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be wanting, the zealous Ali Bey and most of the multitude performed an appendix, which Ayesha is said to have instituted-it consisted in placing three stones one upon the other near a ruinous mosque; in throwing seven stones, with a curse, against the place where Abougebel the enemy of the Prophet resided, and for a third time performing the seven circumambulations of the House of God, and the seven journeys between the two hills.
According to a modern French fashion, which has neither beauty nor advantage of any kind to atone for its inconvenience, Ali Bey has given a section of the temple, three feet in length; a better idea is conveyed of its general appearance by the old prints in Pitts, in Sale's Koran, and in the highly interesting work of the Morisco Rabadan, the original of which is, on every account, well worthy of publication. Pitts has well likened it to the Royal Exchange. The fine appearance of the buildings in Mecca surprised the Spanish traveller, who compared them with the indifferent towns in Africa. He thinks they approach the Indian or Persian tasté, which introduced itself during the time of the siege by the Caliph of Bagdad. A siege is more likely to introduce new modes of destroying houses, than a new fashion of building them ;-and is there not a distinct character in the Arabian architecture? The beauty of the houses testifies the ancient splendour of this famous city, whose prosperity is now fast upon the wane. The
caravans formerly brought large gists from their respective countries to the holy city; the poorest pilgrim, though he begs his way, must pay some crowns in return for the spiritual benefits which he has received; and he who is supposed to be wealthy cannot expend less than 1500 or 2000 francs. The public contributions have almost ceased, and the number of pilgrims is annually diminishing, partly on account of the Wahabees, but partly, as Ali Bey implies, from the diminished zeal of the Mahommedans, that is to say, from the growth of infidelity among them. The Christian religion challenges inquiry, but the slightest inquiry proves fatal to the immoral system and impudent mythology of the Arabian impostor. Still Mecca is a most interesting point upon the globe, and the concourse of different nations is still to be contemplated with astonishment. There are assembled the Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judea and Cappadocia, in Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, Cretes and Arabians,'—proselytes also may be added, in honour of Ali Bey the Abbassi. Every sort of money.circulates at Mecca; all the productions of India and Persia are exposed there for sale ; and this immense concourse of pilgrims is abundantly supplied with food in one of the most sterile spots upon the whole habitable earth. The manner in which Mecca is provisioned under such disadvantages of government, soil, and climate, is, perhaps, the most striking instance that has ever existed of the manner in which the supply follows the demand.
It might have been supposed that as Mecca is the metropolis of the Mahommedan religion, whatever arts are found in Mahommedan countries would there be exercised in perfection ; but Ali Bey tells us that there is no Mussulman city where the arts are so little known. There is not a man to be found who can make a lock, or forge a key, or make a screw. The only shoes which they manufacture are of wood, or of untanned leather; all others are brought from Constantinople or Egypt. What is more extraordinary, the Korans written at Mecca are written so badly, and so erroneously, that Ali Bey says they cannot be of any use. In this city, which ought to be the well of Arabic undefiled, the language is corrupted by an admixture of foreign terms, and degraded by the present ignorance of the nation; the written as well as the spoken language is thus deteriorated; it is written without vowels, and with a great number of aspirations, which every one varies at his pleasure. The men of this holy city are the most ignorant of mortals; and the freedom of the women in comparison with Mussulman manners is such that the Spaniard almost calls it effrontery, and suspects that the wives might be one branch of the speculation of their poor husbands. There seems, however, to be little that is alluring in their appearance; their hollow cheeks painted of a greenish yellow give them an appearance of jaundice; they engrave indelible drawings upon their skin, and stain their teeth yellow, and their lips, feet, and hands, of a red tile colour; and they daub their face and hands all over with black, blue, and yellow. The men are described as walking skeletons, clothed with a parchment that covers their bones ; ' large sunken eyes, slender noses, cheeks hollow to the bones, legs and arms absolutely shriv. elled up; ribs, veins, and nerves in no better state ; and the whole of their frame so wasted, that they might be mistaken for true anatomical models. The traveller protests that there is no exaggeration in this, that it is painful to look at them, and that it appears wonderful how these skeletons or shadows should be able to stand. They are very melancholy, very irritable, and of all Mussulmen the most tyrannical to their slaves. Such being the character of the population, there is no reason to regret its rapid diminution, Mecca has contained more than 100,000 souls, it now does not
shelter more than from 16 to 18,000; some quarters of the suburbs are entirely abandoned and in ruins, nearly two-thirds of the remaining houses are empty, and the greater part of those which are occupied are falling to decay within, the fronts alone being kept in good order to attract the pilgrims.
Mecca is the heart of the Mahommedan system,-is there any hope that the system itself is tending to dissolution ?-A hope to this effect has been founded upon the progress of the Wahabees, but with little reason. The utmost that could have been expected from these rude and fanatical reformers was, that they might establish one of those dynasties so common in Mahommedan annals, whose decay is almost as rapid as their rise. M. Silvestre de Sacy supposed them to be merely a revival of the Kermathians, or Issmauilians, who, in the tenth century, plundered Mecca and carried off the Black Stone ;-there seems, however, no other cause for this supposition than that they have appeared upon the same scene, their tenets being widely different. Equally unfounded is the imputation that they deny Mahommed to be a prophet, and reject all revélation as impossible. On the contrary, they are fierce Mahommedans, true to the persecuting tenets which the impostor proclaimed as soon as he was strong enough to proclaim them, and zealous to restore to its primitive simplicity the religion of the Sword and the Book. So far from contributing to the overthrow of this abominable system, there was more reason to apprehend that they would stir up its embers, and quicken them into à devouring flame. But they have been confined to the Arabian peninsula; the season of their first enthusiasm is gone by; there is cause for supposing, from what Ali Bey observed, that they would divide upon the death of the then reigning Sultan; and whether they divide or remain united, a few unimportant customs and a few childish superstitions, more or less, will be all that will distinguish them from other Mussulmen. The Mahommedan religion has been established by the sword, and by the sword, most probably, will it be destroyed. The powers in Europe which border upon its empire, are continually acquiring strength, and are not wanting in ambition. Christianity will assume its supremacy in any province which may be re-annexed to Christendom; and Islam appealing, as it does, to its triumphs as a proof of its divinity, is not likely long to survive as a conquered religion. The belief which the Turks entertain that they are to be driven from Europe, will contribute to the fulfilment of the prophecy on which it depends ; and a revolution which should deliver Greece, would, in its consequences, restore Asia Minor and Egypt to the civilized world.
