the chief part of the trade
is in the hands of the Hedjaz merchants residing there. Within the last
six years, the coffee trade between Arabia and the Mediterranean has
suffered greatly by the importation of West-India coffee into the ports
of Turkey. These were formerly supplied exclusively with Mocha coffee;
the use of which has been almost entirely superseded in European Turkey,
Asia Minor, and Syria, by that of the West Indies. The Pasha of Egypt,
however, has hitherto strictly prohibited the importation of West-India
coffee into his dominions.

The trade in India goods is much safer, and equally profitable. The
fleets, principally from Calcutta, Surat, and Bombay, reach Djidda in
the beginning of May, when they find the merchants already prepared for
them, having collected as many dollars and sequins as their
circumstances admit, that they may effect bargains in wholesale at the
very first arrival of the ships. Large sums are also sent hither by the
Cairo merchants to purchase goods on their account; but the cargoes for
the greater part are bought up by the merchants of Djidda, who
afterwards send them to Cairo to be sold for their own advantage. The
India fleets return in June or July, when the prices of every article
brought by them immediately rise; [The ships from Bengal leave Djidda in
June, those from Surat and Bombay in July or the beginning of August.
The Maskat and Bassora shipping, and the slave vessels from the
Mozambique coast, arrive at the same time.] and it commonly occurs that,
on the very day when the last ships sail, ten per cent. profit may be
obtained upon the first price. The merchants, however, unless pressed
for money, do not sell at this time, but keep their goods in warehouses
for four or five

[p.18] months, during which the price continues to rise; so that if they
choose to wait till the January or February following, they may
calculate with great security upon a gain of from thirty to forty per
cent; and if they transport a part of their goods to Mekka for sale to
the Hadj, their profits are still greater. It is the nature of this
commerce that renders Djidda so crowded during the stay of the fleet.
People repair hither from every port on the Red Sea, to purchase at the
first hand; and the merchants of Mekka, Yembo, and Djidda, scrape
together every dollar they possess, to lay them out in these
purchases. [Some time after the Indian fleet had sailed from Djidda, I
was present when a merchant of great property and respectability called
upon an acquaintance of mine to borrow one hundred dollars, saying, he
had laid out every farthing of his money in India goods which he did not
wish yet to sell, and had, in the mean while, no money left for his
daily expenses. This occurs, I understood, very frequently among them.]
Another cause of the India trade with Djidda being more safe and
profitable is, the arrival of the merchant-ships but once in the year,
at a stated period, and all within a few weeks: there is, therefore,
nothing to spoil the market; the price of goods is settled according to
the known demand and quantity of imports; and it is never known to fall
till the return of the next fleet. In the coffee trade it was the

In Syria and Egypt it is the work of several days, and the business of
three or four brokers, to conclude a bargain between two merchants to
the amount of a thousand dollars. At Djidda sales and purchases are made
of entire ships' cargoes in the course of half an hour, and the next day
the money is paid down. The greater part of the merchandize thus bought
is shipped for Suez, and sold at Cairo, whence it finds its way into the
Mediterranean. The returns are made either in goods, which are disposed
of chiefly in the Hedjaz, or in dollars and sequins, large quantities of
which are carried off annually by the Indian fleet: this principally
causes the scarcity of silver in Egypt. The coffee ships

[p.19] from Yemen take a few articles of Egyptian manufacture in return,
as Mellayes, (blue-striped cotton cloths,) linen stuff's for shirts, and
glass beads; but their chief sales are mostly for cash.

If Suez were to participate in the direct Indian trade, the present
flourishing state of Djidda would, no doubt, be greatly diminished, and
the town would become merely what its position renders it, the harbour
of the Hedjaz, instead of being, as it now is, the port of Egypt. It was
natural that the sherifs of Mekka, who had the customs in their own
hands, should endeavour, by every means in their power, to make Djidda
an emporium for the Indian trade, the custom-duties on which formed the
principle source of their income. Suez, however, is not a place where
large capitals are always found ready to make purchases; even Cairo
could not, at least immediately, engage in this trade with advantage,
were it transferred to Suez; for, according to old customs, from which
Orientals seldom like to depart, ready money is almost unknown in the
commercial transactions of that city; India goods are in consequence
never sold there except at very long credit. Undoubtedly cash might in
time have found its way to Suez, as it now does to Djidda; but the
channel of trade was such, that a fleet of ships coming direct from
India to Suez, would hardly have been able to dispose of their cargoes
either with profit or within due time. Another cause also contributed to
favour the harbour of Djidda: the India ships, although most of them
sail under the English flag, are entirely manned and commanded by the
people of the country, Arabs and Lascars; [No English captain had been at
Djidda for five years, when, in 1814, the Resoul, Captain Boag, from
Bombay, arrived laden with rice. The ships are not navigated by
Englishmen, and very few English merchants resident in India have ever
speculated in the trade of the Red Sea, which is carried on almost
exclusively with the capitals of Muselman merchants of Djidda, Maskat,
Bombay, Surat, and Calcutta. The Americans seldom visit any other
harbour in this sea than that of Mekka.] and they have adopted the same
coasting navigation that is followed in every part of the Red

[p.20] Sea. They never venture out to sea, and must, therefore,
necessarily pass Djidda and Yembo, both harbours of the Sherif, who
could easily oblige them to anchor in his ports and pay duties, as he is
known to have done with many coffee ships bound direct for Suez from
Yemen. These causes, however, no longer exist; for Mohammed Aly, Pasha
of Egypt, having possession of the harbours and custom-houses of the
Hedjaz, might transfer the customs of Djidda to Suez, and thence open a
direct communication with India. The chief obstacles to such a change
which have hitherto presented themselves, are the jealousy and false
representations of the merchants of Djidda, and the Pasha's ignorance of
his own real interests, added perhaps to the fear of displeasing his
sovereign; he has it, notwithstanding, in contemplation to change the
system, after the example of a very respectable English house at
Alexandria, which had, in concert with its correspondents at Bombay, in
1812, when the Hedjaz was not yet in the Pasha's hands, concluded a
treaty with him for allowing English ships to come direct to Suez, and
for insuring the protection of merchandize across the Desert to Cairo.
The reports of the Wahabi war, and of hostile cruisers in the Red Sea,
prevented the merchants from taking advantage of the treaty till 1815,
when a large ship was despatched from Bombay to Suez. The Pasha,
however, who was at Mekka when she touched at Djidda, in direct
violation of his engagements, stopped the ship, prohibited her
proceeding to Suez, compelled the captain to sell the cargo at a loss,
while the plague was raging in the town, and exacted the same duties as
are taken on country ships, in contravention of the stipulations
existing between Great Britain and the Porte. This affair, which created
great disgust amongst the Europeans in Egypt, might easily have been
remedied by retaliation upon the Pasha's ships trading to Malta, which
would have taught him to respect the British flag wherever he might meet
it. The British officers, however, from an erroneous conception perhaps
of his power and

[p.21] importance, and from a wish to remain upon a friendly footing
with him, instead of evincing any displeasure, preferred submitting
silently to the outrage; forgetting that the favour of a Turkish ruler
can never be bought by conciliation, but can only be obtained by an
attitude of defiance. In consequence of all this, the merchants were
obliged to make a second treaty with the Pasha, which was formally
ratified. His first demand was, that the ships should pay at Suez the
joint customs of that port and Djidda, which would have been equivalent
to about 12 per cent.; but he contented himself, at last, with a promise
of 9 per cent. upon all imports into Suez from India, which was six per
cent. more than the usual duty paid by European merchants in the ports
of the Grand Signior. This arrangement, it is supposed, will lead to the
opening of an active trade. The Pasha himself is disposed to speculate
on his own account; and the first adventure he sent to Bombay, in the
spring of 1816, was to bring him, in return, a richly caparisoned
elephant, destined as a present to his sovereign at Constantinople.
Still, however, I am afraid he will as little respect the second treaty
as he did the first; for his avarice, if not effectually checked, knows
no bounds, and he can at any time exact additional imposts, as far as
the profits of this new commercial route can bear them, by threatening
the security of the road from Suez to Cairo, the Bedouins of the
neighbouring Desert being completely at his command.

