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/ JiRDirATE Tins BOOK. 

r R E F A C E. 

Bit very few wonls arc necessary as a preface to this 
lK>ok, OA mon» than once in its pajijes its objects arc 

An areount of my journey through the Yemen 
ap|>eart*(l hist autumn in a series of artich^s in the 
• Illustrated i^ondon News/ and it is with kind 
j>ermission of the pr«)prietors of that paj)er that 
some 4>f the illustrations reajjpear here. Many of 
the illustnitions, however, have not seen the light of 
dav lK»fore. 

The rhapter on the Yemen rebellion was published 
iw an article in * Black wcmmIs Magazine' for February 

Thf remainder of the book consists of entirely new 

1 rannot attempt to thank here the many persons 
who aided me an«l n*ndtTed me services <luring the 
time I W{is in the Y^men. Without their assistance 
my journey would }»robably have faihul. To them I 
am most grateful. 

W. B. II. 

Sipi, 1803. 




I. THE YKMEN, ........ 3 




PART n.— A .i<)ri:NEV TUKor(;n thi: ykmkn. 

I. AI»EN, .... 

II. A HEN To I^\IIKJ. . 


V. •MiliRil Ti> YEIUM. . 

\1. YEKIM Ti» l»HAMAIt. 







IX. SANAA TO MENAKHA, ...... 323 


XI. HODAIDAH, ........ 358 



SANAA, ......... 374 



INDEX, 377 



BA/.AAK AT I>llAMAR, ..... 


MKNAKtIA, ..... 
%li:w OK Mol NTAI.N-RANCKS NKAR ti*tK KLKHAMlH. «».\ 

H<i\lTA, THE 1 Al'ITAl. OF I.AIIKJ. 
MKNAKIIA, ...... 




KHmHKIBA, ...... 

VIEW I IF A/. All. ...... 


MOM^ri: AT iiKir ^Atl». . 

I l*PIR Fl.o-tR tiF A KM IN AT YKitlM. . 


KARUT KN-\K>ilU .... 


klllliAR. ..... 

\IK« FR"U WAAI.AN, ... 

IN THE rRE.-4EM K OF AII\IKI> FKI/I rA.<>llA. «iOVKl( 
N«>H-4tENERAi. oF THE YEMEN, iT-^li 


To fix*^ 

IH%^ h 

f 1 


• I 


f f 




1 :2* 






















A YEMENI, .... 











HIRRAN, ..... 









To face pa^e 322 












To fact page 1 22 

tt 264 

At the end 






The Yeineu may be iledcrilKid as formiDg thi* nuuth- 
wost crorncr of Arahia. So little is known of the 
jjeography of the interior, and to .such a sli^^ht extent 
<lo even the natives detine the iN^undaries Wtw^en 
tht'ir own land and the surrounding; I>n>vinees, that 
any exai-t description of the country is imiMissible. 
The wime may be siiid of nearly all oriental frontiers, 
<*xce|>t where, takin<; an example from European 
rust4»mH, a rh*ar line of demarcation luts lM*en a<^reed 
u|Nin ; for, as a ruh% limits deiNMid far mon* u]N>n 
triliail (Nisition antl inhtTitanci* than ui)on any natunU 
features of the land in iiuestion ; and in many clUies 
in the si*ttlement of frontier questions with oriental 
Towers, even EuroiK*an (iovernments have Inhmi 


obliged to follow upon these lines. This is especially 
clearly exemplified in the case of the Algerian and 
Moroccan frontier, in the southern parts of which no 
absolute boundary has been fixed, certain tribes, 
whether in French or Moorish territory, belonging 
to whichever of the two nationalities under which 
they are enrolled. 

How infinitely difficult it is, then, in the case of 
the Yemen, to state where that province begins and 
ends, will be appreciated. 

As to two of its limits, the task of definition is 
simple; for on the west the Red Sea, and on the 
south that portion of the Indian Ocean known as 
the Gulf of Aden, allow of no question. On the 
north and east far more serious difficulties arise. 
Without attempting to delineate any exact frontier, 
which, with our present geographical knowledge of 
the country, would fail at the best to be anything 
more than roughly correct, more general terms must 
be used than would be justifiable in a more preten- 
tious work than the present. 

It may be stated, then, that the province of Arabia 
known as the Yemen is bounded on the east by the 
Hadramaut tribes, and on the north by the Asir, 
although some authorities include the latter, making 
the north frontier of the Yemen adjacent with the 
southern limit of the Hejaz, the province of Arabia 
in which are situated the holy cities of Mecca and 
Medina. As far as the writer was able to gather, 


however, from the ni'itives themselves, the Asir is con- 
sidered to be an entirely different district, although 
its inhabitants are nearly related to the Yemenis by 
blood. In fact, it may be said without much exag- 
geration that the present divisions of Arabia as 
marked upon the maps are but little in advance 
geographically of the ancient Greek and Roman 
arbitrar}' distinctions of Arabia Felix, Arabia Petrsea, 
and Arabia Deserta, Even allowing for the widest 
limits claimed for the Yemen, the whole country lies 
iR'tween 42' and 46' east longitude and 12"* and 20' 
north latitude. 

Although no natural formation of the Yemen 
can assist one in correctly determining its inland 
frontiers, the same cannot be said of the two great 
divisions into which the country is split up. These 
are so api>arent that, from the earliest geographers 
to the present day, they have remained unchanged 
and fully rt»cognised. But in order to appreciate 
this, a few words must be said as to the formation 
of the country. While the interior consists of vast 
mountain - ranges and elevated plateaux, some of 
which lie at an altitude of over eight thousand 
fet*t above the sea-level, the seal)oanl consists, both 
on the west and S4)uth, of low-lying sandy desert* 
and plains, var}'ing in breadth from thirty to nearly 
a hundred miles. The only exception where a spur 
of the mountains approaches the sea is at the head- 
land of Sidi Sheikh, the south-west comer of the 


Red Sea — a spur of land a few miles in width exactly 
opposite the island of Perim, from which it is divided 
by a narrow channel. It may be remembered that 
only a few years back there was a false report that 
France had purchased this advantageous spot from 
the Turkish Government. 

The formation of these maritime plains is such that 
it may be safely surmised that a very considerable 
portion, at least of what is now desert, was at one 
time covered by the sea. So fast, indeed, has been 
the silting action, that more than one former port 
now^ lies well inland. As an example of this, Sir R. 
L. Playfair, in his excellent * History of the Yemen,' 
mentions the town of Muza, once a flourishing sea- 
port, now over twenty miles inland. In many places, 
too, shells and chips of coral are to be found at great 
distances from the coast. The same retrograde action 
of the sea can be traced, too, at Aden, which was, no 
doubt, at one time an island, and is now joined to 
the mainland by a low isthmus, formed by the silting 
of sea-sand upon a submarine basis of rock. 

The name Tehama is applied to these plains of the 
Yemen. It is a district exceedingly subject to 
drought, and with a very small rainfall. What 
water-supply it boasts, with the exception of oases, 
is principally due to the mountain torrents, which, 
originating in the highlands, rush impetuously down 
the steep slopes, usually to be entirely exhausted by 
the desert before reaching the sea. It is said, how^- 


ever, that even in the driest seasons water may be 
found by sinking wells in the river-beds. Although 
the supply thus obtained is sutKcient to maintain the 
lives of Bedouins and their flocks and herds, it is far 
from proving of any great utility to cultivation, in 
such spots where, even in good years, cultivation is 
{>ossible. However, fortunately for the inhabitants, 
there are scattered ov(»r these deserts many oases, 
where cereals can be reared with tolerable certainty 
of reaping the crops. The poor quality of the soil 
as a rule renders agriculture, except in the most 
favourable jKwitions, an unprofiUible pursuit. The 
plains serve, too, for the breeding of camels, — those of 
the Alxhdi and Foudtheli country, lying to the north 
and north-east of Aden, being especially famous for 
their swiftneas and carrying capabilities. 

The Jibdl, or highlands, display entirely opj)08ite 
features. Enormous ranges of mountains rise abruptly 
fn>m the Tehdma to great altitudes, in places prob- 
ably 14,000 and 15,000 feet. These ranges for the 
most jMirt take a general south-eiisterly direction, and 
are split up into a series of wide, fertile, pandlel val- 
leys. It w«is doubtless the luxuriance and agricultural 
wealth, added to the attmctiveness of the climate, 
of this |)ortion of And>ia, that won for the Yemen 
in former davs the title of Arabia F«-lix. In these 
great valleys the coHee is grown, sharing with the 
proiluction of the indigo-plant and other dye-giving 
sjiecies the attention of the mountaineers. Added 


to this, the climate is such as to allow nearly all 
European vegetables to grow and flourish, and also 
many varieties of fruit-trees. The nature of the 
country renders necessary for cultivation the ter- 
racing of the steep mountain-sides, and over this 
laborious task an almost incredible amount of work 
and time is expended. But of this I shall have 
opportunity of speaking anon. 

There is, as might be expected, a vast difference in 
the temperature of the highlands and the plains. 
While at Aden and the surrounding country the 
thermometer averages all the year round some 85"* 
Fahrenheit, it probably does not rise above a mean 
of 61'' or 62" in the shade at Sanaa, the capital of 
the Yemen, where, as in all the elevated country, 
frosts are by no means uncommon in winter. Nor 
is it solely in temperature that great differences are 
apparent with regard to the low and high elevations ; 
for whereas also in the former the rainfall is uncertain 
and sometimes almost nil,^ the mountain country 
boasts two regular wet seasons — in sj^ring and in 
autumn respectively. In this respect the seasons 
may be said to correspond with those of the plateaux 
of Harrar and the Galla country. In both cases the 
rain is said to be of almost daily occurrence, but 
lasting only a short time, the showers being broken 
by periods of bright sunshine. 

Nothing can be imagined more beautiful than the 

^ In 1871 the rainfaU at Aden was only one-fourth of an inch. 


8cenerv of the mountains of the Yem(»n. Torn into all 
manner of fantastic peaks, the rocky crags add a 
wilduess to a view that otherwise possesses the most 
lH»aceful channs. Rich green valleys, well timbered 
in places, and threaded by silvery streams of dancing 
water; sloping fields, gay with crops and wild- 
Howers ; the terraced or jungle-covered slopes, — all 
are so luxuriant, so verdant, that one s ideas as to 
the nature of Arabia are entirely upset. Well known 
as is, and always has l)een, the fertility of this region, 
its extent is almost startling, and it can little be 
wondere<l at that Alexander the Great intended, 
after his concjuest of India, to take up his abode 
in the Yemen, had not death cut short his career. 

Thus briefly described, it will be seen that the 
Yemen ciinsists of two entirely different systems of 
countr}', influenced by two entirely difterent climates : 
the one arid plains, without much appreciable rain- 
fall ; the other a mountainous district, pnxlucing 
centals, dyes, aromatic gums, coffee, and other rich 
pnxluce — a country of valleys and plateaux, well 
watere<l withal, and enjoying a climate that for 
salubrity may Ix' said to equal any in the tropics. 
Having now |)ointtMl out in a general way the differ- 
ence of the two districts, I puqH)se to enter a little 
more definitely into the description of each. 

To commence with the Tehilma, as being the s«»a- 
lioard. It consists, as idready stated, of plains 
varj'ing from thirty to a hundred miles in breadth, 


and separating the highlands from the sea, both on 
the west and south. These, for the sake of dis- 
tinction, I shall call respectively the western and 
southern Tehdma. The former contains some five 
cities of importance, situated either on the coast 
of the Ked Sea or in that district which divides 
it from the mountains. Almost in the Asir country 
lies Lohaya, a small town on the coast, to which 
I shall refer more particularly in a chapter on the 
Yemen rebellion. Proceeding south, the next coast 
town of importance is Hodaidah, to-day the capital 
of that portion of the Yemen, and still farther 
south Mokha. As it was my lot to spend a week 
in the fever - stricken town of Hodaidah, I shall 
reserve anything I have to say about it for another 
opportunity; but as it was my ill fortune to see 
Mokha only from the sea and not to land there, 
and as I shall therefore not have to narrate any 
personal experiences in reference to it, I shall add 
some description of the place and its history at 
this juncture. 

There is certainly no name of any city in the 
Yemen as familiar to Englishmen as that of Mokha, 
with the exception of Aden. This it owes to its 
having for a long time enjoyed almost the sole 
reputation of the export city of the coffee-berry. 
However, it is not generally known that no coffee 
grows at all in the immediate vicinity of Mokha, 
and that all that was shipped from there was previ- 

MOKHA. 1 1 

ously carried to the city by caravans from the 
mountains, often over very great distances. Almost 
as suddenly as ]Mokha rose to fame has it fallen 
ag]iin. Before the arrival in the Red Sea of the 
English and Portuguese traders it scarcely existed 
at all, the outlets for the trade of this i>ortion of 
the Yemen being Okelis and Muza. It was not, 
in fact, until the fifteenth century a.d. that Mokha 
l^e<'amc a place of resort for ships, and it owes its 
origin more to the discovery of coftee than to any 
aidvantages or attractions of its own. In the 
early part of the seventeenth century the English 
and Dutch founded trading ** factories '' there, and 
from that time for a jHTio<l of some two hundred 
vears its fame and wealth were renowned. Van den 
Hrocck describes the place as it existed at the time 
of his visit in 161G, and notes that to such an 
extent has its trade recently augmented that gcKxls 
from Hungary and Venice were found in the market, 
which had lM»en carried by caravans the whole length 
of Ambia, to Im* exchanged for the pnxluce of the 
fiir east.* He further <lescribes the town as a m<wt 
flourishing <'(»mmunity, contiiining within its walls 
numbers of numerous nationalities who had Hocked 
there on hearing of its fame and renown. 

A centurv after the Duteh and Eui^lish had 
found(*d their fa<'tories the French followt^l their 
example, while in 1803 the Americans eommenciMl 

' Hilt. gen. «le« Voyage*, xoL xxxi. j*. 438. 



to trade direct with the Red Sea ports. On the 
British occupation of Aden in 1839, the immense 
superiority of that place as a port, and the security 
and advantages assured by British rule, drew the 
commerce from Mokha thence, the former celebrated 
city fast falling to decay and ruin.^ Before this 
period, however, serious outrages had been oflfered 
to British subjects, and during the first twenty years 
of this century there had been constant trouble 
brewing between the fanatical natives and the 
Christians, augmented no doubt by the jealousy felt 
by the former for the manner in which the Europeans 
had annexed their trade. More extraordinary still 
than these outrages was the manner in which their 
perpetration was looked upon by the British Govern- 
ment, and it was not until things became unbear- 
able that forcible means were taken to punish the 
oflfenders, and in 1820 a force under Captain Bruce, 
who had been sent thither to enforce a treaty with 
the Imam's Amir, and Captain Lumley of H.M.S. 
Topaz, bombarded Mokha, and succeeded in forcing 
an entry into the town. The result of this long- 
delayed act of reparation on the part of the Indian 
Government was the placing upon an honourable 
footing of the British "factory," and the carrying 
through of a treaty of commerce with the Govern- 
ment of the Yemen.2 

Although the author did not land in Mokha, the 

1 Playfair's Yemen, p. 22. » Ibid., pp. 135-139. 

MOKHA. 13 

captain of the steamer on which he proceeded from 
Hodaidah to Aden very kindly approached as near 
tlie shore as was compatible with the ships course, 
and with the aid of glasses a very good view of the 
place was obtained. From a distance it still has the 
apj»earance of being a flourishing town, but on nearer 
approach one can see that, although the walls of the 
houses are still standing, the roofs and Hoors have for 
the most part fallen in, and Mokha is to-day little 
more than a vast ruin, from which a few tall minarets 
still rise to tell of its former l)eauties. A handful 
of Turkish soldiers and a few Bedouins are all that 
remain of its once heterogeneous population ; and 
where once the streets were filled with richly robed 
men*hant<*, goats feed to-day on the coarse weeds. 

As Lohaya and Hodaidah are more particularly 
mentioned elm^where in this book, little more remains 
to l>e mu\ of tlie j)ort8 of the western Tehdma. 
Some mention must be made, however, of the islands 
of Kamaran and Perim, the two most im]N)rtant of 
the many that lie on the eastern side of this 
of the Red Scju The former owes its imix)rtance 
to-day fn>m the fact that it is a British j)ossession, 
and serves ais the tjuarantine station of the pilgrims 
«f4»ing to and rfturning from Jeddah, en route to and 
from Mfcca. It is situated in latitude 15 20' N. and 
longitude 42 30' K., and is alxjut ten niih'S in 
length, varying from two to four wide. In some 
[larts it is little more than a swamp, in others some 


low hills allow of the growth of palm-trees ; but the 
inhabitants are nearly all engaged in the pearl and 
turtle fisheries.^ 

The other island which may be included in a 
description of the Tehdma is Perim. It is situated 
in the Straits of Bab el-Mandeb, a mile and a 
half from the Arabian and about ten miles from the 
African shores. It is formed of dark volcanic igneous 
rock and plains of sand on which a few sand-loving 
flowers grow. The highest point of the island is 
between two and three hundred feet above the sea- 
level. What, however, compensates for its aridness 
and hideous character is the grand harbour it pos- 
sesses. This bay is a mile long by half a mile wide, 
well sheltered, and averaging a depth of five fathoms 
in the good anchorages. In 1799, in consequence 
of the invasion of Egypt by the French, a British 
naval force, under Admiral Blanket, proceeded to 
the Red Sea, while the Bombay Government, acting 
in conjunction with the other force, seized Perim 
in the name of the East India Company. No fresh 
water, however, being procurable, it was during the 
next year abandoned as a station for troops. To-day, 
under the hands of the Perim Coal Company not 
only offices but a hotel has been erected there, and 
the place promises to become a flourishing coaling- 
station. All the water is, of course, produced by 
condensers. A few British troops are habitually 

1 Sailing Directions for the Red Sea. 


quartered there, being sent from time to time for 
tliat purpose from Aden, and there is telegraphic 
communication both with that port and Hodaidah. 

Two cities of importance lie in the interior of the 
western Tehalma — namely, Zebecd and Beit el-Fakih. 
The former has throughout all the medieval history 
of the Yemen played a part of great imj)ortance ; for 
not only has Zebeed been a seat of learning and art, 
but also has been insepambly (tonnected with all 
the great civil wars and religious differences that 
have from time to time shaken the Yemen to its 
very foundations. Before the invasion of the Turks 
it was the capital and seat of government of the 
Tehalma, though to-day Hodaidah has usurped its 
{KKsition aa such. 

The foundations of Zebeed wi-re laid by Ibn Ziad 
after his ccmquest of the Tehama in 204 a.m.* The 
city is descrilied not only by Omarah but also by 
many other native historians, who one and all make 
mention of its {>olitical importance as well as of 
iti» size. The account most to the point, perhaps, 
is that of £1 Khaisraji, who states that the city is 
circular in form ; that near it to the south Hows the 
river of the same name, while to the north is the 
Wadi Rima, the two ensuring a fertile situation 
and a constant water-supply. He adds that it 
htooil midwiiy between the mountains and the sea, 
and almo6t e4|uidistant from Ijoth, the time taken 

1 K«v'« tnuuUtion of OtimrahV WnieD, lK»i. 


to reach either the one or the other being half a 

Of Beit el-Fakih little need be said here, as to-day 
it is a place of but slight importance. Like all these 
cities of the Tehdma, it is irregularly built of sun- 
dried mud bricks. Its name, "The House of the 
Scholar," is derived from its being the place of burial 
of a certain Seyed Ahmed ibn Musa, whose tomb 
is still much reverenced and visited as a place of 
veneration. The town possesses no claim to interest 
either politically or commercially. 

The next portion of the Yemen of which notice 
must here be taken are the plains commencing from 
the Straits of Bab el-Mandeb, and extending to some 
sixty miles east of Aden. These plains are included 
in the Tehdma, but in order to distinguish them from 
that part already noticed, I describe them as the 
southern Tehdma. Like the western Tehdma, they 
separate the mountains from the sea, and in many 
respects these two portions of desert bear great re- 
semblance. The southern Tehdma varies from fifty 
to a hundred miles in breadth, and is inhabited by 
wild tribes, the most important of which are the 
Subaiha, the Abdali, and the Foudtheli, the first 
being nomad in character. These plains boast no 
cities of any size except Howta, the capital of the 
Sultan of Lahej, chief of the Abdali tribe, which lies 
some twenty-seven miles north-west of Aden, and 
Taiz, — though the latter, from its situation on a spur 

TAIZ. 17 

of the mountains, may be said rather to dominate 
than to belong to these southern plains. Ibn Khaldun, 
in his geography of the Yemen, refers to Taiz as an 
im{)ortant city overlooking the Tehdraa, and men- 
tions that it had at all times l>een a royal residence. 
Without much further mention of this city, which 
the author did not visit, a few remarks may be made 
Ujjon its later hLstor}\ Owing to jealousies between 
meml)en4 of its ruling family, a certain Seyed Kas- 
sim, uncle to the then ruling Imam, Ali Mansur, 
tn»acher<»usly sold the place to the Egyptians in 1837, 
and it w:ts taken without resistance by Ibrahim 
Pasha, a general in the service of the famous Ma- 
hammed Ali Pasha, who held it until in 1840 a fanat- 
ical Mahdi el - Fakih Said took the town, only to 
have it wrested from him in 1841 by the Imam Seyed 
Mahammed el-IIaili. During the late Yemen re- 
lK*llion it fell into the hands of the Arabs, fur for- 
merly it lay within the limit of Turkish influence, 
and has probably by this time been reoccupied by 
the i.)smanli troops. 

With these few remarks ui>on the plain districts of 
the Yemen, s<*anty as they are, notice may now In? 
taken of the mountainous districts. Such {uirts as 
the author travelled through will be more minutely 
treate^l of in the narration of his journey, together 
with the towns of Yerim, Dhamar, and SauiUi, the 
three princi{Mil cities of the Yemen plateaux. How- 
ever, there are other places of im]>ortance to which 



reference must be made here, and which, although 
not situated upon the plateau, must by their position 
be included in this division of the Yemen. Of these 
the most important are Ibb and Jiblah. Both of 
these mountain - fortresses are of some antiquity, 
and have played no mean part in the history of the 
country. Ibb is mentioned by Omarah as being 
situated upon the great pilgrim-road built by Huseyn 
ibn Salaamah, a slave-vizier, which led from the 
Hadramaut, east of Aden, to Mecca itself, which was 
constructed about the year 400 a.h. After leaving 
Aden this great pilgrim - route was split up into 
two parts, one proceeding vid Ibb and the moun- 
tains, joining the author s route at Kariat en-Nekil, 
north of Dhamar; the other following the Tehdma. 
The road which leads vid Ibb proceeds through 
Sanaa, and thence vid Sadah and Taif to the Holy 

Jiblah, or Dhu Jiblah, as it was formerly called, 
owes its name to the fact that it was built upon the 
site of a pottery belonging to a Jew, Jiblah by name. 
It lies some ten miles to the south-west of Ibb. Ibn 
Khaldun gives a short description of the place. It 
is, he says, a fortress, and was founded by Abdullah, 
the Sulayhite, in the year 458 a.h. Like Taiz, it 
was a royal residence. 

The other cities of the mountain district, lying 
principally north of Sanaa, the capital, and therefore 
not coming under that portion of the country which 


it wiw the author s lot to travel over, will be noticed 

Rough aft these notes are, they will, I venture to 
think, help to illustrate the map. To attempt here 
the task of identifying the ancient sites with modem 
names would be not only a task of great difficulty, 
but also one unsuitable to the present book. Mr 
Kay, in his most able translation of Omarah's History, 
has pointed out how extremely laborious and un- 
certain has been his attempt to do so, even with 
such maps as to-day exist of the country. The 
author, after consideration, thought it more advisiible 
to avoid entering into discussions that bear but little 
relation to his work, and would, he fears, but prove 
uninteresting to the general reader. He has there- 
fore confined his geographical notes to such portions 
of the country as he himself passed through, supple- 
mcntetl by a few remarks upon places that demand 
some notice, either from their importance to-day or 
from historical interest. In the chapter relating to 
the historj' of the country the siime course has been 
pursued, a few pages of jirint being put aside for 
what wouhl fill volumes were it taken in hand. 

Having now treated of the Yemen as it appears 
from a cursory glance at the map, it is intended to 
enter a little more fully into its description, uncon- 
nected with its natural formation of plains and 

Ibn Khaldun, in the preface to his Geogra}>hyy 


states that the Yemen is divided into seven royal 
seats of Government ; ^ but Niebuhr gives a larger 
list of provinces, which is again added to by Sir 
Lambert Playfair, These divisions of the country, 
it must be understood, are entirely Arab in origin, 
and to-day have been more or less altered to suit the 
Turks. However, on inquiry from the natives, the 
writer found that, although disregarded by the 
Osmanli conquerors, the names are still in common 
use amongst the indigenous peoples. 

The author gives the list of these provinces in 
the order in which they are printed in Playfair's 
' Yemen ' : — 

Aden. Khaulan. 

The Tehiima. Sahan (including Sadah). 

Sanaa. Nejnin. 

Lahej. Nehm. 

Kaukeban. East Khaulan (several small 

Beled el-Kabail (Hashid wa principalities). 

Bakil). Beled el- Jehaf (or Mareb), 

Abou Arish. and 

A district lying between Yaffa. 
Abou Arish and the 
Hejaz, inhabited by Bed- 
ouins, &c. 

" These are," says Playfair, " as nearly as they can 
be classified, the great political divisions of the 
country; but numerous smaller states and tribes 
exist which cannot be classed with propriety in 

1 Ibn Khaldun, Kay*8 translation, 1892. 


any of the above districts, yet which are too insig- 
nificant to require a separate; notice." ^ 

The first two of these provinces, the Tehama and 
-lc/<»ii, are described elsewhere. The third is Sana4t, 
taking its name from the city, the capital of the 
Yemen. On account of continued wars and struggles, 
its )>oundaries have for ever been shifting. Within 
the province are situated the cities of Dhamar, 
Yerim, Rmlaa, Ibb, Jiblah, Kdtaba, Taiz, and 

Ijthej is described more fully elsewhere, so there 
is little further need to make mention of it here, 
except to roughly indicate its limits ; for under this 
title are contained not only the tril)e-lands of the 
Alxlali Sultan, but also the Subaiha, Akrabi, Foud- 
theli, and Houshabi tribes. The country inhabited 
by these Aral>s of the Plains may l)e said to extend 
from the Straits of Bab el-^Iandeb to about eighty 
miles east of Aden. The countrj' is poor, and boasts 
but one or two towns, but many large villages. 

The next province is KaukelHin, which, with 
Bi'U'd el-KdlMill^ Abou Arish, and Jii'tii llallel^ 
may l>e taken altogether. The latter trilx? inhabit 
a strip of plain countrj' along the In^rders of the Red 
Sea, while the three former include that portion 
of the country lying to the north-cjist and east of 
Beni Hallel, and extending as far as a line 
drawn from Sanaa due north. 

* PUyfjurV Veineii, p. 4. 

22 " THE YEMEN. 

North again of Abou Arish, and between that 
country and the Hejaz, is the Asir, part of which is 
mountainous and part plains — the former inhabited 
by dwellers in fixed abodes, and the latter by wild 

North of Sanaa, and upon the road connecting 
that city with Mecca, the continuation of the pilgrim- 
road of Huseyn ibn Salaamah mentioned elsewhere, 
is the province of KhauldUy east of which again is 
Sahdii, included in the province and former princi- 
pality of Sadah. This forms one of the richest 
portions of the Yemen, being famous for fruits, 
honey, and cattle. It consists of large valleys well 
watered, and at such an elevation as to render them 
not only suitable for the growing of fruit-trees, but 
also exceedingly healthy. Niebuhr mentions these 
tribes as hospitable but inclined to robbery, and as 
speaking as pure Arabic as is anywhere in use. 

The next province is still more mountainous, and, 
on account of its inaccessibility, has remained almost 
unconquered. It is known as Nejran, and consists 
of wide fertile valleys reaching nearly to the desert 
of Akhaf. Like KhauUn, it is renowned for its 
cattle and fruit, the breed of horses, too, being cele- 
brated. They are said to be of the famous Nejed 

The province of Kahtan, situated eleven days' 
journey north of the valley of Nejran, is another 
example of the difficulties of fixing any reliable 


frontier to the Yemen. Evidently it is inhabited 
by Yemeni people, as it takes its name from the 
founder of that stock, Kahtan, who is said to be no 
other than Joktan of the Jewish Scriptures. 

Eastern Khatddn lies to the north-east of the 
capital Sanaa. It possessed formerly a celebrated 
city of the Jews, which is now said to be almost en- 
tirely deserted. Although generally known by the 
name of Eastern Khauldu, it in reality consists of a 
number of small principalities. 

Bded el-Jehaf may be said to form the extreme 
(*astem division of the northern portion of the Yemen, 
but whether it should be considered as part of that 
country is open to doubt. It extends from a few 
days* journey east of Sanaa as far as the desert that 
divides Oman from Western Arabia'. It is in this 
district that is situated the city of Mareb, otherwise 
known as Saba or Sheba, whence the celebrated queen 
visited Solomon. The natives have traditions of a 
Queen Balkis, whom they affirm to have been the lady 
in question. However, this has ))een proved impos- 
sible, as the dates do not correspond. It was at Saba 
that the celebrated dam was built, the destruction of 
which, about one hundred years a.d., wrought such 
widespread destruction. A few words about this pro- 
digious building will be found in reference to the 
tanks at Aden in the chapter u{)on that possession. 

The last of the list of provinces is Yafftt, which 
lies between the Hadramaut on the east and south, 


and the districts of Lahej and Sanaa on the north and 
west. It became independent some two centuries 
ago, up to that time having been under the rule of 
the Imams of Sanaa.^ It is a rich fertile country, 
producing gums, cereals, and coflFee. It possesses 
three towns — YaflFa, Medinet el-Asfal, and Gharrah. 
Living in close conjunction with the YaflFai tribe are 
the Oulaki, divided into the upper and lower, their 
capitals being respectively NisAb inland, and Howr 
on the coast.^ 

These, then, are the principal provinces into which 
the Yemen is considered by the natives to be divided, 
though to define exactly their boundaries, as in the 
case of the frontiers of the whole country, would be 
an impossible task. 

With regard to the geography of the Yemen but 
few more words are needed, in order to render clear 
the following pages of the narrative of the author's 
journey. Although an account is given elsewhere of 
the Turkish dominion of the Yemen, it may be as well 
to delineate the present frontier since the Osmanli 
occupation of the country, although again it is almost 
an arbitrary one. 

To commence from the south. The division be- 
tween the Arab tribes of the southern Tehdma and 
Turkish Yemen commences some ten miles east of the 
Straits of Bab el-Mandeb, and so includes the promon- 
tory of Sidi Sheikh, which projects toward Perim 

^ Niebuhr, vol. ii. p. 68. '^ Playfair's Yemen, pp. 43, 44. 


Island, from which it is divided by a narrow strait a 
mile and a half in width. From thence the frontier 
runs in a north-easterly direction, passing a little to 
the east of Taiz, from which it again turns more 
directly east, passing to the south of Mavia, and, 
skirting the territory of the Amir of Dhala, includes 
the town of Kdtaba. From this spot it turns almost 
due north, keeping well to the east of Yerim and 
Dbamar, although these towns, as a matter of fact, 
form practically the eastern l)oundary of the Turkish 
Yemen. From Dhamar to Sana^i the frontier runs 
almost due north and south, and may be said to exist 
aliout forty to fifty miles east of a straight line drawn 
lietween these two cities. 

Fn^m Sanaa to the north the Turks claim authority 
as within their limits over iUl the country lying to the 
west of a line drawn from Sanaa to the south-eastern 
comer of the province of the Hejaz, although over the 
Asir and other inaccessible mountain tribes their au- 
thority is purely nominal, and has never U't^n acknow- 
ledged to any extent. 

It must not l)e thought that idl the countr}' lying 
witliin the frontier thus descril)ed is securely under 
Turkish rule, for thert* are whole tribes which do not, 
uor ever have done so, acknowledge anything more 
than a nomind subjection to the Sublime Porte. 

That these notes ujKin the geography of the Yt^men 
will prove of but little value to suvuNts the writer 
knows only too well ; but if his journey was unpro- 


ductive of any scientific or historical discoveries, it 
must be borne in mind the period at which it was 
undertaken : that not only was a rebellion still taking 
place, that a month or two before had shaken the 
whole country to its very foundations, but also that 
the author was by the Turks treated as a spy, and 
was more than once in great personal danger from the 
Arabs. Under these circumstances he feels that he 
cannot be blamed if his journey was devoid of any 
great results. All that he can boast to have brought 
back with him is a story of travel and adventure, and 
numerous photographs and notes, that will tend to 
throw light upon the present condition of the Yemen, 
especially on what has been taking place in that 


country since the Turkish occupation of the highlands 
in 1872. His narrative of travel tells a story of long 
night marches, and of days spent in hiding ; of a so- 
journ in a Turkish prison ; and this story, he trusts, 
will prove sufficient evidence that he had little or no 
opportunity for research. It was owing to a mere 
chance that his notes and photographs were saved 
from destruction by the Turkish authorities at Sanaa. 
If these pages tend to throw some light upon this 
most interesting corner of Arabia, and help to show 
what the country and its inhabitants are like, the 
author will be well satisfied with the result. 




Having in the last chapter briefly sketched the prin- 
cipal geographical features of the Yemen, it remains 
DOW to make mention of its history. The same re- 
marks as were macle as to the geography are appli- 
cable here, that with the exception of certain periods 
which have been made the study of archaeologists 
and orientalists, there is but very little known of the 
biistory of the Yemen, and there are long periods 
existing between the times of which something has 
Ijeen written or tmnslated that are almost blanks. 
Nor is it on this account alone that the task of com- 
piling in two chapters so many centuries of historical 
matter is a difficult one, for many of the times and 
dynasties of which there exists some trustworthy 
account are all but unimportant in treating of the 
country in general, wliat knowledge we possess in 
ver}' many cases Wnng simply the genealogies of local 
princes and rulers. However, it is only by a study 
of these shreds of history that we are able to gain 


any facts concerning the condition of the country 
during the early centuries after the introduction of 
Islam, for instance ; and if they in themselves appeal 
almost solely to the student of things oriental, they 
yet tend to throw more light upon the inner life of 
the people than it would be possible to gather else- 

But the history of the Yemen is by no means con- 
fined to such a brief period as that which has passed 
between the birth of Islam and to-day. There exists 
a far more ancient and more wonderful history, of 
which, unhappily, we know as yet but little, but 
which, should it even be possible to make thorough 
examination of its monuments and records, may 
prove that many of the existing civilisations sprang 
from the Yemen and Hadramaut, and that the ancient 
Egyptians themselves, owed the foundations of their 
arts and learning to the inhabitants of Southern 
Arabia. Some light has been thrown lately upon 
the old civilisation of Southern Arabia by the success- 
ful excavations carried on by Mr Theodore Bent in 
Mashonaland, which have proved most clearly^ that 
the Arabs of Southern Arabia were in touch with 
that distant quarter of Africa, and not only in touch, 
but even so firmly rooted there as to erect forts and 
temples, to build and to decorate, and to work the 
mines of that country. 

At present scientific exploration of the Yemen and 
the other divisions of Southern Arabia has been. 


for many reasons, so seldom undertaken that there 
remains to be discovered tliere more than is probably 
to Ihj found in any part of the world. How rich the 
country is in archajological remains may be judged 
from the quantity of inscriptions, &c., brought back 
by the enterprising and scholarly Austrian Dr Glaser, 
to whom we owe nearly all that is known of the 
earlier j)eriods of Yemenite history. It was through 
the extensive researches of this vacant that any con- 
clusive data have been given not only to individual 
sovereigns but to whole dynasties, with the result 
that although far from perfect knowledge, very con- 
siderable light has been thrown upon the early days 
of the Yemen. 

Before, however, entering into any precise account 
of the historical records of the Yemen, it may be as 
well to briefly mention a few well-founded traditions 
gener4dly accepted amongst the natives and believed 
by themselves to be undispuUible. In this they are, 
no doubt, mainly right in the origin ; but in attempt- 
ing to trace their descent, through perioils later than 
tboBc of the earliest times, they have to some extent 
become confused. This is most apparent in the eases 
of the two great divisions, or nations, which inhabited 
the Yemen, the weaker of which, at times, Auding 
similarity between names, claimed descent from a 
common ancestor with the stronger, until by force of 
time no clear line of division was possible in many 


Although there can be little doubt of a prehistoric 
and almost pretraditional race inhabiting Southern 
Arabia, the only record worthy of acceptance from 
native sources of their existence is their mention in 
the Koran. No traditions exist as to them amongst 
the people to-day, or even amongst those Arab his- 
torians of the middle ages who made special studies 
of the subject. 

The inhabitants of Southern Arabia may be divided 
into two great stems, to which the names of Yemenite 
and Ishmaelite tribes have been very properly given. 

The Yemenite nation are the direct descendants of 
Kahtan, generally identified with Joktan of the 
Jewish Scriptures, of the line of Shem, the son of 
Noah, another of whose descendants, Hazarmaveth, 
gave his name to what is to-day known as Hadra- 

The second great division into which the inhabitants 
of the Yemen may be divided are the descendants of 
Adnan, who was of the family of Ishmael, son of 
Abraham : although unfortunately the connecting 
links are absent, yet in spite of this there can be no 
doubt as to the fact. This Adnan is said to have 
been the contemporary of Bukht Nasser, in other 
words Nebuchadnezzar ; ^ and it was the fierce wars 
waged by this monarch, tradition relates, that drove 
the Ishmaelite tribes to seek refuge amongst the 
Yemenite peoples. If this be the case, it is a marvel- 

^ Kay's Omarah. London, 1892. 


Ions fact that two natioiiB iuhabiting the same country 
for such an enormous period of time, and for the last 
twelve or thirteen hundred years united in religious 
ideas, are able to-day to speak with any certainty as 
to which branch they belong. Yet such is the case, 
with the exception of certain Arab tribes who claim 
<Iescent from Kahtan, the mistake arising through 
certain similarities of names to be found amongst his 
descendants and those of Adnan. 

Each of these two divisions of the population are 
again split up into sections, though in the case of the 
Yemenites such is not to be found until the days of 
Himyar, son of AM esh-shems and great-grandson of 
Kahtan. It is unnecessary here to enumerate the 
tribes still existing which claim to have sprung from 
the family of Himyar, more than to mention the 
three principal ancestors on which their claims are 
based. These are respectively Himyar himself, and 
Malik and Arib, sons of Zayd, son of Kahtan, son of 
Ab<l esh-shems. 

The family of Ishmael are likewise split up into 
many tribes, claiming descent from three separate 
members of the posterity of Abraham — namely, El- 
Yas, Kays Ay Ian, and Rabiali. 

There yet remains another section which cannot Ik» 
passed over without notice, as commentators differ as 
to from which stem they originated. These are the 
descendants of Kudaah. While some protest that 
their ancestor was Himyar, son of Atxl esh-shems. 


others claim that they are of Ishmaelite descent, and 
ought to be enrolled under the heading of Arab 
tribes. It is more than possible that in their case an 
early amalgamation took place between the two stocks, 
and individuals adopted as their ancestor whichever 
of the founders of the parties it best suited their 
interests to put forward. 

Such, then, was the origin of the two nations which 
to-day, still to be distinguished from one another by 
their traditions of ancestry, form the population of 
the Yemen, 

Although there is no reason to doubt the genuine- 
ness of these traditions, and in fact everything points 
to their being authentic, the next period with which 
we come in contact is no longer a traditional one, but 
has been handed down to us in monuments and in- 
scriptions still existing. The knowledge we have 
upon this period of the history of the Yemen is due 
to the aforementioned Dr Edouard Glaser, who has 
successfully translated over a thousand inscriptions, 
with the result of practically proving the existence of 
two separate great dynasties that in succession held 
sway over the country. In so doing, what was 
commonly believed to have been the fact until his 
discoveries were made has been disproved, and an 
entirely new epoch in the history of the world brought 
to light. I refer to the dominion of the Minsean and 
Sabsean kings. It is, too, from these records that 
there has been found to have existed, contemporarily 


with early Eg)rptian times, a remarkable state of 
civilisation and commerce in the Yemen, and what 
was wrongly believed to have been in early pre- 
Islamic days a country of savagery, has been proved 
to have contained a cultured population, skilled in 
art and excelling in commerce. This fact doubtless 
to no small degree influenced the history of the 
civilisation of the ancient world. 

The earlier of the two great dynasties which at 
different epochs held sway over the Yemen, if not 
also over the surrounding coasts of Africa, was that 
of the Mina^ans, who are known in tradition as the 
Main. Thirty-two names of kings of this dynasty 
have already been discovered ; and iis a proof of the 
immense power they must have held, tablets commem- 
orative of their wars have been found as far removed 
fnjm the seat of their goveniment as Teima, on the 
road from Damascus to Sinai ; while an inscription from 
Southern Arabia renders thanks to Astarte for their 
e8ca|ie from the ruler of Egypt and their safe return 
to their own city of Quarnu. This votive tablet was 
erectetl by the governors of Tsar and Ashur, which 
again sjieaks for the immense tract of country owing 
allegiance to the Mimuan king; for of these places 
one has l>een identified as Wing situated near where 
the Suez C anal now pa.sses. This extension of fron- 
tier was doubtless owing to the great importance of 
the trade-routes from East to West, the |)ossession 
of which in later times brought the otherwise un- 



important Jewish kingdom so much to the fore. 
But more important, perhaps, than the discovery 
that these peoples were living in a state of consider- 
able civilisation, and carrying on most profitable com- 
merce, is the fact of their knowledge of writing ; for 
many of the recently discovered inscriptions in 
the Yemen date from a period contemporary with 
Egyptian hieroglyphics and Chaldsean cuneiform, and 
earlier than any known inscription in the Phoenician 

Following upon the Minaean dynasty, of which, 
as before stated, thirty -two kings are known by 
name, is that of the Sabseans : yet the nature of the 
inscriptions shows that a very considerable period of 
time must have elapsed between the two ; for where- 
as, in the earlier specimens of waiting, full gram- 
matical forms are found, the latter is not nearly so 
complete. Yet the Sabsean dynasty can be traced 
back with certainty to the time of Solomon, one 
thousand years b.c., and there is every reason to be- 
lieve that they had been in power at that time for a 
very considerable period. How very remote, then, 
must be the antiquity of the preceding dynasty, which 
we know to have been separated from the latter by a 
sufiicient lapse of years to have allowed of radical 
changes in the formation and grammar of their 
written language ! Besides which, although com- 
paratively few inscriptions have been discovered of 
this period, we have a list of no less than thirty-two 


^[ina'au sovereigns. Professor Sayce, in an able 
article upon this subject, states that he believes that 
it is (juite {)ossible that inscriptions may be discovered 
which will prove Southern Arabia to have been in a 
state of civilisation in the days of Sargon L, or even 
of Menes, who is supposed to have lived some five 
thousand years b.c'. : nay more, he expresses his 
opini<m, which many traditions tend to prove, that 
all civilisation may have sprung from the Yemen and 
its adjacent pn>vinces.* 

Ajiart from the great interest attending this alone, 
another f)oint must at once attract our attention — 
namely, the existence of an alphabet earlier than 
that uf the oldest disc*overcd Pha^nician inscriptions. 
Until these resi^aR'hcs into the writings of the Yemen, 
it was l>elieved that the Phcenician formati<m of 
letters was an abri<lgment of the hierogl}^)hics of 
Eg}'pt ; but there seems now to \)e reason to suppose 
that this still more ancient writing of S<juthern Arabia 
may prove to be not only the source from which the 
Pha^nicians derived their alphabet, but also the origin 
of those of all modern nations, including (iR»ece and 
Rome. What may Ik? said almost to pnive this 
theor}\ says Professor Sayce, is the fact that while 
the PhttMiieian letters, des^TilnMl by name as animals 
and things, have but little resemblance to the object 
from which the name is tak<'n, this still older form of 

» Prufet»or Savcvn "Ancient Arabia'' an<l " KeaultM uf Oriental 
ATtlun»lo)*Tr in the ContcniiMiran- Keviem-. 


Semitic writing bears a decided resemblance to the 
objects described in the names of the Phoenician 

Probable as all this is, it must remain for the time 
at least only a theory, until further discoveries are 
forthcoming ; but apart from all suppositious matters, 
it may safely be stated that, be the Aryan origin 
what it may, it is to Southern Arabia that we must 
look for the home of the Semitic peoples. Referring 
back to the earlier paragraphs of this chapter, in 
which mention is made of the two great divisions of 
the inhabitants of the Yemen, it will be seen that the 
tradition existed in the time of Mahammed, and is 
mentioned in the Koran, of an older population, whom 
it may be inferred were the original Semitic stock, — 
for it must be remembered that the present geogra- 
phical position of the Semitic races is almost entirely 
owing to the spread of Islam, and it is to Arabia, and 
Arabia alone, that we must look for their origin, — at a 
time preceding the first Minsean kings, and probably 
at a period when the stone age was passing into that 
of metal, and fishers and hunters were becoming 
traders and agriculturists.^ But of all the incidents 
of the ancient history of the Yemen, there is one that 
will especially appeal to all. I refer to the visit of 
the Queen of Sheba to Solomon about the year one 
thousand B.C. Sheba has always been identified with 
Saba, the capital of the Sabsean empire, a city lying 

1 Human Origins. S. Laing, 1892. P. 94. 


some seven days' journey to the north-east of Sanaa, 
the ])resent capital of Turkish Yemen. The story is 
too well known to need any comment here ; it need 
only Ik* noticed that the point it is written from is 
that of a Jewish historian, who would naturally tend 
to magnify the glories of Solomon and the admiration 
of the queen at hi.s wonderful city, palace, and temple. 
Yet, as a matter of fact, it is not at all improbable that 
Saba possessed buildings as fine as any of those of 
Solomon ; and certainly, whereius no ruins remain of 
the latter, the great dam, built some seventeen hun- 
dre<l years B.c. at Saba, still stands, though of course 
in ruins, to tell the tale of the vast building powers 
of the Saba^an architects. Nor do we in the gorgeous 
description of Solomon s works find reference to any- 
thing that could possibly have compared in size and 
structure with this cxtraonlinary barrwje, of which 
it is sufficient to siiy that it measured three hundred 
cubits thick, one hundred and twenty feet high, and 
two milen in length.^ The presents which the Queen 
of Shel>a brought to Solomon tend as much as any- 
thing to prove that she was a native of Southern 
Arabia, for her otffrings will ho fiumd either to be ])ro- 
duce of that country, or su<*h articles jis <Miuld, owing 
t4> the enormous commerce of Saba, find an outlet in 
that direction from farther south an^l east. 

Although the alrea«ly discovered inscriptions |K)int 
to Sal>a having Ix^en the capital of a great and civil- 

* TbeM me4tturviii«nU werv matle bv Moii'*. IVArnaml in 1S43. 


ised empire eight hundred years B.C., the existence of 
the great dam, which may be attributed to Lokman, 
who lived 1750 years B.C., and the visit of the Queen 
of Sheba to Solomon, speak of greater antiquity. 

The religion of the Sabaeans is too large a question 
to attempt here, more especially as there are evidences 
that during the long periods of the Minsean and 
Sabaean dynasties it underwent many changes, merg- 
ing from a primitive idolatry into worship of the 
planets and stars, and even, in cases, to the recogni- 
tion of a supreme deity. They believed in the im- 
mortality of the soul, a future state of reward or 
punishment, and many also in transmigration. The 
gradual change of doctrine appreciable in the religion, 
besides being due to the natural outcome of increased 
civilisation and culture, was no doubt largely influ- 
enced by the astronomers and astrologers of Chaldsea. 
Doubtless, too, there existed in their religious tradi- 
tions a sort of hero-worship, for we read in various 
authorities of certain names as being those of deities 
and of men. Thus we find the city of Saba was 
called after a god of that name, while again the 
founder is mentioned as being Saba the son of Abd 
esh-shems, the father of the so-called Himyaric 

Any attempt, with the space at disposal here, to 
draw conclusions from the traditions existing as to 
the earliest inhabitants of the Yemen, is out of the 
question ; and rather than do so, it will better suit 


our ]> to keep to what have been proved to be 
faicts — the existence of the Mina^an and lat^^r the 
Saba»an dynasties ; the high state of culture and com- 
merce in Southern Arabia at a very remote |)eriod ; 
and the existence of a written hinguajje that was 
possibly, if not probably, the origin of Phoenician, 
and so of all Euro|)ean forms of writing ; and the still 
greater idea that Southern Arabia may l)e proved to 
\}e the land of ** Punt,' and the birthplace of the 
Egj'ptian race, and their arts and culture. 

Shortly before the commencement of the Christian 
em Egypt became a Roman province, and a few years 
later an expedition under yEUius (iallus was sent to 
explore Arabia and Ethiopia. IIow difficult would 
lie the task was evidently realised, for when the 
ex|>edition started from Cleopatris, near the motlern 
Suez, it consist(*d of no less than eighty vessels of 
war and a hundred and thirty transports, with ten 
thousand Roman troops and fifteen thous^md nu»rcen- 
arii*s.* But the exjMMlition was destined to disaster, 
for although it penetrated as far as Southern Arabia 

prokddy Xtjnin - the tn)ops were decimated by 
famine and disease, and onlv a small handful ever 

In liNiking thnuigh tln»se early pages of the historj' 
iif the Yemen, one cannot but l>e struck with the 
im]Nirtant ]Kirt that women played in politics; and 
even after the intriNluetion of Islam, and the women 

* Viiicrnl* l*t?riplus %'ol. i. p. r>3. 


had been assigned a lower position, the old custom 
crops up again and again, and we find women seizing 
the reins of government. 

The first example that we find of the power exer- 
cised by women is without doubt the Queen of 
Sheba ; while a second example follows within a few 
years after the failure of the expedition of iEllius 
Gallus, in the person of Queen Balkis, whose real 
name was Belkama or Yalkama, and who was suffici- 
ently strong-minded to amalgamate two kingdoms by 
marrying her rival, whom she immediately removed 
by poison. 

About A.D. 120 the great dam of Saba or Mareb 
burst, spreading wholesale destruction throughout the 
wide fertile valley below it. About this period, too, 
an expedition was carried by the then King Tubba 
el-Akran as far as Samarcand, and thence into China ; 
and in a.d. 206, Abou Kariba, one of the most illus- 
trious of all the Himyaric kings, invaded Chaldsea and 
defeated the Tartars of Adirbijan. He started on a 
second expedition to conquer Syria, but returned 
after taking the Hejaz to the Yemen, where he is said 
to have renounced idolatry and embraced Judaism. 

A legend, quoted by Sir Lambert Playfair in his 
* History of the Yemen,' tells of the introduction of the 
Jewish faith into the Yemen during the reign of this 
Sultan. It savours of the priests of Baal ; for, wishing 
to put to the test the merits of Judaism and idolatry, 
the priests of either creed proceeded to a certain spot 


whence fire emerged from the ground. Pushed on by 
the crowd, the test was tried, and while the Jewish 
priests passed through the flame unscathed, the idola- 
ters |)erished. But the feeling between the two was 
bv no means destined from this fact to become a 
cordial one, and constant fights occurred between the 
two parties. Although Christianity seems to have 
ap|)eared in the Yemen previous to the year 297 a.d., 
it wa.s not until that date that it became a religion of 
imiN>rtance in the country. It was during the reign 
of the king Tubba ibn Ilass^in, who held the throne 
at this perioil, that Christianity was introduced into 
Abvssinia ; and iibout the middle half of the fourth 
centur}' the Knn)eror Constantius sent a certain 
bishop, Theophilus Indus, to convert the Yemenis, of 
whom the king was so far tolerant, even if he did not 
himself embnicc Christianity, to allow the building of 
chuH'hes. One was erecte^l at Zafar, near Yerim ; 
another at Aden ; and a third at a })ort in the Arabian 
Sea, supiM>sed generally to be Hormuzd. 

So king succeediMl king with the usual nipi<lity of 
oriental countries, until in 478 a.d. a certain I^ikhnia 
(or I^khtiaa) Tanii usur|>ed thf throne, whose 
cruelties to the surviving meml)ers of the royal 
(amilv are reconled bv more than one historian. 
However, it remained for one of these, a vouth bv 
name Asaad alN)u Karib, or l)hu Nowas, to revenge 
hid relations by stabbing the usurix*r with a dagger, 
he himsidf being unanimously elected to the throne. 


He embraced Judaism, and adopted the name of 
Yusef (Joseph). However, like many converts, he 
became a fanatic, and his cruelties toward the 
Christians are perhaps unparalleled in history. Dhu 
Nowas attacked them in Nejran, and having foully 
broken his promise that no harm should befall them, 
gave them the choice between death or Judaism. 
Twenty thousand, it is said, were burned alive in 
huge pits filled with blazing wood. The Koran com- 
mends these people who died for their religion, and 
calls a curse upon their persecutor.^ 

But the cruelty of Dhu Nowas was to reap its 
reward. A few Christians who escaped fled to the 
Court of the Christian emperor of the East, who 
presented them with letters to the Christian king of 
Abyssinia, requesting him to punish the perpetrator 
of these cruel outrages. 

In A.D. 525, accordingly, the Abyssiuians invaded 
the Yemen, and Dhu Nowas was defeated, being 
drowned, purposely, it is said, after the first battle. 
From that moment the Abyssinian general Aryat met 
with but futile resistance, and pushed into the heart 
of the country, destroying and razing the cities as he 
went along. 

Thus was overthrown, never to rise again, the 
Himyaric dynasty, which had held the throne of the 
Yemen for over two thousand years. Many of the 
kings had been celebrated both for war and culture, 

^ Koran, chap. Ixxxv. 


but their ancestors were now, on account of their 
fanatical perse<!Ution of the Christians, in retuni to 
suffer from cruelties and oppression as severe as any 
they themselves had ever practised. 

It is but one of the many examples of the terrible 
bloodshed consequent upon diversity of opinion on 
religious subjects, — for with bloodshed did Christian- 
itv force itsi»lf into the Yemen, and with bloodshed 
was it destined a few years later to disiippear. Aryat, 
having conquered the Yemen, was appointed Viceroy 
of the King of Abyssinia in that countr}% and reigned 
until nearly the middle half of the sixth centur}', 
Iwing succeeded by Abrahd, in fighting with whom 
Aryat was slain. 

Meanwhile, by ever}' means of cruelty and oppres- 
sion Christianity had been pushed forward ; but at 
length a bishop was api>ointed at Zafar, whose name 
i» to-day included in the calendar of saints as St 
(Iregcntius, who persuaded Abrahd to iulopt more 
lenient measures than those of his predecessor ; and 
even the Arab authors acknowlrdgr him to have l)een 
a just and compassionate prince. That he was, how- 
ever, a fanatic is certain ; for the church at Sanaa 
having Iwen defiled by an Arab from Mecca, where 
fur c<'nturies the Kiuibah had been a place of pilgrim- 
age, hi* vowed to destroy that placr, and at the head 
of a great army marched into the Ilejaz. Approach- 
ing Mecca, the inhabitants Hed ; but Abralui. mounted 
ujion his famous white elephant Mahmoud, failed,— for 


it is said not only did the huge pachyderm refuse to 
turn toward the city, but that a miraculous flight of 
birds dropped pebbles upon the heads of the invading 
army, killing both men and elephants. This miracle 
is generally explained as an epidemic of smallpox : 
however, be it what it may, it ended in the total 
rout and flight of the Abyssinian troops, who in a 
miserable plight resought the Yemen, where shortly 
afterwards Abrahd, died. 

This " battle of the elephant," as the Arab histo- 
rians called it, is doubly famous, as it happened in 
the year of the birth of Mahammed. 

But the Abyssinian rule was soon to end. Acts of 
tyranny and cruelty hurried on its termination, and 
Jaskum, the last sovereign, died in 575 A.D., when 
the ancestors of the Himyaric dynasty, certain of 
being unable to regain the throne for themselves, and 
having failed to persuade the Romans to take up 
their cause, implored the aid of the Persian monarch 
Kesra, who after many delays fitted out an expedi- 
tion, formed for the most part of convicts from the 
prisons, which reached Aden, under the personal 
conduct of a descendant of Himyar, Maadi Karib, 
and a Persian general of the name of Wahraz. A 
battle ensued with the Abyssinians, in which their 
monarch — for the Viceroys had by this time taken 
imperial rights — was killed. Sanaa was reached, and 
the gates broken down to allow the Persian con- 
queror to enter with uplifted banners, and Maadi 


Karib was proclaimed viceroy, paying tribute and 
owning allegiance to the Persian sovereign. 

The event of the return of a descendant of Himyar 
to power is celebrated by many an Arab historian 
and poet. 

Amongst many other ambassadors and men of 
repute who flocked to the court at Sanaa, after the 
overthrow of Christianity, was the grandfather of 
Mahammed, Abd el-Mutalib, who was received with 
special honours, as belonging to the powerful tribe 
of the Koreish, lords of Mecca. But Maadi Karib 
was destined to fall a victim to Abyssinian treachery, 
being murdered by his body-guard, which consisted 
of javelin -throwers of Ilabesh. A state of anarchy 
ensued, in which the natives struggled with the 
Abyssinians for the supreme power ; and finally the 
Persian monarch Kesra Paruiz was forced to send an 
expedition, which proved entirely successful. But 
bloodshed was the result, and the Abyssinians were 
put to the sword with great cruelty, even the half- 
breed children being slaughtered. 

Great as was the number of the slain, both the 
Abyssinian and Persian occupation has left its mark 
in the Yemen, and a ]>articular and despised race 
exislA there to-day known as the Akhdam.^ Author- 
ities ditfiT a8 to whether they are the descendants 
of the Abvssinians or Persians ; but so closelv did 

* Akb<Uiii, pluiml of Khtilini, u wonl u«tUHlly empluveil fur a hla%*e 


one occupation follow upon the other that it may be 
reasonably supposed that, owing to the youth . of the 
children at the time, and the rapidity with which 
both nationalities died out of the country, but little 
distinction would exist, in spite of diversity of colour, 
between the two. 

Meanwhile the Persian rule was for a time fairly 
established, though many tribes were almost entirely 
governed by their own local chiefs. All religions 
were tolerated, and Christianity maintained its 
ground, principally in Nejran, and we find mention 
amongst early authorities of a Christian bishop of 
that province, Kos by name. It was probably in his 
time that a Christian Church was erected in Nejran. 

At this period a great change was to take place in 
the religion and government of Arabia, for there had 
arisen at Mecca a prophet, Mahammed by name, of 
the tribe of the Koreish, who was destined to influ- 
ence not only all Arabia but the whole history of the 




Mahammei) was deHtiiied to overthrow the whole 
mx^ial ami religious status of Arabia. But the 
Yemen was bv no means anxious at the first to 
arcfpt the new doctrine, and for a time remained 
steadfast to the Persian cause and religion, under 
the viceroyalty of Budhan, who, though eventually 
he accepted the faith of Islam, hesitated until pres- 
sure was brought to bear uiK)n him, and until he 
had obtained, to him, sjitisfactory evidence of the 
pHiphet's miracles. 

The dissensions at this })eriod existing amimgst 
the Chrifitians of the Yemen ailded not a little to the 
itucccss of the spread of the new religion. Yet in 
thew» first days of conversion every leniency was 
*howu to the Christians, and a treaty was made 1k»- 
tween the princes of Nejmn, which, it may Ik* re- 
membered, was the stnmghoM of Christianity in the 
Yemen, and Mahammed himself, very advantageous 
to the former, one of the clauses stipulating that 


tolerance was to be allowed, and no Christians forc- 
ibly converted to Islam. 

But the Prophet had fixed his heart on the con- 
version of Arabia Felix, and for this purpose, in the 
tenth year of the Hejira, Ali ibn Abou Taleb, his 
son-in-law and nephew, was despatched thither. 
Failing by moderate means to bring over the people, 
the sword was resorted to ; but in spite of this fact, 
authorities state that Islam was grafted in the countr}'- 
with the loss of only some twenty lives. 

But its course was to be by no means a smooth 
one, for amongst several other pretenders two arose 
at the same period, 632 a.d., who laid claim to the 
prophetic office. Both had been converts to Islam, 
and one at least had actually seen Mahammed, and 
it was no doubt the report of his enormous success 
that stirred these men to rival his claims. 

The first, Mosailma by name, was a chief of the 
tribe of Hanffa. Being of a diplomatic turn of mind, 
he thought to make an alliance with Mahammed, and 
a correspondence took place between the two, worthy 
of repetition here. The letters ran as follows : — 

" From Mosailma, the Prophet of God, to Maham- 
med, the Prophet of God ! Let the earth be half 
mine and half thine." 

Mahammed's answer was short but to the point : — 

"From Mahammed, the Prophet of God, to Mo- 
sailma, the Liar. The earth belongs to God. He 
giveth it as an inheritance to such of his servants as 


plcaseth him, and the happy issue shall attend such 
as fear him." 

But Mosailma was not to be discouraged by this 
reply, and continued his career until, shortly after 
the death of Mahammed, his successor the Caliph 
Abou Bekrsent an expedition under a certain general 
Khali<l to attack him. In a battle near Akriba 
Mosailma was slain, and his followers disbanded ; who, 
seeing their leader die, once more reverted to Islam. 

The second im}x>8tor was El-Aswad, chief of the 
trilx* of Anis. lie had previously been an idolater, 
but had become a convert to th«» Mahammedan faith. 
Meeting at first with every success, he installe*! him- 
self at Sanaa, and nearly the whole of the Yemen 
acknowledge<l his authority. But at the instigation 
of Mahammed, who was at this time still alive, he 
waH treacherously shiin by his wife and accomplices. 

These two im|)ostor8, although their career did not 
to any extent |>ermanently aftect the history of the 
Yemen, are celebrated throughout Arab traditions, 
in which they are known as ** The Liars/* 

But the troubles in the Yemen wrre by no means 
at an en<l. Every preceding dyniusty had left dis- 
sension and rival blood in the countrv, and for a 
long j)eri<xl, <luring the reign of the early Caliphs, 
the countr}' was constantly disturlK»d with war and 
blixxlMhed. Pretender to the throne followed pre- 
tcmler, and it was not fnr a |)erioil of some years 
that any tranquillity was restored to the Yemen. 



In A.D. 655 Ali succeeded to the Caliphate on the 
death of Othman, and having to quell many dis- 
turbances and dissensions at home, he did not for 
some time turn his attention to the Yemen, where, 
after a lapse in the war between Muavia, governor 
of Syria, and the Caliph, a large band of the troops 
of the former, under the leadership of Bashir ibn 
Ardeb, carried out the most horrible atrocities on 
the partisans of the cause of Ali. But revenge was 
near, and a short time later — 39 a.h. — troops to the 
number of four thousand were despatched by Ali 
from Kufa, who equalled perhaps the cruelties of 
Muavia's adherents ; but they succeeded in stamp- 
ing out the cause of Othman, the lately as- 
sassinated Caliph, and Alis son was proclaimed 
governor of the Yemen. Islam had by this period 
made such a firm footing in the country, that, in 
spite of the dissensions between Christians, idola- 
ters, and Jew^s, we find the troubles confined almost 
entirely to the many sects of Islam itself. Some 
of the most important of these wiU be found men- 
tioned elsewhere, so that no reference is necessary to 
them here, except as showing how firm a hold the 
acceptance of the new religion had gained amongst 
the inhabitants of the Yemen. 

The country after the death of Ali became subject 
to the Omeyyad dynasty of Caliphs, until in a.d. 
749 the Abbasides exterminated them, with un- 
paralleled bloodshed and cruelty, the conquest of 


the Yemen being carried out by ^lahammed Abousi 
Mahammed. The typical cruelty of this man is well 
exemplified by a paragraph in Sir R. L. Playfair's 
* History of the Yemen/ Finding the inhabitants 
suffering from what is now known as ** Yemen boils," 
an exceedingly common complaint in that country, 
he ordered all those who showed any signs of the 
sickness to be buried alive as unclean. Happily his 
own death prevented this cruel order from being 
carried out. Sharing the ups and downs of the 
Abl>aside djTiasty, to whom the Yemen acknowledged 
a varying system of vassalage, in 811 a.d. the in- 
habitants declared for El-Mamun, son of Harun el- 
Kashid, the great Caliph of the East, who was shar- 
ing with his brother Amin the government. Under 
this Caliph the governor of the Yemen was Maham- 
med, son of Ziad. He conquered the Tehdma, or 
western plains, and became sovereign of the whole 

There remained at this period a tribe of the name 
of Beni Yafur, descendants of the old Himyaric 
kings, who lived at Sanaa. Acknowledging the 
AhUaside Caliphs, they were by force obliged to fall 
under the jurisdiction of Ibn Ziad ; but Asiuid ibn 
Yafur, the last of the family, took advantage of the 
Karmathian rising throughout the Yemen to usuq) 
the jiower, which he held until his death. He wa« 
the la>it prince of the Himyaric people ; and although 
his family held the throne for a few years they never 


arrived at any great power, their position being 
materially weakened by insurrections and family 

Ibn Ziad having died, and been succeeded by 
several members of his family, Aboul-Jaysh his 
grandson came to the throne. On the death of the 
Caliph El-Mutawakil and the abdication of El- 
Mustain, he disclaimed all allegiance to the Caliph- 
ate, and took to himself regal honours, though 
there seems to be some apparent discord as to dates, 
for the assassination and abdication of the Caliphs 
occurred before Abou'l-Jaysh came to the throne. 
Probably he was the first to assume regal power, 
although his immediate predecessors had ceased pay- 
ing tribute to the Caliphs.^ 

Apparently Aboul-Jaysh was a man of great power, 
and by the time of his death he was master of the 
whole of the Yemen, while his revenues reached an 
enormous sum. It was during his reign that the 
Zaidite dynasty sprang up. The foundation of 
what afterwards was the principal line of the Imams, 
or Sultans of the Yemen, is not without interest. 
Although to-day ousted from power by the Turks, 
the leader of the late rebellion was no less a person- 
age than a descendant of the great family who in 
A.H. 288 (a.d. 901) founded at Sadah the Zaidite 
dynasty. As of the direct family of the prophet 
Mahammed, it may be interesting to trace the line 

^ Ibn KhalduD, Kay's translation, 1892. 


from the founder of IhIuih to Yahya, who returned 
to the Yemen from India in 288 a.h. to announce 
the supremacy of the Zaidis. This is best done by 
a short genealogical tree. 



Fatiina and AH. 










Kasim er-KassL 



Kl-Hu«li Yuhya. 
(I>. 2W AH.) 

Although Yahya sutreeded in wresting Sanaa from 
AmuuI ibn Yafur, he was una)>le to hold it, and eventu- 
ally retunietl to Sadah. when* descendants of his family 
are to-<lay living. 

