Travels in Nubia, by John Lewis Burckhardt

Memoir on the Life and Travels of John Lewis Burckhardt

JOHN LEWIS BURCKHARDT was of an eminent family of Basle, but born at Lausanne. He was the eighth child of John Rodolph Burckhardt, commonly called Burckhardt of Kirshgarten from the name of his mansion in the city of Basle.

Burckhardt of Kirshgarten began life with the best prospects, but they were soon blighted by the French revolution; from the very beginning of which he became involved in a series of dangers and difficulties, which at one time had nearly brought him to the scaffold. On the accusation of having been concerned in betraying the Tête-de-pont at Huningen to the Austrians, when they besieged that fortress in the year 1796-7, he was tried for his life by the French party at Basle; and although, in consequence of the undoubted proofs of his innocence brought forward upon his trial, he was released from prison, he found it impossible to remain in the power of the French, as he had certain information of his being upon the list of those who were to be destroyed either by open or secret means. He entered into a Swiss corps in English pay, but was under the necessity of leaving his wife and children at Basle, to save the family if possible from total ruin. Here his son Lewis Burckhardt was a daily witness of the misery suffered under the republican French, and here he imbibed, at a very early age, a detestation of their principles, and a resolution never to bend under their yoke. It was his wish to serve in the armies of some nation which should be at war with France; but he was first desirous of completing his education, which with the exception of two years in an establishment at Neuchatel, had been hitherto under the care of a person residing in his father’s house.

In the year 1800, being then 16 years of age, he was carried by his father, Colonel Burckhardt, to the university of Leipzig, from whence after a stay of near four years he was removed to Göttingen. In both places his exemplary conduct and high feelings of honour, his distinguished talents and ardent zeal for knowledge, ensured him universal esteem and respect; while a remarkable frankness, cheerfulness, kindness, and evenness of temper, made him particularly beloved by his more intimate acquaintance. After leaving Göttingen in 1805, he returned to his father, and remained also a short time with his mother at Basle. Uncertain what plan to pursue, unable to find upon the continent any nation which was not either subject to the French or in alliance with them, and having for these reasons rejected an offer made to him by one of the royal courts of Germany to enter the diplomatic line, he resolved at length upon proceeding to England, in the hope of meeting some opening to his wishes in the service of this country. He arrived in London in the month of July, 1806, bringing with him several excellent letters of introduction, among which was one to Sir Joseph Banks, from Professor Blumenbach of Göttingen. The President of the Royal Society had long been an active member of the Committee of the African Association, which at that time had more than begun to despair of any further intelligence from Mr. Horneman, and in the following year received an account of the death of another of their travellers, Mr. Henry Nicholls, at Old Calabar, in the bight of Benin, where he was preparing himself for an expedition into the interior country.

The result of the information obtained by the travellers of the Association on the Western side of Africa, compared with that transmitted by Mr. Horneman from the North, had now rendered it advisable to make a new attempt in the latter direction. These wishes of the Association soon became known to Burckhardt, through his acquaintance with some of the leading members. To a mind equally characterised by courage, a love of science and a spirit of enterprise, such an undertaking afforded peculiar attractions, and accordingly it was not long before Burckhardt made an offer of his services to Sir Joseph Banks and the Rev. Dr. Hamilton. The latter, who was at that time Treasurer and acting Secretary of the Association, perceiving him to be undismayed by the strong representations of danger, which it was peculiarly right to make to a person of his birth and education, and having found him admirably adapted to the undertaking by his natural and acquired talents, as well as by the vigour of his constitution, laid his offer before the Association at the next general meeting in May, 1808. The offer was willingly accepted, and Burckhardt received his instructions on the 25th of January, 1809, having diligently employed the interval in London and Cambridge in the study of the Arabic language, and of those branches of science which were most necessary in the situation wherein he was about to be placed. He allowed his beard to grow and assumed the Oriental dress: he attended lectures on chemistry, astronomy, mineralogy, medicine and surgery, and in the intervals of his studies he exercised himself by long journeys on foot, bareheaded, in the heat of the sun, sleeping upon the ground, and living upon vegetables and water.

As an intimate knowledge of Arabic was the most important of all acquirements, our traveller was instructed to proceed in the first instance to Syria, where at the same time that he studied the language in one of its purest schools, he might acquire a habitude of Oriental manners at a distance from those countries which were to be the scene of his researches, and consequently without much risque of being afterwards recognised. After a stay of two years in Syria, he was instructed to proceed to Cairo, from whence, accompanying the Fezzan caravan to Mourzouk by the same route traversed by Horneman, he was directed to make that town the point of his departure for the interior countries.

On the 2d of March, 1809, Burckhardt sailed from Cowes on board of a merchant ship, proceeding with convoy to the Mediterranean, and he arrived at Malta in the middle of April, from whence he addressed two letters to Sir Joseph Banks, of which the following are extracts:

You will be much interested in hearing that at this moment an attempt is making to explore the Interior of Africa; and that I have, unknowingly, entered upon my expedition as rival to a gentleman who is probably by this time in the scene of action. I was allowed the perusal of a letter from Dr. Seetzen to Mr. Barker, who is a merchant of Malta, and brother to the British Consul at Aleppo. Dr. Seetzen is a German physician, who was sent five or six years ago by the Duke of Saxe-Gotha into the Levant, to collect manuscripts and Eastern curiosities. He has resided for a considerable length of time at Constantinople, at Smyrna, at Aleppo, at Damascus, and for the last eighteen months at Cairo, from whence his letter to Mr. Barker is dated on the 9th of February last. After remarking that he had sent off from Cairo to Gotha a collection of fifteen hundred manuscripts and three thousand different objects of antiquity, he informs Mr. Barker that he is waiting for the next caravan to set out for Suez; that he means to go down the eastern coast of the Red Sea, and then entering Africa to the southward of the line, to explore its interior parts. Such are his expressions.

The late Bey of Tripoli is at present a fugitive at Malta: he is a much respected old man; his name Akhmed Karamaly: five or six years ago he was dispossessed of his throne by his brother, the present reigning Bey. I take Akhmed to be the Bey mentioned in Horneman’s letters. He has at length come to a compromise with his brother, who has ceded to him the province of Derna, and promises not to molest him there, provided he keeps quiet himself; and Akhmed is now going to take possession of his new territory. I had never heard before that Derna was a dependency of Tripoli; the country was generally, I think, supposed to be inhabited by free tribes of Arabs. It is much to be regretted that the whole extent of that coast, from Mesurata to Derna, and almost as far as Alexandria, should still remain unsurveyed; no accurate soundings have been taken along the shore, and its inland parts, even those nearest the sea, are totally unknown. I am assured that there are three safe anchoring places between Derna and Alexandria; the harbour of Bomba, formed by an island lying across the bay, is particularly spoken of as able to contain almost any number of ships and of any size. When the French fleet, under Admiral Gantheaume victualled Corfu last year, and escaped the vigilance of Lord Collingwood’s cruising squadrons, they were hid for some time, with their fore and top masts struck, behind the island of Bomba, and were passed unnoticed. The Malta pilots are perfectly well acquainted with all the inlets of the coast, but their intelligence is little to be depended upon, because the safety of many of their privateers depends upon an exclusive knowledge of that part of the Mediterranean. An English traveller might, under the protection of the governor of Malta, and of the new sovereign of Derna, who is said to be very much attached to this country, visit with great personal safety, the ancient site of Berenice, Cyrene, and the gardens of the Hesperides.

Some account of the recent eruption of Mount Ætna has probably already reached you; until you receive a detailed description of it, even such a superficial account as I have received from different quarters may perhaps prove acceptable to you. It was from the letter of an English gentleman who was on the spot, that I obtained the following account.

The time of the first eruption is not mentioned, but on the 27th of March, Messina was covered with ashes and cinders early in the morning. The children said it rained black snow. No earthquake seems to have been felt. A new crater, approaching in size to that of the Monti Rossi, had been formed; and in the neighbourhood of it, seven or eight small ones; they lie in the direction of Lingua-grossa, about three or four miles from that place, and at an equal distance from Castiglione. On the other side of the mountain, over Nicolosi and over Randazzo, two other craters have opened; the old crater at the summit was also smoking, so that the whole mountain seems to have been in combustion. The principal stream of lava took the slope towards Franca Villa and Castiglione; its breadth varied, according to the shape of the country, from twenty yards to one mile. On the steepest part where the lava was most liquid, it flowed between three and four miles an hour; at other places, and particularly where it approached the vineyards of Franca Villa, its rate was only about fifty yards during the same space of time. As it ran down a very woody country, the breaking down of the forest and its ingulphing in the fiery waves are described as a most sublime spectacle. On the 12th of April the eruption had nearly subsided, but the inhabitants, for whose relief the English had raised a subscription, were in dread of new eruptions.

I am proceeding from hence to Aleppo as an Indian Mohammedan merchant, the supposed bearer of dispatches from the East India Company to Mr. Barker, British Consul, and the Company’s well known Agent at Aleppo. As such I am recommended to the British Consul at Cyprus, a Greek; and as such I shall find means to excuse my present irregularity of speech and manners. I shall escape the exaction of the custom-house officers, be protected on the road, even by the country authorities, and shall soon be lost in the crowds of Aleppo.

During my stay here, I have succeeded in equipping myself thoroughly in the Oriental fashion. The dress I have taken is somewhat Syrian, yet sufficiently differing from the real Syrian costume, to shew that I have no wish of passing for a native. I have practised as much as was in my power the speaking of Arabic, and have reason to believe that none of my secrets have transpired. I have lived out of the way of intruders, and of being taken notice of, in the lodgings of Lieutenant Corner of the navy, Harbour-master, to whom, as well to Mr. Chapman, the Public Secretary, and Mr. Peter Lee, I am under infinite obligations for the help and advice which they have given me. Sir Alexander Ball has been very kind to me upon every occasion, and seemed much interested in the success of my travels. Circumstances would not allow me often to call at the palace, which his friendly and instructive conversation, whenever I did call, rendered a matter of great regret to me. * * * * * *

A singular misrepresentation prevails in Europe respecting this island, namely, that the greater part of the soil is imported from Sicily; and it has even been said, that by these importations the soil is completely renewed every ten years. I believe it would be difficult to produce a single instance of earth having been brought over from Sicily. To make the soft and friable limestone, of which the island consists, fit for agriculture, they break through it to the depth of twelve or fifteen feet. A sort of rough cistern from six to eight feet high, often running under the whole length of the field, is then constructed with part of the stones which have been taken out; large fissures are found in the rocks full of earth; this is taken out, and is sufficient to cover the cistern to the height of four or five feet; the rest of the stones are used for buildings, and to construct a wall round the field, which prevents the soil from being washed away by the torrents of rain in the rainy season, at the same time that it shelters the fig and olive trees planted within the wall from the violence of the wind. The whole island is covered with these enclosed fields, whose soil is very fertile. The mistaken notion alluded to, may arise perhaps from the following circumstances. Ships and boats coming here from Sicily often take in ballast at that island, consisting of sand, mixed perhaps with some earth, which, when they arrive here, they are obliged to carry to a particular part of the harbour, to prevent its being thrown overboard and choaking the anchorage. Or perhaps the frequent importation of terra puzzolana, which is in common use to make cement, and which when landed may have been mistaken for earth, may have given rise to the assertion.

The government of Malta is at this moment a curious mixture of English and Maltese authority. As yet the island does not belong to England. The islanders having, with the assistance of Sir Alexander Ball, who was then a captain, obliged the French garrison at Valetta to surrender, applied to the British government for assistance in the further defence of their island, against the attempts that might be made by the French, and the Knights; and they offered in return, to give up the government and the revenue.

In consequence of this proposal, Sir Alexander was sent to them soon afterwards, as his Majesty’s Civil Commissioner. After the peace of Amiens, when the island was to be restored to the Order, he was appointed Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of the Grand Master. The Court however never resumed its existence, though it is still nominally recognised; all the English resident here, excepting of course the military, are judged by Maltese laws and courts of justice, at the head of which is a Maltese president, but the decisions are submitted to the approbation of the civil governor, who in capital cases may reprieve the criminal. All civil situations, except three or four, appointed from home, are in the patronage of the governor, but are exclusively held by natives. It is by this policy, and by totally excluding military law, that the hearts of the people have been gained. It may well be worth while to do so, for the Maltese are an independent high spirited people, however they may have been represented by the Knights. In the time of their rising against the French, they formed a well disciplined corps of 15,000 men, the greater part of whom were expert sharp-shooters.

The port of Valetta has lately been declared a free port, and this will render it for a long time to come the centre of trade from Gibraltar as far as Odessa. The numerous Greek traders find themselves better protected here than in their own islands. Here are no greedy custom-house officers nor interested kadis to share their profits, but they find that justice is dealt to them with the same equity as to the first London merchants, and that even the England home trade does not enjoy greater privileges than their own. The island of the Archipelago which sends out the greatest number of ships is Ydra; they are well built, armed and manned.

Government monopolizes the corn trade of the island, and engages in return to sell the corn at a fixed price. A supply for two or three years consumption for the whole population is always kept in the fortress.

The former Pasha of Tripoli, whom I spoke of in my last letter, is gone to Derna, under convoy of a brig which Sir Alexander sent with him. His ship was moored for a whole day close under my window, which afforded me a fortunate opportunity of prying unobserved into the Moors’ private manners, and behaviour to each other; and even the short history of one day became very instructive to me.

You may well conceive that I avoided all intercourse with these persons from Barbary. I often met parties of them in the streets, but the “Salem aleik” given and returned, was all that passed between us. The trade between Malta and Barbary, especially that with Tripoli and Tunis, acquires daily more vigour and stability. Even the English merchants begin to enter into it; hitherto the Moors and the Maltese have chiefly had it in their hands. The Tunisians, besides bartering in the Mediterranean for themselves, are also shippers for others, and enterprising smugglers with the enemy’s ports. During my passage from Gibraltar, being above six miles to the westward of Cape Toro in Sardinia, five Tunisian vessels passed in the night close to our ship, standing right over for the coast of France. Our Commodore was not near enough to see them, nor was it thought advisable to make any signals.

It happens rather unfortunately, that a Swiss regiment in the English service is in garrison here, to many of the officers of which I am personally known: this has made me very cautious in going abroad, and now, after a seven weeks residence, I have the satisfaction to find that I have succeeded in passing unknown, and unnoticed. The great intercourse between the Moorish merchants and Malta, made it absolutely necessary for me to keep my travelling plans very secret.

The next intelligence which the Association received from their traveller was a detailed account of his progress from Malta to Aleppo, in a letter dated from the latter place on the 2d of October, 1809. The following copious extract contains all the most interesting parts of it.

I have already had the honour to inform you, that I had settled at Malta with a Greek, for my passage to Cyprus on board his ship. A few hours before my departure, the captain called upon me to tell me that the owner of the ship had changed his mind as to its destination, that he himself had been ordered to go to Tripoly, but that a friend of his, whom at the same time he introduced to me, was on the point of sailing in his stead for Cyprus, and that he had already put my baggage on board this other ship. Though displeased with so preremptory a proceeding, I had no objection to change my conveyance, both captains being known to Mr. Lee; but the very moment I was embarking, the new captain told me that he was not quite sure whether he should touch at Cyprus, his ship being properly bound for Acre. I had now the option to wait at Malta, perhaps another month or two, for an opportunity for Cyprus or the coast of Syria, or to run the chance of disembarking at a place where there was no person whatever to whom I could apply for advice or protection. Luckily an Arab of Acre, then at Malta, happened to be known to Mr. Barker, jun.; in half an hour’s time a letter for a merchant at Acre, with another, in case of need, for the Pasha, were procured, and I embarked and sailed the same morning, in the hope of finding, when arrived at Acre, a passage for Tripoly (Syria), or for Latikia. However, we were no sooner out of sight of the island, than it was made known to me that the real destination of the ship was the coast of Caramania, that the captain had orders to touch first at the port of Satalia, then at that of Tarsus; and that if grain could not be purchased at an advantageous price at either of these places, in that case only he was to proceed to Acre. My remonstrances with the captain would have been vain: nothing was left to me but to cultivate his good graces, and those of my fellow travellers, as the progress of my journey must depend greatly upon their good offices. The passengers consisted, to my astonishment, of a rich Tripolitan merchant, who owned part of the ship, two other Tripolines, and two Negroe slaves. I introduced myself amongst them as an Indian Mohammedan merchant, who had been from early years in England, and was now on his way home; and I had the good fortune to make my story credible enough to the passengers, as well as to the ship’s company. During the course of our voyage numerous questions were put to me relative to India, its inhabitants, and its language, which I answered as well as I could: whenever I was asked for a specimen of the Hindu language, I answered in the worst dialect of the Swiss German, almost unintelligible even to a German, and which, in its guttural sounds, may fairly rival the harshest utterance of Arabic. Every evening we assembled upon deck to enjoy the cooling sea breeze, and to smoke our pipes. While one of the sailors was amusing his companions with story-telling, I was called upon to relate to my companions the wonders of the farthest east; of the Grand Mogul, and the riches of his court: of the widows in Hindostan burning themselves: of the Chinese, their wall and great porcelane tower, &c. &c. The Tripolitan merchant, in his turn, regaled us with the wonders of Soudan, of one nation which is in continual warfare with their neighbours, of a nation of speaking sheep, of another of necromancers, who lately defeated a whole army which the King of Bornou had sent against them, &c. &c. Still there was something instructive in his tales, as I learnt with certainty that the yearly caravan intercourse between Fezzan and Tripoly is still uninterrupted; in February 1809, a caravan from thence had arrived at Tripoly; but the pilgrim caravans from Fezzan to Cairo and Mekka have suffered greatly by the irruptions of the Wahabi. In a short time I got upon a very friendly footing with the Tripolines. I had taken but a scanty provision of eatables on board, consisting of bread, rice, oil, dates, vegetables, and coffee. After the second day, the wealthy Moor would not allow me to mess by myself; he insisted upon my joining his mess, which was plentifully supplied with all sorts of Barbary dainties. In return for his hospitality, I was not backward with my manual labour whenever he wanted it. One day we cleared one of his coffee bags of its rotten beans, to prepare it for being shewn at Satalia to the buyers as a sample of the whole stock: another day we killed a sheep, and made Barbary sausages and Kuskusey; and among other things, we refitted the foremast, which had been carried away off Candia. Provided there was something to divert the passengers’ thoughts from my person and affairs, I was contented. We made Candia on the 15th; sailed on the 15th and 16th along the southern coast, about ten leagues distant from it: saw on the 17th Rhodes, at a great distance: entered the next day the bay of Satalia, and anchored on the 19th in the port of Satalia.

The bay is an inlet into the mountains of Caramania, which surround it on the east and west side. Towards the north, where a cliff about fifty feet high overhangs the bay, the country is level. The port of Satalia is at the foot of the cliff, in the bottom of the bay. The mountains on the western side, which we passed very near, are of considerable height. Their highest ridge was on the top covered with snow. I observed one of those mountains apparently higher than the rest, whose foot touched the sea, on the sides of which the snow was sparingly spread down to one third of the mountain’s height; and this was on the 18th of June. They are all barren; their shape and whole appearance is much the same as that of the African mountains in the Straits of Gibraltar. The town of Satalia is built partly upon the cliff, partly in the plain which the cliff terminates; its gardens extend to about three or four miles along the rocky shore. The town is separated from the port and the few buildings which surround the landing place, by a wall constructed on the top of the cliff; a narrow passage leads from the beach up to the town, the gate of which is regularly shut at sunset. The entrance of the harbour seems to have been defended formerly by two towers, the ruins of which are still extant. The inner harbour is small; a Turkish guard ship, four Arab vessels from Damiat, five or six small country sailing boats, and our own ship, crowded the whole space between the two ruined towers. There is good anchorage in the larger outer bay, but no shelter against the southerly winds. Two fine streams of spring water descend the cliff on both sides of the landing place. As soon as we approached the harbour a Turkish police boat came alongside of us, and the Tripoline immediately went with the officer on shore. After we had come to anchor we were informed that the plague was in the town, and that the watch ship moored near us had two sick on board; and though nobody had died in the town within the last fortnight, yet all the principal Christian and Turkish merchants had left their town houses, and were still living in their gardens. Of course our captain would not allow any body to go on shore, and pressed the Tripoline to return on board; but the latter having already recovered once from the plague, thought himself quite secure from any second attack, and treated the captain’s remonstrances very lightly. He remained four days on shore, trading all the while for his own account, without finding grain to purchase for the ship’s cargo. During that time I went once on shore to see two bullocks killed and weighed, which had been bought for the ship’s company; we purchased besides some other fresh provisions, the whole at very low prices: the two bullocks at fifty-five piastres, fowls at eight parts, or about two-pence halfpenny each; seven eggs for one penny, &c. &c. The Turks laughed much at the captain’s continually warning them off from our persons, (yet it seems that both at Satalia and here at Aleppo, the more prudent amongst them adopt measures of precaution against the plague. I am told that at Smyrna also they have followed the Franks’ example). On the evening of the 23d, having sold for his private account all the merchandize he had on board, the Tripoline, accompanied by several Turks, made his re-appearance along side our ship, and demanded forthwith to be taken on board. A very ridiculous scene then took place. The captain required that he should undress and wash himself in the sea, and that his clothes should undergo a similar operation; the Moor, on his side, insisted on washing only part of his clothes and his body; and all his Turkish friends were of the same opinion; (an aged Musselman thinks it a great shame to expose his body naked except in the bath). The contention lasted upwards of half an hour: it being now dark he was at last prevailed upon to jump into the sea, but nothing could pers[ua]de him to allow his clothes to be washed, for fear of having them spoiled; they were afterwards suspended at the rigging of the foremast, that the air might purify them, and he recovered them after a three days quarantine. Our captain thought he had now done his duty. He told me that upon his return to Malta he should think himself justified in taking the usual oath, that he had had no communication with any infected place; and instead of a three months quarantine, which the ship ought properly to undergo, he will only have to perform a quarantine of forty days, like all other ships which come from healthy parts of the Levant. We left Satalia the same evening. Satalia is governed by a Pasha: the greater half of the population consists of Greeks, who have got almost all the commerce into their hands. Till three or four years ago there was a French Consul resident in the town; in consequence of an avanie practised upon a merchant under his protection he left it, and no European power has since appointed a Consul at this place. The export trade consists chiefly in corn, oil, and cotton. The country boats trade to Cyprus and the coast of Syria. The Arabs of Damiat and Alexandria bring rice, Mocha coffee, and sugar; those who were then lying in the harbour purchased from us with great eagerness some coarse English pocket handkerchiefs.

After we had left Satalia, we sailed for three days along the coast of Caramania, and kept our course constantly ten leagues distant from the shore. The chain of snowy mountains seems to continue in a direction parallel with the shore. At the foot of these mountains I observed every evening thunder clouds and lightning; during our stay to the port of Satalia we were twice refreshed by heavy showers, though it was now the season when it very seldom rains in other parts of the Levant. I suppose that the vicinity of the snowy mountains, which rapidly condense the copious vapours arising from the heated earth, give rise to these clouds. On the 26th, late at night, we anchored in the roads of Mersin, a collection of villages so called, situated to the west of Tarsus, about fourteen miles distant from it. The next morning some of us went with the Tripoline on shore, where we found a party of about twenty Turkmans, encamped under and around a single tent; they were selling grain, with which the buyers loaded several camels. After a short parley the chief of the party led us to his village, about two miles distant. We remained there the whole day in the chief’s house, couched upon carpets, which were spread upon a terrace sheltered from the sun by the shade of two large mulberry trees. We returned to our ship in the evening; and spent the next four days in the same manner with these hospitable people.