The former master of Djidda, Sherif Ghaleb, was actively engaged in the
Indian trade; he had two ships, of four hundred tons each, employed in
it, besides many smaller vessels in the coffee trade to Yemen; indeed,
he was a shrewd speculator in all branches of the Red Sea trade. He
oppressed the merchants of Djidda by heavy duties and his own powerful
competition; but he was never known to practise extortion upon them. If
he borrowed money, he repaid it at the stipulated time, and never
ventured to levy extraordinary contributions from individuals, although
he did [p.22] it from the whole community, by increasing the duties in
an arbitrary manner. It was the well-known security which property
enjoyed under his government that induced foreign merchants to visit the
port of Djidda, even when Ghaleb was reduced to great distress by the
Wahabis. His conduct, however, in this respect, was not caused by any
love of justice, for he governed most despotically; but he well knew
that, if the merchants should be frightened away, his town would sink
into insignificance. Towards the close of his government, the duty upon
coffee was increased by him from two and a half to five dollars per
quintal, or to about fifteen per cent. The duty upon India goods was
from six to ten per cent., according to their quality. If Ghaleb could
not immediately sell the coffee or India goods imported on his account,
he distributed the cargoes of his ships among the native merchants of
the place at the current market-price, in quantities proportioned to the
supposed property of each merchant, who was thus forced to become a
purchaser for ready money. In this respect Ghaleb was not singular; for
in Egypt the present Pasha frequently distributes his coffee among the
merchants; with this difference, however, from the practice of Ghaleb,
that the price which he exacts is always above the real market-price.

Business in Djidda is conducted through the intervention of brokers, who
are for the most part Indians of small property and bad reputations.

The number of ships belonging to Djidda is very great. Taking into
account all the small vessels employed in the Red Sea trade, two hundred
and fifty perhaps may be calculated as belonging either to merchants of
the town, or to owners, who navigate them, and who consider the port as
their principal home. The different names given to these ships, as Say,
Seume, Merkeb, Sambouk, Dow, denote their size; the latter only, being
the largest, perform the voyage to India. The ships are navigated
chiefly by people from Yemen, from the Somawly coast (opposite to Aden,

[p.23] between Abyssinia and Cape Guardafui,) and by slaves, of which
latter three or four are generally found in every ship. The crew receive
a certain sum for the voyage, and every sailor is, at the same time, a
petty trader on his own account; this is another cause of the resort of
foreigners to Djidda during the trade winds, for persons with the
smallest capitals can purchase goods in retail, at the first hand, from
the crews of these ships. No vessels of any kind are now constructed at
Djidda, so scarce has timber become; indeed, it is with difficulty that
means are found to repair a ship. Yembo is subject to the same
inconvenience. Suez, Hadeyda, and Mokha, are the only harbours in the
Red Sea where ships are built. The timber used at Suez is transported
thither overland from Cairo, and comes originally from the coast of Asia
Minor: The canvas used all over the Red Sea is of Egyptian manufacture.
The cordage is of the date-tree. Ships coming from the East Indies have
cordage made of the cocoa-nut tree, of which a quantity is also brought
for sale. That employed at Hadeyda and Mokha comes partly from Yemen,
and partly from the African coast. Many ships are purchased at Bombay
and Maskat; but those built at Suez are most common in the sea north of
Yemen. There has been a great want of shipping at Djidda during the last
three years, as the Pasha had seized a great number of ships, and
obliged their owners to transport provisions, ammunition, and baggage,
from Egypt to the Hedjaz, for which he pays a very low freight. During
my stay at Djidda, scarcely a day passed without some arrival by sea,
chiefly from Yembo and Cosseir; and there were constantly forty or fifty
ships in the harbour. An officer, entitled Emir al Bahhr, acts as
harbour-master, and takes from each ship a certain sum for anchorage.
This was an office of considerable dignity in the time of the sherif,
but it has now sunk into insignificance. I was somewhat surprised to
find that, in so well-frequented a port as Djidda, there were no
pleasure-boats of any kind in the harbour, nor even any regular public
boatmen; but I learned that this proceeded from the jealousy

[p.24] of the custom-house officers, who forbid all craft of this
description, and even insist that the ships' boats should return to the
ships after sunset.

Djidda carries on no trade by land, except with Medina and Mekka. A
caravan departs for Medina once in forty or fifty days, principally with
India goods and drugs, and is always augmented by a crowd of pilgrims
who wish to visit Mohammed's tomb. These caravans consist of from sixty
to one hundred camels, and are conducted by the Harb Bedouins. The
intercourse, however, between Djidda and Medina is more commonly carried
on by the intermediate route of Yembo, whither merchandize is sent by
sea. Besides the caravans above mentioned, others depart for Mekka
almost every evening, and at least twice a week, with goods and
provisions; and during the four months preceding the Hadj, when every
ship that arrives brings pilgrims to Djidda, this intercourse farther
increases, and caravans then set out regularly from the gate called Bab
Mekka every evening after sunset. The loaded camels take two nights to
perform the journey, resting midway at Hadda during the day; but, in
addition to these, a small caravan of asses, lightly laden, starts also
every evening, and performs the journey of fifteen or sixteen hours in
one night, arriving regularly at Mekka early in the morning. [When camels
abound, the hire of one from Djidda to Mekka is from twenty to twenty-
five piastres. In time of scarcity, or at the approach of the Hadj, from
sixty to seventy piastres are paid. During my stay, the hire of an ass
from Djidda to Mekka was twenty piastres. These prices would be
considered enormous in any other part of the Levant. Only fifteen
piastres are paid for a camel from Cairo to Suez, which is double the
distance between Djidda and Mekka.] It is by the ass-caravan that
letters are conveyed between the two towns. In time of peace, caravans
are occasionally met with on the sea-coast, towards Yemen, and the
interior of Tehama, to Mokhowa, whence corn is imported. (V. Appendix on
the Geography of the Hedjaz.)

The following enumeration of the different shops in the principal
commercial street of Djidda, may throw some light on the

[p.25] trade of the town, as well as on the mode of living of its

The shops (as in all parts of Turkey) are raised several feet above
ground, and have before them, projecting into the street, a stone bench,
on which purchasers seat themselves; this is sheltered from the sun by
an awning usually made of mats fastened to high poles. Many of the shops
are only six or seven feet wide in front; the depth is generally from
ten to twelve feet, with a small private room or magazine behind.