Fnim this p(*ri«Hl we find a constant rise and fall 
of dynasties. While Imams alternately hehl and 
loAt authority, there were springing up, generally 
to dii4api>ear, princes in many |Mirts of the country, 
su that at times the Yemen was divided into a 


number of principalities. Celebrated amongst these 
were the Sulayhites and the Zurayites, of whom the 
latter for centuries held possession of the southern 
province of Aden. But, meanwhile, in the north the 
Imams were succeeding one another with the usual 
rapidity of oriental sovereigns, and with very varied 
\| authority. In the fifth century a.h. we find the 
Abyssinian line again in possession of Zebeed, at 
this time the principal city of the Tehdma. 

Meanwhile the Zaidi family of Rassites continued 
to govern at Sadah without serious interruption. 

In 1173 A.D. the then reigning Sultan of Sanaa 
surrendered his power to Turan Shah, brother of 
Salah ed-din (Saladdin), the Ayyubite Caliph of 
Egypt ; and Ali, son of the Sultan El-Mansur Hatim, 
was nominated governor of that city. 

It would be out of place here to trace the long 
lines of governors and rulers who dominated the 
Yemen during the next two centuries. A few 
names, however, are remembered to-day, and men- 
tioned by authorities as being men of great power 
or culture. The first is El-Muzaff*er, who united 
for the time at least all the Yemen under his 
sway, and who died at the end of the thirteenth 
century; and again, Abdul -Wahab, who reigned 
early in the sixteenth century, and founded many 
colleges at Sanaa, Taiz, and Zebeed, and built a 
number of cisterns and aqueducts at places where 
water was scarce. 


During the next period of the liistory of the 
Yemen, we come in contact for the first time with 
Euroi)can tniders and the Turks, who were destined 
in no small degree to influence the future of the 

About the year 1445 a.d. the Christian king of 
A))y88inia sent a mission to Florence, and a famous 
missive to the priests of Jerusalem. This king is 
well known to history from these two acts alone, 
and to-day is celebrated as Prester John. Whether 
his embassy stirred the religious zeal or the cupidity 
of Euroj)e it Ls difticult to siiy, but it resulted, what- 
ever its cause may have been, in a Portuguese ex- 
l>edition to the far East, which eventually ended in 
the leader, De Covilham, marrying and settling in 

I think there is but little need here to re|)eat the 
adventures of many EurojH»an ex|XHlitions that were 
Rent at various perio<ls to visit this |)ortion of the 
glolw. Such as refer more immediately to Aden will 
be found mentioned in the chapter on that [>ossession, 
while I have elsi*when» referred to the ** factories " at 

Early in the sixteenth century the Mamlook jwwer 
in Eg}'pt was overthn^wn by the Sultan Selim I., 
up<m which event the larger portion of the Arabian 
states went over to the new cause. This Selim was 
desirous of himself leading an exi)edition for the con- 
t|uest of Arabia, but was oblige<l to al^andon the idea 


on account of ill health ; nor did he ever recover 
sufficiently to carry out his purpose. His son, Sulei- 
man the Magnificent, was equally intent upon the 
conquest of India, and for this purpose fitted out a 
fleet in a.d. 1520. On the 27th June 1538 the 
fleet left Suez, and Aden was reached a few months 
later, and the town was taken. Proceeding to India, 
Suleiman Pasha was forced to retire on being attacked 
by the Viceroy of Goa, and returned to Aden, where 
he left sufficient troops to garrison the town, and 
proceeded to Moklia, whence messengers were sent 
to Zebeed with the demand that the governor of 
that city should at once proceed to the coast. The 
Arab's refusal to comply with this order cost him his 
life, for a few months later Zebeed was taken, and a 
number of its inhabitants put to the sword. This 
completed the conquests of Suleiman the Magnificent, 
and all the coast of Arabia acknowledged the Turkish 
rule, Sanaa itself becoming the seat of the Pasha of 
the Yemen. But although firmly rooted in the 
country, the Turkish forces were unable to extract 
tribute from tlie numerous tribes, many of which 
remained practically independent. A revolt occurred 
at Aden in 1551, which was, however, put down by 
Peri Pasha, who wrested the town from the Portu- 
guese, to whom it had been handed over by its Arab 

Eight years later a still greater rebellion broke 
out throughout the whole of the Yemen. However, 


the Turks, under Hasan Pasha, were al)h» to quell 
it, and continue their rule in the country. 

At the beginning of the seventeenth century the 
English app(*ar for the first time in this part of 
the world, the first ship to trade in the Red Sea 
being the East India Company's vessel Ascension^ 
Captain Sharpey, who, however, failed in his desire 
to establish commercial relations between the two 
countries. This voyage was followed by several 
others, but of these mention will be found in the 
rhapter relating to Aden. 

In 1630 the Turks withdrew from the Yemen, 
and the government fell into the hands of a de- 
scendant of AH ibn Alnm Taleb, who married Fatima, 
the daughter of the Prophet Mahammed. This man 
wuM by name Kasim, whose full titles were Mansur 
el-Kasim el-Kebir. His ancestor, El-Hadi Yahia, 
luul founded the Itiissite dynasty in 284 a.h. The 
family of Kasim, which now commence*! to hold 
the government of the Yemen, continued until the 
conc|uest «>f Sanaa by the Turks in 1872 to fill the 
\ftmt» of Imams.^ A few words are neccssiir}'' in 
explanation of this title, by which the rulers of the 
Yemen have licen so long known. The word Imam 
liteniliy means the leader of pniyer in the moscjue. 
Tlius it will be seen that the ottiee was not merelv 
a tem|x>ral one, but was also imbued with re- 
ligious rights, enjoyed on account of their descent 

' A Ikt of the ImiuiM of Sanaa wiU be fouD«] at the end of tho look. 


from the Prophet. Not daring to assume the title 
of Caliph," they preferred the minor one "Imam," 
though practically by carrying out the old-established 
customs, such as changing their names on succeeding 
to power, they took upon themselves the position 
enjoyed by the direct successors of Mahammed him- 
self. The office was a hereditary one, and generally 
succeeded to by primogeniture, provided the eldest 
son was of an age and character suitable to his 
being able to carry out the necessary duties. 

Niebuhr gives an interesting account of the prin- 
cipal officers in the service of the Imams, a portion 
of which may be mentioned here.^ The various 
provinces were, he says, under the governorship of 
a " Dowla," or military governor, who was responsible 
for his district, collected the taxes, commanded the 
troops, and regulated all local affiiirs. It was custom- 
ary for a man only to hold the office for a few years, 
in order to prevent his acquiring great wealth 
or influence. Their position was always an uncer- 
tain one, as they necessarily made many enemies, 
who were ready to do them some ill turn at head- 
quarters. The Bas-Kat^b was secretary, appointed 
by the Imam, under each, whose principal work 
was to spy upon and report to their lord and 
ruler the actions of the ** Dowla." As ordained by 
the tenets of Islam, all cases relating to laws laid 
down in the Koran were tried by the Cadi, or 

1 Niebuhr's Travels, vol. ii. p. 85. 


chief judge. The ports were under the rule of three 
officers, — an Amir el-Bahr, or captain of the port ; 
an Amir es-Sok, whose duty lay in regulating the 
markets ; and a Sheikh el-Beled, who collected the 
taxes. El - Kasim was succeeded by his son El- 
Muayyad Mahammed, who in turn was succeeded 
by his brother Ismail, who lived a life of supreme 
simplicity, and died after a long reign, mourned by 
the whole country. 

So Imam succeeded Imam with all the changing 
fortunes of oriental rulers, and without apparently 
I>erformiug any deeds which redound to their own 
praise or raised the splendour of their country. In 
all probability their lives were simply s|)ent in 
Eastern uxoriousness, and in keeping in order the 
turbulent tribes by which they were surrounded. 

In 1709 the French appeared for the first time 
in the Red Sea, and carried out a treaty with the 
governor of Mokha, on behalf of the then Imam 
El-Mehdi. The principal clauses referred to religious 
tdleration, the duties on merchandise, and that re- 
dress should be given for any insults offered to 
French subjects.* In spite of this treaty in 1738 
Mokha was bomlMinled by the French, on account 
of debts owing to tlu» tniden* by the governor of 
that city. Tlie town was taken, but handed l^ck 
to the Imam on thi» payment of the debt. This 
ended in the drawing up of a second tn»aty, sonie- 

* PUyUir* Vemen, pp. 113, 114. 


what reducing the duty chargeable on the imports 
and exports. 

For the next twenty years affairs in the Yemen 
remained in a state of tolerable peace. From time 
to time tribes raised the standard of independence ; 
but there seems to have been no organised attack 
upon the Imams, although the family was continually 
engaged in intrigue as to the succession. However, 
in 1758 a serious rebellion broke out, under a certain 
Abd er-Rabi ibn Ahmed, who had been governor of 
a small province in the service of the Imam. Abd er- 
Rabi had made enemies in the household of the Imam, 
and at their instigation was recalled. He refused, 
however, to obey, whereupon the Imam sent a force of 
some three thousand men to bring him. Nevertheless, 
he was able to hold out within the walls of Kdtaba 
for no less a period than nearly a year, and eventually 
made his escape by night to his followers in the tribe 
of Hajeriya. Finding it impossible to capture Abd 
er-Rabi, the Imam made overtures to the Sultan of 
Aden to assist him. Abd er-Rabi hearing of this, 
entered Lahej and blockaded Aden. He was destined, 
however, to fall a victim to an act of treachery. The 
Imam was at this period attacking the city of Taiz, 
which he was unable to capture, and, hoping to kill two 
birds with one stone, invited Abd er-Rabi to join him. 
This the latter did, and the city was taken. The 
Imam, delighted with his success, under the most 
solemn protestations of friendship invited him to 


Sanaa, where on liift arrival he was, after every igno- 
miny had lK»en showered upon liim, decapitated.^ 

In 1762 King Frederick V. of Denmark organised 
an exi>edition for the exploration of Arabia under the 
leadership of Karsten Niebuhr. With him were asso- 
ciated thre(* other Danes, who all died either during 
the ex|)edition or immediately upon its termination. 
In spite of the fact that more than a century has 
elapsed since this exjKMlition took j)lace, we have 
never since been given a clearer or more interesting 
and valuable account of the Yemen. The social 
state of tin* country is particularly well described, 
and no one can overestimate the value of Niebuhrs 
Work. He twice int€rviewe<l the Imam during his 
stay at 8iinaa, and the second time greatly interested 
his royal host by exhibiting and explaining his scien- 
tific instruments. Niebuhrs account of the Imam 
and his surroundings is most interesting, but un- 
fortunately space does not allow of my giving any 
extracts here. 

In 1770 an attack was made upon the British fac- 
tor\' at Mokha. However, two British men-of-war 
were sent to the h()ot, and an indemnity w:is pai<l, 
whirh it wvLA found out eventuallv had been extracted 
from Indian menrhants, who were, of course, British 
subjects ! The Yemen at this time had attractetl a few 
Euro|K*an adventurers, who had become Moslems and 
entered the service of the Imam. Amongst these was 

> PUyfttirV Yciiicii, p|». lis. 1 19. 


a certain Scotchman of the name of Campbell, who 
was commanding the artillery of El-Mehdi Abbas, the 
then Imam. A rebellion had burst out in the country, 
and the rebels had seized upon a stronghold in the 
vicinity of Sanaa, in which was water, and where 
they had collected a quantity of provisions. Such, 
however, was the fear of the natives for the ingenuity 
of these European renegades, that they surrendered 
on hearing that Campbell and his companions were 
engaged upon the manufacture of shells — a task they 
had neither the means nor the knowledge of carrying 
to a successful end. The episode is merely interest- 
ing as showing the acknowledgment of the Arabs of 
the superiority of the European over themselves in 
such things — an allowance readily made to-day by 
nearly all classes of the Arab world. 

In 1799 a British force was sent to cruise in the 
Red Sea, on account of the French having taken 
possession of Egypt ; and Perim, an island situated 
in the straits of Bab el-Mandeb, was occupied, though, 
on account of the scarcity of water, it was only held 
for a period of four months. 

The trade of the Red Sea with India had up to 
this period been a very considerable one, but owing 
■' to the misgovemment of the Imams, and their inability 
to oflFer security to traders, it had greatly diminished 
in the last few years. On this account Sir Home 
Popham was sent on a special mission to the Yemen in 
1801, and was nominated Ambassador to the Southern 


Arabian states. lie arrived at Mokha on his return 
from Ciilcutta in 1802, and set out for Sanaa. How- 
ever, he reached only as far im Taiz, and there, as had 
been the case along the entire route, he was treated 
with ever}' ignominy. The Imam protested that the 
treatment of the Ambassador had been carried on 
without his knowledge and contrary to his orders, 
and he promised to punish the offenders. In all pro- 
liability Ali ^lansur, who then held the throne at 
Sanaa, was entirely unable to cope with the turbulent 
trilies, and it is known for certain that from his 
extravagances he was always in arrears with the sub- 
sidised chiefs of the neighbouring districts. 

I have brieflv mentioned elsewhere the Wahabi sect, 
which, under the leadership of Abd el-Wahab en- 
Nejdi, sprang up in the eighteenth century. It had 
not, however, seriously made itself felt in the Yemen 
until this jjcriod, its progress being no doubt largely 
influenced by the Wahabi conquest of Mecca and 
Medina. During the years 1804 and 1805 the Yemen 
Buffered from continual raids of the Wahabi leaders, 
for the most part chiefs of the Beni Asir, the tribes 
lying between the Ilejaz and the Yemen proper. 
But treacher}' was on foot, and certain Shereefs 
nominally owing allegiance to the Wahabi doctrine 
were really working in the intert»sts of the Imam of 
Sanaa, and in this manner the maniuders were held 
more or less in check. Meanwhile the Imam Ali 
Mansur had lieen deposed by his son Ahmed, who 


had seized the reins of government. But the city of 
Mokha refused to acknowledge Ahmed while the old 
Imam was still alive, and on that account Ahmed 
put an expedition into the field against the Dowla 
of that town. Happily for the country Ali Mansur 
died, and the people of Mokha were then able to ac- 
knowledge his son as Imam, and so a disastrous war 
was staved off. 

So great had become the power of the Wahabis that 
in 1813 Mahammed Ali Pasha invaded the Hejaz in 
the name of Turkey, and restored Mecca and Medina 
to the Osmanli Sultan. Thence an envoy was sent to 
the Imam at Sanaa, requesting his co-operation in 
the stamping out of the Wahabis. This was readily 
granted, for the Imam evidently saw that Mahammed 
Ali's eyes were turned in the direction of the Yemen ; 
and although he protested that he himself was devoid 
of means to carry on warfare, he gave the envoy 
letters to the Dowla of Mokha to supply him with 
vessels and material, knowing full well that he 
possessed neither.^ 

In 1814 Mahammed Alis troops took the town of 
Konfoda, north of Lohaya ; but the A sir tribes sur- 
prised it a few months later, drove the Turks out, and 
seized an enormous quantity of booty and supplies. 
So worn out were the Turkish troops with their long 
campaign that Mahammed Ali was obliged to abandon 
his scheme for the taking of the Yemen, and retired to 

^ Play fair's Yemen, p. 131. 


Cairo, leaving Ibrahim Pasha to continue the cam paifjn, 
which ended in the downfall of the Wahabis. The 
viceroyalty of Ibnihim was marked with every kind 
of cruelty and despicable corruption, and his departure 
from Je<ldah in 1819 was the signal for great rejoicings. 
Mahammed Ali then carried out a treaty with the 
Imam, who, on the condition of paying one hundred 
thousand dollars a-year, was to be restored several 
provinces which he had hitely lost, including Ktrnfcxla 
and Lohava, which the Turks themselves had taken. 

On account of a brutal attack that was made* 
U|K»n Lieutenant Dommieetti, at the time confined 
to his IhmI with fevcT, and ui>on the employees of the 
British factory, a force was sent to that pla(»e in 
1811) to demand reiwiration, and a treaty from the 
Imam, in which certain privileges were granted to 
British subjects. I)itticulties arose, and in December 
1820 Mokha Wiis Inmibarded by Captain liruee, and 
full rejianition made by the governor. 

Tlie Porte meanwhile had become uneasv at the 
great success attending the eampaigns of Mahammt^d 
Ali Pasha; and t»n a Mamlook, Mahammed Agha, 
genenilly known as Turkeliee liilmas, n^bt^lling 
against Mahammed Ali, the Sultan (»f Turkey, 
hoping to profit thn»ugh iiis ageney, installed iiim 
governor of the Ilejaz. Marehing south, Turkehee 
Bilni:is took IIiNlaidah in 1S:J2. ZeU^ed was th<* 
next rity to fall, wheiiee he marched upon Mokha, 
which alijo surremleretl ; but the tide changed, and 



a year later Mokha alone remained in Turkchee 
Bilmas' hands, where he was attacked by a large 
force by sea, under Ahmed Pasha, and by some 
20,000 of the Asir tribes by land. In the attack 
upon the city Turkchee Bilmas escaped to the East 
India Company's vessel Tigris, and was conveyed 
in her to Bombay. 

In 1837 the Imam's uncle, Seyed Kasim, treacher- 
ously sold Taiz to the Egyptians ; but their power 
there w^as of short duration, for in 1840 the 
Egyptians evacuated the Yemen, which thereupon 
became distracted with strife. Although Ibrahim 
Pasha had previously agreed to hand over the 
Tehdma to Mahammed ibn Gun, Shereef of Mecca, 
he was not successful, for a Shereef of the Abou 
Arish disputed its possession. The Shereef of Mecca 
therefore despatched troops to the coast, who occu- 
pied Hodaidah the very day the Pasha left it, but 
only to hold it for a very short time, for a month 
later the Asir tribe entered the town. Shereef 
Huseyn, brother of Mahammed el-Meccawi, assumed 
the governorship of Mokha, and commenced to ill- 
treat the British subjects there, at the same time 
demanding, in an insulting letter, the surrender of 

The Imam was not at first able to attend to these 
matters, as a religious rebellion had broken out 
under the leadership of a fanatic, El-Faki Said, w^ho 

* Play fair's Yemen, p. 147. 


rulle<l himself *' Moilhi el-Mant(»tlu'r.'* But a.s soon 
as this impostor had breii atta(*kr<l and killed, the 
Imam turned his attention to the Tc^hama. Failing 
in obtaining the aid of the British, it appears that 
l)uth he and her AIajt»sty*s (iovcrnment referred the 
matter to (Constantinople, with the result that a 
mmmissioner was sent l»v the Porte to confer with 
the Sliere«*f. However, he appeal's, says IMayfair in 
his notes upon the subjeet, to have ]>een l>ribi»d by 
Shen»ef Iluwyn, and returned to Constantinople with 
but little aeeoniplished. The result, however, of his 
mission In^eanie apparent a year later, when the 
Sultan ap|N)inted him Pasha of the Tehama, on the 
understanding that he paid a tribute of 70,000 
dollars |M*r annum to tiie i^>rt«•. 

The Imam, EbHadi Mahammed, died in 1844, and 
was sueeeeded by Ali Mansur, who had been formerly 
dejMwiMl, and whose great idea si'emed to be to 
retrieve the losses his predeet»ssors had sutiVred. 
Fighting at onee eonmieneed, but the Imam's tnnjps 
met with but little su^eess, and smallpox earriinl 

otf a verv eonsiderable numlK»r. A rebellion broke 


out a few months later, the Imam was dej>osed, an<l 
his eou>in, Mahammed Yaliya, plaee<l on the throne 
in his st4*ad. I)esirous of rarrvin«r <»ut the seheme 
of his pnMliN'essor for the recovery of the Telulma, 
he tiNik the fiehl and finallv rout«*d the Shen»ef 
Ilu-'^'yu at B;ijil, near Ilodaidah, the Shen.»ef him- 
iMflf lieing taken prisoner. Ilodaidah, Z«dK'ed, and 



Beit el-Fakih were handed over to the Imam, and 
shortly afterwards he captured Mokba, where he 
learned that another division of the Shereef Huaeyn's 

A Nalivt sjlhc Tehama. 

army had retaken Zebeed. The Imam fled to Sanaa, 
and a few weeks later IMokha fell once more into the 
hands of Huseyn. The Turks, seeing the oppor- 


tuuity a suitalile one to push their interests in 
Southern Arabia, sent an expedition to Iloilaidah, 
on the arrival of which the Shereef Huseyn handed 
over the phace to the new-comers. The Imam was 
comijolled to visit the Pa^ha at Iloclaidah, and a 
treaty was signed, the principal clauses of which 
were a^i follows : — 

1. The country governed by the Imam was to 
continue under his jurisdiction, but he was himself 
to \ye considereil as a vassal to the Porte. 

2. The revenues of the country were to be equally 
divid<Ml l>etween the Porte and the Imam. 

3. Sanaa was to be garrisoned with a thousand 
rejrular Turkish troops. 

4. Tlie Imam was to receive 37,000 dollars per 
month from the revenue pn»vious to its division.' 

Both the Turks and the imam suffered, however, 
from the results of this treaty — the former by being 
almost annihilated on their arrival at Sana^i, the latter 
by Winj; dei>osed and murdered. The power of the 
Imams was gone ; the Turks, although driven out of 
the highlands of the Yemen, retained their footing on 
the coast, and carried on di»sultory warfare in many 
directions. The country, after years of war and bliKnl- 
»he<l, remaincnl in a state of anan-hv, and the descen- 
ilsLiitii of the great Imams seemed to lose all spirit 
and authority. They .sank into private life at Sanaa, 
giving themselves up to luxury and vice ; and the 
greatDeas of the Yemen was HnishcMl. 

> Plmyfair't VeiiKn, pp. 153, 154. 




Before entering upon any account of the various 
religious influences that have since the time of 
Mahammed disturbed the Yemen, it may be as well 
to put aside a few pages for some general remarks 
upon the religion of Islam, the tenets of which are 
well known enough to those who have made any 
study of the subject, but are to the general world 
almost a closed book. It is this disregard of religions 
other than our own which so weakens the constant 
cry of their inferiority. Rather it should be the 
desire of such as wish to uphold Christianity to care- 
fully study and compare its doctrines with those 
of the beliefs they are so ready to cry down. The 
world has arrived at a stage when people are not 
satisfied with a mere assertion, but demand to hear 
both sides of the question and to reason for them- 
selves ; and to those who have taken up or made even 
a small study of Islam it is a pain, or perhaps at 
times an amusement, to listen to the rabid cries as to 


it8 inferiority, issuing from the throats of men who 
base their action ui>on a few what they call ** practical 
results/* It is not the authors purjjose here to enter 
into a long discussion uj)on the subject, or to {K)int 
out at any length the many fallacies which are 
U^lieveil to l)e doi^trines of Islam l»y a large propor- 
tion of the British public. 

But of all the arguments used to show the inferi- 
ority of the Mahammedan religion, there is none so 
loved and so often brought into use as the present 
crmdition of countries practising its belief. How little 
rral value this argument possesses it will not take 
long to prove ; and it may be generally stated that 
the lisickwanl c(mditi(m of Mahammedan statt»s is not 
owinjj to thrir form of reli<ri<»n to nearlv so jn-eat an 
e.xtont as it is owing to the nature of the })eople who 
profess it ; in other words, the low standpoint of most 
Islamic countrit»s can In* traced to the origin of its in- 
habitants rather than to their beliefs. Strong Jis is 
thijs statement, there is at least one very goo<l c^xample 
to prove its truth -namely, that under similar eir- 
runistances of breed and climate we find Christian 
nations sunk dee|>er in degradation and vice than 
their Moslem neighbours. Take, for example, Abys- 
sinia, into which Christianity was introdu<*ed l>etween 
the vears 300 and 320 a.d. Whv then, since (mm 
tliat perioil they have Ikh'U pursuing the Christian 
belief, do we not find them to-dav in a state intinitelv 
superior to the surrounding Moslem countries — in 


fact, living in a state of civilisation equalling that of 
the European nations, or even of the Yemenite Arabs 
or the Turks ? Why do we find Abyssinia to-day a 
country given over to drink and debauchery, when 
they are regular attendants at church ? Why do we 
find them living in the circular thatch -huts and 
wearing the same apparel that they did probably 
when Christianity first made its appearance amongst 
them ? Because, I say, their nature is such that 
it is untouchable by any religion, no matter how 
lofty be its aims and aspirations. **Can the Ethi- 
opian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?" 
Certainly not, no matter how much he may be 
painted over with gaudy colours. Again, why in 
Egypt do we not find the Kopts in a far higher state 
of civilisation and intellectual superiority than their 
neighbours ? It may be argued that their Christianity 
is not an example of true Christianity, just as it may 
be argued that the Islam of to-day is not the true 
Islam. Yet it strikes one that Islam is verv much 
nearer its original ideal than we are to ours, who 
have turned our religion round and round and inside 
out to make it fit the requirements of modern pro- 
gress and personal comforts. Before, Christian reader, 
you turn to smite your neighbour the Moslem, look 
round you. Before you begin to pull the mote out 
of his eye, pay a little attention to the beam that is 
in your own. Look at the great armies of Europe 
ready to tear one another to pieces ! Look at the 


8tix*et8 of tlu* great citi(»s flocked with prostitutes I 
Look at the swanning drunken ix)imhition of our 
towuH I Look at the financial rolil>eries and the un- 
eharit^ibleness of our own hinds, — and when vou liave 
mended that, then you may turn to show your 
hnjthrrly love, whieh is so engrafted in the Christian s 
heart, and rend your neighbour. 

Justire, I say! If it 1m» ont»\s desire to take up 
the ru<lgels against what millions hold most dear, 
then let it not he chuie until the cudgels can 1m* taken 
up anil victory assured by making a careful study of 
what one is going to fight against. Religious toler- 
ance is «>ne of the boasts of Englishmen ; let it be 
their care that the boast is not a vain one. 

Again, it is often siiid that bv its so carefullv lav- 
ing ilown the laws, Islam has prevented any material 
change from taking place in the condition of those 
that profess it. How about Judaism ? Tht» laws are 
a.** e<|ually, if not more spt»citically, lai<l down in their 
tKxiks than even th«*v an* in the Koran, and vet we 
find to-day the Jews in all material matters almost 
the leaders of the world. 

Then* can Ik» no doubt that Christianitv is a far 
finer religion than Islam. Christianity is beautiful 
in its simplicity — beautiful in that it touches so little 
n\ttni affairs of worhlly imiM»rtanei* ; but it is doubt- 
less a ndigion founded for Western and Nt>rtht»rn 
[loople. There is no <loubt that, coming from Pales- 
tine, it cho«e its natuml course wlH*n it pnx*eeded to 


Europe. Why was it not embraced by the Arabs 
and peoples of the south, who at that time, with the 
exception of such as were Jews, were professing the 
foul rites of idolatry ? The southerner, wild turbu- 
lent son of the desert, is unsuited to Christianity ; 
he must have some belief that touches him deeper, 
that inspires his ardour by teaching something he 
can understand, — some religion that regulates his 
course of life, as well as oflFers him hereafter a future 
existence. Mentally and bodily, he is diflFerent to us 
northern people. His mind runs in an entirely 
diflFerent channel. He exists, he thinks, in a diflFerent 
sphere, and it was this sphere that Islam touched. 

He was tempted by earthly spoil, by the love of 
persecution, and promised licentiousness hereafter, 
it is often said. Perhaps ; but has not the same 
over and over again tempted Christian Powers ? — has 
not love of persecution found sufficient examples in 
the history of Christianity to deter us from looking 
for it abroad ? Is not our heaven, painted by St 
John in the Revelation, tended to increase our desire 
to share in it by picturing its beauties? The Revela- 
tion, it may be answered, is an allegory ; 5^et he who 
argues thus would have been burned at the stake for 
his pernicious views not many centuries ago. To 
those who are capable, though generally unwilling, 
to understand Christianity, it is a religion at once 
perfect and superlative. It is an ideal seldom if 
ever reached. It is a goal to be striven after, with 


Imt little hopes of doing mon* tlian one's feel)le l)est 
Uf reach ; and more, far more than all, it is the truth. 
But 8u is Islam to the Mahannm^dan. It is a goal 
which many reach, l>ecause its ideals are tangible and 
eomprehensihle. It is a religion founded by a man 
of vast intellect to enforce a l)elief in the existence of 
one Goil, which the intricacies of Christianity had 
faile<l to prove to the Arab races. To them, material- 
ists to the ver}' backlnuK*, the Trinity is impossible. 
To us it is incomprehensible, but acknowledged. 
<* was the Son of (!o<l ! Tliis ah>ne is sufficient 
to drive to a distance the Arab, who acknowledges 
the M«*ssiah's origin as divine and supernatural, but 
to whom the idea of filial relationship with the Deity 
is revolting ami incredilile. 

An example of the jKiwer that Islam asserte<l over 
the minds of the iniiabitants of the Yemen is near at 
hand. There w<*re manv Christians in that country 
at the moment when thev reei^ived the titlin<?s of the 
Pn»phet s mission. N«jran, a large provinci*, was 
j»ovenied by a Christian family, and boasted a bishop, 
by name Kos, who tlied during the earlier half of 
the s<*venth century a.I)., probal>ly during the life- 
lime of Mahammcil ; vet but a comparatively few 
v«;irs later we find all traces of Christianity dis- 
ap|)ean*cl. Not so in Abyssinia, where it exists 
t*>-day amongst a i>eople given up to one vice at 
k*Hj<t, drunkenness, from which were they Moslems 
they would l>e free. Were Euroj>e a Mahammedan 


Power, there is no reason to doubt that we should 
not be in the same state of civilisation as we enjoy 
to-day. The Turks are an oriental race, and cannot 
be taken as a fair example ; yet they have so far 
followed upon the lines of Christian Powers that we 
find them to-day squeezing their people to obtain 
the means wherewithal to purchase the destructive 
implements of war, and existing in a very tolerable 
state of civilisation and drunkenness. 

No ! the Ethiopian cannot change his skin ; and 
just as Christianity is the religion best suited, apart 
from its inestimable truth, to Northern people, so is 
Islam to the Arabs and the children of the south. 
Each has sorted itself and taken root where best it 
will flourish. Any attempt to influence one by the 
introduction of the other must, by the laws of nature' 
which have thus sorted them, be prejudicial to the 
world at large. 

A few words as to the general tenets of the 
Mahammedan religion. 

It must not be forgotten that it was in a.h. 12, a 
year after the Prophet's death, that the Koran was 
collected by Zaid, and that therefore there can be 
little doubt that in its arrangement and sequence 
it is far from the order in which the words were 
uttered. The fragments of which it is composed 
were collected from every source, but although it 
may be said in its present form to follow no par- 
ticular chronological order, at the same time there 


can Im» little iloubt that, apart from this weakness, 
it routaiiiH the wonls of the Prophet himself. How- 
ever, in the building up of a new religion, it was 
im|K>ssihle to onlain for every class of society likely 
to embrace it ; and on this account the Moslems, 
eHjKM:ially the Sunnis, hold that, after the sacred 
liook, the "traditions" are next in sanctity. These 
** tnidit ions" are the teaching, verbal or in example, 
of the l*rophet himself, not absolutely inculcated in 
the Konin, but handed down upon the authority of 
" his companions." On these traditions many schools 
of theology and law have been built up, referring 
to them in ca.scs in which the Koran does not sutKci- 
ently render clear, or perhaps omits altogether some 
|n»int. Nee<lless to wiy these ** traditions," being 
ahm^st innumerable and often disputed, have caused 
more dissension amongst the world of Islam than 
any jMLssages in the Koran itself. 

The central idea of islam is th<» unity of (!od, and 
the a.*^Hociati<m of any other with the I)eity is the 
one mortal sin.' There is no priesthood ; the n'ligitm 
is a religion of the j>eople, explained to them by 
d<M:tor», su<*h iis the Sheikh el -Islam, the Moulas, 
and the Cadis, whose authority is acknowledgiMl, ]>ut 
iMihdy HA ex|K>nents of religion and law, whi<-h it is 
in no ones |Miwer to revise or alter. Idolatry is 
to Ik* rooted out and trampled underfoot. ** There 
U no ilinl but GikI, and MahammtMl is the prophet 

* Mahomet and Iitlaiii. Sir Williiim Muir. ISbT. 


of God." Soundk-s,?, iliytlimless, as are tlie wore 
to U8, their very repetition stirs the Moslem heart ^ 
their very mention is siiflicieut for an infidel to beJ 
come a Moslem. They are the only boud tliat bind 
Sunnis and Shciyas together, the common birthrighd 
of nil Isljini, 

be principal and best known of the Mahammeda) 
teneti, as well as being thosp on which the religion i 
most founded, arc the immortality of the soul ; thfl 
resurrection of the body ; the judgment of good and 
evil; heaven and hell; predestination, about which: 
however, contradictory remarks are found in tha 
Koran ; the ministry of good angels, and the i 


influence of the bail. To none of these [)recei)ta 
ean exception \ye found, for, after all, they resemble 
to a jrreat extent our own. But at this point the 
Koran steps ahead of us by the prohibition of wine, 
j^anies 4)f chance, usurious dealinjjjs, the flesh of 
Hwine, or of thinjjs stranj^led or which have died a 
nsitund d<*ath, all of which are strictly forbidden. 
How ben(*Hcial this hjis proved and is proving to 
the Mahanmiedan races is very clear: and it may be 
Kiiil that it is only when Moslems have come into 
contact with Jews or Christians that they have broken 
throuj^h these ordinances. 

As to other restrictions laid by Mahammed \\\h)U 
his followers, and other i)rivih»*jjes allowed to them, 
a few wonls must be said. Polygamy is legal, and 
it is this more than anything, |H*rhaps, that raises 
in«lignation amongst Christians. Kv<»ry Moslem is 
allowed four wives and its many slaves as he likes. 
SJHjcking! yet do we not decorate our church win- 
dows with pictures of David and Solomon? <lo we 
not rciwl their wonls in our plmM»s of worship i and 
I doubt if either would have been satisfied with this 
^mall allowance. Were not the patriarchs, who after 
rhrist we are taught most to reveren<*e, jMilygamists f 
They at least, like the Arabs, liavt* an excuse, which 
Siflumon an4l David certainly had not -namely, the 
constant wars in which they were engaged kiUed ofl' 
iM» large a [Kipulation of the men that the women 
Were greatly in exc«*ss. Yet to-day in many MosK*m 


countries it is unusual to find amongst the respect- 
able classes more than one wife. We are by law 
restricted to one, they are by law and by religion 
allowed four. After all, they have just as much 
right to swear that their custom is the best one as 
we have to put forward our own. 

That divorce is lax amongst the Arab races is true ; 
so are the morals of both men and women. But let 
us look again at the Kopts in Egypt, or the Christian 
race of Abyssinians, — are they any better ? Certainly 
not. Again, in Moslem countries, these laws of 
divorce are appealed to more by the poorest classes 
than by the rich. In England the fact that a 
wretched couple of paupers do not agree has no 
remedy, until one day the husband jumps on his 
wife and kills her. In Moslem countries he divorces 
her, and probably both arc married again in the 
course of a month. 

The fact of the case is simply this. To attempt 
to judge Ishim from a Christian standpoint is as 
ridiculous as to attempt to judge Christianity from 
a Moslem one. We shudder at the civil codes and 
conditions of the Mahammedans ; they are horrified 
at our Trinity, at the decoration of our churches, at 
lax laws as to purification, at our drunken habits, at 
the Pope, at our paid clergy, and at a hundred other 
details. To criticise Islam one must have seen it in 
its own lands, and that with unprejudiced eyes. 

There is but one more question that must be 


touclicil upon hero — namely, slavery. Never have 
there Wen more exag<;eratc(l reports as to slavery in 
oriental countries than are from time to time cropping 
up to-iky. It must be understood what slavery 
really in in the Elast ; it must be remembered that it 
is not agricultural slavery — that it is entirely domestic 
slaver}'. Stories are from time to time appearing of 
atrocious cruelties to slaves : they are true, no doubt, 
but they are exceptional — just as, happily, the cruel 
t refitment of children is exceptional in England. It 
is not after the slaves have passed through the mar- 
ket that thry suffer, it is on the long desert-marches 
in whi4*h they are brought from the interior. Another 
|K>int is scarcely understoixl in England — namely, 
that probably ninety-nine hundredths of the slaves in 
S4T\'itude in oriental countries have been born in ser- 
vitude, and never were brought from the Soudan at 
all. In this casi* they have been often reared in the 
houses of their masters, and as often as not treated as 
kij$ ehihlren. 

Tliat slaver}' is contrar}' to law and nature all will 
acknowIe<lge ; that it ought and must be put tlown is 
e«{UaIIy true ; but as to tlie means of doing it ? The 
hlave-tnule must be stopp4»d from th«* interior of 
Africa, not by the freeing of the slaves already ar- 
rival at their journey s viuh For instance, the eman- 
ci{iation of slaves in Morocco would mean thous^mds 
of men thrown out of 4hM)rs to *:jain a livelihoiHl bv 
munler and robln^r}', or starve ; and thousands of 



women driven to be prostitutes. And this is whai 
we are attempting to do in the name of progress am 
religion ! 

How vastly Islam was in advance of the pagan i 
liginns, whirh for the most part it replaced in Arabia 

need not be mentioned here. From practising lion 
rible rites of "fetich," from the ofiering even of humai 
aacrifices, from dissensions and religious tribal wan 
the mission of Maharamed called the Aiabs to somft 


thing far higher — far above anything they had known 
lH»fi>re. Christianity had foiled, in spite of repeated 
efforts, to attract them to anything more than the 
smallest extent ; Judaism Wius out of date, and un- 
suite4t to the* e|)och they had reached. They were 
ready, were yearning, for a new religion, and ^laham- 
nunl took the op|K)rtunity to found one. In place of 
hideous |>agan rites, in j>lace of a few converts to an 
unappreciated Christianity, in place of Judaic laws of 
which the p<*ople wcTe weary, he brought amongst 
them a new inspiriting religion, lofty in its recogni- 
tion of monotheism, higher than anything they had 
as yet known in its moral code. 

But fnmi this simple f(»rm of monotheism numerous 
bninches were destined to sprout; and just as Christi- 
anity is s|>lit up into innumerable sects, so is Islam 
dividinl into many differences and brotherhocMls. It 
is with com|wratively few, however, of these that we 
have to deal in regard to the Yemen, — for although in 
early times ehanges ha<l I>egun to be apparent in the 
i-ounw* of the religion, it is only comiKiratively lately 
that the enormous (piantity of sectarian differences 
now existing spning into life; and th<»se, with few 
••.x««*ptions, have but to a very slight extent influ- 
••nee^l the {Nilitieal aspert of the country. 

The first im{M)rtant dissension in thr eourse <»f 
Islam o^-currcd alamt the vear .'^7 a.m., wh<*n th«* 
th#*<N:ratie jmrty, recognising tliat the existenei* of the 
t aliptiH was lik«*Iy to b^M-ome, an<l was even at that 


time becoming, an excuse for power and a cause of 
strife, and that the religious influence was lapsing 
into an autocratic supremacy, stood aside and cried 
for an oath of allegiance to God alone, and an elected 
Council of State to regulate affairs. Eevolting first 
against Ali, the nephew and son-in-law of the Pro- 
phet, we find them again and again all through the 
history of Islam bursting forth, egged on by such 
wild fanaticism as only men of those countries can 
know. High though, perhaps, the original motives of 
the Kharejites were, they w^ere too often in after-times 
fanned by the aspirations of pretenders to power, and 
it needed all the force of temporal and spiritual rulers 
to check these outbursts of fanaticism. The Kharej- 
ites were again split up into many divisions, all more 
or less founded upon the idea of treating sin as infi- 
delity, which it would be straying from the objects of 
this book to specially mention here, except that of 
the Obadites, who from time to time recur in the his- 
tory of the Yemen. 

Although the Kharejites fonned the first absolute 
split in Islam, there had been gradually growing up 
what have always formed, and to-day form, the two 
great divisions of the Mahammedan belief — namely, 
the sects of the Sunnis and the Sheiyas. To mention 
some of the standpoints of both. The Sunni tenets 
are held by Turkey and the greater part of Maham- 
medan-professing India, while Southern Arabia and 
Persia and portions of North Africa profess Sheiyism. 


The 4liffen'nci»8 of the two, l>riefly stated, are a« fol- 
lows. While the Suniiis acknowledjije the election of 
the (/alipliH from the j^enenil j>rofes8ors of Islam, the 
Sheiyas assert that AH, the fourth ('aliph, was the 
natural successor of the Projihet, ijjcnoring Abou Bekr, 
i >niar, and (Hhman. But here again the Shciya sect 
iH^conies split up ; for one division, which continued 
under the name of Sheiyas, contend that Ali hehl his 
right to 8uccee<l the Prophet in otti<e in virtue of his 
|K?nk>nality ; while the other side, the Zaidis, contend 
that Ali was the legitimat<» successor and heir of the 
Pniphet,not hy n^ason of his personality, hut through 
his merits. C'ons<»quently they assert that the suc- 
ccHsors in the Caliphate, or Imams, as they were 
«-aIle<l in the Yemen, must necessiirilv Iw of the 
Prophi't 8 family, hut were to he chosen to till the 
holy ottice on {iccount of m(*rit antl character, in jJace 
of succeswsion hv lurthrij'ht ah»ne, Imt that in the 
veins of those elected to the post must flow the 
Prophet 8 hlo<Ml. Amongst those of the former j>er- 
sua^ion was the sect of Imamites, ami its sul>-s«»cts, 
the iKnlekites and Ismailites, the hitter of which 
waM founded and flourished in thi* thinl ct^nturv a.m. 
It wu8 from this hninch that the Fatimide dynasty 
ffpning, and their descen<lants are to he found in the 
mountains of Lehan(»n under the name of Druses, 
who are still awaiting the n»turn of their prophet 
Hakim. The point on whi<*h th<* Ziiidis separated 
from the secta of the Do4lekites and Ismailites is as 


to the lawful holders of the Imamate or Caliphate 
after the death of the grandson of x\li. 

But the Zaidis were destined also to divide, and at 
a subsequent period we find the Arab and Persian 
Zaidis submitting to the allegiance of two separate 
Imams, one of whom reigned in Arabia and one in 

Even to-day intense hatred exists between the 
foUow^ers of Sunni and Sheiya doctrines. No better 
example of this is to be found than the fact that 
when Russia was engaged in a w^ar with Turkey that 
threatened to be a death-blow to Islam in Europe, 
not one sword was raised by the Sheiya-professing 
Mahammedans for her assistance ; and Persia and 
other parts who do not acknowledge the Sultan 
Abdul Hamid as the rightful Caliph — for the Pro- 
phets blood does not flow in his veins — sat impas- 
sively and watched, with but comparatively little 
interest, the struggle. 

The Sunnis derive their name from the Arabic 
word sunnat, a precedent ; and their faith is built 
up, apart from the diff'erences already specified, upon 
the example established by the Prophet himself, as 
handed down to them by history and tradition. 
Their belief can be justly called, perhaps, the ortho- 
dox one, for Mahammed himself chose as his succes- 
sor in office Abou Bekr, who was not of his family. 
Therefore to them it is no prejudice that the present 
holder of the Caliphate, or successor in the religious 


8Upn*niacy of Islam, is the Sultau of Turkey, who, 
it will Ih? seen, fails to be acknowledged by any of 
the branches of the Sheiya faith on account of his 

These few words may prove sutticient to throw as 
much light as is neces&ir}' in the question of the Yemen 
u|K>n the two great divisions of Ishim. It need only 
be added to how great an extent the Turks, though 
co-religionists in as far as they profess Mahammedan- 
i«m, would be separated from the Yemeni people in 
religious ideas ; and it is this fact, more than even 
the I'Xtortion they practised, that gave rise to the 
Yemen reI>ellion. 

Alnjut 280 A.H. there apj)eared a new sect in the 
Yemen, that of the Karmathians, who sprang from 
the l)<Hlekites and Ismailites, though far exceeding 
them in fanaticism an<l excesses. They arose in the 
Yemen under the h*adership of two j)owerfuI men, 
AH ibn Fa^U and Mansur ibn Hasan, of whom the 
former ap|>cars to have been most implicated in 
promulgating the extraordinary and often revolting 
tenets of the n(»w belief. Beginning as a hennit, he 
eoUeiteil round him a little ban<l of devoted fol- 
lowers, and setting forth, he commenced a series of 
vietorit's. At length, overpowered with success, he 
acknowledgeil himself a [>rophet, and i)reached fnmi 
the pulpit of Janad the rightful use of wine and per- 
mission <if incest. Continuing his march, his cause 
grew, and both Dhamar and Sanaa fell l»efore him. 


At the latter place his excesses were beyond record- 
ing.^ Seventeen years after having gained his enor- 
mous power, Ibn Fadl died at the hands of an assassin, 
who, taking advantage of the common Eastern habit 
of the drawing of blood, secreted poison in his long 
hair, and after having sucked the lancet to prove it 
was clean, dried it in his poisoned locks. The historian, 
El-Janadi, states that there were great rejoicings at 
his death. The remnants of this sect, inoflfensive now 
and law-abiding, still exist in Bombay. 

The next great secession from the direct Islam was 
that of the Nizarites or Assassins, a name derived from 
Hashishiyin — in other words, the eaters of hashish, a 
narcotic much resorted to in the East. This word was 
the origin of our present " assassin," but in the East 
to-day has no deeper meaning tlian that given above. 
The brotherhood arose about 400 a.h., a few years 
after the death of Nizar, son of the Khalifa el-Mus- 
tansir, whom they asserted had been wrongfully with- 
held from succeeding his father. Thus they gained 
their first title, that of " Nizarites." They swore an 
oath to devote their energies to the propagation of 
their faith, and many perils they undertook for this 
purpose, often sacrificing their lives in the fulfilment 
of their vows. The remains of this once dreaded sect 
are to-day to be found in Bombay, in Zanzibar, and 
in the Lebanon. 

*Al-Baha-l Janadi, *Kannathian8 in Yaman.' Kay's translation, 


The later sect of the Wahabis shows a tendency on 
the jiart of ortho<lox Arabs to the anci(»nt tenets 
uf Khanjite theocracy. With the Sheiyjis the con- 
trar}* is the eawe, and they incline rather towartl tran- 
.HC(*nilental doctrines, bursting out into such mystical 
rites as those of the sects of Mutazelites and Sufis, 
or, in the Yemen, in their devotion for a divine 
I mama to. 

How im{H)rtant have been these sects in forming 
the histor\% not onlv of the Yemen but of all Ambia, 
cannot Ik* fxajfgerated. Whole dynasties have been 
!»uilt up or overthrown by their fanatical devotees. 
From the ver}' earliest years of Islam we are constantly 
coming across the turbulent risings of one or the other ; 
and while the Sunnis have more or leas strictly upheld 
until to-day their original orthfxloxy, with any varia- 
tion of which thev are intolerant, we see the other 
gri'at divisi(»n, the Sheiyas, split up again and again 
into sects and sub-s4»cts, struggling for a theo<*racy that 
was im|iossible, or used by unscrupulous pretenders as 
a rvMul to |N>wer. 

I^H»kin^at Islam to-dav, we find tin* Sunnis in verv 
much the siime religious ]N)sition as they have always 
held, even from the vt»rv first. Their kev-note, so to 
f^fM^ak, ha-H been unswerving allegiance to the sunnnf. 
or precMent <^f the Prophet. On the other hand, we 
find the Sheiyas split up into hundre<ls of sects and 
bfiitherhoods, each following sonn* particular instruc- 
tii>n or belief of their several founders, who for the 


most part have been descendants of the Prophet him- 

One of these sects, now making itself felt in the 
Yemen, as it is doing all over the Moslem world, is a 
modern one. I refer to the followers of El-Mehdi 
Senussi, about which, as one of the coming powers of 
Islam, a few" words may not be out of place. The 
idea of Sheikh Senussi was to bring Islam back to its 
original purity — to revive its great social laws, moral 
and religious, as instituted by the Prophet, and to 
defend and propagate the same.^ In this it will 
be seen that the tenets of Senussism resemble both 
those of the Sheiyas and the Sunnis — the former in 
the desire for a theocracy, the latter in the punc- 
tilious observance of precedent. Its sole distinctive 
feature is in its transcendentalism and in the repetition 
of certain prayers. Like the Wahabis, too, music, 
dancing, singing, and coffee are forlndden. In fact, 
the Sheikh Senussi seems to have introduced into his 
new revival of Islam the doctrines of many of the 
former sects. The Sheikh himself is dead, being 
followed in office by his son, who is still living near 
Siwah, in the desert between Egypt and Tripoli. 
But what makes this sect so vastly important is its 
political powder, and it may safely be prophesied that 
the next great revolt of Islam against the Christians 
in Africa, no matter w^hat form it may take, will owe 
its origin to this movement. The author, within a 

* Les ConfrLTies Musulnmnes du Hedjaz. A. le Chatelier. Paris, 1887. 


few months, Iieanl Senussism preached in Somali-land 
and in Morocco, in both of which countries, not to 
speak of the more central Tunis, Tripoli, and the 
state of Fezzan, it is deeply rooted. If, then, a new 
movement in Islam is able in the lifetime of two men 
to gain conv(>rts, and many converts, in countries so 
distantly removed from one another and from the 
headc{uarters of its founder, it can clearly b<» under- 
sto<Ml the immense power it must hold over the minds 
of thr |M»ople ; and one of t\\v {greatest drawbacks to 
KurofK^an venture in Africa is the undoubted fact that 
this smouldering fanaticism will one day burst into 




It is seldom that the Sublime Porte is free from 
trouble regarding one at least of her possessions ; and 
although the Turkish Government has taken, in the 
case of the rebellion in the Yemen, every means to 
throw dust in the eyes of Europe, yet sufficient has 
from time to time leaked out to show how seriously 
the affair was regarded by the Sultan and his Minis- 
ters. From such scraps of information it would be 
impossible to piece together a history of what has 
taken place ; but the writer, by making a journey of 
over four hundred miles through the country at the 
very time of the rebellion, was, as the only European 
in the interior, with the exception of a few Greek 
shopkeepers, able to take advantage of his unique 
opportunity of seeing for himself, and gathering a 
considerable amount of information on the subject. 
But before any account is given of the rebellion, it 
must be explained of how great a value to the Sultan 
of Turkey are his possessions in Arabia. It is on 


them, and on them alone, that he bases his claim to 
the title of Caliph — a title on which his prestipje in 
the eyes of the Moslem mainly rests. Amongst Ma- 
hammedan j)otentates he is the greatest ; for although 
many ser-ts of Islam do not hold that one in whose 
veins the blood of the Prophet does not flow is able 
by divine right to succeed to the Caliphate, the pos- 
8ession of the lioly cities of Mecca and Medina cannot 
but ad«l to his fame. From all parts of the world 
the pilgrims flock yearly to Meccii, there to ccmie 
in rontact with the Turks jts a governing power, 
to bear the name of Abdul Hamid blessed daily in 
the mosijue ; and in their eyes, by force of circum- 
iitanee, the Sultan is inseparably connected with the 
Holv Places. 

True it is that the Yemen is separated from the 
Hejaz, the province in which Mecca and Medina are 
situated, by a large tract of country, known lus the 
Afiir. But the tril>es inhabiting this district are, and 
always have l>een, largely influenced by t\\v Yemenite 
fac*tion, and like them are in their Ix^lief of the Sheiya 
«fct, holding that the chdm of the Sultan of Turkey 
to the ( aliphate is irregular and illegal. This alliance, 
not only by blooil but by doctrine, which is perhaiKs 
the strongest tie of all amongst the Moslems, caused 
the reUdlion in the Yemen to be a likelv forerunner 
to a war in the Asir. The Turkish rule has never 
been more than nominal amongst the mountains of 
the latter. S4> that the reputliation by them of the Os- 


manli Government, which has taken place, is fraught 
with no great danger to Turkey, provided the discon- 
tent and consequent rebellion remains within bounds, 
and does not reach the Hejaz. Although largely 
subsidised by the Turkish Government, there can be 
little doubt that, did they clearly see their way to 
success, the members of the Shereefian family of 
Mecca, direct descendants of the Prophet Mahammed, 
would attempt to bring back the succession of the 
Caliphate into their own line, and thus into the strain 
of the descendants of the Prophet ; and to a" cause so 
nearly touching their doctrinal beliefs there is but 
little doubt the Bedouins of the Hejaz, as well as 
many of tlie inhabitants of the cities, would readily 
lend their aid and assistance. 

Therefore it will be seen that to the Turks a suc- 
cessful rebellion in the Yemen meant not only the 
loss of the southernmost of their Arabian States, but 
also the probable ensuing loss of the Hejaz, and the 
fall of the Sultan of Turkey in the eyes of the larger 
portion of the world of Islam. How many thousands 
of Maliammedans daily in the mosques call for bless- 
ings on the head of Abdul Hamid the Caliph, who 
would never pray for Abdul Hamid the Sultan ! 
The diflferencc is enormous, though to us somewhat 
incomprehensible; and it is said, and no doubt 
rightly so, that his Majesty of Stamboul values far 
more than his temporal powers the title of " Com- 
mander of the faithful." In the one case, as Caliph, 

THE sultan's power AS CALIPH. 95 

he ift in the eyes of all Sunnis' Sultan of the Moslem 
worhl, and as such successor to the I'rophet himself. 
In the other, as a Sultan, he is merely a stranger, an 
Osmanli, not even of the great Arab race, whose 
anrest<»rs have by force of anns conquered and left 
him a kinrrdom. 

From these remarks it will be inferred how vastly 
im]M>rtant it is to the Sultan and the Porte to retain 
int4ict the Turkish possessions in Arabia. 

Although it was not until th<» summer of 1 89 1 that 
the relM-Uion in the Yemen took an)" outward form, 
th<* Turks must have been aware, for a long period 
prcvii»us to that time, that their rehitions with the 
AmlM were U'coming day by day more strained. Yet 
such is the character of Turkish provincial officials, 
e*«|)ecially of th(»se st» far removed from the seat of 
the (Jovernment as in the Yemen, tliat thev still con- 
tinned their policy of t>ppressit)n, trusting to fate that 
then* wouhl Ik? no oi>en hostilities until the jobbery 
that had put them into |K)\ver wouhl follow its inevi- 
table c«iurse bv removing them and reinstatini' otheix 
iu their places, on wh<»m would fall the brunt of a 
reUdlion, which they s;iw might for a time be |H>st- 
pone^l but imiK>ssible to avert. '* Make your hay 
mhile the sun shines," is the motto of the Turkish 
iitlicial ; and for him, as a ruh*, the sun shines but for 
a ver\' short [)eri<Hl. It is this extraordinary want of 

^ Tbr SutiniA hoI«i that tlu* < 'alii-hatc neiMl not nectrwarily de^ciul iu 
%kr iamily of tht* l^i|ihet. 


forethought and co-operation, this shifting of respon- 
sibilities upon successors in office, amongst those who 
help to rule the destinies of the Turkish provinces, 
that is the chief root and origin of all their troubles. 
" Let me enrich myself," thinks the official. " In a 
month or two I may no longer have the opportunities. 
I must make enough in this short period of office to 
retire upon. What may follow, what may be the 
result of my policy, I care not ; it interests me not 
at all." 

It was the perpetual practice of these theories that 
gradually drove the Arabs into resistance. The re- 
bellion was no sudden affair ; as long ago as several 
years back there had commenced on the part of the 
Arabs a series of outrages against Turkish officials 
that would have rendered apparent to any other nation 
but the Turks the danger that was threatening. Cruel 
and bloodthirsty as many of these outrages were, 
they were the only means in the power of the Arabs 
of protesting against the exorbitant taxation and the 
oppression that were ruining them. Their appeals to 
Sanaa, and even to Constantinople, had resulted in no 
amelioration of their condition. 

It is necessary, I think, to give but one example 
of these outrages. At Dhamar, one of the largest 
cities of the Yemen, there lived a certain general, by 
name Mahammed Rushti Pasha, between whom and 
a neighbouring tribe there had arisen misunderstand- 
ing as to the amount of taxation to be levied upon 


them. The )>asha insisted on the full sum, and a 
quarri*! ensued between the Aral) sheikh and himself, 
the former fleeing from the city swearing revenge. 
Shortly afterwards Mahammed Rushti being called 
away to another part of the country, the tril>e in 
«|UeHtion took advantage of his absence to blow up 
his house and family with guni)owder. His wives, 
children, and 8er\'ants died that night, in all some 
eleven j>erfton8. Retuniing with all speed to Dhamar, 
the genend, with such forc^es as were at the time in 
the city, almost exterminated the litth* tribe who had 
accomplished so horril)le a vengeance. Over the grave 
of those that died that night Mahammed Rushti raised 
a mosque and a domed tomb, the interior of which he 
hung with rich silks. Thither he would repair and 
sit alom*. On the taking of Dhamar by the Arabs in 
Novemljer last, this tomb was looted, and when vis- 
ited by the writer at the end of January, the city 
by that time having Wen reconquered by the Turks, 
he found the tomb and mosque in ruins, robbed of 
all it^ treasures. 

That the feeling was so strong Jis to find vent in 
ftuch outrages {IS these — and that mentioned is but one 
of many — wouhl have made it apparent, one would 
have thought, that tht» existing state of afl'airs couM 
not continue with impunity. Rut the h»t of the 
Yemeni was to lie s<jueczed to fill the cofl'iTs at Con- 
stantinople, and to ])ay for the harems and ple^u^ures 
of uniicrupuloud officialdom. Such, then, apart from 



all religious differences, was the existing state of feel- 
ing in the Yemen when in the summer of the year 
before last the rebellion broke out. Before the con- 
quest of the Yemen b)'' the Turks in 1872 — for 
although they possessed a firm footing on the coast 
previous to that period, their power had not made it- 
self felt in the interior — the Yemen was governed by 
a ruler after their own hearts ; for, being of the Sheiya 
sect — Zaidis they call themselves — it was necessary 
to the tenets of their belief that their Sultan should 
be of direct descent from the Prophet, through Ali 
ibn Abou Taleb, his nephew and son-in-law. This 
condition their Imam fulfilled ; for although the 
Yemen had at different times fallen into foreign 
hands, still the direct family had never disappeared. 
Sanaa, now the capital of Turkish Yemen, was his 
residence. It is a large city, situated roughly two 
hundred and fortv miles north of Aden, and a 
hundred and sixty east of Hodaidah. Here the 
Imam lived the usual secluded and sensual life of an 
oriental despot, looked upon by the Arabs as a 
spiritual Sultan, but powerless to hold in check the 
depredations and robberies of the many tribes under 
his nominal sway, who, wdth true oriental zeal, were 
continually doing their best to exterminate one 
another. As long as money was forthcoming, the 
Imam was content to dwell at Sanaa without 
troubling himself about more external affairs than the 
management of his own household, and the receiving 

THE imam's incapability OF RULINc;. 99 

of gifts from the Arabs who performed pilgrimages 
to his presence. Apparently wanting in education, 
except such religious knowledge as is considered 
necessarj' for the welfare of an Oriental of high de- 
gree, he |K)ssi'ssed no ability to govern, nor does he 
appear to have been even renowned as a soldier or 
organiser of tr(K)j)s. 

Such liecame at length the state of the countr}', 
that tr.ide almost ceased on account of the attacks 
ufion the caravans ; and the Sanaa merchants — quiet 
res|K-ctable Arabs — saw nothing but ruin before them, 
and considering f?olely the benefits that would accrue 
to theiiLselves by such a step, and ignoring what the 
result wouM l>e uimju the agricultural population, 
invited the Turks to take the place. This was accom- 
plished in 1872 by a force from Ilodaidah. The 
Imam was dejiostMl ; but on account of his spiritual 
influence over the Arab horde, was pennitted to reside 
in Sanaa, receiving a jM^nsion on the condition that 
he would exert his powers in furthering the interests 
of tin- Onmanli (iovernment. This until his death he 
fulfilled; on which event the harcda, or holv birth- 
right, i^assed to his relative Ahmed ed-l)in, who, like 
his pre<le<*essor, was by no means dissatisfied to receive 
th*' adoration of the Arabs and the reguhirly j>aid 
allowance of the Turks. 

Such, briefly, was the history of the Turkish o<'cu- 
|Kitiou of the Yemen and the state of aflairs until htst 
year. The triU-s, in the time of the Imam, left undis- 

feii^^k -.■^^.a . 


turbed both in their labours in the fields and in their 
welfare, boasting an independence of centuries, found 
themselves, on the Turkish occupation, little better 
than slaves — oppressed, taxed, and retaxed by a people 
whose extortions ruined them, whose personality they 
hated, and with whom, although co-religionists, there 
was no unison in religious views. 

But the smouldering discontent was destined to 
burst into flame, even though the flame might blaze 
forth but to flicker and die. 

On an appeal from the governor of Lohaya, a body 
of four hundred Turkish troops were despatched last 
summer to assist in collecting by force th«^ taxes due 
from the Beni Meruan, a branch of the Asir people, 
and their southernmost tribe, who inhabit the country 
lying to the east of Lohaya, a port on the Red Sea 
coast north of Hodaidah. In command of this force 
was the very Mahammed Rushti Pasha whose house 
had been destroyed at Dhamar. The expedition was 
destined to complete failure, and being surprised by a 
large body of Arabs, was nearly annihilated before 
the security of a fort was reached, amongst those who 
fell being the pasha himself. 

In countries like the Yemen news travels with 
extraordinary rapidity, and the Arabs, hearing an 
exaggerated report of what had taken place, believed 
that at last their deliverance had come, for it was 
rumoured that the great district of the Asir, between 
the Yemen and the Hejaz, had risen, intent upon ex- 


terminating the Turks. Where the news travelled 
the people rose in arnis. Tribal banners long hid 
away were unfurled, and the cry of " God give victory 
to the Imam " echoed and re-echoed throughout the 
mountains and valleys of the Yemen. 

Meanwhile the hero of the rebellion, Ahmed ed-Din, 
was living quietly at Sanaa on the subsidy of the 
Turkish Government, unconscious of what was taking 
place, although, doubtless, there was ever present in 
hi» mind the possibility of some day regaining for 
himself and his descendants the throne. He clearly 
uaw that affairs were not rij)e for a great rebellion, 
and almost against his will he was obliged to fly 
from the capital, and become the head of the reWl 
movement. Premature as things were, he must in 
the enthusiasm of his partisans have almost believed 
in their future success. 

It was a new Jehml, or holy war ! The Turks 
wen» to 1)0 exterminated or driven away ; the beloved 
Ahmed ed-Din — ludovecl on account of his birth ami 
descent rather than from any knowledge of his per- 
sonalitv — was to be n»instated on the throne. One 
by one the tribes rose, except only the Bedouin 
inhabitants of the Tehama and the southern deserts, 
who, ]K>ssessing nothing but a few flocks and herds, 
and always wandering, w<Te inditt'erent to Turkish or 
Arab rule, and awaite<l the result before promising 
allegiance to either side. The same plan was followed 
by many of the merchaints and citizens, whose |>osi- 


tion and intimacy with the Turkish officials placed 
them outside the bounds of oppression and taxation, 
and who in many cases were only too ready to take 
advantage of their fellow-countrymen's unenviable 
position, by buying from the Turks the right of 
collecting the taxes of certain districts ; for the priv- 
ilege of levying dues is a commercial article, sold 
from time to time by auction, a system that relieves 
the Government of much anxiety and trouble, but 
encourages to an almost incredible extent cruelty 
and oppression. 

In what state were the Turks to repress a general 
rising of this sort? The force in the country was 
estimated at some sixteen thousand men, although 
in reality probably far short of that number; for 
during the two previous years cholera had wrought 
great havoc amongst the troops. These troops con- 
sisted of Turkish regulars, Bashi-bazouks, and a large 
number of Arab auxiliaries, drawn principally from 
the Mshareg and Hadramaut, the country to the east 
of the Yemen, who did not care whom they fought 
against, or for what reason they were fighting, so 
long as they were paid, and whose one stimulant to 
feats of bravery was promised reward. The Turkish 
troops already in Yemen were in a miserable state. 
Ill fed, ill clothed, thinned by disease, badly housed, 
and seldom, if ever, paid, it is no wonder that their 
spirit was broken in a land where during summer 
they were liable to a temperature that seldom falls 


lielow a huiiilrc'l in such uluuli^ as tlii'ir l>a(lly built 
barrarks affonlcil, ami in wintor to fnwts. and at 

tinifi* wmw — to all the vajiarii-n. in tai-t, of a trojiii-ul 
climatv on the tops of mountuiiis of frum seven 


thousand to nine thousand feet in altitude. A more 
pitiful picture than the Turkish soldiers presented 
when the writer was in Yemen he never saw, and 
yet they fight like devils rather than men. 

A few days after the flight of the Imam, Sanaa, 
the capital, was besieged by an enormous force of 
Arabs, as was Amran, another walled city; while 
those which were not so protected fell, many without 
even a struggle, into the hands of the Arabs. Men- 
akha, on the road from Hodaidah to Sanaa, offered a 
little resistance, but in vain. Those of the garrison 
who were not killed or wounded in the first onslaught 
of the Arabs were spared on surrender, and taken 
away prisoners, amongst their number being the 
Kaimakam or military governor. The same hap- 
pened at Dhamar and Yerim, on the road from 
Sanaa to Aden ; while in quick succession Ibb, Jibleh, 
and Taiz, all three large towns situated farther south, 
proclaimed for Ahmed ed-Din. All Turkish prisoners 
were spared. Many voluntarily went over to the 
side of the Arabs ; some retired into private life on 
surrendering their arms. Those of importance were 
sent to the Imam, Avliere report said they were housed 
and fed at his expense, doubtless in the hope of per- 
suading them to throw in their lot with his own, and 
so obtain use of their superior knowledge of warfare. 
In very exceptional cases do we hear of the cruel 
treatment of Turks by the Arabs in their days of 
victor)?-; and even when the tide of affairs was 


changed, the writer met nniuiigst the Arabs, in dis- 
tricts where no Turkish troops couhl enter, ileserters 
firom the Osmanii forces being fed and clothed by the 
kindly Aral>8 ; and in many cases money was supplied 
them by their quondnin enemies to assist them in 
reaching Aden, or in escaping by other means from 
the hanl life of soldiering. 

By this time telegrams were |)Ouring into Con- 
stantinople from Hodaidah beseeching assistance ; 
and the Porte, having at length realised how serious 
a turn affairs had taken, exerted all its activity in 
forwarding troops to the scene of war. By the time 
the new forces had embarked for Hiulaidah, the whole 
country, with the exception of Sanaa and Amran and 
a small city in the Asir, by name Dhofir, hjid fallen 
into the hands of the rebels, the plains and sealioanl 
towns hoKling aloof from any part icijiat ion in the 
affair, though probably it was oidy the presence of 
better organised Turkish forces which kept in <heck 
the feelinj' which no doubt existed almost as stronj^lv 
there as anywhere. The lieni Meruan, many of 
wbos<! villages lie on the sea -coast, were pitilessly 
t^helhnl by a couple of Turkish gunlxmts. 

