Travels In Arabia
John Lewis Burckhardt

Part 2 out of 9

Arabs and Turks, the former generally had the advantage. No avanies (or
wanton act of oppression and injustice) had, under any pretence, been
exercised upon individuals, except in the occupation of a few of the
best houses by the Pasha as lodgings for his wives. The merchants
suffered, however, as in the sherif's time, from the arbitrary rates of
customs, and from the necessity of frequently purchasing all kinds of
merchandize from the Pasha, who, while he was in the Hedjaz, seemed to
be as eager in his mercantile as he was in his military pursuits. But
after an impartial view of the merits and demerits of both governments,
it may be said that the people of Djidda have certainly gained by the
Osmanlys; yet, strange to mention, not an Arab could be found, whether
rich or poor, sincerely attached to his new masters; and the termination
of the sherif's government was universally regretted. This must not be
attributed wholly to the usual levity of a mob, which is found among the
subjects of the Porte, even in a greater degree than among those of any
European nation. The Ottoman governors or Pashas are continually
changing, and every new one becoming a supreme ruler, gives ample cause
for complaints and private hatred and disgust; while their rapid
succession inspires the people with the hope of being soon rid of their
present despot, an event to which they look forward with pleasure, as
the first months of a new governor are generally marked by clemency and

[p.51] The Arabians are a very proud, high-spirited nation; and this may
be said even of those who inhabit the towns, however corrupted the true
Bedouin character may be among this degenerate race. They despise every
nation that does not speak the Arabic language, or that differs in
manners; they have, besides, been accustomed, for many years, to look
upon Turks as a very inferior people, who, whenever they entered the
Hedjaz, were overawed by the power of the sherif. The rigid ceremonial
of a Turkish court was not adapted to the character and established
notions of Mohammed Aly's new subjects. The sherif, in the height of his
power, resembled a great Bedouin Sheikh, who submits to be boldly and
often harshly addressed. A Turkish Pasha is approached with the most
abject forms of servitude. "Whenever the Sherif Ghaleb wanted a loan of
money," observed one of the first merchants of the Hedjaz to me, "he
sent for three or four of us; we sat in close discourse with him for a
couple of hours, often quarrelling loudly, and we always reduced the sum
to something much less than was at first demanded. When we went to him
on ordinary business, we spoke to him as I now speak to you; but the
Pasha keeps us standing before him in an humble attitude, like so many
Habesh (Abyssinian) slaves, and looks down upon us as if we were beings
of an inferior creation. I would rather," he concluded, "pay a fine to
the sherif than receive a favour from the Pasha."

The little knowledge which the Turks possess of the Arabic language,
their bad pronunciation of it even in reciting prayers from the Koran,
the ignorance of Arabia and its peculiarities which they betray in every
act, are so many additional causes to render them hateful or despicable
in the eyes of the Arabs. The Turks return an equal share of contempt
and dislike. Whoever does not speak the language of the Turkish soldier,
or does not dress like one, is considered as a fellah, or boor, a term
which they have been in the habit of applying to the Egyptian peasants,
as beings in the lowest

[p.52] state of servitude and oppression. Their hatred of the Arabian
race is greater, because they cannot indulge their tyrannical
disposition with impunity, as they are accustomed to do in Egypt, being
convinced by experience that an Arabian, when struck, will strike again.
The Arabians particularly accuse the Turks of treachery, in seizing the
sherif and sending him to Turkey after he had declared for the Pasha,
and permitted Djidda and Mekka to be occupied by the Turkish troops,
who, they assert, would never, without the assistance of the sherif,
have been able to make any progress in Arabia, much less to acquire a
firm footing therein.

The term khayn, "treacherous," is universally applied to every Turk in
Arabia, with that proud self-confidence of superiority, in this respect,
for which the Arabs are deservedly renowned. The lower classes of the
Arabs have discovered a fanciful confirmation of their charge against
the Turks in one of the Grand Signor's titles, Khan, an ancient Tatar
word, which in Arabic signifies "he betrayed," being the preterite of
the verb ykhoun, "to betray." They pretend that an ancestor of the
Sultan having betrayed a fugitive, received the opprobrious appellation
of "el Sultan Khan," ("the Sultan has been treacherous;") and that the
title is merely retained by his successors from their ignorance of the
Arabic language.

Whenever the power of the Turks in the Hedjaz declines, which it will
when the resources of Egypt are no longer directed to that point by so
able and so undisturbed a possessor of Egypt as Mohammed Ali, the Arabs
will avenge themselves for the submission, light as it is, which they
now reluctantly yield to their conquerors; and the reign of the Osmanlis
in the Hedjaz will probably terminate in many a scene of bloodshed.

[p.53] ROUTE FROM DJIDDA TO TAYF. [I was unable to take any bearings
during this excursion, as the only compass which I possessed, and which
had served me throughout my Nubian journey, had become useless, and no
opportunity offered of replacing it till December in this year, when I
obtained one from a Bombay ship which arrived at Djidda.]

ON the 24th of August, 1814, (11th of Ramadhan, A.H. 1230.) I set out
from Djidda, late in the evening, with my guide and twenty camel-drivers
of the tribe of Harb, who were carrying money to Mekka for the Pasha's
treasury. After having left the skirts of the town, where the road
passes by mounds of sand, among which is the cemetery of the
inhabitants, we travelled across a very barren, sandy plain, ascending
slightly towards the east; there are no trees in it, and it is strongly
impregnated with salt to about two miles from the town. After three
hours' march, we entered a hilly country, where a coffee-hut stands near
a well named Raghame. We continued in a broad and winding valley amongst
these hills, some sandy and some rocky, and, at the end of five hours
and a half, stopped for a short time at the coffee-hut and well called
El Beyadhye. Of these wells the water is not good. From thence, in one
hour and a half, (seven hours in all,) we reached a similar station
called El Ferayne, where we overtook a caravan of pilgrims, who were
accompanying goods and provisions destilled for the army: they had
quitted Djidda before us in the evening. The coffee-huts are miserable
structures, with half-ruined

[p.54] walls, and coverings of brushwood; they afford nothing more than
water and coffee. Formerly, it is said, there were twelve coffee-houses
on this road, which afforded refreshments of every kind to the
passengers between Djidda and the holy city; but as the journey is now
made chiefly during the night, and as the Turkish soldiers will pay for
nothing unless by compulsion, most of these houses have been abandoned.
The few that still remain are kept by some of the Arabs of the Lahyan
tribe, (a branch of the Hodheyl Arabs,) and Metarefe, whose families are
Bedouins, and live among the hills with their flocks. From Ferayne the
valley opens, and the hills, diverging on both sides, increase
considerably in height. At the end of eight hours, about sun-rise we
reached Bahhra, a cluster of about twenty huts, situated upon a plain
nearly four hours in length and two in breadth, extending eastward. At
Bahhra there is plenty of water in wells, some sweet and some brackish.
In a row of eight or ten shops are sold rice, onions, butter, dates, and
coffee-beans, at thirty per cent. in advance of the Djidda market-price.
This is what the Arabs call a souk, or market, and similar places occur
at every station in this chain of mountains as far as Yemen. Some
Turkish cavalry was stationed at Bahhra to guard the road. After
travelling for two hours farther over the plain, we halted, at ten hours
from Djidda, at Hadda, a souk, similar to the above. Between Bahhra and
Hadda, upon an insulated hillock in the plain, are the ruins of an
ancient fortification.

August 25th.--The caravan from Djidda to Mekka rests during the day at
Bahhra or at Hadda, thus following the common practice of the Hedjaz
Arabs, who travel only by night. This is done in winter as well as in
summer, not so much for the purpose of avoiding the heat as to afford
the camels time for feeding, these animals never eating by night. Such
nocturnal marches are most unfavourable to the researches of a
traveller, who thus crosses the country at a time when no objects can be

[p.55] and during the day, fatigue and the desire of sleep render every
exertion irksome.

We alighted at Hadda, under the shed of a spacious coffee-hut, where I
found a motley crew of Turks and Arabs, in their way to or from Mekka,
each extended upon his small carpet. Some merchants from Tayf had just
brought in a load of grapes; and, although I felt myself still weak from
the fever, I could not withstand this temptation, and seized a few of
them; for the baskets were no sooner opened than the whole company fell
upon them, and soon devoured the entire load; the owner, however, was
afterwards paid. It is at Hadda that the inhabitants of Djidda, when
making a pilgrimage to Mekka, put on the ihram, or pilgrim's cloak. By
the Muselman law, every one is obliged to assume it, whatever may be his
rank, who enters the sacred territory of Mekka, whether on pilgrimage or
for other purposes; and he is enjoined not to lay it aside till after he
has visited the temple. Many persons, however, transgress this law; but
an o[r]thodox Mekkan never goes to Djidda without carrying his ihram with
him, and on his return home, he puts it on at this place. In the
afternoon some of the Turkish soldiers who were here put on this
garment, with the prescribed ceremonies, which consist in an ablution,
or, if the pilgrim choose, an entire purification, an audible avowal of
the act of investment, a prayer of two rikats, and the recital of pious
exclamations called telbye. This being a time of war, the soldiers
continued to wear their arms over the cloak.

In the afternoon, the coffee-house keeper dressed the provisions I had
brought, as well as those belonging to many others of the company. There
was great disorder in the place, and nobody could attempt to sleep. Soon
after our arrival, a troop of soldiers passed, and pitched their tents a
little farther on the plain; they then entered the coffee-huts, and took
away all the sweet water, which had been procured from a well about
half-an-hour distant, and kept at Hadda in large jars. The huts of the
few miserable

[p.56] inhabitants, thus exposed to all the casualties attending the
continual passage of troops, are formed with brushwood, in the shape of
a flattened cone, and they receive light only through the entrance; here
the whole family lives huddled together in one apartment. The numerous
coffee-huts are spacious sheds, supported by poles, with the coffee-
waiter's hearth placed in one corner. They are infested by great numbers
of rats, bolder than any I ever saw.

We left Hadda about five o'clock in the evening. The road continuing
over the plain, the soil is sandy, in some parts mixed with clay, and
might, I think, be easily cultivated by digging wells. At one hour from
Hadda, we saw on our left, in the plain, some date-trees: here, as I
understood, flows a small rivulet, which in former times irrigated some
fields. The trees are at present neglected. We now left the plain, and
diverging a little south-ward from our easterly course, again entered a
hilly country, and reached, at two hours from Hadda, another coffee-hut,
called Shemeysa. Behind it is the Djebel Shemeysa, or mountain of
Shemeysa, from which, according to the historians of Mekka, was
extracted the marble of many columns in the mosque of that holy city. In
the mountain, near the hut, is a well. From Shemeysa we rode in a broad
valley overspread with deep sands, and containing some thorny trees. At
four hours from Hadda, we passed Kahwet Salem, or Salem's coffee-shop,
and a well; there we met a caravan coming from Mekka. The mountains
nearly close at this place, leaving only a narrow straight valley,
crossed at intervals by several other valleys. We then proceeded as far
as Hadjalye, a coffee-house, seven hours distant from Hadda, with a
large well near it, which supplies the camel-drivers of the Syrian
pilgrim caravan, on the way to and from Mekka.

Not having enjoyed a moment's sleep since we quitted Djidda, I lay down
on the sands, and slept till day-break, while my companions pursued
their road to Mekka. My guide only remained with me;

[p.57] but his fears for the safety of his camels would not allow him to
close his eyes. The route from Djidda to Mekka is always frequented by
suspicious characters; and as every body travels by night, stragglers
are easily plundered. Near Hadjalye, are the ruins of an ancient
village, built with stone; and in the Wady are traces of former

August 26th.--At half an hour from Hadjalye, we came to a small date
plantation, surrounded by a wall. From hence the road to Mekka lies to
the right, and enters the town by the quarter called Djerouel. My guide
had orders to conduct me by a by-road to Tayf, which passes in the north
of Mekka; it branches off at Hadda, crosses the road from Mekka to Wady
Fatme, and joins the great road from Mekka to Tayf, beyond Wady Muna.
Just before we left Hadda, my guide, who knew nothing further respecting
me than that I had business with the Pasha at Tayf, that I performed all
the outward observances of a Moslem pilgrim, and that I had been liberal
to him before our departure, asked me the reason of his having been
ordered to take me by the northern road. I replied, that it was probably
thought shorter than the other. "That is a mistake," he replied; "the
Mekka road is quite as short, and much safer; and if you have no
objection, we will proceed by it." This was just what I wished, though I
had taken care not to betray any anxiety on the subject; and we
accordingly followed the great road, in company with the other
travellers. Instead, however, of taking me the usual way, which would
have carried me through the whole length of the town, he, having no
curiosity to gratify, conducted me, without my being aware of it, by a
short cut, and thus deprived me of an opportunity of seeing Mekka fully
at this time.