There are twenty-seven coffee-shops. Coffee is drunk to excess in the
Hedjaz; it is not uncommon for persons to drink twenty or thirty cups in
one day, and the poorest labourer never takes less than three or four
cups. In a few of the shops may be had keshre, made from the skin of the
bean, which is scarcely inferior in flavour to that made from the bean
itself. One of the shops is frequented by those who smoke the hashysh,
or a preparation of hemp-flowers mixed with tobacco, which produces a
kind of intoxication. Hashysh is still more used in Egypt, especially
among the peasants. [Of the hemp-flowers, they use for this purpose the
small leaves standing round the seed, (called sheranek.) The common
people put a small quantity of them upon the top of the tobacco with
which their pipes are filled. The higher classes eat it in a jelly or
paste (maadjoun) made in the following manner:--a quantity of the
leaves is boiled with butter for several hours, and then put under a
press; the juice so expressed is mixed with honey and other sweet drugs,
and publicly sold in Egypt, where shops are kept for that purpose. The
Hashysh paste is politely termed bast, and those who sell it basty (i.e.
cheerfulness). On the occasion of a festival to celebrate the marriage
of a son of one of the principal grandees at Cairo, when all the
different crafts of the town were represented in a showy procession, the
basty, although exercising a business prohibited and condemned by the
law, was among the most gaudy. Many persons of the first rank use the
bast in some shape or other; it exhilarates the spirits, and raises the
imagination as violently as opium. Some persons also mix the paste with
seeds of the Bendj, which comes from Syria.]

In all these shops the Persian pipe is smoked, of which there

[p.26] are three different sorts. 1. The Kedra, which is the largest,
and rests upon a tripod; it is always neatly worked, and found only in
private houses. 2. The Shishe (called in Syria Argyle), of a smaller
size, but, like the former, joined to a long serpentine tube (called
lieh), through which the smoke is inhaled. 3. The Bury. This consists of
an unpolished cocoa-nut shell, which contains water; a thick reed
answers the purpose of the serpentine tube: this pipe is the constant
companion of the lower classes, and of all the sailors of the Red Sea,
who indulge most inordinately in using it. The tobacco smoked in the two
former of these pipes comes from the Persian gulf; the best is from
Shiraz. An inferior sort (called tombak) comes from Basra and Baghdad;
the leaf is of a light yellow colour, and much stronger in taste than
common tobacco; it is, therefore, previously washed to render it milder.
The tombak used in the Bury comes from Yemen, and is of the same species
as the other, but of an inferior quality. The trade in this article is
very considerable, its consumption in the Hedjaz being almost incredibly
great; large quantities are also shipped for Egypt. The common pipe is
little used in the Hedjaz, except by Turkish soldiers and Bedouins. The
tobacco is of Egyptian growth, or from Sennar, whence it is carried to
Sowakin. Very little good Syrian tobacco finds its way across the Red

The coffee-houses are filled with people during the whole day; and in
front a shed is generally erected, under which persons also sit. The
rooms, benches, and small low chairs, are very filthy, and form a
contrast to the neatness and elegance observable in the coffee-houses of
Damascus. Respectable merchants are never seen in a coffee-house; but
those of the third class, and sea-faring people, make it their constant
resort. Every person has his particular house, where he meets those who
have business with him. An Arab, who cannot afford to ask his friend to
dine, invites him from the coffee-house, when he sees him pass, to enter
and take

[p.27] a cup, and is highly offended if the invitation be rejected. When
his friend enters, he orders the waiter to bring him a cup, and the
waiter, in presenting it, exclaims aloud, so that every one in the place
may hear him, djebba! (gratis). An Arab may cheat his creditors, or be
guilty of bad faith in his dealings, and yet escape public censure; but
he would be covered with infamy, if it were known that he had attempted
to cheat the coffee-house waiter of his due. The Turkish soldiers have
done their utmost in this respect to increase the contempt in which they
are held by the Arabs. I never saw in the coffee-houses of the Hedjaz
any of those story-tellers who are so common in Egypt, and still more in
Syria. The Mangal [See Niebuhr's Travels.] is generally played in all of
them, and the Dama, "a kind of draughts," differing somewhat from the
European game; but I never happened to see chess played in the Hedjaz,
though I heard that it is not uncommon, and that the sherifs in
particular are fond of it.

Near to almost every coffee-shop a person takes his stand, who sells
cooled water in small perfumed jars. [The Orientals often drink water
before coffee, but never immediately after. I was once recognised in
Syria as a foreigner or European, in consequence of having called for
water just after I had taken coffee. "If you were of this country ,"
said the waiter, "you would not spoil the taste of the coffee in your
mouth by washing it away with water."]

Twenty-one butter-sellers, who likewise retail honey, oil, and vinegar.
Butter forms the chief article in Arab cookery, which is more greasy
than even that of Italy. Fresh butter, called by the Arabs zebde, is
very rarely seen in the Hedjaz. It is a common practice amongst all
classes to drink every morning a coffee-cup full of melted butter or
ghee, after which coffee is taken. They regard it as a powerful tonic,
and are so much accustomed to it from their earliest youth, that they
would feel great inconvenience in discontinuing the use of it. The
higher classes content themselves

[p.28] with drinking the quantity of butter, but the lower orders add a
half-cup more, which they snuff up their nostrils, conceiving that they
prevent foul air from entering the body by that channel. The practice is
universal as well with the inhabitants of the town as with the Bedouins.
The lower classes are likewise in the habit of rubbing their breasts,
shoulders, arms, and legs, with butter, as the negroes do, to refresh
the skin. During the war, the import of this article from the interior
had almost entirely ceased; but even in time of peace, it is not
sufficient for the consumption of Djidda; some is, therefore, brought
also from Sowakin; but the best sort, and that which is in greatest
plenty, comes from Massowah, and is called here Dahlak butter: whole
ships' cargoes arrive from thence, the greater part of which is again
carried to Mekka. Butter is likewise imported from Cosseir; this comes
from Upper Egypt, and is made from buffaloes' milk; the Sowakin and
Dahlak ghee is from sheep's milk.

The Hedjaz abounds with honey in every part of the mountains. The best
comes from those which are inhabited by the Nowaszera Bedouins, to the
south of Tayf. Among the lower classes, a common breakfast is a mixture
of ghee and honey poured over crumbs of bread as they come quite hot
from the oven. The Arabs, who are very fond of paste, never eat it
without honey.

The oil used for lamps is that of Sesamum (Seeredj, brought from Egypt).
The Arabs do not use oil for culinary purposes, except in frying fish,
or with broken paste to be given to the poor. Salad, of which the
northern Turks are so fond, is never seen on an Arabian table.