Ahmed ed-I>in remained at Sadah,* whither he had 
fleil from Sanaa ; nor at any part of the revolt did 
he take active }>art in the fighting, a iiui that in no 
i^niall degree accounts for the 8ubse«juent failure of 

* S^Uh ill »itiuUr(l about eight tlay^* journey north t»f Sanaa, on tlu* 
hoffvlcfi of the dciert. 


the rebellion. In all probability he never left Sadah, 
though in his religious character his movements were 
always spoken about with much mystery. 

Sanaa at the end of October was still in a state of 
siege, the garrison and townspeople suffering greatly 
from hunger and disease, though in Amran the state 
of the inhabitants was still more pitiable. 

Badly fed as they were at all times, worse now than 
ever, one cannot but admire the immense pluck of 
the handful of Turkish troops who kept at bay for 
several months an immense horde of Arabs. Not 
only was their courage exhibited in the dogged resist- 
ance within the town, but in their constant and often 
successful sorties against the enemy. 

A short description of the city of Sanaa is neces- 
sary in order to explain the positions of besiegers and 
besieged during the whole of last autumn. 

The city, which contains some fifty thousand in- 
habitants, lies in a wide level valley. It takes the 
form of a triangle, the eastern point consisting of a 
large fortress, dominating the town, and built upon 
the lowest spur of Jibel Negoum, a mountain which 
rises immediately outside the city walls. The town 
is divided into three distinct quarters, each walled, 
and the whole surrounded by one continuous wall. 
They are respectively the city proper, in which are 
the Government buildings, the huge bazaars, and the 
residence of the Arabs and Turks ; the Jews' quarter ; 
and Bir el-Azab, where are gardens and villas belong- 


ing to the richer Turks and Arabs. Tlie city was 
once of great wealth and prosperity, and to-day 
remains one of the most flourishing cities of Arabia. 
The shops are well supplied with European goods, 
and a large manufacture of silk, jewellery, and arms 
is carried on there. The quarter in which the Govern- 
ment Imildings are situated presents almost a European 
appearance, with its large Turkish shops, its cafes, and 
\i» o|>en places, on one of which, in front of the Gov- 
emor-GenenU's official residence, a military band dis- 
courses anything but sweet music of an afternoon. 

But the city, as the writer saw it after its recapture 
by the Turks, presented a very different spectacle 
from what it must have done when, surrounded on 
all sides 1)V a horde of Arabs, a continual shower of 
bullets was Wing poured into its streets from the 
Arab |K)sition on Jibel Negoum, which completely 
dominated the place. Fortunately for those be8iege<l, 
the rebels jiossessed no artillery, otherwise their efforts 
would no doubt have proved successful in gaining an 
entrance into the town. However, the fire poured 
into the city was sufficiently harassing to render it 
expedient to drive the Anibs from their jKwition al)ove 
the town, and several unsuccessful sorties were made. 
At length, mustering all the troops at his command, 
the {msha made a final sortie about the middle of 
November. Maintaining a steady fire from the fort 
upon the Arab position, the troops issued from the 
MOthem gate, and wheeling to the left after a gallant 


attack — for the Arabs were in overwhelming numbers 
— drove the rebels back. They retreated on Dar es- 
salaam, a small village a few miles outside the walls 
of Sanaa, consisting of perhaps a dozen or so stone 
houses surrounded by a wall. Bringing up some 
small field-guns, the artillery opened fire upon the 
rebels, completely destroying the place and rendering 
a precipitate retreat of the Arabs necessary, which 
they are said to have accomplished in the wildest 
disorder, leaving, as I was informed, several thousand 
dead upon the field. But the victory was not alto- 
gether a blessing, for there being no one to bury the 
Arab dead, the inhabitants of the city suffered from 
violent disease, w^hile the stench of the decaying 
bodies is said to have been terrible. Ketiring once 
more within the precincts of tlie city, the Arabs again 
took up their old position ; but their defeat seems to 
have to a great degree crushed their spirits, and the 
remainder of the siege, severe though the sufierings 
of the townspeople were, is said to have been less 
acute than previously. At any rate, the alarm of a 
successful attack on the part of the rebels seems to 
have abated. 

But relief was at hand. The Turkish reinforce- 
ments had landed in Hodaidah under the command 
of Ahmed Feizi Pasha, formerly Governor of Mecca, 
and commander of the Seventh Army Corps. 

Learning on his arrival at Hodaidah how serious 
was the state of affairs, he at once took active 



meajsures, and without even waiting for commis- 
sariat arrangements to be carried out, marched his 
troops r//? Bajil to Hojaila, a village at the foot of 
the mountains on which the town of Menakha is 
situati^l, and over which the road to Sanaa })asses. 
Here three days later they were overtaken by the 
commissariat camels bringing flour and provisions for 
the soldiers. Having rested his men, he ('ommenced 
the ascent of the steep roa<l, and here met with the 
first show of resistance. But th(» Turkish soldiers 
were fresh and fought well, and the superiority of 
arms did its work. With but a short delay to force 
the road, Menakha was reached. 

There Is })erhaps in the world no city situated in 
the way that Menakha is. At an altitude of seven 
tbouMind six hundred feet alx>ve the sea-level, it is 
jierched on a narrow ridge joining two distinct 
mountain-ranges. On either side of the city are 
precipices, each of considenibly over two thousand 
feet in depth. So narrow is the town that there are 
places in it where one can stand and gaze down both 
these precipices at the same time. To reach it from 
the west there is only one pjith in the steep mountain- 
side ; while from the east it can only be approiichetl 
by a narrow track cut in the fiice of a precipice and 
winding up it for an ascent of two thousaml five 
hundred feet. In the hands of well-regulated fon*es 
it would be impregnable ; but the Arab defenders, 
learning how easily the new Oovernor-General and his 


troops had forced the road at Hojaila, made no plucky 
resistance : and armed as they were almost entirely 
with matchlock and fuse guns — and many only with 
spears — they could have made no permanent stand 
against the field-guns of the Turks, who are said in 
one day to have brought their light artillery from 
Hojaila to Menakha, an ascent of nearly six thousand 
feet, by a breakneck path. But few shots had been 
fired when the Arabs fled, and the Turks once moie 
took possession of the place. Leaving a sufficient. 
garrison to protect the town, and to keep open a 
line of communication with the coast, Ahmed Feid 
marched on towards Sanaa. About thirty miles from 
Menakha, on the road to the capital, is a spot called 
Hajarat el-Mehedi, where the track is so narrow and 
so bad that even without resistance it would offer no 
slight obstacle to the passage of troops. Here the 
rebel army under Seyed es-Sherai, a cousin to Ahmed 
ed-Din, took up a position, and a twelve days' delay 
and fighting took place before the Turks could force 
their way through. But on the twelfth day it was 
accomplished, and the rebels dispersed. Halting but 
now and again to shell some village, the troops by 
hurried marches reached Sanaa, and on their beinj^ 
sighted by the Arab besiegers on Jibel Negoum, the 
Imam's force retired into the mountains to the east, 
where no Turkish troops could follow them. 

The capital relieved, Ahmed Feizi was not idle. 
He arrived in time to save the garrison of Amran, 

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where, i\r at Sanaa, the Aral)8 retired on the approach 
of the Turkish forces. Returning to Sanaa, he set to 
work to reoryranise afiiiirs, de3})atching Ismail Pasha 
with a considerahle number of troops to recapture 
Dhamar and Yerim. Prochiiming military law, which 
in this case meant almost no law, throughout the 
rountry, the new Governor-General offered a reward 
for the head of evi»ry rel>el brought to him, and turned 
loos*.* u\fou the Arabs his Turkish troops to loot and 
plunder their villages. Marching to the south, Ismail 
Piudia haltiMl at Maaber to shell the villages of Jibel 
Anis, retook Dhamar without any opposition being 
iftft-red, and, leaving a garrison there, proceeded to 
Yerim, and thrnce by Seddah and Sobeh to Kataba, 
where the writer found him encamjied with four hun- 
dretl tnN>{is toward the middle of last January. Ibb, 
•Itblfh, and Taiz returned under Turkish rule without 
a struggle. 

There is no nation in the world that can put down 
a reliellion as the Turks can, but they have a great 
<»bJ4-<*tion to any one seeing thr process ; and the pre- 
jH-m-e of the writer, turning up suddeidy in Saniui 
whih* Ahmed Feizi Piisha was engage<l uiM>n this 
tai«k, cause<l such a shock, that he and his servants 
wi-n* securely confined in prison as spies in spite of 
|a.-te^|Nirts, until, from th<* unsanitary conditions of 
the place and the l>ad water supplied, he was seized 
with a violent attack of fever ; and no doubt think- 
ing that it would lie lx*tter to get rid of him alive 


than have an objectionable corpse on their hands, and 
probably a good many questions to answer, a guard 
of soldiers was prepared, and the writer was hurried 
away to Hodaidah with orders to quit. Yet, in spite 
of the fact that his relations with Ahmed Feizi Pasha 
were a little strained, he cannot but testify to his 
admirable activity and soldier-like bearing — an ad- 
miration dimmed only by the cruelty, perhaps almost 
necessary, of some of his commands. Thus it will be 
seen, from the day that Ahmed Feizi Pasha took over the 
governor-generalship of the Yemen, the tide of events 
had completely changed. A series of Arab victories 
had ended in a series of Arab defeats. Had Sanaa 
been taken, the result would doubtless have been 
different; but in their endeavours to take it they 
failed. Renowned in history, sacred to them as the 
former seat of government of their Imams, their want 
of success in capturing it, together with the action of 
Ahmed ed-Din, who held aloof from any active part 
in the warfare, broke their spirits. Had they suc- 
ceeded in entering Sanaa, had they brought their 
Imam there in state, there is some possibility that 
the Turks might have lost the Yemen for ever. They 
themselves, and Ahmed Feizi Pasha the first of them, 
told the writer this. 

Thus by the end of January the Turks had recon- 
quered all the cities of Yemen with the exception of 
one, Dhofir, at that time still besieged by the Arabs. 
Yet in spite of the fact that Turkish rule was again 


rein.state<l in the country, in spite of the fact that 
what with the reiuforcements there were altogether 
i^oine forty thousand troops in the Yemen, the rebellion 
wa:j by no nie^ms stamped out. This is easily under- 
stood when the nature of the countrj^ is described. 
Central Yemen consists of a great plateau, upon which 
are situated the three principal cities, Sanaa, Dhamar, 
and Yerim. This plateau is surrounded by a system of 
mountains broken and torn into valleys and caAons, 
peaks and pinnacles, amongst which it would be im- 
possible for any Turkish force to operate, ^lany of 
th«-8C mountains reach an altitude of over twelve 
thousand and thirteen thousand feet, the summits 
often connected with the valleys beneath by preci- 
pices of thous^mds of feet in depth. The only roads 
— mere tracks they are — are cut in the face of these 
walls of rock, and often are not a yard in breadth. 
Amongst these enormous mountain-ranges — and to 
th«* north of Sanaa one can travel for days and weeks 
amongst them — the spirit of relH^llion burns as tiercely 
tcwiay as ever. Certainly the towns are now in the 
{KMsessioD of the Turks, yet the main roads that con- 
nect the towns are unsafe for Turks to pass over, 
except in considerable numbers together. It was to 
a large extent from th(*sc mountain districts that the 
n-venues of the Government were previously drawn ; 
for the Arabs of the Yemen, unlike those of the Ilejaz 
and nioHt other Arabian States, are tillers of the soil, 
living in well-built and [K'niianent villages, one and 


- .«rt 


all roughly fortified, from which they would be able 
to withstand any band of anned tax-collectors, such 
as were wont formerly to be sent to levy the dues, as 
often on behalf of those who had purchased the rights 
of collecting from the district as on the part of the 
Government direct. In many of these villages the 
writer sat, sharing with the Arabs their humble re- 
past, sipping their coflfee and smoking their hubble- 
bubbles, and listening to their strange songs and 
prayers for the return of the Imam, Ahmed ed-Din, 
to power. 

The rebellion has been outwardly crushed, but the 
prestige of Turkey in the Yemen has received a severe 
blow. The exorbitant squeezing will have to be 
abandoned, with the results that the revenue will 
probably fall to a tenth of its former sum. Many 
tribes formerly taxed will maintain an armed inde- 
pendence. The garrisons in the towns must be doubled, 
and the Yemen as a means of filling the Turkish cof- 
fers will be finished. Over the rebellion the Porte 
has expended a vast sum of money, while any attempt 
to recoup itself from the scene of action will but bring 
on a second and probably more disastrous rising. 

Little more remains to be told except to consider 
briefly in what manner a permanent Arab success 
would have influenced ourselves. It was generally 
believed amongst the Turks in all quarters that it was 
British intrigue that stirred up the rebellion in the 
Yemen, although even the Turks themselves were at 


a loss to understand what advantages we should reap 
through such an action. They called attention to 
the iude{)endent States that lie between Aden and 
the Turkish frontier at Kdtaba, the states of Lahej, 
Dliala, and the lands of the Houshabi, Aloui, and 
other trilK^s. Yet Ahmed Feizi Pasha himself in- 
formed the writer that, (equally with the English, the 
Turkish (iovernment subsidise their Sultans, Amirs, 
and Sheikhs ; but the object of our subsidising them 
lA misunderstofKl by the ofticials of Sanaa and Con- 
stantinople. To them it is impossible to consider in 
the same light as we do the viist importance of trade ; 
and it is merely that the roiwls which pass through 
thest* various States may be kt»pt open and siife for 
caravans trading with Aden, that we pay large monthly 
sums to the native rulers. At the same time, it is 
doubtless an advantage to possi^ss a more or less in- 
deiK'ndent strip of country between our fi-ontier at 
Aden and that of the Turkish Yemen. 

What has be^Mi to England the result of tlir Turk- 
inh oci*u{»ation of tin* Yemen ^ it has been a result 
euomiouslv lK*neticial. Formerlv, in the time of 
Arab rule, no caravans were able to pitss and rejMiss 
in safety from the interior to Aden. The inability 
of the Imam to hold the tril)es in eh<»ck n»ndered the 
Kioting of every caravan probabh*. But since the 
arri%'al of the Turks things have altertMl. By keej>- 
ing the roads ojH»n the Turks have rendered a vast 
nen'ice to EIngland, by« as far sis their power went. 


ensuring safe-conduct to the passage of caravans, 
while unconsciously their greed in levying enormous 
export and import dues at Hodaidah and their ports 
has driven the greater part of the Yemen trade to 
Aden — a free port. Thus it will be seen how vastly 
beneficial to England has been the conquest of the 
Yemen by the Turks ; and had the Osmanli Govern- 
ment lost possession of the country, the result could 
have brought about but one effect — a return to the 
state of afiairs previous to Turkish annexation, and 
a consequent enormous diminution of the Aden trade 
both in coffee and exports, and in the European 
goods and tobaccos from the Persian Gulf, for which 
the returning caravans create a great demand. Yet 
the Turks assured the writer that the British Govern- 
ment was supplying arms and assistance to the rebels. 
In reality the rifles were being smuggled in by 
private traders from the French port at Obock. 

As to what will be the future policy of Turkey in 
the Yemen it is difficult to surmise. No doubt 
Abdul Hamid will be guided much by the report of 
his aide-de-camp Yakoub Bey, who was despatched to 
Sanaa for the purpose of bringing a full report to the 
Sultan. Kather than risk a second rebellion, there 
is little doubt that a conciliatory policy will be 
attempted ; but the Yemen is too far removed from 
Constantinople to be governed from there, and as 
soon as affairs have quieted down, the officials will 
take advantage of their positions to commence once 


more the oppression of the people and the filling of 
their pocketH. Could they l)e persuaded that ex- 
tortion is not the road by which to arrive at a 
satisfactory system of government, they would find 
the eountr}' daily growing richer, and their relations 
with the Arabs more peaceable and less strained 
than at present. But the h»oi>ard cannot change his 
8|M)t.s : and it is only probable that as long as 
Itsmanli supremacy exists in the Yemen, officialdom 
will continue to enrich itself and impoverish the 





There i« not a breath of wind to stir the placid surface 
of the sea — not a breath to cause a draught upon the 
«hi[> and cool us for a second. It is one of those 
terrible still tropical days, motionless, silent, oppres- 
>*ivc. Nothing to hear but the hissing of the sea as 
the veHsels l>ows plough up the tunjuoise water, and 
the thud, thud of her never-ceasing screw. Even the 
I.,asear8 in their white clothes and bare feet, children 
of the sun as they are, seem downcast. 

We are juissing Perim. It lies on the i)ort side, a 
dirty blot upon a scene of ojwlescjue transparence, of 
shimmering water and palpitating sky. 

A youth travelling round the world stretches him- 
self, jots a few lines in his tliary, and commences to 
tell the old story of the taking of Perim. But he is 
HMin cried down, and silence reigns again. 

Un both sides we can see the land, — burning ro«-k 
s«t*n through a burning atmosphere. A numl>er 
of flying -fish buzz over the surface of the wattT, 


122 ADEN. 

and with a series of little splashes disappear once 

A few hours later and Aden is in sight, with its 
broken and torn peaks and jagged outline. A little 
movement is noticeable amongst the passengers, but 
it is half-hearted at the best. 

Then we enter the grand bay, surrounded by des- 
olate rock and still more desolate desert, and drop 
anchor a mile or so off Steamer Point, as the shipping 
quarter of Aden is called. 

The steamer is quickly surrounded. A few steam- 
launches, heavily awninged, screech their whistles ; 
while a crowd of small boats manned by coal-black 
Somali boys, each striving to be the first upon the 
scene, crowd upon us. They are boatmen, divers, 
and sellers of curiosities — smart, bright little fellows, 
more than half nude, and as black as coal, many with 
their hair left long like the cords of a Russian poodle. 
Such a screaming and a yelling ! Such a diving after 
small coins ! Such a display of leopard- skins, antelope- 
horns, especially those of the lovely oryx, and ostrich- 
feathers, products of the opposite coast ! A few dull 
austere Indians and Cingalese display embroideries 
and table-cloths, but the heat seems to depress them, 
just as it does the buyers. 

It is a wonderful sight to watch the divers, balanced 
on the gunwales of the boats, their hands above their 
heads, watching eagerly for the tiny splash of a small 



coin, thou breaking the water into a series of dancing 
cin*lt*8 as their dusky boilies disappear into the trans- 
{larent blue. One can see them too under water, turn- 
ing like fishes in search of the slowly sinking 
money. When the excitement had worn off, and 
those {Kissengers who cared to brave the sun s terriBc 
rays by taking a short run ashore had left, I hailed 
a lK>y, who, with the aid of Abdurrahman, my ever- 
faithful Arab si'rvant from Morocco, stowed my lug- 
gage into the lx)at. Then I said good-bye to the 
P. and 0. steamer, and was rowed ashore. 

At si»nie steps leading to a galvanised-iron-roofed 
landing-place I stepped ashore. What a scene of 
desolation and dreariness Aden presents to the new- 
t-onier I and how soon one gets to like the ])lace in 
**pite of it all ! A background of dreary bhickish rock, 
a Handy road, half-a-dozen rickety (jharies under the 
sh«4ter of a hideous iron-roofing, with sleepy little 
[lonit's and still more sleepy 8<miali drivers ; a white- 
washed domed 8;iint s tomb, with an apology for a 
ganleu on each side, in which a few wear}'-looking 
plants were trying to ap{>ear green under a thick 
«*oating of dust and a sweltering sun ; a long crescent 
of luully built houses, with the exception of the hand- 
some Aden Bank buildings, faced by an ex{)anse of 
sand and black ]>alings, — and that is Steamer Point, 
aji one first sees it. But as the sun sinks low a fi^re 
«»r two appt^ar, and towanl sunset the place wears a 
gay and flourishing ap{K>arance. 

124 ADEN. 

Getting my baggage into a hand-cart, I set off for 
the hotel, where at least was shade and tolerable cool- 
ness, say some 90° Fahrenheit. But in spite of its 
dreary aspect, in spite of the dull monotony of its 
colouring, one gets quite fond of Aden. The cheery 
hospitality of the garrison, the gorgeous early morn- 
ings and evenings, the delicious warm January nights, 
the club, the verandahs of which are laved by the sea, 
the white hulls of the men-of-war in the bay, and the 
pleasant evenings spent under their awnings, dispel 
all the unfavourable impressions which are at first 
so numerous and apparent. In a few days one has 
forgotten that the whole place, from the top of Sham- 
sham down to the sandy isthmus, is all a volcanic 
hideosity; one has forgotten that the whole is so 
impregnated with salt as to almost forbid any ver- 
dure to grow, and that, should it by chance take root, 
the sun is there to kill it. One sees after a time only 
the picturesqueness of the place, — the strange torn 
mountain-peaks ; the gay thronging crowd of many 
nationalities all bent on their several businesses, 
except the Jews, who seem bent upon everybody 
else's ; and the Somalis, who are as indifferent to the 
general world as they are to the heat, excepting when 
a passing steamer lands for an hour or two a flock of 
extraordinarily habited travellers — and then the cabs 
fly backwards and forwards, the ponies kicking up the 
dust, their feet rattling along the hard roads and 
making almost as much noise as the cracking of the 


jehus' whips ; then the Jews, the money-changers, 
pasH and repans, spilling their coins one by one from 
hand to hand, until the very jingling drives one 
frantic ; and the black urchins, who have learnt Eng- 
lish enough to lie with facility, and to beg, worr}% and 
Inither until they are paid to go away, appear. Then 
the curio-seller, be he Greek or Jew or swarthy Indian, 
rreejw out from amongst his moth-eaten lion and leo- 
|)anl skins and his boxes of stale " Turkish delight," 
ami with outstretched hands bids the traveller enter. 
Then, too, there is the jingling of long tumblers on 
the wide verandah of the hotel, and a crowd of l)oats 
in readiness at the landing-place. Just like a flock of 
locusts they come and stay their hour or two, and just 
like a flock of locusts they go, some outward bound, 
some returning home ; and Steamer Point is itself 

Uften as Aden has been described, it is necessarv 
here to make some mention of its various sights and 
the varied scenes it presents ; for, as jwirt and parcel 
of the Yemen, it cannot be jwissed over in a lxK)k that 
attempts to deal with that country. If, however, the 
reader has l>een there, or has read more pretentious 
a'^counts of it, let him skip it over. 

Hated, s|>oken of as typical of the infernal regions, 
ugly as it is, Aden |HThaps can claim an anticpiity and 
an im{K>rtance throughout all history unparalleled, for 
its size and its situation, in the annals of the world. 
When countries, now the centres of vast civilisiitions. 

126 ADEN. 

consisted of primeval forests, inhabited by almost 
primeval man, and filled with wild beasts, Aden was 
an emporium of trade. With every possible natural 
disadvantage, except its harbour and its situation, it 
was inhabited by merchants, who collected and re- 
shipped by vessel and by caravan the wealth of many 
lands. Africa, India, the Persian Gulf, poured on 
to the arid volcanic rock their gold and their purples, 
their spices and their precious stones. 

"Arabia, and all the princes of Kedar, they occu- 
pied with thee in lambs, and rams, and goats : in 
these were they thy merchants. The merchants of 
Sheba and Raamah, they were thy merchants : they 
occupied in thy fairs with chief of all spices, and with 
all precious stones, and gold. Haran, and Canneh, 
and Eden, the merchants of Sheba, Asshur, and Chil- 
mad, were thv merchants."^ There is no doubt in 
the minds of competent authorities that the place 
here referred to as Eden is none other than Aden, 
while many other of the names mentioned have been 
identified with ruins and towns of modern Arabia ; 
but of this more anon. 

Ibn Khaldun, in his geographical notes on the 
Yemen, writing in the eighth century a.h., mentions 
the extreme antiquity of Aden, speaking of it as a 
place of importance in the time of the Tubbas, who 
were the kings descended from Himyar, son of Abd 
esli-Shems, great-grandson of Kahtan, said to be the 

1 Ezok. xxvii. 21-23. 


Joktaii of the Jewish Scriptun»8, the founder of tlie 
oiliest nuthentie tril>e8 in the Yemen ; for although 
they migrated to that country, there are no remains 
to Ik» traced of the inhabitants who were there Ix^fore 

Ketuniing to more historical times, we find that 
during the reigns of one of the Ca^siirs, probably 
riaudius, Aden was destroyed bv the Romans/ 
pn»lKd»iy in order to divert the trade of India to the 
j>orts which ^'tjlius (iaiius had founde<l on the shores 
of the Red Sea, to which A<len proved, no doubt, 
a fonnidalde rival. loiter we find it conquered by 
the army of C'onstantine, and n*-named Emporium 

Returning once more to oriental sources, we fin*! 
the place split up by the wars and factions which were 
«o constant throughout the Yemen, and Aden sevend 
times was besieged and conquered. Most imiMirtant, 
perha|)s, of th«*se early monarchs was the line of 
Hamdani princes, who, ilescended from the Beni 
Zuray, hehl it from alnrnt 440 a.m. with many ups 
and downs of fortune, until in .v.H. 5(VJ it was 
fonquereil by the troops of Turan Shah of the Ayyu- 
bite dynasty of Egypt. 

In 14^7, some three hundred vears after the 
accession of the Ayyubite Sultans over Aden, a |>eri4Hl 
of continued strife, we find tht» place visited by a 
Portuguese by name John IVdro de (\)vilhani. This 

* *' Arriuui inTiplu- mari* Krylhijei.*' 

128 ADEN. 

expedition was organised to explore that quarter of 
the glol)c after an ambassador had been sent to 
Florence by the Christian King of Abyssinia whom 
we have learned to know by the name of Prester 
John. Covilham eventually ended his days at Shoa, 
at the Court of Iskander, or Alexander, the then 
reigning prince. 

From the next European, however, who visited 
Aden we have a more succinct account, though un- 
fortunately his work upon the subject of his travels ^ 
is so taken up with personal narrative, and his names 
are so unreliable, that it is with some difficulty that 
historical events are recognised. I refer to Ludovico 
de Barthema, known also as Vcrtomanus, who trav- 
elled in Arabia about the year 1504. 

Albuquerque's attack upon Aden forms one of the 
most interesting items in its history, and short notice 
must be taken of it here. The sovereign of Abyssinia 
at this epoch was a Christian, Queen Helena by name, 
who, wishing to obtain assistance by which to keep 
oft' the Aral) invasions into her own country, sent an 
Armenian envoy to the Court of Lisbon. After 
wandering about in a somewhat vague way for several 
years — he went vld India, where he was detained 
twenty-three months — he at length, in 1513, arrived 
at Lisbon. He found on his arrival that an expedi- 
tion was already organised to carry out the proposals 

1 Itiiierario de Ludovico de Barthema, 1535. Translated by 
Richard Eden, 1576. 


he wiw bringing from his quoen, and in command of 
whirh Alpiionso ih? Alhuquercjur left India in Frbruary 
of the siune year with two thousiind fivi^ hundred men, 
t WD- thirds of them Portuguese, the rest Indians. On 
Kstj«ter eve thev arrived at Aden, and at once attaeked 
the place. After a siege of four days further efforts 
were found to he useless; and l)oml>arding tlu? town, 
and de.stroying the native shipping, tht» Pcaiuguese 
Hotilla sailed for the lli^l Sea. A seeond attt^mpt on 
the part of AlhutpUTque to take A<len th(» following 
^pring again failed, owing to the faet that it had 
meanwhile been refortified. 

A few years lat«»r, in 151G a.i>., Aden was again 
lie,«*ieged, this time l»y an ex|M'dition sent from Egypt 
und«'r liais Suh'iman ; but th«» eity was again found to 
1m* im[>r<*gnable, and th«* attarking for<'e suffered very 
ronsidentide lo>s. Ilowfy^r, so weakeurd had the 
fortitieations been l>y th«»se n»j>eated atta«ks, that 
when SiMirez arrived shortly afterwards, tin* ixoveriior 
HurrendenMl the plaee into his han<ls ; but on tin* 
Pi»rtugues«* attempting to follow and eapture Sulei- 
nian*M fle«'t, the goyenu»r made haste to rej»air th«' 
fort ifieat ions, and on Siarez's n»tuni he found himself 
liafHed. and .\den mon* tirndy in tli<* hands of the 
Amir Morjaun than eviT. 

Meanwhile Suleiman had organised an enonnous 
fl«*et, with part of whieh he visited Atlen. The eity 
wart takt'U by tn*aehery ; for the governor, having 
been enticed on lM>ard the ships, was hung, antl 


130 ADEN. 

soldiers landed on beds under the pretence that they 
were sick men. In 1551 the inhabitants, oppressed 
by the cruel representatives left by Suleiman, rebelled, 
and ceded Aden to the Portuguese. 

It is not for nearly fifty years later than this date 
that we find the English in these seas. On the 8th 
April 1609 a ship belonging to the East India Com- 
pany, by name the Ascension, visited Aden. Re- 
ceived with every possible courtesy, the captain 
was, when once safely in the hands of the governor, 
entrapped and imprisoned, and only allowed to leave 
Aden after paying heavy fines in goods and money. 
A year later the Darling and the Peppercorn arrived, 
under the command of Admiral Sir Henry Middle ton. 
On the Darling proceeding to Mokha, the crew of the 
Peppercorn were treacherously seized and detained in 

The Dutch were tlie next to appear upon the scene, 
Van den Broeck arriving with a fleet in 1614, in order 
to found trading relations between tlie natives and 
the Dutch East India Company. Their overtures 
were exceedingly well received by the officials, but 
the jealousy of the more influential native merchants 
prevented their being able to come to any satisfactory 
arrangement. From this period until the beginning 
of the present century Aden shared the ups and 
downs of fate that are so frequent in all oriental 
places; but as any account of these would prove 
tedious, they can very well be omitted. In 1802 


we find Aden visited by Sir Home Popham, who, 
having failed in concluding a treaty with the Imam 
of Sanaa, was able to enter upon and carry through 
a commercial and amicable treaty with the then 
Sultan of Aden. As late as 1833 we find another 
example of the treiichery of the natives of Aden. 
Turkchee Bilmas, as Mahammed Agha was nicknamed, 
after his series of extraordinary victories, having de- 
manded and received the surrender of the governor 
of Aden, sent thither a mission of forty persons. 
Tliey Were well received, but during the night more 
than half their number were foully murdered, the 
n-st esi;aping in miseralile plight. 

In 1835 steamers of the Indian Government hav- 
ing harlK)ured in Aden, made use of it as a coaling- 
station ; but it was, on account of the difiicultv of 
obtaining lalnmr, changed for Makulla, a port to the 
cast on the Iladramaut coast. After, in 1837, being 
sacked by the Foudtheli tribe, the attention of the 
Indian Government Wiis called to Aden bv the fact 
that a ship flying British colours, the Deria Dowlat, 
being wrecked near that l><)rt, the vessel was looted, 
and the passengers, some of whom wt»re native 
Uuiies of rank, insultingly treated. Captain Haines, 
in command of the war-sloop Coote, arrived in 
I>ecenilK?r, and laid a claim before the Sultan 
for twelve thous^md dollars compensiition. A plot 
being in the air to obtain |>ossession of the |K»rson 
and [Mi[>er8 of Captain Haines, he sailed for India, 

132 ADEN. 

returning in October 1838 to enforce the carrying out 
of the cession of Aden in return for an annual pay- 
ment to the Sultan of nearly nine thousand dollars 
a-year. Having been insultingly treated, Captain 
Haines commenced to blockade the port, until, in 
January 1839, H.M.S. Volage and H.M.S. Cruizer 
arrived upon the scene. A message to surrender 
being left unanswered, the town was bombarded and 
taken, the Sultan and his family escaping to Lahej, 
a city some thirty miles in the interior. The capture 
of Aden is curious as being the first addition to the 
Empire made during the reign of Queen Victoria. 

It is wonderful to notice how soon it became 
apparent to the natives that they had nothing to 
fear from the British occupation ; but, in spite of 
this feeling of satisfaction in the eyes of the lower- 
class natives and tlie merchants, the chiefs of the 
Abdali tribe, in spite of solemn bonds to the con- 
trary, attempted to retake the place. In this they 
failed, and, exasperated at their want of success, com- 
menced a series of depredations upon the caravans 
and local property of Arabs residing in Aden. After 
a severe struggle in 1841, in which two Arab forts on 
the mainland Avere destroyed by the British troops, 
affairs remained in a more peaceful condition until, 
in 1 846, Seyed Ismail, a fanatical Shereef, preached a 
holy war and the retaking of Aden from the infidels. 
Augmented by many local tribes, three separate at- 
tempts were made upon Aden, each of which was 


successfully repulsed. Like all sucli failures in the 
Eajtt, the Seyed was stamped as an impostor, and, 
his army having dissolved, he was killed bv a Bedouin 
in 1848. In 1850 the crew of a man-of-war's boat 
landing on the north side of the bay was attacked, 
and some of the number were wounded, one man 
lieing killed. A still more melancholy affair haj)- 
I>cned in February 1851, when a shooting-party waw 
attacked at the village of Wahat, of whom Cajitain 
Milne was killed and seveml others badly wounded. 
A series of like depredations and outrages continued 
to take place, until in 1858 an attack was made u{H>n 
the Araks and the battle of Sheikh Uthman fought, 
uhich ended in the blowing uj> of the fort and the 
village, and the opening of negotiations for a friendly 
understanding l)etween the British (iovernmeiit and 
the Alnlali Sultan. 

From this time on affairs l>ecame m(»re quirt ; Imt 
on the Turks <*onquering the interior of the Yemen in 
187'J — thev had held a firm footinjx on the Red Sea 
roast ln*fore this |M*riod — it was found ne<*essary to 
demand the withdrawal of the Osmanli foives from 
the triU* lands surrounding Atlen. At this ejM>ch, 
to<». Little Aden, a sister ]»eninsuhi which forms the 
western shore of the Aden bay. was purchased, and 
in ImH:^ British territorv was extencled aero.ns the 
uthnuiH, by which arrangement the entire sluires 
of the harlK>ur fell under the jurisdiction of the 
British (lovernment. hx^luded in this deed of pur- 

134 ADEN. 

chase is the village of Sheikh Othman, now a flourish- 
ing little township, with a police station and a clock 
tower dominating its principal square. Bungalows 
have been built there and gardens laid out, and 
Sheikh Othman to-day presents quite a prosperous 
appearance, though the less said about its inhabitants, 
for the most part Arab dancing-girls, the better. 

Thus, then, the extent of territory in the possession 
of the British Government in the vicinity of Aden 
may be described as follows : Aden on the east, 
Little Aden on the west, and an intermediate strip 
along the north shore of the bay ; the total area 
forming some seventy square miles. Of these, Aden 
alone is fortified. 

The peninsula is situated one hundred and twenty 
miles from the Straits of Bab cl-Mandeb, in latitude 
ir 47' N.,and longitude 45^ E. It is five miles in 
length and three in breadth, and consists of hills of 
bare grey-black rock, the highest of which, Jibel Sham- 
sham, reaches an altitude of nearly eighteen hundred 
feet above the sea-level. The volcanic origin of the 
place is clearly demonstrated by the fact that there 
exists a large crater, which, owing to the broken 
spurs of rock by which it is surrounded, renders 
a greater portion of the peninsula uninhabitable. 
However, in such parts as are suitable for building 
the most has been made, and an extraordinary 
number of people find room to exist upon the barren 
rock, which of itself produces none of the necessities 


of life. Including the {)opulation of Sheikh Othman, 
thf census return in 1891 wan over thirty -eight 
thousand, wherean at the time of the British conquest 
in 1839 the population numbered only some six 

The greater portion of the population consists of 
Aral>8 and Somalis. The Arabs art; for the most 
part lalxjurers, ship-coalers, and some shopkeeiHjrs 
and traders. The Somalis prefer the lighter trade 
of calMlriving, the rowing of small l>oats, and such 
work. They seem perfectly ineajxible of stationar}' 
lab«)ur, and unable to coiujuer their nomad traits. 
Almost every nationality is found in Aden : besides 
the Kuro|>cans there are Ilinclus, Parsees, Turks, 
Eg}'ptian /Vnibs, Persians, Cliinesc, Seedy lioys, 
Abyssinians, Jews, and many natives of India ol 
different types and classes. I^rineipal amongst the 
British Indian subjects are the Parsees, who act as 
agents and shojikeepers, in which professions they 
e4[ual tht* meanness —or shall I call it business talent 
^-of the Jews. One sees them every when* with their 
long white flimsy gannents and curious head-gear 
resembling a coal-scuttle. They have brought to 
Aden a sjKirk of the ever-living tire of Bombay, and 
have established themselves there with their temples 
and womenfolk, and are annexing a vi»ry considerable 
pro|Nirtion of the trad(^ 

Tlie )>eninsula of Aden )M>asts twt) towns and an 
iin|M>rtant village. The former are Aden j>n>|>«»r, 

136 ADEN. 

situated on the level bottom of the crater, and 
Tawahi, at Steamer Point, which contains some 
seven hundred houses, inhabited for the most part 
by those who gain a livelihood dependent upon the 
shipping. The large town of Aden proper contains 
some eighteen thousand inhabitants. The principal 
village is Maala, where the native craft, strange 
dhows and hu(/ah(s, anchor ; and here nearly all the 
native trade is shipped or landed, as the case may be. 
Before entering upon any description of Aden as it 
appears to the traveller of to-day, it may be as well to 
finish such statistics as are necessary here. First, as 
to the anchorage that Aden affords to shipping. The 
bay, which attains its greatest length almost due 
east and west, consists of two distinct portions, the 
inner and the outer harbour. The former, almost 
landlocked, extends to a length of some five miles, 
while the latter is the large portion lying between 
Little Aden and Aden. The depth varies from three 
to nve fathoms in the western bay and at the 
entrance, while a couple of miles outside ten and 
twelve fathoms can be found. A small island in the 
inner harbour, opposite Tawahi, serves the purpose of 
a quarantine station. Very considerable improve- 
ments have lately been carried out, and the depth of 
certain anchorage in the inner bay successfully in- 
creased by aid of a large dredger — a veritable eyesore 
amongst the strange and picturesque native craft 
with which at certain times the bay is crowded. The 


largcT steamers, sucli as tlie P. and (.). aii<l the Alessa- 
peri<*« Maritinies, lie at some disUinee from the shore, 
toward the mouth of the harbour; but the British 
India, Austrian IJoyd s, and several other im|)ortant 
lines, bring their ships in close under Steamer Point. 
This, however, is due to the fact that they usually 
remain a longer time there, and that it affords them 
greater and cheaper facilities for coaling. 

It is, of course, as a coaling-station that Aden is 
most renowned. In 1891 some 165,000 tons were 
im{M)rted, which, togeth«T with the other trade of the 
colony, brings the value of imports and exports up 
to a sum of over five millions sterling per annum. 
What result the op<*ning of tin* coaling-station on the 
island of Perim may have on the coal tnide of Aden 
remains yet to be seen, but it seems improbable that, 
as was siiid at the time, it will ever become a more 
im|K>rtant phice than the other. 

A[)art from thi* commerce in coal, there is by no 
means an unimportant trade carried on with the neigh- 
Ixiuring coasts (»f Arabia, the Persian (!ulf, the H(h1 
Sea, and the African coast. This is principally in the 
hands of native merchants, and a verv (onsiderablc 
f|uantity of the cargo is transport(*d in native sailing 
«*raft. The chief articles are hitles, coffee, feathers, 
gums, dyes, spices and jH»rfumes, silk, and mother-of- 
pearl shells and ivory. 

The coffee tnide which now finds its oiitlet at A<b*n 
wwi fonnerly almost entirely in the haiuls of the 

138 ADEN. 

Mokha and Hodaidah merchants; but the former 
town is now deserted, and the heavy dues of the 
Turkish authorities at the latter have diverted a large 
part of the coffee to Aden, a free port, although a 
considerable amount is still shipped from Hodaidah 
to Aden by sea. The coflfee which reaches Aden 
direct is brought down by caravan from the high- 
lands of the interior and sold to the Aden merchants. 
A very considerable quantity is also brought across 
from the African coast, shipped almost entirely from 
Zeilah, one of the Somali ports, to which spot it is 
brought on camels from the highlands of Harrar and 
the Galla country, all of which is practically suitable 
to the growth of the coffee tree, which necessitates a 
high altitude above the level of the sea. The ostrich- 
feathers are the produce of Somali and the Donakil 
country. Mother-of-pearl shells are brought from the 
Persian Gulf and the Red Sea fisheries, and ivory 
from Somali-land and Abyssinia. The food for the 
garrison is imported from the African coast and from 
Arabia. Sheep and goats are weekly shipped in large 
quantities from Berbera, Bulbar, and Zeilah ; while 
oxen, vegetables, fodder, and fuel are brought in by 
camel-caravan fromLahej and the surrounding country. 
What, however, astonishes one about Aden is the 
fact that it has no local industries. All skilled labour 
has to be imported from China or India ; while even 
such simple trades as mat-making, boat-building, and 
suchlike are almost neglected. 


Thi» climate of Aden is by no means so bad as it is 
gt-nerally descrilKJcl to be, and I believe that stat- 
istiral returns give a very fair average of health 
there. The temperature for the whole year averages 
alK>ut 85' Fahr. in the shade, the extremes being 
72' and 102\ During my visit the thermometer 
only once rose above 90', and then only for a short 
peri«Ml, and once fell jus low as 74". The sky during 
the winter months is unclouded, and the climate may 
Ik* siiid to be delightful, though great care must be 
taken not to get chilled at sundown. Early in Jum» 
the south - west monsoon breaks. Damp and un- 
pleasant as this ocean wind may seem, it is the sole 
cause that renders Aden inhabiUible for Europeans 
during the summer. The changes of the monsoon, 
May and September, are the woi-st periods in the 
year, the thermonu»ter often varying only between 
100^ in the dav and 90^ at night! The rainfall of 
Aden is ver\' changeable, in some years rising to 
eight inches, in others being only one-fourth of an 
inch ; but it is sutficient to keep alive a f«»w plants, 
that do their little best to break the monotonv of 
the dull nK*ks. After a shower the vallfvs some- 
times wear quite a gre<*n appt'arance, but as a ruh? 
this d«M*s not last long, for the sun and dust soon 
dry them up again. However, it is said that then^ 
are no Irss than one hundred antl thirty species, of 
over fortv ditferent onlers, the most common In^inj' 
Euplkorbiac€(B^ the Acacia ehnrnea^ CajHiridicur, 

140 ADEN. 

and the lovely Adenum ohesum} A few wild dogs, 
jackals, and foxes can be found in the rocky valleys ; 
and birds are common — kites, hawks, flycatchers, 
and wagtails being permanent residents, while many 
species pay the place an occasional visit.^ 

Having thus briefly run through the statistics of 
Aden to such an extent as I deem necessary for a 
work of this kind, I will continue with the personal 
narrative of my journey, and, having exhausted my 
books of reference, describe Aden as it appeared 
to me. 

I have said elsewhere that the terrible feeling of 
oppression soon wears off*, and that, after only a few 
days' residence in the place, one has forgotten how 
truly desolate and dreary are the great brown peaks 
tliat rear their heads so far above one on all sides. I 
never was in a place that so shocks one at first, and 
yet which one so quickly comes to like. It took only 
a day or two to shake off" the feeling of the hideous 
barrenness of the place ; and having made a few 
friends, I soon began to perceive how charming life 
cnn be made with all the disadvantages of such sur- 
roundings and climate as Aden possesses. 

The club, the very verandahs of which are laved 
by the sea-waves, is one of the best of its kind in the 
East ; and many a pleasant evening I spent there, 
listening now and again to a military band which 
once a-week discourses sweet music in its precincts. 

^ Three Hours in Aden. Bombay, 1891. 


Pleasantest amongst many pleasant recollections of 
Aden is the kiiulness I was shown by all with whom 
I came in contact — kindness that extended not only 
to entertaining, but in rendering me great service in 
arranging my journey into the interior of the Yenn^n. 
I cannot here attempt to thank all those who took 
pity on a stranger, but I must not pass on without 
Aayiiig how grateful I am to (ieneml Jopp, ILM. 
Political Resident, and to Colonel Stace, CB., Assist- 
ant-Kesident, for their many kindnesses. 

As soon as I had settled in at my hotel and rested 
a clay to stutly my whereabouts, I set to work to see 
the .sights of the place. Fortunately they are not 
%-er}" many, though some of them, such as the street 
floenes in the bazaars, out* eati never tire of looking at. 
Our hot4'l, t<M), was a "sight." It was full of euriosi- 
tied, from the exceedingly stout and non<.* t(N> elean 
Greek who kept the place, to the dirtiest of dirty 
kitcht-'UH I ever siiw. The e«*ntre courtyard, sur- 
rounde<l by a rickety balcony, had onee been used as 
a cftfe'c/iautaitt, and the stage and framework still 
remained, festooned with cobwebs. Below, the tJreek 
kept a curiosity -shop, which seemed prineipally t«» 
contain moth-eaten skins of what once may have lieen 
wild beasts, and rusty Somali fl[>ears. His ''Turkish 
delight " was gooil. I found he sold it to my siTvant 
at exactly half the price he charged me, S4> I mad«' 
Abdurrahman buy it in future, and l>etween us and 
tSaikl, my Yemen man, we did a large business with 

142 ADEN. 

liim. However, on the whole, the place was inhabit- 
able, and in a climate like Aden one lives mostly out 
of doors on the verandahs. 

My first stroll to see the sights was confined to the 
little town of Tawahi, in w^hieh the hotel w^as situated, 
and which is generally known under the more general 
designation of Steamer Point. There is little to see 
in this quarter, though a crowd of natives lying out 
on their long wood-and-string beds in front of the 
tiny cfffeSy smoking the murmuring hubble-bubble, 
is always a picturesque sight. But it is only in 
the back streets that one finds this, the front of the 
town being faced w4th what is called Prince of Wales 
Crescent — in other words, a semicircle of ill-built 
stucco houses, with the exception of the handsome 
oflices of Messrs Luke, Thomas, & Co., to whose 
representative, ]\Ir Vidal, I am under many obliga- 
tions for kindness. Facing these hideosities of houses 
is an open sandy space, in which a few young palm- 
trees, caged and coddled, were trying to grow. A 
row of black palings divides this sandy space from 
the beach. A hideous cab-stand of galvanised iron 
roofing does not add to the picturesqueness of the 
scene ; nor, for the matter of that, does the thin filmv 
coal-dust that so often floats upon the breeze, to dirty 
one's white clothes and render life gritty and unbear- 
able. Yet in spite of this depressing view — in spite 
of the bare rocks that rise above the town — aU my 
recollections of Tawahi are pleasant. 

TAWAHI. 143 

Having explored this little township, which can be 
ilone comfortably in half an hour, 1 entered upon a 
longer undertaking, — I chartered a rickety conveyance 
and drove to Aden proper. The town lies in the 
centre of the crater of an extinct volcano, and one 
eannot help thinking how unpleasant it would be for 
the inhabitants did the eruption that must once have 
taken place recommence. 

I>riving from Steamer Point to Aden, a distance of 
Aome four or five miles, is by no means an exciting 
process, although one's nerves are kept in constant 
tension bv the extraordinarv evoluticms of the cab, 
and the thought that at any moment it may fall to 
pieces— <litto the pony, which a Somali jehu on the 
liox causes by au\ of his whip to keep up to a gallop. 
Thnmgh the pass of Iledfaf, along the tlat that leads 
to the village of Maala- it** harbour crowded with 
native craft, whik* Arab sailors sit mending the sails 
on the ix^ach — away up the winding road to the Main 
pAAs, a zigzxig cutting between high walls of nn'k, then 
clown again, until, issuing from the tunnel-like pass, 
one Ht*es the town of Aden In'fore one's eyes — a great 
white blo<'k, broken up by the streets that run at 
right angles to one another, and disfigured by hideous 
liarrai'ks an<l (lovernnicnt ottiees. The plain in whieh 
th#' town lies, iK'ing in reality tin* floor of thi» erater, 
is almost a eirt*le, from whieh torn and ragged spurs 
of nn-k riw on all sides, except where thnnigh a gap 
one can eateh a glim{>se of the s(*a and Seendi island. 

until ihcy join in tjie ycuks uf Siiam-sliain and its 
ni-igliliiiiirs. TluTe it* but little to attract the eye 

J/.iin I'ass, A<u->i. 

!tln)Ut tlu' (Vsol.ite proRpoct, except tlic relief a Hordeil 
by till' cleiui white town. Away (»n one of the liill-tojw 


fttands u tower. Like the Towers of Silence at Bom- 
bay, it «er\'es as the scene of the stranjore funeral rites 
of tlie Parsees ; and here the birds of prey congregate 
to devour the cor|>8e, too iniimre to defile fire or earth 
or water. 

But the sight of all Aden is the tanks. I remeni- 
lier long before I visited Aden listening one evening 
during a long sea-voyage to an old ships-carjienter 
discoursing on the Bihh*. " The tJarden of Rlen ! " 
he said ; ** why, of course it's true 1 It's Aden to-day, 
aud there's the tanks to prove it. I seed 'em with 
my own eyes." However, in spite of the dear old 
man's religious beliefs being strengthened by having 
seen the famous Aden tanks, i fear thev can claim no 
sueh antiquity as that with which he conutrted them. 
In all prolKibility these great reservoirs were built at 
the time of the second Persian invasion, in the seventh 
ttniturv A.n. In this case th«» tanks at A<len are 


much Liter in date than manv of those existing; in 
Smthern Arabia, of whirh the most iin]N)rtant was, 
without doubt, t\u* great dam of Mareb, or Shel>a as 
we know it. Although I was not fortunate enough 
iu Miv travels in thr Yem<»n to l>r abh* to reach the 


ruins of this extraordinarv work, 1 think that a few 
wtirds UjM>n the sulyect may not 1m* out of place here. 
The dam of Mareb was built prolwibly some 1700 
years H.f. by I^ikman x\\v Aditr, though sonu» authori- 
ties attribute its construction to Abd esh shems, fatht*r 
of Uimyar, founder of the Himyaric dynasty, and 


146 ADEN. 

great-graDclsou of Kahtan — Joktan of the Hebrew 
Scriptures. MoDsieur d'Arnaud, who visited Saba in 
1843, describes the ruins of the dam; He says that 
it consisted of an enormous wall, two miles long and 
one hundred and seventy-five paces wide, connecting 
two hills. Dikes allowed the water to escape for 
the irrigation of the plain below. These openings 
are at different levels, so as to render practicable 
a supply of water at whatever height the contents 
of the reservoir might stand. The destruction of 
this great work took place probably about a hun- 
dred years after the birth of Christ; but although 
the catastrophe is referred to in the Koran, no certain 
date can be affixed to its occurrence. The fact that it 
stood the enormous pressure of water which must 
have constantly been present for some seventeen 
hundred years, testifies to the immensity and solid- 
ity of its construction. 

The tanks at Aden cannot, of course, compare with 
the dam of Mareb, yet they are in their way colossal 
undertakings, and the labour and time expended in 
their construction must have been enormous. Thj^y 
number about fifty altogether, and if in w^orking 
order, would be capable of holding upwards of thirty 
million gallons. We know that at the time of the 
invasion of Rais Suleiman in 1538, the inhabitants 
of Aden were entirely dependent upon these great 
cisterns for their water-supply. On Captain Haines 
visiting Aden in 1835, he found several of the tanks 


in Ujw, Imt many were fille<l up with the debris that 
the torrents had washed from the mountains above. 

In 185fi the restoration of the tanks was commenced, 
and now thirteen are in working order, capable of 
holding nearly eight million gallons of water. Their 
site is well chosen. They lie above the town, im- 
mediately under the high rocks that form the foot 
of Jil)el Sham-sham, and in su<*h a position that all 
the dniinage of the rain-water is accumulate<l into 
channels, and i>oure<l into the succession of cisterns 
that lie one above another. 

The tanks are fonned in various ways : some are cut 
into the solid bed of the rock, which is (rovered with a 
hard {>olished cement; others are dams built across the 
ravine ; while a third variety of shape is formed by 
angles in the precipices luring made use of, two of the 
m'alls of the cistern jH^rhaps l>eing the natural stone, 
and the others formed of masonry. The up|M*r tanks 
arc the first filled, the lower for the most part being 
HUpplied from the overflow of those above. In spite 
of the enormous space to contain the water and the 
alight rainfall of A<len, a series of heavy showers will 
not onlv fill the tanks, but cause an overflow stream 
of such bulk that very considiTable damage luus at 
times been«l by it, as it [MHired along its channel 
through the town to the sea. 

It was uiMm these tanks and a few }K>or wells that 
Aden at one time deiK*nde<l entirely for water, until 
in fact, in the fifteenth centurv, when Abdul Wahab 

148 ADEN. 

constructed the aqueduct that brought water from Bir 
Ahmed into the town. 

Beyond these tanks there is but little to see of the 
long-past glories of old Aden ; nor have the Arabs dis- 
played in their modern buildings, with the exception 
of one decorative mosque, any attempt at architectural 
beauty. Mons. de Merveille, who visited Aden in 
1708, has left a description of the ruins of wonderful 
marble baths that he saw at that time ; but no remains 
of these are known to exist to-day, nor is there any 
trace of the mosque built by Yasir or the pulpit of 
the Day Imran. In fact, beyond the tanks, its his- 
torical traditions, and the strange peoples who flock 
its streets, Aden can claim but little to interest the 

What a sight the bazaars of Aden present of an 
evening ! Often and often I would drive out just to 
spend the last hour or two of daylight in idly saunter- 
ing through its streets. What strange peoples are to 
be seen there ! Indians gorgeous in scarlet and gold 
and tinsel ; Somalis in their plain white tohes, their 
hair left long and hanging like the cords of a Russian 
poodle on either side of their heads, and often their 
raven locks are dyed a strange brick-dust red colour 
by a clay they smear over them ; Arabs, too, with long 
black silky curls bursting from under their small tur- 
bans, nude fellows, except for their loin-cloth of native- 
dyed indigo cotton, tlie colour of which clings to their 
copper skins with strange effect ; creeping, crawlincr 


Jews ; niggers from Ziinzihar ; Persians an<l Arabs 
from Bag«la(l ; Parsees and (i reeks. 

Then is the time, when the heat of the day is over, 
to seek some vaje at the corner of a street, and wateh 
the j»eoj)h* jKiss. Here at a tahle four Somali warriors, 
gloriou.s in their very bhickness, are playing dominoes 
with the manners of homyeois on the boulevards ; 
there a group of Arabs are chatting over a hubble- 
bubble pi|K», the mouthpiece of which they pass one 
to another, over cups of the husks of the cottee-1>erry, 
their favourite beverag<». 

(Jreat strings of camels pass and repass in the 
•trect. Rickety cabs rattle along, the drivers calling 
to the eniwd to make way ; and throughout the whole 
permeates Tommy Atkins, sublime in his self-eon- 
sciousness, and a very good fellow withal. Ay, the 
bazaars of an evening are a sight to be seen, — a col 
lection of strange jMMiples, only to be etjualled per- 
lia|is on the bridg(* l)etween Stamboul and (ialata at 

There nrmains but one more sight to see in Aden, 
the tunnel that connects the town with the isthmus, 
anil which passes under the Munsoorie hills. This 
excavation is three hundred and Hftv vards in length, 
and is lit thn>ughout with artificial lights. It is sutK- 
ciently high and wide to allow of carriage and caravan 
traflic. A second tunnel conne<*ts two seiKirate {H)r- 
tions of the isthmus lines. 

Immeose improvements have lately lieen carrietl 

150 ADEN. 

out in the fortifications of Aden, and during the time 
of the writer's visit several new forts were being 
erected. There is no doubt that the strategic position 
of the peninsula justifies a large expenditure upon its 
defences. The immense value it would prove in time 
of war as a coaling-station cannot be overrated. At 
the present period its garrison consists of the Aden 
troop of cavalry, three batteries of the Royal Artillery, 
one regiment of British infantry, one regiment of 
native infantry, and one company of sappers ; while 
in the bay lies a gunboat and a transport steamer of 
the Indian marine. The troops are spread over the 
peninsula, the cavalry having lines on the isthmus 
itself. Altogether, when the new fortifications are 
completed, Aden may be said to be, both as regards 
its defensive powers and in its commercial character, 
one of the most successful spots in the world. 




With the kind ai<l of friends at Aden, my prepara- 
tions were eiusily made for my journey into the 
Yemen — far mon* easily, in fact, than I had In^en led 
to HUp|K>8e would have l)een the ease. Everywhere 
in the Imzaar were rumours of the rehellion still 
rapncr in the interior — vaj^ue rumours, the truth of 
m'hieh it wa-n almost im|K)8sible to {gather ; while, more 
dispiriting still, there was the fact that for several 
months no caravans had arrive<l from anv distance 
in the interior, while those which came from I^ihej 
and the surrounding countrv hrouj'ht tidin<]^s, hv no 
means n*assuring, of the impassable state of the 
roads in the interior, and the* constant <lepre<lation8 
of the turbulent tribes, who were taking advantage of 
the wrious [political troubles to enrich themselves by 
rol>ber}' and plunder. A<lded to this, I was warned 
hy iM-veral Euro{)ean men;hants and traders that even 
in times o{ {N.*acc it was an almost im|X)ssible task to 
enter the Yemen from Aden. One and all advistnl 


my proceeding to Hodaidah, and from there attempt- 
ing the road to Sanaa. In spite of this, I decided 
otherwise. My reasons were these. Hodaidah being 
the nearest port to the capital, and the principal sea- 
port of the Yemen, it would be only natural to find 
there great activity on the part of the Turkish officials, 
— an activity that would not only prevent my being 
allowed to pass along the well -watched road, but 
would also probably put the Turks upon the look- 
out in other quarters. It may seem strange to the 
reader that any great difficulties should be put in my 
way ; but so serious had been the rebellion, and to 
such an extent had false reports been spread from 
Constantinople concerning it, that the officials were 
determined if possible not to allow the truth of what 
really had been and was taking place to leak out. 
There were at this time, with the exception of a few 
traders at Hodaidah, absolutely no Europeans in the 
Yemen ; for one scarcely counts the Greek shop- 
keepers to be found in all the large towns as any 
but natives, to so great an extent do they assimi- 
late themselves to the customs and manners of the 
country. I knew, then, that did I attempt to reach 
Sanaa from Hodaidah, and should I fail, as most 
probably would be the case, my chance of proceeding 
into the country from any other quarter would be 
practically at an end. It was for this reason that I 
decided to make Aden my starting-point ; and should 
I be unfortunate in my journey thence, to fall back 


as a last hope upon Hodaidah. Thin, happily, I was 
not obliged to do ; for my plans, as will bo scon, 
were successful. 

But there were several other niattors to be thought 
over besides this. Granting that I could reach the 
capital of the Yemen from A<len, how couhl I best do 
so with tolrndjle safety? Hen* my experirnees in 
MonK'co stoo<l m(» in «?ood stead. Mv first idea had 
l)cen to pun*hase my camels, but on second thoughts 
I derided not to do so. Not only wouhl my camels 
tempt the trilK?s through whoso lands I would have 
to jiass to robl)ery, but even the native Arabs I 
might hire as guides to go with me might not prove 
indis{>osed to relieve me of two or three valuable 
iM^'ists of burden. It would be safer far, I argued, 
to Iiin* my boasts, us in that oaso it would be to the 
ailvantage of my men to see that not only I myself 
but als4> my baggage-animals would arrive at their 
dei>tination in wifety. IIow, thon, to find tho right 
mon and animals without sproading the fact all over 
the liazxiars that a mad Knglishman wanted to go to 
Saniui, in spite of dangers and the rel)ellion i I had 
rfTourse to Messrs CWasjoe, Dinshaw, k Co., a groat 
houHo of Parso<' merrhants, and through tliem was 
put into oommunioation with an Arab trader. This 
gent Ionian I called uimui, and found exceedingly 
pleawmt ; and more than that, I found that ho under- 
stood |ierfectly my North-African .\nd)io, and that 
hiA Oilucated Yemen dialect wjw comprehensible to 


myself. I unfolded to him, over coffee, my plans, 
with which he seemed not a little amused. He told 
me in return to leave everything to him, and to appear 
again at his house the following afternoon. This I 
did, and after coffee and preliminary remarks he 
introduced to me a strange character, an Arab of 
the mountains of Yemen, a man of something under 
forty years of age, framed like an Apollo, lithe and 
beautiful. I must give a few words of description of 
this strange creature. Tall, lithe, and exquisitely 
built, his skin of dull copper hue showed off the 
perfect moulding of his limbs. Over his shoulders 
on either side hung loose black wavy curls, standing 
out like the wigs of the old Eg}'ptians. Except for a 
loin-cloth of native indigo workmanship, and a small 
blue turban, almost lost in the spreading masses of 
raven hair that burst from beneath its folds, he was 
naked. Here and there his flesh had taken the dye 
from his blue raiment, giving it a strange blue tint. 
Tucked into his girdle was a dagger — -jamhiya — of 
exquisite Yemen silver-work; while round his left 
arm hung a long circular silver box containing some 
charm. In features he was extraordinarily hand- 
some. The brow was high, the eyebrows arched, the 
eyes almond-shaped and brilliant, his nose aquiline 
and thin. Added to this a fine firm mouth, the 
upper lip closely shaven, while on the point of his 
chin he wore a small pointed beard about an inch in 
length. A strange contrast he was to my Arab host, 

<i r%nvn%.-vxc« v».» -^-rnnTx " 


an flderly highly respectable-looking merchant, with 
eyeliils darkened with antimony — kohl the Arabs 
call it — an<l his grey beard dyed a shade between 
mtfron and salmon-pink. An enormous turban was 
lialanccd on his closely shaven head, and he was 
h«ibite<l in n)l>es of yellow and green. 

Coffee l>eing brought for our half-nude guest, we 
l^egan to talk matters ov<*r, with the result that for 
an absurtllv small sum mv new-found friend under- 
took to ileliver me safely in Sanaa. At all my ques- 
tions alK>ut the roa<l he laughed. Somehow he had 
such an air of sincerity al>out him that I trusted him 
from the ver\- first, nor was I wrong. '* You have 
nothing to do or siiy," h<* said, smiling ; *' only bring 
vour baiTiT'ti'e here the <Iav you want to start, and I will 
»<N- to the rest." In half an hour it was all arranged. 
Tlire#* eamels wen* to take me and my s<?rvants, and, 
after a rertain distance, when, in fact, we entered the 
highlands, they would 1m' changed for mules. As to 
guides and men, I had nothing to do with them. 
There wouhl Iw always enoujrh animals to carr\' my 
scanty baggage, my servants Alnlurrahman and Said, 

and nivself. " When will you be ready ? " asked the 

• • • 

Arab, rising to leave. ** To-morrow," I replied, ex- 
pecting to be met with excuses for so hurried a 
departure. But no ; an<l half an hour later I was 
rattling liack to Steamer Point in the wheeziest ohl 
ghar\* that ever existed, with a fat iK)ny gidloping 
aheail and an excitecl Somali jehu on the box. 


It did not take long to make my preparations, and 
these over, I turned into bed in a fever of delight 
at the idea of getting away. At dawn I was up. 
I knew it was liopeless to attempt an early start, 
so, having seen all my baggage put in order — it con- 
sisted of only a sack of clothing and a mattress and 
blanket, a couple of saucepans, a kettle, and a few 
stores mixed up with the clothes — I turned in again. 

About nine I dressed ; and as there were no signs 
of anything or anybody, I sat down impatiently to 
wait until something should happen. At length Ab- 
durrahman, my faithful Moor, who had come with 
me from Morocco especially to make this journey, 
appeared. His only fault is that, when he is particu- 
larly wanted, he is sure to have found some place as 
difficult to discover as the North Pole in w^hich to 
oversleep liimself. He was followed an hour or so 
later by Said, clad in new raiment, gay as the sun- 
shine, and not the least ashamed of himself for being 
so terribly unpunctual. However, one could not be 
angry with this butterfly, who, from his mass of wavy 
black hair to the soles of his leather sandals, was a 
picture of dandyism. Often and often in the marches 
before me Said's bright cheery manner and ingenuous 
narration of his conquests amongst the female sex 
kept us, tired and weary as we were, in shouts of 
laughter. He was as good as mortal man could be 
when once we had torn him away from the fascina- 
tions of Aden, his earthly paradise. 


At length, collecting the men and the baggage into 
a couple of gharies, we set out for Aden proper, the 
olil fat Greek who kept the hotel waving his hand to 
me, and wishing me all good-fortune as we drove away. 

At the other end, of course, all the worry com- 
menced again. However, there was nothing to do but 
to bear it jwitiently. First, no signs of men or camels. 
At length, after much searching, we captured the 
beautiful Arab of the previous afternoon ; and, never 
letting him out of our sight, we at length ran our 
camels to earth in a back-yard. Leaving Abdurrah- 
man to watch the luggage and the camels, Said and I 
sauntered out to do our hint shopping. The heat was 
terrific, but even my impatience did not ruffle Said s 
equanimity. He seemed to have a smile and a few 
words t4> s;iy to ever}' one he met, and, added to this, 
he insi.sted on bargaining for a considerable period of 
time over every item of our purchasing ; and if at 
length he could not lx*at the shopman sufflciently low 
iluwn, he would saunter otf to another nhop, and com- 
mence the whole business over again. It was exas- 
perating ! 

At last everything wa.s completed, said Said, and 
we turned back once more in the dire<'tion of our 
camel-yanl. AlKlurrahman, wearied with waiting, had 
gone ofl" to a aije to have a cup of rotfet* with the 
«^mcl-men ! I sent Said to find them. In alnrnt an 
hour AtMlurrahman and the men rcturiiiMl, not having 
jMreu Said, who presently came smiling in, gay as a 


singing-bird, with the excuse that he had forgotten 
to say good-bye to one of his lady-loves, whose beauty 
he began to sing in flowery praises until I peremp- 
torily silenced him. 

Then they loaded the camels. I sat by and 
watched, wondering what we could have forgotten. 
Said presently was struck with a bright idea, and 
before I could seize him had fled to buy a jar of ghee, 
or rancid butter, for our cooking on the road. Pursuit 
was hopeless, but at last I could wait no longer. 
Fortune favoured me, and I found him. He had, so 
far, forgotten all about the ghee, and was testing the 
smoking capabilities of a quantity of hubble-bubble 
pipes, one of whicli I purchased, and which I found 
to be a veritable passport on my journey. Then off 
he went to buy the gliee, the pipe under his arm ; but 
I accompanied him, and brought him safely back 

With a sigh of delight I watched the camels laden 
with my baggage saunter off* with slouching gait out 
of the yard and aloug tlie yellow dusty road, followed 
by the men. Half an hour later we drove out 
through the Main Pass gate of Aden, down the 
steep winding hill, and along the isthmus, to join 
our baggage-animals at the village of Sheikh 0th- 
man, on the mainland. 