An Aga is at the head of this Turkman tribe; he commands about twenty-five villages, over each of which he appoints a chief to collect the revenue, which is equally divided be[tween] the Chief and the Aga. Many of these chiefs are Greeks, who by their long residence with the Turkmans have completely adopted their manners. Their dress is the same, excepting the red cap, which the Greeks do not wear; and but for that mark it would be impossible for a stranger to distinguish them from their masters. The Turkmans are continually moving about on horseback from one village to another; they are tolerably well mounted and well armed, each with a gun, two pistols, a poignard, and a sabre. They never go but armed, but it seems to be chiefly from ostentation, for they live at peace with the inhabitants of the neighbouring villages, have nothing to fear from straggling Arab tribes, and have no opportunity of attacking travellers or caravans, which never pass this way. They occupy the whole plain, which extends in length from Cape Bajarre to beyond Tarsus; its breadth extends from the sea to the lowest ridge of the mountains of Caramania, and varies from four to five or ten miles. This plain, at least as much as I saw of it in my way to Tarsus, is for the greater part sown with barley and wheat; where it is left uncultivated, numerous herds of buffaloes and fine cattle feed upon the wild grass. Wild capers grow in great abundance. I found in several rivulets small tortoises, and amongst the ruins of deserted houses we got here and there sight of a zerboa. The Tripoline having made his purchase of grain from the Aga, the latter sent on board our ship three fat sheep in earnest of his engagements. In six days the ship was to begin loading. The Tripoline being at leisure during this time, I persuaded him to go with me to Tarsus, in search of a further conveyance for me by sea or land; one of the other Tripolines was likewise desirous of looking out for a passage for Beirout; the excursion was therefore soon agreed upon. We formed a small caravan, and set out on horseback on the morning of the 30th. The road from our anchoring place to Tarsus crosses the above mentioned plain in an easterly direction: we passed several small rivulets which empty themselves into the sea, and which, to judge from the size of their beds, swell in the rainy season to considerable torrents. We had rode about an hour, when I saw at half an hour’s distance to the north of our route, the ruins of a large castle, upon a hill of a regular shape in the plain; half an hour further towards Tarsus, at an equal distance from our road, upon a second tumulus, were ruins resembling the former; a third insulated hillock, close to which we passed midway of our route, was overgrown with grass, without any ruins or traces of them. I did not see in the whole plain any other elevations of ground but the three just mentioned. Not far from the first ruins, stands in the plain an insulated column. Large groups of trees shew from afar the site of Tarsus. We passed a small river before we entered the town, larger than those we had met on the road. The western outer gate of the town, through which we entered, is of ancient structure; it is a fine arch, the interior vault of which is in perfect preservation: on the outside are some remains of a sculptured frieze. I did not see any inscriptions. To the right and left of this gateway are seen the ancient ruined walls of the city, which extended in this direction farther than the town at present does. From the outer gateway, it is about four hundred paces to the modern entrance of the city; the intermediate ground is filled up by a burying ground on one side of the road, and several gardens with some miserable huts on the other. We led our horses to the Khan of the muleteers, and went ourselves to the Khan of the merchants, where we found tolerable accommodation, the brother of the Tripoline being known here. Our room was soon filled with all the foreign merchants who lived in the Khan, and the principal town merchants; we sold to them a few silk handkerchiefs and coarse cambrick, and were plagued with their company for the whole remaining part of the day. The foreign merchants were a party of Kahines, several Aleppines, and some Constantinopolitans. In the evening the alley at the gate of the Khan was transformed into a dark coffee room, where every body went to smoke a pipe. As we were strangers, we were greeted at our entrance with the usual politeness of Orientals towards travellers; “Peace be with you, you are welcome among us, how are you? God send you a happy evening, &c. &c.” were compliments which every one whom we approached addressed to us. We were treated by several merchants with pipes, coffee, ice-water, and Bour, which latter drink is water mixed with the juice of liquorice. The ice is brought from the mountains three days journey distant, at the price of three piastres for about five pounds. A tolerable singer sung some Turkish airs, and accompanied himself upon a sort of mandoline. Many questions were addressed to me about my person and affairs: my neighbour the Tripoline took the trouble of answering them to the satisfaction of the company. “Allah Kerim,” “God is great,” was their usual exclamation at hearing that I came from so far. We retired rather late: for my part I had been much entertained with the party. We went to sleep before the door of our room, upon a covered terrace built of wood, which runs along the interior circuit of the Khan. Before sun rise every body was up; some of the merchants descended into the court yard to perform at the fountain the ablutions which are prescribed to the Musselman after his night’s rest. But in this part of their religious rites, as well as in the performance of their daily prayers, I observed much indifference amongst the plurality of the Turks I saw here, as well as of those with whom I travelled afterwards from Suedieh to Aleppo. Amongst the latter were many who, during eight days, did not pray once: even two Hadjis, who had performed the Mekka pilgrimage, were of that number. Some would pray once, others twice a day, before sun rise, and after sun set; only three or four of the caravan were strict in regularly chaunting the three daily prayers, to which number the Koran limits the duty of travellers; but I did not find that more respect or deference was paid to them than to the others.

We remained in the Khan that morning, and quitted the town at noon to return to our ship, leaving the Tripoline behind to settle our affairs. The little I saw of Tarsus did not allow me to estimate its extent; the streets through which I passed were all built of wood, and badly; some well furnished bazars, and a large and handsome mosque in the vicinity of the Khan, make up the whole register of curiosities which I am able to relate of Tarsus. Upon several maps Tarsus is marked as a sea town: this is incorrect; the sea is above three miles distant from it. On our return home we started in a S.W. direction, and passed, after two hours and a half’s march, Casal, a large village, half a mile distant from the sea shore, called the Port of Tarsus, because vessels freighted for Tarsus usually come to anchor in its neighbourhood. From thence turning towards the west, we arrived at our ship at the end of two hours. The merchants of Tarsus trade principally with the Syrian coast and Cyprus: Imperial ships arrive there from time to time to load grain. The land trade is of very little consequence, as the caravans from Smyrna arrive very seldom. There is no land communication at all between Tarsus and Aleppo, which is at ten journeys (caravan travelling) distant from it. The road has been rendered unsafe, especially in later times, by the depredations of Kutshuk Ali, a savage rebel, who has established himself in the mountains to the north of Alexandretta. Tarsus is governed by an Aga, who I have reason to believe is almost independent. The French have an agent there, who is a rich Greek merchant.

On the following day the Tripoline rejoined us; he had taken, to my great satisfaction, a passage for me on board a Greek sailing boat from Tripoli of Syria. That vessel was at anchor at Casal, and according to its master’s affirmation was bound for Latikia, which was exactly the place where I wished to land. I left our ship on the second of July; in taking leave of the Tripoline I took off my sash, a sort of red cambric shawl, of Glasgow manufacture, which he had always much admired, thinking it to be Indian stuff, and presented it to him as a keepsake or reward for his good services. He immediately unloosened his turban, and twisted the shawl in its stead round his head: making me many professions of friendship, and assuring me of his hospitality, if ever the chance of mercantile pursuits should again engage me to visit the Mediterranean, and perhaps Tripoli in Barbary. The time I hope may come, when I shall be enabled to put his assurances to the test. (I think I forgot to mention, that the Tripoline was much skilled in languages, which enabled me freely to converse with him; besides his native Arabic tongue, he spoke Turkish, Greek, and Italian.) The vessel on board of which I now embarked, was an open boat with three masts, about thirty-five feet long, and nine broad, much resembling the representation of the Germs of the Nile, which Bruce and other travellers have given. These vessels are very common on the Syrian coast; where they are called Jackdur. I had engaged to pay for my passage twenty-five piastres, at my arrival in Latikia, but was no sooner with my baggage on board, than the master informed me that he meant to proceed to Antakia (Antiochia) not to Latikia, and that I was at liberty to return to my own ship, if I did not choose to go his way. I thus found myself duped a second time, though I had most distinctly agreed for my passage to Latikia. However, there being no other conveyance to the coast of Syria at hand, I resolved to remain on board. I was afraid of being kept in these parts, until after the return of my old ship for Malta; when I should have nobody to recommend me to those, in whose company I might continue my way; I knew moreover, that there was a brisk intercourse between Antakia and Aleppo. There had not been for some time, any opportunity from Tarsus to the opposite coast. A crowd of passengers came therefore on board. I counted fifty-six men and women lying upon deck, besides six sailors, and six horses in the ship’s hold. We had each just as much space allowed, as the body covered, and remained in this state two nights and one day. In general the passage is performed within the twenty-four hours.

On the morning of the 5th, we entered the bay of Suedieh, which is formed on one side by the promontory called Ras Khanzir, on the other by another projecting rocky mountain; both are the extremities of chains of barren rocks, which I conceive to be the remotest branches of the Libanus. These mountains come down to the water’s edge on both sides of the bay; in the bottom of it, where the Orontes now called Aasi empties itself into the sea, begins a level country of four or five miles in width and length. It is to the whole of this tract of level land, which contains several villages, that the name of Suedieh is applied, though that appellation is also given sometimes exclusively to the port.

The wind being favourable we entered the river, and anchored, after half an hour’s sailing through its sinuosities, at Mina, the port of Antakia, where the ship was laid close to the shore, where the elevated banks of the river form a kind of quay. Mina is a miserable village built close to the river’s right bank, consisting of about seven or eight houses, the best of which serves as a place of residence to the Aga, whom the Aga of Antakia appoints to receive the duties upon exports and imports. Higher up than Mina the Aasi is not navigated; the navigation is rendered impracticable by rocks, though there is plenty of water. Here, at the last stage of its course, it is a fine slow-flowing river, much about the size of the Thames beyond Richmond bridge; its waters are muddy, and this being the case in the month of June, three or four months after the rainy season, I suppose they can hardly be clear during any other part of the year.

Arrived at Suedieh, I found myself very uncomfortably situated. I had lost my friend the Tripoline, and though he had warmly recommended me to the master of the Jackdur, yet I found the crew of the vessel to be thievous and treacherous; they spread the rumour amongst the people of Suedieh that I was a Frank, and as the ship was immediately to return to Tarsus, I expected to find myself completely at the mercy of the inhabitants; amongst whom, as well as amongst the crew, there was nobody who understood the Italian, or, as they called it, the Latin tongue. I remained on board the ship that day and the following; and was bargaining for a horse and mules to take me to Antakia, when, to my great satisfaction, a caravan from Aleppo came down to the coast with Indian goods; I soon got acquainted with the muleteers, and made my bargain with one of them for the whole journey, from Suedieh to Aleppo. He first asked fifty piastres per Kantar قنطار (about five-hundred pounds English weight). I got him down to thirty, and was afterwards informed at Aleppo, that I should not have paid more than twenty-five. It is a great point gained by travellers in these countries, if they can make with their mule or camel drivers the usual bargain of the country. If the muleteer overcharges them, he makes a boast of it wherever he goes, the traveller is immediately known to be a person little conversant with the customs of the country, and he may be sure to be dealt with accordingly, in every respect, whereever the mule-driver accompanies him. I was helping the servants to distribute my baggage into mules loads, and to tie it round with cords, when the Aga sent for me. I found him smoking his pipe in a miserable room, surrounded by his people; entering the room I pulled off my slippers, and sat down on the floor before him. I shall here remark that it is a custom most strictly adhered to, never to sit down upon a carpet, or even a mat, and in presence of a man of rank, not even upon the bare floor, without pulling off the slippers, and if a person has but one pair on his feet, which is the Moggrebyn and the Greek fashion, he must sit down bare footed.

After I had drank a dish of coffee, I asked the Aga what his pleasure was; he answered me, by making a sign with his thumb and forefinger, like a person counting money. I had several chests for the British Consul at Aleppo with me, and had also marked my own baggage with the Consul’s name, thinking by these means to prevent its being examined. He asked me what the chests contained, I expressed my ignorance about it, telling him only, that I thought there was a sort of Frank drink (beer), and some eatables, which I had been charged with at Malta, for the Consul, on my way home. He sent one of his people to look over their contents; a bottle of beer had been broken in loading, the man tasted it by putting his finger into the liquor, and found it abominably bitter: such was his report to the Aga. As a sample of the eatables, he produced a potatoe which he had taken out of one of the barrels, and that noble root excited a general laughter in the room, “It is well worth while,” they said, “to send such stuff to such a distance.” The Aga tasted of the raw potatoe, and spitting it out again, swore at the Frank’s stomach which could bear such food. The other trunks were now left unexamined; and I was asked fifteen piastres for the permission to depart with them. I gave him ten piastres, and received from him a sort of receipt for that money, because I told him that without it, the Consul would never believe that I had really paid down the money as duty upon his effects. The Aga was very high in his expressions, talking of his grandeur, how little he cared about the Sultan, and still less for any Consul, &c. He laughed a great deal at my Arabic, which certainly was hardly intelligible; but he did not much trouble himself with questions about my affairs, his mind seeming now solely taken up by the hope of extorting money from the Aleppine merchants, and so I left him, and soon afterwards, about an hour before sunset, departed from Suedieh, with part of the caravan, the rest intending to pass the night there. The road from Suedieh to Antakia crosses the plain for about one hour’s distance. On the right runs in a deep bed a branch of the Aasi, and forms in this place several islands; on your left extends the well cultivated plain of Suedieh.

As we approached the mountains which inclose the plain on the western side, we passed several extensive and regularly planted orchards, belonging to the Aga of Antakia; the road now lay through lanes thickly overhung on both sides with shrubs, and I was entering a country famous for the beauties of its landscape scenery, when the sun shed its last rays. We continued our way in the dark for about one hour and a half longer, and halted near a rivulet, at the entrance of the hills, where men and horses were fed: we remained there till about two hours after midnight.

From thence the road leads over a mountainous and rocky ground, abounding with trees and springs. At the break of day we passed a village and a considerable rivulet flowing towards our right; one hour’s march further another rivulet; the country then opens, and the traveller finds himself upon the ridge of a high plain, encompassed by the two beforementioned chains of mountains, from which he descends into the valley which the Aasi waters, and where he finds Antakia very picturesquely situated, near the foot of the southern chain of mountains, surrounded with gardens and well sown fields. It was yet early in the morning when we passed the river and entered the town; a strong built bridge leads over the river immediately into the town gate. I was stopped at the gate, and asked for one of the two pistols, which I wore in my girdle; I had told the people of the caravan that they belonged to the English Consul. My muleteer assured me that the pistol would be restored, I therefore gave it up voluntarily, well convinced it would have been forced from me against my will. The Aga’s man brought it back in the evening. I was asked two piastres for the returning of it; they had taken the flint, and the powder from the pan. Arrived at Antakia, the muleteer led his mules to the Khan of the muleteers; I might have gone to the Khan of the merchants, but having no body to accompany me and introduce me there, I preferred staying with the muleteers, whose way of living I also wished to see. The Khan is a large court yard built in a triangular shape: the basis of the triangle is distributed on both sides of the entrance door into small dark cells, which serve as magazines for the goods, and as places to cook in. On another side are the stables; and the whole length of the third side is taken up by a terrace built of stone, about four feet elevated from the ground, and eight feet broad, where the muleteers eat, sleep, and pray, that side of the Khan being built in the direction of Mecca. In the midst of the yard is a large water bason, which affords drink to men and beasts indiscriminately.

My entrance into the Khan excited considerable curiosity, and the little cell I took possession of was soon beset by troublesome enquirers, who unanimously declared that I was a Frank come to the country for evil purposes. I had nobody to take my part except my muleteer, whose remonstrances in my behalf were soon lost in the general cry of Djaour (infidel) raised by the other inhabitants of the Khan and by the town’s people, who came to visit their friends.

Whenever I could get any of them to listen to me for half an hour, I found means to appease them, but the town’s people did not even condescend to speak to me, and I evidently saw that their plan was to make religion a pretext, for practising an avanie upon me. My property fortunately was mixed with that of the Consul; a spare shirt and a carpet constituted my whole baggage; besides a pocket purse, containing the money necessary for my daily expenses, I had about twenty sequins hidden upon me. The Aga of Antakia sent his Dragoman to get something out of me. This was a wretched Frank, who pretended to be a Frenchman, but whom I should rather suppose to be a Piemontese. I pretended complete ignorance of the French language, he therefore asked me in Italian minutely about my affairs, and how I could attempt to travel home without any money or goods, to defray the expenses of the journey. I answered that I hoped the Consul, in remuneration of my having carefully watched his effects, would pay the expense of a camel from Aleppo to Bagdad, and that at the latter place I was sure of finding friends to facilitate my farther journey. When the man saw that nothing in my manners betrayed my Frank origin, he made a last trial, and pulling my beard a little with his hand, asked me familiarly “Why I had let such a thing grow?” I answered him with a blow upon his face, to convince the by-standing Turks, how deeply I resented the received insult; and the laugh now turned against the poor Dragoman, who did not trouble me any farther. I am at a loss to state how far I succeeded in sustaining my assumed character; I thought that the major part of the caravan people were gained over to my side, but the town’s people were constant in their imprecations against me. I had been flattered with an immediate departure for Aleppo, but the caravan was detained four days in the Khan. During the whole time of our stay, I spent the day time in the cell of the goods, amusing myself with cooking our victuals; the town’s people, though often assembled before the door of the room, never entered it; in the evening the gates of the Khan were shut, and I then went to sleep with the muleteers upon the terrace.

I was relieved from this unpleasant situation on the 10th, when it was decided that the caravan should depart. The muleteers began preparing for their departure by dividing the whole court into squares of different sizes, by means of ropes, at the end of which iron wedges are fastened, which are driven into the earth up to their heads; each muleteer takes one of these squares proportionate in size to the number of his beasts; and loads them in it. Though the ropes are little more than one inch above ground, the animals never move out of the square assigned to them, and thus great order prevailed in the Khan, though it was dark when we loaded, and the whole court crowded with beasts and bales. At halting places when the beasts are fed, the same ropes are extended in front of them, to prevent their getting amongst the baggage.

I cannot say much of Antakia, having seen nothing of it but the streets through which I entered. It looks like a neat town, at least in comparison to Tarsus: living is only half as dear as it is in Aleppo. This circumstance, joined to the beauty of the surrounding country, and the proximity of the sea would make it a desirable place for Franks to live in, were it not for the fanaticism of its inhabitants, who pride themselves upon being descendants from the Osmanlis the conquerors of Syria. Last year at a tumult raised at Suedieh, these Osmanlis murdered the Greek Aga of Suedieh with his whole family, and a young French physician, who had come to his house to cure his son. The Aga of Antakia is appointed by the Grand Signior, and is independent of any Pasha.

We marched the whole night of the 10th over a plain country, and reached early the next morning Hamsin, a village situated at nine hours march from Antakia, on the right bank of the Orontes. We passed the river in a ferry boat: its banks on both sides are about forty feet high at this place; its breadth is near fifty yards, the depth no where more than five feet. On a little eminence a few hundred paces from the ground on the river’s side where we encamped, rises a spring of excellent water; my companions however, drank of the muddy water of the Orontes, in preference to taking the trouble of filling their flasks at the spring. One of the merchants had a tent with him, under the shade of which we passed the whole day. In the evening the village youths kindled a large fire, and amused themselves with music and dancing. The next day we passed a chain of calcareous mountains planted here and there with olives; on the top of one of these mountains lives a custom-house officer, who exacted a toll from each individual, as it was said, in the name of the Grand Signior. The descent on the eastern side is steep, but the mules walked with the greatest firmness. In the valley into which we descended lies the town of Ermenaz (ارمناز,) watered by several streams. Though small, it is one of the best towns in this part of Syria; its gardens are cultivated with great care, and its inhabitants are industrious, because they are out of the immediate reach of rapacious Pashas and Janisaries. They work a glass manufacture which supplies Aleppo. The olives of the country round Aleppo are, next to those of Tripoly, the best in Syria: its grapes are likewise much esteemed. As we rode by, I saw lying on the right hand side of the road near the town, a broken ancient column of about four feet in diameter, and I was told afterwards in Aleppo, that many like remains of antiquity are to be met with in the neighbourhood of Ermenaz. At half an hour’s distance from this latter place we again began to mount, and the path became difficult and tiresome for the beasts, from the number of detached rocks with which it is overspread. After nearly eight hours march (meaning the whole day’s work), we descended into the eastern plain of Syria, and encamped at the foot of the mountains, round a large tree in the vicinity of a copious spring. Whenever the beasts were unloaden, it was with much difficulty that I could prevent my luggage from being thrown upon the ground The caravan people in this country, and I should suppose every where else in the East, are accustomed to loads of bales of goods, which do not receive any injury from letting them fall to the ground. The loads on each side of the beast are tied together over its back, by a cord. Arrived at the halting place, the first thing the muleteer does, is to go from mule to mule to unloosen that cord; the loads then fall to the ground. This mode of unloading, and the great carelessness of these people, render the transport of many European commodities utterly impracticable, without their being accompanied by a servant sent along with them, for the express purpose of taking off the loads. A Frank merchant of Aleppo received some years ago a load of Venetian looking-glasses which were all dashed to pieces. Provided the chests which contain the merchandize be entire, the muleteer thinks himself free from responsibility. We were joined in the evening by some other travellers, whose curiosity led them to new inquiries about my person and affairs. None of my companions had till now found out any thing which could have directly inculpated myself; they however kept a strict watch over all my motions: being obliged at night to go aside, two of the travellers last arrived followed me unseen, and pretended afterwards to have observed some irregularities in the ablutions necessary to be performed on such occasions; in consequence of which, I was told that I was “Harām,” or in a forbidden unclean state, and notwithstanding every thing I said to defend and excuse myself, I found that from that time I had lost the good opinion of all my companions. We marched the next day six hours, and halted at Mart Mesrin, a village belonging to Ibrahim Pasha, who in the time of Djezar was Pasha of Aleppo, afterwards Pasha of Damascus, and who lives now in disgrace and poverty at this place, the whole appearance of which makes it probable, that in a few years hence it will be deserted by its inhabitants. The wide extended plain over which we marched this day consists almost throughout of a fertile soil, but without any trees, and in most places uncultivated, but where a number of ruined and deserted villages, indicate that many parts of it must have formerly been cultivated. Having been much plagued during this whole day by my fellow travellers, and in the evening also by the peasants, who had collected round the caravan, I swore that I would not eat any more with any of them. This declaration being somewhat in the Arab style, they were startled at it; and my muleteer especially much pressed me to rejoin their mess; I assured him that I would rather eat nothing and starve, than have any further friendly dealings with men who professed themselves my friends one day, and proved my enemies the next, (it should be observed that this was the last stage of our journey, I therefore did not run great risk in making good my words). The tract of country over which we passed on the following day was similar in appearance to that which we had seen on the preceding. The number of deserted and ruined villages increased the nearer we approached Aleppo; we had marched about eight hours when we discerned the castle of Aleppo, at the sight of which the armed horsemen of the caravan set off at a gallop, and repeatedly fired off their guns; the merchants put themselves ahead of the caravan and after one hour’s march farther, we entered the town. All merchandizes coming to Aleppo must be taken to the custom-house Khan خان ترك; they are weighed there to determine the amount of the sum due to the muleteer for freight, and a duty must be paid for them to the Grand Signior, which together with the taxation money of the Christians and Jews, is the only branch of revenue which the Janissaries, the present masters of the town, still allow the Porte to retain. The English consular house is in that very Khan.

I was now arrived at Aleppo in a shape which entirely left it to my option, either to continue in my disguise, or to avow my European origin. After a long conversation on that subject with Mr. Barker, I was convinced that it would better answer the purpose of my stay in Aleppo to choose the latter, and my reasons for it were the following: at the time I left England and Malta, I imagined that the intercourse between Cairo and Aleppo was frequent, and that it might easily happen, that Cairine merchants might see me here and recognise me afterwards at home, or that travelling Aleppines who knew me here, might afterwards see me again in Egypt. The departure of the Syrian pilgrim caravan to Mecca, not having taken place for the last three years, has almost annihilated the commercial intercourse overland between the two countries. At the meeting of the Syrian and African caravan near Mecca, Egyptian merchants used formerly to join the former, and return with them to Damascus and Aleppo, and vice versa; at present the little commerce carried on between Cairo and Aleppo, is entirely in the hands of a few Turkish and Greek houses at Tripoli, Latikia, and Alexandria, and the Egyptian merchants themselves never come to Aleppo. Had I continued in my disguise, and continued to live exclusively amongst the Turks, opportunities would have frequently happened to put the veracity of my story to the test. East Indians come from time to time to Aleppo with the Bagdad caravan, and many of the Bagdad and Bassorah merchants established at Aleppo have been in India. My person would have been infinitely more noticed than it now is, if taking a shop in the bazar, as I first intended, I should have exposed myself to the curiosity of the whole town; I should have entirely foregone the instruction to be derived from books and masters skilled in the language; and moreover I have no doubt that the French Consul residing here would have heard of my arrival, and have done every thing to put my pursuits in a dubious light. These are the reasons which convinced me, that for the present time it was more advisable to appear in a shape which would preclude the intrusion of curious inquirers; and afford more facility to my studies. I continue my name of Ibrahim, and pass in my Turkish dress unnoticed in the crowds of the street and the bazars. The Consul receives me at his house as a travelling country merchant of his; and as it frequently happens that people coming into the Levant change their names; nobody wonders at my being called with an oriental name. I had first my doubts whether my fellow caravan travellers might not be over inquisitive here; but such of them as I have since met, greeted me without further questions, and the government of the city is now such, that a man picking a quarrel with me about what I might have told him at Antakia, would only expose himself to be fined for a sum of money by the Janissaries, the masters of the town, for their trouble to settle the business with the Consul.