There was a time when Mahommedanism was propagated by its commercial missionaries in countries to which its sword had never reached. How far its barbarizing tendency might have been counteracted by the commercial spirit, there was no time to disLover; the Portuguese inflicted a deadly blow upon it at Ceuta
and subdued the eastern coast of Africa ; where petty kings, like the Alcinous of Homer, were the chief merchants of the city, or islet, to which their dominions were confined. To what a miserable state that coast, which was so flourishing when they discovered it, is reduced, we may, perhaps, soon take an opportunity of describing. But if much evil has resulted from their conquests, far greater has been the good; they arrested the progress of a religion which, wherever it prevails, has carried with it vice, misery, and degradation of every kind. From that time it has ceased to extend itself in any manner, and in any direction, unless indeed it be in the interior of Africa. Meantime its tough commixtures' seem to be melting; the Mussulmen have no longer that fierce attachment to their faith which made them covet death in its service; Ali Bey bears witness that there is a prevailing indifference among them, and in Persia we know that the priests themselves dread the rapid progress of the Souffee doctrines, and would fain secure the established religion by persecuting the mystical sect from whom they apprehend its overthrow. These circumstances cannot but be favourable to the introduction of a better faith. Hitherto Christianity has been presented to these nations only in its most corrupted form, and disguised beneath the most monstrous fables and the grossest absurdities. But whenever the Bible shall be introduced among them, the false book will no more be able to endure the comparison, than the snowy Florimel could stand beside her genuine and living prototype.
Having completed his pilgrimage, the traveller returned to Djedda, and then embarked for Jenboa. A singular circumstance in natural history was observed upon the voyage.
• The sea was very calm, when on a sudden an ebullition as it were of the water took place, in a circular space of twenty feet diameter, accompanied with much noise and froth, which lasted half a minute, when the sea became calm again. A few minutes afterwards, the same scene recommenced. Outside the great circle, I remarked during the motion of the water, a number of points which indicated partial battles. The bubbling up of the water extended to a great distance from the place of the fight.
• The ship passed the border of the circle at the moment of attack. Unhappily for me it was noon, and I was occupied in observing the sun's passage ; when balancing between the two objects, I gave the preference to astronomy, and thus lost the opportunity of remarking the warlike system of the finny tribe. I learned, however, from my com. panions, that they saw an immense number of fish about a foot long, fight together.
- Whilst this action lasted we saw an infinity of water-fowl entirely white, fly from all parts of the horizon in great flocks, to the spot where the fight was, hovering six or eight inches above the water, with
a view no doubt to seize the fish that might be killed, or the smaller ones that might happen to come within their reach.'--vol. ii. pp. 148, 9.
The Wahabees had forbidden the pilgrimage to Medina. Ali Bey, however, had no sooner landed at Jenboa than he determined to attempt, and persuaded several Turkish and Arabian pilgrims to accompany him in the perilous undertaking. They had reason to repent their rashness. Having advanced beyond Djideida, about two-thirds of the way, they were made prisoners by a small party of the Wahabees, who robbed them, and retiring for a while to divide the spoil, fortunately gave him leisure to secrete or destroy such things as might have increased his danger. The tobacco, which is no less an abomination in the nostrils of a Wahabee than it was to those of King James, was hid under some stones; he threw away the insects, plants, and fossils, which he had collected in Arabia, and swallowed a letter from Muley Abdsulem, which might have compromised him with these fanatics. After four and twenty hours of bodily fear the party were allowed to ransom themselves, and were then dismissed; Ali Bey's camel driver alone refused to pay, and set out to appeal to the Emirs; he did not return, and probably paid with his life for his temerity. The traveller consoles himself for this adventure, in which he lost the watch which served for his astronomical observations, by computing the position of Medina, from which he was about sixteen leagues distant. While he was in the hands of the reformers, the phenomenon occurred of furious peals of thunder from a serene sky in which there was not the slightest appearance of a cloud.
Returning to Jenboa from this luckless expedition, he there embarked for Suez. His voyages were never without some interesting occurrence. One morning as their fleet was sailing in line, the wind, which had been very rough, suddenly divided itself into several parallel currents. One vessel was then seen sailing before the wind, another in a perfect calm, and so alternately throughout the line, the distance between each vessel being not more than 200 toises. This continued nearly an hour. A circumstance so much of the same nature occurred afterwards when the traveller was on the way to Cairo, that it may best be related here. During more than an hour he felt the singular phenomenon of a continual current of wind from the west-alternately hot and cold. If it had blown in gusts, says he, “ I should not have been surprised at the circumstance; but it was an equable and continued current, with intervals of heat and cold, so rapid and violent, that frequently in the space of a minute l experienced twice or thrice alternations of piercing cold and burning heat. How is it, he asks, that the caloric was not reduced to an equilibrium with the mass of the ambient air? The voyage, as usual in that sea and with such sea