It was almost sunset, and grand and beautiful the 
jagged outline of Aden looked as we left it behind. 
The bay, placid as glass, reflected the great rock, and 


tho ships that lay so peacefully u|)on its motionless 
wat4?rs. The sky, a mass of primrose yellow, still 
tn'mlile<l with the heat of the afternoon sun. Far 
away beyond the crowded masts of the native craft. 
Little Aden, rival of its sister rock, rose a pale 
mauve aij^ainst the sky. Then the sun set, and our 
cab came to a standstill with a jerk that threatened 
to break it to atoms ; while our Somali driver, good 
M<iMlcm that he was, alighted to pray. The air was 
fresh and cool, and we descended for a few seconds 
to stretch our limbs. One could not help thinking 
of the strange mixture of the piust and the present. 
This gran<l lithe figure rising and falling in prayer, 
now upright with outstretched hands, now prostrate 
with his forehead on the ground, seemed like some 
memory of the long dead glories of Islam, whereas 
he was in reality only a cab-driver. 

(>n again, on ovvr the level plain where many 
an anuy has met and fought over the }>osse88ion 
of the Imrren rock we were leaving behiml us, until 
in the fa<ling of the after-glow we drew up in the 
quiet sfjuare of Sheikh Othnian. 

I was intensely happy. A feeling of exhilaration 
at the jouniey before me ran through my lading — 
and we were really started ! I couhl not let th«* 
Somali driver go kick, so I paid him for his stabling 
for the night, and dragged him ott* to the little cafe 
where my camels and men were resting ; and Iutc 
we, Arabs and Moor, Somali an<l Knglishman, calling 


"Bismillah"^ together, sat down to our humble re- 
past of fowl and coffee. 

But I could not sit still. I longed for the rising 
of the moon to start again, and under the guidance 
of my great Arab friend, set out to wander through 
the half-deserted streets. From time to time one 
could catch a glimpse into the cafes of which Sheikh 
Dthman principally consists, filled with dusky Arabs 
and laughing women, many dancing in the circles of 
their admirers, for the little town is given over to 
pleasure. And as an echo to the music, one heard 
the soft gurgle of the hubble-bubble pipes, the grey 
fumes of which filled the air of the houses with hazy 
indistinctness. On we walked between the high 
walls of gardens, out on to the desert, to where, 
in its little grove of palm-trees, stands the tomb 
of the patron saint, Sheikh Otlmian, with its domes 
and its mosque and strange tower of sun-dried bricks. 
This tomb it is that gives the name to the little 

The moon was rising, so we hurried back to the 
cafe, and after a final smoke and a cup of the 
steaming coffee, we loaded our camels, and bidding 
farewell to our Somali guest, prepared to start. 
Then I found that my Yemen Apollo was not 
coming with us. I wjxs sorry at this, but it could 
not Ijc helped : as long as the men who were to 
accompany me were his men, I had nought to 

^ " In tlie name of God " — the Arab grace before eating. 


fear. So I bade him adieu, and mounting my camel, 
waB lifted into the air, and set out. Abdurrahman 
and Said followed my example, and, accompanied 
by three strange dusky men, we wended our way 
through the quiet s<juares and streets out into the 
deisert lieyond. 

Twicf hml the viUage and fort of Sheikh Othman 
been destroyed by British troops l)efore, in onler to 
extend our frontier in that direction. The place, 
and a little of the surrounding country, including Bir 
Ahmed, were purclnused by the British Government 
from Sultiin Ali of Laluj. So diplomatically are 
aflairs to-tlay managed in Aden, that not only does 
Sheikh Othman enjoy immunity from plunder and 
robber\\ but the whole caravan-roads }>assing over 
the wide strip of country in the Abdali, Aloui, and 
Dhala country are in a condition of complete tran- 
quillity, and almost absolutely safe for native caravans. 

Out into the desc»rt, with slow ])atient gait, pjussed 
our c-amels. What a won<lerful ni^ht it was ! I had 
iieen the desert before in other lands, but never to 
compare to this. In Egypt the nights are cold; here 
a soft Imlmv breeze Iwire on its wings the scent 
of the mimtjsu bushes, which dotted the sandy sur- 
(ace, A heavy dew Wiis falling, an<l seeme<l to 
awake every drop of fnignince of the little yellow 
riuflfy buds. Alxive us a s;ipphire sky, brilliant with 
ittars and moonlight. Around us miles u{K>n miles 
«»f sandy plain, shimmering silver. Beyond the hum- 



ming of the insects there was not a sound except the 
thud-thud of our camels' soft feet upon the softer 
sand. So still, so tranquil it all seemed, that one 
scarcely dared to breathe. One felt that one was 
passing through some strange dreamland, whose 
earth was silver sprinkled with sapphires, whose 
heavens were sapphires dotted with diamonds. 

Those who have not known the nights of the 
desert can never realise them. It passes the pen 
of man to describe. It is like the periods in fever 
when the fever leaves one, for it is these nights that 
nature has given us in compensation for the burning, 
scorching days. It was but the first of my night- 
marches — there were many more to come ; yet I 
never tired of them. The rhythmic gait of the 
camel, the gliding along under the myriads of stars, 
never wearied me. One could not weary of anything 
so surpassingly beautiful. 

At a spot, irrecognisable in the desert, our men 
shouted to the camels to lie down, and we dismounted. 
Said spread my carpet, while the Bedouins collected 
the dry mimosa twigs, and by the light of the little 
fire they lit I could see my camels regaling them- 
selves with evident relish on the dry bushes, the 
thorns of which were an inch or two in leno^th. Then 
commenced the drinking of coffee, and the gurgle 
of the hubble-bubble, until, calling to the grunting 
animals again, we loaded our camels and set out. 

As early dawn began to tint the eastern sky we 


entered the ooHis in which Ilowta, the capital of the 
Sultan of Lahej, is situated. The aspect of the 
countr}' completely changed. In phice of the pale 
yellow sand, dotted with stunted bushes, there were 
wide fields of durra, or millet, growing in all the 
luxur}' of a damp tropical soil. The fields are divided 
from one another hy hedges of rank vegetation, and 
little channels, here ahove the level of the surround- 
ing land, here running in and out amongst the durra 
stalks, supplie<l unlimited water to the cro|>s. From 
amidst the tangleil mass of dazzling gi'een rise palm- 
trees, many of them hung with trailing creeiK*rs. 

Here and there grazed the pretty hum{>ed cattle of 
Southern And)ia, temled hy nude boys and girls, 
who shyly wat<'he<l the Christian {>assing by on the 
back of his camel. An<l then the town — the great 
mud-built city of Ilowta, full of wild-looking Arabs, 
and <h^s, an<l fever, the palace of the Sultan dom- 
inating the whole, and having the ap{)earance that 
at any moment it might sli<le down, and crush the 
hous4*H and huts and hovels around it. 

l'n«lcr th«* guitlance of my Bcilouins we put uj) at 
a small native raje. preferring to l)e at our ease rather 
than to have to enj«>y the hos|>itality of the Sultan, 
to whom, thanks to (\>loncl Stace, the Political Kesi- 
d«-nt at Aden, I bon* letters of recommendation. We 
easily made an arrangement to reserve the entire 
ari'ommuilation of the caje to our [H^rsonal use, an<l 
^pn*adiug the caqK*t and mattress, I settled in for an 


hour s rest. The place in which we had taken up 
our quarters consisted of a yard enclosed in a high 
hedge of impenetrable thorns, forming a zareba. At 
one end was a large mud-brick room, thatched with 
rough matting, as was also a verandah in front of it. 
Besides this, the guest-chamber, there were one or 
two poor huts of mats in which quite a number of 
families seemed to exist. What with goats, and dogs, 
and fowls, and children, and fleas, the place was 
lively. A funny group we must have made, my 
men and I ; but I had discarded my hat for a tar- 
hoosh, or fez cap, as less likely to attract attention in 
travelling. It is curious the part the hat plays be- 
tween jMoslems and Christians. Apparently to them 
it is the outward and visible sign of the infidel, for 
as soon as one has changed it for their own more 
simple head-gear their fanaticism diminishes to an 
incredible extent. Of all European clothing, the hat 
forms the greatest barrier to confidential intercourse 
between Arab and Christian, and one of the narne^ 
in common use in North Africa for Europeans is " the 
fathers of hats." 

We had not been very long ensconced in our new 
quarters when a gaudy creature came to call. Ap- 
parently, from the number of weapons he bore, he 
was a sort of armorial clothes -peg. In fact, his 
whole costume consisted more of swords and dajrorers 
than it did of clothing, while a long spear added 
to the general eftect. His wavy hair hung on either 


sitle of his face in flowing <urls, and his arms were 
encin*leil above the ellK)w with silver chains, bearing 
chamis an«l Imjxcs containing mystic writinfjs. He 
sh«M>k hands as though he ha<l known me all his 
life, and sat down with a crash of his weapons 
that reminded one of the fall of a coal - scuttle. 
('offe<* was Hoon prepared, and the hubble-bubble, 
murmuring away in a corner in thi* possession of 
Said, who had already changed his clothes and 
brushed out his curlv liK'ks, was handed from mouth 
to m<»uth. After a while mv «(uest announced that 
he had tx^en sent by his bird and master, the Sultan, 
to wish me welcome, and invited me to proceed at 
once to the palace. 

Before, however, I tell of my interview with 
Sultan All Mhast^n, some little account of Lahej and 
itn nders is necessarv. 

The triln.* of Ab<lali, the inhabitants of I^diej, 
share with the Sulmiha, Fou<ltheli, and Houshabi, 
the |MJSs«'Srtion of the south-west coast of Arabia, 
from the Straits of Bid) el-Mandeb, the gate of tears, 
to nearly one hun<lnMl miles east of Aden, and 
reaching inland an average <listance of, roughly, 
some fiftv miles. Of these, the Subaiha are the 
mofft warlik«% l>eing of a more distinctly wandtTinjr 
nature than the others ; while, on the contrary, the 
Abilali trilK* to whom Aden once Iwlonged, whose 
capital is to - day Ilowta, are the richest and 
moAt |N*aceful, their habitations l>i*ing tix(*d alKxles, 


except in the Ctose of such as are shepherds, and are 
thus necessitated to change their pasturage. As I 
have already said, the town of Howta lies in a 
great oasis, supplied with water from rivers flowing 
from the highlands farther inland. This oasis is 
richly cultivated, the principal products being durra 
— joxcuree tlie natives call it — cotton, and sesamum, 
and more especially vegetables and fodder for the 
Aden market. Besides palms, there are several 
other varieties, one a luxuriant shade -giving tree, 
called by the natives b'dam, of which a fine speci- 
men can be seen close to the precincts of the 
Sultan's palace. The soil produces no less than 
three crops in the year, tlie climate being almost 

The town of Ilowta is situated some twenty-seven 
miles north-west of Aden, and extends over a large 
area. There is no possil)ility of obtaining any 
certain estimate of the number of its population, 
which probal)ly reaches as many as ten or fifteen 
thousand, what with Arabs, Jews, a few natives of 
India, and a considerable number of Somalis. The 
extreme heat and dampness of the climate render 
tlie place too feverish to allow of Europeans re- 
siding there with any safety, and even a sojourn of 
a few days is generally sufficient to bring on an 
attack of malaria. The water, too, is very bad, and 
officers going to shoot there from Aden are warned 
to carefully avoid it. 


Although the present state of tlie territory of 
the Sultan of I^ahej is one of tolerable peace and 
security, throughout all the history of Southern 
Araliia one finds it appearing and reap|>earing as 
the scene of battles and plots an<l assassinations. 
After the terrible massiu?re of its inhabitants by 
AH ibn Mehdi in the twelfth century, it was several 
times tak<*n and retaken, and the atrocious acts of 
cruelty of one, at least, of its concjuerors, are re- 
conled by historians. Omitting the many con- 
sequent attacks and wars which took place within 
its territor)', we find it for five months of the year 
1753 held by the reWl AImI er-Rabi, during which 
period Aden existed in a state of blockade. How- 
ever, it was bi»fore this period that the present 
reigning family had obtained possession of the 
throne, their founder and first Sultan, ruling over 
Aden as well as the surrounding country, l>eing 
Foudthel ibn AH ibn Foudthel ibn Sdleh ibn Salem 
el-AlNlali, who in a.d. 1728 threw oti' his allegiance 
to the Imam of Sanaa, and dedareil hims^'lf an in- 
de|iendcnt ruler. Again, in 1771 I^ahej was l>esieged, 
this time bv the Azaiba tribe, who succeeded, how- 
ever, in holding it only for the i^riml of two tlays. 
Notwithstanding, in a history otherwise consisting 
idmost t*ntirtfly of massacres, wars, and murders, we 
have hen* and there a glimpse of a happier state of 
affairs, such as the sumptuous entertaining l>y the 
then Sultan of Aden and Lahej of the British tnn^ps 


after the evacuation of Perim in 1799. Mr Salt, 
in his work entitled *A Voyage to Abyssinia/ and 
published in London in 1814, gives a most charming 
account of the then Sultan Ahmed, and Abou Bekr, 
his representative in Aden. Wellsted also refers to 
this Sultan as a remarkable instance of an Arab 
chief whose great desire seemed to be to further 
trade and receive foreign Mahammedan merchants 
as residents into his country. His friendship tow^ard 
the British is attested in many works and accounts 
of his estimable policy and sagacity. He died in 

I have already described elsewhere the shipwreck 
of the Deria Dowlat in 1836, which ended in the 
taking of Aden in 1839 by the British troops. In 
1849 a treaty was engaged upon between the Sultan 
of Lahej and the British Government (as to trade, 
&c.), and with several ratifications and alterations the 
treaty still exists. The Sultan receives a monthly 
stipend from the British, or rather the Indian, Gov- 
ernment, for protecting the trade-routes which pass 
through his country, and also certain other payments 
in return for the cedincj of Sheikh Othman and other 
spots nearer Aden. In all, the Sultan draws a very 
considerable sum from the Aden trcasuvy per mensenu 

Having said all that is necessary, perhaps, in a w^ork 
which has as little pretensions to being a history as 
this has, on the general history of Lahej, I will resume 
the narrative of my story at the spot where, under the 

THE sultan's PALACK. 169 

guiiluncc of the gorgeous and niuehly-armeil soldier, I 
was escorted to tlie palace. 

Thi.s building is a huge Mock of houses, built 
entirely of sun-dried nuid-bricks, but plastered and 
dceorateil to such an extent as to give it the ap|)ear- 
auce of iH'ing of much greatiT solidity than a large 
hole here and there in the wall {K)int8 out to be really 
the case. The princi|)id buihling is covered with 
domes and cu|K)las, with the eticct of a conglomera- 
tion of a ch(*ap ludian villa and a stucco Constan- 
tinople mos4}U(*. However, from a distance the place 
has a very im|M>sing look, and so large is it that on 
clear davs it is visil)le from Aden. It is not until one 
appn»aches it closely that one discovers the incom- 
peteney with whi<-h it is built ; for pretentious as it 
is, there are places where quite large portions of the 
mud-lirirk walls have come away, and at one s|x>t one 
obtained an exrelh*nt view of the interior of a rix>m 
on the first floor through one of these enormous gaps. 

Pausing through a large I'ourtyard, we entered by a 
small d(K>r, an<l aftiT ascending a rough staircase, and 
wandering along intricate passages, found ourselves 
in the presence of Ali Mhjisen t'l-Abtlali, Sultan of 
Lah«'j. Th«» room in whi<h the Sultan was seate«l was 
a large Hpnire chamber. A heavy bram of carved 
teak-w<NNl ran down the centre of the eeiling, sup- 
|>ort4*d on pillars of the same material. The floor was 
richly car|>eted in oriental rugs, antl silk divans wm* 
armngetl along the walls. Light was iKlmitted by 


large windows, over the lower portion of which was 
trellis- work. At one corner of the room sat a group 
of men, some five or six in all ; while on a table close 
by wTre three handsome silver hubble-bubble pipes 
from Hyderabad, tended and kept alight by a half- 
nude Arab in a blue loin-cloth. 

As I entered and kicked oflF my slippers — ^for hav- 
ing so far resorted to oriental ways as to adopt the 
tarboosh, or fez, I held also to their custom of not 
walking on their carpets in boots — one of the group 
rose to meet me. He was a stout elderly man, with 
a kindly pleasing expression, dark in colour; and 
although not strictly handsome, he possessed a 
manner, common to most Orientals of position, that 
could not fail to charm. Grasping me by the hand, 
he led me to the divan, where I seated myself beside 
him, and, salutations over, proffered me the amber 
mouthpiece of his pipe and a l)unch of hat, a shrub to 
w^hicli the Yemenis are much addicted. This plant is 
known to us as the Catha eduUs. It resembles 
rather a young arbutus in the form and shape of its 
leaves. Tlic leaves are eaten green, growing on the 
stalk, and are said to cause a delightful state of wake- 
fulness. The taste is bitter and by no means pleasant, 
though one easily accustoms one's self to eating it. 
An amusing remark was made by my Moorish servant 
in the presence of the Sultan which tickled the old 
gentleman exceedingly. He held out to Abdurrahman 
a bunch of hat, which he politely refused. When 


aAkeil by the Sultan why, he naively replied, " That 
i» what the goats eat in my eountiy," thinking it to 
Ik» the common arbutus of Morocco. In Yemen it is 
considereil a necessary luxur}' ; and iis it only grows 
in certain |Kirt8 of the country, where it is carefully 
cultivated, and has to l>e tran8[)orted often a long 
diHtanct*, it fetches a high price. That we ate with 
the Sultan of I^ihej had been brought some forty 
miles or more that very morning, for it must be eaten 

Sittinjr next to the Sultan was a Shereef, a 
de.s4*endant of the Prophet in other words, a tall 
handsome young man, clean shaven, and richly 
tlressed. A gohl dagger of great anti(|uity that he 
wore in his belt, and which he kindly showed to me, 
wai» Jis |>erfect a thing of its kind as it has ever been 
my lot to set eyes upon. The Sultan himself was 
rolwd in a long loose outer garment of dull olive- 
green, displaying a kuftau beneath of yellow-and- 
white strijH»d silk, fastened at the waist by a coloured 
sni<h. < ^n his head he won* a lari;e vellow silk turlmn. 
sum»und(*<l by a twisted conl of black I'ameFs hair 
and gohl thread. 

The hubble-lmbble was a sore trial. I was gnulu- 
ally, under the guidance of Said, learning to inlnUe it ; 
but t4i have constantly to fill my lungs with the strong 
i^moke was by no means a pleasant task to a novice 
like myself. The inhaling, evt»n thn>ugh water, of the 
tobacco us4m1 in these pii^es is by no means a thing 


one can easily accustom one's self to, and for a long 
time a whiflF too many will bring on giddiness. How- 
ever, so attentive w^as the Sultan in handing me the 
amber mouthpiece that I stuck bravely to the task, 
although by the time I left I felt a sensation of in- 
cipient mal de mer in a rocking-chair or the car of a 
balloon. As much of the smoke seems to go to the 
brain as does into the lungs. What with the pipe 
and the hat, and the declining of Arabic irregular 
verbs in a dialect I scarcely knew, I was not sorry 
when, after an hour or so of conversation and agony, 
I was allowed to leave. Nevertheless, I had enjoyed 
my visit to the Sultan Ali, whom I found to be 
a pleasant - spoken kindly old gentleman, extremely 
fond of showing off various treasures he possesses, 
amongst which is a unique sword of Bagdad work, said 
to be eight hundred yeai-s old. Through the blade 
is bored a hole, which the Sultan explained to me 
was the mark that it had taken over a hundred lives. 
From the condition of the steel it might have been 
made yesterday, and would be quite capable of taking 
a hundred more. Daring my visit I had been watched 
with great interest by two of the Sultan's children, a 
little boy and girl, who, contrary to Arab customs, 
were present all the time. They w^ere pretty dark- 
skinned little things — the boy nude except for his 
loin-cloth of striped silk, the girl dressed in a mauve 
garment embroidered in orold. 

Leaving to go, the soldiers who had brought me 

THE sultan's stables. 173 

into the Sultan's presence again escorted me to my 
cfif^^ on tlie way to whicli we visited the palace stables. 
There wen* a great many horses in the ill-paved yards 
which serve Jis the royal stalling. Mats and thatch, 
and in places rough brick roofs, keep off the heat of 
the sun from the horses, some of which were very fine. 
<hie white mare from Xejed was especially lovely, 
though from the nature and heat of the country she 
lookeil terribly out of condition. The jiedigrees of the 
Xejcil horses are most carefully kept by their breeders, 
and all over And>ia they are estimated as the ver}" 
finest to l)c procured. 

The Sultan of I^hej has his own coinage, a small 
copper piece of minute value, lR»aring the inscription 
** Ali Mhasen el Abdali," and on the reverse "Struck 
in Howta," which, by the way, is anything but true, 
a8 they are made in Bombay, by contract. 

Returning through the courtyards of the great mud 
palace, I left \\\v royal precincts, and, seeking once 
more the <juiet shade of the iftfe^ spent the heat of 
the day in sleep, waiting for the cool of the afternoon 
befon? sauntering forth to see the sights of the town 
of Howta. 








When I awoke the heat of the day was over, so, under 
the guidance of Said and one of my camel-men, I 
sauntered out to see the town of Howta. The place 
presents, on the wliole, an appearance rather of dirt 
and squalor than of wliat one expects the capital of 
an Aral) Sultan to be like. The streets are narrow, 
and built without any idea of regularity, turning and 
twisting as they do in every direction ; nor are the 
houses even built in any attempt at being in line. 
Here one juts out into the narrow byway, there 
another stands back oft' the street behind a thick 
hedge of bristling thorns. Nearly all the houses 
are surrounded by these zarebas or yards, into which 
the cattle are driven of a night. Strange mangj^ 
dogs bark at one as one passes along, and their bark 
is echoed from within by the yelps of puppies. There 
is, in fact, but little to see in Howta. Perhaps the 
sights best worth noticing are in the market, where 
under the shade of an enormous Vdam tree sit women 


selling brcail, wliile the surrounding strip of sand is 
crowdtHl by Arabs with long spears and their camels. 
Here also are exi)Osed for sale vegetables, camel and 
hor8<' fo<lder, and many other market products, which 
are sent on to Aden. Not far from this market are 
the bazaars, narrow covered-in streets with rough little 
mud-brick shops on either side, filled with cotton 
gixNls, for the most part of European manufacture; 
a few gaudy muslins from India, however, giving a 
brilliant hue to some of these dusky little box-like 
sho()s. A whole bazaar is put aside for the workers 
in metals. It forms a thatche<l scpiare, divided up 
by low walls, some three feet in height, like sheep- 
pens, in which the various metal-workers sit, each 
m'ith his forge. The scene is a most picturesque 
one. The sunlight falling in through holes in the 
ill-thatehed roofing strikes upon the burnished metal 
until the daggers and spear-heads sparkle and glisten 
like iliamonds. The air is hazy with the fumes of the 
furgcH, and rings with the never-ceasing fall of the 
tiammcr u{K)n the metals. And what workers! (Ireat 
lithe men, grand in the exjMwure of their bare limbs; 
their nivcn locks loosely falling upon their shouldi*rs, 
and waving backwards and forwards with the motion 
of the workmen's biulies. The workmanship of llowta 
is rough. In sjwar-heails they excel ; but they fail in 
the i*ilver-work of their dagger-sheaths to attain the 
re«ulti4 reached by the silversmiths of the larger towns 


Eeturning to the cafe where I had put up, I found 
the camels ready to start, so mounting once more, we 
set out. Leaving the town behind us, the way took 
us for the first few miles through rich cultivated land, 
watered by a careful system of irrigation, and gor- 
geous in its verdure. Emerging from the fields, we 
struck into wilder country, torn up into great ravines 
by the Wadi Lahej — a river that, in the diy season, 
is but a tiny stream, but after rains a series of vast 
ton-ents, its many channels becominor filled with the 
huge ^ of „a4 often crrying aw.y much of the 
cultivated land, and doing no little damage. Some- 
times the trunks of big trees from the far interior 
are carried over the desert — where at ordinary times 
the sand absorbs the w\ater to such an extent that it 
never reaches the sea — and cast into the bay at Aden. 
From this it can be judged how severe are the rain- 
falls when such comparatively rare occurrences do 
take place. 

The river which I mention here under the name of 
the Wadi Lahej is also known by the name of the 
Mobarat. It has two channels to the sea, but, as 
already stated, is at most seasons exhausted by the 
desert sands of the low-lying coast country. The 
principal channel is the Wadi el-Kebir, or great river, 
w^hich flows out near Hashma, a small village in the 
Bay of Aden, the other being the Wadi es-Seghir, or 
small river, which empties itself into the Ghubbat 
Seilan, a bay to the north-east of Aden, and formed 


by the ]H?ninsula itwelf aii<l by Ras Scilaii, a point 
some thirty miles along the coast. 

WiM and <lepressing thr 8<'ene was. Ahea<l of us, 
almost as far as the eye could reach, stretched the 
dfsert, unbroken by even a single bush, and gradu- 
ally sloping up to brok<*n rocky jM'aks, which glowed 
a dull leaden crimson under the rays of the setting 
sun. We were leaving the oiusts behind now, and no 
longer the |>easants returning from the fields sto<Kl 
to gaze im us as we pjissed by ; no longer their wild 
songs rang in our ears — songs sung by the sons of the 
desert and t*chocd by its daughters, as, hoe in hand, 
or leading the flocks and herds, they wandered back 
t<> the town. Now it was only occasionally that a 
warrior with spear passe<l us, on foot or on camel- 
liaek. Then night fell, — night such as we had ex- 
|(erienced on the previous march, and which I have 
so dismallv failt»d to descrilx*, — nij'ht which fails all 
deJMTiption. But wv went on, the camels patiently 
plcMlding their way. It was eleven oclo(*k before 
we halte^l and spread our carpet under a clump of 
thoniy trees, close to the river-be<l, which we ha<l 
In-en following since our di'parture from Ilowta. 
Here we reste<l for a few hours, our fin* twinkling 
and flickering and bursting into little flames as we 
threw the thorny twigs upon it, for the night was 
chilly ami a heavy dew falling. 

There is no water, the Aral)s say, more i)oisonous 
tbau this stream of Lahej, and we had )>een carefully 



warned against drinking it ; but in spite of this my 
servants regaled themselves plenteously from its 
feverish stream. There is no fallacy greater than to 
suppose the average Arab can go long without water. 
In cases of hereditary necessity perhaps they do, but 
in all my experience of foreign lands I have seen 
no thirstier race than the Arabs. They are for ever 
drinking. All my journey through the Yemen, my 
men were constantly alighting from their animals to 
drink. In the mountains, where the water as a rule 
was good, this led to no bad results ; but their con- 
stant habit of drinking from slimy pools and nasty 
streams brought on attacks of fever in the cases of 
both Said and Abdurrahman. No more unpleasant 
position can be imagined than that of a traveller with 
two fever-stricken servants, both shouting that they 
were going to die, and refusing to take quinine be- 
cause it tasted so nasty. The drinking of this water 
of Lahej brought on fever in both these men. I pro- 
vided them with unlimited coffee, which, with boiling 
the water, does away with a great part of the risk; 
but, rather than have the trouble of making it, they 
preferred to drink the poisonous liquid. However, 
they suffered for their perversity. 

It was dawn when we started again, pale -grey 
dawn, which struck cold and chilly. An hour or 
two of desert, unbroken in its monotony ; but away 
ahead of us we could see the outpost fort of the 
Sultan of the Houshabi tribe, whose territory we 


were soon to enter, and a few miles nearer, half 
hidden in thick thorn-trees, the frontier castle of the 
Sultan of Lahej. 

We had hoped to make a good march, but fate 
wa8 against us, for after a few hours on the road a 
gentle wind rose up. At first it was cool and re- 
freshing, but as the heat of the day increased it I>c- 
came laden with fine grains of saml, and by no means 
8o pleasant. At length it l>ecame unl>earable, the 
stinging sensation as the sand struck one's hands 
and face being most painful. Calling a halt, we 
crawled under some thick bushes, the men hurriedly 
arranging a strip of canvas so aa to obtain the most 
protection from its scanty folds. We were only just 
in time, for a few seconds after, having crawled 
under its shade, the wind increased in strength and 
became a veritable gjile. The sand, which up till 
now had l><H*n but thin, commence<l whirling up in 
clouds until the air became darkened with it. Hud- 
dling together, we tieil our turbans over our mouths 
and waited for a cessation. It required three of us 
to hold on to the slender covering of canvas — a mere 
strip tlmt I used to put between the carjK't an<l the 
ground — to prevent its l)eing carried away. The 
desert wind was intense in its heat, and the burning, 
gritty grains of sand found their way under ones 
clothing and into one's ears and eyes until life be- 
came unendurable. I had seen a sandstorm or two 
liefore in my life, but none like this. The poor 



grumbling camels lay down and wagged their necks 
slowly from side to side, while the Arabs cursed, 
A sandstorm is lovely in a picture, and is exciting 
to read about, but personally to experience it is 
quite another thing, and for the three or four hours 
that we lay panting for breath under those thorny 
mimosa -trees we suflFered exceedingly. So strong 
was the sand-laden wind that it was impossible for 
the men to go even as far as the river to get water, 
and our throats were parched with thirst. In spite of 
the suflfering, however, one could not help noticing 
the extraordinary atmospheric eflfect. The sky took 
a brick-dust red hue, and seemed literally to glow, 
the fierce sun burning scarlet and fiery through it 
all, though at times even the sun was scarcely visible. 
Happily it was the only sandstorm we experienced 
on the w^hole journey, and I hope I may never see a 
second such as it was. 

Almost as suddenly as the gale had come on it 
died down again, and during the afternoon we were 
able once more to push on upon our journey. Reach- 
ing El-Amat, a fort of the Sultan of the Houshabi 
tribe, I delivered the letter of recommendation I bore 
from the Political Resident at Aden, and, refusing the 
Sheikh's kind invitation to alight, pushed on. This 
fort, like that of the Sultan of Lahej which we had 
passed shortly before, is a large, square, mud building, 
two storeys in height. Useful as it may be in times 
of war as a defence against Arabs armed only with 


niat4*Iilock-guns and spears, it would not stand a 
couple of shot from any field-gun, unless the structure 
is so soft that the ball would go right through it, as 
is not improlmble. Near this spot we came across a 
benl of gazelle, but they were gone and out of sight 
long iK'fore we came within range. 

The tril>e in whose country we now were is the 
Houshabi. They have always l)een on the best of 
terms with the British, and on the murder of Captain 
Milne in 1851, elsewhere referred to, they refused to 
harliour the assasnin, a fanatiad Hherecf. By their 
position they have an advantage over the Abdali 
tril>e, of which Lahej is the capital, as the river of 
the latter is supplied with wat(*r from the ravines and 
mountains of the interior of the Houshabi territor}', 
and thev have* on several occasions in times of war 
been known to divert its course. However, happily, 
the n^lations of the two tribes are for the most jiart 
fri«*n<lly, so that it is not often that they have 
recourse to such extreme measures. 

On again over the desert, which, as we approachetl 
the rockv hills, showed more 8i«^ns of ve$i:etation and 
life, Hcn» and there were Anibs tending flocks an<l 
herds and cattle, though what there was for them to 
graze u[K>n beyond the thorny bushes it was difficult 
to aay. At length we left th(» sandy plain and en- 
ten*<l a ilcep narrow gorge at the foot of Jibel Menif, 
a high Imrren mountain. Here the scene entirely 
changed. Instead of over the oi)en expanse of desert, 


our way now led us between walls of rock, the path 
often a mere track in the river-bed, in which at 
places water was running, and at others had sunk for 
a time below the surface. 

Afternoon was well on, and the change from the 
sunlight outside to the cool depths of the gorge was 
a pleasant one, but the scene looked sepulchral and 
gloomy. The rocks with which the river-bed was 
strewn and the cliflFs on either hand were of a curious 
black colour ; nor did the scanty vegetation, consisting 
principally of what the Arabs call athl^ a thorny 
mimosa, do much by their verdure to enliven the 
scene, for in spite of their proximity to a stream 
which made some pretence at running water, they 
looked parched and withered and dry. 

The gloomy effect increased as the evening came 
on. Although the sky above us was still streaked 
with the radiance of the setting sun, we in the gorge 
caught only its barest reflection, and a deep purple 
gloom seemed to settle over everything. At one spot 
by a deep pool in the rock a caravan was settling in 
for the night. The wild cries and singing of the Arabs, 
and the groaning of the camels as they were being 
unladen, added much to the weird eifect of their 
already lit camp-fires, by the light of which we could 
catch glimpses of the wild fellows as they hurried to 
and fro, spears in hand, preparing for the night. 
However, we did not stop, but with an exchange of 


" Saliiam alikoum/' * pjuwed on into the night. The 
darkness was complete, l)ut the uneven state of the 
ground and the eonstant ups-and-downs in the path 
clearly demonstrated that we had left the river-bed, 
and were crossing country at right angles apparently 
to the streams and nullahs, judging by the constant 
ascents and descents. 

A few hours later we caught glimpses of fires in the 
jungle, and one of the Iie<louins creeping on aheml 
and exchanjjinu a fi?w remarks with the camel-men 
who were spending the night there, he called to me 
to pro<-ei»d, and glad I was to cry to my camel to lie 
down, and a few minutes later to stretch mvsclf on 
my caqH't l>efore a fire, in the camp of an Arab cara- 
van, at a spot calh*d Zaida. The villages in this part 
of the Yemen are few and far U^tween, and what there 
are belong almost entirely to wandering tribes of 
Bediuiins, who are here to-<lav and who knows where 
to-morrow ; so that the caravans passing up an<l down 
the rough track that leads into the interior have to 
camp where best they can, regardless of the where- 
abouts of humankind, being <lependent upon their 
own resources for food and fodder. 

We sjK*nt the whoh* of thi* next day at this s|>ot, 
for the reason, our men .naid, of resting the camels ; 
but I rather think thev had falltMi in with fellow- 
tribesmen and friends amongst tlu* caravan-men with 

* The taluutiuu of Mo»lfm!« all tho wurhl owr. 


whom we were sharing camp. However, I was not 
som' ; for, anxious as I was to push on into the 
interior, the rest was by no means unpleasant, and I 
found plenty to amuse and interest in the people by 
whom I was surrounded. Fortunately, too, there 
were Bedouin shepherds in the neighbourhood, and 
fresh food was procurable, while a few thorn-trees 
gave a little sliade from the suns fierce rays. 
Amongst the caravan-men was a Turkish soldier, 
Heeing from the starvation and cruelty and misery 
then existing amongst the Osmanli troops engaged in 
crushini]^ the rebellion in the Yemen. His neck and 
wrists and ankles were deeply wounded by the fetters 
he had been made to wear, for once before he had 
deserted but been recaptured. A very considerable 
number of these deserters from time to time reach 
Aden, whence, after they have made a little money — 
for they are always ready to work — they embark once 
more for their native lands, often some hill-tribe of 
Asia Minor. In no way was the hospitable chai'acter 
of the Arabs better shown than by their kindness 
to these Turkish runaways. As long as they were 
soldiei-s in the service of the Osmanli Government 
they were looked upon as lawful game by the Arabs, 
and any who bore a weapon was liable to be shot at 
any time ; but as soon as they threw down their arms 
and sought the protection of the Arabs and their 
aid in assisting them to escape, they became their 
brother-men, their co-religionists, and the poor half- 


8tarv(Hl fellows were fed by their (jnondnm enemies, 
and often given money to help them on their road 
to places where their recapture would he improbable. 
I wiw many instancies of this durinji: the time I was 
iu the country, antl cjuite a number of the Turkish 
tieserters s|>oke to me with tears of gratitude of the 
kindness they ha<l receivc<l from the Arabs. Happily 
then* were less melancholy sights to see and less 
doleful stories to listen to during the day we lay 
under the shade of the thorn-trees. A number of 
young Anibs, youths learning the art of beccmiing 
raravan-men, ha<l brought with them their |H»t8, for 
the most part a|»es and monkeys, with which the 
valleys of the Yemen aixnind, and great fun it was 
watching them playing and jumping on the backs 
of the camels. They wi»re very tame, and confined 
by no chains, l^eing <piite h)ose to go ami wander 
where they pleased, but never leaving their friemls 
the camels, which munched their fo<l<ler regardless 
of the antics being carried on u|M)n their backs. It 
wafl ditiicult to wiv which were the most ac^tive, the 
monkeys or their masters. 

But still more? amusing were the strolling musi- 
cians, dam-ers, and players on pijws and drums, who, 
finding a little piece of h»vel sand, exhibited their 
Htrangt* dances In^fon* me. There were three of these* 
Diumniers amongst the Arabs. Standing in lim*, 
they struck uj> their music, one U^ating a rough 
drum, one playing on a douUe pipe, the other sing- 


ing. As they sang they stepped slowly backwards 
and forwards, at periods turning and twisting round. 
Strange nude creatures they were, with long silky 
hair and silver daggers, and the eye never tired of 
watching their graceful movements. 

Said and Abdurrahman took advantage of our 
delay to cook bread. However, owing to the fact 
that we had no baking-powder nor anything to take 
its place, and that it had to be cooked in Arab 
fiishion by rolling the dough round a heated stone, 
it was not altogether a great success. Hunger, 
nevertheless, rendered it palatable. As for butter, 
w(5 had not yet broached the pot of ghee that 
Said had purchased before we left Aden. It was 
rancid then, and the few days of hot sun on the 
back of a camel had not added to its charm, 
though it had added very considerably to its flavour. 
When we opened the clay with which the jar was 
sealed tlic whole valley became full of its odours. 
One could have run a drag with only a crust and 
three drops of it. Once having opened the jar, the 
Arabs went for it wholesale. It served them for 
two purposes — for fodder, and as pomade for their 
raven locks. The manner in which they applied it 
did not make its consumption more appetising, for 
they dipped their long fingers into the jar and then 
ran them through their hair until the effect was 
gorgeously shiny — at a distance. At close quarters 
the odour rather negatived the picturesqueness. Of 


course* I could have brought stores from Aden ; but 
to have attempted to enter Yemen with anything 
like a caravan wouhl have been impossible, as the 
suspicions of the Turks on the frontier would have 
been excited. I had decided to take as little as 
poHsible, so as to be able to pass iis a poor Greek 
trader; nor had I laid my plans unsuccessfully, for 
the scarcity of stores was well compensated by the 
facilities I gained on account of having so small a 
«|uantity of baggage. 

Later in the afternoon we made a start. The road 
was dn*ar}' and desolate, continually ascending and 
descending, find strewn with black stones and rocks 
that n*ndered our progress very slow. Almost the 
only level piece we crossed was a great circle of rocky 
ground ciicIosihI on all sides l)y hills, the whole War- 
ing the appeanmce of having been the crater of a 
volcano ; an<l as all the surrounding mountains show 
signs of volcanicr action, this hypothesis is not at all 
improlKibh*. I^tc at night we reached the village of 
El'Melh, where* wi»re a few miserable Bedouin huts ; 
but on the inhabitants assuring us that they |H>ssessed 
neither water nor provisions to spare, an<l evi<lently 
looking u|>on us with some suspicion, we proceeded on 
our wav. The track wjis roujjh, and one had to 
clutch on to the rojH's that held our scanty baggage 
to the camels backs to j^revent being hurled bodily 
off down the steep sides of some nullah. At long 
length, camp-tires ahead told of some caravan biv- 


ouacking there, a sure sign of water, and our camels 
hurried forward, and without even a call to make 
them lie down, wearily deposited us amongst a group 
of Arabs seated round a few blazing fires. Their 
spears, stuck in the ground before them, flashed and 
flashed again in the dancing firelight ; but the appear- 
ance of fierceness was belied by their kindly welcome, 
and an invitation to dip my fingers with them in the 
steaming pots of food. Watering the • camels and 
giving them fodder, we returned once more to the 
fires, and spent the night in songs and story-telling. 

Before daylight we were on our road again, following 
for a little way the course of the river Sailet el-Melh. 
The country here had become more mountainous, one 
flat-topped peak being particularly noticeable. The 
natives call it Dhu-biyat, but I .can find no mention 
of this name elsewhere. On the summit is a tomb, 
that of a certain Seyed Hasan, about whom there 
seemed to be traditions of his having possessed re- 
markable powers, but as to whose history apparent 
ignorance prevailed, nor can I find any records of 
any powerful Imam having been buried on this 
spot. It is probable that he was merely some local 
Seyed or Shereef, and that his repute has not reached 
the centres of Arabian civilisation. The summit of 
this mountain is said to be quite flat and rich in 
pasture, and Bedouins of the Houshabi tribe have 
built a village there, and graze their flocks and herds. 
Near this spot the valley opens out, and one enters 


the Beled Alajioud, a level plain of green fields, with 
a river flowing through its centre. Here one leaves 
the wandering Bedouin tribes and enters a land of 
fixe<l alnxles, for houses well built of rough stone 
Btand alK>ut the valley; and at one s{>ot is a village 
p*Tched on a slight eminence, and crowned with a 
M|uan* tower. This turned out to be the border 
village of the Aloui tribe, to the representative of 
whom — a viUage Sheikh — I presented my credentials. 
There was the usual group of men and women and 
chihlren and dogs, the usual exchange of compliments 
and banter ; and although at first they had appeared 
a little high-handed, we i>arted the* best of friends. 

The countr)' hereabouts shows signs of cultivation, 
large fiehls l>eing green with the durni. As the sun 
wafi verv hot, we halted in the middle of the wide 
bed of the Khorc»iba river, and settled ourselves down 
under a clump of oleander-bushes. The scenery was 
prettier here than any we had sern, as there were more 
trees to vary the dull monotony of the reddish-black 
rock an^l the yellow hind. We had been seated about 
an hour when there came skimming along the river- 
Ijed, mounted on a beautiful camel, a veritable Apollo 
of an Arab, a si>ecimen of the finest ty|>e of the 
Yemen race, whom perhaps it is scarc(»ly justifiable 
to call Arabs at all, so much has their blooil become 
mixed since the davs of Kahtan, the founder of the 
Yemenite tribes, and Adnan, that of the Arab. How- 
ever, the term Arab can l>e generally used, as there 


are scarcely any discernible differences, except in 
traditions, between the Arab and the Yemen blood. 
Noticing us, the man alighted from his camel and 
crawled into the shade in which we were sitting. 
After coffee, wishing to give the new-comer an 
example of the powers of the Christian tribes — as he 
called them — I unpacked an electric machine I had 
with me in my sack of bedding, and administered a 
gentle shock to the beautiful Arab. He never lost 
his presence of mind, — he merely smiled, rose and 
girded up his loins, mounted his camel, and sped as 
fast as the slight little desert dromedary could carry 
him down the river-bed. 

The camels of the southern district of the Yemen 
are famous for their breed and fieetness. They are 
slightly l)uilt, with fine legs, the very opposite to the 
heavy slow-paced (*amels of North Africa. Many are 
especially kept and trained for riding purposes, and 
their fieetness is extraordinary. However, this breed 
seems not to exist any farther in the interior than 
about eighty miles, as where the country becomes 
mountainous we find a heavy, shaggy, black camel, 
the very opposite to his brother of the Tehdma, as 
the plains which divide the highlands of the Yemen 
from the sea are called. 

AVhile we were still laughing over the fiight of the 
Arab on coming in contact with civilisation in the 
guise of a small electric machine, two Englishmen 
appeared in view, riding horses, and guarded by a 


considerable number of Indian troopers and a few of 
the Aden corps, and followed by a large train of 
baggage-animals. I had been told before leaving 
Aden that I might meet a surveying-party under 
Captains Domville and Wahab, who had l)een told off 
by the In<lian Government to organise a Hurvey of 
the tribe-lands lying between the Turkish frontier 
and A<len. Although they had l>een successful up to 
thi« point, they began here to meet with difficulties 
on the part of the natives, which at length, after I 
had {>asse<l on into Turkish Yemen, became so demon- 
strative that gims were once or twice resorted to by 
the natives, and the scheme had to be abandoned 
bef<»re it was completely carried out. I spent the 
afterntKin with them, and very pleasant it was. I 
wan able also to obtain from them the correction of 
my aneroid barometer, for so far I had not resorted to 
boiling-point tubes, keeping what few instruments I 
bad with m<* as much as {)08sible in the dark, so as to 
excite as little susjiicion as |>ossible. 

After dinner in the luxuri(»us camp of Captains 
Wahab and Domville, I sauntered back to find mv 
men already pre{>aring to load the camels, and soon 
after mi^lnight we made a start. It was a bright, 
clear, moonlight night, but chill and cold, a sure sign 
tliat wc were ascending to the highlands, which an 
altitude of nearly two thousand feet on my barometer 
fthowed to be the case. The Arabs shivere*! and 
chattertnl as we pushc*d along through the valley. 


Presently the road ascended on the left side of the 
stream, and we crossed a plateau at an elevation of a 
few hundred feet above the river. The cold as dawn 
appeared became almost intense, and I was glad to 
alight from my camel and run races with my men, 
getting often a long w^ay ahead of the caravan. Then 
we would sit down and light a little fire of mimosa- 
twigs, over which we would huddle together to keep 
warm until the camels caught us up again. 

Dawn changed to sunset, and the world became 
alive again. The scenery had altered. We had once 
more entered the valley of the Khoreiba river, and 
still the great, bare, rocky mountains rose on either 
side ; but the valley itself was green and fresh, and 
the banks of the stream, which appeared in places 
tumbling and dancing over the rocks, again to dis- 
appear below the surface, were covered with thick 
jungle of dense tropical vegetation, the trees hung 
with garlands of creepers. Birds chirruped and 
hopped from bough to bough ; great painted butterflies 
sailed by, rivalling the sunrise sky in gorgeousness ; 
and monkeys and apes chattered and grunted on the 
stee}) mountain-sides. After the journey of desert 
and rock, the change was a delightful one. Spying a 
few female camels grazing in the jungle, we surmised 
that there must be a Bedouin encampment near, so, 
alighting from my lofty perch, I set out with a couple 
of the men to find them — no difficult task, as we came 
across them within the first half-hour. They had 


pHrhLHl tlifir littlr innt initH in :i ti:itiinil i-li-nriiii; iii 

ihick Vfj:ftiiiiuTi. wbi'n.' tli«y sat itily olxjat, tho 
rn eanyiuj^ tirvwuod aii«l milking tlic cuwn, the 


men, each armed with his dagger and spear, smoking 
long wooden-stemmed pipes with clay bowls. 

They received us kindly, and we had soon joined 
their little circle, and were chatting away as if we had 
known each other for years. Great laughter was 
caused by a very elderly female, with buttered hair 
— rancid butter, if you please — and greasy saffron- 
dyed cheeks, kissing me. The joke I could not for a 
time understand ; but it finally turned out that the 
fact that I was clean shaven and in breeches led her 
to suppose that I was of the female gender, as in the 
Yemen the men wear loin-cloths and allow their 
beards to grow on the points of the chin, while the 
women decorate their lower limbs in tight-fitting- 
trousers. The old hag, on being pointed out hk 
mistake, lauglied as much as any; and while I waill 
engaged in scraping the saffron and butter oflF my 
blushing cheeks, went ott* to fetch us a big bowl of 
fresh goat's milk. 

Shouts from our camel-men in the river warned us 
that we must not remain any longer, so pushing our 
way through the thick brushwood, we resought the 
river-bed and mounted once again. 

At nine o'clock, the sun being very hot, we un- 
loaded under the sliade of some big umbrageous 
trees, and settled in for the heat of the day. At 
our feet ran the river, dancing, and rippling over its 
pebbly bed, for all the world like some Highland 
trout-stream, except for the fact that above and 

Jinniml it tw-iii(<l massi'-s nf llowiTiiiji rrpcjHTs :uul 
^inuijTf al«K'B, while a puliii - tn-e lu-ri' ami tln-rc 
niif<-«l itH fi'HtlKTV Iivail almvf tin- ilciise iimlt-r- 
^Ti.w-th. Away i>ii tl |i|.nsit.- siiU- nf th,. river, 

;ilx.iil liall' a liiilt- •li-larit. ali-l ]>er< oti llif siiiii- 
lllil of :i lii<'|| r<»-k, lo<>llle<l tlle fVolitii-r r.Tt of llie 

]..w.TlHlil<liiit's. 'I'll.- \-Ur.- l,| a lv;julai-ae|-..].oti> 
aii'l -ft'iiieii iiii|ii-i';;iiali|e. On a <;iir;iei>us Shi-ikli ar 


riviug, I presented the last of the letters which I had 
brought from Aden, for the Dhala territory was the 
farthest in touch with the British authorities, and 
beyond lay Turkisli Yemen. Evidently he considered 
the epistle satisfactory, although he was unable to 
read it, and he spent the day with us there. A 
right good fellow he was ; but his reports of the 
turbulent state of the tribes beyond, and of the 
murder and plunder with which the mountaineers 
were daily amusing themselves, were anything but 
reassuring. He informed me that the name of our 
halting-place was Mjisbeyeh, of which I found the 
altitude to be two thousand five hundred feet above 
the sea-level. 

OtF again in the afternoon, passing the picturesque 
village of Thoba, above which to the left we caught 
another glimpse of Jibel Dliubiyat, with its white- 
domed toml). The tact tliat we had now entered 
the land of fixed abodes became every hour more 
apparent. At places were signs of skilful irrigation, 
while ever and anon villages of stone houses piled 
on to the summits of rocks peeped from amongst the 
green fields and the mimosa-trees. One of these, by 
name Aredoah, was particularly picturesque, although 
the surrounding country was more barren than it had 
been. The scenery, too, became very fine. The black 
volcanic rocky hills had given place to mountains 
of limestone, which towered above the surrounding 


country. Principal amongst tliese were Jibal Ahur- 
mm and Ashari. 

At one spot a <'liarniinji scene met our eyes. Under 
the hluule of a great eree|><»r-ela(l roek sat an old 
8cho4»lniaster, InkjIc and rod in hand, while at his feet 
M|uatte4l a nunilK^r of .small l>oys, into whose heads 
he was apparently In^ating verses from the Koran. 
A regular stam|»ede occurred at our approach, and 
the vounj' t/to/ha * rushed alon^^side our animals 
rhiui(»uring for alms. I got one or two to show 
me the books from which they were studying, and 
found them to be excellently j»rinted copies of the 
KoRin from IJevrout. 

As evening came on we kept jiassing the tlocks 
and henls, lowing as they came in from pasture, 
driven by, or more often following, some child, who, 
with wide-ojK'n eyes, would stand still and cease the 
music of its cane pi|M» to wateh our little eavalcade 
go by. Not a breath of wind was stirring, ami the 
ninoke (nmi the evening fires of the little stone 
houM'S curled up and ui», all mauve an<l ))urple, 
into the chmdless sky. In grouj)s the men siit 
aliuut, umler the shade of the tn»es, idly listening 
to the hum of tin* insects an<l the song of many 
a tiny stream. The whoh» seene was one of |K?rfect 

> Tholt4M^ the pltiinl (»f thaUh^ u name gemTiiIly a|i|)IiiMl to tlii>#e wlio 
have •tutlirtl the Kormii — iiiftii)K.T<* of the |»rieHthcK>il. 


The track tlien entered a narrow gorge between 
high precipices of rock, from which echoed and re- 
echoed the cries of the apes and monkeys. We 
were entering the country known as Beled Ashari, 
under tlie rule of the Amir of Dhala, — quiet, peace- 
able folk, shepherds and tenders of flocks. 

As we proceeded, the gorge narrowed until the 
scenery in the dusky evening light became almost 
oppressive. Just before darkness set in we arrived 
at our halting-place, at Khoreiba, below the village 
of the Amir of Bishi, where, under the shelter 
of a great hUhua tree, we settled in for the night. 
The village is built of stone, and situated on the 
left bank of the river, the collection of stone houses 
being overlooked by a strange pile of natural rock 
crowned with a still stranger tower, a position that 
completely commands the valley. The altitude of 
this spot I made to be four thousand feet above 
the sea-level. The spot was a charming one, with 
the green valley below us, and above the perpen- 
dicular precipices, too steep almost for any scrub to 
hang to. Hero and there along the river-bed were 
shade-giving trees, which stood out black against 
the fields of young corn, as yet only a few^ inches 
in height. 

The success of my journey depended on the next 
day or two. We were fast nearing the Turkish 
frontier. Should I be allowed to pass ? To have 

KlfOREIBA. 199 

to tuni hack would mean th(» most hitter disap- 
pointment. Each day*8 march was interesting me 
more and more in the country* I was passing through, 
and vi-ry keen I was to Ciirry my journey to a suc- 
cessful issue, and to reach Sanmi, tlie capital ; especi- 
ally keen, (>erhaps, as, witli but one exception, ever}'^ 
one at Aden had pro))hesied failure, and told me I 
was insiine to venture into the Yemen at the time 
of the rebellion, when even in da)'s of peace it was 
rash and unsafe. 




We had left the Amir of Bishi's village some way 
behind wheu the sun rose the following morning. 
The track continues along the river-bed until the 
valley terminates in a steep ascent. However, the 
old - W'Orld Arabs have built a paved way up the 
slope, which renders its surmounting much easier 
than it otherwise would l)e, — not that it is by any 
means a 8im})le process as it is. Scrambling up on 
foot, we reached the summit some time before the 
camels, and were al)le to rest for a time and watch 
the poor grunting brutes toiling in and out the 
intricate turns in the path ; for it is a mere track 
winding through great piles of overturned rock, and 
along the edges of steep inclines. I found the 
ascent from the valley of Khoreiba to the summit 
to be over six hundred and fifty feet, giving us an 
altitude of nearly five tliousand feet above the sea- 
level. The view looking back was a very lovely 
one. Below us lay the valley of Khoreiba, shut 


in with it« precipitous walls of rock, under which, 
anionjfst ^rcen fields ami shady trees, flowed the 
river, a streak of silver thread. Away Ijeyond at 
th«' farther end of the valley one (uiught glimpses 
n{ the peaks of other mountains, rearing their 
fuutastic hea^ls into the ch.»ar morning]: skv. 

When the camels caught us up we filled up our 
water-bottles at a spring of clear water and set otf 
again. These water - bottles — zenizcmiya they call 
them in the Yemen, and in Morocco (jiierlni (plural 
gnvrah) — are a regular institution of Arab travel, 
nor would it be possible to proceed without them. 
They are made of leather, those in Anibia being 
rut into shape, while those of Morocco an» the 
whoh* skins. 

Now and thi*n we would <ratch a glimpse of a 
hcnl of ajK's scampering .iway up the steep rocks 
with resounding grunts ; but more often we could 
onlv hear their <Ties, for their colour does much 
to coiireal them from view amongst the limestone 

So rool and pleasant was the air at the elevation 
we had reached, that instead of remounting our 
caOK'ls, who, poor lM»asts, were tin^d with the nn'ky 
ai»cent, we strode out on foot. Leaving the village 
of Dar en-Nekil on our right, we {lassed through 
A gorge of low walls of nM*k, and then dt^scende<l 
Ui the level of the plateau, which here extends 
for A considerable distance, broken now and again 


by rocky peaks and hills. This plateau, one with 
that on which Dhala is situated, may be said to 
circle round Jibel Jahaf, a limestone mountain 
situated just above the large village of Jelileh, 
where, although not within their frontier as delimi- 
tated, there is a small Turkish fort. The plain is 
well cultivated, and ploughing was in active pro- 
gress at the time of my visit, besides being dotted 
with trees ; but from the fact that the young corn 
had not yet commenced to push, the country looked 
somewhat barren and dreary. 

Across the plateau all passage seems to be blocked 
by an immense range of mountains, one continued 
precipice without any apparent break. The range 
bears two names, — the eastern part Jibel Mrais, and 
the western Jibel Haddha. A few miles over the 
plain brought us to a steep ascent leading to the 
villaorc of Jelileh. Althouorh the absolute frontier 
of the Turks is at Kdtaba, a town a few hours' 
distance to the north-west, they have erected here 
a fort, and over a round tower perched on a hillock 
floated the red tiagr with its star and crescent. 

One of my camel-men \vas a native of this village, 
and it was to please the good fellow that I decided 
to spend a night there, as otherwise I should have 
been tempted to push on and try to cross the 
frontier that day. Wishing to avoid as much at- 
tention as possible on the part of the inhabitants, 
I did not spend any time in the village street, but 


ali«rlit<Ml from my camel at the door of the yard <)f 
my mans hou8(\ and at once entere<l his aboile. As 
a typical Yemen house of the poorer class, some 
ilfscription may not he out of place. Like all the 
dwellinj^s in the highhmds of the Yemen, it was 
built of solid squared stone, and consisted of two 
hirge towers, some thirty feet s^juare at the biise and 
twenty at the summit. The lower floor contained 
an an-hed stable, the roofinjf supported on pillars 
of stone. To the next storey an outside stairway 
Ifil one. This floor contained a passage and two 
deccnt-size<l rooms, the walls plastered on the inside 
and the ceiling made of wood. Tiie floors, like the 
walls, were coated in cement. The staircase con- 
tinuing led one on to the flat terraced roof, round 
whieh ran a stone wall some three feet high. The 
whole showed a great amount of labour and no 
little skill in its construction. The second tower 
was larger, but l>eing put aside for the women, 
I did not of eourse see the interior of it. It 
contained, however, four stoiws. Into one of 
these nuims in the men's towiT I was shown bv 
my lnwt, who, no sooner was this accomplished, was 
flying all over the pla<*e stirring up his women- 
folk with entreaties and curses to prepare a meal 
liefitting such a guest. Meanwhile from my window 
I could obtain a very go<Hl view of the surround- 
ing country, ay, an<l more, of my host's wives and 
daughters. How ugly they were ! What little 


attraction nature might have given them was com- 
pletely concealed under their artificial adornments. 
Their hair, plastered with butter over their fore- 
heads in straight fringes, literally dripped with 
grease, while their copper skins were thick with 
paint the colour of red-lead, arranged in a triangle 
on either cheek, as well defined as is that of the 
clown in our Christmas pantomimes. Their loose 
upper garment was more at- 
tractive, being of dark-blue 
linen embroidered round the 
neck, sleeves, and edge in col- 
oured silks ; but to do away 
with any grace which this 
simple and classical garment 
might give them, they en- 
cased their leg."! in ill-fitting 
indigo trousers, with em- 
l)roidei'y round the ankles. 
However, my host was evi- 
dently very proud of his 
ladies ; for no sooner did he catch a glimpse of them 
peeping over the parapet of their apartments, or 
straining their heads out of the little windows, than 
lie would shout vociferously to them to retreat, 
which they would do, again to reappear and con- 
tinue their criticisms of the newly arrived stranger. 
Meanwhile the male relations of my camel-mau 
had appeared, to join mc in the feast which was 

OUR orESTs. 205 

>eing prepared, — men ami youths and boys, nearly 
i score in all, who quite filled up the two rooms 
ind |)assa«(o of our apartments, while nearly ever}' 
Hie brought his long straight pip<» or his hubble- 
>ul>ble, and there was a munnur ami gurgling of 
vater as we inhaled tlu* cool smoke. Besides the 
^ests who arrived to call we had other visitors, 
hoee tamest of wild beasts — the fleas. It is strange 
hat whih* many an author has told of the friendly 
'ellowship of the dog and the horse toward mankind, 
:he intense love of com|janionship of the flea toward 
he human Wing has been neglectcil. There is no 
leed to tame him artificially: the moment he is old 
mough to swallow food he l>ecomes the friend of 
nau — nay, more, he will never willingly part eom- 
[leny with him, especially in Arabia. His only equal 
M the mos4juito, and for aflection he almost l>eats 
the flea. As I writ(» these lines one has been settling 
m my hand, and on my refusing to notice him hv 
:al\ei\ attention to his presence l)y a gentle nip- 
nenult, a large white lump ; and when I tried play- 
Tully to catch him, he flew away : they always do. 

r>n my next day's march dei>ended the sut*cess of 
my jouniey. Onct» across the Turkish frontier, I felt 
that unh*Hs any unforest»(»n event occurred 1 should 
reach my goal. But I knew how strict the orders were 
U) allow no stranger to enter Turkish Yemen, lest 
Dews of the rebellion, which had for some months been 
disturbing the c<iuntry, should leak out. However, I 


felt that I was attacking the least probable frontier 
of the country, and one where they would scarcely be 
expecting a stranger to attempt to enter. 

A ride of only a few hours brought us the following 
day from Jelileh to the jimeronk or custom-house of 
Kdtaba, situated on the south side of the Wadi Esh- 
Shari, and about three miles distant from the town, 
which lies to the north, oif the caravan-road. The 
ride was a short but a hot one, and except that all 
the plain was under plough, the country seemed dry 
and desolate. Away to the right could be seen the 
large village of Thoba, a collection of towers on a 
rocky hill, from which stand up prominently the 
white domes of a m6sque and tomb, forming quite a 
landmark on a scene otherwise a monotone in yellow. 

The buildings of the frontier custom-house consist 
of a low l)lock, forming a fort and a large enclosure 
for the camels and mules of the ciiravan-owners, the 
whole covering a large extent of ground. The lower 
rooms of the main building are used as stores for the 
goods in transit, while the portion of the upper storey 
not inhalnted by the officials is divided up into small 
rooms for the use of people passing and repassing, 
being let out on hire at so much per night. The 
whole place wore a depressing and a depressed look. 
For three months no caravans had passed over the 
roads, and trade was dull. The goods on their way 
up from Aden to Sanaa lay strewn about the place, 
as there were no means for their further transit. 


Three months before, the hist caravan t(» <^o through 
htiil Iwjen looted, and a ransom of three hundred and 
sixty dollars had to be paid before the merchants had 
lH?en released by the mountaineers. 

It 8eeme<l stranw to think that on that vellow 
building dejM^nded the success of my journey, and 
it w;is with anxious thoughts that I passed through 
itH o|Hfn gateway, by the side of which, in the depth 
of a cave-like chamber, an oM Arab was brewing 
coffee. I>ism<iunting in the yard, I sought a shady 
comer to sit dt»wn in while my men went and routed 
out the authorities. A few minutes later they 
iip]N*ared, and such a group they formed! First 
came an exreedinglv dirty Turk in a filthv shirt and 
a well-worn pair <»f military trousers; fuHowing him 
ap{H*ared a gorgrous cn*ature arraye<l in purple and 
tiue raiment, no l<*ss a person than the Sheikh Hes^iisi, 
well known for his intluence amongst tlie Arab tribes, 
and by happy f<»rtune a kinsman of tiu* most dis- 
reputable and savage of my camel-men. Ilis clothes, 
t<Mi, need description. On his bullet-shaped head In* 
wore an immense yellow-and-crimson turban, wouncl 
round with a (*amel-hair and <jr(»ld cord ; tlowin<; rol>es 
of dark-blue silk wi*re fastened at tlu? waist with a 
yellow sash, in which was stuck one of the most 
b&iutiful daggers I havi* ever seen. This jnmhif/ti 
wail of exfjuisiti' silver-work inlaid with gohl Byzantine 
coins of the n*ign of ( unstantine. A ft»w rough 
tunjuoises in the sheath gave a tint of colour to on** 


of the most l)eautiful weapons I ever saw. I longed 
to make a bid for it ; but I knew that should I ever 
mention so large a sum as its value, my chance of 
getting on would be so much the more diminished, 
for it was certain that I should be gently squeezed 
before being allowed to proceed, and that did I let 
out tliat 1 had any considerable sum of money with 
me, it would make the squeezing a more serious 
process, and perhaps prevent my getting on at all, 
and certainly announce to the world in general that 
I was worth robbing. Following the Besaisi crept a 
wizened man of perhaps some thirty-five years of age, 
dressed in the costume of the people of Mecca. These 
three were the officials of the jimeroiik, though they 
resembled rather three characters of opera-bouffe. 

Salutations over, I was asked to ascend, and a few 
minutes later found myself seated with my hosts in a 
small, stuffy, and very dirty room. They were too 
polite to ask straight out who I was, so I began to 
open the attack myself 1 had been to Turkey ; the 
man who liad not seen Stamboul liad never lived ! 
Glorious Stamboul I All the world over it w^as a 
pleasure to meet the Turk ; he was always a gentle- 
man, always kind and polite ; and how inexpressibly 
rfad I was to meet the Turk before me he micfht 
imagine, after I had been travelling all the way from 
Aden with only camel-men and a couple of uneducated 
servants ; and would he accept a box of cigarettes and 
an amber cigarette-holder, which I had brought from 


my little shop in Port Said with me, — when*, by 
the liv, luv wife and children were starvinjx — (sifi^ns 
of tears)- owing to this a<;<!ursed rehellion ; three 
months the coffee I had houjrht in Sanaa ha<l been 
lyinjr then.*, and for the dear wife and little ones' 
8ake.s — (t<*ars) — I was imperilling; my life in these 
i*tranjre lands to get my coffee down : meanwhile my 
Ln>ther, a (Jreek like myself, was looking after the 
rthop; and how delightful the Turks always were, 
Ac, Ac So much for nundn^r one, mv friend in 
the dirty shirt ; now for numl>er two. 

Was this, then, the Sheikh Uesaisi i No; it could 
not \\i* that mv infidel eves were blessed with the 
mght of his honourable corpulency. His fimie was 
all over the world. Port Said rang with his name. 
His honour, his lK)undh*ss wealth — (exorbitant old 
tax-gatherer !)-- his immenst* charities, were faincms 
thr«»ughout all countries: indeed this Wiis a blesse<l 
«lay for me. (Box of cigarettes and amiier mouth- 
piece) — numl)er two dead. 

Whence came he, numW^r three t No ; it could not 
lie that his fainilv was from Fez. Mulai Idris, their 
I<itron Kiint, might he protect me ! Had I known 
that I Wiis <le.»*tinetl to meet a Fez Moor here, I shouhl 
liave hurried up from Atlen. Fez, every street of it, 
I knew, fn»m the tomb of Sidi AH Inju Khaleb to the 
iHir al Makhzen : and here was Abdurrahman, a 
Tangier Moor. How goo<l the Deity had lK*en in 
joining us together in the lionds of friendship I — 



cigarettes and amber mouthpiece ; general embracings 
and tableav ! Exeunt officials. Screams of laughter 
from Said, which I had to choke by sitting on him 
on the top of my mattress, lest he should be heard — 
and then coifee. 

No Englishman crossed the frontier into Turkish 
Yemen in January of 1892. No; the only stranger 
was a penurious Greek shopkeeper of Port Said, who 
rode his baggage-camel. He was attempting to reach 
Sanaa to obtain some loads of coifee he had bought ; 
and so great was his love for his wife and children 
that he was running the risk of being murdered and 
plundered in order to obtain money to buy them 
food, and to save them from an untimely death from 
starvation. I tliink they believed my story : if they 
didn't at first, a few dollars wisely expended proved 
to them that it was true, and after two days of 
artificial tears and real dollars permission was given 
me to proceed. But the squeezing was not quite 
at an end, and my rifle was taken from me, on ac- 
count of no arms being allowed to enter the Yemen 
during the rebellion. For this I demanded and ob- 
tained a receipt, and eventually, after eight months' 
delay, the rifle.^ However, I would willingly have 
sacrificed anything I had at the time, so long as I was 
allowed to proceed. It was an anxious two days, for 
until within an hour or two before my leaving the 

* This rifle was returned to me on tlie eve of my departure from Tan- 
gier for the Atlas Mountains in October 1892. 


jimeronk I had not received any answer to my petition 
to l>e alloweil to proceed. 