My plans for the present are to remain at Aleppo the whole of the winter and part of next summer. I have been fortunate enough to find a good and willing master of Arabic, and I hope to make progress in the study of the literal as well as vulgar language. As soon as I shall be able to express myself with some precision in the vulgar dialect, and perfectly to understand it, I shall visit the Bedouin Arabs in the Desert, and live with them some months. I can do this in perfect security; and I have no doubt that you will approve of it, as it will afford me the best opportunity of practising the manners and becoming acquainted with the character of a class of people who are the same, whether they over-run the deserts of Arabia or those of Africa.

You need not be afraid that the history of my own person, which has taken up so considerable a portion of the preceding pages, will any more be exhibited before you at such a length. I thought it might be of some interest to the Association, to see how far I was able to succeed in making good my way to Aleppo in the disguise in which I left London; unaided as I was by a knowledge of Eastern languages, or a familiarity with Eastern manners. This trial has so far been satisfactory to me, that, in the first place, I am persuaded that nothing of my pursuits has transpired at Malta, which will always be of material consequence to me; secondly, in being landed at a remote corner of Syria, I have avoided the general intercourse of a mercantile seaport, such as Acre, Beirout, Tripoly, or Latakia; and finally, it has created within me the confidence that whenever I may be able to call in support of a similar disguise, a fluent utterance of Arabic, and a habitude of Oriental manners, I shall easily find means to triumph over such obstacles as those I met with in the Khan at Antakia.

A few days after my arrival at Aleppo, I was attacked by a strong inflammatory fever which lasted a fortnight. The want of night’s rest occasioned by the quantity of vermin which had collected upon my person, principally during my stay in the Khan of Antakia, was, as I thought, the cause of it. I have enjoyed perfect health since that time, and the climate agrees with me better than I expected.

Mr. Burckhardt remained two years and a half in Syria, making daily additions to his practical knowledge of the Arabic language, and to his experience of the character of Orientals, and of Mohammedan society and manners. His principal residence was at Aleppo. Having assumed the name of Ibrahim Ibn Abdallah at Malta, he continued to bear it in Syria; but apprehensive of not having yet had sufficient experience, thoroughly to act the part of a Mussulman, and finding no necessity for such a disguise at Aleppo, he was not studious to conceal his European origin, and wore only such a Turkish dress, as is often assumed in Syria by English travellers, less for the sake of concealment than to avoid occasional insult. Thus he had the benefit of an unmolested intercourse with the Mussulman population of Aleppo, at the same time that he was not prevented from openly accepting the friendship and protection of Mr. Barker, the British Consul, nor under the necessity of denying himself the social resources afforded by the houses of the European residents; especially those of Mr. Barker, and of Mr. Masseyk, formerly Dutch Consul. Of his obligations to the former of these gentlemen, he omitted no opportunity of bearing testimony.

Besides two short tours which he made from Aleppo, he was absent from thence in the year 1810, for six months, during which time he visited Palmyra, remained three months at Damascus, and from thence made two journeys into the neighbouring districts; one through the Libanus and Anti-Libanus, and the other through the unexplored country of the Haouran, or Auranitis. After his final departure from Aleppo, in February 1812, he again made some stay at Damascus, and performed a second journey in the Haouran, including a part of the ancient Decapolis. Upon quitting Damascus for Egypt, he visited Tiberias and Nazareth, and from thence having crossed to the Eastern side of the Jordan, proceeded through the countries to the East and South of the Dead Sea, until he arrived at Wady Mousa, where he had the satisfaction of discovering the remains of a large ancient city, consisting of a great number of buildings and monuments excavated in the rocks, a singularity which, added to the testimony of ancient history, marks the place for the site of Petra, the capital of Arabia Petræa. From Wady Mousa he pursued a westerly course towards the capital of Egypt, across the valley of Araba, and the desert of El Tyh.

A sketch of his travels in Syria is communicated in letters which he addressed from time to time to Sir Joseph Banks, or to Mr. Hamilton, Secretary of the Association. The following are extracts of the most interesting parts of this correspondence.

With the present I transmit to you in duplicate a short sketch of the recent history of Aleppo, and some notices concerning the Turkmans Rihanli, which I collected during a visit to them in the beginning of March last. They are a tribe of Nomade Turkmans, who encamp in winter time at one day’s journey from Aleppo. I got myself introduced to one of their chiefs as a physician in search of medicinal herbs, and spent a fortnight amongst them.

I am now so far advanced in the knowledge of Arabic, that I understand almost every thing that is said in common conversation, and am able to make myself understood on most subjects, although sometimes with difficulty. I have made acquaintance with some Shikhs, and some of the first literati amongst the Turks of Aleppo, who from time to time visit me. I owe this favour principally to Mr. Wilkins’s Arabic and Persian Dictionary. The common manuscript dictionaries, or Kamus, being generally very defective, the learned Turks are often very glad to consult Wilkins, and never do it without exclaiming “How wonderful that a Frank should know more of our language than our first Ulemas.” Learning at Aleppo is in a very low state; no science, the Turkish law excepted, is properly cultivated; not even that of Arabic grammar, which is so necessary to the interpretation of the Koran. I am assured by the best authority, that there are now in this town only three men, (two Turks and a Christian) who know this language grammatically. The chief quality of a literary man is that of getting by heart a great number of verses made upon different occasions, and of knowing the proper opportunity of reciting them; to this must be added, a knowledge of the different learned significations of one and the same word, and of the words which express the same idea. For example, the word Adjuz, which in common language means a decrepid old man, has in the learned language about sixty other different significations; and there are in Arabian poetry about one hundred and fifty different words for wine. But to interpret passages of difficult grammatical construction, or rationally to amend errors, or even to compose prose or verse free from grammatical blunders, is a task much above the capacity of an Aleppine Ulema.

Two Persian Dervishes arrived here about two months ago, who had lived upwards of two years at the Wahabi court of Derayeh. I got acquainted with one of them, a young man of twenty-two; the other has gone to Mosul, from whence his companion shortly expects his return. The latter has been in the habit, singular enough for a Mohammedan traveller, of keeping a regular journal of his travels, describing whatever struck his inquisitive mind, and abounding, as I understand, with geographical notices. Another traveller of a singular description passed here two years ago. He called himself Aly Bey, and professed to be born of Tunisian parents in Spain, and to have received his education in that country. Spanish appears to be his native language, besides which he spoke French, a little Italian, and the Moggrebyn dialect of Arabic, but badly. He came to Aleppo by the way of Cairo, Yaffa, and Damascus, with the strongest letters of recommendation from the Spanish Government to all its agents, and an open credit upon them. He seemed to be a particular friend of the Prince of the Peace, for whom he was collecting antiques; and from the manner in which it was known that he was afterwards received by the Spanish ambassador at his arrival in Constantinople, he must have been a men of distinction. The description of his figure, and what he related of his travels, called to my recollection the Spaniard Badia and his miniature in your library. He was a man of middling size, long thin head, black eyes, large nose, long black beard, and feet that indicated the former wearing of tight shoes. He professed to have travelled in Barbary, to have crossed the Lybian Desert between Barbary and Egypt, and from Cairo to have gone to Mekka, and back. He travelled with Eastern magnificence, but here he was rather shy of shewing himself out of doors; he never walked out but on Fridays to the prayers of noon, in the great mosque. One of the beforementioned Dervishes told me that there had been a great deal of talking about this Aly Bey, at Damascus and Hama; they suspected him of being a Christian, but his great liberality and the pressing letters which he brought to all the people of consequence, stopped all further enquiry. He was busily employed in arranging and putting in order his journal during the two months of his stay at Aleppo.

My long stay in Syria having been determined upon, in consequence of the absolute necessity of my familiarising myself with the idiom of these countries, I shall deem it my duty to send you from time to time some vouchers of my application to Arabic literature. I have for some time past been engaged in an Arabic exercise, which has proved of great utility to me; it is the metamorphosis of the well known novel of Robinson Crusoe into an Arabian tale, adapted to Eastern taste and manners. A young Frank born at Aleppo, who speaks Arabic like a native, but who neither reads nor writes it, has been my assistant in the undertaking. I take the liberty of sending you here inclosed a copy of this travestied Robinson, or as I call the book in Arabic, Dur el Bahur, the Pearl of the Seas. Of the merits or defects of the translation I can claim at most forty per cent.; the handwriting excepted, which is my own.

I am on the eve of leaving Aleppo for an excursion into the Desert, and shall probably set out the day after to-morrow. My good luck conducted some days ago an Arab Shikh to town, who is the mightiest chief of all the Arabs between Aleppo, Damascus, and Bagdad. He came for the purpose of receiving in person the passage duties upon certain goods which are shortly to be sent by means of a great caravan to Bagdad. He belongs to the wide extended tribe of the Aenezy, who have all become Wahabi; his own very powerful tribe is called the Tedhan, and his name is Duehy Ibn Ryeiben. I easily got acquainted with him; we ate and drank together, and I succeeded in making an agreement with him, that he should take me by way of Tedmor or Palmyra home to his family and tents, which he says are not far from Damascus in the plain of Haouran; he himself came to Aleppo accompanied only by a few people upon dromedaries. He is to shew me his tents and horses, of which latter I told him the English Consul here might be perhaps induced to buy some upon my recommendation; and he is then to set me down at Damascus.

He is known to all the principal Bagdad merchants of this town, and my agreement with him has been made in writing, signed by the most respectable of these merchants, as witnesses; I am so far in perfect tranquillity as to the security of my person under his protection. He is indeed a famous robber, but the Shikhs of the Desert have never been known to withdraw their protection from those to whom they have promised it.

The Arab Shikh mentioned in my last kept true to his engagements only during the two first days of our journey. Instead of conducting me, on the third day, in person, to Hamah, he gave me one of his men as a guide. Returning the next day towards the watering place seven hours east of Hamah, where we had left the Shikh, we were attacked and stript by a party of Manali Arabs, who, unfortunately for me, happened to be engaged in a quarrel with the Aenezy tribe of the Shikh. A watch and compass were the only articles I regretted to have lost; as to cash, I had not a single farthing in my pocket. We returned to the town, to refit ourselves as well as possible, and then set out again the next night, to rejoin our chief. The latter had however in the interval left the watering-place; we were obliged to run after him in the Desert for thirty-six hours, and finding him at last at another watering-place he declared to me that he could not possibly conduct me himself any further, because his people had very much pressed his return, afraid as they were of the approaching Wahabi. In reply to my remonstrances, he offered me another guide to take me to Tedmor, and from thence to the Haouran. With this guide I reached Tedmor after a march of thirty hours, and contemplated the wonders of the Palm city for nearly two days. The Shikh of Tedmor, in consideration of my empty purse, contented himself with taking my saddle from me. Leaving Tedmor we reached by a forced march Kariatein in one day, and from thence Yerud, a village about twelve hours to the N.E. of Damascus. Duehy, the Arab chief, had passed there a few clays before, and knowing that my guide would likewise take that route, he had left at the village-Shikh’s house, an open letter to my address, in which he peremptorily told me not to proceed any farther in my journey towards the Haouran, but to go direct to Damascus, because he was determined to fly with his tribe away from the Wahabi. The fact was, that he did not wish to feed me under his tents for two months, according to our contract. Convinced that the whole was but a trick, I insisted upon proceeding in the original direction. My guide, however, refused to accompany me; he even left me in the evening; there were no other trusty people present to guide my steps through the Desert, I was therefore at last obliged to follow Duehy’s advice, and came to this place with a salt caravan from Tedmor, which I had found at Yerud. Two days after my arrival Duehy likewise made his appearance, and there being nobody present to take up my cause against him, I was obliged strictly to fulfil the stipulations of our contract, which he on his side had thus shamefully eluded.

Notwithstanding these disappointments, which often occur to travellers in these countries, my tour to Tedmor has given me much satisfaction. Besides the pleasure of seeing those interesting ruins, I have had some good opportunities of observing the Bedouins under their own tents; we alighted every day at different encampments, and were every where received with hospitality and kindness.

I should have put my project of visiting the Haouran in execution, even before now, had not the recent changes in the government of this city, and the state of suspense which it naturally occasions, in the districts depending upon it, rendered the roads insecure, and the inhabitants more than usually suspicious of strangers, until the new Pasha shall have had time firmly to establish himself in his newly acquired territory. A few days after my arrival at Damascus, Yussef Pasha, who had governed the town and its territory for the last four years, was turned out, and his place occupied by Soleiman Pasha of Akke (Acre.) This change being connected with the interruption of the pilgrim caravan to Mekka, and with the late Wahabi affairs, some details concerning it may perhaps be thought acceptable. As to the state of the Wahabi power in the southern parts of Arabia, I must confess that I am in perfect ignorance of it. Without being an eye witness, or meeting by chance with a credible eye witness, it is impossible to guide oneself through the labyrinth of false reports, which policy, fanaticism, and party spirit spread on their account. To mention but one instance: at my leaving Aleppo the general voice was, that the Wahabi were at the gates of Damascus.

It is now the sixth year since the Damascus pilgrim caravan, which included the Hadjis of the greatest part of the Turkish dominions, has not been able to reach Mekka. In 1805, Abdallah Pasha, then Pasha of Damascus, set out at the head of a caravan; having arrived in the neighbourhood of Medineh, the Wahabi governor of that city, by orders of Ibn el Saoud the great Wahabi chief, refused entrance to the caravan. The Hadjis were obliged to pass on the outside of the walls, and thus continued their way towards the Kaaba. They were yet three days journey from it, when they found themselves surrounded by the innumerable host of Saoud’s army. The two parties came to a parley, when Saoud declared to the Pasha, that he should thenceforward suffer no Turkish army to march through his territory, and that the army must therefore immediately return; but that those Hadjis who were determined to complete their pilgrimage might continue their way in safety, on condition that they should go unarmed, and promise to stay only three days at the holy city. None of the pilgrims were tempted to accept the offer of a free passage. Abdallah himself, frightened by the Wahabi numbers, made Saoud conceive hopes that he would be a convert to the new religion. Before he returned, it was stipulated that in case of any caravan taking its departure the following year, there should be neither Pasha nor army to convoy it; that all the Hadjis should be unarmed and without ammunition; that there should be no Mahmal (the camel which carries the new carpet for the decoration of the Kaaba); and that arrived at the same place where they then were, Saoud should have the right of selecting the individuals who were to proceed, while the others should wait there for the speedy return of their brethren. It is said that Abdallah Pasha was obliged by his officers to give his consent to these shameful articles. He insisted upon their attesting with their signatures that he had declared his determination to appeal to the sword, but that he was prevented from doing so, by their unanimous opinion that it was better not to shed blood. The Hadj returned to Damascus and Constantinople, and Abdallah sent the attestation of his officers to Constantinople, to excuse his retreat. Instead of recruiting and strengthening his forces, and protecting the next year the caravan with an army capable of forcing its way through the Wahabi tribes, Abdallah set out in 1806, with a corps not exceeding 8000 men, and a very small caravan of Hadjis. They were met, at three days journey from Mekka, by the Sherif of Mekka, who is a subject of the Wahabi. He told them that he had positive orders to refuse to any armed force the entrance into the holy city; but he again offered to let the unarmed Hadjis complete their pilgrimage. It is said that Abdallah had beforehand entered into some secret negotiations with the Sherif, and that the latter had declared his wish to join the Pasha, with the Mekka people, against the Wahabi; thinking, of course, that the Pasha would not hazard the Hadj, without being accompanied by a considerable force; but that when he saw the small number of the troops and the mutinous spirit which reigned amongst them, he remained true to his former engagements with Ibn Saoud.

Abdallah returned to Damascus a second time, without having been able to accomplish the pilgrimage, which he had formerly led fifteen times to Mekka and back to Damascus. He soon afterwards fell, into disgrace with the Grand Signor, when Yussef Aga, an upstart, who from the rank of a simple soldier, had raised himself to the first dignities in the town, was named Pasha of Damascus. His military temper and courage were known, and he had promised to conduct the Hadj. It may be necessary to explain here the policy of the Pasha of Damascus and of the Porte respecting the Hadj. The Miri, or land tax, of the Pashaliks of Damascus and Tripoli, which, according to the original assessment amounted to about 3500 purses, (it is now worth more than triple that sum,) has been abandoned to the Pasha of Damascus for the necessary expense of the Hadj; and to the Pasha of Tripoli for the expense of the Djerde, or caravan of provisions, which meets the Hadjis on their return. Besides these 3500 purses, the Pasha of Damascus contributes at least 1000 more, out of his own treasury, because the expenses, particularly the tribute paid to the Arab tribes on the pilgrim route, are yearly increasing. Abdallah Pasha, who had already given apparent proofs of his zeal for the Hadj, seeing the power of the Porte daily decreasing, and knowing the terror which the Wahabi name had inspired, thought that the time was come, when, without inculpating himself, he might at last put a stop to the Hadj, and add its expenses to the revenue of the Pashalik. For this reason, he neglected to recruit the forces, which were to accompany the pilgrims, as he might have done, if it had been his real intention to favour the Hadj, and he returned the second year to prove to the country that if he himself, who had so often led the Hadj to Mekka, was no longer able to do so, certainly any other person who should attempt it, would be equally unsuccessful. The Porte however prevented his design; before the conclusion of 1806, Yussef Pasha was named to the command of Damascus, and Abdallah Pasha, who was much disliked in the town, peacefully retired to Aleppo, where he lives now as a private grandee. Yussef Pasha governed the territory of Damascus and Tripoli for four years, without once conducting the caravan. What Abdallah had projected his successor executed; the Miri, instead of defraying the expenses of the Hadj, or being accounted for to the Porte, entered into the Pasha’s chests. In the present degenerate and tottering state of the empire, the Porte has forgot that the religious and fanatical spirit which is diffused over its subjects by the visitors of the Kaaba, is perhaps the last supporter of its political existence. She thinks no longer of the religious importance of the pilgrimage; her troubles and cares are all for money; as if money alone would uphold an empire.

Yussef Pasha was the best Pasha Damascus ever had; his firmness and justice kept the turbulent Damascenes in order; he never committed avanies upon the inhabitants and was respected and even liked by every honest man. He had one vice however which the Porte never forgives in its officers, that of avarice. Instead of transmitting the greater part of the Miri to the Porte, who had a claim to it all, as not being employed in the expense of the Hadj, the sums carried by his yearly envoys to Constantinople, every thing included, did not amount to more than fifteen hundred purses; he thought himself sure of the attachment of his troops and the country people; and slighted the Porte’s remonstrances.

It was under these circumstances that in May last the news spread over the country, that Ibn Saoud, the chief of the Wahabi, had left his head quarters at Derayeh at the head of an immense army, with hostile intentions against Syria. Their arrival spread general terror; the rich caravans which were expected from Bagdad at Aleppo and Damascus were immediately countermanded; and although there was no certain intelligence of the intended route of the Wahabi, it was supposed that their first attempt would be upon Damascus. Others, and perhaps better informed people, were of opinion, that Saoud came to punish the Aenezy, who, divided into more than one hundred and fifty different tribes, people the desert as far as ten journeys to the east of Aleppo, Hamah, Homs, and Damascus. The Aenezy had long ago been converted to the Wahabi faith, but had for the last three years neglected to pay the fifth or tribute, which Saoud exacts from all his followers. At the same time, there were still several tribes of Arabs, inhabiting the plains and mountains on both sides of the Hadj route, as far as the eighth stage from Damascus, who were not yet Wahabi, and their conversion might likewise enter into Saoud’s plan. The Pasha of Damascus was glad to see fresh obstacles arise to prevent the pilgrims from proceeding, and have a new excuse to the Porte, for not transmitting the Miri, which he might now be supposed to employ for his preparations against the approaching enemy. The month of June passed away, and nothing sure was yet known of the direction which Saoud had taken. In the beginning of July, intelligence reached the town from Mezerib, a castle on the third stage of the pilgrims route, that the Aga commanding in the place had been attacked by swarms of Wahabi. Yussef Pasha immediately left the town at the head of above 1,000 men. Arrived at Mezerib he found that his officer had already repulsed the attack, and that twelve of the enemy had been killed; their heads were forthwith dispatched to Constantinople, and this insignificant skirmish blazoned forth as an important victory. A person who was at that time with the Pasha at Mezerib has assured me, that the corps of Arabs which attacked the castle consisted of about 800 men, mounted upon camels and armed with lances. Saoud, it was said, had fixed his head-quarters, with the great body of his army, at about two days journey from Damascus, amongst the encampments of a Wahabi tribe called Shammar. The Pasha of Acre was now required to send troops in aid of Yussef Pasha; the Emir Beshir, or chief of the Druses, was addressed to the same effect, and Yussef Pasha remained from the 9th of July till the 26th at Mezerib without so much as seeing an enemy; but he had the mortification to hear that Saoud’s vanguard had plundered and entirely destroyed seventeen of the best villages of the Haouran, and massacred all the inhabitants. Soleiman Pasha of Acre had meanwhile encamped with about three thousand men at Tabaria, and the Emir Beshir had joined him there with as many more Druses. The town of Damascus was in perfect tranquillity, the fear of the Wahabis having already subsided, when on the 25th a civil officer came to town with a letter from Soleiman Pasha, addressed to the Kadi, Ulemas, and Grandees of Damascus, including the copy of a Firman from the Porte, by which Yussef Pasha was deposed, and Soleiman Pasha named Pasha of Damascus. Soleiman had obtained his Firman by transmitting considerable sums of money to Constantinople, by promising to conduct the Hadj, or in case it should be absolutely impossible, to remit the Miri, and at all events to send Yussefs accumulated treasures to the Grand Signor. Nothing was done in his favour at Damascus but to deposit, as usual, a copy of the Firman in the registers of the Mehkemeh, or court of justice. Yussef Pasha, by forced marches, arrived three days after with his army, and ordered several heads to be struck off. Soleiman Pasha with the Emir Beshir likewise advanced, and the town was in expectation of some great event. Luckily for its inhabitants Yussef Pasha’s avarice prevented a civil war; instead of liberally distributing his treasures amongst his troops, he only paid them a part of their arrears, upon which the emissaries of Soleiman fomented the dissatisfaction which began to break out, the principal officers were bought over, and in a little skirmish that happened on the 31st, the troops of Yussef loudly expressed their disinclination to fight their master’s rival. By the sacrifice of his treasures Yussef Pasha might perhaps have been able to sustain his cause. Being informed that Soleiman was in possession of a second Firman which demanded his head, he determined suddenly to fly. He was preparing to leave his Seraglio in the night of the 1st of August, accompanied by about eight-hundred chosen horsemen, with his treasure loaded upon seventy mules, when his Arnauts, who were to have been left behind, fell upon the loaded mules, part of which had already nearly gained the town-gates, forced open the money chests and pillaged the whole. The guard of eight hundred men, seeing there was now nothing more to be gained in the Pasha’s service, deserted him, and the broken hearted Pasha, who during four years had been the benefactor of Damascus, was lucky in securing his retreat, with six or seven of his suite, amongst a friendly tribe of Arabs in the neighbourhood of the city. Soleiman made his solemn entrance into Damascus on the 5th of August, and is now joint Pasha of three Pashaliks: Damascus, Acre, and Tripoli, that is to say, he is in possession of almost the whole of Syria, from Gaza to the vicinity of Aleppo and Antioch. Soleiman Pasha is by birth a Georgian Christian; he was brought up by Djezzar as a Turkish slave, and was much liked by his master, who elevated him to the first situations, in his Pashalik of Acre. After the death of Djezzar, Soleiman made himself master of Acre, by expelling Ismael Pasha, who had succeeded Djezzar, and the Porte soon after recognised him. He bears a good character, at least as good as any Pasha can sustain without being made a fool of. His principal favourite and counsellor is a rich Jew, named Haym, whose talents had already been acknowledged by Djezzar. After having cut off his nose and ears, and torn out one of his eyes, that monster kept him for ten years a prisoner in his Seraglio, obliging him during the whole time to conduct all his most important affairs. Under Soleiman Pasha, Haym has governed Acre, and it is worthy of remark, that at the very same time, the principal men of business of Soleiman’s rival Yussef, were the two brothers and the cousin of Haym, who are supposed to be the richest house in Damascus. Now that Soleiman is Pasha of both places, the whole fraternity is here, and the Jews of Syria may flatter themselves (as the Christians here say) that Israel reigns again in his ancient limits.