From the date plantation beyond Hadjalye, we reached in half an hour the
plain where the Syrian pilgrim-caravan usually encamps, and which has
taken the name of Sheikh Mahmoud, from the tomb of a saint so called,
built in the midst of it. It is encompassed

[p.58] by low mountains; is from two to three miles in length, and one
in breadth; and is separated from the valley of Mekka by a narrow chain
of hills, over which a road has been cut through the rocks, with much
labour. By this road we ascended, and on the summit of the hill passed
two watch-towers, built on each side of the road by the Sherif Ghaleb.
As we descended on the other side, where the road is paved, the view of
Mekka opened upon us; and at an hour and a half from Hadjalye, we
entered the eastern quarter of the town, near the Sherif's palace
(marked 50 in the plan). The great body of the town lay on our right,
hidden, in part, by the windings of the valley. As I knew that I should
return to Mekka, I did not press my guide to allow me a full view of the
city, since we should, for that purpose, have been obliged to ride back
about two miles in a contrary direction. I repressed my curiosity,
therefore, and followed him, reciting those ejaculations which are
customary on entering the holy city.

I travelled several times afterwards between Mekka and Djidda, in both
directions. The caravan's rate of march is here very slow, scarcely
exceeding two miles an hour. I have ridden from Mekka to Djidda upon an
ass in thirteen hours. The distance may, perhaps, be fairly estimated at
sixteen or seventeen hours' walk, or about fifty-five miles; the
direction a trifle to the northward of east.

On turning to our left, we passed, a little farther on, the great
barracks of the Sherif; and in the suburbs called El Moabede, we
alighted at the house of an Arab, with whom my guide happened to be
acquainted. It was now the fast of Ramadhan; but travellers are exempted
by law from observing it. The woman of the house, whose husband was
absent, prepared us a breakfast, for which we paid her, and remained in
the house till after mid-day; we then remounted our camels, and turning
by the Sherif's garden-house, situated at the eastern extremity of the
suburbs, we took the high road to Wady Muna. Winding valleys, of greater
or less breadth,

[p.59] covered with sands, and almost wholly destitute of vegetation,
with hills on both sides, equally barren, lead to Muna. At half an hour
from the garden-house of the Sherif, the country opens a little to the
left. There the canal passes which supplies Mekka with sweet water; and
we saw, about two miles distant, at the extremity of the opening, a
conical mountain, called Djebel el Nour, considered holy by the
pilgrims, as will be subsequently mentioned. We passed on our right, in
an hour and a half, a large tank, built of stones. This, in the time of
the Hadj, is filled with water from the canal, which passes close by it.
I believe this to be the place called Sebyl-es-Sett. One of the side-
valleys between Mekka and Muna is called Wady Mohsab. El Fasy, the
historian of Mekka, says that there were formerly sixteen wells between
that city and Muna. At the end of two hours, after having ascended a
little by a paved causeway formed across the valley, which is about
forty yards in breadth, we entered Wady Muna. Near the causeway we saw a
small field, irrigated by means of a brackish well, where a few
miserable Bedouins raised onions and leeks for the market at Mekka. I
shall give hereafter a more detailed description of Wady Muna, where the
Hadj remains three days after its return from Arafat.

We continued our route among the ruined houses of Muna, passed the short
columns, at which the pilgrims throw stones, then the Sherif's palace,
and issued into the open country, which continues thence towards
Mezdelife, distant three hours and three quarters from Mekka. This name
is given to a small mosque, now almost in ruins, close to which is a
tank or reservoir of water. Here a sermon is preached from a high
platform in front of the mosque, to the pilgrims after their return from
Arafat. El Fasy, the historian, says that this mosque was built in A.H.
759. It is often called Moshar el Haram; but, according to the same
author, this name belongs to a small hill at the

[p.60] extremity of the valley of Mezdelife, which bears also the
appellation of El Kazeh. From Mezdelife two roads lead to Arafat; the
one on the left along the plain or valley called Dhob; the other leads
straight across the mountain, and joins the former near the Aalameyn. We
proceeded along the great road in the valley. At four hours and a
quarter the mountains again close, and a narrow pass called El Mazomeyn
or El Medyk leads across them for half an hour, after which the view
opens upon the plain of Arafat. At the end of four hours and three
quarters, we passed, in this plain, a tank called Bir Basan, constructed
of stone, with a small chapel adjoining. Here the country opens widely
to the north and south. Eastward, the mountains of Tayf are seen for the
first time in their full height. [On my return from Tayf to Mekka, when I
was completely my own master, I drew up a much more detailed and
accurate description of the road than this given here; but I
accidentally lost the papers containing it; the present, therefore, is
written from memory, and the few short notes which I hastily made during
the route to Tayf.] At five hours we reached El Aalameyn, two stone
structures standing one on each side of the road, from eighty to one
hundred paces from each other, and between them the pilgrims must pass
in going, and more particularly in returning from Arafat. They are of
coarse masonry, plaistered white, and the annexed outline represents
their form.[Not included]

Fasy says that there were formerly three, that they were built in A.H.
605, and that one had fallen. Of those now remaining one is entire, the
other half ruined. At five hours and a quarter we passed to our right a
large insulated mosque in a state of decay, called Djama Nimre, or Djama
Ibrahim, built as it now stands by the Sultan Kail, Bey of Egypt. The
low mountain of

[p.61] Arafat was now to our left at the extremity of the plain, about
two miles distant. We proceeded, without stopping, over the plain, which
is covered with shrubs of considerable height, and low acacia trees:
from these it is prohibited to take even the smallest branch, this being
holy ground. On attaining the eastern limits of the plain, we reached,
at five hours and three quarters, the canal of Mekka, issuing from the
mountainous ground. Near it is a small tank, and in its vicinity a
cluster of Arab huts similar to those at Hadda, and bearing the name of
Kahwet Arafat, or the coffee-house of Arafat. They are inhabited chiefly
by Beni Koreysh, who cultivate vegetables in a valley extending from
hence towards the south. We rested here some hours; a caravan from Tayf,
composed of mules and asses, arrived at the same time.

From Kahwet Arafat, the road becomes rocky, and the mountains nearly
close, and are intersected by valleys which cross the road in every
direction. Acacia-trees grow here in great abundance. At seven hours and
a half we again entered upon sandy ground, in a valley called Wady
Noman, where, towards the south, are some wells, and a few plantations
cultivated by the Arab tribes of Kebakeb and Ryshye. At eight hours and
a half we passed an encampment of the Bedouin tribe of Hodheyl, where
dogs attacked our camels so fiercely that I had much difficulty, though
mounted, to defend myself from their teeth. At eight hours and three
quarters we passed a cluster of huts and coffee-shops, called shedad,
with wells of very good water. At nine hours and a half, it being a
cloudy and extremely dark night, we lost our way in following the
windings of a side valley, and being unable to regain the right road, we
lay down on the sand and slept till day-break.

August 27th.--We found ourselves close to the road, and proceeding, we
began to ascend, in half an hour, the great chain of mountains. From
Djjdda to this place, our route, though generally between hills and
mountains, had been constantly over flat

[p.62] ground, in valleys, with an ascent almost imperceptible to the
traveller, and the existence of which became visible only in viewing the
country from the summit of the mountains now before us. The lower hills
are seldom higher than four or five hundred feet. The lowest range above
Djidda is calcareous; but its rocks soon change into gneiss, and a
species of granite, with schorl in the place of feldspath, accompanied
by predominant masses of quartz, and some mica. This rock continues
along the road, with few variations, as far as the vicinity of Djebel
Nour, to the eastward of Mekka, where granite begins. I learned at
Mekka, that, south of Hadda, some hours distant, a mountain yields fine
marble, which served for the pavement of the great mosque. The mountains
forming the valley of Muna are composed of this red and grey granite,
and continue so from thence to this higher chain, mixed in a few places
with strata of grunstein. The lower chain of the high ridge which we
were now ascending, again, consists of grey granite; towards the middle
I found it of all colours, mixed with strata of grunstein, trappe, and
porphyry schistus, the latter much decayed: at the summit of the ridge,
red granite occurred again; its surface had been completely blackened by
the sun's rays.

We ascended by a road, still bad, although Mohammed Ali Pasha had
recently caused it to be repaired. The country around was very wild,
being covered with large blocks of loose stones, carried down by the
winter torrents, and interspersed with a few acacia and nebek trees. At
one hour we came to a building of loose stones, called Kaber Er'-rafyk,
i.e. the Companion's tomb. The following tradition concerning it was
related by my guide. In the last century, a Bedouin returning from the
Hadj was joined, beyond the gates of Mekka, by a traveller going the
same road with himself; they reached this spot in company, when one of
them felt himself so ill, that he was unable to proceed farther, and on
the following day the small-pox broke out on his body. In this situation
his companion

[p.63] would not abandon him. He built two huts with boughs of acacia-
trees, one for his friend, the other for himself; and continued to nurse
him, and solicit alms for his benefit from passing travellers, until he
recovered. But in turn, he himself became ill of the same disease, and
was nursed by his convalescent companion with equal kindness, though not
with equal success; for he died, and was interred by his friend on this
spot, where his tomb serves as a monument of Bedouin generosity, and
inculcates benevolence even towards the casual companions of the road.

At one hour and a half, still ascending, we reached some huts built
among the rocks, near a copious spring; they are named Kahwet Kora, from
the mountains which collectively bear the name of Djebel Kora. I found
here a Turkish soldier, charged with the transport of provisions for the
Pasha's army over the mountain. This being the shortest road from Mekka
to Tayf, caravans are continually passing. The camel-loads are deposited
at this place, and then forwarded to the summit of the mountain on mules
and asses, of which about two hundred are kept here. On the mountain
camels are prepared for carrying the loads to Tayf. The more northern
road to Tayf, of which I shall speak hereafter, is passable for camels
all the way; but it is by one day longer than this.

The huts of Kora are constructed between the rocks, on the slope of the
mountain, where there is scarcely any level surface. The inhabitants are
Hodheyl Bedouins. In two or three huts nothing could be procured but
coffee and water. The Turkish soldier had lately incurred the Pasha's
displeasure, having stolen and sold the camel of a Hodheyl woman, who
had gone to lay her complaint before his master, the Pasha, at Tayf. The
soldier treated me with much civility, when he learned that I was going
to visit the Pasha, and begged me to intercede in his behalf; this,
however, I declined to do, telling him that I was myself a solicitor for
my own concerns. We remained till mid-day at this

[p.64] pleasant spot, from whence there is a fine prospect over the
lower country. A large nebek-tree, near the spring which drizzles down
the rocks, afforded me shade, and a delicious cool breeze allayed the
sultry heat which we had endured ever since our departure from Djidda.
Leaving Kora, we found the road very steep, and, although it had lately
been repaired, so bad, that a mounted traveller could hardly hope to
reach the summit without alighting. Steps had been cut in several
places, and the ascent rendered less steep, by conducting it, in many
windings, to the top: half a dozen spacious resting-places had also been
formed on the side of the mountain, where the caravans take breath,
there being no where so much as eight square feet of level ground. The
same spring, which comes from near the top, is crossed several times. I
met many of the Hodheyl Bedouins, with their families and flocks of
sheep, near the road. One of them gave me some milk, but would not take
any money in return; the sale of milk being considered by these Bedouins
as a scandal, though they might derive great profits from it at Mekka,
where one pound of milk is worth two piastres. I conversed freely with
the men, and with the wife of one of them. They seemed a race of hardy
mountaineers, and, although evidently poor, have a more robust and
fleshy appearance than the northern Bedouins, which I ascribe chiefly to
the healthiness of the climate, and the excellence of the water. The
Beni Hodheyl, famous in the ancient history of Arabia, were nominally
subject to the Sherif of Mekka, in whose territory they live; but they
were in fact quite independent, and often at war with him.

We were full two hours in ascending from the coffee-huts to the summit
of the mountain, from whence we enjoyed a beautiful prospect over the
low country. We discerned Wady Muna, but not Mekka; and as far as the
eye could reach, winding chains of hills appeared upon a flat surface,
towards the north and south, with narrow stripes of white sand between
them, without the slightest verdure. Close to our right rose a peak of
the mountain

[p.65] Kora, called Nakeb el Ahmar, from four to five hundred feet
higher than the place where we stood, and appearing to overtop all the
neighbouring chain. Towards the north, the mountain, about thirty miles
distant, seemed to decrease considerably in height; but southward it
continues of the same height. After half an hour's ride from the summit,
we came to a small village called Ras el Kora. Finding myself much
fatigued, I insisted upon sleeping here, with which my guide reluctantly
complied, as he had received orders to travel expeditiously.