At length they told me I might go on. ^Meanwhile 
Said had l>een at work. Our camels were tired, and 
he had arranged that only one should proceed, a couple 
of mules l>eing supplied in the place of the other two. 
This my men agreed to, as they preferred to hire 
mulc*H on, rather than have their camels attempt the 
next few days* journey, one of the greatest difficulty, 
and which necessitated aH silent and as quick marches 
as |)ossible, as the country was in a most disturbed 
condition. Happily the contract which I had made 
at Aden stipulat(»d that in country in which camels 
travelleil with difficulty mules were to be supplied, 
and I had no trouble in having this carried out, 
although, unfortunately, only two mules were forth- 
coming. Tlie simplicity with which my animals were 
changed for me S(»emed extraonlinary ; but the fact is 
that these caravan-roads are worked by " companies," 
relays of animals being kept at various si)ots along 
the roail for transporting gooils from district to dis- 
trict or town to town. 

Xo doubt the manner in which the countr}' is split 
up into tribal districts makes this necessary, while 
again the natural features of the Yemen are such as 
to n*ndcr it almost im{K>ssible to take the same 
animals for any great distance. For instance, the 
flct:t camels of the Abdali of Foudthcli districts would 
lie utM'less in the precipices an<l ascents of the country 


Wtwoeu Katiiba and Yerim ; while the mountain-mules 
sutFer exceedingly in desert-travelling, their feet sink- 
ing deep into the soft hot sand. 

As soon as i>ermission was granted me to proceed 1 
was off. I did not wish to give the people in charge 
of the frontier any chance of changing their minds, 
so at mid-day, when they had all retired for their 
siesta, we sallied forth from the gate and entered 
Turkish Yemen. 

I had told more untruths in the last forty-eight 
hours tlian I liked to think about ; but, curious to say, 
my delight at liaving crept through was far more 
keen than any remorse I felt for my wickedness. 
The road does not enter the town of Kdtaba, for 
which I was by no means sorry ; for under the walls 
of the little place we coidd see a large Turkish camp 
pitched, that of the division of the army under 
Ismail Pasha, wliicli had come on here after the 
retaking of Dlianiar and Yerim, two of the larger 
cities of the central Yemen. Giving them a wide 
range, we soon were out of sight of the camp, and 
after crossing the Wadi Esh-Shari, we entered wild 
broken country, the foot-hills of the great range of 
mountains that appeared to block our way ahead. 
A sad incident happened before lea\dng the jimeroiik. 
A poor Turk, whom I had noticed slouching about 
the place in rags, came to me just as I was leaving. 
Kissing my hand, he besought my protection in 
Turkish, which an Arab in the Osmanli service 


trausliiu-<l to nil-. His stury was a pitialile oDe. 
He Iiad \>ci-n enrolled iu tho <;iinR<;ri|>tioii from sonu- 

Tilliigr nt.>Hr Sniyrnii, aiul sent with bis hrotlii-r to 
fijElit in i\\c Yemen. .\t Ifiigth, after miirli Hghtiiif; 


and many privations, he reached KAtaba, where the 
roll of the surviving troops was called. His name 
was not on the list, and it was found to have been 
a mistake that he ever left his native country. 
Ismail Piisha, then at KAtaba, commanded him to 
be stripped of his uniform and turned loose, on the 
ground that he was not a soldier of the Sultan's at 
all. This was done, and the poor fellow wandered 
away, a stranger in a strange land, until the Sheikh 
Besaisi took pity on him, and fed him and clothed 
him (!) at the custom-house. He spoke no Arabic, 
and the Arab interpreting for him was the only one 
who spoke a word of his native tongue. He prayed 
me to take him on with me. This unfortunately 
was impossible. The presence of a Turk with me 
would render me very liable to danger from the 
Arabs ; but I advised him to try and reach Aden, 
where, being as strong and good-looking a young 
fellow as ever lived, I felt sure he would get w-ork, 
and in time find his way back. Beyond giving him 
the wherewithal to find his way to Aden, I was 
unable in any way to assist him. 

Rough as the country we were passing through 
was, it presented here and there little patches and 
valleys rich in cultivation. In many places the 
scenery resembled a lovely garden. The law^ns w^ere 
barley, scarcely three inches high, while trees stood 
here and there about the fields. Little streams and 
pools of water added an eff'ect of coolness, while the 


iwky hills were clothe<l in plants and flowers, 
noticeable amongst them heinjrasc'arlet-flowering aloe 
and a variety of the euphorbia. Great ant-heaps, 
i4*mie six and eight feet in height, stood like sugar- 
losives amongst the rich vegetation. After a glorious 
sunset, night came <juirkly upon us, and the scener}' 
was lost in the darkness. 

On we pl<Hld<*d in the dark, our little nudes care- 
fully picking their way over the rough boulders and 
Atones with which our path, now a river-lK'd, was 
«trewn. The jHjople of thr surrounding tribes had 
taken a<lvantage of the rebellinn to throw ofl* any 
fomi of government, and it was therefore necessary 
to pnKXM'd at night. Once or twice we could <-atch 
fflimpses of tlu'ir village-tires glowing far u[> on the 
ftteep mountain-sides, and n<»w and again even catch 
the yelping of tln*ir dogs, whose <|uick ears had 
heard the footfall of our animals on th<* hanl stones; 
but the villagers t<Nik no notice more than t(» shout 
to one another, their voi(*es sounding far away and 
sepulchnd in the thiek darkness. The riviT-lKnl 
fiver which we were travelling (*ommenced shortly 
t4» ascend, and the ]Mith was by no means an easy 
om* to get alon«r in siifetv. 

*' We must wait here fi>r the men,*' sjiid an old 
Andi, an acquisition fnmi the Besaisi. What men 
he nii^ant I did not know, but as he seemed to Im» 
the n*<-ognised heail of our caravan I refrainetl fn>m 
asking. We dismounted and lit a tin* in a hole in 


tlie rock, round which wc clustered to warm our- 
selves at its welcome heat : not that it was allowed 
to blaze, for the Arab, fearful lest its glare should 
attract notice, kept damping the wood sufficiently 
to kee]) tlie blaze low without putting it out 

For a time we waited, but there being no traces 
of **the men," we left the burning embers as a sign 
that we had passed on, and continued our journey. 

It was a picturesque scene this little halt of ours, 
with the dark figures of the half-nude Arabs, each 
one armed with a spear, bending over the glowing 
fire, and one that will not easily be forgotten. It 
was difficult to say which sparkled the most, their 
polished spear-heads or their glossy locks. Every 
now and again a bright flame would leap into the air 
in spite of our precautions, showing us that the cliff 
above was hung in clusters of feathery creepers, while 
strange aloes and cacti appeared in the crevices. 

Eougher and steeper grew the road as we proceeded. 
At length in the middle of a rocky ascent a shout from 
behind, answered by one of the men, announced the 
arrival of the long-expected party, who had seen our 
signal and were following us ; and a few minutes later, 
in the starlight, for the moon had not yet risen, we 
could discern dark shadows hurrying along after us 
on the track. A wild crew they were too, six or 
seven of them armed with matchlock - guns and 
spears. Of all the antiquated weapons I have come 


across uj>on my travels, those {(uns of the Yemen are 
the most curious. The stocks are straijijht, an<l end in 
a lump like a cnxiuet-ball, which forms the shouliler- 
pii*ce ; the barrels are lonjj, and nearly always rusty. 
A hole in the barrel communicates with a pan on the 
outside, into which a little loose iH)w«ler is dropj)ed. 
The trijr^er possesses no sprinj; except a weak re- 
iKiunding arrangement. The nipple is forme<l like a 
fork, into which slides the fus(», made of aloe-fibre 
and slow burning. When the trigger is pulled the 
" match * descends into the loose powder, and the gun 
may go ot!' or no. The chances arc alK)ut equal, I 
shouhl think. 

For an hour mon» we cn»pt along the dark road. 
Thiiniy mimo.s2is tore our clothes and baggage and the 
|MK»r mules' legs, and at places threaten<»d to bar our 
|Kissage altogether. Then we left the path, and de- 
s<*fn<ling by a steep ro<-ky slope, we entcre<l a deep 
uuUah, half a mile or so aloni; which a halt was 
calbnl, and my guides informed me that this was to 
lie our night s resting-place. Fastening the strip of 
canvas sheeting, or rather such as remained of it after 
the .Hiindstorm, over the l)oughs of a thorn-tre<s as 
priite^'tion fnmi the heavy dew, we lit a fire an<l set 
to work to cook our supper of tough ohl goat and 
rancid Imtter. 

This bivouac in the ravint* below the large village 
of Azab was the last night spt^nt out in the open ; for 
although we continued for the ne.xt few days to take 



advantaj^e of the darkness to push through the most 
difficult country, we were able to rest in the cafes of 
villagers, and after Yerim, in the regular caravanserais, 
some of which had pretensions even to being clean 
and comfortable. 

Next morning I was able to see more of my sur- 
roundings. AVe had spent the night in the rocky 
course of a stream, in some of the pools of which was 
water. Opposite us the hills rose almost precipitously, 
strewn with boulders, and here and there tangled in 
dumps of mimosa-trees and other thorny brushwood. 
Away up the nullah stood Azab, a village perched on 
the very summit of a high hill, a confusion of walls 
and towers. 

AVc spent the day ^piietly under the little shade 
the scanty trees <i:ave. A couple of the men went to 
the villnjj;e to buy provisions, and returned with a 
bowl of rancid l)utter, l)read of a thin consistency 
that would liavc* served any purpose other than 
edilJe, from l)()ot-soles to wrapping up parcels in, 
and a goat wliose age was unfathomable. However, 
one cannot be too particular when travelling in such 
countries as the Yemen. 

At sunset our mules were packed, and we set off 
once more, creeping out of the nullah so as not to be 
seen from tlie village above, the inhabitants of which 
would 1)0 only too likely to take advantage of our 
position to go shares in my belongings — probably 
forgetting to give me my portion, unless they did so 




with one of their curved daggers. The last glow of 
daylight still hovered in the sky ; the last rays of the 
netting sun still tinged with pink and purjUe and gold 
the huge jagged peaks of the mountains before us. 
Very grand it is, this range of limestone, torn into all 
manner of fantastic sha|)es, the peaks here resembling 
8ome liewitched feudal castle, there the tapering spire 
of a cathedral. 

The tnick was as rough as usual, and constant short 
ascents and descents rendered our progress very slow. 
\STien darkness was complete, except for the glimmer 
of tin* stars, our men cidled a halt, and ranging t hem- 
wives in line uj>on the soft white sand of a stream- 
be<l, cried ** Allah Akbar," and rose and fell with 
monotonous motion in prayer. Wild shadows they 
api^eared in their uuileness and shaggy locks, — wild 
shallows that some feveri*d brain might imagine ; but 
the odour of the rancid butter and oil on their hair 
proveil thi*ir reality. No decent ghost would smell 
as thev did. 

Enjoining silence on every one, the men lit the 
fuiM's of their guns, and a rouple going ahead to keep 
a shar]> look-out, we pushed on. Like the glow of 
cigarette-omls, 1 could follow thf spark of their guns 
HA they crept along. 

Thr valley Incomes more <listiin;t as one proi'et»ds, 
the mountains closing in on i*itht*r sidt', Iraving but 
littlr lev«-l ground beyond tin* absolulr rours4» of the 
stream, and that was uneven enough. Hanging over 


the river-banks were trees and thick undergrowth, 
but the darkness prevented one seeing anything but 
their outline. At length our path seemed abruptly 
to end. Here a halt was called and w^e dismounted. 
From this point commenced an ascent I shall never 
forget. A winding path, a mere track in the face of 
the precipices, climbs the mountain - side until an 
elevation of over eight thousand feet above the sea- 
level is reached. The night was as yet moonless, and 
one could scarcely see a step in front of one, and it 
was bitterly cold. Lightening the animals as much 
as possible by dividing the baggage amongst the 
men, every one taking his share, except Abdurrah- 
man, w^lio carried my shot-gun, we commenced the 
ascent. Any moment man or beast might have made 
a false stop and alighted somew^here in the valley 
beneath. Not only was the ascent trying, but it 
must he also remembered tliat we were now in rebel 
country, and that our discovery would mean certain 
death, to myself if not to all of us. The very tribe 
whose lands we were entering, the Kabyla el-Owd,^ 
had only a few months before thrown off the Turkish 
yoke, and celel)rated their day of independence by 
(rutting up their Sheikh into small pieces and distrib- 
uting him over the country, as a warning to othei-s. 
Our party, including our new retinue supplied by 
El-Besaisi, numbered in all some ten persons ; but 
with the exception of my shot-gun and revolver we 

1 Kabyla = a tribe. 


had no weaj)on« worth eonsiderinf^ as such, unh^ss it 
<*aine to hand-to-hand fij^htinj^, when ten-foot-spears 
mav Im? useful. However, our num))ers made any 
attai'k from a small jiarty improbable. Up and up 
we toiled, often on all-fours. We had not ascended 
many hundreds of feet before we found that our re- 
maining camel was perfectly incapable of surmounting 
the difticulties of the road, while his constant mum- 
blin<^ and gruntinjrs threaten(*d every moment to 
briu*; the natives upon us, and already we could hear 
their dojjs Ixirking in the villages below. (Jnce or 
tunce, liHj, men called to one another, and lights could 
\m seen moving about. Then we would lie still and 
hold our animals so 21s to ensure sih^nce. At length 
it wiLs decided to send the camel back, and two of the 
men undertiKjk the job, trusting to be out of dangers 
way before daylight. This made extra weights for 
the men and mules, but they cheerily lifted their 
bunlens and our scnimble recommenced. 

I I>egan to think the jiscent would never end. 
Stee|K.*r and steeiKjr it became, until, two hours after 
commencing, and having climbe<l over two thousand 
feet in that time, we reached the summit, where on a 
ledge of rock some hunuine ]>erson has built a well to 
rejoice the heart of man an<l In^ast with its (mmjI waters. 
Here we rested for ten minutes, but niort* time we 
c*<mld not sjMire, tired as we were, for a long man*h 
\\iu\ yet t4> 1m* coveretl before dawn. Passing through 
a gorge at thi* height of eight thousand one hundretl 


feet above the sea-level, we began once more to 
descend ; and scrambling down through thick under- 
growth and over loose rolling stones, we reached the 
level of a valley, along which our road now lay, and 
through which flows the Wadi el-Banna, a large stream 
which reaches the sea, when flooded, at Ras Seilan, 
some thirty miles north-east of Aden. How the apes 
chattered and roared as we disturbed their night's 
rest; and every now and then we could hear the 
stones rattling under their feet as they scampered 
away. Collecting our little band together, and ex- 
amining our weapons, we continued our march in 
silence through the strongholds of the Kabyla el- 




With this «le«cont to the lovol of tin- vallev coin- 
inenreJ the most dangerous aii<1 difficult part of the 
wli(»l(* journey. The surrouinlinj? countn' was thickly 
inhahittMK and dotted with vilhijjoH, rapture l>y any 
one of whieh meant the destruetion of our caravan, if 
not of ourselves. A lon^^ march vet lav ]>efore us 
until a place of tolerable safety couhl l>e rearhed, and 
there remained only a few hours more of nijrht. It 
would mean a fast and ditiieult walk at any time, but 
now es]iecially so in the midst of so many danjjers. 
Tlie nKid had not been tniversed even by Arab traders 
or nn*ml>ers of stnui^e tribes for more than three 
mouths. For this {x'rioil the district had remained 
closed, and I eoultl not help feelinjr, as once more our 
head-man enjoined the strictest silen(M\ that I was 
rather foolhanly in attemptinj^ to lie the first to o|H»n 
it a<;ain. 

lA*aving the traek, we struck into the thick brush- 


wood in order to avoid as much as possible approach- 
ing the villages. One, however, we were obliged, by 
nature of the countiy, to pass much nearer than ivas 
pleasant. This was Sobeh, the principal stronghold of 
the Owd tri])e. How silently we crept on ! But sure- 
footed as were our little mules, they could not help 
now and again making a false step, and rattling the 
stones with which our path was strewn. When this 
liappened we would all stand still for a second, hold- 
ing our breath to listen. Once a dog barked, others 
took it up, and presently it seemed as though a 
hundred yelping curs, intent on our discovery, were 
doing their utmost to give warning of our proximity. 
Happily they did not leave the village, but, after the 
custom of Arab dogs, barked from the shelter of 
their masters* homes. Nevertheless, the noise was 
loud enough to wake a man, wdio shouted to another, 
and a conversation took place. Seizing me by the 
wrist, my men dragged me into a thick cluster of 
bamboos, whence we could see a light, evidently 
a lantern, flickering in the village only a few hun- 
dred yards away. It was an anxious moment ; but 
at length the dogs ceased their barking, and the 
light disappeared. Waiting to make sure that all 
was quiet, we stole on again, thankful at our narrow 

Then the moon rose, but the cold w^as too intense, 
and I was too tired to admire the lovely mist-swathed 
valley and the broken mountain-peaks. Once or 


twico more wc awoke the <log8, and once a^rain, too, 
a man Hhouted to know who w^as passing ; but we did 
not hide* this time, as dawn was approaching, and my 
men whisj^red to me that even as it was it would Ik* 
a m(*re chance if the sun did not rise to find us still 
in the enemy's country. 

At length it c^ime, cold steely-grey dawn ; then the 
sky flushed crimson and pink, and we put on our 
final spurt, driving the mules before us with sharp 
cuts fn>m bits of ro|)e, and hurrying as fast as our 
feet would carry us. The sun was nearly up when 
one of the men pointed out to mt», a long way ahead, 
a solitar}' towt'r standing on the edge of a j)recipice 
overlooking the river. " Once there," Iw whispered, 
•• we arc safe ; they are friends of ours." At length 
we almost ran. The sun wouhl be up in a quarter of 
an hour, and the cold gn»y mist which at present 
help<*d to c'onceal us would Tm\ 

A little l)efore the great gold orb api>eared over the 
mountains to the east, we forded the icy-cold river 
and scramhle<l up to our looktMl-for goal, Brit en- 

This village, standing on thr very edge of high 
precipices, presents a most picturesque apj>earance. 
Id the <'rntn.* rises a high towt»r, the largest of these 
solidly built Arab hnrj we had as yet conu? across, it 
iM'ing six storeys in height, as far as ont» could ju<lge 
from the windows. The summit s<»emed to l>e un- 
tiuisheil, and onlv half rcNifed in. Around it stooil a 



A yelpinff and barking of dojjs welcomed us, but we 
paid no heed to them, but straightway lit a fire ])y 
which to thaw our chilled limbs ; and setting some 
coifee in a rough earthen pot to brew, I rolled myself 
up in my carpet, and wa« soon fast asleep. When I 
awoke a wanu sun was streaming down upon us. A 
crowd of laughing, chattering Arabs had gathered 
foond us, and were seated in a semicin'le anxiously 
waiting for me to awake. When I did so I was 
fltiff and sore, and without more ado, pulling 
oat some clean clothes from my sack of baggage, 
down to the river and bathed in the cool fresh 
I, after w*hich 1 joine<l the circle, whose centre 
di interest was myself — a thing the like of which 
they had never seen l>efore. Meanwhile breakfast 
was ready, and inviting a few of the throng to join 
WSy we said '* Bismillah " — *' In the name of God" 
dipped our fingers into the rough earthen 

What a glorious moniing it was, and how fresh and 
krrdy ever3rthing looked ! The dew still si>arkle<l on 
the green trees and grass, the mist still hovered in 
the valley beneath, and the hot sun was tempered 
with a gentle lm»eze. It was like a spring day in 
England* How cheery we were, too, after our night's 
dangers and fatigues, all laughing and joking in the 
exhilaration of high spirits! Rut our hopes for a 
day s rest a-erc soon dashed to the ground, for my 
men received timely warning that it would l>e safer 


for 118 to proceed, and a few hours later saw us on the 
way again. 

AVe had entered Arabia Felix ! On all sides of us 
were tiny streams, splashing and tumbling through 
fern-covered banks over pebbles and stones. One 
does not realise what music there is in the sound of 
running water until one has travelled, as the writer 
has once or twice in his life, over deserts where the 
muddy pools are two and three days apart. But 
the deserts and rocky valleys were all forgotten now 
— they seemed merely the imaginings of the past. 
Everywhere were green fields in which the young 
barley showed promise of rich crops, everywhere 
great shady trees and jungle covered the slopes. 
The sun was hot, but at that great altitude the 
freshness of the air compensated for it. My men 
went merrily on, singing and laughing, and now 
and again running races and brandishing their spears 
— and yet we had rested only two or three hours 
after our march of nearly twelve hours, during which 
we had covered some thirty miles of road, and what 
a road ! 

Here we came in contact for the first time with 
the mountaineers, a much finer people than those of 
the plains. They are, as a rule, taller and better built, 
their limbs being freer in action and their legs more 
gracefully formed, no doubt owing much to the fact 
that they are great walkers. Like the people of the 
plains, the men wear their hair long, shaving their 



upper lip but allowing a small beard to grow on the 
points of their chins. As well as the dark-blue loin- 
cloth, stuck full of daggers, they wear a thick sheep- 
skin coat, the wool on the inside, the rough skin 
being coarsely embroidered in black thread. This 
forms a very necessary precaution against the cold, 
to which these high altitudes expose them. The 
women, like their sisters of the plains, wear dark- 
blue skirts, embroidered round the neck and sleeves 
ami on the breasts in coloured silks, and now and 
again in gold or silver thread. Their heads they 
cover with dark-blue hooils, often richly but coarsely 
embroidered. While the men are often almost divine- 
ly handsome, the women are just the contrary, being 
generally thickly built. No doubt the hideous tight 
blue trousers and the oil and {laint on their faces 
tends not a little to disfigure them. In the cold 
early mornings the oil on their hair hangs in little 
solid dro|)s on the {>oints of their fringes ; Imt as the 
heat of the day increases it trickles down their faces, 
washing away the red-lead-coloured |>owder, with 
which they so thickly smear their faces, in long 

From Beit en-Nedish we pro<;eeded on a three 
hours' ride, and crossing the river at a ford that 
might have been in the upper waters of the Tay, we 
ascended the opposite bank to Beit Said, a large and 
pro8|)erous-looking village, situated on the west bank 
of the river amidst groves of shady trees. 


Before reaching this spot two large villages have 
to be passed, one on each side of the river. They 
are respectively on the left bank Nadir, above which 
the Turks had built a fort, and on the right bank 
Ghadan — both large and flourishing villages, well and 
handsomely built of stone. The fort was now in 
possession of the Arabs, as, in spite of its command- 
ing position, the Turks had found it untenable, and 
deserted it on the breaking out of the rebellion. 
With the exception of Ismail Pasha s camp and the 
custom-house at Kdtaba, this was the first sign we 
had as yet seen of the occupation of the Yemen by 
the Turks. 

Tlie hind, carefully terraced to allow of more cul- 
tivation, presented from a distance an appearance of 
a great flight of steps, so evenly was this immense 
work carried out. Although at this spot the terrac- 
ing was comparatively simple compared with many 
other places, owing to the slope being gentler, it 
showed signs of an enormously laborious task. But, 
compared to places that we afterwards saw in the 
Yemen it was nil. At one spot I counted one hun- 
dred and thirty-seven of these terraces on the side 
of a mountain, one above another, and each and 
every one, as far as one could judge, higher than it 
was wide ; that is to say, the stone wall supporting 
the small strip of cultivated land was perhaps nine 
feet in height, while the supported strip was only six ! 
This is particularly noticeable in the coffee-growing 


diHtricts. However, oh it was in this valley of the 
Waili el-Banna that we first came across this process 
of rultivating the soil, althoii(i![h it was well known 
to me in the Atlas Mountains, Madeira, and many 
parts of Europe, it struck one as showing not only a 
pn>|KMisity for hanl work not usually found amongst 
Anib jwoples, hut aUo no little amount of skill and 

In other jiarts of the Mahammedan world the 
Arabs are exceedingly fond of making and planting 
ganlcns, and even trying exjHTim(»nts in cultivation ; 
hut whether failure or success awaits their eftbrts, 
tliey allow the whole concern to fall into disrepair, 
and the fields and gardens to become thick with 
weeds. It is not usually so much a want of experi- 
menting as a want of continuing that is the ruin of 
so many Arab {>eoples. I have known Moors plant 
ganlens which gave promise not only of l)eautiful 
Hurroundings but of considerable profit ; I have 
known them plant them with all manner of fruit- 
trees, and build atjueducts to bring the water from 
some distant spring, a work of by no means little 
ex{ienditun*, and a few months later 1 have seen the 
place deserted, goats feeding on the young orange 
and almond trees, and the place run to wreck and 
ruin. But not so in these valleys of the Yemen. 
Hen? the sup|K)rting wall of fV(»ry tcrnice was in 
••xcellent repair, here every little artificial channel 
and aqueduct brimmed over with water, and the 


whole surroundings wore not only the appearance of 
great laborious skill, but of the idea being present 
that the people were aware of the necessity of 
maintaining the results of their labours in a state 
of repair. 

It was a trait of character I had never before met 
with in the Arab people, and I was immensely struck 
with it. In the Atlas Mountains, five hundred miles 
in the interior of Morocco, I have seen on a small 
scale the same industrious attention ; but in that case 
the people are Berbers, untainted with Arab blood. 
In the country of the Gallas surrounding the city of 
Harrar one finds much the same ; but again, however 
nearly the Somalis may be related to the people of 
the Yemen, the Gallas are no doubt a perfectly dis- 
tinct race. It may be argued that the necessities of 
life and the nature of tlie country would render exist- 
ence impossible were the people not obliged to terrace 
and cultivate their lands in this manner ; but I have 
passed in many parts of the world where the same 
argument would apply, and found an entirely difierent 
state of things existing. I rather believe this attention 
to cultivation, and especially the growing of coffee, 
&c., to be due to the existence of true Yemeni blood 
in the veins of the people, apart from their mixed Arab 
pedigrees. There is little doubt that this system of 
fixed abodes and attention to agriculture could not 
liave been introduced in the Arab invasions of the 
Yemen, but was existent there long before the time of 








the introduction of Islam. All the historical records 
point to this effect, and it was probably owing as 
much to this as to the natural wealth and beauty of 
the couutrj' that the province obtained the name of 
Arabia Felix. 

We found the village of B(»it Said to be by far the 
most tlouriHhing we had as yet entered. A large open 
space divided a pretty little whit€ mosque, half covered 
by tree«, from the rest of the village. The houses were 
well built of stone, one especially fine, being of two 
storevH in height, with arched door^-ays and heavy 
woollen doors. This we found to be the caravanserai 
and houHe of a cousin of the Sheikh Besaisi of Kdtaba, 
to whom my men were well knoA^ni, and who quickly 
made us welcome in an upper chamber of the house, 
to which an outside stone stain^ay led. The room 
was Hmall but cool, and we quickly unpacked our 
baggage and stored it away, settling in for a much- 
neede<l rest. 

A crowd watched our operations, — a gathering of 
men, women, children, and dogs, who, open-mouthed 
and o|)en-eyed, watched the strange little caravan 
arrive, whiHi)ering their criticisms to one another. 
However, they were quite polite, the presence of El- 
BcAaisi no doubt k(*eping them at a distance ; for, like 
hiA cousin at Kdtaba, he w«i8 no small i)ersonage 

We found the people of Beit Said extremely plea.s- 
ant ; in fact, the callers almost crowded us out of our 


room, they were so many, a constant crowd watching 
with the greatest interest the strange visitor. The 
rest was a welcome one, and we hoped not only to 
spend the day here, but to obtain, for the first time 
for many days, a night's repose ; but fate was against 
us. Having turned in about eight p.m. in a portion 
of the big store, where, except for the rats, I felt I 
should be quieter than in the guest-room, I was soon 
asleep, weary with all the anxiety and travel which 
we had accomplished. 

I had been asleep only an hour or two when I felt 
myself quietly shaken. I asked who was there. A 
voice whispered in my ear, " Hush ! do not speak." 
I struck a light, and as a wild long-haired creature 
leant over me to blow it out, I had just time to see 
that the man was a stranger. " Get up," said the 
voice again ; ** you are in danger. Not a word, mipd. 
Give me your bedding and carpet." In the dark I 
hurried into my clothes, while the unknown seized 
my carpet and such baggage as I possessed, and left. 
I waited for a few moments, when he returned. 
" Your mules are already being laden," he continued ; 
then seizing me by the hand, added, " Follow me." I 
followed him out into the quiet moonlit streets, and 
keeping under the shadows of the houses, left the 
village. Here I was surprised to find my mules 
already laden. No one was stirring, and in the 
bright moonlight we passed silently away from the 
place without disturbing a soul. Our road w^as a 


difficult and a steep one : at many places the track, 
under two feet wide, was cut into the side of a i)reci- 
pice, far down which we could see the white misti) 
hoverinjx over the damp valley. 

The reason of our flight I was at a loss to under- 
stand, yet never for a moment did I doubt that there 
was a reason. I somehow, without knowing why, 
trusted the man who had warned me. He was a 
stranger, and as far as I could rememlier, as I watched 
him le^uling our little caravan over the awful roa<l, I 
had never seen him before. ( )nce in my life already 
I had l>4»en saved by a stranger, who had risked his 
own t4) save mine — ^an Arab too, but in a land far awav 
from the Yemen. 1 need not tell the story here : 
sufficient that I arrived at his house weary, by night, 
my ImiH" feet bleeding with the stones and thorns, 
pursued by men who had vowed to take my life ; and 
that ]u\ g<Nxl noble fellow, found me and t<H>k me in, 
Ixithed my blootl-staiued ankles, and tore up his own 
rlothes to bind them in, and, after keeping me in 
hiding for two <lays, escort«*d me in safety out of the 
countrv. He died a few months later, foullv murdereil 
in a bhMMl-feud. l*erhaps it was the n»collection of 
this that imbued me with so much confidence and 
trust in my new-found friend. That I was not wrong 
the se<{Uel will show. 

Sometimes a stone loosened bv our animals hoofs 
would fall, and, bounding from nn-k to rock, disiijipear 
into the tlairkness. At each of these o<;currences our 


guide would utter a guttural sound of disapproval. 
Once or twice I ventured to ask him the reason of 
our sudden flight, but was alw^ays met with a sharp 
" Silence ! " in reply. On and on, until some three 
hours after leaving Beit Said our path commenced to 
descend, and, slipping and sliding down slopes of sand 
and stones, we entered the large village of Seddah, 
now wrapt in sleep ; then on through the village of 
Mundah, and out into the open country again. The 
dogs barked a little, and one or two men, armed with 
spears, accosted us, but, after a few words whispered 
with our men, we passed on again. It is at Seddah 
that the valley turns to the west, and here the Wadi 
Thuba flows into the Wadi Banna. This latter river 
h{is a direction almost north and south, and although 
the Banna is the main stream, the other continues 
the general direction of the valley. 

An hour later, leaving the valley and mounting a 
steep ascent, we crossed an elevated plateau, finally 
arriving at tlie village of Sok el-Tliuluth. I had been 
^iven no idea of whither we were sroincj or where our 
new guide considered it safe for us to rest ; and when, 
on nearin(T the villacre, he told me that I mif]rht stav 
there as long as I liked, it was a most pleasant sur- 
prise. The streets of the little place were deserted 
except by the dogs ; but after knocking long and 
loudly at a door, we succeeded in awakening a 
woman, who turned out to be the proprietress of the 
small cafe and caravanserai of the place. She w^jxs 

FLIGHT. 237 

a gocxl kindly soul, ami did not grumble at being 
turned up at one a.m. on a cold morning. Admitting 
as into a rave-like room with a stone arched ceiling, 
^^eking with the pungent odours of strong tobacco 
and coffcM* — not to mention the odours of its Arab 
occuimnts, who lay sleeping about the floor rolled up 
in their <lirty sheepskin coats — she lit a fire, put 
water on to l)oil, ami then commenced by violently 
kicking the Arabs in ord(T to awake them, calling 
to them to turn out and make room for a more 
honoured guest. 1 jiersuaded her t<» leave them in 
peace, — more out of reganl, it must be said, for my 
own slumbers than for theirs ; an<l calling to Said 
and Alxlurndiman to make up my IkhI on the roof. 
was soon asleep. 

When I awoke it was dawn. What a sight met my 
eyes! Never had I before, ami 1 think never since, 
seen such a vi(»w as lav before me. S*>k el-Thuluth, 
or "Tuesilay market," as its name implies, is situated 
aW)ve the junctions of tht» Wadi Banna and Wadi 
Thuba« on a spur of tht* mountains of the main 
valh'y. R'low me lay the gn»at valh»y up the straight 
course of which we hail l>een travelling fi>r the hist 
two nights. Over its ixrren lirlds floated a trans- 
[larent hazy mist, thnuigh which I would watch the 
rivrr s{Kirkling and Hashing lik«' a silvi»r si»rjKMit, as it 
|i;ias4m1 on its way to the des4»rl and th«» sea. .Mong 
itM banks the dark-foliagcd trees st<NNl 4»ut clear and 
(lefineil. Hn either side of this silver streak lav ter- 


raced fields, rising step by step from the water's 
edge to where the mountain-slopes became too steep 
for cultivation. Here they were covered with thick 
jungle undergrowth, while above rose precipice upon 
precipice, crowned, thousands of feet in the pink 
morning sky, by broken crags and pinnacles of rock, 
touched with snow. At my very feet, for I was on 
the house-top, the villagers, rejoicing in the glorious 
morning, were passing out to their labours, and the 
flocks and herds bleated as they sought their pastur- 
age. Women carrying beakers wended their way to 
the spring ; while the men, spears in hand, their long 
glossy locks tumbling in unrestrained glory over the 
shoulders, added a fierce element to a scene of the 
most perfect peace and beauty. It was worth all the 
desert travel and all the dangers of our night marches 
to s(^e what I saw then. This was Arabia Felix I 
As I gazed th(^ mists rose, every detail in the valley 
became distinct : little villatres far below, crownincr the 
rocky mounds on which the Arabs of the Yemen so 
love to build, stood out from the green fields all grey 
and severe, each a fortress in itself, with its battle- 
ments and towers. Around the pink-and-gold crags 
liovered little fleecy clouds, attracted by the small 
patches of snow — now hiding, now disclosing the 
grandeur of the mountain pinnacles. 

All our dangers were over ; from here our road was 
safe. We were soon to enter the great plateau of the 
central Yemen, now safely once more in the hands 


of the Turk«, though woe l>etide the Osmanli soldier 
who found liimself alone and without protection. As 
I looked upon that glorious valley, more glorious 
than ever now that the sun had risen, 1 could not 
realise how exciting a time we had experienced in 
passing through it, so lovely, so quiet, so peac(»ful it 

(*alling to Said, I told him to send me the man 
who had led us to S<Mv el-Thuluth the night Iwfore. 

He had gone ! 

Never a word of thanks, never a reward ! He had 
left me sleeping, an<l gone hack to his own affairs and 
to his own life. Like the (character in some phiy that 
ap|iears but once, so h«id this Arab come and gone. 
My men had tried to stop him, had tried to keep him 
until 1 awoke, promising him a reward, but he had 
laughed and shaken his niven curls, and, spear in 
hand, girded up his loins and vanished. Strange 
good fellow I he siived my life, and never even gave 
me the op}M)rtui)ity of thanking him ! 

We had left one of our men the niglit before l>e- 
hind us at Beit Said. He had gone off in the evening 
to Hup|K>r in the house of a friend, where he had 
ulept, unaware of our Hight. In the early morning 
he had found us gone, and followed us, not by the 
roundaliout mountain-track we had come by, but by 
the main road. 

He solveil the mystery of our flight, for but a few 
miles from Beit Said he found the road held by some 

240 80BEH TO TEfilM. 

forty men, armed to the teeth, whose object was my 
plunder. How little the poor fellows would have got! 
A few dollars and a little shabby clothing, an old car- 
pet and a mattress, and that was about alL But they 
had imagined that I was a trader taking up great 
sums of money, and had resolved my death — for life 
is cheap out there — and the plundering of my goods. 
I asked our man what they had said to him. He re- 
plied that they had asked after me, and that finding 
I had been warned and escaped them, they went off 
laughing and swearing, apparently rather amused at 
the whole episode. 

Our rest had done us all good, and we set out with 
light hearts, knowing that no probable dangers lay 

The path leads one along the east side of the valley, 
at a great height above the river, often, like that we 
had traversed the night before, only a footway cut in 
the edge of the precipices. Here for the first time 
we came across the coffee - plant, growing amidst 
tumbling waterfalls on terraces built up against the 
steep mountain-side. Everywhere was water, here 
in artificial channels, there in tiny streamlets. Wild 
flowers abounded, and in places the walls of rock w^ere 
green and white with jasmine. A thousand feet below 
us were the villages, on to the roofs of the houses of 
which we looked from above. It seemed but a step 
from us to them. At one spot my men pointed out 
where a short time before a camel and its load had 


fallen from an overhanging rock. It never touched 
the precipices they said, until it fell upon a ledge they 
pointed out to me hundreds of feet below, and thence 
it bounded into the valley. 

Rich in the extreme is this part of the country, 
owing to it« everlasting supply of water, and many 
are the tales the Arabs of the plains tell of it. Beled 
d-Hawad they call it, of which Howra is the chief 
village, — a place like a feudal castle built on a pile of 

After a time the road turns to the right, and, fol- 
lowing the course of a small stream, ascends a valley. 
To the left of this valley, on the \evy summit of a 
high mountain, is the village of Ofar, to reach which 
necessitates a climb of a thousand feet or more from 
the road. At .several places one passes drinking-foun- 
tains, erected, like the great tanks we were aften^'ards 
to meet with in the plateau, for the refreshment of 
man and beast. Tliey are simple affairs, but excel- 
lently built. In form they are usually scpiare, and 
dome<l, som«* six feet each way i>erhaps. A trough 
on the outside supplies the water for the animals, 
while a hole in the wall, large enough for one to insert 
one s head through, is for human Wrings. Within the 
water rises to the level of this hole, being carried off 
by an overflow pij^e into the trough IhjIow, so that 
the clear lit[uid just reaches the level of one s lips, 
while the roof above keeps it fresh and cool. These 
fountains, common all over the Yemen, have lH*en 


usually erected by private philanthropists for the 
benefit of their fellow-men. Unlike the custom in 
England, no flowery inscription tells the world the 
name or the generosity of the builder — they are the 
memorials of anonymous benefactors. Here, too, we 
came into contact for the first time with the mountain 
camel — a very different beast from that of the Tehdma 
and desert, being a rough-haired, heavily-boned crea- 
ture, usually black in colour and the picture of ugli- 
ness. Those of Lahej and the surrounding country, 
renowned throughout Arabia, are light in colour and 
remarkably finely built, and often exceedingly pretty. 
To those who think that the camel is essentially a crea- 
ture of the desert, and incapable of traversing with 
ease stony or rocky country, the fact that we were 
passing caravans of camels nearly eight thousand feet 
al)ove the sea-level, and on the worst possible roads, 
must seem strange. It is well known, of course, that 
the camel of Central Asia traverses mountainous 
country, but I doubt if many are aware that it forms 
also the beast of burden in the extreme highlands of 
the Yemen, travelling over roads which one would 
have thought impassable almost for a mule. Yet so 
it is. 

At length the end of the little valley was reached 
at an altitude of onlv a little under nine thousand 
feet above the soa-level. A slippery rocky path winds 
up the last few hundred yards of the ascent, which is 
extremely difficult to surmount, both for man and 



beoAt, for the constant traffic of centuries has polished 
the surface until it shines like glass. 

Here the beauty ends, for one has reacthed the 
plateau of central Yemen — a vast plain lying at an 
average altitude of about eight thousand feet above 
the sea, broken only by hideous ledges of black vol- 
canic rock, which crop up here and there from its 
level surface. It was too early yet in the year for 
the young grain to show ; and the scene that met 
our eves, as we restinl ourselves and our mules after 


Innrihfd stifMi at A/nmiat, near iWtm. 

the ste<*p rlimb, was a <lrearv one* — miles of vellow 
level plain, and bhu'k jagged rocks. A short but 
steep des<*ent brings one to the level of the plateau, 
over which, witli but little exception, the roaid {rnsses 
from this s|N)t as far as Sanaa, th(* capitid. 

Tlie natives have made use of the le<lgcs of nn-k, 
which ap]>ear in every dire<*tion, as sitt»s for their 
village.*^, many of whic-li are jMT<'hed on the extreme 
summits, while others lie on the sl4)j>es. At one of 
these — Ia' name Munkat — we stopj^d for a little 


while, to see the place and some curious Himyaric 
remains still existing therein. 

This is, I think, the first mention I have made of 
the strange people, descendants of Himyar, who for- 
merly inhabited the Yemen ; but rather than enter in- 
to any account of them and of other historical matters 
at this point, I have reserved these questions for 
separate chapters, as I have also done in the case 
of the geography, trade, and general description of 
the Yemen. It has been my wish, as far as possible, 
to separate the account of my journey from other 
and more important matter, so that each may be 
taken separately. In all matters historical and geo- 
graphical, I have consulted, as far as has been in my 
power, the best authorities upon the subject ; but in 
the account of my own travels I have thought it ex- 
pedient, instead of breaking the narrative with incur- 
sions into more serious subjects, to omit, except in 
cases in which it may illustrate and explain more fully 
than would otherwise be the case, nearly all reference 
to historical or political affairs. 

Munkat is a walled village containing a consider- 
able number of houses, one of which, a kind of fort, is 
curiously perched on an enormous boulder, and a pretty 
white mosque, surrounded by tanks of good water. 
Built into the wall of the mosque are stones inscribed 
in Himyaric characters, and some also in Kufic. 
Copies of the former were, I believe, taken some 
years ago by Dr Glaser. In another part of the 

MUNKAT. 245 

village id a white marble columu, some eight or ten 
feet in height, of Himyaric origin, which is said by 
the villagers to have appeared su<ldeuly at this spot. 
The ignorance of the natives in this part of the 
country is astonishing ; for out of many stones they 
Mhowed me, some were in Arabic and some in the 
Himyaric character, but the inha))itants were un- 
certain as to which was which. They seemed, how- 
ever, to reverence thes<» remains to some extent, as 
they ha<l carefully built them into the walls. At 
one sjKit, over a doorway and in a prominent posi- 
tion, they had carefully place<l a marble stone con- 
taining the first chapter of the Koran — '*Bismillah 
Alrahman Alrahim," Ac. — u{)side down. When 1 
told them of their mistake, it was i|uite sad to hear 
their excuses. ** We are only iK>or i)eople," they said, 
"and we aw tcrriblv taxed. We have to till the 
soil to feed ourselves and the Osmanli I^ishas, and 
there is no time to learn to read or write." In many 
parts of the country to sui*h an extent do they have 
•*to fet^l the Osmanli Pashas," that they scarcely get 
ought to eat themselves. It is the old tale of cru- 
elty and oppression, of extortion and corruption. 

The reganl shown by the iM>or viUagers of Munkat 
for thesi» ins(*ril>e<l stones is not by any means un- 
common, a great reverence for writing InMUg innate 
in all Arab peoples. I once had an Anib servant, him- 
self |>erfectly illiterate, who treasunnl a torn manu- 
script copy of the * Arabian Nights.* Its contents he 


did not know, nor had he ever taken the trouble to 
find out : that it was a hook was sufficient for him, 
and he carried it about as a sort of talisman. In 
spite of its good luck, it did not keep him out of 
prison, when one day he helped himself to things that 
weren't his. 

One of the most beautiful sights to be seen upon 
the plateau of the Yemen are the lizards — ^little crea- 
tures of gorgeous metallic blue, now pale turquoise, 
now transparent sapphire, as the sunlight dances on 
their backs. In no other part of the world have I 
come across such gorgeously coloured reptiles, although 
I have seen the same lizard, but less brilliant in hue, 
in the mountains of the Zarahoun, to the north of 
the road between Fez and Mequinez, in Morocco. 

An hour or two more of winding path and we were 
in sight of Yerim, one of the principal towns of the 
Yemen, which but a short time before had been taken 
by the Arabs in the rebellion, and retaken by the very 
Ismail Pasha whose camp we had seen at Kataba. 




Thk immediiite approach to Yerim i« over a level 
plain a mile or two in width, across which, imme- 
diately in front of one, lies the town — a poor enough 
looking; place, lying half on the level ground and half 
on the steep slo{)e of a mountain, Jibi4 Samdra. This 
flat groun<l is dotted in places with tanks, and here 
the townspeople congregate to do their washing, and 
many a pretty group w(» passed of men, women, and 
childnm engaged in that wholesome pursuit. Eastern 
washing processes are too well known to need any 
description here : suffice it to my that it is generally 
performed by men, whose one desire seems to Ik?, by 
stamping on the ch>thes and beating them with large 
stones, to see how many fragments they can tear them 
into. They are gencndly successful in sending the 
things back in shreds. It must be an invigorating 
profession ; for the fact that oni» places the clothes 
up^^n a rock, and then procee<ls to danc<» first on «»ne 
leg and then on the other with all the energ}' and 


strength one possesses, at the same time issuing a 
series of low cries, must tend to strengthen not only 
the limbs but the lungs also ! 

We did not stay, however, to watch the washers, 
but hurried on into the town ; for although I had 
some days before successfully crossed the frontier of 
Turkish Yemen at the jimerouk near Kdtaba, this 
was the fii'st time I was to find myself in a Turkish 
garrisoned town. 

As soon as we had approached the place Turkish 
soldiers became apparent, and a miserable crew they 
were. A few were sauntering about near the gate, 
laughing and talking to others who leaned over the 
parapet of the old tower that forms one comer of the 
fortified entrance to the place. Passing through the 
gateway without any particular notice being taken of 
us, we proceeded by narrow streets to an open square, 
which serves as a market, and entered the huge door- 
way of a large caravanserai or khan. This place, 
typical of the country, calls for some description. 
The building was evidently an old one, the material 
used being stone on the lower storeys, and above sun- 
dried bricks. An archway led one into a large covered 
space, some ten or fifteen yards in width, and perhaps 
thirty in length. There was no light admitted except 
from the great doorway and a curious barred window 
above it. ThLs portion of the khan was of great 
height, the roof of the building forming the only 
obstacle between it and the sky. This roof was 


8up|>orte(l by large arches on buttresses running out 
from the wall on either side. A series of brick fire- 
places for charcoal ran along one side of the building, 
dividcil from one another by low brick seats, where 
the Aral>s could sit and brew their own keshour, or 
drink of coflfee-husks. Farther in the space served as 
a stable, and there were quite a number of camels, 
mules, and donkeys within its precincts. The 
opjHjsite side to that on which the stoves were was 
takdi up by a staircase leading to a long gallery. 
Here the better ehiss of i)ec)ple, such as merchants 
and native sheikhs, con<]jre<jated. The buttresses 
8Up{>orting th<* roof divided the gallery into compiirt- 
ments, and it seemed to be the custom for a party to 
engage one for themselves, where they would spread 
their carpets and smoke their hubble-bubbles, calling 
to tin* khan servants below for their coffee and foo<l, 
an<l charcoal for their pipes. One end of this gid- 
ler}% <m the left of the staircjisc*, formed a little room, 
which I was able to procure for my use. The fact 
that it was built immediately above the kitchen, and 
that the thickest of wood fumes crept up l>etween the 
ilMaid lK>anls, did not add to my <omfort. The 
ceiling and walls of the whole buildiuij were black 
with the smoke of ages, but the scene was a most 
pictun*s4iue one, and I sat at the doorway of my little 
rhanilier an<l sket^-hed the place. 

However, I was not to l>e hft very long in i)eace, 
for an impudent young Turk came and l)egan to 


search my luggage, and to speak in such an imperti- 
nent manner that he had to be ejected. I knew that, 
whatever orders he might have had, he would have 
received none that would allow of his conducting 
himself in this Avay — for the Turk, be he what he may, 
seldom if ever fails to be polite. There is an innate 
manner in him that is always charming, in spite of 
the many other drawbacks to his character. 

I called on the Kaimakam a little later and told 
him what had happened, saying that I was quite 
prepared to have my luggage searched, but asking 
that I might be treated with a certain amount of 
decent respect. The Turk of whom I complained 
was sent for, and such wrath did the Kaimakam show 
with him that the young man, a junior clerk in one 
of the Government offices, had to ask me to beg the 
Governor to forgive bini, which I readily did. I 
found my host as pleasant and gentlemanly as any 
Turk I met in the country, and he insisted on my 
spending an hour with him and his brother officers. 
I sliowed him my passport, for here there was no 
longer any need to pretend that I was a Greek trader, 
and he seemed much impressed with the number 
of seals and stamps with which it was covered. Of 
what value the wording and decoration of this British 
passport was at Sanaa will be told anon. But more 
astonished still was his Excellency at the fact that 1 
had pushed through the Owd tribe and arrived from 
Kataba — for, as he said, the road had been impass- 


able for many months, and he laughed heartily at an 
Englishman having been the first to open it again. 
Yerim, he said, was the dullest of dull places, and he 
lougiHl for the society and gaieties of his native town 
— flome out-of-the-way spot in Asia Minor, the name 
of which 1 had never even heard. 

Returning from his residence to the khan, he fol- 
lowed mo half an hour later and returned my call, 
accom]NUiied by a couple of his otKcers. However, 
the fact that one could scared v see across the room 
fur smoke did not tend to detain him long, and I 
was soon left to my own devices. 

As soon as it was cool enough, un<1er the guidance 
of Said, who knew the place well, I sauntered out 
and strolled through the baz^iars; but although I 
wore on mv head a Turkish fi*z, all sorts of rumours 
had tKM.*n spread about conreniing me, and 1 was the 
whole time the centre of a larg«» crowd, who, though 
they pressed me rather hard, were j)olite but dirty, 
flo that I found it advisable after a short time to Wat 
a retreat. 

Yerim apparently hiis no great pretensions to an- 
ticjuity, although then* formerly stood on the same 
spot, or S4>mewhere in the immediate neighbourhooil, 
a city of the name of Dhu-Kuayn. The ancient 
capital of this district is Zafar, the ruins of which, 
lying some miles to the south-east, are still visible on 
the summit of a einrular hill. 

There is but little to see in Yerim. The town is 


essentially a poor one, and although built partly on 
the slope of a mountain where stone is procurable, 
the houses are almost entirely composed of sun-dried 
bricks. Dirt and squalor abound on every side, and 
the streets of narrow bazaars show no signs of any 
great commerce or trade. What little importance the 
place can lay claim to is owing to the fact that it lies 
on the main road from Sanaa to Aden, and is a gar- 
risoned city. Like Dhamar, it fell into the hands of 
the Arabs during the rebellion at the end of 1891, 
but was retaken by Ismail Pasha, whom we had seen 
a month or two after its recapture, encamped at 
Kdtaba. The Arabs, however, seem to have gone to 
no excesses ; and beyond taking prisoner the Kaim- 
akam, who was still at this time in the hands of the 
Imam at Sadah, and his officers, behaved with great 
leniency toward the Turks, many of whom threw in 
their lot with the Arab cause. 

During the evening I received many callers, who 
came probably from curiosity rather than from any 
other reason. Amongst them were several of the 
"Ashraf," of the family of Ahmed ed-Din, the leader 
of tlie rebellion, who had seen all through that their 
cousins' cause was a hopeless one, and had remained 
neutral during the w^ar. I found them exceedingly 
pleasant, and they conversed for a long time about 
their country. One was especially a fine man, 
young and exceedingly handsome. As is the custom 
amongst the nobility, these guests all had closely- 


.shaven heads. One or two of them were richly 
dresfied in silk robes, and wore daggers of exquisite 
ftilver and gold work. It was late before I got rid of 
the last of them, and was able to seek a few hours' 
rest before starting again. 

At dawn we were off, our caravan augmented by a 
couple of Arab soldiers in the service of the Turks, 
who, by the by, would have proved of little advan- 
tage in an attack, as they wei*e armed solely with 
spears; but in all probability they were sent to 
watch my movements. The Turks employ a verj*^ 
considerable number of these soldiers in their ser- 
vice, many being of the class of ** Akhdam,'' prob- 
ably descendants of the Abyssinians who invaded 
the Yemen in a.d. 525 ; while others come from 
Yaffa and Hadramaut, and are ready to fight against 
any one so long as pay and booty are to be 

We left Yerim by a gate to the north of the city, 
near which is a picturemiue stone mos(|ue, with a 
white dome, which I had failed to notice the previ- 
ous dav. 

Emerging through the gateway, the track proce<*ds 
fcH* a time along a straight Irvel road, lying bt*low 
the slopes of Jibil Samara, (»n which a few Aral)S, 
inouut«*d on ponies, were galloping to and fro, with 
the evident pur{K>se of thrilling m«* with their etpies- 
triaji [Mjwen*. They witc g«MKl riilrrs crrtainly, and 
vcrj' pictures<jue tJM'y KH>ked with their long black 


hair waving behind them, and the rising sun spark- 
ling on their polished spear-heads. 

The level surface of the plateau over which we 
were passing made one forget the great altitude we 
had reached ; and such is the appearance of the sur- 
rounding country, that one could scarcely realise that 
one was not on some low level plain, but at an eleva- 
tion of over eight thousand feet above the sea-level. 

At one spot, however, this is forcibly brought to 
one's mind, for the road passes close to the edge of 
a deep narrow gorge through which flows the river 
Kha. Tliis valley presents a most extraordinary 
appearance as seen from above, for it is nothing more 
or less tlian a huge slice cut out of the plateau. We 
passed it at its apex, and could see down nearly its 
whole course. The distance from side to side at 
the upi)er part is extraordinarily small, the sides of 
the valley being formed of perpendicular precipices. 
Far, far down below us, some thousands of feet at 
the nearest part, were the coffee-groves and villages, 
dotted here and there along the broken rocks that 
fringed the edge of the river, which we could follow 
with our eyes, a thread of silver, till it was lost in 
the hazy mists that lay across the valley many miles 
away. Beyond this again rose the torn fantastic 
peaks to which we were now becoming so accustomed. 
It was a wonderful sight, and we reined in our mules 
and stood, Arabs and European alike, gazing at it 
Nvith wondering eyes. The Wadi Kha, unlike so 


uiaiiy of these Yemen rivers, eventually reaches the 
sea. It Hows into the Waili Zebeed, and eontinuin^; 
its eourse through the city of that name, and acrross 
the Tehdma, reaches the Red Sea at Ras Zebeed, 
op{>o8ito the island of Jihel Zukur. Just as suddenly 
BA we ha<l come in sight of this strange gorge, just so 
suddenly did we 1ohi» it again, and only a few minutes 
after having left its brink the surrounding scenery 
aMumed its former api»eanince, that of a dusty rocky 

Close to this sjx)t is a mark in a rock which is 
supposed to be the f<x)tprint of AH, the son-in-law 
and one of the successors in the (/aliphate of the 
Prophet Mahammed, or of his hi>rse, there seems to 
be no certainty which. The imprint itself is vague 
enough to Ih» anything, but too large to be either 
of thosi' mentioned. 

Below the village of Digishub we stopped to refresh 
ourselves and take breakfast. A few rough stone 
hut« have been erected by the roadside, near which 
flome kind philanthropist has built a series of small 
taiiks, supplied with delicious cold water by a spring. 
In one of thest* tanks live an (Miormous tpuintity of 
fish. Thr water is very shallow, and the jM)nd small. 
and were it not that the pjissers-by feed them on 
cnimlis, there would U* but little chance of their 
iM'ing abb* to exist in such a small space. Unlike 
fiiib in the springs of MonM-eo, they an* not hehl in 
any way sacred, and the Jews often catch and e(N>k 


them, though the Arabs say that they themselves 
never touch them. 

The funniest old specimen of age, rags, and dirt 
made our cojRee for us — as dishevelled an old witch as 
ever man set eyes upon. She is reported, in spite of 
her filthy condition, to be of great wealth — for the 
country, of course — and is apparently a well-known 
character upon the road. Quite a number of caravan- 
men, who happened to be resting there, kept up a 
continual volley of chaff, which reached its climax 
when, on hearing of her reported riches, I offered to 
become a Moslem, and lead her a blushing bride to 
the altar. She took it all in very good part, and 
lauglied as much as her begrimed parchment-like 
skin would allow, but I feared now and again it 
wouhl crack. 

On the road between Digishiib and the city of 
Dhaniar are three sets of old Himyaric tanks, cut in 
the solid rock, as are, with the exception of a few 
where the nature of the country allows of some small 
gully being made use of, all the tanks of this period. 
Although resembling somewhat the tanks of Aden, 
there are here none of the natural advantages to be 
found at that place ; for there the crater pours its 
water by aqueducts and natural channels into the 
tanks, which are built tier above tier in the wall of 
rock and between precipices. These between Digishiib 
and Dhamar, however, lie in the level plain, and are 
excavated. They are dependent entirely upon the 


rainfall for ftupply, and, as far as has boon found 
lN>s8il»lt\ the water has horn drained toward them ; 
but this, owinf( to tlu» dead level of the eountry, is 
to a very slijrht exti*nt practicable. Those tanks are 
circular in form, and of consi<lend>lc size and depth. 
At one s|K>t a tlip:ht of steps descends to the waters 
<*dj(e, whik* a sniaUer tank abovi* the steps can be 
filled from buckets, &c., for the animals to drink from. 
The entire tanks an* lined with intensely hard cement, 
which takes a p(*culiar polish, and on one were visible 
rough dcsijjns of men on horseback, an<l gazelle, 
8crat<*h<Ml into the plaster evidently at the time it 
was originally applied. The extraordinarily ptTfeet 
ccmdition in which these tanks are to-<lay, steps and 
all, s{>caks to tlit* excellence of the workmanship of 
those who excavated and built them ; and the caravans 
are still mainly dependent upon these extremely 
antique n.»scrvoirs for water for the men and their 
beasts of burden. 

Again, the plateau is broken by valleys to the west, 
but in no way to comiuire with that through which 
the Wadi Kha Hows. There a slight des<*ent takes 
one from the bouhh*r-strt*wn undulating hills to the 
flat ground again, broken hen* and there by r<K*ky 
KirnMi crags which standi «»ut against tin* dull vellow 
earth, (hi one of these is situated I>hamar el-(!ar, a 
village of some size : and on a|>proaehing this spot we 
raught sight of, far aheatl of us, all 'shimmering in the 
fierce sunlight, the city of I>hamar itself. For the 



last hour and a half of the road we proceeded over 
perfectly level ground, strewn with sandy dust, and, 
though showing signs of cultivation, boasting scarcely 
a blade of anything green. As we neared the city we 
obtained a better view of the place, so twisted and 
turned had it at first been by the steaming vapour 
rising from the heated ground. 

Dhamar lies in the flat plain, the nearest hill of any 
size being Hait Hirran, a mountain rising some 
hundreds of feet above the surrounding country a 
couple of miles or so to the north of the city. Many 
high mountains, however, are visible, especially the 
range of Jibel Issi to the east, though it is a long way 
distant. This and its neighbouring mountains must 
be of great height, for Dhamar itself is situated almost 
exactly eight thousand feet above the sea-level. It 
is not a walled city, but is more or less defended by a 
series of small, and, for the most part, mud-built forts. 
Three minarets dominate the town, one of them sadly 
out of the perpendicular, as it was struck by a cannon- 
shot during one of the many wars it has been its lot 
to witness. 

A narrow street, twisting and turning amongst open 
drains, ruined tombs, and apparently objectless walls, 
leads one into the city. Here there are signs of more 
wealth, many of the houses being well built of stone, 
while a wide open square gives quite a handsome 
appearance to the place. 

It is on to this square that the Government offices 


lofik, anil I>cfnru we had half crosscil it our mules were 
stopped by u numl>cr of Turlcixh soliliens, under whose 
guiilam-e we proceeded to visit the Kfiirauknm of the 

Ali^htin^ at a large ^tc lendiuj; into » yurd and 


garden, we entered a houne, built in European style 
and with f^lass windows, and, ascendinj; a staircjiae. 
found ourselves in a large room. Divans surrounded 
the walls, und a few shabbv <-hnira and a table or two 


stood about the place. Seated at one end of the room, 
drinking coffee and smoking, were four or five Turkish 
officers in clean bright uniforms. As I entered one of 
these rose, and, walking to meet me, shook hands with 
me, and led me to the divan, at the same time calli ng 
to a servant for cigarettes and cofiee. My guard, who 
had come with me from Yerim, presented a letter 
that had been intrusted to him by the Kaimakam of 
that place, which was immediately opened and read. 
The officer then told me I was welcome, and we con- 
versed for about half an hour on general subjects. He • 
could not understand how I had ever attempted or 
succeeded in getting through the country between 
Kdtaba and Yerim, and laughed considerably when I 
told him of my adventures. He was, in fact, as weie " 
those with him, most polite and kind, and the one or 
two calls I paid to him, and he to me, during my stay, 
will always be remembered by myself as most pleasant. 
Before leaving the Kaimakam I obtained his per- 
mission to take up my residence in the house of Said 
during my stay in that town ; for the latter had in- 
sisted on my not going to a khan, but spending the 
few days we had determined to stay here in his father's 
house. This favour was readily granted me, and 
mounting my mules once more, Said, full of impa- 
tience, leading the way, we crossed the big square, 
and winding in and out amongst the narrow streets, 
finally drew up at a large three-storeyed detached 
mud-brick house, which Said, almost dancinor with 

SAlDS HOMK. 261 

delight, pointed out to me as '' eUheit hetaana" 
" our house." 

Said received quite an ovation on his arrival, l>eing 
kissed and hugged in turns by all manner of strange 
people : an old grey-bearded father followed his grey- 
haired mother; brothers, sisters, cousins, children, 
aunts, swarmed out of that house like ants, until one 
believed that every available inch of the place must 
be taken up by living people, and I began to feel 
quite nervous as to where room would be found to 
put myself away. At length the greetings were got 
through, and the male portion of the relations turned 
their attention to my mules, which were quickly un- 
packed and the baggage carried indoors. Then Said 
approached me, and having run his hand through his 
wavv black curls, as was a habit of his, bade me enter. 
As I stepped into the doorway with him he greeted 
me in true Yemen fashion, and with all the demon- 
stration an Arab loves so much — and I believe in his 
case it was genuine. 

Climbing to the top storey of the house, we entered 
a large airy room, the proportions and decoration of 
which fairly astonished me, for from the outside, al- 
though the house was large, it had a {KM:>r enough 
ap{)earance, lK»ing built entirely of sun-dried mud- 

The guest-room, for such the chamlxT evidently 
was, measured some thirty -five feet in length by 
fifteen wide. t)ne vrnl showetl a bare floor of cement, 


but the other was richly carpeted with rugs and 
striped cloths, while divans, thick woollen mattresses, 
ran round the walls. The room was evidently not in 
use, which was reassuring, as I feared vermin. A 
number of handsome bronze brasiers, and strange 
bowls and coffee-pots, were piled up in one corner, 
while another was occupied by a pile of cushions, 
principally covered in European cottons, and happily 
tolerably clean. Sunk into the walls were alcoves, in 
which scent-bottles and sprinklers, cups and saucers, 
and many other things in which the heart of the 
Oriental delights, were standing. But of all the pretty 
things with which the room was filled, the windows 
were certainly the most lovely. Except for two or 
three that closed with wooden shutters from the in- 
side, they did not open, the place of glass being taken 
by alabaster. The effect of the light falling through 
the semi-opaque stone was soft and luxurious, a rosy 
yellow in colour. The slabs used for these windows 
vary in thickness, so that the light is regulated, and 
though in this particular instance they were of uni- 
form depth, in other places I saw them richly carved 
in relief, so that the background was a monotone of 
yellow ; but where the carving, principally geometric 
designs, was, a much deeper tone of colour was re- 
flected, owinor to the thickness of the material beinsf 
greater. Such, then, were the quarters we took up in 
the house of Said el-Dhamari. 




en A ITER vn. 


Ai.THor«;n tlu' city of Dlinmur boasts of a consider- 
h\Av anti<{uity, it displays none of the more remark- 
alilf points of tin* interest of age, and except that a 
large {Kirtion of the phice is in had repair, it might 
have Immmi huilt hut a few years ago. There are no 
walls to the eity. and ne<:es»jirily no gates. The 
al>8enee of this ha.s led the inhabitants to extend 
the town in many directions, with the result that 
it (K'iupies a nuu*h larger space than would be 
necessar}- for the popuhition it contains. This, 
however, \u\s not prevented the streets from ih!- 
cupying the narrow limits the Oriental loves to 
give to the passer-by, and in the bazaars espwi- 
ally only two or three j>eople could |K>8sibly walk 

Ibn Khaldun, in his geography of the Yemen, 
makes no mention of Dhamar, but this can scarcely 
In- l(M»ked U{K>n ixa meaning that the town did not 
exist in his day — in fact, it is more probable that 


his failing to notice the place was due to an omis- 
sion, as the neighbouring fortress of Hirran is also 
left without mention, though from the remains exist- 
ing there it is very probable that it was a site and 
fortress of no little importance in far earlier times 
than that of the native geographer ; and El- Janadi, 
in his account of " The Karmathians," speaks of the 
capture of Hirran by Ibn Fadl about the year 293 
A.H., and as the fall of the fortress was only one item 
of the leader's successful march to Sanaa, it is very 
probable that the event was considered one of no 
little importance. Several of the other early Arah 
historians make direct mention of Dhamar itself, 

A few hours after my arrival in the city I sauntered 
out with Said to the bazaars, to purchase a few little 
luxuries in the way of food and fruit, for so far we 
had lived during our journey upon the bare neces- 
sities of life. Although at times a considerable crowd 
thronged us, we found the people extremely polite, 
and what little inconvenience we were put to was 
owing entirely to the curiosity of the inhabitants. 
The bazaars boast but little beyond their natural 
picturescjucness, which in many places is most 
noticeable. The shops are the usual little one- 
storeyed box-like dens of the Eastern world, and 
the trades are divided up into separate streets and 
quarters. Here, as elsewhere, the Jews have an 
entirely separate town, situated to the east of the 
city, from which it is divided by a large open space. 