Nothing farther has transpired of the Wahabi; but it is easy to foresee that Soleiman Pasha will soon raise again the Wahabi war-cry.

Having had frequent occasions during my stay at Aleppo to observe the deplorable state of the whole country round it, it has been a very gratifying sight to me to witness the comparative ease and I might even say wealth of the inhabitants of the territory of Damascus. The neighbourhood of the city in particular is in a very prosperous state, owing partly to the richness of the ground, which is no where equalled in Syria, partly to the effect of Yussef Pasha’s government, who during his whole reign never extorted any extraordinary contributions from the peasant, and protected him against the oppressions of minor tyrants. It is the misfortune of the Turkish government, at least in its present decayed state, that popular virtues in the persons of its governors are quite incompatible with the Porte’s own views. The Porte demands supplies, and nothing but supplies; and the Pasha, to satisfy her, must press upon the industry of his subjects. He who is the well-wisher of his people, who contents himself with the ordinary revenue, and who lets justice preside in his councils, will undoubtedly incur his sovereigns displeasure, not because he is just, but because his justice prevents him from plundering and transmitting a portion of the acquired plunder to the Diwan. To save his existence he has nothing left but silently to resign his unhappy subjects to the rod of a succeeding despot, or to declare himself a rebel and to contend with his rival until the Porte, convinced of the difficulty of deposing him, patiently waits for a more favourable opportunity of effecting her purposes. These principles are applicable to all persons in office, from the Pasha down to the Shikh of the smallest village; and it is to them that the rapid decay of Turkey is chiefly to be ascribed. It requires but one year’s reign of a man like Djezzar to destroy the benefits of the four years government of a Yussef. The rapidity however, with which ease and wealth are seen to reflow into the reopened channels of industry, prove that Syria, on the downfall of the Turkish empire, would soon regain its former lustre.

My last letter, of the 4th of July, from Aleppo, was accompanied by an Arabic imitation of the well known novel of Robinson Crusoe, arranged so as to suit the Arabian taste. I was desirous of giving some proof of my application to the study of that language. I can conscientiously say, that I have done, and still do, every thing in my power to make myself master of it, but I must confess that I find its difficulties out of proportion to the time which has been allotted to me, to surmount them. I have no other motives in this confession than the sincerest zeal to succeed in my travels to the fullest expectations of the African Association. A two years residence in Syria was thought sufficient to enable me to speak with fluency. After one year’s stay, I think I may be allowed to be able to calculate what remains yet to be done, and I conclude that a twelve month more of study and practice is not sufficient for the remaining task. I therefore take the liberty to entreat the Committee to allow me six months more, over the already granted two years, before I proceed to Egypt. If the Committee is persuaded of the truth of what I advance, a delay of six months and the expense accompanying it, will not be thought an object, nor will it, I trust, be believed, that after the expiration of the prolonged term, I shall again demand a farther delay. The additional six months, however, is of the greatest importance to me, because I know from experience that when once tolerably conversant with a language, a short practice has a more rapid effect than triple the time employed in getting over the first difficulties. In case no distinct answer to this application should arrive before next July, I shall look upon my proposition as rejected, and strictly follow the tenour of my former instructions.

I had the honour of writing to you from Damascus on the 15th of August, 1810; soon after my arrival in that city from Palmyra. The unsettled state of the government of Damascus obliged me to prolong my stay there for upwards of six weeks. I again left it in the middle of September to visit Baalbec and the Libanus. My route lay through Zahle, a small but prosperous town on the western side of the valley Bekaa, the ancient Coelosyria, and from thence to Baalbec, where I remained three days; then to the top of the Libanus, the Cedars and Kannobin, from whence following the highest summits of the mountain, I returned to Zahle by the villages called Akoura and Afka. Descending the Bekaa I proceeded to the Druse territory of Hasbeya; this village is at the foot of Djebel el Shikh, or Mount Hermon, and is famous for its wells of bitumen judaicum and for the cinnabar found near it; from thence I went to Banias, the ancient Cæsarea Philippi, where I saw some ruins, and copied some inscriptions. At an hour’s distance from it is the source of the river El Dhan (Jordan), in the plain of the Houle, or lake Samachonitis. Three hours from it, upon the top of a mountain, are the ruins of the ancient city of Boustra, mentioned in the holy scriptures. I returned to Damascus over the chain of mountains called Djebel Heish, which under the different names of Djebel Adjoulan and Djebel Belkaa continues southerly along the eastern borders of the Dead Sea. I remained this time only a fortnight at Damascus; it was preparatory to an excursion into a region which till a few years ago had never been visited by European travellers; I mean the country called Haouran, the patrimony of Abraham, of which Dr. Seetzen, the German traveller, had seen a part four years ago, previous to his memorable tour round the Dead Sea. During a fatiguing journey of twenty-six days I explored this country as far as a five days journey to the south and south-east of Damascus; I went over the whole of the Djebel Haouran, or mountain of the Druses, who have in these parts a settlement of about twenty villages; I passed Boszra (بصرة), a place likewise mentioned in the books of Moses, and not to be confounded with Boustra, (بسترة) then entered the desert to the south-east of it, and returned afterwards to Damascus through the rocky district on the foot of the Djebel Haouran, called El Ledja. At every step I found vestiges of ancient cities, saw the remains of many temples, public edifices, and Greek churches, met at Shohbe with a well-preserved amphitheatre, at other places with numbers of still standing columns, and had opportunities of copying many Greek inscriptions which may serve to throw some light upon the history of this almost forgotten corner. The inscriptions are for the greater part of the Lower Empire, but some of the most elegant ruins have their inscriptions dated from the reigns of Trajan and M. Aurelius. The Haouran with its adjacent districts is the spring and summer rendezvous of most of the Arab tribes who inhabit in winter-time the great Syrian desert called by them El Hammad (الحماد). They approach the cultivated lands in search of grass, water, and corn, of which last they buy up in the Haouran their yearly provision.

In my last letter from Damascus, I gave you some details concerning the invasion of the Wababi in July last, observing at the same time that many people at Damascus were still in doubt whether it was really a Wahabi corps, which had penetrated so near to the principal seat of the Turkish power in Syria. My inquiries upon the spots where they passed, place it beyond any doubt that Ibn Saoud himself, the Wahabi chief, accompanied by the Sherif of Mekka, headed the expedition, which consisted of about six thousand men, mounted upon camels, together with about four hundred horsemen. The camels were all females, whose milk afforded drink to men and horses during their march from the Djof (an assemblage of Wahabi villages, twelve days journey from Boszra) to the Haouran, at a time of the year when no water is met with in the desert. Ibn Saoud executed his plans in the true Arab style. He remained only two days and a half in the cultivated districts of the Haouran, over-ran in that short time a space of at least one hundred and twenty miles, burnt and plundered near thirty villages, and returned flying, loaded with booty, into the heart of his dominions. The terror of his name was so great, that Yussef, the Pasha of Damascus, did not dare to attack him while he defiled with his loaded camels before the Pasha’s troops; but contented himself with aukwardly firing off his field artillery. Many of the Wahabi were armed with musquets. It is probable that Ibn Saoud will return next year; an expedition conducted as the former was, will always be successful, if no other means of defence are employed; the Haouran people entertain great apprehensions of his return; a few successful attacks will render the eastern borders of Syria deserted, and the great Desert, which already daily gains ground upon the inhabited districts, will soon swallow up the remaining parts of the eastern plain.

After a short excursion to the Djebel el Shikh to the west of Damascus, I returned from thence by Homs and Hamah to Aleppo, where I arrived on the new year’s day.

During this six months journey I have gained some experience in acting as well as in speaking. This indeed was the motive which principally induced me to it, and although disappointed on my first outset, yet I have no reason to be dissatisfied with the remaining part of the journey. I am now occupied in working up my journal, of which I shall send you the first part by the next opportunity for Malta. It will contain my observations among the Arabs, and the classification of about one hundred and fifty of their tribes. The journal of my Haouran tour shall follow as soon as possible.

I am at last under the disagreeable necessity of telling you that notwithstanding every economy in expense I have spent my last farthing. I performed my travels throughout in the garb of a pauper, (the Haouran tour for instance only cost me four pounds sterling), yet some expense in feeding myself and my horse, together with some occasional presents were unavoidable. I should less regret the want of remittances if it was not for the consideration that my stay in Syria might have afforded me opportunities of laying out whatever I might have spared of my appointments in manuscripts or objects of antiquity, an opportunity which if lost now, may be lost for ever. I have lived for nineteen months, since my leaving Malta, upon £170. the remainder of my credit upon Mr. Lee, and I shall now be obliged to accept Mr. Barker’s kind offers, gradually to advance me the sums necessary for my livelihood, until I may be enabled to reimburse him by the receipt of my salary from the Committee.

I am sincerely obliged to the Committee for having granted me a six months prolongation of my stay in Syria.

I have the honour to transmit to you a parcel of papers containing: 1. a classification of the principal Arab tribes near the confines of Syria. 2. A treatise on Bedouin customs and manners. 3. The journal of my tour into the Haouran. 4. The journal of my tour over part of the Syrian mountains. 5. Some geographical notices concerning the Desert. The geographical part of my journey to Palmyra is too insignificant to lie laid before you, as I was deprived by the Arab robbers of the aid of my watch and compass; my observations made among the Bedouins on my way to and from Palmyra, you will find dispersed in my treatise on their manners; and any researches at Palmyra itself, must be superfluous after the excellent and most correct work of Wood and Dawkins. My tour into the country of the Haouran might have been interesting on account of its novelty, were it not for the account which the indefatigable German traveller, Dr. Seetzen, must ere now have published of his travels in these parts. As I have had opportunities of copying, in the Haouran villages, many Greek inscriptions, it will be necessary to tell the reader of my journal that the author’s knowledge of Greek is very superficial. The excursion to Baalbec and over Mount Libanus towards the lake Houle, was undertaken rather to gratify my own curiosity, than in the hope of being able to gather new information in a country so often travelled over by Europeans. The investigation of Bedouin customs was a favourite object of mine, being convinced that their civil institutions are still very imperfectly known in Europe, although their social manners have often been described. In my treatise on Bedouin customs I thought it necessary, frequently, to subjoin the Arabic names, and sometimes, likewise the Bedouin phraseology; because both greatly differ from the Syrian language. If I had been in possession of some books descriptive of Arab manners before Mohammed, such as Pococke, Schultens, &c. I might have rendered my inquiries among the Arabs more useful, and might have drawn some interesting parallels. Not having met with any such works in Syria, I was contented faithfully to note down what I myself saw or what I heard related by competent witnesses.

Since the late change in the government of Damascus, Syria enjoys perfect tranquillity, the whole of the country, excepting only the territory of Aleppo, being now in the hands of Soleiman Pasha of Damascus. It is said, that he is determined to set out next winter with the Hadj, but I very much doubt whether he will be able to make good this promise to the Porte. The Wahabi chief has been for some time past embarrased by domestic dissensions. Three of his sons have become rebels; in December last they plundered a part of their father’s treasures at Derayeh, while the latter was sacrificing upon Mount Arafat near Mekka, and they have now retired to the city of El Hassa, near the Persian gulf, where Ibn Saoud is preparing to besiege them. At Aleppo the power is still in the hands of the rebellious Janissaries. A few hundred of them set out last summer to join the grand Vizier’s army before Adrianople, but they returned at the approach of winter; these are the only troops which the Sultan has been able to draw from Syria.

The most untoward circumstances have prevented until now my long projected excursion into the desert towards the Euphrates. Since my last, I have been continually endeavouring to find means to re-enter the desert, with some degree of security, but the state of the country has always thrown insurmountable obstacles in my way. The neighbourhood of Aleppo has been infested since spring, until about a month ago, by great numbers of Aenezy Arabs, who had declared war against the towns people as well as against the Manali Arabs, who are looked upon as the hereditary friends of the Aleppo government. The Aenezy have ruined about forty villages, have eaten up the whole harvest of the open country, and have rendered the roads so insecure that nobody dares travel but in the company of a large caravan. I repeatedly tried to take some of the Aenezy for my guides, and had chosen one from each of the principal tribes who surrounded Aleppo, as the only means left to me to execute my design; but the exorbitant demands of these people greatly exceeded my powers, and I was moreover informed that the Aenezy had declared war upon the Arabs of the Zor, or valley of Euphrates, which was exactly the country I wished to visit; I was therefore obliged to wait till the Aenezy should have retired from this neighbourhood. It is now about a month since they returned into the interior of the desert, to meet the autumnal rains; and I am now on the point of setting out. A caravan arrived here a few days ago from Sokhne, a village in the desert, five days journey from hence on the Bagdad route. The people of that village, together with the inhabitants of Tedmor or Palmyra, bring to Aleppo once or twice every year alcali, which they collect in the desert. The day after tomorrow the caravan is to return to Sokhne, and I intend to proceed with it in order to visit from thence Deir, the ancient Thapsacus, and several ruined places which I have heard much spoken of. I intend to return if possible along the shores of the Euphrates, although I am afraid that the eternal quarrels of the Arabs of the Zor may put many obstacles in my stay. The Shikh of Sokhne, to whom I am strongly recommended, and to whom I carry some small presents, is a powerful man in those parts, and will certainly take care of my safe return to Aleppo; I shall then only remain as long in Aleppo as will be necessary to copy my Journal and put it in order, and proceed to Damascus, to trace my way from thence into Egypt round the Dead Sea. My present tour will take up about seven or eight weeks.

My time at Aleppo has been exclusively taken up in endeavours to enlarge my knowledge of Arabic. I have completed the perusal of several of the best Arabic authors, prosaic writers as well as poets; I have read over the Koran twice, and have got by heart several of its chapters and many of its sentences; I am likewise nearly finishing a thorough course of the precepts of the Mohammedan religion, a learned Effendi having taken upon himself the task of explaining to me the book of Ibrahim Halebi on the religious laws of the Turks. This is the book upon which D’Ohsson has grounded his excellent work.

There is no kind of political news in these parts. It is a long time since we have heard of the Wahabi. Aleppo continues in the hands of the Janissaries, but it is said that Gharib Pasha, whom the Porte has lately named Pasha of Aleppo, is collecting in Anatolia a considerable force to subdue these rebels. Damascus, Tripoli, and Acre, are completely under the dominion of Soleiman Pasha, but it is known that Mohammed Aly, Pasha of Egypt, spares neither intrigues nor money to dispossess Soleiman at least of one of his Pashaliks. The pilgrimage from Damascus to Mecca is again put off for another year. There is a great scarcity all over Syria; wheat has risen to an exorbitant price, and the two last years having been remarkably dry, almost every kind of vegetable has failed. The same quantity of wheat which at the time of my arrival at Aleppo sold for six piastres and a half, is now worth twenty-seven. Such scarcity makes travelling much less pleasant, and the natives much less inclined to forward the stranger’s purposes.

The last, which I had the honour to address you, was from Aleppo. It was accompanied by a large chest of Arabic manuscripts. Incessant rains delayed my departure from Aleppo, until the 14th of February. I arrived on the 3d of March at Tripoli, and on the 22d at Damascus. Being very desirous of visiting the Haouran once more before I should leave Syria, in order to examine those parts which I had not been able to see during my first tour through that country, I set out with this object, as soon as I was satisfied of the tranquil state of the Pashalik. I left this city on the 21st April, and returned to it on the 9th May. One of the packets of papers herewith inclosed contains my notes on this journey through the Haouran, and part of the ancient Decapolis; the second consists of my observations during the previous journey from Aleppo to Damascus. The third paper contains corrections and annotations to the description of Bedouin manners, which I hope has long since reached you.

I intend to set out from hence in a few days. It is my wish to proceed along the eastern borders of the Dead Sea into Arabia Petræa, to visit there if possible, some unknown districts, and to make my way from thence straight to Cairo.

Although my arrival in Egypt will thus be still further delayed, I trust that the Committee will not be displeased at this delay. The countries I have seen, and am now about to visit, are of difficult access, and not without interest to literature; and without going to great expense, or knowing the language and manners of the country, European travellers cannot expect to be able to explore them. Thinking myself in some measure qualified for the journey, I perform it, as a general would take possession of any strong post on his way, even without any express commands to that purpose. Such, indeed, have been my only motives for undertaking these journies, which are sufficiently laborious and hazardous, not to be mistaken for tours of pleasure. That which I am now entering upon is certainly subjected to almost as many difficulties as any African travels can be. In performing it, I hope to complete my preliminary exercises, and at the same time to obtain some information upon the geography of an unknown region. The Committee will decide whether I do right or wrong. Their disapproval indeed would far outweigh any satisfaction I may derive from the success of the journey.

I cannot quit Syria without repeating that the kind services and most friendly treatment of Mr. Barker, the British Consul at Aleppo, have put me under everlasting obligations to him. He is a most worthy man and of very superior talents. Being at present the only Englishman established in these countries, the important care of the English interests in Syria is exclusively confided to him; and the reputation which he has acquired in every part of the country by his prudent and generous conduct proves him fully equal to the charge.

Syria still enjoys perfect tranquillity, although the governors of the country are continually changing. A new Pasha has been named for Aleppo, who is at present intriguing there to get the better of the Janissaries. The day before my arrival at this place, the news had reached the town of the dismissal of Suleiman Pasha from the Pashalik of Damascus; but he has been permitted to keep his seat at Acre. There are some reports, of its being the intention of Mohammed Aly Pasha to invade Syria. His ill success against the Wahabi may have hitherto prevented him, but if he lives, and is successful in Arabia, he may still execute his designs, for he is a man of vast ambition, and great energy of character.

There is no news from the desert; the Wahabi, being fully occupied in opposing the forces of Mohammed Aly, have been obliged to give up for the present their plundering expeditions against Syria. The hopes of re-establishing the pilgrim caravan to Mekka is entertained only by those fanatic Turks, who, from the discontinuance of it, prognosticate the fall of the empire. The important English coffee trade, opened within the last twelve months, between Malta and the Levant, considerably lessens the desire of the Hadj in the minds of all those who were in the habit of performing the pilgrimage merely in order to buy up Mocha coffee at Mekka, which they sold with great profits at Damascus, Aleppo, and Constantinople. The greater half of the pilgrims were merchants of coffee and India goods. At present American coffee has entirely supplanted that of Yemen all over Syria and the Syrian desert.

7th of June. I have tarried so long at Damascus principally in order to get a letter of recommendation for Kerek, from a Damascene, who was out of town. Kerek is a considerable village to the east of the Dead Sea, where I shall probably stay a few days, for it is from thence that I must look for a conveyance to Suez. I hope to be at Cairo about the 20th of July.

I hasten to announce to you my arrival at Cairo. The last letter I had the honour of addressing to you was from Damascus, of the 30th of May; I did not leave that city until the 18th of June, and arrived here on the 9th of September, in perfect health, but considerably worn by the fatigues of the road and the intense heat of the season. The following is a short sketch of my journey, the further details of which I shall transmit to you in a short time.

My first station from Damascus was Saffad, (Japhet) a few hours distant from Djessr Beni Yakoub, a bridge over the Jordan to the south of the lake Samachonitis. From thence I descended to the shore of the Lake of Tabarya (Tiberias), visited Tabarya, and its neighbouring districts, ascended Mount Tabor, and tarried a few days at Nazareth. I met here a couple of petty merchants from Szalt, a castle in the mountains of Balka, which I had not been able to see during my late tour, and which lies on the road I had pointed out to myself for passing into the Egyptian deserts. I joined their caravan; after eight hours march, we descended into the valley of the Jordan, called El Ghor, near Bysan (Scythopolis); crossed the river, and continued along its verdant banks for about ten hours, until we reached the river Zerka (Jabbok), near the place where it empties itself into the Jordan. Turning then to our left, we ascended the eastern chain, formerly part of the district of Balka, and arrived at Szalt, two long days journey from Nazareth. The inhabitants of Szalt are entirely independent of the Turkish government; they cultivate the ground for a considerable distance round their habitations, and part of them live the whole year round in tents, to watch their harvest and to pasture their cattle. Many ruined places and mountains in the district of Balka preserve the names of the Old Testament, and elucidate the topography of the provinces that fell to the share of the tribes of Gad and Reuben. Szalt is at present the only inhabited place in the Balka, but numerous Arab tribes pasture there their camels and sheep. I visited from thence the ruins of Aman or Philadelphia, five hours and a half distant from Szalt. They are situated in a valley on both sides of a rivulet, which empties itself into the Zerka. A large ampitheatre is the most remarkable of these ruins, which are much decayed, and in every respect inferior to those of Djerash. At four or five hours south-east of Aman, are the ruins of Om Erresas and El Kotif, which I could not see, but which, according to report, are more considerable than those of Philadelphia. The want of communication between Szalt and the southern countries delayed my departure for upwards of a week; I found at last a guide, and we reached Kerek in two days and a half, after having passed the deep beds of the torrents El Wale and El Modjeb, which I suppose to be the Nahaliel and Arnon. The Modjeb divides the district of Balka from that of Kerek, as it formerly divided the Moabites from the Amorites. The ruins of Eleale, Hesebon, Meon, Medaba, Dibon, Arver, all situated on the north side of the Arnon, still subsist to illustrate the history of the Beni Israel. To the south of the wild torrent Modjeb I found the considerable ruins of Rabbat Moab, and, three hours distant from them, the town of Kerek, situated at about twelve hours distance to the east of the southern extremity of the Dead Sea. Kerek is an important position, and its chief is a leading character in the affairs of the deserts of southern Syria; he commands about 1200 match-locks, which are the terror of the neighbouring Arab tribes. About 200 families of Greek Christians, of whom one third have entirely embraced the nomade life, live here distinguished only from their Arab brethren by the sign of the cross. The treachery of the Shikh of Kerek, to whom I had been particularly recommended by a grandee of Damascus, obliged me to stay at Kerek above twenty days. After having annoyed me in different ways, he permitted me to accompany him southward, as he had himself business in the mountains of Djebal, a district which is divided from that of Kerek by the deep bed of the torrent El Ansa or El Kahary, eight hours distant from Kerek. We remained for ten days in the villages to the north and south of El Ansa, which are inhabited by Arabs, who have become cultivators, and who sell the produce of their fields to the Bedouins. The Shikh having finished his business, left me at Beszeyra, a village about sixteen hours south of Kerek, to shift for myself, after having maliciously recommended me to the care of a Bedouin, with whose character he must have been acquainted, and who nearly stripped me of the remainder of my money. I encountered here many difficulties, was obliged to walk from one encampment to another, until I found at last a Bedouin, who engaged to carry me to Egypt. In his company I continued southward, in the mountains of Shera, which are divided from the north of Djebal by the broad valley called Ghoseyr, at about five hours distance from Beszeyra. The chief place in Djebal is Tafyle, and in Shera the castle of Shobak. This chain of mountains is a continuation of the eastern Syrian chain, which begins with the Anti-Libanus, joins the Djebel el Shikh, forms the valley of Ghor, and borders the Dead Sea. The valley of Ghor is continued to the south of the Dead Sea; at about sixteen hours distance from the extremity of the Dead Sea, its name is changed into that of Araba, and it runs in almost a straight line, declining somewhat to the west, as far as Akaba, at the extremity of the eastern branch of the Red Sea. The existence of this valley appears to have been unknown to ancient as well as modern geographers, although it is a very remarkable feature in the geography of Syria, and Arabia Petræa, and is still more interesting for its productions. In this valley the manna is still found; it drops from the sprigs of several trees, but principally from the Gharrab; it is collected by the Arabs, who make cakes of it, and who eat it with butter; they call it Assal Beyrouk, or the honey of Beyrouk. Indigo, gum arabic, the silk tree called Asheyr, whose fruit encloses a white silky substance, of which the Arabs twist their matches, grow in this valley. It is inhabited near the Dead Sea in summer-time by a few Bedouin peasants only, but during the winter months it becomes the meeting place of upwards of a dozen powerful Arab tribes. It is probable that the trade between Jerusalem and the Red Sea was carried on through this valley. The caravan, loaded at Eziongeber with the treasures of Ophir, might, after a march of six or seven days, deposit its loads in the warehouses of Solomon. This valley deserves to be thoroughly known; its examination will lead to many interesting discoveries and would be one of the most important objects of a Palestine traveller. At the distance of a two long days journey north-east from Akaba, is a rivulet and valley in the Djebel Shera, on the east side of the Araba, called Wady Mousa. This place is very interesting for its antiquities and the remains of an ancient city, which I conjecture to be Petra, the capital of Arabia Petræa, a place which, as far as I know, no European traveller has ever visited. In the red sand stone of which the valley is composed, are upwards of two hundred and fifty sepulchres entirely cut out of the rock, the greater part of them with Grecian ornaments. There is a mausoleum in the shape of a temple, of colossal dimensions, likewise cut out of the rock, with all its apartments, its vestibule, peristyle, &c. It is a most beautiful specimen of Grecian architecture, and in perfect preservation. There are other mausolea with obelisks, apparently in the Egyptian style, a whole amphitheatre cut out of the rock with the remains of a palace and of several temples. Upon the summit of the mountain which closes the narrow valley on its western side, is the tomb of Haroun (Aaron, brother of Moses). It is held in great veneration by the Arabs. (If I recollect right, there is a passage in Eusebius, in which he says that the tomb of Aaron was situated near Petra) The information of Pliny and Strabo upon the site of Petra, agree with the position of Wady Mousa. I regretted most sensibly that I was not in circumstances that admitted of my observing these antiquities in all their details, but it was necessary for my safety not to inspire the Arabs with suspicions that might probably have impeded the progress of my journey, for I was an unprotected stranger, known to be a townsman, and thus an object of constant curiosity to the Bedouins, who watched all my steps in order to know why I had preferred that road to Egypt, to the shorter one along the Mediterranean coast. It was the intention of my guide to conduct me to Akaba, where we might hope to meet with some caravan for Egypt. On our way to Akaba we were however informed that a few Arabs were preparing to cross the desert direct to Cairo, and I preferred that route, because I had reason to apprehend some disagreeable adventures at Akaba, where the Pasha of Egypt keeps a garrison to watch the Wahabi. His officers I knew to be extremely jealous of Arabian as well as Syrian strangers, and I had nothing with me by which I might have proved the nature of my business in these remote districts, nor even my Frank origin. We therefore joined the caravan of Arabs Allowein, who were carrying a few camels to the Cairo market. We crossed the valley of Araba, ascended on the other side of it the barren mountains of Beyane, and entered the desert called El Ty, which is the most barren and horrid tract of country I have ever seen; black flints cover the chalky or sandy ground, which in most places is without any vegetation. The tree which produces the gum arabic grows in some spots: and the tamarisk is met with here and there, but the scarcity of water forbids much extent of vegetation, and the hungry camels are obliged to go in the evening for whole hours out of the road in order to find some withered shrubs upon which to feed. During ten days forced marches, we passed only four springs or wells, of which one only, at about eight hours east of Suez, was of sweet water. The others were brackish and sulphureous. We passed at a short distance to the north of Suez, and arrived at Cairo by the pilgrim road.