August 28th.--The village and neighbourhood of Ras el Kora is the most
beautiful spot in the Hedjaz, and more picturesque and delightful than
any place I had seen since my departure from Lebanon, in Syria. The top
of Djebel Kora is flat, but large masses of granite lie scattered over
it, the surface of which, like that of the granite rocks near the second
cataract of the Nile, is blackened by the sun. Several small rivulets
descend from this peak, and irrigate the plain, which is covered with
verdant fields and large shady trees on the side of the granite rocks.
To those who have only known the dreary and scorching sands of the lower
country of the Hedjaz, this scene is as surprising as the keen air which
blows here is refreshing. Many of the fruit-trees of Europe are found
here,--figs, apricots, peaches; apples, the Egyptian sycamore, almonds,
pomegranates; but particularly vines, the produce of which is of the
best quality. There are no palm-trees here, and only a few nebek-trees.
The fields produce wheat, barley, and onions; but the soil being stony,
these do not succeed so well as the fruits. Every beled, as they here
call the fields, is enclosed by a low wall, and is the property of a
Hodheyl Bedouin. When Othman el Medhayfe took Tayf from the Sherif, this
place was ruined, the fields were destroyed, and many of the walls had
not yet been rebuilt.

After having passed through this delightful district, for about half an
hour, just as the sun was rising, when every leaf and blade

[p.66] of grass was covered with a balmy dew, and every tree and shrub
diffused a fragrance as delicious to the smell as was the landscape to
the eye, I halted near the largest of the rivulets, which, although not
more than two paces across, nourishes upon its banks a green Alpine
turf, such as the mighty Nile, with all its luxuriance, can never
produce in Egypt. Some of the Arabs brought us almonds and raisins, for
which we gave them biscuits; but although the grapes were ripe, we could
not obtain any, as they are generally purchased while on the vines by
the merchants of Tayf, who export them to Mekka, and keep them closely
watched by their own people till they are gathered. Here a Turkish
soldier, complimented with the title of Aga, was stationed under a tent,
to forward the provisions coming from the lower station to Tayf. I
observed with some astonishment, that not a single pleasure-house was
built on this high platform. Formerly, the Mekka merchants had their
country-seats at Tayf, which stand in a situation as desert and
melancholy, as this is cheerful and luxuriant; but none of them ever
thought of building a cottage here; a new proof of the opinion which I
have long entertained, that orientals, especially the Arabs, are much
less sensible of the beauties of nature than Europeans. The water of Ras
el Kora is celebrated throughout the Hedjaz for its excellence. While
Mohammed Ali remained at Mekka and at Djidda, he received a regular
supply of Nile water for drinking, sent from Egypt, by every fleet, in
large tin vessels; but on passing this place, he found its water
deserving of being substituted for the other: a camel comes here daily
from Tayf for a load of it.

The houses of the Hodheyl, to whom these plantations belong, are
scattered over the fields in clusters of four or five together. They are
small, built of stones and mud, but with more care than might be
expected from the rude hands of the occupants. Every dwelling comprises
three or four rooms, each of which being separated from the others by a
narrow open space, forms, as it were,

[p.67] a small detached cottage. These apartments receive no light but
from the entrance; they are very neat and clean, and contain Bedouin
furniture, some good carpets, woollen and leathern sacks, a few wooden
bowls, earthen coffee-pots, and a matchlock, of which great care is
taken, it being generally kept in a leathern case. At night I reposed
upon a large well-tanned cow-skin: the covering was formed of a number
of small sheep-skins neatly sewed together, similar to those used in
Nubia. The Hodheyl told me, that before the Wahabys came, and obliged
them to pay tribute for their fields, they knew no land-tax, but, on the
contrary, received yearly presents from the sherifs, and from all the
Mekkawys who passed this way to Tayf. Ras el Kora extends from east to
west about two and a half or three miles, and is about a mile in
breadth. According to the statements of the Arabs, many spots towards
the south, where Bedouin tribes, like the Hodheyl, cultivate the soil in
detached parts of the mountain, are equally fertile and beautiful as
that which we saw in the chain above mentioned.

We left the Ras, which will be remembered by me as long as I am sensible
to the charms of romantic scenery, and rode for about one hour over
uneven barren ground, with slight ascents and descents, till we came to
a steep declivity, to walk down which occupied us half an hour, and
double that time would be necessary for ascending it. The rock is
entirely composed of sand-stone. From the summit of the declivity just
mentioned, Tayf is seen in the distance. At half an hour from the foot
of the mountain, we entered a fertile valley, called Wady Mohram,
extending from N.W. to S.E. Like the upper district, it is full of
fruit-trees; but the few cultivated fields are watered from wells, and
not by running streams. A village, which the Wahabys had almost wholly
ruined, stands on the slope, with a small tower constructed by the
inhabitants to secure the produce of their fields against the invasion
of enemies.

[p.68] Here begins the territory of Tayf, and of the Arab tribe of
Thekyf, who, in former times, were often at war with their neighbours
the Hodheyl. The Wady is denominated Mohram, from the circumstance, that
here the pilgrims and visitors going from the eastward to Mekka, invest
themselves with the ihram before noticed. There is a small ruined stone
tank close by the road. The caravan of the Yemen pilgrims, called Hadj
el Kebsy, whose route lies along these mountains, used always to observe
the ceremony here, and the tank was then filled with water for ablution.
The husbandmen of Mohram draw the water from their wells in leathern
buckets suspended from one end of an iron chain, passed round a pulley,
and to the other end they yoke a cow, which, for want of a wheel, walks
to a sufficient distance from the well to draw up the bucket, when she
is led back to resume the same course. The cows I saw here, like all
those of the Hedjaz, are small, but of a stout, bony make: they have
generally only short stumps of horns, and a hump on the back, just over
the shoulder, about five inches in height and six in length, much
resembling in this respect the cows which I saw on the borders of the
Nile in Nubia. According to the natives, the whole chain of mountains
from hence southward, as far as the country where the coffee-plantations
begin, is intersected by similar cultivated valleys at some distance
from each other, the intermediate space consisting chiefly of barren
rocky soil.

From Wady Mohram we again crossed uneven, mountainous ground, where I
found sand-stone and silex. Acacia trees are seen in several sandy
valleys, branching out from the road. At two hours and a half from Wady
Mohram we ascended, and at the top of the hill saw Tayf lying before us.
We reached it in three hours and a half from Wady Mohram, after having
crossed the barren sandy plain which separates it from the surrounding
hills. The rate of our march from Mekka, when we were quite alone upon
our dromedaries, and able to accelerate their pace at pleasure, was not

[p.69] less than three miles, and a quarter per hour. I therefore
calculate from Mekka to the foot of Djebel Kora, about thirty-two miles;
to its top, ten miles; and from thence to Tayf, thirty miles, making in
the whole seventy-two miles. The bearing of the road from Arafat to Tayf
is about twelve or fifteen degrees of the compass, to the southward of
that from Mekka to Arafat; but having had no compass with me, I cannot
give the bearing with perfect accuracy.


I ARRIVED at Tayf about mid-day, and alighted at the house of Bosari,
the Pasha's physician, with whom I had been well acquainted at Cairo. As
it was now the fast of Ramadhan, during which the Turkish grandees
always sleep in the day-time, the Pasha could not be informed of my
arrival till after sun-set. In the mean while, Bosari, after the usual
Levantine assurances of his entire devotion to my interests, and of the
sincerity of his friendship, asked me what were my views in coming to
the Hedjaz. I answered, to visit Mekka and Medina, and then to return to
Cairo. Of my intention respecting Egypt he seemed doubtful, begged me to
be candid with him as with a friend, and to declare the truth, as he
confessed that he suspected I was going to the East Indies. This I
positively denied; and in the course of our conversation, he hinted that
if I really meant to return to Egypt, I had better remain at head-
quarters with them, till the Pasha himself should proceed to Cairo.
Nothing was said about money, although Bosari was ignorant that my
pecuniary wants had been relieved at Djidda.

In the evening Bosari went privately to the Pasha at his women's
residence, where he only received visits from friends or very intimate
acquaintances. In half an hour he returned, and told me that the Pasha
wished to see me rather late that evening in his public room. He added,
that he found seated with the Pasha

[p.071] the Kadhy of Mekka, who was then at Tayf for his health; and
that the former, when he heard of my desire to visit the holy cities,
observed jocosely, "it is not the beard [I wore a beard at this time, as
I did at Cairo, when the Pasha saw me.] alone which proves a man to be a
true Moslem;" but turning towards the Kadhy, he said, "you are a better
judge in such matters than I am." The Kadhy then observed that, as none
but a Moslem could be permitted to see the holy cities, a circumstance
of which he could not possibly suppose me ignorant, he did not believe
that I would declare myself to be one, unless I really was. When I
learnt these particulars, I told Bosari that he might return alone to
the Pasha; that my feelings had already been much hurt by the orders
given to my guide not to carry me through Mekka; and that I certainly
should not go to the Pasha's public audience, if he would not receive me
as a Turk.

Bosari was alarmed at this declaration, and in vain endeavoured to
dissuade me from such a course, telling me that he had orders to conduct
me to the Pasha, which he could not disobey. I however adhered firmly to
what I had said, and he reluctantly went back to Mohammed Aly, whom he
found alone, the Kadhy having left him. When Bosari delivered his
message, the Pasha smiled, and answered that I was welcome, whether Turk
or not. About eight o'clock in the evening I repaired to the castle, a
miserable, half-ruined habitation of Sherif Ghaleb, dressed in the new
suit which I had received at Djidda by the Pasha's command. I found his
highness seated in a large saloon, with the Kadhy on one hand, and
Hassan Pasha, the chief of the Arnaut soldiers, on the other; thirty or
forty of his principal officers formed a half-circle about the sofa on
which they sat; and a number of Bedouin sheikhs were squatted in the
midst of the semicircle. I went up to the Pasha, gave him the "Salam
Aleykum," and kissed his hand. He made a sign for me to sit down by the
side of the

[p.72] Kadhy, then addressed me very politely, inquired after my health,
and if there was any news from the Mamelouks in the Black country which
I had visited; but said nothing whatever on the subject most interesting
to me. Amyn Effendi, his Arabic dragoman, interpreted between us, as I
do not speak Turkish, and the Pasha speaks Arabic very imperfectly. In
about five minutes he renewed the business with the Bedouins, which I
had interrupted. When this was terminated, and Hassan Pasha had left the
room, every body was ordered to withdraw, except the Kadhy, Bosari, and
myself. I expected now to be put to the proof, and I was fully prepared
for it; but not a word was mentioned of my personal affairs, nor did
Mohammed Aly, in any of our subsequent conversations, ever enter further
into them than to hint that he was persuaded I was on my way to the East
Indies. As soon as we were alone, the Pasha introduced the subject of
politics. He had just received information of the entrance of the allies
into Paris, and the departure of Bonaparte for Elba; and several Malta
gazettes, giving the details of these occurrences, had been sent to him
from Cairo. He seemed deeply interested in these important events,
chiefly because he laboured under the impression that, after Bonaparte's
downfall, England would probably seek for an augmentation of power in
the Mediterranean, and consequently invade Egypt.

After remaining for two or three hours with the Pasha in private
conversation, either speaking Arabic to him, through the medium of the
Kadhy, who, though a native of Constantinople, knew that language
perfectly, or Italian, through Bosari, who was an Armenian, but had
acquired a smattering of that tongue at Cairo, I took my leave, and the
Pasha said that he expected me again on the morrow at the same hour.

August 29th.--I paid a visit to the Kadhy before sun-set, and found him
with his companion and secretary, a learned man of Constantinople. The
Kadhy Sadik Effendi was a true eastern

[p.73] courtier, of very engaging manners and address, possessing all
that suavity of expression for which the well-bred natives of Stamboul
are so distinguished. After we had interchanged a few complimentary
phrases, I mentioned my astonishment on finding that the Pasha had
expressed any doubts of my being a true Moslem, after I had now been a
proselyte to that faith for so many years. He replied that Mohammed Aly
had allowed that he (the Kadhy) was the best judge in such matters; and
added, that he hoped we should become better acquainted with each other.
He then began to question me about my Nubian travels. In the course of
conversation literary subjects were introduced: he asked me what Arabic
hooks I had read, and what commentaries on the Koran and on the law; and
he probably found me better acquainted, with the titles, at least, of
such works than he had expected, for we did not enter deeply into the
subject. While we were thus conversing, the call to evening prayers
announced the termination of this day's fast. I supped with the Kadhy,
and afterwards performed the evening prayers in his company, when I took
great care to chaunt as long a chapter of the Koran as my memory
furnished at the moment; after which we both went to the Pasha, who
again sat up a part of the night in private conversation with me,
chiefly on political affairs, without ever introducing the subject of my
private business.