Eighteen vegetable or fruit-stands. The number of these has now greatly
increased, on account of the Turkish troops, who are great devourers of
vegetables. All the fruits come from Tayf, behind Mekka, which is rich
in gardens. I found here in July grapes of the best kind, with which the
mountains behind Mekka

[p.29] abound; pomegranates of middling quality; quinces, which have not
the harsh taste of those in Europe, and may be eaten raw; peaches;
lemons of the smallest size only, like those of Cairo; bitter oranges;
bananas--these do not grow at Tayf, but are brought by the Medina road
principally from Safra, Djedeyda, and Kholeys. These fruits last till
November. In March, water melons are brought from Wady Fatme, which are
said to be small, but of a good flavour. The Arabs eat little fruit
except grapes; they say it produces bile, and occasions flatulency, in
which they are probably not mistaken. The fruit sold at Djidda is
particularly unwholesome; for having been packed up at Tayf in an unripe
state, it acquires a factitious maturity by fermentation during the
journey. The Turks quarrel and fight every morning before the shops, in
striving to get the fruits, which are in small quantities and very dear.
Vegetables are brought to Djidda from Wady Fatme, six or eight miles
distant to the north, which also supplies Mekka. The usual kinds are
Meloukhye, Bamye, Portulaca egg-plants, or Badingans, cucumbers, and
very small turnips, of which the leaves are eaten, and the root is
thrown away as useless. Radishes and leeks are the only vegetables
regularly and daily used in Arab cookery; they are very small, and the
common people eat them raw with bread. In general, the Arabs consume
very few vegetables, their dishes being made of meat, rice, flour, and
butter. In these fruit-shops, tamarind (called here Homar) is also sold;
it comes from the East Indies, not in cakes, like that from the negro
countries, but in its natural form, though much decomposed. When boiled
in water, it constitutes a refreshing beverage, and is given to sick
people boiled with meat into a stew.

Eight date-sellers. Of all eatables used by the Arabs, dates are the
most favourite; and they have many traditions from their prophet,
showing the pre-eminence of dates above all other kinds of food. The
importation of dates is uninterrupted during the whole year. At the end
of June, the new fruit (called ruteb) comes in: this lasts for two
months, after which, for the remainder of the

[p.30] year, the date-paste, called adjoue, is sold. This is formed by
pressing the dates, when fully ripe, into large baskets so forcibly as
to reduce them to a hard solid paste or cake, each basket weighing
generally about two hundred weight; in this state the Bedouins export
the adjoue; in the market it is cut out of the basket and sold by the
pound. This adjoue forms a part of the daily food among all classes of
people. In travelling, it is dissolved in water, and thus affords a
sweet and refreshing drink. There are upwards of twelve different sorts
of adjoue; the best comes from Taraba, behind Tayf (now occupied by the
Wahabis.) The most common kind at present in the market is that from
Fatme; and the better sort, that from Kheleys, and Djedeyde, on the road
to Medina. During the monsoon, the ships from the Persian gulf bring
adjoue from Basra for sale, in small baskets, weighing about ten pounds
each; this kind is preferred to every other. The East-India ships, on
their return, take off a considerable quantity of the paste, which is
sold to great profit among the muselmans of Hindostan.

Four pancake-makers, who sell, early in the morning, pancakes fried in
butter; a favourite breakfast.

Five bean-sellers. These sell for breakfast also, at an early hour,
Egyptian horse-beans boiled in water, which are eaten with ghee and
pepper. The boiled beans are called mudammes; they form a favourite dish
with the people of Egypt, from whom the Arabs have adopted it.

Five sellers of sweetmeats, sugar-plums, and different sorts of
confectionary, of which the Hedjaz people are much fonder than any
Orientals I have seen; they eat them after supper, and in the evening
the confectioners' stands are surrounded by multitudes of buyers. The
Indians are the best makers of them. I saw no articles of this kind here
that I had not already found in Egypt; the Baktawa, Gnafe, and Ghereybe,
are as common here as at Aleppo and Cairo.

Two kebab shops, where roasted meat is sold; these are kept by Turks,
the kebab not being an Arab dish.

[p.31] Two soup-sellers, who also sell boiled sheep's heads and feet,
and are much visited at mid-day.

One seller of fish fried in oil, frequented by all the Turkish and Greek

Ten or twelve stands where bread is sold, generally by women; the bread
has an unpleasant flavour, the meal not having been properly cleansed,
and the leaven being bad. A loaf of the same size as that which at Cairo
is sold for two paras, costs here, though of a much worse quality, eight

Two sellers of leben, or sour milk, which is extremely scarce and dear
all over the Hedjaz. It may appear strange that, among the shepherds of
Arabia, there should be a scarcity of milk, yet this was the case at
Djidda and Mekka; but, in fact, the immediate vicinity of these towns is
extremely barren, little suited to the pasturage of cattle, and very few
people are at the expense of feeding them for their milk only. When I
was at Djidda, the rotolo or pound of milk (for it is sold by weight)
cost one piastre and a half, and could only be obtained by favour. What
the northern Turks called yoghort, and the Syrians and Egyptians leben-
hamed, [Very thick milk, rendered sour by boiling and the addition of a
strong acid.] does not appear to be a native Arab dish; the Bedouins of
Arabia, at least, never prepare it.

Two shops, kept by Turks, where Greek cheese, dried meat, dried apples,
figs, raisins, apricots, called kammared'din, &c. are sold at three
times the price paid in Cairo. The cheese comes from Candia, and is much
in request among all the Turkish troops. An indifferent sort of cheese
is made in the Hedjaz; it is extremely white, although salted, does not
keep long, and is not by any means very nutritive. The Bedouins
themselves care little for cheese; they either drink their milk, or make
it into butter. The dried meat sold in these shops is the salted and
smoked beef of Asia Minor, known all over Turkey by the name of
bastorma, and

[p.32] much relished by travellers. The Turkish soldiers and the Hadjis
are particularly fond of it, but the Arabs never can be induced to taste
it; many of them, observing that it differs in appearance from all other
meat with which they are acquainted, persist in regarding it as pork,
and the estimation in which they hold the Turkish soldiery and their
religious principles is not likely to remove their prejudices on this
head. All the dried fruits above mentioned, except the apricots, come
from the Archipelago; the latter are sent from Damascus all over Arabia,
where they are considered a luxury, particularly among the Bedouins. The
stone is extracted and the fruit reduced to a paste, and spread out upon
its leaves to dry in the sun. It makes a very pleasant sauce when
dissolved in water. On all their marches through the Hedjaz, the Turkish
troops live almost entirely upon biscuit and this fruit.

Eleven large shops of corn-dealers, where Egyptian wheat, barley, beans,
lentils, dhourra, [Or durra, from Sowakin, which comes from Taka, in the
interior of Nubia, and a small-grained sort from Yemen, are also sold
here.] Indian and Egyptian rice, biscuits, &c. may be purchased. The
only wheat now sold in the Hedjaz comes from Egypt. In time of peace,
there is a considerable importation from Yemen into Mekka and Djidda,
and from Nedjed to Medina; but the imports from Egypt are by far the
most considerable, and the Hedjaz may truly be said to depend upon Egypt
for corn. The corn-trade was formerly in the hands of individuals, and
the Sherif Ghaleb also speculated in it; but at the present, Mohammed
Aly Pasha has taken it entirely into his own hands, and none is sold
either at Suez or Cosseir to private persons, every grain being shipped
on account of the Pasha. This is likewise the case with all other
provisions, as rice, butter, biscuits, onions, of which latter great
quantities are imported. At the time of my residence in the Hedjaz, this
country not producing a sufficiency, the Pasha sold the grain at Djidda
for the price of