The first employment of Mr. Burckhardt upon his arrival at Cairo, was to draw up a detailed account of his journey from Damascus, which he soon afterwards transmitted to the Association.

There happened at the moment of his arrival, to be a small caravan on the point of returning from Cairo, into some of the northern countries of the Great Desert. This was precisely the route in which it was intended that Mr. Burckhardt should commence his travels, towards the countries of the Niger: the Committee nevertheless perfectly approved of the determination of their traveller, not to risk his own hopes and those of the Association upon such a precarious prospect of success, as this caravan would have afforded. Unless an opportunity offered in every respect favourable, it was not desired that he should enter upon his undertaking, until a residence of several months in Egypt had made him familiar with a dialect and with a system of manners, and of policy differing considerably from those to which he had been accustomed in Syria. It was far from the wish of the Committee, that he should leap over such an important step in that preparatory course of experience which had been thought advisable for him; and nothing was more to be avoided than the hazarding of his personal safety, together with that of the success of his mission, by the irretrievable imprudence of an ill prepared and hasty departure from Egypt.

His own sentiments upon this subject are conveyed to the Secretary of the Association in a letter from Cairo, which announces also his intention of undertaking a journey into Nubia. Of this letter the following is an extract.

There will be no opportunity of proceding into Africa by the road to Fezzan, before next year. A small caravan of Twatees from Augila was at Cairo at the moment of my arrival, and left it three weeks afterwards; but it would not have been advisable for me to have made any attempt to accompany it. I should hardly have had time to prepare for setting out with them; I knew no body to whom to address myself for introduction to the caravan; I had no funds to equip myself; and I was as yet too little acquainted with the Egyptian and African world to suppose that I should be able to take my measures in such a way as to remain undiscovered. I am moreover extremely averse to any hasty steps; they are the ruin of the traveller’s health as well as of his plans; and a hasty proceeding it would have been to set out upon such a journey, without having recovered from the fatigues of the former one, and without being in the least acquainted with the people, to whom I was to have intrusted my fortunes.

The delay thus occasioned in my Fezzan expedition, I shall endeavour to make profitable to African geography, in another quarter. I mean to set out next month, by land, for Upper Egypt, as soon as the state of the Nile renders the voyage practicable. I shall push on beyond the first cataract, and follow the course of the river by the second and third cataract, towards Dóngola. That country, farther up than Derr, has never been visited by any travellers; yet I am informed by many of the natives, that the borders of the river are full of ancient temples and other antiquities; resembling those of Luxor, and the Isle of Philæ. The present tranquil state of Egypt renders such a voyage of much less danger than it might have been during the whole of the last century; for the Pasha is completely master of the country, and is in friendly intercourse with the princes of Nubia. Were it not for the Mamlouks who have settled at Dóngola, and taken possession of the country, I might hope to reach that point. But I shall not expose myself to their treachery, and shall be contented with approaching to within a journey of five or six days from Dóngola, and with making perhaps some lateral excursions into the Nubian desert. This journey will, I hope, make me acquainted with the character of the Negroe nations, and of those who traffic for slaves, and will thus facilitate my travels in the interior of the continent. It will take me about five months to perform this tour. The Fezzan caravan is not expected to arrive till June next, I shall therefore be in full time to join it after my return to Cairo.

The first part of the intended journey, which Mr. Burckhardt here announces, was performed to the exact amount of his expectations, but his “lateral excursion into the Nubian desert” was much more extensive than his most sanguine hopes had anticipated, for he succeeded in penetrating to the banks of the Astaboras; and from thence crossed the desert to Souakin on the shore of the Red Sea. This and the former journey along the Nile towards Dóngola, were the only travels in the unexplored regions of the interior of Africa, which he was destined to accomplish, but they led to a tour in Arabia, which was productive of information not less interesting, and scarcely less original than that which he collected in his Nubian journeys.

No less than two years and an half were spent in these travels, and in a long residence in Upper Egypt, during the interval which occurred between his two Nubian journeys; but no opportunity of forwarding the main object, of penetrating into the interior of Africa in the intended direction, was lost by the delay, as no caravan departed from Egypt to the westward during the whole period of his absence from Cairo.

As Mr. Burckhardt’s description of his two journeys to Nubia forms the subject of the present volume, it will be unnecessary to detain the reader with the outline or abridgement of them, which his letters contained: it will be sufficient to insert a few extracts from those letters, for the sake of connecting the several occurrences of his travels in their order of time.

The first letter which the Association received from their traveller; after his departure from Cairo, was dated from Esne, in Upper Egypt, soon after his return from his first journey into Nubia.

I am returned to this place from a journey up the Nile, which has carried me into the vicinity of Dóngola. In my last letter from Cairo, I informed you of my projects relative to this excursion, and I am now happy to say, that I have succeeded almost to the full extent of my wishes. I left Cairo on the 11th of January, accompanied by a trusty servant, a native of Siout. We were both mounted upon asses which, besides our persons, carried the little baggage I thought necessary to take with me. I was furnished with the strongest letters of recommendation to all the governors of Upper Egypt, besides which, Mohammed Aly Pasha had given me a private letter of introduction to his son Ibrahim Beg, who commands in Upper Egypt. I was, however, so lucky as never to have occasion to make use of these letters; nothing unpleasant occurred to me during my route through Egypt, and when such is the case it is always better to keep clear of Turkish governors. The canals of Egypt were dried up; I therefore prosecuted my journey without any difficulty along the Nile’s western bank, sometimes crossing over to the opposite side; and I arrived after twelve days at Siout, having seen on my way the southern pyramids, and the antiquities of Beni Hassan, Shikh Abade and Aslimouneyn. It had been my intention to make from Siout an excursion into the Great Oasis, which is not thoroughly known yet. Several circumstances impeded my project; I should however have persisted had I not been informed that the Siwah people are continually visiting the Oasis, and I should not like to be afterwards recognised by them on my way to Fezzan. I remained ten days at Siout, and continued then my journey southwards; visiting on my way Gaou, Akhmym, Farshiout, Dendera, Kenne, and Goft; and after four days stay at the different villages, situated within the precincts of Thebes, I arrived at Esne sixteen days after having left Siout. Esne is the last place of note in Upper Egypt, it was therefore here that I. was to make the necessary preparation[n]s for my journey into Nubia. * * * * * * * I arrived at Assouan on the 22nd of February. The Aga of Assouan procured me a guide up to Derr, the chief place in Nubia. * * * * * * * It took me four days and an half to reach Derr, which is about one hundred and forty miles distant from Assouan. About fifty miles below that place I fell in with two English gentlemen, Messrs. Legh and Smelt, who had been up to Ibrim and were returning to Assouan, on board a small ship they had hired there. I had already had the pleasure of seeing them at Cairo and at Siout. * * * * * * * After three days journey from Ibrim (which is only five hours distant from Derr), I reached the second cataract at Wady Haifa. From thence in three days more Sukkot, in travelling along the mountainous district called Batn el Hadjar. * * * * * * * I passed the large island called Say, and from thence, at the end of two days more, arrived at Tinareh, a small castle, the chief place in the country of Mahass, which I calculate to be at four hundred and thirty or four hundred and fifty miles above Assollan. (The above mentioned distances are dromedary’s days of thirty miles each.) From Tinareh to the northern limits of Dóngola are two and a half days journey. * * * * * * * I returned by the same way to Sukkot, swam here my camels across the river, in order to see the western bank, which I continued to follow until I again crossed to the eastern bank, a few miles above Philæ.

I returned to Assouan on the 31st of March, seventeen days after my departure from Tinareh, and thirty-five days after my setting out from Assouan; during which time I had only allowed myself a single half day’s rest at Derr. So far my personal story through Nubia. The enclosed journal contains my observations during the journey; I must solicit your indulgence for the rude manner in which it is written. It is certainly not as I wish it to be, nor as it should have been, had I been at my leisure and ease. It has been written in a miserable court-yard, on the side of my camel, under the influence of the hot Kamsin winds, which now reign in Upper Egypt. I have suffered also from a strong inflammation in my left eye, which has become still worse by writing, and which makes writing painful to me.

I have been now for these last three weeks at Esne, waiting for the departure of a Sennaar caravan, which is to set out in a few days from Daraou, about sixty miles south of this place, whither I shall without delay proceed. For I have conceived the project of making a journey on that side of Africa, before I begin my western tour. I wish to visit the shores of the Astapus or Astaboras, on my way from Gous towards Massuah; which harbour I should thus reach by a northern road, different from that of Bruce. The road from Egypt to Gous is perfectly safe. I am well recommended to the people in power at Gous and Damer; from whence there is a practicable road eastward into Abyssinia. It is not my intention to make any stay in Abyssinia whatever; not holding myself at all qualified for travels in those parts; but up to the frontiers of Abyssinia Arabic is spoken, and wherever that is the case I hope to be able to penetrate with some advantage to science. From Massuah I shall proceed to Djidda, or to Mokka, and return without delay, by land, along the eastern shore of the Red Sea, to Cairo. I hope to be in Cairo again in ten months. If I supposed that this journey presented great risks I should not undertake it; for I wish to expose myself to hazards only on the western side of Africa, but there is only a distance of twenty days (from Gous to Massuah), which presents any difficulties; of these twenty days, fourteen (from Gous to Taka) are by caravan routes; there remain six days from Taka to Massuah, where it will be necessary to join the Bedouins, in order to have any security on the road. Travelling in Arabia, few parts excepted, is as safe as travelling in Egypt; and it will not be less so to me, as I shall have recommendations to all the officers of Mohammed Aly who garrison the cities of the Hedjaz, since the complete defeat of the Wahabis, who have retired to their native seats in the Nedjed. I repeat to you that I look with confidence upon the success of my projected journey. As to health, I am in the perfect enjoyment of it, my eye excepted, which I hope will be cured by the pure air of the desert. According to the directions I have given I hope to find money supplies either at Mokka or at Djidda. I proceed from hence, as a Derwish, having nothing with me but a camel, some provisions, and about four guineas in sequins, hidden in my woollen cloak. This will carry me, I hope, as far as Massuah, where, in case of need, a free passage is easily obtained from the charity of the Turkish merchants.

I cannot help feeling some apprehensions lest this project should not meet with the entire approbation of the Committee: as it will defer again for a twelvemonth my grand journey. As for myself, as long as I have any vigour of mind and body left, I shall look upon time as a very secondary consideration, and subservient only to objects of science; and I am indifferent to what extent my absence from Europe is prolonged, provided my final object of visiting as much of the unknown countries of Soudan as I possibly can, is obtained. If I am not to be tired with respect to time it is hardly to be supposed that my employers should; but other considerations may certainly make them desire a more prompt conclusion of my journey. And for this reason I am extremely anxious to know what opinion they entertain of my conduct.

Postscript, dated from Siout in Upper Egypt, 12th of July, 1813.

I am sorry to say that I have not been able to set out with the Sennaar caravan as soon as I expected. A small caravan, coming from the south, arrived at Daraou at the end of May. The merchants had been stripped on the road by the chief of Mograt, through whose territory they are obliged to pass. That chief had espoused the cause of the Mamelouks, and declared war against the Egyptian slave-traders. The party of the latter, with whom I intended to set out from Daraou, where they had already assembled, were now afraid to proceed on their journey in small numbers, and they put off their departure, until they might be joined by several other parties, in order to form a large caravan, capable of fighting its way through, if the robber of Mograt should attack them. I profited by the interval to return to Siout, from whence I sent a messenger to Cairo, for my purse was almost exhausted.

I shall write to you once more before I set out from hence, which I hope will be in three weeks. If the departure and arrival of the caravans, were as well regulated in Africa, as they are in Syria, this vast continent would soon be explored. But the difficulties and delays are great, and can only be overcome by patience.

The plague is said to have ceased at Cairo, but it still continues in some parts of Lower Egypt, after having almost depopulated Alexandria and Damietta. It had reached a village only two hours distant from here, but made no farther progress. But great fears are entertained that it will increase and spread next winter, over the whole country, which is generally the case whenever it has not completely subsided towards the end of June.

Extract of a letter from Esne, October 14th, 1813.

The great Djelabe traders from Sennaar who have just arrived here, have at length put an end to the impediment caused by the chief of Mograt, by killing him and his principal men in his own house at Mograt. But another difficulty has occurred. There is a great scarcity of provisions in the Nile countries, from Gous up to Sennaar, occasioned by the locusts, who devoured entirely the last winter crops. The envoys sent last year by Mohammed Aly, to the King of Sennaar, who have returned with the late caravans, describe the state of the inhabitants as most deplorable; they kill each other for a measure of Dhourra, and neither law nor government is any more attended to. Under such circumstances the caravans assembled at Daraou, in the neighbourhood of Assouan, have not thought proper to leave Egypt, where every kind of provision is at the lowest price. They have wisely resolved to defer their departure until the new Dhourra grain should have been reaped in the southern countries, when as the inundation of the Nile has been very copious this year, plenty will have returned to those districts. I shall thus start in their company in about three weeks from this time, and have little doubt, provided I remain in good health, that I shall reach Massuah in safety, by taking my road straight across the mountains from Damer towards Massuah.

From Massuah I mean to cross over to the Arabian coast, and to return to Cairo by the Hedjaz; I hope the Committee of the African Association will not object to this extension of my travels. I keep my ultimate object well in view, and after my return to Cairo, I shall be ready to put it in execution. But I think that the discovery of the interior parts of Nubia is well worth a year’s labour and the expense attending it. My journey through Arabia may probably qualify me better than any thing else, to future perilous travels in the Mohammedan world, nor will it, I hope, be devoid of some advantages to science.

I have collected some information on the interior parts of Africa, from the Soudan pilgrims, of whom I have seen great numbers in Upper Egypt. But I wish to improve upon it, before I transmit it to the Association. These pilgrims go here by the name of Tekayrne (sing. Tekroury, from the verb تكرر:meaning to renew, improve and purify, that is to say, their faith and learning by the pilgrimage. It is probably from this name of Tekroury, that the Arabian geographers have placed a country called Tekrour, between Timbuctou and Kashna; none of these travellers knew of any such country) Such of them as are most distinguished for skill in writing and reading, style themselves “Fokara,” (from فقير::poor man, i. e. before the Lord) which name is given in Upper Egypt to the whole class of learned men. Most of the Tekayrne come from Darfour; some from Bornou and the country of Wady el Ghazal, between Bornou and Darfour; others from Bagherme and Borgho. I have not met with a single man from Wangara, nor could I ever find any whose native country was west of Wangara. The road they take is from Darfour to Kordofan and Sennaar, from whence they follow the course of the Nile through Dóngola and Nubia, to Egypt. Those only who can afford to buy camels and provisions, cross the desert from the Nile to Souakin, the others live upon alms, and upon the selling of amulets. I understand that there is a still more frequented pilgrim road from Sennaar through Abyssinia to Massuah.

Upper Egypt enjoys at present perfect tranquillity, under the severe but equitable government of Ibrahim Pasha, son of Mohammed Aly. The taxes are moderate and the whole country is equally assessed; no avanies are practised, and the soldiery is kept in strict order. By secularizing a part of the revenues of the church, such as the superfluous income of mosques, schools, public cisterns, Olemas, village Shikhs, &c. the Pasha has of late considerably enriched his treasury. The clerical interest is of course now in opposition, although the Pasha has become the restorer of the faith, by delivering the holy cities. The Mamelouks have no chance of succeeding in any attempt upon Egypt, as long as Mohammed Aly keeps in power; but if he should happen to fall, I conceive that although their number is now reduced to three hundred fighting men only, they would forthwith regain their lost seat in Egypt, where their friends are still very numerous, especially among the most daring adventurers, who greatly dislike the just and vigorous measures of the actual government.

P.S. I am in good health, but have gone during the course of the summer and autumn, through two very painful ophthalmic attacks, from the latter of which I have just recovered.

The cause of delay mentioned in the preceding letter continued to operate during the next four months, and it was not until the 2nd of March, 1814, that the caravan finally quitted upper Egypt. During the tedious intervals, which Mr. Burckhardt was under the necessity of passing at Esne, he continued to wear his usual disguise of a poor Mohammedan trader; taking care to be as little known or noticed as possible. Among the jealous, treacherous, and cruel Mussulman nations which he traversed, after leaving Daraou, it was with difficulty that he seized opportunities of continuing the journal of his remarks and proceedings. Still less was it in his power to transmit any intelligence to the Association, until after having arrived in safety at Souakin, a port of considerable traffic on the African coast of the Red Sea, he crossed over from thence to Djidda, in Arabia.

The following extract of a letter from Djidda will put the reader in possession of the general direction of the route, together with the most important heads of information acquired by Mr. Burckhardt in his second Nubian journey. The detailed account of it, which was not transmitted to the Association until the year 1816, forms the subject of the greater part of the present volume.

Extract of a Letter from Mr. Burckhardt to Sir Joseph Banks, dated Djidda, 7th August, 1814.

I left Upper Egypt on the 2nd of March, and crossed the Nubian desert during a journey of twenty three days, slow travelling; nearly in the same route, by which Bruce returned from Abyssinia, fifty years ago. Our caravan rejoined the Nile at Berber, in the vicinity of Bruce’s Gooz, and after a fortnight’s stay among the Arabs Meyrifab, and as much at Damer (two days south of Berber), we reached Shendy, which is at present the principal market for the slave-traders, from Egypt, Darfour, Kordofan, and Sennaar.

Its King is tributary to the King of Sennaar, as are likewise all the petty rulers down the river as far as Dongola; it would have been easy for me to proceed to Sennaar, nine days journey distant from Shendy, and from thence into Abyssinia, following Bruce’s track. But I wished to visit unknown districts, and I was convinced, from what I had already experienced, that a tour through those countries would be attended with expenses, which I was little able to bear. When I left Egypt, I had only sixty dollars, and an ass to carry me; not having thought proper to lose the opportunity of the caravan, for the sake of the supply of money which I expected from Cairo. Twenty-five dollars were spent in the way to Shendy. I was thus much straitened, and I had scarcely enough left to buy a slave, a camel, and the necessary provisions for my journey to the Red Sea. From Shendy I proceeded towards the river Atbara (Astaboras), whose fertile banks are cultivated by the Arabs Bisharein. I followed that river in a S.S.E. direction for about one hundred and twenty miles as far as Goz-Radjeb, a place under the dominion of Sennaar, five days journey distant from it. The course of the Astaboras, as well as that of the Astapus (now called Mogren), is very erroneously laid down upon the maps. From Goz I reached the country of Taka, a low ground of four or five days journey in length; and two days in breadth, which is regularly inundated by torrents, rushing down from the Abyssinian mountains; and which produces a rich crop of Dhourra. I had hoped to cross the mountains from hence to Massuah, on the Abyssinian sea coast; but I found, notwithstanding the information given to me at Shendy, that there is no commercial intercourse between the two places. The infamous treachery of the Arabs Hadendoa, Melykenab, and Hallenga, who inhabit Taka and the southern mountains, renders it impossible to proceed alone, with any baggage of the smallest value, and the total want of hospitality among all the Arabs of these parts forbids any attempt to travel as a Derwish or beggar. After a ten days stay amongst the Arabs Hadendoa, I left Taka for Souakin, which place draws its whole supply of corn from Taka. The rains began to set in; a high chain of mountains, midway between Taka and Souakin, divides the climate; to the south of this chain, we had every night heavy showers, to the north, the season of the hot winds had begun, and, the rains were not expected until September. Thirteen days from Taka we reached Souakin. The Turkish governor of that place was going to seize me, supposing me to belong to the Mamelouks of Dóngola; fortunately I had an old Firman of the Pasha of Egypt with me, the producing of which saved me from prison, and procured me a free passage on board a country boat to Djidda, where I arrived in good health on the 20th of July.

It is now my intention to visit the principal places of the Hedjaz, to perform the Hadj, or pilgrimage to Mekka, and then to return to Cairo by land. I shall send to England the journal of my late tour, together with that of the Hedjaz, after my return to Cairo, not being at present at liberty to write much.