After another interview, I went every evening, first to the Kadhy, and
then to the Pasha; but, notwithstanding a polite reception at the
castle, I could perceive that my actions were closely watched. Bosari
had asked me if I kept a journal; but I answered that the Hedjaz was not
like Egypt, full of antiquities, and that in these barren mountains I
saw nothing worthy of notice. I was never allowed to be alone for a
moment, and I had reason to suspect that Bosari, with all his assurances
of friendship, was nothing better than a spy. To remain at Tayf for an
indeterminate period, in the situation I now found myself, was little

[p.74] desirable; yet I could not guess the Pasha's intentions with
respect to me. I was evidently considered in no other light than as a
spy sent to this country by the English government, to ascertain its
present state, and report upon it in the East Indies. This, I presume,
was the Pasha's own opinion: he knew me as an Englishman, a name which I
assumed during my travels (I hope without any discredit to that
country), whenever it seemed necessary to appear as an European; because
at that time none but the subjects of England and France enjoyed in the
East any real security: they were considered as too well protected, both
by their governments at home and their ministers at Constantinople, to
be trifled with by provincial governors. The Pasha, moreover, supposed
me to be a man of some rank, for every Englishman travelling in the East
is styled "My lord;" and he was the more convinced of this by a certain
air of dignity which it was necessary for me to assume in a Turkish
court, where modesty of behaviour and affability are quite out of place.
Afraid as he then was of Great Britain, he probably thought it imprudent
to treat me ill, though he did nothing whatever to forward my projects.
As far as he knew, I could have only the five hundred piastres which he
had ordered for me at Djidda, and which were not sufficient to pay my
expenses for any length of time in the Hedjaz. Nothing was said to me
either by him or Bosari of taking my bill upon Cairo, as I had requested
him to do; but this favour I did not again solicit, having money enough
for the present, and expecting a fresh supply from Egypt.

To remain for any length of time at Tayf, in a sort of polite
imprisonment, was little to my taste; yet I could not press my departure
without increasing his suspicions. This was manifest after my first
interview with the Pasha and the Kadhy, and I knew that the reports of
Bosari might considerably influence the mind of Mohammed. Under these
circumstances, I thought the best course was to make Bosari tired of me,
and thus induce him

[p.75] involuntarily to forward my views. I therefore began to act at
his house with all the petulance of an Osmanly. It being the Ramadhan, I
fasted during the day, and at night demanded a supper apart; early on
the following morning I called for an abundant breakfast, before the
fast recommenced. I appropriated to myself the best room which his small
house afforded; and his servants were kept in constant attendance upon
me. Eastern hospitality forbids all resentment for such behaviour; I
was, besides, a great man, and on a visit to the Pasha. In my
conversations with Bosari, I assured him that I felt myself most
comfortably situated at Tayf, and that its climate agreed perfectly with
my health; and I betrayed no desire of quitting the place for the
present. To maintain a person in my character for any length of time at
Tayf, where provisions of all kinds were much dearer than in London, was
a matter of no small moment; and a petulant guest is everywhere
disagreeable. The design, I believe, succeeded perfectly; and Bosari
endeavoured to persuade the Pasha that I was a harmless being, in order
that I might be the sooner dismissed.

I had been six days at Tayf, but seldom went out, except to the castle
in the evening, when Bosari asked whether my business with the Pasha was
likely to prevent me much longer from pursuing my travels, and visiting
Mekka. I replied that I had no business with the Pasha, though I had
come to Tayf at his desire; but that my situation was very agreeable to
me, possessing so warm and generous a friend as he, my host. The next
day he renewed the subject, and remarked that it must be tiresome to
live entirely among soldiers, without any comforts or amusements,
unacquainted besides, as I was, with the Turkish language. I assented to
this; but added, that being ignorant of the Pasha's wishes, I could
determine on nothing. This brought him to the point I wished. "This
being the case," said he, "I will, if you like, speak to his Highness on
the subject." He did so in the evening, before I went to the castle; and
the Pasha told me, in the course of conversation,

[p.76] that as he understood I wished to pass the last days of Ramadhan
at Mekka, (a suggestion originating with Bosari,) I had better join the
party of the Kadhy, who was going there to the feast, and who would be
very glad of my company. This was precisely such a circumstance as I
wished for. The departure of the Kadhy was fixed for the 7th of
September, and I hired two asses, the usual mode of conveyance in this
country, in order to follow him.

As it was my intention to proceed afterwards to Medina, where Tousoun
Pasha, the son of Mohammed Aly, was governor, I begged Bosari to ask the
Pasha for a firman or passport, authorising me to travel through all the
Hedjaz, together with a letter of recommendation to his son. In reply,
Bosari told me that the Pasha did not like to interfere personally in my
travels; that I might act as I pleased, on my own responsibility; and
that my knowledge of the language rendered a passport unnecessary. This
was equivalent to telling me, "Do what you please; I shall neither
obstruct nor facilitate your projects," which, indeed, was as much, at
present, as I could well expect or desire.

On the 6th of September I took my leave of the Pasha, who told me at
parting, that if ever my travels should carry me to India, I might
assure the English people there that he was much attached to the
interests of the India trade. Early on the 7th the Kadhy sent me word
that he should not set out till evening, would travel during the night,
and hoped to meet me at Djebel Kora, midway to Mekka. I therefore left
Tayf alone, as I had entered it, after a residence of ten days. At
parting, Bosari assured me of his inviolable attachment to my interest;
and I blessed my good stars, when I left the precincts of the town, and
the residence of a Turkish court, in which I found it more difficult to
avoid danger, than among the wild Bedouins of Nubia.

During my stay at Tayf, I had five or six interviews with the

[p.77] Pasha; and the following extracts from my journal will show the
general result of what passed between us on those different occasions:--

Q. Sheikh Ibrahim, I hope you are well.
A. Perfectly well, and most happy to have the honour of seeing you
Q. You have travelled much since I saw you at Cairo. How far did you
advance into the negro country?

To this question I replied, by giving a short account of my journey in

Q. Tell me, how are the Mamelouks at Dongola?

I related what the reader will find in my Nubian Travels.

Q. I understand that you treated with two of the Mamelouk Beys at Ibrim;
was it so?

The word treated (if the dragoman rightly translated the Turkish word),
startled me very much; for the Pasha, while he was in Egypt, had heard
that, on my journey towards Dongola, I had met two Mamelouk Beys at
Derr; and as he still suspected that the English secretly favoured the
Mamelouk interest, he probably thought that I had been the bearer of
some message to them from government. I therefore assured him that my
meeting with the two Beys was quite accidental that the unpleasant
reception which I experienced at Mahass was on their account; and that I
entertained fears of their designs against my life. With this
explanation the Pasha seemed satisfied.

Q. Let us only settle matters here with the Wahabys, and I shall soon be
able to get rid of the Mamelouks. How many soldiers do you think are
necessary for subduing the country as far as Senaar?
A. Five hundred men, good troops, might reach that point, but could not
keep possession of the country; and the expenses would scarcely be
repaid by the booty.
Q. What do those countries afford?

A. Camels and slaves; and, towards Senaar, gold, brought from Abyssinia;
but all this is the property of individuals. The chiefs or kings in
those countries do not possess any riches.
Q. In what state are the roads from Egypt to Senaar?
A. I described the road between Asouan and Shendy, and from Souakin to
the same place.
Q. How did you pass your time among the Blacks?
A. I related some laughable stories, with which he seemed greatly
Q. And now, Sheikh Ibrahim, where do you mean to go?
A. I wish to perform the Hadj, return to Cairo, and then proceed to
visit Persia.--(I did not think it advisable to mention my design of
returning into the interior of Africa.)
Q. May God render the way smooth before you! but I think it folly and
madness to travel so much. What, let me ask, is the result of your last
A. Men's lives are predestined; we all obey our fate. For myself, I
enjoy great pleasure in exploring new and unknown countries, and
becoming acquainted with different races of people. I am induced to
undertake journies by the private satisfaction that travelling affords,
and I care little about personal fatigue.
Q. Have you heard of the news from Europe?
A. Only some vague reports at Djidda.

The Pasha then gave me an account of the events which ended in
Bonaparte's banishment to Elba, after the entrance of the allies into
Paris. Bonaparte, he said, behaved like a coward; he ought to have
sought for death, rather than expose himself in a cage to the laughter
of the universe. The Europeans, he said, are as treacherous as the
Osmanlys; all Bonaparte's confidants abandoned him--all his generals, who
owed to him their fortunes.

He was eager in his inquiries about the political relations between
Great Britain and Russia, and whether it was not likely that war might
break out between them, on account of the hostile

[p.79] intentions of the latter towards the Porte. (On this point he had
received false intelligence.) His only fear seemed to be that the
English army, which had been employed in the south of France, and in
Spain, would now be at liberty to invade Egypt. "The great fish swallow
the small," he said; "and Egypt is necessary to England, in supplying
corn to Malta and Gibraltar." I reasoned with him in vain on this
subject, and perceived that the dragoman did not always interpret my
answers correctly, from the fear of contradicting the well-known
opinions of his master. These opinions, indeed, were deeply rooted, and
had been fostered by the French mission in Egypt. "I am the friend of
the English," he continued. (This addressed by a Turk to a Christian,
means only that he fears him, or wants his money.) "But to tell you the
truth, among great men we see many compliments, and very little
sincerity. My hope is, that they will not fall upon Egypt during my stay
in the Hedjaz; if I am there myself, I shall at least have the
satisfaction of fighting personally for my dominions. Of the Sultan I am
not afraid, (this he repeatedly asserted, but I much doubt his
sincerity,) and I shall know how to outwit him in all his measures. An
army from Syria can never attack Egypt by land in very large bodies,
from the want of camels; and separate corps are easily destroyed as soon
as they have passed the desert."

I took the liberty of telling him that he was like a young man in
possession of a beautiful girl; although sure of her affection, he would
always be jealous of every stranger. "You say well," he replied. "I
certainly love Egypt with all the ardour of a lover; and if I had ten
thousand souls, I would willingly sacrifice them for its possession."

He asked me in what state I had found Upper Egypt; and whether his son
Ibrahim Pasha (the governor) was liked there. I replied, in the language
of truth, that all the chiefs of villages hated him (for he had
compelled them to abandon their despotic treatment of their fellow-
peasants); but that the peasants themselves

[p.80] were much attached to him. (The fact is, that instead of being
oppressed, as formerly, by the Mamelouk Beys and Kashefs, as well as by
their own Sheikhs, they have at present only one tyrant, the Pasha
himself, who keeps his governors of districts in perfect order.)

Mohammed Aly wished to know my opinion respecting the number of troops
necessary for defending Egypt against a foreign army. I answered, that I
knew nothing of war, but from what I had read in books. "No, no;" he
exclaimed, "you travellers always have your eyes open, and you inquire
after every thing." He persisted in his question; and being thus forced
to reply, I said that twenty-five thousand chosen troops would probably
be able to resist any attack. "I have now thirty-three thousand," said
he--a false assertion, for I am quite certain that he had at that time
not more than sixteen thousand men, dispersed over Egypt and the Hedjaz.

He would next explain to me the Nizam Djedyd, or new system of
discipline and military regulations He said it was only the avidity of
the chiefs, and not the dislike of the common sol-diers, that obstructed
the institution of a well-organised army in Turkey, and opposed the
mustering necessary to prevent the officers from imposing on the public
treasury. "But I shall make a regular corps of negro soldiers," he
added. This his predecessor Khurshid Pasha had attempted, but with
little success. The subject of the Nizam Djedyd was resumed as soon as
Mohammed Aly returned to Egypt from this expedition; but the revolt of
his soldiers, who plundered his own capital, obliged him to abandon the
undertaking, which had been badly planned. In the defence of Egypt, he
said, he should principally use his cavalry and horse-artillery; the
former should destroy all the provisions in advance of the enemy, as the
Russians had lately done; and the latter would harass them on all sides,
without ever attempting to make a stand.

[p.81] During my stay at Tayf, letters arrived from Constantinople,
across the Desert, by way of Damascus, bringing to the Pasha a Turkish
translation of the treaty of peace concluded at Paris. After having read
it several times, he ordered his Turkish writer to explain it to me in
Arabic, word for word. This occupied us in a private apartment several
hours. I then returned to the audience, and was desired by the Pasha to
tell him my opinion of the treaty. Referring to a Turkish atlas, copied
from European maps, and printed at Constantinople, he made me point out
to him the new limits of Belgium, the islands Mauritius and Tobago, the
position of Genoa, &c. &c. With respect to the latter place, a curious
mistake occurred. It had been stated to me that Genoa was ceded to the
Swedes, which I could not credit. Upon inquiry, I found that Geneva and
Switzerland were meant; a town and country which, I am sorry to say,
were not comprised in the geographical knowledge of a Turkish viceroy.
The mistake, how-ever, was easily made; for in Turkish, Geneva is
written like Genoua, and Sweden is pronounced Shwit.

The Pasha observed that much yet remained to be done, before all
differences between the parties could be settled; and I clearly saw how
impatiently he looked forward to a war among the European powers, which
would relieve him from any apprehensions for his own safety, and at the
same time occasion a great demand for corn at Alexandria.