[p.33] from one hundred and thirty to one hundred and sixty piastres per
erdeb, and every other kind of provision in proportion; the corn cost
him twelve piastres by the erdeb in Upper Egypt, and including the
expense of carriage from Genne to Cosseir, and freight thence to Djidda,
twenty-five or thirty piastres. This enormous profit was alone
sufficient to defray his expenses in carrying on the Wahaby war; but it
was little calculated to conciliate the good-will of the people. His
partisans, however, excused him, by alleging that, in keeping grain at
high prices, he secured the Bedouins of the Hedjaz in his interest, as
they depend upon Mekka and Djidda for provisions, and they were thus
compelled to enter into his service, and receive his pay, to escape
starvation. The common people of the Hedjaz use very little wheat; their
bread is made either of durra or barley-flour, both of which are one-
third cheaper than wheat; or they live entirely upon rice and butter.
This is the case also with most of the Bedouins of Tehama, on the coast.
The Yemen people in Djidda eat nothing but durra. Most of the rice used
at Djidda is brought as ballast by the ships from India. The best sort
comes from Guzerat and Cutch: it forms the chief article of food among
the people of the Hedjaz, who prefer it to the rice from Egypt, because
they think it more wholesome than the former, which is used exclusively
by the Turks and other strangers from the north-ward. The grain of the
Indian rice is larger and longer than the common sort of Egypt, and is
of a yellowish colour; whereas the latter has a reddish tint; but the
best sorts of both are snow-white. The Indian rice swells more in
boiling than the Egyptian, and is for this reason preferred by the
Arabs, as a smaller quantity of it will fill a dish; but the Egyptian
rice is more nutritive. The Indian rice is rather cheaper, and is
transported from Djidda to Mekka, Tayf, Medina, and thence as far as
Nedjed. A mixture of equal portions of rice and lentils, over which
butter is poured,

[p.34] forms a favourite preparation with the middle class, and
generally their only dish at supper. [This dish is known in Syria, and
called there medjeddereh, because the lentils in the rice look like a
person's face marked with the small-pox, or djedreh.] I found, in every
part of the Hedjaz, that the Bedouins, when travelling, carried no other
provision than rice, lentils, butter, and dates. The importation of
biscuits from Egypt has of late been very considerable, for the use of
the Turkish army. The Arabians do not like and seldom eat them even on
board their ships, where they bake their unleavened cake every morning
in those small ovens which are found in all the ships of every size that
navigate the Red Sea.

Salt is sold by the corn-dealers. Sea-salt is collected near Djidda, and
is a monopoly in the hands of the sherif. The inhabitants of Mekka
prefer rock-salt, which is brought thither by the Bedouins from some
mountains in the neighbourhood of Tayf.

Thirty-one tobacco-shops, in which are sold Syrian and Egyptian tobacco,
tombac, or tobacco for the Persian pipe, pipe-heads and pipe-snakes,
cocoa-nuts, coffee-beans, keshre, soap, almonds, Hedjaz raisins, and
some other articles of grocery. The Egyptian tobacco, sometimes mixed
with that of Sennar, is the cheapest, and in great demand throughout the
Hedjaz. There are two sorts of it: the leaf of one is green, even when
dry; this is called ribbe, and comes from Upper Egypt: the other is
brown-leaved, the best sort of which grows about Tahta, to the south of
Siout. During the power of the Wahabys, tobacco could not be sold
publicly; but as all the Bedouins of the Hedjaz are passionately fond of
it, persons sold it clandestinely in their shops, not as tobacco or
dokhan, but under the name of "the wants of a man." Long snakes for the
Persian pipe, very prettily worked, are imported from Yemen. Cocoa-nuts
are brought from the East Indies, as well as from the south-eastern
coast of Africa and the Somawly country, and may

[p.35] be had quite fresh, at low prices, during the monsoon. The people
of Djidda and Mekka appear to be very fond of them. The larger nuts, as
already mentioned, are used for the boury, or common Persian pipe, and
the smallest for snuff-boxes.

Soap comes from Suez, whither it is carried from Syria, which supplies
the whole coast of the Red Sea with it. The soap-trade is considerable,
and, for the greater part, in the hands of the merchants from Hebron,
(called in Arabic el Khalyl or the Khalylis,) who bring it to Djidda,
where some of them are always to be found. The almonds and raisins come
from Tayf and the Hedjaz mountains; large quantities of both are
exported, even to the East Indies. The almonds are of most excellent
quality; the raisins are small and quite black, but very sweet. An
intoxicating liquor is prepared from them.

Eighteen druggists. These are all natives of the East Indies, and mostly
from Surat. In addition to all kinds of drugs, they sell wax candles,
paper, sugar, perfumery, and incense; the latter is much used by the
inhabitants of the towns, where all the respectable families perfume
their best rooms every morning. Mastic and sandal-wood, burnt upon
charcoal, are most commonly used for this purpose. Spices of all sorts,
and heating drugs, are universally used in the Hedjaz. Coffee is rarely
drunk in private houses without a mixture of cardamoms or cloves; and
red pepper, from India or Egypt, enters into every dish. A considerable
article of trade among the druggists of Djidda and Mekka consists in
rose-buds, brought from the gardens of Tayf. The people of the Hedjaz,
especially the ladies, steep them in water, which they afterwards use
for their ablutions; they also boil these roses with sugar, and make a
conserve of them. The sugar sold in the drug-gists' shops is brought
from India; it is of a yellowish white colour, and well refined, but in
powder. A small quantity of Egyptian sugar is imported, but the people
here do not like it; in general, they prefer every thing that comes from
India, which they conceive

[p.36] to be of a superior quality; in the same manner as English
produce and manufactures are preferred on the continent of Europe. The
Indian druggists are all men of good property; their trade is very
lucrative, and no Arabs can rival them in it. At Mekka, also, and at
Tayf, Medina, and Yembo, all the druggists are of Indian descent; and
although they have been established in the country for several
generations, and completely naturalized, yet they continue to speak the
Hindu language, and distinguish themselves in many trifling customs from
the Arabs, by whom they are in general greatly disliked, and accused of
avarice and fraud.

Eleven shops where small articles of Indian manufacture are sold, such
as china-ware, pipe-heads, wooden spoons, glass heads, knives, rosaries,
mirrors, cards, &c. These shops are kept by Indians, mostly from Bombay.
Very little European hardware finds its way hither, except needles,
scissors, thimbles, and files; almost every thing else of this kind
comes from India. The earthenware of China is greatly prized in the
Hedjaz. The rich inhabitants display very costly collections of it,
disposed upon shelves in their sitting-rooms, as may be remarked also in
Syria. I have seen, both at Mekka and Djidda, china dishes brought to
table, measuring at least two feet and a half in diameter, carried by
two persons, and containing a sheep roasted entire. The glass beads
exported from Djidda are chiefly for the Souakin and Abyssinian market;
they are partly of Venetian and partly of Hebron manufacture. The
Bedouin women of the Hedjaz likewise wear them; though bracelets, made
of black horn, and amber necklaces, seem to be more in fashion among
them. It is in these shops that the agate beads, called reysh, [See
Travels in Nubia, article Shendy.] are sold, which come from Bombay,
and are used in the very heart of Africa. A kind of red beads, made of
wax, are seen here in great quantities; they come from India, and are

[p.37] mostly destined for Abyssinia. Of rosaries, a great variety is
sold: those made of yoser [From this, the principal lane of Djidda is
called Hosh Yosser.] are the most costly; it is a species of coral which
grows in the Red Sea. The best sort is found between Djidda and Gonfode,
is of a deep black colour, and takes a fine polish. Strings of one
hundred beads each are sold at from one to four dollars, according to
their size. They are made by the turners of Djidda, and are much in
demand for the Malays. Other rosaries, (also brought from India,) made
of the odoriferous kalambac, and of the sandal-wood, are in great demand
throughout Egypt and Syria. Few pilgrims leave the Hedjaz without taking
from the holy cities same of these rosaries, as presents to their
friends at home.