The Pasha of Egypt is in possession of all the principal towns of the Hedjaz, but whenever he has endeavoured to push on into the interior, he has constantly been defeated by the Wahabi Arabs, amongst whom a female chief, called Ghalye, whose residence is in Taraba, eight days journey S.E. of Mekka, has particularly distinguished herself. The chances however seem at present to be greatly in favour of the Pasha. Saoud, the Wahabi chief, died three months ago of illness; His son Abdallah, and his brother of the same name, have been fighting for the succession, and have both been killed in the civil war. The treasure of Saoud is now in possession of the younger sons of Saoud, who are besieged at Derayeh, the capital of Nedjed, by other branches of their family, and several great Arab Shikhs. Many powerful Wahabi chiefs have come over to the Pasha, who has thus been led to undertake an expedition against Derayeh, and the Nedjed itself. At the moment I am writing, Tousoun Pasha, the son of Mohammed Aly, is proceeding from hence to Medina, in order to command the expedition which will take place as soon as the rains have set in, and there is some reason to believe that he will succeed in his project, although it is hardly to be expected that the Turkish troops will be able to keep possession, for any length of time, of those inland countries.

I am under great difficulties for a supply of money, the letter of credit which I brought from Cairo not having been honoured, under the pretext that it was dated eighteen months ago; it must be confessed also that my torn clothes did not speak much in my favour. Disappointed in all my endeavours to sell a bill upon Cairo, I have addressed myself to the Pasha, Mohammed Aly himself, who is now at Tayf, five days journey from hence. He knows me well, and when at Cairo had often expressed himself in my favour. If he does not comply with my wishes I shall be obliged to return forthwith to Egypt, without performing the Hadj: which will not take place for three months, for the Hedjaz is not the country where a man can hope to travel gratis. Every thing is enormously dear at all times, and in the time of the pilgrimage the prices are still higher.

P.S. August 9th. I have been so fortunate as to procure a supply of money, by the means of Yahya Effendi, the physician of Tousoun Pasha, a man educated in Europe, and who had known me at Cairo. He received me with singular kindness, and as he was departing with the Pasha for Medina, he was anxious to see me furnished with money before he set out. The answer from Mohammed Aly has not yet arrived.

Nearly a year elapsed before the Association received any further advices from their traveller, his next letter being dated from Cairo, upon his arrival in Egypt from Arabia. As the unfortunate state of his health prevented him, upon this occasion, from entering into any particulars of his Arabian journey, it is right to inform the reader, that in the following year he transmitted to the Association the most accurate and complete account of the Hedjaz, including the cities of Mekka, and Medina, which has ever been received in Europe. His knowledge of the Arabic language and of Mohammedan manners had now enabled him to assume the Mussulman character with such success, that he resided at Mekka, during the whole time of the pilgrimage, and passed through the various ceremonies of the occasion, without the smallest suspicion having arisen as to his real character. Upon one occasion, when the Pasha of Egypt, Mohammed Aly, then holding his head quarters at Tayf, to the eastward of Mekka, and who was not altogether ignorant of Burckhardt’s connexion with England, thought proper to put his qualifications as a Mussulman to the test, by directing the two most learned professors of the law, then in Arabia, to examine him upon his knowledge of the Koran, and of the practical as well as doctrinal precepts of their faith, the result was a complete conviction upon the minds of his hearers, or at least of his two examiners, of his being not only a true but a very learned Mussulman. It was his firm conviction, that the title of Hadji, which his pilgrimage gave him the right to assume, would be of the greatest use to him in his future travels in the interior of Africa. Important however as were the experience and information acquired by his journey in Arabia they were too dearly purchased; for there can be little doubt, that his constitution never recovered from the effects of that fatal climate, which has always proved pernicious to Europeans. The severe attacks of fever and dysentery, which he suffered in Arabia, appear to have been the ultimate cause of the fatal termination of the disorder which, two years afterwards, in closing at once his labours and his existence, destroyed the best founded hopes of success, in exploring the unknown regions of Africa, which the Association had ever formed.

The following is an extract of the letter from Cairo, already alluded to. It was dated the 25th June, 1815, and addressed to Sir Joseph Banks.

A long interval has elapsed since I gave you in my letter of August 1814, the news of my happy arrival at Djidda from my Nubian journey. The difficulty of correspondence between the Hedjaz and Egypt, arising from the jealous policy of the newly established Turkish government, is one of the reasons which have prevented me from sending you any account of the journey, which I have just accomplished. Another is, I am sorry to say, repeated and long continued attacks of illness. It is now eight days since I am returned to this city, in a weak state of health, still suffering from the effects of a fever which detained me three months at Medina, and had nearly put a stop to all further travels. The receipt of your obliging favour of the 10th September, 1814, and of a letter from Mr. Hamilton, of the 4th June, of the same year, have contributed more than medicines can do to revive my strength, and to exhilarate my spirits. Indeed the assurance which these letters contain, of my former labours having met with the approbation of my employers, has been to me the source of most heartfelt joy, and the encouragement which I have derived from it, has entirely banished from my mind that despondency, which my bodily sufferings had caused.

My physicians will not permit me to write much, I can therefore give you but a short sketch of my travels in the Hedjaz. On my arrival at Djidda in August 1814, I remained there about a month, principally employed in endeavouring to procure a supply of money, a bill I had taken with me from Cairo, upon a person residing there, not having been honoured. Having at last succeeded in obtaining a temporary supply, sufficient until I should receive answers from Egypt, I went to Tayf, five days journeys east of Djidda, where I spent the Ramadhan and met the Pasha of Egypt, Mohammed Aly, who gave me the most polite reception, having already seen me at Cairo. It had been my wish to push on farther into the mountains of the Hedjaz, but the whole country was over-run by parties of hostile Wahabi, and the road itself from Tayf to Kolatsh, eight hours distant, where the Turkish head quarters were, was continually infested by them. I returned therefore from Tayf to Mekka, where I past the months of September, October, and November, and after recovering from a violent attack of dysentery, I performed on the 25th of November, in the company of more than eighty thousand pilgrims, the Hadj to Mount Arafat. In the beginning of January, I set out from Mekka to Medina, a journey of ten or eleven days, mostly through deserts. My project was to remain about three weeks at Medina, and to return from thence over land to Egypt, in the hopes of being able to visit on my road, some ruins at a place called Hedjer, six days north of Medina, where I expected to meet with some specimens of the most ancient Arabian monuments. Six days after my arrival at Medina, I was attacked by a fever which kept me chained to my carpet until April. The state of weakness to which I was then reduced obliged me to give up all attempts to travel by land; fatigue would have brought on a relapse, and I should have perished in some Bedouin hut on the road. As soon as I could support the motion of a camel, I left Medina and descended to the sea coast at Yembo. The plague, an evil hitherto unknown to Arabia, had lately made its appearance here as well as at Djidda, and its ravages soon became so great that all the inhabitants left these towns, and I found Yembo almost deserted; after a stay of fifteen days I embarked on board a country ship, landed at the promontory of Ras Mohammed in the peninsula of Mount Sinai, from whence I reached Tor, where I had a relapse of my fever, which obliged me to remain there near a fortnight. I then took the road of Suez, and arrived at Cairo on the nineteenth of June, after an absence of nearly two years and a half.

I ascribe my bad health in the Hedjaz to the climate and water; the latter, which in these countries is so important an article of diet, is every where brackish and of bad taste, much endangering the health of all strangers.

In a letter to the Secretary of the Association he adds,

Of the prosecution of my travels into the interior of Africa through the Lybian deserts, I shall say nothing at present. Some time will be required to recover my strength and to complete my journals; when these are accomplished there will, I hope, be nothing to prevent me from speedily commencing my final journey, for which I trust that I am now qualified in such a manner as to authorise my entertaining some hopes of success.

It is impossible for me to express the satisfaction I felt at being apprized by you, that my labours had hitherto met with the approbation of the African Association. I hope my employers will not be disappointed in the favourable hopes they have conceived of my future proceedings, and that the sense of gratitude which I entertain for their having so liberally left to my entire disposal a school time of upwards of six years, will be a pledge that I shall use my utmost exertions in the final execution of those projects for which I have been so long preparing myself.

My convalescence goes on slowly; the great heat of the present season does not per­mit a rapid return of strength, and I can for the same reason work only a few hours du­ring the day.

The following is extracted from a private letter, written about the same time, and obligingly communicated to the Association.

I returned to Egypt last month, in very bad health, for the Arabian climate is of the worst kind, and has proved much more dangerous to Mohammed Aly’s army than all the forces of the Wahabi. Mohammed Aly himself, who had been in the Hedjaz for twenty months, returned at the same time to his capital, after having completely defeated and destroyed the power of his enemy from Medina southward as far as Arabia Felix. Tousoun Pasha remains in the neighbourhood of Medina to finish the war by taking Derayeh, the Wahabi capital; he has with him about twenty-five hundred or three thousand Turks, and eight or ten thousand Arabs. The hasty return of the Pasha to his capital was probably owing in some measure to the great fears lately prevailing at Cairo and Alexandria, of an expedition of the Sultan against Egypt. The Kapoudan Pasha was equipping his fleet, had taken on board a numerous corps of soldiers, and issued from the Dardanelles without any body knowing the destination of his expedition. Mohammed Aly continues to improve the state of Egypt, and that of his finances. He has begun to exercise his troops in the European manner, has established a large fabric of muskets at Cairo, and possesses also two thousand muskets bought in London. An Italian has set up a gunpowder manufactory where he has constantly two hundred men at work: an Englishman is beginning to establish a distillery of rum at the Pasha’s expense upon a very large scale. About twenty ships belonging to the Pasha are trading to Italy and Spain six ships in the Red Sea trade to Yemen, and it is in view to establish a direct commerce with the East Indies. Immense sums have been spent during the last two years in fortifying Alexandria and the Castle of Cairo, together with the mountain behind it. But what secures to the Pasha the possession of Egypt more than any thing else, is the death of three or four thousand soldiers, the most rebellions and fiercest of his troops, whom he constantly placed as vanguards against the Wahabi, and of whom very few returned to Cairo.

I doubt not that your Syrian correspondent has informed you of the changes which have taken place in that country. Ibn Djassau Oglu has been raised to the Pashalik of Aleppo; he approached that town with a large army, and promised safe conduct to all the Janissaries, on condition, that they should give him up Ibrahim Aga Herbily. The latter in vain offered to his comrades to defray all the expenses of the war; they themselves laid hold of him and delivered him to the Pasha, who soon afterwards found means to entice also the other chiefs to his palace, where he had them all massacred. In the possession of Ibrahim Herbily, who was cruelly tortured before his death, forty thousand purses were found, the greater part of which were hidden in the house of Raphael P--. Five hundred Janissaries were killed. Mamuel, one of Mr. Barker’s, shared the same fate. The Pasha has been quarrelling with all the Consuls and has behaved extremely ill to the Franks, Soleyman Pasha still keeps Acre, and has now the whole sea coast up to Latikia under his orders. Soleyman Pasha of Damascus has already twice conducted the Syrian war to Mekka, and remains in his government.

I hope that you have found Sir Joseph Banks in good health. That venerable and noble minded patron of science has written me a letter containing expressions which I could expect only from a parent. As such I really revere him, and my gratitude towards him would alone be sufficient to induce me to pursue my task, even if so many other considerations of honour and duty did not concur in demanding from me every exertion of my faculties towards this object.

During the succeeding nine months, the attention of Mr. Burckhardt was almost entirely devoted to the regaining of his impaired strength, and to the preparation of his Nubian and Arabian journals for the Association. The following are extracts from three letters addressed by him to the Secretary of the Association during this period.

I am sorry to say that the cure of my long protracted illness was not so expeditious as the assurances of my physicians at Cairo led me to expect. I had several relapses of my fever; the intense heat contributed to weaken my system still more, nor was my remaining strength supported by any confidence in the medical skill of the persons who attended me: I determined therefore to go to Alexandria, fully persuaded that the sea-breeze, and the society of Col. Missett would powerfully co-operate to the re-establishment of my health. I have now been here for the last sixteen days. Col. Missett’s kind and generous hospitality is too well known to all Eastern travellers, to stand in need of my commendations; the deplorable state of his own health did not prevent him from watching with the liveliest interest over the recovery of mine, and it is to his attentions and the friendly assistance of Dr. Meryon, physician of Lady H. Stanhope, whom her Ladyship had sent here to attend the Colonel, that I attribute my present convalescence. Lady Hester has been occupied travelling over Syria for the last three years, and has established herself at Mar Elias, a convent above Seyda.

I shall leave Alexandria next week and return by way of Damietta to Cairo, where I hope to finish my journals. The worst effects of my fever were shewn in a depression and listlessness which seldom permitted me to take up the pen. I hope however soon to make amends, and to be able to put a speedy term to my stay in Egypt. Convinced as I still am, that the Fezzan route presents fewer difficulties for penetrating into Africa from the East, than any other, my departure from Cairo must depend upon the arrival and redeparture of a Fezzan caravan. I trust that I shall have a less severe trial of patience than that which made me lose nearly a twelve month in Upper Egypt, before I could find an eligible conveyance into Nubia; yet it was to that patience that I owed the success of my journey, and I have laid it down as an invariable rule never to sacrifice security to time, however reluctantly I may submit to the privation of almost every means of instruction, and to the total want of rational society. The latter, which is but feebly felt in travelling, engrosses all one’s leisure thoughts during the tediousness of a long protracted fixed residence in any part of these uncivilised countries.

The city of Cairo has been lately exposed to serious disturbances. The Pasha, after his return from Arabia, attempted to introduce the Nizam Djedid, and began to drill both his infantry and cavalry according to European tactics. The discontent of the troops soon broke out into open rebellion, and Mohammed Aly, who had carried his victorious arms to the remotest parts of the Turkish empire, had the mortification to see his capital exposed to the fury and avidity of his own soldiers, who stripped the greater part of the shops, and sacked all the principal Bazars of the town, after which they retreated quietly to their quarters, having in vain endeavoured to break open the gate of the Frank street. The Nizam Djedid has now been given up, and the Pasha, conscious of the strength of the rebels, has not deemed it advisable to adopt any strong measures of punishment; but in order to conciliate the good will, and in case of need the assistance, of the town’s people, he has reimbursed to them, out of his own pocket, the whole amount of their loss, which has been calculated at four millions of piastres. The rebellion happened during the first days of last month. Many Franks have left Cairo. Several of them have been much ill treated, and shot at by the soldiers, even after the two days of plunder. It was the vulgar belief that the Franks had persuaded the Pasha to the adoption of European tactics.

The Wahabi war draws to a conclusion. The Pasha on quitting Arabia left his son Tousoun Pasha, at the head of his small army, in the northern parts of the country. In April last, during the time of my residence at Medina, Tousoun took possession of the province of Kasyne, a fertile district between Medina and Derayeh, the chief seat of the Wahabi; he fought there several battles with the Wahabi, in one of which Ibrahim Aga, his treasurer, the first officer of his court, was killed after a desperate resistance. This man, who was Governor of Medina during the latter part of my stay there, was a Scotchman, who had been taken at the battle of Rosetta, and who had turned Turk and was become the favourite of Tousoun Pasha, whose life he had once saved in an engagement with the Bedouins. His determined bravery, and faithful attachment to the cause of the Pasha would probably have procured him the rank of a Pasha of two tails, if he had had the good fortune to return to Egypt. Before he fell under the lances of the Wahabi he killed five of them with his own hand. The Chief of the Wahabi, Abdallah Ibn Saoud, was apprehensive that the repeated advantages gained by Tousoun Pasha might cause the principal of his adherents to join his enemy; he therefore commenced negotiations. In the month of June he paid a visit to Tousoun Pasha, and although the articles of peace were not ultimately settled during their conferences, yet little doubt was entertained when the last dispatches were sent off from Arabia that they would soon be concluded. Abdallah Ibn Saoud, in returning to Derayeh, left his own child, two of his brothers, and upwards of thirty of the principal Shikhs of Derayeh in the hands of Tousoun Pasha, as hostages for his good behaviour. Mohammed Aly demands from the Wahabi Chief an enormous sum in retribution of his pillaging the temple of the Prophet at Medina; he endeavours to prevail upon him to do hommage to the grand Signior for the possessions of the Wahabi in Arabia, but leaves him in the exercise of his new religion, provided he takes no further steps for propagating it.

I have the honour of enclosing herewith the journal of my tour through Nubia, fro[m] Upper Egypt to Souakin and Djidda. It has been ready for some time, but the hope of the arrival of a slave caravan which is daily expected, had made me delay its dispatch, in order to be able to clear up some doubts from the testimony of these traders, whom I might have examined here with much more leisure and safety than I could do in their own country. The caravan however is not yet arrived, and as I wish this to reach you before the yearly meeting of the African Association, I send it off at present, reserving the additional remarks and notes for a future period. I am busy now in arranging my Arabian journals, which are more voluminous than the enclosed, because I found myself more at liberty, and much less observed at Mekka and Medina than I was in Soudan.

I am sorry to say that my hopes of departing from Cairo are not likely to be quickly realised. No Moggrebyn caravan has arrived, although the yearly epoch of its arrival in Egypt has long passed by. Almost out of patience myself, I am little able to intreat my employers not to lose theirs; but if my former labours have convinced them that I am averse from trusting my hopes to the chances of rash and ill-prepared measures they will also (I hope) have experienced that I am not likely to give up projects to which I have once pledged myself. My success must be the fruit of patience and caution, and I should be wanting in duty both to my employers and myself, as well as in the gratitude which I owe to providence for having hitherto bestowed success upon my patience, if I were now to lose it. I am far from feeling myself comfortable in Egypt, and every private motive engages me to wish for a speedy departure from this country.

Tousoun Pasha, left by his father Aly as governor of Arabia, concluded, in June, 1815, a treaty of peace with the Wahabi. The possession of the whole desert and the far greater part of the Bedouin tribes were given up to them, while the holy cities with their territories were acknowledged as dependencies of the Sultan. The Wahabi promised to put no obstacles in the way of the great pilgrim caravans. But it is contrary to the politics of Mohammed Aly to quell that war entirely, for he knows that as long as Arabia is in an unsettled state, and Mekka in danger, he becomes necessary to the Mussulman world in his governorship of Egypt, of which he might possibly be soon deprived if the Hedjaz was quiet; he has therefore refused to ratify the treaty, and his younger son, Ibrahim Pasha, is now proceeding to Arabia with a new armament of troops. The expenses of the war are covered by the income of Djidda and the great profits accruing to the Pasha from his monopolies in the trade of the Arabian coast. A lucky chance has put me in possession of very interesting papers concerning this Wahabi war, which together with the information I collected in the Hedjaz, will enable me to throw considerable light upon the whole Wahabi sect and their affairs.

For three successive years the plague has raged at Cairo, and great apprehensions are entertained of its return this spring. If it be so I shall neither imitate my Mussulman neighbours in taking no precaution whatever against its attacks, nor the Greeks and Franks who shut themselves up for three or four months in their houses as close prisoners; but I shall leave the infected borders of the Nile, and seek for refuge among the Bedouins. As I have at present completely recovered my health, which I principally ascribe to an excursion through the Delta, after my visit to Alexandria, I do not despair, provided my health keeps pace with my spirits for the next three or four years, to bring my labours to a successful completion.

I send this with a messenger to Alexandria, from whence it will be forwarded by Col. Missett. It has been my peculiar good fortune to have met in Syria and in Egypt with such men as Mr. Barker and Col. Missett. The latter is now on the point of retiring from office, for his infirmities increase rapidly, and the climate of Egypt is little calculated to remove them. His public and private virtues are such as will ever make him regretted by the Europeans of this country, whose zealous protector he has often been, in most trying circumstances, and to many a kind benefactor. I have known few men who treat and know Turks so well as he does. His rigid integrity, his accuracy in business, and his inflexible firmness, are the only checks which Mohammed Aly has experienced in his relations with European governments, for the other Consuls are under such great obligations to him that they never dare uphold their nation’s interests when they are in opposition to those of the Pasha. Nevertheless, the urbanity and generosity of the Colonel’s character conciliated the friendship of all the Turks who were known to him, and he departs sincerely regretted both by Egyptians and Europeans, but particularly by myself, who have always experienced from him the most friendly solicitude.

I depart the day after to morrow for Mount Sinai. The plague has declared itself in this town, and all the Franks are shut up. I should not like to imitate them, and still less to expose myself to the infection. As the disorder is likely to spread among the villages on the Nile, I have thought that I could not do better than retire while it lasts to the Bedouins, who among their many advantages over the settled Arabs, enjoy a total exemption from the plague. I shall endeavour to push on as far as Akaba, and trace the direction of the eastern gulf of the Red Sea, which, as far as I know, has never been seen by European travellers.

In the following letter Mr. Burckhardt furnishes the Association with a short account of the result of his journey in the peninsula of Mount Sinai.

I acquainted you in a former letter with my intention to pass the time of the plague in the desert of Sinai. My return to Cairo was about the time when the infection usually ceases. From the convent of Mount Sinai I made an excursion towards the eastern gulf of the Red Sea, which I followed up nearly in its whole length, till I came within sight of Akaba (Elana, not Ezion Geber). Circumstances did not permit me to visit that spot itself, but I could see enough to trace the direction of the gulf as well as of the chains of mountains by which this part of Arabia is linked to Syria. The sea of Elana is much narrower than that of Suez. Close to the shore, on both sides, are high mountains; its main direction is more easterly than is generally laid down upon the maps. Bedouin of the Arabian coast navigate it, in open boats, in which they carry their cattle to the inhabitants of the peninsula for sale, and they fish for pearls in several parts of it. Excepting a small island, called El Deyr, not far west of Akaba, where some ruins are seen, no vestiges of ancient settlers, which could be attributed to the Israelites, fell under my observation. At Wady Fizan (one day and a half S.W. of the convent of Sinai), are some remains of small towns, of the date of the Lower Empire, erected at the time when the monastic order had spread over the whole peninsula, which appears to have contained at that time a great number of convents, forming an establishment much resembling that existing now at Mount Athos. The most interesting antiquities are the celebrated inscriptions of Wady Mekatteb, which have never been fully copied yet; and which are so numerous, that they would afford several days labour even to an experienced draughtsman. I have met with similar inscriptions in many other parts of the mountain, but invariably to the West of Djebel Mousa, which is a strong argument in favour of the belief, that the authors of them were pilgrims coming from Egypt; and not Israelite shepherds, as many have supposed. They evidently appear to be mere names, to which the sign [not included] is always prefixed. I saw no inscriptions of more than a line of two; it appears that each pilgrim in passing wrote his name, and the inscribed rocks are constantly found on the side of the different great roads, leading from Suez to Djebel Sinai, usually near the resting places, which were chosen where some impending rock afforded shelter from the sun; and where the same convenience still induces travellers to halt. In the lower part of the mountains the inscriptions are cut in sand stone, in the higher upon granite; the characters have no depth, but upon granite even this would be a labour exceeding the strength and leisure of ordinary pilgrims. The want of water, especially about Wady Mekatteb, precludes the idea of an army having passed that way, the soldiers of which might have wished to perpetuate their names. Perhaps some of the drawings of animals, particularly those of camels and mountain goats, (in Arabic “Beden,” which are to this day very common in the mountain) may have been done by the Israelite shepherds; I saw similar drawings, without inscriptions, upon rocks not far from Akaba. Upon the whole these inscriptions appear to me to have a strong resemblance to some I have seen in Nubia, written in the ancient Egyptian current character; some letters at least appear to be common to both. My opinion is that they were the work of Egyptian Christians, or perhaps Jews, during the first centuries of our era. Besides those of Wad Mekatteb, the most numerous and well written, are those at the foot, on the declivity, and at the summit of Djebel Serbal, a high mountain, apparently the highest of the whole chain, situated S.W. b. W. from the convent about forty miles distant, and which, as far as I know, has not been ascended by any former traveller. Many circumstances indicate that its pointed summit was once the object of a pilgrimage. Artificial steps lead up to it, and the inscriptions about the top are innumerable. From what causes this mountain derived its sanctity, I could not learn, neither from the Arabs nor the priests of the convent, who were even ignorant of the ruins of a large convent, situated near the foot of Djebel Serbal.