• » J • ^•mr^'.» i » >*^ (■ » ■ ■> 411 





Near this great square is the principal mosque of the 
town, a walled enclosure, with three large gatea fac- 
ing the city, and a handsome, though damaged, 
minaret. In one respect, however, it is in better 
order than that of another of the mosrjues, for it 
still maintains its upright position, whereas the 
other is sadly out of the perpendicular, owing to 
its having been struck by a cannon-l>all. A third 
mos<[ue of considenible size is within the bazaars, 
but non(^ of them j)o«se8.s much claim to architec- 
tural l>eauty, l)eing built in the simple aiid un- 
decorative Amb style, native cement and mud- 
l>rickft lK*ing the j)rincipal materials used in their 
construction. Prettier, certainly, are one or two of 
the Shereefian tombs, with their white domes and 
arcades of arches. One of these, lying on the 
extreme south of the city, near where we had 
entennl the town, is really charming, with a small 
ganlen in front of it and a huge shady tree for the 
pilgrims to the san<*tuary to rest under. Near here, 
but stamling sepanite from the town, we Siiw the 
ruins of the Turkish barnwks, which had been tle- 
Htroyed by the Aralw on their capture of Dhamar 
from the Turks a few months before. 

At sunset we returnetl to Saids house to S|)end 
the evening in a family piirty, the memlK»rs of which 
varied lH?tween the ages of seventy or eighty and 
grimy liabies of a few months old. However, it 
wart an insight into Arab life, and was rendered 


by 110 means unamusing by Saids wonderful lies 
about Aden, his earthly paradise. He fairly took 
the breath away from his relations with the start- 
ling untruths he told, but I scarcely believe that 
they gave him credence ; and probably had he kept 
to the strict truth, and only told about the forts 
and troops and good government there, they would 
equally have taken it for exaggeration. Perhaps 
after all he pursued the best course, and possibly 
by knocking oflf some ninety-nine per cent for the 
native love of story-telling, they arrived at .about 
the right result. 

We were up with the sunrise, and enjoyed the 
luxuries of a Turkish bath. Fortunately the win- 
dows to admit the light were very small, otherwise 
we should, I think, have seen much that was not 
tempting ; l)ut one forgot any possible disadvantages 
in tlie luxury of soap and hot water. From the 
*Miummum" we i)roceeded to a cafe in the principal 
square, and perching ourselves cross-legged under 
an awning in front of the coffee-shop, joined iu 
the swim of conversation over ** hubble-bubble " 
pipes. A handful of troops were drilling before us 
in the square, poor dishevelled creatures, many 
without even a l)oot on their feet. There were 
perhaps a hundred and fifty in all, and I was told 
that of the four hundred who had been sent to 
garrison the place after Ahmed Feizi Pasha's suc- 
cessful relief of Sanaa two or three months before, 


thcHc were all that remained, sickness having 
earrie<l off the rest — starvation probably. The 
officers seemed as tUshearteneil as the men, and 
appeareil to lack all interest in the drill. Many of 
the soldiers were smoking cigarettes, but no one 
seemed to take any notice of it ; and after an 
hour or so the soldiers wandered off in different 
directions, without apjmrently being dismissed. It 
was sad to see their [K)or wan faces, thinned and 
paled with sickness and hunger. 

Although crowds now and again collected round 
me, it was surprising how polite every class of native 
was to me, and I do not once remember, during all 
the time 1 was in the Yemen, <»xcept on one or two 
occasions from the guanls of my prison at Sanaa, a 
wonl of abus(». The Yemenis are the aristocracy of 
Islam. ^Vihl in api>earan<*e, their manners are j)er- 
fect, and though their nature now and again leads 
them to violence, they are as a rule gentle and hospi- 
table, and as my tnivels pro<*eeded, the more I saw 
of them, es]>ecially the iidiabitants of the mountains 
and the plateau, the more I liked them. Nor did I 
fintl any tlifference with the townsjK»oj)le, and many a 
kin<l wonl of welcome wiis said to me now and again. 

Much as I wanted to push on to Sanaa, I had 
promised Said to sUiy three <lays at his house at 
Dhamar, and to tell the truth, I was by no means 
8€>rr}' of a pretext to rest in such comfortable ({uarters. 
Many a visit I receive<l then*. 1 think that there 


could not have been a single Turkish official in the 
town who did not at some time or another come and 
see me, and although they seemed always to be sus- 
picious as to the objects of my travels, they were 
charmingly polite. Nor were the Turks my only 
visitors, for many an Arab merchant in long robes of 
silk came and spent an hour or so over coffee and 
tobacco, and on one occasion I was honoured by the 
visit of a local Shereef, first cousin to Ahmed ed- 
Din, leader of the late rebellion, but who, wisely, had 
not taken part on either side, preferring before enter- 
ing into the affair to see who was going to win. 
Said's people thought a great deal of the visit of this 
Shereef, and personally I found him charming. He 
was a man of perhaps some thirty yeai-s of age, 
extremely handsome and beautifully dressed. He 
seemed well educated, and had travelled a little, and 
the hour he spent with me I shall always remember 
with pleasure. 

But of all the insights that I obtained into Arab 
life during my time in the Yemen, the most interest- 
ing was the dinner-party given by Said in my honour. 
About seven o'clock our guests commenced to arrive 
— and what guests ! The fii-st to come were half-a- 
dozen Arab tribesmen, with long wavy black hair and 
a scarcitv of clothino; — in fact, their entire costume 
consisted of a turban and a dark loin-cloth, from the 
latter of which appeared the handles of their silver 
daggers. Strange lithe beautiful creatures they were, 


with Iiml>8 that would have been worth a mint of 
money to an artist to paint from. A couj>le of mer- 
chants followed a few minutes later, their servants 
c&Tvyiug their silver hookahs. Natives of the same 
country, it is extraordinary what a <lifference is ap- 
parent between the townspeople and the tri))esmen ; 
and our merchant friends were fat and heavy, boast- 
ing little of the grace of their wilder countrymen, and 
in place of the scanty clothing, wrap|HHl in long silk 
garments of gaudy hues, ami wearing white turbans 
on their heads. More of the tril>esmen followed, each 
as he entered placing his long s|H>ar against the walls 
in the corners of the room, till the place wore (juite 
the ap|K*arance of an armoury. Then came the \ 
musicians, natives of the Hadramaut, wilder and i 
longer-haired than the Yemenis present, and bearing, 
in phic(» of s]>ears, strange richly painted instruments. 
More and more guests, until our room, big as it was, 
was filbnl. 

What a night it was I ( )ne of those nights in a 
lifetime which can never l>e forgotten. The cool dim 
light of the swinging alalxister lamps, the flashing 
8|>ears hea]K*d together in the corners, the wonclerful 
dark crowd of swarthy men, the steam of the brewing 
coffee issuing from strange jars, the rich dark carpets 
and gaudy cushions, the murmur and the blue curl- 
ing smoke of the pipes — ay, a dinner - i>arty in 
PhamarU worth seeing I An<l then the soft music 
and singing of the musicians, whose tall lieautiful 


figures moved slowly here and there as they played 
strange melodies ! It seemed like some dream : — ^no 
wild African feast, merely the echo of the long-past 
glories of Arabia ! 

Then they brought us great dishes heaped with 
food, for the most part our old friend the antiquated 
goat, and we dipped our fingers into copper bowls of 
rose-water and ate together. Then coffee and pipes, 
and the bitter herb katy and music and dancing. 
And the cool night air blew in through the windows 
and sent the filmy smoke circling here and there, and 
now and again ruffled the raven locks of one or other 
of our guests, who lay recumbent and silent, ex- 
pressionless and beautiful, listening to the tales of 
love that our musicians, with strange monotonous 
dancing, sang to the strains of their painted guitars. 
We were back again in the days of Haroun el-Rashid, 
and all the hurry and scurry of modern life seemed 
lost and gone. 

At length I l)rought out my electric machine, and, 
the guests joining hands, felt, for the first time in 
their lives, a shock. They smiled, and asked for 
more. Then one was brave enough to hold the 
handles by himself. I turned it on full, and fairly 
whizzed the wheels round. With a scream the man 
jumped into the aii*, and then apologised. Silently, 
one by one, our guests arose, and shaking me by the 
hand with the compliments the Arab knows so w^ell 
how to bestow, bade me good-night. Then, taking 


their spears in their hamls, tluy walked slowly to the 
•loor, until fairly outsidt*, when they tlew down th(» 
stairs at a pace that was jKjsitively dangerous, and 
from the window I could see them tearing down the 
street at a hreak-neck run. Such was the etiect of 
a small electric machine at a Dhamar dinner-party. 
The following morning we paid a visit to the tombs 
of the family of a Turkish genend, Ahmed Kushti 
Pasha, who had himself fallen near Lohaya in the 
beginning of the rel>ellion. The enclosed ganlen, 
with its mos<|ue and tombs, tells of a sad story, for 
the family of Ahmed Rushti were assassinated by their 
house l)eing blown up with gunpowder some few years 
since. However, jvs the storv is to be found in the 
chapter on the Yemen reWUion, I shall not refer to it 
more particularly here. The tombs are situated with- 
out the citv, on the west side. An acre or two of 
land are enclosed with high walls, in which stands a 
summer-house*, where the bereaved Pasha was wont 
to come and sit ; but this, like the tombs themselves, 
was sacked by the Arabs during the rel>ellion, and 
little but the outside walls and the graves remain 
to-day. Passing back through the town we visited 
the Jews* <|uarter, which, unlike the Moslem city, is 
walleil, the gates being locked every night from the 
outside. Miserable s({ualor and dirt existed on all 
sides, although the Jews themselvt^s si*eined well to 
do, and their houses airy and large. They are built 
almost entirely of mud-bricks, plastered inside and 


out. This material forms a hard surface, and seems 
to be very durable. 

Our last day was spent in visiting the old fortress 
of Hirran, lying a mile or two to the north of Dhamar ; 
and well worth the trouble and heat I found the 
expedition, for Hirran boasts many antiquities. 
Passing through the north quarter of Dhamar, one 
emerges into the dusty plateau, across which the 
road continues for a couple of miles or so. Hirran is 
clearly visible from Dhamar itself, the dark rocky 
hill standing out black against the light soil. One 
reaches the place near the south-west point of the 
jagged rock, where are some old tanks sunk in the 
solid stone, and of very considerable size. Keeping 
still to the west side of the hill, we shortly reached 
the scene of an old cemetery, the flat rock being 
honeycombed with graves. These were often sunk 
to the depth of twenty feet and more, and generally 
measured some seven feet in length, and two to three 
in lireadth, but one or two were circular. They did 
not point in any direction, but lay scattered about 
the little elevated rocky flat in which they were sunk, 
some east and west, some north and south. Besides 
the empty ones, there were a great many visible 
which had apparently escaped the hands of man, nor 
could I find out why or when those that had been 
dug out had been spoiled. An old goatherd, the sole 
inhabitant of Hirran, told me that he had always 
remembered them thus, and during his lifetime had 

HIRRAK. 273 

never fwen any one (liggiiij; in the praves, tiiough 

Ut*-ly Bumi' of the lar^rtT «'avL'-t<iiiilw furllifr up ilu' 
rock had bi>eii Bean-hi'd for tn-uHurt', tint uiily a few 


coins and beads, be said, had l>een found with the 

The hill of Hirran is double-peaked, each point 
rising to some hundreds of feet above the level of the 
surrounding plain. These peaks lie almost due north 
and south, the rock taking a curving form between 
them, so that tlie whole forms a sort of crescent, 
wliioh was formerly defended by a huge wall, still 

remaining, joining the lower slopes of the two ex- 
tremities on the eastern side. 

Like the gnivoyard, the cave-tombs are situated on 
the west side of the hill, at a spot where the steep 
precipice, which rises to the summit, is joined by the 
lower boulder-strewn slopes. Although we entered 
all of the caves that are to-da)' open, there were signs 
of numerous othei's which the collection of falling 
material from the precipice had so blocked that con- 



iiidcniltic ili^ing would I>o necessary to procure an 

Tliv first cave-tomb wliu-h I visited consisted of a 
cin*ulur chaml)er with a domed roof; tlie room meaa- 
urcd some twelve feet in diameter, and tlie higliest 
jwint of the roof was five feet eight inches from the 
rtix»r. To the left of the entrance was an alcove 
three feet deep, three high, an'l four in length. 
The diK>r was three feet wide and over five feet in 
height, hut the walls were lower in the chaml^cr. 

■of til 

!ie precipice we were 

A litth' higher up the side 
ahte to gain entnince to a 
MH-ond cave, which I call 
Cave II. This excavation 
formed two oval cliambcrs, 
partly divided from one 
another by a buttress 
running nut from the solid 
r«M-k. On l>oth sides of 
this [lartition, and on the 
main walls facing it, wen* 
ledgencut in the rock three 
feet alKJve the grtjund ; in 
the dust of one of which 1 found a few bones and an 
eugTave<l bead. 

t'uve No. III. was perhaps the most im|Hirtant I 
visited, and showed signs of more careful excavation 
than any tif the otiiers. \ dm^rway led one into 
» circular chamber, oH' which to right and left two 

lirounjfijii fl/ /;■«* ///. 


small rooms opened out. This circular entrance-hall 
led, opposite the door, into a still larger chamber, 
into wliieli in turn opened two alcoves and a room, 
all of them four-sided. On the left and immediately 
in front the doora were raised above the ground and 

of Tomb III., HaitHin 

nearly square, the Hoorof the alcoves being level with 
the lower part of the openings. On the right, how- 
ever, was a chamber level with the floor, entered 
through an archway. The two alcoves showed evident 
signs of having at one time been closed up, for in 



the IJDteU of rock were visible holes whicli may 
cither hiivc held a door or heeu used for joists to 
iitrengthci) nny masonry which may have l>ecn ar- 
niDfject to fill up the opening. 

Cave IV., again, to the south of the others, presented 
quite a new feature, th<' face of the precipice Wing 

Emranti It Tsmb IV., llait Hirran. 

cut to form a large square ciianiber, in the Imck wall 
of which a doorway opened into the tomb. Below 
tbU window, a fiM>t or two al>ove the ground, ran a 
aeries of five holes drilled a short way into the rock, 
and which eeeras at some time to have held the sup- 
ports of A platform or scat. Ap|)areut1y the whole 


outer chamber was lined with plaster, and may have 
been once separated from the face of the precipice 
by masonry. The window or aperture opening into 
the tomb was situated three feet from the ground, 
and was two and a half feet in height and two feet 
three inches in breadth. The interior consisted of an 
alcove six feet in length, two feet wide, and three in 
height. Here, as in Cave No. III., I found bones 
amongst the accumulation of dust, but nothing else. 

The fifth cave consisted of one large room, some 
sixteen feet by eight, at each end of which were 
ledges in the rock eight feet long by eighteen inches 
wide. The door leading into this cave-tomb was 
three feet six inches wide, and the roof inside five 
feet in height. The rock here was strewn with small 
chips of rock, and I found no signs of bones. 

All these caves showed signs of having been opened, 
and my old guide the goatherd said that such was 
the case. Asking him how Moslems reconciled them- 
selves to breaking open tombs, he replied that they 
were the tombs of " unbelievers," and that had they 
been Mahammedan graves no one would have dared 
to have touched them. This he exemplified to me by 
pointing out some tombs on the summit of the rock, 
in which ^Moslems are supposed to be buried, and it 
was quite apparent they had been left untouched. 

Following the hill to its southernmost extremity, 
I climbed by a difficult ascent to a tank cut in the 
rock where water was formerly collected. To reach 


this 8|)ot, SO difiicult and slipper}' Wcos the path, I had 
to go )>arcfooted, a by uo means pleasant task, m the 
stones were so hot as to Ulster my feet. Descending 
again, we proceeded to th(» site of the former ** fort- 
ress," formed by the two eastern |)oints of the hill 
lieing joined by a great wall. This, however, showed 
signs of early Arab work, being built of the peculiar 
cement which is typical of Arab construction. This 
wall is of enormous height and width, being some 
hundred and fifty yards long and twenty feet high, 
and one could drive a carriage and pair anywhere on 
its summit. The only one dating from Arab times 
that I have seen to equal it in size is the great wall 
attributed to Mulai Ismail at Mcijuinez in Morocco. 
Within the wall is a deep well, the upi)er portion of 
which is built, the lower part sunk into the solid 
rock. AlK)ve the northern end of the great wall are 
a series of three tanks, n»ached by a roughly cut 
stairway. Still ascending, one arrives at the summit, 
where are the five Moslem tombs I alluded to, enclosed 
in low stone walls, and the n^mains of much old 
building, of which it is difficult to gather any distinct 
idea, to such a state of ruin has it fallen. At all 
events, the enormous amount of broken potter}', some 
of gorgeous colour and fine design, s|>eaks to the size 
of the place. 

From the summit one gains a fine view of the 
surrounding country, — a great flat plain broken by 
ridges of dark volcanic rock, like that on which we 


were standing, until in the far east a tall range of 
mountains appeared on the horizon. Below us to the 
south lay Dharaar, almost as yellow as the plain itself, 
for there is but little green in its neighbourhood, 
although it is said that in the rainy season the whole 
country entirely changes its aspect. To the east of 
Hirran, and immediately below it, lie the remains of 
an old city, the loose stone walls of the houses still 
standing to the height of a few feet above the ground. 
Altogether the place must have been one of great 
importance in early times, and I regretted much that 
I was unable in my hasty visit to find any inscrip- 
tions. However, I was able to take the notes given 
above before a mounted Turkish soldier appeared 
on the scene, sent by the Kaimakam to watch my 
movements, and who begged me politely to return. 
Fearing that any suspicion on the part of the 
Governor toward myself might prevent my con- 
tinuing my journey to Sanaa, I stated my readiness 
to comply with his request, and bidding adieu to the 
old goatherd, once more mounted my mule and 
returned to the town. 

I was able to learn but little about Hirran in 
Dhamar, or in fact anywhere, except that it was once 
the centre of a great trade, a sort of caravanserai for 
the goods of Sanaa and the north, the kingdom of 
Saba or Sheba, and Aden. This is the only early 
tradition the natives seem to have concerning its 
former wealth and its being a centre of trade in very 


early timen, and this tradition has led me to a con- 
jecture — it is nothing more — that Ilirran may be the 
site of the Haran of the Old Testament. The places 
mentioned in the same verse are, 1 believe, all in 
Southeni Arabia, and have all l>een recognised, Haran 
alone remaining undiscovered. It is more than 
possible, judging from the similarity of names and 
the n*|>ort of its former importance in trade, that 
they may l)e one and the same place.' 

During the afternoon I paid a farewell visit to the 
Kaimakam, which was returned an hour later, when 
he promisiMl me a couple of soldiers to see me safely 
to Sjina^i. 

Thr following morning we left Dhamar. There 
was, of course, a great leave-taking of Said, and just 
as they had done on our arrival, a long string of 
relations, illustrating all the seven ages of man, with 
many of the intermediar}' gaj)s filled in, streamed out 
of the house to bid him farewell. (Joml simple people 
f hey were, though the younger members of the family, 
when away from their jwirents* eyes, were importunate 
in th«*ir demands for hak^hi^h. The road led us to 
the west of Ilirran, close to the large tanks I men- 
tioned iis having si»en on my ride to that place, and 
then on over the dreary jdain. Leaving the large- 
walled village of Jaffa to our left for a time, we saw 
l>ut little signs of life. 

* ^ Hahui, and Cftniieh, aiid Eden, the uiercliautii uf Shelio, Ai«hur, 
and Chilmad, were thy merchanU."— Ezckivl xxvii. 23. 


The early morning eflFect upon the flat plateau was 
one of great beauty, in spite of its dry arid appear- 
ance. A dull warm haze hung over the more distant 
desert, for such it really was at this period of the 
year, through which the far-away mountains shim- 
mered in the heat, turquoise-blue in colour. As we 
proceeded the cultivated land became very sparse, the 
soil for the most part consisting of sand and stones, 
until, passing through a narrow gorge of rock, we 
entered a great circular plain enclosed by low rocky 
hills on all sides, no doubt the crater of some long- 
extinct volcano. From this point one catches a 
glimpse of Jibel Doran, a range of mountains of 
great elevation, which terminate in a strange sugar- 
loaf peak, unequalled in curious form by any I have 
seen elsewhere in the world, with the exception per- 
haps of '' The Needle of Heaven " in the I-chang gorge 
of the Yangtze-Kiang, some eleven hundred miles up 
that river. 

At a small cafe — half a cave, and half built of 
rough stones — we spent an hour or two during the 
hottest part of the day. Quite a number of men 
and camels had arrived before us, and in spite of 
the fact that scarcely a blade of anything green 
was to be seen, the surroundings were by no means 
unpicturcsque. Joining in with the caravan-men, 
a cool corner was found for me in the cave, and 
our mid-day rest passed quickly and pleasantly 
enough. Far above us, perched on the summit of 


I: I 

! I 

. I 


a hill, was the large village of Athaik, its tall 
towers ilominatiiig the surrounding plain and giving 
thr j>lace the aj)j)earance of some old feudal castle. 
A descent led us to a slightly lower portion of the 
plain. The st>il here was richer, but I noticed that 
there was no cultivation, a fact that was explained 
to me to he owing to the rebellion, which had de- 
terred any investment in crops that were bound ti» 
fall a prey either to thti Turks or inde{)endent rob- 
l)ers. To our left we could see the walled town 
of Resaaba, but wishing to push on to Sana^i, and 
as it did not lie in our road, I did not visit it. 
There is but little of interest, I was told, to lx» 
seen within its walls. It is, in fact, rather a verv 
large village than a town, and bears all the char- 
acteristics of the villages of the Yemen plateau. 
Again, another reason deterred me from penetrating 
there ; that I felt it advisable to give as wide a 
Iwrth as {Mjssible to any places where I might Ix' 
likely to run up against Turks and Turkish authori- 
ties. To have so nearly reached Saniui, and then 
U* turned back, would indeed have been a disap- 

Several times along the road we passed the deep 
rock-cut tanks that even to-day form the water- 
8Upi»Iy of the passing caravans. One that we 
stopjied to drink at as evening was approaching 
l>ore n)Ugh designs of men on horsel)ack, and in- 
scriptions in the Himyaric language cut in the 


plaster that lined the rock walls. Like so many 
of these tanks, a flight of steps led to the water's 
edge, at the summit of which was a smaller pool, 
to be filled by hand for the beasts of burden to 
drink from, and, like the main reservoir, circular in 
form. The mountains we had seen all the afternoon 
far ahead of us were now growing nearer, and as 
evening drew on we found ourselves in a large open 
valley, semicircular in form, and closed at the far 
end by steep broken crags. The soil here was well 
cultivated, though, as we were still nearly nine thou- 
sand feet above the sea-level, the young crops had 
not yet begun to show, and the place looked dreary 
and burnt up. That the soil must repay cultivation 
is evident from the great number of wells distributed 
over the country. At many of these, men, women, 
and camels were engaged in drawing water. A 
couple of tree-trunks form uprights to a beam laid 
across their tops, over which the rope that supports 
the skins in which the water is raised passes. At 
the other end of the rope, men, women, or some 
beast of burden is harnessed. Owing to the great 
depth of these wells, and the size of the skins used 
as buckets, the weight to be raised is very great, 
and the labour of raising it proportionately so. But 
the natives have discovered a means by which the 
work is lessened, while at the same time their 
irrigation is rendered more practicable — namely, by 
building the wells upon the summits of mounds. 


A long flloping i»it!i leads from the Iiigh mouth of 
the well to thi' level of the siirrouiiding fields, bo 
that the drawer, hamrR3e<l tn the end of the rope, 
is assisted Uy the ceutre of gravity, instead of being 
depcmlent \ipon his, her, or its personal strength. 
This raising of the wells above tlie fields also ren- 
ders fjisy the carrj-ing of the water in little dikes 
to whatever spot it is needed. The skin, on reaeh- 
iDg the well's mouth, empties itself into a trough 
from which the water pours into the irrigating 
channels. The fact that these ehaunck consist of 
only small ditches adds much to the toil and labour, 
as the thirsty soil sucks up a targe quantity of the 
fluid l>efore it reaches its destination. However, 
labour is cheap, and a man, so long as he possesses 
a donkey, a camel, or a wife to work liiH well, can 
sit and smoke and look on himself. 

At length we drew up at the village khan of 
Maaber, our resting-place, and climbing a rough 
outside staircase, found ourselves in a clean white- 
washed room, cool and airy, where our car|>ets were 
quickly spread and coffee on the lK>il. The i»eopIe 
were very iD<(uisitive, and at last I was obliged to 
give iKjremptor^' onlcrs that no one was to be al- 
lowed to cuter my room. But this did not seem to 
be of much avail, and eventuidty 1 iH)sted a guanl 
outside the door, armed with a long stick. The 
Tillage is a poor enough place, built of luud-bricks, 
irith a little stone masoury showing here and there. 


The people seemed poor and dirty, and there was 
little or nothing of interest to be seen. Very dif- 
ercnt are these villages of the plateau to the well- 
built and fortified towers of the country we had 
passed through to the south of Yerim, nor were the 
people of this part half so clean or genial or hand- 
some as the wild mountaineers. 

Early the next morning we were on our way again, 
the road continuing over the dusty plain. A mile 
or two from Maaber we witnessed some skirmishing 
between the Turkish troops and the hillmen of Jibel 
Anis, one of the last tribes to hold out, and one that 
probably will never surrender to the Turkish Govern- 
ment. The country inhabited by this tribe consists 
of wild inaccessible country, into which the Osmanli 
troops are powerless to penetrate. The battle we 
witnessed was not apparently a very bloody aflfair, 
for it consisted principally in a small field-battery of 
the Turks firing into a few hill villages, from which 
a desultory and ill-aimed fire was kept up by the 
Arabs. I'liis was the first active sign we had as yet 
seen of the rebellion ; for although Turkish garrisons 
were to be found in Dhamar and Yerim, their 
recon quest of these cities from the Arabs had been 
accomplished almost without bloodshed. For a time 
we stayed and watched the little battle, listening to 
the sharp cracking of the rifles and the louder tonas 
of the field-guns, until, as it was apparent that the 
Turks had no idea of trying to climb to the villages 


I ; 

I- ' 


or the Arabs of descending to the level, we con- 
tinued our journey. The plain ends in an abrupt 
lint' of high rocky mountains, over which we could 
see our path twisting and turning in serpentine coils. 
Elntering a narrow gorge, we ])a8sed close under the 
grandly situated village of Kariat en-Negil, its every 
rock crowned by stone towers — a striking and wild- 
looking plai-e. Here it is that the old pilgrim-road 
fnmi Aden and the Iladnimaut probably joins the 
track I had travelled on. We had left the old road 
at I-4ihej, whence it continues r/(? Ibb, our route 
lying more to the east. 1 have mentioned elsewhere 
this great pilgrim - track, founded by Iluseyn ibn 
Siilaxmiah in the fifth centur}'' a.m., and there is no 
further need of description here. Suffice it to say 
that at ever}' night's nzala, or resting-place, was 
built a mo«c[ue, while tanks refreshed the wear}* with 
water by the way. 

A tremendous climb takes one to the summit of 
the |)ass, where there is an old round tower, now 
uwd as a watch-house by the Turks. The path is ex- 
tremely steep, and, though roughly paved, so slippery 
that all riding up was impossible, while the rarefied 
air made the climb by no means an easy or a pleasant 
one. The summit 1 found by oKservation to be nine 
thousand one hundred feet al>ove the sea-level, about 
eleven hundred feet above thr citv of Dhamar. 

A sterp descent and an hour s ride along a brokt»n 
valley brought us to the large village of Khadar, 


where we rested for an hour over pipes and coflfee. 
The place is a picturesque one, though greatly lack- 
ing in vegetation. The upper portion of the village 
is situated on the summit of a precipitous hill, and 
is walled, w^hile every available peak holds the usual 
tower-house. The few buildings that stand near the 
road are for the most part caravanserais and cafes. 
The inhabitants are almost entirely Jews, who, like 
certain tribes of their co-religionists that I have 
seen in the Atlas Mountains, are cultivators of the 
soil and agriculturists. A small mosque, the only 
whitewashed building in the place, shows, how- 
ever, that there must be some Moslem inhabitants 
in Khadar. 

A wild group were seated at the door of one of the 
cafes, Arabs and camels from Mareb, whence they 
were bringing salt. Our mutual curiosity in each 
other led to conversation, and 1 found them good 
fellows on the whole, though rougher in manners 
than the Yemenis 1 had as yet come in contact 

Two hours after leaving Khadar we reached our 
night's resting-place, Waalan, the best-built village 
we had as yet come across. The size and solidity 
of the houses was astonishing; and when, on beincy 
led up a staircase and along a wide passage into a 
beautifully clean room in a handsome khan, the 
change from the quarters w^e had as yet found on our 
journey in the other villages, almost took one's breath 


i • 

l ! 

WAALAN. 289 

awav. Our eliamher, which commanded a fine view 
of wvrnil Hurrounding villages through large windows 
o|)oning down to the ground, was well whitewashed, 
the doors and window-shutters being handsomely 
carved of polished dark wood, and with a ceiling of 
the same material overhead. The change from what 
we had heen accustomed to was a most pleasant one, 
unil we soon made ourselves comfortjible. A dear 
old lady, and a very tolerably clean one, waited upon 
us, and insisted on cooking our dinner, a task usually 
shari'il bv Alnlurrahman and Said — and verv well she 
did it too. 

This apix?arance of cleanliness and civilisation was 
a sun* sign that we were nearing the capital, and I 
turned in to rest that night with a feeling of satisfac- 
tion, for only a few hours* ride lay between us and 

Four hours of heat along the valley of the Beni 
Matar, and we reacheil the large village of Estaz, 
where we rested for an hour or two in a large but 
dirty vitfe. Thi^re is certainly but little to see in the 
place, though Turkish soldiers were mon» common 
here than elsewhen*, and the curiositv of their officers 
wouKl not allow of my being h»ft undisturbed even for 
the brief sjmce of the hour or so we stayed there. 
They must needs (*ome and call and ask all sorts of 
abfturd questions. Kstaz, however, boasts one su|K'- 
riority over much of the Yemon plateau, a river of 
mniUDg water that Hows by many channels through 



gardens, the greenness of which was most pleasant 
after days of travelling over yellow plains. 

Before mid-day we were oflF again, and turning a 
corner could see far away across the level ground, 
shimmering white and yellow in the steaming heat, 
the city of Sanaa. 

With a thrill of satisfaction I urged my mule on to 
its quickest paces, and a couple of hours later found 
us entering the city by an old broken-down gateway, 
near which a company or two of troops w^ere drilling. 
Signs of the fighting were common enough. Some of 
the little towers erected as forts by the Turks outside 
the walls were in ruins, and half an hour earlier we 
had passed all that remained of the village of Dar es- 
Salaam, the " house of peace " — ill-fitting name ! — 
where the Arabs had made their last strong st^ind 
against their Turkish enemy, and which they only 
left when driven forth l)y the Turkish artillery play- 
ing upon the houses of the village. Little remains 
to-day but broken walls and tumble -down towers. 
In many places one could see exactly where the shot 
had hit, and one tower was drilled through, the torn- 
up fiooriug and rafters showing what havoc the ball 
had accomplished. 

At length we were in Sanaa. The road had been a 
difficult and a dangerous one, but this was all for- 
gotten now. In spite of warnings and repeated efforts 
to dissuade us from so rash an undertaking, we had 
been successful, and it was with the keenest satisfac- 


tion, though not without some doubts as to how I 
Hhouhl Im» reroivoil, that I watched my litth* caravan 
entrr the city. 

Passinc; through a narrow street with high houses 
on either hand, we drew up at the door of a great 
canivansi»nii, a four-storeyed buikling of which the 
rooms all looked out on to balconies overhanging a 
large patio. The plac<» was in wretched condition, 
and the ground-Hoor, which served as a stable for 
rsimels, horses, mules, and donkeys, looked as though 
it had never Wen cleaned out. Here I paid off my 
men, with the exception, of course, of Alxlurrahman 
and Said. I had made a bargain with a caravan-man 
in Aden to send me through to Sanaxi, and this bar- 
gain he had carried out in c»very particular, in spite 
of all manner of <langers and difKculties ; and it was 
with much siitisfaction that I piiid the worthy fellows 
the n*maining half of the sum agreed u|)on at Aden, 
and sent them on their way with more Ixikshish than 
had probably ever Iwen in th<*ir jM>ss<»ssion before. 
Our iKirting was almost a siid one : from the day they 
had joined me we liatl shared the same footl ami the 
wtme room at the khans, and though it was under 
three weeks that thev had been with m<s I felt as 
though I had known them ages, and shall always 
rcniemlHTwith pleasure the trustworthy way in which 
thev siiw me throu<xh the c*ountrv, and how, wearv as 
they must at times have been with the long marches, 
they maintained their tempers throughout, ami wen» 


always ready to do me some little service, however 
far removed it might chance to be from the routine 
of their work. 

A saunter through the bazaars brought us to the 
quarter in which the Government buildings are 
situated, and in a few minutes more I found myself 
in the residence of his Excellency Ahmed Feizi 
Pasha, Governor-General of the Yemen and Com- 
mander of the Seventh Army Corps. I was almost 
immediately ushered into the general's presence, 
lie was seated on a divan at the end of a handsome 
room, surrounded by quite a number of his staff. 
His Excellency received me pleasantly, and after 
exchange of salaams, a chair being fetched for me, 
he began to ask me what had brought me there. 
I thereupon presented him with my passport, vized 
by the Turkish (Consul-General in London, and made 
out for the ''Ottoman Empire," which had been 
issued to me l)y 11. M. Foreign Oftice the day before 
I left London to visit the Yemen. Being unable 
to read English, Ahmed Feizi Pasha sent for an 
Armenian who spoke and read Frencli, and the word- 
ing of my passport was explained to him. Suddenly 
his Excellency's manner quite changed, and he be- 
came very red and irascible, asking all sorts of 
absurd questions, which he did not give me time to 
answer. First, I was not an Englishman at all ; 
then I was an officer sent from Aden to map out 
the country, and assist the Arabs in the rebellion; 



until at hiHt I almost bocaiiu' bewildered an to what I 
was, or rather what the Pasha imagined me to l>e. 
Alxlumdiman, gooil Moslem that he in, was an 
Knglishman in (lisguise. No Arab, the Pasha said, 
I'ver 8|M>ke Arabic with sueh a foreign accent ; and as 
to Morocco there was no such country, and no such 
l^erson as Mulai el-IIassan, its Sultan, for he knew 
well enough that all North Afric^a was under the 
French. At length he insisted on his saying the 
Mahammcdan belief, to assure himself that he was 
in truth a co-religionist. Abdurrahmans indignation 
wjis intense, especially as Said happened to be pres- 
ent ; for with a true oriental love of exaggeration the 
Moor had l>een telling the Yemeni wonderful tales 
of the greatness and power of his country and its 
Sultan, and it ]»ained him to find that the Turkish 
Pasha had never heanl of either, and Said's smile 
and look were anything but reassuring to his pride 
in his fatherland. 

At length, in a burst of anger, Ahmed Feizi called 
to a couple of oHicers, and his remarks lading trans- 
lated to me bv the Armenian, I learned that I wa.« to 


Ik* kept in security for the present. A hanil was laid 
on my shoulder, and I was gently led away, leaving 
th<* handsome old Pasha as si*arlct as a tomato. In 
the large antercMmi I was han<l(Ml over to a guard of 
four sohliers, who conducted me through the streets 
to a guanl-nnnn, situated alnive the pri.son yanl, 
where I was soon ens4-onc*ed, the door Imnged and 


locked, and a sentry posted on the outside. My bag- 
gage, which I had left at the khan, was sent to me 
a little later. Meanwhile, Abdurrahman and Said 
were strictly cross-examined by the Governor-Gen- 
eral, and as the account the first had to give of him- 
self did not seem satisfactory, he quickly followed me 
to jail. That Said w-as a Yemeni there could be no 
doubt, but he suflFered a like fate — I suppose for keep- 
ing such bad company. 

I spent five days in prison at Sanaa. The room 
was clean, and I was decently treated, being only 
once roughly handled. Wishing to speak to an 
officer in the courtyard, I proceeded to leave my 
room, the door of which was kept open by day, when 
I was rudely pushed buck by the sentry. 

The first night I was allowed to sleep alone and in 
l)eiice ; but on the succeeding three, two non-commis- 
sionrd officers shared the chamber, dirty things in 
uniforms, which wor(» the look of never having been 
taken off. However, they were good-hearted fellows, 
and both spoke Arabic well. 

My meals I was sent out to get for the first day; 
but after that, all leaving the place was forbidden to 
me, except to take exercise in charge of a guard of 
soldiers. On the whole I had little to complain of, 
except that the w-ater and sanitary arrangements 
were both very bad — so bad, in fact, that on the last 
night I was taken wnth violent fever, as also \vere 
Said and Abdurrahman, who by no means shared 


Hucli gootl quarters as I (Hd, l>eing housed in a large 
dirty room, where chained |)risoucr.s were their coni- 
potiiotit*. This, however, wjls ohauged on my reprc- 
iwnting that hotli were sutfcriug from fever to the 

Til/ .Itllltr ,„ fr„aH J/ .1J«.(J. 

Govcrnor-Geucnil oii my s^-coud intirview. On ihi^ 
occasion I found bin Kxcellency more n-asoiuibh', and 
once or twice he even hiu<;lie<), heinj; H|)|)arvntly 
much amused when I tuhl him Iiow I had '*!-ii over 
the frontier iu the dix^iifte of a Oreck. But the 


Pasha's merriment did not bring about any change 
in my condition, and I was taken back from his 
presence to the same prison as before. I told him 
at this interview that one of my reasons for visiting 
the country was to correspond for the 'Times/ and 
he thereupon entered into a long political statement 
as to the rebellion and its reasons. His Excellency 
asked me what we should do in India in a like cir- 
cumstance, and I replied that I thought the matter 
could be best solved by a total disarmament of the 
Arabs. While agreeing with me, he acknowledged 
such a task an impossibility with the troops under 
his command, and said he w^as earnestly hoping for 
further reinforcements from Constantinople. From 
his manner, and what I could gather about Ahmed 
Foizi Pasha, he seems to be a man of great personal 
courage and perseverance, besides possessing an ex- 
traordinary amount of diplomacy and skill in dealing 
with the Arabs, learned, no doubt, during the time 
that lie was Governor of Mecca ; and in spite of the 
fact that he saw right to put me in prison, I cannot 
but admire the thorough character which the general 
seems to possess. His surroundings showed that 
here, at least, some regard was shown for the com- 
mon soldiers, and all wore boots, not to say fezzes. 
Here, too, their uniforms were not in rags, nor did 
they seem to be on the eve of starvation. There 
seemed, too, in Sanaa, more organisation than I had 
seen elsewhere. I asked the Pasha why I was kept 


in |>riHOii, and Ik* replied that my presence was not 
entirely satisfactory, and that he had ordered me to 
Ih» lo<l}red in the {guardroom h^st the Anih population 
micrlit do me harm. 

I ean quite ima<{ine that to the jealous Turk the 
unexpected arrival of an Englishman was hy no means 
H ple;uiant surprise. Up to this time all truth con- 
cerning the rehelli<m had l)een withhehl, and the sole 
matter that the press had heen able to obtain was 
fnmi otiicial sources at Constantinople. Therefore 
any chance of the truth leaking out, and the general 
public being made aware how very nearly the Usmanli 
tlovernment had lost the southernmost of its Arabian 
|K>sses.sion8, would prove far from acceptable to the 
auth(»nties. On this ac<-ount Ahmed Feizi's bearing 
t4»wanl myself is explicabh*, nor do I complain very 
much of it. Not so, however, with the action of II.M. 
late SecretJiry of Foreign Att'airs, who laid all the 
blame of my imprisonment u|)on myself, and entirely 
ignored the fact that my passport, — demanding that 
I should Ik? aHowed to p.uss without let or hindrance, 
and that I should be aiforded every assistance and pro- 
tection of which I might stand in ne(ul in the Ottoman 
Ejiipin*, and which had In-en vized by the Turkish Con- 
sul-General in London, — bore his own signature, which, 
if it wen* not lithograplnd, might have i>een worth the 
sum j*aid for the dtHunient that boiv it, as an auto- 
graph, but wiis cH*rtainly entin'ly useless for the pur- 
pose for which it was su))|K)sed to be alKxed. Although 


I made my journey through the Yemen with the 
knowledge and consent of the late Sir William White, 
then H.M. Ambassador at Constantinople, I was in- 
formed, in one of those elegant despatches of the 
Foreign Office, that I had entered the Yemen on 
entirely my own responsibility, and must bear the 
results of my actions myself! and that if the Turkish 
Government saw right to put me in prison and give 
me such bad water to drink that fever was the result, 
they really could not hold any one responsible for it 
beyond my own person. My question as to whether 
the wording of my passport was of any value, or 
merely a form that meant nothing, they entirely 
ignored, and to this day I have been unable to obtain 
a re})ly. Suffice it to say that with all its seals and 
titles and stamps, a British passport does not seem to 
be of much value in the Ottoman Empire ; nor when 
it is absolutely disregarded is any one blamed by the 
Foreign Office except the unoffending bearer, who may 
have been so dazzled by its splendour as to believe 
that it might l)e of service to him. However, what 
with making treaties and doing their duty in soci- 
ety, it can be easily understood that the time of 
the officials is too much occupied to attend to such 
an unimportant question as the imprisonment of 
an Englishman, even though by such an occurrence 
every word and sentence of a paper to which H.M. 
Secretary of State appends his signature is disregarded 
and abused. 




Thk fitv «>f Sanaa is situatetl in a \vi<l«' vuUev, at an 
elrvatioii of seven thousiuid two liundrtMl and fifty 
fei't alM>vi» the s(»a-level. Although the town lies 
almost altogether on the fiat bottom of the valley, a 
mountain, Jihel Nejyoum, rises ahruptly on the east — 
H4I ahruptly, in faet, that the oM fi»rtress ami castle 
whieh form the <*ita<lel of Sanaa are jK.»rehe(l on one 
of its spurs, from whieh the main |K'ak rises in n)eky 
liareness to a very <M)nsi<lenil)le height. 

The town is in form a triangle, the apex being 
fomn'il hv the kasr al)ove-mentione<L and the base bv 
the wall of the i^anleii suburb Bir el-Aziib. There 
are three distinet (juarten* within the cmter walla: 
the first or eiist quarter that of the Turks and Arabs, 
where are situated the bazaars, the (tovt^nment 
buihlings, and the principal native* houses; the 
Hccon<l the Jews' quarter, se|Kinite<l from the bust 
by a witle strip of barren ground, part of whieh shows 
Kigiis of onee having In^en a cemetery ; and thinlly, 
this suburb of Bir cl-Azab, where many a villa stands 


within luxurious gardens of fruit and other trees, 
enclosed with high walls. In spite of the fact that 
Sanaa is situated only between the 15th and 16th 
degree of north latitude, and so well within the 
tropics, there are very few signs to be seen of any- 
thing approaching tropical vegetation, and one is 
surprised at first, until the great altitude of the place 
is taken into consideration, to find that nearly all our 
English fruits flourish there. Although, of course, 
by day the sun is intensely hot, it is quite a common 
occurrence to experience frosts on winter nights. 
Yet in spite of lying at so great an elevation above the 
sea, Sanaa is subject at times to serious droughts ; and 
although in the rainy season a torrent of water pours 
down the river-bed w^hicli runs through the centre of 
the town, in the dry periods of the year water is pro- 
curable only from wells sunk to a great depth in the 
solid rock. The water drawn from these wells is said 
to be very fresh and good. As is the custom in so 
many parts of the East, it is a marketable j^roduce, 
and is carried about in skins by water-bearers, and 
sold at so much per skin, or even per cup. Yet 
in spite of water l)eing a thing of money value, it 
is exti-aordinary how clean the general poj^ulation of 
Sanaa seem to be, with the exception of the lower- 
class Turks, who, to judge from their appearance, one 
could believe never to have even heard of its exist- 
ence. However, happily they are in the minority. 
The whole town of Sanaa is surrounded by a wall 


huilt for the most jmrt of mutl-hrirks driod in the 
Hun, tliout^h in many cases the towers, which at 
rejG^uhir intervals protect the walls, and on most of 
which the Turks have mount<»d small guns, are of 
stone. The city is entered by four principal gates, 
one lying to each point of the compass. Although 
extremely badly built, and capable apparently of with- 
standing no arme<l forc<% the walls of Sanaa formed 
a sufficient protection to the city against the wild 
Arab hordes by whom the place was infested in the 
autumn and winter of 1891. Had the Arabs been 
|>assessed of any artillery, instea<l of being armed 
with onlv a few matchlcK-k-j'uns and rifles and their 
spears, no doubt the city would have fallen. Yet 
it has Ikm'U found by proof, t»s{>ecially in the several 
lionilKirdments of Mokha, that walls and fortifications 
of sun-dried bricks are by no means as easy to form 
a breach in as it might be supposeil. However, in 
these days of shells they would ofler but poor resist- 
ance, although when fired at with shot the missile 
merelv buries itself in the clav, without doing anv 
appreciable damage. To further fortify the place, the 
Turks have at regular intervals built, some ft»w 
hundred vanls outside the walls, towers, somewhat 
resembling our martello towers of the south coast. 
Here, as they have done upon the main wall, they 
have ere<*t(Hl small guns which proved of great ust» in 
the Arab attacks ujKin Sanaa. These towei-s, by being 
built within easy range of one another, and being e.\- 


posed to no more serious fire than that of matchlock- 
guns, are said to have played terrible havoc amongst 
the natives, as a handful of Turks in each, with one 
piece of artillery and a dozen or so rifles, were able to 
pour a telling fire into the flanks of the Arabs as they 
approached the city walls. 

But the strongest point in the fortifications of 
Sanaa is the old fort on the spur of Jibel Negoum, 
the walls of which are solidly built of stone. Where 
necessary, the Turks have repaired and strengthened 
it. It was opposite to the gate of this fort, which 
serves as the Turkish arsenal, that I was lodged 
during my stay in Sanaa; and I was not a little 
amused to notice that the guns by which the walls 
are protected point ominously into the city. It is 
no doubt by the constant view of these cannon, whose 
gaping mouths point direct at the Arab quarter, 
that revolt and revolution aojainst the Osmanli forces 
was held in check within the city, when all the rest 
of the Arab popuhition, with but few exceptions, had 
risen up in arms. 

A fort, l)ut not nearly so large or strong, protects 
the city to the west, lying close to the gate by which 
the highroad to Ilodaidah and the coast leaves the 
town. Both this edifice and that at the east end of 
Sanaa contain the remains of old palaces, but to-dav 
they have fallen into disrepair. No longer the foun- 
tains splash tlieir crystal waters into the clear air ; 
no longer the ])avemcnts re-echo with the bells and 


anklets of dancers : now nothing is heard but tlie 
niuj^h voiee and rougher tread of the Turkish troops 
Ufxin the marble floors. There is, in fact, but little to 
tell of tht» former grandeur of Sanaa. No doubt, 
within many of the houses there must be beautiful 
courts and ganlens; but of these I saw little or 
nothing, for although I visited the Turkish Governor- 
(ieneral, Ahmed Feizi Pasha, in one of the old palaces 
of the Imams, the place hiis been so changed and 
deconit«-'<l and spoiled that it resembles to-day a huge 
luirrack rather than a palace. The walls have l)een 
whitewashed, the great staircases are dirty, and the 
steps worn away by the nails of the soldiers' boots ; 
and even in the great rooms in which Ahmed Feizi 
Pa^iha resiiles, or dws his business, the simple old 
Arab taste hjis lM»en changed for deconition of Isouin 
Qufitof*u\ by no means bad of its kin<l, some of the 
wall-|Kiinting Iwing far above the average, but still 
sadly out of place. 

Of the remains of the old pidace an<l temple of 
(fbumdan, reached by sonir sixteen hundred steps, 
nothing but a heap of ruins remains to-day. Yet 
what a strange great place it must have lieen, with 
its four walls |>ainted ditterent colours, an<l its centre 
tiiwer 84»ven storeys in height, each diminishinir in 
size, until the highest of all was fliKired with a single 
pie<*e of marble. At eaeh corner of this litth* summer- 
house W2is a marlde lion, thr op(*n mouth of whirh 
exi»ose<l to the wintl seemed to rniit roaring. Strange 


fancies they had, these old-world Yemen people ; and 
it must be regretted that the old palace and the 
adjacent temple dedicated to Zuhrah, supposed to be 
the Venus of Arabia, should have incurred the fanat- 
ical wrath of Othman, the third Caliph, and by hi» 
orders have been destroyed ; for had it been left to 
die a natural death, there is little doubt that, in the 
situation and climate it enjoyed, there would have 
been at least some of it left to-day to tell of its former 

Although one cannot see the interior of the Arab 
houses of Sanaa, a fair estimate of their size can be 
gained from the outside ; and even to us English, 
who are used to great houses, many of those of Sanaa 
appear immense. It is impossible to describe the 
style of architecture in which they are built, for it 
is a style that exists nowhere else. It is purely and 
essentially Yemenite, though in some cases gateways 
and windows are found of Byzantine and Gothic form. 
There is one; house at Dhamar, built of red brick and 
faced with white stone, with a stone porch, that, were 
it set down in an English country district, would pass 
for Elizabethan. The house, too, forms an E, and 
although 1 could find out nothing about its history, 
it seems impossible that the strange building could 
be an accident ; and I am inclined to believe that it 
must have been erected by one of the many renegades 
who, in the middle ages, sought their fortunes in the 
wealthy cities of Arabia. 


At SiiiKia I Haw no hou.scH of this kind, tlic style 
of architecture, with the ex^'cption of the decoration 
of chM>rs and win<h)W», beiiij^ more or Ichh uniform. 
Manv of the Lir<'er houses ixvc huilt of stone and brick 
and cement, the hiwer two storeys perhaps being of 
well-s<juared stone of various colours, arranpjed so as 
to form designs, the upper jiortion being of brick 
covenMl with a hard cement that takes a fine polisheii 
surface, not unlike the material used in (.'airo, and 
corresponding to tiie tahhla of Fez. Many of the 
up]»cr st*»reys are built overhanging the streets, but 
this is not <'arrie<l out to nearlv sueh a larw extent 
08 in many of th«» oriental cities ; while the vmshfr- 
ilM'ifr/i work of Cairo is rare here, its place being 
taken bv hmg narrow windows filled in with stained 
glass in designs. From the outsidt* the [uittern is 
often inappreciable, as the chips ol glass are simply 
Rtuek into the plaster fram«»work. From within, liow- 
e%'er, oidy such of the glass is e.\pose<l as fits in 
between the solid pattern, and the designs an» often 
exceedingly tine. The s;ime can Im» set»n in the tomb 
and|ue of Kait IJey, ont* of the tombs of the 
Caliphs at ( airo, and agaiii sonie sjH'cimens of the work 
exist in the museum of Arab antitpiities in the same 
citv. What <'arvrd woo<l there is used for window- 
screens does not in the least resembh* that of Egypt, 
but is arrangi^d in geometric designs, much niore in 
the Htyle of I'hinese and Japanese workmanship, with 
which some of the designs art* identical. 


A word must be said here on the extraordinary 
quantity of Chinese and Japanese pottery to be found 
in the Yemen. There is scarcely a cafe by the road- 
side where one will not find that the cups have come 
from the far East, and yet I found that but very little 
enters the country to-da)^. I believe the origin of the 
presence of this extraordinary amount of oriental 
pottery is to be traced to the last few centuries, when 
Aden was the great mart of exchange between the 
East and Europe. With great wealth in the cities of 
the Yemen, a very appreciable quantity of the goods 
brought to Aden would be taken into the interior, 
and the care with which pottery and antiquities are 
treasured by the natives of the country would explain 
their existing until to-day. There is little doubt that 
should the Yemen ever be opened up, and Europeans 
be al)le to travel Avitli safety and comfort, that it will 
become a field for the curio-hunter such as has not 
been known since the days when the Egyptian 
antiquities began to be unearthed. Coins, gems, 
inscriptions, sculptures, old Persian and Arab antiqui- 
ties, embroideries, arms, brass and copper work, 
manuscripts, carj)ets, oriental pottery and glass — 
the Yemen is full of them, and as yet her treasures 
are almost untouched. 

Although man)' of the streets of the town consist 
of narrow byways, turning and twisting in every 
direction between the high walls of the houses, there 
are parts that are by no means badly laid out, and 


one ur two of the main streets are quite wide 
thoroughfares, in which the few carriages which 
Sanaa lioasts are able to pass each other. Tlie most 
important of these streets h»a<ls from the square 
into which the Government Imihlings look to the 
bazaars. It is only a few hundred yards in length, 
it is true, but still it is sufficiently wide, and the 
shops on either side sufficiently good, to compare 
favourably with many in European towns. The 
"square" itself is a large oblong open space, faced 
on the east by the old castle and the large much- 
bedomed Turkish mosque, and on the west by what 
were once the palaces of the Aral) rulers, and to-day 
form barracks and Government offices. At one end 
of the sfjuare an enterprising Turk has built a large 
cq/?, where the officers and the few Greek shop- 
keej^ers love to congregate, and from the large doors 
and windows of which float clouds of pale-blue tobacco- 
smoke, issuing in curling clouds from the shishas of 
the smokers. It is from this |>oint that the main 
street leads off to the bazaars, and in the few hundred 
yards of thoroughfare are to be seen the best shops, 
kept either by Turks or by Greeks, in which every 
imaginable article can be procured, from tins of sar- 
dines and inferior Turkish cigarettes to photograph- 
frames and musty chocolate creams. One or two have 
Urge glass windows in which the goods are exposed 
to view, but they have a dingy dusty appearance, 
and seem to tell that trade is not bright. There, 



too, is a small restaurant, where all the iJavoirrite 
Turkish dishes can be obtaineil, some of which arc 
by uo meana to be despised ; wliile bottles of Grei 
and native wines standing on shelves tell that tj 


Turks of Sanaa do not keep too strictly to the tenets 
of Islam iivith regard to drinking. 

Issuing from this street, one emerges into the 
bazaars, and Iiere one sees Sanaa proper, not as it 
has been altered and changed to suit Turkish taste-S. 

Of the many scenes that the city presents to the 


traveller, the Imz^iars are perhaps the most interest- 
ing ; for here one loses all idea of more modern times, 
and is thrown back, as it were, into the past. The 
iMUuiars have never changed. From time immemorial 
there have existed the strange box-like little shops, 
fiUeil with much the same objects, and tended by 
people who, from the distance that they are separated 
from the outer world, have changed but little. Just 
as they dress to-day, so have they dressed since the 
word of Islam was first heard in the land. The only 
change, perhaps, noticeable to the casual observer, is 
the scattering of Turks and Turkish soldiers, whom 
now and again one passes in the narrow streets. The 
shops are all of one storey, the floor being raised 
about two feet above the ground, but not projecting 
on to the street in the little platforms one is so used 
to in Egypt and elsewhere. Here the seller sits 
croaa-legged amongst his goods in the shadow of his 
mud-brick shop, gazing in front of him into the sun- 
lit yellow street and l>eyond into the shop opi)osite. 
A little awning or covering of wood often projects 
abo%'e the opening, suihcieut to give a patch of shade 
large enough to shield the purchaser from the sun's 
hot rays. 

As is the custom throughout the East, each trade 
has a uuml>er of shoi>s, or often a whole street, put 
aside to its special business. The workers of arms, 
the jewellers, the second-hand shops, the sellers of 
silks and cottons, the crockery and china vendors. 


each has his own special quarter ; while the vegetable 
and fruit bazaar is an open space, where, under rough 
little awnings, supported on poles and canes, the 
market produce is exposed for sale. 

Particularly interesting amongst the shops are those 
of the jewellers and makers of arms. The walls of 
the former are hung with silver necklaces and bangles 
and anklets, many of which are of very beautiful de- 
sign. Some of the necklets particularly are extremely 
lovely, resembling in workmanship the finest and best 
Greek and Etruscan work, with none of the rough- 
ness apparent in the jewellery of so many oriental 
countries. The favourite design seems to be single 
chains supporting pendants of various shapes and 
forms, from discs of fine filigree-work to solid pear- 
shaped globules of metal. The bracelets are generally 
bands of worked silver, though some, like the neck- 
laces, are decorated with small chains and hanging 
pendants. But the greatest skill of the jewellers of 
Sanaa, who are rightly renowned for their workman- 
ship, is exhibited in the dagger-sheaths, many of 
which are of rich silver-gilt, and even, at times, of 
gold. Perhaps the most lovely, however, are of plain 
polished silver inlaid with gold coins, principally of 
the Christian Byzantine emperors ; others, again, of 
delicate filigree, which the natives line with coloured 
leathers or silks. But more than even the sheaths of 
those jamhij/as, as they call their daggers, the natives 
value the blades. Antique ones are generally con- 


HJilerccl the l)est, and the people declare that the old 
art of hardening the steel has been h>st. He this as 
it niav, then* is no doubt that the moilern blades are 
of no mean workmanship, and gn»at prices, for the 
Yemen, are paid for good sp<»eimens. The two parts 
of the dagger are nearly always sold separately, and 
a Yrmeni, having found a blade to suit him, has a 
sheath made according to his taste and wealth. The 
early Euro|K*an visitors to Sanaa speak of the j<*vvelled 
anus worn by the Imams an<l their companions ; but 
I saw only one specimen of these in the bazaars, a 
silviT-gilt sheath studded with rough pearls and tur- 
(|Uois(*s, for which the shopke(»per was asking some 
forty iKJunds sterling, without the bhule. Another 
art long lost, but of which examples are still to be 
prucurrd, is th<» application of silver to copper and 
brass. This kind of work usually takes the form of 
boxes of one of the latter metals, covered with inscrij>- 
tions in Kutic or other Arabics characters in silver. 
The later forms of this work are very inferior to the 
earlier, and the silver is apt to i>ecl ofl'. 

One of the great institutions of Sanaa are the 
khans, or caravanserais, of which there are a <'onsider- 
able number, the gn»ater part being situated near the 
gates of the city. These buihlings vary in size, but 
some are very large, though nearly all in bad repair. 
Tliey usually consist of large houses three and four 
storeys in height, i»pen to the sky in the centre. Th<» 
lower Hoor fonns stabling for the animals, while a 


number of rooms of various sizes open out on to the 
balconies which surround the court on the upper 
storeys. The hire of these rooms is very small, some- 
thing like twopence a night, and as many as like to 
crowd into it do so. There is nearly always a caft 
attached, where cooking can be done, either by the 
visitors themselves, or, if more extravagantly inclined, 
by tlie servants of the khan. Assembled round the 
gates of these khans arc to be seen the tribes-people 
from every part of the interior — bringers of salt from 
March, the modern Saba or Sheba ; of coffee from the 
northern districts ; of indigo and grain and spices 
from wherever the soil is suitable to their OTOwth. 
Caravans from the Hadramaut and Yaffa discharge 
their goods liere too, to reload their camels with the 
produce of the largest city of Southern Arabia. 

The population of Sanaa, although there is no 
otticial census to base one s calculation upon, probably 
numbers some forty to fifty thousand people, of whom 
twenty tliousand are said to be Jews. These, as has 
already been stated, have a quarter entirely to them- 
selves ; and althougli many hire shops in the bazaars, 
and are daily engaged in the town in attending to 
them, or in carrying on their respective trades, at 
night retire to the ghetto, with the exception of a few 
who are servants, and who sleep in their masters' 
houses. There seems to be no more oppression of 
the Jews in the Yemen than there is of the Arabs. 
They are free to carry on whatever trade they will ; 

THK JEWS. 313 

to attend their synagogues and schools, and, in fact, 
seem very little interfered with by the Turks. They, 
of course, pay their regular share in the taxation, as is 
only right they should ; and if it be exceptionally 
heavy in their case, it is so also in the of the 
Arab iidiabitants — though naturally the Jews, as to 
nature Imrn, cry out a great deal more than the 

The (jhetto is quite separate from the Arab city. 
The houses are built almost entirely of mud-bricks, 
but look clean and comfortable, though the habit of 
throwing all thrir refuse into the stre<?ts is by no 
means a ph*as:int one for the passer-by. However, 
in this they an* little worse, if at all, than the Anibs, 
whose drain-pipes project well over the middle of the 
narrow streets, through which generally flown an oj)en 
drain. The passer-by has to be careful to keep near 
the, or he will run the risk of coming 
terriblv to j'rief. There an* siiid to be more than 
twenty synagogues iii the Jews' quarter, and over 
seven hundred boys attending the schools. The whole 
male {N»pulation is supposed to be able to n'lul ; but 
the femah^s attend t»ntirely to their house-work, or 
the sewing of garments, and all education i.s neglected 
in their case.' 

The Jews of the Yemen are U^lieved to have come 
from In<lia, and, as far as is known, there an* none 
remaining of the oM Jewish st<M-k of pre - Islamic 

' CScncral llai^, iu the Rctvul < teoginphical Proce«tlin);n, Aujoii't 18S7. 


times. Although much despised by the proud Arabs, 
they are sehlom treated with violence or even rough- 
ness, and what little persecution there can be said to 
exist consists almost entirely of the jeers of small 
Ijoys, and even this is rare. 

One cannot help noticing and admiring the ex- 
tremely pleasant manners shown by the people of 
the Yemen toward Europeans. With the exception 
of the lower classes there is no crowding ; and even 
when curiosity leads the people to congregate round 
a stranger, there are no rude remarks, much less any of 
the ribald cursing which distinguishes the attitude of 
the Moors of Morocco toward Europeans. This trait 
in the character of the people of the Yemen adds 
very largely to the pleasure of travelling, and many 
a kind word was said to me on my journey by 
" warriors " of the fiercest aspect, and many a pleas- 
ant smile and '' God-speed " followed me as 1 rode 
away from the villages and towns. In fact, with a 
very few exceptions, I never heard a word of unpleas- 
antness spoken either to or of myself There is ap- 
parently less religious fanaticism towards Christians 
than exists l)etween the two sects of Islam repre- 
sented in the country — the Zaidis^ by the Arabs, 
and the Sunnis by the Turks. 

Through the centre of Sanaa flows at times the 
river Kharid. However, the river-bed is dry 
except in the rainy season, when a huge torrent 

* The Zaidis are a division of the Sheiva sect. 


lK)ur8 down its course, often doing conftiderable 
damage to the adjacent houses. A bridge spans the 
river at one spot, and from here a gooil view is 
olitained lK)th up and down the stream, the high 
yt-How lianks of which are crowned with tall housi»s, 
liuilt in the peculiar style of an-hitecture common 
to the place. 

Beyond the Jews' (piarter, and to the extreme 
west of the town, is the suburb of Bir el-Azab, of 
which mention has already been made. Here the 
roads are wider, and pjiss between the high walls of 
the ganlens, over the top of which can be seen the 
leaves and blossoms of the fruit-trees. Two villages 
also form country residences for the inhabitants of 
the city — .Icraaf, about two miles to the north, and 
Raudha, the same distiince farther on. Shortly before 
mv arrival at Sanaa the rebels had succeeded in 
blowing up with gunjiowder the Turkish barnicks 
at the latter place, together with some five-and- 
twenty soldiers. 

With the exception of the Turkish mosque, all the 
others seem to Ik* in bad repair, owing, it is said, 
to the Dsmanli Government having st»ized most of 
the mos()ue pro|)erty, the solc» means of adding to 
and keeping in onler the building themselves. The 
gn*at mosrjue is a huge stjuare building surroundetl 
by a high wall, and lK>asting two tidl minarets of 
curious construction. It was here that Ibn Fadl, 
the leader of the Karmathians, in the year 911 a.i>., 



to lip filled wnnu' tlirt'c or four feet deep witli water, 
in(<» wliicli won- liriwn naked all tlie young girls of 
the rity. Fi-om Iii» Ht-at on the minan-t lie gazed 
uiMin them, and sueli a^ pleased him he dislionoun^d. 
The height of the water, how- 
ever, discoloured the wallx, 
and foreenturies told the tale 
of the brief i>ower wieldcil hy 
this lici'iitiouH usui-jtor. 

But of all the sights otfercd 
by tho eity of Sanaa, the 
populiitioii jtrcsents the mof^t 
interesting. Kvery where some 
Rtnnge Hgiire meets tho eye : 
here it is some wild tril»es- .. 
man with hronzed Rkiti and 
ruTcn-hlaek h)<:ks, ginled with 
his loin-cloth of dark Klue 
irotton; there some men-lmnt 
from the Hejaz. slow and 
Htdtely, with strange glassy 
eyc« that Ri^eak of A»mAi'.iA. 
n»b«l in Btri|K.'d silks, and 
whose turlMi), so white it is, " 

litendly Hcem.s tu sparkle in 

the sunlight. Again it is .some ill-fed, ill-ehithed 
Turkish soldier, with only one l>i>ot perliaj's, and that 
warcely more than a shadow u{ Jt^ former self, with 
face unsharen and sunk witli illness: and as one is 


still watching him, there rattles past a shabby- 
victoria, in which is seated some fat Pasha or 
Bey, with hideous black -cloth clothes richly sewn 
in gold lace ; and one knows that as often as not 
his clothes, his carriage, and his horses are bought 
with the money that ought to feed the soldiers, for 
but a small proportion of the pay of the troops ever 
reaches them. Then, again, a woman passes, wrapt 
head to foot in coloured garments, the veil of 
coloured stuff just transparent enough to allow 
her to grope her way, for so do the women of Sanaa 
hide their charms ; and here, there, and everywhere 
are the " gamins," the same all over the world, 
though their blood and their language be different, 
— little monkeys all, and in Sanaa rebels to the very 

Of all the cities of the Yemen, there is none that 
can boast the antiquity of Sanaa. Tradition says 
that it was founded by Ad, the ancestor of the tribe 
of Adites, who were destroyed by a miraculous hot 
blast of w^ind for refusing to listen to the voice of the 
Propliet JIud. A second tribe, that of Thamud, met 
with a like fote for disregarding the Prophet Salih ; 
only in their case it was a terrible voice that called to 
them from the skies that caused their deaths.^ There 
is only one drawback to this tale — namely, that long 
after the destruction of the Adites we find them 
attacked and conquered by a descendant of Yarub, 

^ The Koran, sura vii. 


brotluT of Hadramaut, and sou of Kahtan. He was 
apparently more siK^cessful thau the miraculous hot 
wind, for they were evidently entirely wiped out on 
this o<-casion, and we find no more mention of them 
in history. IJut there is another interest belonj^ing 
to th«» Adites — namely, that they were of the autoch- 
thonous stock of the Yem<»n, and therefore probably 
one of the orijjinal Semitic jK»ople who afterwanls 
spreacl over Arabia and founded the And) nic(»s, and 
who have, with the propaf^ation of Islam, wandered 
far into Asia and Africa. The orij^inal name of Saiuui 
was AzaK Tzul, or Uwal, the latter of which means 
"primacy'' in the Arab tongu<*. The authorities ap- 
pear to ditl'er as to which was really the first name, 
and it s«M*ms not improbable that Azal or Uzul was 
the ori«jinal title, which, l)ein}^ incimiprehensible to the 
later racres, they chanj^ed to the Arabic I'wal — a word 
that descrilH»d not only the antiquity of the place, 
but also lK.*ars a strong n*scmblancc to its ori<xinal 
name. This is, howt»ver, men»ly a conjecture. 