With respect to Bonaparte, he seemed quite certain that the English
would one day seize him in Elba. "Have the English, then," he exclaimed,
"fought for nothing these twenty years? They have only got Malta, and a
few other islands!" He was impressed with the fear that there were
secret articles in the peace, which assigned to them the possession of
Egypt. The notion of their having re-established the balance of power in
Europe, and secured their own safety and independence, did not enter
into his mind. "They should not leave Spain," he continued, "without

[p.82] being handsomely paid by the Spaniards; and why now abandon
Sicily?" That the English were guided in their policy by the laws of
honour, and a sense of the general good of Europe, he could not
comprehend. "A great king," he exclaimed, with much warmth, "knows
nothing but his sword and his purse; he draws the one to fill the other;
there is no honour among conquerors!"--a frank avowal of the sentiments
which guide even the most petty of the Turkish rulers.

Mohammed Aly had some notions of the English parliament; the name of
Wellington was familiar to him. "He was a great general," he said; but
he doubted whether, if his Lordship had commanded such bad soldiers as
the Turkish troops are, he would have been able to do with them as much
as he (the Pasha) had done in conquering Egypt and the Hedjaz. He
betrayed great anxiety about the fate and future possession of Corfu and
the Seven Islands. On the one hand, he wished the Russians to make war
on the Porte, and to drive the Sultan out of Europe; on the other, he
feared that, if the Russians should seize Turkey in Europe, the English
would not remain quiet spectators, but would take their share of the
Turkish empire, which he was firmly persuaded would be no other than the
province of Egypt.

I am still ignorant of the Pasha's real opinion concerning my sincerity
in professing the Mohammedan faith. He certainly treated me as a
muselman, and I flattered myself that the boldness of my conduct at Tayf
had convinced him that I was a true pro-selyte. As to the Kadhy, who was
a shrewd Constantinopolitan, most people supposed that the Porte had
sent him to watch the proceedings of Mohammed Aly, and give information
accordingly to the Sultan; and it struck me that his behaviour towards
myself was connected with an intention of accusing the Pasha, on his
return to Constantinople, of having protected a Christian in his visit
to the holy cities, a crime which would be considered unpar-donable in a
Pasha. Mohammed Aly, after his return to Cairo,

[p.83] (where, contrary to his expectations, he again found me, and
where I only saw him once,) took frequent opportunities, and indeed
seemed anxious, to convince Mr. Salt and Mr. Lee, His Majesty's and the
Levant Company's consuls, as well as several English travellers of note
who passed through Cairo, that he knew per-fectly well, in the Hedjaz,
that I was no Moslem, but that his friendship for the English nation
made him overlook the circum-stance, and permit me to impose upon the
Kadhy. He entertained a notion, suggested to him by some of his Frank
counsellors at Cairo, that, in some future account of my travels, I
might perhaps boast of having imposed upon him, like Aly Bey el Abassi,
whose work had just been received at Cairo, and who declares that he
deceived not only the Pasha, but all the olemas, or learned men, of
Cairo. To Mohammed Aly it was of more consequence not to be thought a
fool than a bad muselman.

Notwithstanding these declarations of the Pasha to the English
gentlemen, which were made in private, and certainly were not occasioned
by any imprudent speeches of mine, I continued to live, after my return
to Cairo, without molestation, as a Moslem, in the Turkish quarter. I
have to thank him for his polite reception of me at Tayf, and for his
having thrown no obstacles in the way of my travels through the Hedjaz.

I was at Mekka in December, and at Medina in the April following, when
the Pasha was at both places; but I did not think it necessary or
advisable to wait upon him at either place, where I was otherwise wholly
unknown. My practice in travelling has been to live as retired as
possible; and, except during my short visit to Tayf, where circumstances
forced me to appear somewhat conspicuously, I was known only in the
Hedjaz as a hadjy, or pilgrim, a private gentleman from Egypt, one with
whom no person was acquainted but the few officers of the Pasha whom I
had seen at Tayf.

My information respecting Tayf is very scanty, and was not

[p.84] committed to paper until after I had left the town. I was never
suffered to be alone during my stay there. I had no acquaintances from
whom much could be learned; and during the fast of Ramadhan, few
individuals of the higher classes, among whom I lived, stir out of their
houses in the day-time.

The town of Tayf is situated in the midst of a sandy plain, about four
hours in circuit, overgrown with shombs, and encompassed by low
mountains, called Djebal Ghazoan. These are subordinate ridges of the
great chain, which, continuing for four or five hours farther east, are
then lost in the plain. Tayf is an irregular square, of thirty-five
minutes quick walking in circum-ference; it is inclosed with a wall and
a ditch, newly constructed by Othman el Medhayfe. The wall has three
gates, and is defended by several towers; but it is much less solid than
the walls of Djidda, Medina, and Yembo, being in few places more than
eighteen inches thick. On the west side, within the town, and forming a
part of its wall, stands the castle, upon a rocky elevated site. It was
built by Sherif Ghaleb, and has no claim to the title of a castle,
except that it is larger than the other buildings in the town, and that
its stone walls are stronger. Though it is now half ruined, Mohammed Aly
had made this castle his head-quarters. The houses of the town are
mostly small, but well built with stone: the sitting-rooms are on the
upper floor; at least I saw no saloons on the ground-floor, as usual in
Turkey. The streets are broader than those in most eastern towns. The
only public place is in front of the castle, a large open space which
serves for a market.

At present, Tayf may be described as in a state of ruin, for but few
houses are in complete repair. Many of the buildings were destroyed by
the Wahabys, when they took the town, in 1802; and as it has been almost
abandoned since that period, every thing is hastening to decay. I saw
two small mosques; the best, that of the Henoud, or Indians. The tomb of
El Abbas, which had a good dome over it, and was often visited by
pilgrims, has been entirely

[p.85] destroyed by the Wahabys. Excepting four or five buildings, now
inhabited by the principal officers of the Pasha, I saw none above the
most common size.

Tayf is supplied with water from two copious wells, one of which is
within the walls, and the other just before one of the gates. The water
is well-tasted, but heavy. The town is celebrated all over Arabia for
its beautiful gardens; but these are situated at the foot of the
mountains which encircle the sandy plain. I did not see any gardens, nor
even a single tree within the walls; and the immediate neighbourhood is
entirely destitute of verdure, which renders a residence here as
melancholy as in any other city of Arabia. The nearest gardens appeared
to be on the S.W. side, at the distance of about half or three quarters
of an hour: on that side also stands a deserted suburb, separated from
the town, with some date-trees among its ruins; it was abandoned long
before the invasion of the Wahabys.

I did not visit any of the gardens. In some of them are small pavilions,
where the people of Tayf pass their festive hours; the most noted of
them are Wady Methna, Wady Selame, and Wady Shemal. The gardens are
watered by wells and by rivulets, which descend from the mountains.
Numerous fruit-trees are found here, together with fields of wheat and
barley. The fruits which I tasted at Tayf were grapes of a very large
size and delicious flavour, figs, quinces, and pomegranates; but all the
other sorts mentioned at Djebel Kora are likewise found here. The
gardens of Tayf are renowned also for the abundance of their roses,
which, like the grapes, are transported to all parts of the Hedjaz. To
these gardens all the great merchants of Mekka formerly retired in
summer; and here the Sherif himself often passed a part of the hot
season: they had all their houses and establishments here, and therefore
lost considerable property, when Tayf was plundered by the Wahabys.

The indigenous inhabitants of Tayf are Arabs, of the tribe of

[p.86] Thekyf, [Of the Thekyf tribes are El Hamde, Beni Mohammed, and
Themale.--Vide Assamy.] who have become settlers: in their possession are
all the gardens adjoining the town, and most of the provision-shops
within its walls. A few Mekkawys are also settled here, but the far
greater part of the foreigners are Indians by origin. As at Djidda,
these people, although born in Arabia, and in some instances established
here for several generations, still preserve the dress and manners of
the Indian Muselmans: some of them are merchants; but the greater part
are druggists, whose trade is of much more importance in the Hedjaz than
in other countries, from the general predilection of all classes for
drugs, perfumes, &c. There are, I believe, no wholesale merchants in
Tayf; I counted in all about fifty shops. Before the Wahaby invasion,
this was a commercial town, to which the Arabs of the country around, at
the distance of many days' journey, resorted, that they might pur-chase
articles of dress; while those of the mountains brought caravans of
wheat and barley: it was also a considerable entrepot for coffee,
brought on camels from the mountains of Yemen by Be-douins, who thus
eluded the heavy duties levied in the harbours of the Arabian coast.
Every thing denotes great misery in the town. At present, the only
imports from the interior are dates, brought by the Ateybe Arabs from
the many fruitful plantations in their territory. The principal streets
abound with beggars, amongst whom are many Indians, who must often be
exposed to perish from absolute hunger; for, during my residence, it
required at least two piastres, (which, according to the actual
exchange, was equal to about one-sixth of a dollar, or ten-pence) to
procure bread enough for a man's daily subsistence. Caravans of
provisions arrived every week, but the want of camels did not allow of a
suffi-cient importation from the coast to lower the price of food; and
although the common class lived principally upon dates, and thus


[p.87] consumed none of the provisions brought hither from Mekka; yet I
learned from good authority that there was only a supply for ten days in
Tayf for the Turkish army.

In the time of the Sherif, this town was governed by an officer of his
appointment, named Hakem, himself a sherif, and who nar-rowly escaped
the sword of the Wahabys. He has been restored to his office by Mohammed
Aly; but it is at present merely honorary. Several sherif families of
Mekka are settled here; and the mode of living, the dress, and manners,
appear to be the same as at Mekka; but I had few opportunities of making
observations on this subject.

September 7th. I set out early in the morning from Tayf for Mekka, by
the same road which I had come. There is, as I have already mentioned, a
more northern route, by which caravans may avoid the difficulties of
passing Djebel Kora. The first station from Mekka, on that road, is
Zeyme, short of which, about ten miles, are several steep ascents. Zeyme
is a half-ruined castle, at the eastern extremity of Wady Lymoun, with
copious springs of run-ning water. Wady Lymoun is a fertile valley,
which extends for several hours in the direction of Wady Fatme; it has
many date-plantations, and formerly the ground was cultivated; but this,
I believe, has ceased since the Wahaby invasion: its fruit-gardens, too,
have been ruined. This is the last stage of the Eastern-Syrian Hadj
route, or that which lies to the east of the Great Hedjaz chain, running
from Medina to Mekka. To the S.E. or E.S.E. of Wady Lymoun, is another
fertile valley, called Wady Medyk, where some sherifs are settled, and
where Sherif Ghaleb possessed landed property.

From Zeyme, the road to Tayf leads, on the second day, from Mekka to
Seyl, a rivulet so called, flowing across a plain, which is without
trees, but affords abundance of rich pasture. At Seyl, the road enters a
mountainous tract, through which is a difficult and very narrow passage
of about six hours. The station of

[p.88] this day is Akrab, situated in the upper plain, at about three
hours' distance from Tayf, to the northward, and on the same level with
it: thus a traveller reaches Tayf on the fourth day from Mekka. This
route was now impassable, except to large and well-protected caravans,
the hostile Arabs of the Ateybe tribe having frequently made inroads on
that side, and plundered small caravans.

Not far from Tayf I overtook three Arnaut soldiers, each, like myself,
mounted on an ass. At Tayf they had exchanged their money, getting
thirteen piastres of the Cairo mint for one Spanish dollar, which at
Djidda was worth but eleven; they had, therefore, made a common purse of
one thousand dollars, and travelled from Djidda to Tayf, whenever the
road was secure, for the sake of the two piastres which they gained upon
each dollar. They carried the money, sewed in bags, upon their asses;
and having forgotten, perhaps, to leave out any cash for travelling
expenses, they joined me, finding that my travelling sack was well
stocked with provi-sions, and left me to pay for our joint expenses on
the road, when-ever we stopped at the coffee-huts. But they were good-
humoured companions, and the expense was not thrown away.

In passing by Wady Mohram, I assumed the ihram, as being now for the
first time about to visit Mekka and its temple. The ihram consists of
two pieces of linen, or woollen, or cotton cloth, one of which is
wrapped round the loins, and the other thrown over the neck and
shoulders, so as to leave part of the right arm uncovered. Every garment
must be laid aside before this is put on. Any piece of stuff will answer
the purpose; but the law ordains that there shall be no seams in it, nor
any silk or orna-ments; and white is considered preferable to any other
colour. White Indian cambric is usually employed for the purpose; but
rich hadjys use, instead of it, white Cashmere shawls, which have not
flowered borders. The head remains totally uncovered. It is not
permitted to have the head shaved, in conformity with the oriental
habits, until it is permitted also to lay aside the ihram.