A botanist would find a rich harvest in these high regions, in the most elevated parts of which, a variety of sweet scented herbs grow. The Bedouins collect to this day the manna, under the very same circumstances described in the books of Moses. Whenever the rains have been plentiful during the winter, it drops abundantly from the tamarisk (in Arabic Tarfa); a tree very common in the Syrian and Arabian deserts, but producing, as far as I know, no mania any where else. They gather it before sunrise, because if left in the sun it melts; its taste is very sweet, much resembling honey; they use it as we do sugar, principally in their dishes composed of flour. When purified over the fire, it keeps for many months; the quantity collected is inconsiderable, because it is exclusively the produce of the Tarfa, which tree is met with only in a few valleys at the foot of the highest granite chain. The inhabitants of the Peninsula, amounting to almost four thousand, complain of the want of rain and of pasturage; the state of the country must therefore be much altered from what it was in the time of Moses, when all the tribes of Beni Israel found food here for their cattle. About the highest part of the peninsula, springs and wells are in plenty; in the middle parts and near the shore water is scarce. The present inhabitants are a motley crowd of Bedouins from all quarters, Arabians, Syrians, Egyptians, Moggrebyns, united at present in three tribes, who are called masters of Sina, and who live like true Bedouins. They are in possession of several fruitful valleys where date trees grow, and where agriculture is practised by a minor set of Arabs, the descendants of Christian families, servants of the convents, who turned Mussulmans in the sixteenth century, and are no logger to be distinguished from their neighbours. To trace the route of the Israelites in this desert becomes very difficult, from the change which the proper names seem to have undergone. I could find very few watering places, whose names correspond with those in the Arabic version of the scriptures, although there are several principal valleys and watering places, which must have been in the time of Moses, as they are now, the main places of resort of the shepherds of this province. About half way from Ras Abou Mohammed to Akaba, lies Dahab. (Deuter. I. i.), an anchoring place, with date plantations, and several mounds of rubbish covering perhaps ancient Hebrew habitations; five hours north of Ras Abou Mohammed lies the harbour of Sherm, the only one on this coast frequented by large ships. In its neighbourhood are volcanic rocks; I could find no others of that description in any part of the Sinai deserts, although the Arabs as well as the priests of the convent, pretend that from the mountain of Om Shommar (about eight hours S.S.W. from Djebel Mousa), loud explosions are sometimes heard, accompanied with smoke. I visited that mountain, but searched in vain for any traces indicating a volcano. The library of the convent of Mount Sinai contains a vast number of Arabic MSS. and Greek books; the former are of little literary value; of the latter I brought away two beautiful Aldine editions, a Homer, and an Anthology. The priests would not show me their Arabic memorandum books, previous to the fifteenth century. From those I saw, I copied some very interesting documents concerning the former state of the country, and their quarrels with the Bedouins.

On my return to Cairo, on the 14th of June, Mr. Salt delivered to me a couple of pocket compasses, and a letter, to my address, which you had ordered to be forwarded to him. This letter was from my mother; and I can find no terms adequate to express my thanks for your kindness in informing my mother of my welfare, and of the satisfaction which my services have caused to my employers. Next to the desire of contenting the latter, that of contributing to the happiness of my mother is the most fervent I have in this world. So flattering a testimony as that which came from you, could not fail to excite in her heart very lively emotions, and has created in mine sentiments of lasting and heartfelt gratitude towards their authors.

I can still give you no hopes of my speedy departure from hence. The time has gone by when the Fezzan caravan might have arrived at Cairo, and I am left in a state of suspense in which I master with difficulty my impatience. My uneasiness encreases by the reflection that this prolonged stay in Egypt may be falsely interpreted in England, by those who do not know me personally. Yet I cannot prevail upon myself to take a false inconsiderate step; and however acute my feelings may be on that score, I will rather expose myself to the temporary imputation of a neglect of duty, than act with rashness and against my conviction. Futurity alone can shew whether I was worthy of the full confidence of my employers, or not. If, as it is said, the great Moggrebyn pilgrim caravan is to pass here on its way to Mekka in October, I may perhaps join it on its return, if no earlier occasion offers. I shall thus be enabled to reach Fezzan by a circuitous route. Of this I shall of course give the African Association further advice, if I should resolve upon it.

Mr. Salt I believe has already acquainted you with our project of conveying the fine granite head of the Memnonium to Alexandria, with the intention of sending it to England, and of offering it in our joint names to the British Museum. You know that beautiful specimen of Egyptian workmanship; the impression which it made upon you and your travelling companions in Upper Egypt, was the chief incitement to Mr. Salt, who had not yet seen it, to engage in the proposed scheme. Mr. Belzoni, a Roman, lately in the service of the Pasha, who is a good mechanician, has had proper machines made here for its transport, and is gone to Gorne to fetch it. Mr. Salt and myself have made a common purse to defray the expenses of the land and water carriage, &c. and have given Mr. Belzoni the necessary instructions. If we do not succeed, our intentions at least were too good to be laughed at, but should the head reach its destination, and become as it deserves to be, an object of general admiration, it will afford me infinite satisfaction to have been a promoter of this enterprize. The heads of the colossi, at Ebsambal (See my journal in Nubia.) bear a great likeness to this, with the difference that they are of sand stone. The expression of the face is the same; perhaps a little more gravity is perceived in those of Nubia, but the incomparable serenity, and godlike mildness are remarkable in both.

The excursion to Mount Sinai was the last journey which Mr. Burckhardt accomplished. From the time of his return to Cairo in June 1816, to that of his death in October 1817, he continued to reside in the Egyptian capital, occupied in preparing various papers for the Association; and in other employments connected with Arabic literature, and his travelling pursuits. The letters which he addressed during this period to the Committee, shew how deeply he felt the disappointment, caused by the nonarrival of any caravan from the interior, by the return of which, he might have proceeded upon the ultimate object of his mission. His letters contain also a series of valuable observations upon the events which occurred about that time in Egypt and Arabia, together with many remarks upon the manners and government of Egypt, and upon those subjects which were his principal objects of enquiry, as an agent of the African Association. The remarks of a person who unites good sense and judgment to local knowledge and experience, are of the highest value in countries where every branch of enquiry presents results so different from our preconceived notions, founded upon what we have been accustomed to in Europe; where accurate information is very difficult to acquire; and where, consequently, the remarks of the transient traveller are often replete with error. These considerations are a sufficient excuse for laying before the reader the most interesting parts of the last epistolary communications of Mr. Burckhardt to the Association. They are contained in the following extract from his letters, all of which, except the last, are addressed to Mr. Hamilton, the Secretary.

I have the honour of transmitting to the Committee of the African Association some papers, forming part of the information obtained by me, during my journey through Arabia. They consist of, 1st. Some further fragments on the Bedouins of Arabia, in sequel to those forwarded on former occasions. 2nd. A history of the Wahabi, and principally of Mohammed Aly’s late campaign in the Hedjaz. 3rd. A few notes to my former journals.

The repeated notices I have transmitted concerning the Bedouins of Arabia, will show how much I am interested about them. I believe that very little of their real state is known in Europe, either because travellers have not sufficiently distinguished Bedouins from Arabs in general, or because they have attempted to describe them without having had the advantage of seeing them at leisure in their own tents, in the interior of the desert. Their nation is the original stock, from which Syria, Egypt, and Barbary derive their present population, and for this reason alone they deserve to be enquired into; but they acquire a still greater interest when we consider, that amidst the utter depravity of manners and morals, and the decline of laws and civil institutions throughout the Mohammedan world, the Bedouins are the only Eastern nation who have preserved unchanged their ancient customs, and the manners of their forefathers and who still continue to be what they were twelve hundred years ago, when their emigrating tribes conquered part of Asia, Africa, and Europe. I am aware that my description of the Bedouins is not calculated to be acceptable to the public in general, as it contains nothing but dry facts: my only object has been to fill up a vacuity in our knowledge of the East, and I flatter myself that those who are interested in obtaining a knowledge of this part of the world will not be displeased at what I have done.

You will forgive my having forwarded the papers in so imperfect a state. Although my general health is at present very good, my eyes are far from being as I wish them to be; and since my severe ophthalmic attacks in Upper Egypt, I have repeatedly suffered from them, and have lately had again a severe inflammation.

I see that Aly Bey el Abbasi has got the start of me in his description of Mekka, but I hope to be able to give some information in addition to his. I have lately had an opportunity of perusing his work; little as I like the style in which it is written and the pretensions of its author, yet I find it incumbent upon me to state, that after a minute examination of it, I find no reason to doubt the general veracity of Aly Bey; what he says of himself in Syria, Egypt, and the Hedjaz, I know to be true, although he has not always thought proper to state the whole truth. I could tell you many anecdotes to prove how little he imposed, with his almost utter ignorance of Arabic, upon the sharp-sighted natives of these countries; but he was perhaps to be excused in fancying that he did, as those who partook of his bounty would be the last to hint to him their real thoughts on this subject, and whether Bey or not, he was a Mussulman, and that was sufficient. His method of travelling was very injudicious; surrounded with so much pomp, it was almost impossible for him to make many interesting observations, for a Turkish grandee is never left alone, and his numerous dependents are spies upon all his actions. The plan which he gives of the mosque at Mekka is very correct; that of the town is much less so, as you will see by comparing it with that which accompanies my description of the city. All his views of Hedjaz and Syria are drawn from memory; that of Wady Muna is the only one slightly resembling the reality. He has made one very curious mistake, which is, that he persuades himself that he was at Mekka, when the Wahabi took possession of that town, an event which happened three years before his arrival there. I am indignant at his daring to question the veracity of Mr. Browne, (by whose side he is a mere pigmy,) upon so trivial a fact as that of the existence of carpets in one of the mosques of Cairo, where I actually saw carpets spread not longer ago than yesterday.

To advert to another more humble African adventurer — I have lately seen the Quarterly Review of the Travels of Adams to Tombuctou, (which the Africans call Timbuctou,) but not the work itself. From what I have heard related in Egypt, and the Hedjaz, by several Felata Bedouins coming as Hadjis, from the neighbourhood of Timbuctou, by the way of Tunis, I believe that Adams’s description of that town is correct. One of them told me it was half as large as Cairo, and built of low mud houses, such I believe as are common all over Soudan. As to his river, I likewise heard that the Timbuctou river flows westward. The old story, that it is the same river with the Egyptian Nile was also repeated, which of course is in direct contradiction to the former supposition. The truth seems to be, that the ignorant Africans finding the two rivers to resemble each other, in size, in productions, and in the regularity of their inundation, conclude them to be the same. The name of La Mar Zarah, which he ascribes to the river of Timbuctou, I believe to be misspelt for Bahr El Ahmar El Sahára; (بحر الاحمر الصحرا) or the Red River of the Desert. This epithet is perhaps applied to it in the same manner, as Abiadh, Azrak, Akhdar, “white, blue, green,” are given to the different branches of the Nile. La Mar Zarah is said to be of a muddy colour, and the Egyptians describe the Nile by the word Ahmar, at the time when it first begins to rise and to become muddy.

The names of the King and Queen of Timbuctou seem to shew that they are Mohammedans. Woolo seems to be Wouli, which in Arabic, means Governor or Ruler (والي),The names of the King and Queen of Timbuctou seem to shew that they are Mohammedans. Woolo seems to be Wouli, which in Arabic, means Governor or Ruler and is given to all their governors, and Fatima is evidently a Moslim name. That Adams did not see them pray, is no proof to the contrary; he might reside for months at Berber or Shendy without witnessing any sort of public worship. There are however some of his statements which struck me as quite impossible, and convinced me of his want of veracity, at least with regard to them. I can never believe that twenty-three persons travelling on foot, with women and children, can cross a waterless desert of thirty days journey, without any other supply of water than what was loaded upon four camels; nor again, that twenty eight persons could travel in the same manner, for twenty-nine days, with four camels only partly loaded with water. Such powers of abstinence, neither Arabs nor Nubians, nor their camels possess; every person who has travelled in a caravan of camels, will disbelieve such assertions. After eight days the water kept in the best Soudan water skins is partly evaporated, and the remainder, from the continual shaking, is reduced to a thick black mud, which extreme necessity alone can make one swallow. The best camels for transport, known in the countries which I have visited, are the Darfour breed. They are never longer than ten or twelve days on their road to Egypt, without water, and even in that journey many of them perish of thirst. The daily supply of one quart would afford little relief to an animal which when thirsty swallows fifty or sixty, and after several days thirst, one hundred pounds of water. Four camel loads of water would in North-eastern Africa, even among the Nubian merchants, who carefully reckon every pound weight to be loaded upon their camels, be thought a scanty allowance for twenty-eight persons, even if they were mounted on camels, for a journey of five or six days. It is not by a daily allowance of half a pint mixed with urine, that a pedestrian traveller in the sands of Africa can hope to support his strength, through the continued exertions of such a journey; nor shall I ever believe that the Moors are so much superior to the Nubians, although they may be rather stronger than Aly Bey el Abbassi, who was perishing with thirst in a desert of Barbary, of one day’s journey across, fainting at four P.M. after having drank at noon a large draught. Stories of long journeys without water are to be placed in the same class with those of hot winds, overwhelming sands, and the miraculous swiftness of camels, &c. &c. They all originate in the fancy of Bedouins, who at the expense of truth, thus indulge the curiosity of the inhabitants of the towns, gaping at the wonders of the desert. They can be contradicted only by the few who have actually crossed the deserts, while they will be constantly corroborated by those who draw their information only from bragging Arabians or Moors.

I am certain that you take a lively interest in the travels of the unfortunate Seetzen, who was poisoned five years ago in Yemen. His labours, I can assure you, have been very extensive, and conducted in a most enlightened manner. His intimate acquaintance with all branches of natural history was applied with indefatigable zeal to countries the most difficult of access, and he had many times nearly become a martyr to those pursuits, before he met with his ultimate fate. It has fallen to my lot to trace his footsteps, in many hitherto unknown parts of Syria and Arabia. Petræa, and again in the Hedjaz; these, together with what I heard from the Europeans who knew him at Aleppo, Damascus, and Cairo, as well as from many Arabs on the road, have inspired me with as great a respect for his private character, as the dispersed memoirs of his researches already published, must give every reader for his literary acquirements. Although endowed with a lively fancy, and even with considerable poetical talents, he was a man of plain truth. If sometimes over fond of speculating upon the facts which he had collected, yet I am certain that in stating those facts, he observed the strictest adherence to truth, and I have not the smallest doubt, that if he had lived to publish the mass of knowledge which he had acquired during his travels, he would have far excelled all travellers, who ever wrote on the same countries. Mr. Salt has lately shewn me a letter which he received in 1811, from Mr. Rutland, then factor at Mokha, acquainting him with the death of Seetzen, which had just taken place, and making mention, at the same time, of several papers which he had left as a present to Mr. Rutland, who adds that as they are in German he cannot read them. As Mr. Seetzen would hardly have thought it worth while to make such a present to a person who could so little appreciate its value, I am much inclined to suspect they were only left in his hands as a deposit. Exact designs and descriptions of Mekka and other places, vocabularies of eighteen. African languages, &c. are stated to be among the number. Seetzen’s friends at Cairo, according to the common practice of Levantines, amongst whom most of the pseudo Franks established in these parts must be classed, entirely forgot him as soon as he was beyond their threshold, and it thus happened that although his death took place as far back as September, 1811, in the vicinity of Mokha, where it was of public notoriety, and that although since the beginning of 1811, no news whatever had been heard of him at Cairo, yet nobody thought proper to write to Mokha, for further enquiry, and as late as July 1815, nothing was known here of his fate. I then received a letter from Mokha, giving some details of the death of Mr. Seetzen, which I forwarded immediately to Vienna, accompanying it with a letter of my own to Mr. Hammer, which he, without being authorized to it, abridged and published, together with the other paper.

An Italian physician of the name of Cervelli, now established as a merchant at Alexandria, made four years ago some interesting travels in the North of Africa; he was attached to the son of Yousef Pasha of Tripoli, in the capacity of physician, and his patron being sent by his father to reduce Fezzan, the chief of which had been dilatory in the payment of the tribute, Cervelli accompanied the Pasha’s son upon that expedition; they first went from Tripoli by land to Derne, near to which Mr. Cervelli saw the splendid ruins of Cyrene, at least what he supposed to be the remains of that town; they went from Derne to Augila, and from thence to Fezzan, where they remained about six weeks, and then returned over a chain of mountains, where he found snow, (for it was in winter,) by Sokhne to Tripoli.

He heard of two English travellers having been at Fezzan, of whom one died, and the other was never heard of after his departure for Soudan; the name of Hornemann was unknown to Mr. Cervelli. This gentleman, although not a man of letters, possesses natural talents, and a good deal of vivacity and good nature; he told me that he took many notes, that he has not yet drawn up a journal, but that he has some intention of publishing his travels: I never could get him to shew me any of his papers, but I know that he possesses some, together with a few sketches of drawings; as his time is now totally occupied by commercial pursuits, I doubt, whether he will ever have leisure to work up his journal, and therefore, being well persuaded of the interest which his tour would excite, I have done my best to get possession of his papers, and offered him a thousand piastres for them, under the formal promise that if ever they should be published, it should be under his own name. Since his departure for Alexandria, I have charged Mr. Thurburn, formerly secretary to Colonel Missett, and now a partner in the house of Briggs and Co. a gentleman of much information, to renew the negotiation with Mr. Cervelli. He has lately informed me, that Mr. Cervelli refuses to part with his papers; but has promised to employ his evenings in arranging them, as he wishes to publish them himself.

I feel the greatest regret, in being obliged to inform you, in closing this letter, that I have no well founded hopes of being able to leave Egypt before next spring. It would be tedious to enter into all the disappointments I have experienced, by the non-arrival of the western caravan. If the Committee believes that I am not a trifler in my duty, they will not doubt that nothing but imperious circumstances could so long detain me at Cairo. If, on the contrary, my prolonged stay in this city should give rise to any doubts of the sincerity of my intentions, I feel that nothing that I could say on the subject could possibly remove them[.]

By the present conveyance, I have the honour of transmitting to the Committee, my journals in the Hedjaz, together with some notices on the interior of Africa, and a translation from Macrizi, containing some documents on the history and geography of Nubia and the Nile countries; which may serve to illustrate my travels in Nubia.

You will be pleased to hear that the colossal head from Thebes has at last, after many difficulties, safely arrived at Alexandria. Mr. Belzoni, who offered himself to undertake this commission, has executed it with great spirit, intelligence, and perseverance. The head is waiting now at Alexandria for a proper conveyance to Malta. Mr. Salt and myself have borne the expenses jointly, and the trouble of the undertaking has devolved upon Mr. Belzoni, whose name I wish to be mentioned, if ever ours shall on this occasion, because he was actuated by public spirit fully as much as ourselves. The Committee need not be under any apprehension, that this transaction has caused my name to become of public notoriety in Egypt; which would certainly have been the case, if it had been known that I had a hand in the business, for during the fortnight the head remained at Boulak, the vessel was constantly crowded by swarms of visitors, of all classes. Nobody knows that I have had any thing to do with it. The Kahirines ascribe it entirely to Mr. Salt and Mr. Belzoni, who, they say, send it to England to have it taken to pieces, in order to find the invaluable jewel which it contains. The residence of the French Savans in Egypt has not taught them to form better notions, and the same kind of belief which caused the Shikh of Tedmor to resist my carrying off a small mutilated bust, found near the portico at Palmyra, still operates in every part of Egypt.

The peasants of Gourne reported to me, that the French had in vain endeavoured to carry off this head: and that they had even cut a hole in the lower part of the bust, to blow off part of the stone, and render it thus more transportable. I am ignorant for what reason they relinquished that scheme, but it is somewhat curious to find that in the drawing which they have given of that head, in their great work, they have represented it as it would probably have been, after the lower part should have been destroyed.

The discoveries of Mr. Belzoni in Upper Egypt, are too interesting not to deserve notice here. He has half cleared the temple of Ebsambal in Nubia, of the sands that obstructed it. The frontispiece of the temple, which has thus been discovered, is full of hieroglyphics; of the four colossi which stand before it, the face of one only (which I have mentioned in my journal), remains perfect; one of the three others has been reduced by mutilation to a mere lump of rock.

Behind Gourne he has discovered a new tomb of the kings, about one mile distant from the most western “insulated tomb,” as the French laid it down in their map. He says it is beautiful, and larger than any of the others, with a sarcophagus in it. All the paintings are done upon a while stucco, adhering loosely to the wall, and thus easily to be removed.

By digging at Gourne, in the plain between the Memnonium, and Medinet Habou, in a western direction from the two sitting colossi, about half a mile distant from them, he found a mutilated colossal head of granite, of much larger dimensions than the one he carried off, or any other at Thebes, being from ten to twelve feet across the front.

You remember the small pond, within the enclosure of the interior part of the temple of Karnak, towards the side of Luxor, which encircles on three sides an elevated ground. A row of Andro-sphynxes, or whatever they may be called, stand there, which the French had dug up, and of which Mr. William Banks carried off last year the two best. In digging farther on in the line in which these statues stood, Mr. Belzoni has discovered eighteen others, of similar shape, but of much superior workmanship, all in beautiful preservation; he has brought down six of them to Mr. Salt, who had furnished him with money for the express purpose of procuring antiquities; besides the commission to carry off the head. By the side of these figures he has found another statue, of a hard, large grained sand stone: it is a whole length naked figure, sitting upon a chair, with a ram’s head upon the knees; the face and body entire; with plaited hair falling down to the shoulders. This is one of the finest, I should say the finest Egyptian statue I have seen; the expression of the face is exquisite, and I believe it to be a portrait. From the beautiful preservation of all these figures, which is so rare in Egypt, Mr. Belzoni argues, that the Egyptians used this place to hide their idols, when the Persians came to destroy them, and he hopes, in going up a second time to Thebes, to find at the same place other treasures. He has likewise found at Karnak, the four sided monument, with figures in high relief on three sides of it, of which the French talk so highly in their work, and of which they have given a drawing. But it was in quite a different place from that indicated by them, for Mr. Belzoni found it under ground far to the east of the adytum of Karnak. This, with a dozen of Sphinxes, he has been obliged to leave on the shore of the river near Karnak, the boat being already overloaded. The head alone weighs, I believe, from twelve to fifteen tons.

Mr. Belzoni, who is as enterprising as he is intelligent, high-minded, and disinterested, further informs us, that he has dug up the colossus, indicated by the French upon their map of Karnak, as laying on the N.W. side of the abovementioned pond, under the name of “Colosse renversé.” He has turned it up, and finds it to be a torso without head, or feet, about thirty feet in length, of beautiful workmanship; he says that he has seen nothing in Egypt, not even excepting our head, that can be compared to it, as it is a true imitation of nature, not done in the usual hard style, but according to the best rules of art.

If Mr. Belzoni had had a flat bottomed boat at his command, he is confident that he should have been able to float down one of the small obelisks of Philæ, about twenty five feet in length. He handles masses of this kind with as much facility as others handle pebbles, and the Egyptians who see him a giant in figure, for he is six feet and a half high, believe him to be a sorcerer. Manual labour is so very cheap in Upper Egypt, that a little money goes a great way: the hire for a Fellah per day, is about four-pence; although upwards of one hundred Fellahs were occupied for many days with our head, and that we paid one hundred pounds for the boat only, and made a present to Mr. Belzoni, small indeed, but as much as our circumstances permitted, the total expense incurred by us, as far as Alexandria, does not amount to more than three hundred pounds, and Mr. Belzoni’s whole expedition, to about four hundred and fifty pounds. The Pasha of Egypt is luckily not yet aware of the value of these statues; if he was, he would probably imitate Wely Pasha of the Mores, and ask for passage money, for he extends his extortions over every article of Egyptian produce, and condescends even to farm out the trade of camel and sheep’s dung. Mr. Belzoni, who is known in England as a hydraulic engineer, and is married to an English woman, who has accompanied him to Egypt, entered last year the service of the Pasha, as a mechanic, but not being able to contend with the intrigues of a Turkish court, and too honourable to participate in them, he was dismissed as unfit for his business, and five months of pay still remain due to him. So much for the Pasha’s encouragement of European artists. They are enticed into his service by his emissaries in the Mediterranean, but are soon left to bewail their credulity.