Eleven clothes-shops. In these various articles of dress are sold every
morning by public auction. The greater part of those dresses are of the
Turkish fashion, adopted by merchants of the first and second classes,
with some trifling national variations in the cut of the clothes. During
the period of the Hadj, these shops are principally frequented for the
purchase of the Hiram or Ihram, that mantle in which the pilgrimage is
performed, and which consists generally of two long pieces of white
Indian cambric. Here, too, the Hedjaz Bedouins come to buy the woollen
abbas, or Bedouin cloaks, brought from Egypt, on which country they
entirely depend for this article; and thus they seem to possess the same
indolent character as most people of the Hedjaz; for it is customary
with the wives of other Bedouins to fabricate their own abbas. Here,
also, they bring Turkish carpets of an inferior quality, which form an
indispensable article of furniture for the tent of a Sheikh. In these
shops are likewise retailed all other imports from Egypt necessary for
dress, as mellayes, cotton quilts, linen for shirts, shirts dyed blue,
worn by the peasants, red and yellow slippers,

[p.38] used by the more opulent merchants, and by all the ladies, red
caps, all kinds of cloth dresses, second-hand cashmere shawls, muslin
shawls, &c. &c.

Six large shops of Indian piece-goods: French cloth, cashmere shawls,
&c. belonging to respectable merchants, whose clerks here sell by
retail. Almost all the principal merchants carry on also a retail
business in their own houses, except the great Indian merchants
established here, who deal in nothing but Indian piece-goods. The other
merchants of Djidda engage in every branch of commerce. I once saw the
brother of Djeylany quarrelling with a Yembo pedlar about the price of a
mellaye, worth about fifteen shillings; but this is the case also in
Egypt and Syria, where the most wealthy native merchants sell in retail,
and enter into all the minute details of business, and yet without
keeping any large establishment of clerks or accomptants, which their
mode of conducting business renders little necessary. A Turkish merchant
never keeps more than one accompt-book; into this he copies from a
pocket-book his weekly sales and purchases. They have not that extensive
correspondence which European merchants are obliged to keep up; and they
write much less, though perhaps more to the purpose, than the latter. In
every town with which they traffic, they have one friend, with whom they
annually balance accounts. Turkish merchants, with the exception of
those living in sea-ports, generally pursue but one branch of trade;
maintaining a correspondence with the town only from whence they obtain
their merchandize, and with that to which they transport it. Thus, for
instance, the great Baghdad merchants of Aleppo, men with from thirty to
forty thousand pounds in capital, receive goods from their friends at
Baghdad, and then send them from Aleppo to Constantinople. I have known
many of them who kept no clerk, but transacted the whole of their
business themselves. At Cairo, the Syrian merchants trade in the stuffs
of Damascus and Aleppo, and

[p.39] are altogether unconnected with the Maggrebin, Syria, and Djidda

Mercantile transactions are farther simplified by the traders employing
chiefly their own capital, commission business being much less extensive
than it is in Europe. When a merchant consigns a considerable quantity
of goods to a place, he sends a partner with them, or perhaps a
relative, if he have no partner resident in the place. Ranking concerns
and bills of exchange are wholly unknown among the natives, which saves
them much trouble. In those towns where European factories are
established, bills may be found, but they are hardly current with the
natives, among whom assignments only are customary.

The practice followed equally by Mahomedan, Christian, and Jewish
merchants, in the East, of never drawing an exact balance of the actual
state of their capital, is another cause that renders the details of
book-keeping less necessary here than in Europe. For the same reason
that a Bedouin never counts the tents of his tribe, nor the exact number
of his sheep, nor a military chief the exact number of his men, nor a
governor the number of inhabitants of his town, a merchant never
attempts to ascertain the exact amount of his property; an approximation
only is all that be desires. This arises from a belief that counting is
an ostentatious display of wealth, which heaven will punish by a speedy

The Eastern merchant seldom enters into hazardous speculations, but
limits his transactions to the extent of his capital. Credit to a great
amount is obtained with difficulty, as affairs of individuals are in
general much more publicly known than in Europe; failures are,
therefore, of rare occurrence; and when a man becomes embarrassed either
from an unsuccessful speculation or inevitable losses, his creditors
forbear to press their demands, and are generally paid after a few
years' patience;

[p.40] thereby saving the merchant's credit, and preventing the
consequences of bankruptcy.

On the other hand, however, the Eastern merchants are liable to the
imputation of uncertainty in their payments, which they often delay
beyond the stipulated periods. Even the most respectable among them do
not hesitate to put off the payment of a debt for months; and it may be
stated as a general rule in Egypt and Syria, that assignments are never
fully paid till after a lapse of nearly double the time named. But this,
I was often assured by the best informed people here, has only become
the practice within the last twenty or thirty years, and is a
consequence of the universal decay of commerce and diminution of capital
in the Levant. At Djidda, as I have already observed, almost all
bargains are made for ready money.

Three sellers of copper vessels. A variety of well-tinned copper vessels
may be found in every Arabian kitchen. Even the Bedouins have one
capacious boiler, at least, in every tent. The whole of these come from
Egypt. The most conspicuous article of this description is the abrik, or
water-pot, with which the Muselman performs his ablutions. No Turkish
pilgrim arrives in the Hedjaz without one of these pots, or at least he
purchases one at Djidda. There are found, also, in the market a few
copper vessels from China, brought hither by the Malays; but they are
not tinned, and though the copper seems to be of a much finer quality
than that of Anatolia, which is brought from Cairo, the Arabs dislike to
use it.

Four barbers' shops. The barbers are at once the surgeons and physicians
of this country. They know how to let blood, and to compound different
sorts of aperient medicines. The few Arabians whose beards are longer
and thicker than those of their country-men usually are, take great
pains in keeping them neatly cut, so that not a hair may project beyond
another. The mustachios are

[p.41] always cut closely, and never allowed to hang over the lips; in
this they differ from the northern Turks, who seldom touch their thick
bushy mustachios with scissors. The barbers' shops are frequented by
loungers of the lower classes, who resort thither to hear the news, and
amuse themselves with conversation. In one of these shops I found
established a seal-engraver of Persian origin; he had a good deal of
business, for a pilgrim, after he has performed his visits to the holy
places, usually adds to the name on his seal the words El Hadjy, or "The

Four tailors. Many others live in various parts of the town; they are
mostly foreigners. Tousoun Pasha's court-tailor was a Christian of
Bosnia, and exercised authority over all the other tailors in the town;
who complained bitterly of being subjected, not only to the commands and
insults, but often to the stick of this Christian.

Five makers of nal, or sandals. There is not one shoe-maker in the
Hedjaz. Those who wear shoes or slippers buy them of the merchants by
whom they are imported from Egypt.

The shape of the sandals used throughout Arabia differs in every
province; and to those delineated by Niebuhr, a dozen other forms might
be added. Some are peculiar to certain classes: a merchant, for
instance, would not wear the sandals of a mariner. This is the case in
Turkey with regard to shoes, of which each province and class has its
particular shape. Egypt and Abyssinia furnish the thick leather used in
making sandals.

Three shops where water-skins brought from Sowakin and Egypt are sold
and repaired. The greater part of the Hedjaz is furnished with water-
skins from Sowakin; they are in great request, being very light, and
sewed with much neatness. A Sowakin water-skin will last, in daily use,
about three or four months.