Although Saba seems in the davs of the Saba*ans 
to have btH*n a mon* im|>ortant place than Sanaa, 
there is litth* reason in doubt that tin* latter wils in 
existence; and amon<^st other authorities Ibn Khal- 
dun states that Sanaa was th«» s<»at of the Tublwis 
or IIimyari(! kings ft»r ci'uturii's l)efon» the time o{ 
Islam. This alone, a|mrt from th(* traditions of far 
greater antiquity, <»f whieh w<» have no rea.M>n to 
doubt the truth, shows that prol)ably two thousand 


years ago the city of Sanaa was a flourishing com- 
munity, the seat of the government of powerful kings, 
who were living in a state of civilisation and culture. 
But tlie question of the antiquity of Sanaa is not one 
tliat can be entered into at any length here, and in- 
teresting as is the subject, space does not allow of 
carrying it further. 

There are one or two episodes in the history of 
Sanaa that cannot be passed over without some slight 
mention. The first is the erecting there of a Christian 
church by Abrahd. el- Ashram, Viceroy of the Yemen, 
under the Abyssinian King Aryat, for the building of 
which the Emperor of Rome is said to have supplied 
marble and workmen. Abrahd, who was a fanatical 
Christian, hoped by the erection of this wonderful 
structure, of which unfortunately we have but few 
details — and such as do exist are absurd — to change 
the goal of pilgrimage from the Kaabah at Mecca, 
which, it must be remembered, was an object of 
veneration long before the time of Mahammed, to 
Sanaa. Failing to entice the Arabs, he attempted by 
force to bring them to his church, which eventually 
led to his famous attack upon Mecca in 570 a.d., 
and in the total destruction of his army by pebbles 
dropped from the claws and beaks of birds. ^ 

At the time of the introduction of Islam into the 
Yemen, we find the government in the hands of 
Budhan, or Budzan, the Persian Viceroy, who, how- 

^ The Koran, sura xv. 


ever, embraced the new religion, and was confirmed 
by Mahammed as (Governor of the Yemen — a post 
he held until he died. Within a year or two of 
the death of !^Iahammed himself, Islam was firmly 
grafted in the country, owing, it must be added, to 
the indomitable courage and energy of Mohajir, who, 
on his triumphal march to the ILidramaut, secured 
the leaders of the |)arty clissentient to the rule of 
the then (*aliph AIkiu Bekr, and, sending them pris- 
oners to Mecca, planted the Caliph s rule firmly in 

Although the Christians of Nejran continued such 
for a iK»ri<Ml, the enthusiasm o{ the |H»ople for Islam 
swept them along in its tide, and idolatry and Chris- 
tianity soon became extinct in the Yemen — the third 
Caliph, Othman, destroying almost the last vestige 
of the former by razing the temple of Zuhrah at 
Ghumdan, the remains of which and of the Christian 
church of Abralui are visible to-day in a heap of ruins 
at and near Sanaa res|H;ctively. 

Fnmi this jH»riod the history of Sanaa has been a 
troubh*d one. Constant warfare with foreign princt«, 
and aj^iK«inati(ms and rivalry fniught with bkxNlshiHl 
lietween the local rulers, help to make up as dark a 
page of history as can Ik? imagined. Yet in spite of 
this, the city lias U'en always an important and 
flourishing taie, renowned for its manufaetures, its 
trade, and its wealth. With everv disadvantaue 
accruing from a constant ehaiige of government, it 



managed to survive ; and not only to survive but to 
increase, until toward the middle of the seventeenth 
century it reached unparalleled prosperity under the 
then powerful Imams. But as they sank in power, 
so did Sanaa lose its prosperity. Its fate seemed 
drawn along with that of its Imams; and as ruler 
after ruler lost more and more of his territory, so 
the glories of the capital diminished. Yet there was 
now and again a flicker in its death- throes ; but never 
did it last al)ove a few years, when once more the 
steady decline would commence. 

How it ended is well known ; for, broken in spirit 
and harassed by the surrounding tribes, Sanaa oflfered 
no resistance when the Turks, in 1872, entered the 
place ; and the city, which had nobly held her own in 
so many encounters, almost welcomed the stranger 
into her midst. Had the inhabitants been aware at 
that time how their action would lead to their oppres- 
sion, there is but little doubt that they would have 
hesitated in their invitation to the Turkish forces, 
already firmly established on the coast, to come and 
take over the reins of government. 





As long as I live I shall never forget my departure 
from Sanaa, In the cold grey dawn, the temperature 
little if anything above freezing, worn out with a 
night of raging fever that still throbl>ed in my veins, 
I was lifted on to mv mule at the door of the conaky 
and, with a couple of soldiers to accompany me, sent 
upon my way. Weird and wretched everything 
looketl. The houses, that only the day before had 
struck me as beautiful in their strange oriental archi- 
tecture, now looked like pallid ruins, depressing in the 
extreme ; while the few hurrying persons we i>a8sed 
seemed but shadows in the grey light of dawn. 

(Jn through the bazaars with their closed shops ; on 
by narrow streets and byways, over which the tall 
houses seemed verily to hang suspended ; across the 
bridge that spans what is at times a roaring torrent 
but was now but a dry bed ; across a wide open space 
and through the dirty Jews quarter, and the garden 
suburb of Bir el-Azab ; then out under the great town 


gateway with its strange towers, on which a shivering 
sentry or two kept guard, into the open country. A 
long level road leads one from the city across the 
surrounding plain, a road as good as one could expect 
to find in England. Then a range of bare hills seems 
to block the way, and one begins to climb up and up 
by the winding twisting track, until the summit is 
reached. Looking back, a fine view of Sanaa was 
obtained, lying on the spur of Jibel Negoum, backed 
by still higlier mountains. To right and left extended 
the valley, until some way off to the north one could 
see the town of Raudha, where not a month before 
the rebels had blown up the Turkish barracks and 
some twenty-five soldiers with gunpowder. From 
this spot one could obtain a better idea than we had 
as yet been able to do of the size of Sanaa, as it lay 
mapped out below us, a great flat-roofed city, dull 
yellow and white, upon still yellower and whiter 
plains, the only break in which were the gardens at 
Bir el-Azab. 

At the summit of the ascent a plateau is reached 
scattered with villages, now all more or less knocked 
down by the Turkish artillery, after the road from 
Hodaidah had been forced, and the Arab Shereef, 
Sid esli-Sherai, dislodged from Hajarat el-Mehedi, a 
spot a few miles farther on. Over the plateau the 
road proceeded tolerably straight, though the going 
was by no means good, in spite of the fact that the 
track was a wide one. But its repair had evidently 


l>een neglected for a time, and it was strewn with 

After the sun had risen it became very warm, but 
it was a change for the better from the miserable cold 
of the early morning, and, weak as I was from fever, 
I was glad to get off my mule for a time and stretch 
my limlxi by walking. 

At the cafe of Metneh we stopped for our mid-day 
meal. A large, low, stone building forms the caravan- 
serai, lK>th for man and beast. The place is roughly 
built, one storey in height, the roof being supported 
on arches and stone columns, round the bases of which 
are little raised platforms, on one of which we spread 
our car[K»t and rested for a time. The cafe was nearly 
full of Turkish troo|)s, poor, ill-fed, and ill-clothed 
fellows, but the very acme of good-humour. It was 
amusing to hear them discussing my presence with 
some Arab merchants who happened to be there at 
the same time. The conclusion they arrived at was 
that the presence of a Christian in the country fore- 
tohl the downfall of the Yemen, and the sooner they, 
the ^loslems, cleared out of it the better. It was 
flattering certainly to hear on<* s self considered of 
such vital im{K)rtance to a country the size of the 
Yemen ; nor did the fact that 1 was a prisoner in the 
hands of a Turkish guard seem to lessen their opinion 
of me. On discovering at length that I sj>oke Arabic, 
we joined parties and lunched together, and verj- 
polite they all were. The group was a strange one. 


representing in the Arabs the rebel party, in the 
Turks the conquerors and oppressors, and last, but 
not least, in my humble self the future of the Yemen 
(for so they deemed my presence to foretell). Yet 
we were a merry band, and shared the same hubble- 
bubble of peace, and parted with protestations of pro- 
found respect and friendship for one another. 

One of the pleasantest recollections of the Yemen 
that I bore away with me is, and always will be, the 
hours spent in these w^ayside cafes. Then more than 
at any other time one saw the people as they really 
are. Then all restraint was thrown aside ; there was 
exhibited none of the suspicion we habitually show to 
fellow-travellers ; and often we unburdened our aims 
and ideas to one another, the Arabs and I. As I 
write of it I long once more to go back, to sit cross- 
legged on the floor and sip the beverage of coffee- 
husks from the tiny Japanese and Chinese cups the 
Yemenis love so much, and listen to the patient 
murmur of the hubble-bubble amongst a group of 
half-naked Arabs. 

Leaving Metneh in the afternoon, we pushed on 
through Bauan, with its strange market, tow^ard our 
night's resting-place. The road still continues to 
ascend, and is in most parts very rough and bad, 
rendering travelling by no means pleasant. However, 
any unpleasantness from this w^as amply repaid by 
the magnificent view that from time to time met our 
gaze. The track was leading us along the summit of a 


niouutain-top, wliicli to the north looked straight down 
into a great valley thousands of f(»et below. What 
a wondiTful valley it was, full of eoftee-grovert, and 
luxuriating in all the glories of gorgeous vegetation, 
amongst which l)anana-h*aves could l>e plainly dis- 
tinguished, waving their great green heads I Amongst 
all this venlure, clinging as it seemed to the mountain- 
sides, were villages, each crowned by its hurj or fort, 
the whole |xjn*hed on some ov(»rhanging rock. On to 

their ver\' roofs we seemed to look. Often on the 


road I would rest for a few minutes to ga/e in wonder- 
ment on this entrancing scene, until, as evening came 
on, filmv mists rose from the* vallev, and conceaknl 
from view all but the op|Mi«ite mountain-i>eaks, torn 
and rugge<l, which rose al>ove the sea of iridescent 
cloud like great catlu^dnU steeples. What a land it 
is, the Yemen ! What a world of romance and history 
lies hid in those great mountain valleys ! What tales 
the little, s[mrkling, dancing rivulets could tell, for 
c»ften, I wot, their limpid waters hav<^ run red with 
lilooil I Night fell, and the sc*ene became one of still 
grey silence, weinl and strange. 

After reaching an altitude of ten thousand feet 
above the sea-level the road lK»gan to descend, and we 
passed once or twice through vilhiges, crowned by 
their stnmge towers, until at length S<')k el-KliJimis, 
our night's resting-place, was reached. Then* are 
Meveral of thesi* villages in its vicinity, anil one we 
{lossed was occupied by Turkish troi>{>s, whose riotous 


laughter and singing jarred on the peaceful sounds of 
night, the humming of the insects and the soft hoot- 
hoot of the rock owls. 

We stopped at one of these strange tower-like 
buildings, and my guard informed me that this was 
our halting-place. After repeated knockings at a 
heavy wooden door we were admitted into a yard, 
and from thence entered the house — the w^ay led by a 
dirty mountaineer in little else but a sheepskin coat, 
who, with a small oil-lamp, lighted us up a flight of 
stone stairs into the guest-chamber. A poor enough 
place it was, and none too clean, its ceiling blackened 
by the fumes of charcoal-fires, its floor of rough stones 
and mortar, the ups and downs of which a carpet ill 
disguised. This was, however, the sole accommoda- 
tion, and our host plaintively asked us to make our- 
selves as comfortable, as we could, while he went off to 
searcli for provisions, adding that the Turkish garrison 
at tlie neighbouring village had exhausted the supply. 

So we spread our carpet, and Abdurrahman and 
Said, and the Turkish and Arab soldiers who formed 
my guard, sat down together over a charcoal brasier, 
in which bubbled one of the common narrow-necked 
earthenware pots in which they brew their drink of 
eoftee-liusks, and smoked our hookah in peace, sharing 
alike in its cracked amber mouthpiece. We were all 
tired, and talked but little ; but Said now and again 
would burst into song, and very well he sang, too, the 
plaintive melodies of the country. 


Preaontlv our host returned with a scarecrow of a 
fowl and some leathery bread, which was all the gooil 
fellow was able to raise, and it was not long before a 
rather too savoury dish of rancid butter and chicken- 
l)on«\s — for there was little else — had usur|M»d the place 
of our cofrec-|)ot on the bnisier. What jokes we made 
about that poor chicken ! After all, we agreed, it 
couhl not Ih» anything but thin after having lived 
through the* late rebellion. However, we ate it 
all right. 

The view as we left Sok cl-Khaniis the next morn- 
ing was almost as h)vely as that of the day befon*. 
As the night-mists rose at sunrise, range after range 
of mountains l<H>med up before us, |)eak aln^vc ]>eak, 
until in the far west one great mass overtopjK?d all 
the rest. 

The road descends steeply, winding the whih*, in 
{>2irts showing signs of the repaii-s of the Turkish 
engineers, in others merely a foothold on the moun- 
tain-side. Numbers of blue rock-pigeons fluttered 
hither and thither in the morning sunlight ; but 
lovely as they were, I was enticed to shoot a few. for. 
after all, one fowl is not sutticient food for eight 
jMTS4>ns, and there seeme<l every likelihcNNl of our 
faring as ill at our next halting-place as we had done 
the night before. 

At one spot we passed one of the nnxst lovely 
serenes I ha<l as yet seen in the Yemen. Half-way 
down a steep s1o|k», womled with forest-trees, wjis a 


tomb and fountain, the clear cold water tumbling 
into a deep tank. Away behind a peak of the moun- 
tain rose bare and rocky into the blue sky, its lower 
slopes covered with trees, its summit crowned with 
the ruins of a village which the Turkish artillerymen 
had destroyed, leaving little but the walls to tell of 
its existence. The domed mosque, a tiny place, 
glistening white against the foliage, and the £"^und 
of the running water, added a charm to a scene of 
perfect peace and loveliness. 

At length the descent was accomplished, and we 
entered a desolate valley, keeping to the rock-strewn 
river-bed, now almost dry, as being better than the 
road, which here is almost indistinguishable, winding 
and turning amongst great boulders, which appear to 
have fallen from the steeps above. An hour or so 
later we passed under the strange fortress of ^lefhak, 
grandly situated on a pinnacle of rock some five 
hundred feet above the valley ; and, leaving a large 
encam})ment of Turkish troops on our left, once more 
began to ascend. For a while our way led through 
the loveliest of little valleys, which seemed like the 
gi'eater one we had been passing through in miniature. 
On either side walls of rock some fifty to a hundred 
feet in height rose precipitously, but, sheltered from 
the sun, a number of varieties of wild-flowers had 
taken root, and the place was a fairyland of colour. 
Great clusters of jasmine hung over the precipices, 
while on every side bloomed acacias and aloes. A 

IJZ, 331 

jjorgeous flowering-tree, bearing pale-pink blossoms, 
edged the narrow water-course, just as if it had 
been planted there by the hand of man. 

An hour more and we drew up at the caravanserai 
of Ijz for our mid-day rest. Very hot it was ; but the 
proprietor of the cafe, a wounded Turkish soldier, 
full of grievances and very dirty, amused us much, 
muniAiling and grumbling as he leaned over the fire 
to cook mv coflee and the men s drink of coffee-husks. 
Although coffee in very large quantities is exported 
from the Yemen, it is drunk only by the Turks and 
the richer classes, the poorer contenting themselves 
with, and preferring, they say, the boiled husks. 

We siient only an hour or two at Ijz, as I was 
anxious to push on to Menakha before dark ; and 
accordingly in the heat of the early afternoon we said 
good-bye to our old host and the handful of Turkish 
troops who had joined us in our meal, and mounted 
our mules once more. 

\& our road proceeded it increased in magnificence, 
entering the heart of the mountains, on the summit 
of one of which the town of Menakha is perched. 
This river lies at an elevation of somewhat over five 
thousand feet above the sea. Quite suddenly the 
valley comes to an end, and we commenced one of 
those steep ascents to which we were almost becom- 
ing accustomed now. The i>ath is little but a boul- 
der-strewn track in the mountain-side, and one could 
not help wondering how our little mules would ever 


accomplish the climb. Dismounting at th^ioot, 
Abdurrahman, Said, and I raced ahead, scrambling 

and tumbling over the nicks, aud ui^ariy t'riglitenii] 
the wita out of a descendiug caravau, who probaW 


had never seen the like of us before ; for although 
SaiVl was in the Yemen costume, Alxlurrahman wore 
the there unknown dress of the mountaineers of 
Morocco, while I was in riding-breeches, and flannel 
shirt, and a red fez cap. Great proud-looking fellows 
the caravan-men were, and they watched us with a 
startled sUire, evidently putting us down as lunatics. 
However, our laughter at their surprise so amused 
them that they l)ecame quite friendly, and would not 
let me go on till I had shaken each singly by the 
hand, which I wsis only too pleased to do. Up and 
up we toiled, leaving the mules to follow with the 
muletei'rs. Every here and then* are springs which 
the natives have aided by building tanks, and now 
and again we would stop to drink and l»athe our faces 
and hands. 

Almost suddenly w^e reached the summit, after a 
climb of over two thousand five hundred feet up the 
execrable zigzag path, and the little town of Menakha 
lay before me. 

I determined to wait here for my soldier-guardj*, 
whom we had left a long way l>ehind us ; so we threw 
ourselves down, panting and hot, u|H)n a ledge of nx^k, 
and gazed at the scene before us. Wonderful, stu- 
pendous it was ! Around us on all sides the bare 
fantastic peaks and perpendicular precipices, on the 
edgr of one of which we were iH»rched, and up the 
fa<-e of which we could see the path we had climlH»d 
winding in and out. Below us, far, fair Inflow, like 


little ants, we could see our mules and men toiling 
up. A thread of river, the Wadi Zaum, was dis- 
tinguishable down the valley, the few green thorny 
trees which grew along its banks being, with the 
exception of some stunted brushwood and a few 
aloes and creepers, the sole vegetation in view. A 
very entrance to the " Inferno," gloomy and dark. 
The rays of the setting sun lit up in contrast to all 
this the roseate peaks of the mountains, many of 
which, thousands of feet above us, were crowned with 
strange villages and towers. At length our mules 
caught us up, and mounting again for the few yards 
that yet remained between us and Menakha, we made 
our entry into the town, drawing up at the principal 
Government building, where the Kaimakam resided. 

My guard of Turkish soldiers had been intrusted 
with letters to the governors respectively of Menakha 
and Hodaidah, and no sooner was our missive pre- 
sented than I was shown into the presence of the 
Kaimakam. I found him pleasant, as nearly all 
Turks can be when they like, and an hour or so 
passed very cheerily. Meanwhile he had given 
orders for a room to be prepared for me within 
the precincts of the Government offices, and on 
leaving him I was shown to a large, comfortable, 
airy chamber on the ground-floor, w4th a window 
looking over a sort of drill-yard, beyond which was 
a fine view of the mountains, the opposite spur of 
w^hich, at an altitude of some hundreds of feet 


above the town, was crowned with a Turkish fort, 
near which some artillerj'men were drilling; 

It should have been mentioned already that the 
n)ad we had been followinj? from Sana^i was almost 
identically the line taken by the Sana^i and Hodaidah 
telegraph-wire, which, like all provincial Turkish 
telegraphs, is, I believe, worked by the Government, 
from a rt^presentative of whom one is obliged to 
obtain |H»miission before making use of it. This 
jK'rmission had been refused me at Sanaa. At 
Menakha then* is ({uite a [iretentious office. 

After leaving the Kaimakam I went for a stroll in 
the town, foUowetl of course by a guard, who, how- 
ever, di<l not in the least interfere with mv actions, 
and in whose presence I was venturescmie enough to 
sketch, without calling forth any sterner rej^roof than 
that if they were caught allowing me to dniw they 
might get into trouble, .so that I had better creep 
behind a rock and make any sketches I wanted from 
a spot where I would not be seen. 

Of all the places it has ever been my lot to see, 
Mensikha is the most won<h»rfullv situated. The 
town is {len'hed on a narrow strip of mountain that 
joins two distinct ninges, and it forms the watershed 
of two great valleys — that up which we had proceetled 
on our arrival, au<l the second to the west. So narrow 
18 the ridge on which the town stands, that the walls 
of the houses on lK)th sides se(*m almost to hang over 
the precipices ; and there are s{K)ts — for instance, near 


the military hospital — where one can sit and look 
down absolutely into the two great valleys at the 
same time. Curious and wonderful as this is, the 
grand effect of the scene is doubly increased by the 
extraordinary peaks which rise above the place — enor- 
mous pinnacles, for no other word can express their 
fantastic shapes and forms. Great, bare, rocky crags 
they are, perpendicular, and ending, like sugar-loafs, 
in points, on which, in several places, the natives 
have built their strange towers. How they ever 
ascend or descend seems incredible, or from whence 
they obtain their water-supply. 

The town of Menakha is quite a small one. It con- 
tains, perhaps, some five thousand inhabitants, with- 
out counting the very considerable number of Turkish 
troops stationed there at the time of my visit. The 
houses are well built of stone, some of them four 
storeys, and many three, in height. The Govern- 
ment ofH(*es and the military hospital and barracks 
give the place quite a European appearance, for 
they are all built in modern Turkish style, with glass 
windows and flat roofs. 

The bazaar is tolerably well supplied with the nec- 
essaries of life, though at the time of my visit meat 
and vegetables were scarce, on account of the influx 
of troops. There are, too, several large shops, one or 
two kept by Greeks. I was surprised, in passing 
through the town, to be accosted in excellent English 
by one of these shopkeepers, who, he told me, had 


been a sen^ant to an Englishman in Suakin for some 
years. I went with him to his store, where ever}'- 
thing was purchasable, from sardines to port wine, 
and spent half an hour or so talking with him. He 
was evidently an intellectual man, and seemed well 
up in the affairs of the Yemen. He had been present 
at tlie taking of Menakha by the Ambs, and its re- 
capture by the Turks; but his property had been 
res|>ccted in lx)th cases, and lie had suffered little if 
any loss. 

The wreiit altitude at which Menakha is situateil 
— some w»ven thousand six hunclred feet al)ove the 
sea-level — renders it liable to sudden changes of 
temperaturt» ; an<l two hours aft(T we had arrived 
in blazing sunshine, cUukIs gathered over the town, 
olis<:uring the view, and the tem|)erature fell to brlow 
'»0\ We managed to procure a charcoal bntsier, over 
which my men ami I hud<lli»d, our circle being joined 
by a cou[>le of charming Turkish otticcrs, lK>th of 
whom s[>okf And)ic well. 

Aliout eight oVlock I was takm suddenly ill with 
fever, whi<*h did not leavr me until ten the next 
morning, by which time I was so weak that I could 
only stand with assistamu*, and acctonlingly travt»l- 
ling was out of the ({uestion. The Kaimakam math' 
no ditticulties about my n*maining another day, and 
did all in his |H)wer to make nie comfortable. Dur- 
ing the afternoon I had sutHiiently recovered my 
strength to crawl out and seek the shade of a hollow 



in the rocks, where my men lit a little fire and 
brewed coffee. The spot we had chosen looked 
directly into the great valley that runs west from 
Mcnakha, far down which we could see. Away be- 
low us, tier above tier, were the terraced coffee and 
banana groves ; while the rocky precipices, here bare 
and frowning, were in other parts hung with creepers, 
while in every crevice some strange flowering aloes 
had found room to grow. 

Amongst this mass of verdure, far, far away below 
us, lay villages, their flat roofs upturned, as it were, 
to us, who were so high above them, looking like the 
squares on some fairy chess-board. Away down the 
valley a silvery thread of light told the presence of a 
river, fed by a hundred little streams, which, issuing 
from the rocky slopes, leaped and danced to join the 
larger stream below. Beyond, again, all was haze 
and mountain-peaks, faint as a cloud and inexpres- 
sibly lovely. 

AVild-Howers and ferns, especially maidenhair, grew 
in abundance round our little nook in the rocks, in 
which we were shaded from the suns rays by an 
overhanging crag. The whole scene was so framed 
by shrubs and creepers and flowers, a mass of blos- 
som and green, that one lost the effect of distance; 
and, in the clear air, it seemed but a step from our 
resting-place to the 1)ottom of the valley, and a step 
more to the far-away peaks. 

But it is not on account of its gorgeous scenery 


that Monakim has iKJCome an important place. 
Rather it is owiiiji; to its j^reat Htmtfgical ]K>8ition ; 
for it (lominatcs the two parts of the highroad from 
Ilodaidah to Sanaa, from each of which it is rouj^hly 
equidistant. It is, no (1oul)t, on this account, and 
to the pra<*tical advantages it offers, owing to its 
fine iK)sition for k<»eping up a line of communication 
between the capital and the roast, that a <'onsideral)le 
nundKT of troojKs are stationed an<l some forts erecte<l 

It [ilayed hy no means an unimportant part during 
the relndlion ; and although this Ikis In^en referred 
to elsewhere in a chapter dealing with that subject, 
it mav bt» as well to mention the facts here. 
Menakha was one of the first Turkish strongholds 
to fall into the hands of the Arabs. The governor 
was taken pris<mer; numlM»rs of the troops were 
killed in the rel>el rush ; and what remaine<l of its 
military }N)pulati<»n w«'re sent to the lea<ler of the 
relndlion at Sadah. It Wiis not. in fa<*t, until after 
the battle fought near Hojaila, on the road from 
II<Hlaidah, at a s|N>t where the Tehama ends and 
the mountains eomnu^nee, that Menakha was retaken. 
To AhuK'd Feizi Pasha belonjrs the <*redit of the won- 
derful mareh from Ilodaidah to Sauiui, in which the 
Turks dragged their guns iiy execrable roiids over 
pasjsos ten thousiiml feet in altitude ; and it was uik>u 
this triumphal entry of the new (jovernor-General of 
the Yemen that the town once more came into the 


possession of the Turks, being deserted by the Arabs 
before the arrival of the Osmanli troops. Had the 
native horde only been better officered and possessed 
better arms ; had they destroyed the road more suc- 
cessfully than they did, and stood firmly to their 
impregnable position at Menakha, — there is little 
doubt that the capital could not have held out, 
and that the Yemen to-day would have been in the 
hands of the Imam Ahmed ed-Din. At sunset, as 
had happened the evening before, the place became 
wrapt in cloud, and the temperature fell to such an 
extent that even in our room, with a fire, we suffered 
considerably. However, one can bear the cold, pro- 
vided one is free from fever ; and, tired and weary 
after a sleepless night, I lay like a log, and, in spite 
of the cries of sentries and the occasional blowing of 
a bugle, did not awake until grey dawn was creeping 
up, and my men were loading the mules. 




The road from Mcuakhu to the coast leads one for the 
first few miles alon^:: the mountains on the southern 
side of the valley, gradually ascending the while, until, 
an hour or so after leaving the town, an altitude of 
eight thouMind feet above the sea-level is reached. 
At this s|)ot a spur in the mountain is crossed, near 
to which is the remarkahle village* of Kariet el-IIajra, 
a rtK-k crowned with tall stone houses, many of which 
are Imilt in the strange fashion of towers. A precipice 
surrounds the village on ever}' side, the lower slo{)e8 
of which are cultivated in terraces. The place has 
the ap|>earance of l>eing a large and important one, 
and fn>m its {Hxsition must he excee<lingly strong. 
The country immediately surroun<Iing this s|K)t is 
very beautiful, there l>eing an al>undance of water and 
no lack of trees, while the terraces and fields were, at 
the time of my visit, green with young grass and 
crops, and gorgeous with wild - flowers. I^»aving 
Hftjim on the right, the road In^gins to descend, and 



soon another village, more extraordinary than that we 
had already passed, came into sight. This is Attara. 
From an expanse of terraced slope rises a single 
pinnacle of rock some hundreds of feet in height, 
split perpendicularly into two divisions. On the very 
summit, on which there is only just room for it to 
stand, is a large building, apparently a house and 
tower. Although unable to see the track by which 
this, to the eye, apparently unscalable position is 
reached, my men informed me that there is a stair- 
way cut in the solid rock, by means of which the 
inhabitants ascend and descend. Close nestling under 
the pinnacle is the rest of the village, built tier above 
tier on the steep mountain-side. The path by which 
we were descending zigzags down until one arrives in 
a sort of amphitheatre, of which the village forms an 
apex. The ground here is richly cultivated with 
coftee-trees and bananas, growing upon terraces. In 
one place the jungle seems to have gained possession 
of what was originally cultivated land, and appears 
in a mass of euphorbise and other strange trees and 
plants. Here, too, jasmine grows in wonderful 
abundance, the whole air being filled with its sweet 

Zio:zao;crino[ down the mountain -side, we arrived 
before mid-day at the cafe of Wisil, wonderfully 
perched on the very edge of the precipice. The place 
is poor enough, but a few shady huts of grass and 
mats have been erected round a little terraced garden, 


over the wall of which one gazos far down into the 
valley l>eneath. Here under a shady tree we spread 
our rar|)et and refreshed ourselves, revelling in the 
magnificence of our surroundings. This resting-place 
was situate<l at an elevation of a little over four 
thousan<l five hundred feet al>ove the sea-level, so 
that since the morning we had descended some three 
thousand feet. 

From this sjK)t is obtained {)erhaps the most ex- 
traordinarv view of the terraced mountains we had 
as yet ol»tained. These surrounding ranges are cel- 
ebrated for their coffee, principally Jibal Masar and 
Safan, l)oth of which lie to the north of the road. 
Away alcove the terraces the mountains rise in |>er- 
|K'ndi<*ular precipices, and nearly every peak is crowned 
with one of the curious towers already described. 

The view from Wisil was the last we were to see of 
its kind, for we were fast leaving the mountains 
behin<l and descending to the plains, or Tehdma, and 
even from here the change to the country was 
appreciable, for far away to the west the great moun- 
tains Ix'came lower, and the horizon was boundeil with 
rough barren hills, very like those we had seen an^und 
Jibel Menif, when we left the desert beyond I^hej. 
A weird old lady served us with coffee and fotnl at 
our resting-place — a parchment-skinned grinning old 
hag, half clothed in torn dark-blue nigs, with a lot of 
what looked like dirty bandages woun<l round her 
head ; but she was a cheer}* old gossip, and Said took 


advantage of licr to exhibit his wit and sarciism. roud 
to lior nmuRnmont as well as our own. 

Poor Said I The wear and tear of the last moiitl 
had worn him a bit. Fever had paled his skin, anc(i 

MY MEN. 345 

left him thinner than he wa« when he had started from 
Aden ; l)Ut no weariness, no fever, had caused him to 
pay less attention to his personal charms than before, 
and his curly IcK'ks were iis soft and silky and glossy 
as ever, although his loin-cloth and sash told tales of 
travel. Still, in all our hardships he had ]>een ever 
l»right and gay, and as we neared civilisation once 
more, and there seemed some chance of his seeing his 
panulise -A<len- again, his eyes regained their for- 
mer twinkle, and his laugh grew more cheery than 
ever. With Abdurrahman it was ^litTerent, and the 
stniin and exertion he had been through had told on 
his more delicate constitution. Brought up in the 
]»racing mountains of Morocco, where frosts are com- 
mon, and even in the daytime the heat is never op- 
pressive, 111* had felt severely the sudden changes of 
the tropics. All his gaiety had left him, and he 
Hcarrelv spoke. It was with ditKcultv that we could 
rouse his spirits, try hard as we did, Saul and I. Al- 
most every evening, in spite of arsc»nic and <|uinine, 
fever would seize him, and he would lie awake of a 
night, tossing and mourning in a way that was pitiful 
to sec* and hear. 

Leaving Wisil, the roa<l descends, ])y a zigzag track, 
the ste«*p mountain -side. Here were apimrent one 
at h»iist of the advantages of the Turkish oi*cujmtion 
of thr Yemen, for the road was wide and in gooil re- 
|mir, supiH)rtt»d by a stcine eml)ankment, and planted 
<m either side with mimos;i-trees, whifh no doubt help 


in some degree to prevent the floods which the heavy 
rainfalls occasion from washing the stones away, and 
which will eventually prove no small advantage to the 
traveller by their shade. At length the bed of the 
water-course was reached, down which the road pro- 
ceeds, roughly and unpleasantly, over great boul- 
ders and stones that tired our poor little mules, and 
necessitated our proceeding on foot. Thick vegeta- 
tion, principally trees of the mimosa type, fringe the 
edge of the river-bed, which, except for an occasional 
pool or spring, contained no water. 

On and on, until the gorge narrows and enters a 
defile, merely the water-course and walls of rock on 
either hand, some eighty feet perhaps in height. 
Here was a sight that caused us an hour or so of 
amusement and laughter, for the precipices were the 
haunt of hundreds of apes and monkeys, which scam- 
pered away at our approach, and sat chattering and 
grinning at us from their perches. So tame many of 
them were, that we were able to approach within 
fifteen or twenty yards of them before they would 
seek refuge in the nooks and crannies of the rocks. 
My men were eager to shoot one or two, but I would 
not allow it, as it was a real pleasure to watch the 
funny creatures in their antics, and to listen to their 
squeaking and chattering. In some cases the larger 
apes were carrying their young in their arms, and 
handling them as carefully as a woman does her child. 
Even Abdurrahman awoke from his melancholy, and 


laughed heartily at the strange creatures, which 
bounih^l from rock to rock, or showed their rows of 
chattering white teeth from some hole in the cliff. 

( ontinuing along the bottom of the valley for some 
little way farther, we turned eventually from the 
water-course, and climbed a bare rocky hill to the 
north of the river, and, crossing a small plateau, de- 
8cende<l t<» the village of Hojaila, which we reached 
an hour or two Ix^fore sunset. 

At this |)oint we had said farewell to the mountains, 
for although the foot-hills extend farther into the 
Tehdmji, ])eyond Bajil in fact, we were to see no more 
of the greater ranges. But not only is Hojaila the 
finishing 8i>ot of the mountains, but the people en- 
tirely change, lxM»oming from that point Arabs of the 
plains, dwelling in mud and thatch houses, and differ- 
ent in ap{K?arance and habits. 

We had passed <luring the day's man'h through a 
|mrt of the country the inhabitants of which need in- 
vestigation, and about which I, unfortunately, can say 
but little here. These are jKiople of a n4igious sect 
who called themselves Makarama, but of the origin of 
which, except that their belief is siiid to l>e of Indian 
extraction, I have found it iminwsible to discover 
anything. These Yemenis are in language and ap- 
{learance like their Moslem neighl>our8, although 
sevend names in the vicinity tell of India. Principal 
amongst them is the **I)ar el Ilinoud," or Indians* 
monasterv or house, farther on in the Tehiima. Of 


their Wlief Imt little was to be ascertained. It is 
summeil up, however, in two lines of poetry, of which 
I was able to obtain the translation : — 

*• Gc«d is indiscoverable, by day or by night. 
r>o not vrony about anything, there is neither heaven nor helL 


Professing these strange tenets, there is this sect 
on the highroad from Hodaidah to Sanaa. As to 
their observances, the onlv man of their belief I 
met with would say but little, while the Moslems, 
although uninfluenced by the fanaticism one would 
expect to find, are careless. They have, I w^as told, 
the old Judaic observance of the scapegoat, and a 
particular night in the year in which they shut 
themselves into their houses, and are said to practise 
incest. This, however, may be possibly the Moslem 
idea of wliat ivally takes place. Were this to be 
al).solutely dopendiMl upon, the foct might point to 
a Karmatliian origin, for Ibn Fadl allowed the 
drinking of wine and this practice ; hut then it is 
scancly likely that a Karmatliian superstition should 
survive in a belief which is in direct contravention 
to Islam. It is known that in certain Phoenician 
rites incest was allowed, and the practice of a certain 
nightly annual feast in which the houses are illumi- 
nated might point to the worship of Adonis, certain 
remains of which, I am informed, are found amongst 
the mountaineers of the Himalayas. Sly infor- 
mation on this sect of the Makarama continues that 






1 1 




thev are at times visited bv natives of India, who 
prize the eharms that they are in the halnt of 
writinjj ; and most j)rol>ahly their orgin may be 
fi>un<l in that country, for Hodai<hdi has always 
lM*en hirj^ely frequent(»d by Indian traders. 

Ilojaihi is Imt a small place, more a coUeetion of 
huts than a town, as it is elsewhere deseril)ed, though 
at the time I passed through it was augmente<l by a 
largi* Turkish <*amp, pitched near the jlmerouk, or 
custom-house. There seems, with the exception of 
this buihling, a large, h>w, s^piare place, to be no 
other of im{)ortance, though the Sheikh resides in a 
house two storeys in height, painted red an<l white 
in bands, which stamls a curious landmark on the 
edge of a steep incline leading down to the river- 
ImhI. a few trees are scattered alxiut the phice, and 
untler these* were lolling Turkish soldiers, while the 
tents, and sentries passing and repassing, gave quite a 
martial appearanc<» to tlu* otherwise dreary s<.»ene ; for, 
with the exception of these trees an<l the oh*anders in 
the river-lK?d, the countrv was dull and sun-<lried. 

Dnlv a short n-st was allowed me here, although 
we had l>een tnivelling, almost without interrup- 
tion, since the early morning. However, as I was 
entirelv in the hands of the Turkish •'uards whi> 
had U^en sent to see me to Hodaidah, any attempt 
at exiN)stulation was out of the tjue.stion. Another 
ailvantage, too, was to be gained by pushing on — 
luimely, the moonlight night. 


We had left behind us now the high elevations 
and watered valleys, and nothing but plain and 
desert lay between us and Hodaidali, some eighty 
miles distant, over which, although the month was 
February, travelling by day is torment. So an 
hour or two was all the time we spent in the 
ca/e at Hojaila, and as soon as the sunset glow 
was dying away we loaded our little mules again 
and set off. 

From sunset until near dawn we plodded on over 
the plain, the broken rocky hills showing up on 
either side in the clear moonlight, which w^as sufli 
cientlv briorht to allow us to see that a considerable 
portion of the country we were passing through was 
under cultivation. 

How balmy and warm the nio^ht was ! and had it 
not bi*eu tliat one was tired and weary with the long 
vide from Menaklia, it would have proved most enjoy- 
able. As it was, one could not help admiring the love- 
liness of the still moonlight, and the silence, broken 
only by the thud of our mules' feet upon the sand and 
the luunmini^ of the insects in the air. Every now 
and then we would pass a caravan of camels, slow- 
gaited and patient, which seemed to grow out of the 
moonlight like spectres, only to vanish again into the 

As dawn grew near we reached Bohay, situated to 
the north of Jibel Damir. It is a poor little place ; 
but the rest in a mat ca/e was inexpressibly refresh- 

BAJIL. 351 

ing, for out of the last twenty-four hours we had ]>eeii 
nearly twenty on the road. 

Stretching ourselveH uj>on the string couches, which 
do not seem to be in use anywhere out of the Tehdnia 
and the southern phiins, we were soon wrapped in 
sleep. But at sunrise my guanls woke me, and we 
made a start again. But our march Wiis happily to 
prove only a short one, and three hours later we drew 
in sight of Biijil, where at length I was pnmiised a 
well-eanied rest. 

Biijil is c|uite a litth* town, its population number- 
ing prolKibly some .SOOO souls. Except for a large 
Turkish fort, built for the most part of sijuared stones, 
and a few houses of the same material, it consists of 
mud -and -thatch and mat housc»s, enclosed by high 
hedges of dr}* mimosii and acacia thorns in the fi»nn 
of ziirt^bjis. The place is prettily situated, lying at 
the ffK)t of Jil)el Obaki, the surrounding plain being 
cultivated with millet of two varieties, the dokhu and 
the ilurni ; while* a good water-supply allows of the 
growth of a considerable number of trees, principally 
aca(*ias, which render the place a veritable oasis. 

The mje here, except for those of the towns and 
that at Wjudan, was the best we had come acrtkss ; 
for althouuh it onlv consisted of a series of mat-huts 
built round a large yard, everything was S4> clean and 
so ti<ly that it was a real pleasure to rest in the shade, 
all the more so as by this time the ravs of the sun had 
lK?come tierce in their heat. 


We engaged one of these mat-houses for our private 
use, and unloading our mules, settled in for the day. 
What rendered our stay at Bajil more refreshing than 
it otherwise would have proved was the presence of 
an excellent masseu7% under whose skilful hands one's 
limbs lost all their weariness. 

As soon as the cool of the afternoon allowed, I 
sauntered out for a stroll through the little town. 
There was but little to see, it is true ; but a Yemen 
village always presents sights which, if not exactly 
pretty, are generally of interest. A wedding -party 
was in full swing, guns were being fired off, tomtoms 
rendered the air hideous with their sound, and shrill 
pipes added to the confusion. The crowd of women 
who filled the open spaces between the zarebas, that 
answered for streets, were attired in holiday garments, 
and a gay throng they were ; for, in spite of their 
dull-blue clothing, they had succeeded in tying them- 
selves up with handkerchiefs and scarves of all colours, 
until they resembled rainbows. Here, as elsewhere, 
it seems to be the lot of womankind to do the hard 
work, and I stood for a time to watch them filling 
their pitchers from the wells. The manner in w^hieh 
the water is drawn is the following. A framework of 
wood is built over the mouth of the well, a solid beam 
passing from side to side ; over this cross-beam runs 
the rope, to the end of which is fastened a bucket. 
Owing to the great depth to which the wells have to 
be sunk, these ropes are necessarily of enormous length, 


and the only means by which the weij^ht can be su{>- 
ported is l>y a couple of the women harnessing them- 
.selvc's to the end and running at a gentle trot until 
the bucket has reached the surface, whore it is emjitied 
by a third. One well, the length of the track passed 
over to draw the bucket to the surface I measured, 
was only a few feet under two hundred in depth. 
The labour is a severe one, l)ut the women seem to 
take it a-s a matter of course. In southern Morocco, 
where much the same system is in use, camels or 
donkeys are haniessed in their j)lace. 

The only building of any size or imporUmce in 
Bajil is the Turkish fort. It is a great square ]>lace, 
with circular towers jutting out hen» and there, 
and is liuilt almost entirely of cut stone and 
bricks. Though useless against artiUer}', it would 
prove im])regnable to Arab hordes, armed only with 
spears and matchlo<*k-guns. A f<*w ill-dressed Turks 
wen"! lyintr about under the shade of s<mie acacia- 
trees, and half-a-<lozen fiehl-guns, none too well kept, 
stiKxl near thetloor; but th«» jdacc offered no other 
signs of things military, and wore the weary apju^ar- 
ance of orientalism. 

This was all that there was to Im» seen in Bajil, so 
I retniccd my sti*ps to the <v//J'', when» I found our 
mules lieing loaded j>n»j)aratory to a start. A num- 
ber of Turkish oHinTs from Sanaa had arriv«Ml during 
my alwenrc, and we instantly struck uj) an acquaint- 
ance, as we wrrc j>roceeding over the sjime n>ad to 




Hodaidah. They had been invalided from the steamy 
Tehdma, and had been in hospital at Sanaa. Their 
recovery told a tale of the magnificent climate of 
that place, for they assured me that they had left 
Hodaidah a couple of months before almost dead of 

At four o'clock we made a start, our two little 
caravans uniting. The road continues over the desert, 
which is here dotted with mimosa-bushes and tufts 
of long grass. It was the delight of the Turkish 
officers to throw matches into the latter, and as night 
came on we left a track behin'^ us of fiery stars and 
heaps of black ashes. There was no danger of the 
fire taking too large dimensions, as the tufts of grass 
were sufficiently far removed from one another to pre- 
vent the flames spreading. 

It was the last of our desert marches. A glorious 
night, the sky a blaze of myriads of stars, the desert 
like a silver sea. Quietly and quickly our little 
mules glided on. Every now and again a caravan 
of slouching camels would pass by us with a dozen or 
so wild Bedouins in charge, on the heads of whose 
spears the moonlight played and flashed, but they 
soon vanished into the night. One could scarcely 
believe that this cool plain, fragrant with the sweet 
scent of mimosa, its fragrance increased by the heavy 
dew, was in the daytime a howling desert, where the 
sun scorched everything to death save the thorny 
bushes and the coarse grass tufts, and the camels and 






■ I 


their I^'douin drivers; l)ut even they scarcely ever 
travel l>y day. Wouderful as were the sights and the 
prandeur of the mountains of the Yemen, I think 
these night-rides over the desiTt have fixed them- 
selves more m>on my memory. Tired as we often 
were, one could not but wonder at the glories of the 
.^itarlit heavens, an<l revel in the fragrance of falling 
ilew and mimosa. 

Before midnight we reac^hed a aifty merely a few 
little huts in the desert, but welcome nevertheless, and 
with shouts and cries we woke the owner, who lit a 
lamp and showed us into his best accommoihition, a 
roof of grass supj)orted on long canes. However, one 
could need no more ; for it kept off the chill of the 
dew, and iUlowe<l the breeze, which every now and 
again stirred, to cotj the hot night air. 

I shall never forget that last night in the <lesert, 
— Turks, Arabs, Moors, and Englishman s<iuatting on 
caq)ets, sharing a common pipe in a dimly lit mfi 
in the desert. Cotlee an<l su{>per were cooking, and 
one could hear the bubliling of the coffee-husks in 
the earthen pot that wjis prejiaring for our men. 
And then they brought our su])per, a couple of destTt 
fowls that t;tste<l as though thty had tram{>e<l a <*en- 
tury over the sand, so tough they were. A rt»st of 
au hour or two was all wu were allowed, and long 
liefore daylight we were oil' again. The desi»rt here 
takes the form of siind-dunes, in parts covered with 
sr^auty scrub, in luirts bare yellow sand, broken only 







they are at times visited by natives of India, who 
prize the charms tliat they are in the habit of 
writinjj ; and most probably their orgin may be 
found in that country, for Hodaidah has always 
lK*en larjjely frequented by Indian traders. 

Ilojaila is but a small place, more a collection of 
huts than a town, as it is elsewhere described, though 
at the tinu? I passed through it was augmented by a 
large Turkish camp, j)itched near the jimerouk, or 
custom-house. Th(»re seems, with tlu* exception of 
this building, a large, h>w, stjuare j>lace, to be no 
other of im])ortance, though the Sheikh resiiles in a 
house two storeys in height, {)ainte<l red and white 
in bands, which stands a (!urious landmark on the 
edge of a steej) incline leading down to the river- 
btnl. A few trees are scattered alK)Ut the place, and 
un<ler these were lolling Turkish soldiers, while the 
tents, and sentries j)assing and repassing, gave quite a 
martial iq)p(»aranc(» to the otherwise dreary scene ; for, 
with the exception of these trees and the oleanders in 
the river-ljcil, the country was dull and sun-drieil. 

Uidy a short rest was allowiMl me \\vn\ although 
we ha<l Wen tnivelling, almost without interrup- 
tion, since the early morning. However, as I was 
entirely in the hands of tin* Turkish guards who 
had lK*en sent to S4.*e me to IIo<lai«lah, any attempt 
at exjKjstulation was out of the question. Another 
advantage, too, was to Im* gained by pushing on — 
namely, the moonlight night. 




The earliest mention that one finds of Hodaidah in 
Mahammedan history is its capture by El-Ghuri, 
Sultan of Egypt, in a.d. 1515. In the native his- 
torians account of the invasion of this wild horde 
of Circassians, Kurds, and other strange peoples, the 
town is mentioned by the name of Jadidah,^ the new 
(town), although this by no means can be taken as 
a proof that tlie city had only been founded shortly 
before that period — for Jadidah, as the name of a 
city, is common all over the East, and every place 
was probably at one time " new," thougli the title 
may long ago have become inappropriate. This tends 
to prove that it was probably not until the Red Sea 
trade had reached a flourishing condition, although 
at that time entirely in the hands of the natives, that 
Hodaidah sprang into existence. 

Being situated on the sea-coast, and only a little to 
the south of the country of the Asir tribes, it has not 

^ Kay's Omarah, p. 237. 


fscapMl from attack from both quarters. Principal 
amongst these, })erhai)s, was its capture by the Asir 
chief, Ab<l el-Hakal, in 1804. In the interests of the 
Wahabi lx»lief, which he, like so many of his tribe, 
had embraced, he made an orj^anised attack upon the 
northern Tehdma. His people, Imoycd up with the 
fanaticism of their new tenets, devastated whole dis- 
tricts, an<l held the entire Yemen in terror. Four 
years later, however, Ho<laidah was once more re- 
8t4>red to the then reigning Imam of Sanaa, Seyed 
Ahmed ibn Ali Mansur. 

From this time, for a space of some four-and-twenty 
years, we fin<l Hodaidah thriving under the im{)etU8 
given to trade by the Euro|)ean merchant - ships, 
which were at this }K»rio<l crowding to the Red Si»a ; 
ami its h>t semis to have been a peaceful one, until 
the arrival there in 1832 of the dreaded Turkchee 
Bilmas, by which nickname Mahammed Agha was 
generally known. Man-hing ovi»rland from the Iledjaz, 
he encamiK*<l close to the city, while his vessels, which 
had pHK-eedinl l>y sea from Jcddah an<l Yemlx), block- 
aded the {K)rt. On being i-efusiMl provisions by the 
governor, he commenced to f>jH»n fire u|H>n the town 
walls, when*u|>on the place ca{)itulatcMl. However, 
the energetic Mahammed Agha did not rt*main there, 
but, leaving four hundred men under tlie command of 
Agha Murshicl, he man*hed on Zrln'ed.' 

The Egyptian (Iovi*rnment abandone<l tlu' Yemen 

* HccunU of the lk>iiilMiv (joveniiiieiit. 


in 1840, eight years after the taking of Hodaidah 
by Turkchee Bilmas, and it was arranged that this 
portion of the country at least should fall into the 
possession of the Grand Shereef of Mecca. But 
another claimant stepped forward in the person of 
Huseyn ibn Ali, Shereef of Abou Areesh, who with 
the Asir tribe, whose assistance he had been able to 
obtain, took the field with twenty thousand men ; ^ 
and the very day that Hodaidah was abandoned by 
Ibrahim Pasha, the Shereef s troops, under the lead- 
ership of his brother, Abou Taleb, took possession of 
the place. Notwithstanding the recognition of the 
Shereef Huseyn's power did not last long ; for the 
Asiri, ever ready for plunder, occupied the town, 
and only released the merchants, whom they had 
imprisoned, on their paying large ransoms. 

In 1849 a great change was destined to take place 
in the government of the Yemen, and the Turks, pro- 
ceeding from Jeddah, occupied Hodaidah, the Shereef 
of that town obtaining a subsidy from the Ottoman 
Government in return for his handing over the place. 
This pension, however, he never received ; and accord- 
ingly, in 1851 he started to report his case to the Sul- 
tan at Constantinople. But sudden death cut short his 
career on the road, and there is little doubt but that 
he was murdered.'- The leader of this Turkish expe- 
dition, Tufieh Pasha, became governor of Hodaidah 
and the surrounding country. 

1 Playfair's Yemen, p. 146. '^ Ibid. 


It was shortly after tliis that a treaty wixs drawn 
up between the Imam of Sanaa an<l the Sublime 
Porte, in which the ]>rin(;ipal clauses were that the 
Imam Wiui Ktill to continue to reign, but that he 
should l>e considered a.s a vassal of Abdul-Mejid, the 
then reigning Sultan of Turkey ; that the revenues 
were to be equally <livide<l between the Sultan and 
the Imam ; and that Sana.1 should be j'arri.soned l)V 
Turkish forces. Although the secjuel of this story 
belongs rather to the history of Sanmi than to that of 
Iloilaidah, it may be given brietiy at this |K)int, as it 
follows as a se<juence upon this treaty of Hoilaidah. 
Returning with the Imam, Tufieh Pasha an-ived at 
Sanaa, and the <*hange in government was made 
known to the inhabitants. What, however, seems 
particularly to have finnl them to op{K>sition was the 
substitution of the name of Al>dul-Mejid for that of 
their Imam ^lahammed Yahia in thi» prayers. B<*ing 
of the Zaidi sect, one of the manv divisions of the 
Sheiyius,* this naturally atlected them more than any 
tem|)ond changes could have don«% Jind iKjfore mitl- 
night they had cut to pieces a large })n>iM>rtion of the 
Turkish troops, who, although they ha<l taken pos- 
Si^ssion of one of the city forts, were unable to make 
any resistan<-e. At h*n<'th, woundeil, and with onlv 
a handful of men, Tutieh Pasha lH)Ught a permit 
to return to IIodai<Iah, for which he jKiid twenty 
thousantl dollars, and retiretl to that s|>ut, where he 

* 8tf«^ chapter on **T1ii' Iiitlueiicvi* of IAaui in the Venii*n.'* 


died of his wounds and exhaustion. Mahammed 
Yahia, the unfortunate Imam who had entered into 
this treaty with the Turks, was secretly assassinated, 
— Ali Mansur, already twice deposed, being installed 
in his place. 

But a still more horrible tale is yet to be told 
regarding Hodaidah. In 1855 some sixty thousand 
men of the Asir tribe marched against the place with 
the idea of sacking it. They deferred the attack, 
however, owing to the presence of British ships of 
war ; but the inhabitants, owing to all communica- 
tion with the interior being cut off, had reached a 
condition of great misery, when cholera broke out 
amongst the Asiri, no less than fifteen thousand 
dying before they reached their homes. 

But to return to Hodaidah as I saw it in February 
and March of last year — 1892. 

Hodaidah lies on the north-east side of a larcre bav, 
and somewhat sheltered by a promontory on the 
north-west. The town is a large one, and contains 
probably between thirty and thirty-five thousand in- 
habitants, though at the time the author was there the 
numl)er was swelled by a large addition of Turkish 
troops. The place is a flourishing one : the bazaars, of 
which more anon, are well supplied ; the houses solidly 
built, and high. Its one great drawback is its fever- 
ish climate, the few Europeans and the natives alike 
suffering at certain periods of the year. After a rain- 
fall, for instance, or in the winter when the westerlv 

HOD AID AH IN 1892. 363 

winds are blowing, fever attacks the place like an 

With this short description I may revert to my 
personal experiences of Hodaidah. 

As soon afl my attack of fever had worn off suffi- 
ciently to allow of my going out, accompanied hy my 
guards, I proceeded to the Governors residence. He 
received me mo«t politely, a chair was at once got 
for me, cigarettes and coffee brought in, while his 
Kxcellency i)erused the letters which my soldiers had 
brought from the Governor-General at Sanaa. This 
over, he bade me welcome, and we had a pleasant 
chat, conversing in Arabic, of which his Excellency 
knew less than mvself, so that at last we found that 
things went more easily when a Greek entered who 
spoke Fren<*h. 

The Governor 8 first (juestion to me was worth re- 
cording. He wa.s a little nervous at first, and for a 
minute there was an awkwanl silence, which his 
Excellency l)roke by lusking, ** Did you fight in the 
Crimea?'* I re}>lie<l that I was not l>orn until simie 
ten years after that war was over. However, I fcuind 
the question had a pur|>ose, for on the Governors 
breast hung the English Crimean menial, which he 
haudeil me to examine with great pride. After this 
episode eonversation was carried on more easily, and 
finally I obtained his Excellency's }>ermission to con- 
tinue residing in the up|MT chanil>er of the cate until 
I should depart. Very different wenj the Govern- 

ment offices here from the gorgeous apartments of 
the Governor-General at Sanaa. Here there was only 

ii small bare room with a 

few chairs, none of which 

wiii'i' in very good rc- 

v/ ■/ n I I h pi^ir. An outside staircase 

of rickety steps leads to 

the first storey of tlie building, where the principal 

offices appear to be situated, the lower portion serving 


as a store. A constant flow of gaudy ofliccrs and ill- 
clothed soldiers passed and repassed. 1 had several 
interviews with the Governor during ray stay of a 
week in Ilodaidah, and on ever}' ocrcasion found him 
polite and araiable, although he refused to allow me 
to continue my journey by land, afl I had hoped to 
have done, vid Beit el-Fakih, Zi»l)eed, and Ilain. 

On my return to my (juarters I found a couple of 
Turkish soldiers calmly seated in my room, one of 
them on my bed, and smoking my cigarettes. Al- 
though I was prepared to be watched, I was not at 
all inclined to put up with this intrusion, «ind with 
the aid of Alxlurrahman, Said, and a l>oot, soon put 
them to flight. I at once returne<l to the Governor 
to explain the matter to him, and on my way to his 
apartment was accosted in the most i)olite manner by 
an otticer, who Ix'gged me not to rei)ort the matter, 
saying that if I liked to pay him a couple of dollars 
he would see thsit the guartl was removcnl. But 
what with annoyance and fever, I was not in a mooil 
to |Miy anylxxly anything, so went straight to his 
Excellency and told my story. Thi» old man and his 
officers burst into fits of laughter, ex{>!aining to me 
that the guard had only been put there for me to 
jiay something for their removal, and that the whole 
thing was a " plant." I l>egge<l him to sen<l for the 
officer who wanted fKik'A/ii^h, and H{»eak to him, so 
that I should not be }>ut to the same annoyance again, 
and thia he willingly did. Nevertiieless, in spite of 


the fact that I was left in tolerable peace, I soon 
found that my every movement was watched, but 
never interfered with. This last was no doubt 
owing partly to the good offices of one who showed 
me great kindness and hospitality in Hodaidah, 
Dr Ahmed, a native of India, who ably represents 
H.B.M. Government as Vice -Consul there. I can- 
not speak highly enough of my appreciation of his 
and his English wife's many acts of kindness toward 
me ; and although, owing to ill health, my recollec- 
tions of Hodaidah are none too cheery, I shall always 
remember how anxious Dr and Mrs Ahmed were to 
render pleasant my stay. A doctor of Glasgow Uni- 
versity, Dr Ahmed made his name in Assam in the 
Indian medical service, and was only a short time ago 
appointed Vice-Consul at Hodaidah; and it is to be 
hoped that the skilful way in which he carries out 
his by no means easy duties there, and keeps firmly 
rooted in that town a feeling of respect between the 
British and Turkish Governments, will shortly obtain 
for him a post in some more healthy and important 

The c'^y? in which I had taken up my quarters 
faced the sea on one side, and the only wide street in 
the town on the other, that which lies along the sea- 
board, from which it is only divided by the Govern- 
ment offices and huts of areesh or reeds. From my 
window on the second storey I was able to watch the 
people passing and repassing, and many an hour was 


spent thus in idleness. But if this street offered 
Hcenes of character, how much more so did the bazaars ! 
and then*, when I was well enough, I used to sit talk- 
ing to the Arab shopkeepers and sipping coffee. Good 
intelligent fellows many of them were, and always 
ready to waste half an hour in lintening to tales of 
Egypt and Morocco, and cvvn of my journey in the 
Yemen. What sights the bazaars offer ! All the na- 
tionalities of the world seem to crowd there — strange 
weird jx^ople in every stage of clothing, from almost 
nake<Iness to rich robes of striped silks. Unlike the 
iKizaars at Aden, those of Hoilaidah are roofed in from 
the sun, the fierce rays of which yet find cracks and 
crannies in the wood an<l mats to cn»ep through. But 
their brilliant light falling upon some stall of fruit 
perhaps only ten<ls to throw into deeper shadow the 
rest of the crowded street. In the cool of the after- 
noon I would saunter round and take up my station 
on the little shop-platform of a seller of l)ooks, and 
s[)end an hour or two with him. A wizened little old 
man he was, a native of Zel>eed ; but he was gooil 
rompany, and would put aside all idesis of business 
when he saw me coming, and would {M>int out the 
strange figures amongst the p{u*sers-l>y, and t4*ll me 
whence they came and who they were. Jews, Indians 
of all kinds, Persians, Arabs, Egyptians, Bedouins, 
Abyssinians, Turks, (Ireeks, negroes, and a few Euro- 
|>eans, would jostle each other in the narrow ways. 
From the Ixizaars to the town walls is but a step. 


Passing out of the fortified gates, of which there 
are several, one issued on to the large open space, 
the sdk or market, which we had crossed when we 
entered the town. Here garden produce w^as offered 
for sale, generally exposed on the ground, though 
a number of little mat-and-reed huts contained small 
shops. The larger of these flimsy structures serve 
as cafh, and one or two as Parsee theatres. The 
largest of the cafes was a constant resort of mine, 
and of an evening I would sit, accompanied by 
Said, who, in spite of his fever, had polished up 
his dress — what there was of it — and his raven 
locks. So beautiful had he become that little 
groups of the female sex would come and joke 
with him ; and though he treated them with a 
certain amount of hauo^hty indifference, he was by 
no means unappreciative of their attentions, and 
had a knack of l)cing out after dark. There one 
would see the Turkish ofticers in gold-lace, with 
their o;lass hookahs in front of them, loungin^ 
away tlie afternoon hours. There, too, were the 
merchants, gorgeous in silk raiment and turbans, 
talking business over coffee and tobacco. 

The remaining streets and places of Hodaidah 
offer but little attractiveness. The streets are 
narrow and the houses liigh, and except now and 
again for a richly carved doorway, there is but 
little of interest to be seen. 

The greatest disadvantage to Hodaidah, after its 


feverish elimate, is the exceedingly jx)or water-sup- 
ply; for although there are some brackish wells in 
the neighl)ourhoocl, all pure water has to l>e brought 
from a distance of some miles. It is carried in skins 
and barrels on the biicks of cjimels and donkeys. 

Near these wells, under the guidance of Dr Ahmed, 
I si>ent a pleasant afternoon in a beautiful ganlen 
l)elonging to a certain wealthy Arab, whose fortune 
waK made, it is said, by purchasing the right of 
collecting taxes from the Ottoman Government. 
Tliis, in the han<ls of an unscrupulous and hard 
man, means a very considerable income, and the 
ganlen in question was a proof that the old Arab 
evidently throve. The road fnmi the town {)asses 
along siuuly lanes and amongst jwilm-groves until 
the open desert is reached. Continuing over this 
for a mile or so, one reaches the W(»lls, while green 
trees jK»eping over the high garden walls break the 
monotony of siind and scrub. 

Immediatelv on our arrival the ^^ate wjis thrown 
op<*n, and we entered a veritable parailise — a walh»d 
garden many acres in extent, and filled with 
gorgeous trees and shrubs, which the owner is saitl 
to have collected from all ^juarters of the tropics. 
Irrigation was <-arrie<l on by water-wheels and wells, 
and streamlets flowed in everv direction. I'mler the 
shade of the large trees summer-houses had lK»en 
enacted t»f trellis-work, over whi<'h jasmine and roses 
and many a creeper, the name of which I did not 

2 A 


know, climbed in luxuriance. In these divans were 
arranged, and one could enjoy the sight of the 
flowers in cool shade. Wonderful they were, those 
shrubs and trees and plants, hung with great masses 
of bloom of every colour, while here and there tall 
lilies raised their stately heads. The trees were full 
of birds, and the garden was sweet with the scent of 
the flowers and the hum of the insects' wings. 

Long into the moonlit night we sat there, until the 
chill dew told us it was time to seek more secure 
shelter. Yet in all their loveliness there lurks poison 
in this paradise, and nearly all our party suffered 
from fever in consequence of our visit. 

But few Europeans live in Hodaidah, with the ex- 
ception of the Greeks. The wife of the British Vice- 
Consul was the one English lady in the place, the 
only other British subject, excepting natives of India, 
&c., being a Maltese gentleman, agent for a British 
firm. A few Americans, however, are to be found, 
the trade in skins to America being an important one. 
Of the other nationalities there are perhaps in all 
half-a-dozen representatives. 

During my stay the port was visited by a small 
Turkish gunboat, the captain of which, whose name 
I never discovered, paid me a call. He had been 
educated at the Naval College at Constantinople, and 
spoke English remarkably well. He was tired of his 
berth, he said, his weariness being materially added 
to by the irregularity of his pay. In this respect, he 


addetl, he \v»i8 hotter off than most of the Turkish 
soldierH in the Yemen, for they received none at all. 
Althou<(h at Ilodaidah the condition of the troops 
seemed fairly j^ood as regards food and clothing, we 
had found at more than one phice in the interior 
the soldiers bootless and payless, and n^ceiving as 
rations oidv two loaves of bread a-<lav, one of which 
they usually ate, the other being exchanged for 
tolwicco. A piastre or two to a soldier won as 
genuine thanks as ever one heanl. It meant little 
luxuries which his heart longed for, cigarettes and 
coffee, and which for weeks very likely he had been 
unable to attain to. 

At length, after seven <lays of fever, a steamer 
arrived in the iH)rt, and I saw means of getting to 
Aden. Saying good-bye to Dr Ahmed on the rickety 
little pier, down one of the supjK>rts of which I was 
obliged to clamber in order to reach the rowing-l)oat, 
as the steps had been washed away, or never built, I 
forget which, 1 shook otl' the <lust «»f IIiMlaidah fnun 
my feet, antl in an hour or so was al>oard an English 
Kteamcr, having a yarn with an English captain and 

In a few <lavs we were ba<k «>nce more in A<len, 
arriving on the very day on which quarantine from 
thi* U<d Sea jM»rts was reniove^l, so that I was only 
detained half an hour <»n the hulk Ilydenilmd, in 
place of the s«*ven days I liad feared I would have 
to und<-rgo. 


The welcome I received from all friends here was 
very kind, and many a laugh we enjoyed together 
over my adventures in the Yemen. 

Just as my journey was then concluded, so is my 
account of it finished now. A year has passed since 
I left the country, and yet its every detail is as clear 
to me as if it had all happened yesterday. As I lay 
down my pen I conjure up in my mind the desert- 
rides under a myriad of brilliant stars ; I feel upon 
my cheek the soft balmy southern breeze ; I see again 
our little party hiding in the gullies, and creeping on 
by night over the terrible rough roads of the moun- 
tains. Once more, warned by an unknown friend, I 
escape by night from Beit Said ; once more, but this 
time with a smile, I spend five days a prisoner in the 
conak of Sanaa. Once more I pass through the great 
valleys and descend to the desert, and I shudder over 
the remembrance of nights and days of fever — a fever 
that clung to me for months. Yet my recollections 
of the country are ones that I shall always treasure ; 
and in spite of dangers and sickness, in spite of long 
marches and days in prison, the Yemen will always be 
for me, at least, Arabia Felix. 




Showing their Descent from MAHAMMED. 

MAHAMMED, diecl a.d. 032( = a.h. 11). 


















{l)MASSi:ii KL KASIM, 1620 ; died IQ20. HOSEYN. 

I I I I I I 

(i) AHMED, {2)KLM('AYyAl) (3) ISMAIL, (10) A Till AS, (b) MAHAMMED, {$) KASDl, 

1677. MAHAMMED, ItJTG. 1774, 107y. 1719. 

I 1»;45. I ( 

I i ■ "I ' 


1707. 180'.». 1740. 



1817. I 


1844. 1834. 1840. 