[p.89] The instep must likewise be uncovered: those, accordingly, who
wear shoes, either cut a piece out of the upper leather, or have shoes
made on purpose, such as the Turkish hadjys usually bring with them from
Constantinople. Like most of the natives, I wore sandals while dressed
in the ihram.

Old-age and disease are excuses for keeping the head covered; but this
indulgence must be purchased by giving alms to the poor. The sun's rays
become extremely troublesome to persons bare-headed; but although the
law forbids that the head should be protected by any thing in immediate
contact with it, there is no prohibition against the use of umbrellas,
and with these most of the northern hadjys are provided, while the
natives either brave the sun's rays, or merely tie a rag to a stick, and
make a little shade, by turning it towards the sun.

Whether assumed in summer or in winter, the ihram is equally
inconvenient and prejudicial to health, particularly among the northern
Mohammedans, who, accustomed to thick woollen clothes, are at this
period obliged to leave them off for many days; yet the religious zeal
of some who visit the Hedjaz is so ardent, that if they arrive even
several months previous to the Hadj, they vow on taking the ihram, in
approaching Mekka, not to throw it off till after the completion of
their pilgrimage to Arafat; and thus they remain for months covered,
night and day, only with this thin cloak; [The Arabian historians relate
that Haroun Errashid and his wife Zobeyda once performed the pilgrimage
on foot, from Baghdad to Mekka, clothed only with the ihram; that at
every station of the caravan there was a castle, with apartments
splendidly furnished; and that the whole road was covered daily with
carpets, on which they walked.] for the law forbids any other covering
even at night; but with this few hadjys strictly comply.

When the ancient Arabs performed their pilgrimage to the idols at Mekka,
they also took the ihram; but that pilgrimage was fixed to a certain
period of the year, probably autumn; for although the Arabs computed by
lunar months, they inserted one month every

[p.90] three years; and thus the month of the pilgrimage did not vary in
its season, as at present. The intercalation of a month, established two
hundred years before Islam, was prohibited by the Koran, which ordained
that the same pilgrimage should be continued, in honour of the living
God, which had before been performed in honour of idols, but that it
should be fixed to a lunar month; thus its period became irregular, and
in the space of thirty-three years was gradually changed from the depth
of winter to the height of summer.

The person covered by the ihram, or, as he is called, El Mohrem, is not
obliged to abstain from particular kinds of food, as ancient Arabians,
who, during the time of wearing it, did not taste butter among other
things; but he is enjoined to behave decently, not to curse, or quarrel,
not to kill any animal, not even a flea on his body, nor to communicate
with the other sex. The ihram of the women consists of a cloak which
they wrap completely about them, with a veil so close that not even
their eyes can be seen: according to the law, their hands and ankles
must be covered, but this rule they generally disregard.

Although my companions, the soldiers, were going to Mekka, as well as
myself, they did not think it necessary to take the ihram, which, as I
have already said, the law prescribes at all times of the year to every
one travelling towards the sacred city.

We remained an hour on the delightful summit of Djebel Kora, and towards
the evening descended the mountain. A shower of rain obliged us to seek
shelter in a spacious cavern by the side of the road, which is used on
similar occasions by shepherds of the Hodheyl tribe; and we arrived
after sun-set at the coffee-huts, before mentioned, on the mountain-
side, where the caravans from Mekka alight. Here we kindled a large
fire, and hired an earthen pot of the Arabs, in which we boiled some
rice for our supper. The long day's march, the rain, and my light
covering, brought on a slight fever; but I kept myself well covered
during the night, and was in good health the next morning. The change of
air, during my journey to Tayf, and the comparatively cooler climate of
that place

[p.91] had already completely recovered me from the effects of my severe
illness at Djidda. During the night, the Kadhy of Mekka arrived from

September 8th. At day-break, I went to visit the Kadhy, whom I found
smoking his pipe and drinking coffee; availing himself of the privilege
granted to travellers in Ramadhan, of dispensing with the fast.
According to our agreement at Tayf, I was to join him here on his way to
Mekka; I could not therefore avoid joining him; but I was extremely
averse to continuing with him, because he would probably carry me to his
house at Mekka, where I should be again placed in a situation similar to
that which had proved so uncomfortable at Tayf. He seemed, however,
willing to avoid the trouble and expense of a guest; for when I
expressed some appre-hensions that my tired ass would be unable to keep
pace with his fine mule, he immediately answered, that he hoped, at all
events, to meet me again at Mekka. I departed, therefore, with the
soldiers, leaving the Kadhy to repose a little longer. We passed the
mid-day hours at the coffee-hut called Shedad, where several Bedouins
were amusing themselves by shooting at a mark. They gave proofs of great
dexterity, often hitting a piastre, which I placed at about forty yards'
distance. Except coffee and water, nothing is to be procured in any of
the huts on this road; the coffee is not served up in single cups, as
usual in most parts of the Levant; but, whoever asks for it, has a small
earthen pot of hot coffee set before him, containing from ten to fifteen
cups: this quantity the traveller often drinks three or four times a
day. These pots are called mashrabe. (See their form in the outlines
annexed.) [Illustration not included].

Into the mouth of the pot is stuck a bunch of dry herbs, through which
the liquid is poured. I have already noticed the immoderate

[p.92] use of coffee in this part of Arabia, and it is said to prevail
still more in the south, and towards the vicinity of the coffee country.

On the road from Shedad, which lies along the lower plains, between
sharp mountains, we were surprised by a most violent shower of rain and
hail, which obliged us to halt. In a very short time the water poured
down in torrents from the mountains and when the hail ceased, after
about an hour, we found that the rain, which still continued, had
covered the Wady Noman with a sheet of water three feet deep, while
streams of nearly five feet in breadth crossed the road with an
impetuosity which rendered it impossible for us to pass them. In this
situation we could neither advance nor retreat, knowing that similar
currents would have been formed in our rear we therefore took post on
the side of the mountain, where we were sure of not being washed away,
and where we could wait in security till the subsiding of the storm. The
mountains, however, soon pre-sented on their sides innumerable cascades,
and the inundation became general; while the rain, accompanied with
thunder and lightning, continued with undiminished violence. I saw the
Kadhy, who had quitted Shedad soon after us, at some distance, separated
from our party by a deep torrent, while several of his women, mounted
upon mules, were also obliged to remain at a distance from him. We
continued in this disagreeable situation for about three hours, when the
rain ceased and the torrents soon diminished; but our asses could with
difficulty be brought to attempt the slippery ground still covered with
water, and we were at last obliged to alight and drive them before us,
till we reached a more elevated surface. The Kadhy and his whole party
were under the necessity of doing the same. Night now overtook us, and
the cloudy sky involved us in complete darkness; but after an
adventurous walk of three or four hours, stumbling or falling almost at
every step, we reached the coffee-houses of Arafat, to the great
satisfaction of my companions, the soldiers, who had entertained
apprehensions for their money-bags. I was not less pleased myself, being
much in want of a fire after such a drenching, with only the scanty
covering of the ihram.


[p.93] The coffee-houses, unfortunately, had also been inundated; we
could not find a dry place on which to sit, and with some difficulty a
fire was lighted in one of the small and more weather-proof huts of the
Arabs, into which the Kadhy, with a few of his people and myself, crept,
and boiled our coffee; in another hut were his women, crying from the
severity of the cold. He not wishing that they should be exposed to the
consequences of such a night's lodging, mounted again, after a stay of
half an hour, and proceeded towards Mekka, leaving me and my party in
possession of the fire, by the side of which, after some time, we
contrived to make ourselves com-fortable.

September 9th. We set out early, and found that the storm of yesterday
had not extended farther than the plain of Arafat. Such storms and
inundations are frequent in this country, where the seasons seem to be
much less regular than in other places under the same latitude. I heard
that in the Upper Mountains, and at Tayf, the rainy season, although not
so regular as under the tropics in Africa, is yet more steady than in
the low country of Mekka and Djidda, where, even in the midst of summer,
the sky is often clouded by storms and rain. The historians of Mekka
have recorded several dreadful inundations in that city; the most
disastrous occurred in the years of the Hedjira 80, 184, 202, 280, 297,
549, 620, 802, 829. In some of these, the whole town of Mekka, and the
Temple, as high as the black stone, were under water, and in all of them
many houses were destroyed and lives lost. Assamy gives the details of
an inundation which devastated Mekka in A.H. 1039, or in the year 1626
of our era, when five hundred lives were lost, and the Kaaba in the
Temple was destroyed. Another dreadful inundation happened in 1672.

I arrived at Mekka about mid-day, when my companions went in search of
their acquaintance among the soldiers, and left me to shift for myself,
without knowing a single individual in the town, and without being
recommended to any body but the Kadhy, whom, as I have already said, I
wished to avoid.


[p.94] Whoever enters Mekka, whether pilgrim or not, is enjoined by the
law to visit the Temple immediately, and not to attend to any worldly
concern whatever, before he has done so. We crossed the line of shops
and houses, up to the gates of the mosque, where my ass-driver took his
fare and set me down: here I was accosted by half a dozen metowef, or
guides to the holy places, who knew, from my being dressed in the ihram,
that I intended to visit the Kaaba. I chose one of them as my guide,
and, after having deposited my baggage in a neighbouring shop, entered
the mosque at the gate called Bab-es'-Salam, by which the new-comer is
recommended to enter. The ceremonies to be performed in visiting the
mosque are the following:--1. Certain religious rites to be practised in
the interior of the temple; 2. The walk between Szafa and Meroua; 3. The
visit to the Omra. These ceremonies ought to be repeated by every Moslem
whenever he enters Mekka from a journey farther than two days' distance,
and they must again be more particularly performed at the time of the
pilgrimage to Arafat. I shall here describe them as briefly as possible;
a full detail and explanation of the Mohammedan law on this subject
would be extremely tedious; indeed there exist many voluminous works in
Arabic which treat of nothing else.

1. Rites to be performed in the Interior of the Temple.

At the entrance, under the colonnade, some prayers are recited on first
sight of the Kaaba, and then two rikats, or four prostrations addressed
to the divinity, in thanks for having reached the holy spot, and in
salutation of the mosque itself; after which the pilgrim approaches the
Kaaba by one of the paved ways to it, through the open area in which it
stands. In passing under the insulated arch in front of the Kaaba,
called Bab-es'-Salam, certain prayers are said. Other prayers are
recited in a low voice, and the visitor then places himself opposite to
the black stone of the Kaaba, and prays two

[p.95] rikats; at the conclusion of which, the stone is touched with the
right hand, or kissed, if there is no great pressure of people. The
devotee then begins the Towaf, or walk round the Kaaba, keeping that
building on his left hand. This ceremony is to be repeated seven times;
the three first are in a quick pace, in imitation of the Prophet, whose
enemies having reported that he was dangerously ill, he contradicted
them by running thrice round the Kaaba at full speed. Every circuit must
be accompanied with prescribed prayers, which are recited in a low
voice, and appropriated to the different parts of the building that are
passed: the black stone is kissed or touched at the conclusion of each
circuit, as well as another stone, walled in at one corner of the black
stone. When the seven circuits are finished, the visiter approaches the
wall of the Kaaba, between the black stone and the door of the building,
which space is called El Metzem. There, with widely outstretched arms,
and with his breast closely pressed against the wall, he beseeches the
Lord to pardon his sins. He then retires towards the neighbouring Mekam
Ibrahim, and there prays two rikats, called Sunnet-et-towaf, after which
he repairs to the adjoining well of Zemzem; and, after a short pious
address in honour of the well, drinks as much of the water as he wishes,
or as he can on occasions when the crowd is very great; and this
completes the ceremonies to be observed within the temple.

I may here add, that the Towaf is a Muselman ceremony not exclusively
practised in the temple at Mekka. In the summer of 1813, I was present
at the annual festival of the patron saint of Kenne, in Upper Egypt,
called Seid Abderrahman el Kennawy. Many thousands of the people of the
country were assembled on the plain, in which stands the saint's tomb,
at a distance of one mile from the town. Each person, as he arrived,
walked seven times round the small mosque which contains the tomb; and
when the new covering intended to be laid over it for that year was
brought in solemn procession, the whole assembly followed it seven times
round the building, after which it was placed upon the tomb.

[p.96] 2. Walk between Szafa and Meroua.