You will find in the notes accompanying my translation of Macrizi, the account of some other very interesting discoveries, in the Eastern mountains of Upper Egypt; and last month, the old and so often visited pyramid of Djize was so well rummaged, that much curious new matter has come to light. Mr. Caviglia, an Italian, and Mr. Kabitch, a German, settled here, formed the project of exploring the well in the great pyramid. In the course of the operation, they have discovered that a continuation of the descending passage leads to a chamber under the centre of the pyramid, and they find that no other well descends into the passage.

I have been led to believe from various circumstances, that this new discovered continuation of the entrance passage was opened in the time of the Khalif who opened the pyramid, and that it has been choaked up ever since. If I am to believe Sherif Edrys, the author of a history of the Pyramids, a book, I believe, unknown in Europe, and which I have lately purchased here, the interior of the pyramid is full of passages and rooms, and several sarcophagi are yet to be discovered. This author wrote in the twelfth century, and himself minutely examined the pyramid.

I cannot dismiss the subject of Egyptian antiquities, without saying a word of Mr. Drovetti’s collection. It is certainly at present the finest of all those extant, in Italy, France, and England. There are few large statues, but great numbers of middle sized, and an innumerable series of idols, scarabees, medals, intaglios, and other articles illustrative of the religion and domestic life of the Egyptians, their dress, furniture, &c. &c. His rolls of papyrus are particularly valuable. He has ten quite entire, three of which are, I believe, the largest ever found in this country, together with a great number of smaller ones; and a large Coptic manuscript, written upon gazelle skin, found in the island of Omke, above the cataract of Wady Halfa. Many large specimens of Egyptian sculpture may yet be obtained, but it will be long before so complete a collection of smaller articles will be collected by one person. Mr. Drovetti has been for twelve years a person of great influence, and even power in Egypt; and his great object has been, to augment his collection, for which purpose he employed people in every part of the country. As it often happens in the Levant, with Europeans, long settled there, mercantile and pecuniary interests have at last got the better of his love for antiquity, and Mr. Drovetti having now turned corn-dealer, is desirous of converting his collection into cash. It would certainly be most desirable to have the collection in England. I believe that it has cost him about fifteen hundred pounds, and is certainly worth three or four times that sum in Europe.

I am in anxious expectation of a caravan for Lybia, and I have been long prepared to start at the shortest notice; I shall now leave Egypt with the more pleasure, because I shall not have to regret the abandoning of my journals in a rude state, which would have been the case if I had departed last year; for it will afford me no small consolation in my future travels, to think that whatever may be my fate, some fruit has been reaped from my pursuits, and that the Association is now in possession of several journals, containing new information upon very interesting countries.

If any thing can give me pleasure, it is the information which you give me, that my employers are contented with me, and I beg you to assure them, that as long as I shall have the honour to be in their service, no efforts shall be left untried by me to deserve their approbation. I fully appreciate the permission they have given me, to pass so long a time out of the intended direction of my labours. If some credit be due to me for the manner in which I have spent this time, no less is due to their liberality, in affording me the means of applying my exertions to countries and subjects, that fell not within the immediate scope of my mission; although I flatter myself, that the purposes of the latter were at the same time considerably advanced.

It affords me much satisfaction to understand that what I have written on the Bedouins has been found of interest. My last additions to those papers, which complete all the information I possess on that nation, have perhaps not reached you. I have illustrated their manners, laws, and character, with much pleasure, because I hold them to be infinitely superior to their neighbours the Turks. They have happily escaped the corruption of Levantine manners and morals, and this alone entitles them to the attention of the European public, although few travellers have thought them worth noticing, otherwise than as a nation of bloody, savage, and faithless robbers.

When you ask me whether I know Antar, you probably forget that the first knowledge I gained of that author, was from an odd volume in your own library. I fully agree with you in your sentiments concerning it; it has certainly every characteristic of an epic poem; it is throughout of high interest, and often sublime. I have attentively read little more than one twelfth part of it; the copy I bought at Aleppo is among the MSS. which I sent to England from Syria. Its style is very remarkable; without descending to the tone of common conversation, as the One Thousand and one Nights often do, it is simple, and natural, and clear of that bombast, and those forced expressions, and far-fetched metaphors, which the Orientals admire even in their prosaists, but which can never be to the taste of an European critic. The poetry appears almost every where to be the effusion of real sentiment, and the heroic strain of Antar’s war and love songs, his satires and bursts of self-praise, are as exalted as they are natural. You are no doubt informed that this same Antar was one of the poets of the Moallakat, and that Osmay, who relates his life in this work, occupied a high rank among the poets at the court of Haroun er-Rashid, and his son Mamoun. I believe Sir William Jones was the first to call the attention of the public to this romantic poem, in his Comment. Poes. Asiat. He possessed only one or two volumes of it, yet enough to convince him of the excellence of the whole performance, of which he speaks in terms of the highest praise.

Having occasion to write to your brother not long since, I suggested to him the expediency of making some abridgement, in case of his publishing a translation of any part of Antar, for there are many repetitions, in which the Arabs delight, but which lessen the general interest of the work. I am confident that the translation of the abridged Antar would extremely gratify the public, and nothing would give me greater pleasure, than to see the noble Bedouin romance ushered into the world.

By the present opportunity I transmit to Sir Joseph Banks, my journal in the peninsula of Sinai, and to you, a volume of proverbs and popular sayings current at Cairo. I am afraid the Committee will be startled at all the Arabic it contains, and exclaim that the writer was sent to these countries not to become a translator but a discoverer. I can only say in excuse, that as my stay in this city has been unfortunately, but necessarily, so much prolonged, I thought that with a view to forward my future designs, I could not do better than pursue my study of Arabic, and in so far I can assure you, that I have derived essential benefit from this compilation, while at the same time I hope that a knowledge of the Arab nation, and of their present language, may be somewhat advanced by it, and facilitated to others. In translating and explaining these sayings, I have been actuated by another motive; I wished to leave a memorial with my employers, as well as with the public, that I had acquired a competent knowledge of the vulgar dialect of the people whom I have described in my journals. The simple assurance to that effect, would go very little way with those, who know that for the last fifty years few Europeans have published their travels among Arabs, without pretending to be familiar with their language, and at the same time giving proofs of gross ignorance of it. It is true that from the perusal of my journals, and from the information which I collected in the course of my travels without the help of interpreters, the reader will probably infer that I must have understood something of this language; but he would still be left in utter ignorance whether that acquaintance was such, as to confirm or detract from the veracity of the stated facts; the latter being often applicable to those, who hear and understand only by halves, yet enough to make them believe that they are not in want of a Dragoman. I have therefore thought it incumbent upon me, to give some clear proof how far I really possess that knowledge, and cannot help flattering myself that by this little work I have given a greater degree of authenticity to my journals. If I am not able to display the learning of a profound Arabic scholar, I trust at least that those who take the trouble to peruse this volume, will give me credit for understanding the language of the bazar, and of the peasants, and that is all I wish for at present.

From what I have just said, you will perceive that I am desirous of having these sheets published. The number of amateurs of Arabic is so very small in Europe, and the printing of Arabic is so expensive, that even the advantageous sale of such a work would, I believe, hardly defray one third of the expenses. It is reasonable to doubt whether the African Association would like to engage in an undertaking, so foreign to its avowed pursuits, although I shall be very happy to find that I am mistaken in this surmise. But it strikes me that the Directors of the East India Company, who patronise so liberally every branch of Oriental learning, may perhaps be willing to lend their assistance to this publication.

Mr. Salt has already acquainted you with the further discoveries near the pyramids. He and Mr. Briggs made a common purse to enable Captain Caviglia, whose pecuniary resources were exhausted by his works, in the interior of the pyramid, to pursue his labours under their directions in its neighbourhood, and especially near the Sphinx. The small temple which the Sphinx holds between its monstrous paws, is certainly very interesting, and of the best Egyptian workmanship. The hieroglyphics upon its walls are beautifully cut, and belong to the best period of Egyptian art. The many fragments of sculpture found between the paws are of a less remote period, and seem to have been placed there as offerings by the Greek Egyptians, who wrote the Greek inscriptions found on one of the paws and upon a large detached slab of stone; they belong to the reigns of Claudius, and Adrian, &c. The flight of steps cut out of the rock, that lead down to the avenue in front of the paws about sixty feet distant from them, and which describe a curve, bear likewise more resemblance to Greek than to Egyptian work. The designs which Mr. Salt has made are strikingly correct, and will indemnify future travellers, for having missed the opportunity of inspecting these curious monuments. Very few of them can have the satisfaction to admire these beautiful ornaments of the Sphinx, a colossus that is to me more imposing even than the pyramids, for the latter, after all, appear like small mountains while the former is a gigantic animal. The labourers will no sooner quit the place, than the sands will return to their former situation, and few people will have the courage to dig them out again. Captain Caviglia, who continues at the work with incredible ardour, says that with two thousand pounds he should be able to clear the whole Sphinx, from top to bottom on all sides, and little doubt can be entertained of his finding in that case, other important monuments of antiquity; perhaps large temples or grottos cut out of the rock, below and on the sides of the Sphinx, which appears to stand in a hollow.

Our colossal head is to leave Alexandria very soon, on board a transport which Admiral Penrose has sent to load corn. Mr. Belzoni, who is at present with Mr. Beechy, the secretary of Mr. Salt, at Thebes, has made many excavations there, and has found at Karnak a colossal head very little injured equal in beauty and size to ours, and in the highest preservation. Among other things he has found two large bronze vases covered with hieroglyphics.

As soon as the plague is over at Alexandria, I shall transmit to England a large chest of Arabic manuscripts. My whole collection, including two chests already sent to England, amounts to about four hundred volumes, composed principally of historical books, among which are many not found in Europe, and very scarce even in the East.

I have still to regret the non-arrival of caravans from the west, and I can only repeat that whenever one arrives, I shall certainly accompany it, on its return to Fezzan. In the meanwhile I must rely on the justice of the Association, not to put any other construction on my delay than those which I have stated. I am conscious that I subject their patience to a very severe trial, but mine at the same time is put to the torture.

Did I not indulge the reasonable hope that my conduct, since I have been in their service, entitles me to the confidence of my employers, I should be inclined to load my camel, and enter Lybia alone, to prove to them that it is neither want of courage, nor of zeal, that keeps me so long in inaction.

My journal in the peninsula of Sinai has grown to such a bulky volume, that I am somewhat apprehensive, of its being less acceptable on that account, but as there is no necessity for its being published at full length, the editor may cut off at pleasure all the less interesting matter. I had more liberty to write during the greater part of this journey, than I possessed in several former ones. This small country so important to the history of mankind, has never before been described in detail. The commentary on the route of the Israelites, which I have annexed to it, I submit with much diffidence to the perusal of the Committee, as I cannot but feel apprehensive that what strikes me to be correct, may not appear equally so to persons who have not visited the desert, and have not travelled with Bedouins. Should my opinions meet with approbation, I shall be particularly gratified, in having been able to elucidate some obscure points of early history, and to vindicate the authenticity of the sacred historian of the Beni Israel, who will be never thoroughly understood, as long as we are not minutely informed of every thing relative to the Arabian Bedouins, and the country in which they move and pasture.

There was a time when I never wrote to you, without being able to acquaint you either with the termination of some interesting excursion, or with my being just upon the start for another. Instead of which, I have been obliged to content myself now for nearly two years, with comments upon former journeys, or to offer you of future ones, the promise instead of the deed.

I cannot yet move from hence as no caravan has yet arrived from the west; it is indeed expected, but so it has been for a length of time, and that very expectation prevents me from undertaking any other journey, and chains me to this town, the air of which presses more heavily upon my lungs than did the pestilential exhalations of the saltmarshes of Medina. Had I any reasonable hope of being able to reach my destination by any other route, than that of Fezzan, believe me, not a moment’s delay should he incurred, to relieve myself from the most painful sensation I have felt since I left England, that of being more or less exposed to the blame of relaxation or want of spirit, in the performance of my duty. Had I less at stake I should perhaps be less prudent, but when I consider that during eight years, I have done my best to acquire the proper qualifications for the undertaking, I am unwilling to risk the prospect of success now in my hands, while if I can finally set out upon my journey in an eligible manner, I have some well founded expectations of bringing it to a happy issue. If I fail, it must cost my successor many years of apprenticeship, to be able to enter the gates of Libya, with as much confidence, as I shall now be able to do. I believe that the non-arrival of the Fezzan caravan is to be ascribed to the encreased demands of black slaves on the coast of Barbary, to replace the white slaves so gloriously delivered by the English fleet, for I have understood that the intercourse between Tripoly and Fezzan has been very brisk for the last twelvemonth. The demand for slaves, however, is no less great in Egypt, where the plague has made for the last four years, great ravages among the black species, which it appears to attack in preference even to the white; and if the Barbary market is glutted, which already must be the case, the Fezzan traders will again drive their human cattle to the slave folds of this town.

Mohammed Aly has within the last month begun a work for which he would deserve great credit, were it not clear that far from its being made subservient to the benefit of his subjects, it will only furnish him with pretexts for new extortions. He is re-opening the ancient canal from Rahmanye to Alexandria, a measure that becomes from year to year more necessary, as the bar of Rosetta is almost choaked up by sand; and has been during this winter for four months quite impassable, even to the flat bottomed boats of this country. Already last year the Pasha had caused a causeway to be carried across the mouth of the lake of Madye, and thus stopped the communication of that lake with the Sea, establishing by these means, a land-road all the way from Rosetta to Alexandria. But the Lybian Bedouins who were called with their camels, to transport the corn collected at Rosettes from all Egypt, by this new road to Alexandria, were so ill-treated by the Turkish officers, and so much curtailed of their freight, that they soon fled back to the desert, and thus the trade has as yet derived very little profit from that road. The opening of the canal, which is calculated to be a work of two years, for sixty thousand men, at an expense of about two millions of dollars, will open a water communication from all parts of Egypt to Alexandria, uninterrupted through the whole year, but such imposts will be levied, as will soon cause the native merchants to regret the ancient passage by the bar of Rosettes; the Fellahs meantime employed in this and the other public works, are treated much in the same manner as were the Israelites by Pharoah. The income of the Pasha, which upon a moderate calculation is two and a half or three millions sterling, per annum, (and of which he spends at most half,) added to the low price of labour, and the abundance of hands, render similar undertakings in Egypt much less difficult than they would be in other parts of the Turkish dominions. Perhaps the canal between the Nile and the Red Sea will be opened afterwards; if the direct intercourse with India, which the Pasha has already set on foot, succeeds according to his wishes, and is not opposed by the East India Company. Such enterprises might cause any other country to flourish, and to increase in wealth and industry; but here, none will benefit by them but the Pasha himself, and those employed by him in lucrative situations, while the mass of the people bewail the long duration of these works, in the execution of which they are in every instance defrauded of their dues; they are forced by government to attend to the labour, and are obliged to accept two thirds, and sometimes only half of the price that labour holds in the country.

We are left without precise news from the seat of the war which Ibrahim Pasha, the son of Mohammed Aly, conducts in the Hedjaz against the Wahabi. Until within the last two months, he had not pushed on farther than Hanakye, a station three days journeys in advance of Medina, towards the interior of the Wahabi country. He is reported to have obtained several advantages over small corps of the enemy, and to have defeated them even in a more important battle, but his success appears not to have been decisive, as he has not advanced. Meantime reinforcements are continually sent to Arabia. Three Frenchmen who are in the suits of Ibrahim Pasha, have written lamentable letters to Cairo, stating that they were one night robbed of their whole baggage, and left in their shirts, while sleeping in a tent adjoining to that of the Pasha, whose military chest was carried off on the same occasion. A frigate is building at this moment at Bombay, for Mohammed Aly, with which he intends to harass his enemy in the Persian gulf; and to protect his commerce in the Red Sea which he daily extends, and from which he will succeed to shut out in a short time all private adventurers from Egypt and the Hedjaz.

5th of June. I have sent off by this opportunity, a packet to Mr. Hamilton, containing a collection of popular sayings of the Arabs of Cairo, written in the vulgar dialect of the city. Captain Gambier, of the Myrmidon, who has come here for a few days, and who departs immediately for Malta, has promised to forward both packets from thence. I hope that within a few weeks, the colossal head will also be embarked at Alexandria.

In the Hadj of the year 1817, among the pilgrims collected at Mekka from every part of the Mussulman world, was a party of Moggrebyns, or western Africans, who were expected to return home as usual, by the way of Cairo and the Fezzan; it was believed that the caravan would take its departure from Egypt in the month of December. As Mr. Burckhardt had now transmitted to England the last of his papers relating to his former journeys, it was with the utmost satisfaction, that he contemplated the prospect, which at length so opportunely offered, of putting the great purpose of his mission into execution. Feeling strongly armed, in his long previous course of study and experience, he entertained hopes, not more sanguine, than reasonable, of being able to penetrate in safety from Fezzan to the countries of the Niger; and of at last receiving the reward of his long perseverance, in the acquirement for the public of some authentic information, upon the unknown regions of Africa. But the Divine Providence ordained otherwise. On the 4th of October, he found the symptoms of dysentery, which had for several days incommoded him, so much encreased, that he applied for relief to Dr. Richardson, an English physician, who fortunately happened at that time to be at Cairo, travelling in the company of Lord Belmore. Thus it is a satisfaction to know, that our lamented traveller, in his last illness, had as good advice and assistance as medicine could supply. The disease however, in spite of all the remedies administered, continued its progress from bad to worse, with fatal obstinacy, and without any favourable remission. On the morning of the 15th, conscious of his danger, he proposed and obtained the consent of his physician, that Mr. Salt, His Majesty’s Consul General, should be sent for. “I went over immediately,” says Mr. Salt, in a letter to the Secretary of the Association, and cannot describe how shocked I was, to see the change which had taken place in so short a time. On the Tuesday before, he had been walking in my garden with every appearance of health, and conversing with his usual liveliness and vigour; now he could scarcely articulate his words, often made use of one for another, was of a ghastly hue, and had all the appearance of approaching death. Yet he perfectly retained his senses, and was surprisingly firm and collected. He desired that I would take pen and paper, and write down what he should dictate. The following is nearly word for word what he said: ‘If I should now die, I wish you to draw upon Mr. Hamilton for two hundred and fifty pounds, for money due to me from the Association, and together with what I have in the hands of Mr. Boghoz, (two thousand piastres), I make the following disposition of it. Pay up my share of the Memnon head,’ (this he afterwards repeated, as if afraid that I should think he had already contributed enough, as I had once hinted to him). ‘Give two thousand piastres to Osman’ (an Englishman, whom at Shikh Ibrahim’s particular request, I had persuaded the Pasha to release from slavery). ‘Give four hundred piastres to Shaharti my servant. Let my male and female slaves, and whatever I have in the house, which is little, go to Osman. Send one thousand piastres to the poor at Zurich. Let my whole library, with the exception of my European books, go to the University of Cambridge, to the care of Dr. Clarke, the librarian; comprising also the manuscripts in the hands of Sir Joseph Banks. My European books’ (they were only eight in number) ‘I leave to you’ (Mr. Salt). ‘Of my papers make such a selection as you think fit, and send them to Mr. Hamilton for the African Association; there is nothing on Africa. I was starting in two months time with the caravan returning from Mekka, and going to Fezzan, thence to Tombuctou, but it is otherwise disposed. For my affairs in Europe, Mr. Rapp has my will. Give my love to my friends,’ (enumerating several persons, with whom he was living upon terms of intimacy at Cairo). ‘Write to Mr. Barker.’ (He then paused, and seemed troubled, and at length with great exertion said,) ‘Let Mr. Hamilton acquaint my mother with my death, and say that my last thoughts have been with her.’ (This subject he had evidently kept back, as not trusting himself with the mention of it until the last). ‘The Turks,’ he added, I will take my body, I know it, perhaps you had better let them.’ When I tell you that he lived only six hours after this conversation, you will easily conceive what an effort it must have been. The expression of his countenance when he noticed his intended journey, was an evident struggle between disappointed hopes, and manly resignation. Less of the weakness of human nature was perhaps never exhibited upon a death bed. Dr. Richardson and Osman, who has for some time lived with him, were both present at this conversation. He ended by expressing a wish that I should retire, and shook my hand at parting as taking a final leave. So unhappily it proved; he died at a quarter before twelve the same night, without a groan. The funeral, as he desired, was Mohammedan, conducted with all proper regard to the respectable rank which he had held in the eyes of the natives. Upon this point I had no difficulty in deciding, after his own expression on the subject. The Arabic manuscripts for the University of Cambridge are in a large chest, and shall be forwarded by the first safe opportunity, together with his papers, which are few, and appear to be chiefly copies of what I believe him to have already transmitted.”

To those who have perused the preceding extracts from Mr. Burckhardt’s correspondence, it will be almost superfluous to add any remarks upon his character. As a traveller, he possessed talents and acquirements, which were rendered doubly useful, by his qualities as a man. To the fortitude and ardour of mind, which had stimulated him to devote his life to the advancement of science, in the paths of geographical discovery, he joined a temper and prudence, well calculated to ensure his triumph over every difficulty. His liberality and high principles of honour, his admiration of those generous qualities in others, his detestation of injustice and fraud, his disinterestedness and keen sense of gratitude were no less remarkable, than his warmth of heart and active benevolence, which he often exercised towards persons in distress, to the great prejudice of his limited means. No stronger example can easily be given of sensibility united with greatness of mind, than the feelings which he evinced on his death bed, when his mother’s name, and the failure of the great object of his travels, were the only subjects upon which he could not speak without hesitation. By the African Association his loss is severely felt, nor can they easily hope to supply the place of one whom birth, education, genius, and industry, conspired to render well adapted to whatever great enterprise his fortitude and honourable ambition might have prompted him to undertake. The strongest testimony of their approbation of his zealous services is due from his employers, to their late regretted traveller; but it is from the public and from posterity, that his memory will receive its due reward of fame; for it cannot be doubted that his name will be held in honourable remembrance, as long as any credit is given to those who have fallen in the cause of science.

Although the journeys of Mr. Burckhardt in the parts of Africa, to the southward of Egypt, together with the oral information which he obtained, relative to the interior regions situated to the westward of those countries, are the only parts of his transmitted papers, which belong in strictness to the objects of an Association for promoting the discovery of the interior parts of Africa; yet his remarks upon several parts of Syria, the Holy Land, and Arabia, are so replete with new and accurate information, that the Association cannot think itself justified in withholding them from the public. His travels in Nubia, and all his information upon the north-eastern parts of Africa, have therefore been selected for a first volume, and it is in the contemplation of the Association, to continue the publication of his remarks upon the other countries described by him, in the order of precedence to which they shall appear to be entitled, by the novelty or importance of their matter.

There remains only one observation to be made by the member of the Committee, upon whom has devolved the task of editing the present volume. Although Mr. Burckhardt was gifted by nature with sagacity and memory.for making accurate observations, and with taste and imagination to give a lively description of them, it must not be forgotten, that he wrote in a language which was not his native tongue, which he did not learn until he was twenty-five years of age, and in the writing of which he had little exercise, until he had arrived in those countries, where he very seldom heard it spoken, and where he had still more rarely any opportunities of referring to English models of composition. When, in addition to these great disadvantages, it is considered that the journal which forms the contents of this volume, was only once transcribed from his collection of daily notes, and was written, as the traveller himself states, in the corner of an open court, by the side of his camels, under the influence of the hot winds of the Desert, and under the sufferings of an ophthalmia, the reader will easily believe that the Editor has found it necessary to make some alterations in the diction of the original manuscript. Some changes of arrangement have also been occasionally required, in order to bring together dispersed observations upon the same subject, which, having been noticed as they occurred, are, as usual in the first transcription of a traveller’s journal, found in such a desultory and unconnected state, as could not be agreeable to the reader. In these attempts of the Editor to present the work to the public in a more perspicuous form, it has at the same time been his most studious endeavour to make as few changes as possible; for he would much rather expose himself to the imputation of having left passages liable to be criticized for inelegance and an idiom not English, than to that of having, in the remotest manner, injured the spirit and originality of the Author’s thoughts and expressions, by an ill-judged attempt to polish or correct them.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:51