Two turners, who bore pipe-tubes, and make beads, &c.

Three sellers of sweet-oils or essences, civet, aloe-wood, balsam of
Mekka, and rose-water from Fayoum in Egypt. The civet

[p.42] and Mekka balsam can seldom be bought pure, except at first hand.
The Habesh or Abyssinian merchants bring the civet in large cow-horns;
they sold it at four piastres per drachm in the year 1814. Musk also is
sold in these shops, the best at two dollars per metkal. It is brought
hither by the Indian and Persian Hadjys.

One watchmaker, a Turk. All the Mekka and Djidda merchants wear watches,
many of which are of good English manufacture; they are brought either
from India, or by the Hadjys from Constantinople. As it often happens
that the Turkish pilgrims want money in the Hedjaz, they are sometimes
compelled to dispose of their most valuable articles; the watch is
always the first, then the pistols and sabre, and lastly the fine pipe,
and best copy of the Koran: all these articles are consequently very
common in the auction-markets of Djidda and Mekka.

One seller of Turkish and Persian tobacco-pipes. The latter come
principally from Baghdad. The wealthy often display in their sitting-
rooms a whole range of the finest nargils: these cost as much as one
hundred dollars a piece.

Seven money-dealers, or serafs. They sit upon benches in the open
street, with a large box before them containing the money. Formerly,
these serafs were all Jews, as is still the case, with few exceptions,
at Cairo, Damascus, and Aleppo; but since the Sherif-Serour drove the
Jews out of the Hedjaz, the Djiddawys themselves have taken up the
profession, to which their natural disposition and habits incline them.
There is usually at each stand a partnership of them, comprising half a
dozen individuals. A large amount of cash is required to carry on the
business; but it is very profitable. The value of money changes here
more rapidly than in any part of the East with which I am acquainted.
The price of dollars and sequins fluctuates almost daily, and the serafs
are always sure to be gainers. During the stay of the Indian fleet, the
value of a dollar becomes very high. While I was at Djidda, it rose

[p.43] to eleven and twelve piastres. After the departure of the fleet,
when there is no immediate demand for dollars, the price falls; in
January, 1815, it was at nine piastres. The gold coins vary in

Formerly the old current coins of the Hedjaz were Venetian and Hungarian
sequins, Spanish dollars, and money coined at Constantinople. Egyptian
coins were wholly excluded; [According to the historians of Mekka, it
appears that the sherifs there assumed the privilege of coining their
own money, in the name of the Sultan of Constantinople, as late as the
seventeenth century; but this is now abandoned.] but since the arrival
of the troops of Mohammed Ali Pasha, all the Cairo coins have been
forcibly put into circulation, and the Cairo silver money is now next in
estimation to the Spanish dollar. The Pasha of Egypt, who enjoys the
right of coining money in the name of the Sultan, has lately much abused
this privilege. In 1815, he farmed out the mint for a yearly sum of
seven millions of piastres, which is, at the present rate of exchange,
about two hundred thousand pounds sterling, obliging the people to take
the dollar at eight of his piastres, although it is well known to be now
worth twenty-two or twenty-three. In the Hedjaz he has not the same
means of enforcing his despotic measures to their full extent; and thus
it happens that in the interior of the country, where the Turkish troops
are placed, the value of the dollar is eighteen or nineteen piastres.
The Bedouins, however, refuse to take the Egyptian piastres, even at a
depreciation, and will receive nothing but dollars; a determination to
which the Pasha himself has been frequently obliged to yield.

The para, or smallest Turkish coin, (here called diwany,) is current all
over the Hedjaz, and in great request, from its being of more intrinsic
value than the piastre, though coined like them at Cairo. Forty paras
make a piastre; but in the time of the Hadj, when small change is
necessary for the immense daily traffic of the pilgrims, the serafs gave
twenty-five paras only in

[p.44] change for the piastre. A few Indian rupees are seen in the
Djidda market, but they have no currency. I never met with any money
coined by the Imam of Yemen.

In the same great street of shops are ten large okales, always full of
strangers and goods. Most of them were formerly the property of the
sherif; they now belong to the Pasha, who levies an annual rent on the
merchants. In Syria these buildings are called khans; in the Hedjaz
hosh, which, in the dialect of Egypt, means a court-yard.

In a street adjoining the great market-place live a few artisans,
blacksmiths, silversmiths, carpenters, some butchers, &c. most of them
natives of Egypt.

The reader will perceive, by the foregoing pages, that Djidda depends
for its commodities entirely on importations either from Egypt or the
East Indies; and this is the case even to the most trifling article. The
want of hands, and the high price of manual labour, but still more the
indolence and want of industry inherent in the natives of the Hedjaz,
have hitherto prevented them from establishing any kind of manufactory,
except of the most indispensable articles. In this respect they offer a
contrast to the Syrian and Egyptian Arabs, who in general are
industrious, and who, in spite of the obstacles often thrown in their
way by the government, have nevertheless established several
manufactures, which render them, in some parts of the country, entirely
independent of foreign supplies. The inhabitants of the Hedjaz appear to
have only two occupations; commerce, and the pasture of cattle. The
first engrosses the mind of almost every town-inhabitant, not excepting
even the olemas, or learned men. Every one endeavours to employ whatever
capital he possesses in some advantageous traffic, that he may live
without much bodily exertion; for these people seem to be as averse to
the latter as they are eager to endure all the anxieties and risks
inseparable from the former. It is even difficult to find persons who
will perform the common

[p.45] labour of porters, &c.: those who follow similar occupations are
for the most part foreigners from Egypt or Syria, and negro pilgrims,
who thus earn a very comfortable livelihood, and generally make but a
temporary stay at Djidda. The only race of Arabians whom I have found
more industrious than the others, are the people of Hadramaut, or, as
they are called, El Hadareme. Many of them act as servants in the
merchants' houses, as door-keepers, messengers, and porters, in which
latter character they are preferred to all others for their honesty and
industry. Almost every considerable town in the East has its particular
race of porters: at Aleppo, the Armenians of the mountains of Asia Minor
are in request for this office; at Damascus, the people of Mount
Libanus; at Cairo, the Berabera Nubians; at Mekka and Djidda, the
Hadareme, who, like those of Syria, are mountaineers. It is well known
that similar qualifications recommend my countrymen, the Alpine
mountaineers, to the same offices at Paris. There is another striking
similarity among the natives of all these countries; they generally
return home with their gains, and pass the remainder of their days with
their families. Notwithstanding this source, there is a great and almost
absolute want of free servants in the Hedjaz. No man who has been born
in one of the holy cities, will act as a menial servant, unless he be
driven to it by the fear of dying from want of food; and no sooner is he
in good condition, than he ceases to labour, and either turns pedlar or
beggar. The number of beggars at Mekka and Djidda is very great, and it
is a common remark among the merchants of the latter place, that a
Djiddawy will never work while he can possibly maintain himself by
begging. Mendicity is much encouraged by the pilgrims, who are fond of
displaying their charity on first touching holy ground at this place.

Respecting the people of Djidda and their character, I shall have
occasion to make further observations in describing the inhabitants of
Mekka, whom generally they resemble. In fact, all the

[p.46] respectable families have houses at both places, and frequently
pass from one to the other.

