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has to provide himself with a passport. After in vain endeavouring to obtain a Persian one, he changes his nationality, and becomes an Affyhan, and succeeds in getting a pass from the Superior of the Affghan College. His departure from Cairo was hastened by his getting into a scrape. He and a fast Arnaout captain had a drinking-bout-a kind of sin which the Albanian considered decidedly facetious, funny as well as pleasant. After having well drunk, they persuaded the staid old Russian Hajji to join them; and as he absolutely refused the forbidden waters, his conscience only being lax enough to 'smoke the forbidden hashish, they defiled the slippers and pipe, which he, Joseph-like, had left behind him in his flight from temptation, with the strongly-smelling abomination of the raki. Shortly after the captain sallied forth in an uproarious state, and was with difficulty put to bed, after disturbing and scandalising the whole caravanserai. Our pilgrim soon found that he had in a manner done for himself; so he took his friend's advice, and set off immediately.
The journey across the desert is well described; the Bedouins smoking, questioning the traveller till they know as much about him as he knows about himself; then talking about food, as people in civilised countries do about money; and, when this subject is exhausted, singing songs all about bright verdure, cool shades, bubbling fountains—always something which they have not there and then, but which their soul desires. They are, he tells us, when not spoiled, the most good-humoured and sociable of men; delighting in a jest, and readily managed by kindness and courtesy; but passionate, nice upon points of honour, revengeful, and easily offended where their peculiar prejudices are misunderstood. Then the desert, which sharpens the senses by its very monotony, and makes man attentive to every detail, till, like a shepherd with his flock, he knows the face of every sand-hill and naked rock; with a sky above terrible in its stainless beauty, with the air around caressing you like a lion with flaming breath, with sand beneath your feet in solid waves, " flayed rocks, the very skeletons of mountains, hard unbroken plains, over which he who rides is spurred by the idea that the bụrsting of a water-, skin, or the pricking of a camel's hoof, would be a certain death of torture,--a haggard land, infested with wild beasts and wilder men,—what can be more exciting, what more sublime ?" In such places the civilised mind has new sensations; though your throat is parched, you feel no languor; your lungs are lightened, your sight brightens, your memory recovers its tone, and your spirits become exuberant; you are ready for exertion, danger, or strife; you become frank and cordial, hospitable and single-minded, and you put off the hypocrisies of civilised life.
We will not linger with our author at Suez, where he has fresh difficulties about his passport, and where he meets with the companions in whose society he travels to El Medinah, and to whom he gives us quite a dramatic introduction ; neither will we tarry over the valuable statistical details he gives us concerning the population and commerce of this important seaport. The description of the pilgrim ship, in which he performed the voyage between Suez and Yambu, is highly graphic; the narrow-bowed vessel, undecked except upon the poop, which was high enough to act as a sail in a gale of wind; without means of reefing, without compass, log, sounding-lines, or chart; crowded so that there was scarce standing-room, and carrying among its passengers some ferocious Magrabis, who could only be persuaded to forego their claim upon the poop by the argument of broken heads and quarter-staves. Every night the ship brought to, and our pilgrim had twelve days to view the grand aspects of nature on the Red Sea; and these he describes vividly and picturesquely.
" Morning. The air is mild and balmy as that of an Italian spring; thick mists roll down the valleys along the sea, and a haze, like mother-o'-pearl, crowns the headlands. The distant rocks show Titanic walls, lofty donjons, huge projecting bastions, and moats full of deep shade. At their base runs a sea of amethyst; and as earth receives the first touches of light, their summits, almost transparent, mingle with the jasper-tints of the sky. But this soon fades. The sun bursts up from behind the main—a fierce enemy, that will compel every one to crouch before him. He dyes the sky orange, and the sea incarnadine,' where its violet-surface is stained by his rays, and mercilessly puts to flight the mists and haze and the little agate-coloured masses of cloud that were before floating in the firmament. The atmosphere is so clear, that now and then a planet is visible..
“Noon. The wind, reverberated by the hills, is like the blast of a lime-kiln. All colour melts away with the canescence from above. The sky is a dead milk-white; and the mirror like sea so reflects the tint, that you can scarcely distinguish the line of the horizon.
there is a deep stillness; men are half-senseless ; they feel as if a few more degrees of heat would be death.
“ Sunset. The enemy sinks behind the deep cerulean sea, under a canopy of gigantic rainbow, which covers half the heaven. Nearest to the horizon is an arch of tawny orange; above it another of the brightest gold; and based upon these a semicircle of tender sea-green blends with a score of delicate gradations into the sapphire sky. Across the rainbow the sun throws its rays in the
form of spokes, tinged with a beautiful pink. The eastern sky is mantled with a purple flash that picks out the forms of the hazy desert and the sharp-cut hills."
Our pilgrim has evidently the eye of an artist and the tongue of a poet; his gift of word-painting is something above the average. Nor is he less vivid in his sketches of personal appearance and character; he seems to have caught something of the acuteness of the perceptive faculties which he attributes to the Arab, and which the air and scenery of the desert is so apt to produce and foster. It is only want of space which prevents us from quoting many admirable sketches of his companions; of the Meccan boy Mohammed, with his Egyptian face and cunning acuteness, who suspected our pilgrim's disguise from the first, and even communicated his suspicions to his companions at Suez, but who was summarily declared by them to be a pauper, a fakir," an owl, a cut-off one, a stranger, and a Wahhabi, for daring to impugn the faith of a brother believer; of the Shaykh Hamid, an inhabitant of El Medinah, at whose house he dwelt while staying in that city; of Omar Effendi, and his manumitted negro-servant Said the devil, the pure African, noisily merry at one moment, at another silently sulky, affectionate and abusive, reckless and crafty, exceedingly quarrelsome, and unscrupulous to the last degree; with great love for and respect to his young master, but sometimes scolding him in a paroxysm of fury, and always stealing from him whatever he can lay his hands on; generous, but always borrowing and never paying; dressed like a beggar, but with his boxes full of handsome apparel.