(IS) MAHAMMED, (17) } ALI (throe times Iiimin). 

184!». (IIOJIHO-. 

(20) ^7/.4 /.//; 

(Living' in 1«.V.>). 

Note. — Tlie ixirtMiUige of the seventh Inuini Mahaitnned ibn Hasjin is nut known for certain. Hedici 
in 1708. 

The names in italies are those of tlie Imams of Sanaa. The numlK'rs within jKirentheses r«^fertothf 
order in wliieh they reigned. The numbers after tin* names are the probable dat<js of their deatlis. 




you.— T\iu lii4t U c<>iii|>ilc(l fnmi Niehuhr'it Uble, m given in Sir K. L. 
rUyfair'n * Hintory of Yrnicn,* with one ur two c«>rTectiuDa frum 
natt\c authoritieit. 

1. Mimsur Kl-Koriim FUKebir. 

2. Fl-Muayymi Maliain]ne<l. 

3. Ismail Kl-Motawnkil Al' Allah. 

4. AhincNi Kl-M<*jil Ilillah. 

5. Mahamined Kl-Molitii Ha«]i. 
0. Mahamnied FUMeluli. 

7. MaliaiuiiitHl Kn-Nasir. 

8. Kasiin Kl-Metawakil. 

9. HoHi*yii Fl-Mansur. 

10. Abba8 Kl..Mi*li<li. 

1 1. Ali Kl-MaiiBur. 

1 J. Ahiuoa Kl-.M«tawakil. 

\X AlxluUah Kl-M(*hai. 

14. Ali KUMaiiMur. 

l***. AlKlullah Kn-Niuiir. 

IG. MalminintM Kl-IIa<li. 

17. Ali KUMaiiAur. 

IH. MaliainmiMl Kl-Metawakil. 

19. Ali FlMaiiHur. 

20. (Uialih KUHadi. 








[1728] 1. FOUDTHEL, 

Fi»t Independent 8ultan. 

[1742] 2. ABD-EL-KARtM. 


[17:.:n 'X ABD EL UADY. 

[1777] 4. FOUDTHEL. 

[1827] {). MHA8SEN. 

[1702] 5. AHMED 


11847] 7. AHMED. 

[1840] 8. ALL 

Xote. — Tlie datos are Ihosi; of tlieir succession according to Playfair's * Yemen.' 


AbliAaifle (lyDAAty, ^, .'tl. 
AImUI Hakal, 350. 
AM er-Kabi, 60, 167. 
AInI esh-SheiiM, 31. 38, 126, 145. 
Abdali trilic. 7. 16, 132, 165, Isl, 

Saltan, 21, 133, 167. 
Abdal lUmia, N6, 92-94, 116. 
.. Mijid, 361. 

Wahab, 54, 63, 147. 
AbdalUh the SaUyhitc, is. 
Abou Aruh, 20. 21. 22, 66. 
M Hckr, 49, H5, a6, 321. 
.. '1 .layth, 52. 
tf Mahanime«l, 51. 
Ahrmha, 43, 44. 
Abraham, 30. 31. 
Abywinia, 75, 138. 
Ab) winiaiu, 4 1 -45, 53, 7 1 , 80, 1 35, 

Acacia dHjinea, 139. 
Ad, 318. 

Aditct, 318, 319. 

Aden, 4. 68. 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18. 
24», 21, 23, 41. 44, 53, 55, 
56, ftO. 66. I(»4, 105, 115, 
116, 12M2t», 130-133, 139, 
148-150, 151, 158, 163, 165- 
167, 175. 185, 2im. 209, 211, 
214, 222, 3(m, 345. 
.. (;ulf of. 4. 
.. LitUe, 133, 136, 159. 

Adenum obesum, 140. 
Adirbijan, 40. 
Adnan, 30, 31, 189. 
AdonU, 348. 

.l-UiiM (;alluis 39, 40, 127. 
Africa, 14, 28, 33, 81, 84, 90, 91, 
126, 137. 13N, 164, 192, 293, 
Agha, Mahamine<l, or Turkchee 

liilmas, 65, 131, 359, 360. 
Agha Mufthid, 359. 
Ahmetl mI-IHd. 99, 101, 104, 105. 
110,252,266, 339. 
Ikwtor, 365, 369, 370. 
Keizi I'teha, 107. 109, 111. 
112, 115, 292, 297. 303, 
ibn All Mantur, 63, 64, 

\\m Muia, 16. 
I'^sha, CM. 
•I Saltan, 16K. 
Ahurran. Jibel, 197. 
Akhaf, <leacrt of, 22. 
Akhdam. the, 45, 253. 
Akrabi tribe. 21. 
Akran. el-. 40. 
Akriba, 49. 
AUjioud, 1H9. 

AIbui|aen|ae, Alphonao de, 129. 
Alexander the I treat, 9. 

or UkandM*. 128. 




Algeria, 4. 

Ali abou Mehdi, 167. 
ft 'bu Rhaleb, 209. 
It el-Manaur, 17, 63, 67, 362. 
II ibn Abou Taleb, 48, 50, 52, 57, 

84, 85, 98, 255. 
,1 ibn Fadl, 87, 88, 264. 
II ibn Mansur, 54. 
II Sultan of Lahej, 161, 165, 169. 
Alouitnbe, 115, 189. 
Aroat, E1-, 180. 
American traders, 11. 
Amin, 51. 
Amin el-Bahr, 59. 

II es-SOk, 59. 
Amir Morjaum, 129. 
Amir of Biahi, 198, 200. 

II of Dhala, 25, 195, 198. 
Amram, 104-106, 110. 
Anis, Jibel, and tribe of, 49, 111, 

Arab tribes, 24, 32, 189. 

II Zaidis, 86. 
Arabia Deserta, 5. 

,1 Felix, 5, 7, 48, 225, 232, 

238, 272. 
II Petrtea, 5. 
M South, 28. 
Aredoah, 197. 
Arib, 31. 

Arnaud, Mons d', 37, 146. 
Aryans, 30. 
Aryat, 42, 43, 320. 
Asaad abou Karib, or Dhu Nowas, 
41, 42. 
It ibn Yafur, 52, 53. 
*' Ascension," the ship, 57, 130. 
Ashari, Beled, 197. 
ti Jibel, 197. 
Ashran, 43, 44, 320. 
Ashur, 33. 
Asia, 319. 

f, Central, 242. 
M Minor, 183, 250. 
Asir, tribe of, 4, 5, 10, 22, 25, 63, 
64, 66, 93, 100, 105, 358, 359, 
360, 362. 
Assam, 365. 
Assassins, the, 88. 
Asshur, 126. 

Astarte, 33. 
ABwad, E1-, 49. 
Athaik, 283. 
Athl trees, 182. 
Atlas Mt8., 231. 
Attara, 342. 
Ay Ian, Kays, 31. 
Ayyubite Caliphs, 54, 127. 
Azab, 215, 218. 

Baal, 40. 

Bab el-Mandeb, 14, 16, 21, 24, 62, 

134, 165. 
Bagdad, 48, 172. 
Bajil, 67, 347, 351-353. 
Balkis, Queen, 23, 40. 
Banna, el-, Wadi, 222, 231, 236. 
Barthema, L. de, or Vertomanns, 

Bashi-bazouks, 102. 
Bashir ibn Ardeb, 50. 
Bas-Kateb, 58. 
Bauan, 326. 
Bedouins, 7, 13, 20, 22, 94, 101, 

162, 163, 183, 187, 189, 192, 

194, 355. 
Beit elFakih, 15, 16, 68, 365. 

,1 en-Nedish, 225, 229. 

M Said, 229, 233, 234, 236, 239, 
Beled Alajioud, 198. 

II Ashari, 197. 

M el-Hawad, 239. 

11 el-Jehaf, 20, 23. 

„ el-Kabail, 20, 21. 
Belkama, or Yalkama, 40. 
Beni Hallel, 21. 

M Matar, 289. 

II Meruan, 100, 105. 

M Yafur, 51. 

If Zuray, 127. 
Berbera, 138. 
Besaisi, Sheikh, 206, 208, 209, 215, 

220, 223. 
Bey rout, 197. 
B'dam trees, 166, 198. 
Bir Ahmed, 147, 161. 

M el-Azab, 106, 299, 323, 324. 
Bishi, Amir of, 198,200. 
Blanket, Admiral, 14. 



KohAy, 3.V». 

HotnUy. 0(>. MM, I3.V 174. 

Rritish tnuieni, .17, 130. 

Broeck. Van dcr. \\, 13<). 

Bmce, CapUin, 12, tir>. 

Ku<lhjui or Uu<lzan, 47, 32<>. 

bukht Nauer, or NebuchAclnezzar, 

Bolhar. 138. 

C«ai. 5s, 77. 

Cn-Muv. the, 127. 

CWiro, 05. .K»5. 

Caliph of the Eut (Harun el- 

Rajihi<l). r>l. 
Caliphs, the, ri3, 58, 83, 85. 80. 93, 

Campbell. Mr, 0*2. 
Caoiieh. 120. 
(>ipan<Uc.v. 139. 
rAthae<liili»(**Kat'). 170. 
Cbalda-a, 34, lis, 40. 
Chevalier, Moiw. A. le, \Hi. 
Chiliiuul, 120. 
China, 40, 138. 
Chinese, the, 1.35, .30.'i. 
Chrittianity, 70-74, 79. 83, 90. 
Cbriitiani, 41, 42, 40-48, 50. 
CtrcaMians. .3.'>8. 
CUudiui, 127. 
Cleopatns. 39. 
CoDsUntine, 127.207. 
ConaUntinople. 07, 90. 97, 105, 1 15. 

116. 149. 151, 109, 297, 298. ,370. 
Constantius, 41. 
•Cootr," H.M.S.. 131. 
Covilhani, I'eilro <le, .'i5, 127, 128. 
Crimea, 303. 
•'Cniiier.* H.M.S.. 132. 

Ilama«cu», .33. 
IlMnir. JiUI, 3.*»0. 
lNini»h rxpr^lition. 01. 
I)ar el'Hinoutl, 347. 

.. coNekil, 2<M. 

.. ea-.Salaani. 107-2H8. 
•MHurling," H.M.S., 130. 
Ilaviil. 79. 
I lay Imrao, 148. 
Ilconiark, 01. 

**I)enaaowUt,** 131, 168. 

iXhaU, 115, 170, 202. 

Dliamar, 17, 18, 21, 25, 87, 96, 97, 
100, 104. Ill, 113, 212, 
251. 250-259, 263-205, 
267, 209, 271, 272, 279, 
280, 281, 286, 287, 304. 
•• el-(tar, 257. 

DhoHr, 105. 112. 

Dhu-hiyat, 188, 190. 

Dhu JibUh (or JibUh), 18, 21, KM. 

Dhu-Nowat. Set Aaaafl abou Karib. 

Dha Ruayn, 251. 

IHguhnb, 255, 250. 

iKNlekiteii, 85, 87. 


iKmiicetti. Lieutenant. 05. 

Doiiiville, CapUin, 191. 

l>oran, .libel, 282. 

I>owla, 58. 

I>ruse«, 8.*>. 

'• Durra." .351. 

Ihitch traders, II, 130. 

VA»i India Coy., 14, 57, 130. 

hAhn, 120. 

l-igypt. 14. 17, 34. 35, 39, 55, liO, 

72, 90, 129. 13.\ 307. 
FlKyptians, 129, 307. 
Kl-.\sfal. Me<linet, 24. 
KI Faki, SakI, 07. 
FU <;huri, .3.'>H, 
Kl-Hadi MahamnuHl, 07. 
Kl Haili Yahia, 53. 57. 
Kl-Hajra, 341. 
Kl Hasan, MuUi. 29.3. 
Kl-Hinoud. l»ar. 347. 
Kl- Islam. Sheikh, 77. 
UKasim. .'»9. 
Kl-Kebir, Waili, 170. 
Kl KhamU, S*\, 327, 329. 
Kl-Maniun, 51. 
Kl Mehdi AMias. 02. 
Kl .Mehdi Najoul, 324. 
Kl. Mehdi Senotsi. !N). 
Kl-.Muay ysd Maliammeil. 58. 
KlMustansir. 58. 
KlMuUwakil. 52. 
Kl Muxaffer, :>4, 



Emporium Romannm, 127. 
En-NekU, 237. 
Es-Salaam. Dar, 107, *2S8. 
£s-Segfair, Wadi, 176. 
Edi-Shari, 206, 212. 
Ethiopia, 39. 
Eaphorbiacae, 139. 

Fatimide djmasty. So. 

Fez, 209. 245, 305. 

Fezzan, 91. 

Florence, 55, 128. 

Foadthel ibn Ali, 167. 

Fondtheli tnbe, 7, 16, 21, 131, 165, 

France, 6, U, 62. 
Frederick V. of Denmark, 61. 
French, the, 62. 
II traders, 11. 

GaUta, 149. 

OaUa-Und, 8, 232. 

Ghadan, 230. 

Gharrah, 24. 

"Ghee," 186. 

Ghubbat Seilan, 176. 

Ghnmdan, 303. 

Glaser, Dr Edward, 29, 32, 244. 

Ooa, 56. 

(ireece, 35. 

Greeks, 125. 

Gregentius, St, 43. 

Habesh. See Abyssinia. 

Haddha, Jibel, 202. 

Hadramaut, 4, 18, 23, 28, 102, 131, 

253, 269, 287, 312, 319, 321. 
Haig, General, 313. 
Haines, Captain, 131, 132, 146. 
Hais, 21, 365. 
Hait Hirran, 258, 264, 272, 274, 

280, 281. 
Hajaret el-Mehdi, 110, 324. 
Hajeriya, 60. 
Hakim, 85. 
Hamdani princes, 127. 
Hanifa, 48. 
Haran, 126, 281. 
Harrar, 8, 138. 
Harun el-Rashid, 51. 

Hasan Pasha, 57. 

Hashashiyin (or Assassins), 88. 

Hashid wa BakU, 20. 

Hashma, 176. 

Hazarmaveth, 30. 

Hedfaf Pass, 143. 

Hejaz, the, 4, 22, 25, 40, 43, 64, 
65, 93, 94. 100, 113, 317, 359. 

Hejira, the, 27, 48. 

Helena, Queen of Abyssinia, 127. 

Himalayas, 348. 

Himyar, 31, 44, 45, 126, 145, 244. 

Himyaric kings, 38, 40, 42, 51, 145, 

Hindus, 135. 

Hodaidah, 10, 13, 15, 65-67, 69, 
98, 99, 100, 104, 105, 107, 113, 
151, 153, 302, 334, 335, 339, 
348, .349, 350, 354, 356, 358, 
359, 360, 363, 367, 368, 370, 371. 

Hojaib^ 109, 339, 350. 

Hormuzd, 41, 44. 

** House of the scholar," or Beit el- 
Fakih, 15, 16, 68, 365. 

Houshabi tribe, 115, 165, 180, 181. 

Howr, 24. 

Howra, 241. 

Howta, 16, 16.3, 165, 166, 172, 174, 
175, 177. 

Hud, 318. 

Hungary, 11. 

Huseyn, 53. 

ibn Ali, 360. 
ti ibn Salaamah, 18, 22, 287. 
If Shereef, 67, 68. 

Hyderabad, 169, 371. 

Ibb, 18, 21, 104, 111, 287. 
Ibn Abou Taleb. Sie Ali. 

Ali Foudthel, 167. 

Ardeb, Bashir, 50. 

Hasan, Mansur, 87. 

Hasan, Tubba, 41. 

Huseyn, 360. 

Khaldun, 17, 18, 19, 126,263, 

Khalifa, Nizar, 88. 

Mehdi Ali, 167. 

Salaamah, 18, 22, 287. 

Yafur. See AsaAd. 



Ibrahim, 53. 

Ibrahim Paaha, 17, 05, 3G0. 

TaUbaU, 53. 
MrU, MuUi, '2(H). 
Imamitet, 77. 
Imams, the, 17. 5-2. 53, 57-59, «0- 

6*2. 05, H5, im, 104, 115, 131. 

I«7. 252. 322. 
Imran, Day, 14H. 
IndU. !». 53. 5<>. 02. 84, 125, 1*21), 

131, 135. 13M, US. 347, 34», 

Indian merchanU, 01. 

•f Ocean, 4. 
IthnuMl. 31. 
Iahma«lit«s, 30, 32. 
lakander. Srr Alexander. 
laUm, 2S. 3fl, 3», 48, 4», 53, 58. 
70-73, 82-87, W), 91, 94, 
30H, 321, 30O, 302. 

•t Sheikh el-, 77. 
Ismail, 53, 59. 

.. Paaha, 111, 214, 230, 240. 

M .Sfyed, 132. 133. 
lamailiUm, 85, 87. 
Imi, Jiliel, 258. 

Jaditiah. 358. 
•laiuui, n7. 
Jana<li. eL, 85, 2<M. 
Jaakuni, 44. 

.le<I«lah, 13, f>5. 359, 30O. 
Jehaf. .liUl, 202. 
Jelileh, 1'02. HHi. 
Jeraaf, 315. 
•leniaaleni, 5.'>. 

.lewi, 23. 34. 5<», 73. 74. 10*1, 124. 
125. 148, 177. 255, ilU, 272, 

312. 3i:j. 323. 
•liljal, the, 7. 
.libel Ahurran, 197. 

.. Ania, 49. Ill, 28li. 

•t Aihari, 197. 
I»oran. 2h2. 

.. Imii. 25H. 

.. .lelaaf. 2(r2. 

M Menif. 181. 343. 

.. Mrais, 2(r2. 

.. Ne^^oum, HMK 107, llo, -224, 
29H. 299, .iOl. 

Jibel Obaki, .351. 

II Safan, 343. 

II Samara, 247, 253. 

II Zukur, 255. 
JibUh, 18, 21, 104, 111. 
John, PreiUT, 5.1, 128. 
Joktan, or Kahtan, 21, 22, 23, 3(», 

31, 127, 140, 189, 319. 
■Topp, General, 140. 
Joseph, or Yusef, 42. 
Judaism, 40, 42, 73, 83. 

Kaabah, the, 43, .320. 

Kaliail, Belefl el-, 21. 

KabyU elOwd, '220, 224, 250. 

KahUn, or JokUn, 21, 22, 23, 30, 

31, 127, 140, 1S9, 319. 
Kaimakams, 104, 247, 251, 259, 

.3.34, ;W5. .337. 
Kait Hey, 305. 
Kamaran, 13. 
Kariat cn-Negil, Is. 287. 
Karmathians, 87, 204, .348. 
Kasim ei-Kcbir, 57. 

•I er-Kaimi, .53. 
*' Kat ** (Catha e<lulis), 17o. 
KAUlia, '22, -22, '25, tM), 111, ll.V 

:iii'2, '2<h;. 212, 214, '2.30, 2;W. 

'240, 247. '2.'»<». '280. 
KaukelMUi, '20. 21. 
Kay. Mr. 19. .30. 88. 
Kebir, Wa^li el . 120. 
Ke<iar, 120. 
Kesra, 44. 

Kha, Wwli. '2.54, 257. 
Khailar, '287. 
Khaldun, ibn, 17, is, 19. 1'20, '263, 

Khalid, 49. 

Khalifa. Niiar ibn. 88. 
Khamis. S.k el-. .327, 3-21». 
Kharejit4*ii. 84, 88. 
Kharid. Wadi. 314. 
Khasraji. el-. l.V 
KhauUn. 20. 22. '2.3. 
KhorviU. 1!»2, 198, 2<K). 
KonftMla, 04, O.**. 
Kopu, 72. HO. 
Koran, the. ;«0. .30. 42, 58, 73, 70- 

78, 140. 197, '24.->. 



Koreish, 45, 46. 
Ko8, Bishop, 46, To. 
Kadaah, 31. 
Kufa, 50. 
Kurds, 358. 

Lahej. 16, 20, 21, 24, 60, 65, 115, 
132, 151, 161, 167-169, 
171, 172, 177. 179, 180, 
181, 242, 243, 287. 
., Wadi, 176. 

LAing, Prof., 36. 

Lakhnia, or Lakhtiaa, 41. 

Lebanon, Mt, 85, 88. 

"Liars," the, 49. 

LUbon, 128. 

Lohaya, 10, 13, 64, 100. 

Lokman, 38, 145. 

Ludovico de Barthema, 128. 

Lumley, Captain, 12. 

Maaber, 111, 285. 
Maadi Karib, 44, 45. 
Maala, 136, 143. 
Madeira, 231. 

Mahammed, 36, 44-49, 52, 53, 57, 

77, 82, 83, 94, 255, 
320, 321. 
,, Agha, ()"), 131, 359, 

Ali Piisha, 17, 64, 65. 
.1 el-Meccawi, 66. 

• I ibn Ziad, 51. 

I, Rushti Pasha, 96. 

M Yahya. 67, 361, 362. 

Mahdi el-Fakih Saul, 17. 
Mahnioud, 43. 
Main Pass, 143, 158. 
Makaranm, 347. 
Makulla, 131. 
Malik, 31. 
Manilooks, 55, 65. 
Mamun, el-, 51. 
Mansur, el-, 54. 
Mansur el-Kasim, 57. 

II ilm Hasan, 87. 
Mareb, Saba, or 8hel)a, 23, 36, 37, 
38, 40, PJO, 143, 280, 288, 312, 
Masar, Jebel, 343. 

Maahonaland, 28. 

Mavia, 25. 

Mecca, 4, 13, 18, 22, 43, 45, 46, 63, 

64, 66, 93, 205, 296, 320, 360. 
Medina, 4, 63, 64, 93. 
Medinet el-Aslal, 24. 
Mefhak, 330. 
Mehdi el-Mentether, 67. 
Mehdi, Senussi el-, 90. 
Melh, el-, 187. 

.. Sailet, 188. 

Menakha, 78, 104, 109, 331, 333, 

336, 337, 339, 340, 341, 350. 
Menes, 35. 

Menif, Jibel, 181, 343. 
Mequinez, 246, 297. 
Meruan, Beni, 100, 105. 
Merveille, Mons. de, 148. 
Metneh, 325. 
Middleton, Admiral, 130. 
MUne, Captain, 133, 181. 
Minaeans, or Main, 32-36, 38, 39. 
Mjisbiyeh, 196. 
Mohajir, 321. 
Mokha, 10-13, 55, 56, o9, 61, 63-66, 

68, 130, 138, 301. 
Morocco, 4, 81, 91, 123, 153, 166, 

171, 201, 246, 255, 293, 314, 345, 

353, 367. 
Mosailnia, 48, 49. 
Moulas, the, 77. 
Mrais, Jil)el, 202. 
Mshareg, 102. 
Muavia, 50. 

Muayyad, Mahammed el-, 59. 
Muir, Sir William, 77. 
Mundah, 236. 
Munkat, 243-245. 
Munsoorie Hills, 149. 
Mustain, el-, 52. 
Mustansir, el-, 88. 
Mutawakil, el-, 52. 
Mutazilites, the, 89. 
Muza, 6, 1 1. 
Muzaffer, el-, 54. 

Nadir, 230. 
Nebuchadnezzar, 30. 
Negoum, Jibel, 106, 107, 110, 224, 
298, 299, 301. 



Nehm, 21 ». 

Negil, Kariet en-, \H, 287. 

NeKran, 20, 22. 

N.jed. 22. 173. 

Niebabr. Kanten, 19, 22, 24, AS, 61. 

NuhO). 24. 

Nijear ibn MnsUnsir, NN. 

Noah, 30. 

Obaditca, the, K4. 

Obaki, Jibel, 351. 

Ofar, 241. 

Okelis, n. 

(hnan, 23. 

Dmar. K5. 

Omaiah, 15, IN, 35N. 

Ihnryyad dynasty, M). 

Otnianli < tovemment, 17. 20, 24, 64, 

94, 95, 99, 101, 105, 1 15, 1 16,315. 
Othmaa, the Caliph, 50. N5. 
OthmaD. Sheikh, 133- 135, 15N, 160, 

161, 16N. 
Ofetomaii Empire, 297, 369. 
Oalaki tnbe, 24. 
Odii, Mahammed ilm, 66. 
Owd, KabyU el., 222, 224, 250. 

Ilalettine, 73. 

P^neca, 135, 145, 149, 36S. 

Famtz, Keara. 45. 

*' Peppercorn/* the ship, 130. 

Peri Paaha. 56. 

Perim, 6, 13, 14, 24, 62. 121. 137. 

•* Periplua.** VincenU, 39. 
Peraia, K4, H6. 
Peratan <;ulf. 116, 126, 137. 
Peniana, the, 44, 135, 149. 
l%<Miician characten. 34. 35, 39. 
PUyfair. Sir R. L., 6, 20. 24. 40, 

51. 59. 61. 66. 
Pupham, Sir Home, 62, 131. 
PfjrtSaid, 2<»9. 210. 
Porte, the Sublime. 25. t;5. 67, 69. 

72, ft2. 114. 360, 361. 
PortOKuew. the. 11. 55. 129, 130. 

tf trader*. 11. 

Preatcr John, 55, 12H. 
l*rophet, the. Sft Mahamme<l. 
I*uit, 39. 

Qoamn, 33. 

Raamah, 126. 
Rabiah, 31. 

Rala Suleiman, 129, 145. 
RaaSeilan, 177. 220. 

.1 Zebeod, 255. 
Raahid, Harun el-, 51. 
RaMitet, 54, 57. 
Raudha, 315. 
Red Sea, 4. 6, 10-14, 21, 57, 59, 62, 

100, 127, 133, 137, 35N. 
Retaaba. 2N3. 
Riiiia, Wadi, 15. 
Rodaa, 21. 

Romans. 39, 44, 127. 
Rome. 35. 
Russia, N6. 

Saba, Sheba, or Mareb, 23, 36, 37. 

3N. 40. 126, 143, 145, 2N0, 288, 

312. 319. 
Sabft-ans. 32. 34, 36, 39, 319. 
Sa<lah, 18. 20, 22, 52.54, 105, 106, 

252. 339. 
Safan, Jibel, 343. 
Sahan. 20, 22. 

Said, Reit, 229, 233, 234. 236, 239, 

.. el.Faki, 66. 
Sailet elMelh, 188. 
Salah ed'lHn or Sahuldin. 54. 
Salih. 318. 
Salt, Mr, 168. 
Samara, Jibel. 247, 253. 
Samarcand. 40. 
Sanaa. N, 17. 18. 20-26, 37, 43, 44, 

49. 51, 53. 54, 57, 6164, 68, 69, 

N7. 98. IH), 101, 104 107, 110, 

1 15. 151. 199. 210. 243. 2541. 252. 

2tH. 267. 289. 29«», 294, 295, 

299, 322324. .^35, 340, 353, 

354. 361. 365, 372. 
Sargon I., 3.'>. 
Sayce. I'nif.. .15. 
Srddah, 111. 236. 
.Sr^hir. Watli el-, 176. 
StiUn. Uhubbat. 176. 
M Ras. 177. 222. 
S«Hm I.. .V>. 



Semitic races, 36. 
Senussi, Sheikh, 90, 91. 
Seyed Hasan, 188. 

,. Ismail, 132, 133. 

II Kasim, 17, 66. 

M Mahamed el-Hadi, 17. 

M eshSherai, 1 10, 324. 
Sham-sham, Jibel, 143, 147. 
Shari, Beled esh-, 206. 212. 

M Wadi, 206, 212. 
Sheba. Set Saba. 
Sheikh el-Beled, 59. 

M Besaisi, 206, 208, 209, 215, 
220, 223. 

M el- Islam, 77. 

., Othman, 133-135, 160, 168. 
Sheiyas, 78, 84-87, 89, 90, 93, 98, 

Shem, 30. 

Shereef, Huseyn, 66-69. 
Shoa, 128. 
Sidi Sheikh, 5, 24. 
Sinai, 33. 
Smyrna, 213. 
Soarez, 129. 
Sobeh, 111, 224. 
Sok el-Khamis, 327, 329. 
„ el-Thuluth, 2.36, 237. 
Solomon, '23, 24, 3<;-38, 79. 
Somali-land, 1)1, 138. 
Somalis, 13.'), 148, 159, 232. 
Soudan, 81. 
Stace, Col., 140, lO.S. 
Stamboul, 94, 141), 208. 
Suakin, 337. 
Sublime Porte, 2.'), 05, 07, 69, 72, 

92, 114, 300, .SOI. 
Suez, 31), 50. 

II Canal, 33. 
Suleiman the Magniticent, 50. 
„ Rais, 120, 130, 140. 
Sufis, 89. 
Sunnia, 77, 78, 84-80, 89, 90, 95, 

3 1 4. 
Syria, 40, 50. 

Tabutabii, Ibrahim, 53. 
Taif, 18. 

Taiz, 10, 17, 18, 21, 25, 54, 60, 00, 
104, 111. 

Tartars, 40. 

Tawahi, 136, 141. 

TehAma, 6, 7, 9, 10, 13-18, 20, 21, 
24, 51, 53, 67, 101, 190, 242, 
339, 343, 347, 351, 354. 

Teima, 33. 

Thamud, 318. 

Theophilus Indus, 41. 

Thoba, 196, 206. 

Thuba, Wadi, 236. 

Thuluth, S6k el-, 236, 237. 

Tigris, 66. 

** Topaz, "H.M.S., 12. 

** Towers of Silence," 145. 

Tripoli, 90, 91. 

Tsar, 33. 

Tubba el-Akran, 40. 
II ibn Hasan, 41. 

Tubbas, the, 126. 

Tufieh Pasha, 360. 

Tunis, 91. 

Turan Shah, 54, 127. 

Turkchee Bilmas, 66, 131, 359, 360. 

Turkey, Sultans of, 65, 87, 92. 

Turkish dominions in the Yemen, 
24-26, 37, 56, 64, 203, 
.. troops, 13, 102, 105, 106, 
109, 111, 133, IDS, 
212, 239, 286, 302, 
309, .324, 327, 330, 
.331, 330, 340, 349, 

Turks, the, 0, 17, 52, 55, 57, 05, 
OS, 70, 84, 80, 94, 90, 98, 104, 
133, 135, 151, 286, 322, 324, 
353, 350. 

Uzul. »S\c Sanaa. 

Venice, 1 1 . 

Vertomanus. «SV>; Barthema. 

Vincents " Periplus," 39. 

Waalan, 288, 351. 
Wadi el-Kebir, 170. 
Wahab, 191. 
Wahabis, 03, 04, 05, 89. 
Wahat, 133. 
Wahraz, 44. 


WhiUs Sir Willuuii. iM»N. Zafar, 41, 4.*}. •J.'Sl. 

WUil. 34l\ :<44. ;<4.V /Ai<U. iK.'!. 

ZaiiliH. the, .Vi. .'>;i. Ha, :U4, 

Y»tr», 20. !»:<. i»4. •.>:>3. 2HI. ;n'j. ;<«i. 

Yahya, .'ri, (»7, tM». Zaiixilur, hN. 

Yakouli Ht-y, lltl. Zaraliouii, *J46. 

Yalkaiiia. AV« Ifelkaina. /auiii, Wa<li, :i:<4. 

Yarub. aiN. Zayd, til. 

Yaiair, 14s. Z«I»«h.i1, l.!, .Vi, .'»4, •'ili, 6«>, ti7« 3«'>!), 

Yriiuutt** triU-ii, *i3. 3(), IH9. :<(».\ 367. 

Yrniii. 17. iM, 2.\ 41. 104. HI, .. Km. 1*'>.V 

113, 212. 21M. 24tl, 247. '2MI .. Wadi. 255. 

251, 25:i, '2mK 2H(t. /ia«l, ihii, 15, 52. 

Yuavf, 42. /uraytU-ff, 5.'t. 

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Exaniph's of Stahlfs, Huntiiig-Ho\4*s, K«*nn»'ls, Kaoing Estah- 

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• •. 

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Will MM ((l.oRi*!. Ill A« k. (*ro«tl "^Vo 4* 

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BROWN. Stray Si>ort. By J. MnRAY Bkown, Author of 'Shikar 

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Bn<l Kn!.trv«-*l K«li*ioii. t rown >«\<i. 4« >-} 

A !imit*'l ii'»M'*r ../r'o/'w ^fl\r h ,r*' t%l t --i. "i, f<rK A-fn*/ •flii 'r j«t/<*r. I >. f<t\. 

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BCCHAN. IntnMlu(torvT«*\t-Book of .Met«H>rolf»Ky. By Akkx- 

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BUCHANAN. Thr Shir.* Highlands (VjisX Central Africa). By 

J"liH III • ii*N»\. ri.ii.Sr At /"tiilai « fi.wi. *\", *••. 


l)oniestir Flnrirulttire, Window (Janh'niiitf. and Flond iKt^om- 

t."i • ll» I .• prirT ral "liM'-t :..ii« f.if thi l'p'j»»»'i*i ••». < il' if*. »ii'l .\rraiij«'mrnt 
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IMifi'ifi 4 r.w'i •\ii. •••h iiMiii* r'>ii« Ii;'j»fr4? -ti*. T«. »•! 

Cultivat^-^l Plants : Th«*ir Pnnvitfati«in an<l Inipn>venient. 

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8 List of Books Publislied by 

BURROWS. Commentaries on the History of luigland, from 

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The History of Scotland : From Agricola's Invasion to the 

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CANTON. A Lost Ki)ic, and otlier Poem.s. By William 

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William Blackwood and Sons. 

CAHIUCK. KoutniRK ; or. Forin«»fit«»<l Mare's Milk: ami its 

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Ily <;roiii.i. I^ Cakhkk. M.I>.. L.Il.<'..M.K. and l^ll.C.P.E., iniynlrUn to thr 
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CARSTAIKS. British Work in India. Hy R. Car.htair«. 
CAl^VIN. A Tn»asury of the English ami (Jennan languages. 

('oin|*iltH| friiin th«* Iw^t Aiitlii>r« aini t^'\t<si|;ni|th«*ni in Ufth l^iyniaijir*. Uy 
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CAVE HHOWX. I^ni))eth Pahice and its Associations. By J. 

♦ 'Avr-llHimN, M.A., Virar of IktliiiK'. Kent, an«l f«.r iiianv year* rumte of I.Atn- 
U-th r^n^h rhnrt-h. With an Introiiurtion by th«* Arrfiln^hnp of t'anti-rlitin'. 
Mertitifl Kdition. rontainiiii: an a<l<liti<inal ('ha|>trr on M>-)lie\al Life in the 4>i«l 
rala<>(>«. h\o, %iith Illu«trAtion«. •Jl;*. 

CHAUTEIUS. Canonicity ; or. Early Testimonies to the Exist - 

rnei* ami I'lie of the IU«>k^ tif the N«« T*-tani*nt. IUim^I on KirrhhotTer «• 
•«^M lli'ii-anunltuu'.' K<lit«^l hy A. II. riMHTihi», l>.l)., Tn'feMMir •»f Hiblical 
<*ntMi*in in the L'nueroity of K<linhiiruh. *\t», Ish. 

CHENNEFJ^S. HemlltTtions of an Egyptian Prinf*»ss. By 

h» r Kiu'h^h Oo\.riM<** (Mi^« K. rm vsn i.**). IUmi,; a ll«T»ir»! of Ki»e Year*" 
I<« •i<i« net- at the ('••urt nf Kniael Pa^lui, kh>-iii\r. .^^•H-timl E^lition. With Tltree 
I'tirtmit/i. r.«t '•v. I, 7^, r-I. 

CHIUSTISON. Kife of Sir Hol»ert ('hristis4m, Bart., M.D.. 

h.r.l.. M\.in.. I*r»»f.«i».ir of Me<li<*al JunHimi'lem'- :ii the I'nixepnty of Enlin- 
huri:li. K<litt«l hy hit S<inh. In •.' \m\%. ^\^^ \..l. I. Autohtotnii|ihy. l»» 
Viil. II. Menioin>. l«".*. 


th»- Aii!li«ir of 'rulni«hire F<»lk,' 'John OrhJmr, A;r. .■. \«iN. rr"»n ^\•^ -*'»*. •«•! 


A B<Mik of (*oiiinion Onler: lM*ing F<»rnis <»f Worship ivsu^nl 

hj tlu rhunli >«r\ire N«*i>t>. SiXth Iviition. « r»««n •'Vi. •-*. \W> in -' »<>N 
rrii»ii •»*•», ».*. i-l. 

I)aily Olfirrs for Morning and Ev«*ning Pniyer thnmghout 

!li»- W»«k. <*r<ii»ii •"X", .«•. •"1. 

Onler of Divine S«.rvio» for ('hil<ln*n. Iviued l»y the Chureh 

St-rv.rt N-iit). W:th ?*«■..?» :«h II \ « I-^fh. ^1. 

C'LOrSTON. Topular Tah*** and Fi«*tions: their Migrations 

an«l 1 r^ti^ftni. i*. 'ii«. 11% H. A < i.»».itt.\. K-ii'-'f "t ' AraSun T'-try f»r En.' 
l»«h Ileutl* r*. \v. «• \"l». |«M»» •'\<i, f»\'»«ir,:hi- ImicIhu*. ■.''«. 

COCHBAX. A Handy Text l^>ok of Military Ijiw. (oinpile«l 

rh.«-rt\ ti. «i»;<«t «»ftj,-»f^ |irt|«irtii^ T-r K\.»ruMia'.'iM . tl».> f -r x\\ Of»l'.f» ..f t|i< 
|{e»"iUr aii'l A'i\ \u\T\ Kont *. t ••nipr-^^ .il*.» a *«\ii<i{n-« < f jwrt -'f 'h^ Arr»»\ 
A«'*. H> Mii'-r K (•••HiiAN. IlaTiijwh.n Id ^iiiMMt (i.tin*"': Ii.*ti'u*'-r. N«'flh 

COLUI'HorX. The MiM»r and th.- Uh\\. ('ontaining Minute 

|ii*»r'i«' -11* iM a.I IIi.'lil lift *»j.,r»», »."i W.iii'l' iMi.'% tixtr • TA.' atiil •••rri*-. 
\","'\ iii-l Y'W. |l> Jolts < •ii<4t iixi \ I ||. ip K't:?i'-i>. r'ii»^r4Te>ti« 
|w fi,\ •'X.I, \*M. •-!, 

(X)LVILR Hound the lilmk Man- (^inhn. By /^lik Col.- 

«iii. K R <* **. iitinii rt<i« Ii;i«'r.**. -ii* ri'i:i i'l. ■•••%;? t|'!i« 4ii<l Ihraw.n^. 


^ OTI.AM*. Willi -I'l\ \ •» i.\ th. \x*.- Vx\'a\\*\\ ruJl.«-h. N« • 
C'litton, i(* \i«M«| aiitl Kn'.ar-n'<<l. < p'«i. ^^ <. ■« *»\ 

lo List of Books PuMisJud by 

COTTERILL. Suggested Reforms in Public Schools. By C. C. 

CV/TTERiLL, M.A. Crown 8vo, 38. 6d. 


The Elegies of Albius Tibullus. Translated into English 

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The Elegies of Sextus Propertius. Translated into English 

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CRAWFORD. An Atonement of East London, and other Poems. 

By Howard Crawford, M.A. Crown Svo, 5s. 

CRAWFORD. Saracinesca. By F. Marion Crawford, Author 

of ' Mr Isaacs,' &c. &c. Sixth Edition. Crown Svo, 68. 


The Doctrine of Holy Scripture respecting the Atonement. 

By the late Thomas J. Crawford, D.D., Professor of Divinity in the University 
of Edinburgh. Fiah E<lition. Svo, Vis. 

The Fatherhood of God, Considered in its General and Special 

Aspects*. Third E<lition, Revised and Enlarged. Svo, (Js. 

The Preaching of the Cross, and other Sermons. Svo, 7s. 6d. 
The Mysteries of Christianity. Crown Svo, 7s. 6d. 

CROSS. Impressions of Dante, and of the New World ; with a 

Few Wonfs on Binietallisni. By J. W. Cross, Editor of 'George Eliot's Life, as 
relate<l in her Letters and Journals.' Post Svo, Gs. 


The Blacksmith of Voe. By Paul Cushing, Author of * The 

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Norfolk Broads aiul Rivers ; or, Tlio Waterways, Lagoons, 

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Our Home in Avpyroii. Sketches of P(»asant Life in Aveyron 

aii«l tin- Lot. Hy (J. i'liHisToF'UKR Daviks and Mrs Broiohali^ Illustrated 
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DE LA WAHK. An Eastern Cruise in the *Edeline.' By the 

Colli. t<ss I)K La Wauu. In Illustrated Cover. 2s. 

DESCAllTES, Tlie ^fetbocl, ^foditations, and Principles of Philo- 

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New Introductory Essviy, Historical aiul Critical, on the Cartesian Philosophy. 
Hy Pioffssor Vj:iTrH, LL.D., Glas^^ow University. Tenth E<litiou. Os. (.hI. 

DEWAH. Voyage of the " Xyanza," B.N.Y.(.\ Being the Record 

of a Three Vtars' Cniisc in a Sch<»on«'r Yacht in the Atlantic and Pacific, and her 
snbs<'r|Ufnt }<hijtwn'ck. Hy J. CrMMiN<5 Dfwak, late Cai>tain King'fi Draj^oon 
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I'l'ith, :*.t »-J. I1!ii<>tr.tti •! K<iit.«i|i. Iiiiwii •»\«i, <|i»th, »i«t. 

Pitvadillv. With llliistnitions l»v Kirhaitl |)ovI«». NfW Kdi- 

Tniits and TniVfstirs ; .SiM'ial and I'oiitirul. Post **vo, 10s. Tid. 
KpisiMlfs in a Ijfr of .Vdv«»ntun' ; or. Moss fnim a K4>ilin(( 

>t..||.-. Fifth K'lit.. Hi I*.«» "X ., • •. 

Haifa : Lift* in .M<Hl«*rn l*rili*stin«». S«»r<»nd Eilition. Hvo, 7»i. r»«l. 
Th«* I^ind of Oilt*a4l. With KxtMirKinns in tin* I>(*lMinon. 

W;Mi ini|*»r»f. -ii^.tifl«. n-!iiv "x '. Jl* 

M»'iin»ir of lh«» LitV of l^iiir«*nr«* Oliphant, an<l of Aii*t» 

Ml |i)i.iiit. h:4 H;r>- lU Mr<* M. o M oiiriitst >«\i!.rh K*lit.>.ii. : \<>N 
|.Mt *%■•. *if h I'-.ftri •• .'Ih 

pxi-i I «H Kmtk'H With 4 Ni'w I'r* f.t< ' l''»» ••\>'. «.th r-iftrail*. T« »..| 


Katif Sti'wart. \\\ Mrs Oi.ifn \nt. llliistnit^il Uuinls, is. iVl. 

Kjiti»« St«'w;irt, and oth«*r Stnrii*s. N«*w l^ilition. Crown *'Vo. 

Val«*ntini* ami his r»roth«»r. N«*w F^iitinn. Crown *»vo, 3s. fid 

Smih ami l>iiti^dit«*rv Crown **vo, Hv i^l. 

I)iana Tn*l:iwny: Tin* Hist«iry of a On»at Mi^tak**. 2 vol*. 

24 List of Books PiiblisJted by 


Two Stories of the Seen and the Unseen. The Open Door 

— (>1»! I^dy Maiy. Paper covers, l8. 

OLIPHANT. Notes of a Pilgrimage to Jerusalem and the Holy 

f^inl. By F. R. Oliphant. Crf»wn 8vo, 38. 6d. 

ON SURREY HILLS. By "A Sox of the Marshes." 

Sft. jiftge 28. 

OSSIAN. The Poems of Ossian in the Original Gaelic. With 

a Lit«'ral TraiiHlation into En^liHh, m\*\ a DIsKertatioii on the Authenticity of the 
PoeinM. JJy th*? Rev. Archibald Clerk. 2 vols. imiN'rial 8vo, £1, lis. 6d. 

OSWALD. By Fell and Fjord ; or, Scenes and Studies in Ice- 
land TJy E. J. Oswald. Post 8vo, with Illustrations. 7s. 6d. 


Introductory Text- Book of Geology. By David Page, LL.D., 

Profi'SHor of Geology in the Dtirhani University of Physical Science, Newcastle, 
and Pnifessor Lapwortii of Mason .Science Collepe. Binnin^ham. With Engrav- 
ings and GlosHarial Index. Twelfth Edition, Revi8e«l and Eularj^ed. ?,». 6d. 

Advanced Text-I^k of Geology, Descriptive and Industrial. 

With Engravings, and Glossary of Scientific Tcniis. Sixth Edition, Re\i8ed and 
Enlarjjed. 7s. M. 

Introductory Text-Book of Physical Geography. With Sketch- 
Maps and Illust rations. Edited by Professor Lahworth, LL.D., F.O.8., &c., 
Mason Science College, Birniinghani. Twelfth Edition, Revised. 2s. M. 

Advanced Text- Book of Physical Geography. Third Edition, 

Ri'vised and Eidarged by Professor Lapworth. With Engravings. 5s. 


Spindrift. By Sir J. Noel Baton. Fcap., cloth, 6s. 
Poems by a Painter. Fcap., cloth, 5s. 

PATON. Body and Soul. A Romance in Transcendental Path- 

')lo;ry. By Fkkukuick Xokl Paton. Tliinl E'lition. Crown Svo, Is. 

PATRKMv. The A])olo.iry of Origeii in U(»ply to Celsus. A 

CliajiItT In tlif History (tf AiM)lr»^'('tics. IJv tlu' Urv. J. l*ATnirK. B.I). Pf>st Svn, 
7s. .;.!. 


Essays in History and Art. By R. Hoc.arth Pattersox. 

Tli(» New Golden Age, and Influence of the Precious Metals 

ujHm llic NVorM. '_' vnls. .Svo, .'Us. (id. 

PAUL. History of the Hoyal Company of Archers, the Queen's 

H(Mly-(Ju;inl Ikir Scuilund. My .Jamks IUi-kouk Paul, Advt)cate of the Scottish 
Bar. Crown 4to, with lN»rtniits and (ithrr Illustnitioiis. £2, 2s. 

PEILE. Lawn Tennis as a (Janie of Skill. With latest revised 

I^iws as i.lay.'d hy tli.- Best Chibs. By Captain S. C. F. Pf.ilk, B.8.C. Cheaj)«r 
Kdition. Fcaj*., cloth, Is. 

PETTKJREW.. The Handy Book of Bees, and their Profitable 

Maiiau'tJMt'iit. By A. I'hTTKinKW. Fifth Edition, Enlarged, with Enjp^iviiigs. 
Cr«)wn hvo, :">s. (Id. 

PHILTP. The Function of Labour in the Production of Wealth. 

By Ai,i:xAM)KK rjiii.ip, LL. B., Edmlmr^'h. Crown Svo, 3s. Od. 


Kditt'd by NVm.i,i\m KM»iiiT, LL.I)., Profossor of Moral Philosophy, University 
of St AikIp-ws. In crown -Svo volnines, with Portniits. price '.in. (h1. 

[For list o/ yolnme^ piihlhhed, stre page 2. 

IViliiam Blackwood ami Sons. 25 

POLLOK. Tli«* (\KirM» of Timo : A I Win. \\y HonKKT P<>lu>k, 

A.M. IVitta^r IMitHiii, ::'.'iiio, **\. Tlir .Saini*. rli»th. Kilt r-lj^m. I*. **\. AiintUrr 
IMitioti. With lllu«tnitt<>iiii by |lirkt-t Kimtfr aii<l titlM-r*. U'^y., rli>rh. .u. imI., air 

VOWl ROYAL UKMC. TraiiKlat^Kl fmiii tlw Fmich : with 

liitn»|iii-ti<*n. N<it*«, atMl Ai>|»-ii<lix. Uy Tiiov^h .*«I'»'n< in 1U\\>.». IJ..I>.. l^nn 
(•-•«<ir :ii till- rtii\ir«it> *tt ^\ Aixln-wii. Tfiith E<liti<iii. l.'iuo. |«. 

runs ANh DAHNKLL. 

AditUK Fiu'ilion's : An Easy I^tin CoiiKtruiiig I^Mik, with 

t ..iii|.l't.\.««hul:»rv. Ity A. W. ri.rr», M.A., I.UI>.. .iii<i tli.- II.- \. f. lUnwri.i., 
M.A.. ll>-^<l-Md«t'r iif t'ar^tlli'-lil rrv|Mniti>r> N'Iiim.I, K<|iiitiiir,:li. Truth K<liti<m, 
f«-.i|i *»%■». ..i». ••"1. 

AtlituK Fjioilinn-H (Jnu'ci. An Kjisv (Jnvk ('<»n.struinK l^k, 

w'.tli ('••liiiilrtf \<K.4l»(}'. I'lfth K<liti«>it, ll«'\i<Mi|. Fr.ijt. •<\<i. .:•. 

rOTrs. Si'liool SrriiioiiH, \\y i\\i* Into Ai.KXANhKU Wm. Potth, 

IJ..I>., I>ir>t II' fl \l:i^r. r of \r\'.\,% tfMi.i-. With « M< iii«<ir -iii<i r<>rtn«tt. 

1'UIN(;LK. Thr Livi..St«M>k «»f th«» Fann. Hy Hobkkt O. 

I'niN'.ir. 1-1.11!. '.ii. I(i\iM-<l Mh'l^l hy Javm M %• i-«nai i«. t'n»wii 

rUYDF. rira-^jiiit Mrniorit's of a r»usy Lif«». \\\ I)avii» TitYhK, 

M.S., I.I. h . ■ f ' lli^hM •% - of Lit* t.iiiirt-, ' «ip-jt Vfrn in Kiir<>|B an lii«- 
t'»t\. 'It. '^Ttiih:!.!! «»:i'!ii.«-^ ..f Krl«:^-!l Lit* niti.r*-. A*-. With a Mr/i-.Tiiit Titr- 
trajt r.«t '•*n. 1.^. 


fi"tii 17«»7 t'. I'^IT. %»i»li< hi'.i.-.! IjMi aii«l Imhv '.'■ \«»N. Ur;:f ••\i«, g:,, .u. 


I o|.|.K«Tl<»N ^^Y. rwMi'«h«^l Aniiiully, with (M-iirnil liiil«\. 

IJADKWL criJK FOR IRKLAND, Th«'. A Uxwv to tht^ 

|%«.2>lf ..f Kt.*'l.tii<t .iiil >«-iitU!iit riiiirt ritiii^ a iirM l*lAiit4ti<>ii. With J )ld|it. 

RAH Th«» Syrian (huroh in India. Ry Okok«;k Mii.nk Rae, 

M.A.. h.n*. K<:i-*M of tl..- rtii\>i«i'^ of \|.i-ir.t»* Ut*- riof,-.,«.r m th<- MA.Inw 
( hr.-TiJi. ( ollt.'f. ^,th» fu.i iM»-' l.l-.»«. V >*X "% ■. !•»». i-l. 

RAMSAY. Scotland and So»tsni«*ii in th»» Ki^rlit«H«iith (Vntury. 

K-lit"! ffoiii rt.. M*»> ..f .l-nN It(vt>. K*| "f ••••h». :!\r» . >.\ Aiii%M>»a 
.\i I tiii«\i I . .\'it1.or of '\|Mi.-:r iif .\<lr...t4il l/i'>l K'lth, . \r. J «■•!«. 
"Xo, 1*. #«|. 

R.VNKIN. TIh' ZaniU'si lUsin and Nyavs;iland. Rv DaMKL J. 

H*HMN. I \i>K* •».. M K A *» W.tli \|..c« 1\.\ I.! .-tr**. -i^. f*..«r **... !■•*. f-|. 


A IIjkndl»<M>k of tin* Churfh nf Scotland. RyM%MK.«* Rw'KIN, 

l» 1» , Mi!ii*».ror Mm:IiiI! . A'lthor of •« h.irt< **r m :..!.• C f| !fi. oM i.«*.t!i»rtit.' 
A<- .\ii iiitift-ly Ni« «ii<l iiiMch Kiilir.:*'! K*lit.oi.. > ro«>. •tm, «ith j Ma|m. 
7. ..I 

Tip* First Saints. W^i *^vo, 7s. t^I. 

Th»» (Vi'^mI in S«-otlanfI. An KxiMisition of tin* .\|M»stlf»s* 

« r«..| U Ml K\tr». •* fr.^i \rt-h*. *!...;. If iti .;t..v • i »»..'. *rii -f 1 .' ;. J.^hi.*. :ti« •.•••••h.»'n of I -■-i. aii-l « ( jTi t » of .\tii i. i.t l-il.'i «'i'l ••♦h«r lltiiiii* 
!'■"»? "•»■•_ 7« ««l 

Tlif Worthy < 'oiiiniiinirant. A Oiii<I«» to tin* I>«'Vout Oh-w^r- 

\ ir«-i •■fi»,, |<I « •* .'.ja ^ |.,nit><'! 'h. N -I 

Tli«* Yoiiiiu < 'Iiun-hiiian. i^-i-MuiH on tin* CnnHl, tin* Com- 

m.^amIi..' <i1«. f Ik \l*ai.« of (ir-jtv, aiil Th<- ( h'tr* h I iiip rl-<th. !• A 

Yxrst Coniinunion I.«<*KHonii. 24tli Filitioti. RajM^r ( *ov«*r, ti\. 

26 List of Books Published by 


UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH. Celebrated in April 1884. Published under 
the .Sauctiun of the Senatus Acadeinicu8. Large 4to, £2, 12d. 6d. 

ROBERTSON. The Early Religion of Israel As set forth by 

Biblical Writi»ra and Mo<lem Critical Historians. Being the Baird Lecture for 
18.S8-81*. By Jamrh Robertbok, D.D., Professor of Oriental Languages in the 
University of Glasgow. Fourth Edition. Crown 8vo, lOs. 6d. 

ROBERTSON. Orellana, and other Poems. By J. Logie 

RoBKRTHON, M.A. Fcap. 8vo. Printed on hand-made paper. 68. 

ROBERTSON. Our Holiday among the Hills. By James and 

Jaxet Ixkjie Robertbon. Fcap. 8vo, .Ss. Od. 

ROBERTSON. Essays and Sermons. By the late W. Robebt- 

Hon, B.D., Minister of the Parish of Sprouston. With a Memoir and Por1a«it. 
Crown 8vo, 5s. Od. 

RODGER. Aberdeen Doctors at Home and Abroad. The Story 

of a Metlical Scliool. By Ella Hill Burton Rodoer. Demy 8vo, 10s. 6d. 

ROSCOE. Rambles with a Fishing-Rod. By E. S. Roscoe. 

Cniwn 8vo, 4m. Od. 

ROSS. Old Scottish Regimental Colours. By Andrew Ross, 

S.S.f •., Hon. Secretary Old Scottish Regimental Colours Committee. Dedicated 
by S|K*cial Pennission to Her Majesty the Queen. Folio. £2, 128. 6d- 

RUSSELL. The Haigs of Bemersyde. A Family History. By 

John Russell. I^rge 8vo, with Illustrations. 2l8. 


Notes of an Irish Tour in 1846. By the Duke of Rutulnd, 

G.C.B. (Lortl John Mannerh). New Edition. Crown 8vo, 28. (kl. 

Correspondence between the Right Honble. William Pitt 

and Charlos Ihiko of Rutland, Ix>rd - Lieutenant of Ireland, 1781-1787. With 
IntnKliictory Noto by John Di'ke of Rutland. 8vo, 7s. Od. 


Gems of Ciorinan Poetry. Translated by the Duchess of 

HrTLAsn (I^uly John Mannkjls). [.Wjc Editinn in j/rrjHtnition.. 

Impressions of Had-Hoinburg. Comprising a Short Account 

of th<' Woincn's Associiitioiis <»f GiTiiianyTimhT the Hr'd Cross. Crt)Wii Svo, Is. t>d. 

Some IVrsonal Recollections of the Later Years of the Earl 

of n«'acoiis(i('l(l, K.(i. 8ixMi Edit ion. »*.(l. 

Employment of Women in the Public Service. Od. 

Some of tlie Advantages of Easily Accessible Reading and 

Hicn-ation Kooiiih and Free Libraries. With Rciiuirks on 8tiirtin^ and Main- 
taininj^ thoni. S-cond Edition. Crown 8\o, Is. 

A Sequel to Rich Men's Dwellings, and other Occasional 

PajM-rs. Crown Svo, 'Js. <)d. 

Encouraging Experiences of Reading and Recreation Rooms, 

Aims of (fUiUIs, Nottinj^liain Sociftl Giiitli.', Existing Institutions, &c., &c. 
Crown svo, Is. 

SCHEFPTL. Tlui Trumpeter. A Romance of the Rhine. By 

.losKiMi VicTou VON S( HKKKF.i.. Tpanshitnl from tho Two Ilnndn^dth Gemutn 
Edition by .Ikssik Hk k and Loiisa Lorimku. Witli an Introduction by 8ir 
Thf.opoke Mautin, K.C. B. L«»n>j bvo. ;5s. (kl. 

SCHILLElv. Wallenstein. A Dramatic Poem. By Friedrich 

VON Sririi.LFR. Translated by C. G. N. Lockhart. Fcap. Svo, 7s. tkl. 

Wiiliam Blackivood and Sons, 27 

SCOTCH I/>('H FISHIXCJ. By " Black Palmer.^ Crown 8vo. 

iiit<*rlrm>e«l with bUiik |m^»i'«, 4ii. 

SCOl'CfAL rriuouB and their Iniiiatcfi ; or. Scenes from a 

Mlfiit WiirM. By Kha!(« in S« Di'iiAi^ <'n>wii »%«•, UianU, 'Jin. 

SELLA IL Manual of the Kducation Acts for Scotland. By the 

Ut** Ai.KXAMiru Chaii. ^r.l.l.AK, M.I*. Kiiflith fS<ittioii. II«-\im^1 ami in ^jvX 
)«rt ivwrittrti bv J. Kt>WARl» liKAiiAW. ll.A. Ototi., Ailv<«atr. With Rulr* f«>r 
thr (NMxlurt of KhTtioiu, «ith Nntr^ ami CaM-ii. ii\o. 

(.Vrir t'tUtinn in frejnmtiim. 
(Si IT! rur\r t»» Sri i.4K m M 4>rr 4i . Ik*iii;r thr Arin nf lvv.» in mi far a* afft^lnj; 
Ihr K«lu'Vitttin Art*, h\«i, 'In.] 


Scr>ttiKh Philosophy. A Coni|>arison of the Scottish and 

(ifniian An^twrpi to llunir. Ilnlf<Hir rhil<>M»|ihiral Ix^'!ur»-«, Univrr^ily of 
K<liiit>iir;;h. Ily AMtHRw Srrii. I.h 1> . rn>f«-«iMir of Ijrj^xc and MrLa|ihyiiim in 
E<lin)NirK'h I'liurrnity. Sr«iiiiil Kitition. rrown h\«i, ;.*. 

II«*KelianiHm and Personality. Bjilfour Philosophical I^ectures. 

.S«^iir»tl y**'T\f*. S«*roiiil K<l.tii>ii. rp'Wii •'^o, *.•. 

SHADWKLL. The Life of (\»lin CanipU-ll, I»nl Clyde. Illus- 

tnit«i| hy Kxtnirti from hi* |>iary an*! *'*'rt>-*\iitui\run\ Ily |.irtit«'iiant-4frurral 
SitAi'wrM, r.H, With I'ortr.iit. Ma|i*. aii«l IIaii*. -' »oU. ^y**, :■*''*. 


Half a Century ; or. Changes in Men and Manners. By 

Ai r\. Nm> SIMM.. Author of • .i*;a»n".t Tiiii*-.' Ar. S«-roiHl Rilitiou. *m», 
1>. -I. 

I>«»trers from the West of Irelan<l. Heprintitl from the 

'Tiii>«-H.' Crown *\i», :,%. 

Kilcarra. A Novel. 3 vols, crown Hvo, 2:^, (kl. 
SHAKPH I>»tters from and to Charh»s Kirk|)atrick Shar|w». 

Kilif'il hv .\ii\«Nr>iK Ail «iii>\< r. .\iithor of 'M>n><iir of .\ilniiral I^>nl Kfitl, 
K.H.. Ac. With a Mtniotr hy thf |{.\. W. K. II. ItrtiniNti. In 'J \uU. s^o. 
IUu«tratol with Kt«hi!u*« an<l otliT Kiu'rax iiu*<4. £.'. !>. ««1. 

SIM. Marjfan't Sim's C«>cikery. With an IntnKluction hy L. B, 

W4iioKi% Author of • Mr Smith :* A Tart '-fhi* I.iff. Ar, Crown •txo, *.*. 

SIMI^SOX. The Wihl Bahhit in a New Asp.vt; or, Kahhit- 

Wirr»n*that Tay, A t»i-<k f>r I jti.l-.wio r*. '*ii"rt>.m»ii. I^ti<l .W'tit*. Kjinii«-r«. 
(Miii'-kt^ !■ r^. aii<l All"tM.< nt ll-.l-Lr. \ ll'«-r'l •■( |{.<. nr K\|-r»m«-nt4 ri.n- 
•I irtf-l .III th. K*«.it» of th. Huht H'-ii, Ml'- Kail "f WJuirnrliffr .it W«.rthy Hall. 
Hy J. .•*i¥i-«»o\. >mall rrown ••\o, ' %, 


Maitljind of [^ethinvton ; an<l the Si^otland of Mary Stuart. 

A lli«t..r»-. Ily JoMN >kii To\, C. H . LLP.. .\'ith..r of •TIm- E**a>» i»f shtrlr)." 
Tlie HandlNiok of Puhlie Health. .\ Com|»lete Edition of the 

IV.M/* If.AlMi »'..| ..Ml. r *»aii.tjir\ \r** r»U?.'i.- t.. *votlaiMl. Aniiota*.^!. aii.l 
vt.'M 'h* It'll. «. |><«r-|«*i.>t)ii nu.\ |k.r.« •■ii« f t hr lt<«ir>l of Sit{«-rt l*t>.li t^roil^^ht 
»;;it".Ii»' «i:rhr<li* %• T-nji* s,. ..i,.| K-l ti-n Wiih |rttn"l'i«ti"ti. ront*initiji 
tl.. .\'liii iij«'rat.>>ti of thi rulit.r ||> il»h Art .n Ctiiitif * •»»■». •»• '-I. 

Tlie I^M*al (Hivernment (S4H»tland» Act in Belati»»n to Puhlir 

II'aIMi .\ IUii>l> i$'i >W f..r * .MiM jtil |».«»rM-t « ..Mii'-iil-r*. \|«--h**j»l offtrwr*. 
Sai.-.'arv |ri«j««««or». 4tii| Mi«iUf»..f |'ii'« ll>«tr<l« S.-ri.|..| IMititHi. With 
a «»• » |*ri !.»«■«■ nil 4|. }»•.!»! limit of s.t!..»aiy * »fTli • r* * rown I*... j*. 

SKBINE. CoIuiiiImi: .V Dmma. By .Iohv Htnti-KY Skrixk, 

Wariirn of <iIiiuitn«otM| \ Auflfr of ■ a M«-ni"r> of K*|«ar^l Ihniife'. Knajk. 4t4i, tv» 

28 List of Books Published by 

SMITH. For God and Humanity. A Romance of Mount Carmel. 

By Haskett Hmith, Autlior of 'The Divine Epiphany,' &c. 3 vol*, post Svo, 
26«. txl. 


Thorndale ; or, Tlie Conflict of Opinions. By William Smith, 

Autlior of * A DiscourRP on Ethics," &c New Edition. Crown Svo, 10s. 6d. 

Gravenhurst ; or, Thoughts on Good and Evil. Second Edi- 
tion. Witlj Memoir and Portrait of the Author. Crown Svo, 8«. 

The Story of William and Lucy Smith. Edited by George 

Mf.kkiam. I^rgc iK>s*t Svo, 12s. ikl. 

SMITH. Memoir of the Families of M*Combie and Thonis, 

originally M'liitosh and .M Thomas. Compiled from History and Tradition. By 
William M'Comkie 8mith. With Illustnitions. Svo, Ts. Od. 

SMITH. Greek Testament Lessons for Colleges, Schools, and 

Private .Students, consisting chiefly of the Sennon on the Mount and the Parables 
of our l/)nl. With Notes and Essays, lly the Rev. J. Hunter Smith, M.A., 
King Edwanl's 8ch<X)I, Hinuinghain. Crown Svo, 6s. 

SMITH. The Secretary for Scotland. Being a Statement of the 

Powers and Duties of the new Scottish Olllce. With a Short Historical Intro- 
duction, and numerous refen-nces to imiK)rtant A<lministrative Documents. By 
W. C. Smith, LL.B., Advocate. Svo, Gs. 


Within an Hour of London Town : Among Wild Birds and 

their Haunts. By " A Son or the Mar.shk»." Edit^nl by J. A. Owen. 8«»oond 
K<lition. Crown Svo, Gs. 

With the Woodlanders, and By the Tide. Crown Svo, 6s. 

On Surrey Hills. Third Edition. Crown Svo, 6s. 

Annals of a Fishing Village. New and Cheaper Edition. 

Cn»wn Svo, r>8. Hlust rated Edition. Crown Svo, 7». tkl. 

SORLEY. The Ethics of Naturalism. Being the Shaw Fellow- 

sliip L«'ciiin"<, isst. liy W, H. S».hi Kv, M.A.. K«'ll<»w of Trinity Colle-,'*-. Cam- 
l»ri<l;:<', ri<>f«s>«>r of I.ou'ie and l'liilos<)j)liy in UniviTsity Colh';;** <if iSouth Wale>. 
< 'row n Svo, lis. 

SPEEDY. Sport in the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland 

with Hod ihhI fiiin. Hy Tom Si-kkdy. Second E«litioii, U«'vised and Enlar^i'il. 
With Illustrations by Lirut.-fMncral Hoik' Crealocke, C.U., (.'.M.G., and others, 
Sv<>, l.'»s. 

SPROTT. The Worship and Offices of the Church of Scothmd. 

Hy (iroKoi: W. .Si'kott, 1 ).!).. Minister t>f North Berwick. Crown Svo, «5s. 

STARFORTH. Villa Residences and Farm Architecture: A 

Srrii's of l)t»^ii,Mis. liy .Ions Staukouth, Archit«'Cl. lOti Eugmvings, Second 
KditioM. .Mr<liuni U", si'l, 17s. «;<1. 


ImlfX. l.'j \ols. .s\(», .i;])!, ir.s. 


The Book of the Farm ; d(?tailing the Labours of the Fanner, 

I'arni-Stt'uanl, rioii<,'linian, SlH'plicnl, H<'d;,'«T, Fann-I^ilKMircr, Fi«'ld-Worker, 
and Cattle-man. Ilhist rated with nunu-rous Portraits of Animals an<l Enj;ravinp< 
of Imi)l<'mi'nts, and Plans of Farm Jiuildinj;s. Fourth Edition. Roviso<l, and 
in j;rtat part K»'written by .Tames Mac oonai.d, of the ' Farminp WorUl,' &c. 
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