My guide, who, during the whole of the ceremonies above men-tioned, had
been close at my heels, reciting all the necessary prayers, which I
repeated after him, now led me out of the mosque by the gate called Bab-
es'-Szafa. About fifty yards from the S.E. side of the mosque, on a
slightly ascending ground, stand three small open arches, connected by
an architrave above, having below three broad stone steps leading up to

This is called the Hill of Szafa: here, standing on the upper step, with
his face turned towards the mosque, which is hidden from view by
intervening houses, the pilgrim raises his hands towards heaven,
addresses a short prayer to the Deity, and implores his assistance in
the holy walk, or Say, as it is called; he then descends, to begin the
walk, along a level street about six hundred paces in length, which the
Arabian historians call Wady Szafa, leading towards Meroua, which is at
its farther extremity, where stands a stone platform, ele-vated about
six or eight feet above the level of the street, with several broad
steps ascending to it. The visiter is enjoined to walk at a quick pace
from Szafa to Meroua; and for a short space, which is marked by four
stones or pilasters, called El Myleyn el Akhdereyn, built into the walls
of the houses on both sides, he must run. Two of these stones seemed to
be of a green colour; they exhibit nume-rous inscriptions; but these are
so high in the walls, that it would be difficult to read them. Prayers
are recited uninterruptedly in a loud voice during this walk. Persons
who are unwell may ride, or be borne in a litter. On reaching Meroua,
the pilgrim ascends the


[p.97] steps, and, with uplifted hands, repeats a short prayer like that
of Szaffa, to which place he must now return. The walk between the two
places is to be repeated seven times, concluding at Meroua; four times
from Szaffa to Meroua; and three times from Meroua to Szaffa.

3. The Visit to the Omra.

In the vicinity of Meroua are many barbers' shops; into one of these the
pilgrim enters, having completed the Say, and the barber shaves his
head, reciting a particular prayer, which the pilgrim repeats after him.
The Hanefys, one of the four orthodox sects of Moslims, shave only one-
fourth part of the head; the other three-fourths continuing untouched
till they return from the Omra. After the ceremony of shaving is
finished, the visitor is at liberty to lay aside the ihram, and put on
his ordinary dress; or, if he choose, he may go immediately from thence
to the Omra, in which case he still wears the ihram, and says only two
rikats on setting out. This, however, is seldom done, as the ceremonies
of the Towaf and Say are sufficiently fatiguing to render repose
desirable on their completion the visitor, therefore, dresses in his
usual clothes; but the next or any following day, (the sooner the
better,) he resumes the ihram, with the same ceremonies as are observed
on first assuming it, and then proceeds to the Omra, a place one hour
and a half from Mekka. Here he repeats two rikats in a small chapel, and
returns to the city, chanting all the way the pious ejaculations called
Telby, beginning with the words, "Lebeyk, Alla humma, Lebeyk." He must
now again perform the Towaf and the Say, have his head completely
shaved, and lay aside the ihram, which closes those ceremonies. A visit
to the Omra is enjoined by the law as absolutely necessary; but many
individuals, notwithstanding, dispense with it. I went thither, on the
third day after my arrival in the city, performing the walk in the
night-time, which is the fashion during the hot season.

At the time of the Hadj, all these ceremonies must be repeated

[p.98] after returning from Wady Muna, and again on taking leave of
Mekka. The Towaf, or walk round the Kaaba, should also be performed as
often as convenient; and few foreigners live at Mekka, who do not make
it a point to execute it twice daily; in the evening and before day-

Prior to the age of Mohammed, when idolatry prevailed in Arabia, the
Kaaba was regarded as a sacred object, and visited with religious
veneration by persons who performed the Towaf nearly in the same manner
as their descendants do at present. The building, however, was, in those
times, ornamented with three hundred and sixty idols, and there was a
very important difference in the cere-mony; for men and women were then
obliged to appear in a state of perfect nudity, that their sins might be
thrown off with their garments. The Mohammedan Hadj or pilgrimage, and
the visit to the Kaaba, are, therefore, nothing more than a continuation
and con-firmation of the ancient custom. In like manner, Szafa and
Meroua were esteemed by the old Arabians as holy places, which contained
images of the gods Motam and Nehyk; and here the idolaters used to walk
from the one place to the other, after their return from the pilgrimage
to Arafat. Here, if we may believe Mohammedan tradition, Hadjer, the
mother of Ismayl, wandered about in the Desert, after she had been
driven from Abraham's house, that she might not witness the death of her
infant son, whom she had laid down almost expiring from thirst; when the
angel Gabriel appearing, struck the ground with his foot, which caused
the well of Zemzem immediately to spring forth. In commemoration of the
wanderings of Hadjer, who in her affliction had gone seven times between
Szafa and Meroua, the walk from one place to the other is said to have
been instituted.

El Azraky relates that, when the idolatrous Arabs had concluded the
ceremonies of the Hadj at Arafat, all the different tribes that had been
present, assembled, on their return to Mekka, at the holy place called
Szafa, there to extol, in loud and impassioned strains, the glory of
their ancestors, their battles, and the fame of their

[p.99] nation. From each tribe, in its turn, arose a poet who addressed
the multitude. "To our tribe," exclaimed he, "belonged such and such
eminent warriors and generous Arabs; and now," he added, "we boast of
others." He then recited their names, and sang their praises; concluding
with a strain of heroic poetry, and an appeal to the other tribes, in
words like the following:--"Let him who denies the truth of what I have
said, or who lays claim to as much glory, honour, and virtue as we do,
prove it here!" Some rival poet then arose, and celebrated in similar
language the equal or superior glory attached to his own tribe,
endeavouring, at the same time, to under-value or ridicule his rival's

To allay the animosity and jealousies produced by this custom; or,
perhaps, to break the independent spirit of his fierce Bedouins,
Mohammed abolished it by a passage in the Koran, which says:--"When you
have completed the rites of the pilgrimage, remember God, as you
formerly were wont to commemorate your forefathers, and with still
greater fervency." Thus, probably, was removed the cause of many
quarrels; but, at the same time, this stern lawgiver destroyed the
influence which the songs of those rival national bards exercised over
the martial virtues and literary genius of their countrymen.

The visit of the Omra was likewise an ancient custom. Mohammed retained
the practice; and it is said that he frequently recited his evening
prayers on that spot.

Having completed the fatiguing ceremonies of the Towaf and Say, I had a
part of my head shaved, and remained sitting in the barber's shop, not
knowing any other place of repose. I inquired after lodgings, but
learned that the town was already full of pil-grims, and that many
others, who were expected, had engaged apartments. After some time,
however, I found a man who offered me a ready-furnished room: of this I
took possession, and having no servant, boarded with the owner. He and
his family, consisting of a wife and two children, retired into a small,
open court-yard, on the side of my room. The landlord was a poor man
from Medina,


[p.100] and by profession a Metowaf, or cicerone. Although his mode of
living was much below that of even the second class of Mekkawys, yet it
cost me fifteen piastres a day; and I found, after we parted, that
several articles of dress had been pilfered from my travelling sack; but
this was not all: on the feast-day he invited me to a splendid supper,
in company with half a dozen of his friends, in my room, and on the
following morning he presented me with a bill for the whole expense of
this entertainment.

The thousands of lamps lighted during Ramadhan in the great mosque,
rendered it the nightly resort of all foreigners at Mekka; here they
took their walk, or sat conversing till after midnight. The scene
presented altogether a spectacle which (excepting the absence of women)
resembled rather an European midnight assemblage, than what I should
have expected in the sanctuary of the Mohammedan religion. The night
which closes Ramadhan, did not present those brilliant displays of
rejoicing that are seen in other parts of the East; and the three
subsequent days of the festival are equally devoid of public amusements.
A few swinging machines were placed in the streets to amuse children,
and some Egyptian jugglers exhibited their feats to multitudes assembled
in the streets; but little else occurred to mark the feast, except a
display of gaudy dresses, in which the Arabians surpass both Syrians and

I paid the visit, customary on occasion of this feast, to the Kadhy, and
at the expiration of the third day, (on the 15th of September,) set out
for Djidda, to complete my travelling equipments, which are more easily
procured there than at Mekka. On my way to the coast, I was nearly made
prisoner at Bahra by a flying corps of Wahabys. My stay at Djidda was
prolonged to three weeks, chiefly in consequence of sore legs; a disease
very prevalent on this unhealthy coast, where every bite of a gnat, if
neglected, becomes a serious wound.

About the middle of October I returned to Mekka, accompanied by a slave
whom I had purchased. This boy had been in the caravan with which I went
from the Black Country to Sowakin, and was

[p.101] quite astonished at seeing me in a condition so superior to that
in which he had before known me. I took with me a camel-load of
provisions, mostly flour, biscuit, and butter, procured in Djidda at one
third of the price demanded at Mekka, where, immediately on my arrival,
I hired decent apartments in a quarter of the town not much frequented,
called Haret el Mesfale. I had here the advantage of several large trees
growing before my windows, the verdure of which, among the barren and
sun-burnt rocks of Mekka, was to me more exhilarating than the finest
landscape could have been under different circumstances. At this place I
enjoyed an enviable freedom and independence, known only to the Kadhy
and his followers, who soon after took their departure. The Pasha and
his court remained at Tayf till the days of the Hadj. I frequented only
such society as pleased me, and, mixing with a crowd of foreign pilgrims
from all parts of the world, I was not liable to impertinent remarks or
disagreeable inquiries. If any question arose about my origin (a
circum-stance that rarely happened in a place which always abounds with
strangers), I stated myself to be a reduced member of the Mamelouk corps
of Egypt, and found it easy to avoid those persons whose intimate
knowledge of that country might perhaps have enabled them to detect the
falsehood. But there was little to be appre-hended even from the
consequences of such detection; for the assumption of a false character
is frequent among all eastern travellers, and especially at Mekka, where
every one affects poverty in order to escape imposition, or being led
into great expenses. During all my journies in the East, I never enjoyed
such perfect ease as at Mekka; and I shall always retain a pleasing
recollection of my residence there, although the state of my health did
not permit me to benefit by all the advantages that my situation
offered. I shall now proceed to describe the town, its inhabitants, and
the pilgrimage, and then resume the narrative of my travels.


MEKKA is dignified among the Arabs with many lofty-sounding titles. The
most common are Om el Kora (the mother of towns);

[p.103] El Mosherefe (the noble); Beled al Ameyn (the region of the
faithful). Firuzabadi, the celebrated author of the Kamus, has composed
a whole treatise on the different names of Mekka. This town is situated
in a valley, narrow and sandy, the main direction of which is from north
to south; but it inclines towards the north-west near the southern
extremity of the town. In breadth this valley varies from one hundred to
seven hundred paces, the chief part of the city being placed where the
valley is most broad. In the narrower part are single rows of houses
only, or detached shops. The town itself covers a space of about fifteen
hundred paces in length, from the quarter called El Shebeyka to the
extremity of the Mala; but the whole extent of ground comprehended under
the denomination of Mekka, from the suburb called Djerouel (where is the
entrance from Djidda) to the suburb called Moabede (on the Tayf road),
amounts to three thousand five hundred paces. The mountains inclosing
this valley (which, before the town was built, the Arabs had named Wady
Mekka or Bekka) are from two to five hundred feet in height, completely
barren and destitute of trees. The principal chain lies on the eastern
side of the town: the valley slopes gently towards the south, where
stands the quarter called El Mesfale (the low place). The rain-water
from the town is lost towards the south of Mesfale in the open valley
named Wady el Tarafeyn. Most of the town is situated in the valley
itself; but there are also parts built on the sides of the mountains,
principally of the eastern chain, where the primitive habitations of the
Koreysh, and the ancient town appear to have been placed.

Mekka may be styled a handsome town: its streets are in general broader
than those of eastern cities; the houses lofty, and built of stone; and
the numerous windows that face the streets give them a more lively and
European aspect than those of Egypt or Syria, where the houses present
but few windows towards the exterior. Mekka (like Djidda) contains many
houses three stories high; few at Mekka are white-washed; but the dark
grey colour of the stone is much pre-ferable to the glaring white that
offends the eye in Djidda. In most

[p.104] towns of the Levant the narrowness of a street contributes to
its coolness; and in countries where wheel-carriages are not used, a
space that allows two loaded camels to pass each other is deemed
sufficient. At Mekka, however, it was necessary to leave the passages
wide, for the innumerable visitors who here crowd together; and it is in
the houses adapted for the reception of pilgrims and other sojourners,
that the windows are so contrived as to command a view of the streets.