Djidda is governed by a pasha of three tails, who takes precedence of
most others, from the connexion of this place with the holy cities; but
the government of it is an honour little esteemed by the Turkish
grandees, who have always regarded Djidda as a place rather of exile
than of preferment, and it has often been conferred on disgraced
statesmen. The Pasha styles himself not only Waly or governor of Djidda,
but of Sowakin and Habesh; and in support of this title, keeps custom-
house officers at Sowakin and Massoua, which, prior to the government of
Mohammed Aly, were entirely dependent on the sherif.

The pashalik of Djidda was reduced to perfect insignificance by the
power of the sherif of Mekka; and the title had become merely an
honorary distinction, enjoyed by the individual on whom it had been
bestowed, while he resided in some provincial town of Turkey or at
Constantinople, without ever attempting to take possession of his
government. There was, however, an exception in 1803, when, after the
total evacuation of Egypt by the French, Sherif Pasha went to Djidda
with a body of four or five hundred soldiers; but like all his
predecessors, he became the mere instrument of Sherif Ghaleb, and in
1804 his career was terminated by sudden death-the fate of many former
Pashas both of Djidda and of Mekka.

According to the orders of the Sultan, whose nominal supremacy over the
Hedjaz was recognised until the last Wahaby conquest, the revenue
arising from the customs collected at Djidda should have been divided
equally between the Pasha and the sherif of Mekka, while the former was
to have exclusively the command of the town. When the Turks began to
subdue Asia, the sherif received only one third of this revenue, and it
was not until the year of the Hedjira 1042 that he obtained the
half. [Vide Asami, History of the Hedjaz.] Subsequently,

[p.47] however, the sherif not only usurped the government of Djidda,
but also applied the customs wholly to his own use, the Pasha being
rendered altogether dependent upon his bounty.

Soon after the death of Sherif Pasha, the Sherif Ghaleb was obliged to
surrender Mekka to the Wahabys, having been besieged, the preceding
year, in Djidda, by Saoud. He then openly declared himself a proselyte
to the Wahaby faith, and a subject of the Wahaby chief, though he still
retained full possession of Djidda and the produce of its customs, which
formed the principal part of his income. The Wahabys did not enter the
town, which ostensibly declared in favour of their doctrines. The
Turkish soldiers were now obliged to retire towards Egypt, or elsewhere;
and from that period till 1811 all Turkish authority was entirely
excluded from the Hedjaz.

In 1811, Mohammed Aly Pasha commenced his operations against the
Wahabys, by sending a body of troops under the command of his son
Tousoun Bey, who was defeated in the passes between Yembo and Medina. A
second, in 1812, was more successful: while Tousoun, in September of
that year, took Medina, Mustafa Bey, the Pasha's brother-in-law,
proceeded directly with the cavalry under his command to Djidda, Mekka,
and Tayf; all which surrendered, almost without bloodshed. The Sherif
Ghaleb, who, from the moment he began to apprehend the probable success
of Aly's expedition, had entered into a secret correspondence with
Egypt, now openly declared himself a friend to the Turks, who entered
Djidda as friends. The title of Pasha of Djidda was soon after conferred
by the Porte upon Tousoun, as a reward for his services. The details of
this war will be given in another place; I shall, therefore, only
mention here, that after the Osmanlys, or Turks, entered Djidda, a
quarrel arose between the Pasha and the sherif respecting the customs,
which were to be divided between them, but which the Pasha, being now
superior in power, kept wholly to himself. He sent the sherif as
prisoner to Turkey, and

[p.48] since that event, the town has continued wholly at his disposal,
the new sherif, Yahya, being a servant in the pay of Tousoun.

Djidda, in the time of Sherif Ghaleb, was governed either by himself,
when he resided there, or, during his absence, by an officer called
Vizir, under whose orders the police of the town was placed; while the
collection of the customs (gumruk) was entrusted to another officer,
called the gumrukdjy; and the police of the harbour to the Emir el
Bahhr, or the "Chief of the Sea," a title equivalent to "harbour-
master." In later times the vizir was a black slave of Ghaleb, and much
detested for his pride and despotic conduct. Ghaleb seldom resided in
Djidda, his continual intrigues with the Bedouins, and his schemes
against the Wahaby tribes, requiring his presence in the more central
position of Mekka.

The form of government which existed under Ghaleb has not been changed
by the Osmanlys. It happened that Tousoun Pasha could seldom reside in
his capital, being placed under the command of his father, who received
from the Porte the entire direction of the Hedjaz war, and the disposal
of all the resources of that country. Tousoun was more usefully employed
in moving about with the troops under his command, till he returned to
Cairo in the autumn of 1815. Since the year 1812, a military commander
has always resided in the town, with a garrison of two or three hundred
men, which the Pasha takes care to change every three or four months.
The collection of the customs, the entire regulation of civil affairs,
the correspondence with Cairo and Mekka, the conveyance of troops,
stores, and government merchandize between Egypt and Djidda, and the
Pasha's treasury, are in the hands of this commander, whose name is Seyd
Ali Odjakly. His father was from Asia Minor, and belonged to the corps
of Janissaries (Odjak), whence his son takes the epithet of Odjakly. He
is disliked by the merchants of Djidda, because they remember his
selling nuts in the streets about twenty years ago. In the time of
Sherif Ghaleb,

[p.49] he was employed by him in his private commercial affairs; and as
he possesses great talents and activity, joined to a good knowledge of
the Turkish language, Mohammed Ali could with difficulty have pitched
upon a person more competent to fill the post which he now holds.

The public revenue of Djidda arises almost exclusively from the customs,
called here ashour, or tithes. This ought legally to be, as I was
informed, ten per cent. upon all imported goods; but, in consequence of
abuses which have been long practised, some articles of merchandize are
charged much higher, while others pay less. During the latter period of
the sherif's power, coffee was charged at five dollars the quintal,
which may be computed as fifteen to twenty per cent. Spices pay somewhat
less than ten per cent.; India piece-goods something more. Great
irregularity, therefore, exists in levying the customs; and it is in the
power of the officer of customs to favour his friends without incurring
any responsibility.

After the sherif had embraced the Wahabi doctrine, his income was
greatly diminished; because Saoud, the chief of the Wahabis, insisted
that the goods of all his followers should pass duty-free, and thus the
greater part of the coffee trade became exempt. I heard from a person
who had means of knowing the truth, and who had no motive for concealing
it from me, that the amount of customs collected at Djidda in 1814 was
four hundred thousand dollars, equal to eight thousand purses, or four
millions of piastres, which would give an annual importation of about
four millions of dollars, a sum certainly below rather than above the
truth. Customs are levied after the same rate at the two gates of the
town, called Bab Mekka and Bab el Medina, upon all provisions coming
from the interior of the country, principally cattle, butter, and dates,
which, in time of peace, when the communication with the interior is
uninterrupted, becomes a matter of importance. Except these, the people
of the town pay no imposts whatever.

[p.50] During my residence, the Turks had made Djidda the principal
depot for their army. A large magazine of corn belonging to the Pasha,
received almost daily supplies from Egypt, and caravans were every day
despatched to Mekka and Tayf; the commerce of the town also was much
increased by the wants of the army and its followers. The police of the
place was well regulated; and the Pasha had given the strictest
injunctions to his troops that they should not commit excesses, as he
well knew that the high-minded Arabians do not so quietly submit to ill-
treatment as the enslaved Egyptians: whenever quarrels happened between


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