With these and several others, our pilgrim, now dressed as an Arab shaykh, in which character he gives us a very respectable portrait of himself, crosses the desert from Yambu to El Medinah, not without sundry alarms of thieves, and losing no less than twelve of his escort by the fire of a marauding tribe.
Mr. Burton's second volume treats chiefly of El Medinah, a city which has never been fully described by a European; for Burkhardt was ill while there, and could not make his observations as he did on the rest of his route; and the other travellers who have reached it.have been prevented by other causes from taking notes on the spot. Our author acted as a bonâ fide pilgrim should act; he visited several times the Prophet's tomb, and all the holy wells, and the subsidiary mosques, which cover spots hallowed by some deed of the Prophet, and are, of course, abundant in the neighbourhood of the holy city. All the points of peculiar devotion are noted, and all the prayers are given at length. He and his guide stop before a tomb, or a niche, or a grated window, and
VOL. IV.--NEW SERIES,
address Mohammed, or Abubekr, or Omar, or Fatimah, reciting prayers to Allah, invoking the intercession of the Prophet, or caliph, or mother of the faithful, and making their profession of faith, "the everlasting profession, from this day to the day of judgment, that there is no Allah but Allah, and that our Lord Mohammed is his servant and prophet. Amen.” With regard to these intercessions, Mr. Burton is careful to impress upon his readers that the Mahometan does not worship either the Prophet or any other of his saints. The most ignorant Arab would reject such an imputation with disdain, as an insult to himself and as a blasphemy against religion. Among the half-naked barbarians of the desert the distinction between latria and dulia, the worship of God and the cultus of the saint, is universally understood, in spite of the protestations of controversialists, that it is a distinction which can only be comprehended by the learned, but which will be altogether misunderstood by the vulgar, who will always confound divine with human worship. This is a mere question of natural religion, or rather a question preliminary to all religion; and it is certainly answered in a Catholic sense by the people of El Islam.
The pilgrim furnishes full details on the plan, the architecture, and the furniture of the great mosque; on the ministers, from the eunuchs who keep the tomb to the farrashin who sweep
steps of the temple; on the sources of the revenues of the temple and its history. On all these subjects we have a mass of information, much of which shows great power of observation. The mosque itself is a great square, with five minarets, containing within a courtyard surrounded on three sides with deep colonnades, the pillars being of all styles and sizes, and in design so irregular, that it is more like a museum of second-rate art, a curiosity-shop full of ornaments that are not accessories, and decorated with pauper splendour, than a temple. The well-fed eunuchs of the tomb, who alone may look within the curtain which veils it, and who lord it as much as they can over their fellow-believers, are described as “disconnected with humanity; cruel, fierce, brave, and capable of, any villany. The eunuch's frame is unnaturally long and lean, especially the arms and legs, with high shoulders, protruding joints, and a face by contrast extraordinarily large; he is unusually expert in the use of weapons, and rides to admiration; his hoarse thick voice investing him with all the circumstance of command."
We have also abundant observations on the physical and political statistics of Medinah and its territory; the diseases of the population, their means of livelihood, the prices of provisions, and the caravans which enliven and support the town. Mr. Burton shows a more than ordinary talent for painting personal characteristics, as may be seen in the following account of the agricultural Arabs who farm the gardens in the neighbourhood of El Medinah. On a visit to these green places he encounters a number of the children of these savages, who, of course, shout for backshish, a demand with which our pilgrim willingly complies, " for the purpose of establishing an intercourse with fellow-creatures so fearfully and wonderfully resembling the tailless baboon."
“ Their bodies, unlike those of Egyptian children, were slim and straight, but their ribs stood out with a curious distinctness; the colour of the skin was that oily lamp-black seen upon the face of a European sweep, and the elf-locks peeping out of the cocoa-nut heads had been stained by the sun, wind, and rain to that reddishbrown hue which Hindoo romances have appropriated to their Rakshasas or demons. Each anatomy carried in his arms a stark naked miniature of himself, fierce-looking babies, with faces all eyes; and the strong little wretches were still able to extend the right hand, and exert their lungs with direful clamour. Their mothers were fit progenitors for such progeny; long, gaunt, with emaciated limbs, wall-sided, high-shouldered, with pendulous bosoms, spider-like arms, and splay feet. Their long elf-locks, wrinkled faces, and high cheek-bones, their lips darker than the epidermis, hollow, staring eyes, sparkling as if to light up the extreme ugliness around, and voices screaming as if in a perennial rage, invested them with all the charms of Sycorax.' These 'houris of hell' were habited in long night-gowns, dyed blue to conceal want of washing, and the squalid children had about a yard of the same material wrapped round their waist for all toilet. This is not an overdrawn portrait of the farmer race of Arabs, the most despised by their fellow-countrymen, and the most hard-favoured, morally as well as physically, of all the breed."
Such are the people who can worship Allah, and render to their Prophet and saints a relative honour. A distinction which is found to be no difficulty to persons in this low stage of cultivation, is probably, if possible, a less difficulty to the peasantry of Italy, France, or Ireland, however low any selfcomplacent Saxon controversialist is disposed to place these races in the scale of humanity and civilisation.
The old story, long believed in the West, that Mahomet's coffin was suspended in mid-air by magnets or witchcraft, has long been exploded. Our pilgrim carries on the stream of criticism, and makes it doubtful whether the Prophet lies in his tomb at all. The mosque is built round a chamber in the house where the Prophet died, and where he was also buried. Two caliphs lie buried by him; and the chamber is sa