The city is open on every side; but the neighbouring mountains, if
properly defended, would form a barrier of considerable strength against
an enemy. In former times it had three walls to protect its extremities;
one was built across the valley, at the street of Mala; another at the
quarter of Shebeyka; and the third at the valley opening into the
Mesfale. These walls were repaired in A.H. 816 and 828, and in a century
after some traces of them still remained. [See Azraky, Fasy, and

The only public place in the body of the town is the ample square of the
great mosque; no trees or gardens cheer the eye; and the scene is
enlivened only during the Hadj by the great number of well-stored shops
which are found in every quarter. Except four or five large houses
belonging to the Sherif, two medreses or colleges (now converted into
corn magazines), and the mosque, with some buildings and schools
attached to it, Mekka cannot boast of any public edifices, and in this
respect is, perhaps, more deficient than any other eastern city of the
same size. Neither khans, for the accommodation of travellers, or for
the deposit of merchandize, nor palaces of grandees, nor mosques, which
adorn every quarter of other towns in the East, are here to be seen; and
we may perhaps attribute this want of splendid buildings to the
veneration which its inhabi-tants entertain for their temple; this
prevents them from construct-ing any edifice which might possibly
pretend to rival it.

he mode of building is the same as that adopted at Djidda, with the
addition of windows looking towards the street; of these many project
from the wall, and have their frame-work elaborately

[p.105] carved, or gaudily painted. Before them hang blinds made of
slight reeds, which exclude flies and gnats while they admit fresh air.
Every house has its terrace, the floor of which (composed of a
preparation from lime-stone) is built with a slight inclination, so that
the rain-water runs off through gutters into the street; for the rains
here are so irregular that it is not worth while to collect the water of
them in cisterns, as is done in Syria. The terraces are concealed from
view by slight parapet walls; for throughout the east it is reckoned
discreditable that a man should appear upon the terrace, whence he might
be accused of looking at women in the neighbour-ing houses, as the
females pass much of their time on the terraces, employed in various
domestic occupations, such as drying corn, hanging up linen, &c. The
Europeans of Aleppo alone enjoy the privilege of frequenting their
terraces, which are often beautifully built of stone; here they resort
during the summer evenings, and often to sup and pass the night. All the
houses of the Mekkawys, except those of the principal and richest
inhabitants, are constructed for the accommodation of lodgers, being
divided into many apart-ments, separated from each other, and each
consisting of a sitting-room and a small kitchen. Since the pilgrimage,
which has begun to decline, (this happened before the Wahaby conquest,)
many of the Mekkawys, no longer deriving profit from the letting of
their lodgings, found themselves unable to afford the expense of
repairs; and thus numerous buildings in the out-skirts have fallen
completely into ruin, and the town itself exhibits in every street
houses rapidly decaying. I saw only one of recent construction; it was
in the quarter of El Shebeyka, belonged to a sherif, and cost, as report
said, one hundred and fifty purses; such a house might have been built
at Cairo for sixty purses.

The streets are all unpaved; and in summer time the sand and dust in
them are as great a nuisance as the mud is in the rainy season, during
which they are scarcely passable after a shower; for in the interior of
the town the water does not run off, but remains till it is dried up. It
may be ascribed to the destructive rains,

[p.106] which, though of shorter duration than in other tropical
countries, fall with considerable violence, that no ancient buildings
are found in Mekka. The mosque itself has undergone so many repairs
under different sultans, that it may be called a modern structure; and
of the houses, I do not think there exists one older than four
centuries; it is not, therefore, in this place, that the traveller must
look for interesting specimens of architecture or such beautiful remains
of Saracenic structures as are still admired in Syria, Egypt, Barbary,
and Spain. In this respect the ancient and far-famed Mekka is surpassed
by the smallest provincial towns of Syria or Egypt. The same may be said
with respect to Medina, and I suspect that the towns of Yemen are
generally poor in architectural remains.

Mekka is deficient in those regulations of police which are customary in
Eastern cities. The streets are totally dark at night, no lamps of any
kind being lighted; its different quarters are without gates, differing
in this respect also from most Eastern towns, where each quarter is
regularly shut up after the last evening prayers. The town may therefore
be crossed at any time of the night, and the same attention is not paid
here to the security of merchants, as well as of husbands, (on whose
account principally, the quarters are closed,) as in Syrian or Egyptian
towns of equal magnitude. The dirt and sweepings of the houses are cast
into the streets, where they soon become dust or mud according to the
season. The same custom seems to have prevailed equally in ancient
times; for I did not perceive in the skirts of the town any of those
heaps of rubbish which are usually found near the large towns of Turkey.

With respect to water, the most important of all supplies, and that
which always forms the first object of inquiry among Asiatics, Mekka is
not much better provided than Djidda; there are but few cisterns for
collecting rain, and the well-water is so brackish that it is used only
for culinary purposes, except during the time of the pilgrimage, when
the lowest class of hadjys drink it. The famous well of Zemzem, in the
great mosque, is indeed sufficiently copious to supply the whole town;
but, however holy, its water is heavy to

[p.107] the taste and impedes digestion; the poorer classes besides have
not permission to fill their water-skins with it at pleasure. The best
water in Mekka is brought by a conduit from the vicinity of Arafat, six
or seven hours distant. The present government, instead of constructing
similar works, neglects even the repairs and requisite cleansing of this
aqueduct. It is wholly built of stone; and all those parts of it which
appear above ground, are covered with a thick layer of stone and cement.
I heard that it had not been cleaned during the last fifty years; the
consequence of this negligence is, that the most of the water is lost in
its passage to the city through apertures, or slowly forces its way
through the obstructing sediment, though it flows in a full stream into
the head of the aqueduct at Arafat. The supply which it affords in
ordinary times is barely sufficient for the use of the inhabitants, and
during the pilgrimage sweet water becomes an absolute scarcity; a small
skin of water (two of which skins a person may carry) being then often
sold for one shilling--a very high price among Arabs.

There are two places in the interior of Mekka where the aqueduct runs
above ground; there the water is let off into small channels or
fountains, at which some slaves of the Sherif are stationed, to exact a
toll from persons filling their water-skins. In the time of the Hadj,
these fountains are surrounded day and night by crowds of people
quarrelling and fighting for access to the water. During the late siege
the Wahabys cut off the supply of water from the aqueduct; and it was
not till some time after, that the injury which this structure then
received, was partially repaired.

The history of this aqueduct, a work of vast labour and magnitude, is
given by the Arabian historians at great length. Zebeyda, the wife of
Haroun-er'-Rashid, first carried the spring, called Ayn Noman, from its
source in Djebel Kora to the town. The spring of Ayn Arf from the foot
of Djebel Shamekh to the north of Djebel Kora, which watered the fertile
valley called Wady Honeyn, was next brought to join the Ayn Noman; and,
finally, four other sources were added to the aqueduct--El Beroud,
Zafaran, Meymoun, and Ayn Meshash.

[p.108] Subsequently it seems to have been obstructed; but in A.H. 643
it was repaired by Kokeboury, King of Arbela; again in 762, by order of
Sultan Sayd Khadanbede; and a third time, but not completely, in 811, by
the SheriL Hassan Ibn Adjelan, then reigning. Kaiabey, Sultan of Egypt,
expended a large sum upon it in 879; and in 916, Kansoue el Ghoury, one
of the last of the Zirkassian kings of Egypt, contributed to its repair:
but the aqueduct was still often obstructed; and whenever that happened,
the Mekkawys and Hadjys were ex-posed to great privations. In 931,
Sultan Soleyman attempted to construct it anew; but the design was not
completed. At last, his son, Selym Ibn Soleyman, or Selim II., after
many years labour, and at enormous expense, excavated a passage through
the rocks behind Arafat, and formed a new conduit, which alone now
subsists. He succeeded in bringing water very abundantly to the town, in
A.H. 979. The whole length of the aqueduct is seven or eight hours.

There is a small spring which oozes from under the rocks behind the
great palace of the Sherif, called Beit el Sad; it is said to afford the
best water in this country, but the supply is very scanty. The spring is
inclosed, and appropriated wholly to the Sherif's family.

Beggars, and infirm or indigent hadjys, often intreat the passengers in
the streets of Mekka for a draught of sweet water; they particularly
surround the water-stands, which are seen in every corner, and where,
for two paras in the time of the Hadj, and for one para, at other times,
as much water may be obtained as will fill a jar.

I shall now proceed to describe the different quarters of Mekka,
reserving an account of the great mosque to the last; and then add some
notices respecting the inhabitants and government.


AT the entrance from the side of Djidda, in turning round the angle of a
sandy and gravelly valley, the traveller sees two round watch-towers.
They were constructed by the Sherif Ghaleb for the defence of his
capital. Similar towers are seen at the other entrances of the town, and
they are sufficiently spacious to contain about twenty men. As the hills
approach very closely at the en-trance of the city, these towers command
the passage. Here, it appears, was formerly a gate, the threshold of
which only is now remaining, close to a small building, where the
officers of the Sherif collected the duties on merchandize, &c. carried
into the town. Here, also, is a row of shops, and low, ruined dwelling-
houses, known by the appellation of Hareh, or the quarter El Djerouel.
It comprises an encampment to the right, in which the Bedouins live who
carry on the transport trade between Mekka and Djidda; they belong to
the tribes of Harb, Metrefy, and Lahawy.

Beyond the Djerouel, the name of the street changes to that of Haret el
Bab. This is a broad street, with several good houses, and leads into
the quarter of El Shebeyka, which extends principally to the right, and
is so called because the followers of Mohammed, in their wars with the
Koreysh, were here attacked and closely pressed by their enemies. There
are many good houses in Shebeyka, which is one of the cleanest and
airiest quarters in the town. Many of the people of Djidda reside in it;
and here also the Sherif Ghaleb has a good house, where his family,
consisting of several young children

[p.110] and a grown-up daughter, continued to dwell after his
deposition. The main street is lined with coffee-shops, from which the
post sets out every evening, on asses, with the letters for Djidda. This
is the only post for letters that I have seen in the East, besides that
esta-blished among the Europeans at Cairo, between that city and
Alex-andria; but the delivery of letters is there much less regular than
it is at Mekka, where it is duly performed, and at the trifling expense
of two paras upon each letter, and as much more for the person who
distributes the letters received from Djidda.

In the coffee-shops just mentioned, live also the caravan-brokers,
through whose agency the Bedouins let out their camels for the journey
to Djidda and Medina.

On the western side of the Shebeyka, towards the mountain, is a large
burying-ground, in which are dispersed huts and tents of Bedouins, and
some miserable dwellings of the lowest class of public women: this is
called El Khandaryse. Although tradition says that great numbers of the
friends and adherents of Mohammed lie buried here, yet it has become
unfashionable to deposit the dead in it; and all of the first and second
classes of Mekkawys use the extensive cemeteries lying on the north of
the town. There are few shops in the Shebeyka; and it does not contain
many foreign inmates during the Hadj, being inhabited by persons in easy
circumstances, who consider it disgraceful to let out apartments.

In proceeding from the Shebeyka along the broad street, nor-therly, we
come to a bath, which, though by far the best of the three in Mekka, is
inferior to those of other Asiatic cities, from the scarcity of water;
it was built in A.H. 980, by Mohammed Pasha, the vizier of Sultan
Soleyman II., and is one of the best structures in the town. [Vide
Kotobeddyn.] It is frequented principally by foreigners, the native
Arabs being little accustomed to the use of the bath, and choosing to
perform the ablutions prescribed by their religion at their own

The bath, together with several by-streets leading to the mosque, forms
the quarter called Haret Bab el Omra, which is inhabited by

[p.111] a number of the guides called Metowef, and is full of pilgrims,
espe-cially of those from Turkey. The streets are narrow, and
excessively dirty; but the hadjys prefer the quarter, because it is the
cheapest in the vicinity of the mosque, near which they are anxious to
reside, that they may be sure of not missing the prayers; or, (as they
add) that, if disturbed in their sleep, they may have the temple close
at hand to dispel their bad dreams. Men are seen, in the middle of the
night, running to the mosque in their sleeping-clothes; here they
perform the walk round the Kaba, kiss the black stone, utter a short
prayer, drink of the water of Zemzem, and then return to their beds.
Near to the gate of the mosque called Bab Omra, from which this quarter
takes its name, is a spacious building, originally a public school, but
now occupied by Hassan Pasha, governor of Mekka. It is probably the
Medrese mentioned by El Fasy, as having been built near Bab el Omra, in
A.H. 814, by the orders of Mansour Ghyath Eddyn Atham Shah, the Lord of
Bengal. In A.H. 519, the governor of Aden also ordered a Medrese to be
built in this neighbourhood, which was called Dar-es'-Selsale. In this
quarter is one of the fountains of sweet water derived from the canal,
and there are several wells of brackish water.

Returning from hence to the Shebeyka, and then turning southerly along
different streets, composed of good buildings, but which are rapidly
falling to decay, we descend by a slight slope into the street called
Souk-es'-Sogheyr, or the little market, which terminates at the gate of
the great mosque, called Bab Ibrahim. The houses on both sides of this
street are low, and inhabited by the lower classes. There is a continued
range of shops, in which are sold all sorts of provisions, but
principally grain, butter, and dates. In some of the shops locusts are
sold by measure. The Souk is fre-quented chiefly by Bedouins of the
southern part of Arabia, who bring hither charcoal. Some poor Negro
pilgrims of Africa take up their abode also in the miserable huts and
ruined houses of this part of the town, and have here established a
market for firewood, which they collect in the surrounding mountains.

[p.112] The extremity of Souk-es'-Sogheyr, towards the mountain, is
called Haret el Hadjela, or Hadjela b'il Tekyet Sadek; where stand a few


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